Friday, May 25, 2007

What more can be said?

Does there need to be a long daitribe about Star Wars and it's impact on film, culture, spiritualty, etc?

My childhood would have ben vastly different with out it. I would be vastly different with out it. So, thank you George for not just giving me an amazing movie, but for providing the fist step into a larger world.

(I should like to point out that I am jealous of my friend Christine who shares the same birthday! HAPPY BD CHRISTINE!!)

I'll get back to music blogging next week. For today though, why not take a trip to a world from a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...

Thursday, May 24, 2007


I've been looking forward to the the Ian Curtis biopic since it was first announced. Just a few days ago I came across 2 things that made it even more exciting.

1. The poster

2. A small version of the trailer via some hot YouTube action (with French subs no less!)

There was a fairly blah writeup on Screenhead about the movie.

It receives a standing ovation at Cannes and this cat was all kinds of Negative Nelly about it.

F'n goths. I tell ya.

I hope I can find a better version of the trailer soon.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Barron Storey Life After Black

Who is Barron Storey you ask? Simple put, he is one of the most influential illustrators of our time. His work has graced the covers of Time Magazine , he did the first official rendering of the Space Shuttle for NASA, and his classes at The Academy of Art in San Francisco have turned out hundreds of illustrators who understand the true nature of being an "artist".

My first introduction to Storey's work was through his 1996 Watch Annual in 1996. I can vividly remember seeing it in a comic shop in PIttsburgh on my first trip there. At the time I was (and still am) quite the Dave McKean junkie, and when I saw his name on the cover I had to grab it right away. I not only blown away by Storey's art, but amazed by the obvious influence it had on McKean.

That one book became a huge turning point for me in the way I created art. I knew of his now legendary Marat/Sade Journal that was printed in 1993 (and out of print almost immediately) but could not get my hands on it for quite a few years. My mom happened upon a copy and gave it to me as a Christmas gift in 2003. It is one of the most treasured books in my collection, and I only take it out on a rare occasion to share with a friend, or to remind me what it is to be an artist.

I learned earlier this year from a blog entry on Neil Gaiman's page that there was going to be a NEW journal by Barron Storey. I was so excited I do believe my head almost exploded.

I took a look at the quite spectacular Graphic Novel Art Blog that was written by the gentleman that was publishing the new journal. The older entries were glimpses into the art, and publishing of the book. The art was simply phenomenal, and I placed an immediate pre-order for the book. I watch with anticipation as the days became closer to publication, and witnessed the cover being made, and the final inspection. It was making me giddy as if I was a child who somehow happened upon Santa's workshop, and saw my gifts being made.

The journal arrived just a couple of days ago, and I must say that it far exceeded my expectations. If you are a comic fan, art lover, an artist yourself I cannot stress how much you will love this book. It needs to be in your collection, and studied ,and appreciated and talked about. The standard edition of the journal is $49.00 and is available now. There are even talks of re-printing the Marat/Sade Journals which means an entire new generation of artists can have the book, and not worry about having to pay in excess of $150.00 for it!

Enjoy, and by all means tell your friends about this amazing work!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Walk in Silence

I had considered a woefully out of print Friday for today, however instead I would really like to dedicate today to the memory of Ian Curtis. It was 27 years to the day today that he was found hanged in his Macclesfield apartment on the eve of what would have been Joy Division's first American tour.

The haunted lyrics that Ian wrote in the last few months of his life seemed to echo his understanding that his life was to be cut short, if not by the health problems that plagued him, then the stress of balancing family life, and the tempestuous affair he was having with a Belgian journalist. This along with his already crippling depression made death seem like the only solution.

I write this today, and think about the influence Joy Division has had on countless scores of musicians, artists, writers and most importantly fans. I ask that any readers of this blog take a moment to reflect on not only on Ian and the legacy he left behind, but life, and how precious it really is. I'll leave you with the lyrics to Digital. It was the last song preformed by Joy Division on May 2, 1980.

Feel it closing in,
Feel it closing in,
The fear of whom I call,
Every time I call
I feel it closing in,
I feel it closing in,
Day in, day out,
Day in, day out...

I feel it closing in,
As patterns seem to form.
I feel it cold and warm.
The shadows start to fall.
I feel it closing in,
I feel it closing in,
Day in, day out,
Day in, day out...

I'd have the world around,
To see just whatever happens,
Stood by the door alone,
And then it's fade away,
I see you fade away.
Don't ever fade away.
I need you here today.
Don't ever fade away.
Don't ever fade away...

Ian Kevin Curtis July 15, 1956- May 18, 1980

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Silicon Scally "bioroid", Snoweffect "Rustic Physiocrat" and Small Fish Records BIG sale

A friend of mine tipped me off about Silicon Scally due to it's haujobbish feel. He was right. Before you ask me why I might be talking about something like this. Besides my fetish for really good industrial (and not much in recent memory falls under that category) I really dig on the style 'jobb has on most of it's records.

Bioroid is everything GREAT about haujobb minus any industrial trappings. Intricate programming? Check. Complex melodic structures. Check. Dance music that isn't just a simple 4 on the floor beat accompanied by arpeggiated keys and bad vox? HUGE CHECK. It's undeniably funky and I have a feeling it is going to be played at both of the nights I dj

This album really would appeal to fans of not only the aforementioned haujobb, but also to fans of early Autechre, Gridlock, Funkstorung, or Lassigue Bendthaus (think pop artificaille minus vox though not as glitchy)

This cd succeeds because it is not only a compelling listen, but is begging to take over the dance floors.

The mastermind behind the project Carl Finlow has been tearing up dancefloors with his other projects Random Factor, Voicestealer, IL-EC-TRO, Circle City and merits further investigation. (according his bio on the Haywire site he " is more influenced by classic artists rather than contemporary that he sets his standards so high. He cites Tomita, The White Noise, Yello, Prince, and Depeche Mode before going further back in time to experimental godfathers Stockhausen, Varese and Raymond Scott as his source of inspiration.") You had me at Tomita.

download Population III

download Encapsulate.m4a

Had I not benifited from the kindness of an ebay seller I would not have discovered this Japanese band.

Snoweffect is a 3 piece laptop band, comprised of Takafumi Ishikawa (who engineers the recordings), Masaaki Takemura (who is a well known guitarist from Kyoto), and KenIchiro Hoshi (a well known fixture in the techno/ambient scene in Japan)
and produce instrumental glitch pop from the Oval school of thought. The pieces are really compelling and quite complex with out being strictly academic. I am quite a fan of the way they craft the skips and glitch and make it fun and interesting to listen to. Still probably not your mom's glitch pop (or your significant other that hates those cds that sound broken for that matter) Sadly there is very little information about the project available in English so I am going to contact the label for a little more info (and perhaps an email interview)

Until I hear back enjoy two tracks from Rustic Physiocrat

download PS2 - Powdery Snow

download Physiotronica

Finally, my favorite (virtural) record shop in London is having a HUGE sale.

Head on over to the Small Fish site you will see that they are running a fairly unique sale- any cd released before January 1, 2006 is 50% off. How cool is that?

Now might be the time to catch up on some of those back catalogue titles, no? As it is you should know this shop. They introduced me to more music in one trip to the shop than any other shop I have been to!

Small Fish Blog
Small Fish Myspace

I'm going to try to do one more post tomorrow, and then it's woefully out of print Friday (already!)

Friday, May 04, 2007

Woefully out of Print Friday

Each Friday I'm going to dig through my cd collection and talk about a cd that really should be available for purchase, but alas and alack is gone daddy gone.

This week I decided indulge my shoegazer fetish and talk about an unsung Band from Boston called Drop Nineteens and their album Delaware.

1992 was the year My Blood Valentine dropped Loveless on an unsuspecting world, and the waves could be heard everywhere. Many people were already proclaiming it to the the greatest album in the history of albums (just as many were saying it was crap) and dozens of bands "influenced" by the band were releasing records to it's coat tails.

The Drop NIneteens were different though. They didn't just make a copycat record, but rather expanded on the ideas, and really made it into something uniquely their own. The band charted in the UK's Indie and charts, but sadly did not make nearly as much of a splash here in the states as they were lost in the buzz created by their (very overrated, and derivative ) labelmates The Smashing Pumpkins. Delaware was an impressive debut that should have made much more of a splash here in the US, but sadly other than college radio made little more than a ripple.

The band broke up due to artistic differences in 1995 having recorded only one other full length album National Coma in 1993.

I have included the tittle track, and their cover of Madonna's Angel for your weekend musical enjoyment. Enjoy, and try to track the album down. You won't be disappointed!

download Delaware

download Angel