February 3rd, 2011 | music
A scraping from the top of today’s listening here at Mission Control:
February 3rd, 2011 | photography
On left and right, Jeanne and Kontrol with their GLOBAL FREQUENCY symbols. In the middle, Hayley Mather and her Spider.
My readers never cease to amaze me.
February 3rd, 2011 | Work
My last ever WIRED UK column has just pushed live to their website, for your free reading “pleasure.” It’s been a fun run. Thanks again to Ben Hammersley, David Rowan, Joao Medeiros and all for letting me play there.
I felt compelled to inform them that, in a less enlightened time, “doing this to a writer would be tantamount to declaring war on the Arts themselves. Hemingway would have shot you for this. Gertrude Stein would have whittled herself a death phallus out of a marrow and hate-shagged you until you saw Jesus wearing a pair of Alice B Toklas’s jodhpurs. Fortunately for you, however, I am a man of the 21st century. And so I will merely wee in your lift. Consider yourself chastised.”
February 3rd, 2011 | brainjuice
February 3rd, 2011 | photography
From an anonymous reader, one I’ve never seen before: on the left is Pat Mills’ & Kev O’Neill’s Marshal Law, but on the right is Lazarus Churchyard, by me and D’Israeli…
February 2nd, 2011 | music
This album is eight hours long. That’s right. An eight-hour piece of ambient drone music broken into thirteen chapters. The album’s name, FIELD RECORDINGS FROM THE EDGE OF HELL, is such a perfectly fitting descriptor of the sound that I have little more to add. I’m only 90 minutes in and I swear I can hear organs playing from inside a pit. The liner notes read:
Every effort was made to preserve the original quality of this recording. The shifting, actively oppressive nature of the environment had an irreversible effect on both the equipment and personnel. As a result, some damage was permanent.
Wonderful. You can click through and buy it — as I am going to — or just leave warrenellis.com up in a tab and stream it here by activating the widget below.
February 2nd, 2011 | brainjuice
February 2nd, 2011 | music
As directed by Daniel Nixon, quoted here as saying:
As far as I know (and I’m scared of checking) this is the first music video to be made with the Microsoft Kinect camera. The footage was shot on that piece of £130 equipment and recorded to custom software running on a laptop.
The band sent me the link. And here’s the video. Doesn’t hurt that it’s a perfectly lovely piece of music, from Echo Lake’s forthcoming YOUNG SILENCE EP on No Pain In Pop.
February 1st, 2011 | daybook
And then sometimes this happens: you have to strangle a story in its crib.
I’d been offered a slot in an anthology, which was interesting to me, and had been talking to an artist who very much fancied the rural and spooky and really didn’t like things like cities or technology. There’s a challenge for a short series, I thought.
But sometimes you just can’t make your brain go in the right direction. Due to being in the middle of some big city-related jobs right now, I seem to be very much in the mindspace of urbanity and density and people, and not so much about the sparse and barren. A year or eighteen months ago, I would have had a lot to say about the rural and the English landscape and so forth. But last night? Last night I realised all I had was a weak and crappy Quatermass And The Pit ripoff crossed with a Belbury Poly record.
I then did a thing I’ve very rarely had to do in my career: wrote to all concerned and said, sorry, I fucked up, this thing just isn’t working and so I’ve killed it. I knew that the artist was still finishing up something else and had the option to go straight to another gig, which made me feel a little better for the massive inconvenience. But not much.
The lesson is simply this: you just have to recognise that, no matter how much weight you put behind it and how much you tart it up,sometimes a story just doesn’t bloody work, and you have to take it behind the stables and shoot it through the head. No writer is perfect. We all have dead bodies to our names.
The corpse gets thrown in the Loose Ideas folder, where one day it will doubtless be cannibalised for its more interesting/less ripoffy parts and interpolated into something new and better. Storage of corpses is important. As in life, you never know when bits of them will come in handy.
February 1st, 2011 | comics talk
New comics are released on Wednesday 2 Feb in most places. Here’s a few things I’d draw your attention to:
VIETNAMERICA has gotten some good reviews: a memoir in graphic novel form of the author’s attempts to make sense of the lives of his family, who fled Viet Nam for America during the fall of Saigon. There’s a preview on Scribd: often crude, always atmospheric and evocative, sometimes kaleidoscopic to the point of psychedelia in its construction and formal invention.
CROSSED: FAMILY VALUES #7 concludes Dave Lapham’s spinoff from Garth’s original CROSSED book. It’s been grotesque. Quite deliberately. It wasn’t the constant sledgehammer of doom that CROSSED was, but it does manage to outsleaze the parent book.
DAOMU #1 translates a popular Chinese comic for the Anglophone market. Very goofy-looking, but with some nice digital art, if you can get past the big plastic sound effects.
WITCHFINDER – LOST AND GONE FOREVER #1 (of 5): “In the hellish frontiers of the American Wild West, nineteenth-century occult investigator Edward Grey hunts down a fiendish member of the Heliopic Brotherhood of Ra. What he finds is a town harboring bloodthirsty criminals and terrible supernatural horrors!” Why do you care? Because it’s co-written by Mike (HELLBOY) Mignola and illustrated by classic American comics artist John Severin. And John Severin is fucking brilliant. Also? “Heliopic Brotherhood of Ra.”
DAYTRIPPER gets a collection. I don’t know what to say about Ba and Moon’s book that wouldn’t spoil it for a new reader. All I’m going to say is that it’s a wonderful, low-key, warm read; an inventive, often troubling device for exploring a man’s life and relationships in full. I’ll be honest, and say that it didn’t always work for me… but also that it left me with a pain in my chest. That is a recommendation.
Nice linework in Sarah Oleksyk’s IVY. Fancy a quiet little story about an artistic girl trying to escape her cold and spare Maine life? You can judge for yourself, because the first chapter’s online for free.
PANDORA EYES: haven’t read it, but it’s illustrated by the legendary “good girl” artist Milo Manara, whose ability to draw beautiful women has overshadowed his other skills. Which is probably as much his fault as anyone else’s. But I’d flip through this book, in which he collaborates with a writer, to see how he does here. And if you’re not aware of Manara’s stuff, you should experience his exquisite linework at least once.