Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Album of the Day - Vangelis / Hypothesis (1971)

A stylistic grab bag of progressive rock moments, very European and very evocative of its time. Two album side-long suites, wherein looser, improvised bits give way to beautiful cinematic themes. This is also very much a band session, where Vangelis leans back and functions as a keyboard player and vocalist within a small combo structure. Of profound interest to free jazzbos, as the drummer on Hypothesis is the one and only Tony Oxley. The session was also produced by the legendary Giorgio Gomelsky.

This is not the comparatively tepid waft of Chariots of Fire (which I secretly think isn't all that bad, either.)

About the album.
Vangelis on Wikipedia.

Tony Oxley on Beware of the Blog (with mp3s):
April 2008 by me. July 2008 by Scott McDowell.

Hypothesis link available for 7 days or the first 100 downloads.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Screen Capture(s) of the Day

In a negligent fashion typical of 70s Euro-'sploitation, "voodoo" has been re-imagined to include ritual human sacrifice, blood drinking, and a standard procedure of turning pretty white ladies into vampiric leopard-spirits, who are damned to roam the jungle for all eternity in search of fresh victims. Despite some striking set pieces (from which these images are culled) Night of the Sorcerers seems mostly an effort to remind us that in the 70s, "more than a handful" was wasted, as the ultra-slim gals of the research team are transformed one by one into animal print bikini-clad bloodsuckers, with the added mystery of a colored ribbon required to hold their heads on.

For pathetic, Euro-sleaze completists (like myself) only.

Night of the Sorcerers does boast an enjoyable score, and I ripped the Main Titles to mp3 from the DVD, just for you:

>>Main and End Title music from Night of the Sorcerers (1973)<<
From composer Fernando García Morcillo.

Download link available for 7 days or the first 100 downloads.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Album(s) of the Day - Ancestors & Debussy

Ultra-inspired, garage-quality black metal, in the vein of Bone Awl and Ildjarn. Minimal and ferocious, with the necessary killer riffs. Absolutely a must if you like this sort of thing.

Ancestors (cassette, 2006)

Originally downloaded from Protectorrr, the best online resource I've found for way-off-the-grid metal. While you're there, also check out recent posts of Haxan and Myself.

And the Debussy, a Deutsche Grammophon release—a well-known recording—but very enjoyable. A kind, calming palate cleanser amongst all the noise and metal that I listen to. Playful, contemplative musings on piano from one of the most significant composers of the 20th century.

Claude Debussy - Images 1 & 2-Children's Corner

Download links available for 7 days or the first 100 downloads.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Album of the Day - Some of My Own Shit

These are the sounds I make, at least since 2001—inspired by the moods and music of horror films, 70s progressive rock, Nurse With Wound, H.N.A.S., and the rats that lived in the crawlspace under my porch for several months. Since I'm finishing up a new disc, I thought it was time I gave the previous one away, free for interested parties:

Wm. Berger - My Castle of Quiet (2007)

Recorded 2003-2007. Artwork included.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Scary Gifs 2

This one's really a bad trip. I have trouble looking at the top two for more than a few seconds at a time, especially in my original Google doc (on a white background) where it looks as if the spider's web is growing straight out of the tip of the witch's chin. Ewwww! The Exorcist loop is a nice one.

Recommended listening: Anything that makes you feel safe and comfortable. Not this unsettling MEV LP I've got on!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Horror Score of the Day - Juan Carlos Calderón / Vengeance of the Zombies

A couple of years ago, I ripped the cinelogue from an .avi version of this memorable and moody Spanish horror film—then editing down that file to include only the bits that featured music, so taken was I with Juan Carlos Calderón's score, a hodgepodge of grooviness that melds Piero Umiliani-like, jet-set pop with small-combo psych rock.

Juan Carlos Calderón - Vengeance of the Zombies Original Soundtrack (72MB; 256kbps)

Vengeance of the Zombies was the product of two giants of Spanish horror/fantasy, Jacinto Molina (known internationally as Paul Naschy) and director León Klimovsky, who did some of their finest work as a team.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Scary Gifs of the Day

Recommended accompaniment:

Sadistic Intent / Impending Doom... Link from Classic Extreme Metal.
Sadistic Intent @ MySpace

No matter how the music shifts, the gifs always seem to be moving in time with it.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Album of the Day - Donkelheet / Wann d´Nuet rifft (1998)

Don't know too much about this artist, but they're from Luxembourg, a tiny country with a lot of money. Lots of free time to contemplate just how to wring out Black Metal and Doom until your music sounds like a faintly woven death mask of human consciousness. There are also some definite Krautrock moves at work here, whether accidental or intended.

This is music from the bottom of a rank, moldy dungeon. Otherworldly sounds, buried under tombs of crackle and hiss. Demo-quality—a lot going on for those patient enough to listen.

Download Wann d´Nuet rifft and two other titles by Donkelheet at this page, from One Drunken Afternoon.

Tune in to me later today, 3-6 p.m. ET, @ WFMU or 91.1 FM in the NY area. Follow the playlist in real time.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Screen Capture of the Day - Madhouse

Vincent Price in Madhouse, a film that is otherwise of little note, save for the fact that he's great in it, playing—you guessed it—a successful but aging horror cinema star! Still, Price's performance does kick ass, reeking as it does of the humor of bitter vengeance. A grittier, more believable Dr. Phibes.

Evidence of Personal Growth

I just wrote this to someone I've never met, but with whom I've been having a dialogue about misanthropy in general, an assumed kindred spirit in the fight against the herd. After reading it back to myself, I realized, "Hey! Change is possible!"

Yes, people are weak for sure. And hate will take a long time to kill you. Still, I find as I get older that there are a lot of good people, or that there's good in people—and that it's my filter, or just a default of the human condition, that the dross of humanity, the selfish, aggressive morons, make a stronger, more memorable impression—still, I think they are ultimately in the minority.

Is there an emoticon for "less of a hater than I used to be"?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Screen Capture of the Day

From Watcher in the Attic, a 1976 Japanese film, new (10/08) on DVD from Mondo Macabro, and even though this is a still from one of the final scenes—don't worry—it won't make enough sense to you now to be a "spolier." Even after you see Watcher..., it may only make slightly more sense to you. Ha! This is one of those smart, weird-as-balls Nikkatsu 70s "Roman Porno" fims, based on some stories by famed author Edogawa Rampo.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Album of the Day - Repugnant

With wicked riffs and a rough, grimy delivery, Repugnant are a super-eeeeeeeeeeeeevil thrash/death band from Sweden (the place that borndeded such things after all) and they're the best I've heard in this vein for quite some time. For fans of Sodom, early Kreator, Bolt Thrower and more obscure bands like Repugnant's countrymen Hypnosia.

Repugnant - Epitome of Darkness (2006)

Sample one track at their MySpace page.

Link from Classic Extreme Metal.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Film of the Day - You Killed Me First

Though one mysteriously can no longer rent the 2-DVD Hardcore Collection from Netflix, this necessary anthology of Richard Kern's early film work can still be purchased. Here is one of my favorites from the set, You Killed Me First, starring David Wojnarowicz, Karen Finley and the bedazzling Lung Leg as the film's youthful, hate-boiled antiheroine. Music by Foetus.

You Killed Me First avi/xvid (80 MB)

[You may need the XviD codec to view this video file once downloaded. It's easy to install on either a PC or a Mac.]

Download link available for 7 days or the first 100 downloads.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Metal Demo of the Day - Black Witchery

I went a little nuts for these guys when Desecration of the Holy Kingdom came out in 2001, scooping up everything I could find, including some live VHS, and this, their first cassette demo, released in 1997 under their original name Witchery. Black Witchery make an impressive presence in their hooded cloaks, dual bullet bandoleers, and elemental, Alice Cooper-esque corpsepaint. Their sound is no less arresting, a black-metal jackhammer dance, with killer riffs and a clear reverence for 80s thrash. Like Darkthrone, if you forced them to take cheap speed, drink even cheaper beer and live in a suburb of Orlando. This clip is a pretty fair representation of Black Witchery's urgent delivery, though the audio is poor:

Witchery - Death To Trends
Download link available for 7 days or the first 100 downloads.

Let the Right One In

I'm re-posting this piece, originally published on WFMU's Beware of the Blog 1/27. I'm particularly proud of it as a hunk of writing, and would also like to remind everyone that the film came out on Region 1 DVD this past Tuesday (my Amazon pre-order arrived in the mail Wednesday—yet another reason to never, ever leave the house.) I'm currently chipping away at the original novel....

The ground is covered with a layer of snow, under that a slippery-thick layer of ice, and North Jersey looks about as much like the suburbs of Stockholm as it's ever going to. When I think of Sweden, I think of thrashy, amphetamine-charged Death Metal, monumental acid rock, and Liv Ullmann and Bibi Andersson in Persona. All good things—great things even. Now Sweden has given us a highly original, for-the-ages horror film that embraces genre, while at the same time redefining and transcending it. Let the Right One In (2008), by director Tomas Alfredson, is based on the bestselling novel of the same name, published in 2004 by author John Ajvide Lindqvist, who also wrote the screenplay. Already, we have a Scandophile's dream production.

LTROI-9 I finally got around to seeing Let the Right One In, after reading the enticing coverage and receiving several personal recommendations on it. I'm sorry on the one hand that I waited so long, though the current grim surroundings make this a perfect time to embrace such a story, dressed as it is in blood, snow and bare trees. And though the secret is well out about this film's greatness, I couldn't resist chiming in to heap yet more praise on this landmark picture, easily one of the best I've seen in the last ten years.

LTROI-11 Lately some of my favorite horror films are those that truly address the human condition, using horror and its fantastical possibilities as a milieu to tell "real" stories. I've never fallen in love with a vampire, spoken with the dead or been taken aboard a UFO, though I've often wished that I had, if only as a mantle of proof that something exists beyond yearning, love, loss and bills in the mail. When I was a victimized, outcast, adolescent monster-movie nerd, obsessed with (and equally fearful of) the darkness, much like Oskar in Let the Right One In, I didn't have an adorable, tragic female vampire living next door to nurture my spirit and calm my confusion. So Oskar, and this film, tell that story for me.

LTROI-15 This is about as close as I get to fully embracing any kind of heartwarming entertainment—the most touching love story anyone could tell for my singular demographic. I prefer my reaffirmation of life's value served up with mayhem, dismemberment, and tears of blood. And perhaps that's why Let the Right One In is so tremendous, and so deserving of its critical acclaim: we all want to enjoy a good horror movie and get those grisly thrills, but when a film can fascinate us in that way, shock us, but also move us in a genuine and sophisticated manner, it momentarily lifts horror out of being kooky or dismissible (Rosemary's Baby had similar impact in its day.) So with apologies to my fellow "proud horror dorks" (thanks Clayton), this is one that's just so good we'll have to share it with mainstream filmgoers, who will most certainly fall for its many charms.

Let the Right One In is also beautifully photographed, director Alfredson having a Kubrickian eye for the living spaces of working-class Swedes: the flats, apartment blocks, courtyards, hospitals and woods. And though the film already has an English-language remake in development (reportedly to be directed by Cloverfield director Matt Reeves), it's hard to imagine removing this story from its settings and achieving anywhere near the same level of cinematic excellence. Let the Right One In debuted on US screens in late October, and is currently showing at the Angelika Film Center in lower Manhattan. The film will receive its much-anticipated Region 1 DVD release on March 10.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Screen Capture of the Day

Lobby card for Amando de Ossorio's Night of the Seagulls, the fourth film in his Blind Dead series. The revitalized Knights Templar are all drumming on her poor head with those rusty old swords. The perfect cover for a black metal album—or a sadistic, Northern-pride, pagan metal album . Also see de Ossorio's monster movie/fantasy/classic-Trek-vibed The Loreley's Grasp; I just watched it recently, and it's a mind-muncher. I have to watch it again just to wrap my head around all the boobs, gore and ersatz-mosphere.

Album of the Day - Demetrio Stratos / Metrodora

I finally found something in my collection that's not already plastered all over blogspot. Solo vocal acrobatics and tone poems, similar to some of Christian Vander's post-1980 singing with Magma, from this Egyptian-born artiste of Greek parentage, also known as the vocalist of hyper-left Italian 70s progsters Area. (Those latter two links amount to quite thorough histories of the singer and band, by the way, even by Wikipedia standards.)

This was Stratos' first solo release (1976) after his success with Area, and it marked some insane new territory for the voice as instrument. Stratos is raw, sometimes multi-tracked, but for the most part unaccompanied in the studio—pain, passion and unabashed self expression. A recording that both echoes the ancient and flabbergasts the present and future. Metrodora may not be to everyone's liking—especially at first—but give it a chance. Tracks 4-7 are somewhat more instantly palatable than the first three.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Album of the Day - Maurizio Bianchi Plays the Clockwork Orange

If you grew up, as I did, having a relatively intimate connection to the Clockwork Orange soundtrack album, this is the piece for you. [[Oh, and if you're really into the album and/or Walter/Wendy Carlos' music and legacy, you should also check this out.]] At first, this may just sound like some meddler having horseplay with a turntable, but the hypnotic charms of this will creep up on you. The "meddler" is composer Maurizio Bianchi, known for his long, mind-swaddling, dense noise experimentations.

Link from Sickness Abounds (my new favorite music blog.)

Monday, March 9, 2009

Album of the Day - Lord Wind / Forgotten Songs

Black Metal? More like Bo Hansson without resources. This home-studio gem from 1996 is gloomy and meditative, Krautrockish even—like Popol Vuh and Mortiis convening at the misty mountaintop:

Lord Wind - Forgotten Songs

Download link available for 7 days or 100 downloads.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Screen Capture of the Day

From The Marshall of Hell, written by and starring Jacinto Molina (aka Paul Naschy)
Directed by Leon Klimóvsky, 1973.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Albums of the Day - Skinless and The Black Dahlia Murder

"Metalcore?" A particularly postmodern blend of melodic Death Metal, thrash and modern hard-rock influences. A seemingly endless avalanche of stylistic musical touchpoints, all executed with algebraic precision. Sort of like Meshuggah, but with hooks.

I have been listening almost non-stop the past two days to only these 2 bands. I can't believe the kids aren't all over The Black Dahlia Murder. For all I know, they are....

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Bruce Conner - Vivian

Sorry about that last bit. And the bit before.

Here is a film of actual quality,
Bruce Conner's Vivian.
When, oh when, will a collection of his films come out on DVD?
Click play under the black box>>

Transmission #2 - Rejoice!

Music by Antigama.

Link from SexBeerGrindcore.

Transmission #1 - From Slumber...

Music from Voix by Egisto Macchi, download here.
Link from The Library Hunt.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Monday, March 2, 2009

Alert! - Paedophile-Amputee-Fetishist Guitar

From this.

Album of the Day - Gomorrah

UK Death/Thrash/Speed Metal from 1994. My copy of this CD, purchased used at the Princeton Record Exchange, had razor blade slashes on the front of the jewel case, and actual cocaine dust embedded in the plastic case front. I know because I licked it. I had a hunch.

The perfect music for riding the white pony, I guess. Lots of swing to this one; kind of a cross between Sodom and Cannibal Corpse, if that appeals to you.

Download link available for 7 days or the first 100 downloads.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Album of the Day - Ildjarn 1992-1995

Great, primal punk/metal from this Norwegian (pictured) who seems to have Hitler Youth written all over him. Unstoppable riffs; exciting like the first time you heard the Minor Threat e.p., but with less-friendly politics.

Ildjarn - 1992-1995
>>Part 1<< >>Part 2<<

Links from BigRock666.