24 April 2016

Burn Down the Golden Idol (2016)

Gonna serialize our next project a bit.  The Glaze of Cathexis has peered beyond the curtain of reality and we are ready to report our findings.  Are we enlightened enough to do this properly?  Probably not.  Are we talented enough to pull this off?  We hope so, but you can been the judge of that.  We have glimpsed at the magick that stands through the textured vail.  We may not understand it, but wish to hold a musical communion with you to consider it.  Burn down the Golden Idol.

11 April 2016

Dr. Schluss' Psychedlic Film Fest April 2016

I'm looking for those psychic, electricity-inducing icepicks into the brain.  Ephemeral and experimental films tend to do the trick.  I named my primary music project after one and we've gotten into the business of making them for ourselves.  For the past 15 or so years, I have tended to subject my newfound friends to screenings of this stuff, and now I will screen a few for you.  Will you be my friend on the cybernetic astral plane?

Weird, abstract analog imagery to tickle your brain.  There are no narratives, actors,or anything of that sort to distract you.  I have heard that this is the ground zero for special effects tricks that would later illuminate the lightsabers in the original Star Wars.  I think this is what you would see in the elongated split second between sticking your head into the lightsaber and disintegrating.  Holy crap, I tried to show the younglings The Force Awakens today but ended up with another run though Jurassic World instead.  Bloody hell, just watch "7362."

There was crappy video with the original soundtrack, and better video with someone else's music slathered all over the affair.  I went for option #1, but do keep in mind there are Kenneth Anger DVDs you can go for instead.  The subconscious and Egyptian imagery in this film will make you re-evaluate reality.  Some of the vocabulary for modern music videos and filmatic cultism is certainly created here  That said, while I'm not either, it's probably best to have an open mind towards the homo-erotic and the Satanic with this one.  The stranger realms of archetypes make themselves known here.  If you delve into the conspiracy theories, some suggest Anger is the true head of the Church of Satan, and an Illuminati herald of Aleister Crowley's demonic world-view.  At least it makes for an interesting subtext - sort of like assuming Sgt. Pepper's is a veiled acknowledgement of Paul is Dead.  Less conspiracy-laced is that Mick Jagger was deeply into this shiznatch - he even contributed an unlistenable electronic score to one of Anger's earlier films.  Not that this film gets off the hook.  The soundtrack is fantastic psychedelic weirdness, but you have to deal with the fact that it was created in prison by Bobby Beausoleil, a member of the Manson family.  This is meaty, if not comfortable, viewing.

If someone enters my home for the first time, I am likely going to make them watch this.  No, it's not psychedelic, and it's narrated and, uh, sung, by a substandard Johnny Cash wanna-be, but it is one of my favorite films.  Redundant or not, that theme song will implant itself into the core of your skull for the remainder of our lifetime.  It's a film intended to teach safety to construction site workers.  Most of us do not need this training, but we will enjoy the fact that every horrible accident that we think will happen to our stock actors does.happen.  I can enjoy bright red, fake blood.  This film once backfired on me when I tried to show it to a lady friend many years ago only to find out that the film disturbed her because her dad was a construction worker.  Don't be an asshole like me.  I guess the disclaimer is that you may want to avoid this situation.

David Bowie - 2016 - Blackstar Videos

For better or for worse, I haven't been ramping up a whole lot of the psychedelic obscurities recently.  Mostly grooving to the Beatles, Bowie, Gas, and listening through my new recordings on the trippier end.  So let's take a look at that Bowie.  I'm probably a few months late on this, but this is one of the few celebrity deaths that legitimately bummed me out. As you probably imagine, I never had an interaction with the Man, but my shitty high school punk band did play on the same stage that I caught my sole Bowie concert on a few months later - at least a fun connection for me (Atlanta's International Ballroom for the "Earthling" tour).  The "Blackstar" album is phenomenal - it's an unprecedented late-career masterpiece and I think it may be second only to "Low" in Bowie's catalog.  While ditching your long-time band for experimental jazzmen sounds like a prick move, it seems to have reignited the exploratory instinct of the classic 70's albums.  I've given the mystical, morality-facing album deep listening that I usually only reserve for stuff like the Beach Boys' "Smile" The Beatles "White Album," or, well, Bowie's "Low."  But I'm not going to target this as an album review (quality 5 ; trip-o-meter 4.5 I guess for the quick version).  Let's take a look at the phenomenal videos instead.

Gave a half-attention listening before news of Bowie's passing and thought the second song was cool - but it was just the core of "Blackstar" and when the first half returned I was surprised to be greeted by a "Station to Station" style epic.  I knew Bowie was going for absolute top form when I first heard the synth at 7:06 zoom in.  In the filmic sense, we are observing a strange convergence of Kenneth Anger,  Labyrinth, and weird, obscure Crowley-style Satanism blasting through the cosmic veil with just hint of hip-strutting disco to bring in the funk.  I'm pretty skeptical of releases from the old fogies, but this tune pretty well catapulted into my top five Bowie tunes.  This is an epic, dark sci-fi trip that you should undertake.

This one seems to have picked up most of the attention as a death note, and it is a strong one, but it doesn't quite hit the nexus button of subconscious that "Blackstar" did.  The track is definitely cool, with deranged electric guitar blast spazzed out by the Man himself.  Much smaller scale but well thought out, the button-eyed man returns to cringe on his deathbed.  The emaciated, dying Thin White Duke is quite a site, morbidly creeping back into his closet.  It's an amazing acknowledgement and exploitation of mortal decay, but ultimately a bad ass rebellion against said decay.  I'm knicking the idea from some clickbait article that I read, but I agree that the most profound image here is of our Thin White duke furiously scrawling his ideas and falling off of the desk, unable to express everything he desired with the little time that remained

A few days ago I read that although the Man is gone, we were getting a "lyric" video, which doesn't sound like much.  Of course there is no footage of a man who has left this moral coil, but we surprisingly get a painless syringe of metaphysic DMT injected directly into the eyeball. Yeah, (some) of the lyrics end up on screen, but what is important is the bizarre fusion of black-and-white imagery from Metropolis, vintage Flash Gordon, and Aladdin Sane eventually bursting into a cascade of insane VHS colour that concludes by sending Major Tom on his final trip though the cosmos.  Although on a completely different track, the only other lyric video I like was for the Lonely Island's "Semicolon."