Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I dress my tears in costumes.....

SHADOW PROJECT. The combined brilliance of Rozz Williams and Eva O., fused with Jill Emery's smooth bass guitar and Paris's keys. Half the songs are written by Eva, half by Rozz. Very important music to me.

Fall through the darkness into death- then open your eyes and reach out into the light.

SHADOW PROJECT: Shadow Project


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

On the outside looking the other way

Feeling out of place. Completely isolated. Wishing to die, if only to escape reality.

Director Beth B.'s Stigmata is a film that addresses these topics without compromise. A static camera captures the faces of a small group of individuals as they relate their personal experiences with these feelings. And how it lead them all to that which brings about death within living: heroin. These candid and painful interviews are only inter-cut with brightly lit images, such as a window or travelers on a road. The genius of Beth B.'s direction and cinematic composition is how none of this is exploitative to the subjects or boring for the viewer. Efficient and raw film-making.

Its hard for me to watch this film. I lost a dear friend to heroin. Not a day goes by when I don't think about her.

painting: "Die Toteninsel" ("Isle of the Dead," Basil Version)
by Arnold Böcklin, oil on canvas, 1880.

Sunday, November 2, 2008


Turn off the lights. Curl up in the corner. And turn the speakers up as far as they go.


The band formed in the early 80s in New York City, one of the final children born from No Wave's short heyday. Although to pigeon-hole Michael Gira's vision into just one city or "scene" would be a total disservice. SWANS went through several organic stages of development- complete nihilistic crush, to more textured meditations on god and self, to soaring soundscapes of staggering beauty.

This recording compiles material from 1985's GREED Lp and 1986's HOLY MONEY Lp. These songs utilizing the slow, almost physically painful musical base of the early albums while incorporating more complex song structures and a greater range of instrumentation. The addition of Jaboe on backing vocals and keyboard further deepened the resonance of the music. Just listen to the song "BLACKMAIL" for evidence of the power her voice holds.

Lyrically and thematically Gira is interested in the dichotomies of power and helplessness, dominance and submission, love and hate. Not simply setting such elements against each other; rather exposing how they are, truly, one and the same. It all crystallizes, at least for me, on the song "A HANGING".

As fas as I know the songs for both albums were written and recorded around the same time. The progression of one song to another on this compilation enhances the overall effect of the album.

Well over 1/4 of my music collection is SWANS or related. My favorite band.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Ran away dark

Urban swamp songs. Decay and sexual abandon turns into frustration. Total rock and roll, (but not?)

After TEEN-AGE JESUS and the JERKS imploded, Lydia Lunch (who we'll be hearing a lot from) formed 8 EYED SPY with ex-members of The Contortions and other No Wave superstars. The band created a unique, almost '50s rock tinged sonic fracture. Lower East side transformed into a backwoods hell-hole.

The band was only active for a short period and didn't put out much material before they dissolved. Maybe only two 7"s at most. This album, Live, was co-released postmortem in 1981 by the excellent ROIR Records label and the Dunceteria club. 8 EYED SPY have long been one of my favorite bands. I was twitching around to this in high school while my so called "friends" were pushing Tori Amos, commercialized "punk", and shitty '70s "prog" rock.

"Lazy In Love"