Frightening the living shite out of meself part 2
Tweet Last Hallowe'en I decided to get into the spirit of things by posting a blog about songs that scare the knickers off of my goolies. You can read it here. Not much has changed since. However, I do take back my ill-judged slagging of metal. This was before I did a piece about Metal for Analogue magazine and found myself not only liking a lot of the stuff, but feeling the genuinely chill touch of some of the genre's bleaker exponents. A lot of it is cartoonish exaggeration though, but the fans are as aware of this as anyone. This year, the world seems so fucked that anyone with a propensity for the odd moment of self-indulgent existential mulling (i.e. me) already has enough reason to sob fearfully like a jobless hedge-fund hotshot and widdle all over themselves in raw terror like...a jobless hedge-fund hotshot. Dublin is getting spookier by the minute too. Places are half empty. That is always spooky. A half empty Bus Aras is less preferable to a completely empty Bus Aras for some reason. When somewhere is half empty you tend to notice other people more. And there is always a weirdo or two knocking around Bus Aras. Normally this happens about 10.45pm on a Tuesday when all the buses have gone save for Kells and a town called Kill. At this time of night, the little red LED screen over gate 6 just reads Kill. The word constantly moves across the screen like a mindless computer-generated instruction.... "Kill, Kill, Kill, Kill". I swear to fuck. Either that town gets renamed, or someone of an unstable mental disposition (a jobless hedge-fund hotshot?) is going to go all 'Jack Nicholson in the Shining' and "Kill, Kill, Kill" everyone in Bus Aras on Tuesday evening 'cos the LED sign told them to do it. Anyway I am a sucker for punishment, so I am going to drag myself over the rusty, sharp protrusions of my inner demons and post some more music that frightens the living shite out of me. I'm putting it up today because the lovely LoLo will be delivering her long-awaited new installment of Lolomix on Hallowe'en. I found some photos to go with this stuff too. They are not for the faint hearted. Hallowe'en was downright scary in America at the turn of the century. Bear in mind, most of the people in these photos are dead. That means their malignant ectoplasm is probably pouring out of your PC right now and their gaseous forms are rising above your back as you read this blog. Clown plus groupies circa 1907 MP3: Brian Eno-Lantern Marsh My love of Brian Eno knows no bounds and I particularly adore his instrumental work. A lot of it is quite neutral. It is absorbent like kitchen towel and able to cope with whatever emotions we choose to project upon it. Yet, the album 'Ambient 4/ On Land' bucks this trend spectacularly. He gives us more information than usual. There are less gaps for our brains to fill. It is as if Eno wants to explicitly evoke something. Something not quite right. All of Ambient 4 spooks me. It is an exercise in uncomfortable textures that conjure up uneasy mental images. Even the title of the above track...lantern marsh? How can you not think of dead bogs at night where sickly, flickering lights hang in the still atmosphere? Best listened to at 12pm on a summer's day while under the influence of Coca Cola. If you are into more extreme adventure sports, then listen to it on a grim November night under the influence of bad drugs. The rest of the album is just as bad (or good, depending on how much of a masochist you might be). Terrifying Mr Tayto prototypes circa 1899 MP3: Aphex Twin-Some sort of untitled creepy cut from selected ambient works volume 2 Aphex twin nerds have tried to name the songs off his magnum opus (IMHO) Selected Ambient Works volume 2. Truth be told, they have no names, and rightly so. Small circular images represent each track. This is not unlike like when an abstract or conceptual artist chooses to call a work 'untitled'. Sometimes, by putting a name on something, one is already kiddy-fiddling with the viewer's/listener's perception of it. Evocative ambience like this is often best left nameless. An untitled dread in this case. It reminds me of the petrifying bit at the end of Supergirl (a worrying cinematic state of affairs that was tantamount to child abuse so much has it bothered me), where Supergirl and Peter O'Toole have to suck the ink out of squids for sustenance in a vortex-wracked and seemingly infinite fifth dimension. It's basically discordant wind sounds followed by extra-terrestrial hoovers of doom gone into reverse. And in case you are a child of the '80s who repressed Supergirl, check this bad shit out...Yes it did actually come out on VHS. No you did not dream it up. Our friends dressed up as oil rigs in the year 1909. We hung around with them and wore lumpy masks. Statistically we are all dead and most likely ghosts by now. MP3: The Beatles-Being for the benefit of Mr Kite! (takes one and two) MP3: The Beatles-Being for the benefit of Mr Kite! (take seven) An acid devastated John Lennon struggles through takes of the most eerie Beatles song of all time. Three questions. One, who are the Hendersons? Two, what is a hogshead of real fire? Three, why is there such gleeful venom in Lennon's voice when he spits out the last lyric that "Mr Kite is topping the bill". These things all perturb me; never mind horses dancing waltzes. The Beatles are the pop music equivalent of Tolstoy or Shakespeare. It's all there in that awesome catalogue of songs. Some people think it's cool to disagree. I'd argue them into a fucking hole. If there is one thing I am sure about, it's the Beatles' importance, not just as pop musicians but as artists. Masks, what masks? MP3: Captain Beefheart and his magic band-The dust blows forward 'n the dust blows back I said before that Trout Mask Replica made little sense to me. I'm starting to get it in a weird way now though. There are stark meditations on mortality and the state of humanity amongst its rattling clockwork intricacies. A lot of the time Don Van Vliet appears to be challenging the western taboo of death through a mad banjaxed kaleidoscope of all the American music genres that came before him. I still somewhat feel like I am looking up a foreign mountain with this one though. Yet, on this particularly surreal folk song when the vocal repeatedly clicks like a skipping gramophone (fast forwarding time and thoughts?), I feel sucked into a time-trick. Then Beefheart contemplates "when am I gonna die?". Brrr. It is well outside of my time and geographical location (I'll surely never fully get it 'cos of my Irishness-it is a very American album). But fuck, this song in particular gives me a weird tickle. Happy Hallowe'en everyone. Be spooky.