Preparing my solo album, Tantric Machine, for its release in October (finally) and came across this tune which I had more or less forgotten about. It was recorded during the TM sessions late one night in a single take. I made up the lyrics as we went along. I think the song has a nice loose feel and is emotionally true to the moment it was created in - a night of wine, diddling the Muse and spewing the Devil’s music in a studio in Tribeca.
Hugh Pool twisted the knobs and played guitar and beer bottle. “GC” is an unmastered rough mix and will probably remain so.
I was born in the darkness
I was born in God’s cunt
You can call it whatever you like
Whatever you want
I was born in the bathroom sink
I was 2 minutes old and I needed a drink
You make it your exit
Or is it your entrance?
I was born in the darkness
I was born in God’s ...
Kind of liked the starkness
But the entertainment sucked
Crepuscular walls surrounded my brain
The muffled silence of the Bardo Plains
Well, they turned on the lights and they lit up the flame
They painted my face and they changed my brain
Well, they turned on the lights and they lit up the flame
They painted my face and they gave me a name
The hideous night became my friend
I built the machines of Original Sin
Opened up my mouth and the moon fell out
It was silver, it was cold, it was perfectly round
I could feel the power in my body born
Like a cloud that contained an electrical storm
And in this place Shiva’s daughter
Washes her body in the bloody water
And in this place the Prodigal Son
Starts his engines and fires his guns
I was born in the darkness…
The bone, the muscle, the blood and the brain
Electrical sparks in the gene parade
I was born in the darkness…
Darling, make some room in your womb
I’m coming home”
Matt Taibbi takes on goofball far-right Minnesota Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann in the pages of the new Rolling Stone. It’s everything you want it to be, trust me:
Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and, as you consider the career and future presidential prospects of an incredible American phenomenon named Michele Bachmann, do one more thing. Don’t laugh.
It may be the hardest thing you ever do, for Michele Bachmann is almost certainly the funniest thing that has ever happened to American presidential politics. Fans of obscure 1970s television may remember a short-lived children’s show called Far Out Space Nuts, in which a pair of dimwitted NASA repairmen, one of whom is played by Bob (Gilligan) Denver, accidentally send themselves into space by pressing “launch” instead of “lunch” inside a capsule they were fixing at Cape Canaveral. This plot device roughly approximates the political and cultural mechanism that is sending Michele Bachmann hurtling in the direction of the Oval Office.
Bachmann is a religious zealot whose brain is a raging electrical storm of divine visions and paranoid delusions. She believes that the Chinese are plotting to replace the dollar bill, that light bulbs are killing our dogs and cats, and that God personally chose her to become both an IRS attorney who would spend years hounding taxpayers and a raging anti-tax Tea Party crusader against big government. She kicked off her unofficial presidential campaign in New Hampshire, by mistakenly declaring it the birthplace of the American Revolution. “It’s your state that fired the shot that was heard around the world!” she gushed. “You are the state of Lexington and Concord, you started the battle for liberty right here in your backyard.”
I said lunch, not launch! But don’t laugh. Don’t do it. And don’t look her in the eyes; don’t let her smile at you. Michele Bachmann, when she turns her head toward the cameras and brandishes her pearls and her ageless, unblemished neckline and her perfect suburban orthodontics in an attempt to reassure the unbeliever of her non-threateningness, is one of the scariest sights in the entire American cultural tableau. She’s trying to look like June Cleaver, but she actually looks like the T2 skeleton posing for a passport photo. You will want to laugh, but don’t, because the secret of Bachmann’s success is that every time you laugh at her, she gets stronger.
In modern American politics, being the right kind of ignorant and entertainingly crazy is like having a big right hand in boxing; you’ve always got a puncher’s chance. And Bachmann is exactly the right kind of completely batshit crazy. Not medically crazy, not talking-to-herself-on-the-subway crazy, but grandiose crazy, late-stage Kim Jong-Il crazy — crazy in the sense that she’s living completely inside her own mind, frenetically pacing the hallways of a vast sand castle she’s built in there, unable to meaningfully communicate with the human beings on the other side of the moat, who are all presumed to be enemies.
Bachmann’s story, to hear her tell it, is about a suburban homemaker who is chosen by God to become a politician who will restore faith and family values to public life and do battle with secular humanism. But by the time you’ve finished reviewing her record of lies and embellishments and contradictions, you’ll have no idea if she actually believes in her own divine inspiration, or whether it’s a big con job. Or maybe both are true — in which case this hard-charging challenger for the GOP nomination is a rare breed of political psychopath, equal parts crazed Divine Wind kamikaze-for-Jesus and calculating, six-faced Machiavellian prevaricator. Whatever she is, she’s no joke.
They protest at the funerals of gays, dead American servicemen and now the sociopaths of the Westboro Baptist Church are threatening to protest the funeral of comedic dare-devil Ryan Dunn of the “Jackass” gang. They called Dunn a “drab pervert [who] hawked porn-level filth (e.g. toy car up his rectum for entertainment.” Gimme a break:
The notorious Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan. announced Tuesday that its members will protest any public service held for ‘Jackass’ star Ryan Dunn, who died on Monday in a high speed car accident, according to Daily Local of West Chester in Pennsylvania.
The church has a history of protesting high-profile burials, often calling deaths a punishment from God. The group has been denounced as radical by many Christian organizations.
“WBC will picket any public memorial/funeral held for Dunn, warning all not to make a mock of sin, and to fear and obey God,” the group said in a news release. It’s headline states: “Ryan Dunn is in hell!”
DellaVechia, Reilly, Smith & Boyd Funeral Home, Inc said services and interment for Dunn will be private. A public memorial service will be announced at a later date.
What a bunch of flaming assholes. I hope Dunn’s friends and family take them on “Jackass”-style if they go through with this. That could be fun to watch!
Ryan Dunn Death: Westboro Baptist Church Threatens Service Protest (IB Times)
There’s a super bleak story in The Independent about a home-made heroin substitute that’s becoming popular in Russia. The problem is that “Krokodil” is so detrimental to the human body that it practically eats right through it. There are up to two million junkies in Russia, the most in the world and around 100,000 of them are addicted to Krokodil which can be easily produced for a fraction of the price of smack.
Even hardcore methfreaks are better off than Krokodil addicts. Withdrawal from the drug can take an agonizing MONTH (Heroin detox lasts a week to ten days, a relative walk in the park).
The home-made drug that Oleg and Sasha inject is known as krokodil, or “crocodile”. It is desomorphine, a synthetic opiate many times more powerful than heroin that is created from a complex chain of mixing and chemical reactions, which the addicts perform from memory several times a day. While heroin costs from £20 to £60 per dose, desomorphine can be “cooked” from codeine-based headache pills that cost £2 per pack, and other household ingredients available cheaply from the markets.
It is a drug for the poor, and its effects are horrific. It was given its reptilian name because its poisonous ingredients quickly turn the skin scaly. Worse follows. Oleg and Sasha have not been using for long, but Oleg has rotting sores on the back of his neck.
“If you miss the vein, that’s an abscess straight away,” says Sasha. Essentially, they are injecting poison directly into their flesh. One of their friends, in a neighbouring apartment block, is further down the line.
“She won’t go to hospital, she just keeps injecting. Her flesh is falling off and she can hardly move anymore,” says Sasha. Photographs of late-stage krokodil addicts are disturbing in the extreme. Flesh goes grey and peels away to leave bones exposed. People literally rot to death.
This is like something straight out of Burroughs or Cronenberg, but as I was reading the article, I was thinking more about what a modern day Tolstoy or Dostoyevsky would make of a plague like this.
Read the entire horrific story: Krokodil: The drug that eats junkies (The Independent)
This is descibed as “one of the earliest film[s] that experimented time-slice or bullet-time effect filming technic.” Made by Ryoichiro Debuchi using 18 still-cameras arranged in a 360 degree sweep around one central model. The footage was then transferred onto Super 8 and screened at the Pia film Festival in 1982. Quite impressive, but nothing compared to what can be achieved by Timeslice today.
Sometime Ariel Pink cohort, and an undoubted forefather of the chillwave phenomenon, John Maus has just released his new album We Must Become the Pitiless Censors of Ourselves on the evergreen independent label Upset The Rhythm.
Isn’t it great when someone you really want to like is actually someone you really do like? Because if John Maus wasn’t as good as he actually is, I would be seriously pissed off that someone else had nicked my idea of doing for synth-pop what Portishead have done for spy soundtracks and torch songs. Even moreso than Ariel Pink, Nite Jewel or anyone else on the haunted-call-it-what-you-like-scene John Maus seriously ticks my boxes. For the uninitiated, it’s pretty simple. Maus takes synth-pop and squeezes it through a lo-fi, shoegazey filter until it comes out the other side dripping in an unreal atmosphere. Imagine OMD on 33rpm, or the soundtrack to a long forgotten 80s art film you saw on cable one night, multiply it to the power of a bongs-and-mushrooms trip, and you’re nearly there. It’s so spectral it’s as if you have dreamt it before. In fact maybe I didn’t invent this idea and it’s all just aural deja-vu.
Fans of Maus’ previous work won’t be disappointed with We Must Become The Pitiless Censors Of Ourselves. In it he retains all the core values of his last album, the officially awesome Love Is Real, but now the sound and the songs have had a wee tightening up. But don’t worry yourselves with thoughts of “sellout” - where before the lo-fi nature of the recordings created a dank haze the listener had to aurally peer through, this new, slightly more clean approach gives room for the individual parts to breath. Being able to distinguish them in the mix in no way detracts from their shimmering nature and actually adds to their power. There are less tracks than before, and the running time is just over half an hour. There is little over-indulgence here - and that is a very good thing. From the Upset The Rhythm website:
Pitiless Censors’ as an album displays a more delicate touch than its predecessors. “Hey Moon” is John’s first duet, performed with Molly Nilsson, who originally wrote the song. It’s a serene elegy that subtly weaves an impression of nocturnal loneliness and romantic dreams.
Closing track “Believer” is equally evocative with its bells, choral soaring and echoing sentiment. Of course, a John Maus album wouldn’t be a John Maus album without the same anthemic genius and dark humour that we’ve seen previously with songs like “Maniac” and “Rights For Gays” and this new album finds its succour in “Cop Killer”. The eerie waltz-time offspring of Body Count’s controversial 90s protest track, it is dystopian, bleak and ridiculous and, in short, classic Maus.
Unlike the last two albums, ‘Pitiless Censors’ looks towards the future in all its absurdity. It’s a record where promise takes the lead for the first time, providing a counterpoint to John’s default existential calling. The cover of “Pitiless Censors” depicts an airbrushed lighthouse, thrashed by wave after wave, bringing to mind Beckett’s quote “Unfathomable mind: now beacon, now sea.”
And one final thought - the slightly grandiloquent title undoubtedly has a proper explanation (Maus is a philosophy professor) but maybe it’s also a subconscious pitch to have his music featured in the work of Adam Curtis? It’s definitely worth a shot, as the two would go beautifully together.