27 June, 2011

Conflict as a necessary condition to spiritual growth.

Got a text from Kent about two weeks ago, said he loved the first installment of the (Mostly) Black Metal mix I've been curating for him, said it was nothing less than life changing. I asked him if he had a favorite track, said he didn't remember much beyond the first track.

So here's the next chapter, Volume 2 of Kent's (Mostly) Black Metal mix. I decided to experiment with dichotomies of sound and mood on this one. And as always, I'm in search of that great transition. Know what I mean? No? Well, why not download it and check it out and see exactly what I mean? What? You got something better to do?

The Necessity of Conflict

1. "Libera Me" by Schola Regina from the album Credo.

I know nothing about this band or group, I just downloaded it from Waves Explosion cuz I thought the cover art was cool. It's a good primer for what's to come. Trust me. Plus the whole album is great to jam while you're reading or just hangin' out.

2. "God's Ensanguined Bestiaries" by The Ruins of Beverast from the album Foulest Semen of a Sheltered Elite.

Perfect, right?

3. "Awakens He, Bereft of Kinsmen (The Wayfarer, Pt. II)" by Winterfylleth from the album The Mercian Sphere.

Was gonna save these guys for another chapter I have coming up, but the transition was too good. And this song kinda feels good next to the TROB song, I think. First couple times I heard this record, I hated this track because of the clean vocals at the end, but now it's one of my favorite parts. Kinda like BM in general, really.

4. "Graduel Qui Sedes" by Arvo Part from the album Annum Per Annum.

Know you're feeling this one, brother. Kent turned me on to Arvo Part a few years ago. Some of the best music out there - and I mean in, like, the whole fucking universe, all of the manifold dimensions and varying spheres of existence included.

5. "Si Monumentum Requires, Circumspice!" by Deathspell Omega from the album Si Monumentum Requires, Circumspice.

Favorite Deathspell song from my favorite Deathspell album. Can't go wrong with these assholes.

6. "Once in a Blood Red Moon" by Glorior Belli from the album Meet Us at the Southern Sign.

Maybe a little too obvious of a pick, maybe not. It flows and it's a great song. Don't know much about these guys except they're French, they sound like they really love DsO. The whole record has like a swampy, almost-southern rock vibe to it. And why wouldn't it? That shit's evil and spooky, too.

7. "Solace" by Celephaïs from the album Becoming the Deceased.

Got this shit from TLD. Not much else to say except I like the whole record. The Krauts seldom let me down.

8. "This Dreadful Emptiness" by Austere from the album To Lay like Old Ashes.

Sure you know all about these Welsh pricks. Not sure they fit the overall mood of this chapter, but this song rules (so does the whole album), and I thought it was a good follow up to the previous track.

9 & 10. "Suivant" & "Paria" by Pensées Nocturnes from the album Grotesque.

Like an idiot, or some prejudice asshole, I avoided this record for a while simply because of the way that dude (or woman) is tilting his (or her) head on the cover. Pick up this album. The whole thing is a crazy mindfuck of weird BM Frenchness. One minute it's all trem-picking destruction, the next it sounds like some weird Tom Waits-orchestrated circus. Turns on a dime, too.

11. "Lost Wisdom Pt. 2" by Mount Eerie from the album Wind's Poem.

I tried several different tracks to end this mix, but this one, as pussy as it might be, was the best. If you've never heard of this dude (he used to be called The Microphones), check him out immediately. This album came out '09 and it's dude's attempt at making his own BM record, being a "huge fan" of the genre himself. Pretty cool. Maybe some people would disagree, but I think it's already been safely established that I'm a poseur.

So there it is, Kent, the latest installment of time wasting, soul puncturing, aural refuse. Enjoy, my friend. And if anyone else should care to listen along, feel free. This is the internet after all. Simply click here and you're on your way to experiencing Volume 2 of Kent's (Mostly) Black Metal mix right alongside Mr. K.F.W. himself.

Also, keep holdin' out for that short story. It's coming, and will be worth the wait. I (almost) promise. Plus it's got lesbians, so . . .

22 June, 2011

A quick one before the eternal worm devours Pittsburgh

Still comin' down off a righteous weekend.  Saturday morning, we went to my friend, Jake's wedding. Late. It was outside, in Harmony, PA, which looks like Burnside, only people move out there to settle down instead of being stuck there, mired in poverty. So it's like historic and shit, somewhere you want to have a wedding outside. Drove twice past the live ceremony. First time as a surprise. Next time in a hurry, wishing for a cloaking device, or at least not a beat up old Buick with a rattling engine. Parked in the cemetery behind the church where the ceremony was (we hoped) just beginning, dragged Margaret in a red floral sundress and black flats through the manifold gravestones, most of them toppled and eroded to anonymity. Beautiful wedding, though. The bride wore a long, old-fashioned gown, looked like cotton from where Margaret and I were sitting in an almost empty row so close to the front I think it might've been exclusive. The bridesmaids all wore yellow summer dresses with flowing sleeves and skirts that played in the wind against the similarly undulating field of golden rod behind them. And boots. All of them in brown leather boots. Jake and his groomsmen were in brown denim pants and tan shirtsleeves rolled to three quarters, with suspenders and brown leather hats. The pastor spoke well and sincerely, dripping with sweat beneath the early afternoon sun on a day that was feverish with an impending storm, but still hours from breaking. Think he read from a Kindle. BC alarm went off during the ending prayer. A piercing din anywhere, but a wide-open, hushed, country expanse? Took several panicky moments to locate it and turn it off.

So many people to greet and catch up with at the reception it gave me a cold-sweating nausea. Plus I'd been driving and sitting in the sun.without my sunglasses. Felt that stiffening feeling when blood sugar levels start dropping. Neon green fissures in my field of vision. Finally got a cold Yuengling in me, put my arm around Margaret's waist, kissed her head while at the same time smelling her hair, said I was sorry. Ate crudites and cupcakes with two dudes who had went to college with the bride. One of them, Mike, black dude from Long Island, said, without censure or irony or anything malignant, that the whole ordeal was like a Band of Horses show. Eventually I got over being self-conscious about my white legs and Chris German's hair being longer than mine and drank a few more beers and smoked some cigarettes and told Ian I finally got around to reading Player Piano, laughed about the ending with him, then looked off pensively, ate wedding treats for a while, peered through my scarecrow hair out at the single lane road and the tiny one floor houses with new tan siding, and, just as my carriage was beginning to really carry itself well, I realized it was time to go. Margaret went to say good-by to one of the bridesmaids and after a while I was dragging her back to the car, smiling, lighter.

We got to Braddock after the first band had already played, so The Body with the Assembly of Light Choir was next. There was a full-blown rave going on across the street, complete with underage girls in nothing but brightly colored bikini tops, ropes of pacifier- and glowstick-necklaces and booty shorts. One girl even had on one of those Cat In The Hat hats you can get at like county fairs. Whether or not it had a righteous weed effigy, I unfortunately am unable to say. The sun was already half-down, the ravers moved fast, my head was adrift on calm waters, a slow, blood-scented breeze filled my sails.

The venue was a presence unto itself. A dark, naturally chill 'sphere that eerily fit the show. Maybe it was because I'd just started Rosemary's Baby, but all through the place was this invisible ectoplasmic fog, moribund, but benign. And there was some kind of magical, natural air conditioning, probably had something to do with its cavernous interior: impossibly high ceilings and century old dankness. Its monolithic facade told of its earliest days, its reason for erection. Once a church, now a theater and venue - like I said, eerily perfect for an Earth show.

Marge and I were sitting pretty close to the front (yeah, it was a sit-down show) when the Assembly of Light Choir came down the aisle, in single-file, singing, hooded, like ancient (babely) Druids invoking the ceremonious night. Meanwhile, the Master of Ceremonies himself waited patiently in the shadows, clad in black denim and a leather vest as the handsome sodomites branded the flesh of all who dared to enter. Ha ha. Seriously. It was an otherworldly experience.

Then Ô Paon played. Reminiscent of Grouper, but French and way prettier-sounding. Less I-wanna-kill-myself-with-drugs, more Amelie.

Then Earth. They opened with the first track from Hex, and while that was the highlight of their performance for me, the set by no means went downhill after the first song. The line-up was remarkable also. Besides the Living Embodiment of Satan, it was three women. Is that remarkable?

[Fuck. Stolen internet is being lame.]

Then we left and went to Taco Bell. Great day, great night.

Some pictures from my phone:

Welcome to Erf
Now dat's whut I cull a close encounta!

What can I say? He's the pro, not me.
The man behind the blog before the flag.

Cold Cave
Just throwin' em up at this point.

Thanks for looking. See ya around.