Let’s be Pagan today.

Fitting, ain’t it?

I’m in the midst of cleaning and working and writing and cooking so I can’t contribute much today.
But I want to leave you all with a track from the first album of a band that was one of the first Goth Rock acts I’ve ever listened to.

Inkubus Sukkubus – Samhain [Belladonna & Acenite] | 1993 | Pagan Rock / Goth Rock

[expand title=”Lyrics”]From the west comes old Death
A-riding on the storm
With hungry eyes for funeral fires
To burn till the morrow’s dawn
For tis the night, here comes the dead
Unbound from the Underworld
And the children dress as the babes of Hell
All the boys and all the girls
And the fires shall burn
And the wheel of life shall turn
And the dead come back home on Samhain
And in the night sky
On the lunar light they fly
And the dead come back home on Samhain
At the Sabbat high on the funeral hill
Wait the witches at the feast
For the first winter’s day
The first winter’s sun
A-rising in the east
For Death has come for the summertime
And to take the leaves of spring
Hecate, Nemesis, Dark Mother take us in [/expand]

They have a certain quality to them, that I find utterly endearing.
The singer has a very charismatic voice and the sound of their instruments is very… Well… Goth Rock.
It’s Goth Rock with energy and fun and winking eyes and dark and romantic themes.
It’s not the Sisters. It’s not Garden of Delight. But it’s Goth Rock. And good one at that. Especially live.

Inkubus Sukkubus always manage to make me smile.
So I hope that they will do that to you too, tonight.

Also, another song to get you all into that Pagan mood later today and to get out of today’s post.

Wytch’s Fire – Sabbat Nights | ~2006(?) | Pagan Rock

[expand title=”Lyrics”]The moon is full the wind blows hard, darkness hides the children of the night;
Grab the sack with cakes and wine & cover up we’ll make good time tonight;
Through the woods it’s getting late cross the stream the lady lights our way;
Hurry up don’t fall behind the visions of the sabbat fill my mind;

[Chorus:
The feelings swell inside as the fires catch my eyes;
Darkness fades away from me, as I hear the voices sing;
Circles filled in paradise, as we dance our magick rites;
Mysteries are all around; secrets lost have now been found;
Visions clear from deep inside, on this magick Sabbat Night;]

The bell is rung, the candles light, the book of shadows open to our rites;
Hand & hand just like a vine the Gods embrace us as we chant our rhymes;
The Mighty Ones come down to earth to teach us well of life & death & birth;
Earth and water, air and fire jump the cauldron for your heart’s desire;
The feelings swell inside as the fires catch my eyes;

[Chorus]

Queen of the dark, Queen of the night, Queen of the moon, Queen of fire;
Hearken to this Witch’s Rune, bring to me my heart’s desire;
Isis, Astarte, Diana, Hecate, Demeter, Kali, Innana;
The feelings swell inside as the fires catch my eyes;

[Chorus]

The moon is full the wind blows hard, darkness hides the children of the night;[/expand]

If you liked that song, head here: http://www.reverbnation.com/witchsmark – You just might like them. :)

Let’s Go Into Space.

The last few weeks my mind has been torn between the World of Darkness as well as SciFi, for different reasons.
And both interests have music and sounds that go with them, at least in my personal part of the woods. And my mind. Mostly my mind.

Science Fiction, for me, is mostly about vast, far-reaching vistas and the stories told in them. (And also stories about problems that are solved either by science and/or human/alien ingenuity as well as about how society will change and adapt across short and long time-frames and the experiences that come with them, and NOT about stuff being solved by faith/religion/belief… But that’s another, long, ranting and hate-filled post waiting to happen…)

And to get into that space-of-mind there’s nothing like Ambient music.
About Five years ago, I had the great opportunity to stumble upon the artist “deepspace” over on last.fm – He was one of my recommendations. And is still one of those encounters that make me willing and glad to give the last.fm folks money from time to time. It just proved to me that their algorithms work. (And that proper tagging and sorting of music for personal consumption is important. But, again, a different post. Also long, but with a lot less hate.)

His albums “The Barometric Sea” and “The Barometric Sun” blew me away. Not because they are upbeat or uptempo. No. Quite the opposite. Quite the exact, polar opposite. They are deep, slow, ponderous and they pull you in. When I close my eyes while listening to those CDs, I get sucked away into deep space. I feel the hard radiation emanating from Pulsars washing over me. I feel the harsh caress of solar winds pushing me towards the hard and jagged embrace of Oort clouds. I can see light break, fracture and be distorted by hard-gravity wells, black holes, white holes and the occasional supernova. I let my mind expand to take in and measure the whole galaxy and I can start imagining wonderful, awe-inspiring stories happening all over it.

While I’m deeply in love with the hard, harsh and quick style of Cyberpunk and post-cyberpunk/transhuman literature, I am still heavily drawn towards that epic, immeasurable scope of slow, socio-historical science fiction. Okay, I admit it. I like to throw in some forms of FTL travel and FTL communication, but I generally like describing starships behaving like they should under Newtonian physics. I like short bursts of thrust then long “glides” and turns and then new bursts of counter-thrust as a means of travelling inside a solar system’s gravity well, for example. While the image of space-fighters is a cool one (And I like reading about them, see my love for the Rogue Squadron comics and novels!), I much rather have combat to be between ships that hold a substantial crew. And it should be short and deadly as well as slow and ponderous at the same time. A captain should be able to detect her opponent launching a salvo of torpedoes. But they will take many minutes to cross the vast space between those two ships. And when her ship’s counter-measures and point-defense fire don’t manage to take them all down, the crew should know that something horrible will happen in a few minutes that they’re powerless to defend against. They can only prepare themselves and the shortly-needed medical and technical first-aid and triage. And they would need to keep calm nerves and deal with the chance of sudden, inevitable death they just know will come to some of them.

At the same time, I want to have a ship enter a virginal solar system and start taking in all its grandeur. The colour, age and power of its sun. Its orbiting planets and moons and gas-giants. It’s comet-clouds and its apparent age. The cataloging of ancient features and the extrapolating of its history and past by scanning, looking, measuring and testing all the different inputs and samples one can obtain. To be exited about finding similarities which mean that a planet is habitable. Or be excited about getting results that, if repeatable and substantial, could mean a re-definition of old-held beliefs.

This is the Science Fiction that I enjoy reading and writing about.

And this kind of Science Fiction goes well with something special.
A free one-hour long ambient track by “deepspace”.


deepspace – Another Empty Galaxy | 2008 | Ambient

(If that doesn’t work for you, go directly to his last.fm page and download from there. It’s free, it’s legal and it’s completely awesome. And while you’re at it… Write this guy some encouraging words, will you? He deserves them… | http://www.last.fm/music/Deepspace/_/Another+Empty+Galaxy)

Listen to it now.
Download it and listen to it when you’re in the mood.
Or when you want to get in the mood.

But listen to it.
And try to think about something vast and beautiful.

And this time, I’m closing with two pictures that go well with today’s track.
[right-click -> “View Image” to see them in their full glory. Credit is below each picture.]


(http://tsarye.deviantart.com/)


(http://pipper-svk.deviantart.com/)

Let’s Honour Something Great Today.

40 years ago some mad Brits released an album that was destined to later blow me the fuck away with it’s concentrated glory and power.
The mad Brits were Jethro Tull. The album was Aqualung. 1971. Not on this day, no. But the remastered release was just around the corner, which I want to showcase, as it’s a great way to get into Jethro Tull. Finding their records started getting harder and harder…

Progressive Rock, Folkish Touches and Instruments, and Surreal as well as Profound lyrics.
It’s hard to find one song that exemplifies all of these features. So I went for one that has all of them apart from the profound lyrics. It has a profound meaning/vision instead.
Enjoy a song that was written in response to Ian Anderson seeing quite a few paintings.

Jethro Tull – Mother Goose [Aqualung] | 1971 | Progressive Rock

[expand title=”Lyric”]
As I did walk by Hampstead Fair
I came upon Mother Goose — so I turned her loose — she was screaming.
And a foreign student said to me — was it really true there are elephants and lions too
in Piccadilly Circus?

Walked down by the bathing pond to try and catch some sun.
Saw at least a hundred schoolgirls sobbing into handkerchiefs as one.
I don’t believe they knew…
I was a schoolboy.

And a bearded lady said to me —
if you start your raving and your misbehaving —
you’ll be sorry.
Then the chicken-fancier came to play —
with his long red beard (and his sister’s weird:
she drives a lorry).

Laughed down by the putting green —
I popped `em in their holes.
Four and twenty labourers were labouring —
digging up their gold.
I don’t believe they knew
that I was Long John Silver.

Saw Johnny Scarecrow make his rounds
in his jet-black mac (which he won’t give back) —
stole it from a snow man. [/expand]

This song showcases many of Tull’s strong suits.
It’s missing some of the Ooomph and sheer power of other songs, but it gives you a good approximation of the groups capabilities.

There’s nothing like listening to a custom playlist of Jethro Tull songs while enjoying fresh air and sun.

I would have loved to do so today, but I was stuck at work for something slightly above 8.5 hours.
So I will instead push some Tull onto my iPad and go to sleep with them later.

And you all… Listen to some Jethro Tull. They have some amazing songs.

In fact…
I’ll give you another favourite of mine.
An all-time, all-around favourite, actually.

Jethro Tull – Hunting Girl [Songs From The Wood] | 1977 | Progressive Rock

[expand title=”Lyrics”]One day I walked the road and crossed a field
to go by where the hounds ran hard.
And on the master raced: behind the hunters chased
to where the path was barred.
One fine young lady’s horse refused the fence to clear.
I unlocked the gate but she did wait until the pack had disappeared.

Crop handle carved in bone;
sat high upon a throne of finest English leather.
The queen of all the pack,
this joker raised his hat and talked about the weather.
All should be warned about this high born Hunting Girl.
She took this simple man’s downfall in hand;
[ From: http://www.elyrics.net/read/j/jethro-tull-lyrics/hunting-girl-lyrics.html ]
I raised the flag that she unfurled.

Boot leather flashing and spurnecks the size of my thumb.
This highborn hunter had tastes as strange as they come.
Unbridled passion: I took the bit in my teeth.
Her standing over — me on my knees underneath.

My lady, be discrete.
I must get to my feet and go back to the farm.
Whilst I appreciate you are no deviate,
I might come to some harm.
I’m not inclined to acts refined, if that’s how it goes.
Oh, high born Hunting Girl,
I’m just a normal low born so and so.[/expand]

I’m no sub, but that’s the kind of woman that I like being hunted by. :)
It’s also a great song that combines their power and energy with folkish elements.
Still loving it.

Let’s Hallo that Ween!

… Yes, you may commence the beating now.

Anyway, I made a pumpkin lantern today. A nerdy one. :)







And as it’s the eve of Halloween (You see what I did there?), I think there’s only one song I can let you listen to today. An honest Prog Rock classic that has lodged itself into the minds of pretty much everyone who lived through the 70s and 80s (and 90s too, I think).



Yes, BOTH videos are one song. It’s Prog Rock, what did you expect? ;)
I chose the Montreux ’81 performance because it’s filled with energy and sounds really, really good.
Not as good as the CD, though. So get it! You won’t regret it. :)

Mike Oldfield – Tubular Bells 1 [Tubular Bells] | 1973 | Progressive Rock

This song is simply wonderful. The bass-line, the melody, the rhythm… The absolutely chilled-out, relaxed start, the vocal interlude and then the launch into the first heavier section. Sublime. Almost perfect. And grandiose without seeming like a pastiche of pathos and fake grandeur. It simply evolves into something greater, more energetic.

It also is a song that helps me get better. The atmosphere it fosters is one of calm AND positive energy. It’s perfect to relax and feel good to it. :)

I’m also one of the few people who, through my parents, heard the whole Tubular Bells album waaaay before I was made aware of “The Exorcist”. So the movie is not on my mind when I listen to it, which is a blessing, to be honest. As much as I can respect that movie, I don’t particularly like it. And I am kind of baffled why the producers thought that this would make a good sound for a Horror movie. It has so many positive and relaxing overtones for me, that I simply can’t get over the dissonance.

But still, for many people it also is a great horror-movie song.

In any way, I hope that you enjoy.
Let yourself be scared or let yourself be uplifted. Your choice!

Awesome What-The-Fuckery

I’m just watching a new and current Beavis and Butt-Head Episode.

It’s weird.
And awesome.
And funny.
And awesome.
And stupid.
But still awesome!

Yay!

Might this be a sign that MTV wants to get back to show some non-cheap-mainstream music again?
Or, well, any kind of music again?

But, Beavis and Butt-Head! Yeah!

Let’s get sunny for a change.

In the third installment of “Sick Music” we’re going on a summery journey together.
I know that my musical taste seems very dark and gloomy, but that’s not all there is to me. And you’ve heard a few of those lighter songs already.
But today, something really light. Something uplifting. But still something with fuckloads of character and soul.

It’s a cover. It’s a summer song. It’s a song sung by Joe Cocker. In 1993/1994. Close your eyes and just think about his voice at that time. Mmmmhm. To fucking die for.

It’s “Summer in the City”.
And, don’t get me wrong here! The Lovin’ Spoonfull’s original is a beautiful song in itself. But Cocker’s voice just makes it extra special for me. I’m a sucker for charismatic voices.

[expand title=”Lyrics”]Hot town summer in the city
Back of my neck getting dirt and gritty
Been down, isn’t it a pity
Doesn’t seem to be a shadow in the city
All around people looking half dead
Walking on the sidewalk hotter than a match head

But at night it’s a different world
Go out and find a girl
Come on, come on and dance all night
Despite the heat it will be alright
And babe, don’t you know it’s a pity
The days can’t be like the night
In the summer in the city
In the summer in the city

Cool town, evening in the city
Dressed so fine and looking so pretty
Cool cat lookin’ for a kitty
Gonna look in every corner of the city
Till I’m wheezing like a bus stop
Running up the stairs gonna meet ya on the roof top

But at night it’s a different world
Go out and find a girl
Come on, come on lets dance all night
Despite the heat it will be alright
And babe, don’t you know it’s a pity
The days can’t be like the night
In the summer in the city
In the summer in the city

{Solo}

But at night it’s a different world
Go out and find a girl
Come on, come on lets dance all night
Despite the heat it will be alright
And babe don’t you know it’s a pity
The days can’t be like the night
In the summer in the city
In the summer in the city

Hot town summer in the city
[/expand]

Joe Cocker – Summer in the City [Have A Little Faith] | 1994 | Rock

Also, Saxophone.
I love the Sax.
I miss the Sax in contemporary music.
We even had Sax in goth/dark music about a decade ago!
I really miss it.

And the Sax, coupled with Cocker’s voice and the max-upbeat attitude of the song… This all helps me relax and get in a better mood.
It’s a song that makes me feel better and makes me think nice, happy thoughts. It describes a nice summer’s night-out how it should be in the city.

It’s a wonderful summer song. And because of this it’s also really good to make one feel better when illness takes you down.
More of that kind of music today, please!

Let’s think a bit about Brandon Lee.

And yes, that ties in with my “Music to Listen To When I’m Sick” theme.

Brandon Lee gave us many things. He gave us “The Crow”, he gave us the wonderful soundtrack to that movie and he influenced teenaged Goths for almost a decade. I’m still waiting if Heath Ledger will do the same for the current generation of… Whatever it is that Teenagers call Goth today. I’ve seen a few Jokers running around clubs already, so there’s that. But, well, let’s wait and see.

I’m going to delve into the Soundtrack to “The Crow”. It’s one of those compilation albums that just does everything right. The Cure, Stone Temple Pilots, Rage Against the Machine, Pantera, The Jesus & Mary Chain, Nine Inch Nails, Violent Femmes, Rollins Band, For Love Not Lisa, Helmet, Machines of Loving Grave, Medicine, Jane Siberrry and My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult. – All on one single CD. All contributing songs that are dark and moody and fit well together, with varying degrees of power, speed and ‘darkness’.

It’s one of the few movie Soundtracks that I can (and do!) listen to up-and-down repeatedly. And even still constantly, after sixteen years. It’s just that damn good!
(I’m serious here, actually. Go, buy it now! – You can get it for 3,36€ for fuck’s sake! And it’s fully worth the 13,99€ new. Just click on the pic that follows.)

Crow OST

Anyway!
Songs to listen to while sick.
Yes.
First of, something’s that akin to “musical comfort food” for me, is the opening riffing from RATM’s “Darkness”. From 00:00 to 00:30. It’s just so utterly chill and perfect. And it gets repeated and re-interpreted through the song. It’s just… Perfect. It’s almost jazz. Almost. It’s funky. And it’s dark, and cool. It’s something to drink Coffee or Whiskey to.

But the one song that I simply can’t stop listening to, and which comforts me to no end when I’m feeling miserable?

It’s the very first track. That wonderful re-write of Cure’s “Burn“.

[expand title=”Lyrics”]don’t look, don’t look
the shadows breathe
whispering me away from you
don’t wake at night to watch her sleep
you know that you will always see
this trembling, adored, tousled bird-mad girl

every night i burn
every night i call your name
every night i burn
every night i fall again

don’t talk of love ’cause shadows blur
murmuring me away from you
don’t talk of worlds that never were
the end is always ever true
there’s nothing you can ever say
nothing you can ever do

still every night i burn
every night i scream your name
every night i burn
every night the dream’s the same
every night i burn
waiting for my only friend
every night i burn
waiting for the world to end

just paint your face and shadow smile
slipping me away from you
oh it doesn’t matter how you hide
find you if we’re wanting to
so slide back down and close your eyes
sleep awhile – you must be tired

when every night i burn
every night i call your name
every night i burn
every night i fall again

every night i burn
scream the animal screams
every night i burn
dream the crow black dream

dream the crow black dream

Still every night I burn, every night I scream your name.
Every night I burn, Every night the dream’s the same.

Every night I burn, screaming the animal scream
Every night I burn, dreaming the crow-black dream. yeah, yeah
Dreaming the crow-black dream…[/expand]

Combined with the video/movie, it’s what I want my World of Darkness chronicles to be: Personal, Intense, Dark, Gothic. And yet, packed with action, hope and the chance for lasting change.

And this song oozes darkness, despair, intensity, hope, personal conflict, love and sheer Gothic Ambience.

That’s why I love listening to it when I’m ill or feeling down. It gets my mind’s eye rolling. Makes me think about vast, darkly-mirrored cities and their inhabitants and all the weird and mysterious and wonderful adventures that happen to them there. It also makes me close my eyes and think of autumnal comforts. It’s one of the few songs I actually like to get into a blanket in a dark, cold room with an open window to listen to. To get it all right. To let the sounds of rain and wind and distant urban life complete the picture.

And this soothes me.
Calms me.
Helps me get better.

Also, this:

“You know that you will always see
This trembling, adored, tousled bird-mad girl”

Special connotations for me and the early 2000’s.
Special and dear.

That also helps. :)