First of May.

There’s… Not really much to say. … No, wait. For this post there IS something to say.
It’s about memories.

End of April.
A war memorial.
Cool people.
Cool music.
Guitars.
Ghettosblasters for the times without guitars.
Disposable BBQs.
And a stretch of park-area filled with small groups of good friends, being there for themselves and sharing in the communal experience of a warm, awesome, lazy spring night.

Whittling away the night until dawn. Listening to music. Making music.

Having the chance of attractive and awesome girls with their heads in your lap, you stroking their hair, eyes closed, jokes and music and relaxation all around.

Fuck. Yeah.
THAT was an awesome way to party!

And back when this was en vogue, there was also a certain kind of music around. I touched on this with my “Bro Hymn” post.

So, today, something that was pretty much “mainstream” back in my school-days, but would be retro-alternative now.
Still. Good, fun, energy laden music.

So, get your heads out of the gutter and enjoy five almost old-school, almost punk sounds!

Starting the show with one of the most awesome short songs ever made.
And one that pretty much encapsules my damn life in under two minutes. Still awesome. Still full of energy. Still perfect for a warm, lazy day! One of my most favourite songs in the world.

Have a GREAT DAY all!
Enjoy.
Party.
Lounge.
Stay in Jammies and eat yesterday’s left-overs while watching old movies.

Whatever you do, BE AWESOME!

Matt out.

In a strange way, not knowing is also a nice feeling.

Dear readers, today I will share some beautiful music with you, of which I know next to nothing.
Apart from the fact that it’s a phenomenal EP, signing a great deal of what was special and good about the late 80s experimental musicians.

It’s “Rituals Into the Fire” by “Journey Through Darkness“.

Cover, front

And all I really could find out, is that it’s by someone called Steve Snow and that it was released in 1988 by Foreign Art Records. And according to Discogs, it was the only thing ever to be released by the label and Mr. Snow. And it’s a damn shame!

I was recently able to find a scan of the Vinyl sleeve, and I then found out that it’s from Minnesota. So we know that it’s most likely a US based artist. Which, frankly, I hadn’t guessed. It sounds so utterly British. The coldness, the arrangements, the sound’s texture.

And while it’s a fusion of styles, ranging from Darkwave, Ambient, Goth and some Ethereal, to me it’s something I’d call quintessentially goth. When you hear it, right now, and you were brought up with goth music and visited more than one goth club in your life… I think that you’ll agree.

It’s a beautiful, wonderful collection of music.

Not every track sounds the same, the variance isn’t very strong, but you feel it. Some tracks are lighter (“Seeking Shelter From the Rain”), some are definitely darker (“Gift of Time”). And there’s a touch of different influences, as I’ve already stated. A hint of New Age is in there, too. Even if it’s only a slight hint.

I think what I’m trying to say is that Mr. Snow would have been fully at home under the 4AD label and might have risen to greater prominence and lasting appeal if his EP would have gotten a wider circulation.

As it stands now, it’s an almost utterly forgotten, brilliant, footnote in the annals of musical history.
It’s tragic, in a way. This is music that should have had the chance to be heard by more people. It wouldn’t have been a commercial break-through, no. But it would have had success, if brought to a larger audience.

And I think that it also demonstrates the tragedy of many great acts under the greater “Goth” umbrella: There are some masterpieces hidden away from all our notice, because they were only released as limited-issue EPs away from anyone who could’ve taken notice. A sad part about this is, that modern acts also still do this. Especially the Neofolk artists and even some great goth rockers/post punkers. [2:54, I’m looking at you!] – Digital self-publishing needs to be given a wider audience in the creative sphere, not just by us consumers. We WANT to buy good music! We really do! But we need to be made aware it exists before we do.

In closing… I will let you listen to this release.
As far as I see the artist is nowhere to be found, the label doesn’t exist any more and there are no rights-holders to be found. And letting this go ignored seems like too much of a fucking shame. So, listen to it. It really is beautiful. [The first track is a poem, being read by a “guest artists”.] {If there ARE rights-holders out there, and if they see this: Please simply contact me and I will take the files down immediately. I do not want to infringe any rights, but I also don’t want to let this slide fully into obscurity.}

01 – Journey Through Darkness, Searching For the Sky
02 – Before the Rain
03 – Gift of Time
04 – Upon the Mountains and the Stone
05 – Seeking Shelter From the Rain
06 – Dans La Pluie

[Also, if anybody cares for such things, the original front cover-sleeve.]

Small update

What a wonderful way to spend a winter’s night.

The dark and mood-filled pieces by And One in my ears, cold and harsh wind in my face and the living, acting city around me. Bright, moving lights reflected from wet tarmac, brighter, static lights blinking in and out of existence as I trot along the various downtown districts and the staedy, gloomy glow of an overcast sky lit by the half-light reaching it from below. From where I am.

People all around me, even in the dead of night. Laughing, scowling, sober, ineberated, young and old, alone and in gropus, packs and circles of close-knit friendship. Even the almost freezing drizzle can’t put a stop to the dynamism flowing out of every nook and cranny.

And while Steve croons words of love, lust and excess into my ears, I look up in one glorious moment and see something that defines the area I call home: A big blast of red light hitting the sky and bathing me and everyone else and a great part of the surrounding cities with the glow of industrial output. Molten steel drowning out the darkness of night.

Perfect.

Let’s bring back the past, with something new! (But still old…)

The last few days have seen a strong re-kindling of old passions in me.

Battletech (everything pre-FedCom civil war)
The original World of Darkness
Shadowrun
Fading Suns

Those are back with a passion.

And pretty much all are plagued by videogames that are “Choose two!” out of this list of three:
“Successful, Widely Known, Good” (The only exception being the Mechwarrior franchise between 2 and 2:Mercs, as well as Vampire:Bloodlines. But as both franchises/games were pretty much shut down EVEN THOUGH they were excellent and made some good money… Yeah.)

One of the biggest stinkers was the last Shadowrun videogame, for the Xbox and PC.
A shooter set in 2031 between two unknown factions, shitting all over continuity and then being a bad game ON TOP of this all.
I think I don’t have to iterate how pissed I was.

Shadowrun has such great potential for a group-based tactical RPG with downtime and mission encounters/settings that it’s not even funny… Yet, we don’t get nothing of the sort. Even the SNES game was nearer to the P&P game than the 2007 debacle.

But!

The 2007 debacle gave us something.
Or, rather, gave ME something.

This magnificent song I wouldn’t have heard otherwise.
It was chosen to underscore the Atzlan/Aztec tones of the games and, in this fashion, is perfectly workable for the tabletop RPG as well.

It’s also a damn great song. :)

So, enjoy.

It’s “BaianĂ¡” by the “Barbatuques” and their album “O Seguinte É Esse”.

Let’s hurry some, again.

I have to be at work in a non-trivial amount of time and still feel kinda under-the-weather.
So this one will be a shorty again, with a song directly from my youth which you all know. Some of you love it, some like it, some find it utterly boring.
But I know that song, I like that song and I listen to it every so often because it’s a familiar song to which I hold many positive connections simply based around the fact that it was around me when I was at a very good time in my life.

So, hopefully, enjoy.

Wang Chung – To Live and Die in L.A. [To Live and Die in L.A.] | 1985 | New Wave

[expand title=”Lyrics”]In the heat of the day
Every time you go away
I have to piece my life together
Every time you’re away
In the heat of the day
In the dark of the night
Every time I turn the light
I feel that God is not in heaven
In the dark of the night
The dark of the night

I wonder why I live alone here
I wonder why we spend these nights together
Is this the room I’ll live my life forever
I wonder why in L.A.
To live and die in L.A.

I wonder why we waste our lives here
when we could run away to paradise
But I am held in some invisible vice
and i can’t get away
To live and die in L.A.

If I let myself go
and for where I just don’t know
I’d maybe hit some cold new river
that led out to the sea
An unknown sea
I’d either swim or I’d drown
or just keep falling down and down
I think it’s that that makes me quiver
just to keep falling down
Down, down, down

I wonder why I live alone here
I wonder why we spend these nights together
Is this the way I’ll live my life forever
I wonder why in L.A.
To live and die in L.A.

In every word that you say
I feel my freedom slip away
I feel the bars come down around me
and I can’t get away
I can’t get away

I wonder why I live alone here
I wonder why we spend these nights together
Is this the room I’ll live my life forever
I wonder why in L.A.
To live and die in L.A

I wonder why we waste our lives here
when we could run away to paradise
But I am held in some invisible vice
and I can’t get away
To live and die in L.A.

I can’t get away
To live and die in L.A.
I can’t get away
To live and die in L.A.
I can’t get away
To live and die in L.A.
I can’t get away
To live and die in L.A.[/expand]

And while Summer now has finally ended and autumn will hold is in its cold and wet grip, this song is perfect to summon memories of pleasant and relaxing summer nights.