Sunday, December 30, 2007

Saturday, December 29, 2007

The herky jerky motion



It seems the joinmycult.org server is on the fritz.

We're in the process of transferring a lot over in preparation for the new fallen nation website, however this is unfortunate as a lot of places on the web point to media hosted where jmc.org presently lived (quartzhive.)

So - sorry about that.

But... soon... new website.

Eyes burn, must sleep.

Whackness.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Fallen Nation audiobook: prologue






The story begins with a glimpse of the future, from the swamps of the deep south and a tide that never rolls out...

(Order
Fallen Nation
from Amazon.com.)

Direct link to audio.

(Art for this episode's header by Jessika Kaos.)

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Fallen Nation 2nd edition released in time for the Holidays.







(This message was previously sent to a list of individuals through private email. I wanted to make most of it public, since I almost without a doubt forgot some people that I wanted to get it to.)

After months of wandering around in a caffeinated haze with crumpled manuscript in tow, inadvertently alienating friends, and keeping my editors up well past their bedtimes, the second edition of my novel Fallen Nation: Babylon Burning is complete. This edition is 16 pages lighter, even after the addition of the 8 page black and white CC "Welcome To The Apocalypse" comic. Most of what went was dead wood. In the process the structure was re-worked somewhat.

I had a lot of outside editorial input, from readers, from people I've worked with in the past, but I have to say that the edited copy that Jason Stackhouse gave back to me was the most useful- that is, what I could read through the smears of Chinese food and pages of red lines and chicken-scratch. Thanks for not kissing my ass, Jason.

So, why am I contacting you? You either asked to be notified, or are a past friend, accomplice or associate that I thought should be notified. This is not part of a mailing list, it is a one time only email, so you do not need to hunt around for the "DO NOT WANT" button. But I do hope you take the time to read this letter, this project is going to be quite a trip.

As many of you know, we're now living in a time when it has never been easier to produce independent media (which is not to say that it is easy), but it has probably never been harder to sell it. At least not in the substantial quantity required for sustainability. So, this is likely going to be an uphill battle for Mythos Media (www.mythosmedia.net), one which could benefit from your help. For the creatives amongst you, we can offer some support in return. (More on that in a second.)

Here are some of the ways you can become an "early adopter" and still keep your day job and/or cherished addictions:

* Enjoy and share the prologue podcast: That's what it's there for. This podcast contains original music and readings by P. Emerson Williams (Choronzon) & Tara Vanflower (Lycia.) It is released under a creative commons license, which means it can be added to other people's podcasts so long as it is included in its entirety. If you or people you know run podcasts, feel free to use it for that purpose, to fileshare it, or freak out your friends by playing it for them once you've gotten them so drunk they can barely walk. (It's a pretty creepy episode.)

If you like what you hear, you'll be happy to know that we are going to be producing the entire book as an audiobook of this nature. Keep an eye peeled on Alterati.com, we'll be releasing episodes as they are produced.

* Put the Fallen Nation banner on your website, blog, etc. The code is:

{a href="http://www.amazon.com/Fallen-Nation-Babylon-James-Curcio/dp/1419672657/ref=pd_bbs_sr_2/102-4077266-8569725?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1187938907&sr=8-2 " target="_blank"}
{img src="http://www.joinmycult.org/media/fallennation/fn_top_banner.jpg"}
{/a}

(Replace with proper HTML 'carrots.')

* If you are also engaged in clusterfucks such as myspace, facebook, etc. refer your friends to the book. This can be done through a bulletin, or through applications on facebook such as Visual Bookshelf. Applications such as bookQube provide other means of sharing your readings preferences with others.

* If you have friends in the press, distribution, or media production as I know some of you do, send the electronic press kit their way. It is online here, and contains art, and excerpts from the first chapter and RealitySandwich interview.

* Blood sacrifice. I'm not going to give instructions here but I'm sure "Witchcraft for Dummies" has all the information you need. Every drop counts!

* Add tags or put up a review on the Amazon page.

* If you can make use of them, I can provide full color 4x6 Fallen Nation fliers to you. Just email me privately with your mailing address and I will have them shipped.

* Feel free to forward this message to others you know who would be interested in this project.

For fellow independent producers & artists in this list, my hope is we can continue to create a network here. One step in that direction has been alterati.com, which you should check out if you're not familiar. (We've interviewed some of you there in the past year.) If you are presently working on a creative or cultural work and would like press, contact me regarding that. The united we stand divided we fall cliche has some validity when it comes to independent media.

Finally, some of you have asked me this question, so let me answer it... This is indeed the edition of the book that we will be offering for a while, and later editions will simply contain very minor revisions (such as typos that invariably popped up in the process of fixing the typos in the last edition.) It is available now through amazon.com & for order through bookstores. In store distribution is pending a positive sales response through the Internet.

Most of all, I hope you enjoy the book.

Happy Holidays-
James Curcio.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

A year past, a year to come





Looking back, this past year has been a blur. Most of this year, I was so focused on keeping the content flowing on Alterati that many days were immediately translated into articles. (You know- I don't have the memories, but I have the archive.)

Hopefully you enjoyed at least some of those articles. This coming year, my hope is to focus more of my efforts on Mythos Media, and Fallen Nation: Babylon Burning in particular. That may well mean another year of blur, trading another year of life for some books on people's shelves, but looking at all the things I could invest myself in, it seems the most meaningful. That is, supposing people actually read it.

That's always the big question mark, isn't it?

Well, I hope you give the book some of your time this coming year, and in return it gives you some new perspectives and experience. I will say unequivocally that the second edition is the best work of fiction I've created so far in my nearly thirty years on this strange planet.


(Fallen Nation status, by the way: the book has just passed acquisitions with the printer, which means that it will be up on Amazon in three weeks, give or take. If you would like to be added to the list for the email announcing its release, drop me a line at jamescurcioATgmailDOTcom.)


For this coming year, I also really hope to make some new friends, and strengthen the relatively few remaining bonds it seems I have. I'd like to not think that being committed to one's work requires the sacrifice of friendship or love- especially since what I do thrives so much on collaboration (even when collaboration occasionally demands dissent). There's little in life more important in life than friendship, unfortunately there are also fairly few capable of it.

Tonight, kundalini yoga, and acupressure if I can find a way to sneak in the time.



If you want to see some pictures from the year(s) past, my flickr page is finally getting updated... so there's many more pics there if you feel like wasting a couple minutes.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

This week in links

These days it seems we communicate primarily in link dumps, and bizarre chain letters on facebook (disguised as virtual teddy bears BUT I KNOW WHAT YOU ARE)-

So here are some more. Make of them what you will:

"Underground cinema"

"Sushi"

Coffe bukakke man

Trashwagon

You're welcome.

Monday, December 10, 2007

The G-Spot 20





James Curcio interviews Sean Marsden about his electronic music ventures, topics include genre bending crunk, electro, and psytrance, Kenny G, opening up for Front242, hands-on audio production, and a whole lot more.

Jason Lubyk gives us a listen to his answering machine.

Wes Unruh plays Capital G (Unrest Remix) he mixed that remix.nin.com rejected, explains why it wasn't accepted, and breaks down the offending (and possibly offensive) samples.

Music in this episode includes:

The Elektrowerx tracks Gentle and Tracer.

233project's Anunaki, a song about the lizard astronaut men coming back down to reinslave us all.

Listen Now.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Dr Zoltan

Interview with Dr Zoltan




The anonymity of the Internet can allow people to "hide" behind false personas: most of us know about sock puppets, astroturfing, FBI agents posing as 12 year old girls. But, aside from Alternate Reality Gaming enthusiasts, many don't consider the artistic possibilities presented by this forum. You can take a stance, even extreme ones you wouldn't want to hold every day. You can create a face to make a point. Some people call it performance art, others will likely call it pretentious bullshit, and many others, baffled and confused as they are by most everything they encounter, will simply make a bunch of poorly conceived YouTube comments.

This is precisely what Dr. Zoltan Obelisk does. (That and play some truly sick "progressive" music.) Some may consider his stance extreme, egotistical, even infantile. Who knows, maybe they're right. There are times when the character of Zoltan strikes me as a pissed off, intellectual seventeen-year-old stuck in a thirty year old body. But along the way, he makes some really valid points about our society- especially the plastic and silicon world of Los Angeles. Hell, much as we'd like to deny it, the excessive posturing of intellectual seventeen year olds may be valid- maybe we do just grow complacent as we grow older.

This much I know for certain: the guy can count to thirteen.

(Read Alterati.com article.)

The G-Spot 19





Wes Unruh discusses DIY Gaming with Casey O'Donnell, a PhD candidate in the Department of Science and Technology Studies (STS) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. It's part of an upcoming full length interview on what it actually takes to get a good video game developed and where the modding/homebrew community and the video game industry conflict with each other.

Jason Lubyk gives us an except from an interview he did with
"crackpot historian" Adam Gorightly in which they throw around some theories about the legendary Fortean creature the Mothman. (You can listen to the full two part interview here and here.)

And James Curcio introduces episode 19 discussing the band Dead Unicorn along with giving some background on where one of the SubQtaneous tracks came from and the process that went into recording it.

Music this episode:

I Told You So -Dead Unicorn

Panning for Gold in Rivers of Blood -SubQtaneous

The Difficulties of Leveling Up My Guy -Ikipr

Saturday, November 24, 2007

I Don't Know (And Neither Do You.)





This is something that has bothered me the greater part of my life... so chances are writing a blog post about it isn't going to change much. But here goes.

Death and God share nearly the same epistemological quality. Put another way: people only demonstrate how full of shit they are when they speak of certain knowledge about either.

There is, by definition, no one alive who has any experience of death, (dying is another matter), and the same is true - by definition - of God.

This just goes another step to demonstrate that the entire history of the West is based on pompous arrogance; we can't help but share in it, since it's our heritage. The only exception to this are those rare individuals who recognize that the creed is only validated by its function. You don't need to have first-person experience of God for "do unto others as they would do unto you" to be (potentially) beneficial or meaningful. It's beneficial, or not, based on its practical application.

By that yardstick, let me tell you, I'm not putting Pascal's "smart money" on a Jainist God, that's for sure.

When it comes to "knowing God," or any transcendental experience, all I can say for certain is that the mirror can be tinted or warped any number of ways- that doesn't change the fact that the face staring back at you is your own.

Guess this is why I generally don't open my mouth about religion. I don't know - and neither do you.

Friday, November 23, 2007

The Gspot Episode 18





G-Spot Episode 18

James Curcio
gives us another podcast episode of
Postgenre Blues, this time talking about inadequate copyright laws, the media war, remixes and a Microsoft takedown notice sent to the Alterati.net crew.

Wes Unruh gives us a talking to about DIY television, the struggle against media monopoly, and converses on the subject with Freeman.

Joseph Matheny brings us another mini episode of the resurrected Gpod, digging in the archives with the Chicago
Underground Industrial Tape Scene.

And Jason Lubyk reads, channels aliens and fucks with your mind.

(Listen.)

-------------

Also On Alterati:
Blog:


A Conversation With Adam Gorightly - Jason Lubyk

In the first of this two part conversation with writer Adam Gorightly - author of The Prankster and the Conspiracy and Death Cults among other books - Jason talks with Adam about his trip to Conspiracy Convention 7, potential government infiltration of
conspiracy and paranormal groups and the curious life and origins of James Shelby Downard.

Unquiet Mind - Wes Unruh.

This is a continuation of a series he started three years ago.

The Reruns of Brisco County, jr. - Wes Unruh.

Gunslinger television show starring Bruce Campbell involving science fiction themes. With ongoing plot lines like a time-traveling madman bent on world domination and a mysterious orb that bestows superhuman powers, this show was much more than a flashy update of the Wild Wild West.

Ripple #6 - Ray Carney.

Ray Carney and Ari interview Alexis Marshall of Daughters about their album Hell Songs and touring across fucking Europe.

Altertube:

William S. Burroughs Nike Commercial.

The Three Trials.

Problems with Professor 105.

Torrents:

Richard M. Stallman gives a speech about copyright issues.

The Free Voice of Labour: The Jewish Anarchists.

2012 Timewave zero software - Terrence Mckenna and Peter Meyer.

Hunter S Thompson - Audio Books and Lectures.

Xenakis, Iannis (1922-2001)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Me I'm Not

Just finished a remix of the NIN song Me, I'm Not (NIN) with Nate Sampsel. This "remix" is about half new parts or seriously tweaked out synths. It'll be running in the upcoming Ripple Saul Williams interview, running on Alterati.com December 1st. Worth listening to, Saul had some really interesting things to say.

(Listen.)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

And now for something completely different...





So, I'm sitting around musing to myself- videos on YouTuber will get 4,000 views, and 70 comments. And many of our Altertube videos will have the same number of views, and no comments. Now if those comments are as dumb as most YouTuber comments, I think that's a good thing, but it's interesting.

So as an example of this phenomenon I pull up this video. Which is something like spiritual, emotional, and moral ipecac.

We are all going to hell, etc.

Peter then kindly clued me into this video, which is the best worst thing I've seen in a long time. Wait for the chorus. Seriously.




If you're wondering. That apparently wasn't a one time outburst.


I've been editing the Alterati / Ripple interview with Saul Williams all night, I'm out.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Thursday, November 08, 2007

More sneak peeks.

There's a hell of a lot going on behind the scenes here.

Most of it I can't make public yet- but here's a taste. The 2nd edition Fallen Nation cover:







Expect the first episodes of the Fallen Nation theatrical audiobook, the website, and the 2nd edition on Amazon by the beginning of '08.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

No Write Way 6

(No Write Way 1-6.)

When you quietly complete your first edition, buy a handful of copies and get them off to people who's opinion you trust. Ideally these will be fellow writers or editors, but barring that, well-read friends will do just fine. The caveat of this gift, of course, is that they must actually read it and provide you with useful input.

The value of this kind of input cannot be overlooked, however it takes real skill and sensibility to provide genuine criticism. A good critic suggests solutions to the problems that they encounter, and they deal strictly with the work itself. Also take the time to listen to the people who purchase your first edition- some of them may be valuable critics as well. Just make sure to completely ignore those who go straight for the character assassination. Chances are they haven't even read your book.



If you make your first edition available for free as a PDF, you will also broaden the potential range of people who will be exposed to your work. "For free, you say?" Yes. Cory Doctorow covers the reasoning behind this quite well in this article, so there's no reason to re-state it.



(Alterati.com article.)

Monday, October 29, 2007

IV: IN TEH WATERS, DYING.

A weekend of half-embodying Hunter S Thompson (it wasn't a perfect transformation, as it has been in the past), nevertheless has rendered my brain inert.

So, instead of something useful, let me provide what teh internets are best at:


teh metaphorz are thick and fast, (395)
no can has literal translationz.
ganga cat is watching ur fourth wall.
waiting for rainz.
cloudz in teh sky ar far ways.
THUNDERS!
datta means give!
in a moment u lives, transitory,
no can has recording.
dayadham means be compassionate!
u thinks bout prisoner,
thnks ur in prison,
damyata means have self-control!
u r boat on calm seas,
at least on good day


lolcats wasteland.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Mick Mercer's review of Veil of Thorns: Cognitive Dissonance

VEIL OF THORNS
COGNITIVE DISSONANCE
Mythos Media







Although working at another end of the noisy bastard spectrum to History Of Guns, Veil Of Thorns, and other P. Emerson Williams projects, provide the same alternative. Just when you have become used to experiencing your guitar stimulants, your ethereal relaxants, your electronic placebo, along comes Doctor Thorns, like a knight in deliberately ill-fitting armour and bellows ‘No more!’ causing all patients to fall from their beds. Where a lot of old-school Industrialists make deliberately obscure, ugly amateurish trash and new Industrialists churn out whatever club-friendly sounds they hope will land them a big record deal, there are some artists wading sternly through the same muddy waters with more artistic sensibilities. Veil Of Thorns may make threatening music but it is not without gentler asides, and often presents itself in alluring form. This is their most stylish work, but some of the thorns have an extra edge.

It’s really just down to P. Emerson Williams on virtually everything but the live drums of James Curcio, whose alarming novel I am currently reading. That’s the thing – music and other genuine influences, with P. himself a very talented artist, as I am sure many of you realise. It infuses what might be a trudging sound and throws light into murky corners. ‘Peripatetic’ has a dark rhythmical flow below a bright needling guitar and the drums stay furtive, the vocals commendably aghast, the song briskly cantering into action. It is actually hard to follow the vocal narrative but maybe that’s a good thing? ‘A Weirdness Less Expressed’ is great. If ever robots develop their own Thrash genre with a glaring sheen and viciously seedy bass pulses they will point to this song as a formative spark; more keenly urgent vocals and liquid guitar unusually catchy at times.

‘The Enigmatic Rarely Atone’ is slippier, as guitar slides away from the gleaming, undulating core. ‘Fallacy Decides Initiative’ lurches off after the seamless intro into a sighing, tumbling exercise, but ‘Delusions Of Excitement’ has low key, sweeter sounds and a dignified comeliness, deeper slopes and a playful atmospheric element. ‘Surgically Dream Like’ does what it says on the bloodbag, the cello providing a blurred setting, as though orchestral ocean liners were calling to one another, Industrial whale song!

‘Languishing In The Rusting Valley’ is not the worse holiday brochure ever, but a fractious combination of tingling guitar and grating rhythm in a plainly enjoyably melodic cacophony, as pert as the ungainly ever get. ‘Corrode And Engulf’ is deep growliness, like an ambient intestinal voyage. ‘Night Access Hallucination’ is a weird entity, being spindly, addled art-rock, with a touch of the Frank Zapata about it, with ‘Anomalous Breaks’; fun, not fearful. Austere, like monks hungover on mescaline, and then the title track itself sends you home with a cold bowl of sonic porridge.

They’re one of the few creative outlets for these more tangled sounds, and this gets the thumbs up, being a fine record, and one which some people might find easier to get into than earlier works as it’s got elements you’d recognise. Okay, you may develop extra thumbs with prolonged exposure, but what is life without risks?

By Mick Mercer.

iTunes.


http://www.veilofthorns.com
http://www.myspace.com/veilofthorns
http://joinmycult.blogspot.com
http://www.myspace.com/choronzon333

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Hobo high fashion





So I've been beset with some pretty horrific allergies lately. As a result, I've taken to my old habit of wearing pajamas all the time.

However, apparently my new pajamas are high fashion to the homeless people in the city. Last night as I walked about five blocks, I was approached by three different homeless crazy women, saying things such as:

"Oooooh! I love your pants!"

"My you look fabulous tonight!"

Etc.

Apparently I know my market.

In other non-news, Fallen Nation 2nd edition is presently backed up on other people's desks. It may be a little while yet before it's out, and I am certainly chomping at the bit, in part because I'm getting happy with how it has shaped up in the last editorial run. I'm ready to bring it down the mountain.

Friday, October 19, 2007

No Write Way 5







So, let’s suppose that you’ve written your novel. You’ve pulled your hair out on the editorial process (and probably received an inordinate amount of contradictory advice), and burned your eyes out on layout.

Now, after the headache from your “celebratory binge” wears off, it’s time to get your first edition out to the world. Note that at this point, the trajectory for self publishing differs from approaching an agent or publishing company, and it is the former case that we’re going to be dealing with.

There are quite a few self publishing options out there. A google search will avail you just fine, when it comes to hunting them out. But how to compare them side-by-side with that nagging, throbbing hangover? I’ll help a bit by comparing two of these services, Lulu and Booksurge. I’ve used them both, so I’ll be speaking from experience. I will also show you how they can actually be used in tandem to maximize their upsides.

(Alterati.com article.)

Monday, October 15, 2007

Going swampin'



I wrapped up my part of the Fallen Nation 2nd editions edits tonight. I'm taking tomorrow off. Like watching the History Channel in my underwear off. I have a crate full of various kinds of sherries and ports. None of you can stop me, though it's possible some of you can join me, especially if you are interested in trading back massages.

As that gets passed on down the lane to get it back to the market, Peter and I are getting ready to "go swampin.'"

You'll hear what I mean when it comes out of the water for you. Or when I post it and you see it, whichever happens first.

(BTW: I don't know why but the 1st edition mysteriously appeared on Amazon again. Don't bother with her, she's an unsightly bitch. The 2nd ed will be up soon. Oh yeah, one other thing...)

Friday, October 12, 2007

Update from the trenches.

This'll be the third night in a row that I've worked till after 5am (almost 6 now) on editing Fallen Nation: Babylon Burning.

I'm sending out the final chapters this weekend for punctuation grammar type copy editing (round 2), and then to Tovarich for re-layout.

Then... it's off to the printer/distributor. Amazon may not pick it up for a couple weeks after that.

My back is killing me, and my eyes feel like they're about ready to strike. But I've fixed so many of the flow problems I was having with the first edition, it almost seems a fair trade. (I just hope that any new typos that may have popped up will be caught in copyediting so I can move on and never have to re-visit production on this project. I'm growing to love the book, but it's time to move on.)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Why I Pay For Showtime.


addict_coke.jpg



Since the success of HBO's Six Feet Under, many series on subscription based networks (HBO, Showtime, etc) have continued to up the ante on the theatrical and conceptual possibilities of episodic basic television. Though I do not envy the production team's task on these projects- attempting movie-level quality at the pace of television- I have very much enjoyed the results. There is little doubt that the ad-based major networks have been scrambling to produce their own brand of edginess, but from what I've seen it simply can't compare, thanks to boardroom and FCC restrictions, to say nothing of the restrictive lash of the advertiser's purse strings. House is a good example of this kind of show, a mind-numbingly formulaic foray into the hospital drama milieu that is only saved, partially, by Hugh Laurie's gravitas. (It does help that his character pops vicodin, LSD, and just about everything else he can get his hands on, and then operates on patients. To that point, Hunter would be proud.)





So, to follow up the recent article on Dexter, (New American Hero, by Jason Stackhouse), here are some other series you really should check out.

Monday, October 08, 2007

smallworld podcast interviews subqtaneous






Interview with James Curcio and P. Emerson Williams of subQtaneous.


We discuss the lyrics of P. Emerson Williams; how subQtaneous helped create relationships; the many versions of "Double Bind"; why it took so long to release their CD, Some Still Despair In A Prozac Nation; why subQtaneous ws formed when so many of the musicians live all over the country; similarities to Pigface; the members who make up subQtaneous; the Abyss of Hallucinations; the complications of working with so many people; what was surprisingly easy recording Some Still Despair In A Prozac Nation; recording "Wake Up"; why the recorded the album in so many different studios; the guitar stylings of Scott Landes; post-punk political commentary; Mythos Media; the influence of Joseph Campbell.

Featured songs are:

1. "Double Bind"
2. "Equinox"
3. "Wake Up"

Listen to the podcast.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

The Other World







We are told that documentaries should be produced objectively, never-mind that the camera itself merely provides a proxy of subjective experience, and can lie through omission just as easily as our eyes can. Apparently Jan Kounen didn’t come in to school that day, and for that we can be happy.

Though The Other World provides some interesting and rather traditional “talking head” interviews with the likes of Alex Grey, Moebius, Jeremy Narby (the author of The Cosmic Serpent), and many others, the most unique aspect of this documentary is that it attempts to provide a first person perspective of a very subjective experience. That is, the use of psychedelics in shamanism, and the function of the shaman as a guide through exploration of our oft-forgotten interior world. This is not common territory for a documentary, and some stylistic fumbling is to be expected as a result.


(Alterati.com article, includes movie.)

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Follow the Not Free

OK imagine all the copyfight battles are over. And the outcome isn’t some corporate legal Satan-tech locked down media delivery system. Or some kind of shrug-inspiring compromise like micropayments or flat-rate schemes. Imagine that information has become truly free. Technology advanced to such a point where downloads happen as fast as changing a channel and is so easy to use that your cyborg grandma can operate it with her new vat grown arms. Large media corporations slowly crawl to a halt, drained and exhausted by irrelevance, futile hands outstretched trying to stop the tsunami of data. A thousand, than a million, than a billion file sharing sites bloom … so impossible to keep up.






Jason Lubyk's put together what I think is the good beginning for a conversation on the subject of the future of music.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Mankind Is Obsolete: Fresh Out Of The Studio





I just received Trapped Inside premasters from Scott Landes, a past musical collaborator and bandmate. He’s been in the studio this summer with Mankind Is Obsolete in Weed, California (I kid you not), working under the guiding hand of Sylvia Massy. (You may recognize her the producer of TOOL’s seminal albums, Opiate and Undertow, though that’s far from her only work). I’m more than happy to be able to share some of this music with you, hot off the presses, before they hit the road for a massive twelve month tour. I also managed to put some questions to the band about where they’ve been, and where they’re going.

(Part 1, on Alterati.com - intro & track "Trapped Inside.")

(Part 2, on Alterati.com - interview transcript & track "Passing Through.")

Friday, September 21, 2007

Ripple debut






Ari, Nate, and Ray Carney interview Trey Spruance of Secret Chiefs 3, Mr Bungle, and Mimicry Records. This is part one of a two part interview. (For part two, check back tomorrow.)

Listen now.

(If you're wondering, I'm producer & co-editor of the show.)

Thursday, September 20, 2007

subQtaneous & Veil of Thorns review on Nemesis To Go

And I think they pretty much nailed it dead center.




subQtaneous
:
"What strangeness have we here? This: a trippy ride through post-industrial atmospheres, guided by multi-instrumentalist and producer James Curcio. Although SubQtaneous seems to be a collaborative effort, with many names in the credits, it's James Curcio's name that crops up most often. This music runs riot from dubbed-up rumbling to heavily-fuzzed guitar workouts, from incongruous jazz odysseys to bouts of bad-trip psychedelia. At times, it resembles rock music, particularly on 'Daily Grind', which sounds like the kind of mashed-up splattery racket you'd get if you shoved Ministry down a waste disposal unit. At other times, rhythms you could (almost) dance to are hauled into the sonic melee, and there are effect-laden interludes and sample-soaked soundscapes, although even when things get a little mellow the listener can never quite escape the suspicion that monsters lurk just beyond the music. 'All You Know' is a jazzy rap, springing forward on the vibrations of a double bass, and in a way it's the most radical thing here. Stick out a white label 12" with this track on it, and I bet it would be all over hip hop radio in a week. 'Panning For Gold In Rivers Of Blood' sounds like someone slipped the orchestra that accompanies silent movies some amphetamines, while 'Out Of Control' belies its title with a tumbling, chopped-up neo-rock rampage. I'm not at all sure who SubQtaneous think is going to buy their wayward art, for it's obviously not aimed at any particular market, and the band - if indeed there is a band - takes a particular delight in eating generic boundaries for breakfast. But you know what? I'm glad this stuff is out there."




Veil of Thorns
:
"Another emanation from the Mythos Media monster, in this case a solo project from P.Emerson Williams. And - somewhat surprisingly - we're in the rock zone, sort of. Veil Of Thorns are not exactly a band, but the music does inhabit a rocky landscape, even if it sometimes doesn't seem entirely comfortable there. P. Emerson Williams is responsible for vocals and most instruments, with James Curcio on drums (I'm delighted to note, by the way, that the album was engineered by someone called Fluffy) and together they brew up a dust storm of tight-but-loose guitar riffs and driving, nervy, drums. Let's sample some: 'The Enigmatic Barely Atone' has a lost-in-the-desert feel, as if the sands of the Sahara are shifting under the music as it hurtles towards the sunset. 'Delusions Of Excitement' is a fine title for a spooky, sepulchral song - the desert night has fallen, the world is hushed. Even the bass seems muted here, rumbling somewhere in the background as if Steve Severin was hiding behind a pyramid. 'Corrode And Engulf' (Veil Of Thorns are great on titles) is a grind of treated cello, half way between a lament and a threat. This music is, naturally, high on atmosphere, and if, at times, it teeters on the brink of proggy indulgence it has enough latent attitude to pull back from the brink. It's like nothing else out there, that's for sure."

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Fallen Nation: Babylon Burning

...is temporarily being held out of stock on Amazon until we get the 2nd edition of the book up in a matter of weeks.

I will post a notice when it is back up.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Postmodern Apocalypse







2012 is a meme on the tip of everyone’s tongue these days.

An an example, Daniel Pinchbeck just launched the site “Postmodern Times,” which is:

"…a series of short animated films presenting new ideas about global consciousness and techniques for social and ecological transformation. Our first episode, “Toward 2012″, introduces the project, explaining concepts from the best-selling book, 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl (Tarcher/Penguin, 2006) by Daniel Pinchbeck, in the author’s own voice. Future segments will focus on shamanism, sustainability, alternative energy systems, the Mayan Calendar, quantum physics and synchronicity, human sexuality, and a host of other subjects."

This explosion, of course, is not restricted merely to Pinchbeck, though he seems to have positioned himself well atop the wave. For better or worse, it is a cultural movement, and it is happening now.

(Alterati.com article.)

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Back To The Folk (Post-Genre Blues)



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When J.R.R. Tolkien "created" the fantastic world of Lord of the Rings, he built it upon the linguistic and mythic foundations of ancient pre-Britain. This is how most myths are built, as a palimpsest, one layer built over the next, whether we are talking about the early mythological personification of Jesus from earlier male Gods of death & resurrection (Osiris, Tammuz, etc), or more modern inventions- such as black metal.

For hardcore fans of this genre, this comes as no surprise, but for those who have only glanced at it's murky surface, I suggest you take a deeper drink before spitting it out. Though its first wave was retroactively named thanks to thrash metal bands
like Venom, it grew new legs in Norway. The real pioneers of this ear splitting genre take as much from the ancient folk music and traditions of the surrounding cultures as they do from thrash metal. Like any genre, this road is littered with garbage and half-wits trying to jump on a bandwagon they don't even completely understand, so with the curatorial assistance of P. Emerson Williams, who is something of a veteran in the genre, I would like to introduce you to some of the stuff worth listening to.

(Alterati.com article.)

Monday, September 10, 2007

iTunes picks up initial Mythos Media albums.






subQtaneous: Some Still Despair In A Prozac Nation and Veil Of Thorns: Cognitive Dissonance are now available through the iTunes store.

An initial group of fifteen companies have picked the albums up for digital distribution, and we will provide the information as we recieve it. We start at the top with the trend setter for digital content delivery.

subQtaneous: Some Still Despair In A Prozac Nation downloads can be purchased here, and Veil Of Thorns: Cognitive Dissonance here.

You can purchase songs a la carte or the full albums for the complete experience.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Drawing Outside The Lines: Interview With David Mack


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I still remember the first time I encountered Kabuki. I was just browsing around a Barnes & Noble, buzzing on caffeine, and this beautifully illustrated hardcover book found its way into my hands. It's not hard to be taken with the art, really, but I actually laughed out loud when I started reading it- there was a section where the characters were talking
to one another, and then moving through a building. Now most sequential artists would draw panel after panel of them walking and talking, West Wing style, maybe breaking it up with different angles and whatnot so it's not just a bunch of talking heads. But you just give us a top down view of the building, and little talk bubbles as they wind their way around the maze. I just thought that was completely brilliant... I never would have thought of that, but then looking at it, it's just like "of course!" This is something I've seen continuing through these books, that you are
really good at finding the straightest line, the best means of telling the story rather than just adhering to whatever storytelling conventions people might be used to.


David Mack: I like how you described that. I think you described it very astutely. That is how I approach the art. As a tool of the writing. I try to consider what pace, or rhythm, or medium or visual personality of style of art will best and most effectively communicate that particular story or scene of the story.

Full interview

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Black Osiris





Aside from the conceptual side of this project, which I'm not going to inflict upon you just yet, the name is fitting based on how the production process seems to be an endless series of deaths & resurrections. Nothing shocking, I just haven't had time most of this summer to do music.

So it's been refreshing to get back at it. This track (working title- Ministry of Cliches) isn't finished yet, but it's starting to 'set up.' Yes, like a cake.

More soon. Maybe.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Drunk For Your Amusement






Freedom.



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For years now, I've wondered who the next Bill Hicks was going to be. As things grew more and more grim - I mean seriously, I think we've surpassed the Reagan era now on the cosmic WTF! scale - I wondered if maybe we would have no more ranting, fool messiahs because the meter was just fucking broke and we've all become too whitebread and insecure to recognize the rallying call if it comes. "COMEDY IS DEAD, GO HOME, GAME OVER."

There are times when being proven wrong is the best thing in the world. The other night I was stopped dead in my tracks by this man. He made me want to pick up three of the bad habits I'd managed to kick, and start up about twenty new ones. Most importantly, he made me laugh. A lot.

Full article.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Esovids









If you're looking for the first Altertube roundup of Esozone vids, look no further. Foolish People's Dead Language, I assume, is going to be up shortly.

Vignettes of Philly

Some of the scenic things I've seen so far in Philadelphia:

1. In center city, a dog with what looked like a bullet wound vomiting and shitting blood.

2. A crazy lady with a single tooth praying to a shopping cart. ("Dude, I've tried that. It doesn't work. You have to go in to the store.")

3. Adolescents on crotch rockets with sub-machine guns. (And I admit, that was at 50th and Lancaster, so I was pretty much begging to get buzzed by them simply for showing my gawky ass up in that.)

4. Some distractingly hot barristas.

See, I'd say that's not quite a good showing... but the incredible matcha green tea latte tipped the scales. And though I was buzzed, I was not shot- so the verdict: PHILLY IS A-OK. Just don't forget your kevlar fubu hoodie.

The Internet would not be nearly as fun if the real world actually made a bit of sense.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Esozone 2007







First-hand report of the recently completed Esozone 2007 occultural event in Portland, which featured the likes of Paul Laffoley, The Foolish People, Freeman, the Viking Youth, and many others. Includes video and audio from the event.

(Alterati article.)

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Fallen Nation banners

For those of you who asked for a banner - here ya go.



That image url is: http://www.joinmycult.org/media/realitysand/fn_top_banner.jpg

Right now have the link direct to: http://www.amazon.com/Fallen-Nation-Babylon-James-Curcio/
dp/1419672657/ref=sr_11_1/002-8194795-6556859?ie=UTF8&qid=1187182987&sr=11-1

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Esozone 2007

Esozone... Well, shit. What can I say? It was entertaining, a hell of a lot of fun, and even sometimes educational. You can color me surprised. Expect video coming through greylodge and possibly Alterati in coming weeks, and hopefully more video popping up elsewhere-- please, anyone who was there, send me media. A big thank you to everyone who helped organize, or who was there.

I'm sitting at the Portland airport now, preparing to head home. Still not sober so, yes. It was that kind of week.

Thoughts of moving to Portland in the future?

Yes. I'm sure more on that in time, as well.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Chins and Beards (part 1)





Rudy Rauben has lived and died a few lives, from the sound of it. In a previous incarnation he once served as art director, graphic designer or illustrator for a variety of magazines, including Dragon, Amazing Stories, and Reality Hackers. You may have seen some his of illustrations in collectible card games like Magic: The Gathering or the H.P. Lovercraft inspired Mythos.

This time around Rudy is back with a new graphic novel called The Medicine Show, and another one in the works.

He first contacted me out of interest for Mythos Media, we got to talking, and quickly realized we actually had quite a lot to discuss. I’m going to be sharing some of those conversations with you, wherein we touch on everything from the I Ching, internal Kung fu and the artistic process to bizarre times at Reality Hackers and experiences working for TSR and Wizards of the Coast.

Alterati.com article.

Monday, August 06, 2007

An Interview with Camella Grace







Ray Carney recently contacted the band Butcher and conducted an extensive interview with lead singer Camella Grace. There’s more coming up after this half hour audio as after discussing the Butcher album Auricle, Ray went on to discuss the photography work Camella has done with Robyn Breen as Spiraleyes. Transcript of that part of the discussion follows after the jump, but first, here’s the audio portion of the interview:

Alterati.com article.

(Just saw this got linked on Tool's frantpage.)

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Holy hell.

So it was just pointed out to me that there is a pretty major, and dumb, typo on the front cover of the Fallen Nation comic that we gave out... That being "Welcome to the Apocalpypse."

What I find amazing is that it was shown to several hundred people, and was edited through three people, and no one caught it, until now, after 450 of them were handed out to people at comic con.

So if you got one, enjoy your "special edition."

Monday, July 30, 2007

Comic Con

There will likely be much Comic Con related stuff running on Alterati in coming weeks, including some video and audio footage of Warren Ellis being truly... well. Warren. Cranky and absolutely hilarious. (From what he said to me the next day, he has no recollection of the night before. Maybe the video will jog his memory, if the scotch I gave him doesn't- state dependent memory and all that). There will be many potential interview and review subjects for Alterati as well, including David Mack... whose work is absolutely amazing. It's just icing on the cake that he's a really nice guy. Neil was also, as I expected, kind, incredibly focused despite a truly ridiculous schedule, and he managed to cram quite a lot of useful advice for us regarding Episode 1 of Fas Ferox into a 20 minute meeting. Once again, this will be "the last convention of this type he ever does." We'll see if that holds, or if Paramount puts a gun to his head. Hopefully right now he's drinking a lot of honey and tea and not speaking at all.

Right now, however, I'm sitting in LAX. The elevator music is driving me slowly insane. They pushed our plane back 3 hours, which makes our connecting flight impossible... So I'm going to be in and out of airports for almost 24 hours. The flight out here wasn't much better. (Example: we wound up in Cleveland for 4 hours when we were supposed to be in Houston for 2.) It's been a very hectic couple of days, slightly stressful, incredibly expensive, but still fairly enjoyable. I hope people who got them enjoy the free CDs and comics we gave away...

That's enough for now. I need to move before this musak makes me do horrible things I'll regret later. Wish me luck- I'll arrive in Philadelphia full of airplane filth, exhausted, hungry, undersexed, and probably in desperate need of a rack to get stretched out on- but, God or better luck willing, I will indeed eventually arrive there.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

The Death of a Scene

"So you’ve probably been poking around Alterati for a little while, maybe you’ve wondered a bit “why the weird name?” or “what’s up with the whole ‘inside scoop / outside culture’ thing?” Well, by way of getting at that in my usual “tangential analogy” style, I’d like to talk about the death of a scene. I think in that you might get a better glimpse of what I at least get out of our branding.

This death could be of any scene, but I’ll use a case I’m well acquainted with.

I’ve always had the sneaking suspicion that too much success is a poison pill that somehow turns everything into it’s opposite, almost like a one-way pass to Star Trek style bizarro-world. Case in point, Metallica is the heaviest band on Earth one day, a decade and a half later they’re distributing DVDs of their group therapy sessions.

But I’m not here to talk to you about “Metallica As Metaphor For Cultural Decomposition And The Degradation Of Everything ‘METAL’” today. That’d be too damned easy, Lars may as well have painted a gigantic “NOT HIP” sign on his forehead right before testifying to the senate. Nor am I going to use metal, though that could reap it’s own reward.





I want to talk about a scene that became it’s own opposite: the goth scene. ..."

Alterati.com article.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

No Write Way #3


No Write Way 1.

No Write Way 2.


blogadd.jpg


So you've put easily a year or more of work into putting together a solid rough draft of your novel. Many people consider this to be the hard part, but really, it's as good as it gets. Next comes the tooth pulling, and then the tooth gnashing.

Why did you get into writing fiction again? It wasn't the fame, it certainly wasn't the fortune, and it most likely wasn't the women either (notice the slow backward shuffle, the wide, terrified eyes, as you try to explain your novel about alienation and despair.)


terrified.jpg


Chances are, if you got to this point, you're in for the long haul. You realize that even the majority of the "greats" rotted in asylums, died cold and hungry on the side of the road, or went out of this world liver first, and chances are, you're not quite so great. You realize that the availability of self publishing tools also means that the marketplace will be crowded with even more products, many of them half-assed, all wailing and moaning for attention. You realize all of that, but you simply don't care. Welcome to being an author. See, many people the common thread between authors is intelligence. I don't think it is. It's stubbornness. You've seen the lonely darkness at the end of the tunnel, and you simply don't give a fuck.

(Alterati.com article.)

Thursday, July 12, 2007

The Fountain

"The Fountain deals with some of the most central issues we face as humans, the big ones: life, death, what is lost, and what remains. He does so in a visually stunning, deeply moving manner. Aronofsky’s background in myth and metaphor is as clearly apparent as most people’s complete lack of understanding in these areas. To begin with, from review to review, and even in the wikipedia entry (a source well known for its standard of infallibility), there is talk of this story taking place in three times, or of consisting of three plots: a Conquistador, set in the time of Spain’s conquests and search for glory, a scientist, dead-set upon saving his dying wife, and an astronaut or mystic, exploring a nebula referenced in the other “time-lines” as relating to the Mayan creation myth. These converging and diverging time-lines seem to confuse people, as they try to track how they might relate to one another, and try to wrap their heads around three different stories."

Read the Alterati.com article.




Watch The Fountain on Altertube.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Alchemical Wedding.






I encountered the rich and deeply disturbing work of David Aronson in a strangely convoluted way. After having come on his work through several mutual friends on the Internet several years ago, I spent a long time one evening drinking coffee and going through his website, Alchemical Wedding. I was inspired and somewhat galvanized by what I found there, but this story probably would’ve ended there if it wasn’t for the coincidences that came next. A year or so later, a friend of mine was given his Tarot deck in person at a convention, and showed them to me. I immediately recognized the work, of course, and asked for his contact information. We started talking in email that way, and even had some discussions about collaborating on a graphic novel series (which sadly never came to be due to circumstances beyond our control.) Since then I’ve bumped into him several times in my first Friday jaunts in Philadelphia, and then, yet again another coincidence, I put out an anonymous Alterati casting call on craigslist, and he replied to it.

When things like this happen in our lives, we can call them synchronicity, or coincidence, and attribute meaning to it, or not. But either way, it is strangely appropriate, given the nature of his work: psychological, often spiritual and troubling, with more than a hint of that mystery that we can genuinely call the occult, rather than the mere trappings of it which we now see bleeding into a lot of corporate, faux-counterculture milieus. After bumping into it so many times myself, whether by accident or design, I am happy to be able to introduce you to it.



What first motivated you to get into this kind of work? Is it the same thing now?


I’ve always been drawn to surrealism and the fantastic. I went to a commercial art school and majored in illustration, and after I graduated I started looking at painting and fine art and it dawned on me that I should say something much deeper and more profound about my self and my life with art. I could talk about things which couldn’t be expressed with words–deeply buried, painful and ambiguous feelings, thoughts and experiences. It was a revelation which was very liberating. I started creating images that expressed the deeper parts of myself. Actually, it was and is more like allowing the deeper parts of myself, parts that have been silenced, cut off and disconnected, to have a voice. This kind of work became very cathartic and ultimately healing, along with exploration and the freedom of the imagination, is really the main theme of my art.


I’ve noticed something with your work that I think is a common thread with most of my favorite musicians and artists. On the surface, the work is very dark, and some people get turned off by that because they don’t really understand - or don’t care to understand- the alchemy going on. I mean creating “dark” work for the sake of being dark is pretty adolescent, but really going to those places, exploring them, and clearing them out or transforming them - that’s really as “light” as you can get, no matter how grim the cast off matter might be. It seems very alchemical to me. Are there any particular traditions that you follow or use as inspiration in this vein - alchemical, gnostic, mystical, and so on - or has it really been completely your own?


(Alterati.com article.)

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Hacking At The Roots




I’ve come back out of the woods, and I’m not entirely sure I’m happy about it. Once again I’ve replaced cathode rays for sunlight, and instant messages and teleconferences for conversations. Plugged into The Internets I’m in a thousand places at once, but not here. Never here.

I went to the Gaian Mind Summer Festival for a variety of reasons: for the experience, of course, to bring back some media from Daniel Pinchbeck’s discussion session, to rub shoulders with an assortment of talented artists, scientists, and complete lunatics, to hear an assortment of trance music, from intricately layered, ethnic-tinged chill out to mind-shredding full on. There were yoga, drumming, and partner massage workshops, (which I missed by five minutes, damn!), sustainable community discussions, in other words, a hell of a lot more than anyone could probably fit into four nights and three days. Well, I got what I came for, but I also got something else. What exactly?

I’m not sure I’m any longer qualified to say.

Read the Alterati.com article.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

The Fragile Army




Ever wonder why people bother paying twice or more the cost of a CD to go see a band live, only to stare at two guys lamely tweak knobs and poke at their laptop on a stage for three hours? Sometimes you’re just hungry for an experience that you can’t have simply by pressing “play.”

Last night, I think I found a solution.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

The G-spot Episode 8


GSpot_header



This episode of the G Spot (#8) takes you on a borderline insane behind-the-scenes trip into the recording studio, to hear the various outtakes and other mishaps that occurred in the production of our first G Spot video ad. Welcome to our world. (Background music by Johann Ess and Aphex Twin, piano composition and performance by Nate Sampsel.)

Check it out now!

Friday, June 29, 2007

Reality Sandwich Interview

"Philadelphia-based writer James Curcio's novels resemble strange and intricate life stories, bubbles of fiction floating in the depths of the collective subconscious. Occasionally they rise to the surface and burst into the conscious mind, releasing dreamscapes where fantasy merges with the mundane. Demigods cavort with goth-punk teenagers. Ambivalent authority figures lord over underground networks. Pseudo-shamanic rituals and sex magick abound.

In his 2004 book “Join My Cult!”, Curcio tells of a group of disillusioned teenagers whose rites of passage include experiments with sex and drugs, dabblings in dark magick, and associations with a mysterious organization known as the “Mother Hive Brain Syndicate.” Described as an occult novel, the story takes place across simultaneous “reality grids,” wherein a single character can inhabit multiple identities.

When dealing with subjects like the occult, shamanism, and ritual magick, part of the process involves investigating hidden dimensions of reality that may prove difficult to depict with words. Curcio agrees, noting that “occult” translates to “hidden,” and such realms must be experienced personally to be truly understood. Here he talks about the paradox in expressing the ineffable, the downsides to guru-hood, and the potency of the archetypal world."

Read the interview here on Reality Sandwich.

p.s. a report is coming soon on the Gaian Mind summer festival. A truly mind-blowing experience for me.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Wizard Con

...Was fairly entertaining. As predicted, it's still a somewhat smaller convention, but I nevertheless met some people doing interesting things- was given quite a few free review copies for Alterati- and grabbed a bunch of graphic novels I've been meaning to get for a while. A hardbound copy of The Kindly Ones (Sandman), hardbound Promethea 5, the last 2 Invisibles, a book of interviews with Alan Moore where he goes fairly in-depth about his magical system, and many other things.

I woke up today with an appreciable hangover. The Hellcats Burlesque event at the Troc was partially to blame for that. Much to do this week.

For those of you going to the Gaian Mind Summer festival- I'll see you there.

Also keep your eyes open for an interview on Reality Sandwich soon, I think it was just passed over to the editors.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

subQtaneous: Some Still Despair In A Prozac Nation

Now available through Kunaki.

Other Mythos Media releases should be coming soon...

Modern Fusion

"When I hear the word “fusion” in the context of music, my first thought is of a flaccid synthesis of funk and jazz that boils away the best element of both.

However, fusion- the fusion of genres, of instrumentation, of compositional or ideological theory, is really the present and the future of music… and there are so many fusions of style and form out there that simply miss the public eye because people don’t understand what they’re listening to. Even literally the process of fusion inside a star involves two particles fusing together, creating something new. (And giving off a hell of a lot of energy in the process.)

True fusion isn’t a surface thing. It isn’t the half-assed blending of several aesthetic or social postures. It goes straight for its heart, and in merging that essence with another, something truly unique is born. It doesn’t matter that you can trace it’s lineage, or that all of the original forms are “borrowed.” There is a musical communication of culture and of experience. This is nothing new. It is how cultures spread and form: through art, through music, through myths and stories as groups of people encounter one another, and their existences co-mingle. No form of music is unique in its source: but what evolves out of it… Well, that’s another story. We are different from our parents and yet like them. The same is true of music as generations pass.

So what’s all this bullshit about genres having hearts? Am I talking sense or have I finally gone off the deep end? Let’s take Metal for instance- whether you’re talking about thrash metal, speed metal, death metal, or black metal- it is linear, it is aggressive and fast, like a machine built for war. If you took Bach, gave him modern equipment, and pumped him full of testosterone and super-drugs, you would get the quintessence of metal. It’s no mystery why the true home of Black Metal is in Scandinavia. It is grandiose, proud, and harsh. Black metal is Viking music. Other forms of metal have different cultural heritages, (Nordic, Germanic), but they all share that same machine-mentality: of the linear, of the powerful, of the precise and the efficient."

Full article and tracks from Cynic's album Focus.

Monday, June 11, 2007

The Esoteric Hip Hop Knowledge of The Black Dot

"Alterati editor-in-chief James tipped me off to a book he saw in a crazy book store tucked away in an obscure corner of Philadelphia’s Reading Terminal Market. Beside the Aleister Crowley and Eliphas Levi tomes and David Icke DVDs was a book about a magickal approach to hip hop. After some digging The Matrix of Hip Hop website and the Hip Hop Decoded: From its Ancient Origin to its Modern Day Matrix book was unearthed.

The author – Harlem based The Black Dot – outlays a trippy occult Hip Hop cosmology, probably best expressed in the video The Five Bloodlines of Hip Hop, where we learn how our ancestors (well, maybe not mine …) came to earth through five elemental gateways, how the Golden Age was destroyed by parasitic mutants, the transformation of the elemental archetypes of communication (Hieroglyphics, Drummer, Oracle, and Dancer into Graffiti, DJ, Emcee, and B-Boy), the unifying power of the etheric pineal gland, how the ancestral bloodlines were reactivated by hip hop in 1973, how the mutants tried to use gangster rap to thwart the reactivation and the hip hop zero point singularity of 2012 where the planet will vibrate to throbbing higher dimensional beats and rhymes."



Read the full Article on Alterati.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Comic Con Backroom Meetings

(I'll have to remember to bring some single malt scotch.)

From Anna's myspace blog:

I'm finding that things for Fas Ferox are finally aligning to progress to the next stage of its evolution. Two of the creators of Machinima (a video-game platform technology being used to make feature films) are showing extreme interest in a possible merger with Fas Ferox, bringing us into an interactive multimedia format at long last. They are flying in from the UK to San Diego at the end of July (when we are there for Comicon) to meet with me, several of the FF crew and Neil Gaiman to discuss the possibilities.



Anyway, we'll see what comes of it. At the least, I'm excited to meet Neil. He was one of my 'artistic heros' when I was younger. These days I don't so much have heros, but I still have incredible respect for him, and his work. I was going to keep this under my hat publically but since the beans have already been spilled, I can't help myself.

Accurate & oddly familiar observations on the medium

* And just a thought: if you’re an sf writer grappling for space in one of the fiction magazines for seven cents a word or whatever the rate is now — what exactly are you losing by teaming with writers of like mind, going to the web and convincing a friend to work out the monetising bells and whistles for you?


Full article.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Summer Itinerary

Will be at the following events (representing Alterati and Mythos Media.)

June 15-17 Wizard World Convention in Philadelphia

June 21-24 Gaian Mind Summer Festival (psytrance, drumming, dance, presentations by people like Daniel Pinchbeck, I'll see if I can sneak in an interview with him...)

July 25-29 Comic Con in San Diego

August 10-12 Esozone in Portland

MAYBE Aug 31 - Sept 3 Dragon Con in Atlanta.

Hope to see some of you there.

Daily Grind (not the song)

The manuscript for the first edition of Fallen Nation: Babylon Burning has been completed, now it's moving into the layout process. Seems we did meet our deadline with that. We're working very hard to get ourselves prepared for Comic Con San Diego. We won't have a table this year, but a lot of interesting things are nevertheless in the works.

I'm moderately hung over (psytrance party with Gaian Mind), and it's stick-to-your-chair hot in here right now- so that's all you're getting out of me for the moment.

First Person First Friday (#2)






By the time I hit the streets of Philadelphia’s First Friday, things were already bustling. In these parts, the crowd hits suddenly, and it hits hard.

I staggered out of the car and looked around. What first caught my attention was not the galleries themselves, it was the clusters of artists outside of them- sitting cross legged, standing, even literally jumping and dancing.

Music from groups of street performers created coherent and then chaotic poly-rhythms, mingling with shouting from sidewalk to sidewalk, and the honking of car horns as people endlessly circled the congested streets in a desperate search for parking.

Full article on Alterati.com.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

DIY Music Video Contest

Nowadays, almost everyone has access to the means to produce media. We have YouTube, Photoshop, relatively cheap amp modellers, digital video cameras, etc. etc. However this accessibility does not provide something worth saying, nor does it provide us with the skill to present it well. As always, that takes time and effort, and with the glut of content now pumping through the Internet, it can be very hard to sort through it.

This is in part why Alterati exists. As an initial litmus test of what kind of media chops you people have, I came up with an idea for this contest.

For details, read on.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Fallen Nation: Welcome To The Apocalypse









Only on Alterati.com.

This will be a continuing series, a page of the comic here a week, as we produce it. When it’s done, we’ll offer the whole thing for free as a PDF.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Black Osiris

There's so much going on right now that I can barely keep up myself, let alone pass it along... I'm preparing to get Mythos Media off the ground for real, and everything that entails- trying to prep for Comic Con (hopefully I'll return with stories of a trip for sushi with Mr. Gaiman), Alterati is taking off, looks like I am co-writing & producing a film with Invictus Films though I can't give public details on that for a while, and... to top off the insanity, after my root canal my tooth is hurting like a bitch whenever I eat.

So, here's a little something I haven't really been reporting on at all... mostly because it's a side project, that just kind of happens when it happens. Several years ago, I had all of these realizations about the Osiris - Dionysus - Jesus myths while under the knife (and a whole lot of morphine), and these turned into a series of essays that I wrote - first for some classes in college, and then later, with some minor editing, for a couple small publications. (One of these here.)

One night I was up late and wrote these joke rap lyrics for it, and several years later Eianorange adapted them into a track, which is presently still in progress. (You can hear a rough here.)

Then Nate Sampsel came to me saying he was working on something in the Black Osiris vein... and, along with Johann Ess, this track has been the result. (The vocals still need a little production work, but it's close enough to share.) Nate did the guitar synths and some of the skeleton/slicing, J0hann Ess did some more synths and vox, I did percussion/bass/production.

My hunch is that eventually this'll become a collaborative/concept album, possibly released through the Mythos Media imprint. We'll see.

As I've said, In other news, I'm totally exhausted, going through withdrawal from my (legally prescribed thank you) pain meds, and now it hurts when I eat.

Goodnight.

Friday, May 04, 2007

First Person First Friday (#1)

I'll continue syndicating some of the alterati articles here for a little while-







First Friday has become something of a phenomenon nation-wide. For years now, galleries open their doors, street musicians and artists flock by the hundreds, and thousands of gallery-goers flit from location to location, quickly intoxicating themselves on free, cheap wine. It’s hard to say how many pieces actually sell on nights like this, but it is definitely something that helps vivify an art scene, and allows us artists to rub elbows and get the hell out of our studios for a night so we can see what our contemporaries are up to. In this short article I can’t possibly hope to track down the root of this phenomenon - aside from it just being good business, and a damn good time - but I do know from personal experience that this isn’t restricted to just one city or state.

So I wanted to begin this column, wherein I will be exploring First Fridays firsthand, in Phoenix, Arizona.


Digg it.

Duggums.

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