December 08, 2006

"Come on, Ripper. You remember that time we partied with Soft Machine."

Another November victory, in case you didn't see: Patrick successfully completed his NaSoAlMo project, and it's a winner. Julia is everything you look for in a concept album (or at least, as the hints have it, the first movement of one) - deft storytelling, an interesting structure of themes and movements, and lots of really fine songcraft that holds up both separately and as a coherent whole. There are hints of Bowie and Floyd here, and of more avant influences, but in the end the voice is all his. And "Cabal" and "Dr. Bennett's Machine" are a couple of utterly terrifying pieces of industrial-edged apocalyptica that are alone worth showing up for.

I listen to this and think, "Damn. I get to be in a band with this guy." I can't wait to hear what he does next.

(And when you're done there, go grab NanoCycle too, which is lovely and strange and eerie in the signature Big Tony soundscape style, adding just enough structure to keep things, well, progressing. And I get to be in a band with him too. I have a truly fine life.)

December 03, 2006

Silhouettes Like Shivering Ancient Feelings

O frabjous day! Kip Manley's "A 'Restless' Exegesis" - one of my favorite pieces of Buffy crit, on the subject of one of my favorite episodes - is back online.

Of course, in the post-Season 7 world, some of it is inevitably dated (at least for those who believe there were more than five seasons of Buffy; you resurrection-deniers, I suppose, are on your own), but it's still an incredibly smart, incisive, and erudite essay that demonstrates how very intelligent both BtVS and its fans got at their best, and I've missed it while LSSP was undergoing its own long slow crawl back from the grave. Manley's style can be infuriatingly dense and playful at times, especially if you're not used to it, but it's more than worth the untangling. Go check it out.

December 02, 2006

A Vast Writhing Heap

If anyone's had any doubts - yes, I did make goal once again this year. Huzzah! (It was touch-and-go this week; I was sick since last Saturday night, and still not quite feeling at full even now, but I managed anyway, because I am a Serious Artist and will Suffer Magnificently when required. So it goes. Anyway.)

Those of you who've signed on as readers, at least those with a supernatural talent for weighing prose quantity at a glance, may have noted that the last version doesn't quite measure up all 50k; this is because I got desperate at the end and started writing out of sequence, and while I'm willing to get naked enough to share my first-draft staggerings around, I don't feel quite up to posting stuff without any connective tissue. If and when I figure out what happens in between the bits I've got, I'll have it up in more complete form. (Or not, which I add simply as a way of avoiding the "More to come!" thing I've consistently failed to follow up on in previous years, and I'm done jinxing myself with that.)

Anyway, that's five for five, which is something of an accomplishment, I think. Now I'm off to give NanoCycle a listen, which promises to be something like the Coil version of Robert Wyatt's Shleep; needless to say, I'm all down with that.

Happy December, everyone!