Thee Avid Reader: Irvine Welsh’s SKAGBOYS

With Skagboys Irvine Welsh – prolific Scottish author, playwright and underground taste-maker has once again returned to the world of his beloved Leith boys to give us a prequel to his 1992 novel Trainspotting.

Now, two years ago or so when I read that another of my favorite authors, Bret Easton Ellis, was returning to do a sequel novel to his debut Less Than Zero, I was slightly suspicious. Don’t get me wrong – I read Imperial Bedrooms and loved it, thus squashing my suspicions (as I knew Ellis would). However, in a world where almost everything has been based on pre-existing material for what feels like aeons* the unfortunate fact is that any return to pre-existing material is suspect, regardless of perceived good faith. That’s just the way it goes. Fortunately, much like Ellis, what Irvine Welsh has done is to strengthen my resolve to continue to have faith in the authors that I love.

GodSpeed You! Black Emperor Live @ American Music Hall, SF 04/17/12

If you’ve ever read anything about the phenomena known as Synesthesia you might think it is an interesting condition to posses. It is – I’ve had it for as long as I can remember. Of course it was not until a little over ten years ago that I put a name to what I just knew as a really intense relationship with music. Then I began reading about the phenomenon and more and more I found that Synesthesia explained the almost unbelievably visual relationship I tend to have with music. Even more recently I’ve come to theorize that – to my nervous system at least – music is a drug. A drug that I am hopelessly addicted to and that affects my brain in often debilitating ways. A  drug that has served as a gateway to other drugs in seeking to enhance its already amazing effects, and a drug that sometimes prevents me from getting anything constructive accomplished as I space and pine over the sounds spilling out of my speakers or through my headphones.

First Glimpses of New Album by Liars Does Nothing to Dispell Idea They are the Second Coming

I used almost the exact same title back in early 2010 when bizarro New York-cum-Berlin avante garde rock outfit Liars announced their (then) new album Sisterworld for a different website. Sisterworld of course turned out to be just as awesome as I had anticipated it would be (the remix disc not so much, but oh well…). Liars approach their music and image in some pretty profoundly originally and wonderfully strange ways* and nowhere can their oddness be seen more than in the videos that always accompany their tracks**- leading up to that album the band created rabid anticipation with the video for the track Scissors, which I love so much I’ll go ahead and post again here:

The Value of Nature – Mallacoota

The southeastern most tip of Australia provides a wealth of history, knowledge and enjoyment. Gippsland is the area and if you check good’ol Google maps you’ll find the Mallacoota Inlet (map). Situated just south of the New South Wales and Victorian border, the Mallacoota Inlet displays stunning sights and boasts numerous fun activities but it’s importance lies in the function it serves to the environment.

Miles Davis: Tutu

Miles Davis. What does that name mean to you? To most folks who are into music it is a name to be revered and reckoned with. Saying that his name may spur one to reflect upon monikers such as legend, master, and virtuoso may be an understatement. Suffice it to say the man helped drive and define jazz for several key decades in its history and is remembered by many as a genius and an innovator.

Innovator.

Why You Should Be Really Excited About Ridley Scott’s Prometheus

Want to know just what the heck that’s a picture of? So do I. So do A LOT of people, some of them no doubt stewing over it for over thirty years now. The screen capture is of course from 1979’s Alien, directed by Ridley Scott and starring the now infamously famous Sigourney Weaver, John Hurt and a host of other unfortunates who stop off on the wrong planet to answer the wrong distress beacon (which turns out to be a ‘Stay the hell away’ beacon) and initiate events that ignite what is in my mind the best* Sci-Fi film franchise ever. And if you are a fan, or even if you’ve only just seen the original film in the series, you may have watched the scene the above image is from and said to yourself, “Now just what the hell is that?”.

M83: The Doorways Music Can Open in Our Lives

Image courtesy of M83

Image courtesy of M83

Note: I’ve been trying to write this article for about a month now. I started strong but it has been very difficult to put into words the things I am trying to put into words. Because of this time-differential, i.e. beginning the piece the day after the M83 concert in Los Angeles, November 9th, then struggling, putting it aside, moving back to it, etc. there are some possible tense or chronological hiccups. Bear with me – the last thing I want to do is streamline this into one time frame. That wouldn’t be very Gonzo, and although that is not my sworn oath, it is a very important tool for the box.

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