Sunday, July 21, 2013

Events of Late

Due to the steaming sidewalks of New York City area closely resembling the surface of Venus, I have not been venturing out and about as much. Here's some updates of my recent escapades:

Agent Cooper moment July 20th 2013: ate at Sunset Diner in Brooklyn. I of course waited until after the clouds poured their hydrating lifeblood (in liquid format) upon the scorched earth, thus making it possible for non-extremophiles to travel outside their hermetically sealed, temperature moderated domiciles. Anyway, the diner is very affordable, has GREAT food with good selection and is open 24 hrs. Located near several bus and subway stops, get your ass over here if in the area! The staff is always fantastic, with some particularly stand-out comedians and genuinely nice wait-staff. I had the chicken souvlaki platter, which consisted of (you guessed it) CHICKEN with pita bread, a greek salad, and french fries for $9.50. It was (as always) a TON of food, challenging my gastric walls to their utmost limits and was fairly priced considering it wasn't even a special. I of course finished with one of their FAMOUS donuts, made on premise (yes, many Twin Peaks reference were had); a boston creme. They deliver too, so you really don't have an excuse. GO THERE!!!

I also  spent a good 4+ hrs. listening to mid 80's Hawkwind releases in (very premature) preparation for seeing them LIVE (!!!!!) in October. I am trying to swing some craziness where I see Velvet Acid Christ on the Friday before, but it is looking bleak currently. I NEED to see VAC. It is the first tour in 13 years! I am slightly regretting not flying out to Denver to see the very first show last year which kicked off the west coast tour. I am going to miss the NYC show due to travel to Iceland, but I consider that a very fair trade. Best year for many years for Northern Lights, on a tour specific to them, in ICELAND??? Definitely a swell time and worth missing VAC. Any of you who know me know my obsession with VAC, a fairly indescribable electronic band with many of the same influences in the goth, industrial, and electronic (and occasionally metal) scenes as me that blends the aforementioned genres into a unique hybrid of psychadelic bizarreness that can be beautiful, ugly, fast, slow, sad, angry, and more; all at once even. It's hard to pick a favorite album, but "BTE: Volume 3" (a collection of rare and favorite tracks in a 4 part set) and "Calling Ov The Dead" were my first listenings, followed closely by "Lust For Blood." These show a pretty good mix of VAC's abilities, but all the albums are good in my opinion. Be mindful that on "The Art of Breaking Apart" (sound familiar NIN and Soft Cell fans?) there is a fair amount of acoustic guitar parts ala Death In June but they are spectacular. The album is a bit unbalanced with the remainder being fairly dancey bits but if you have listened to VAC before the sounds are familiar and so are some surprises. It's a great album, but I don't recommend starting with it.

I have also been listening to the early Burzum albums "Burzum," "Aske," and "Hvis Lyset Tarr Oss." While I really like Burzum's music and lyrics, as well as respect his place in Metal (and electronica) music history, I must say, he is an asshole of a person. He is a huge bigot and I am glad I have never met him. His music has been less appealing lately too, with the albums feeling very rushed. I haven't listened to the most recent outing, but I am in no hurry; I get more disgusted with Varg all the time. That said, if I like your music I will support you. If you have things I disagree with in your lyrics/iconography, etc, I will take them on a case basis to determine if I will support you. It should be said that some artists' contributions are simply so important to the development of their art that you overlook some of their flaws. I would cite Richard Wagner as an example. Your private life is your own, but what you make public in your products is another (this is why I don't buy any of Varg's racist conspiracy-theory books, etc.). Additionally, I support your right to say whatever the fuck you want. It is when actions follow words that things become more real, obviously. If you want to profess bigoted messages, that is your own (confused) business. If you burn a cross on someone's lawn, that is a different story. Coming back to Black Metal, this is a complex issue in the case of some Norwegian band members (Varg included) being involved in Church burnings. The rationale was that the churches were constructed on ancient pagan holy ground and were put there after shedding much pagan blood and forcing religious change. This is true. At the same time, these events happened many many years prior. It would be more topical for them to burn a Swedish embassy, for example, as Norway was still owned by Sweden until 1905. Back to topic though (did I have a topic?) For an example of supporting Heavy Metal music with themes that are somewhat foreign to my own, read the following: I love the band Trouble who are a professed Christian Heavy Metal band. Their doomy metal is outstanding and the message, when overtly religious, is usually stuff I get behind if I take the Christian name off it (like many major tenents of many religions); i.e. living by the golden rule and 'your freedom extends as far as my nose.' Plus they get doom; slow, colossal, and with a depressive edge. I do NOT like Stryper, they are far too non-secular and their music SUCKS MAJORLY. Its description is beyond any eye rolls, sounds of disgust, or words that I currently know or have in my power to produce. As a further example (outside of music), HP Lovecraft was racist but thankfully little of it appears in his works. Additionally, his is important work in the development of horror fiction (though many of his ideas came from older authors) which allows me to overlook this flaw a bit. Also, take Robert Heinlein, he writes incredibly strong female characters often, yet is stuck in a very gender-biased mindset despite some interesting propositions and ideas about relationship opportunities (see "Stranger In A Strange Land" UNCUT edition). He's like an apologist, almost. Anyway, profess what you believe and stand for it. I will continue to like and listen to Burzum records that don't contain Varg's bigoted messages, and I will continue not to read his books that do, extrapolate ad infinitum to life in general.
In preparation (sort of) for my upcoming transition to part outpatient, part inpatient work schedule, I decided to briefly review the history of medicine, pan-culturally! Yes, I am that boring and tedious. Anyway, I was reminded of my marked lack of Vesalius' "De Humani Corporis Fabrica" in my collection. Helpfully, it can be viewed here:

*Content copyright The Samnambulist, 2013*

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