Tag Archive for 'Science Fiction'

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Music Review: ExHuman by Die Form

Hmmmm. This album cover reminds me of Madonna’s Like a Virgin cover. Am I wrong? It looks like music reviews are going to become a regular feature here, because I keep finding things I want to write about. I was familiar with the band Die Form from the ’80s. They are a French electronic band with a German name (“die form” in German means “the shape” (big surprise there)). Turns out, according to the somewhat brief Wikipedia page for the band, it is a multilingual play on words.

My rat army raided a used record store recently and brought me back a bunch of music, including some Skinny Puppy (Mythmaker), The Tiny, ohGr (Undeveloped), Black Angels (Phosphene Dream), and, at long last, the eponymous Matson Jones album. I’ve been listening to these albums for a couple of weeks, and this is one of the albums I keep going back to.

Scene from Metropolis by Fritz Lang

Scene from Metropolis by Fritz Lang

Picture the Fritz Lang movie Metropolis in your head. All the mechanisms, the light and dark, the steam, the architecture, the workers, and the robot. Now imagine some people in that movie going to the theater. This album is what music would sound like in the movie Metropolis. (Later note: Darn. Looks like I’m not the first one to have this idea.)

Ah! Brigitte Helm!

The album presents a dark, evocative soundscape. Lyrics are harshly whispered by a man or sometimes sung by a woman. My favorite track on the album, Hypnogramme, features singing that has been cut up and put back together again in jarring, mildly annoying ways that make my brain tingle. A monster can imagine a flapper ingenue in flight through a dark forest, watched by countless owls. Or something. The “hit” on this album (as indicated by Pandora) is Chaos Theory. One song in particular sounds like it came straight off of Massive Attack’s Mezzanine, which was practically all I listened to for most of 1998.

The painful thing about music like this is that a lot of bands have done this kind of thing so horribly. I don’t know from experience, but I can only imagine that it takes a lot of careful work to pull it off and not sound like a bunch of people you might find in your back yard wearing capes and way too much eyeliner.

Here’s my diabolical plan for their future. I’m totally serious and I’m not saying this to make fun of anybody. I love Lily Allen. So I want Lily Allen’s people to contact Die Form and I want them to make an album together. I want Lily Allen to sing whatever poison or love she feels like projecting that day, and I want Die Form to run her crisp British vocals through their brand of Gibbytronix, and assemble a dark movement to frame them. After the album goes platinum, they can all send me a check for my consulting fee. Thank you in advance, future.

In the meantime, I suggest you give this album a spin. It’s either going to annoy the hell out of you, or you’ll really dig it. I think it’s pretty great.

ExhumanDie Form – 2006 – Metropolis Records

Pinup of the Week: Startling Stories September 1939

Startling Stories 1939 09

THE BRIDGE
TO EARTH

A Book-Length
Novel of
Men Who Vanish
By ROBERT
MOORE WILLIAMS

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* Search for Shudder Pulps on eBay *

Pinup of the Week: Marvel Science Stories April 1939

Marvel Science Stories 1939 04

NEWSCAST

by

HARL VINCENT

darkinthedark does not claim copyright on these images. If you are the copyright holder and object to their presence here, please contact me and I will remove them.

* Search for Shudder Pulps on eBay *

Alternate History/Steampunk Week

Welcome to Steampunk/Alternate History week at Dark in the Dark. I’m joining a group of book bloggers who have united to declare their support for Steampunk/Alt History authors such as D.M. Cornish, Jenny Davidson, and Ysabeau Wilce. Check out this link here for more details and a list of participating blog posts.

I love D.M Cornish. I’m not going to spend too much time talking about him, because instead you can read my review of the first two books in D.M. Cornish’s Monster Blood Tattoo series (now re-titled “The Foundling’s Tale” series). It is worth noting that the third book in the series is out now.

Personally, I think that it’s impossible to talk about Steampunk without mentioning Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy. This trilogy is comprised of The Golden Compass (which you probably know was made into an awful movie), The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass. This series gets a little weird in the last book. And when I say weird, you know that it means weird, and usually when I say “weird”, I mean AWESOME. They stand out as some of the most memorable books I’ve read over the past few years. They have it all: Intricate clockwork technology, dirigibles, talking polar bears, deranged adults, you name it!

More books that I’ve reviewed here which I think belong under the Steampunk/Alternate History moniker:

But enough about me and my opinions. As I mentioned above, there are other blogs with Steampunk/Alt History stuff going on. Bookshelves of Doom is having a cover illustration contest (which ends today – oops). Also don’t forget to stop by Chasing Ray to see what other bloggers are writing about this week.

Eyewitness Reports – Jaime Zollars

You may or may not be surprised to find out that I collect a little art here and there. There are a couple of artists that I’m interested in and I buy prints mostly, but every once in a while I splurge and buy a piece of original art. What with the economy like it is, we monsters with large savings accounts and/or diabolical ways of procuring our day-to-day needs can afford some art here and there. And I like it. Most of the time original art is way better than prints or photos.

Knowing that, you’ll probably understand that I was pretty excited when a piece by one of my favorite artists, Jaime Zollars, was being auctioned recently to benefit 826LA, “a Los Angeles-based nonprofit writing and tutoring center fronted by a fully-functioning convenience store for time travelers.” When the bidding started, I was ruthless and succeeded in intimidating the other bidders with my persistent bidding, and also my winged monkey army.

I don’t know what it is about Zollars’ art. She has this way of portraying fairy-tale-like heroines in interesting ways. I have a handful of her prints and a few original pieces in my collection. Gallery Nucleus has just started selling prints of one of my favorite pieces by her, Garden Secret. The art on auction was part of a larger group of art by children’s book illustrators inspired by the book Oh No (Or How My Science Project Destroyed the World) written by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Dan Santat. Each auction also included an official police report filled out by the artist, a copy of the book Oh No! (Or How My Science Project Destroyed the World) signed by Mac Barnett and Dan Santat, and an exclusive limited edition print.

After winning the auction, I spent what seemed like months on pins and needles waiting for my delivery. I just had to share with everyone when it finally came.

The Package

Woo Hoo!

A Copy of the Book

Awesome Story and Art

Bonus 826LA Brochure and Letter of Thanks

The limited edition print is really awesome.

The official police report.

And finally, the Zollars piece!

You can see a close-up of the piece here. The book, Oh No, is available here. Here’s the link to 826LA again. Organizations like this are really important both to the communities they serve, and to the world in general (That is the most warm and fluffy thing you will ever read here, ever, I promise.) Those of you without underground tunnels, rat armies, and flying monkeys can procure prints by Jaime Zollars at her online store and also at Nucleus Gallery.

The flying monkeys let our technician out for a minute and he snuck away into the light of day. Thanks for your patience during this difficult transition.
I ated Tinkerbell.

Fhtagn Spoken Here.

... the attic, a vast raftered length lighted only by small blinking windows in the gable ends, and filled with a massed wreckage of chests, chairs, and spinning-wheels which infinite years of deposit had shrouded and festooned into monstrous and hellish shapes.
The Shunned House
H.P. Lovecraft




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