Keeping Score With Aether Ore, Part 2: Dispatches From The Upside Down, New Music, etc…

Alas, dear reader, its been nearly a month since I’ve sent one of these electronic cries into the wilderness and I am now working for a wage and benefits full-time again, recalibrating my body to the physical demands of a solid workweek! I will be working evenings and weekends for the foreseeable future and the rest of the days I’ll be prioritizing quality-time with my son and wife.  However, inertia must be reckoned with, even as it pertains to creativity. My brain never shuts off, and my heart will not give out until the day I die; I’ve now created momentum where to write is to open a great valve and release the energetic pressure built up from feeling and thinking so intensely about, well, practically everything.

Aether Ore was intended to provide a wide berth for my writing, and I look back upon the posts of the last month and realize there are things of immense cultural and political import in this American moment that I have not approached when writing, though I think the reason why is simple: We are living in a time where we are informed of events almost instantly and with greater detail than ever before. Tragedies, catastrophes, and individual controversies are dissected ad infinitum, not with the cold scalpel of objectivity, but with a subjective angle that politicizes every little aspect because, of course, the personal is political. (It clearly damages all American perspective, like a rotten-cherry-on-top-of-a-shit-sundae, that the highest office of the land is held by an utter scoundrel, an immature, uninformed, narcissistic, misogynist, stupid wastrel, who wields divisive rhetoric like a hatchet. I am loathe to ever reference him or give any sort of space to him, even negatively, for he is a charlatan, a snake-oil-salesman of the worst order, who has always relied on the credo that any publicity is good publicity…) People go on-line to websites, blogs and social media that they agree with, they find their people, and reinforce their position, and nuance and careful consideration are thrown aside for vicious hyperbole. Those who may not agree wholeheartedly feel rejected, and then forge their own path, more amenable to their own particularities and prejudice, a new spidery-thin rivulet that may connect and invite others, and so on, so forth, etc. This, I fear, is the exponential way of things for the foreseeable future, continuing until all the little populated rivulets, streams, and crevasses become so dense, so utterly minute, yet crowded like the granular shards of a cracked windshield, until we are absolutely shattered as people. Empathy, and thus love itself, is totally obliterated, lost. The mass shootings that have populated our national consciousness and become far too ubiquitous in recent years have ceased to feel like a symptom of this cancerous culture and appear to be the disease itself, manifest virtual lovelessness. I can’t keep up anymore.

I want it to be clear that I am always, resolutely, FOR THE PEOPLE. I think it’s great, though shamefully way too late, that the sexual predators making headlines are facing the consequences of wanton hubris finally, and there is a wonderful change happening, a rising tide of empowerment for the heretofore victims of sexual assault and harassment. Men are having to look in the mirror and check themselves as never before: ‘if not a perpetrator, have I been complicit and allowed this to happen?’, we ask ourselves. Yet how can the President of The United States of America, accused of the same behavior as these Hollywood producers, directors, and actors, still hold office? How can the GOP of Alabama dig their heels in and retrench themselves around an accused Senate candidate, going so far as to threaten the political careers of any rational GOP politician in that state that might withdraw support? What weird sense does this double-standard make, when these roles in our lives are undoubtedly more important than actors and Hollywood?!

Why do we care about the flag more than black people’s bodies in this country?!! Why do those who are so offended by NFL players kneeling during the national anthem, (Kneeling! Kaepernick changed the gesture from sitting to kneeling after the advisement of many sympathetic veterans,) those who decry this action as abasement of our national symbol, desecrate the flag wearing it gaudily on their asses and tits, using it only as another brand, like Nike or Levi’s, even though the Flag Code discreetly forbids this? How hypocritical is the dogmatic reverence for symbolism in one instance and its abandonment in another? Why do we tout this nation’s place in the global “arc of history” and yet deny, attempt to forget, or denigrate outright any student of that shared history?

WHY? WHY? WHY?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

There are writers, greater minds far more eloquent and astute than myself, who write on all these issues, who can offer more insight and far more extensive analysis than I’m able to with the limits of my time. The above rhetorical rant exhibits a raw nerve exposed and prodded. Usually I’m  just listening and observing, hesitant to speak out when I understand a prismatic multitude of emotions and rationales on a subject, until I can see or feel space where my opinion or perspective might contribute some unique luminescence. This, insofar as Aether Ore is concerned, remains to be seen. Right now, this blog, for better or for worse, is my respite from such long division.

So on to music, my release, my catharsis…

NEW RECORD NOTES, or What I’ve Been Listening To: (The following records have all come out within the last month or so, and I hope to be able to keep up a monthly pace.)

*ColleenA flame my love, a frequency – The enigmatic French solo artist, Cecile Schott, who creates music under the moniker Colleen, returns with a minimalist album composed entirely on mini synthesizers, the Critter and Guitari Pocket Piano and Septavox. Spare and hypnotically repetitious, her compositions undulate lovely glissandi like ocean waves lapping a shore and slowly shaping the mineral-rich layers. Schott started writing these pieces immediately following the Paris terrorist attacks of 2015, and as with most of her music, there is a deceptively ingenue-like sense of wonder, but one in which the subtle anxiety of a song like, “Separating,” seems to connote a gravity of the new sense of self being surrendered to the magnitude of surrounding events. That anxious feeling repeats likewise in “Summer night (Bat song)”  when she sings, “You’re hunting (haunting?) so close/ I can hear your wings beat.” Like any fine work of minimalism, patience is required with this album but it is duly rewarded with a stark reminder of the equanimous grace when beauty reveals itself slowly. Absolutely wonderful and truly moving. If, or when, robots have hearts, this is how they’ll sing.

*The ClienteleMusic For The Age Of Miracles – The Clientele return after a seven year hiatus to deliver this, a sprawling example of their lush, chiming, pastoral-psyche sound with the gorgeous signature finger-picked melodies and hushed whispery vocals of bandleader Alasdair MacLean at the forefront. The Clientele remains as evocative as ever, maintaining the autumnal mystery at the heart of their unique sound, with flourishes of strings and horns in just the right places, and lyrical content and song titles that exude a mythical sense of time and space, such as “The Museum of Fog” and “Constellations Echo Lanes.” Hooks of ‘Ooohs’ and ‘Ahhhs’ and ‘Sha-la-las’ are dispatched judiciously for maximum sweet-pop-shiver within compositions, such as “Everyone You Meet.” Here and there are some novel electronic elements, that almost seem out of place, then subside or remain appropriately innocuous within the greater situation of the song, never harming the overall effect. The Clientele has still got it, it seems; this is romantic music for lovers’ strolling leisurely on wooded pathways or alone-time on a beachside cliff watching the clouds roll in over the sea and remembering friendships and loves lost to time. I like this album more each time I listen to it. Fans should find a lot to love here, and newcomers, especially those that love a particularly ’60s-inspired hazy mellow-pop vibe will find several entrances to the lovely idiosyncratic work of this band.

*John MausScreen Memories –  Dark, brooding synthscapes, with shadowy crooned nocturnal poetry, like some bastard test-tube baby from the loins of John Carpenter and Jim Morrison’s ghost, and just as acidically funny as that image sounds.  Songs like “Teenage Witch,” “Touchdown,” and “Pets” wring wry humor from such quotidian and prosaic imagery, with lines like “Forward drive across the line!” in “Touchdown” or the lazily titled “Pets,” where Maus proclaims “Your pets are going to die,” with a dry matter-of-fact cool that milks irony from its subject matter. There is nothing quite as catchy, that jumps out at the listener as instantly, as the songs, “Hey Moon,” or “Believer,” off of his breakout 2011 album, We Must Become The Pitiless Censors of Ourselves, (maybe “Walls Of Silence”or “Decide Decide” get close?), but I’m kind of a sucker for this mad alchemy that Maus has created and I find myself returning to listen to get in this strange mood. It evokes something like suburban decay or technological trepidation, things I’ve felt and observed but have never expressed quite as amusingly. Or maybe I’m just such a Joy Division fan that I’ll stomach something that is like the lonely imitative fantasy transmissions of a Joy Division fan with a Casio keyboard in a suburban basement somewhere in the mid-80s…

*Fever Ray Plunge – It has been almost a decade since the last Fever Ray album and the world in which this newest release has emerged seems totally different than the world that gave us listeners the self-titled debut, a lifetime apart. I think any fan of the work of Karin Dreijer will be stoked on this. As idiosyncratic as ever, she gives us another vision to immerse ourselves in, another pan-aural atmosphere, but I feel this is decidedly less dark, less obfuscated than the debut, and brighter, more revealed. Lyrically, thematically, there is a bold, matter-of-fact bravura about culture, identity, love, lust and sexuality, in the face of would-be oppressors and  reactionaries. The tempos are quicker than the previous record which possessed almost a doom, dirge-like tone in some of the tracks, with slow and low pitch-bent vocals. Here there is a chiming attack punctuated by straightforward declarations like, “This house makes it hard to fuck / this country makes it hard to fuck, ” or “I want to stick my fingers up your pussy…” The overall musical effect to me is more reminiscent of her work with her brother in The Knife. Very very cool. The Knife was one of the gateways to my admittedly still-limited foray into the world of electronic music.

*Quicksand Interiors – I’m not sure if there’s any way I can be objective about this record. I fell in love with Quicksand more than twenty years ago based on the strength of the “Omission” 7″single and their debut record, “Slip,” still to my ears among the short list of records that stand as the apotheosis of the genre vaguely generalized and dubiously called Post-Hardcore. Their second album, “Manic Compression” is beloved and revered as well, as leader, singer and guitarist Walter Schriefels began to actually sing rather than shout/scream impassioned lyrics about love, loss, and alienation, themes of self versus the social politic of hardcore. Here’s my personal thing though: I always preferred “Slip” a thousand times over “Manic Compression,” though I came to love the latter, especially as I got older and nostalgic for that particular Post-Hardcore sound. All this being said, I truly enjoy this record, though by no means would I call it a great achievement. Its got that rolling, f(l)at, unmistakable Sergio Vega bass-sound laying down the thunder and the hybrid post-punk, post-metal guitar work that was Quicksand’s specialty. Walter definitely sings in a softer timbre, and it has a meditative searching quality, an edge that borders on psychedelic metal that always set Quicksand apart. As I said to an old great friend of mine when we went and saw them live a couple months ago, this is what happened when hardcore kids started smoking weed or dropping acid. (Walter even wore a tie-dye shirt at that show…) There are still riffs here but they’re entangled with a kind of late ’80s/ early ’90s “alternative rock” sound (Jane’s Addiction anyone?) and they don’t pummel you furiously like they once did, but it seems appropriate and intentional, perhaps an attempt to move away from a very macho-male-dominated aesthetic. The more one listens though, it becomes clear how unmistakably Quicksand it is. If you’re a fan it is definitely worth checking out. If you just dig ’90s-style guitar rock, (which I think is kinda coming back?…) check it. The quality of the craftsmanship displayed here is undeniable.

*Peter Matthew Bauer– Mount Qaf (Divine Love) – Bauer was the keyboard/organist of The (now in ‘extreme hiatus’) Walkmen, one of my fave groups of the ’00s and survivors of the New York pop rock n’ roll renaissance of the early part of that decade that included bands like The Strokes and Yeah Yeah Yeahs. The off-kilter piano and organ of The Walkmen was always one of its greatest charms, layering on a midnight-louche veneer that sparkled like a glass of cheap wine on a moonlit city night. This is his second solo record and something about it just compels me; a journeyman rocker soulfulness that seems totally authentic and generous of heart. One can’t help but hear a Tom Petty thing goin’ on: the songs are all based on unpretentious anthemic acoustic guitar strumming, like you could play these at any camping trip or just hanging with friends at a party, and his voice has an unmistakably similar nasal quality. There are well placed hand-claps and choir-like backing vocals, catchy, familiar ’70s pop melodies with lyrics about love with a kind of G. Harrison Eastern Philosophy bent, which Bauer has reportedly studied extensively. This is Heartland Rock with the wisdom of the Buddha. It just feels good.

*Howard Hello– Election Year – A beautiful, and dare I say, important record. A soothing balm that I wish I’d had earlier to help heal the wounds of the soul that have seeped persistently this last year. Its been a while since Marty Andersen and Kenseth Thibideau (full disclosure: a very good friend of mine) graced us with a Howard Hello LP but the timing couldn’t be better. “Election Year” has wise humanist lyrics concerned with the state of the social psyche and the state of nature in our weird divisive time, sung in Marty’s trademark world-weary croak, established by meditative piano figures or Jim O’Rourke-esque melodically intriguing acoustic guitar, embellished by intricate string arrangements and gorgeous backing vocals, wondrously looped and sequenced compositions embroidering an aural tapestry like constellations on a clear starry night. This is a record of aural transportation, complex yet simple, dreamy machinations anchored by the lyrically prosaic, driving home the severity of today’s body politic: “Big money has replaced your vote / that is fucking all she fucking wrote / a slow motion corporate coup..”(“Vote”) These are notes from the underground, recitations of hope on the edge of an impending apocalypse, lights strung together in wondrous geometry to send signals of empathy for fear’s captives. Live with this record and feel glad to be alive.

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Vintage Nightmares and Transistor Rhythms: My Nostalgia For Fear (A Halloween Celebration)

“…there is, unseen by most, an underworld; a place that is just as real but not as brightly lit, a darkside…”

For the month of October, in order to get into the Halloween spirit, my family and I have been watching horror movies whenever we’re all together at night, only a couple of which have actually turned out to be scary. Watching the recent film version of Stephen King’s “It,” I was struck by how the producers had tried to cash in on the popularity of “Stranger Things,” the hit Netflix TV show, changing the childhood years from the ’50s to the ’80s, and even casting one of its main young actors. I can’t help but dig the theme music of the wildly popular show, which more than anything, mainlines the nostalgia straight to the cerebral cortex, pumping a vintage synthesizer sound that practically compels me to jump on a BMX bike and find the nearest videogame arcade to play some Galaga. Most sci-fi/horror movies and sci-fi/horror anthology series of the period attempted to channel fear and dread using synthesizers like the ARP Odyssey, Sequential Circuits Prophet 9, and Oberheim OB-8 with varying degrees of success.

When I was a kid in the ’80s, “Tales From The Darkside” was a show that was only on during the weekends after prime-time, usually midnight or later. As I sit here now, I cannot for the life of me remember what a single episode was about, but for some reason this intro scared the shit out of me, with its gloomy synth theme, (reminiscent of John Carpenter’s ‘Laurie’s Theme’ from “Halloween”,) an innocuous depiction of a lonely rural countryside, and eerie voice-over narration. I would always get the chills when the voice said, “But there is, unseen by most, an underworld; a place that is just as real, but not as brightly lit, a dark side,” in that menacing gritty tone while the framed desolate landscape turned to a solarized negative image. During the credits, too, the voice would remind us, “The dark side is always there, waiting…” This had the effect, no matter how silly and cheesy the episode, to remind me that something darker lurked just on the edges and around the corners of my suburban bliss and somewhat-happy childhood. Even if I had been tired and ready to go to bed, I could not fall asleep, and would stay up talking to my brothers, with whom I shared a bedroom, attempting to cheer each other up and forget what we had heard.

Like countless others I also loved The Twilight Zone, the original late ’50s/ early ’60s run, and as a child, watching endless re-runs or binging on marathons during Fourth of July, I thought their opening was simply mind-blowing. The classic has proven popular among generation after generation, the theme music, created by A French avant-garde composer, is iconic, and Rod Serling’s visage and voice was, to my young Catholic mind, like some all-knowing yet sinister God overseeing the fates of the hapless and doomed. Though we’ve all probably seen and heard this a million times, I’ll post it here again:

But how many people remember the first ’80s re-boot of The Twilight Zone? (We won’t go near the early 2000’s quasi-metal theme and intro.) Like “Tales…” the intro is scored by synthesizer, starting with a kind of hammered throbbing chord setting the atmosphere into all manner of filtered bleeps and bloops, punctuated with percussion to signify a kind of retro-future noise. Gone is the Rod Serling voice-over but the imagery of this opening may be even spookier, as it unsettles with psychological precision: the earth becomes a fetus at one point, at another there is a nuclear explosion mushroom cloud, reflecting Reagan-era Cold War anxieties. Serling is still there, but only as a fleeting ghostly blur during the montage of imagery as if to gesture that he still presides over these uncanny proceedings, even from beyond the grave:

The last creepy anthology show whose theme music I’m reminded of, aired originally on cable TV giant, HBO, long before they ushered in the New Golden Age of Television with the creation of “The Sopranos” and “The Wire.” The show was “The Hitchhiker,” and it would air Friday nights at 11 p.m. after the new movie premiere of the week. It would begin with some ruggedly handsome guy wearing jeans and a leather jacket, carrying backpack out in the desert, who would then walk up to the camera to break the fourth wall, introducing a character or situation that was about to unfold in the story the viewer was about to see, similar to Rod Serling in “The Twilight Zone.” (Also, like “Zone” before, it would launch the careers of dozens of actors who would go on to fame later.) “Hitchhiker,” however, was rated R, and I’m sure my parents would’ve flipped out had they known just what me and my brothers were watching after the family movie of the week. There were adult situations we probably never understood, with illicit drugs and a lot of sex, that at some point always turned, culminating in some terrifying consequence or curse for an ill-fated protagonist. The theme started with a familiar electronic pulse combined with electronic kickdrum and percussive clicks run through delay followed by a pitchbent drone and then a haunting familiar melody.

Now Halloween is just days away and everything seems beautiful and new again. Sure, Halloween began as a celebration of the opposite; it marked the end of summer, the end of the harvest, and the beginning of the descent into winter. But now, especially with my little family, this is the magic time, and Halloween returns us to our childhood, when the monsters are out, strange is normal and the darkside haunts the day. Maybe I’ll make a mix of all these creepy themes to play through a bluetooth speaker when we go trick or treating. I already know what all of these must begin and end with: John Carpenter’s “Halloween” theme.

Keeping Score at Aether Ore, Part 1

I try to not be a dick. I’ve got a life, there are people and things that I live for and that I’m accountable to…

One would think that because I have not yet landed a full time job since returning to San Diego, that I have all the time in the world to simply write. This is untrue; although the fantasy of the utterly self-absorbed artist who answers to nobody can be somewhat attractive, I try to not be a dick. I’ve got a life, there are people and things that I live for and that I’m accountable to, all while I’m trying to get my hustle on. So far it has been my lot in life to write, whether it be songs, poetry, short stories, or essays, simply for the love of it. If it were solely up to me, this blog would be the end result of the hustle, rendering these words more meaningful as the incremental building blocks of my livelihood.

As it is now however, there is some vanity in this endeavor. But, if somebody, say, a total stranger to me, enjoys my writing in this here blog, and digs the content thus far, perhaps the only reason for such a stranger, some hypothetical readership, to revisit someday, might be either movie reviews or music reviews, because for whatever reason when we find people who communicate in a way we find commensurate to our own understanding of the world, we like to know their opinions on such things, and so let the blowhards bloviate to amuse us and perhaps we’ll take their advice on such cosmopolitan matters.

And since the World Series is a day away AND basketball is back(!) we’ll use the old analogy of “keeping score.” For those of you into “keeping score” here’s mine: my breakdown of how the most recent movies I’ve seen on the big screen have fared, with a rundown of the newest records I’ve lent some ear-time to follow very soon. Now to find something that pays…

MOVIES

*Baby Driver: 🤘🏾🤙🏾👍🏾😜 Edgar Wright paean to car chases and Hollywood rebel-romance made with obvious infectious love. This film is a musical in a sense, the senses and emotions translated through a cool soundtrack, with heists and getaways choreographed perfectly to the beat of said soundtrack. As soon as I heard the opening strings and bashed guitar chords which introduce Jon Spencer Blues Explosion’s “Bellbottoms,” a song that I’ve been in love with for its pure feral energy for 20 years, introducing me to the music of JSBX, which circuitously introduced me to The Stooges, one of my favorite bands ever, this film had me. Fun fun fun ’til Baby gets the T-bird taken away…Oh yeah: NOW ITS ON DVD!

*IT: 👌🏾🤙🏾😏It breaks my heart a little bit that we horror movie lovers have to be content with the glut of B-movies out there and just plain meh-quality horror that is churned out constantly. If there are a couple good scares, if we jump once or twice in our seats, then the movie has done its job and ‘at least we’ve had fun,’ we keep telling ourselves. By that measure, something like IT comes out and because the acting talent is actually fairly good, the production design achieves a distinct somewhat creepy atmosphere, and there are at least a few terrifying scenes scattered throughout, people will start saying “Best horror movie since such-and-such,” and the crowds will come out in droves.  There are a couple sequences that really worked for me, and this Pennywise had eyes to steal your soul when he’d suddenly shut up, but there was definitely a pandering to our current romance with “Stranger Things” in changing the era from the ’50s to the ’80s that didn’t set well in my mind. OK.

*Mother: 👎🏾💩💩😤 Read review below.

*Kingsman 2: 👎🏾😏 Eh, almost enjoyable schlock that lacks the charm of its predecessor by losing its faithfulness to the genre the original spoofed lovingly. Everything cloyingly sweetened and disjointed messily. A dumbing-down and obvious appeal to “‘Murica-nize” the franchise. (I don’t know, maybe they thought the shelf-life of a Colin-Firth-starring British Spy franchise was nearing expiration???)

*Blade Runner 2049: 👍🏾❤️😍👍🏾Loved it. Not much else to say. For a couple hundreds words on how much I loved it, check this out here.

*The Florida Project: ⚡️😄👌🏾👍🏾A wonderful beautifully shot “smaller” (read: relatively low budget indie) film about life along the last stretch of highway that leads to Disney World filled with the hard-luck denizens of a pair of run down motels with names like The Magic Castle and Future Land. It focuses on a single mother, Halley, and her six year old daughter, Moonee, and their relationships and friendships within this one-step-away-from-homeless community during the sweltering summer. The film’s magic comes from director Sean Baker’s refusal to cast absolute judgement on the characters, portraying all with realistic nuance, illuminating the agency and freedom that can quickly swing the difference between the dark torpor of abject poverty and the tiny slivers of light that turn into windows of happiness and hope. The performances by mostly first-timers are awesome displays of humanist authenticity, particularly Bria Vinaite as Halley, Brooklyn Prince as Moonee, and Willem Defoe as Bobby, the manager of The Magic Castle who carries all the anguish of a single responsible adult that tries to navigate the perilous boundaries of an observer watching people make damaging decisions, who can’t help but care about the lives at stake. In this world, though everybody walks a troublesome tightrope, often the children are wisest and the adults just can’t grow up. Artful without being pretentious, generously empathetic without being glib, there is real alchemy here.

MORE RECORDREVIEWS COMING SOON…

“Hands Up! Who Wants To Die?!” There’s a Nick Cave Graphic Novel!

Thanks to the wonderful, surreal-fun blog, Dangerous Minds, Aether Ore just found out that author and illustrator, Reinhard Kleist, has created a 328-Page graphic novel based on the life and work of Nick Cave,  “Nick Cave: Mercy On Me” that is ON SALE NOW.

“Mercy On Me” is described by Cave himself as, “…a terrifying conflation of Cave songs, biographical half-truths, and complete fabulations…”

Goddamn I’m stoked!!! For somebody who loves music, poetry, and comic-books the idea of this seems Holy Grail-like! With Leonard Cohen passed on, it seems to me that Cave and, yes, of course, Bob Dylan, are the last great living Poets of Rock. (This is not to say they are the last two Rockers, naw, ya know I could never say that and disavow the great Iggy and Sirs Paul, Ray D, Jimmy P and all the rest…and yes they have created Poetry…) Do I have to repeat: the Living Bards of Rock. (Save your arguments, folks…)

There have been times when I was on the verge of declaring the comic book medium the greatest of all Art mediums because of how it syncretizes so much of what I dig. Hell, I just went to the comic book shop yesterday to pick up a trade paperback of “Deadly Class,” and the new, super-Metal, “Atomohawk” but I still had to order “Mercy On Me” right away. [My wife had the great sense to make me save dough, as I’m still just getting paid part-time, (I’m always working,) and wait for it to get here in a couple of days.] Few rockers welcome the medium through their personal mythology like Nick Cave, singer of early post-punks, “The Boys Next Door,” renamed, and anointed head priest of the slaughterhouse noise punk, “The Birthday Party,” and then from the early-’80s to the present, the rakish belfry-borne, Poet-Crooner of Dark Night, in “Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds.” He’s acted (sort of) in films, written novels and a volume of lyrics, and now writes the musical scores for tons of films with fellow Bad Seed, Warren Ellis. He’s respected by his peers and many elders in Rock n Roll, and he’s experienced ecstatic holy highs and the lowest, saddest of personal tragedies, (that I can’t even utter here, so as not to trivialize in a blurb about a comic book.)

Bring on the Rock n’ Roll Mythos!!!

Thank You K-Tel! (As Seen On TV!)

Aether Ore is proud to announce our first corporate sponsorship, K-Tel International! 

Some examples of their great products:

And perhaps their finest!

Aether Ore truly believes in the legendary company and uses all of their products daily!

***Available everywhere at your local Thrifty’s, Woolworths, or Sears! Say the magic hyphenate, “Let-K,” and get a free six pack of Jolt Cola or Near Beer!

REPLICATED TO PERFECTION: “Blade Runner 2049” Is A Masterpiece

Yes, this film is EPIC in every sense of the word…it immerses the viewer into its world, its atmosphere imbuing a meditative sensibility required for the fullest experience.

After many months of trepidatious anticipation, having first seen the teaser trailer last winter, I finally watched”Blade Runner 2049″ last night.

Oh. My. HOLY AWESOME BRAINGASM!

THIS WAS A REMINDER OF WHAT FILMS CAN AND SHOULD BE: expertly crafted by Denis Villeneuve and edited by Joe Walker, gorgeous cinematography by the wondrous Roger Deakins, breathtaking sets, color and lighting, brilliant sound design and score by Hans Zimmer and Benjamin Wallfisch, excellent acting, (Ryan Gosling as “K” & Sylvia Hoeks as “Luv,” in particular, with Harrison Ford doing a great understated job as Deckard from the original film,) woven meticulously together in an interesting tale that expands upon the many relevant themes of “Blade Runner,” which ultimately poignantly explores the chimerical “truth” of humanity, the way all great ART does. (“I spell it large,” to quote the poet Charles Olson, “because it comes large here. Large, and without mercy.”)

Yes, this film is EPIC in every sense of the word, and some will complain about its lengthy running time, but it seemed to me that the pace was in lock-step with the tone of the overall picture, it immerses the viewer into its world, its atmosphere imbuing a meditative sensibility required for the fullest experience.

This film had me engaged, in totality, from beginning to end, all my senses aflame and energized as though there was a transference from the impressive creative team whose labor shaped the film, of their obvious love for this work, through my eyes and ears to my buzzing brain and heart.

Not much to say that I wouldn’t want viewers to find out for themselves. I LOVE THIS MOVIE. No other description of feeling would quite suffice.

What The World Needs Now Is…

These are strange fractured times. Like most conscious Americans under the age of 50,  I cannot remember another time where there was so much hostile division and interstitial distrust within this country. Much of this is undoubtedly due to the fragile psychology, wanton hubris, and lack of qualification of the current POTUS and the explosive, rending effect his election has had within the American fabric, but this was well on its way before November 2016, due in part to the ubiquity of social media and its replacing more traditional news outlets, creating an echo chamber where beliefs are unquestionably reified, and the distance between differing opinions loses all connection, until all that we see are the wide open chasms between us, and we clutch to those who feel exactly as we do, fuck the rest.

And yet, despite all the social divergence, the scariest things are utterly out of human control; acts of nature such as wildfires and hurricanes remind us all of the limitations of our power and ingenuity, and bring the limits of our humanity to bear, reminding us how much we need each other.

It is in this spirit that I offer this, a video of the ’80s Norwegian pseudo-New Wave pop group A-Ha performing their ultra-mega-popular bubblegum dance song, “Take On Me,” as an unplugged, plaintive piano cry for love. (How’s that for human arbitrariness?) And maybe that’s what we all need right now: a good cry. For does anything return us to our humanity and innocence quite like the compulsion to weep, sob, or bawl like the hardly evolved babies of the universe that we truly are?

TAKE ON ME by A-Ha

“We’re talking away
I don’t know what
I’m to say I’ll say it anyway
Today’s another day to find you
Shying away
I’ll be coming for your love, okay?
Take on me, (take on me)
Take me on, (take on me)
I’ll be gone
In a day or two
So needless to say
I’m odds and ends
I’ll be stumbling away
Slowly learning that life is OK
Say after me
It’s no better to be safe than sorry
Take on me, (take on me)
Take me on, (take on me)
I’ll be gone
In a day or two
Oh the things that you say
Is it live or
Just to play my worries away
You’re all the things I’ve got to remember
You’re shying away
I’ll be coming for you anyway
Take on me, (take on me)
Take me on, (take on me)
I’ll be gone
In a day
I’ll be gone (take on me)
In a day”
Songwriters: Pal Waaktaar / Morten Harket / Magne Furuholmen