DC's

The blog of author Dennis Cooper

They will never exist. *

*(restored)

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Reanimation from cryonic suspension: A fundamental problem with the state of cryonics today is not the idea behind it, but the method of preservation. We’ve believed since the publication of K. Eric Drexler’s Engines of Creation that reanimating a perfectly preserved brain will someday be possible, using molecular nanotechnology. A critical assumption behind this theory, however, is that the brain needs to be perfectly preserved, to avoid what’s called “information theoretic brain death.” Simply put, if there’s too much damage to the cells in your preserved brain, there will be no way to bring you back. And unfortunately, virtually every cryonic preservation that has been done to date has experienced problems. Despite the use of sophisticated cryoprotectants, every preserved brain has undergone severe fracturing during the freezing process. It’s also very likely that the cells will turn to mush during thawing (unless the cryopreservants do their job — which has obviously never been tested). Now this is not to suggest that reanimation from some other preservation scheme won’t eventually be possible, such as brain plastination or chemical preservation. Turning bodies into popsicles just probably isn’t the best way to do it — but as cryonicists like to say, it’s still the second worst thing that can happen to you.

 

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Columbarium Habitabile proposed a vast concrete mausoleum to which houses set for demolition could be removed and stacked on shelves like so many objects in a cabinet of curiosity.

 

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6 of Greg Sholette’s unrealized projects

 

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Director Guillermo del Toro’s videogame project Silent Hills died a tragic death in development hell, but here’s what could’ve been. The folks at Konami unceremoniously pulled the plug on the project after co-creator Hideo Kojima (Metal Gear Solid) departed the company in a very public exit. The game would’ve starred Walking Dead favorite Norman Reedus (aka Daryl Dixon) at the center of a new Silent Hill mystery, though del Toro says the real star of the show would’ve been the terrifyingly creepy atmosphere. He didn’t want to spoil everything but did offer up a nice tease of what they wanted to do: “What we wanted to do with the game – and we were very much in agreement on this – was to take the technology and make it as cutting-edge as we could in creating terror in the house. The idea was very, very atmosphere-drenched. But what made Silent Hill so great was that you had the atmosphere but then you a pay-off with a very active, very intense series of moments. We wanted to do some stuff that I’m pretty sure – just in case it ever comes back, which honestly I would love for somebody to change their mind and we can do it – but in case it comes back there was some stuff that was very new, and I wouldn’t want to spoil it. Norman [Reedus] was super happy, Hideo was super happy, and so was I. I’ve tried twice with video games now and I don’t know if I’ll ever come back to the form. In one instance, the company went down, and in the second, the completely unexpected happened, which was Kojima and Konami separating. It’s kind of left me reeling … Honestly that’s what surprised me. It was a sort of scorched earth approach. It was not a gentle and ambiguous cancellation.”

 

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Clint Enns: What are the Hauntings?

Guy Maddin: Hauntings are film narratives that haunt me. In most cases, they are films lost to film history. About 80% of all silent films ever made are lost. Films made in the art form’s early years were poorly stored in less than ideal conditions. The years often turned these movies into a vinegar-smelling gelatin. Just as often, silent film product was cleared off a studio’s shelves and destroyed – in staff picnic bonfires or by getting dumped in the ocean – just to make room for the next year’s product. If the films survived either of these fates, a shipping error or projection booth holocaust would consign a print to oblivion. Canonical and not-so-canonical films alike were lost in this fashion. Sometimes a director would go mad and destroy his or
her own work, or simply leave it on a subway train or a stranger’s doorstep, abandoned like a baby in a dumpster, vaguely hoping perhaps someone might find it and make a good home for the unwanted thing. No matter how, pictures got lost. These are the film narratives with no known final resting place. They are doomed to wander in limbo over the murkiest landscapes of cinema history, no one ever quite recognizing them, no one ever getting anything more than a fleeting fragmentary glimpse of these sad narratives. They are miserable, haunting… and haunting. These films haunt me because I need to see them and I can’t. Some of these films are by Murnau (who made ten now lost films), Hitchcock, Lang, Warhol, Frampton, Tourneur – even Terrence Malick has a short film – made in his youth – that is only rumored to have been screened. All these titles haunt me.


I figured the only way I could satisfy my compulsion to see these narratives would be to remake them myself. I decided I could invoke them in séance-like conditions produced in a dark studio atmosphere. I could make my own short-film adaptations from synopses or reviews I’d dug up concerning the lost films during nocturnal researches into the subject. My partner Evan Johnson and I dug up over 200 titles of lost films. In addition, I realized that I was also haunted by aborted, mutilated and unrealized movies that cram the bloody margins of film history. Therefore, we included some especially powerful titles that fell under this banner, ones whose non-existence tortured us most. Then we decided to make them all.

CE: In total, how many lost, unrealized and aborted film ideas have you and Evan Johnson uncovered?

Guy Maddin: We have found exactly 1024. We took that number as a sign to quit looking because there are 1024 megabytes in a gigabyte. That’s got to be good luck!!!

CE: That is clear and precise logic, pure and simple. What are some of your favourite lost, unrealized or aborted films that you have uncovered?

Guy Maddin: I love Oscar Micheaux, who worked from the late teens till the 40s during last century. He is often described as the black Ed Wood (unfairly, to both Micheaux and Wood). Micheaux would finance his films by selling bibles door-to-door. He would show the films by four-walling them, namely, by renting out space in which to project his films, then he both sold and redeemed tickets himself. He made a living in this fashion and also struggled to get the first films made entirely by African-American producers, writers, crew and actors out into the world. Alas, so many of his titles are gone, probably lost forever. I needed, needed, desperately needed to see these films and finally, sadly, came to the conclusion that in order to see them I would have to remake them myself. Most of his films involved moral conflicts endured by African Americans who can pass for white and therefore were free from racism, but in doing so they always would leave loved ones behind. It is endlessly fascinating and painful stuff. Since I decided that hauntings are race and gender-blind, the stories are reconfigured – by Robert Kotyk, Evan Johnson and myself – so that characters who once passed for white are now passing for something else altogether. I love the sudden elasticity of this metaphor for passing – very Douglas Sirk. I’m not trying to steal the African-American film away from Micheaux and keep them in my greedy white hands; I just want to honour the great man without resorting to literal imitation while exploring the possible stretch quotient of his plots and metaphors. I think Douglas Sirk was already onto this idea that everyone passes, or attempts to pass, in his Imitation of Life (1959). Utterly fascinating!

CE: Given that filmmakers are prone to deceiving, have you stumbled across any filmography padding?

Guy Maddin: Some people think that Hollis Frampton never made Clouds Like White Sheep (1962) and that he just made up both its existence and its loss on that NY streetcar. I chose to reshoot it anyway since I am just as haunted by its possible existence as I am by its possible loss.

CE: I even conjecture that some supposedly lost films are actually not in fact lost. For instance, I recently uncovered a few of James Benning’s erotic films that are considered “lost”, namely Gleem (1974) and An Erotic Film (1975). Since these are the only films in his entire filmography – in addition to 57 (1973) – that have been lost, something tells me this was intentional. Have you ever wanted to lose any of your films?

Guy Maddin: I have lost a few of my films. I melted the only tape of my 1995 TV exercise The Hands of Ida at a picnic. Too bad, it had a few good friends in it, but I needed to destroy it in a black magic ceremony because this was the first film I made strictly for money ($5000), and the first film I made with producer Ritchard Findlay. This film triggered the first profound depression of my life – all these damned good reasons for throwing the cassette into Satan’s flaming asshole. I had a great time making the movie, but all too often one has a great time doing business with Satan. Twilight of the Ice Nymphs (1997) should really be lost as well, although I am happy to have met two great characters while working on it – Shelley Duvall and Frank Gorshin. If I had made a play with them instead I still could have gotten to know them and there would be no aide memoire linking me to such a terrible time.

 

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Grape Ice Cream: There is no such thing as grape ice cream. The reason? It has a lot to do with dogs, girls, the 1876 World’s Fair, pharmaceutical companies, and it’s more complicated than you might ever imagine. After his successful invention of the ice cream soda in 1874, Philadelphia’s Robert Green began to tackle a request from his customers. Green boldly stated, in an 1876 interview with the Pennsylvania Inquirer, “The people are tired of vanilla and chocolate. They want something more.” What Green did not know, is that grapes contain a special molecule Anthocyanin that prevents freezing, so he kept turning up with grape milk. Companies such as Baskin Robins made a few futile attempts, but failed because of the anthocyanin. No breakthroughs were made until 1976, when Ben from ‘Ben and Jerry’s’ decided to try his hand. As it turns out, he was motivated by a challenge from Jerry’s attractive sister Becky. Ben confessed in a People Magazine interview in 1984 that he had a huge crush on Becky and promised to create the flavor just for her. Knowing the history of grape ice cream, she coyly requested it, thinking it to be impossible. Ben began to include the grape skin and juice to better see the differences between batches. While he didn’t understand the science behind this at the time, he found that including the skins increased the levels of anthocyanin enough to make the ice cream freeze. When Ben gave Becky a grape ice cream cone, she jokingly gave her dog a lick from the cone. He liked it and took a couple of licks. Then he just gasped and dropped dead. He flipped down onto the floor and was just gone. Ben had had no idea grapes are toxic to dogs. Specifically to the anthocyanin. Ben relayed this information to the pharmaceutical industry, and in 1982 the FDA banned the sale of research of any grape flavored ice creams or sherbets, natural or artificial due to pet hazards. This ban is in effect until 2028.

 

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Photos that let grieving mothers see their dead sons as they might have been.

 

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In 2005, Gregor Schneider was officially invited to realize the CUBE VENICE 2005 at the Piazza di San Marco in Venice during the 2005 Biennale. Shortly before the opening of the exhibition the sculpture was rejected due to its “political nature”. CUBE VENICE 2005 was intended to be an independent sculpture in form, function and appearance, inspired by the Kaaba in Mecca, the most holy place of Islam, the destination of millions of believers who make the pilgrimage every year. Kaaba means “cubic building”. This artwork became an international controversy discussed widely in the media. As a result it was rejected shortly before being realized in the courtyard of the Hamburger Bahnhof, museum of contemporary art in Berlin.

 

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The Zombie Apocalypse: You know how you have separate clothes for winter and summer? That’s because getting extremely hot or cold is bad for the human body (you may have gleaned this, over the years). Extended exposure to harsh summer sun and/or the frigid temperatures that normally accompany snow and ice will absolutely kill fully nourished and healthy humans. So how would people with open wounds, no shelter, and rapidly decaying flesh and bone respond to being out in the sun for hours or days or weeks at a time? With an intermittent diet consisting only of human/animal flesh, their bodies would quickly become dried out and malnourished, and they would soon turn to sticky puddles of death on a hot stretch of highway. And if any zombies were caught in a frigid climate, their likelihood of survival would be even further reduced. Frostbite on the limited remaining blood and fluid in their bodies would quickly eliminate motor function, reducing them to mildly cool heaps of flesh itching to be plowed into snowdrifts.

 

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“Polychroniadis”, unrealized building to contain 5,700 apartments by Oscar Niemeyer

 

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David Lynch was to team with anime producer Bandai and two Japanese partners including the respected game design company Synergy to produce a digital adventure to be released on DVD-ROM, the Internet, and in novelization form. The project was tentatively entitled Woodcutters From Fiery Ships. “I saw the work that Synergy did on GADGET – the way that the game delivered an immersive experience to the user,” Lynch said at the time. “By collaborating with Synergy, I look forward to Woodcutters From Fiery Ships expanding existing forms in terms of story, characters and environment. I hope we will give people totally unexpected experiences.” Unfortunately, the project never came about. Lynch says it was “blocked from the get-go” because it would have been “completely boring to game buffs”. The game was going to be a “conundrum thing.. a beautiful kind of place to put yourself. You try to make a little bit of mystery and a bit of a story, but you want it to be able to bend back upon itself and get lost … Certain events have happened in a bungalow which is behind another in Los Angeles. And then suddenly the woodcutters arrive and they take the man who we think has witnessed these events, and their ship is… uh, silver, like a 30`s kind of ship, and the fuel is logs. And they smoke pipes.”

 

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Are all things that don’t exist still things? : An object is something created/ intuited/ observed/ pick your verb by a subject. Any talk of objects presupposes the existence of subjects. In that sense, there is a presupposition of existence within the concept of “object” — the object itself may not exist, but the subject who is speaking of this non-existent object certainly exists. This sharp distinction between object and subject is questionable; i.e., if the subject exists, then its object somehow exists too. “Its object”; this does not apply to “any imaginable, though not-yet-imagined, object”. Another say to put this would be to say that objects of thought have some degree of existence, to the extent that they occur in the thought of an existent subject. They may have powerful effects on some apparently “more existing” things.

 

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Forty-four years ago artist James Turrell and Robert Irwin collaborated on a ganzfeld installation for LACMA’s “Art and Technology” initiative. They were assisted by Ed Wortz, a Garrett Corporation psychologist who did human-factors engineering for NASA missions. In August 1969 Turrell walked off the project, and the ganzfeld installation was never realized. Since then the Turrell-Irwin-Wortz collaboration has taken on mythic dimensions as the greatest light and space work that never was. Turrell’s recent series of perception cells are the closest approximation to it.

“Ganzfeld” describes the experience of snowblind arctic explorers or pilots navigating dense fog. When everything in the visual field is the same color and brightness, the visual system shuts down. White is black is nothing is everything. When this occurs for an extended period, the person is subject to phantasmagoric hallucinations: the “prisoner’s cinema” experienced in isolation cells or collapsed mines.

Caltech physicist Richard Feynman escorted Turrell and Irwin on a tour of the Garrett Corporation. The artists met Wortz and immediately hit it off. The three agreed to collaborate on an experiential artwork to be shown at Expo 70, a world’s fair in Osaka, Japan, and a 1971 LACMA exhibition. At that time Irwin had a considerable reputation as a painter and had already produced his iconic disk paintings. The younger Turrell was far less known, but he had already had a solo show at the Pasadena Art Museum in 1967. That same year Pasadena did a show of Irwin and Doug Wheeler’s light and space works.

Irwin-Turrell-Wortz envisioned a “sensory chamber.” Visitors, perhaps blindfolded, would enter a pitch-dark, soundproofed room. This would permit various perceptual tricks in the name of art. As part of the R&D;, Turrell and Irwin had volunteers sit in darkness in a soundproof room at UCLA, for 4 to 10 minutes. Even in that short period, many reported dream-like perceptions: “rod-shaped blue things… faces from weird angles… mainly ‘Christ-like’ and blond-female’ types… water sounds, walking sounds, stomach gurgles, bone creaking.” Turrell described the intended Osaka-LACMA artwork as a 12 x 12 x 12 foot black room—the antithesis of the white cube—wherein the visitor would sink into to the comfortable chair of modern art. Psych!

“The chair the visitor is seated in,” Turrell wrote, “is constructed of moveable parts which will slowly flatten as it is hydraulically lifted up to the third, upper chamber so that the visitor will end up prone on the floor of the upper chamber. There will be no light or sound stimuli at first in the chamber… stimuli will increase gradually to the point which seems to be between hallucination and reality.”

Ultimately Irwin and Turrell became less inclined—through the Spring and into the Summer of 1969—to carry out their original plan for designing an environment combining an anechoic chamber with a Ganz field for the Museum… Then, in August, Jim Turrell suddenly abdicated from the project. He terminated his relationship with Irwin, though he has continued to the present time to see Wortz. Irwin said later that had Turrell maintained his participation in the project, they might eventually have consummated an environmental piece, but that he didn’t feel inclined to pursue it on his own, or with Dr. Wortz.

Wortz said the collaboration became “non-goal-oriented” and spoke of a “problem” between Irwin and Turrell. “Bob approached information differently than Jim or myself. Jim and I are primarily information sops. Bob withholds information. He keeps the information at a distance, which is interesting, because he would arrive at the same observations and the same set of conclusions by holding off information. It was a very effective technique. Jim and I would sop it all up.

 

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True 3D Imagery: The 3D image is dark, as you mentioned (about a camera stop darker) and small. Somehow the glasses “gather in” the image — even on a huge Imax screen — and make it seem half the scope of the same image when looked at without the glasses. I edited one 3D film back in the 1980’s — “Captain Eo” — and also noticed that horizontal movement will strobe much sooner in 3D than it does in 2D. This was true then, and it is still true now. It has something to do with the amount of brain power dedicated to studying the edges of things. The more conscious we are of edges, the earlier strobing kicks in. The biggest problem with 3D, though, is the “convergence/focus” issue. A couple of the other issues — darkness and “smallness” — are at least theoretically solvable. But the deeper problem is that the audience must focus their eyes at the plane of the screen — say it is 80 feet away. This is constant no matter what. But their eyes must converge at perhaps 10 feet away, then 60 feet, then 120 feet, and so on, depending on what the illusion is. So 3D films require us to focus at one distance and converge at another. And 600 million years of evolution has never presented this problem before. All living things with eyes have always focussed and converged at the same point. If we look at the salt shaker on the table, close to us, we focus at six feet and our eyeballs converge (tilt in) at six feet. Imagine the base of a triangle between your eyes and the apex of the triangle resting on the thing you are looking at. But then look out the window and you focus at sixty feet and converge also at sixty feet. That imaginary triangle has now “opened up” so that your lines of sight are almost — almost — parallel to each other. We can do this. 3D films would not work if we couldn’t. But it is like tapping your head and rubbing your stomach at the same time, difficult. So the “CPU” of our perceptual brain has to work extra hard, which is why after 20 minutes or so many people get headaches. They are doing something that 600 million years of evolution never prepared them for. This is a deep problem, which no amount of technical tweaking can fix. Nothing will fix it short of producing true “holographic” images. Consequently, the editing of 3D films cannot be as rapid as for 2D films, because of this shifting of convergence: it takes a number of milliseconds for the brain/eye to “get” what the space of each shot is and adjust. And lastly, the question of immersion. 3D films remind the audience that they are in a certain “perspective” relationship to the image. It is almost a Brechtian trick. Whereas if the film story has really gripped an audience they are “in” the picture in a kind of dreamlike “spaceless” space. So a good story will give you more dimensionality than you can ever cope with.

 

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Gamera vs. Garasharp is an unfinished Gamera film from 1971-1972. It would have been a follow-up to the dismal Gamera vs. Zigra (1971), but Daiei Studios folded in December 1971, but not before leaving some conceptual and amateurish art and a few clips on the table. Gamera vs. Garasharp features what appears to be a giant cobra-like creature with a bizarre orb-like tail with an articulated gyro-thing and a head with flexible harpoon appendages. The Wikizilla entry for the film also refers to another crab-like monster called Marukobukarappa, but this creature’s role is not known. A reconstruction of a portion of the film is below.

 

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Claude-Nicolas Ledoux (1736 – 1806) was one of the earliest exponents of French Neoclassical architecture. He used his knowledge of architectural theory to design not only domestic architecture but also town planning; as a consequence of his visionary plan for the Ideal City of Chaux, he became known as a utopian. His most ambitious work was the uncompleted Royal Saltworks at Arc-et-Senans, an idealistic and visionary town showing many examples of architecture parlante. The first (and, as things were to turn out, only) stage of building was constructed between 1775 and 1778. Entrance is through a massive Doric portico, inspired by the temples at Paestum. The alliance of the columns is an archetypal motif of neoclassicism. Inside, a cavernous hall gives the impression of entering an actual salt mine, decorated with concrete ornamentation representing the elementary forces of nature and the organizing genius of Man, a reflection of the views of the relationship between civilization and nature endorsed by such eighteenth-century philosophers as Jean-Jacques Rousseau. The entrance building opens into a vast semicircular open air space that is surrounded by ten buildings, which are arranged on the arc of a semicircle. On the arc is the cooper’s forge, the forging mill and two bothies for the workers. On the straight diameter are the workshops for the extraction of salt alternating with administrative buildings. At the centre is the house of the director, which originally also contained a chapel. The significance of this plan is twofold: the circle, a perfect figure, evokes the harmony of the ideal city and theoretically encloses a place of harmony for common work, but it recalls also contemporary theories of organization and of official surveillance, particularly the Panopticon of Jeremy Bentham. The saltworks entered a painful phase of industrial production and marginal profit, because of competition with the salt-water marshes. After some not very profitable trials, it closed indefinitely in 1790 during the national instability caused by the French Revolution. Thus the dream of success for a factory, conceived at the same time as a royal residence and a new city, ended.

 

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Sadness was a survival horror video game in development by Nibris for the Wii console and was one of the earliest titles announced for the system. While the game initially drew positive attention for its unique gameplay concepts, such as black-and-white graphics and emphasis on psychological horror over violence, Sadness became notorious when no evidence of a playable build was ever publicly released during the four years it spent in development. It was revealed that Sadness had entered development hell due to problems with deadlines and relationships with external developers, leading to its eventual cancellation by 2010, along with the permanent closure of the company. Sadness was promoted as a unique and realistic survival horror game that would “surprise players,” focusing on psychological horror rather than violence, containing “associations with narcolepsy, nyctophobia and paranoid schizophrenia.” Nibris promised that Sadness would provide “extremely innovative game play,” fully utilizing the motion sensing capabilities of both the Wii Remote and the Nunchuk. For example, it was suggested that players would use the Wii Remote to wield a torch and wave it to scare off rats; swinging the controller like a lasso in order to throw a rope over a wall; or picking up items by reaching out with the Wii Remote and grabbing them. Sadness was also planned to have open-ended interactivity between the player and the game’s objects, being able to use any available item as a weapon. Suggestions included breaking a glass bottle and using the shards as a knife, or breaking the leg off a chair and using it as a club. The game would also not utilize in-game menus (all game saves would be done in the background) nor a HUD in favor of greater immersion.

 

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Leprechauns: Now let’s imagine that we have a conversation one day and I say to you, “I believe in Leprechauns. You cannot prove that Leprechauns do not exist, therefore they exist.” You actually have heard of Leprechauns. There are lots of books, movies and fairy tales dealing with Leprechauns. People talk about Leprechauns all the time. Leprechauns even have a popular brand of breakfast cereal. A page like this describes/defines the traits of Leprechauns. But that does not mean that Leprechauns exist. If you read the folklore around Leprechauns, you realize that certain aspects are impossible. For example, Leprechauns are defined to be beings who keep a crock of gold at the end of a rainbow. But anyone who understands rainbows knows that there is not a geographic location associated with rainbows. Rainbows are not physical objects, but instead are optical phenomena dependent on an observer. Therefore rainbows do not have fixed X/Y locations for their ends on the ground. This is the problem with the Leprechaun legend – Leprechauns have a property that is impossible, and therefore we can say that Leprechauns do not exist. There is no “end” to any rainbow, and therefore no pots of gold located at such a point, and therefore no Leprechauns. They are as imaginary as the gerflagenflopple. Is there something that would prove Leprechauns to be real? First, we would need to change the definition of Leprechauns. We would have to drop the “pot of gold at the end of the rainbow” part of the definition, because that part is impossible. But if we do that, we are not talking about Leprechauns anymore.

 

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Albums That Never Were: hello i am soniclovenoize. because i have too much time on my hands, i waste it by reconstructing famous unreleased albums. here are some of them. enjoy.

Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band It Comes To You in a Plain Brown Wrapper

This is a reconstruction of the unreleased 1968 double-album It Comes to You in a Plain Brown Wrapper by Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band. Originally scrapped with half of the material re-recorded and infamously “psychedelicized” for the album Strictly Personal and the other half released as 1972’s Mirror Man, this reconstruction attempts to cull all the originally intended material for the double album that was supposed to be their sophomore release, more successfully bridging the gap between 1967’s Safe As Milk and 1969’s Trout Mask Replica. Some tracks have been crossfaded to make a continuous side of music (notably Side D) and the most pristine sources are used for the best soundquality, including a vinyl rip of an original pressing of Mirror Man.

Side A:
1. Trust Us
2. Mirror Man

Side B:
3. Korn Ring Finger
4. 25th Century Quaker
5. Safe As Milk

Side C:
6. Moody Liz
7. Tarotplane

Side D:
8. On Tomorrow
9. Beatle Bones n’ Smokin’ Stones
10. Gimme Dat Harp Boy
11. Kandy Korn

The Who Who’s For Tennis?
This is my reconstruction of the proposed and promptly withdrawn 1968 album Who’s For Tennis? by The Who. Originally intend as a proper studio album (or live album, as some maintain) that would have been released in-between The Who Sell Out and Tommy, the idea for the album was scrapped and the recorded material instead came out as either single releases or remained in the vaults. This reconstruction draws from numerous sources to create a completely stereo, cohesive album, utilizing the best mastering available and is volume-adjusted for aural continuity. Also, a completely new and unique stereo mix of “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” was created, unavailable elsewhere and exclusive to this reconstruction.

Side A:
1. Glow Girl
2. Fortune Teller
3. Girl’s Eyes
4. Dogs
5. Call Me Lightning
6. Melancholia

Side B:
7. Faith in Something Bigger
8. Early Morning: Cold Taxi
9. Little Billy
10. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
11. Shakin’ All Over
12. Magic Bus

Neil Young Chrome Dreams
This is a reconstruction of the famous unreleased 1977 Neil Young album Chrome Dreams. Originally compiled from material recorded between 1974-1977 and slated for a release after an acetate was allegedly compiled, Young withdrew the album and restructured it into American Stars ‘n Bars. This reconstruction collects all the best possible source tapes into the sequence generally accepted as being Chrome Dreams. It is banded as a cohesive album and attempts were made to create a large dynamic range between the acoustic Young songs and the full-band Crazy Horse songs. While my reconstruction isn’t necessarily anything that hasn’t been heard before, it attempts to be as close to a finished album as possible with the best possible soundquality, an improvement on circulating bootlegs.

Side A:
1. Pocahontas
2. Will To Love
3. Star of Bethlehem
4. Like A Hurricane
5. Too Far Gone

Side B:
6. Hold Back The Tears
7. Homegrown
8. Captain Kennedy
9. Stringman
10. Sedan Delivery
11. Powderfinger
12. Look Out For My Love

The Velvet Underground IV
This is a reconstruction of the fabled ‘lost fourth album’ by The Velvet Underground, recorded in-between 1969’s The Velvet Underground and 1970’s Loaded. Although much of this material has been released as the 1985 compilation album VU, the label made no attempt to reproduce that lost fourth album. In contrast to VU, this reconstruction attempts to be true to what the actual fourth Velvet Underground might have been like. I also utilized alternate sources of the songs from those contained on VU in order to include the longest edits of the songs as well as the best mastering available.

Side A:
1. We’re Gonna Have A Real Good Time Together
2. One Of These Days
3. Andy’s Chest
4. Lisa Says
5. Foggy Notion

Side B:
6. I Can’t Stand It
7. Coney Island Steeplechase
8. I’m Sticking With You
9. She’s My Best Friend
10. Ocean
11. Ride Into The Sun

Blur Britain Versus America
This is a reconstruction of the unreleased 1992 Blur album Britain Versus America, which evolved into their sophomore and band-defining 1993 album Modern Life Is Rubbish. Originally designed to sonically follow their debut Leisure using featuring the Madchester sound, the album got a complete facelift to become the first of their “Life Trilogy” and signaled a new era of the band, featuring a more traditional Brit-Pop sound and image. This reconstruction attempts to present the album as originally envisioned during the band’s dismal American Tour in 1992 and follows the abandoned aesthetic of their “PopScene” single, using alternate versions and a concise track sequence influenced by the setlists of that tour. Original masters are used when available and all tracks are volume adjusted for a cohesive listening experience.

Side A:
1. PopScene
2. Advert
3. Colin Zeal
4. Pressure On Julian
5. Oily Water
6. Beachcoma

Side B:
7. Never Clever
8. Star Shaped
9. Into Another
10. Miss America
11. Turn It Up
12. Resigned

 

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Human Teleportation: A staple of the Star Trek universe is the capacity to beam, or teleport, humans from one location to another. As legend has it, Gene Roddenberry came up with the idea as a work-around to filming expensive scenes involving ships taking off and landing. But his idea slashed both the budget and common sense. Yes, quantum teleportation has been demonstrated in the lab — but spawning a pair of entangled photons across vast distances is a far cry from teleporting an entire human body. Moreover, Star Trek’s teleportation scheme involves what’s called “destructive copying,” meaning that the source person must be obliterated (as evidenced in the TNG episode “Second Chances” when you accidentally get two Rikers). So, even if teleportation is somehow possible, it doesn’t solve the problem that you’d be stepping into a suicide machine. And finally, the physical and energy requirements of teleportation simply won’t allow for it. The system would have to be capable of the instantaneous scanning, recording and relaying of all 1045 bits of information that make up the human body, then transmit all this data to the destination, and finally compile the person without so much as putting a single molecule out of place.

 

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Cancelled Dubai property projects list now features more than 150 developments


Wave Tower


Ajar Tower





Rotating Residence


Donna Tower


Orchid Residences


Hampstead Residencies



Zenith Tower A3



The Windsor Residence


Global Golf Residence



G-Office Tower


Beti Ul Funoon


Sobha Sapphire


Escan Tower


Eden Gardens


Sunset Gardens




Wings of Arabia


Rufi Century Tower


Century Tower


Quattro West


Infinity Tower


Tower 88


Eden Blue


Sanali Capital Avenue


Integral 05


Dunes Lilac


Al Tafany Tower




Jehaan 2, 3, 4, 6, 9, 11


Diamond Arch


Oasis Heights



Iris Mist


Mario Valentino Boulevard


Burj Alalam


Rufi Royal Residency


Paris Residence


Dream Harbour


Dream Square


Sanali Flamingo


Westar Galaxy


Sheffield Classic



Royal Bay Resort


Mystica


Burj Al Faraa


Image Residences


Platinum 2


Sternon Tower




Jasmin Garden


Soccer Tower


Metropolis Lofts


Mosia Stone


Pisa Tower Residence


Zenith Tower


Elegant Tower


Berlin City Center


Blue Moon Tower


Sanali Quantum


Prodigy 2


Prodigy 3


Prodigy 4


Mira Palace


Ashai Tower 5


Rufi Twin Towers



The Palisades


Kensington Krystal Tower



Pangkor Laut Luxury Residence & Spa Village






V-Greece on the World


Alduaa Marina Tower


Dolce Vita


The K Hotel


Santeview


Hydra Tower


Fortune Serene


Eclipse Tower


Victory Bay Tower


The Plaza


Zero Five Zero


Sebco Residence


Crown Avenue


Ten Tower


Apeiron Hotel

 

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Although TikGames announced, Chucky: Wanna Play? in May 2011, it appears that the game will never see the light of day. TikGames had a license to develop and publish a PC game based on the creepy doll, but lacked the funding. The company turned to Kickstarter, a website where fans can support different projects by becoming backers. The Kickstarter launched on Oct. 15, with TikGames reporting that they already had over “half a million dollars and 18 months of development invested so far.” In developing the Kickstarter page, the goal was to get $925,000 pledged by Nov. 14. Unfortunately TikGames cancelled the project funding on Oct. 22 after only getting 19 backers and raising $585.

 

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Robert Sobel is the vice president of research and innovation at the flavor company FONA International. In the last few years, he’s been researching ways to use smells to trick our brains into thinking food contains high levels of sugar and salt, even when it doesn’t. Sobel first came across this concept, called “phantom aroma,” in a 2009 article called “Taste, Aroma, and the Brain” in the magazine Perfumer and Flavorist. The term, inspired by the neurophysiological phenomenon of phantom limbs, is the process by which the brain fills in the perception of a certain taste perceptions even when the ingredient may not exist. We perceive a food’s flavor through a variety of stimulants—taste, of course, but also texture and smell. There’s a lot that’s still unknown about the neuroscience of taste, but the current prevailing theory is that we take in taste through the gustatory nerve and smells through the olfactory nerve, and information from both receptors combines in the orbital frontal cortex. Over the last six years, Sobel has taken different aromas like vanillin—the compound that gives vanilla its distinctive smell—and tested them with people who rate how salty or sweet they think the food would taste. Predictably, people who smelled odors most commonly associated with sweet tastes (like vanilla), said they expected the food item to taste sweet. After each consumer panel, Sobel returns to his lab and tinkers with the concentration of aroma that he adds to the test food products. The trick, he says, is to get the aroma to barely detectable levels so that we don’t actually know that we’re smelling it, but we can perceive it when we’re eating the food. While we don’t particularly want a ham-smelling bread, for example, it may be possible to add just enough ham flavor to bread that we still associate it with a salty flavor without realizing the salt isn’t actually there.

 

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Isamu Noguchi, model for Sculpture to Be Seen from Mars (1947)

 

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Copperfield’s Magic Underground was scheduled to open at the Disney/MGM Studios in the summer of 1998, but never even started construction. Themed restaurants were all the rage. Hard Rock Cafes started popping up all over the world and still remain a strong brand to this day. Planet Hollywood had over 100 different locations worldwide and, as of this writing in 2015, seven still remain. Venture capitalists Glenn Tullman and Robert Compton propositioned Copperfield and would have meetings with him into the wee hours of the morning after the illusionist performed in various cities around the country. From these encounters, LateNite Magic was formed as their company name and once he agreed to let them use his name, license and serve as head creative consultant on the project. The entrance to the restaurant/attraction would have sat just to the right of the main gate of the Disney/MGM Studios. Fantasmic! was being constructed for the park and the restaurant would have been wedged between the stadium and the front entrance. The restaurant would have had a 45-foot statue of Copperfield with 18-foot tall gas torches on either side of him. Every hour, a 90-second light show presentation would take place that beckoned passersby inside. Inside, diners would have found themselves inside a 70-foot tall atrium with gargoyles perched on the trusses above them. Located all around them would have been giant video screens featuring pre-recorded segments of David where he would suddenly have an entire table seem to levitate right in front of them. Another segment had a selection of diners disappear and a lucky volunteer would have the opportunity to be “cut in half” via Copperfield’s famous Death Saw illusion. The problem? Construction started before the full concept had been laid out. Ultimately, some of the eye candy wasn’t doing what it was supposed to and Copperfield, being the professional he is, requested changes be made so the illusions remained consistent and unspoiled to anyone regardless of their vantage point. In the end, investors couldn’t raise enough capital to get the restaurant up and running. Even if Copperfield’s Magic Underground got the cash injection it needed, in order for investors to get their money back they would have had to charge an enormous amount for food and drink. This might have made the restaurant collapse on itself. With no more funding and all parties involved at a standoff, LateNite Magic ultimately folded and walked away from the project. Copperfield’s Magic Underground was reportedly 85% completed and cost investors $34 million by the time construction halted.

 

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UBC’s Museum of Anthropology has cancelled “The Forgotten Project”, an exhibition of portraits painted by Vancouver artist Pamela Masik. In case you’re not familar with this project, from the project’s website: “THE FORGOTTEN is a large-scale, powerful series of portraits of women’s faces. Sixty-nine portraits, to be precise – the number of women from Vancouver’s downtown eastside who have been missing for more than a decade. The majority of them have now been identified, yet the public’s knowledge of them has, for the most part, consisted of small police photos aligned in a grid on a poster, showing most of them as blurred and haggard representations at their worst.” There is a justifiably scathing review of the work at FUSE Magazine. Here’s an excerpt: “The majority of the pictures on the website for the project feature the artist in front of her creations. In the image found next to her Artist’s Statement, Masik’s fashionable attire and flawless make-up stands in stark contrast to the blood-red paint that drips from her subject’s nose. In another shot from the Press Gallery, the artist’s sophisticated pose denotes a socio-economic privilege that disconnects her from the classed and racialized likeness found in the painting behind her. It is perhaps this disconnect that makes the paintings feel so insulting (jarring is too mild a word). There seems to be a lack of connection not only between the artist and the models, but between the artist and the social conditions that frame the painful circumstances she has set out to represent.”

 

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Ghosts: (1) Why bother referring to things as “life” and “death” if, because you thought you saw a dead person, they mean the same thing? If we’re going to argue the definition of death, how are we supposed to settle on the definition of a ghost? Do ghosts and death even have anything to do with each other, by definition? And without a definition, how can it exist? (2) Many sources pin the ratio of all species in the history of the earth that are now extinct at around 99.9%. That’s all species. So it would stand to reason that the ratio of all living things that are now dead is, well, significantly higher to say the least. So where are all of the ghosts? If orders of magnitude more things died on this rock than are currently living, where are their disembodied spirits? Shouldn’t we be knee deep in ghosts of all shapes in sizes? (3) A believer might say, “Well don’t be silly, there’s so few ghosts because only people become ghosts, because only people have spirits!” I don’t buy this argument because the arguers contradict themselves with stories of ghost men with spectral dogs and even of inanimate objects that appear as apparitions; entire doors and windows, even events that play out as “ghosts”. Does a gunshot have a spirit? Does a horrible fire have a spirit? If so, shouldn’t be haunted by all of the ‘dead’ furniture as well? (4) There’s no scientific process anywhere near being documented which could describe the transition from solid physical object, to mystical apparition, aside from quantum mechanics, and that deals primarily with things on the subatomic scale. And it would be one thing if you could recreate a physical object as an apparition, but it’s another thing entirely to capture the psyche of a person or the sounds of an event. These things are slightly less tangible, as they deal with the flow of energy from one system to another, often in very random ways. (5) It may seem obvious that most of the ghosts people see are wearing clothing. In fact, most of the reports of ghosts describe them as being in “period dress”, whatever that means. But it doesn’t make any sense either way. When a person dies, do their clothes die too? Do they only haunt places in the clothes they died in? What if they weren’t wearing anything at all? I’ve not heard of many naked ghosts, though I’m sure the sightings are documented somewhere.

 

 

*

p.s. Hey. ** Sypha, Thanks, James. So far so good. ** Kirk, Hi, Kirk. Good to meet you, and thanks for coming in. I agree with you, no surprise. Take care. ** David Ehrenstein, Hi, David. Thanks a lot for your knowledge and wisdom re: Jerry Lewis. I’m really glad you managed to make it to the screening. And immense gratitude for your fantastic words on the film itself. I’m very honored, and Zac is too. ** Dominik, Hi, Dominik! Greetings from halfway (or more?) across the globe! I hope your mood has had time to recover, and your energy is sky high again. Things are good here. The screenings have gone really well, the LA one in particular, which was a big success. Mm, on Christophe Honore’s films, I would start with the mid-earlier ones: ‘Dans Paris’ or ‘Love Songs’ maybe. I look forward to talking with you again ASAP. ** JM, Hi, man. ‘The Bellboy’ is really great. That’s the one that totally turned me around him. How’s stuff? You doing great? ** _Black_Acrylic, Hey, Ben! How’s everything hanging? When will you hear back about the funding proposals? Oh, I just saw your later comment. A month, gotcha. I’m glad the work on it is going so excitingly. ** Bill, Hi, Bill! It was really good to get to see you for even a short bit in SF. That visit was such a rush. Thank you about PGL, and I hadn’t seen the letterboxd reviews, and they’re really heartening. Thanks a ton. I did know about the Bark Psychosis reissues, but I haven’t scored them (yet). I’m glad SF IndieFest is showing stuff worth seeing. We got unlucky re: their programming while we were there, not that we would have time to see anything. How was ‘Octavio is Dead’, if you saw it? ** Steve Erickson, Hi. Is your arm normalised again? Look forward to your review. Everyone, Read what Steve thinks of Asghar Farhadi’s EVERYBODY KNOWS by clicking this. And two more reviews: Steve on Bob Mould’s new album SUNSHINE ROCK here, and on the Chilean documentary LOS REYES here. Thanks for your input on post-rock. I didn’t curate the post, obviously, but maybe Talk Talk, starting so much earlier, are more ‘proto’? ** James, Hi, James! It was really great seeing you too! Thank you so, so much about PGL. That’s so great to hear. I’m technically in LA until the 17th, but it looks like I might travel in and out of here a bit before I leave. Thank you so much again, and take care! ** Keymouth, Hi, buddy. It’s good to know where to find you if I need you ‘cos you never know. Cool, I’ll check your newest blog input. Everyone, Keaton, the d.l. of innumerable names, put something new on his tasty blog, which is always a treat, so join me in luxuriating in its topmost. ** Brendan, It was great to see you. I got your message, and I’ll get back to you pronto. ** Jay, Hi, Jay! Really nice to see you! Things are good. It’s nice being here. It’s the first time I’ve been here when it wasn’t boiling hot, so my hometown’s charms are crossing over more fully. Mm, in a way my pad here feels like home, but I still am loving living in Paris too much to plop back down here. As of yet. Happy you enjoyed Chris’s Screw shebang, and thanks a lot for the adds. I’ll go hunt them down, and I imagine Chris is out there somewhere doing the same if he hasn’t. Take care. ** Mark Stephens, Hey, big M! I’m seeing you this very night in fact! ** Rewritedept, Hey, Chris! It was great to finally meet you. Sorry for my distractedness. Those kinds of events are stressful and preoccupying for me. Thank you a lot about PGL. Good luck with the crush. Yeah, it’s usually a pretty good idea to find out if someone is straight just to begin with before falling too hard, unless one finds the unrequited crush useful, and it has birthed a lot of great art, let’s face it. Thank you for the sweet words. Right back at you. ** C Whittle, Hi, welcome, and thank you for that great news! Everyone, C Whittle  passes along this excellent news to those who were intrigued by the post on Néstor Perlongher: ‘Cadáveres in published in English by Cardboard House Press, translated by Roberto Echavarren and Donald Wellman.’ ** Corey Heiferman, Hi, man. How’s stuff? Cyprus in the winter sounds delicious. Hm. Upped. ** Tosh Berman, Hi, Tosh! Yes, Michael said he had a great time with you. I’m hoping to catch up with your episode as soon as in a minute. ** Chris Cochrane, Hi, Chris! Well, I’m not home quite yet, I’m still ensconced in the Western edge of your country. I saw your email. I’ll check the vid as soon as I can and get back to you. I’m still running around a lot, but it’ll be as ASAP. ** Okay. We are now officially caught up. You’ll get restoration posts for as long as I’m away from Paris, and today’s takes you to back to things that didn’t exist when I originally made the post and still don’t. See you tomorrow.

9 Comments

  1. I’m over the moon about Guy Maddin. I met him for the first time earlier this year as LAFCA gave “The Green Fog” — his homage to “Vertigo” constructed out of clips from a great variety of extant films, which he made with two collaborators whose names escape me. Guy is Wicked Cute. I told him how much I adored Sissy-Boy Slap Party

    Those skyscrapers are TERRIFYING!

    I want PGL to get a U.S. distributor YESTERDAY. It continues to fascinate me particularly for the way it presents unstable young people prone to suicide in such a calm and unsensational way.

    Are you and Zach going to be at Tosh’s event at Book Soup tomorrow night?

    I want you guys to drop by soon to watch “Mikey and Nicky”

  2. Heller? I dont know no Dennis Hollywood lol. Happy LA dudes and congrats. Latin boys are sweeties. Got a line of blonds ready to knock out. Mom comes to visit that means a box of valentines candy for me. Clean bill of health if everything checks out with the liver. Made spme weird new friends from San Diego and Mariposa. My anti doctor actially gave me some anxiety meds. Keys to my heart a marijuana card and mexican food. im horrified by valentines day. it makes my heart go through terrible permutations. maybe a vsday story. Love you like a Charlie McCarthy buttplug

  3. Hi!!

    It’s so great to talk to you again!!

    I’m really glad to hear the screenings have been so successful! Did/do you have time to see some art and do not-strictly-PGL-related stuff too? How’s everything on the West Coast?

    Thank you for the Christophe Honoré tips!

    My mood is super wild, I’m in kind of a crisis and constantly filled with this nervous, humming energy and it’s hard right now but it’ll also set me in motion in the end and I need that desperately. Looks like I can only make steps through these almost too intense phases.
    My copy of Josiah Morgan’s Inside the Castle finally arrived so I’m reading it right now and I’m so very into it.

    I’m seeing a dentist on Friday (yeah, I finally made an appointment…!) and I’ll write after that! Take care and see you very soon!!

  4. Hey Dennis – I remember this post. Did you expand it for this version? I recall craving grape ice cream the first time I read this and had the exact same reaction this time, before recognizing the deja vu. Does such a grape treat exist in Europe or Japan, maybe? Feels necessary. Also recall checking out that Who album and really enjoying it. A shame they never followed that impulse further. Anyhow, thanks for these nonexistent things.

    How is your trip going? Any highlights? How have the screenings gone?

    Will have some material for the Roussel/Song Cave guest post for you soon.

  5. That Columbarium Habitabile sounds incredible. I almost think it could even be used as the basis of a short story or something. H’mm…

  6. d-

    all good, i’m sure you had a lot to deal with re: the screening. it was great to get to chat for a minute regardless.

    i am off work tomorrow, but i will not be venturing down the mountain. it’s supposed to rain, and i don’t trust that road enough to bus it down. either way, i have to pick up gunner from the school bus tomorrow and thursday, so that’s my days off planned. we might go snowboarding on thursday since he has a half day at school, and i need the practice (did i tell you i’m actually becoming a decent snowboarder and it only took me like 23 years to reach that point?). maybe next time you’re in town, i can steal a couple days for a proper visit. or you can always come visit me at the lake. lots of cute boys up here. it’s interesting.

    those reconstructed albums look interesting. my internet connection here is super spotty, so i will have to bookmark today for a more thorough investigation when i’m in town (because i live way on the outskirts of BBL, at the easternmost end, on the scenic shores of the now dry baldwin lake). we live way out in the sticks, but there are no vacation rentals around us, so it’s very quiet, which you know i value highly.

    i keep having this existential crisis sort of thing where i’m not sure if i made the right decision moving here. i think it’s the right place for me to be, and the other options were move to reno (where the cost of living is even higher than vegas) or kill myself, so i hope i chose right. but part of that is probably just my legion of untreated mental problems. unipolar clinical depression is SO MUCH FUN.

    i got my meds today, so that’s one thing that’s going right. i need to find a doctor up here, because i can’t fill an out-of-state script here, and i can’t really afford to go back to vegas every other month to deal with it. i was really massively depressed yesterday, but i think it was from stress and being short on my meds and the fact that my brain is broken.

    yeah, i should find out more about that boy before i get too obsessed, but i’ll probably just admire him from a distance and write about it. i don’t really, like, enjoy sex and i really dislike imposing my fucked up personality and needs on other people, and there are so few people that i actually like enough to want to spend time with in any capacity anyway. and most of the art i’ve made that i ever ended up proud of was driven by like a fierce, unrequited crush on someone.

    did i tell you how long it took me to get home last week? 12 fucking hours to get back up the mountain. i should really get a car, but i need to reinstate my license and actually, you know, be making decent money before i can think about that. and i have other shit to spend my money on anyway. at the end of next month, i’m gonna go to reno to see acid mothers and then SF the next day for spiritualized, to which i will hopefully be accompanied by one of my bestest friends in the world ever since we were like 13 and 14, jake. will have to remember to see if kevin and dodie are amenable to a visit while i’m up. and then in april, i’m gonna be back in LA to see bikini kill, which i am completely losing my shit over. i haven’t seen kathleen hanna live since the last le tigre tour, and i never got to see BK live. and then, in july, i’m going to seattle to see jawbox, which is blowing my mind too. my friend william and i are going to both BK and jawbox, but i might try to get a ticket for the second BK show too, since my BFF aubrey and our dear friend briana are coming down from reno/vegas, respectively, for that night. i’m sure you’ll be back in paris in april, but do let me know if you’re gonna be around in late april.

    there’s something i wanna ask you about, but i want to do so in person, because it’s a weird subject. next time, i guess. do have a very fun and safe rest of yr trip and get home safe. love you always. talk soon.

    -c.

  7. I remember this sad and glorious day. I’m not a gamer, but I wish that Del Toro video game actually got made…

    I was feeling under the weather, and ended up skipping Octavio is Dead. Hope it comes around again. I could use the time to work on my Friday gig:

    https://www.bayimproviser.com/EventView.aspx?e=16554

    Bill

  8. Hi Dennis – can’t wait to listen to this Bookworm interview! Occasionally I like to walk around the house and try and talk like Michael. I got a new novel out – https://www.apocalypse-party.com/xeroxovermanhattan.html – I’ll sling you a copy when I get a chance – but in the meantime I made a mixtape of tunes I was listening to when writing the novel – https://www.mixcloud.com/SJXSJC/xerox-over-manhattan-megamix/ – you ever read much Breece D’J Pancake? Say hi to Zac for me.

  9. PGL does have a US distributor, Altered Innocence. Dennis can answer the question about their release plans.

    Yeah, I guess Talk Talk’s last 2 albums are proto-post-rock. AR Kane would fit in there too. But as different as SPIDERLAND & THE SPIRIT OF EDEN are, I tend to think of them as the founding statements of the genre.

    The pain in my arm went away over the weekend. I’m back to normal now, thankfully.

    I like the fan-made bootleg reconstructions of unreleased albums. Now that THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WIND was released, will there be an attempt at an authorized edit of Welles’ DON QUIXOTE (beyond the dreadful job Jesus Franco made of it long ago)?

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