The Thursday Album – The Head on the Door

This week’s album is The Cure’s The Head on the Door.

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The Head on the Door is the sixth studio album by English alternative rock band the Cure, released in August 1985 on record label Polydor. Wikipedia
Release date: 26 August 1985
Genres: New wave, Post-punk, Gothic rock, Alternative rock, Pop music

The Thursday Album – Diamond Dogs

This week’s Thursday Album is David Bowie’s (1947-2016) Diamond Dogs. It has two of my favourite songs: Candidate and Rock ‘N’ Roll With Me. It’s one of his most well-known albums due to the cover art, although few of the songs ever make it to best of lists. Each of Bowie’s albums is undoubtedly a piece of genius, but I do enjoy listening to his whole back-catalogue on random shuffle!

 

Diamond Dogs

Design: Guy Peellaert – Cover illustration with reference to Bowie photograph by Terry O’Neill

Leee Black Childers – Inner gatefold photographic montage

Released: May 1974

Label: RCA US, RCA

Producers: David Bowie

Recorded: Barnes, England, Notting Hill, England and Hilversum, Holland Oct 1973 – Feb 1974

Roeg wasn’t keen until he saw “Cracked Actor,” Alan Yentob’s BBC documentary about Bowie’s Diamond Dogs tour in America. Then he knew he had his Thomas Newton. The doc, notorious to this day, shows a pale, stick-insect Bowie, utterly fragile and bewildered as he cruises down American highways, sipping milk in the back of his limo. (It was so perfect, in fact, that limo sequence was re-created in the film.) Bowie leaped at the chance. “I’d been offered a couple of scripts,” he has often been quoted as saying, “but I chose this one because it was the only one where I didn’t have to sing or look like David Bowie.” Bowie was truly breaking ground here; unlike The Beatles or Elvis, he was set to appear in a movie role that didn’t require his stage persona, although casting Ziggy Stardust as an extra-terrestrial wasn’t that much of a stretch. “The Man Who Fell to Earth” was ultimately a film about alienation, and that sense of feeling out of place — of having to hide who you were — appealed to Bowie’s state of mind. His older half-brother, Terry, had schizophrenia and was committed in the late ’60s and Bowie never shook the fear that he might someday meet the same fate. Japan Times

Clara Engel – Folk Noir

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When the sun’s tentacles reach down from heaven and thaw my frozen tongue

I’ll have a voice that’s all my own…

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Photo taken by Fiaz Farrelly

out of waste bodies rise
out of flesh nectars bloom

-from What Should We Leave for the Monster Tonight? by Toronto-based Clara Engel

Today I’m listening to indie musician Clara Engel. Clara is a guitarist, singer, songwriter and visual artist (all of the fantastic images in this post are hers). The original plan was to write a review just for her album Visitors Are Allowed One Kiss, but I couldn’t not include the various fantastic images and songs that I found elsewhere, so this has become more of a post on the work of Clara Engel.

Listening to Clara Engel’s music is a tad like listening to anxiety… not her anxiety, but a stand-alone anxiety that doesn’t necessarily belong to any one person. The songs are haunting with a slight threat of violence, like a toned-down and more melodic IX Tab… but IX Tab disturbs me and Engel doesn’t. This is a good thing.

I think my favourite song so far has to be What Should We Leave for the Monster Tonight? (a bowl of mushrooms and milk apparently). The song has a gorgeous droning quality to it and wonderfully poetic lyrics (above). It’s brand new (last month) and you can listen to and buy the full digital album here.

Ghostly voices echo and prolong strings of lyricism. Theremins and marimbas billow into the head and cloud the power of reason, like a fog that obscures the path of recovery. ATTN

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The Moon is Covered in Snakes. An older song from Clara, filmed “In the glowing cove”…

This one reminds me of The Handsome Family a little.

I hope you’ve enjoyed discovering the work of Clara Engel as much as I have!

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Follow Clara on Twitter and on Facebook.

The Outsider – H. P. Lovecraft

Lovecraft Unbound

H.P. LOVECRAFT’S “THE OUTSIDER”

I just had a nice little re-read of this very short Lovecraft classic and thought I’d do some googling. Behold: goodies! The music is particularly good, although it looks as though it’s been around for a while, so apologies if this is a mere memory jolt for you. I recommend enjoying it with a warm cat, a glass of red wine and a beat-up paperback.

What drives this character to keep going into the unknown is mystery. He has seen signs, warnings that what is coming will destroy any remaining sanity he has left. Yet, he trudges on through the darkness and into a room filled with some abject horror. He even reaches out to touch one of it gruesome paws before he turns and runs for his life. The Outsider is for those of us who have dreamed that those who raised us are mysterious and incompressible. When we finally forced to face our parents, truly understand who they are and what they are about, we are faced with a shockingly realization that we may never understand them. We can only see monsters and wonder how they came to care so deeply for us. Aaron M. Wilson

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I’ve found some amazing atmospheric music inspired by Lovecraft by Michael Brückner. It’s available to buy as a digital album or on a CD, but you can also just listen to tracks here. With titles such as Haunter Of The Dark, The Call Of Cthulhu and Dreams At The Witchhouse, it makes for some genuinely creepy listening.

I actually had stumbled upon his name, upon musical adaptions of some of his stories, upon pastiches of lesser authors and even one or two of his oiginal stories before, but at this early encounters, it didn’t click – instead, for some reason, it hit me with the power of a crashing meteor from the depths of outer space when I was 19 or 20 years old, and in a state of utter fasciantion I had to devour any book by him that I could find (fortunately, most of his work was still in print then in excellent German editions back then). After being obsessed with his work for some time, I also started to take interest in Lovecraft’s unique – and quite strange – personality, studying any biographical information on the man I could find, and discovering that weird as he may have been, I could find many parallels in his life to my own troubles, problems and feelings. – Michael Brückner

And below is a great short film from Emerson College. I loved it!