Friday, May 29, 2009

Nurse With Wound - Swansong


Here we have yet another piece of music made up entirely of the human voice. After the Maja Ratkje and Robert Ashley pieces, I thought I’d include one more, this time by Nurse With Wound. NWW is Stephen Stapleton, an English guy that lives in Ireland on a farm he built himself with recycled materials. He also makes incredible art, like that above. He has been doing crazy dark psychedelic ambient noise music as NWW for over 20 years. He has barely ever performed live and had never in the US until a few years ago in San Francisco, pictured below. It was him with 5 or 6 other people creating a sea of sound that completely enveloped the room non-stop for an hour. It was one of the heavier live sets I’ve seen. Anyway, this piece is called Swansong and, according to Stapleton, was "spewed out after watching a documentary on the American A-Bomb tests off the Bikini Islands which left me sad, helpless and fucking angry- an ocean of death." The piece perfectly captures the raw feeling of destruction and devastation, especially when the ‘bomb’ drops halfway through the track. Enjoy! As always, play this very loud.



Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Visions of Cannes

Potion Lords had a representative at The Cannes film Festival these past two weeks. Tim was out there, his film The Aphrikan was screening at in the 'Short Film Corner' of the festival. He handed out promotional scalpels. Below is what he sent us.



Visions of Cannes
05 24 09

-dark green mountains salted with pockets of white villas nestled along peachy sand beaches.

-swimming out to a buoy, opening my eyes along the way under the clear emerald water

-watching Neil Young film at sunset on the beach with yachts aglow in the distance

-mothers in high heels and 500 dollar daisy dukes pushing strollers along the croisette

-giving Quentin Tarantino a scalpel talking about Redondo Beach

-topless 8 year olds
-topless 68 year olds

-Tan young French girls poolside. No plastic surgery

-watching Dario Argento´s Giallo, wishing it was good, but witnessing how very bad it is :(

-eating Mussels that look like pink labia, and taste like heaven.

-Lobsterazzi burnt by the sunbeams from Hell

-Catching the premiere of Tetro. Vincent Gallo winning my heart back with the performance of a lifetime

-Being blessed by a screening of Von Trier´s Antichrist, one of the most original statements ever filmed. More shocking in its subtlety than any horror film this year, or ever.

-Agora, a history lesson on religion with a grace and beauty that smacks you in the face

-Having to make the choice between catching a reprise screening of Gaspar Noe´s Enter The Void or going to the to see Psychic TV play in Marseilles..........

-walking the red carpet to see Inglorious Basterds in the grand lumiere theater with Nico. the 2hr20min flew by as Nazis were slaughtered by Jews,

-giving Terry Gilliam a scalpel, him exclaiming "Now this is something I can use."

-reattached body parts, especially toes.

-missing body parts, especially arms.

-sagging leather

-attending the Min Ye premiere with a griot in attendance. Africans filing in as I listen to Am I black Enough by Schooly D.

-Standing in a HOT line for 2 hours to catch Das Weisse Bande by Haneke (pictured). His greatest photographic achievement yet. STUNNING black and white. He channeled Bergman and stepped up to a new aesthetic of emotional storytelling.

-Walking out of the palais for the final time, catching a glimpse of Gaspar Noe´s face on the screen, knowing they are inside, entering the void without me.

-realized you can´t see em all.

-running through the crowded streets of Cannes to meet my girl at the train. Hop on. Roll out by stunning ocean and mountain landscapes on the way to Marseilles and Genesis..............................................................;)

T
I
M

Saturday, May 23, 2009

PFFR

PFFR. An art collective from New York. These people are way, way out there. They made the mind blowing television program Wonder Showzen. Now they do an animated show called Xavier: Renegade Angel that is completely strange and totally psychedelic. It's about a philosophical faun-like creature with backwards knees "seeking the mystery of his own origin." He is often fending off violent rednecks or meeting with his Shaman. PFFR describes it as "a warning to children and adults about the dangers of spirituality." Also check out their website, it's one of the raddest I've ever seen. They are a band too and this is a video they made:



And here is a link to a totally mental episode of Xavier.

They are screening their new avant garde porn film Final Flesh at the Silent Movie Theater in Hollywood June 9th.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Book Review: Blackwater


Jeremy Scahill’s Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army is a detailed and fascinating chronicle of a private corporate army run by Christian supremacists that subscribe to the idea of imposing their morality on the world. The company was founded by Erik Prince a young silver-spooned Christian wacko, whose father, Edgar, was an influential billionaire who gave millions to right-wing religious causes. Blackwater started as a small training facility in North Carolina in 1999 but after 9/11, went on to make over a BILLION dollars on the war on terror, mostly from contracting their “security” services to guard top government officials in Iraq. They operate outside the law and can kill anyone they want for no reason, which often happens, without any repercussions. This is possible because Paul Bremner, who was running Iraq the first year, handed down “Order 17” that stated private contractors could not be prosecuted under Iraq law.

The Blackwater men are mostly drawn from retired Army, Navy, and Special Forces, as well from other countries like Chili and South Africa, where those troops took part in the torture and slaughter of thousands of innocents under brutal dictatorships. In Iraq, they are paid 3 or 4 times more than an American soldiers and are often blamed for inciting hatred among insurgents and citizens, consequently doing more harm than good in the war. For Iraqis, the typical Blackwater solider is a picture of everything wrong with America: chiseled bodies, wrap-around sunglasses, goatees, khaki pants, backwards baseball caps, lots of guns and heavy artillery. They drive armored SUVs throughout the country indiscriminately firing at anyone that gets to close to their moving convoys. The stories in this book are horrifying and enraging.

Recently Blackwater have expanded beyond contract security in Iraq. They now operate a company called Total Intelligence Solutions, a private CIA type company run by J. Cofer Black, the legendary US spy and head of the Counterterrorism unit of the CIA for years and one of the architects of the government’s secretive “extraordinary rendition” policy. So now the CIA’s talent, information, and contacts are on sale for corporations and countries to purchase at will. The book explores in depth the other services offered by Blackwater and Prince’s other companies. Without getting too detailed, I’ll tell you- they’re really fucked up. It’s a jarhead fantasy of kidnapping, espionage, and violence.

Blackwater has recently come home and began terrorizing Americans too. They went into New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and “patrolled” the city with machine guns. Instead of sending food and supplies in, the Bush administration sent these worthless heavily armed douchbags in- and paid them 73 million dollars! Needless to say, these people are extremely well connected to government. Their ties to the Christian fundamentalists and their donations to crazy hate groups is probably the most disturbing aspect of their existence. Anyway, I’m merely scratching the surface of the evil antics of this company. Scahill goes way deep into it and the book reads like a cinematic thriller. My only complaint is it gets bogged down too much with legal jargon in the middle, and it repeats itself a little. But the main point gets through. Your tax dollars are funding the biggest, scariest, lawless army in the world that wants you to worship Christ, just like they do. Hooray!