A funny joke of a pun started the idea behind this months mix—one that any hard rock fan who counted the Who over Led Zeppelin in their formative years has probably thought at least a hundred times. With dozens of friends over the years, not to mention classic rock radio DJ’s, insisting that Led Zeppelin, and not the Who, where the best English rockin’ band featuring a gonzo drummer, an incredibly gifted and underrated bass player and, and a cocksure front man with golden locks to his shoulders (oddly enough these aren’t the only two that fit that description!) it was nearly enough to drive us Who fanatics insane. I’ve alway remained steadfast that the Who are where it’s at—in many ways Led Zeppelin to me were birthed in an attempt for Jimmy Page to have his own Who to himself. Thus, via the very definition of ‘derivative’, Led Zeppelin were always a slightly more sluggish, prodding, less cerebral Who. In effect, a Who for the bar crowd who were thicker than any Porter on the menu. Continue reading
Today, Thursday, May 11th Wonders in the Dark will be hosting a 16 day Allan Fish Online Film Festival (Allan Fish OFF), of which I am a part of. The rules are simple; each day will see a new chairman host the festivities and select a film that is available to be watched by anyone, online for free from a popular streaming site (youtube, vimeo, dailymotion, etc.). The host for that day will decide how the film they chose will be presented; an essay, a sparse teaser introduction, or ‘other’ (the creativity seen on the blogosphere for film commentary knows no bounds as we all know). Thus, conceivably the film festival could be nearly real; people anywhere on the globe watching the same film, at roundabout the same time. It’s named in honor of our dear friend and film scholar Allan Fish, whose birthday was May 11th, and will be an annual event from this day forward. He found so many of his treasured Obscuro’s doing just what we’re setting out to do with this Festival, so it seemed the most fitting way to remember him. More information on the festival can be found here, with the first post here.
There is a rather appropriate scene in Seinfeld where Kramer bets he can use his knowledge of George’s considerable vices to guess what his ATM password is. Kramer surmises that when one picks such a code we always, ‘return to our dark masters’; the things that pray at our weaknesses, and ultimately give us our ultimate guilty pleasures. Kramer correctly identifies that George’s ‘dark master’ is the ‘cocoa bean’ and that something chocolate derived will result in a correct guess of his password (which ends up being ‘Bosco’, the chocolate syrup brand). Thinking that this month was completely open, I decided that I—after three mixes where I used girl group pop, vintage garage, early R&B drinking songs, Prog, hip pop, post-punk etcetera to varying degrees—would return to my ‘dark master’, the thing that gives me perhaps the greatest joy in popular music: the big fat groove riff. Something I largely haven’t touched in my mixes up to this point. Continue reading
From here on out I’m attempting to create a poster for every CIFF poster competition that runs during late winter/early spring. Since I just received the notice for the 2017 (due sometime in May) I thought it’d be interesting to post the one I did, and submitted, last year. I didn’t win, but I made it to the final rounds, before ultimately loosing to an Alfred Hitchcock inspired design. Continue reading
With this month being the triple themed smorgasbord that it was (Valentines Day, Black History Month, and LGBT Awareness Month), I tried to come up with an idea that used all these in some way, and still flow in a coherent, seamless way. Thus, I envisioned a dance mix (what could be as romantic on a Valentine’s Day?) with a more or less continuous heavy bass line running through it using African American artists predominately, but also many overtly political ones of several different nationalities as well (of mixed gender and sexuality throughout). Featuring a wide ranging mélange of genres (from raunchy hip hop to feminist post-punk dub to 70’s English prog rock to suedehead Mod), I wanted to show how all this is cut from the same cloth. In a world like ours currently, dance floor unity Trumps all (and many of the songs feature appropriate lyrical content for anyone interested in reading between the lines). So to all my soul brothers and sisters, I present my February mix: Get Higher Baby and Never Come Down.
Over the last two days I’ve posted my favorite 50 records of this past year in a two part rundown over at this blogs sister site, Wonders in the Dark. Part 1 can be read here, while Part 2 can be seen here. Plus, as a bonus, the first post (50-26) also contains a rundown of what I considered the most essential compilations/reissues from last year. Happy listening.
Today I’m able to release my next mix titled Letter to Mommy and Daddy, just ahead of another one that is coming at the end of February. It’s a somewhat ambitious idea in concept (mixing two very different pop ideas: noise/shoegaze with deep, classic 60’s Soul) and execution (it’s bookended with kaleidoscopic sound collages and noise blasts), so I hope you all like it. There is some stereo stuff going on, so I’d recommend listening with headphones on.