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Tag Archives: lovecraft

The Mountains of Madness and The Tiger Lillies

In 2005 the Tiger Lillies, a killer band who’s been doing the dark side of steampuynk since before steampunk even existed  and Alexander Hacke of the avante garde noise band Einstürzende Neubauten came together to perform a series of original songs based on H.P.Lovecraft stories.

The results are excellent, as one would expect. The Tiger Lillies are a stupendous act and this is the first time they have collaborated or much less had any type of non acoustic instrument on the stage. The Tiger Lillies are a 3 piece, using accordion, upright bass and drums, with the accordionist singing the best falsetto in the business. Their material is dark. They’re like a twisted penny dreadful come to life.

I present here the entire concert. Perfect sound. Perfect video.Take a listen. Hell, if you aren’t familiar with The Tiger Lillies either start at the beginning or just skip to ANY point in the show and sit back for a spell. Set your shoes up.

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Posted by on October 19, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Edward Gorey Illustrating Lovecraft?

Over at Lovecraft eZine they’ve got a wonderful post featuring pics of Danish artist John Kenn Mortensen in which he basically channels artist Edward Gorey (the Gashlycrumb Tinies anyone?) illustrating Lovecraft.

I’m gonna repost these pics (to be fair i’m basically reprinting the post because time is not my friend today and shame and i have never been close.) They are very awesome i assure you.

The artist, John Kenn Mortensen has an awesome blog here, and his blurb is, and i quote: “BORN IN DENMARK 1978. I WRITE AND DIRECT TELEVISION SHOWS FOR KIDS. I HAVE A SET OF TWINS AND NOT MUCH TIME FOR ANYTHING. BUT WHEN I HAVE TIME I DRAW MONSTER DRAWINGS ON POST-IT NOTES… IT IS A LITTLE WINDOW INTO A DIFFERENT WORLD, MADE ON OFFICE SUPPLIES.”

To reiterate, most of these are all drawings drawn on post-it notes.

When it’s all said and done, the world is an awesome place.

You can buy John’s artwork in book form here.

 
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Posted by on July 1, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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The Silver Key by Ah Pook The Destroyer

Here we have a post rock meets Pink Floyd album interpreting the H.P. Lovecraft story The Silver Key.

It’s the first album by Ah Pook The Destroyer. Ah Pook, a takeoff of a William Burrough’s bit is a collaboration between Matthew Broyles of The Matthew Show and Paul Shapera of ….. Mocha Lab as well as some theatrical pieces including, i believe, some Steampunk Opera or whatnot like that.

It’s a brand new release.

Ah Pook The Destroyer is a side band for both of us and dedicated to reinterpreting iconic works of literature. (We’ll be doing The Little Prince next). The entire thing is made without either of us meeting. We trade the tracks back and forth over the net.

No agreement was ever made to how we should approach working. What arose naturally was that Matthew would send me some guitar riffs. I would then build tracks around them and send them back. He would then layer additional guitar parts, maybe some bass, send them back and finally, when we had all the tracks we needed for the album, we started divvying up the songs into who would be in charge of what vocals for which part. (“I’ll do track 1. For track 8 you do the verses and i’ll take the choruses” “Great, i got dibs on track 5. You deal with the choruses on 7 and i’ll fool with the verse”).

You can download the album at ahpookthedestroyer.bandcamp.com or purchase it from any online store. The website is ahpookthedestroyer.com

 
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Posted by on November 3, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Cthulhu: The Funksical

Today we’re going to listen to an immensely fun album i did rather recently which tells a completely ridiculous story featuring some classic H.P. Lovecraft monsters. It pretty much speaks for itself.

The story arch occurs over the first 8 tracks (it’s not that long though) and since i’m just linking to the entire album on Bandcamp there’s the extra album tracks on here too. Have fun. I busted my ass digging half meter holes in rock then hand mixing and pouring cement into them (outdoor plaything for the toddler) so there is no way i can be expected to string together actual thoughts or find anything of remote interest today. So enjoy.

I should also mention that track 6. Cthulhu is sung by the amazing Zoe Kidah and and Lady Chatterlaine was co written (and sung) by my good friend The Matthew Show.

 
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Posted by on April 28, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Mocha Lab: Stories in Music

show and tell records

My first big record obsession was when i was a toddler. I had a series of “Show And Tell” records. You put them on a special little record player and they tell you stories which i listened to in rapt wonder. By the time i was a boy i was catapulting around the room to The Story Of Star Wars, or a Superman Stories record. In middle school i found a book in the library that had old Shadow radio show scripts and after school i’d sit down in front of a tape recorder and do all the voices. I eventually would set up a bunch of props to use as sound effects and play a certain song at the beginning for the theme music, as well as improvise commercials.

In high school i discovered the concept album, but even before that i would fall asleep to a cassette playing random songs i’d recorded off the radio (which at the time meant h0lding my cheap cassette player up next to my clock radio) and imagine stories linking the otherwise unrelated songs.

I like telling stories and i like doing it through sound.

As a young man i made a bunch of conceptual theater works. They were stories and somewhere between theatrical and kind of progish music (yes, i know, i am a total dork). They were definitely interesting and different for what they were, if not overreaching, overdone and a bit rough around the edges technique wise, although some served me quite well. And then, one day, i stopped. I had run into a brick wall creatively, these projects were becoming a bit ridiculous and not actually being pulled off well enough. I started making entirely different albums. I changed my name to Mocha Lab. Each album still had a theme, but the theme was more in the genre, style or approach. This turning point was one of the best things i ever did artistically, as my skill in my craft began to take leaps.

But i still wanted to tell stories and could not shake that.

I had no desire to make some kind of archaic concept album, all proggy and vague which takes the listener 20 listens to figure out what’s going on. That was great for adolescence, but it’s interest had waned. With some maturity had come the notion of not beating around the bush. What do you want to do? Then do it and don’t shmuck about at it. If you want to tell a story, then simply tell a story.

So i began the use of narration for these particular tracks. Instead of sung vocals, you can just plain tell a damn story.

Here, for example, is a ghost story of sorts:

Now, after over 12 years, i’ve started telling longer, multi track stories again. (see Cthulhu: The Funksical and A Melancholy Tale From The Icy Lands, as well as the upcoming album The Silver Key and the multi media theater show The Fallen) It works much better now as i have vastly more mature, sophisticated and interesting approaches and sensibilities then i once did.  However, it’s become clear that stories through music is a particular and defining trait my music will carry and the exploration of different ways to go about it will continue to fascinate me.

A retelling of the story of Cain and Abel:

 
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Posted by on February 23, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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