Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Radio Show-Night Fall's "The All Nighter"

A more recent radio show, i think from the late seventies.
"Night Fall" is a Canadian radio show that lasted for about a 100 episodes and is probably my second favorite series of all time. The shows tended to be a little weirder and stayed pretty clear of crime-drama territory, instead focusing on "Twilight-Zone"-esque scenarios. There are many favorites from this series but I find this one one of the most unsettling.

The plot concerns an actress who also works nights in a 24-hour laundry. She notices a very strange man enter one night, and then disappear- and then discovers human flesh in the washing machine. Its one of those "WTF" plots that "NightFall" seems so fond of, and its actually unsettling besides. Download it here.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Radio Show - Inner Sanctum's "The Lonely Sleep"

Going to cultivate the habit of uploading my favorite creepy radio shows. Its a great sport for me to dig up forgotten series and listen to all of them and find the very best ones. I tend to get excited at new discoveries anyway, so I want to make a point of sharing and reviewing these.

It should be said that I never listen to anything other than suspense/horror OTRs, and maybe sometimes a bit of sci-fi (tho i find it dull). The holy Grail is always to find something actually frightening, but ghoulish/noir will do as well.

For the former I have no better example than the episode of Vanishing Point that I have posted on here, "Snow Shadow Area". If i could rent radio time, and play that 12 hours straight so that everyone gets scared out of their mind, i would. i'd like to see that one become a classic- its so incongruous, to find something like that and it be so unknown. its like seeing Larry Olivier in dinner theatre in Florida. Its still on here, if you are into it, go download it.

This one falls into the "ghoulish/noir" category. "The Lonely Sleep" is an unusual entry for "Inner Sanctum", a show that excelled at promising more than it delivered. Experts in hyperbole, the show has become a bit of a classic, and i think its just because of sheer numbers. Thousands of episodes were produced while superior shows like Night Fall only did about a hundred. They simply outweigh most other series and i have found the vast majority of them to be simply overbaked crime dramas. But this time, it actually gets really weird, unbelievably weird actually, at least for the time. Hell, for any time.

The story concerns a lonely young bachelor who can't stand to be laughed it. He eases his pain by spending time with his mannequins, and by mannequins, we mean, hmmm. Weird parallels between this character and Dennis Nielsen, the English serial killer whose motive could be summed up as "Killing for Company". Again, this one really gets a bit ghoulish and i bet the switchboards lit up after this one was aired, and the kiddies had a few nightmares.

Something about this show is so clammy, so dark, its like finding one of those lurid "Hollywood Confidential" mags from the late 1940's about the Black Dahlia-all grainy and ghoulish and darker than you would think- and the pages are all crumbling and you feel like you need to wash your hands afterward. Naturally it strains credibility and the acting is over the top and all that, but still, its good spooky fun and you can get it HERE.

Friday, November 9, 2012

When an artist becomes a scientist, and then, a wizard

it is with great satisfaction that i report the near-finish of my first semester of college with straight A's and an entirely more fulsome (and fascinating) aspiration- to become an electrical engineer.

its a very interesting experience, to be the person that i am, walking into this sort of world. electronics have fascinated me my whole life, but i was always frightened of it. and a scientific pursuit never occurred to me, in a million years. i had studied surveying for a brief time at a tech school, but the only other serious aspiration i ever pursued (that one would need a degree for) was french translation. art and the sheer act of creating always had a higher pull on me and always made it easy for me to just throw the conventional path aside and frankly i PREFERRED learning on my own. i always figured that i would just be an idiot savant for the rest of my life, an autodidact who learned in her own way, who pursued many paths but never strayed too far into the scientific realm.

so it is with great interest that i find out how INTERESTING and BIZARRE the world of technology and especially electronics is. i am delighted to learn that no one really KNOWS what current is, or why a transistor works. all engineers and scientists know is how current behaves. they know that a transistor can amplify. but they don't know why. they can only hypothesize and direct it.

and the fact that current is present everywhere, even within our bodies, can be somewhat tamed and observed reliably, does not diminish the weirdness of harnessing a mysterious force. and of course, the SOUNDS- the sounds are of prime importance. i could very well see focusing on sound exclusively, and the building of both sound and visual instruments has been on my mind for some time now. it is what pushed me into this field.

when i look at the trajectory, i realize that the BBC Radiophonic Workshop and to an even greater degree, Broadcast, had everything to do with this bend in my aesthetics. combining the pastoral, the spooky and the electronic into one really upended much of where i was before then. there was this since of wanting to live in the past that i have completely abandoned. there is this realization that the new does not have to leave behind the past, and can combine with a wholly psychedelic future. that really led to me embracing technology in a way that is almost childlike. the fact that i became married to my laptop since i started making films didn't hurt either. i realized that things were possible that my archaic aesthetics had never considered before. that, while i may have wanted to live in 1966, i couldn't have done nearly what i had accomplished artistically in those days that i could now. all of that led into discovering a treasure trove of electronic (NOT HOUSE, or TECHNO) music, and that led into wanting to build instruments, learning about circuit bending, and then signing up for an electronics certificate, and then really finding out what it means to be an engineer and work with truly mysterious, yet concrete forces.

in our lab one day in school, we made a two tone oscillator. it just brought it all home for me like a ton of bricks. hearing those tones emanating out of all those breadboards delighted me. i heard the silver apples and broadcast and stereolab in those tones. even watching the humble LED's light up when you wire something right makes me reel with delight. HERE is something that you can sink your teeth into. this isn't like parapsychology or the occult or literature or art. it isn't speculative. it isn't abstract. it is a mound of immutable laws wrapped in riddles. it is a toy that you can play with, a color you can paint with. it makes sound and it can make things light up. it can detect and spin and do what you tell it, when you speak its language. and its language is in resistors and ohm's law and potentiometers and schematics. its a SCIENCE, and science can be an art- but art cannot be a science. it can only be informed and shaped by science. art is all variables, all possibilities. if a circuit were purely art, it could not transmit its information. there is an exactitude, a sense of having to work on the Force's terms, which i find intoxicating. i have to be BENT into that shape. i can't just flow around it and "intuit" it. it demands study and everything done correctly. but when you do that, you can create something completely unique, and truly artistic.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

"Tears in the Typing Pool"- NEW BROADCAST VIDEO

the guilt i have been feeling regarding my 6 months of broadcast-video-drought has been rather painful for me. it hasn't been as if i have laid about and done sweet F.A., for i have been extremely busy working and moving and doing many shows. but still it nagged at me. i hate setting out to do something - especially something in tribute- and then failing. I have resolved to get back on the horse and ALWAYS have one that I am working on, even if i only work on it for a half hour a week. so that is why i not only finished this one, i also am nearly finished with a video for "Lights Out", which should be posted at the end of the week.

Really proud of this one, as I vowed to use NO fx, no fancy transitions, and keep it simple, as befits the song. its one of my favorites and its quite melancholy and reminds me of very sad times in my life. I think it was easy to do this time because my life is NOT sad, thereby making it easier for me to connect with the source footage ("The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner", great film).

I am just happy to be doing what i say i will do, at last, again. Watch it here.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


I am really quite sad that the blog and my video channel have completely gotten out from under me. It isn't for lack of creativity, as I am busier than ever, but the solitary pursuits like the Broadcast project and the studies have been totally neglected. I have only made one new mix in 6 months. That's what happens when you have shows almost every weekend and are trying to create content to keep up with it all.

I fondly think back to the 8 months I had where all I seemed to do was take long walks, spend all evening working on whatever I chose, and had a normal job. Normality is quite derided. But I value it more and more as only someone who has spent so much of their life living the uncertain artists' life. Regular hours can be good for the soul. Too much of anything- be it wacky artsy unpredictability or stultifying regularity- is too much.

I think I have gotten myself to a point where I can begin the personal projects again. I will be starting school in late August, and that shall be a special priority. But before then I really want to get back in that groove. My own personal creative stuff makes me just as happy as the public, and I miss it. SO before the end of the week there shall be some new stuff on this blog, the channel, or both. I don't humor myself into thinking too many care, but at least if I write it down this way then there is the shame factor of the public statement. One must follow through. And no shows this weekend. It will practically be a vacation.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Study Number 5- Dark Office

A long time coming, but I have a good excuse, moving cross the country and whatnot.

This is the 5th study and a labor of love that started months ago. I wanted to somehow visually and sonically elucidate my love of nighttime office architecture, old archaic mainframe machines, and electronic soundscapes. That led me to making dozens and dozens of new clips and create an entirely new sort of working esthetic that somehow left the actual creation of the study as secondary. I have been swimming in old electronics advertisements, abandoned office footage, and various other vintage admin ephemera for months. This is the result. Download the study in its entirety (with cd artwork, track listings, and five minute visual loop and instructions) here. Comments are welcome.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

a certain AESTHETIC weariness

i am finding myself undergoing great changes. i am unexpectedly weary of things i used to love, and in love with things that never had occurred to me. it keeps coming on, growing into its own zeitgeist. there are all these repercussions and ripples hitting me at odd angles.

i am finding the self-consciously retro scenes that i used to adore now bore me. there is a missing dimension. there's an asshandedness to it all. in certain scenes girls wear certain things. there is a "look". and while i may LOVE the look, the concept of reproduction in that respect is what i am finding less affinity with. there are many many other dimensions and shades and discoveries that shine far brighter than a second-hand reproduction of something you weren't there for. my mind feels like a Brite-Lite, in the midst of a changing picture, and the combined light of all those discoveries makes strange new colors. all the lights are on.

Monday, February 13, 2012


My favorite number is 66. My favorite year is 1966. Growing up, I had a weird fascination with the telephone and tore out the page from our phone book that contained all the country and city codes, and learned which numbers I could call where I could hear the "this call cannot be completed" prerecorded messages (ala Kraftwerk's "The Telephone Call").

Last year upon mentioning this blog idea to a techy friend of mine who knew my fascination with the number of 66, he told me about this:

(from wikipedia)

66 block (also M-Block or B-Block) is a type of punchdown block used to connect sets of wires in a telephone system. 66 blocks are designed to terminate 22 through 26 AWG solid copper wire.
The 25-pair standard non-split 66 Block contains 50 rows; each row has four columns of clips that are electrically bonded.
The 25-pair "Split 50" 66 Block is the industry standard for easy termination of voice cabling, and is a standard network termination by telephone companies–generally on commercial properties. Each row contains four clips, but the left two clips are electrically isolated from the right two clips.
66 blocks pre-assembled with an RJ-21 female connector are available that accept a quick connection to a 25-pair cable with a male end. These connections are typically made between the block and the CPE (customer premise equipment).

Its a weird world.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Winter Radio Show-"Snow Shadow Area"

"Vanishing Point", a Canadian radio show from the early 1980's, is perhaps the highest quality OTR show that I have ever heard. Its worth it to visit the Archive and download them all. Each one I have heard distinguishes itself immediately with its lack of bombast, its unusual plot twists, and the dated electronic incidental music.

This episode, "Snow Shadow Area", in hands down the creepiest show I have ever heard. This one is perfect for a dreary evening, but I warn you, it really will frighten you. This isn't the ordinary crime drama you find so often with OTR. Its thoughtful, quiet, and unsettling. Winter is painted in very sinister, disturbing tones. Its very much like "The Shining" in that winter and snow are almost a character in the unfolding nightmare. Surreal and enveloping, unexpected and unsettling. This is not comical or overblown like "Inner Sanctum". It isn't melodramatic. Its like a fever dream. Download it here.

Thursday, January 12, 2012


I have become very much obsessed of late with any type of pre-80's office buildings and towers, to add to my already long-standing lust for industrial spaces and abandonment. I have found a certain piquancy in the loomingness of an underused office tower. There is a building very close to where I am living now that I have developed a crush on. Its maybe circa 1968, ten floors, and the other day I entered the building on a lark and the elevator opened on its own, as if it were falling in love with me. Riding that elevator to the top felt clandestine. The view at the top was just the icing on the cake, or as Peter Sellers said in "Murder by Death"- "Like TV during honeymoon....UNNECESSARY." It was the act of transporting between floors, of being in a building I had literally no business in, that felt so deliciously criminal, like an affair.

Its odd.

The only thing that could rival that would be to be inside of it, at night. For the whole thing to be ABANDONED. To slink down darkened halls with offices filled with archaic, punch-card era machines that looked like Daleks. To stare down elevator shafts and hear the echo. To see the streetlights shining through louvered windows and dusty blinds, creating patterns on massive oaken desks with multi-line phones from companies that folded decades ago.

I am not sure if others in the world feel this way. I feel actually LUCKY to be an american at this juncture in history, to be enjoying the fruits of a depressed economy in a way that I had never dreamed. That the upside of economic disaster is massive, haunted, empty office buildings.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Study #4 - Super Hits of Winter

Winter is upon us, and for me the season brings changes in certain habits. I tend to listen to more Soft Machine and creepy electronic music in the winter. I get a powerful lust for the smell and taste of peppermint. And I switch to Super Hit incense instead of my usual Nag Champa.

I sincerely wish that blogs came with a special pneumatic tube like those found in the old Weimer-era Berlin swinger's clubs- you could buy trinkets and send them to whatever table held the object of your fancy- so that I could send all a package of this lovely incense to complete this auditory and visual experience. Super Hit and the first two Soft Machine albums- that is as winter for me as ice and Christmas. Ergo, the title of this study.

Songs are all across the map, and many would wonder why I included a couple of reggae numbers in there. Reggae in winter is a very close, warm sound. It's the sound of shivering round the fireside to warm, dubby bass. This makes sense to me. Perhaps it won't for others.

Nevertheless, included as usual is the cd artwork, track listings, and a five minute visual loop of appropriate ephemera (ran through my own peculiar psychedelic processing system, of course). The whole can be downloaded in its entirety here.

Many blessings in the new year, and many more studies poised for entry.