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.