Super Sonic Tuesday: New Cult, DCD, more

The Cult

A new album in the spring, a new single right now. Full streaming preview of LUCIFER at Rolling Stone. 


Dead Can Dance

Live Happenings, Part iii: 4 new tracks free for download


Apnea, captured by a photag unknown to me

A Darker Shade of Pagan 1/29/12

Playlist for 01/29/12

[direct download]
[subscribe via iTunes]
[podcast feed]

Mirabilis – World Indifferent
Azam Ali – Neni Desem
Arborea – Black is the Colour
Young Hunting – Embers From the Pyre
Priscilla Hernandez – The Aftermath
The Frozen Autumn – Sidereal Solitude
Dead Can Dance – Minus Sanctus (live)
Austra – Lose It (live)
Ford and Lopatin with Tamaryn – Flying Dream
Esben and The Witch – Hexagons I (The Fall)
Fever Ray – Keep the Streets Empty for Me
Metal Mother – Willow

“Excellent mix. Except for the wretched song smack in the middle.” — SD
HEXES the sunday spectra

HEXES the sunday spectra 1/29/12

Ishioka’s costume design for The Cell (2000)

Eiko Ishioka, Multifaceted Designer and Oscar Winner, Dies at 73


By MARGALIT FOX Published: January 26, 2012

Eiko Ishioka, a designer who brought an eerie, sensual surrealism to film and theater, album covers, the Olympics and Cirque du Soleil, in the process earning an Oscar, a Grammy and a string of other honors, died on Saturday in Tokyo. She was 73.

The cause was pancreatic cancer, her studio manager, Tracy Roberts, said.

Trained as a graphic designer, Ms. Ishioka was for decades considered the foremost art director in Japan; she later came to be known as one of the foremost in the world.

Ms. Ishioka won an Academy Award for costume design in 1992 for “Bram Stoker’s ‘Dracula,’ ” directed by Francis Ford Coppola. Her outfits for the film included a suit of full body armor for the title character (played by Gary Oldman), whose glistening red color and all-over corrugation made it look like exposed musculature, and a voluminous wedding dress worn by the actress Sadie Frost, with a stiff, round, aggressive lace collar inspired by the ruffs of frill-necked lizards.

These typified Ms. Ishioka’s aesthetic. A deliberate marriage of East and West — she had lived in Manhattan for many years — it simultaneously embraced the gothic, the otherworldly, the dramatic and the unsettling and was suffused with a powerful, dark eroticism. Her work, whose outsize stylization dazzled some critics and discomforted others, was provocative in every possible sense of the word, and it was meant to be.

Ms. Ishioka was closely associated with the director Tarsem Singh, for whom she designed costumes for four films. In the first, “The Cell” (2000), she encased Jennifer Lopez, who plays a psychologist trapped by a serial killer, in a headpiece that resembled a cross between a rigid neck brace and a forbidding bird cage.

“Jennifer asked me if I could make it more comfortable,” Ms. Ishioka told The Ottawa Citizen in 2000, “but I said, ‘No, you’re supposed to be tortured.’ ”

Read full article at nyt



Eiko Ishioka & Paul Schrader’s Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters

From “Kyoko’s House”

From “Runaway Horses”

†  †  †

The Mysterious Object on the Ocean Floor

Mysterious Music: “Ode to the Passing of Time”

“A mix of lush, and slightly rustic tracks evoking old ballrooms, aging cities and distant memories.”

More info and track listing at:

†  †  †

Warren Ellis, Newt Gingrich, and the Moonbase

Warren Ellis writes:

At VICE’s Motherboard blog, I’m interviewed by Abraham Riesman about space travel and the somewhat confused recent claims of Speaker Gingrich.

Well, let’s start with the “51st State” bit that’s being bandied about. Speaker Gingrich knows as well as the next political mammal that the Outer Space Treaty forbids any one nation from claiming sovereignty over the moon. So, not so much with the 51st State crap…

Deathmatch on Mars: An Interview with Warren Ellis on Newt Gingrich, Space Realism and Future America



A New Drax Mix, “The Troubled Spirit”

Darkwood 1 David Darling | Game of Thrones Theme WhiteNoise Lab | Oreiades Monica Richards | Your Specters Be Forest | The Children of Lir and  Islanded by Fields; the Beginning of a Life Kristine Barrett | Night Eternal Moonspell | Fire Burning The Devil’s Blood | The Troubled Spirit  Barry Gray | Ghosts of the Midwinter Fires Agalloch | The Love That Cannot Be Dead Can Dance

The Troubled Spirit

Photo by Mara Damian


Ashtray Chat Links Music

LOVE ME and DIE! + a mix inspired by Skyrim

And a mix inspired by Skyrim



Tales To Terrify # 3: Gary McMahon

Tony C. Smith and the always congenial crew from StarShipSofa are back with more audio terror!

And check out more of Tony & Co’s excellent offerings on google+.


HEXES the sunday spectra

HEXES The Vampire Special

© John Bolton

So pale, this little flower,

just a whisper of the song she was meant to sing— 


From the HWA, oh boy…

The Vampire Novel of the Century Award

The Horror Writers Association (HWA), the international association of writers, publishing professionals, and supporters of horror literature, in conjunction with the Bram Stoker Family Estate and the Rosenbach Museum & Library, proudly announce the nominees for the Bram Stoker Vampire Novel of the Century Award, to be presented at the Bram Stoker Awards™ Banquet at World Horror Convention in Salt Lake City, Utah, on March 31, 2012. The Award will mark the centenary of the death in 1912 of Abraham (Bram) Stoker, the author of Dracula.

A jury composed of writers and scholars selected, from a field of more than 35 preliminary nominees, the six vampire novels that they believe have had the greatest impact on the horror genre since publication of Draculain 1897. Eligible works must have been first published between 1912 and 2011 and published in or translated into English.

The nominees are:

The Soft Whisper of the Dead by Charles L. Grant (1983). Grant (1946-2006) was a prolific American writer of what he called “dark fantasy” and “quiet horror,” writing under six pseudonyms as well as his own name. Grant also edited numerous horror and fantasy anthologies. The novel is part of Grant’s series of 12 books set in his fictional small town Oxrun Station, Connecticut. Grant was a former president of Horror Writers Association and received its Lifetime Achievement Award in 1999.

Salem’s Lot by Stephen King. First published in 1975, this was only the second work by the now-legendary American author of dozens of fantasy, science fiction, mystery, and horror stories, comics, and novels. Set in the town of Jerusalem’s Lot, it tells of a man’s return to his hometown, where he finds a plague of vampirism. The book has twice been made into television mini-series and has been recorded by the BBC. King’s work has won countless Bram Stoker Awards™ from HWA, and King (1947- ), a lifelong New England resident, was recognized with HWA’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2002.

I Am Legend by Richard Matheson. First published in 1954, the novel is set in the mid-1970’s, when a plague has swept the world, bringing with it zombie-like creatures identified as vampires. Richard Neville, the book’s protagonist, may be the last living human. The work has been filmed three times under various titles, most recently in 2007, under its original title, starring Will Smith. Matheson (1926- ), an American, has written screenplays as well as short and long fiction, and many of his works have been filmed or made into teleplays. He wrote frequently for The Twilight Zone in its heyday. Matheson received HWA’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 1990.

Anno Dracula by Kim Newman first appeared in 1992. The novel imagines an alternate history in which Van Helsing and his cohorts failed in their attempt to rid England of Dracula. In this timeline, Dracula went on to marry Queen Victoria, ushering in an era of vampire aristocracy in England and elsewhere. The book is followed by two other novels and a number of shorter works set in the Anno Dracula universe, all meticulously researched to include numerous historical details and many characters of Victorian and more recent popular literature. Newman (1959- ) is an English writer of fantasy and horror, as well as reference books in the field, and frequently appears as a host and critic for the BBC and other media.

Interview with the Vampire by Southern American author Anne Rice first appeared in 1976 and achieved enormous popularity, selling more than 8 million copies. The book introduces the vampires Louis and Lestat, who, along with a dozen other unique individual vampires, appear in a long series by Rice known as the Vampire Chronicles. The novel was filmed in 1994 starring Tom Cruise as Lestat and Brad Pitt as Louis; another work in the series, Queen of the Damned, was filmed in 2002; the novel was also produced as a Broadway musical in 2006. Rice (1941- ) has written numerous other gothic fantasy novels, selling more than 100 million copies worldwide, and has won many awards, including HWA’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003.

Hotel Transylvania by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, published in 1978, is the first of a 25-book (so far) series featuring le Comte de Saint Germain, a 2000+-year-old vampire, whose adventures in many historical periods are recounted. This novel overlaps in many details with the historical facts of le Comte de Saint-Germain, a mysterious figure. An American writer, Yarbro (1942- ) publishes three or four books a year, under various pseudonyms, in a variety of genres, including mysteries and romance tales. She was awarded HWA’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008.

The winning book will be announced on March 31, 2012. HWA will also celebrate its twenty-fifth anniversary on that date.

For more information, please contact Leslie S. Klinger, chair of the Bram Stoker Vampire Novel of the Century jury.

The Vampire Novel of the Century Award is sponsored by Jeremy Wagner.


Vampire Gallery

Theda Bara

Dracula’s Brides

Edvard Munch Vampire i & ii

Guy Davis

The Space Vampire from Buck Rogers

Dracula by Master Frazetta

Nosferatu 1979



Team Radu

All hail the king


And the other King, too.

— Thanks to everybody who submitted ideas and images for the Gallery —

and finally (finally).

‘It’s a glimpse into a time capsule, an alien world’

Steven Severin on scoring 1932’s Vampyr


Following his 2010 Blood of a Poet tour, which saw him perform a new score to Jean Cocteau’s 1930 black & white surrealist classic, musician Steven Severin returns this month with a rare opportunity to experience his score for Carl Theodor Dreyer’s 1932 silent horror, Vampyr.

Best known as the founding member of Siouxsie and the Banshees, Severin’s film scores have earned him rave reviews and the tour is eagerly awaited by both music and film fans around the country.

I spoke to Severin about his work on the new score which comes at a busy time for silent cinema in Scotland.

Jonathan Melville: Why did you choose Vampyr as your latest project?

Steven Severin:Vampyrjust seemed to dovetail really nicely with the other two films I’d previously toured with: Germaine Dulac’s The Seashell & The Clergyman & Jean Cocteau’s Blood of A Poet. It struck me that there was a kind of subconscious thread running through my choices namely, that of a single male protagonist trapped in a dreamworld he can neither make sense of nor escape from. So in that sense Vampyr feels like the bookend to a trilogy of work.

How long did it take to write the score?

The whole process takes months. Most of that time is spent watching, re-watching, researching and gestating.  Once I know “how” & “where” to begin, the process of writing the music is very fast. Two weeks solid, probably.

What originally inspired you to start scoring silent films?

I can’t remember an original spark as my desire to do this goes so far back. I saw John Cale do The Unknown and Phillip Glass do Dracula in the 90s but my interest stems from a much earlier date. I just had this dream to do it, to be commissioned but once the technology was available I decided not to wait around for the South Bank to call. That’s just as well because they still haven’t.

Silent film seems to back in fashion just now, with a number of classics being screened around the UK and the release of The Artist. Why do you think we’re still so fascinated with silent cinema?

I think it’s partly because we enjoy seeing real craftsmanship, real imagination at work. People really stretching their limitations. CGI and 3D for the most part is employed in such a lazy manner it doesn’t really move us. It’s also a glimpse into a time capsule, an alien world really.

Do you still enjoy touring?

Yes. I love being in different places, being exposed to different cultures, different cuisines and I really love performing my music to these films. I’ve learned to blank out all he tedious bits in between, thankfully. I think I must have Romany blood to still want to do it after all these years. Six months at home is about my limit then I start the anxious pacing.

Steven Severin begins his Scottish tour of Vampyr at Edinburgh’s Cameo cinema on Thursday 12 January, before moving onto Inverness’ Eden Court on Friday 13, Aberdeen’s Peacock Centre on Saturday 14 and finallyDundee’s DCA on Sunday 15. Full details can be found at

This will conclude HEXES the Vampire Special

Thanks to the usual gang of troublemakers


Ashtray Chat

So Where’s the Damn Vampire Special?

It’s COMING. It’s BRILLIANT. In the meantime, have some Vampirella.



And there we go. The above is Boris, right? (It has to be.)
Ending w/ the Suydam just didn’t feel right.
May your dreams be wicked!
Ashtray Chat Links

Frank Zappa is The Big Lebowski

Alternate reality posters by Peter Stults


HEXES the sunday spectra

Dept of Screw It: Hexes Vampire Special Teaser 1

Not the cover. (“I’m afraid so, Janet. But isn’t it NICE?!”) The real shebang will be coming later today or perhaps Monday, and it will be worth the wait. Who’s your favorite vampire? And more.


Ashtray Chat Links

Perpetual Twilight

Lifted entirely from Don Pettit of NASA, because every inch is beautiful:

Twice a year, near the winter and summer solstices, the orbit of space station nearly parallels the terminator—the fuzzy line separating day from night on the surface below. For a period of about a week, we live in what seems like perpetual twilight, being in neither full daylight nor full night. Our orbit follows the terminator, so that space station is constantly sunlit. From this vantage I can see both day and night simply by swiveling my head from left to right. But the night is not really dark, and the day is lit by low-angle rays from the Sun. 

Geographic relief casts long shadows, and imparts stark contrast to features that are typically overlooked. Small ripples in sand dunes make high contrast striations across the bright desert landscape that look like Nature’s way of drawing with pen and ink. Geographic relief plays tricks on you. First you see the Grand Canyon as this deep scar.Blink your eyes and it is now a rippling bump. Thunderstorms cast shadows that look like they come from some new type of ray beam weapon. Airliners, their path defined by contrails, leave glimmering lines like snail trails in the morning dew. The gardens of Earth appear to have quite an infestation of snails. 

The Moon sets in a counterintuitive way. From this vantage it moves nearly parallel to the horizon. Once I saw it slowly set, only to reappear in a few minutes. The Moon was visible for nearly the whole orbit.

The night side is equally fascinating. The atmosphere on edge glows with a vibrant electric blue. Did van Gogh paint this scene? I can see at least five, maybe six distinct layers of blue—perhaps a visual display of the classic atmospheric strata. Just past the terminator, rays of sunlight can be seen projected above the darkened limb of the Earth. 

The most striking aspect of our atmosphere is not the palette of electric blue colors but the thinness of it all. Our atmosphere is a diaphanous veil; thin, fragile, transparent, and the only thing that protects us from the harsh vacuum of space. Too much atmosphere, and the planet is choked and suffocated. Too little, and it is exposed to the harshness of cosmic space. My vantage on the station gives me a deep appreciation of this fact.

via Hubert Motley, Jr.