Shriekback Are Immortal

Landon Dunlevy
Here is your chance to be Musical Crusader! First off, I have to say again that Shriekback are coming out with a plethora of out-takes, alternative track, and what not. Here's what Barry announced in the Shriekback Facebook Page.

9 hours ago
BA's two solo albums 'Stic Basin' and 'Haunted Box of Switches' as well as Shriekback's 'Sacred City' will soon be available to pre-order
on itunes. Release (download only) on Aug 31st.

In the meantime, here's a list of other Shriek-related goodies which can be on Shriekback's Facebook page that will be coming to us in August. released. Please let us know what you'd like to see..

'And, if I Refuse?'
(BA very early stuff: post XTC, pre Shrieks demos)
'Midnight Calliope'
(mostly BA film and dance incidental music)
'Demonstration/Neu in Berlin'
(acoustic (94-6) Shrieks outatkes from Naked Apes..)
'Hatfield Live'
(pro recording of 84? gig. Hooligan stuff.)
'Secrets of the City'
(BA and MB tunes for dance piece 95)
'Two Live Shows'
(very early bootlegs of -er -two live shows in UK)
(outatkes, demos ad rarities from the early 80's)
'Having a Moment'
(Shriekback's mini-album from 2002)

(thanks James Burke for some titles and comping)"

Here's a sample of the some of the songs that will be on 13.

You may also want to follow their Twitter/Facebook/and Tumblr (tumblr is famous for pics, if that's your thang.

Please spread the good word that all in the world is not lost as long as these guys make music.

Watch this page, as well as Barry's Tumblr (@shriekbackmusic)
Dr. Who Boogie
And here's the proof.

Paranoia and Hilarity

Well, what can I say?

Weird Al Yankovic has a new album out and, in case you’ve been living under a rock, you know that he’s releasing a video for a new song each day, for eight days.

So far, they’ve all been brilliant. How could they not be? It’s Al-Freakin’-Yankovic! One of them, though, has really stood out for me. That would be “Foil.” Check it out here. I’ll wait.

When it was released, I made the prediction that, within a week or less, Conspiracy Theorists would experience the paranoiacs’ equivalent of nuclear holocaust. I was wrong. It began less than 24 hours after ‘Foil’ graced screens everywhere. One person even suggested that Al is a high-ranking Illuminatus. I’m too astounded to laugh, even though I knew it was gonna happen.

I’m not saying Al Yankovic is or isn’t a member of the Illuminati. Either way, it wouldn’t matter to me, because I typically side with Robert Anton Wilson on the theory that we are all a part of the conspiracy, which means this Illuminatus is writing what you Illuminati are currently reading. Mindfuck Ahoy!

I started researching conspiracies and secret societies in 1988, when Timothy lent me his book, Holy Blood, Holy Grail, and it fired my imagination when I first started forming the foundation of what would become The Vampire Relics. I’ve read tons of stuff over the years and, at times, wholeheartedly believed that something was up. In 1990, my conspiracy research got seriously ramped up with the dinky (and I do mean dinky - the lettering is incredibly tiny) mention of “Illuminati” on the back of Shriekback’s Dancing Years CD, which I acquired just a few months after reading The Illuminatus Trilogy by Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson.

Things just seemed to fit together, so I joyously welcomed my overabundant paranoia. This was me for quite some time.

 photo a-paranoia.jpeg

Of course, it didn’t help when Sacred City came out on the World Domination label and the liner notes encouraged people to be a part of the Shriekback Global Conspiracy. Hey, I was a sheltered kid who read way too much into everything, so cut me some slack.

Over the years, though, I have grown a bit jaded about it all, not to mention aggressively cynical. I think my last true fit of paranoia came with the LOST numbers, and their specific inclusion of 23 (The 23 Enigma was always a favourite of mine). Even with those numbers, though, it’s your perception that drives your personal reality when addressing the lush symbology of that show. Douglas Adams’ fans, of whom I am one, got caught up in 42. I digress, though. This isn’t about LOST, it’s about a level of hilarity that could never have been imagined by even the most diehard Conspiracy Theorists two decades ago.

If a global conspiracy had never existed before the rise of The Internet, it certainly exists now, if only on a quantum level. I still believe that what you think and believe has a lot to do with the reality that you perceive, and it eventually defines you. Despite my apparent inability to break out of some of my personal mind traps, I don’t think I will ever find a better theory of “what IS” than that, at least not in this life.

Anyway, in the past twelve hours, some jack-ass has elevated Weird Al to the level of high-ranking Illuminatus. Yes, you read that correctly. The other side of this is that Weird Al is trying to warn people about the Illuminati, and some of the things he mentions in the song could only be known by someone who has done a great deal of research. Both of these positions are utterly ridiculous. First, if Al were an Illuminatus, he would not expose his peeps on a global level, if the conspiracy is still being realised. Second, if Al is not Illuminatus, it doesn’t take much deep research these days to reference supposedly obscure terms like “psychotronic scanning”, thanks to The Internet being a giant vibrating ball of reptilian-hating suspicion.

To my knowledge, Weird Al Yankovic has never publicly taken any sort of position on anything, not to mention that he is a genuinely good person. This, in and of itself, is pure genius, because this makes him accessible to everyone, not just Jesus Freaks, Hipsters, Conspiracy Theorists, or Joe the Plumber. You can be a complete dickhead but, if you like Al, there’s got to be something good about you. That’s just my opinion, but I think it could very well be a great truth in this age of deception. When everyone else is trying to tear people apart, here comes Al Yankovic uniting a whole shit-ton of opposing crusaders under the blessed umbrella of hilarity.

Does “Foil” alarm me? No more than anything else, these days. My thinking is, there comes a time in a Conspiracy Theorist’s life when you just have to say “FUCK IT” and enjoy the ride. If there is a New World Order, it has been new for a pretty goddamn long time, because nothing ever really changes, except the names and dates, and there’s really nothing we can do about it. Years ago, I saw Bette Midler do this schtick called “Angst on a Rope.” She’d present all manner of horrible things in her life, then pretend she was in the shower with her Angst on a Rope, and say, in the most nasal Yiddish tone she could achieve (and that’s saying a lot), “WHY BOTHAAAAAH?” I’m pretty much right there. If “they” have all the power the theorists say “they” have, we’re already fucked, so the least we can do is immerse ourselves in the joy of another Weird Al Yankovic album. In a world as fucked as as the one in which we find ourselves, the very thing any of is need is a song like “Foil,” whether or not you believe the conspiracies are true. Personally, I think the one true act of rebellion any of us really have is laughter.

If any of us deserve anything, it is the gift of laughter, even if the hilarity is triggered by a Reptilian Agent of Doom like Weird Al Yankovic.

Zoë - The Lion Roars

My latest foray into amateur videography brings to the Internet dinner table one of my favourite songs, from a 1996 RCA album that had very little success in the States, by an artist named Zoë Pollock.  Two of the guest musicians on this folk rock anthem are Donal Lunny and Davey Spillane, both gentlemen with whom I became quite familiar in the mid-80s when I began listening to The Thistle and Shamrock.  It's a beautiful song, so please try to tolerate my lack of film production skills so you can enjoy "The Lion Roars" as much as I always have.

Running with the Mothmen

Another Pop-Up Video from Barry Andrews.  Do what the voices say, and click play.



There may be people out there who have the impression that I’m a misanthropic asshole with no sense of gratitude.

It’s true, I am a misanthropic asshole, but I am grateful for a lot of things and beings, including people.  I thought it might behove me to step out of “character” for a few minutes and make a list.  So here we go.

cut for courtesyCollapse )

1. The Mother Unit - for rescuing me from myself last year, and having more patience with me than I ever would with anyone, including myself.

2. My friends.  Even though I’ve lost a few since 2011, I’ve retained many very important souls in my life, many of which I met here on LJ.  Despite my general dislike for our species, I harbour much fondness for my Tribe.  Many of you stuck with me through the darkest period of my life, often saving my skin and literally saving my life and sanity when I did nothing to deserve such kindness, and there’s really no way I can ever sufficiently repay you for that.  I just hope that I can do something for each of you someday, that might properly express how much you mean to me.

3. Smidgen and Toby.  They cradle my soul like no one else would be willing to, or could.  The unconditional love cats and dogs give us may well be the primary way god/dess is trying to tell us that we aren’t alone, that we count in some way.  Despite my agnosticism, Toby and Smidgen are the ones who keep me from full-on atheism.

4. Music.  Music is the closest thing to the concept of Force that we can get.  I’ve long believed that the multiverse in which we dwell is a song that is still being composed.  It is the purest form of communication, and it is something that every living being expresses in one form or another.  We are all songs, we are the music of creation, we are the mathematics and art of dreams and concepts.

5. Fey Publishing - for taking a chance on me and my strange tales.  My third book will be available soon, thanks to Fey’s original owner, Sophie Childs, and its current sovereign, Kristen Duvall.  Click on their names to learn more about these brilliant women.  I owe them both a great deal, for their initial and continued faith in me, and for their patience as I struggled through my own personal bullfunky to finally get the third Vampire Relics book to Dark Fey’s door.

6. Shriekback, in particular Barry Andrews, for letting me have a ringside seat to their ongoing awesomeness.  Since 1990, they’ve been an almost constant source of inspiration and comfort, soundtracking my life’s highs and lows, and everything in between.  If we lived on Arrakis, I would owe Barry a huge water-debt.


7. The Impractical Jokers and The Epic Rap Battles of History.  My entire life, I’ve been a huge supporter of all brands of humour, but my quest for things that would make me laugh became a desperate effort following Aunt Tudi’s death.  Of all the things I explored in my quest for laughter, The Tenderloins (Impractical Jokers) and the guys behind The Epic Rap Battles were the only ones who never failed to bring me a joy that was otherwise almost impossible to find.

8. You Tube and Netflix.  When you don’t have a TV, these two wonderful services are a wonderful, and often preferable, alternative.

9. Dr. Harrington.  Of all the therapists I’ve had over the years, this is the only one I’ve ever felt actually listens to me.  His wry wit, proclivity to play devil’s advocate, and his willingness to swear are just three of many things that impress me about the man.  And he’s a good person, a genuinely good person.

10. The Internet.  When someone asked me how I felt about the Internet back in 1998, I told them that the Internet was the universe’s largest library. You could find out anything by exploring the endless halls of virtual books.  You need only be aware of the pervert at the end of each aisle and act accordingly to avoid them.

11. Sleep.  When you’re a chronic insomniac, the value of sleep increases a thousandfold.  I was never one of those kids who balked at bedtime; I was always a fan of slumber, mainly because of my vast dreamscape.  Being able to achieve lucidity at times only added to the wonder of it all.  After I began suffering from insomnia, those rare occasions where I’d achieve a few hours of really good sleep with a possible bonus of now rare dreams, reached a level of miraculous for me.  I am never not profoundly grateful for sleep.

12. Drum circles.  I’ve always been fond of them, but rediscovering drumming and, in particular, trance drumming, has reconnected me to deity on a level I thought was no longer possible.  There’s something about surrendering to a group rhythm that is both spiritual and therapeutic.  Thankfully, drum circles in San Diego are never on short supply, unlike the Upstate of South Carolina.

13. Earth.  I try to never take my home planet for granted, especially now that my species seems hellbent on destroying the only home we’ve ever known.  In vast expansiveness of the multiverse, this magickal sphere upon which we all live makes it seem more likely than not, that life is more prevalent than we can imagine.  And Earth is teeming with it, in mind-boggling varieties throughout an inconceivable history.  This “pale, blue dot” may be tiny in the scheme of everything, but the planet is unique and precious, a work of divine art, from the towering trees of the Amazon to the majesty of the Smoky Mountains, all resonating with the subtle song of water, that which gives life as we know it.  We have no right to visit so much suffering upon the body and spirit of our galactic mother.  Throughout every day, I am stunned by the miracle of our home, and I grieve for everything that has lost in the wake of our destruction.  I walk through life, grateful to Earth for her presence, and therefore ours, and I hope that my fellow humans and I can find some semblance of forgiveness for our transgressions.

So there it is.  Thirteen things for which I am very grateful.  I’m sure there’s more, but these are the Big Ones in my life, at this moment.  What do you treasure?  For what are you grateful?

The Art of Self-Derision


It occurred to me early this morning, watching a part of the movie “I’m Gonna Git You Sucka,” that the whole deal of my biting my thumb at society for bullying me wasn’t so much a taking back of my power, but a recognition that I lost my power long ago, and felt the path of least resistance was to call myself that name first, or make the joke about my weight first, or be the first one to laugh my arse off, if I happened to fall, or say something awkwardly, or pretty much wake up breathing that day.

The taking of my own Tease Tin Flag coincided with my first nervous breakdown, after realizing that my final foray into the realm of normal, where people enjoy one another’s company, and date, and fall in love, and likeminded people can participate in groups and have the most wonderful things happen, was more than a little disastrous.  I knew in 1998 that I would never fit in anywhere, that I would forever be that outsider who got laughed at because of my separateness.  What happened was, I subconsciously said to the world:  “Fuck it.  I’m a freak.  Let me inform you on how deep the freakiness burrows, before you open your mouth and try to tell me what I already know.”  But another thing happened, too.  All the hate poured upon me by my peers, stopped rolling off my back, as it had always been instructed that it should.  No, I began to absorb that hatred, and I realized I hated the world just as much as it apparently hated me.  A reaction?  Perhaps.  Equal and opposite?  No doubt, for quite some time.

When I began to find a niche on the Internet, I channeled both the resigned outcast and the furious pariah.  They became two sides of the coin I figured must be me.  Now, there’s a part of me that shivers with concern if I ever didn’t take up the “I suck” banner before anyone could open their mouths.  Would my “All Y’All Need To Die, RIGHT NOW” banner also have to remain grounded?  And who am I, if I’m anyone at all, without carrying these flags in my hands?  The coin has two sides, but is there really anything in the middle?

Am I doing myself a disservice if I stop putting myself down, with the expectation that I headed the world off at the pass?  Am I doing people a disservice, thinking that this is exactly what they’re going to do, because it’s what people fucking do? It’s not that I don’t give people the opportunity to prove me wrong, but am I harming them by concluded they're dicks, which places the burden of disproof firmly at their feet?  Ah, but wouldn’t it mean that the people I truly love, also unconditionally love me as well?  Is there not a soul on this planet for whom I’ve made it ridiculously impossible for them to get to know me, or for them to even insinuate themselves just a smidge, in the attempt to do so?

Does any of this really matter?

Yes.  I would say yes.  The “RL” friends who let me drift away from them during the point of my worst life experience...I can’t say they abandoned me, but I freely admit demanding isolation.  But sometimes, the one thing a person rails against, is often the thing that person needs.  When it was happening, and even now to a point, I see that period of history in my life to be one of dropping the friendship ball by the most unexpected persons ever.  Why do I say they dropped the ball, when I was isolating so successfully?  There’s one thing you never do when you have a friend going through a crisis that compels them to withdraw for a while: Give up on her/him. Other things come under that umbrella rule of thumb.  Don’t be your typical passive/aggressive, dysfunctional, Emo self every single time you’re around her.  Listen to what she has to say or, if she doesn’t want to talk, don’t invariably turn the conversation more in your direction.  And, especially if she doesn’t want to talk, remain with her in silence.  Sometimes, the presence of a warm body can speak levels of comfort we’ve yet to realize.

All that aside, I wonder how many people prone to self-deprecation were tormented as kids and simply opted to take the work out of it for the assholes, and just tear themselves down as a way to avoid the humiliation and agony of having it done to them.  Until yesterday, I saw the act as empowering.  Now, I’m just wondering if my self-abuse is making it easy for the very people I want to see inconvenienced in every imaginable way.  By the same token, I wonder how many people who have the habit of self-deprecation were made so miserable when they were kids, they simply know no other world view by which to gauge their lives.

Testing Testing, 1 2 3

Cliffs of Insanity

Trying to gain a Mac version of Semagic was a monumental failure.  So, now, I’m trying out MarsEdit.  We’ll see how it turns out.  Not really much to report at the mo.  I may be using Flickr a bit more, since this application is more friendly with that image-sharer than it is with Photobucket.  I’d never been comfortable.

Cut because I try to be polite.Collapse )

The Sanctity of Shame

Shriekback - Nemesis
I had forgotten about this poem. It's from 2001. I rather like it. I hope whoever reads this likes it. as well.



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