Hey folks, it’s the end of another month (somehow!) Plus, it’s the midpoint of another goddamn year on this hellsphere – let’s try and stay positive, shall we?
Definitely managed to do less writing this month – I don’t really have anything that needs finishing, since all the projects on my docket are either written or still in the planning stage. On top of that, the crushing financial pressures of the current cost-of-living crisis are really very good at dissuading me from finding the cash to kick off any more projects at this point – “sorry love, no money to pay the electricity bill this month because I used it to pay a colourist” is not a conversation I’m particularly keen on having..!
That said, I did manage to pull together an anthology pitch which I’m quite excited about – I’ve convinced a couple of frighteningly talented artists to team up with me on this one. Submissions open tomorrow so fingers crossed the editors like our idea! And I’ve also started work on a fun little something for The Phoenix – got some positive feedback on it already so that’s nice. Small steps..!
Moving away from writing progress, this month also saw my first trip up to Glasgow for Glasgow Comic Con. It was a delightful day full of great, friendly punters and post-con banter with pals – I especially want to shout out Fraser Campbell for his hospitality along with Tony Vanraes and Oliver Gerlach for their humour and company – Dangerous Nights crew represent!
Lastly, here’s me sprinkling some salt on a spicy riff with Ba’al last Friday:
(photo by Savannah Bagshaw)
It’s been a while since I did two gigs in three days (Friday and Monday) but these were a blast, supporting a band from Seattle called Pound on their UK tour. If you like technical, extremely downtuned instrumental RIFFS made by two very nice blokes, check them out immediately!
*1 anthology pitch/synopsis
*First draft scripts for a secret Phoenix thing
This section should be a bit fuller next month (he says, optimistically…)
Straight in with the heavy shit this month, brace yourselves! Allegaeon are a band that I first encountered years ago, and they’ve gone from strength to strength since – their latest album of prog-tech-death absolutely slaps. Der Weg Einer Freiheit are a favourite band of Ba’al’s bassist, Richard – the album this is from makes his top-4 all-time list, so I decided to give it a spin. Sprawling atmos black metal is definitely my shit, and this provides it in spades. Anaal Nathrakh are my go-to when I need a short, sharp shock – but despite the unrelenting vitriolic/nihilistic violence of their sound, their recent albums occasionally feel like they’re reaching for a brighter tomorrow. There’s a sense of bloody-minded, stubborn hope mixed in with the despair, as the title of this track (“Create Art, Though The World May Perish“) suggests. Danimal Cannon is a guitarist/chiptune/electronica artist of depressing skill, and I found out this month that he’s friends with friend of mine from Sheffield – it’s a small world! I knew nothing about Celestial City Symphony Orchestra before I heard this song – apparently it’s another one-man project with various other musicians collaborating, and it sounds huge. Next are a couple of perennial faves – this is the best Faith No More album for my money (sorry, Angel Dust fans) and fully shows off Mike Patton’s versatility. It’s followed by some lush acoustic folk from Agalloch – I did a listen through their entire discography this month which was a delight, and this track remains one of my faves. Changing gears dramatically, here are Pound – their song titles are impossible to write or say, but who needs a catchy title when you have riffs this girthy and titanic? New Spiritbox was a delight this month – only one album in and they’ve become a firm favourite band of mine, so I’m excited to hear more of what they have coming. And lastly, I make no apologies for liking Oasis – growing up in the vicinity of Manchester means it was illegal not to like (or at least tolerate) them, and I remain steadfast in my belief that they have some excellent songs. This is one of them (and a choral cover of it was used to devastating effect in the final episode of Lucifer – definitely got a few tears out of me!)
Just the one link this month; I found this article (about Hong Kong and the continuing shitshow that is China trying to take full control of the city) to be an interesting read: https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2022/06/hong-kong-tiananmen-square-china-censorship/661342/
I also want to take this section to shout out another newsletter that you should definitely be subscribed to: Letters From Limbo, written by the excellent Ritesh Babu: https://buttondown.email/riteshwriter
His latest was a deep dive into Indian cinema inspired by the recent release of the movie RRR, which I watched this month – it’s a wild film, and his analysis really helped me to contextualise it given my lack of knowledge around Indian politics/history/mythology. Highly recommended if you like an occasional very interesting read!
And that’s all from me for this month! Thanks for reading and take care of yourselves.
All the best,