“This is Chriiiiiiistmas. We gonna have lots of seeex.”

Um. Sincere apologies in advance. Rest assured, gentle readers, that a spirited internal debate raged for several hours about whether or not to abuse Coilhouse with this festive nonsense. But hey, ’tis the season, after all.

(Safe for work if you’re on headphones. Maybe.)

via Siege (of course) and CheatEngine.

Living Day To Day In The Post-Apocalypse

Nathaniel Lindsay’s Ducked and Covered: A Survival Guide to the Post Apocalypse addresses an almost completely overlooked subject in the world of informational videos: how one should go about daily life in a world ravaged by a nuclear holocaust when the remaining population has been reduced to a shambling band of mutants and/or have all resorted to cannibalism. I will admit I was skeptical at first, after all this video hails from Australia, a land populated by the worst England had to offer making its citizens decidedly untrustworthy, not to mention that their theories of what the world will be like after a cataclysm having a strange preoccupation with vehicular combat (no doubt due to the fact that when England founded this prison continent they made it illegal for citizens to own cars. Fact. (Editor’s Note: That is not a fact. What is it with you and Australia?)) Any worries I may have had proved unjustified as Lindsay makes sure to point out the real threat of post-apocalyptic civilization: killer robots. Killer robots with lasers.

Via The Daily What

Transcendent Sensory Walls of Sound

thisquietarmy, “Melted Lead on Ashen Fields”

Hypnotic auditory chaos: ethereal and majestic, vast and layered, reshaped and looped, and wound throughout with intertwining melodic passages – Eric Quach’s  transcendent soundscapes are the “kind of sound that droneheads and ambient fans dream about”.

Guitarist and founding member of the Montreal-based instrumental shoegaze & post-rock band Destroyalldreamers, the self-taught auditory/visual experimentalist  is also known for his work as thisquietarmy, a solo effort which started as a side-project of Destroyalldreamers in 2005, and became his main project in 2008. On various labels in Europe and North America, Eric has released several albums, a handful of EPs and several collaborations with artists such as Aidan Baker (Nadja), Scott Cortez (lovesliescrushing) & Yellow6.

Mains de Givre is a recent side-project of thisquietarmy that began in 2009, with violinist Émilie Livernois-Desroches (formerly of Profugus Mortis). The dark fruit of this union, Esther Marie, released in 2010 , was reviewed by Silent Ballet as a “… beautiful, haunting journey through swirling textures and moods…” ; an eerie snippet from the opening track can be heard in the short promotional video below, created by Meryem Yildiz.   Coilhouse readers with long memories may remember Meryem from a previous feature.

Quach is also involved in a number of  other projects, to include Parallel Lines, a ‘krautgaze’ trio where he’s joined by Ryan Ferguson on synths and Pascal Asselin on drums , and Ghidrah, a noise trio featuring thisquietarmy alongside Aun and Maggot Breeder.

On collaborative efforts, Eric shares:

“…the resulting chemistry and musical surprises of collaborations are often completely unmatched as they can exceed my artistic vision and expectations, and that’s what I thrive for when it comes to collaborating with one or several other artists. It usually either works really well, or it doesn’t at all.

“The more there are people involved in my projects, the more my artistic vision becomes impaired, and the more I lose control of the entity. I am a control freak, but I don’t possess the leadership ability to impose dictatorship upon others. The best way to remedy this issue was to have a project of my own and work strictly alone. Naturally, thisquietarmy became the project that has the most leeway in every aspect, and that I’ve put the most miles on so far.”

Kim Boekbinder: The Impossible Girl

The Impossible Girl is the glorious solo debut of Kim Boekbinder (previously of the duo, Vermillion Lies). Kim’s a quirky, funny, bravely vulnerable, electrifying lightning rod of a woman. Her music tends to reflect these traits in a most endearing fashion.

Video for “Impossible Girl #2” by Jim Batt. Song inspired by Kate Rannells.

She recorded the 18 tracks of her record in increments earlier this year at studios in Maine and Boston with Sean Slade (Radiohead, Dresden Dolls) and Benny Grotto (Aerosmith) and an assortment of talented session players. She’s also been traveling internationally on a shoestring budget, bringing her songs of love, loss, self-discovery, sex, drugs, and nuclear physics to audiences in Berlin, Melbourne, and New York City.

Photo by Heike Schneider-Matzigkeit.

The Impossible Girl is yet another wonderful example of how crowdsourcing hubs like Kickstarter are enabling creative people to self-produce art that would otherwise be very difficult for them to afford. It’s a brave new world full of, ya know… POSSIBILITY. And community. And rainbows. And unicorns. Yay!

Kim’s album drops today. You can buy a copy in MP3 or CD format (the packaging for which features an exquisite portrait of The Impossible Girl by longtime Coilhouse fave, Travis Louie), and she’s offering all kinds of fancy package deals that include posters, limited edition eye makeup kits by Sweet Libertine, and an Impossible Girl paper doll by (yet another beloved Coilhouse comrade) Molly Crabapple.

The Assassination Of Yogi Bear By The Coward BooBoo

The new live-action Yogi Bear movie is a thing that exists, of that fact there is no doubt and, unfortunately, no escape. Were it to end in the manner depicted here by Edmunde Earl, as a darkly humorous ode to the penultimate scene from 2007’s under-appreciated The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, it might have at least some modicum of value. This is, of course, not the case and we are left with the reality that, as previous mentioned, there is a live-action Yogi Bear movie. Starring Dan Aykroyd and Justin Timberlake.


All Tomorrows: “Fear is the mind-killer”

After a brief hiatus, David Forbes’ All Tomorrows column, your informal classroom on the glories of sci-fi’s Deviant Age, returns to Coilhouse. Welcome back, David!

Paul took a deep breath to still his trembling. “If I call out there’ll be servants on you in seconds and you’ll die.”

“Servants will not pass your mother who stands guard outside that door. Depend on it. Your mother survived this test. Now it’s your turn. Be honored. We seldom administer this to men-children.”

Curiosity reduced Paul’s fear to a manageable level. He heard truth in the old woman’s voice, no denying it. If his mother stood guard outside… if this were truly a test… And whatever it was, he knew himself caught in it, trapped by that hand at his neck: the gom jabbar. He recalled the response from the Litany against Fear as his mother had taught him out of the Bene Gesserit rite.

“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”

Chilton published car manuals. So it must have come as some surprise, 45 years ago, when, out of nowhere, they released a lengthy, phenomenally strange science fiction novel by a nearly unknown journalist. The man’s agent wasn’t even enthusiastic about the manuscript and it had seen rejection from every reputable sci-fi publishing house before squeaking into the pages of Analog.

Dune, read the imposing cover, with its evocatively psychedelic sand swirls and tiny white figures straining against an implied storm. The John Schoenherr art revealed little about the plot or themes inside, other than to convey a sense of struggle and desolation in an otherworldly place.

Opening it up, the reader was plunged into a story of universe-shaking drugs, dynastic backstabbing and heterodox mysticism sprinkled with a tumble of words (Bene Gesserit, Kwisatz Haderach, Sardaukargom jabbar) so strange as to constitute a second language. Whatever the sci-fi readers of the day might have expected, this was doubtlessly not it. By all rights, this unexpected book should have sunk beneath the proverbial sands, awaiting rediscovery in a friendlier artistic age.

Instead, after a somewhat tepid start, it proved a runaway best-seller, sweeping every award sci-fi had to offer. Dune would go on to define the rest of Herbert’s life and ripple into the surrounding culture with an impact that no one, including its author, could have foreseen.

In many ways Dune was the epic Omega to the Alpha of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings; released about a decade before. It was sci-fi’s answer to fantasy’s magnum opus, and its only book that can rival Tolkien’s in terms of cultural influence. Herbert’s masterpiece proved tenaciously infectious, its tendrils stretching into all sorts of unexpected corners of the culture, with even its mantras showing up as warning or inspiration.

What is it about this ornate myth that keeps fascinating new generations, why has Dune outlasted its era with such influence?

Sous La Glace

Via Foxtongue.

Just a blue-haired, help underwater-smoking gayelle mermaid to brighten up your Monday morning. This illustration by Georges Leonnec appeared in risque French magazine La Vie Parisienne in 1926. The magazine was founded in 1863, ambulance relaunched just before World War I, and evolved from a mild-mannered society journal to an erotic magazine of humor, literature and scantily-clad damsels. Many more images from La Vie Parisienne can be seen here, here and here.

BTC: Season’s Greetings From Twin Peaks


Via Melissa Gira Grant.

Does anyone who watched Twin Peaks while it was airing on ABC remember this weird-ass stop motion bumper? So random.

…and now I’m craving pie and coffee (black as midnight on a moonless night). Good morning!

Elder Sign and Cthulhu Stocking Stuffage

From Joseph Nanni and friends (the same twisted souls who brought us that Necronomicon infomercial) comes this important, potentially lifesaving message about Elder Sign:

Sure, this clip has been circulating on the internet for a while, but as everyone knows, flying polyp infestations are most rampant during the holiday season. If you suffer from “an overwhelming sense of dread brought on by the realization of your own insignificance in the universe” that’s possibly being compounded by Seasonal Affective Disorder, rancid egg nog or overexposure to Glenn Beck-parroting (read: polyp ridden) in-laws, you need Elder Sign now more than ever.

And possibly some *cough* stocking stuffers from the HPLHS Bazaar:

(ElderWear: “Because you don’t want Shoggoths in your pants.”)

The Friday Afternoon Movie: American Movie

Today the FAM is proud to present perhaps my favorite documentary: 1999’s American Movie, directed by Chris Smith. American Movie tells the story of Mark Borchardt, an aspiring filmmaker living in Milwaukee. With the help of his best friend, the endlessly entertaining burnout Mike Schank, and various other friends, family members, and amateur actors, Borchardt attempts to finish his latest feature, the short horror film Coven.

All is not well, of course, and Borchardt’s life. A high-school drop out, he is mired in debt. His relationship with his ex-girlfriend and mother of his three children is strained and he has developed a bit of a drinking problem. And while he works hard at film-making and appears fairly knowledgeable, his ability to plan and manage his project is suspect. Even his own family have their doubts that Mark will be able to finish the film, his only support coming from his wealthy Uncle Bill who, in his old age, seems confused by his surroundings more often than not.

And yet they make for a cast of likable characters. Mark most certainly has his own personal demons to work through but Smith has no trouble letting him win over the audience with his can-do attitude. Uncle Bill, for all his rancor, does genuinely care for Mark and some of the most touching scenes are between these two. And of course there is Mike, a man whose mind is so ravaged by drugs and alcohol that is almost incoherent, yet whose loyalty and devotion to his friend is almost absolute.

It all amounts to the quintessential American story, the myth that has for so long symbolized this nation; a tale of hard work and passion bordering on obsession, of perseverance over adversity. In this way even the most lowly individual can make of themselves a success. In the same way, it is also a story of class. In stark contrast to Chris Smith’s middle-class background and film school degree Mark’s dream project Northwestern is told distinctly from his point of view from a working class family in the Midwest. His film is set against a backdrop of dilapidated building and rusty cars. “That’s what it’s all about,” he says “rust and decay.”

Despite these seemingly gloomy outlook, Mark remains unswayed in his decision to make movies. It is this almost delusional tenacity that lies at the center of American Movie and it is here where it truly resonates, showing us a modicum of hope where most would expect to find none.