Rick Santorum Releases Dystopian Horror Film

Man, do 2012’s Republican presidential hopefuls ever have a penchant for apocalyptic fiction! While Rick Perry fantasizes about Obama’s war on religion, (“the openly gay military hereby sentences you to re-education at Camp Kwanzaa!”) and Newt Gingrich speaks of colonizing the moon and pens alternate-history fiction in which Nazi Germany thrives (see also: “terrible sex scenes written by politicians”), Rick Santorum has just upped the ante.

This week, the Santorum camp released a chilling (read: hilarious) trailer for an eight-part series titled Obamaville. Rife with a combination of Silent Hill-like visuals, random stock imagery (meat grinders and babies!), and Obama/Ahmadinejad speech footage mashups, the 1-minute video closes with an ominous shot of the open road, with promises of more “coming soon.” YES PLEASE. It’s the perfect film to pair up with newly-released Iron Sky.

Matt Novak of Paleofuture has helpfully screen-captured and captioned the most striking images from the video. At time of writing, the video has 852 likes and 11,011 dislikes on YouTube. “Santorumville” porn parody coming in 3… 2…

[via Matt Novak via William Gibson]

How to Dance Goth: A Hubba Educational Film

Last night at the DNA Lounge in San Francisco, the wonderful Hubba Hubba Revue unveiled (hurr!) Jim Sweeney, Lara Miranda and friends’ How to Dance Goth– the first volume in HH’s Educational Film Dance Instruction series:

Via TouchTheSun.

Many of you are, no doubt, already familiar with these darque dance styles… or various iterations/amalgams thereof. (For instance, those “Cobweb”/”Cappuccino” moves are quite similar to an ancient SoCal spookypants maneuver known as “Pick a Penny Up, Put it Over There”. And “Step Over Your Dead Friend” is a kissin’ cousin to the time-honored “I Have Shit Myself and I’m In Distress” dance often seen in Atlanta, GA goth clubs shortly after a new shipment of ketamine has arrived in town.)

Well done, Hubba Hubba batlings! We await your cyber-industrial tutorial with bated breath.

Spring-Loaded Tricking Badass Brandon McCuien

Guh… buh… WHAAAA:

This is footage of Arkansas-born tricking phenom Brandon “Li’l B” McCuien, rumbling and tumbling at Loopkicks Camp 2011 in San Jose, California. Utterly bonkers. (And the random tacked-on ending is hilarious.)

Previously on Coilhouse:

To the Center Within: Photographs by The Silent Infinite + Asha Beta

Last summer, photographer Abigail Amalton, who publishes moody, meditative images under the name The Silent Infinite, met artist Asha Beta (previously on Coilhouse) at the Coilhouse Black and White And Red All Over Ball in Brooklyn. The result was a series of photos titled “Immanence” and “To the Center Within“: a collaboration that explores personal mythology and self-transformation. With piercing assistance from Venus Pain, Asha and Abigail created a three-part sequence taking place outdoors, and a second shoot in the studio.

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“We can use art for deep change – when we undertake the journey of individuation, we can move beyond survival needs and encounter truly beautiful territory,” writes Abigail in a description of this series. “These images remind me that I can always hold myself to my greatest possibilities, that I no longer need to pretend that the conventional is something I want in any form at all … what I want is real, deep, never-ending change. A feeling of the power of choice in creating reality. The second we free ourselves of the half-truth that we are bound to the organizational templates of society and culture is the precious moment we start to self-define and steer our own ship … Who knows where we will arrive?”

More images after the jump, and even more on Flickr and on Abigail’s site.

Devastating/Gorgeous Music Video for "Small Hands" by Keaton Henson

Via Jhayne.

Director Joseph Mann, in cahoots with the puppeteering team Jonny & Will, has crafted this sweet, beautiful, and incredibly sad music video for musician Keaton Henson.

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If you are a tenderhearted soul who can’t watch music videos like “I Will Follow You Into the Dark” and “Madder Red” or the movie Watership Down without bawling your eyes out, well… you probably shouldn’t watch this. But it’s beautifully done.

The Latest Awesome Sauce from Zoë Keating

It’s been a while since we mentioned Zoë Keating on the blog! Here’s a lovely six-minute feature about our very favorite avant cellist in the whole world, produced by Intel Visual Life:

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Zoë’s been up to all kinds of cool stuff: traveling around the world along with her cellobaby and cellobabydaddy, making cellotastic “In-C” remixes, analyzing the Spotify hubbub from her unique vantage point as a highly successful unsigned musician… and her current live performance collaboration with the ODC dance ensemble, Breathing Underwater, is getting all kinds of rave-ups in the press! (NoCal folks can catch one of the final Yerba Buena shows in San Francisco tonight, the 23th, or the 25th.)

Then there’s this deeply moving video that high school student Gabriella Runnells recently made addressing the plight of girls in the developing world, using Zoë’s song “Optimist” as the score (which you can read more about on Zoë’s Tumblr):

Zoë’s also got a short tour in the works. US west coast beasties, this may be your last chance to see her live before 2013, after her new album (in the works now) comes out:

12 April – Cedar – Minneapolis MN

26 April – Largo – Los Angeles CA

27 April – UC Riverside – Riverside CA

03 May – Neptune Theater – Seattle WA

04 May – Aladdin Theater – Portland OR

05 May – Shedd Institute – Eugene OR

Zoë Keating, wearing Gibbous, photographed by Nadya Lev for Coilhouse Magazine

Yay, Zoë.

Aubrey Learner's Insect Sensuality

Artist Aubrey Learner‘s recent series of watercolor, graphite and ink drawings pair larvae and lace, scissors and satin, pollen and pins. As J. Schnabel of Blood Milk writes on Tumblr, “these drawings … make me want to bury my hands in dark soil. i’m especially interested in the tension of the sensual things we want against our body, the ribbons, the chamise, & the grotesque, yet intensely beautiful inclusion of the dark beetles & winged cicadas that make up these garments.”

Owning the Cardinal Directions of the Heart: An Interview with Author Nick Harkaway

O frabjous day! (Callooh! Callay!) It is March 20th, 2012– the official US release date of UK-based author Nick Harkaway‘s second novel, Angelmaker.

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Comrades, if you appreciate joyful and highly original storytelling, you need to pick up this book. Immediately. Trust me when I tell you that Angelmaker is easily one of the most endearing works of fiction that will be published this year… or next, for that matter.

Better yet, trust William Gibson: “You are in for a treat, sort of like Dickens meets Mervyn Peake in a modern Mother London. The very best sort of odd.” Or Tim Martin: “this is as far as it could be from the wearied tropes that dominate so much of fantasy and SF.” Or Glen Weldon: “A big, gleefully absurd, huggable bear of a novel.” Or Charles Yu: “Nick Harkaway’s novel is like a fractal: when examined at any scale, it reveals itself to be complex, fine-structured and ornately beautiful. And just like a fractal, all of this complexity and beauty derives from a powerful and elegant underlying idea.”

(Yes. YES! THIS. What they said. All of it, plus tax, and with great interest.)

Who among you has read Harkaway’s debut novel, The Gone-Away World? Those who have know what a big-hearted and ferociously intelligent storyteller he is– how he crafts narratives that defy categorization (and sometimes gravity), shunting his intricate, multi-pronged prose along at breakneck speeds. TGAW is a sprawling, surprisingly poignant hero’s epic that unfurls like a Lichtenberg figure against an unlikely backdrop of pirates, mimes, ninjas, horrific super-weapons and devastating post-apocalypse. It’s equal parts meticulous, silly, sincere, impassioned, hilarious.

The yarn of Angelmaker is made of similarly electric stuff, only spun even more finely, and woven so intricately that many passages play out like a kind of multi-layered literary sleight-of-hand: How did he do that? Within his wordplay, Harkaway ensconces acts of commensurately deft swordplay, espionage, gangbuster hijinks, and even higher fantasy. Intricate family bonds are explored and philosophical quagmires grappled with. There are trains, planes, automobiles, and submersibles. Sex! Monks! Murder! Mechanical bees! We are introduced to tragic elephants and a heroic pug. Harkaway dares us not to fall in hopelessly in love with each and every character and object and exotic locale he braids into the microcirculatory tapestry. (Bear in mind, there are thousands of distinct and lavishly described elements.)

At the golden hammering heart of the story we find Joe Spork, a lonely/adorable identity-crisis-having horologist, and Edie Banister, a ninety-year-old former superspy whose badassery transcends time and easy pigeonholing. Together –with the help of their magnificent friends/lovers/family, and thwarted by an assortment of deliciously loathsome villains– Joe and Edie must rescue the world from an antiquated doomsday device unlike anything anyone ever imagined… save for the tormented genius Frenchwoman who haplessly invented it.

It all sounds utterly absurd, doesn’t it? Well, it is. Ravishingly so.

Now. That being said, I’m delighted to present the following Coilhouse interview with Nick Harkaway, author of Angelmaker and The Gone-Away World. Huge thanks to Qais Fulton for supplying several of these questions, and downright humongous thanks to Mister Harkaway for taking the time to answer them all so thoughtfully.

Nick Harkaway. Photo by Rory Lindsay.

COILHOUSE: You were a professional screenwriter before becoming a novelist. Both The Gone Away World and Angelmaker –while infinitely more complex, dense, and multi-layered than the medium of film could ever allow for– have decidedly cinematic qualities: panoramic descriptions of places and scenes, well-paced bursts of action, crackling dialogue. Do you often find yourself pushing or pulling against that previous construct, or have you compartmentalized the two mediums? What (if any) are some of the most important tools you’ve brought with you from your screenwriting career?
NICK HARKAWAY: Mostly for me the sense of the story leads the writing, so I know where I’m going and I come up with how to say it as I go. (I don’t mean that character doesn’t drive, rather than I have an overarching sense of what character and plot will do in combination, and I then have to write a line through that using the right scenes and the right language to express it. There’s a constant battle to find words and events which properly capture the concept in my head. And sometimes it turns out that the concept has conveniently ignored some logical realities and I have to bridge a gap…)

But screenwriting is a terrific base to work from. There are two gifts it gives which are obvious: if you’ve written a movie script, you know that you can finish a story. (I swear, more people get hung up on sheer terror of the long form than anything else.) And you know about concision. Every good writer I know has at one time or another worked in a field which required them to be able to express a lot in a short space, with minimal linguistic flourish. Whether that’s journalism, the civil service, the law, or something else, it’s a great discipline. I, obviously, have sort of abandoned that kind of sparse writing, at least for the moment, but that doesn’t mean I don’t benefit from it.

What pushed you to write your first novel? Was there a specific catalyst?
Yes. I was heartily sick of pitch meetings. I couldn’t stand taking another great story to someone who was fried on Starbucks’ coffee and not really paying attention and have them object to everything which was interesting about it and then complain that what was left wasn’t original enough. Or some variation on that theme. The final straw was a musketeer-ish story I wanted to write which was about a women who had, in her youth, dressed as a kind of D’Artagnan figure. She’s in middle age, her kid gets kidnapped, and she has to go back to being an adventurer – but she’s no longer a waif. She’s a farmer. She’s strong, heavy, and very obviously female. So she puts on a fake beard and decides essentially to be Porthos instead. There was all kinds of fun stuff in that story – just talking about it I want to get it out of the drawer again. Anyway, my panel of (female) execs sit through this, and at the end they say “well, it’s kinda hard to place stories with a middle-aged female lead”. And that is their entire critique apart from a nice extra kiss-off about transvestitism being hard to sell, too. And I just thought “screw this”.

BTC: Lady Peanut, Sarah Donner, and a Kitteh Trap/Neuter/Return Adventure

Good afternoon! Is anybody else having trouble staying awake today? You’re not alone…

This is Lady Peanut. She is a very good listener:

(Guh.  Is it any wonder this video’s going spectacularly viral?)

The soporific object of this wee kitteh’s affection is Sarah Donner, a self-proclaimed singer/songwriter/creative type/cat lady with a bright, sweet voice.  She says “Lady Peanut […] likes to sit by me when I get out the ukulele.” The catchy tune Sarah’s singing is called “Treeline”, and she is kindly offering it as a free download through her ReverbNation account.

Sarah and a cameraman also made this charming Trap/Neuter/Return video documenting their personal TNR experience, which feels like an interesting/informative thing to share on a sleepy Monday afternoon:

To learn more about TNR and feral cat colonies, check out this ASCPA webpage. (In the interest of fair and complete reportage, while the ASPCA, the Humane Society of the Unites States, and other animal rights groups are pro-TNR, it is a controversial procedure which many wildlife and bird advocacy organizations have argued against. But either way, something to think/talk about.)

Visit Sarah’s website to find out lots of cute and funny details about her, and to hear more strummy folky yumminess.

In conclusion, here’s a screenshot of  Lady Peanut’s sweet little face. Because, well, just LOOK at her. Squeeee…

Red Moon

Directed by Jimmy Marble and written by Marble and Doug Sacrison (who also wrote the original one-act play), advice  Red Moon chronicles the sad, generic tortured life of famed submarine captain Alexei Ovechkin: hero of the former Soviet Union, pharm and werewolf.

What follows is 15 minutes of amazing, cardboard and plywood sets, fantastic facial hair, werewolf suits, and terrible, terrible Russian accents. I loved every single second of it.