Bauhaus: 19 May 2022, Seattle

Last night, Seattle - Bauhaus in concert at the majestic, opulent Paramount Theater in downtown Seattle.

 
Soriah was the opening act. We missed most of their set because we were in the merch line for quite awhile, but what we witnessed was incredibly powerful, setting the vibe for the rest of the evening.

The Paramount is one of the most ornate venues I've ever seen. Perfect setting. The scent of clove cigarettes, patchouli, weed, and booze hung in the hazy air. Literally perfect.
 

Then the house lights went down and the stage lights flashed on. Strobe lights and fog machine. Then the music began and it felt like a sacred ritual had begun. The gods were summoned.
 




 

 
SET LIST:
  1. Rosegarden Funeral of Sores (John Cale cover)
  2. Double Dare
  3. In the Flat Field
  4. A God in an Alcove
  5. In Fear of Fear
  6. Spy in the Cab
  7. She's in Parties
  8. Kick in the Eye
  9. Bela Lugosi's Dead
  10. Silent Hedges
  11. The Passion of Lovers
  12. Stigmata Martyr
  13. Dark Entries
Encore:
  1. Sister Midnight (Iggy Pop cover)
  2. Telegram Sam (T. Rex cover)
  3. Ziggy Stardust (David Bowie cover) (!!!!)
 
Bonus content:
Beautiful details throughout this golden palace. It was a evening of wonder. Total experience. 

View from the merch line - which went all the way up to the second floor and wrapped around. Worth it.
 








Now playing: Gamardah Fungus

 A friend of mine recommended this one and I've listened to it a few times already. I've been in the mood for some dark ambient music lately, and this fits the bill quite nicely.

Now Playing: BLOOD INCANTATION

This band is new to me, but I've been hearing some hype over their latest release, Timewave Zero, which is reportedly a departure from their usual death metal sound. It's a dark ambient album and I am really enjoying it so far.

Now playing (on repeat) - new Bauhaus track (!!!)

Legendary goth rock band Bauhaus has released a brand new single, "Drink the New Wine," and I can't fucking stop listening to it. πŸ¦‡ The creative process behind the track is fascinating, too:

// "Drink The New Wine" was recorded last year during lockdown with the four members sharing audio files. The track employs the Surrealists' 'Exquisite Corpse' device whereby each artist adds to the piece without seeing what the others have done. Bauhaus have used this technique in the past to great effect. The title refers to the very first Cadavre exquis' drawing rendered by AndrΓ© Breton, Marcel Duchamp, Jacques PrΓ©vert and Yves Tanguy which included words which when strung together made up the sentence, 'Le cadavre exquis boiara le vin nouveau' ('The exquisite corpse will drink the new wine.") For the recording, the four musicians each had one minute and eight tracks at their disposal plus a shared sixty seconds plus four tracks for a composite at the end. All done without hearing what the others had laid down. The only common link being a prerecorded beat courtesy of Kevin. The final playback came as synchronistic revelation. //

  

I recently scored tickets to see them in Seattle!* I haven't ever seen them in concert before, so I am really looking forward to this.

(*Concert date has been changed to 19th May as of this posting)

Spring things

A (perhaps) unpopular opinion (at least among the Halloween crowd):

I LOVE Springtime. I'm not sad that Halloween is still months away.

I don't want it to be Halloween year-round. I don't wish it were Halloween 24/7.

For one thing: Too much of a good thing tends to ruin that thing. I need variety. Enjoying the changing seasons helps me to appreciate Autumn & Halloween all that much more when it does arrive.*

(*in late July**)

(**don't @ me; if you love Halloween too, you know what's up)

Anyway, there is so much to love about the other seasons, with their own special sights, smells, sensations, activities, traditions, memories. I love Spring, with all its wild blustery, blossoming energy.

Also, it's Sugar Season - the brief season during late Winter, on the threshold of Spring, with freezing nights and mild, sunny, thawing days, where the sap of Sugar Maple trees begins to run, trees are tapped, and maple syrup is made. This is a regional practice, mostly in the northeastern USA and parts of Canada -- or wherever Sugar Maple trees are plentiful and climate conditions permit.

The practice of tapping trees and reducing sap down to syrup is an ancient practice, invented by the First Nations people of North America.

During this time of year, one of my favorite customs is to visit a local sugar house to have a great breakfast & to buy a bunch of maple sugar stuff. Since I haven't been able to do that much since I moved to WA state, here's a bunch of pics & video from my archives.

(Photos are from various visits to both Gould's Sugar House in Shelburne Falls, MA and North Hadley Sugar Shack in Hadley, MA. All photos below by me)

Wearing some Sugar Season flair: An antique maple tap & a real sugar maple leaf pendant.

If you're in New England and it's sugar season: Find a sugar house that serves breakfast! 

Sunny weekend mornings are the best time for this adventure. Chances are that when you arrive at your sugar shack of choice, it will be crowded and you'll have to wait a bit to be seated for breakfast/brunch. Not to worry though, you can check out their gift shop/general store, wander the grounds of the maple farm, and watch as maple sap is boiled down to maple syrup. You can pick out all sorts of locally made goods as well as maple syrup products.

Did you know it takes 40 gallons of Sugar Maple sap to produce 1 gallon of maple syrup? And, of course, later in the year Sugar Maples are one of autumn's most beautiful trees, with leaves that change to vibrant orange and red hues.

Every sugar house has some version of this sign. (Gould's Sugar House)

Gould's Sugar House
Some sugar houses boil down their sap over wood fires, which requires a massive amount of firewood for the season. (Gould's Sugar House)

 

Watching sap become maple syrup at Gould's Sugar House. The aroma is heavenly, a sweet hint of maple and wood smoke.
North Hadley Sugar Shack entrance
North Hadley Sugar Shack

Pure maple syrup candy from Gould's Sugar House
Fresh batches of maple syrup from Gould's Sugar House, some of the bottles are still warm.

Finally, when it's your turn for breakfast, you will be seated in a cozy, rustic dining area.

Gould's Sugar House
Gould's Sugar House
Gould's Sugar House

Enjoy the view of the countryside on this fine spring day.

Gould's Sugar House
North Hadley Sugar Shack

Whatever you decide to order, you can pour freshly made pure maple syrup all over everything. There's plenty of strong coffee to cut through all that sweetness, and in some cases, sour house-made pickles as a palate-cleanser.

Gould's Sugar House
Gould's Sugar House
North Hadley Sugar Shack
Gould's Sugar House

If "Sugar on Snow" is on the menu, give it a try. You will be served a small tray of cleaned, packed shaved ice and a small pitcher of hot maple syrup.  You drizzle the syrup over the ice, where it firms up to a soft, chewy, sticky candy.

Gould's Sugar House
Gould's Sugar House
Gould's Sugar House

One of the best things about a sugar shack experience is getting out there to enjoy a beautiful spring day in the New England countryside. The blue skies, fresh air, and sunshine are so refreshing as winter is on the wane.

Hadley, MA
Shelburne Falls, MA
Gould's Sugar House

Here is a fun video about the iconic maple syrup bottle design!
  
 
Happy Spring to all!
 
Links:

When all the leaves have fallen

At long last - it's time for me to show off my new tattoo! After 2 sessions, this piece is finally complete.

(Photo courtesy of @vining_tattoos)

This piece has been years in the making -- a tribute to the incomparable group Dead Can Dance, who are among my top 5 absolute favorite bands of all time. I was introduced to them by a friend in the early/mid 1990s, and I've been completely captivated by their music ever since.

Also sometime in the 90s, I found this Dead Can Dance poster at a (now long-gone) gift shop in York, Maine (whose name I can't remember now), along a beach-town strip of tourist-trap spots, tucked in between a fortune-teller's parlor and a pizza place. The shop specialized in hard-to-find rock band & novelty t-shirts, posters, buttons & pins, band patches, postcards, celebrity 8x10 photographs, pipes & bongs ("for tobacco use only"), and other cool miscellaneous stuff. 

That poster stayed plastered to my bedroom wall til I moved to WA state in 2015.

The imagery of the dancing skeletons in the poster/tattoo is from a 1493 woodcut, Danse Macabre ("the dance of death"), by German artist Michael Wolgemut, symbolizing the concept of memento mori, a reminder of death's inevitability. 

For my tattoo, a border of tangled vines and leaves was added to the design to represent the cycle of life, death, and renewal/rebirth, as is visible every day in the changing seasons; a reminder that change is unavoidable, that death is merely a part of that rhythm. We cannot resist change, so we might as well accept it and dance our way through the process.

One of my favorite Dead Can Dance songs, "Severance," addresses the fears we face when confronting these difficult realities, calling upon the season of Autumn as a metaphor for imminent change: 

Severance
The birds of leaving call to us
Yet here we stand endowed with the fear of flight
Over land the winds of change consume the land
While we remain in the shadow of summers now past

When all the leaves have fallen and turned to dust
Will we remain entrenched within our ways?
Indifference, the plague that moves throughout this land
Omen signs in the shapes of things to come

Tomorrow's child is the only child
Tomorrow's child is the only child  

 

I'm very happy with how my tattoo turned out, and I'm grateful to Ariel at Primeval Ink in Olympia, WA for her amazing work and talent!

He had it coming

Happy International Women's Day!

Click the pic below for some fascinating history behind this painting, Judith Slaying Holofernes and the Italian Baroque artist who painted it, a woman from the 17th century named Artemisia Gentileschi.



Now Playing: Stalker (film and score)

What would you do if you were given the opportunity to fulfill your heart's wish?

The 1979 film Stalker (dir. Andrei Tarkovsky) is generally regarded as science fiction, but there is enough anticipation and visceral tension that I would consider it a psychological thriller as well, deeply philosophical and full of symbolic imagery and dialog, and overall very unsettling on multiple levels.  

The "stalker" in this story makes a living as a guide of sorts, hired by individuals to navigate them through The Zone, a dangerous forbidden place, to a mysterious room that grants the visitor his or her deepest desire. The landscape seems devoid of human life, overgrown, only crumbling ruins remain.

This film is a masterpiece, visually breathtaking despite its vivid imagery of filth, pollution, desolation, and decay in a seemingly post-apocalyptic society. The sound design and score are equally as incredible, haunting.

Stalker has quite a long running time at nearly three hours. Despite its slow, ponderous pace, it's never dull, it's full of beautifully composed & surreal imagery. This is one to watch and discuss with deep-thinking friends. This is one that's going to stick with me for a long time.

 Rating: 9/10 Jackos [πŸŽƒπŸŽƒπŸŽƒπŸŽƒπŸŽƒπŸŽƒπŸŽƒπŸŽƒπŸŽƒ_ ]