A walk in the woods with Fenriz

A little sunday afternoon constitutional? How about an agreeable hike with the world’s cuddliest black metal legend and vice-councilman of Oppegård, Fenriz? If we’re going to have black metal aerobics then black metal hiking actually makes a lot more sense. Forests is all the way TRVE CVLT and that. Anyways, this is a calming and enjoyable piece off Norwegian TV from the end of last year in which Fenriz takes a female presenter off into the forest and you don’t, even for an instant, worry he’s going to sacrifice her to the dark lord. They just talk about hiking and how great the forest is and how everybody should come out and enjoy nature and so on. A little bit like Countryfile but with more AC/DC and Ozzy references.

Also, if no-one has yet started a black metal band called ‘The Vice-Councilmen of Oppegård’ they really should get on it right away. Really, whoever is behind this 8-bit cover of the title track of Darkthrone’s last album should use it and get out on the road . . .

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Boy in the Bubble

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November 1976, US TVM ‘The Boy in The Plastic Bubble’ starring a young John Travolta first aired on the ABC television network.

1984 JG Ballard’s ‘What I Believe’ first published in Science Fiction magazine.

 I believe in the power of the imagination to remake the world, to hold back the night, to transcend death, to charm motorways, to ingratiate ourselves with birds, to enlist the confidences of madmen.
I believe in my own obsessions, in the beauty of the car crash, in the peace of the submerged forest, in the excitements of the deserted holiday beach, in the elegance of automobile graveyards, in the mystery of multi-storey car parks, in the poetry of abandoned hotels.
I believe in the genital organs of great men and women, in the body postures of Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher and Princes Di, in the sweet odours emanating from their lips as they regard the cameras of the entire world.

1986 Paul Simon releases ‘Graceland’, the first song borrows its title from the TV movie and is also partly inspired by film clips of the Kennedy assassination, as well as Ronald Reagan’s attempted assassination.

And I believe
These are the days of lasers in the jungle
Lasers in the jungle somewhere
Staccato signals of constant information
A loose affiliation of millionaires and billionaires and baby . . .

1991 Bristol Art-pop collective release a cover of ‘The Boy In the Bubble’. This is where we come in almost. Idly pondering the blizzard of accusations regarding liberal or social media bubbles in the wake of Donald Trump’s election, it’s their version that begins to play back in my head. I had forgotten how much I loved The Blue Aeroplanes. It was a smart choice, defended in all seriousness. I was pleased. ‘Boy in The Bubble’ was so odd, so striking and vivid that I bought the 7″ single back in 1986. The only Paul Simon record I have ever owned or most likely ever will. It wasn’t a hit. Between then and the release of their version I had become a big fan of The Blue Aeroplanes early records and dizzying live show. The songs tumble of imagery was like a more reserved and pointed version of Gerard’s word storms, even the riff suited them. Ahead of the curve, the song was subsequently covered by more Mojo worthy ‘serious’ artists like Peter Gabriel and Patti Smith. Apparently too ‘arty’ for the Late Show and too Rock ‘n’ Roll for a Peel session, forever in their own world. It may now be as many as 20 years since I paid them much thought, but they are back in action – playing nearby in January ahead of a new album. They are leading into this with a song about an Elvis festival. Of course. Gerard, like Travolta, is losing his hair. In all other respects they are essentially opposing visions of 20th Century manhood. Whatever that means.

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November 24, 1992, Travolta was piloting his Gulfstream N728T at night above a solid undercast, when he experienced a total electrical system failure, while flying under instrument flight rules into Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. During the emergency landing, he almost had a mid-air collision with a USAir Boeing 727, an event attributed to a risky decision by an air traffic controller….

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1998 Travolta plays Jack Stanton, a thinly veiled Bill Clinton in ‘Primary Colors’.

2013 watch this jaw droppingly weird clip in which Travolta drives a plane into Oprah’s TV studio. Paul Simon also makes a surprise appearance. Sadly he does not perform ‘Boy In the Bubble’ but a song he wrote for Oprah. It is not too late for Travolta to play the protagonist in a shabby hollywood treatment of one of Ballard’s novels is it? It is not unthinkable that Oprah could be the first black female President either. I believe in the power of the imagination to remake the world.

marking time using John Travolta’s hair

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Staccato signals of constant information
A loose affiliation of millionaires
And billionaires and baby. . .

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JG Ballard – What I Believe

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I believe in the mystery and melancholy of a hand,
in the kindness of trees, in the wisdom of light.

monster movies

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The weekend is finally here people, time to gorge your tired mind on beer and vacant entertainments full of subliminal messages that control your actions via a variety of sicky glowing screens. Do you remember back in the days before the interwebs when it was just TV doing that? Not even HD flatscreen TV but those teeming phosphor dots? No? I’m old, we had a black and white TV when I was a kid. The young people of today are missing out on the valuable formative experience of staring at the static of poorly tuned tv, discerning alien messages in the rolling hail of electrical ants racing across their retina. Anyway, here’s a post with three youtube clips in it. Sorry. The cause of all this nostalgic disquiet is a short new clip from raging Brummie punk trio Youth Man who are possibly too damn young to remember a world before wi-fi. They have at least opted for the old school stop frame clay animation to promote their new record. It’s great and it’s only a minute and a half long so watch and enjoy.

If you’re anything like me that put you very much in mind of Lee Hardcastle’s incredible Pingu/The Thing mash up THINGU. If you’ve not seen it before you’re in for a little treat. Even if you have I find it still surpises on repeat viewings. In the past it’s been removed from youtube on a regular basis but now has the apparent approval of John Carpenter himself so hopefully it’ll stick around a bit longer.

Speaking of the actual director of ‘The Thing’ John Carpenter, the wonderful Supersonic Festival people have recently bounced back into action and announced a live performance by Carpenter in Warwick at the end of October. Just in time for Hallowe’en!!! Here’s the last track off his recent ‘debut’ album Lost Themes. The music is great and the visuals are sharp. No claymation unfortunately.

 

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careful, they’ll break your arm

well, we’ve been most tardy about this and no mistake. As far as our little camp was concerned Giant Swan were the find of the weekend at Supernormal. I don’t think we were alone either, nobody seemed to know who they were and they came out and absolutely killed it. Couple of hairy youngsters making a glorious noise with a table full of effects pedals and such. Reminded me a decent amount of early Holy Fuck or even Fuck Buttons, in fact I’m a bit surprised they aren’t called Giant Fucking Swan for good measure. Too nice for that sort of crass posturing I’d wager. Turns out they’re two members of Bristol’s The Naturals and this grew out of them rehearsing/improvising/dicking about. Their set is still mostly improvised and it’s great. All weekend the fine people of IMPATV (Islington Mill Public Access TV) were filming sets and so on – there’s a good few on the youtubes, I shall catch up on some I missed from the weekend myself – I recommend starting here though if you’ve not already. . .

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Fred Cracklin

While we’re always very careful not to forget about Dre here at Hickeysonic, I certainly let Space Ghost Coast To Coast slip my mind.

But somebody posted this remarkable episode on Facebook the other day, a lengthy and brilliant tribute to the then recently departed Sonny Sharrock,  who was a regular if seemingly unlikely contributor to the show.

“I ain’t workin’ at no lumber yard”