Category Archives: Nine Inch Nails

THE DEMISE OF THE MASK (VOL 10)__NAPHTHALENE MAGNOLIAS #28___

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Hello All.

Welcome to Volume Ten of the MixTape series: The Demise Of The Mask. –(Volume One here)__(Volume Two here)__(Volume Three here)__(Volume Four here)__(Volume Five here)__(Volume Six here)__(Volume Seven here)__(Volume Eight here)__(Volume Nine here)-

This here MixTape features some fine, fine music! There’s both Madeleine Peyroux and Al Green, each covering a Hank Williams original. In addition to Bob Dylan performing “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue” live in 1975, there’s Elvis Presley‘s fantastic 1966 cover of Dylan’s unreleased gem, “Tomorrow Is A Long Time” and then there’s the stunning supergroup known as The New Basement Tapes who collaborated to complete songs based upon newly uncovered lyrics handwritten by Bob Dylan in 1967 when he was recording with The Band what would come to be known as The Basement Tapes. The New Basement Tapes performance of “Down On The Bottom” features vocals by Jim James (of the band My Morning Jacket), which are incredibly Dylanesque.

You’ll get to hear Bessie Smith‘s  May 26, 1925 recording of “Careless Love” featuring Louis Armstrong (cornet), Fred Longshaw (piano), and Charlie Green (trombone). (I’ve still yet to see the 2015 Dee Rees directed and Queen Latifah starring biopic Bessie, but I did hear it was pretty great.)

I do know that Bessie Smith died in 1937 from injuries in a car accident and was buried in an unmarked grave. In August of 1970 Janis Joplin paid tribute to one of her greatest influences by purchasing a proper tombstone to be erected on Smith’s grave-site. This act of respect and Joplin’s own young demise are the subject of the next tune you’ll hear: Dory Previn’s A Stone for Bessie Smith.” This is followed by Janis Joplin’s lovely take on Richard Rodgers‘ and Lorenz Hart‘s 1935 song “Little Girl Blue.” Joplin’s version appears on my favorite of her albums,  I Got Dem Ol’ Kozmic Blues Again Mama! released on September 11, 1969. I did watch Amy J. Berg’s great (if saddening) 2015 documentary Janis: Little Girl Blue and that I can definitely recommend!

You’ll also hear here on this MixTape two by Bowie, and one of my favorite songs by Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel, “Sebastian.” Self-described by Harley as “possibly a sort of Gothic love song, possibly not: I’m not really sure to be honest,” “Sebastian” is certainly dramatic glam rock, featuring a 50-plus piece orchestra and choir, with orchestral arrangements by Andrew Powell. In 2008 Harley would go on to say:

“It’s poetry. It means what you want it to mean. ‘Sebastian’ is the conduit, the tubes through which I took myself on that journey to write the story. I can’t say for sure, but I wouldn’t have been far away from tripping when I wrote ‘Sebastian.’ LSD, certainly, created so many incidents in your life, so many images, so much madness and mayhem, as well as great tranquility if you were lucky. I can’t define its meaning. It’s like most poetry, it’s a lovely word.”

Yes there’s all this and a whole bunch of other good stuff so go on down and press play !

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A MOUTHFUL OF PENNIES PRESENTS:
__The Demise Of The Mask (Vol 10)__Naphthalene Magnolias #28___
  • It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue – Bob Dylan (live Montreal Forum, Canada, December 4, 1975)
  • Down On The Bottom – The New Basement Tapes (ft. Rhiannon Giddens, Elvis Costello, Taylor Goldsmith, Jim James, Marcus Mumford, produced by T Bone Burnett) [lyrics by Bob Dylan]
  • Weary Blues – Madeleine Peyroux (Hank Williams cover)
  • Careless Love – Bessie Smith
  • Stone For Bessie Smith – Dory Previn
  • Little Girl Blue – Janis Joplin (written by Lorenz Hart, Richard Rodgers)
  • Rock ‘N’ Roll Suicide – David Bowie (live July 1974)
  • Wild Is The Wind – David Bowie (Nina Simone cover, written by Dimitri Tiomkin and Ned Washington)
  • I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry – Al Green (Hank Williams cover)
  • The Gentle Hum Of Anxiety – Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
  • Feminine Effects – of Montreal (ft. Rebecca Cash)
  • Sebastian – Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel
  • The Rough With The Smooth – Geoff Bastow
  • Miley Tibetan BowlzzzEvil is but a Shadow – Miley Cyrus (ft. The Flaming Lips)
  • Tomorrow Is A Long Time – Elvis Presley (Bob Dylan cover)
  • The Priest – Joni Mitchell
  • As The Orchard Is With RainEarth Has Doors, Let Them Open – Wymond Miles
  • A Reflection (edit) – Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross

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[It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue – Bob Dylan (live Montreal Forum, Canada, December 4, 1975) (photo by Ken Regan)]

[Down On The Bottom – The New Basement Tapes ]

[Weary Blues – Madeleine Peyroux (hank Williams cover)]

[Careless Love – Bessie Smith]

[Stone For Bessie Smith – Dory Previn]

[Little Girl Blue – Janis Joplin (written by Lorenz Hart, Richard Rodgers)]

[Rock ‘N’ Roll Suicide – David Bowie (live July 1974)]

[Wild Is The Wind – David Bowie (photo by Michael Ochs, 1976)]

[I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry – Al Green (Hank Williams cover)]

[The Gentle Hum Of Anxiety – Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross (artwork by Rob Sheridan. 2010)]

[Feminine Effects – of Montreal (ft. Rebecca Cash) (photo by Trompe L’oeil Photomagique, 2012)]

[Sebastian – Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel]

[The Rough With The Smooth – Geoff Bastow]

[Miley Tibetan Bowlzzz / Evil is but a Shadow – Miley Cyrus (ft. The Flaming Lips)]

[Tomorrow Is A Long Time – Elvis Presley (Bob Dylan cover)]

[The Priest – Joni Mitchell]

[As The Orchard Is With Rain / Earth Has Doors, Let Them Open – Wymond Miles]

[A Reflection (edit) – Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross]

___________________))))))))))))))))

All the best to you and yours!—  –   ————-______-________ ->BOBBY CALERO[—+=-_________________If you dig the mix then please feel free to pass & post it along; if you dig an artist then please support them and go out and pick up some of their stuff. Oh, If you dig the blog overall there’s always the “FOLLOW BLOG VIA EMAIL” button somewhere down at the bottom.

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THE COURTESAN & THE BEARER OF THE LOTUS

If you dig the mix then please feel free to pass & post it along; if you dig an artist then please support them and go out and pick up some of their stuff.

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Hello All! I’ve got a special triptych-MixTape treat for you all today…featuring some bounce, a little wilt, petal melt, and a whole slew of protean tunes to accompany you at the tail-end/entrance of shifting seasons. …Perhaps best used when paired with working on a creative project of some sort or just watering house plants, or by those who suffer from insomnia under the sun.

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The Courtesan and The Bearer of The Lotus

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The Courtesan and The Bearer of The Lotus_CVR

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The Courtesan and The Bearer of The Lotus (Vol. 1)

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The Courtesan and The Bearer of The Lotus (Vol. 2)

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The Courtesan and The Bearer of The Lotus (Vol. 3)

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-:VOL. 1 —-(Click to Listen or Right-Click-Save-As to Download)

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-:VOL. 2 —-(Click to Listen or Right-Click-Save-As to Download)

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-:VOL. 3 —-(Click to Listen or Right-Click-Save-As to Download)

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The Courtesan and The Bearer of The Lotus (Vol. 1)
  • Love In The Asylum – Dylan Thomas
  • L’Enfant La Mouche Et Les Allumettes (The Child the Fly and the Matches) – Jean-Claude Vannier
  • (Just A Little) Communication – Gabor Szabo
  • Bring Me Coffee Or Tea – CAN
  • Catherine – PJ Harvey
  • I Talk To The Wind – King Crimson
  • ‘Tis A Pity She Was A Whore – David Bowie
  • Black Comedy – Miles Davis [w/ Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Tony Williams, Ron Carter]
  • Seven – Thundercat
  • Thieves In The Temple – Prince
  • Thieves In The Temple – Herbie Hancock (Prince cover)
  • The Overachievers – Devendra Banhart & The Grogs (Liars cover)
  • Apes And Peacocks (Queen’s Suite pt. 6) – Duke Ellington & His Orchestra
  • Two – Madhouse (Prince & Eric Leeds)
  • Hung Up On My Baby – El Michels Affair (Isaac Hayes cover)
  • Velvet Ditch – The Arcs (Dan Auerbach, Richard Swift, Leon Michels aka El Michels Affair)
  • Smokestack Lightning – Howlin’ Wolf (’69 version)
  • Hello It’s Late – Stone Temple Pilots
  • Almost Fell In Love – crush_DLX (Pop Levi & Bunny Holiday)
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The Courtesan and The Bearer of The Lotus (Vol. 2)
  • Holy Guardian Angel – crush_DLX (Pop Levi & Bunny Holiday)
  • The Chart – Super Numeri (Pop Levi, Snap Ant, Karl Webb)
  • Tarot Ash – Madlib
  • Sagittarius Silver Announcement/Worm Mountain – The Flaming Lips (Feat. MGMT)
  • Mantra Guru – Madlib
  • The Healer/Hip Hop/Me – Erykah Badu
  • Blues In Orbit [Alternate Take] – Duke Ellington
  • Verdillac – The Doors
  • The Girl Of The Ghetto – (written By Jim Morrison, read Johnny Depp)
  • The Ghetto Walk – Miles Davis (w/ Wayne Shorter; John McLaughlin; Herbie Hancock; Chick Corea; Joe Zawinul; Dave Holland; Joe Chambers)
  • Seven Years In Tibet – David Bowie
  • Curious Child – Prince
  • Wave – Ahmad Jamal Trio
  • Samurai Showdown (edit) – RZA
  • Sleight of Hand – Menahan Street Band
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The Courtesan and The Bearer of The Lotus (Vol. 3)
  • Johnny Depp’s cough/Perihelion (edit) – Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
  • Somewhere In The East – George Benson
  • I’ll Give You Everything I’ve Got For A Little Piece Of Mind – Mushroom
  • Second Sighting – The Brian Jonestown Massacre
  • Symphonique #3 (Ode To Venus) – Moondog
  • Cindy Electronium – Raymond Scott
  • Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 (1st movement Allegro) – Johann Sebastian Bach; performed by Leopold Stokowski and the Philadelphia Orchestra
  • Arrows – Jane Weaver
  • Blood – Annette Peacock
  • Spectre – Radiohead
  • Dominoes – Syd Barrett
  • Miriam Got a Mickey (Instrumental) – Adrian Younge
  • Till It’s Done (Tutu) – D’Angelo & The Vanguard
  • Letter To Hermione – Robert Glasper Experiment ft. Bilal (Bowie cover)
  • Lucifer Rising Part III – Bobby Beausoleil
  • Heathen (The Rays) – David Bowie
  • Ascent – Miles Davis (w/ Wayne Shorter; Herbie Hancock; Chick Corea; Joe Zawinul; Dave Holland; Jack DeJohnette)
  • Aphelion (edit) – Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross

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The Courtesan and The Bearer of The Lotus (Vol. 1)

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[Love In The Asylum - Dylan Thomas [art by Needle Design]

[Love In The Asylum – Dylan Thomas [art by Needle Design]

[L'Enfant La Mouche Et Les Allumettes (The Child the Fly and the Matches) - Jean-Claude Vannier]

[L’Enfant La Mouche Et Les Allumettes (The Child the Fly and the Matches) – Jean-Claude Vannier]

[(Just A Little) Communication - Gabor Szabo]

[(Just A Little) Communication – Gabor Szabo]

[Bring Me Coffee Or Tea - CAN]

[Bring Me Coffee Or Tea – CAN]

[Catherine - PJ Harvey]

[Catherine – PJ Harvey]

[I Talk To The Wind - King Crimson]

[I Talk To The Wind – King Crimson]

['Tis A Pity She Was A Whore - David Bowie]

[‘Tis A Pity She Was A Whore – David Bowie]

[Black Comedy - Miles Davis]

[Black Comedy – Miles Davis]

[Seven - Thundercat]

[Seven – Thundercat]

[Thieves In The Temple - Prince]

[Thieves In The Temple – Prince]

[Thieves In The Temple - Herbie Hancock]

[Thieves In The Temple – Herbie Hancock (Prince cover)]

 
[The Overachievers - Devendra Banhart & The Grogs (Liars cover)]

[The Overachievers – Devendra Banhart & The Grogs (Liars cover)]

[Duke Ellington meets Queen Elizabeth II at Leeds in 1958]

[Apes And Peacocks (Queen’s Suite pt. 6) – Duke Ellington & His Orchestra. Duke Ellington meets Queen Elizabeth II at Leeds in 1958]

[Two - Madhouse (Prince & Eric Leeds)]

[Two – Madhouse (Prince & Eric Leeds)]

elmichelsaffair

[Hung Up On My Baby – El Michels Affair (Isaac Hayes cover)]

The_Arcs_-_Yours_Dreamily

[Velvet Ditch – The Arcs]

[Smokestack Lightning - Howlin' Wolf ('69 version)]

[Smokestack Lightning – Howlin’ Wolf (’69 version)]

[Hello It's Late - Stone Temple Pilots]

[Hello It’s Late – Stone Temple Pilots]

[Almost Fell In Love - crush_DLX (Pop Levi & Bunny Holiday)]

[Almost Fell In Love – crush_DLX (Pop Levi & Bunny Holiday)]

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The Courtesan and The Bearer of The Lotus (Vol. 2)
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[Holy Guardian Angel - crush_DLX (Pop Levi & Bunny Holiday)]

[Holy Guardian Angel – crush_DLX (Pop Levi & Bunny Holiday)]

[The Chart - Super Numeri]

[The Chart – Super Numeri (Pop Levi, Snap Ant, Karl Webb)]

[Tarot Ash - Madlib]

[Tarot Ash – Madlib]

[Sagittarius Silver Announcement/Worm Mountain - The Flaming Lips (Feat. MGMT)]

[Sagittarius Silver Announcement/Worm Mountain – The Flaming Lips (Feat. MGMT)]

[Mantra Guru - Madlib]

[Mantra Guru – Madlib]

[The Healer/Hip Hop/Me - Erykah Badu]

[The Healer/Hip Hop/Me – Erykah Badu]

[Blues In Orbit [Alternate Take] - Duke Ellington]

[Blues In Orbit [Alternate Take] – Duke Ellington]

[Verdillac - The Doors]

[Verdillac – The Doors]

The Girl Of The Ghetto

[The Girl Of The Ghetto – (written By Jim Morrison, read Johnny Depp)]

[The Ghetto Walk - Miles Davis (w/ Wayne Shorter; John McLaughlin; Herbie Hancock; Chick Corea; Joe Zawinul; Dave Holland; Joe Chambers)]

[The Ghetto Walk – Miles Davis (w/ Wayne Shorter; John McLaughlin; Herbie Hancock; Chick Corea; Joe Zawinul; Dave Holland; Joe Chambers)]

[Seven Years In Tibet - David Bowie]

[Seven Years In Tibet – David Bowie]

[Curious Child - Prince]

[Curious Child – Prince]

[Wave - Ahmad Jamal Trio]

[Wave – Ahmad Jamal Trio]

[Samurai Showdown (edit) - RZA]

[Samurai Showdown (edit) – RZA]

[Sleight of Hand - Menahan Street Band]

[Sleight of Hand – Menahan Street Band]

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The Courtesan and The Bearer of The Lotus (Vol. 3)
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[Johnny Depp's cough/Perihelion (edit) - Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross]

[Johnny Depp’s cough/Perihelion (edit) – Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross]

[Somewhere In The East - George Benson]

[Somewhere In The East – George Benson]

[I'll Give You Everything I've Got For A Little Piece Of Mind - Mushroom]

[I’ll Give You Everything I’ve Got For A Little Piece Of Mind – Mushroom]

[Second Sighting - The Brian Jonestown Massacre]

[Second Sighting – The Brian Jonestown Massacre]

[Symphonique #3 (Ode To Venus) - Moondog]

[Symphonique #3 (Ode To Venus) – Moondog]

[Cindy Electronium - Raymond Scott]

[Cindy Electronium – Raymond Scott]

[Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 (1st movement Allegro) - Johann Sebastian Bach]

[Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 (1st movement Allegro) – Johann Sebastian Bach]

[Arrows - Jane Weaver]

[Arrows – Jane Weaver]

[Blood - Annette Peacock]

[Blood – Annette Peacock]

[Spectre - Radiohead]

[Spectre – Radiohead]

[Dominoes - Syd Barrett]

[Dominoes – Syd Barrett]

[Miriam Got a Mickey (Instrumental) - Adrian Younge]

[Miriam Got a Mickey (Instrumental) – Adrian Younge]

[Till It's Done (Tutu) - D'Angelo & The Vanguard]

[Till It’s Done (Tutu) – D’Angelo & The Vanguard]

[Letter To Hermione - Robert Glasper Experiment ft. Bilal]

[Letter To Hermione – Robert Glasper Experiment ft. Bilal (David Bowie cover)]

[Lucifer Rising Part III - Bobby Beausoleil]

[Lucifer Rising Part III – Bobby Beausoleil]

[Heathen (The Rays) - David Bowie]

[Heathen (The Rays) – David Bowie]

[Ascent - Miles Davis (w: Wayne Shorter; Herbie Hancock; Chick Corea; Joe Zawinul; Dave Holland; Jack DeJohnette); art by Oliver Barrett]

[Ascent – Miles Davis (w: Wayne Shorter; Herbie Hancock; Chick Corea; Joe Zawinul; Dave Holland; Jack DeJohnette); art by Oliver Barrett]

[Aphelion (edit) - Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross]

[Aphelion (edit) – Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross]

..

All the best—  –   ————-______-________ ->BOBBY CALERO[—+=

-_________________If you dig the mix then please feel free to pass & post it along; if you dig aparticular artist then please support them and go out and pick up some of their stuff.

_           _________________   _  ___   _ _________ __________->

A MOUTHFUL OF PENNIES PRESENTS: DENDRITES (VOL. 10)

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Directly from the sewer at the center of this cacophony comes crawling the next number, “Our Seventh Sister (Ceremony of The Empty Space).”

It advances with a weave of rusty mandolin, banjos fingerpicked and teased out from a central processing unit. The bass squirms about the mulch of bucket drums, simulating the moist thump-thump-thump of an excited heartbeat. Architecturally compact guitars hack forward like hatchets through the foliage of factory handclaps and a thicket of battered cymbals. Sometimes they burst with succinct solos: vivid squiggles like the last of acrylic paint squeezed from a rolled up aluminum tube. They then oh-so-briefly bivouac and recoup with a strum and chime before they’re back out to their chop and hew.

With ludicrous bark and bite added to the singer’s dulcet voice, the lyrics pour and plod ahead like a mule with a syncopated beat—whip-driven through citrus peels boiled in sugar and hot ash. He sounds like a tourist demented with delight at the novelty of it all. The whole production is a buzz of gusto before the song swoons down to mud-churning violins for its farewell lines, which the listener hits as if an epitaph on a tombstone.

Followed a trail of black flags littered across the barren white.

As I entered town, searched my pockets for my zippo lighter.

.

I’ve got thirty-three leaves and forty grams of fresh tobacco;

Tips of my thumb and middle finger are stained dark yellow ochre.

.

Nicotine resin from smoke!

                                      Or,

Smoke from nicotine resin!

.

I gave a greeting to the big black nothing with a small nod,

My gut felt like mosquito larvae in an acrid puddle.

I took me a slumber outside The House of Chosen Women,

Where merchants trade slaves for tourmaline beads under the banyan tree.

Took me a slumber beneath the banyan tree,

Yes I,

Took me a slumber beneath the banyan tree.

.

Slept to lullaby laments as black llamas keen with famine;

They’re tethered on Main Street—dry throats beg for October raindrops.

.

When I awoke!,

When I awoke!,

Awoke to a wet-sand tongue rubbing the stubble on my cheek;

When I opened my eyes there standing was a little black dog.

.

Misery ships pulled into port, Ornament Men home from war;

In the furnace they burned textiles in effigy or worship.

.

South, rot and lust choked their brains; in the West they slept with slaughter;

East, madness chewed roots; now they lament their seventh sister, gone.

.

The Ornament Men ring-danced and lollopped in the House of Knives;

Costumes of Tanager feathers, dead reptiles, which their wives made.

Swinging semaphore genitals pierced with ore, no one saw me,

As they all performed this ceremony of the empty space—

.

Spinning, spirals, territory spheres and stairs, jaguars and rain,

Pain comes, goes, behind walls of adobe, powdered quartz, pain laughs.

.

The little black dog loped down a narrow path flanked by fruit trees,

I pursued, left this harbor to its fevers, piety games.

.

I followed that black dog through those old fruit trees,

Yes I!,

I followed that black dog through those old fruit trees.

                                                                        …      …        …

Some men search for the Holy Grail, or,

Others, the Holy Ghost,

But most men are only lookin’ for

Some butter on their toast

.

I never learned the odds,

I never learned to gamble,

Still I followed my God

And that little black dog down—

Down that long, long black trail.

___         _        _________________       _         _________________    ————-______

dendrites cvr 10

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Something’s Gone Awry – Alela Diane [photo by Jaclyn Campanaro]

Peace Frog/Newborn Awakening – The Doors [photographed in New York City by LIFE‘s Yale Joel in 1968]

Re-Make/Re-Model – Roxy Music [cover model Kari-Ann Muller photographed by Karl Stoecker ,1972]

Hybrid Moments – The Misfits

T.V. Eye – The Stooges

Watching T.V. (Daytrotter version 8/31/2010) – The Beets

Religion I/Public Image – Public Image Ltd.

Ducking And Dodging – Parquet Courts

Ice Age – How To Destroy Angels

The Four Of Us Are Dying – Nine Inch Nails

Mr Raffles/It Wasn’t Me – Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel

Ladytron – The Venus In Furs

El Show De Los Meurtos – Juan Wauters

She’s Got You – Rhiannon Giddens

Finally Back – Souls Of Mischief & Adrian Younge [Animated by Unjust” and “Paintings by Mildred Friedman,]

The Last Act – Adrian Younge

Dr-Octagon-Blue-Flowers-464649

Blue Flowers – Dr. Octagon (aka Kool Keith)

See No Evil – Television

Evil – Stevie Wonder

Can You Hear Me? – Elvis Costello & The Roots

We Have Been Metamorphosized– Jim Morrison (read by Johnny Depp)

(problem) – Eat the document Soundtrack

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A MOUTHFUL OF PENNIES PRESENTS: DENDRITES (VOL. 10)

  • Something’s Gone Awry – Alela Diane 
  • Peace Frog/Newborn Awakening – The Doors 
  • Re-Make/Re-Model – Roxy Music   
  • Hybrid Moments – The Misfits
  • T.V. Eye – The Stooges
  • Watching T.V. (Daytrotter version  8/31/2010) – The Beets
  • Religion I/Public Image – Public Image Ltd.
  • Ducking And Dodging – Parquet Courts
  • Ice Age – How To Destroy Angels
  • The Four Of Us Are Dying – Nine Inch Nails
  • Mr Raffles/It Wasn’t Me – Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel
  • Ladytron – The Venus In Furs (Thom Yorke, Jonny Greenwood, David Gray, Bernard Butler, Andy Mackay) (Roxy Music Cover)
  • El Show De Los Meurtos – Juan Wauters
  • She’s Got You – Rhiannon Giddens
  • Finally Back – Souls Of Mischief & Adrian Younge  
  • The Last Act  – Adrian Younge
  • Blue Flowers – Dr. Octagon (aka Kool Keith)
  • See No Evil – Television
  • Evil – Stevie Wonder
  • Can You Hear Me? – Elvis Costello & The Roots
  • We Have Been Metamorphosized– Jim Morrison (read by Johnny Depp)
  • (problem)  – Eat the document Soundtrack

_ _ _ __=========================================     ______BOBBY CALERO

If you dig the mix then please feel free to pass & post it along; if you dig a particular artist then please support them and go out and pick up some of their stuff.

A MOUTHFUL OF PENNIES PRESENTS: DENDRITES (VOL. 3)

_____________________                       _________________                      _________________   _

On to the next moment.

      Was that our allotted life, an incessant testing of the tensile limits of these near imperceptible vacuums that in part comprise our cognizance? This followed by a fleeting recess in order that we may measure our instruments. To quote Peggy Lee quoting Jerry Leiber quoting Thomas Mann: “Is that all there is?” Is that all there is:——spill-and-coil-and-witness-and-move—spill-and-coil-and-witness-and-move—spill-and-coil-and-witness-and-move—spill-and-coil-and-witness-and-move—spill-and-coil-and-witness-and-move—spill-and-coil-and-witness-and-move—spill-and-coil-and-witness-and-move—spill-and-coil-and-witness-and-move—spill-and-coil-and-witness-and-move—spill-and-coil-and-witness-and-move——

No! There’s more. How often do we forget that what we discover with these instruments is a truth only relative to the instrument implemented? Yet, we habitually live here in the echo of a crowded hollow; we inhabit a theater we for our part create.

It was no wonder we often feel that life might only be maneuvered through by becoming one’s own audience. It was no wonder we sometimes notice that we’ve slid into a center seat in a middle aisle. We watch the film: spliced, taped, and scored towards a recognizable narrative structure and genre by young, conglomerate chimeras we call the self. This conceptual substitution—this thing that seemed to be formed from a slack mass of compacted fragments, while each particle of these fragments themselves are likewise only but a pile of disparate measures, which cling like wet garments and remain so by a mutual pursuit of functionality—this bundle.

Say the word: self. Say it again: self. Say the little syllable: self. Say it again: self. Feel how it plays alone at the utmost edge of your mouth—of you.

      Self. A concise whistle along the middle curl of a mass of lashed muscles suspended in the mouth; then with a succinct roll of the vocal cords comes that tap of the tongue where the enamel scoop of the maxillary central incisors (11 and 21) taper to sit in the alveolar ridge; subsequently, under another continuous stream of breath, the vocal folds cease to vibrate as the bottom lip softly presses at the caps of the top front teeth: self. Is that us; is this entity best encapsulated and best described by the catchall, audible, mechanical wave of pressure and displacement that results from this sequence of events? Was there an entity somewhere in that closed order? Culture the whole world over seemed a ceremony to honor that closed order.

Say the word: self. Say it again: self. Listen. Say the silly little syllable: self. Say it again: self. Listen to the sound: self.

Then there was the chomp on nothing that produces the little letter I.

      Self and I, a myriad of supple mirrors and chromatic lenses perpetually rearranged through the fluid to intimate the infinite image guessed at as required by a particular moment. Believed by whom? Who is it that plays interior decorator with these reflective planes and colored, gelatin filters? Where is it? What should we call it?

_____________________                        _________________                      _________________   _

dendrites 3 cvr

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Licorice (The Beginning)/Fällig – Madlib

Buy Her Candy – Sleater-Kinney

Prince-Parade-era

Crystal Ball – [******]

If You Got Funk, You Got Style (Voodoo sessions outtake riff) – D’Angelo

Dirty Boys – David Bowie

Pusher Love Girl – Justin Timberlake

Continental Shelf – Viet Cong

The-Soft-Boys-Love-Poisoning-563351

Leppo and The Jooves – The Soft Boys

Marquee Moon – Television

Clue One – Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross

Trimm Trabb/No Distance Left To Run/Optigan 1 – Blur

Lady, Your Roof Brings Me Down – Scott Weiland

See My Lord/Hades’ Lady/From The Day That You Were Born – Pop Levi

Metallic Cloud – Damien Jurado

(police cars and dogs) – Eat The Document soundtrack

.
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A MOUTHFUL OF PENNIES PRESENTS: DENDRITES (VOL. 3)
  • Licorice (The Beginning)/Fällig – Madlib
  • Buy Her Candy – Sleater-Kinney
  • Crystal Ball –  [Prince logo.svg]
  • If You Got Funk, You Got Style (Voodoo sessions outtake riff) – D’Angelo
  • Dirty Boys – David Bowie
  • Pusher Love Girl – Justin Timberlake
  • Continental Shelf – Viet Cong
  • Leppo and The Jooves – The Soft Boys
  • Marquee Moon – Television
  • Clue One – Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
  • Trimm Trabb/No Distance Left To Run/Optigan 1 – Blur
  • Lady, Your Roof Brings Me Down – Scott Weiland
  • See My Lord/Hades’ Lady/From The Day That You Were Born – Pop Levi
  • Metallic Cloud – Damien Jurado
  • (police cars and dogs)  – Eat The Document soundtrack

__________——–_________________        -_______

——————————————-BOBBY CALERO—————————–

A MOUTHFUL OF PENNIES PRESENTS: AT PLAY BESIDE THE TOWER

Hello all and welcome to the new MixTape: At Play Beside The Tower. This one features such brilliant artists as Erykah Badu, St. Vincent, J Dilla, and many more! For those that are interested, both the title and some inserted text read by Lyn Gerry come from Charles Eisenstein’s great book, The Ascent of Humanity. (You can read or listen to it yourself for free over at this site.)

As always, if you enjoy any of these tunes I urge you to seek out and purchase more work to support these artists.

Thanks for stopping by and lending me your ear–

-ENJOY YOURSELF— 

 

At Play Beside The Tower_CVR

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Blind Man Can See It (Extended) – James Brown

Didn’t Cha Know – Erykah Badu

Reception/Group therapy – Broadcast & The Focus Group

About Nothing – Scott Weiland

Any Colour You Like – Flaming Lips [art by Martin Ansin]

Huey Newton – St. Vincent

Who Will Lead Us – Priestbird

Sugar Storm/At Play Beside the Tower – Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross/Charles Eisenstein (AMOP edit)

Workinonit [edit] – J Dilla 

Slave Only Dreams To Be King – Marilyn Manson

The Reptilian Agenda – B. Dolan

Sugar Storm (Reprise) – Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross

Gobstopper – J Dilla

Cthulu – EMA

Anchors – Stone Gossard

& Eveline – Elvis Perkins

Sirens Of Your Toxic Spirit – of Montreal

The Ideal Husband – Father John Misty

Urban Ease/Slide Machine – Parquet Courts (13th Floor Elevators cover)

1st Time/Freak You – Cooly G

Ordinary Morning – Sheryl Crow

A MOUTHFUL OF PENNIES PRESENTS: AT PLAY BESIDE THE TOWER————–   –  —   ———-  —

  • Blind Man Can See It – James Brown
  • Didn’t Cha Know – Erykah Badu
  • Reception/Group therapy – Broadcast & The Focus Group
  • About Nothing – Scott Weiland
  • Any Colour You Like – Flaming Lips
  • Huey Newton – St. Vincent
  • Who Will Lead Us – Priestbird
  • Sugar Storm/At Play Beside the Tower – Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross/Charles Eisenstein (AMOP edit)
  • Workinonit – J Dilla
  • Slave Only Dreams To Be King – Marilyn Manson
  • The Reptilian Agenda – B. Dolan
  • Sugar Storm (Reprise) – Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
  • Gobstopper – J Dilla
  • Cthulu – EMA
  • Anchors – Stone Gossard
  • & Eveline – Elvis Perkins
  • Sirens Of Your Toxic Spirit – of Montreal
  • The Ideal Husband – Father John Misty
  • Urban Ease/Slide Machine – Parquet Courts
  • 1st Time/Freak You – Cooly G
  • Ordinary Morning – Sheryl Crow
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———————–BOBBY CALERO——————————-

A MOUTHFUL OF PENNIES PRESENTS: RADIO DETRITUS

HELLO ALL! I’ve got a double mixtape here for you today, so you should be able to chew on this awhile! Keep an ear out, as these actually feature two of my all time favorite tunes: Harry Nilsson’s “The Moonbeam Song” and “All The King’s Horses” by Aretha Franklin (my, how I would have loved to have heard Jeff Buckley do a rendition of the latter). Oh and here across the 2 mixes there’s the whole Rolling Stones/Claudine Longet connection to dig.

Anyway, as always

—–ENJOY YOURSELF

Radio Detritus CVR

 

RADIO DETRITUS (VOL. I)

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RADIO DETRITUS (VOL. II)

 

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Radio Detritus 1

How Brittle The Bones – Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross

Saturday Bride – Quilt

Sunday – David Bowie

Dirt – The Stooges

Of Course – Jane’s Addiction

Moanin’ The Blues – Hank Williams [art by Marc Burckhardt]

Claudine – The Rolling Stones

Pumpkin – Tricky (ft. Alison Goldfrapp)

Sweet Sweet – Smashing Pumpkins

Don’t Think Twice – The Wonder Who (aka, The 4 Seasons )

Street Corner Love – Jobriath

I Got A Good Thing/Stoned To The Bone – James Brown

Diagram – Saul Williams

Mama Forgot To Tell Me – Willie “Little Beaver” Hale

One Room Paradise – The Raeletts

Belle Glade Missionaries – of Montreal

I’ll Bet You – Funkadelic

The Moonbeam Song – Harry Nilsson

Bring Me The Disco King – David Bowie

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— — —    —

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Radio Detritus 2

Sunday Will Never Be the Same – Buffoons

Soul Vibrations – Dorothy Ashby

Ill Wind – Frank Sinatra

Where I End And You Begin (The Sky Is Falling In) – Radiohead

All The King’s Horses – Aretha Franklin

Last To Know - Priestbird [photo by Lauren Dukoff]

Last To Know – Priestbird [photo by Lauren Dukoff]

Prayer – D’Angelo & The Vanguard

Memory Camp – The Brian Jonestown Massacre

Never Get Old – David Bowie

JLH – Richard Swift

Sugar Mama – John Lee Hooker

Trust No Man – Ma Rainey

Mississippi (outtake version) – Bob Dylan

Let’s Spend The Night Together – Claudine Longet

Sweet Feeling – Candi Staton

Standing In The Rain – Al Green

I Don’t Need No Doctor – Ray Charles

Day Tripper – Vontastics

It's A Long Way Back To Germany- Ramones

It’s A Long Way Back To Germany– Ramones

Pretty Penny – Stone Temple Pilots

Labeling the World/Better Beware – Charles Eisenstein/Lilacs & Champagne (amop edit)

Lay Lady Lay – Brothers & Sisters (Dylan’s Gospel)

If I Only Had A Heart – Afghan Whigs

Ha Ha Suckers – Richard Swift [art by Richard Swift]

Radio Detritus 1

  • How Brittle The Bones – Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
  • Saturday Bride – Quilt
  • Sunday – David Bowie
  • Dirt – The Stooges
  • Of Course – Jane’s Addiction
  • Moanin’ The Blues – Hank Williams
  • Claudine – The Rolling Stones
  • Pumpkin – Tricky (ft. Alison Goldfrapp)
  • Sweet Sweet – Smashing Pumpkins
  • Don’t Think Twice – The Wonder Who (aka, The 4 Seasons )
  • Street Corner Love – Jobriath
  • I Got A Good Thing/Stoned To The Bone – James Brown
  • Diagram – Saul Williams
  • Mama Forgot To Tell Me – Willie “Little Beaver” Hale
  • One Room Paradise – The Raeletts
  • Belle Glade Missionaries – of Montreal
  • I’ll Bet You – Funkadelic
  • The Moonbeam Song – Harry Nilsson
  • Bring Me The Disco King – David Bowie
 Radio Detritus 2
  • Sunday Will Never Be the Same – Buffoons
  • Soul Vibrations – Dorothy Ashby
  • Ill Wind – Frank Sinatra
  • Where I End And You Begin (The Sky Is Falling In) – Radiohead
  • All The King’s Horses – Aretha Franklin
  • Last To Know – Priestbird
  • Prayer – D’Angelo & The Vanguard
  • Memory Camp – The Brian Jonestown Massacre
  • Never Get Old – David Bowie
  • JLH – Richard Swift
  • Sugar Mama – John Lee Hooker
  • Trust No Man – Ma Rainey
  • Mississippi (outtake) – Bob Dylan
  • Let’s Spend The Night Together – Claudine Longet
  • Sweet Feeling – Candi Staton
  • Standing In The Rain – Al Green
  • I Don’t Need No Doctor – Ray Charles
  • Day Tripper – Vontastics
  • It’s A Long Way Back To Germany- Ramones
  • Pretty Penny – Stone Temple Pilots
  • Labeling the World/Better Beware – Charles Eisenstein/Lilacs & Champagne (amop edit)
  • Lay Lady Lay – Brothers & Sisters (Dylan’s Gospel)
  • If I Only Had A Heart – Afghan Whigs
  • Ha Ha Suckers – Richard Swift

— —   ———-   — – – –    –     –

——————————————-BOBBY CALERO—————————–

A MOUTHFUL OF PENNIES PRESENTS: A PRAYER FOR THE NEW YEAR OF THE TENDER HORSE

Hello All,

It’s been a minute or two and so I wanted to drop a line, a new mixtape, wish you all a Happy New Year, and remind you (as well as myself) that Yes Is The Answer.

All the best to you and yours

—enjoy yourself—

—————Bobby Calero—————

A Prayer For The New Year Of The Tender Horse

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A Mouthful of Pennies Presents:

A Prayer For The New Year of The Tender Horse 

1)   “Now Is The Time” – MLK

2)   Choir [snippet] – James Newton

3)   Mystical Man – Young-Holt Unlimited

4)   A Love Supreme/Illuminations [snippet] – Carlos Santana & Bill Laswell

5)   Mind Games – George Clinton

6)   Cleanup Time (Stripped version) – John Lennon

7)   Poornamadah – Ravi Shankar

8)   New Year’s Prayer – Jeff Buckley

9)   Vandanaa Trayee – Ravi Shankar

10)   Matangi [snippet]/Y.A.L.A. [snippet] – M.I.A.

11)   While I’m Still Here/Black Noise – Nine Inch Nails

12)  Water No Get Enemy – Fela Kuti

13)  Party Seacombe – George Harrison

14)  “I Have A Dream – MLK

15)   Wade in the Water – The Soulful Strings

16)   Are You Ready – Fairfield Four

17)   Wake Up And Live – Bob Marley & The Wailers

18)   A Degree Of Murder – Brian Jones

19)  Love Me Tender/Save The Whole World – The Doors

20)  Love Me Tender – James Brown

21) Where Could I Go But to the Lord – Elvis Presley

22) My Sweet Lord/Gat Kirwani – George Harrison

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

A MOUTHFUL OF PENNIES PRESENTS: OCTOBER CREEP

ENTER DEATH’S WAITING ROOM, IF YOU DARE…

Hello All,

I’ve got a few treats here for you today to help you creep into the Halloween spirit!

  • First up, there’s quite a MixTape—October Creep—mostly pulled together from various soundtracks and other odds & ends. Now, it’s certainly not the type of mix your going to bump on regular rotation but give it a whirl and I’m sure it’ll give you the appropriate amount of heebie-jeebies this month demands. Oh, and I highly recommend watching the flicks these songs were featured in! They are definitely some of the best films of the horror genre.
  • Up next is both the “book trailer” my friend Rich Stambolian and I put together, and the review I wrote for Rick Yancey’s The Monstrumologist. This novel and the subsequent ones in the series truly are some of the greatest and smartest horror stories I have read in quite some time. So be sure to check it out.
  • And to conclude, I present a short story—All’s Hollow—which I wrote last Halloween for my own amusement. I hope you enjoy, so scroll on down to the end, and as always,

—Enjoy yourself!

Happy Halloween!

October Creep

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A Mouthful Of Pennies Presents:

OCTOBER CREEP

• “The Horror, The Horror” Colonel Kurtz (Marlon Brando)

Ghosts 11Nine Inch Nails

Zombi (The Living Dead’s Voices!) – Goblin

“As You Walk In Forever” – Charles Manson

Halloween II Theme – John Carpenter & Alan Howarth

Guest Room – Priestbird

Horrorscope – Ralph Lundsten And The Andromeda All Stars

Suspiria – Goblin

The Lords Theme – John 5 & Griffin Boice

A Suite For Strings – Bernard Herrmann

The Purpose Of Existence Is? – Ray Manzarek

Walk Me Home -  Memory Tapes

Walk Me HomeMemory Tapes

Hellraiser – Christopher Young

“The Man in the Black Coat Had…” (The Graveyard Book) – Neil Gaiman

BabyDamaged Tape

• “Look Out There’s A Monster Coming” – The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band

The Pink Room – David Lynch & Fox Bat Strategy

Poltergeist Theme Song-Carol AnneJerry Goldsmith

Ai Margini Della Follia – Goblin

•  “…They’re All Messed Up” – Night of The Living Dead

“The House of Pain” – The Island of Doctor Moreau

Cherchez La Ghost – El Michels Affair

The Isle of Blood: chapt. 7 (The Monstrumologist #3) – Rick Yancey

The Curse of Margaret Morgan – John 5 & Griffin Boice

Cannibal Hunt – Damaged Tape

“Every Time I Met Him He Was Somebody Else” – Charles Manson (portrait by Joe Colemen, 1988).

Man That You Fear – Marilyn Manson

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Yancey, Rick. The Monstrumologist. Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, 2009. 448 p. $17.99. 978-1-4169-8448-1

“Of Wolves & Worms: a review of Rick Yancey’s The Monstrumologist”

Tiger, tiger, burning bright

In the forests of the night,

What immortal hand or eye

Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

While never explicitly stated, the sentiments behind the above quotation from the concluding stanza of William Blake’s 1794 Poem “The Tyger” run central to the elements of true terror in Rick Yancey’s The Monstrumologist. This “young adult” novel seamlessly knits the ominous tones of American gothic authors such as H. P. Lovecraft and Flannery O’Connor with the grotesque visuals of modern horror cinema. Despite the fact that graphic descriptions of the blood-and-guts variety are featured prominently throughout this book, these details are not given for the purpose of mere sensationalism. Through his apparent dexterity of craft when concerning the English language and narrative forms, Yancey has written a carefully constructed story of intellectual horror.

“These are the secrets I have kept. This is the trust I never betrayed. But he is dead now and has been for more than forty years, the one who gave me his trust, the one for whom I kept these secrets. The one who saved me…and the one who cursed me.”

These opening statements of protagonist Will Henry’s memoir sets a macabre mood that is subsequently maintained by the horrific events that occur throughout the novel. The details concerning a fire serves as a tragic, if subtle mystery in regards to the reader’s grasp upon the two main characters’ histories and the dynamic of their relationship; this fire has left young Will Henry an orphan now in the care of Dr. Pellinore Warthrop, under who he toils as an assistant. Dr. Warthrop, whose vocation provides the novel with its title, is an exacting man who is fanatically dedicated to his scientific pursuits, although, these investigations tend to be a bit more esoteric than those commonly associated with the average scientist. His discipline is in monstrumology: a supposed turn of the century field of study that today would likely be labeled cryptozoology.

This tale is set in 1888 within a New England city (where, as anyone who has visited Massachusetts, or Maine knows that a story of horror such as this must take place) called New Jerusalem. This is a city whose hours seem to perpetually alternate between dusk and the dead of night. In fact it is late one night that the adventure begins as a withered grave robber arrives at the Doctor’s door with a horrific discovery he has made while performing the duties of his ghoulish profession. The recently buried corpse of a young woman is hauled into Dr. Warthrop’s basement laboratory. Dead, but still clutching this cadaver with barbed fingernails is a monstrous creature with no head, a black lidless eye upon each muscular shoulder, and row upon row of sharp teeth set within a rictus that gapes open at its abdomen. This creature is Anthropophagi: a man-eater.

The awful unearthing of this beast is made worse by evidence that it was in the process of breeding as it choked to death upon a pearl necklace that adorned the young woman’s body as he devoured her flesh. These monsters are granted a certain depth through the author’s use of both literary and historical references to their existence by presenting quotations from Shakespeare, Herodotus, and Sir Walter Raleigh. It soon becomes apparent that New Jerusalem is to endure an infestation of these monstrous carnivores.

Yancey’s settings create as much tension as his monsters do. One particularly disturbing scene takes place within the oppressive confines of a mental institution, where Warthrop and his assistant investigate how the Anthropophagi—indigenous to West Africa—have come to arrive on the shores of the New World. The account of their journey reads like a thrilling novella of all its own, and is reminiscent to Bram Stoker’s portrayal of Dracula’s voyage by ship from the Carpathian Mountains to the coast of England; although, in terms of language, Yancey accomplishes this with a bit more brute force. The Novel’s climax situated within New Jerusalem’s cemetery is equally powerful and unsettling.

The author’s narrative techniques are a sophisticated element that ultimately keeps the reader tethered to these pages until their conclusion. Through the eyes of a modern writer (which, I assume to be Yancey himself) we are reading the memoirs of a man who purportedly died at one hundred and thirty-one years old, who is recounting his life at the age of twelve. These narrative layers add a texture to the work that serves to lure in the reader, just as Joseph Conrad had accomplished with Heart of Darkness.

The Science of monstrumology is presented along with other methods of critical thinking and scientific disciplines that were emerging around the turn of the century, such as the works of Nietzche and the study of eugenics. The callous outlooks often associated with these theories are presented through Dr. John Kearns, the monster-hunter who declares: “The only truth is the truth of the now;” “There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so;” and “There is no morality […] but the morality of the moment.”  In fact, it is this scientific approach to the villains that makes this a truly engaging book. Dr. Warthrop and his colleague Kearns consider these man-eaters to be just as monstrous as wolves and worms. They are simply part of the natural order of things. In terms of the predator/prey dynamic Homo sapiens just happen to fall under the rubric of the latter when concerning the Anthropophagi. Mature in its conceits, this book becomes all the more terrifying when the reader comprehends just how plausible these “monsters” truly are. As Kearns states, “ We do work ourselves into a tizzy about creatures like the Anthropophagi, but the world is chock-full of things that want to eat us.”

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ALL’S HOLLOW

 

The downpour had gone on for hours. As the afternoon lumbered on into evening and then further on into night, however, the storm had dwindled down to a steady drizzle, which served as a relentlessly irritating and tactile traveling companion to the bitter cold front that had suddenly swept through the city. That morning—after three pleasant weeks of abnormally warm weather—the temperature had abruptly plummeted. Terrence and Martin had both been waiting an inordinate amount of time for the bus—stepping side-to-side with the other damp commuters trying to get home but trapped by circumstance in the long line, moaning under tongue or sighing through the nostrils, periodically peering over their shoulders through wet, frizzy hair, down the long block in frustrated anticipation. More minutes passed. More minutes passed. More minutes passed. Each exhale was visible as a condensed mist, which made the curbside line resemble some human locomotive coming to rest at a train yard.

More minutes passed.

        When the bus finally arrived with an asthmatic whistle and dusty whine of the brakes, everyone shuffled forward and boarded one-by-one. Terrence could feel the itch of violence in his brain as the diminutive Guyanese woman in front of him paid the fare with a methodical toss of individual nickels and dimes fished out from the deep pockets of her blue raincoat. The diamond stud of her nose-ring glistened as she watched the final two coins slowly roll from her palm into the slot. Terrence and Martin squeezed their way to the back, past the obstacle course tangle of jagged umbrellas, obnoxiously large bags, and sodden people who would not move. The bus was redolent of wet, longhaired dogs and steamed broccoli-infused flatulence. They took the only two vacant seats, which faced each other.

Once it seemed that the bus was full and ready to go, they sat idling at the curbside. The driver emerged from the crowd at the back of the bus and inserted a key into the panel that operates the lift designed for wheelchair access. Many of the passengers permitted a plaintive “Shit! You gotta be kiddin’ me?” to resound within the polite confines of their minds, but not Terrence. He said it aloud. Other than a chuckle from Martin, no one reacted.

The hydraulic lift delivered an obese woman in her mid-forties. She had sweat and rainwater dripping as one solution from her short, sandy hair, rolling past her temples and down the curve of her ballooned cheeks. Dark stains where sweat had saturated the salmon colored fabric of her blouse adumbrated her fat breasts. Dragging her aluminum walker over to the three—now vacant—priority seats left her gasping for oxygen. The blue, plastic seats gave a creak of complaint beneath her girth. With a look of slack-jawed bewilderment and disdain Terrence turned to Martin, who was preoccupied with rearranging the sideswipe of his black bangs.

“Y’know Marty, this fuckin’ city…all it takes to totally ruin public transportation is a little bit of rain and fuckin’ fat people.”

Martin sucked his lips inward and raised his eyebrows, glancing over at the subject matter. She did not seem to notice.

        “Can you imagine,” Terrence continued with a grin, “what a man could do with an army of the obese?” He envisioned himself astride a black stallion with the cruel posture of some conquering Hannibal. Before the hooves of his steed, whip-driven hordes of corpulent soldiers with identical down-syndrome faces and imperial Roman armor waddled forward through a burning landscape.

Terrence laughed to himself as Martin said, “The entire campaign would have to be fueled on the promise of more sausages. A nitrate war!”

“Yeah, isn’t there some saying about how more important than any general in the army is the cook?”

Martin giggled out, “Isn’t that from a Steven Seagal flick?”

With a sudden jerk the bus lurched into traffic. The subject changed and they spoke idly of what programs they had watched on television the evening prior.

“…and then that pituitary retard goes back out with her…”

“…no idea why I still watch it. It’s like the eighth season and it’s terrible…”

“…she’s pregnant with a monster, so the black guy with the hammer…”

“…then he says, ‘I just work here, now let’s warm those bones of yours…”

“…hahahahahahahahah…hahahaha…hahaha…”

Eventually they arrived at Terrence’s stop where they said goodbye with a finger-snapping pound.

“Aight, see you tomorrow,” Martin said as he fished through his bookbag for a magazine that detailed the newest releases in electronic entertainment.

        Terrence maneuvered awkwardly through the crowd to the stiff air-assisted doors. They slapped closed behind him as he hopped to the curb. Tightening the collar of his jacket against his nape in a futile attempt to ward off the cold and slow-descending haze, Terrence walked off through the wet, empty streets. They were hedged in on either side by brick row houses and community drives; the vapor overhead alternately lit by the red, green, yellow of traffic lights changing within their set routine—locked in an obstinate cycle of transformation which paid no regard to the uselessness of their own color-coded symbols along this desolate avenue.

After several blocks Terrence decided that he should stop to pick up a boil bag of ramen noodles to eat for dinner, as he knew that—other than an assortment of condiments, a wilted bag of lettuce, and an outpost for a burgeoning mold colony—the shelves of his refrigerator were bare. He turned left at the next corner and walked uphill. After turning down two more blocks he arrived at a bodega that was cattycornered off the street in an old stone building that seemed as if it had once been a bank or perhaps a movie theater, but now had been sectioned off and sold to comprise this corner store deli, a locksmith, a Korean nail salon, and a business whose primary means of income was creating t-shirts for children’s sports teams.

As Terrence pushed the door a small bell tinkled to announce his arrival. He dragged his feet across the mat and ran his fingernails along his scalp, through the wet kinks of his short blonde hair. He stepped forward into the seemingly empty store, and that little urgent voice that inhabits our nerve endings and pulls strings within our intestines, vertebrae, and the muscles of our jaws screamed for Terrence to get out, turn around, run! It was not that Terrence did not notice. However, as there was no reason, this shiver of instinct was not allowed to register. The modern world had reduced that voice—which once ruled us like  lightning—into a polite if uneasy guest attempting to get a word in to a busy host.

There was no one behind the counter, atop which sat a solitary pack of Newport cigarettes and a white book of matches. He walked down the aisle where he knew he could find the plastic packages of dehydrated sodium he planned on having for dinner. There was a whisper, followed by a whimper. At this point (with little intellectual recognition but a flicker of the hypothalamus and an ensuing spasm and squeeze of his sympathetic nervous system and adrenal-cortical system) Terrence turned on his heels and began to walk swiftly back down the aisle, past the pale and wilted vegetables, towards the exit.

“…fuck you goin’, muthafucka?”

        With nervous civility, Terrence turned to ask, “Excuse me?” He was staring down the barrel of a shotgun. It was a 12 gauge from Mossberg’s 500 series. Terrence did not know this. Nor did he truly observe the figure pointing it his way: other than the caramel complexion around the wide eyes, the facial features were obscured below a black hood and a paisley patterned blue bandana; the tall frame rendered somewhat shapeless by a dark-grey trench coat stained with ash, mud, and rain; black, leather gloves gripped the shotgun. All Terrence did know was that a big gun was aimed at his face.

Slowly, Terrence stepped backwards—inch-by-inch. His palms raised, the mechanisms of his jaw worked with determined, but imbecilic repetition: open, close, open, and close. No words were formed: only a low and broken yammering. Coming around the corner of the aisle, from behind soft blue and green packages of sanitary pads, a small man stepped up to Terrence and abruptly slapped him across the face. Terrence was nothing more than a rigid doll when this assailant gripped the two halves of his open collar and yanked him towards his partner with the shotgun.

“Getch yer ass over there, whiteboy!” Although the small man’s grey complexion was certainly much paler than his own, Terrence could not at that moment find any humor in this irony, nor a point worth investigating dialectically. With a voice that was muffled beneath the bandana, the man with the shotgun ordered the other to “go get more duct tape.” Before the small man disappeared down the aisle he slammed a knife flat on the counter alongside the pack of Newports. The blade was a dull slate-grey. Terrence’s face stung and there was a red welt swelling over his pale, freckled cheek.

“Let’s go, Barney Rubble.” Palming Terrence’s nape with his free hand, the man with the shotgun marched him towards the rear of the store. Urged forward, Terrence focused on each clomp-clomp of the man’s brown Timberland boots against the uneven linoleum tiles. The bandana about this man’s mouth had grown moist from breath, and he appeared rather uncomfortable as he wiped sweat from his eye with the back of his glove.

At the rear wall, someone was slumped in the corner between a red plastic rack containing various greeting cards and a glass-front fridge stocked with forty ounce bottles of malt liquor. Terrence recognized the slim, huddled figure as the Bangladeshi man who worked there. He looked up from under his blue turban with sodden eyes, his crooked, nicotine stained teeth jutting outwards as he gasped with anxiety. He appeared to have been beaten somewhat, as there was a trace film of blood and snot about a nostril as well as speckled on the black, curled whiskers of his thick beard and his teal polo shirt. Bound at the wrists with grey duct tape, he pressed his balled hands against his own ribs and sobbed, “please.”

Terrence averted his eyes and focused in on one of the greeting cards. It featured a cartoon bear in blue, denim overalls clutching a tangle of colorful balloons. The word bubble above its round, fluffy head read “I’m sorry that you’re not feeling well right now.” Just as the small man announced his return with the sharp, rupture sound of tape being peeled from the roll, Terrence was shoved to the floor alongside the employee. To others, Terrence had always referred to this man—or, for that matter, anyone who happened to be manning the store at any particular time—as his mugabi-guy; as in, “I went to my mugabi-guy for a cup of coffee this morning.” Under the menacing eyes of the man with the shotgun, the small man bent low and wound the tape violently about Terrence’s wrists and forearms. Terrence noticed that this small man’s limbs and fingers had a slight twitch to their movements, reminiscent of an insect’s. This likeness was particularly so when he occasionally swiped with a crooked index finger at the thin, disparate hairs of his moustache, which did little to conceal the scar that formed after enduring corrective surgery on a harelip.

“Aight,” the taller man spoke in his muffled tone, “let’s put these niggas in the basement, finish up ‘n’ get the fuck up outta here!”

        At this, the employee began to bellow and plead, “Please, no! No, please! Don’t put me in the basement! Don’t lock me in there! Please!” This plea’s rapid delivery, compounded by spittle and the odd angles his dense accent imposed upon the syllables, made one pause briefly before comprehension. He was panicked and attempted to scramble to his feet. For this he received the small man’s shell-toe between his ribs. He coughed, doubled over, and wheezed for breath. He continued with his entreaty, however, but now with only a shudder and a rolling whimper. Duct tape was placed over the employee’s mouth before the man with the shotgun hauled him up by the elbow while barking “Get up! Le’s go Papa Smurf!”

The small man opened the thick metal door that led to the basement and with a spastic wave of his hand motioned for Terrence to go down the steps. Terrence obliged, his head hung low and slick with perspiration. Behind him, the employee had to be dragged. He was flailing wildly and pawing desperately with sweaty palms at the wooden banister. Despite his mouth being sealed over, you still knew what his stifled, rough guttural moans concerned.

As he wiggled desperately under his captor’s grip, they both slipped. The man with the shotgun’s heel skidded and bounced off the edge of two steps before they both bowled forward and landed in a heap on the solid floor. Terrence slid down and remained still, pressing his back against the cold, cement wall of the basement.

It was dark down there; too dark to even begin to guess the room’s dimensions. The only light was that which descended from the open door above, and that served to illuminate the narrow steps and the desperate scene being enacted at their bottom and no more. Terrence was aware of the small man’s silhouette above as he shouted, “Yo D, you aight?” However, Terrence could not look away from the two men crouched before him at the cast light’s edge, where its periphery dissipated into the black: one, pleading with his hands raised, tears and saliva beginning to undo the adhesive gag; the other, rising, the bandana pulled free to reveal high cheekbones chiseled down to a scowling mouth, thick lips twisted with anger.

Sweeping his hands blindly along the floor, “D” retrieved his shotgun, raised the barrel high and slammed the thick butt into the forehead of the mewling supplicant at his knees. The employee’s neck and torso twisted hard before he slumped back with a wet smack to the floor. D paused, glancing over his shoulder into the palpable expanse of negative space. In an instant he whirled back to repeatedly batter the shotgun’s butt down against the prostrate employee’s skull. Each thrust was accompanied with a heaving grunt as viscous fluids splattered along the shotgun’s stock and across the cold ground.

Terrence could hear the moment when something solid cracked, splintered, and went wet. Even though that moment had come and gone, the grunts and thrusts continued. Eventually, with a final lunge and cracked growl, D stopped and allowed his arms to fall slack at his sides as his breath collapsed into a pant.

“Yo, D!”

The gunman turned his back to Terrence and appeared to be watching something in the opaque distance.

“D!”

No. He was listening to something.

“D! C’mon nigga!”

        D turned around and calmly walked past Terrence and up the steps with the measured stride of a somnambulist. His eyes did not once flit in Terrence’s direction; nor did they seem to even notice the broken mess sprawled at the bottom of the stairs, spilling out within the shadows. Above, the door slammed, followed by the abrupt, metallic click of the lock.

Abandoned in the dark, Terrence sighed with a spasm to the muscles of his abdomen. His lungs felt constricted by his ribcage. Attempting to swallow the lump in his throat, he tasted the salt of his own tears, which rolled liberally from his blind eyes. Unaccompanied by the typical theatrics of weeping, Terrence was crying without making a sound, without moving a muscle. He felt cold.

Terrence heard something in the distance. A whisper? There was a clatter, as if a block of wood had been rolled along the floor at some far end of the room. Another whisper. Hushed and distorted through cracked static…a reply. Pointlessly, Terrence pressed his spine harder to the wall, as if there were a way through—a place safe.

He heard the clomp-clomp of heavy boots approaching, but they ceased inexplicably. No; they didn’t so much stop as they faded. Something lightly fingered at his ankle; or to be more precise, nothing lightly fingered at his ankle, for when he swatted down his bound limbs made contact only with the chilled slab of a concrete floor. Faint voices broken by a hiss. A nauseating gurgle, like a large cat gagging on a broken television. Inside, he felt cold; inside, he felt hollow.

With the brief, sharp jangle of a bell, the two thieves stepped to the sidewalk and began to walk briskly up the block. Although the drizzle still fell as an aimless haze, the cool, night air was welcomed. The small man swung a black, thirty-gallon trash bag over his shoulder as his little legs jerked forward towards their parked car—orange rust creeping up from around the wheel wells.  The bag was entirely too big for the little that it held.

As he pulled the keys from the pocket of his loose, wrinkled jeans, the small man noticed a young couple passing across the street. The woman was dressed as a slutty Little Red Riding Hood: her red-checked skirt ending abruptly to reveal the pink of thick, goose-pimpled thighs; knees peeking out from white nylons, which descended into little black shoes; her breasts ludicrously pressed up towards her chin. From her gait you could tell both that she had more than a few drinks and that her feet hurt. The man beside her was draped in a loose-fitting approximation of a foppish pirate. His oversized tri-cornered hat, warped with rainwater, sagged over the black patch that covered his right eye. Huddled within each other’s arms, they continued down the street engaged in drunken flirtation.

It took the police two weeks to tie the missing person’s report with the young man seen being accosted on the bodega’s security camera. However, as the footage obtained was of poor-quality and set at a limited angle, it provided little in the way of clues as to what had occurred. The body of Zubayer Rahman was discovered the morning of November 1st. His face had been reduced to an unrecognizable, pulpy mass, and there were numerous scratches of various length and depth all along his torso. The whereabouts of Terrence Hughes remain unknown.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

————–(BOBBY CALERO)————

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