smirking half-hawk

52 Weeks of Music and Lunch Week 22: Johnny Hollow's Dirty Hands


Last day of Kaleidoscope Gathering meals. One last vegetarian sausage onna bun. I confess that I was, by this point, a touch sick of them.


Album: Johnny Hollow's Dirty Hands

Genre: Darkwave...ish? Strings and synth and goths oh my.

Similar Bands: Early Rasputina, Emilie Autumn, selected Voltaire.

Review: misslynx was right - this JH album is even closer to the early Rasputina stuff I love than their previous album. It did, in fact, at least partially scratch that itch for me. Floaty, string heavy music that hits one square in the goth. Good cover of "People Are Strange."

Playlist Potential: I again lament that I have yet to make a "goth music" playlist.
smirking half-hawk


Positive update for once. Just got back from the doctor (GP). Blood pressure is under control with current meds. As far as breathing goes, last time I biked there it took a bit over 15 minutes, and I was wheezing when I got there. Today, it took 10 minutes and I was breathing fine.

His theory on why my ankles keep swelling is sodium intake. Which sounds hinky to me, but I can use the motivation to cut out salt anyway. I go back in a month to see how the ankles are doing.

All in all, I'm feeling somewhat positive for once.

52 Weeks of Music and Lunch: Weeks 18,19,20 and 21


Chicken sandwich with spinach salad


Album: Straftanz's Forward Ever - Backward Never

Genre: Aggrotech

Similar Bands: See all the freaking Aggrotech acts I've posted about already.

Review: Simple, angry, dancey. "Straftanz", according to google, translates to "criminal dance". German lyrics, or short, repetitive English, with the requisite movie samples. This is pure, basic Aggrotech. I like it.

Playlist Potential: Workout, Driving.


Bread, cheese and cold cuts.


Album: Rasputina's Sister Kinderhook

Genre: In iTunes I have the band tagged as "Gothic cello rock".

Similar Bands: Uh... Nothing, quite. Sort of Emilie Autumn, Zoe Keating, Abney Park and even sort of Vernian Process.

Review: I had an epiphany while listening to this album. I have been disappointed with everything Rasputina has done since How We Quit the Forest. Really, what I wanted was the same sort of goth cello rock that lead me to genre tag them. However, since HWQtF, what Rasputina has been doing is more sort of Steampunk, ahead of the masses like me picking it up. It's an American Steampunk, a sort of Cherie Priest's Boneshaker kind of Steampunk, but there it is. This album is the least cello-driven. There's a lot of banjo.

I think it's going to take some time to adjust to the Rasputina we have from the Rasputina I fell for in the late 90s, but I think I will learn to appreciate it.

Playlist Potential: Possibly my Nano-Victorian playlist for some of it.


PC basmati rice with red pepper and edamame. From a line of bagged frozen vegetarian things. This one is pretty good, though "heat" and "tomato" are the only dominant tastes. Could use a little more rounding out flavourwise. Still, I should see if this is still available for the next time I am too lazy to make dinner - this batch had been in the freezer for something like 6 months, and it was still fine.


Album: Emilie Autumn's Enchant

Genre: Darkwave? Folkwave? Or is "spooky women with orchestral string instruments" now its own genre?

Similar Bands: Vaguely speaking, Birthday Massacre, early Rasputina, Zoe Keating

Review: Emilie Autumn's earliest album in iTunes. You can see the Emilie Autumn responsible for Opheliac peeking out occasionally, but the differences are clear from the cover photo. Opheliac has her with red hair dressed all in black with heavy makeup. Enchant has her with lavendar hair wearing fairy wings. Enchant has a strong Renn Faire/Enya feel mixed in with the harder gothy/darkwave stuff that later comes out on Opheliac. She even borrows several bars from Greensleeves at one point. Given how much I liked her later album, I was a little disappointed with this one, but better that than the other way 'round.

Playlist Potential: I don't think it really matches any of my current playlists.


The entire week of meals at camp at Kaleidoscope Gathering. Though mycrazyhair's quinoa and chickpea salad was my favourite.


Album: Memmaker's How To Remix A Robot Uprising

Genre: Electro-Industrial

Similar Bands: Valium Era, Skylight Glare, etc.

Review: I bought this because it has the remix of Energon3 with the Optimus Prime sample in that I liked. It manages to stand on its own as a good album, though, which is rare in remix albums. If you liked How To Enlist in a Robot Uprising, it's definitely worth your time and money to pick up this one, too.


I also picked up 4 Heather Dale CDs at Kscope; The Road To Santiago, The Green Knight, The Gabriel Hounds and The Trial of Lancelot. Itunes can't decide if Heather's World music or Folk, but that tells you most of what you need to know genre-wise. I've seen Heather and Ben play a few times at Kaleidoscope, and gotten enough of the songs half-lodged in my head that I figured I should give them some money. It's Celtic-y, pagan-y, Arthurianish folky type stuff. I'm particularly fond of Mordred's Lullaby and the Green Knight. Black Fox is a great track, but the album version isn't nearly as great as it was live, with Ben growl-whispering the Devil's lines under Heather's lyrics. Which is just to say, if you get a chance, go see them live.
smirking half-hawk

52 Weeks of Music And Lunch, Week 17: Astrix's Eye to Eye


Baked challah french toast and bacon. Lesson; when making french toast in the oven, we need parchment paper, oil or silpat or something. Delicious brunch at home on Canada Day (and yes, it still counts, since I didn't go out for lunch.)


Album: Astrix's Eye to Eye

Genre: PsyTrance

Similar Bands:Infected Mushroom, MFG, Shpongle, Troll Scientists.

Review: I remember corbet being pretty excited when she was able to find Astrix's music years ago. Now, it's on iTunes, so I figured I'd grab some in an attempt to get something other than yet more Industrial.

It's got the sense of motion that I like in PsyTrance, plus all the various hallmark effects and noises of the genre. Perfect for dancing to. If, you know, I ever manage to get out dancing instead of falling asleep again.

Playlist Potential: I really need to build a smart playlist for rave type music. Until then, Eye to Eye will be a welcome addition to the Doof Doof and Oontz Oontz smart lists.
goth moon

RFI: Summer footwear that is cool

As part of my ongoing, inevitable, regrettable hippification, I am considering buying non-boot footwear for the summer. Something possibly in the sandal family. The last time I wore sandals, they were plastic k-mart flip flops when my age was in single digits.

I am, of course, still me, and don't want something like birkenstocks. However, I'm tired of wearing hot combat boots in summer, and taking longer to do up my boots than it takes to put on the entire rest of my outfit. So, I want some kind of summer footwear that's a) fairly easy to put on and take off, b) allows for greater airflow than combat boots, and c) looks good.

I've been looking at the Vibram Five Toes with the instep strap. Anyone know of other good looking sandal relatives I should be considering? Is it, for example, worth combing the stores on Yonge for some kind of gothy sandal with spikes on or something?

Authoritarian Apologism and the Logical Fallacy

In a comment on a friend's post, something that's been bugging me finally came together in my head.

In various recent events (Peter Watts' Squidgate, the g20 mess, etc.), there has been a bunch of commenters (live and on the net, natch) who seem to cheer louder the more it looks like the police have abused thier power. These are the folks who say things like "if a cop tells you to do something, you do it *immediately* or you deserve what happens to you", "if you haven't worn a uniform, you don't get to complain", etc.

The general idea of Authoritarian Apologism is that anyone that gets beaten up by the police, or the border guards, or anyone with a bade or a uniform, deserves what they get. That those forces are always justified in whatever they do to thier citizens.

I've been trying to figure out what it is that drives me so nuts about this position, besides the obvious. It finally clicked today - it's the same logical fallacy that drives Rape Culture victim-blaming and shunning of people who are ill. It's the idea that Bad things don't happen to Good people. So when bad things happen to someone previously presumed to be Good, the Apologist makes the inference that the person must be Bad. Because the alternative is that Bad things *do* happen to Good people. And that's terrifying - the Apologist naturally sees zirself as a Good person. If something bad can happen to some random writer, to some random jogger or random tourist, then it means that something bad can happen to *me*!

And a lot of people can't face that. So they go to great lengths to come up with reasons why people deserve to be beaten by cops, to be raped by thier "friend", to get cancer or AIDS. I mean, of course that guy deserved to be arrested and held in a pen in the rain overnight with no drinking water - did you *see* what he was wearing? He was *asking* for it! Good thing I'd never do something like that, so I'm safe.

It's all about Othering victims so that the Apologist can feel safe knowing that bad things only happen to bad people. It's about fear, and letting that fear make your world ever smaller.
smirking half-hawk

52 Weeks of Music And Lunch, Week 16: Zoe Keating's Into the Trees


Leftover steak, grilled zucchini and mushrooms with bread. Mmm, meat! Lizard has been on a grilling kick lately (with our indoor electric grill). I am happy to continue to enjoy the results.


Album: Zoe Keating's Into The Trees

Genre: Neo-Classical?

Similar Bands: Attrition are occasionally vaguely similar.

Review: Something not Industrial! There aren't even any drums! I loved Keatings first album, and I love this one. I kept catching myself drumming my fingers and tapping my toes to recollections of this album in the past week, even when I wasn't listening to it. The album includes a live track - it's a credit to Keating that I couldn't tell which one without looking at the track listing.

For those who aren't familiar with Zoe's work, she plays cello, with live looping, so she's able to essentially replicate the effect of having several cellists playing simultaneously, by herself, live. It's gorgeous, haunting, beautiful music.

Playlist Potential: Possible candidates for meditation, driving mixes and bedtime.
smirking half-hawk

BTW - g20

For those on my flist not in Toronto, a super brief summary.

There's been protesting, rioting, violence by thugs on both sides. I avoided it, though a northerly shift meant I saw the police getting ready on my way to buy fabric.

I and all my peoples are safe.

I am hoping tomorrow will be quieter.