50 Rocks: Telesterion's Debut Album Released!

50 Rocks: Telesterion's Debut Album Released!

This post involves moving somewhat ahead of the story with regards to my 50 Rocks series of articles. Still, it’s a rather sweet milestone for me: My band Telesterion released our self-titled debut album yesterday, and it’s getting a very nice response. Arising from a troupe producing a series of rock operas based upon Aleister Crowley’s Rites of Eleusis, our band has been together for roughly two years this month. We’d recorded the album this past summer, just before taking a four-month hiatus because three of our six members were staging productions of the Rite of Jupiter, which wrapped in Read more »

Art, Ignorance, and Educational Anathema

Art, Ignorance, and Educational Anathema

Man, this video pisses me off. Under the aegis of Prager U – a right-wing think-tank disguised as “the best ideas of the best minds” – a smug jackass named Robert Florczak throws a self-important, historically vacant hissie fit about “How… the beautiful [art] come to be reviled and bad taste come to be celebrated.” Assuming the mantle of an “art expert,” Mr. Florczak “explains the history and the mystery behind this change and how it can be stopped and even reversed.” His presentation is an infuriating heap of smug, steaming bullshit. Mr. Florczak‘s video fails Art History 101 on several very Read more »

New Patreon Update: Powerchords Previews

New Patreon Update: Powerchords Previews

My Patreon page has a new update of sponsor-exclusive content – in this case, a few preview pages from my work-in-progress POWERCHORDS: MUSIC, MAGICK & URBAN FANTASY. Despite an all-too-lengthy gestation process, Powerchords is in the layout-proofing stage now, and should be going to press very soon, once Sherry Baker and I bash out all of the inevitable bugs. For folks who have not seen it yet, my Patreon page has featured exclusive previews, short stories, novel excerpts, never-before-seen episodes of my late, lamented webcomic Arpeggio, and even an MP3 from the soundtrack album of the forthcoming rock opera Rite Read more »

Art, Temperament, Sabbath, and Tull

Art, Temperament, Sabbath, and Tull

Been on a Jethro Tull kick today, listening to a playlist that spans from their first album This Was up to Leaves to Branches in the early ’90s. And that got me thinking, for some odd reason, about the contrast between Ian Anderson’s humanistic artist side and his longtime reputation as a standoffish egotistical control freak – a side of Anderson that inadvertently created heavy metal as we know it. Anderson’s musical chops are indisputable. Likewise is his phenomenal compositional genius, an inspired work-ethic revealed when you consider that the band’s prime included 10 more or less classic studio albums Read more »

"Where Can I Find your Fiction?"

"Where Can I Find your Fiction?"

They strain: wolf and woman, struggling. Red cords burn across their skins, biting deep enough to bleed. Rich scents coil as they breathe, reaching in and drawing out again. The wolf thrashes in her grip. She dodges its teeth and wrestles it down. Locking eyes, they snarl. The sound becomes one with the ocean’s roar. It pulls her, draws her, taunts her, dares her. Furious, she dives… Thrashing, spinning, no air, no light. Cold weight, dragging. Darkness. Sand. Shedding bonds. Shedding leather. Bursting up through cold sharp stars. Up above, a chill moon glaring. Slivered. Rimmed with fog. Furious, she sputters. Gasps. Starts to Read more »

7 Reasons Why THE FRAME is the Best SF Film You Should See This Year

7 Reasons Why THE FRAME is the Best SF Film You Should See This Year

Jamin Winans’ new speculative-fiction film The Frame opens worldwide this November. For folks who’ve not yet had the pleasure, Winans’ previous release – the net-cult classic Ink – is an absurdly imaginative urban-fantasy film whose monochrome aesthetic masks kaleidoscopic creativity.  Like Ink, The Frame is a movie Hollywood couldn’t possibly wrap its head around. And although you probably won’t hear a word about it from the Usual Media Suspects, this puzzle-box of a film deserves a place on your go–see-the-damn-thing list, for the following reasons… among many others besides. The Frame is literally sublime. The shopworn word sublime means “uplifted; Read more »

Not Sanskrit for "Doormat"

Not Sanskrit for "Doormat"

Recently – especially within the last week or so – I’ve had a number of folks tell me that they used to idolize me and my work for opening their minds, and yet they’re somehow surprised that I feel disgusted and enraged by sexism, racism, homophobia, and the willful ignorance that leads to such behavior. Anyone who feels that I should turn a blind eye to abusive behavior has missed the point of my work. Yes, I believe in having an open mind. I have also – in all of my work – stressed that actions and choices have consequences. Read more »

Recognizably Human, Unquestionably Other (On Wyld Feet, They Fly, Part IV)

Recognizably Human, Unquestionably Other (On Wyld Feet, They Fly, Part IV)

I met a lady in the meads, Full beautiful ― a faery’s child, Her hair was long, her foot was light, And her eyes were wild. – John Keats, La Belle Dame sans Merci (Part IV of a series; for Part III, click here.)  (I Do Believe, by Amy Brown.)  “Wanna go for a barefoot walk in the woods?” So asked my friend the Magnolia Fairy. Having just picked me up at the airport during a tour for my newest book, she drove us both to the mountains where she lived. Shortly thereafter, we padded down a narrow, winding trail. Read more »

Intimate Familiarity (On Wyld Feet, They Fly, Part III)

Intimate Familiarity (On Wyld Feet, They Fly, Part III)

Beauty began to change. Her hair was almost always a tangle… she was almost always barefoot ― there were hard calluses on her soles. Her senses were so sharp that she could smell and hear things she had never known existed before. This was the happiest she had ever been in her life. – Francesca Lia Block, Beast (Part III of a series; for Part II, click here.)  (La Belle Dame sans Merci, by William Waterhouse.) My first crush was a barefooter girl. So was my first wife, whom I met in a medievalist group. Cathi never brought shoes to Read more »

Green-Room Writing: The Scenes They Never See

Green-Room Writing: The Scenes They Never See

Not everything in a story happens on the page. When an author writes material that occurs “offstage,” that so-called “green-room writing” may inform the events that the audience sees. Giving foundations for the characters, their motivations, personalities and activities, green room writing may well feel like wasted effort. Trust me, though – it’s really not. I coined the term green-room writing when describing the many false starts I had with my short story “Ravenous.” An intense urban faerie tale inspired by my experiences in a heavy-metal group, “Ravenous” featured the implosion of the narrator’s band in mid-gig. The story’s first Read more »