The Black Tapes Podcast

I spent my day at work today binge-listening to episodes of The Black Tapes Podcast, a podcast series billed as "an exploration of life, belief, faith, and occasionally the paranormal".

The show is a drama reminiscent of old-timey radio plays presented as a podcast-within-a-podcast following the exploits of journalist Alex Reagan and the enigmatic Dr. Richard Strand as they investigate the supernatural and become embroiled in a series of mysterious misadventures.

Based on the ten episodes I made it through today the overall vibe of the series reminded me of HBO's 'True Detective', The CW's 'Supernatural', the 'Paranormal Activity' film series, the reality-game documentary 'The Institute', and David Lynch's 'Twin Peaks', both stylistically and thematically.

While listening I also wondered repeatedly why the creators of visual entertainment seem to have so much goddamn trouble coming up with material even half as compelling as the stuff the people who make The Black Tapes podcast did using only audio?

Additionally, I was pretty impressed by the number of little references to the sort of "real life" bat-shit crazy subjects I usually listen to weirdos blab about on paranormal talk-radio-shows and podcasts throughout my average workday that the creators of the show were able to weave into the storyline.

Oh, and the eerie Indie-Folk theme song and spooky soundtrack, which comes replete with melodramatic soap-opera-style keyboard work, are both pretty rad too.

Super shout out to local horror author (and fellow podcaster) Brian LeTendre for hipping me to this thing during a chat at the Bing Comic-Con here in Springfield a few weeks back.

The Black Tapes Podcast
Posted by El Keter
At 07:21 PM on 11/10/15
Filed under Curiosities

Milton William "Bill" Cooper was a former Naval intelligence officer turned author, lecturer, and broadcaster. He is perhaps best known for writing the conspiracy classic 'Behold a Pale Horse', which inspired paranoia across generational and cultural lines, and was instrumental in popularizing kooky theories about the "Illuminati", the "New World Order", aliens, and several other fringe topics that have since provided fodder for countless terrible YouTube videos. From rappers to militia members, and pretty much everybody in between, Cooper and his conspiracies had an unprecedented impact on the American consciousness.

On November 5th, 2001, Cooper was shot dead outside his home in Eager, Arizona during a shootout with law enforcement officials. The events of that day raised questions in the skeptical minds of many versed in the conspiratorial school of thought he was a proponent of, particularly coming on the heels of September 11th, 2001 (which he is widely credited with predicting) as it did. This documentary discusses his life, his work, the mysterious circumstances surrounding his death, the aftermath of his shooting, and the legacy he left behind.

Love him or hate him, he was a fascinating figure who left a lasting impression on the landscape of sociopolitical thought of the common people in these United States of America.

Posted by El Keter
At 01:38 PM on 11/08/15
Filed under Curiosities

Stephen Hawking

Famed theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking has long held the opinion that speghettification would be the likely result of attempting to pass through the "event horizon" of a black hole.

Other scientists have countered that supposition by offering an alternative theory that a person falling into a black hole might actually result in them being absorbed as information and converted into a "hologram".

Hawking has apparently re-evaluated his position and come out in favor of the hologram hypothesis, suggesting that black holes may be potential gateways between dimensions, and even proposing that one might hope to escape the black hole into an alternate universe.
“If you feel you are in a black hole, don’t give up,” he told the audience at the end of his speech. “There’s a way out.”
Posted by El Keter
At 09:05 PM on 08/27/15
Filed under Curiosities

Technical Difficulties

If you're a regular reader you may have noticed that for the last few days the blog was experiencing some downtime accompanied by some funky error messages.

That was all caused by an unforeseen hosting error which left us with a "corrupted database" which has also resulted in us losing all of the content we had posted to the site since late December of 2014.

We will do our best to recover as much of the content we published during that time, particularly all of our recent podcast episodes, as well as some of the items we've shared over the last few weeks which are still current.

It probably goes without saying that we've been hit hard by this loss, but we'd also like to extend out apologies to the creative folks behind the projects we featured in these now lost posts, as well as our readership who has now lost access to this material.

Thank you for understanding.
Posted by El Keter
At 03:30 PM on 08/09/15
Filed under Curiosities

Bassist extraordinaire Thundercat channels Shuggie Otis and Sho Kosugi in the bushido-blade-blessed video for his smooth-as-fuck new tune "Them Changes".

"Them Changes" is from the frequent Flying Lotus collaborator's newest project, the mini-album 'The Beyond / Where the Giants Roam', out now on Brainfeeder.

Posted by El Keter
At 04:23 PM on 07/21/15
Filed under Curiosities

Director Olivier Hero Dressen pairs stylishly sensual imagery with Belgian disc jockey Mr.Magnetik's dark motorik music in the clip for "Black Gloves".

"Black Gloves" is out this week via GND Records.

Posted by El Keter
At 06:15 PM on 05/24/15
Filed under Curiosities

Watch a wandering wizard turn a remote church into the scene of a Death Metal video in the clip for "Believe the Squalor" from Lieutenant, a.k.a. Foo Fighters and Sunny Day Real Estate bassist Nate Mendel.

A mellow, almost melancholy, Alternative Rock jam, "Believe the Squalor" is from Lieutenant's debut album 'If I Kill This Thing We're All Going To Eat For A Week', which is out now on the Dine Alone label.

Posted by El Keter
At 05:53 PM on 05/24/15
Filed under Curiosities

Unlike most entries, which I usually pull from the WABAC Machine, this week's Monday Magick is brand ass-spankin' new. Or at least I think it is. The tune in question is called "The Terror" by a band that goes by the unequivocally magickal moniker The Sorcerers, and it's from a compilation album titled 'Funk, Soul and Afro Rarities : An Introduction to ATA Records' from upstart British indie ATA Records.

From what I gather ATA Records is something like the UK's answer to the Daptone Records family of labels and artists here in the states. Their website describes them as being based out of a studio full of vintage equipment in Leeds. They go on to describe themselves as committed releasing music that hearkens back to "classic 60’s & 70’s soul, gospel, funk, r&b, jazz, library, big band, film music" made by "great musicians, real instruments, plenty of valves and tape machines". Sounds like new music that's mean to sound old to me.

Well, old, and funky. Or should I say fun-kay? Ehhh, probably not. Regardless, "The Terror", an Ethio-Jazz-flavored instrumental, from the otherwise unknown The Sorcerers is exactly that...funky. Dig the ominous keys, horns and woodwinds on this! It's got a bit of a Mulatu Astatke meets The Meters sort of thing going on if you ask me.

The Sorcerers, whoever they may be (the ATA website doesn't currently offer any artist bios), are reportedly preparing an album which ATA says is "coming soon". Hopefully they don't skimp on the eerie sounding occult-themed Funk.

Music is magick!
Posted by El Keter
At 06:43 PM on 05/18/15
Filed under Curiosities

Join The Cloaks, comprised of stalwart denizens of the Cali underground Awol One and Gel Roc, for a visual trip through pretty much all the weird-ass symbolism and imagery that appeals to me and my fucked up sensibilities in the video for "Flight".

"Flight", featuring Gonjasufi, is the latest single from The Cloaks' self-titled 2014 LP, which is still available on the Abolano Records label.

The Cloaks
Posted by El Keter
At 07:22 PM on 05/14/15
Filed under Curiosities

Old-school Soul meets futuristic visuals in the emotionally wrenching sci-fi-themed video for Alabama Shakes' "Sound & Color".

"Sound & Color" is the title track from the Athens, Alabama outfit's sophomore album, which is out now on ATO Records.

Alabama Shakes
Posted by El Keter
At 06:49 PM on 05/14/15
Filed under Curiosities

Vinnie Paz and Stoupe of veteran Philly Rap crew Jedi Mind Tricks are back with a bloody new video for their Budos Band-sampling single "Deathless Light"!

"Deathless Light" is he first single from their forthcoming album 'The Thief and the Fallen' which is due out June 2nd on the Enemy Soil label.

Jedi Mind Tricks
Posted by El Keter
At 03:02 PM on 05/06/15
Filed under Curiosities

Robert Anton Wilson

Today is the anniversary of the birth of one of the greatest thinkers to grace this planet with his presence, Robert Anton Wilson.

Happy birthday Bob!

Robert Anton Wilson
Posted by El Keter
At 06:47 PM on 01/18/15
Filed under Curiosities

Grape Juice

Longtime readers know I don't necessarily consider myself part of any "blogosphere" brotherhood. I don't read a lot of blogs, and I practically never promote other blog sites in this space. So it might come as a shock to find me posting an entry touting the merits of a blog called Groupname for Grape Juice.

I don't know anything about the blog's author "znore", other than the fact that they, like me, have an interest in conspiracies, mythology, the occult, language, literature, and authors Robert Anton Wilson, and especially, James Joyce. I also know that they write copiously and fascinatingly about these subjects, bridging the gaps between them and waxing philosophically on their inter-relatedness and the impact they, and the other subjects which catch their fancy, have on society at large.

I have been especially taken with a recent series of articles that refute a silly conspiracy making the rounds of late which claim the counterculture movement of the '60s and '70s -- up to and including the music of the era, especially that of the so-called "Laurel Canyon scene" -- were part of a plot orchestrated by our government and other nefarious forces to destroy humanity. The author makes quick work of the conspiracy and its proponents, citing the history of liberal thought going back centuries, working in Joyce, Yeats, and Pound, and even discussing a strange educational conspiracy of the "elite" which mirrored certain elements of the 5% Nation of Gods & Earths in my mind. I found myself regularly checking the blog on my browser at work to see if the next installment was up.

The July 20th post celebrating "Bloomsday", which discusses the occult ramifications of the works of James Joyce was also something of a "page turner" for me. Where else will Leopold Bloom meet Madame Blavatsky, Umberto Eco, Mussolini, RAW, and Edward Snowden? Only in the pages of Groupname for Grape Juice.

Add it to your bookmarks, or however young people keep track of these things, today.

Groupname for Grape Juice
Posted by El Keter
At 10:03 PM on 08/17/14
Filed under Curiosities

On this site I make relatively frequent mention of dearly departed author and philosopher Robert Anton Wilson.

In fact, he's such an important figure to me that he occasionally appears as the header image at the top of this site!

He was a prolific writer who released copious pages of both fiction and non-fiction.

That being the case it can be a daunting task for the uninitiated to get a grip on his ideas without diving into his voluminous text archive.

Which is where his multimedia work can come in handy.

In 1996 RAW made a short film in collaboration with filmmaker Edgar Pêra and artist Joao Queiroz.

It was titled 'Who is the Master Who Makes the Grass Green?', and it presents a few of his important ideas in a very digestible format.


Robert Anton Wilson
Posted by El Keter
At 03:28 PM on 05/06/14
Filed under Curiosities

Hex Sex Codex

'Hex Sex Codex' (.PDF)

I fancy myself a practitioner of so-called "sex magick". Though admittedly I practice a more alchemical "elixer of life" brand of magick which requires intense physical and mental states to succeed.

The free e-book 'Hex Sex Codex' on the other hand offers a very reader friendly introduction to a "kaos magick" take involving sexual power involving sigils. I've never tried the method myself, but as I said, it's presented in a really simple way. Besides, the cover is really fuckin' cute.

For the uninitiated I think it's a pretty stress-free introduction into techniques for altering one's reality in accord with one's will. And all it costs is a subscription to an e-mail list!

Posted by El Keter
At 04:37 PM on 04/27/14
Filed under Curiosities

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