Brevans HR Giger – The Roller-Coaster

After several months of being too bloody busy to do much, we’re back with another video. This time, Vinnie come just a little more our of his shell.

Enjoy!

 

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Kallnacher – Flowers in the Glass

The long-overdue review of Kallnacher, another lovely Swiss absinthe from the folks at Oliver Matter.

I think I’m getting better at this whole video thing. Not sure.

 

VIDEO REVIEW: La Clandestine – a Pearl of Great Value

And with this, do I now announce that video reviews will be forthcoming.

This is my first one, so be gentle. The new ones will be better, I promise!

Storm Corrosion – Drag Ropes

For anyone who is a fan of Opeth and Porcupine Tree, the news that Mikael Akerdeldt and Steve Wilson have managed to collaborate on a full-blown musical project is about as important a piece of news as a revelation of man strolling on the moon. I myself have been giddy about it (if you know me, that doesn’t happen often). Both bands are known for producing challenging music that stimulates both the heart and the mind, while also telling a story, in a way.

Recently they decided to unleash the first cut off their eponymous Storm Corrosion album. Animated by UK artist Jess Cope, the video tells a story of its own. The song is brilliant. The film is brilliant. Put the two together…well…there are no words. I will say that when this album drops, I will be sitting with candles and a glass of absinthe letting it submerge me.

In the meantime, set aside a few minutes to watch this. You will not regret it.

A Pearl of Great Price – the 100th Birthday of Vincent Price

His eyes, innocent and sinister at once, would twinkle in a candle-lit room. His voice, deep, yet delicate, would resonatingly penetrate through the crust of one’s soul.  His laugh would send chills of horror and delight through the spine.

He was Vincent Price. The world shall never see his like again.

We each recall where we were when certain events took place. Where were we when Kennedy was shot? Where were we when the Challenger blew up? Where were we when September 11 went down or when Arrmstrong stepped on the moon? I remember where I was when I heard that Vincent had passed (lying in bed, listening to the news on the alarm clock radio, irritatedly not caring that we had a new prime minister and bolting upright when the horrible news struck me).

It takes an actor with such character and style to be able to both play a role with sensitivity to its essence and, at the same time, permanently endear himself to his audience. He adapted beautifully to medieval, gothic, renaissance or modern settings and infused each role with the same spark that was uniquely his own.

His passion found its way into every corner of his life. In addition to his culinary passions (a whole other story on its own), Vincent had always had a hand somewhere in the art world. When his artistic ambitions fell through, his love for art demanded he become a collector of original pieces. He promoted the experience of classic art to students and patrons by donating a substantial collection to a university in California. Today almost 100 pieces from that collection can be seen in the Vincent Price Gallery.

But his versatility as an actor is what he will always be remembered for, No actor, to my mind, could make so graceful a leap from heart-warming artist to tragic villain like he did as Professor Henry Jarrod in House of Wax or Nicholas Medina in The Pit and the Pendulum. No other could combine the devilish and the sentimental as he did as Prince Prospero in Masque of the Red Death or as Giacomo Rappaccini in Twice Told Tales. No other actor was a better alchemist.

I recall reading an anecdote about Vincent from Johnny Depp. The anecdote went something like this: Vincent and Johnny were sitting in the latter’s trailer during the filming of Edward Scissorhands. Vincent noticed a copy of a Poe anthology on Johnny’s table and began to thumb through it. He began to read “Ligeia”  aloud. Then, without stopping, he closed the book and recited the rest of the story, verbatim.

I would have sold one of my ears on the black market to have sat in that trailer on that day. The astounding thing is that he displayed the same superhuman ability to memorize his lines during the filming of his vignettes for The Hilarious House of Frightenstein.

There isn’t space enough to extol the virtues of Vincent. To mirror a sentiment I expressed to Roger Corman when I met him a few years ago, Price’s’ films made the darker world a beautiful place for me and countless others. The art world misses him greatly and tonight I will drink a glass of Taboo while watching him with the same love as I would bear for a grandfather.

As a final note, I would like to direct my readers to VincentPrice.org, which features a VAST collection of audio and video recordings of the man himself.

And second, a tribute which was fashioned for YouTube as a tribute to his genius…

Fernand Léger – 1881-1955

"Contrasted Forms" by Fernand Léger

Today would have marked the 130th birthday of the painter Fernand Léger.

If memory serves, my high school art teacher, a tyrannically retarded creature whom I loathed with utter contempt, whom we shall call Mrs. B, was rather fond of Léger, whom I, of course had never had much contact with.

"The Builders"

In spite of the noted absintheur Picasso’s association with the term, I have never been a huge fan of cubism. Nevertheless, Léger’s work spoke to me of the future of humanity, the synthetic/organic symbiosis that is necessary for the human race to evolve. Therein lays the lesson humanity consistently fails to understand. It needs to become one with it’s creations and embrace them as external manifestations of his internal evolution, or he will simply become a clever ape with complex past-times instead of a god. Yes, there’s a difference between the two. No, I don’t think that’s what Léger was going after with his work, though he certainly understood the delicate difference between identity and the identified.

"Three Women"

As a tribute to the legacy of this man, I present his short film “Ballet Mechanique”, with the eponymous song by George Anthiel. I apologize, but it doesn’t seem to be embedding properly. Nevertheless, click and enjoy.

http://zappinternet.com/v/WaDtPiyPep
Fernand Leger – Ballet mecanique (1924)

Forbidden Fruit: The Absinthe Drinker.

An interesting video about absinthe we found in which a retired neurosurgeon discusses his love of the Green Muse. Enjoy.