Saturday, 31 January 2015

EVERYDAY STRANGE - Elisa Lam, Part I

"I’m going out tonight
I really hope no creeper comes near me
Seriously though
those Italian and Mexican guys go after you STRONG

Show the slightest inclination and they hound you"
-Elisa Lam, January 26, 2013

Elisa Lam selfie [Image source]
THE STORY GOES LIKE THIS:
[Image source]
Elisa Lam, a 21 year old student from Vancouver, BC was traveling north up the west coast from San Diego. She arrived in Los Angeles on January 26, 2013, and was staying at the notorious Cecil Hotel in the city's infamous skid row. She was last seen on the evening of January 31, 2013. A missing persons report was filed but police had no leads. On February 19 her naked body was found floating face up in one of the four 1000 gallon water tanks (northeastern tank) located on the roof of the Cecil Hotel, along with her clothing which had apparently been thrown into the tank with her. She was only found after residents complained of poor water pressure. After the fact, residents realized that the tap water in the building had recently been discolored and tasted oddly sweet. After cutting a hole in the side of the tank to retrieve the body, it was widely reported that police quickly determined that foul play was not a factor in Lam's death, but they went on record to deny this.

An autopsy revealed no external trauma to the body and that her remains seemed in all ways unremarkable but it did state that her anus showed subcutaneous pooling of blood. The autopsy also failed to detect significant drugs or alcohol in her system at the time of death and found no evidence of pill capsule remains in her stomach but found fluid in the lungs. The Medical Examiner's conclusion was death by drowning. The LAPD released a video reported to be from February 1 (see below), apparently showing Elisa Lam exhibiting some bizarre behavior in the hotel elevator leading to wild speculation about what might have happened in the moments leading up to her entering the water tank (more on that in Part II). The police didn't believe that the video showed Elisa being chased or in distress. After being identified by her family, her body was flown back to Vancouver and she was buried in Burnaby's Forest Lawn Cemetery, just down the street from Metrotown (incidentally, the same cemetery where my uncle is buried, who was 20 years old at the time of his death). Watch the elevator footage below:



THE INVESTIGATION:
Very few details of the police investigation into this strange death were revealed to the media. In June the LAPD ruled the death accidental and that's been pretty much it. But the security camera footage raised more questions than answers and captured the darkest parts of the imagination of the world.

It's hard not to hear the story about how she was found and then watch this video and not be creeped out in some way.

The popular story going around at the time was that there was no entrance into the water tank, that either the entrance was sealed or welded shut or that there was no entrance point large enough for a person to squeeze through to begin with. This is not true.

The misconception most likely came from the fact that the police and fire departments decided to cut a hole into the side of the tank to retrieve the body. Some people perhaps jumped to the conclusion that they had to do this because there was no other way to enter the tank. The truth is there was no better way to retrieve it. A good friend of mine and his father became volunteer Coast Guards who would patrol the waters of the south arm of the Fraser River between Dyke Road in Richmond and River Road in Ladner. One night, his father had to retrieve a 'floater' from the river. As they were hauling the body out of the water, the floater's face slipped off. Poor Elisa Lam had been in that water tank for close to three weeks, the autopsy also reports that her body was already undergoing what is known as skin slippage. The entrance hatch which is located on the top of the tank, is roughly 15 by 15 inches wide and would have created a logistical nightmare for removing the body without potentially damaging either it or any other associated evidence. The only real mystery regarding Lam's entrance point is how she closed the hatch lid behind her, or if it was someone else who closed it.

It was also widely reported that the only way onto the roof was through an alarmed door, and that the alarm was never triggered. Again, this is entirely false.

As a pair of intrepid amateur sleuths documented with their video camera just about anyone can get onto the roof of the Cecil Hotel at any time via one of two fire escapes located on the outside of the building, accessible through the hallway window of any floor, or through one of at least two roof access hatches, available through the fifteenth floor.

Another thing that is widely misunderstood is that long-term residents of the hotel use the roof as a "smoke pit", they go out onto the roof so that they don't have to go 15 floors down to street level just to have a cigarette. Another interesting thing that those same amateur sleuths found was a collection of empty beer bottles stuffed into nooks and crannies around the water tank. They seem to think that these bottles were somehow overlooked by the LAPD. Most likely, investigators either collected any trace samples they needed on scene or didn't find them relevant.

One of the more disturbing aspects of amateurs investigation into the strange death of Elisa Lam is the online witch-hunt of extreme metal vocalist Morbid. Speculation turned against him when it was discovered that not only had he stayed at the Cecil Hotel, but had posted a video of himself onto youtube pretending to shoot pedestrians on the street below through his hotel room window (he has since removed the video and deleted his youtube account). He writes dark poetry and even writes from the perspective of a murderer. But when Lam disappeared, he hadn't been at the hotel for over a year and was reportedly not even in the country at that time, let alone the state, city or same hotel. One of the worst marks against him is that he is Mexican and in one alarming post on her tumblr blog, Elisa made statements about being hounded by latin men:
I’m going out tonight
I really hope no creeper comes near me
Seriously though
those Italian and Mexican guys go after you STRONG
Show the slightest inclination and they hound you
Regardless of what one may think of Morbid or his music, he doesn't deserve to be accused of a crime he never committed. No one does. The deeper you look into Morbid the more he becomes an apparent dead-end.

On her Ether Fields blog, Elisa discussed an ongoing battle with depression and that she had been prescribed numerous medications for "bipolar disorder". She had her medications with her (they are listed in the autopsy) but didn't seem to be taking them regularly or at least as often as she might have. Based on the available evidence, this may be the best clue there is as to what might have happened to her. Then again, it might not.

One of the strangest elements of the case was that elevator video released by the LAPD. The timestamp has been redacted and nobody seems to have any idea why. But the timestamp is only partially redacted, you can still make out the numbers ticking away, you just can't see what they are. Online sleuths studying the video have discovered that about 54 seconds of footage was cut from the footage between the time that Elisa exits the elevator and when the doors close. It was later found that the video has been slowed down, again for unknown reasons. When watching the video at 135% "normal" speed her actions and behavior get a little less spooky, she seems less frightened and more playful. There is a side-by-side comparison of the video at two different speeds that you can watch right here:



A well-known body language expert reviewed the footage and came to the conclusion that Elisa was acting playfully and shows a low level of anxiety, the kind one might show when thinking about or interacting with somebody they are sexually attracted to. It's an interesting analysis and well worth a read. If this is true, the person does not appear in the video nor have they come forward publicly.

CONTINUE TO PART II

PODCAST - ep007


Tracklist
#. Song Title by Artist
1.Cross by BLACKOUT
2.Dystheist by WOUNDED GIANT
3.Devil’s Claw by GOAT WIZARD
4.Dust Witch by THE TERMINAL VOYEURS
5.Grey Ashes of the Reptile by EVIL SPIRIT
6.Love by PHANTOMASS
7.Eyes of the Wicked by MONOCLE STACHE
8.National Son by GALLEON
9.Grim Creeper by STRANGE BROUE
10.Sustain by WIDOW & CHILDREN
11.Coven Howls by ALUCARDA
12.Ornaflux by TAKEN BY THE SUN
13.Magic Mirror (R.I.P. Demis Roussos) by APHRODITE’S CHILD


Thursday, 29 January 2015

WEEKLY ROUNDUP - Best of the Blog January 22-28, 2015

Posted fewer albums this week, will probably be the norm going forward. Still feeling my way around what I want to do here. Here is a small handful of the best albums from this week:

ALUCARDA
LUNG FLOWER
MY EXPANSIVE AWARENESS
THE WHOREHOUSE MASSACRE
YOU'RE SMILING NOW BUT WE'LL ALL TURN INTO DEMONS

Aside from the albums there were a number of fun posts including

EVERYDAY STRANGE
Every couple days I profile a strange, bizarre, unusual, mysterious or paranormal case or event from years past and post it on the day of its anniversary. If nothing else, it's something cool or spooky to read while listening to the music posted on this site. A mixed bag of stories this week ranging from the ridiculous to the truly tragic.

Nigerian Police Arrest Goat
Teresa Lynn Butler
Abducted By Machines
Jacqueline Fitzsimons

HORRIBLE MONDAYS
Mondays are dedicated to Horror on this blog. Didn't get a movie post in this week, but I'll make up for it. Moving forward I might like to post movies / film reviews on Friday or Saturday, but keep Horrible Mondays dedicated to other horror related items.


PODCAST
Only one podcast up this week and that should be the norm until the frequency rate drops below one a week. Been thinking seriously this week about what to do with the podcast. There are ideas, now I just need to get over my "stagefright" and do it.


UPCOMING
It's been a weird week. I've noticed some things outside the blog, but related to the music I feature here that equally motivate me and make me want to just walk away from the music side of things all together. That said, I will be helping to resurrect something which you'll hear about in the weeks and months ahead.

Got a couple large posts planned over the next couple days, we'll see how it all works out.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

SARDONIS - Split with Drums Are For Parades


SardoniS is one of the best instrumental bands out there, I've been a fan for a little while now. They describe themselves as a "two man battalion playing instrumental mayhem" and that shows through on this record. Near as I can tell this LP is one of a series of split albums called The Abyss Stares Back released by Hypertension Records. But don't quote me on that. I haven't heard the other side of this split and I got these three songs through SardoniS's bandcamp page. I'd like to hear the Drums Are For Parades side but I haven't managed to track it down just yet. This side of the record finds SardoniS freebooting high tempos through devil-may-care experimentation. I listen to these three songs and I can't help but think "these guys are swashbuckling". I'm struck by the confidence of the band as they breeze through some fairly tight spots. I'm hearing a band having fun. They remain a high point in heavy instrumental music and I'll continue to support what they do for a long time to come.

ALUCARDA - Raw Howls


Alucarda are a rare bird. Equal parts punk and doom, as quick to throw a fist in the face as have a long lonesome walk, I like this. I liked their 4-song demo too. In my review I called it "full frontal doom punk & roll.  [Alucarda] splits their time ... sprinting through uptempo numbers like a wet dog shaking the sleaze off and getting it all over everybody and casting demonic spells of doom to possess listeners with evil sounding riffs". Once, I was wordier. Their new 7-song, 34-minute album is released on cassette specialty label, Smokedd Productions as a NAME-YOUR-PRICE digital download. Indications are that a cassette versions will be available April 1. Once again, these guys are cool, the sound here is not entirely unlike Satan's Satyrs, which has all the kids buzzing at the moment. Actually, I have no idea what the kids are on about these days, but they ought to be buzzing about Alucarda, their music is raw fury.

EVERYDAY STRANGE - Jacqueline Fitzsimons

When she reached the bottom of the first flight of stairs, Jacqueline called out, “my back’s hot. Am I on fire?”

[Image source]

WIDNES, CHESHIRE - On January 28, 1984, 17 year old Halton Technical College cookery student Jacqueline Fitzsimons was bored stiff. She and her two friends, Wendy and Paula had finished their in class cookery test and asked the lecturer if they could leave the class for early break. The girls were denied, another fifteen minutes passed inside the classroom with the girls leaning against worktops and cookers, which should have been off for an hour by that point, but were left on because the room had no heating aside from the ovens. The class was dismissed at 10:55 a.m. The three girls linked arms and strolled down the hallway in high spirits toward the staircase. When she reached the bottom of the first flight of stairs, Jacqueline called out, “my back’s hot. Am I on fire?” Within moments, her back was covered in flames. Two witnesses claimed they saw a strange glow appear over Jacqueline’s right shoulder and drop onto her back. None of the girls were smoking at the time.

The girls as well as staff and other students beat the fire down from her back. She was taken to hospital where it was discovered that her apron had partially melted into the skin of her back and she had burns over 13-18% of her body (reports vary). She remained conscious and upbeat, if a little worse for wear after her ordeal. She claimed that she wasn’t in pain except for one of her fingers, but she died 15 days later due to an infection in her lungs caused by smoke and fire inhalation.

At an inquest, cookery lecturer Robert Carson claimed that the burners on the classroom stoves had been turned off an hour before class was dismissed and that Jacqueline had not leaned against them anyway. Even if a burner had caused Jacqueline’s apron to catch fire, multiple witnesses saw the girls standing by the door waiting to be let out a full 5 minutes before the end of the session.

When interviewed by police in hospital Jacqueline said, “It must have been the cooker. I must have stood too near the cooker”. It was during this interview that she admitted the burners had been left on for heat.

Much of the investigation had to do with studying how long an apron could smoulder before fully igniting or revealing itself through smell. The answer came to 30 seconds. The inquest judge recommended jurors to ignore media reports of spontaneous human combustion and after 10 minutes deliberation found the cause of the fire to be the classroom burners. Nearly everybody who reviews this case and takes the time to comment on it discounts the SHC theory as the fire seemed to originate on the girl’s clothing and not on her body, but the cause of the fire remains mysterious and the government inquest indicated there was a rush to reach a convenient verdict.

Sources:
NHRF paper

THE DESSERTS - The Strangest Man Vol.1


Here's one I found on The Evil Engineer's bandcamp feed. Nothing is known at this point about the band. The general nature of their name makes it search prohibitive but what is known is that this EP contains some good low key rock n roll. Sweet melodies melted down and carmelized into saccharin stoner rock. The Strangest Man Vol. 1 features 6 short songs, none longer than about three and a half minutes, for a grand total of 18. The big surprise here is the last track "Blue" which has an early Pink Floyd meets 'Purple'-era Stone Temple Pilots feel to it. It's not the kind of thing you hear on every stoner rock EP. 'The Strangest Man Vol. 1' is up on bandcamp for dirt cheap, so you might as well check on it if you're into low-key stoner jams.

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

THE GOOD KIND OF MUSHROOM - TGKOM EP


Well I was preparing an entirely different The Good Kind of Mushroom feature when this got dropped on me like manna from heaven (that's a pun, not a cliche). Broadly, The Good Kind of Mushroom is a stoner rock duo from Texas who specialize in improv jams and if two long EP's released within the span of a month is any indication, we may be in for a sustained deluge. And that's what this EP is in many respects, a deluge of ideas. But don't let the improv label freak you out. If you've ever participated in improv then you'll know that already worked-out ideas are presented in an unstructured environment and that's what it sounds like we've got here. The ideas are fully developed but they're presented in an unpredictable way. What you get substantively is some good tie-dyed blues mixed with stoner metal, depending on the mood of the exact moment it was recorded. Groovy. I've got to say I like this second EP better than the first, though I thought the first was damn fine, but just for completion's sake, I'm going to include players for both EPs below.

THE WHOREHOUSE MASSACRE - Always Has and Never Has Been


The Whorehouse Massacre has returned with five new songs and 26 minutes of filthy sludge metal. This is excellent stuff. Crashes rain down upon the listener, knocking your head up and down beyond your control. This somewhat mysterious two-man band locks into a relentless groove not entirely unlike a Dopefight, Soyuz Bear or even In The Company of Serpents. They're somewhat mysterious because like Brant Bjork I want to ask "where you from, man?" It's hard to say but for pride's sake I'll consider them Canadian. For those unfamiliar with the band, the vocals are rough-hewn but not obnoxious, it's one of those instances where (slightly) growlier vocals actual match or even enhance the music. I've long been a fan of this underrated band, but I'll leave with a warning to audiophiles: this recording has a lo-fi edge to it, which again enhances the experience for me, but may leave others cold. Their loss.

EVERYDAY STRANGE - Abducted by Machines

Lee kept shouting, “no, no, not the black one!”

PROSPECT, KY - At approximately 1:05 a.m. on the night of January 27, 1977, Lee Parish, 19 was driving west on Highway 329 at right about this location when he saw something hovering over the treeline. The object was rectangular and had a fiery quality, like a sunset only brighter. Parish was enthralled by the object, unable to take his eyes away from it. Looking back he didn’t know how his Jeep had managed to stay on the road. When the vehicle got directly underneath the object, the UFO took off to the northwest soundlessly, at incredible speed. The cigarette he had been smoking had also disappeared from his hand.

By the time he returned home it was 1:45 a.m. The 7-minute journey had taken an incredible 40 minutes. When he got home his mother asked “what’s wrong with your eyes?” They were completely bloodshot.

Lee later underwent hypnotic regression, during which further details of the night emerged. While driving under the blazing object his eyes began to burn. It changed color to black, then white and then he couldn’t see anything, but felt something in his eyes. When his sight returned he was no longer in his Jeep, but in a white room.

Three beings or objects stood before him. “The Black One”, stood to his left. It was described as being like a military target cut out, jug-shaped and twenty feet tall, it was flat on the bottom and had a single appendage. When the appendage touched Lee, it hurt him, it was both hot and cold at the same time and it gave him the sense of vibrating. Throughout the regression therapy session Lee kept shouting, “no, no, not the black one!”

To his right stood “The Red One”, it was roughly Lee’s size and reminded him of a Coke machine. It also had a single appendage but Lee sensed that the being was reluctant to touch him, as though the machine were repulsed by him. When “the red one’s” appendage finally did touch him, it felt to Lee like being jabbed with a needle, though the sensation wasn’t as unpleasant as the touch of “the black one”.

Lee somehow sensed that the faceless, two-armed “White One”, which stood away in the center of the room, was the leader of the three beings. Though all three of his captors appeared to him to be machine-like, he could sense that they were sentient beings.

When “the red one” had finished with him, it went over to “the white one” and “merged” with it, disappearing entirely inside of its apparent “ruler”, its task complete. When the merger took place a strange brushing sound resulted like somebody brushing their teeth or sandpapering. Then the white one moved over toward “the black one” and merged with it, before the black one slowly backed away leaving Lee alone in the room.

The next thing Lee said under hypnosis was, “there’s the pond”, and he described being back behind the wheel of the Jeep with no mention of how he got back there. He did say that the UFO reeled his Jeep in when it got over top of him and had suspended the Jeep in mid-air while he was inside the craft.

Lee also said that he had seen UFOs numerous times before, but always while with another person. He felt as though the UFO occupants had targeted him for some time and had waited for their chance to take him while he was alone.

Source:
UFO Evidence

Monday, 26 January 2015

HORRIBLE NIGHTS - Crypt Vapor

You won't find much dancing here, except maybe a totentanz.


When I plug my nose and dive feet first into the murky waters of "darkwave", "giallo" or "horror synth", this is what I'm looking for, this is my pearl. Crypt Vapor's 'Erotik Maniac' EP appeared on Heavy Chains Records bandcamp page from out of nowhere. I know nothing about this project, who made it or where it comes from. If I had to guess I'd say Australia because that's where the cassette specialty label is based (Tasmania).

What I do know is that 'Erotik Maniac' is a 7 song, 24 minute collection of Carpenter drones and 80's horror film atmospheres. Crypt Vapor is an apt name for the sounds and mental imagery those sounds create. BPMs never reach an obnoxious level, at best the music is at rock n roll tempo, the beat provides a pulse, creating tension. The 7 tracks are split up into 4 main songs with brief, droning interludes between. All parts are equally listenable.

The album title suggests that the music was created with an imaginary slasher film in mind. Though it's always open to listener interpretation, and I make no illusions about deciphering the true intent of the artist, but it isn't hard to imagine the storyline. A shifty eyed or charming pervert (take your pick based on mood), meets, stalks, maims, etc. the object of his desire or (and here's a better vision) attempts to, but the intended victim escapes in the exciting "Red Chase Sequence". What's great about it is that without even having read the track title I heard the music and said, "that is unquestionably some chase music". To me it sounds specifically like subway station chase music which spills out onto crowded, but unsympathetic downtown streets. This is what I love about this genre of horror music, it tells a story, but that story becomes a collaboration between artist and listener.

An added bonus to the bandcamp download is a full 25-minute "tape mix" which puts all seven songs onto one seamless track. Even the cover artwork is an inspiring thing of beauty. Once more, this is perfect horror music, not entirely unlike Slasher Dave, Voyag3r, Videogram or even Zombi when they focus more on thick atmospheric horror textures.

If you're like me and you like your 80's horror film music, and you want to dive in to the next generation of synth composers who have followed in the footsteps of John Carpenter but can't stomach dance music, you could do much worse than starting with Crypt Vapor.

HORRIBLE MONDAYS - Terror en Camino Negro


This three-song EP came out in August, but I've been listening to it again lately and figured it could use a little more time in the sun. It's a FREE DOWNLOAD up on bandcamp so there's no telling if it`s made the rounds or not. This is as close to "what I'm looking for" as you can get when it comes to my horror music without being Blizaro. Horror themes are introduced via keyboard before heavy riffs join the fray. I don't know from this quartet's other songs or recordings, but these three tracks are instrumentals, although their facebook page does list guitarist Facundo Osorio as vocalist. Honestly, these songs don't need vocals. Of particular interest here are the first two songs "Adela Morta" and "Children of the Corn". The latter is a cover of the theme song to, and uses clips from the classic 1984 Fritz Kiersch film based on the Stephen King novella of the same name. If the other two are covers then I don't know or recognize the originals. This is good metallized horror film music, each song carefully builds atmosphere with the keys, but eventually builds into solid songs that stand on their own. The third and final track "Camino Negro" has much more of a stoner rock stamp on it.

COSMIC LETDOWN - Венера


And here we are with another psychedelic album. It's a bloody takeover I tell you. This time we travel to the wintry land of Russia, not exactly the typical setting for the bright, sunny sounds that hearken back to the Summer of Love. But regardless of expectations, 'Венера' (or 'Venera' in English) is the genuine article. Fuzz-coated shoegazing moods and spacey grooves in the traditional psychedelic idiom, right down to the odd middle eastern inflected guitar solo, One thing that intrigues me about in music is how the native language of the songwriter affects its melodic structure. With that in mind, I always find Russian, Finnish and Japanese music to be quite different from that written by English speaking artists and Cosmic Letdown definitely fits that bill. The album is available for absolutely FREE DOWNLOAD on bandcamp, but you can also pick yourself up a CD or cassette is you're so inclined.

OWNER - Shame Face


The impression I get here is that Owner are the Tom Waits of the stoner scene. No, not calliope-infused weirdness Tom Waits, I'm talking smoke-filled blues bar on a Tuesday night Tom Waits. From the early days, back when he knew his entire fanbase by name, her name was Starla and she had VD. This Portland trio is just different. They're a little bit Nick Cave and a little bit Truckfighters. They're so different and unusual you'd swear they were from Finland! Well, my name may not be Starla and I don't have VD, but I am a fan. This 4-song, 24-minute EP is up as a PAY-WHAT-YOU-WANT download on bandcamp, so you can be too at a reasonable price.

MY EXPANSIVE AWARENESS - Self-Titled


My Expansive Awareness are a classic neo-psych band in the Brian Jonestown Massacre mold (the good years), giving us good riffs, driving rhythms, groovy moods and just a hint of darkness. Music for dusk. Not quite day and not quite night, the in-between time when life is at its most exciting and all things are possible. Organs are used judiciously, not gratuitously and never obnoxiously. This is a very good album, not entirely unlike After Glow in smoothness and vibe or a more "together" C.A. Quintet. It's available for NAME-YOUR-PRICE but what swayed me in the end is the band photo, who could I not be charmed by this group shot:


Sunday, 25 January 2015

BARRABAS - Messe Pour Un Chien

Cover artwork by Benjamin Moreau.
Still playing catch-up from last year. French sludge mavens Barrabas had a full-length out this past November, which nearly passed by me. I'm going to assume that there are still some stragglers out there, so this one's for you. This album isn't quite what I was expecting. The way I remember it, their last album 'Libérez Barrabas!' was as a muddy punch in the teeth from a slope-browed opportunist. 'Messe Pour Un Chien' is a lean finesse fighter ... uhh ... punching you in the teeth. What I mean to say is, Barrabas is less the macho metal band here and more wizened heavy melodic rockers. Sure, you get your money's worth of snarl and growl, but the emphasis is on dynamic song craft. This isn't what I was expecting, but damn if it doesn't showcase an accomplished band enjoying themselves.

LUNG FLOWER - Death on the Crowsnest EP


Got another heavy Vancouver band for you, and these guys are standouts. I first caught a whiff of Lung Flower about two years ago when they had a different vocalist and slightly different sound. I mean not totally different, but less metal-y. Anyway, the band recently returned with a new vocalist and this bangin' three song EP. This is much heavier than I remember the band being, they sound almost like a NOLA band here, straddling that line between thrash and stoner rock the way Eyehategod does so well. There's also a healthy dollop of grunge ladled on top, not entirely unlike a Tsar Bomba, Satellite Beaver or even Cultura Tres. Anyway this is a PAY-WHAT-YOU-WANT situation so if you're into heavy sludge rock, you'd be a fool not to check this out.

EVERYDAY STRANGE - Teresa Butler

"The lady said she answered the phone and said 'Hello' a couple times," Stevens explained. "There was nothing on the other end that she could ever hear, so she hung up."
-from the Daily Dunklin Democrat (July 23, 2006)
Teresa Butler [Image Source]

[Image Source]
RISCO, MO - 35-year old wife and mother of two, Teresa Butler disappeared from her home on the night of January 25, 2006. She was discovered missing when her husband Gary returned home from work at 10 a.m. to find their sons, two and four years old, respectively, alone in the house and apparently undisturbed. A video camera, playstation (with games), large Mag-lite flashlight, Nintendo Game Cube and digital camera were missing as well as Teresa’s purse and cell phone, but her jacket and wedding ring were left behind and her Jeep was left sitting in the driveway with its stereo missing. There were no signs of a struggle but part of a key was broken off in a lock in a door. She was last heard from the night before the disappearance when her sister-in-law came to visit. She hasn’t been seen since, but she may have been heard from.

Two calls were made from her cell phone the night she disappeared. The first was at 3:16 a.m. to a man in Gideon, MO. who did not answer. When police investigated they discovered that the man had no connection to Teresa or anyone in her family.

The second call was made after her disappearance to a home in Clarkton, MO where two elderly women lived together. When they answered the phone, they couldn’t hear anything, not even breathing. Like the first call, this second one seemed to be random as the two women had no connection to Teresa, either.


The Butler family residence [Image Source].
Police did discover that Gary’s ex-wife had made threatening phone calls to Teresa while at work. No connection has ever been established to Gary’s ex-wife but then Sheriff Terry Stevens said he was “positive foul play was involved”. Teresa’s mom also supported the theory, saying "I felt fear gripping the home down there. I knew someone was watching the house, I could feel it."

Teresa Butler was one of several missing persons honored in a ceremony at the Missouri state capitol in 2011. By that time, 5 years had passed since her disappearance but tips were still flooding in to the New Madrid County Sheriff's office on a better than weekly basis. They come from all across the country. The tips range from the location of where her body may be buried, to where she may be living. The Sheriff's office takes every one of those calls seriously and investigates every lead but so far to no avail. About half of the tipsters believe Teresa to still be alive. No trace of her has ever turned up, not the missing items, not even a piece of clothing. Teresa's fate remains a mystery.

SOURCES:

YOU'RE SMILING NOW BUT WE'LL ALL TURN INTO DEMONS - Population IV


You're Smiling Now But We'll All Turn Into Demons: ridiculous name but a serious band. These guys plays psychedelic music over doom riffs. Call the songs paisley nightmares, call them whatever you want but for the Godhead's will you call them? This is solid stuff. It's remarkable when they play a "smiling" kind of riff, then turn into honest-to-goodness demons before your very ears (see "Chapel Perilous"). The album is streaming only over on the band's own bandcamp page, but you can purchase and download the album, or pick yourself up a vinyl copy over at the Cardinal Fuzz Records page (see player below).

Saturday, 24 January 2015

MOON - 20 Hours


Don't shoot The Men Out Of Nowhere. There comes a time when all things meet their maker, and so stoner rock traveled back to the birth place and was introduced to the father, blues. The results are explosive. But don't shoot The Men Out Of Nowhere (MOON) they are only the messengers. This German duo put up the long-awaited follow up to their 2011 self-titled debut today, called '20 Hours'. Presumably that's how long it took to record the album from start to finish, but I have no idea. The resulting 40 minute hayride is fuzzy blues, to be sure, but don't expect some Black Keys by a different name. Moon walks their own path and just as well, there's no telling who's on the road to ambush and intercept the message. I've heard and felt the blues in less capable hands and friend, it ain't pretty. This album is ruggedly handsome indeed, in a dusty, punkish way.

PODCAST - ep006 - Night Fuel




















Tracklist
#. Song Title by Artist


LADIES OF LEISURE - Demonstration


Found this awhile ago but had it stuck in wishlist hell for unknown reasons. Six song, half hour demo from a trio of well-dressed guys from Chicago. Thick, occasionally choking levels of fuzz and good driving rhythms. Not much to dislike here, not much at all. It's PAY-WHAT-YOU-WANT so throw a copper in their collective hat and rock out to some great stoner tunes.

Friday, 23 January 2015

THE LUNAR ERA - Red River Black Moon


Another great two song extended play single is by Maine trio The Lunar Era. Psyched-out doomy jams are the order of the day here. It's hard to imagine this FREE DOWNLOAD not catching on. I'd hate to think of the kind of people who wouldn't like this. These young dudes are juuuust stepping out into the spotlight, but it won't be long before they catch on in a big way. First track "Red River" is impressive. It slow cooks to a punkish boil. I've included the second song "Black Moon" on a podcast which I'll upload later, maybe have it up by morning.

Lunar Era's facebook page

CLOUD CATCHER - Enlightened Beyond Existence

Found this a couple days ago. A solid 2-song, 15 minute slice with some varied moods. Kind of a psychedelic take on Black Sabbath, just as riffy, dark and heavy. This is just some awesome old school rock n roll, heavy as hell. It's pretty amazing when you think about it, just how versatile this music is. You'd think that after a lifetime of listening to heavy riffs the novelty would wear off or it would all start to sound the same and get lost in the wash, but that's not the case at all. Not when bands like Cloud Catcher continue to appear. These guys have been around for a hot minute, they've got a lot of facebook likes and they've even had a mention in Metal Hammer, but this is the first I've heard them. These two songs are 8 and 6 minutes long but they're over before you know it. This is not entirely unlike a more expansive version of Mothership. Give it a listen, you'll love it.

JUST THE FACTS (according to the band's facebook page):

Founded on May 2013

    Genre: Cosmic Heavy Rock

    Band Members
    Andrew Van Deusen - Bass
    Jared Soloman Handman - Drums
    Rory Rummings- Guitar/Vocals

    Hometown: Denver, Colorado
    Short Description
    "Mile-high space streakers from the mountains of Denver." - METAL HAMMER Magazine
    http://cloud-catcher.bandcamp.com/ @cloudcatcherco
    Bio
    Cloud Catcher, an epic three piece descending from the Rocky Mountains, brings you cascading astral riffs from in between the intergalactic folds. Cloud Catcher picks up where early Blue Cheer, Black Sabbath, Leaf Hound, and Shinki Chen left off, dipped in early Priest and Buffalo-era heavy rock, and encrusted in the timeless, astral vibes echoed by more recent heavy psychedelic act, Earthless. Cloud Catcher emits ethereal and aural enchantment that will mount you upon the comet tails of brilliant psychedelic resonance, enabling you to transcend time, and expelling you into a heavy, bluesy, hallucinatory, cosmic excursion. All this being said, these guys have created a unique, soulful, and vibronic sound that that is an invention all their own and is not to be overlooked. Lie back and enjoy it.
    Current Location
    Denver, CO
    Artists We Also Like
    MEDUSA, Today's Paramount, Dr. Zilog, Throne of Belial, KHEMMIS
    Influences
    Black Sabbath, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Earthless, ZZ Top, Robin Trower, Grand Funk Railroad, Pink Floyd, Spirit Caravan, Led Zeppelin, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Deep Purple, Captain Beyond, Rainbow, Blue Cheer, SLEEP, Dead Meadow, Santana, Cream, Hot Lunch, Lecherous Gaze, DANAVA, Mastodon
    Email
    rummingsrory@gmail.com
    Website
    http://cloud-catcher.bandcamp.com/
    Booking Agent
    rummingsrory@gmail.com

    jshandman@gmail.com

    https://www.facebook.com/GhostRadioJam

JUST THE MUSIC:

EVERYDAY STRANGE - Nigerian Police Arrest Goat

THE STORY GOES LIKE THIS
[Image source]
Ilorin, Nigeria - On January 23, 2009 international news agency Reuters reported that a black and white goat was subdued in the state of Kwara by a local vigilante group while trying to steal a Mazda 323 and taken to police in Nigeria. The men who apprehended the goat claimed that they had witnessed two men attempting to steal the car, one of them escaped, but the other had transformed himself into a goat using black magic. The police held the goat in their custody

"We cannot confirm the story, but the goat is in our custody," Tunde Mohammed, a representative of the Kwara state police said. "We cannot base our information on something mystical. It is something that has to be proved scientifically, that a human being turned into a goat," he said.

The goat was held on suspicion of armed robbery for a time, but was never formally charged.

CONCLUSIONS
Though this is a hilarious and bizarre story, the tradition of the mage changing into a goat is an old one. The black goat of the woods is a classic trope of occult folklore, so when a story like this appears, it brings a smile to the face for a couple reasons. Parts of Nigeria are virtual hotbeds for witchcraft and belief in black magic is rampant in those areas. The goat became something of a local celebrity with many people visiting him while in prison and he even made the front page of the national Vanguard newspaper.

[Image source]
A second spokesperson, Emmanuel Ojukwu later contradicted the earlier statement, claiming that the goat was being held by police in case its owner came to claim it. And that's what we call "damage control" ladies and gentlemen. But the "damage" goes beyond a challenging image.

The Nigerian police in the area of Ilorin have a reputation of being ill-educated and in many cases openly criminal. It has been reported that the local police would resort to lynching criminal suspects to avoid lengthy investigations. From that perspective, it isn't difficult to see how the police might go along with a story presented to them by a vigilante group, a group that was patrolling the streets in the first place because police in the area refused to do their jobs.

This isn't the only time a goat has ended up in prison, but it appears to be the only time a goat was claimed to be an imprisoned man in disguise.

SOURCES:
Reuters
BBC

Thursday, 22 January 2015

WEEKLY ROUNDUP - Best of the Blog January 15-21, 2015


I'm pretty juiced up about all the albums that get posted here, but here are the ones that you absolutely should not pass up:


Aside from the albums there were a number of fun posts including

COMICS SUCK!
This is by far my favorite feature on the blog, probably because I only allow myself to do it once a month (for now). It's just me bullshitting and geeking out about 7 of my favorite comics from 7 different eras from 1955 to today. Check it out, if you like comics, this might put a smile on your face and you just. Might. Dig it!

Comics Suck - January 2015



EVERYDAY STRANGE
Every couple days I profile a strange, bizarre, unusual, mysterious or paranormal case or event from years past and post it on the day of its anniversary. If nothing else, it's something cool or spooky to read while listening to the music posted on this site. This past week, I managed to get a few more up than I'd previously been able to. I'm still tinkering with the format and I'm hoping to be able to do more, moving forward.

Rain of Snakes
Possessed by a Snake
And my favorite post of all-time ...
Unsolved Mysteries

HORRIBLE MONDAYS
Mondays are dedicated to Horror on this blog. This week I posted three features all of which can only tangentially be considered horror, but it made for a good (and unspoken) theme.


PODCAST
Got two podcasts up this week, one stoner, one doom. ep005 features some unreleased new tracks from Doomraiser, Pombagira and Bretus, check it out. Eventually I'll put more of myself into these things, for now it's just great music and none of my bullshit so enjoy it while you can!

ep004 - Faster, Pussycat

UPCOMING
Content wise, this has been the strongest week around here so far. I'm still discovering a way to say everything I'm trying to say so the look and feel of some things might change as time goes on. I hate the way I write about music and I keep thinking about phasing it out altogether. I'll still post great albums, but you might have to skim over my bullshitting about them for very much longer.

Regarding Horrible Mondays. I'm starting to think Horrible Saturdays or even Horrible Fridays might be better. For many, Friday and Saturday nights are movie nights. It just makes more sense to do it on one of those two nights. A part of me wants to do one horror feature every day and just rip off Moss and call it Horrible Nights. I might do that too. But for now I'm going to continue to build up a backlog of posts, then see how it goes. Anyway if you don't see a Horrible Monday post, next week, expect it on the weekend.

Regarding Comics Suck! I'm getting better at this. I've already finished the February edition of Comics Suck! and that'll get posted on the day after Valentine's Day. I'll be doing less summarizing of single issues and more discussing whole series, creative runs or behind the scenes stuff. If the posts begin to sprawl a little (February hasn't), well I only post them once a month, so I hope you'll allow for the indulgence. These are a lot of fun!

And finally, I know that many of the pageviews I'm getting are here for one thing and one thing only: the music. That's totally cool, I dig music too, obviously.

But to the small handful of people who read the other weird posts on this blog ... you rock. You are awesome and I'd buy you a beer if I could. I don't need a million followers if a small handful of people are actually reading the posts because they're interested. Anyone of you is worth a billion uninterested followers. If you've gotten a kick from something I've posted here, even a slight half-chuckle, then it's all been worth it.

So thanks once again for reading!