christian death

Gothic Little Red Riding Hood heads to Grandma's House

The Wolf awaiting Little Red Riding Hood
Image via Wikipedia

Leonardo DiCaprio’s production company Appian Way is developing a gothic reimagining of Little Red Riding Hood. David Leslie Johnson, Frank Daabont’s former assistant and screenwriter of the recently cult horror film Orphan, has been to pen the script (/Film).

Mixed feelings swirl around me as I take in the news.  I have seen:

  • a noir Little Red Riding Hood
  • dark fantasy Little Red Riding Hood
  • surreal Little Red Riding Hood
  • comedy Little Red Riding Hood

The idea of a Gothic one makes me giggle.  If they do this, the theme song should be Glass House by Christian Death.

My biggest concern is that Leonardo DiCaprio is involved.  I am not a fan of his or his companies work, but I am willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.

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Christian Death's Back Catalog returns from the dead!

Rozz Williams on a Christian Death poster.
Image via Wikipedia

Dark tidings about the masters of death rock and goth rock Christian Death:

Season of Mist has announced plans to re-release most of CHRISTIAN DEATH's back catalog in remastered versions with bonus tracks. The first to receive the reissue treatment is the band's sophomore album, "Catastrophe Ballet", originally released in 1984 (BLABBERMOUTH.NET).

Catastrophe Ballet is one of their best albums.  The Drowning, Sleepwalk, and The Glass House are some of the the classic tracks.

I suppose this means I have to buy these albums again.  Over the years, so many "previously unreleased" tracks have been released, and they have all been great.

Please don't confuse Rozz Williams' Christian Death with the successive band fronted by Valor Kand.  Rozz was a brilliant poet/musician, and Valor... is not.

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Rozz Williams: Dreamer, Poet, Artist

Interview with Rozz Williams

In 1963, my favorite singer/songwriter was born.  His voice of was delicate and filled with power.  I discovered his music at a very fragile point in my life, when I wasn’t sure if life was worth living or not.

He sang with such defiant fervor, mocking those who try to hold us down.  He taught me to laugh in the face of despair, and to stand strong where ever I was.

Rozz was found hanging in his apartment on April Fools day in 1998.

His music lives on.  From the work he did with Christian Death, Shadow Project, Premature Ejaculation, Daucus Karota, Heltir, EXP, and never forget his solo work, Rozz’ music library is epic in scope and covers nearly every emotion and aspect of life imaginable.

Anytime I feel down or alone, I turn on some Rozz and all my cares and concerns melt away.

Happy Birthday Rozz.  You will never be forgotten.

Haloes and the Seven Demons

The air of mystery and the art of the dark romance have left the world. The grotesque has replaced horror, and the beauty of supernatural horror is rarely seen any more. Gone are the old masters, and few if any have risen up to walk in the footsteps of giants. Watching the haunting beauty of Cecil B. DeMille's Seven Deadly Sins set to the music of Christian Death reminds me of what could be. The simplicity of these images, made in the days before computer generated effects makes me wonder what could be made now with the ubiquitous camcorders and digital video.

It only takes a bit of imagination to use the simple tools that surround us to make great art... but who is striving to make a film that that captures the power of the image to transport us away into world that are beyond belief? Who is making movies that do more than just entertain or self-aggrandize?

Anyone can make a movie these days, and a lot of people are. YouTube is flooded with them, but like everything in our world these days, they are made for the moment and not to outlast their initial viewing.

I don't believe that just anyone can create a classic. It takes talent and genius. I do believe that another classic will never be made unless the creators take upon themselves the task of making something that will outlive them. Unless we strive for excellence, we will never achieve it.

Our culture celebrated mediocrity. It is important to make sure that everyone feels important and significant, because every life is precious, but it is vital that recognize and promote genius and talent when we see it. We each need to strive for excellence in everything that we do. Then and only then will we each come truly alive, and share that life with the world.

Haloes and the Seven Demons

The air of mystery and the art of the dark romance have left the world. The grotesque has replaced horror, and the beauty of supernatural horror is rarely seen any more. Gone are the old masters, and few if any have risen up to walk in the footsteps of giants.

Watching the haunting beauty of Cecil B. DeMille's Seven Deadly Sins set to the music of Christian Death reminds me of what could be. The simplicity of these images, made in the days before computer generated effects makes me wonder what could be made now with the ubiquitous camcorders and digital video.

It only takes a bit of imagination to use the simple tools that surround us to make great art... but who is striving to make a film that that captures the power of the image to transport us away into world that are beyond belief? Who is making movies that do more than just entertain or self-aggrandize?

Anyone can make a movie these days, and a lot of people are. YouTube is flooded with them, but like everything in our world these days, they are made for the moment and not to outlast their initial viewing.

I don't believe that just anyone can create a classic. It takes talent and genius. I do believe that another classic will never be made unless the creators take upon themselves the task of making something that will outlive them. Unless we strive for excellence, we will never achieve it.

Our culture celebrated mediocrity. It is important to make sure that everyone feels important and significant, because every life is precious, but it is vital that recognize and promote genius and talent when we see it. We each need to strive for excellence in everything that we do. Then and only then will we each come truly alive, and share that life with the world.

The Lost Art of Speculative Fiction

fiction-thumb.pngWhen I was first getting into Speculative Fiction, it had a spirit of activism, adventure, and dream to it that so much modern fiction simply lacks. Pioneers in this field, Frank Herbert, Gene Roddenberry, Harlan Ellison, David Gerrold, et al, believed that SF could challenge peoples preconceptions and inspire them to transcend the limits imposed upon them by their upbringing and culture. They wrote and produced SF that attacked our sacred cows, presenting the world as it could/should be with all of the ambiguity and possibility that this world offers us. This is the SF I fell in love with and endeavor produce and support. The trite cynicism that has again become en vogue is antithetical to this spirit of transformative fiction that inspired so many to fall in love with science and hope for a better world. It does not have to go this way. We must reclaim the spirit and art that made SF great.

The root of the problem is the basic existential quandary we each experience in our time. We hope for a meaning and purpose for our lives and when we find that nature does not provide us with an easy answer we can slavishly follow after, we assume life is devoid of meaning and purpose all together. Nihilism is an easy trap to fall into, but is also an easy one to escape.

Sure, life has no grand overriding purpose... or does it? Life seems to exist to survive, thrive, and evolve. With the exception of evolution, these are not very inspiring goals, but the urge to better ourselves and grow throughout our life is a fundamental function, if not purpose of existence.

This is no reason to despair. The fact that life does not impose a purpose on us allows us to find or invent one for ourselves. What a liberating gift from the universe! We are free to choose our purpose and to find meaning for ourselves.

Now, I won't lie to you. This is a burden to bare, there is no doubt about that, but it is a burden that is easy for us to take up, if we choose to live boldly.

For too long, I have lived my life under the constraints and limitations placed upon me by society. I allowed myself to fall under this nihilistic stupor, but I have had enough.

This is why I am not a fan of Battlestar Galactica or Heroes. They have followed this cynical path into a nihilism I find neither sophisticated nor mature. It is solipsistic and puerile. Yes, life can be dark, but no one benefits from wallowing in that darkness.

When I was growing up, I became an avid fan of Goth Rock, Deathrock, Punk, and Metal. At their bests, these genres are about rising up and railing against these cynical worldview foisted upon us. "Only Theatre of Pain" (Christian Death) is the music of defiance, not acquiescence. Black Sabbath sang in anger at the darkness of life. At their best, these are songs about standing up and not about being trodden under foot.

We have to rise up, stand up, speak out, and most of all dream. If we do not, then the future is indeed lost, but not because of destiny, but because we have let it follow that path.

Dream again, and dream big. Find something to be for, not something to be against. We are strong and imaginative enough to rise above any darkness that comes upon us. Rise up! Let's take our future back!

Remembering Rozz

Maybe it is because October is coming, or maybe it is because of the new Christian Death 1334, or maybe it is the lonely ache in me missing my many lost friends, but lately, I cannot stop listening to Rozz Williams.

He has been gone for so long now, but his sweet sarcastic voice carries me away to safe place where it is safe to be a freak. I will never forget that day: April 1, 1998. I went online, and I saw the news that Rozz had been found hanging in his apartment. The sweetest voice of gothic music was lost to the world. We help a candle light vigil in our apartment, and prayed that this Dark Seraph would find the rest he so deserved.

The world lost a great poet that day, but thankfully his music lives on.

I find myself thinking about naming a character after Rozz in the novel I am working on, but I am not certain I could write a character worthy of his name. So I will sit here, listening to his sweet voice, and dreaming of that other world.

Even if he is not making music for us anymore, he is inspiring me and many others to stretch ourselves as his muse whispers dark words into our ears.

I miss you Rozz. I wish I could have gotten to know you.

Within

The chill has returned to my heart and mind.  Deep darkness like that I have known before.  Now, my soul shakes and shivers within.  Terror's icy grip prevents me from moving.  I will get through. Day before yesterday, I bought the new best of from Christian Death (Death Club 1981-1993), and the interview with Rozz Williams at the end caused my head to spin.  I have always identified with Rozz in a way I cannot really explain.  I started thinking about the day he... died...  The thought crossed my mind: why did he fall and I live.

The world lost so much that day.  And I have gotten past those dark desires to end it all.  But why did I overcome while he fell.  How can I help others to overcome as I did?

Ache within is the pain that tells us we are alive.  As Kierkegaard said, it is the proof of the immortality of the soul.  It devours our soul, yet does not consume it.

The sun is starting to rise.  The clouds are parting.  I just had to share.