'Spirits Burning is a musical collective overseen by American composer/producer Don Falcone that has released a pluralistic combination of ambient, jazz and full-on space-rock with input from many of the genre's luminaries... Spirits Burning has become a respected melting pot of the space-rock fraternity.'
Ian Abrahams, Rock N Reel, July-August, 2008
If you are reading this, you love music in all shapes, dimensions, depths, and tastes. Thus you've come to the right place to expand your appreciation of the brushstrokes of musical bars or measures. You listen to Progressive, Independent, Classical, and Minimalist, and love exploring the branches extending from and returning to the source and influence of silence and sound side by side. This is the music you've come to indulge.
As such, the Servante of Darkness invites you to preorder the latest music by respected collaborative genius, Don Falcone, who molds his styling of sound with the cooperation of legendary members of the musical genres of Space Rock, Ambient, and beyond. At the web sites below, you'll also be able to fill the gaps in your music collections by ordering from the vast library of CDs from Falcone's bands and collectives in addition to music by Hawkwind, Rick Wakeman, Blodwyn Pig Live, Kingdom Come Live, and much more.
I'll let Don Falcone describe for you the latest works and the collection of musicians he has gathered to excite and soothe your aural senses.
"Two items on the Spirits Burning news front. This November sees the release of Spirits Burning & Clearlight “The Roadmap In Your Head.” It’s a special Gong-infused adventure. Don Falcone and Cyrille Verdeaux bring together Gong global family members Daevid Allen, Michael Clare, Ian East, Fabio Golfetti, Steve Hillage, Didier Malherbe, Pierce McDowell, Mike Howlett, Stefanie Petrick, Dave Sturt, Kavus Torabi, Theo Travis, & Harry Williamson, Hawkwind family members Steve Bemand, Steve Hayes, Nik Turner & Bridget Wishart, plus Paul Booth (Steve Winwood), Albert Bouchard (BÖC), Judy Dyble (Fairport Convention), Jonathan Segel (Camper Van Beethoven), & more...
Also in the works for 2017: Spirits Burning & Michael Moorcock “An Alien Heat.” Don Falcone and Albert Bouchard (BÖC) are starting most of the tracks. The supporting cast already includes Harvey Bainbridge (Hawklords), Andy Dalby (Arthur Brown’s Kingdom Come), Doug Erickson (Grindlestone), Craig Fry (Cartoon), Jack Gold-Molina (Flame Tree), Gregg McKella (Paradise 9), Monty Oxymoron (The Damned), Adrian Shaw (Hawkwind), and Lux Vibratus (Nektar)."
The Spirits Burning & Clearlight album will be available
Don is also part of the Spice Barons trio, who have a new piece on the just released From Here To Tranquility Volume VI ambient compilation. Additionally, Don wrote the back cover liner notes.
"We shade our ambient in sound colors light and dark. Signals in and out of the calm and stillness of what is left unsaid. Treasured roadmaps. Coded experiments. We retouch the mindset of the past and turn to the future. We 360, deeply in space, we craft, and we flow onward. Here are new stories for each rhythm of sun and moon to earth and back. This is where the weave of light is one world, the weave of dark another. Together, they form a voice of contrast. Illumination. Connectivity. Immersion. Clarity. This is the music that forever drifts in our soul.
While you're waiting for your preorders, check out the former Spirits Burning collaboratives available on CD at the links above or contact Don Falcone on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/donfalcone.
And feel free to leave a review or comment on your favorite Don Falcone CDs here on the Servante of Darkness Blog, Words and Sounds for the Living.
I've liked underground comics my whole life, so it's no wonder I've come to know the artwork of Carol Lay. If my aged memory serves (and it doesn't), I first discovered the comic art of Carol Lay in "Weirdo" (1981-1993), Robert Crumb's comic book answer to "RAW Magazine", which he considered "highbrow". Lay's "weird" artwork became a staple of her style, but it evolved as she tackled contemporary topics, especially modern women in a traditional world of romance and rituals seen through an askew point of view. Naturally,
after "Weirdo", she created "Good Girls" 1-6 (1987-1991), published by Fantagraphics and Rip-Off Press.
Since then, Lay has drawn for DC, Bongo Comics (The Simpsons Comic Book), Kitchen Sink Press, Last Gasp, and other traditional and underground venues as well. "Murderville" is one of my current favorites.
To learn more about Carol Lay, visit her website here or go to Amazon for a selection of books and Kindle editions now available. You can also find Carol on Facebook here.
Introduction: This month's poetry column presented a problem because it deals with such a horrific subject matter. I commonly provide pictures to accompany the poems and this column was no exception. The problem that presented itself dealt with the vast availability of gruesome crime scene photos and autopsy graphics. However tempted I was to use these pictures for the poems that were written for and about "killers", I just could not detract attention from the poetry and onto the crimes and victims by pairing poems with bloody depictions of mutilation and cannibalism. As such, I chose to let the poets tell the story through their words, and I used pictures that were grotesque but cryptic and vague. As much as I wanted to show the horror, I preferred to allow the poets to describe for you the acts of murder and mayhem. I believe that the horror of your imagination is more effective than the photo of a corpse. Since I decided to include poems about nonfiction "serial killers" along with with poems that portray real killers, I wanted to tone down the gore. Oh, there's plenty of gore. Don't get me wrong. But the grotesque elements of death and murder will be handled by the poets, not the blogger who adds pictures to the poems. So let's meet our poets for the July poetry column. Please welcome Howard Carlyle, Coralie Rowe, D.S. Scott, Anthony Crowley, and Billie Sue Mosiman.
See the cello man
Walking down the street
Carrying his case
Humming himself a tune
He finds a street corner
Surveys the area
Puts his case down
It’s time for the music to begin
He holds his cello like he’d hold a woman
Ever so gentle
Ever so careful
He’s had experience
He folds his hands together
Cracks his knuckles
His screaming fingers pierce the silence
The cold air wreaks havoc on them
But the music must go on
He observes the scenery
Looking for his next prey
He plays for his prey
He plays with his prey
Closing his eyes
He plucks at the cords
They produce a soft bumping sound
He’s almost ready
Now he takes his hair strung bow
Takes it in his right hand
Looks it over
Then rests it against the first cord
Holding the cello upright in his left hand
Holding down the strings with his aching fingers
He gets ready to play
Play like never before
He leans against the brick wall
One foot on the concrete
The other flat against the wall
He’s propped up perfectly
Now it’s time
He starts out slow
A soft but meaningful tone fills the air
Then he builds up speed
He finds his rhythm
It’s been a while since he last played
You see he’s now in the business of making cellos
This takes time…
When you have everything to lose
His hands move faster and faster
They become a blur
You can barely see them
Even if you look hard
But you would have to look much harder
To see the true craftsmanship
Study the hollow body
And the strings
For they are not what they appear
The strings from the bow do not come from a horse
The cord is not from wire
The body isn’t even wood
He plays for his prey
Here comes one now
A pretty young thing
Blonde hair and smooth skin
She will do nicely
He draws her in
Weaves his web like a spider
Only his spindles are his notes
She comes closer
Stands and listens
She closes her eyes and concentrates
So does the cello man
She listens to the music
The tune flowing through her soul
The music grabs her full attention
And the cello man grabs her arm
The music stops
She opens her eyes
What is this?
What is happening?
You see this old cello
Worked on over tireless days and nights
Isn’t quite right
It must be rebuilt
The cello man beams at her
He’s found his new parts
Her hair for the bow
Her tendons for the cords
A body for the body
And bone for the base
The stars above shine bright
The night is young
But the cello man worries not
She won’t tell
He breaks her neck
Quick and quiet-like
Stuffs her body in the case
And carries her into the darkness
See the cello man
Walking down the street
Carrying his case
Humming himself a new tune
With his cello complete
And with watchful eyes
The cello man gets ready
It’s time for the music to continue
The Shadow Killer
The Hunt By D. S. Scott
I’ve studied you close
I watched you from afar
You are the only thing in my sight
And yet I’m invisible to you
I first saw you last week
And I knew you were perfect
You’re the only one for me
Well … right after the last six
I watch you when you sleep
I watch you when you eat
You’re so oblivious to what’s coming
It’s beautiful … like you
I’m with you during the day
And I’m with you at night
I am always near
Like a shadow follows the light
I will wait for as long as it takes
And the moment will come
I myself cannot eat
I just can’t sleep
And I barely feel
You are the one thing on my mind
You haunt me without knowing
God, I need you so bad
And I’ll have you too
Of every day
You have no clue
You never notice
You just don’t know it yet
You must see me
You have to know
You can’t deny me
You can’t ignore my love
I watch you go about your day
I watch you go to work
I see you leave
And I follow you home
The time is close
I can feel it in my bones
I only have one fear
I don’t want to rush things
I know how women like you are
You have to take things slow
We’ll have plenty of time together
And you’ll get to know me just fine
Tonight you come home
And I can see it’s time
I run to hold the door open for you
And you come so close I can smell you
You give me a smile
You flutter your eyes
You know I’m here for you
You can’t be that blind
I give you a polite smile back
You look at me like you know me
But you’re not sure where from
See, I’m the man that wants you
I’m the guy you see at the park
I’m the one you see in the restaurant
I’m the person whose eyes you can feel
And I’m the killer who will have you
You look away again
You think nothing of that thought
I look somewhat familiar
But not enough to register
I follow you down the hall
Staying close behind
You know I’m behind you
But you don’t suspect a thing
Finally, you get to your door
You make a half turn and see me
An odd expression crosses your face
But you’re still not too concerned
Then as you put your key in
I come up closer behind
The door swings open
It’s now I make my move
I place my hand over your mouth
And I push you inside
I slam the door behind us
And I breathe in your ear
You have no idea what I want
But I definitely do
And so I tell you
It’s time to begin
I turn towards the door
And peak out through the eyehole
No one’s there to interrupt us
Just how I like it
But when I turn back to grab you
I see the gun in my face
You yell something about being the police
And I feel a quiver in my gut
This isn’t what I planned
This can’t be right
For I am The Shadow
You are my light
And this was supposed to be my hunt
… Not yours
In my work "Killers and Horror: Ink Black, Blood Red" (2013), I compare the thought processes associated with writers empathizing with killers to capture the verisimilitude of the act of murder to the thought processes as described by real killers who discuss what went through their mind before, during and after the real act of murder. For our writers today, they either portrayed a depraved manner of thinking that coincided with the gruesome act of murder and mutilation or a peripheral view of the killing in order to distance themselves and the readers from the overt act of death itself. In my book, I quote F. Paul Wilson who wrote such a horrific killing that he had to take breaks from the writing of the scene because it was an overwhelming experience to enter the "killing" frame of mind, but he captured the gruesome act indirectly, finding that too direct a description was not as effective as a subtle play on the readers' imagination, which the author found more haunting an experience.
Howard Carlyle also employs an indirect approach to the killings by John Wayne Gacy and Jeffrey Dahmer and an unnamed murderer. He describes his subjects just as an F.B.I. Profiler would, only in the voice of prose. He enters the mind of the murderers at a safe distance so that we can witness their mental state rather than their brutal acts. The simple act of Gacy applying his clown make-up is much more chilling than a gory description of mutilation, for it is a scary experience to enter the mind of a killer preparing to carry out his awful plan. Carlyle utilizes this technique to take the readers out of their comfort zone.
Coralie Rowe takes the same path to the readers' fragile psyche. We love mental roller coasters, and Rowe provides the thrills with portraits of Jack the Ripper, the Wolf Creek Killer, the Snowtown Killers, the Rose Red Haunted House, and other depictions of death merchants. One of my favorites was "Sweet Mistress Mary", a Grimm Brothers type of rhyme that paints "Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary" as a serial killer. It comes across as playful in a macabre Adamms Family variety where death is chic and clever. Ironically, this frame of mind is closer to the mind of real serial killers, as I detail in my book. And to make the reader titter at murder is quite a feat of writing for a confident talent like Rowe.
Anthony Crowley's "The Ripper" echoed the surgical killer in the graphic novel "From Hell" by Alan Moore. Please note the panel from the book above the title**. Crowley portrays his killer as a cold-blooded murderer like a man spending a day at the office, which is how Moore presents his interpretation of "Jack". The poem is direct in its horrific descriptions. This is in your face horror. No safe havens or indirect passages to hide. Crowley is as cold-blooded in his writing as his killer.
D.S. Scott dives into the horror feet first with his poems. His narratives are neither empathetic or passive. As such, we do not experience the horror of killing as we partake in an exaggerated view of death that we would find in the old EC or Warren Comics where one expected to find knifes in the eye and murderers who love to describe themselves as they kill. Each poem even has that O'Henry trick ending, though if you are as old and jaded as I, you'd see the horror foreshadowed in the titles ("Feast" for example was either a gory Texas Chainsaw Thanksgiving or a Donner Party Picnic). Still, for the sheer fun of the grotesque killers, there is no better poet than Scott to put a twisted smile on your face.
Billie Sue Mosiman is featured in my book on Killers and Horror because she writes a mean serial killer. She enters the mind of her murderess with ease. She does not balk as does F. Paul Wilson, so she delivers a sympathetic but vicious assassin. For her poem, "They Live", which I deliberately placed as the final poem, she summarizes the various "minds" of a killer. She captures the direct and indirect state of mind of the murderers. "They" can be the nice guy next door, the friendly grocer, or the jilted lover. The difference with Mosiman's killers is that "they" can cross the line from good citizen to cold-blooded killer at the merest slight. You look at them the wrong way, you complain about his giving you the wrong change at the grocery store, or if you can't have your lover, then nobody can. Very nice wrap-up for the column. Serial killers can be you and me. We are "they".
An intoxicating first-person treatise on the devastation of infidelity. A chilling and often heart-wrenching read. A year after abandoning his wife of fourteen years, Jeff Vincent’s pseudo-existence is a soul-numbing blend of alcohol and meaningless searches for other people’s trivia. Until the Saturday morning Jan Fraden mistakes his search-service ad for that of a private detective. Before the weekend is through, people are disappearing, dying, then reappearing. And it all seems connected to Jeff Vincent and his betrayal. Could his sin—a simple act of infidelity—turn the world so completely inside out? And if there was redemption, did he deserve it?
Martin, a native of Los Angeles County, moved to Northern CA in 1993. Over the past thirty-five years he has written scores of short stories, plays, and dramatic sketches. And four novels: Relative Karma, Relative Sanity, the award-winning A Fractured Conjuring, and Rosebud Hill, Volume 1. Also available is the highly praised Dark Thoughts, a collection of short fiction. Many projects are on the horizon, including a sequel to A Fractured Conjuring, and a holiday entry in the Relative series entitled Relative Yuletide. Martin dearly loves to hear from his readers.
Trent Zelazny gave me this book called "Relative Karma" by Martin Reaves. He told me to just read it. It's not for review. So I tossed it into the "to be read" pile, next to the "for review " pile. That was about half a year ago. I finally got around to the book. It was fucking amazing, a blend of Noir and Ultra Realism, also commonly known as Magic Realism in Chicano writing. Then I decided to review it. I liked it that much.
But I thought I'd better read the Amazon reviews first, especially Trent's. It was all there: the raves, the praise, the honors. There was nothing new that I could add short of laying out a critic's welcome mat to the talented writer who's seemed to be overlooked by the Noir nation of fans and readers.
That's when I understood Trent's words: Just read it. Add one more reader to the growing number of Martin Reaves fans. The great reviews have already been written: It is the purest form of Noir. It is a perfect narrative. It is raw emotion impeccably plotted. It is a surreal journey into the mind of an unforgiven sinner. It is a carousel of suspects and caricatures of faces and archetypes we've seen hundreds of times in the finest pulp stories. It is new and original literature worthy of academic inclusion. It is Noir that should sit on the shelves next to Raymond Chandler, Andrew Vachss, and yes, Trent Zelazny. What more could I add?
All I really needed to do was follow Trent's advice from the beginning. All I need to do now is read the rest of Reaves' oeuvre.
And all you need to do now is, just read it. Then you'll understand why Martin Reaves is a genius at weaving spiderwebs of emotion across the walls of your mind. Get caught up. Just read him.