Sunday, August 6, 2017

Dayton City Paper's Sizzlin Summer Mixtape


[I was asked by the Dayton City Paper to recommend two songs for their 2017 Sizzlin' Sexy  Summer Mixtape. These are my two selections.]

My Two Song Selections For The Sizzlin' Sexy Summer Mixtape

By

Tim Walker



“Song to the Siren” by This Mortal Coil (1983)

    As if from a dream, 1983’s “Song to the Siren” by This Mortal Coil reaches out to seduce and haunt you. A slice of seductive nightmare straight out of a David Lynch film, steeped in lust and drawn from the dark world of myth, the lyrics unfold to describe an almost uncontrollable need. "Swim to me, swim to me, let me enfold you. Here I am, here I am, waiting to hold you." The passion described in this song is no mere infatuation. This is mad desire, uncontrollable need, an insatiable urge to possess taken to the nth power.
Originally written by the late Tim Buckley and Larry Beckett and first released on Buckley’s 1970 album STARSAILOR, it wasn’t until This Mortal Coil recorded their 1983 cover version that the song saw its full potential. Not really a “band” in the strict sense of the word, This Mortal Coil was a collective name for a number of artists on the British independent record label 4AD, and vocalists Elizabeth Fraser and Robin Guthrie of the Cocteau Twins performed this particular song. Heard in the films LOST HIGHWAY and THE LOVELY BONES, this version of “Song to the Siren” also inspired TWIN PEAKS soundtrack vocalist Julee Cruise on her first two solo albums.



“Moondance” by Van Morrison (1970)

    “Well it’s a marvelous night for a moondance, with the stars up above in your eyes.” There are sexy songs, and then there are songs which threaten to bring out the beast that dwells within all of us.
    At first, like Rodney Dangerfield, the now-classic song “Moondance” got no respect at all. The track, which was recorded for Irish singer-songwriter Van Morrison’s 1970 album MOONDANCE, wasn’t even released as a single until seven years later, in November of 1977, and even then it barely charted, reaching no higher than #92 on Billboard’s HOT 100.
But make no mistake --  there is real power here. One of the songs for which Morrison will be remembered, “Moondance” is the ultimate in jazzy, sexy, romantic, “let’s dance together under the stars” tunes. A paean to the night and the power of the moon, to romance and the primitive call of true lunacy, “Moondance” was chosen by Rolling Stone magazine as #226 in their list of “The 500 Greatest Songs of all Time”, and it continues to stir lovers of the night.
Fans of horror films may recall the song’s appearance in the original AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON (during a sex scene, naturally), and surely there can be no better music for a late night summer interlude with your lover, on a blanket with a bottle of wine, beneath the light of a blazingly full moon.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

From the One and Only Steve Rasnic Tem


From Facebook:

"A couple of people who were at the "weird fiction" panel at WFC have asked me to post my definition of "the weird." I first wrote this down after reading through all the stories in the Vandermeers' THE WEIRD anthology. It takes an idea or two from their intro, combined with my raw reaction to the stories, with a few ideas thrown in while I prepared for the panel. It's not intended as a comprehensive critical definition--it reflects my taste, and my writing practice more than anything else."

"Definition of THE WEIRD: Dark fiction which eschews traditional tropes such as vampires, werewolves, etc. in favor of personal & idiosyncratic perceptions of the strange. Many of these tales seem to come from a broken place and are imbued with threads of sadness. This is also a literature which more clearly reflects the influence of surrealism, absurdism, & decadent literature.
In the best of these stories impossible or highly improbable things occur & yet they have this unmistakable ring of profound truth—I think this is key. We respond to this contradiction in various ways—fear/anxiety, humor, spiritual awe, sadness—this range of response is what distinguishes weird fiction from horror."

"In less successful stories the events seem arbitrarily strange, disconnected from real human concerns. In a sense, they lack a necessary foundation of realism."

"Although weird fiction seems to be almost 100% dark fiction, I wonder if this has to be the case. Given the premise that these are “impossible events which are true,” wouldn’t it be possible to have a variety of weird fiction which we respond to with joy and enthusiasm? Alice in Wonderland was suggested. Are there others? Or perhaps “weird fantasy” would be a better name for these?"

Another Link to my 2016 "Erma Bombeck Writing Competition" Entry

"Dog Days" by Tim Walker

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Get Off My Lawn!



WRITER? DJ? CHILI COOK? MINISTER? OR JUST ANOTHER ANGRY OLD MAN?


I'm a writer. I’m also a husband and a father, a strip club DJ, a chili cook, an ordained minister, and a lover of books. I was encouraged to try and write professionally by one of my college professors, and the first piece of writing I ever sold was published in 1988 by HORRORSTRUCK Magazine. It was an article about rock songs with horrific imagery, and it was printed in their final issue. Since then, I have seen my work appear in a wide variety of small press and pro publications and websites, from the DAYTON CITY PAPER and MAGIC REALISM to ADAM FILM WORLD, GENESIS, and DAYTON MAGAZINE. For 3 straight years, I served as a judge and helped organize a regional poetry and short story contest for the DAYTON VOICE which drew hundreds of entries. I've been a contributing editor to three different literary magazines, and my short fiction has won several small contests. Over the past two years, I've edited custom publications promoting the nearby cities of Hamilton and Montgomery and the 20th U.S. Air Force Marathon, all in association with Cincy Magazine. Also recently, a short humorous piece I wrote was awarded Honorable Mention in the 2016 Erma Bombeck Writing Competition.
My name is Tim Walker, and I'm 52 years old. I live in Dayton, Ohio with my wife and our two children. I love reading and I do a lot of it. I also love music, writing, spicy food, weird fiction, animals, offbeat films, cooking, and spending time with my family. I was born in Huntington, West Virginia in August 1965 -- I then lived in nearby Barboursville until I was 12, when I moved to Point Pleasant, home of the Mothman and site of 1967's Silver Bridge disaster. My family later relocated to Fairborn, Ohio, and in 1983 I graduated from Fairborn High School. Go Skyhawks! I've lived in the Dayton area ever since, except for 2 years when my wife and I lived in the San Fernando Valley. I spent most of my childhood living in trailer parks -- never really minded it, either. While living out in California, I hosted a weekly talk show on KSEX Radio, an internet radio station, which was called "Lust for Life". At a recent job interview, I was called a "freak" by my potential employer... he may be onto something.
I started working at Emery Worldwide, an overnight air freight courier, one week after I turned 18, and I stayed there for 12 years. I love books and review them when I can. An old Factsheet Five reader, I’ve always been interested in zines and I’ve published two. I've won a few trophies at local chili competitions for my chili, minor stuff but still fun. I spent 3 years dressing and singing like Ozzy Osbourne, performing at local clubs in an Ozzy/Black Sabbath tribute band called Damaged Soul. For 6 years, I was general manager of the Flamingo Showclub, a gentleman's club in Dayton. I am currently a DJ at The Harem, another local club. I worked for several years on an assembly line for Navistar International, building school buses and heavy duty trucks, and I'm hell on wheels on a forklift. While I was at the Flamingo, we became known for staging outlandish promotions like Mashed Potato Wrestling, Topless Karaoke, and our very own game show, "Are You Smarter Than a Stripper?" As an ordained minister, certified by the state, I have officiated at over two dozen wedding ceremonies. During my first ceremony, the couple exchanged their vows while the three of us stood in the middle of a river.
I once met and chatted with Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi while backstage at Ozzfest. One night at a karaoke bar in Burbank, I sang Iron Maiden’s “Run to the Hills” with backup vocals provided by Slipknot’s Corey Taylor and Society One’s Matt Zane. I've drunk beer with Zakk Wylde on his tour bus several times. I've interviewed Joe Jackson, Wynton Marsalis, Alice Cooper, Joe Perry, Jane Wiedlin, Christine McVie, and Derek Trucks. I've met Clive Barker, Herbie Hancock, Penn Jillette, Vince Neil, Jenna Jameson, Vinnie Paul, Maynard James Keenan, Larry Flynt, Gene Simmons, and Nine Inch Nails bassist Danny Lohner. I've eaten dinner with Ron Jeremy and Dennis Hof, with Jesse Jane (before she was a star), with Steve Rasnic Tem, and with Mike South, y'all.
I believe in literacy. I believe in fantasy. I believe in the power of imagination. I think that with words, courage, love, strength, and determination, we can make the world a better place.
[If you enjoy this blog, feel free to connect with me on Facebook by clicking HERE or on Twitter by clicking HERE

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Preoccupations

Preoccupations: JG Ballard. Jeff Vandermeer. Nathan Ballingrud. Laird Barron. Thomas Ligotti. Joe R. Lansdale. Steve Rasnic Tem. The New Flesh. David Lynch. Harlan Ellison. David Cronenberg. Todd Rundgren. Thomas Harris. Cryptids. Joseph Campbell. Miles Davis. Jessica Amanda Salmonson. Bruce Cockburn. Chili. Annie Proulx. Mozart. Neo-Noir. Thomas McGuane. Jimmy Buffett. Stephen King. Clive Barker. John Simon. Gemma Files. Thomas Pynchon. Neil Gaiman. Neil Young. Stanley Kubrick. Surrealism. John Coltrane. Barry N. Malzberg. Tool. David Foster Wallace. Kathe Koja. Jeff Lynne. Indian food. Herbie Hancock. Dennis Etchison. Franz Kafka. Group Mind. Jorge Luis Borges. Bruno Schulz. Planet Drum. Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Joe Jackson. Laurie Anderson. RA Lafferty. Jeffrey Ford. Thomas M. Disch. Samuel Delany. Prince. John Hiatt. Mythology. Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. Steve Erickson. Hunter S. Thompson. Alan Moore. William S. Burroughs. Robert Williams. Grant Morrison. James Joyce. HR Giger. Gottfried Helnwein. The Neon Gypsy. Robert Crumb. Pink Floyd. Tedeschi Trucks Band. Cornell Woolrich. James M. Cain. David J. Schow. The Mothman. Jim Thompson. Christa Faust. Maurice Sendak. Roald Dahl. Francis Bacon. Salvador Dali. HP Lovecraft. Pizza. Ernest Hemingway. The Third Eye. Harper Lee. Mark Twain. Re/Search Publications. TS Eliot. The Grateful Dead. Dan Simmons. Ray Bradbury. Isaac Asimov. Hannibal Lecter. Arthur C. Clarke. Norman Spinrad. Edgar Allan Poe. John Shirley. Bruce Sterling. Schizophrenia. Lewis Shiner. Brian Evenson. Shamanism. Jeffrey Ford. CV Hunt. KW Jeter. Frank Bill. Todd Robinson.