Dream of the Dragon

Month: September, 2011

Goblin Rock: An Evening with Dio

by Justin

Follow me down, down to Goblin Town, where a prince among men made music.

I fell for Ronnie James Dio’s vocals, in a shallow way, the first time I heard “Rainbow in the Dark.” My sister, actually, lifted the curtain on it back in 2008. That track, from the 1982 Dio (the band) album Holy Diver, marries cheesy keyboard, nasty guitar, and demon vocals. It’s a wonder of a song. I defy you to listen to it and not be charmed. Lyrics, performance, goblin-dancing, it’s got it all. When there’s lightning, you know it always brings me down.

After that, Dio and I had a casual relationship. I’d nod appreciatively when our paths crossed, but I never really investigated this vocal behemoth. I’m a nerd about amazing male vocalists, from Robert Plant to Freddie Mercury to Layne Staley. I’ll listen to live recordings just to marvel at the sound those superhumans could make – beyond the amazing music, I’d get down on the sheer virtuosity of the vocals. And make no mistake: Dio’s voice shines as brilliantly as any in history. The real revelation was that he sang as easily as an angel as a demon. Also, the dude really loved rainbows. Read the rest of this entry »

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Wolf-stink

by Justin

My dog rolled in something dead. He chewed at it first, then slammed his face into the earth and became eight shades of filthy. He also kissed me immediately afterwards, sharing that terrific death-laced breath. And maybe some secret disease of rot – who can know?

As much as I wish he didn’t get down like that, those moments of pure instinct are gems. Dogs tread the line between the wild and the distinctly human, hard-wired to love man desperately and then dive head-first into some other beast’s filth. I wish I obeyed instincts as easily as I obeyed my rational mind. Dogs are thresholders. Read the rest of this entry »

Blood Work: Recycled Art

by Justin

Through a self-invented process, I suspend, encase, and permanently preserve animal blood, salvaged from slaughterhouses, in plexiglass and UV resin. This technique is designed to retain the blood’s natural colors and textures and to expose its finite details. When lit, the works become more translucent, cast shadows, and project a glow onto the wall behind them. This effect reveals multiple layers of organic material floating in clear resin and makes the works appear as if they are illuminated from the inside.

-from artist Jordan Eagles’ website

This guy’s process evolved out of a fascination with blood. Most thrilling/unsettling: using the blood itself as a light filter, casting everything in the glow of slaughterhouse waste. He even uses old-school overhead projectors to achieve the effect. Read the rest of this entry »