For nearly thirty years, a phantom haunted the woods of Central Maine, creeping into homes, and surviving on what he could steal. He became a legend. Then one day last year, the hermit came out of the forest. His name was Christopher Knight
This story is fascinating to me on so many levels.
1. From 1986-2013, he had almost zero human contact. In that time span, he spoke a single word to a human being. Astounding. I speak for a living. I can’t imagine just letting that part of my brain atrophy. I take human interaction for granted. Turns out, when it’s not a part of your life for many many years, you forget how to do it.
2. The survivalist instincts, especially in the winter are baffling. I grew up in Wisconsin, and the cold is something with which you don’t fool around. He lived in it every winter for almost 30 years. I could see maybe a night or two of it. Not a lifetime.
3. This man has not experienced the internet in any form. He’s like an unfrozen 80’s man. Large portions of human history have passed him by. I wonder if he knew about the Clinton administration, or 9/11 or ANYTHING at all. Sure, he was stealing reading materials, but I wonder if you really care about current events when your two main foci are concealment and survival.
4. No one ever found his lair. I guess not many people were looking for him, but still- how does someone live for so long in the same place without someone stumbling upon his camp? His careful plotting and planning were flawless for so very long.
"This new discovery could be one of the oldest evidence of pre-Columbian trans-oceanic contact, and it certainly brings to mind the famous colony of ”Vinland” mentioned in the Icelandic Sagas. This mythical colony would have been established by Leif Ericson around the same period as the settlement at l’Anse aux Meadows, in the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador, the most famous site of a Norse or Viking settlement in North America outside Greenland."
I did things in my 30s that were ignored by the world, that could have been quickly labeled a failure. Here’s a classic example; in 1974 I did a movie called Phantom of the Paradise. Phantom of the Paradise, which was a huge flop in this country. There were only two cities in the world where it had any real success: Winnipeg, in Canada, and Paris, France. So, okay, let’s write it off as a failure. Maybe you could do that.
But all of the sudden, I’m in Mexico, and a 16-year-old boy comes up to me at a concert with an album - a Phantom of the Paradise soundtrack- and asks me to sign it. I sign it. Evidently I was nice to him and we had a nice little conversation. I don’t remember the moment, I remember signing the album (I don’t know if I think I remember or if I actually remember). But this little 14 or 16, whatever old this guy was… Well I know who the guy is now because I’m writing a musical based on Pan’s Labyrinth; it’s Guillermo del Toro.
The work that I’ve done with Daft Punk it’s totally related to them seeing Phantom of the Paradise 20 times and deciding they’re going to reach out to this 70-year-old songwriter to get involved in an album called Random Access Memories.
So, what is the lesson in that? The lesson for me is being very careful about what you label a failure in your life. Be careful about throwing something in the round file as garbage because you may find that it’s the headwaters of a relationship that you can’t even imagine it’s coming in your future.
To pay undivided attention to the Japanese experimental band would make it hard to keep up with the rest of modern music. Since 1996, the group has released 20 studio albums — as well as 11 collaborations with high-profile artists like psychedelic guitar phantoms Keiji Haino (Fushitsusha, Nazoranai) and Michio Kurihara (Ghost), noise lord Merzbow, and seismic drone outfit — and enough live recordings, demos, EPs and other collectibles to fill a laundry basket.
To Boris' credit, all that work covers a vast swath of music: lead-lined doom, stoner rock, heavy sludge, drone, shoegaze, loud pop, avant-garde experiments and shades of alternative rock. It's hard to know what to expect from the band once its latest record is finished; each successive release presents another shade of Boris, while moving farther away from a personality that can be pinned down. It's always one more effects pedal, one more custom amp, one more smash of drummer Atsuo's rear-mounted gong.
Amusia : 2000-2004 is a collection of music from the first four Dirty Knobs albums. I started recording my own music around 1994 as Xero Products. When Xero Products became more techno/trance oriented I started going back to more chaotic, less polished experimentation as Dirty Knobs.
While many of these songs may seem to take more traditional forms, they are always an experimentation with those forms. This might be because I was working toward something, trying to find deeper layers in the faint surrounding resonances. Sometimes I just had no clue what I was doing. (The latter is much more likely to be the case.)
Dedicated listeners may hear echoes of more current Dirty Knobs work. Some bits of this early material has been mined and fed to the voracious drone beast that Dirty Knobs has become. Some have also been reformatted into synth-noir-pop for The Electric Witch. As an example, “My SK-1” is new to this release and features previously unused elements recorded somewhere in the 2000-2004 era with my first keyboard, a Casio SK-1, as the only sound source.
The joke isn’t that they’re cruel or bad at parenting or have any particular disdain for the world at large. They aren’t unkind to their neighbors or to the animals and their deeply devoted to their children and to each other.
The joke is that they’re happy.
The Addams Family is missing a lot of the typical sitcom tropes. There’s no mother-in-law jokes, no arguing over who’s supposed to fill what gender role, both Morticia and Gomez spend roughly equal amounts of time parenting the children and the most remarkable is the relationship between Morticia and Gomez. You see Morticia Addams and it really highlights how rare it is in family films and TV sitcoms to see a wife and mom character who isn’t like this “dissatisfied housewife always mad at my big dumb husband but I love him gonna stay with him because this is the world and he’s the best I can get and I am always right because wifes are the smart ones hey you can relate to this average American I guess”. Morticia and Gomez in contrast are usually working together you know rarely party A will keep something from party B but for the most part the form little schemes together as partners both are heads of the household and they almost never disrespect each other - remarkable in a genre where that’s usually the joke.
But the reason the Addams are happy is really beacause they exist outside of society’s expectations. Gomez is a man child who plays with his trains and that’s fine. Morticia fences with her husband and plays with weapons often and it doesn’t occur to them to care what other people think.