mal d'aurora


Annual update, since I don't ever come here (but plan to change that as I need a place to write!)... you can find me on twitter, tumblr and instagram (@maldorora) to keep up with my random glimpses of life.

2013 started badly starting in 2012... it seems there was an excess of unnecessary deaths and excess violence, a hyperchaos more typical of what we feared in 1999 of the coming century. Even though we have the most immediate and expansive communication ability ever, we cannot express ourselves properly. We share, but we hide. We are bombarded with information to the point we can give a 140 character opinion, but we cannot adequately determine why there is still a gnawing ache of isolation and un-understanding when things go awry.

2013 was intended to be a good year, but didn't have a chance, due to death's fickle sickle. The shocking and sudden ascension of precious lights: playfuleye (truly, one of the most pure, creative, and full of grace kindhearted people I have ever known, lost far too young, now a Starre, words not enough), Ustad Rafi Akbar-Zada, my Afghan music guru, son of a poet laureate of Afghanistan, scion of the Afghan court musicians of India, Radio One DJ who brought George Harrison and North Indian Classical into Afghanistan, great heart and gentle eyes, the strikingly profiled Sufi continuum of StarreLight who taught me tampoura and rebab (on an instrument secreted from Afghanistan during 2000-2001, made by his Mughal family's maker from one of the last old groves of Mulberry trees before they were burnt by the Taliban, inlaid with turquoise and mother of pearl and flamed with the golden heart of the wood), Seth & Josh's father, relatives/, coworkers, and friends. And John Taverner, whose Protecting Veil and Syvati are some of the most exquisitely numinous glimpses of a higher power of beauty I have ever heard.

However there were bright moments, from brunches with friends to spontaneous trips to gardens, parks, and petting farms.
Some random memories:
-seeing Clint Mansell live in NYC !!!
- driving to Nashville and back in one day to take in the Art Deco Automobile exhibit at the Ferst, and picking up a stupendous c1929 black and white flashed glass ziggurated Deco chbjandelier for the library;
-getting o-fish-ally published by the Dark Mountain Society, a British psychogeography collective of modern mythkeepers and protectors of the unspoken names of the old lands;
-taking friends to see the MAGNIFICENT Atlanta Ballet production of Dracula;
-My first Metropolitan Opera-- the rather strange nuclear-era production of Faust;
-completing the dark epic backstory of Alois and Kataryzna with sakurakurakura....soon to be a graphic story of the darkest shadows of the alchemic journey and primordial sexuality;
-dug a fish pond in the backyard, complete with little waterfall and rock garden, inhabited by the stalwart black goldfish Tilikum
-experimented with hugelkutur for the garden, but was outsmarted by the 5th wettest year ever on record (seriously it rained every day it seemed over the summer! unhappy tomatoes!)
-typing this up on a new lenovo yoga 13 laptop after my tired vaio (rehabbed earlier this year with ubuntu, but still died) gave up the ghost
-loved seeing the pet shop boys at the atlanta symphony!!! the dancers made the show super fun!
-loved gil shaham and the stunning performance of what I normally hate, Carmina Burana, saved by the STUNNING Nmon Ford;
-loved seeing Gary Numan in concert again (haven't since the Changelings opened for him back in the early 2000s... really like some tracks off his new album and Dead Son Rising)-- fun seeing the ancient gerigoth guard of ATL and "Films" "Metal" "Down in the Park" along with newer songs.
Stoker was probably my favorite film, but really looking forward to the Wolf of Wall Street.

Remarkable music of 2013. I didn't really have a chance to seek out a lot of new or "popular stuff" so I'm sure I missed out. In no particular order:
These New Puritans - Fields of Reeds. A dream, a folkhiddenfogscape of memory. "Dreams" is like a lost coil track feat. rose mcdowall.
Raum- Event of Your Leaving (feat Liz from Grouper-- dreamy soft yet dark atmospheres)
Clint Mansell- Stoker soundtrack
Russian Circles- Memorial- possibly one of my fave releases, sad and sombre, with nice contribution from Chelsea Wolfe
Bonnie Prince Billy- S/T cassette release (yes, CASSETTE)
Beastmilk- Climax - guilty pleasure driven oldschool style gothrock with a sort of QOTSA twist
Danny Brown- Old --Seriously one of the most magnificent wtf creative albums in a while, up there with old Dr Octagon. Amazing debut, sonically solid, old nu skool kidnapped by aliens Afrika Bambaataa on mushrooms what is soul funkadelic trip.
Anoraak- Chronotopic- solid electronica album
Matmos- The Marriage of True Minds- always love their concepts, and this one stays true to form.
Olafur Arnalds-For Now I am Winter- while some of this is a bit too polished for me, the tracks with Arnor Dan are utterly miasmically beautiful. Haunting strings, percussion, piano wrap together in a sorcerous fog. Check Kiasmus' mix of the title track.
Kanye- Yeezus- yes, I listened to it once, prob should again, as I respect anyone this powerful/popular throwing out something like this in a year of pop pap.
Ghostface Killah- 10 reasons to die- perfect.
The Parlour Trick- A Blessed Unrest- I miss the rachels, and this album fills the void and takes me to another place that is at once like discovering a time capsule of old wax cylinder recordings transmuted into a higher understanding of the infinite loopings and parallelograms of time and memory. I love Meridith Y's exquisite theremin workings over cello and haunting piano, completely honest and unaffected unlike OTHER piano/neovictorianesque acts I could rip apart...
Rhye- Woman- while I am not normally in the mood for Sade-like stuff except on rare occasions, this album was stupendously attention-grabbing. Michael, a counter-tenor, has a voice that is undeniably stunning.
Tim Hecker- Virgin beautiful, haunting stuff here, as always.
The Haxan Cloak- Excavation - absolutely brilliant, chilling, suffocating terror.

For the record, Blixa Bargeld & Teho T's still smiling > the new nick cave
Depeche Mode's Delta Machine was unlistenable-- very very disappointing!
Loved the Dancing Marquis by Marc Almond and cannot wait to hear his new projects.
And yes, I did like a good bit of the Knife and the National and the Arctic Monkeys' new albums from a popular music perspective, but overall, I tended to relisten to old faves like Tubeway Army, lots of early classical, Wire ,etc and was introduced to the spine-tingling terror of Bob Gibson's folk music by L. Try his version of "Well Well Well"!

May 2014, year of the wooden horse, be one where we learn to do more in person and share less online, knowing that the best memories are those which are experienced in person and shared in the moment. Be well. Be gentle. And do it anyway.


mal d'aurora

Just realized I have no 2012 entries.

for those who miss me (who is still here?) you can find me on twitter (@maldorora) and tumblr (!

2012-- best moments:

+Cumberland Island trips
+dj'ing cold war sophistopop for 12.21.2012
+Transit of Venus for Harry's birthday
+Krampus (new pom puppy we got in January)
+brunches with friends
+bitters bar with Stuart during Kraftwerk NYC April trip
+new car! Volvo s60
+water borders
+xmas with paul sarah ryan martin brian seth josh dave at manny's and highlander parties
+discovering new old places
+writing alois /kataryzna story
+dcon night tripping with l.

sleep no more x3&4!

Headed back to TriBeCa tomorrow to indulge in a nosebleed hotel suite & visit the McKittrick two more times this year.
I have also caught up all of American Horror Story, which is very similar in feel and look (and even shares some of the same classic horror film soundtracks, like Bernard Hermann's Vertigo!).

I will have to write up a proper SNM recap when we return...its still too much to take in! meanwhile, here is one of the articles that sucked me initially, an interactive video/interview featuring just a few of the 100+ intricately designed rooms in the set which patrons are encouraged to snoop through...

also went for a reiki/massage consultation. first session is next week. also looking into acupuncture. Samhain marks the new year, so I hope to get my groove back (which means, you might be subjected to more and more of me!).

in other news, I found a parcel of land for sale on the border of Dogtown, near Annisquam, but on the interior of Cape Ann. Its filled with gnarled trees and old glacial borders. this is clearly why I don't have disposable amounts of cash in the 6 digits sitting around...almost as crazy as my obsession with Shelter Cove on the west coast (oh, how I am drawn to failed real estate ventures).
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veiled atsushi

go for broke, or, the last treasures of the Buck-Tickocalypse

(non B-T fans need not read ;) )

as i was uncovering mourning items for Oakland Cemetery and Hallowe'en decor in my attic, I recently unearthed a box of B-T treasures I have been hoarding.  I had completely forgotten about these things, and, in the spirit of un-hoarding, will be listing them on ebay over the next week. 

someone already snatched up the little alien-bug handmade charm by Imai in the silk kimono bag, but there's still a Sakurai solo tourbook, B-T drinking glasses, and some very old 1986-1988 era promo/fan items. Most of the other items which i have been too lazy to list (ebay is so tedious, but it is the best market for the intl fanbase and allows the free market to judge an item's worth) are magazines from ca 1991-2008. A lucky B-Tch recently asked about obtaining their full discography, and I was able to work out a sweet deal for her where she basically got 9 or 10 cds for the price of 3 once you include shipping and currency exchanges. 

oddly it doesn't make me too sad to part with these things, as I have a few items i will never let go of and, most importantly, i have the indelible experiences associated with seeing B-T and Sakurai live which mean so much more than books and things that i no longer have shelf- or wall-space for these days.  that may sound very obnoxious to those who have not had the chance yet, but, its true. and don't get me wrong, i still loved to get everything i could get my little hands on even after the lives. but as time went by, i found i spent less time admiring the magazines and books and whatnot, and yet i knew all these fans who would die to have a gander or own a tshirt or whatever.

for some items, i probably paid an exorbitant bounty to yahoo auctions japan or crescent shop or some private entity, but it was all worth it, like some extensive research project into something that held my interest and passion for so long.  what's interesting is someone originally paid a small ransom for these things, and for the most part, i am able to make back enough money to have "come out even" once i minus out "my time spent" with the things. this is a calculation i would never make with selling art or antiques, btw. i'm not out to make a profit off the B-T items, or even recoup my costs. if i price something a little high, its either out of ignorance (i don't check Y!JA everyday like i used to) or out of a slight hesitation to give something up i loved for so long. 

some random mal facts as I muse on the Great Deaccessioning:

1. having a cd, magazine or tourbook in your hands is so much nicer than on the internet. B-T have always used subtle printing effects, deeply saturated colors, quality bindings and papers, and a very particular "feel" for their image. i just don't get that digitally. 
2. one thing i will never, ever give up: Sakurai's poetry book, Yasou. He is to me a poet first and foremost, and this book represents a most pivotal moment between the past, present, and future for me. thing i was surprised i would ever give up: Dance 2 Noise 002 cd, with Clan of Xymox+Sakurai's collaboration, "Yokan." It was the first song I ever heard that was B-T related, and got me into the band.
4. one thing i regret giving up: can't think of anything. although if I were to loose my Sakurai SA phone strap, it would be a little sad as I really love it.
5. what brought all this on? probably the fact i have not really cared for much of their music since 2007, and, i have tried to pare down on the stuff in my life to a few things which are emblematic of my obsessions. I will always count b-t as one of those obsessions, and I am happy with what I have to represent that: the music and a few small items.

what makes me happiest though is knowing artists can still inspire love and joy after so long, and i feel the  fans who buy these things have a very particular eye. some want the magazines; others seek objects related to a certain era; others are looking for obscure things. what gives me joy is knowing there is a continuation, something you don't always get with antiques or even rare books. nothing makes my skin crawl more than when an interior decorator wants to buy "all the black-leather-bound books" not because of the content, but because of the look. while i understand the demand for such a thing, i prefer to focus on a small market: the impassioned, discerning buyer, seeking one small thing in a sea of many things.

i believe if you truly, really want something, it will come to you, and it can be in your grasp, if only you let go of a few of the ropes tying you down. i really wanted something lately, and have to let go of some things, so here they are on ebay. but of course this idea does not have to apply to "things" at all. 

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Southern Gothic Music Project

Hello dear readers--

I am hoping to begin my explorations of Southern Gothic literature and music soon, but I have a technical question:

Poll #1788156 Music Formats

What type of music format are you most likely to listen to in a blog?

podcast via
podcast via soundcloud
independently hosted podcast
separate links to mp3s
separate links to youtube

In other news, its time to carve pumpkins and decorate my little house's outside to be as spooky as the inside! And sakurakurakura and I are headed to the N GA mts (peak of color!) to go to a moonshine festival ahaha.

Also, this song is amazing. Prob the best thing Kavinsky (feat CSS's Lovefoxxx) has ever done...from the Drive soundtrack.
Kavinsky's weird robot cold-wave vox are paired perfectly with the ethereal female sound.
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a peek into the pit II

Hello, lj land…it been awhile since I’ve gone ghost here.

Most of my online presence has been confined to the 140 character world of twitter since I became disenchanted with all the changes with lj…and I’ve dabbled a bit on google + and tumblr (mainly for art purposes, on tumblr). But nothing compares to the camaraderie I felt with my lj friends, and the intimacy of sharing one’s journal, or the freedom to simply keep my thoughts locked up to myself in a consistent place.

There’s been quite a few changes in my life over the past few years, and I’m sure there have been in yours too. I miss several of you terribly and even though I have the ways and means to contact you via snail mail or even telephone, I have felt like a bad friend for being silent here for so long.

But I miss you, and if you would take me back, let me know…I’m sure my friends list is incredibly outdated. You may even have new monikers!

BiTches—while admittedly I have not been over enthused with B-T’s music recently, I still treasure their 1985-2007 output and have hope that great things can still happen. I check in on the comm now and then even in my lj absence-- its so wonderful to see the love and support everyone has still. The spirit of this community is one of the best I’ve ever seen on the internet. Thanks so much to tigerpal for taking up my slack <3

I have been focused on an early passion of mine, drawing and painting, as well as indulging in creative writing. I have this penchant for old folk tales and southern gothic writing. After a lifetime of trying to imagine myself in a Brontean (or whatever the proper adjective is) or Byronian atmosphere, then breaking free a la the early 20th century Dadaists and other assorted magicians of the word, I am now settling into that old tried-and-true author’s cliché of “write what you know.” And while I know about a lot of things, rarely have I shared in fiction some of the most personal things I know of, such as, creepy southern towns and the nearly forgotten names of places and people there; esoteric spiritual practices hoarded through the centuries; and the cyclical nature of human experience. But its not a complete turn of face, for much of southern gothic has ties with old british folk, and so each complements the other.

I also have taken quite the sabbatical from one of my other passions in life—travel. While I am sad I am not indulging in the Devil Shack Tour quite yet (as I’d hope to in a few weeks), I have made it a point to take more trips, even short weekend ones, or long drives, to places I have not been in a while or to new places. On my flickr page you can see some photosets of recent trips to Arizona to see dead_relenaand a journey to Key West with sakurakurakura .

In more recent news, I have been obsessed with NYC’s production of “Sleep No More.” If you haven’t heard of this remarkable bit of immersive theatre-dance, I suggest you do a google search and read any of the articles. The website is: It looks like it will be here for a while (for a moment there, I had to buy last minute tickets as they kept saying the run would come to an end!), so if you can scrape up the $, I cannot recommend it enough (and I am not at all a “theatre” or “musical” person, but I do adore set design and the aesthetic of this production is as close to my personal style of interior design you can get!).

So, allow me to reintroduce myself, old friends, and, I hope to find some new friends along the way. 


PS, any “must-join” communities out there on old books, creepy places, decadent writing, travel, etc? My community list is probably a complete shambles and should be purged!
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on a brighter note!

Last Friday I got to FINALLY meet tigerpal and brainwhisper and countlibras after DECADES (really, it seems like) of knowing them online.

NOIR was amazing (the buttered bourbon cidery cocktails even more amazing, and the de rigeur Dirty Harry martinis-with Noilly Prat added at my request) and having an evening with new old friends chatting about everything from Mr.Satan (of course) to my not-so-popular conservative political views was still entertaining!

Next friday I get to meet another gilded soul, one who crossed starpaths with me long ago, and who I'm sure will be a dear kindred spirit in this life as much as he must certainly have been in a past one.
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book of dreams

Wednesday morning I had a long lucid dream about some time in the near future when the Russians(Red Dawn style, sorry for the gross assumption here but Reagan traumatized me deeply in the 80s!!!) had decided to take over our country and rather than fight it, we relented. We had x # of days to bend to their requirements, which were vague and terrifying in my worst childhood cold war fears, but specifically listed NO BOOKS, NO ALCOHOL (truly a Russian prison?! haha, for I personally know few Russians who could last without it), NO FURS (perhaps a concern due to the encroaching nuclear winter, but even in the dream I laughed at the randomness). During that timeframe American society collapsed, as all our bank money was confiscated, and no one was allowed to go to work. Gulag-style complexes were being set up in all the major cities for those who would not conform or those who were fit to do work. SS-style stormtroops would roam the streets to enforce curfew and take care of undesirables on the spot.

In the final days before "succumbment", many of you spend time with me together as we knew we would be forced apart soon, imprisoned, or executed. I specifically remember <lj user="shimmerlily"> and her husband defiantly declaring their martyrdom because they would not part with their books. Bars all over the city were open 24-7 in an effort to get rid of the last of America's alcohol stores, giving away free booze. But the smarter of us had abandoned the wild parties in order to hide our beloveds and our belongings for posterity, and on the final occasions we ventured out for a last toast, the bars were serving the most rotgut of liquors and there were just some sad goths and raver rejects swooping about the floor in broad daylight as if it were Saturday night 1997.

I was at home burying some books beneath the odd stone room in our crawlspace when the door knocker clanged. I figured it was a soldier come to despatch me and I considered taking the shotgun up the stairs but decided it was better to die on my own threshold than in some makeshift himmelstrasse. I kissed my remaining cat, the Himalayan, and threw him outside the back door in a hope that essentially, instinct would triumph over imperium. Ash was still raining down (down, down, down Mother Russia) from the nuclear-scarred skies. Going to the front door, I opened it to find my dead grandfather Wallace standing there, smiling, looking as he did years before he died, wearing a plaid hunter's jacket as if he was about to take out an unwary pheasant in the backwoods of Angelica NY. The only thing amiss was a huge black puffy shiny area on his left cheek that in retrospect could have been a keloid but in the dream I wondered if he was a zombie come back to life as I did know he'd been dead for nearly 2 decades. He laughed and asked if I needed anything and I, stunned, said no, but thanked him for visiting me and said that the quiet love he had for my Grandmother inspired me all my life, and how I thought of him and loved him even though he always presented himself as a grumpy thunderstorm of a man.The final scene of the dream was him laughing again and patting my shoulder, telling me to get some orange juice and "fire it up as much as you can" implying add a lot of vodka to it.

you'll either get a croix de guerre or a croix de bois

Thank you, veterans, and thank you HGC, and SK, W, MH, D, Cross, and those who want peace but are called to fight.

poppies, by the way, were noted in flanders originally because the artillery shells exposed dormant seeds and the flowers blossomed forth unexpectedly amid the battlefields.

recommended reading-- The Bowmen, by Arthur Machen (which effectually created a huge belief in the "Angel of Mons" myth)

reading or movie: johnny got his gun by Dalton Trumbo

Les Croix des Boix
absolutely one of the most harrowing, stark, and beautiful war movies ever made. this version stars a cast of veterans, including Antonin Artaud, and much of the shocking artillery and battle footage was used for years after by American moviemakers. Reminds me of the Seventh Seal in its stunning cinematography.

it is unbelievable it is almost 100 years since the "war to end all wars" commenced. and yet we still are fighting in foreign fields of poppies.

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