Axis Mundi “Popular Music We All Love” and other tracks…

After hearing me mention it in an interview, someone on Facebook asked if my music was available. I’ve performed in two bands proper – URILLIAsekt and Axis Mundi. There isn’t much from URILLIAsekt available but Axis Mundi was sort of my solo project and I do have a few tracks from that. I admit, I cringe a bit on listening to some of these, but for what they are and the time I was doing them, it works decently well. Here is a bit of history I wrote some time around 2002:

Kevin

Axis Mundi was formed as a solo project in 1998 after Joe Morgan and myself dissolved URILLIAsekt. URILLIAsekt has a bootleg video that has been passed around infrequently, but there was no official releases.

I first recorded under my own name “Kevin I. Slaughter”, releasing a cassette tape limited to 9 copies. These nine copies were given out and I think that I’ve lost my own version of it. Shortly after this Heather Fraser began wirking with me on music and in performances, and I released “Popular Music We All Love”

Heather

“Popular Music…” is a compilation of tracks from the first 4 years of Axis Mundi’s musical work. It has been the only full length release to date, and currently we plan on it being the only one.

The CD has been released 4 times in an “official” capacity (whatever that may mean), with each version being slightly different. I have my own very convoluted “artsy-fartsy” reason for doing this, and if you ever meet me and don’t know what to say, you can bring this up and that’ll be good for at least a few minutes of conversation.


I uploaded the tracks to Soundcloud.com so they are available once again (warts and all), and they’re in the last known order/arrangement.

Even the most doltish listener will quickly pick-up on the fact that I stole existing music and sounds with impunity. Most of the work present is more of a collage than song-writing, and at no point do I make the claim of originality or talent for that matter. My most frequently used equipment was a couple of tape decks and a primitive sampler.

The track “Transitional Pulse” is just that, a marker between older tracks and newer (at the time of release).  Some of the tracks are effectively soundtracks to films unmade, some only make sense when they were performed live. There was always a heavily visual aspect to my performances. “Man Sun” is literally a soundtrack to a video, it was a school project where we had to manufacture our own “creation myths”, so I chose the concept of Helter Skelter and produced a psychedelic video montage and the audio that appears here.

“Brocken” was a live performance of Matt G. Paradise’s “A Night on the Brocken” ritual, published originally in his magazine “Not Like Most.”

“Frustration” is a recording of a Dorothy Parker poem, with guitar by Erin C. It’s followed by a sort of remix from a performer I worked with at the time.

The last track is a recording I made of reading an excerpt from a Barnaby Conrad book on bullfighting. .

Axis Mundi “Popular Music We All Love” by Kevin I. Slaughter

Flyer for my 24th birthday show.

I also found a review penned by Tracy Twyman, and I believe it ran in her magazine Dagobert’s Revenge:

Popular Music We All Love
review by Tracy Twyman

Joseph Campbell defined the Axis Mundi as, “the imagined axis linking the Earth’s surface with the lower world (Hell) and the upper world (Heaven) at the metaphoric center of the Earth.” And that is exactly what this CD does, taking you on a trip from the depths of infernal madness and obsessive compulsion, on through the profane and unhallowed mire of our mundane, temporal existence, across the vast, chaotic chasm of Choronzon known as the Abyss, and on into that ineffable and sacrosanct region which we call the Divine, all done in a process of three stages which can be interpreted to represent those three levels of being which I have just described. And yet, oddly enough, the songs on this CD were never meant to be together. As the liner notes explain, “Popular Music’ Is a compilation of tracks derived from live performances and home taping sessions… This is not intended as a standard album, but merely a reflection of an ongoing process.” It is mostly the work of one Mr. Kevin Slaughter, known for his program on the Radio Free Satan broadcast network, along with some help from Heather Fraser and unnamed others.

The first track, “Sound of Music”, is a good example of what it would be like to play your Fisher Price Tone-a-Phone in the sewer. The next track, “Her Muse”, is one of those “depraved ravings” pieces in the vein of Sisyphus Autopsy, written from the point of view of a stalking ex-boyfriend who has captured his prey and is now trying to convince her, probably at gunpoint, that they belong together. On “Thanks for the Memories”, someone mumbles incomprehensibly over an instrumental of “A Kiss is Still a Kiss”, an over-modulated version of “Funky Cold Medina”, and a soup of various static-filled samples. “Popular Media” is perhaps the most wry in its humor, an actual recording of Kevin Slaughter calling up a radio talk show to discuss “racialist music”, including the moronic comments made by the host of the program. And in “Mi Amore”, women scream as their bodies are cast into the flaming pits of Hell. The last track, “Man Sun”, is very interesting, as the narrator explains concepts of infinity, eternity, God, Abraxas, dualism, unity, and equilibrium, mixed with reenactments of speeches made by Charles Manson and his followers. As more of a “stream of consciousness” piece than an act of premeditation, this compilation works very well. I’d like to see what they do when they plan it out ahead of time. A more standard full-length CD entitled, Love Songs, is scheduled for release in the coming months.

 

In addition, while I was at it at least, I’ve uploaded some miscellaneous tracks that were never released properly. First is an unfinished recreation of a novelty album first released on 78 titled “Hard to Get“. I don’t know the orig. artist name or anything at this point, but the female voice is my dear friend Erin:

Hard To Get by Kevin I. Slaughter

And finally (unless I find other junk on my hard drive to append here), this is a track created for an HP Lovecraft tribute compilation CD that was cut from the final release. The title of the track is “Invocation Inebriation“:

Invocation Inebriation by Kevin I. Slaughter

 

“What is Satanic” and art in Detroit…

I’ve posted a short excerpt from my lecture on Wednesday, and made a post on Underworld Amusements. Please go there to view the video and see a few related photos.

Here I will post  a few photos from the Detroit Institute of Arts. I was very impressed with the collection, and was able to spend quite a few hours there yesterday. I had used up nearly all of my 16 gig memory card with video from the lecture, so I was using my backup 1 gig card forcing me to be very selective in taking photos. Either way, these are some of the works that I wanted to look at again when I got home….

#phonar | task1 | “It just ain’t nachural, I tells ya.”

I spent a little bit of time this morning completing my first task for #phonar. Details can be found in a previous blog post.

Below is the copy I wrote for the spread. It’s a wee bit heavy handed, but it’s better than lorem ipsum. Also, I proofed as best I could… full refund if not satisfied.

IT JUST AIN’T NACHURAL, I TELL YA.
IT AIN’T RIGHT

WILLIAM MORTENSEN, WEEGEE, DIANE ARBUS, AND
THE ANONYMOUS PHOTOGRAPHERS OF LOW-END NUDIES

Written and Edited by Kevin I. Slaughter

The styles and processes couldn’t be more different. The motivations varied from a desperate bid to make quick cash to cultivating a truly unique and painstaking artistic vision. And yet, there is something familiar in all of these photographs, something most people don’t want to see.

People often have a visceral response to these images. They often evoke one of our strongest instincts – disgust. We see the “other”, the thing outside of ourselves that we want to keep away. From ugliness to retardation, from morbidity to degeneration.

And yet, we look. Maybe after some initial reflexive response, where we turn away or close our eyes, but we still look and often stare.

Possibly an evolutionary response, knowing one’s enemy.  A gazelle will watch the cheetah, because if the cheetah comes to close, it means death. The same can be said about degeneracy, though in a more abstract way.

It is natural to hate and fear the “other”. People deny this aspect of nature because they want nature to behave how they think it should, instead of how it is.

It is also natural to fool one’s self, to live a lie that what you have is good, even when it’s flawed or ugly or broken. Objectivity is always elusive in the human mind, and being presented with an uncomfortable objective truth sparks an irrational mental war on that truth.

There is a constant struggle in the public sphere to take control of “nature”, of what it means. A constant push of this priest or that politician to couch their beliefs into a frame that is on the side of nature, be it one that “god” created, or one that evolved.

The one objective truth about nature that we know is that it works completely independently from our wants and needs. What is good, or right, or beautiful has nothing whatsoever to do with what can and will occur.
Nature is what is.

Craft Project :: DIY Lightbox

I’ve been meaning to build one of these for a while, but upgrading my camera and my wife starting her etsy store and needing me to photograph stuff for it gave me the impetus.

Some cheap wood, a scrap of PVC sheeting, a $4 white sheet from the thrift shop and here’s what I’ve got so far:

I’m not getting enough light, and since I’d broken a few bulbs in the past few days I had 3 different types of bulbs in the 4 lights.

I clamped the sheet on because I’m not sure of the best way to secure it, or even if that’s the right kind of sheet to use. The point is to diffuse the light, but I don’t want to block too much of it either.

I may need to partially cover the front of the box  to bounce some of the light back in.

Raising the dead…

Background HERE. Post informed guesses as to years/location in comments below.

 

UPDATES/OBSERVATIONS:

Coop thinks the Model T’s are from 1915-16 and 1917-18. I hadn’t realized they were even different cars.

Picture 2 of 28 – “This is a 1915 or 1916 Model T.”

Picture 3 of 28 – “This one is at least a ’17 or ’18 Model T, but I’m not schooled enough to spot the minor differences, and they were pretty similar year to year. The main difference from the earlier T in the other photo is the embossed grille shell, stamped fenders and the rounded hood.”

Scott Huffhines “digs up” the following:

Re: the graveyard shot. Definitely from Maryland since she was referenced in a 1944 Sun obit (which I didn’ want to pay for).
http://tinyurl.com/claraditman
My guess the obit was for one of her children or relatives but not for her.

Rob Sherwood:

Number 3 has a license plate, which reads “OHO 256825 1920″ I think. I’m researching that, assuming that OHO refers to “Ohio” and 1920 is a date.

Looking at “http://www.worldlicenceplates….“, the OHO is common in ohio but a 6 digit plate number is only listed on the 1921 license plate.

Christopher Mealie:

What a great find. Nice scans too. From clothing and autos they seem to be 1910s.

 
A reader named “Jack” that wasn’t able to post for some reason peels a sharp eye on the scenes:

I’m sorry to get this to you via email, but I was unable to post comments when I logged in. These are interesting. You may have already noticed these things, but…

I think the woman in photo 20 is the same woman years later in photo 23 who is sitting on the right. She has the same mouth and the same hairdo. Although the hairdo was probably common back then, the facial similarities seem convincing.

The dog in photo 23 appears to be the same one sitting next to the boy in photo 19. The boy in photo 19 looks like the toddler in photo 27.

The man sitting on the left with the woman’s arm around his shoulders is the same guy standing in the middle in photo 24. Judging by that dimple on his chin and his overall looks, he is also the same guy wearing the hat in photo 11. That could also be him on the horse in photos 13 and 15.

The same little boy appears in photos 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, and 12. There may be some more repeat subjects but I’m not sure.

The rustic wooden bench in photos 20 and 21 is interesting. That would be a cool heirloom to have, eh? This isn’t really important, but the bench seems to have moved when you compare it’s position relative to things near it on the ground such as twigs, holes in the dirt, etc. Based on the way the man and the woman are dressed in those two shots, I’m thinking they may have gone to church that day. If so, then the paper leaning up against the leg of the bench may be the program for that day’s service. I’m not enough of a historian to know if churches could afford to do that back then though.

 

Nerd Project No. 1920 :: Analog + Digital = <3 (scanning glass negatives)

It’s been a little while since I posted a project. The last one might have been my Accordion Box that I refurbished. Yesterday I found three boxes of 5×7″ and 4×6.5″ glass negatives at a local junk shop that I stop in at least once a week. The place mainly deals with estates, so you never know what’s going to come in the door.

Being, well, me… I looked quickly at a few of the slides, asked for a discount on all three boxes (they were marked $4 each, but they gave ‘em all to me for $9) and then spent my Saturday morning scanning them and then doing a small amount of color correction in Adobe Lightroom, and now this afternoon putting them online.

The photos themselves will go into a post by themselves, but I did document the process a bit for here.

I WOULD like some assistance, if you’re inclined, in dating and locating these images. There are a ton of clues in the images for the keen observer. Please use the comments section to make suggestions (and give reasons).

Being the weirdo I am, I own a few bags of cotton gloves for occasions just like this. I also have a few other things laying around that I used in the process, as I’ll detail below.

Two of the negatives were broken, and many had deteriorated  or had some decay going on. I did my best to wipe off the dust and smudges on the glass side, and did a gentle wiping of the emulsion side. I suppose I could have looked online to see what should be done to clean these properly, but I didn’t. I did quite a bit though.

I tool some thick matteboard and cut a template out so that I could place the negatives in the scanner consistently.  I know I’ve got some plastic templates that they provided, but had no idea where a “cleaned them” to last time (to the spot I’m sure I thought I’d never forget).

 

There are three boxes, but the third wit the smaller negatives had no printing like these.

Here is one of the negatives on the scanner with the template. The template needs to be removed before the scan starts.

Just because, here’s the top of my scanner.

Holding up a negative, in case you’ve never seen such a thing.

Once the negatives were scanned, I took some packing sheets and cut them down to size to insert into the top and bottom.

 

Then I took some archival storage bags and put the boxes in them.

Now that I have everything scanned, I’d be willing to donate the negatives to either a museum, historical society, or the living family. One of the photos is a grave marker, so there’s a name to go on. If I can figure out a region, that’d narrow it down.

Oh, and the “1920” in the post title isn’t really a guess, but it sounds good.