Content Blues, the Podcast: Episode 4 – The Lost Summer Episode

Doing this fell by the wayside as I was wrapped up in bringing Caligula to market (The Kindle Countdown deal is going well, by the way). But having a few free evenings, I was able to clear out the notebook and talk about some stuff I’d meant to all summer. Here are the results.

4. The Lost Summer Episode Content Blues

We're back from Summer Vacation with a bunch of notes we took months ago and will turn deftly into a full episode: Why I Care. A Lot. is as bad as you've heard. Why Aldous Huxley was as good as you've heard. Why Ronnie James Dio is better than you've probably heard. Huzzah for Content!
  1. 4. The Lost Summer Episode
  2. 3. Poems, Prose, and Princes
  3. 2. Thus Stuffed Zarathustra Funko Pops into The God-Shaped Hole
  4. 1. Absinthe is Delicious

Shallow & Pedantic 15 – Teenage Dungeon Vampire Space Pirates

This may be the nerdiest thing we’ve ever done, which is why it’s the longest.

The topic is Tabletop RPG’s, and we hit it hard. One of the more interesting things we discuss is why RPG’s keep getting updated, when other kinds of tabletop games don’t. That’s the YouTube Channel above,

Unnamed Journal, Caligula and Punk Rock: Big ‘Ol July Update

Summer is an odd time. I should be filling the blog with posts, but somehow, other projects take precedence. To be fair, I’ve definitely fallen from my 10-post-a-month threshold I was hitting in the fall and winter. That means something, but I’m not sure what.

The point is, I’m behind on posting stuff. It happens. So lets get on with it.

This has been up for a little bit. It’s one of our more rambling episodes, per the effects of the Rule of 30 in Podcasting. Punk as a style and an aesthetic has become vast over the last 40 years, but it doesn’t ever really escape the superposition in started in. So there’s lots to talk about, and all of it relates.

But that’s the secondary bit of news. This is the big bit of news:

Available for $2.99 on ebook, $3.99 in Paperpack. The ebook looks really good, as I used Scrivener to create it, and previewed it before uploading it to Amazon. This closes the chapter on a project I’ve been playing around with for years. Now I can move on, to polishing up Death Riding and The Sword, before moving on to other works in embryo.

Finally, this is also available on Amazon:

Been on Gumroad for a while, but I’ve got the ebook up on Amazon and am finalizing the paperback edition as well. All in all, it’s been a pretty big month.

The Rule of 30 in Podcasting

I’ve got a Content Blues Podcast about halfway recorded, and then there’s a Shallow & Pedantic planned to be recorded this weekend. Of the two, the CBP is easier, because I can add to that whenever I want. The work is getting enough recorded to fill out about 30 minutes or so of material. Any more than that is probably too much to listen to one person talking. Also, I find myself running out of things to say at about that time.

Shallow & Pedantic has the opposite dynamic. The last two I’ve had to edit things out so as to not get past an Hour and a half. Which has been about standard since we added the third man to the podcast. Prior to that, episodes were about an hour. So it seems that each person adds 30 minutes of talking. That doesn’t exactly match all podcasts I’ve listened to, but I have noticed that the more people you add, the longer it goes on. That must be why carrying a conversation at parties feels like such a chore.

Doing a podcast can feel like playing in a jazz quartet: you’ve got to keep some kind of a rythm, you’ve got to trade the flow properly, and you never know when you’re going to begin what it’s going to sound like. Some podcasts are free jazz or avant-garde, everyone just shouts, and the strongest voice will be heard. We’re not going for that vibe. It’s a serious podcast about unimportant things. A lot of them are unserious podcasts about important things. Which is better, I guess than unserious about unimportant. But I can’t imagine doing it that way. Why talk about the maelstrom of pop culture, most of which is derivative and unoriginal, unless you’re trying to form some kind of understanding of the world and why we respond to it in this way.

Art is the relationship between man and nature. If it’s bad, something’s going on to make it bad. You can call this “structural” if you want to, but that’s a word clunky and overused by communists. I prefer to call it “the thing unspoken”. Why are sitcoms the way they are? Something unspoken in their conception, production, and marketing, known to those inside the biz but not to the audience. That’s the kind of things that interests me.

Anyway, podcasts imminent. Watch this space.

Content Blues, The Podcast – Episode 2: Zarathustra’s Funko Pops

This has become a more easily replicable format than Thumbs Down/Thumbs Up, as I don’t have to pretend that I’m doing anything but observing what I’ve encountered. Half an hour is about right for a program such as this, where I’m really just talking directly into the microphone. Shallow & Pedantic has three regulars now, so it clocks in about 90 minutes. This math checks out.

This episodes topics:

  • Why Blade Runner 2049 is the Best Sequel Ever
  • Miles Davis’ Get Up With It and the concept of Fusion Jazz
  • Zero HP Lovecraft’s The God Shaped Hole
  • Why Funko Pops are Of the Devil.

You can listen to it on:

Content Blues: The Podcast – Episode 1

A long-conceived wish, finally brought to fruition by WordPress partnering with Anchor. I’m using this an an augmentation to the blog, a place to comment briefly on the aesthetics of what crosses my path. I did have some Absinthe while I was recording the first half of this. It created something of a vibe.

It’s quite a long recording, as I talk about a great many things:

  • Caligulia Update
  • Death Riding Update
  • The 2016 film Nocturnal Animals
  • My burgeoning Criterion Collection
  • 90’s Nostalgia, Music, and Mix-Tapes
  • Nietzsche and the Post-Moderns
  • The Satyricon
  • Phillip K. Dick and Simulacra
  • My issues with William S. Burroughs, Nova Express and Cities of the Red Night
  • Using the above to write “Ale-Man Blues”, which appeared in Issue 25 of Unnamed Journal.

4. The Lost Summer Episode Content Blues

We're back from Summer Vacation with a bunch of notes we took months ago and will turn deftly into a full episode: Why I Care. A Lot. is as bad as you've heard. Why Aldous Huxley was as good as you've heard. Why Ronnie James Dio is better than you've probably heard. Huzzah for Content!
  1. 4. The Lost Summer Episode
  2. 3. Poems, Prose, and Princes
  3. 2. Thus Stuffed Zarathustra Funko Pops into The God-Shaped Hole
  4. 1. Absinthe is Delicious

Looking to do this weekly to bi-weekly.

Whatever: The Vast Confederate Lighthouse

Initially I had planned to have a Content Blues podcast hosted here on the blog, but because I don’t have a WordPress Business Plan and don’t intend to shell out for one, that won’t be happening. Instead, I switched to Spreaker as a distribution service for both this and the Shallow & Pedantic Podcast. The point of Whatever: A Content Blues Podcast will be to collect all the shorter posts (Quick Reviews and such) into an audo format, and leave the rest of the blog to the longer, essayish posts.

The Vast Confederate Lighthouse Whatever.

A smorgasboard of an episode! We correct Twitter's History Department, Praise "The Vast of Night", discuss the pagan themes of "The Lighthouse", read some epic poetry and a sonnet, consider modern cassette culture, and give a shout-out to indie electronica band Validine Chronus.

It’s up on Spotify, Podchaser, and Deezer, and will presently be on iTunes, iHeartRadio, and Google Podcasts.

The Grand Deletion

My initial plan was to make changes to this site subtly, but visual issues with the theme required a new look, and when combined with the scale of the changes I’ve made on social media, that became more appropriate. So, in brief, let me relate what’s happening:

  • My Tumblr blogs are deleted. Every Damn CD is hereby inactive. I’m going back to listening to my music instead of reviewing it.
  • My Podcast, Thumbs Down/Thumbs Up, is undergoing changes. When I decide on a new format, I’m going to post it here, instead of through Podbean. The Shallow & Pedantic Podcast will continue without changes.
  • An ancient blog project, The Teacher’s Dictionary, which withered on the vine, has finally been executed. I may revive it in another form later on.
  • My Facebook Author page has also been deleted. It was more of a firewall than anything else, and my Facebook no longer requires a firewall. Posts will continue to be shared on my normal Facebook page.

Other things, of no interest to anyone here, have likewise gone the wayside. Whatever merit they had, they did not achieve the success I wanted. Reading Cam Newton’s Deep Work (a book I recommend) has made me consider concentration rather than multiplicity as the thing most needed in a blog. A million cross-postings are of no value if I cannot drive the traffic here.

I’ve been through these changes periodically in my long history of blogging; reaching for the new in order to combat the frustration of feeling like you’re shouting into a void. What I haven’t done is get the right content under the eyes of the right readers. Hence, quantity must take a back seat to quality. Nothing else matters.

Thus, what I intend as the final form of this web site, and my career as a blogger. I’m making this statement publicly, as a promise to hold myself to. This is a blog about writing, about content creation, and about aesthetics thereunto pertaining. Beauty is truth, and truth, beauty. And all that cal.

Read on, friends.

Shallow & Pedantic 4: We All Shine On

This went up on the Patreon last week for subscribers, and went up on iTunes and Spotify not long after. It a podcast in theme of earlier episodes: exploring the gulf between a novel and its film adapation (in this case, The Shining) and what it is that Horror does. There’s some loud mike action in the early part of the episode: we were recording through masks and Mike brought his a little too close. But that evens out after the first stinger.

Now would be a good time to repost that Patreon link. There’s a new issue of Unnamed Journal out this month, and the way to get it is to be a subscriber ($1 a month) or buy it direct from our Gumroad. More on this in the coming days.

Merry Podcasting

I find it interesting how “podcast” has evolved from “micro-radio show on your iPhone” to “people talking into a microphone on YouTube”.

Now this is a satrical podcast, but what it’s satirizing is very real. There are in fact, entire YouTube channels that exist for 30-year-olds to talk like children about popcorn movies under the guise of “nerd culture”. I know I shouldn’t talk, because I’m about to launch a podcast similar in scope, but I’m not a shill for Disney. I’m interested in the art form.

The podcast will be called Shallow & Pedantic, and while it’s aimed at discussing literature, film, and other things aesthetic, our approach is critical, analytical, not Go Out and See The New Thing.

This doesn’t mean Thumbs Down/Thumbs Up is going anywhere. I’ll continue to record episode for it, because I genuinely like it. I haven’t been as committed to creating new episodes as I want, because writing episodes is never as small an undertaking as I want it to be. But with the new school year comes a new focus, and a new commitment to making new content. So on we go.