From Projekt Records’ Sam Rosenthal.
Movies in the Dark
On Friday, I hosted the Tony Scott-directed David Bowie film “The Hunger” at Portland’s Hollywood Theatre. It was the first installment in a series I’ve started, called Movies in the Dark. It’s an opportunity to hang out with goth friends in a non-club environment, watching gothically-tinged films. There’s beer, and food, and movies! Nearly 200 people attended! This was a fantastic start to the series. Thanks to all the Goths who came out to watch q rare 35mm showing of this cult 1983 film!
I was chatting with people in the lobby before the movie started. One woman told me about herself, and it reminded me of this verse from the Velvet Underground’s “Rock ‘n’ roll”:
One fine mornin’, she puts on a New York station
And she couldn’t believe what she heard at all
She started dancin’ to that fine-fine-fine-fine music
Ooohhh, her life was saved by rock ‘n’ roll
Hey baby, rock ‘n’ roll
She told me about growing up in Alabama in the 90s, discovering Projekt Records and Black Tape For A Blue Girl, and how that bond created something deep and meaningful for her. I paraphrase here, but she said it saved her life. Hell yes! That’s what art is about: that deeper connection that tells you there’s more out there in the world than what you are stuck with where you’re at. It’s great to know that (like so many of us) she found community and acceptance within the music, and it resulted in an escape to a better life! Conversations like this make being “the guy behind Projekt” especially worthwhile. I’m proud of the impact that Projekt has had over the years.
If you have a story about being saved by rock ‘n’ roll, please post it below or send it to me in a message.
You can join the Movies in the Dark email list. I will update you about the second film soon.
Saved by Rock ‘n’ Roll
What would I be doing, if it wasn’t for making music and running a record label? It’s really hard to imagine. One thing I mentioned in my introduction to “The Hunger,” was that the film came out in 1983: the same year the first Projekt cassette was released. Thirty-one years ago, can you believe it? Projekt’s been my full-time for the last twenty-three of those years. Running a record label is what I do. That means riding the waves of the changes in the music industry; keeping informed on the evolution — or perhaps ‘devolution’ is more appropriate. The Music Business isn’t what it was five years ago, or ten years ago, and certainly not thirty-one years ago!
Thirty-one years. Think about everything that has transpired in the world in those thirty-one years! All the changes, advances, problems, dreams. There were a few people at the movie who weren’t even born when the film came out. That was interesting, too. “Remember this, remember that?” And they were thinking, “Nope, I don’t remember any of that, oh elder goth!” : )
But the idea I’m having here is about being saved by the music. Whether the goth or the electronic side of the label, music is really the pulse that matters to me. The thread that runs through my life.
That, and movies, I suppose. I was a TV/film major in college. These are the stories that take you out of your world and into a different climate, so you can reflect back. That’s pretty exciting stuff.
Alex Cox’s new film
This is incredible. I didn’t know that Alex Cox (the director of Repo Man, Walker, Sid & Nancy and others) teaches film at the University of Boulder, nor did I know that he crowdfunded his most recent movie as a student project. Bill The Galactic Hero is having it’s West Coast Premiere in Portland. It’s a SciFi move made for $114,000, which is one thousandth of the budget of Gravity; one two hundred and fiftieth the budget of Ender’s Game. I think it’s sort of sad that Cox isn’t a Hollywood Hero, but ends up teaching at an out-of-the-way college; then again, maybe this is the way he wanted it? I am not sure.
I know many people are bugged by his movies for not being all that accurate, but they certainly have a unique voice. And that’s something important. He’s not another generic Hollywood director. But then you probably already know I’m weird! My two favorite directors are Gilliam and Herzog.
I was Dennis Hopper’s henchman | Article at The Guardian. For a time in California, Alex Cox was Dennis Hopper’s No 4 henchman. He recalls the director’s brilliance and breakdowns – and how John Wayne once tried to kill him.
Side-Line Poll 2014 – participate now! | They write: “The end of 2014 is drawing nearer each day, so it’s time to have our yearly poll at Side-Line magazine. This year we added some different questions too such as your media use. The results will be communicated in the first week of January 2015! You can cast your vote here.
Anne Rice: David Bowie and the end of Gender 1983, Vogue Magazine | Read here.
Fact Magazine: End of year > The 20 best reissues of 2014 | Steve Roach’s Structures From Silence is #4 — “Given how much ink has been sloshed about the 2014 ambient revival, it’s a perfect time to return to this classic album – still spellbinding, three decades on.” Read the whole review here. Purchase the 3-CD set for $18 at Projekt’s website.
Voltaire live in Boise + Seattle
Friday December 12th in Boise, ID! — The Crux 1022 W Main
Doors 10pm, Voltaire at 11pm. $10 Advance / $15 At the Door / $5 Extra for VIP / All ages
With: Dr Noir, The Redd Queen, and Lutra Rose. Facebook event page.
Saturday, December 13th in Seattle, WA — El Corazon 109 Eastlake Ave E
Doors at 8:00, first band at 9:00. $15 ADV / $20 DOS / All Ages / Bar W/ID
With: The Nasty Habits, and Jeff Ferrell. website with ticket sales.
Unto Ashes: Ghosts Captured | $15
25 cover songs (18 on the physical CD and an additional 7 available for free download), breathing “blood-lit” life into an incredibly broad array of songs from some of the most improbable bands on record.
The Austin Chronicle wrote:
Gothic, electronic, madrigal: The distinctive vision of Lockhart’s Michael Laird swirls through a catalog of seven beguiling LPs bewitched by centuries-old traditions. His band’s first compilation, Ghosts Captured turns on an axis of pop/rock covers found on prior platters. A few pieces of low-hanging fruit aside (the Cure; fellow travelers Current 93 and Qntal; Projekt labelmates Lycia), the set list takes stylistically incompatible standards and gives them radical but reverent reinterpretations. Filtered through Laird’s pagan prism, New Order’s “The Him” transforms into a haunted hymn, while Neil Young’s “The Needle and the Damage Done” becomes a droning communion with a melancholy spirit. Unto Ashes lifts the melody from Norwegian synth-pop troop Apoptygma Berzerk’s “Kathy’s Song” and turns it into gorgeous folk, and filters the Butthole Surfers’ “The Birds Are Dying” through a choral-enhanced string section. Ethereal acoustic versions of Blue Öyster Cult’s “Don’t Fear the Reaper” and Van Halen’s “Runnin’ With the Devil” nets two more Ghosts Captured.
We’re always adding new releases to the Projekt webstore. Day and night the elves scour the planet for new music we think you’ll enjoy. A full list of of new releases available in the store is here.
The Birthday Massacre: Superstition The band’s signature elements combine to masterfully create emotional gravity. $14
Csillagköd: Silent World Deep space inspired, ambient electronic exploration. $14
Iris: Radiant Vinyl 2LP and 2CD Limited double vinyl / double CD edition in luxury gatefold packaging. $55
Iris & Seabound: Radiant Turbulence EP Unreleased Seabound tracks and exclusive Iris songs. $15
Loscil: Sea Island Murky, densely textured depths of sound are explored with subtle pulses and pings woven within. $14
Shane Morris & Mystified: Evolution A sonic environment that evokes prehistoric places and atmospheres. $14
Omnia: Earth Warrior Pagan Folk meets classics, blues, celtic, country… $26
Project Pitchfork: Blood An interlocked, carefully thought-through and infernally powerful album. $16
SITD: Dunkelziffer Limited 2-CD Sweeping and hymnlike melodies, supported by hammering beats and driving grooves. $24
SITD: Dunkelziffer CD $19
Sol Invictus: Once Upon a Time Vinyl LP An alternate universe of Dark Folk, 1970s Prog Rock and Psychedelia. $35
Sol Invictus: Once Upon a Time CD $23
Weep: Weep post-punk brit-pop from NYC. $14
Erik Wøllo: Traces. 1985, Norway’s first electronic music release. $14
Zola Jesus: Taiga Vinyl LP Masterful layers of composition are bathed in familiar atmospheric vocals. $23
Zola Jesus: Taiga CD $15
Pre-order these great releases from across the darkwave genre. More titles here.
Alio Die: Sitar Meditations | $17
Late December. All-new release from Stefano Musso!
Chandeen: Forever and Ever Vinyl LP | $23 or CD | $18
Late December. An epic dream pop masterpiece delivering its sound with buzzy electronics, much cathedral reverb, coloured filters, gorgeously warm vocoder effects, orchestrated strings and massive choir parts. Without any doubt, this is the most ambitious and emotional work that the band has ever done.
Additional pre-order titles
AEAEA: Drink the New Wine $15. Late December. Jarboe’s bewitching voice meets classical strings, synthesizers, e-bowed guitars, eloquent piano melodies, mystical theremin, and ritualistic drumming.
Algaia: Intangible Opacity $17. Late December.
Algaia: Primeval Nebula $17. Late December.
Alio Die & Parallel Worlds: Elusive Metaphor $17. Late December.
Ataraxia: Paris Spleen Re-issue $16. Late December. The sound of bandonéons, musettes, trombones, violins, big-drums and cymbals and the dramatic and guttural voice of our singer brings back to life the grotesque.
Brighter Death Now: With Promises of Death $14. Early December. First new studio album in 8 years from seminal death industrial legend.
Day Before Us: Crystal Sighs of a Broken Universe $16. Late December. Somewhere between ethereal folk lyricism, piano based neoclassical minimalism and dark ambient instrumentation.
Desiderii Marginis: Hypnosos 2-CD $16. Late December. Eighth full length album by the long established and widely acclaimed swedish dark ambient artist Johan Levin.
Elane: Arcane Re-issue $17. Mid December. There’s the medieval-folkloristic side, but also aspects of world music.
Elane: The Silver Falls Re-issue $17. Mid December. Stronger accentuated electronic sounds, fine dark wave backgrounds as well as a little touch of melodic rock.
Eldar: Nous $18. Late December. Combining a very fresh and beating neo-pop sound to their usual neo-classic and ambient tunes.
Enten Hitti: Fino Alla Fine Della Notte $17. Late December. A concert that lasts one night. Hypnotic melodies, ancestral sounds.
Five Thousand Spirits: Melchiazek $17. Late December.
Lydia Lunch & Cypress Grove/Spiritual Front: Twin Horses $17. Late January. Miss Lunch’s melancholic acoustic blues meets Simone Salvatori’s sensual and cathartic folk.
Othila: Brònagh Limited Box $35. Late December. New full length album of ethno pagan ambient music.
Various Artists: Gothic Compilation Volume 62 2-CD $16. Mid December. The world’s leading gothic and industrial compilation.
November’s Top-Sellers in the Projekt Webstore
Music for your Holiday enjoyment!
Various Artists: Holiday Twin Pack: Ornamental 2-CD compilation
and Jill Tracy’s Silver Smoke, Star of Night | $20
Ornamental contains 20 previously-unreleased tracks recorded exclusively for this compilation as well as three tracks only available on obscure compilations. Jill Tracy’s Silver Smoke, Star of Night will take you to a dark, elegant netherworld full of hidden passageways, wonder cabinets, and opium dens. Of monsters, marvels and mayhem. You know it’s not safe here; but with Jill Tracy as your guide, you’ll be in no hurry to leave.
Erik Wøllo: Crystal Bells EP
Paulina Cassidy: Ice Iris EP
Unto Ashes: Spellbound in Winter