Review: NON – Receive The Flame

I wandered into shake-It records, on Hamilton Avenue a bit ago. Jug of milk in one hand, a $20 bill in the other, to shuffle amidst Northside’s Hipster drones in search of musical drug stimulus.

I stumbled on an excellent copy of “Receive The Flame”, a 1999/2000 release by NON, Boyd Rice’s prototypical Industrial Music and Noise project.

NON is not to be confused with NIN (Nine Inch Nails) – though one could say that Trent Reznor, eh, borrowed aspects of his aesthetic and Rice’s earlier musical shenanigans were among Reznor’s many influences (and so too with a younger Marilyn Mansion, who hanged out with Boyd prior to his later career as a singer)

Enough of history, Receive the Flame, pressed by Mute, is a rich and layered series of soundscapes, all vaguely disturbing, but none to the point of out right harshness. The pieces are instrumentals without lyrics, mostly consisting of sampled pop star voices and melodies looped over and over, extended organ drones, sampled horn, piano, violin, and flute drones, human voice snatches, and sampled processed noise blasts played in an ambient atmosphere of sound on top of sound.

The titles and linear notes betray a preoccupation with Gnosticism, the quotes from Heraclitus in particular stand out. The album art work is a series of disturbingly erotic photos, cut up and rearranges. They seem to throb with a slight air of danger, and a general theme of bondage. It manages to be tasteful and subtle.

Boyd Rice has a reputation as an abrasive, racist, harsh, and in-your-face provocateur. It bears mentioning, however, that the man’s art often displays considerable subtlety. Keeping in mind his public persona as a Social Darwinist, one gets the impression that part of his elitism is a filtering out of sorts – in other words, some people will “get it” when it comes to his art work. Others will react to his provocation.

Receive The Flame is provocative, but instead of hammering the audience, it manages to seduce, and slowly slice into you like a scalpel. A barely liminal slice that goes deeper than you initially expect.

The album manages to be exquisitely beautiful, disquieting, and dreamlike, all at the same time. There is a slight air of menace under some of the pieces, it is a challenging record to listen to, and NON’s flavor of manipulated noise is an acquired taste for some. For others, however, those who naturally grow entranced to the sound of thunder, and the roar of freight trains, NON’s Receive The Flame is easy listening.

My only complaint is that the record is too short for my tastes. The pieces are quite hypnotic, and the album ends with a jarring Coda.

Of course, however, Boyd Rice does not exactly aim to please.

Since 1977 Boyd Rice and NON were at the very forefront of the Industrial Music movement, and has somehow managed to still remain relevant as an artist. This album should appeal not only to fans of the genre, but also to fans of Ambient Music.

In other words, it is recommended.

[ Click here to get Receive The Flame from ]

…and while in Columbus Indiana

Simply don’t go.

There is not much to see here. Really.

“GQ Magazine” did name Columbus Indiana as one of the “62 Reasons to Love Your Country.”

Puzzled, I defer to their authority.

There is a very good Amish Buffet on Indiana Route 3 about 8 miles from the i-74 exit. This is a good 15 – 20 miles distance from Columbus itself. Also in the heart of Columbus Indiana is a very good Frozen Custard stand.

And the people are friendly.

While in St. Louis check out Meshuggah Coffee House

Because, quite simply..

“It’s the bomb.”

Meshuggah Coffeehouse
is located on Delmar St., across from the Movie Theater. Quirky slightly Bohemian Coffeehouse. Instead of brewed cups they serve “Americano” Style. Which is, basically, Espresso diluted with water. Slightly stronger than normal brewed coffee.

Other things that might strike your eyes.

Delmar also has a decent Vinyl Records and CD shop. I ran into Chuck from the Ass Ponies and Wussy here. Highly bemused to find a Cincinnati in the wilderness outside of the Ohio River Valley.

Ted Dru’s Frozen Custard stand. Some of the best Ice Cream I’ve had in my life. Frozen Custard is a reason to love the American Midwest…

A Jazz and Blues “Outhouse” attached to a bar downtown near the Arch may be found snazzy by aficionados.

Dunaway Books, on Grand Street, is a great used bookstore,. Three stories of used books. Excellent selection, though deficient in fitness / physical culture, and philosophy. Excellent literary criticism section. Significant foreign languages section in the basement.

Sameem Afghan Restaurant – is a good Afghani Restaurant, also on Grand. I do not know if their meat is Halal. Ask the manager, a charming Pashtun young man with a sharp wit, to simply make you up something good. He will. Close your eyes, close your menu, and say “make me something good.

Free Art Museum and History Museum in Forest Park, there are some excellent artifacts here.

Fashion. Black Kids dress way better here than in Cincinnati. Seriously, the dirty over-sized White T-Shirt stchick has been getting old for the better part of a decade.

Young brothers here dress sharp and with flair (though not my style – I don’t do urban, being more of a Super-120 Armani Suit, and Egyptian cotton shirt, type of guy myself) whilst the sisters are more attractive, and more slender, with less of the junk-in-the-trunk accumulations of adipose tissue that Cincinnati sisters are infamous for. I do not mind voluptuous, but exaggerated muffin-top spillage of fatty tissue from badly accessorized and matched tacky clothing that is excessively tight, grows ludicrus.

White kids here are more casual, affecting a muted early 2000s casual hipster style, but without excess. Their women, as well, are more shapely and attractive than the norm in Ohio.

Quite a few Japanese cuties attend the local university. They tend to move about in packs. They also dress with some flair, though they do not appear to be that approachable.

The Gateway Arch. Highly over-rated, not to be recommended for the claustrophobic. It possesses an excellent view of the Midwest from the top of it’s 680 foot span, however. $10 per person sucks when you have a 2 hour wait, try to get there later in the day, though well before sunset. In this manner you can watch the sun setting nicely instead of having it set on you while you sit in a plastic Tram bod slowly traveling up it’s stainless steel body.

There is an interesting Pioneer Museum there, as well.

On Zen, and Swordsmanship. Minimoto Mushashi’s advice for a good life

Selective quotes from Mushashi’s famous book written in the 1600s. The Book of Five Rings.

It is not a simple “Martial Arts Manual” It is a book on how to lead a life of success, written from the deep perspective of Zen. Such advice is a cure to the sort of simplistic wishful thinking type of spirituality advocated by books like “The Secret”.  There is nothing like facing death to help someone see through aimlessness and mediocrity.

These Maxims are applicable in School, at work and in Business, in Relationships, in Worldly pursuits, and in Spiritual pursuits. And most of all, in becoming fit. Your spirit and body both demand of you nothing less than excellence. Shall you betray your own self?

“Truth is not what you want it to be. It is what it is, and you must bend to its power or live a lie.”

“You should study all things to broaden your life. You should specialize in several things to polish your life.”

“Only intense training and experience will teach you to recognize the difference between what is important and what is meant to distract.”

“To build anything quickly and maintain quality means not being disorganized with anything.”

“Keep your options open and remain flexible. Too much dependence on any one thing is just as bad as not depending on anything.”

“Those who have missed the mark may chatter all day long about this and that, but they have never done anything. Anyone can make a good argument, but few can show good results.”

“The truth is that victory comes by manipulating the circumstances to your advantage.”

“Overuse of power isn’t a good thing. If you cut with the mind of being very strong, your cut will be crude and sloppy. It is almost impossible to consistently win by relying on strength alone.”

“Business is like the waves of the sea. All things rise and all things fall. You must be able to discern the time that you are in and the time that is approaching.”

Bad Weather Hysteria

What is climate change? “Bad Weather” – doesn’t sound quite as fancy now, does it?

Look, the author of the piece I’m linking to is the Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Atmospheric Sciences at Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Which makes him rather competent on matters of weather. Far more so than al Gore
At least consider his arguments. Read, and use your own judgment.

And consider the possibility that much of what you are being told is producing massive profits for a few individuals.

As for the computer models, so many scientists have indicated that they are completely inaccurate, if you like, I will send you names of Nobel Price winning scientists regarding this. Computer models depend on their inputs, the weather is a complex system whose precise variables are unknown. As a career computer programmer trained in Computer science I know this. My friends who are physicists know the limitations of computer models, everyone does except the general public. You can make a simulation or model cough up at you almost anything, from there it’s simply a matter of honestly knowing what the researchers are putting into the formulas as variable values, what their constant values are.

No one can model the weather with any degree of accuracy for more than a few weeks, at best.

But we the public have been so trained to obey experts as if they were priests. Put the pope in a lab coat and there you go.

Oh, also check this one out: