doktorjohn.com

Weird New Jersey

Filed under: My Art — doktorjohn November 15, 2020 @ 12:34 am

28″ X 22″ oil on canvas

The Kitchen

Filed under: My Art,Uncategorized — doktorjohn @ 12:27 am

24″ X 18″ oil on canvas

Mohonk Lake

Filed under: My Art,Uncategorized — doktorjohn @ 12:12 am

28″ X 22″ oil on canvas

Untitled

Filed under: My Art,Uncategorized — doktorjohn November 14, 2020 @ 11:55 pm

20″ X 16″ oil on canvas

The Last Cappuccino

Filed under: My Art,Uncategorized — doktorjohn @ 11:50 pm

20″ X 10″ oil on canvas
Retired pensioners having their last cappuccino + one college student (far right)

Ozymandias

Filed under: My Art — doktorjohn @ 11:24 pm

24″ X 18″ oil on canvas

Ozymandias

BY PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY
I met a traveller from an antique land,
Who said—“Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. . . . Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;
And on the pedestal, these words appear:
My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;
Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.”

Asbury Beach 2020

Filed under: My Art,Uncategorized — doktorjohn @ 11:10 pm

20″ X 10″ oil on canvas completed toward the end of summer 2020

Iron Factory 20″ X 16 ” Oil on Canvas

Filed under: My Art — doktorjohn August 19, 2020 @ 2:29 am

NEW DARK AGE -APRIL 2020

Filed under: New Dark Age Monthly — doktorjohn April 22, 2020 @ 4:40 pm

Interview with Rotersand

In the world of industrial music in the new millennium, German futurepop stars Rotersand stand out for their irresistible rhythms, mastery of musical electronics and gripping themes. Earlier this year they released their seventh album “How Do You Feel Today” about which you can read in the March issue of New Dark Age, which you can go at doktorjohn.com/?p=3647

When Metropolis Records and Athan Maroulis (Spahn Ranch, Noir) put me in touch – remotely – with Rotersand’s members, I took the opportunity to spy into their collective approach and sources of inspiration to construct their total sound. So I asked questions directed to these issues. I found Rasc and Krischan – who took turns responding – to be straightforward and modest, as musicians confident in their success at achieving what they set out to do artistically. Below is what I learned, much of which would be a treasure trove of music technology, their cultural milieu and much else about the band.

*************************************
Doktor John
What are the main instruments and/or electronic devices employed in creating Rotersand’s signature sound?

Rotersand
-Rasc:
The same technology can drive a completely different sound. The guys using it determine the sound.
If you really like to talk technology: As far as I am concerned, Hardware: Nord Lead 1, Micro Korg, Mac Book Pro 2016, guitars. Software: Logic Pro X, Nexus 2, Predator 2, Punch, Spire, Minimonsta, and more. But of course the production arsenal of Krischan in his Studio 600 and his incredible studio skills are the ultimate force of all Rotersand productions.

-Krischan:
i guess some of rotersand’s signature sound as you call it is result of rasc’s magic skills of creating songs out of nothing and my more alchemistic way of creating by reassembling and recombining. the devices used aren’t that essential but helpful and as much tools as sources of specific ways and processes to bring an idea into the final form. i still feel bound to stuff and devices that offer randomness and some uncontrollable stuff.


Doktor John
From what cultural sources (events, issues, writers, artists, philosophers, etc) do you draw inspiration?


Rasc:

-The daily news. Earlier Life: V. Flusser, S. Lem, von Glaserfeld, Varela / K. Dick, T. Mann and many more. University: E. Husserl, A. Schütz, L. Thayer, H. Maturana, N. Luhmann and many more. Movies: Bladerunner, Brazil, Sci Fi as a genre, D. Lynch, R. Scott, W. Wenders as my fav directors.

Doktor John
-Do you like or do you reject the label “futurepop?” Why?

Rasc:
I´d prefer Industrial Pop as this synth pop thing is just a part of our work.

Krischan:
i kind of like that label “futurepop”, even if it is anachronistic nowadays. but maybe that twist is what i like about it.
Doktor John-
Will you be performing live when the pandemic passes? Plans? Commitments?

Rasc: We have been performing live all the time but, yes, not in America since 2010. The immense costs of buying work permits is one factor as well by the way. We can´t just go there for a week without losing money, so we would need to go for several weeks which is not so easily to do for me as flying is. I do fly but I do not like it.

Doktor John- What were the early musical influences that Rotersand members (or spokesman) recall before becoming established professional musicians?

Rasc: Pink Floyd, Queen, Tears for Fears, New Wave, Skinny Puppy, Front 242, Detroit Techno, UK Techno, mostly Underworld in the 90s.

Doktor John- It may be one of my favorites from Rotersand’s body of work, but, what the heck is the idea behind “Waiting to be Born?”

Rasc:The longing of a young woman for a feeling of really being alive. She is missing something essential, maybe also missing someone. So she waits, hopes, longs and dreams.<

New Dark Age – Last Day of March 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — doktorjohn March 31, 2020 @ 3:24 pm

Ghost VI : Locusts
NIN

Over the years, Trent Reznor and NIN have scored or contributed tracks to at least seven motion pictures and – in collaboration with Atticus Ross – many, many more. This 15–track sequel to the series “Ghosts I – IV” (2008) is said by Mr. Reznor to address the anxiety associated the current age – and helping us “get through” the current situation, presumably the Coronavirus pandemic. It certainly doesn’t offer anything resembling consolation. Instead it resembles nothing so much a a catalogue of motion picture sound track elements for sale to the movie industry.

Addressing anxiety certainly isn’t a new m.o. for NIN, but it doesn’t seem that this long, largely formless opus is geared to that at all. What it does represent is a more or less total abandonment of NIN’s traditional industrial dance music characterized by anger and iconoclasm, to say nothing of NIN’s reputation for catchy hooks, striking melodies and enigmatic lyrics full of non-sequiturs.

With this new album, NIN has left behind completely the industrial dance genre and continued with another wordless sound collage into the business of movie music.

It starts with “The Cursed Clock,” seven minutes of ominous, creepy chimes that tick like a clock that resemble the soundtrack to a 1990s slasher movie. From there it takes off into 10 and 11-minute dirges with deranged piano arpeggios, sometimes meandering, melody-less fingering of the piano’s lower keys (or higher keys, too). “The Worriment Waltz” doesn’t seem to have anything resembling the 2/3 timing that defines a waltz, and many of the tracks have no discernible cadence at all. There are a lot of staticky, percusssive sounds throughout the album. Whirling wind sounds, repetitious arpeggios against formless synthesizer noise, and the clunking noise of assembly-line machinery are the best way to typify much of this opus as well as tracks with names like “TURN THIS OFF” (in all capital letters) and “So Tired.”

There are couple of ultra-short ( two or three minute) tracks, one of which, “When It Happens Don’t Mind Me,” features the metallic, xylophone-like sounds of an Indonesian gamelan.
The sixth track, “Another Crashed Car” is dominated by the sounds made by an unmanned windshield wiper, continuing – one must assume, following a fatal car crash.

Die-hard NIN fans will stick by Trent Reznor’s endeavor as he pursues this, his 21st century business. Industrial music fans may have difficulty doing so. It’s not the kind of album to which a fan of Rock – in any sense – will want to sit and listen unless his or her preferences have been softened (or heightened) by drugs. It might best serve as background noise – that’s not intended as a term if disparagement (for it mostly is loosely structured noise) – while reading a book or social distancing.

“Corpus Christi”
Starring Bartosz Bielenia

Written by Mateusz Pacewicz
directed by Jan Komasa

This 2019 Polish-language release with English subtitles has a unique and fascinating premise. In modern day Poland, religious devotion and daily religious ritual saturates institutional and everyday life. When violence-prone, juvenile detainee Daniel is released, having served in an altar boy capacity at the detention center, expresses an absurd and untenable interest in applying to a seminary, the idea quickly discouraged and dismissed by the priest charged with counseling and releasing him.

But before reporting to the rehabilitation-labor camp to which he assigned, he stops by a neighboring church where he whimsically makes the false claim to be a priest, perhaps to impress a cute teenage girl whom he encounters praying inside. Despite appearances, she is taken in by his claim and arranges for him to stand in for the parish vicar, who ,as fate would have it,is about to undergo a medical collapse the next day.

The imposter, posing as his replacement, finds himself in a maelstrom of situations both predictable and unforeseeable. Reading up on liturgy and employing some of the unconventional tactics to which he was subjected in the detention center, “winging it” with situational ethics and dodging his unforgivable past history make for a story that is heart-breaking, uplifting, joyful, terrifying and riddled with conflicts, contradictions and dishonesty.

No spoilers here: This magnificent motion picture has to be seen and digested in all its humor, pathos, ambivalence, tragedy and triumph before deciding where one stands on the moral, philosophical and existential issues it inflicts upon the viewer.

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