BB pal Erik Davis, author of Techngnosis, has just published a brilliant short book riffing on the magick and mystery behind Led Zeppelin's nameless "Runes Album," AKA the one with Stairway to Heaven. I read this foray into pop occulture in one sitting and it's classic Davis--fun, informative, and damned funny. As always he tempers his deep knowledge of mysticism with a devilish smirk. The book is part of publisher Continuum's inspired 33 1/3 series of pocketbooks where edgy writers are paired with classic albums ranging from the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds to Radiohead's OK Computer. (For example, former Mondo 2000 and BookForum editor Andrew Hultkrans indulges his passion for Love's Forever Changes.) From Davis's book:
It must be said that many rock bards name Black Sabbath rather than Zeppelin as the true font of heavy metal. After all, Sabbath pack an unparalleled eldritch punch, and in many ways represent a purer source of bane: the riffs more consistently morbid, the stance more prole, and the whole shtick more out-of-nowhere and hence more monstrous, more contrary to nature. But Zeppelin had a vaster palette, a more richly perfumed darkness; perhaps most importantly, they sold way more records. Like all origin stories, this one depends on your frame of reference, your own lineages, your taste. It’s very much like the question of who deserves blame for the genre of heroic fantasy, whose multi-volume sagas of dwarf-lords and magic blades continue to clog the SF sections of bookstores. Hardcore sword-and-sorcery buffs will rightly name the pulp peregrinations of Robert E. Howard’s Conan, while more literary types will nominate, with equal justification, Tolkien’s "Lord of the Rings". Sabbath is Conan; Zeppelin is "Lord of the Rings." But Zeppelin is a special sort of "Lord of the Rings," one where you get to root for both sides.
This gadget does exactly as promised: it looks like a thumbdrive (sort of) and fries the circuitry of any computer it’s plugged into. It’s made from camera flash parts, is charged with a standard AA battery, and delivers a 300V zap of DC destruction to the port for all your USB-murdering needs. Note that this […]
The Cobham catalog, exposed by The Intercept, features countless pages of surveillance gadgets sold to U.S. police to spy on American citizens: tiny black boxes with a big interest in you. In the creepily bland feature lists and nerdy product names is a whisper of a dark future; perhaps darker than anyone can imagine.
This image depicts the most commonly-found stylesheet colors on the web’s top sites—Paul Hebert did an amazing amount of analysis and this is just one of the intriguing visualizations he came up with. Most of these are obvious staples, especially HTML red and blue, though it’s interesting how far the blue “cluster” is from the […]
Loot Crate is a totally different kind of subscription service that mails subscribers monthly boxes filled with curated geek, pop culture, and gamer paraphernalia. Its cult following awaits a box every month filled with everything from bobble heads to T-shirts to special edition collectibles. But nothing gets Loot Crate fans as excited as the limited […]
The ARMOR-X Mini Flexible Phone Tripod is a smartphone tripod that is designed with flexible legs to rest on virtually any type of surface. Other tripods have proved useless unless I conveniently have a flat surface in front of me, which is why this particular tripod was appealing enough to try out. The ARMOR-X is compact and easy […]
You don’t need to get an advanced degree and take out massive loans to become a coder. This bundle of 10 courses was designed to teach anyone to code at home for less than it costs to go out for dinner. I was particularly impressed with this new 2017 bundle because it includes courses on […]