John Lydon is one of the most magnetic performers I've ever seen (saw him with PIL in '88)

Best Joy Division song ever ... for better sound quality: here

Best live Siouxsie ever (Robert Smith of The Cure on quitar this tour)

The Orb - Fluffy Little Clouds

One of Cocteau Twins most ethereal

Cocteau Twins with a little bit of menace

Terrific acoustic version - Ian looked like a young Mick Jagger then

[watch the bass on this one]

load, check it, quick, re-write it ...

too ruff for some ...

... kinda light for these guys ...

No video but here are links to good audio tracks for two of my favorite Thrill Kill Kult songs -
StarMartyr and



SyFy had a marathon of the old classic The Invaders the other day. Forgot what a terrific show that was. Tight story, good guest stars, knew what it set out to do.


Yikes, I write a post in praise of a really well-written Heroes ep a couple weeks back only to have the 2 follow-up episodes kinda suck ... well, the most recent ep really sucked. So, no more posts about Heroes [but I must mention that Heroes actress Ali Larter is a doll, met her again tonight]. I did find this great site that has lots of old sci-fi gems: Godzilla movies, original Outer Limits eps (not available in all countries) most look terrific, no commercials, just click on the tag cloud at right for your category ... awesomeness! RETROVISION.TV



Okay, I finally saw Battlestar Galactica: The Plan tonight on its SyFy airdate and was pleasantly surprised. It is about the best cut-and-paste I've ever seen. Making Cavil the focus and the brilliance of actor Dean Stockwell is was gave it heft. My troubles with the overall story - particularly Ellen as the 5th hidden Cylon and the entire Oedipal nonsense to the Cavil-Ellen relationship (oh, and let's not forget model 7, the unseen Daniel) are well-documented on this site in post after post, but The Plan could not address those - being locked in as it was by the previous episodes.

This would have made a wonderful side-story during one of the long let's-sell-DVDs-to-the-scifi-nerds endlessly long hiatuses USA/SciFi exec Bonnie Hammer imposed upon BSG fans. Certainly it was miles better than the dumb and
useless Razor miniseries. I was disappointed, however, that in The Plan there was no Roslin (oh, an extra's leg in one shot), no DeAnna (okay file footage in one shot), and that again it was so gritty and literal. Thankfully Ellen was hardly a presence. I knew I'd end up watching it eventually, and think the editors deserve awards for poring over all that footage of earlier eps to get their paste clips. Olmos did a terrific job with the direction - lot's of good reaction shots - especially when Cavil knifes the little boy. The whole idea that love is his real enemy was, er, not so good. Certainly there were problems - Cavil has his own little area of the Galactica complete with Hooker-Six and they regularly have little coffee klatches with a Simon, Doral and a Leoben ... hmmm



Now it's perfectly normal for there to be a difference of opinion about art - a painting, a film, a television show. But a couple of posts over at io9 have made me realize that what I really like about that site is its Gawker media design layout and images, and the writing much less. Rarely is there an article I actually want to read. Also, the clear Gen-X, Gen-Y and 00 age-range of the writers reveals itself too often - especially with their lame lists of bests and worsts (their age shows through their lack of inclusion of many superior or inferior works to which they've clearly never been exposed - true enthusiasts would seek them out regardless of age ... but I digress). Two recent posts over there trash the latest ep of Heroes, which I really liked. They don't get it. Lots of speculation about what should have been done in terms of offing this character or that, or which direction the story should take. What they don't understand, clearly, is how good writing tends to be either a journey or a full circle. The most illuminating and deep writing seems to follow the Hero's Journey archetype as delineated by scholar Joseph Campbell: the protagonist must step outside the circle of community/conformity and take literal and/or figurative journey of discovery and returns to his/her community and changed and enlightened individual. Hence, the story arc of Heroes Season 4 is returning the story to its roots, and the elements that put it on the map in the first place. All the pretentious snark in the world doesn't change the fact that the io9 trashing of Heroes Let It Bleed are simply wrong. From my own experience, there were at least 3 or 4 times I would do posts here on Galactica Variants while Battlestar Galactica was on air only to see a particular writer lift parts of my posts. Lazy writing, unimaginative writing, and, er, borrowed writing are the result when you're under a mandate to produce content I guess. Heroes is an uneven show, no doubt about it, but it has found its essence again (we'll see if that lasts) and the io9 snarks don't get it.



The mid-season premiere (Season 4, ep. 13, Let It Bleed) was extremely well-written by series creator Tim Kring . I loved it. Over the course of this 4th season the show has steadily veered back to where it began and it's exactly what I wanted: the evil Sylar, persecuted and misunderstood mutants, and the cheerleader as the fulcrum of all their fates.

I've really liked the new storyline with the cult-leader semi-villain Samuel as the device to bring focus to th
e mess the story had become in Seasons 2 and 3. The actor portraying Samuel, Robert Knepper, is terrific, as are many of the new secondary characters in the disjointed in space-and-time Twilight-Zoneish carnival in which they live/hide. There has definitely been a reboot to the show and I'm guessing that Mark Verheiden of Battlestar fame has been a guiding hand in this story-focusing and writing-honing process. The show once again has clarity, depth, humanity and menace. It feels much more adult than the past two seasons and never was that more clear than in the writing in Let It Bleed.

I could just gush and gush about bits of dialog and especially how again and aga
in the dialog and situations took sharp turns from what appeared to be a straight walk into cliche. We saw archetypal situations throughout the 2-hour episode and were not only surprised at what people said and did but a bit astonished at the sophistication of the writing. Truly adult and in some cases very wise words. The cheerleader has now shown us how she's earned her stripes as the voice-of-conscience among this motley crew. This episode marks the restoration of Heroes and I certainly hope it portends to more like it. If you haven't seen it, you should watch it above on the Hulu embed. Visually, I've enjoyed the color-saturation and soft-focus and the tighter framing of shots - it has a more surreal feel this season.