A Song For Saturday: Wrong Way by Scarlet

Scarlet – Wrong Way [Official Music Video] Video Made by Osomly in Letnica / Zielona Gora – Poland Director / Script / Screen Writer – Frank Duffy Production manager / Costumes / Makeup – Aga Ejsmont Photography and editing – Michał Koźba Starring – Aga Ejsmont / Oliwia Chilińska Storyboarding – Krystian Seredyński Marionette made by – Artur Endler

Imprisonment by Liz Davinci

This is the last trailer of five to reveal a glimpse of the coming album “Pax Victoria” (releasing January 23, 2021), with a spoken abstract description of the concept “Imprisonment.” The abstract text was written by Paul D. Brazill. 


* “Imprisonment” by Paul D. Brazill 

The inky black night smothers the city. A shard of moonlight picks out a trail of blood. A dog barks. There are shouts. Then gunshots. A scream. Howls and cruel laughter. Animal grunts and whip cracks reverberate. It all goes black and the metal door slams shut. An abyss. A pit of darkness. In that void is a speck of light. Like a lonely star in a godless galaxy. A star to guide a lost voyager to safety. Home. Night melts into day. Day melts into night. Endlessly. 

*The accompanying Mini-Chapter by Liz Davinci follows: 

Chapter 5: Imprisonment 

Excerpted from: “Human Trafficking in the United States” From Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia Human trafficking is a modern form of slavery, with illegal smuggling and trading of people (including minors), for forced labor or sexual exploitation. … California: A significant leak in 2020 gave authorities the opportunity to shut down a fairly large limb of the trafficking operation located between Tecate and Campo, when a sketched map was left anonymously by a woman at a gas station in Campo. The map led to the findings of a tunnel running between America and Mexico, stipulating the location of a tunnel exit on the American side of the border. In total 13 suspected trafficking agents and 24 persons suspected in connection with three warehouses containing illegal immigrants were arrested. The warehouses were shut down by authorities. All immigrants in the warehouses were women and the warehouse suspects are currently being tried for sexual abuse.” 

*7am: Monday – Victoria Life in Paris has been good. I don’t miss California most of the time. I’m different since my relationship with Alexander and my rendezvous with the underground world of trafficking. So different. 

My actions helped fight against trafficking – they had results. Unfortunately Alexander was one of those arrested last year. 

After I managed to expose part of the operation to the authorities, I mourned Alex. But an intelligent fear arose in me as well. The trafficking operation is huge and big money is involved. If the exposure would ever be traced back to me, I would be killed – no doubt. What would Alexander do if he knew I had caused his imprisonment? Would he kill me? 

These concerns became more and more difficult for me to live with and I made the decision to move to Paris.

My life in California was small and humble anyway and my savings to buy a house with Alexander superfluous. 

So I took my savings and moved to Paris. I now live in a small apartment in the 11th arrondissement on Rue Sedan. I work as a secretary and don’t read romance novels. I sing and dance in my free time and have made several friends. 

I still have fear that I will be found. I still have nightmares. 

Back in California, Alexander never tried to contact me from prison. I drove past his apartment a couple of times and someone had cleaned it out – presumably a family member. 

I believe that I will overcome my fear – these worries. I did what was right and I covered my tracks. I was extracted out of my mundane life by Alexander and maneuvered a rocky road. I handled it as best I could and will never again be mundane. It’s not possible. 

If I hadn’t met Alexander, I wouldn’t have been able to put a stop to at least some of the trafficking, as I did. And I would simply be growing older, reading romance novels and traipsing the same streets year in, year out, maybe singing at the same mediocre club. I have scars from my experiences with and around Alexander and I am trying to find peace with them. 

I must find true contentment and not a rut disguised as contentment. I now value deep, calm love as opposed to frenzied, romantic love. Deep love cannot disappear. There was a revolution in myself that will never burn out. I don’t just exist anymore, I live. 

Imprisonment is my final task. Alexander is literally imprisoned at the moment, but I have imprisoned myself in the fear of being discovered as having exposed the trafficking – the fear of being hunted down. And I am breaking out of this prison of my mind because I know that peace will always be the victor. 
PAX VICTORIA. 
(This is all a work of fiction, including the Wikipedia excerpt.)

Liz Davinci
Website:  http://www.lizdavinci.com
Instagram:  
https://www.instagram.com/elizabethdavinci/Twitter:  https://mobile.twitter.com/liz_davinci
YouTube: https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCdL2tbjQ3jP-BCBDfaw5tLgSpotify: 
https://open.spotify.com/artist/3Ig4gDOSor8cwhOLxqjhvr?si=5qMNL0agRFuKLgqybGJQ2w
Reverb Nation:  https://www.reverbnation.com/elizabeth25
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/liz.davinci940

SoundCloud:https://soundcloud.com/user-526988818
Bandcamp:https://lizdavinci.bandcamp.com

A Song For Saturday: Nothing Ventured Nothing Gained by The Fabulous Artisans

Stereogram Recordings are delighted to announce the release of “Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained” a brand new track by The Fabulous Artisans on September 25th. It was mostly recorded prior to lockdown, with finishing touches, mix and mastering completed in July.

Founded in 2007 and named after the iconic Orange Juice track, The Fabulous Artisans is a collaboration between Glasgow based Oscar and BAFTA award winning actor, former stand-up comic and singer Neil Crossan and Edinburgh based songwriter, singer, multi-instrumentalist and producer Jeremy Thoms (also of The Cathode Ray and Stereogram label boss). “With a sound fed from Bacharach to Barry, Brel to Bowie, Cave to Collins, Magazine to Morricone and Wilson to Walker, this is timeless music for or from any era…

Written, arranged and produced by Jeremy Thoms, “Nothing Ventured Nothing Gained” is only the fourth new track The Fabulous Artisans have released since their warmly received debut album “…From Red to Blue” came out on Swedish indie label Bendi Records in 2008. It continues their lineage of mixing up the classic pop sounds of the past with a modern twist, whilst adding their characteristic big lyrical themes of life and death.

A Story For Sunday: Silver Lady

There was a storm building inside Ray’s skull. Waiting to break. And it was all because Ray hadn’t seen her for over a week now. Twenty-seven days and seventeen hours, to be precise. And he was starting to wonder if he’d imagined her. Created some kind of wish fulfilment figure. His stomach cramped.

It wouldn’t have been the first time that his imagination had set him off on a wild goose chase, after all. Sent him racing and stumbling headfirst into a collision with cold, cruel reality. Made him look a fool.

But just after midnight, at the exact moment he turned on the car’s ignition, the night sky was gutted with crack of thunder, a flash of lighting and a cleansing rain.

He looked up and there she was. Shimmering in the silver glow of the street light that was in front of the sex shop on the corner of Langdon Street and Spender Grove.

And she was … resplendent. Yes. That was the word. That really was what she was.

As she had been the first time he’d gazed upon her.

*

It was late October when Ray had decided to stop going to his night class. It was the dark evenings that had put him off at first, there were too many animals crawling the streets at night these days. Filth everywhere.

Although he knew deep down that wasn’t the only reason he’d stopped attending the course. He hadn’t been making a great deal of progress – French never felt as natural to him as German or Latin -and he knew that he’d never actually go to France, anyway, so there was no real point continuing.

At the end of the month he’d called into the College of Further Education and paid for the rest of the course, it was the decent thing to do after all, and money wasn’t a problem for him. He shook hands with the tutor and headed off home, once again feeling that something was missing in his life.

The winter night bit like a beast as he headed off to the bus stop, avoiding the begging trick-or-treaters in their identical Halloween costumes. Ray loathed this time of year.

His doctor had once said that he suffered from SAD: Seasonal Adjustment Disorder and that he should go away to somewhere sunny, since he had lots of free time these days. But even the thought of travel was an abomination to Ray, who had only left Seatown once in all of his thirty- five years. That was a trip to London to visit St Paul’s Cathedral. And that was an unpleasant experience that he certainly didn’t want to repeat.

They say bad luck comes in threes and Ray certainly had his share that night, and he really couldn’t count how many things went wrong. The 94 bus at Warden Green left early and, despite racing after it, it didn’t stop. But it did splash through a puddle as it drove past him, soaking his brown corduroy trousers . And then it started to rain. Pour. He leaned against a kebab shop doorway catching his breath. His chest burning. The smell of sizzling animal flesh making him heave.

He decided to take a short cut through a nearby alleyway and was soaked through by the time he got to the end, which came out directly on Barclay Common. A couple of cars, their headlamps dipped, cruised past, the drivers examining the girls –and boys- that worked there. Ray kept his head down, ignoring their beckoning calls. Whenever he walked past the common it produced the usual cocktail of feelings -disgust, guilt, shame, embarrassment, resentment. And desire.

He gave a cursive glance at the prostitutes, seeing the usual shaking anorexics or overweight grannies. But then there was a sort of fizzing, popping sound, and a lamp post came to life. And there, underneath that flickering streetlamp was a vision.

Tall, blonde. Wearing a shining silver dress and boots. Looking completely alien to her grimy surroundings. More than human. An angel. And she smiled at him.

*

After that, his days, and nights were haunted by the Silver Lady. His dreams more so. And even during his waking hours, little pin pricks at the back of his mind made him turn sharply, expecting to see her.

At times he did see her, too. Just out of reach, At the edge of his vision. If he squinted, she was at the end of the street. Or a mannequin in a shop window. Sometimes, when he blinked, he saw her in the darkness.

Her voice, though he had never heard it, called to him. Sang along with the sound his alarm made as it dragged him by his greasy hair from his fitful sleep.

So, tonight he’d plucked up his courage and borrowed his Uncle Ricky’s car and headed off to cruise Barclay Common.

The night hadn’t started well. Uncle Ricky’s car had been specially adapted to suit his disabilities- Ray wasn’t completely sure what they were – and it was a pain to manoeuvre. And Ray wasn’t exactly the most experienced driver, although he’d passed his test some fifteen years before.

So, he’d stalled about a hundred times and panicked that he might be spotted in Barclay Common by someone he knew. He drove around until darkness fell.

And he waited. He waited all night, and, as he was about to head off home at last, she appeared. There she was. As clear as day. He squinted to see her more clearly. She was mouthing something. The red lips so clear against her alabaster skin. It was hard to work out exactly what she’d said at first but later he was he was sure it was: save me. Of course it was. And Ray knew he would.

*

That night he’d had the thickest, most vivid dream of all. She’d crept into his bed and she’d begged him to save her. To set her free. She’d called him My Ray Of Hope. My Ray Of Light.

And he had made love to her. But this time was nothing like that horrible night in London. This time had been something so special that he had awoken with tears. Tears of bliss.

He knew then that he was a caterpillar waiting for the right moment to transform into a butterfly for his Silver Lady.

*

And then she was gone again. As winter bled into spring. there was no sign of her. He drove to Barclay Common so many times that the prostitutes had started to recognise him. A couple of the pimps had even approached him one night, to say or do Lord knows what, but seeing his dog collar they had stepped back.

After that, some of them called out ‘Hello Preacher,’ when they saw him, though most of them ignored him. And he them. But there was still no sign of the Silver Lady. They had taken her. These animals. And he knew, as the storm clouds gathered, that he must take their lives in revenge.

*

The glow from the burning car was warm. Comforting. The screams of the burning prostitutes and pimps calming. The storm had broken. Was over. He felt sated, wet at his crotch.

Ray had filled the car with as much flammable material as possible and sent it into the pack of vermin that lined Barclay Common. He’d thrown a Molotov cocktail and the blast had ripped the sky open.

With an aching heart, he walked toward the streetlight where his Silver Lady had stood. As he got closer, he felt a stomach cramp as saw the sex shop’s demolished facade. He rushed forward and burnt his hands as he gripped the metal shutters that had been ripped open by the blast. He smashed at the glass that was already shattered to reveal the twisted, torn form of an alabaster mannequin, its silver mini skirt ripped to reveal her burning flesh. The blood red lips. The blank, dead eyes.

And Ray laughed. He laughed so much that it melded into the sound of the police cars and ambulances that drew close. And the storm that had returned.

A Song For Saturday: Hell’s Door by Artio

Directed and shot by Declan Creffield, starring Emily Hill. Released on Monomyth Records September 5th 2020. All rights reserved to Artio. Listen to ‘HELL’S DOOR’ here: https://open.spotify.com/album/2C83pJ… ‘SAADYD’ VINYL: https://qrates.com/projects/21230-sta… Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/artiomusic/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/artiomusic/… Merch: https://artio.bigcartel.com/

Recommended Read: Frank Sidebottom-Out Of His Head by Mick Middles

The mind of Chris Sievey was clearly a treasure trove – indeed, a veritable Aladdin’s Cave – of bright and shiny ideas, many of which, thankfully, came to fruition. Most notably in the effervescent forms of The Freshies and Frank Sidebottom.

The Freshies were a brilliantly eccentric power pop/ new wave band who cheekily surfed the Manchester pre-punk, punk, and post-punk scenes, and came painfully close to success with a bouquet of great singles such as ‘I’m In Love With The Girl On The Manchester Virgin Megastore Checkout Desk’ and ‘I Can’t Get ‘Bouncing Babies’ By The Teardrop Explodes.’

Sievey’s later creation, Frank Sidebottom, was a surreal half-man/ half-puppet version of George Formby whose anarchic performances enlivened kids television shows and late night TV alike in the ‘90s, and whose live shows seemed to have garnered an strangely obsessive fan base. When Chris Sievey died in 2010, however, he left behind a hell of a musical legacy that showed the he was more than just a novelty act.

Out Of His Head was written by Sievey’s friend the journalist Mick Middles and is as intoxicating and sobering as Sievey’s life seems to have been. The book’s timeline spans more than a quarter of a century and includes cameos from Sievey’s family and friends as well as the likes of Mark E Smith, Steve Coogan, Jon Ronson, Caroline Aherne, Chris Evans, Mark Radcliffe, and, er, Bros.

Frank Sidebottom – Out Of His Head is a fascinating and bittersweet read, and is very highly recommended.

out of his head

Supernatural Noir A Go Go!

Supernatural NoirWell, Supernatural Noir was published a couple of days ago on Halloween and it’s all happening!

Graham Wynd kicks off #Noirvember with a look at Supernatural Noir and says:

‘I didn’t even know how much I missed Roman Dalton, his werewolf detective, until I started reading through the stories again. Netflix ought to swoop in and bag those stories for a new series.’

Meanwhile, over at Unlawful Acts, David Nemeth says:

‘If you like reading Brazill–and who doesn’t–, you should give this short story collection a twirl because it’s Brazill and there are zombies. Oh yeah, get it because it’s going for a little over a buck.’

Dee Arr at Amazon.com says:

‘This is crime noir with a bite (my apologies to all vampire and werewolf fans), and the combination of Mr. Brazill’s talents hooked me. Riveted, I finished the rest of the book in one sitting, never noticing the day arrive while my coffee grew colder.’

And I’m over at Toe Six Press sharing the Supernatural Noir playlist:

Supernatural Noir is collection of my short stories that I consider to be both supernatural and, er, noir. And of course, there’s music all over the place!

Drunk On The Moon by Tom Waits

It started with a song. Tom Waits’ Drunk On The Moon, to be precise. A neon soaked torch song with more than a twist of noir. A song of the city at night, sung by a man who sounded like a wolf- and not just Howlin’ Wolf. And once upon a time, there was a magazine named Dark Valentine who were looking for cross genre short stories. So, I wrote a yarn about a werewolf private eye. And I called it Drunk On The Moon.’

Read the rest here.