Odd and creepy stuff that is not book-related

This post originally appeared on I Read Odd Books

I’ve been a bit busy lately. I know, that sounds weird to read because it is well known that I am the least busy person on the planet. If I run an errand, I need a nap and a diet soda upon waking. But since about December I’ve had a lot of energy. Lots of hobbies, errands, cooking, interacting with Mr. Oddbooks, and absolutely neurotic levels of cleaning have been going on. This burst of energy means my backlog of books to discuss is about to become not so backed or logged.

And it means I want to write here more, even when I don’t have book-related content. I will have book content Monday – a discussion of Wrath James White’s Population Zero – but until I post it, I want to discuss the music/noises I have been obsessed with lately. I’ve been resurrecting old writing of mine, looking at it and seeing if it is worth salvaging. Some of it is and one of the pieces I want to work on is deeply disturbing. When I work on disturbing stories, I cannot listen to my usual music. I find myself listening the most discordant, horrible sounds because my usual tastes may cause me to think of old friends, old activities and I end up reminiscing more than working. I need things that jangle my brain in an anonymous way.

Nothing I share below is new, though some of it is new to me. I’m sharing it anyway because I feel like sharing, dammit. And it’s not like this site is devoted to the latest in media anyway.

I’ve always been very interested in numbers stations. There’s just something very creepy and intense knowing that you may be listening to a coded order for a spy to kill an enemy agent or to take the cyanide pill. Yeah, none of that probably happened, but it’s still unnerving to listen to a form of communication and know you cannot now and will never know what was being communicated. So I’ve been listening to numbers stations recordings.

When that gets tiring, I listen to the Siberian Sounds of Hell. Anyone who has ever listened to Art Bell knows of them. Utter bunk, but distressing noise is distressing noise. I most often listen to a 20 minute loop of this I have on my computer, but this little video gives the “origin story” of these sounds.

And if you were an Art Bell junkie for any length of time, you probably already know of the call Art Bell got from a supposed frantic man who claimed to have worked at Area 51. Tool turned the call into a song called “Faaip De Oiad.” There’s something about this one that sort of messes with me if I listen to it long enough. I have absolutely no idea why.

Then there is this little gem. I found this one several pages back on a Google search for “horrible noise.” I’m not really into noise rock so that may explain why this has been out for two years and I never heard of it until recently. I play this one in a loop for hours as I think. And again, for whatever reason, there is something about this noise that is troubling to me. Much of the this song is distressing, especially the line, “Our bones won’t grow in the dirt.” That was enough on its own to be unsettling, but then I looked up the band and found this video. Now I associate all of the noise surges with screaming and the line about bones has a more sinister meaning. And then there’s the whole story in the video. Is the victim a girl or a boy? How long was he or she held in captivity, because the smeared make-up and dirty socks convey the idea of a lengthy abduction. The madman is in his underwear. Did the victim thwart a sexual attack and flee? Is the camera pan comparing the legs of the running victim and the madman telling us something? How about the manner in which the victim knew the exact place to hit the femoral artery? What does that tell us? Anything? Nothing? In a way this video encapsulates all that is amazing in story-telling – giving enough information to draw us in and leaving out enough so that we are forced to think. This one is gory as hell so if you are easily freaked out by such things, don’t watch.

I never really liked Aphex Twin but this was part of my background noise when writing long before I saw the video.

And then there is the always horrifying “Frankie Teardrop” by Suicide. The screaming, oh the screaming. The relentless drum machine. This is madness in the form of a song.

There’s more but six videos for one entry is more than enough, I think. Please share with me the music that helps you work, the music that terrifies you or the music that fills you with nauseated dread.

9 thoughts on “Odd and creepy stuff that is not book-related

  1. When I’m writing, I can’t listen to anything with lyrics in English, so I have a lot of anime soundtracks. Ghost in the Shell is a favourite, and for bonus a lot of the songs are kinda creepy. I’m also fond of Rammstein, because why not?

    1. I was not familiar with Ghost in the Shell. Thanks for sharing.

      I run into problems with Rammstein because I listened to them for so long when I was younger, comparing English translations of the lyrics to the original German, that I can at times tell what they are saying. And then I get distracted.

      I often get distracted. ­čśë

      1. Huh, really? Even when I understand the lyrics perfectly, as long as they’re not in English it doesn’t bug my writing brain. I can be singing along at the top of my lungs (I’m singing in German right now, although under my breath because there are people in the house) and it doesn’t affect my ability to compose at all (although I have discovered, thanks to the singing experiment, that I can’t sing and *type* at the same time – listening and typing is fine).

        Oh, and on the original topic, I can’t believe I didn’t mention Pink Floyd. Pink Floyd is this blog. I don’t believe they have ever written a song that was not some combination of deeply disturbing and deeply quirky.

        1. Oh Snowflake, you underestimate the capacity of the deeply neurotic person to both let their mind wander and avoid work. In the same vein I do the same thing with most Russian pop music.

          Pink Floyd in large doses plays into my natural depressive tendencies, which means that I love them. I haven’t listened to them in a very long time. I think I need to dig out some CDs.

    1. It took me a week to click that, Ted. I was afraid it was going to be another one of those videos of that man in his masks, essentially re-enacting scenes from Silence of the Lambs.

      Eh, that Bieber kid doesn’t bother me that much. Young teen girls gotta listen to something. It’s the Kenny Gs of this world, the people who create pap for adults, who scare the hell out of me with their mediocrity. Also Kenny Loggins.

      1. That’s his side project. And don’t pretend you don’t like Tonetta.
        My e-mail reply is later than usual,I’m in flagellate mode for gaining a bit of weight last week(cake,ohh delicious cake) and the punishment is no beer or alcohol. So, ironically, I find it hard to focus and be productive&motivated..tired too.
        ps:legs

  2. Thank you for sharing We are Water, it may not have been the bands intent, but I find it a strangely lovely song.

    For one that always disturbs me but I can’t quite identify why: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSXSHOZgPMM It really is a peaceful song, but I can’t shake the idea I’m listening to music being played by ghosts.

    And this might be an odd post for it, but I’ve been reading this blog for awhile and always find it fascinating. You have a wonderful way with words, and A++ taste in literature. I’ll try to comment more in the future, your discussions always leave me with ideas to work over.

    1. Hi, Ren. Thanks for this comment!

      I was stunned when I realized that Health video was directed by Eric Wareheim, the lunatic behind Tim and Eric. Wow.

      That clip you posted was… weird. It took me about a minute to realize I was listening to an eerie rendition of Mack the Knife. :twitch:

      Thanks for the praise! I am glad you read here and hope you find time to comment more. I have a mixed bag of books heading this way and hope to post more as I force myself to develop something akin to discipline.

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