Generous Ghost to Falco Review

Found this old fella lurking in the depths of the net…


Ghost To Falco – Exotic Believers

Ghost To Falco
Exotic Believers
(2010, Cape and Chalice/Infinite Front)
RIYL = Dragging An Ox Through Water, Castanets, Gowns

A buzzing, gothic sermon, hammered into place over a wobbly cello, specked at the edges and then into a heavy, multi-stringed, minor chord reprieve – that’s how things begin on Ghost To Falco’s Exotic Believers and it’s absolutely invigorating. Like a perfect splash of cold water to renew your sense of feeling and place, the operation of your fingers and feet. Swimming about amongst the wonderfully productive experimental scene brewing about in the northwest, Ghost To Falco plays a dark Americana that does a lot to fill the inestimable gap left, just this year, by geographical neighbors, both in location and sound, Gowns. Those are big boots to fill (in my eyes), and no one is claiming that Ghost To Falco is trying to fill them, but in his own way, this project, this album, Exotic Believers, fills that void for me. The irony here is that Ghost To Falco fills that void with another void. Exotic Believers collapses country into a barbed, black hole that sucks you in, body and soul. It’s no surprise that the man is good friends with Forest Gospel favourite Dragging An Ox Through Water. Both employ a variety of sound bending/destroying effects to their music, though to results unique to each. Suffice it to say, if you like one, you’re likely to enjoy the other. Ghost To Falco’s songs do feel, in comparison, to have a bit more muscle, a bit more guitar control, which flexes at different points throughout the album. The vocals are strong, often multi tracked, lapping one upon another. And there is a couple loose, noise-punk freakouts waiting around the edges. So, slightly more aggressive, but not overly so. With all these elements in play, you won’t be surprised to learn that Exotic Believers is certainly one of the better albums I’ve heard all year. Do yourself a favor and give it a listen – you won’t be disappointed.



A compilation in aid of the refugees from Northern Mali :

Since 17th January 2012, a new Touareg rebellion has broken out in the north of Mali, provoking a dramatic humanitarian crisis: thousands of Touaregs have been forced to leave their towns and camps to escape the fighting. They have found refuge in the bush, or abroad, in Algeria, Mauritania, Niger and Burkina Faso.

The rural communities of Aguel’hoc and Tessalit were hard hit, their nomadic population are in severe distress and have lost everything.
Aguel’hoc is also the town of the group Tadalat, who, together with the french label Reaktion, are the originators of this initiative: we propose the sale of a downloadable compilation to aid the refugee populations from Northern Mali.

100% of the funds raised will be donated to two French associations: Etar (in Aguel’hoc) and Tamoudré (in Tessalit, Kidal and the Algerian frontier). The two associations are locally based with trustworthy personnel, and the money raised will be used for food, blankets and medicines for the refugees of that region.
Here are links to the two associations for more information:
Etar :
Tamoudré :

This compilation brings together the leading contemporary Touareg artists. The minimum price is €5, but the buyers are free to donate as much as they would like.
released 20 February 2012

Check out their bandcamp page here:


Do you detect something of an occult revival in modern culture?


I don’t know if it is really a revival, or that it never went away. The term for hermeticism, the ‘perennial philosophy’, springs to mind. It seems to me that the shallowness of the reductionist/materialist paradigm and the foundering of science on the shoals of reality (hidden by the rubric ‘quantum mechanics’) has left people wanting, emptied of anything but a drive for endless consumption of material goods, hence the widespread use of drugs, obesity, hoarding behaviours etc. Also the lack of any form of beneficial religious feeling other than fundamentalist insanity and murder, or lack-lustre liberalism in religious ideas is showing organized religion to be another empty vessel. The vapid pick and choose nature of the ‘new-age’ movement and the constant quest for visionaries in other cultures back-yards (the latest being the overemphasis on shamans from the rain forest traditions) is also not really any good to anybody, but eco-tourists and psychedelic experience tourists. I don’t view this in a racialist way or anything, but it seems that traditions originating in one’s own historical/genetic milieu should be explored and understood before one goes off to encounter other traditions (shades of Guenonian traditionalism, I guess). Also, to me there is something unique to the United Kingdom (all the areas and islands and political permutations included). I have also ‘felt’ it in Finland. I would like to visit Iceland to see if it is the same. Despite the modernisation and everything, there is a numinous quality to the landscape, a subtle sparkle to the atmosphere, a sense of magic (for lack of a better term) that they both have.




“Oh what a tangled web we weave, When first we practise to deceive!”

Sir Walter Scott wasn’t talking specifically about self-proclaimed “corruption fighter” Sheriff Paul Babeu of Pinal County, AZ, but he could have been all the same. Babeu’s the strident, rightwing, bald-headed blowhard who’s neck and neck with Sheriff Joe Arpaio in the contest to see which of them can get the most “Hey, look at me!” media attention for being the most hateful racist hard-ass in Arizona law enforcement. He was in John McCain’s “border patrol” campaign ad in 2008. The guy’s got an insatiable need for media attention and is frequently seen on Fox News whenever they require someone to play a border hawk. Babeu recently spoke to the CPAC gathering of religious conservatives in Washington, DC. He’s got big plans to springboard from his anti-immigrant notoriety to a seat in Congress.

Uh… not so fast… We all know what this sort of idiotic attention-seeking did for Arpaio, who is the subject of a major Justice Department investigation that already looks so incredibly gnarly that Arpaio’s dumbass is obviously toast.. Now investigative journalist Monica Alonzo, reporting in the Phhoenix New Times has broken the story of a scandal that involves Sheriff Paul Babeu and it’s a doozy:

Babeu’s Mexican former lover is claiming that the sheriff’s attorney has threatened him with deportation unless he signed an agreement never to discuss their years-long relationship!!!

*Sputter* *cough*… I mean, you can’t make this shit up. And no one did. The evidence seems pretty damning to say the least!

The latest of the alleged threats were made through Babeu’s personal attorney, who’s also running the sheriff’s campaign for Congress in District 4, the ex-lover says.

He says lawyer Chris DeRose demanded he sign an agreement that he would never breathe a word about the affair. But Jose (New Times is withholding his last name because Babeu and his attorney have challenged his legal status) refused.

The 34-year-old from central Mexico charges that the sheriff’s lawyer warned against mentioning the affair with Babeu. DeRose said gossip about Babeu would focus attention on Jose, attention that could result in his deportation, Jose says.

Melissa Weiss-Riner, Jose’s attorney, confirms her client’s account.

She says she spoke directly to the sheriff’s lawyer, DeRose, about the Babeu camp’s threats that Jose could be deported if he “revealed the relationship.” She says DeRose falsely claimed that Jose’s visa had expired.

“Jose came to our firm because he felt he was being intimidated, and he was in fear for his life,” Weiss-Riner says. “He wanted his legal rights protected.”

Babeu didn’t respond to requests for comment by publication time for this article, but his attorney, DeRose, says the dispute between Jose and the sheriff concerned Jose’s work on Babeu’s websites. He says Jose was a former volunteer who hacked into a campaign website.

DeRose didn’t immediately address the other claims against him and the sheriff, except to say, “I never threatened to deport anybody” and that “[Babeu’s] not threatening anybody.”

Believe that if you are really gullible… There’s even a part of the story that involves a jealous Jose doing a “Babooshka” on Babeu, writing to him under a nom de plume on a website called and posing as another man in order to catch him in the act! More from the New Times article:

Informed of the situation, Nancy-Jo Merritt, a longtime Phoenix immigration attorney, says such a threat would be indicative of an “atmosphere that’s been created politically in this state, so that if you get angry at someone who is Hispanic, you immediately jump down to the level of threatening to deport him.

“If what [Babeu’s attorney] says is correct [about Jose’s being illegal], either the sheriff had a long relationship with someone he knew was undocumented, while all the time being Mr. Bluster about the border and using it for political gain,” or he threatened to deport someone he just broke up with, Merritt says. [Emphasis added].

“That’s just the worst kind of hypocrisy.”

She adds that federal immigration-enforcement agents have better things to do than “take care of Babeu’s boyfriends.”

Antonio Bustamante, a criminal defense attorney and immigration activist, tells New Times that if the allegations against Babeu are true, “To use a position of authority . . . and make legal threats opens a Pandora’s box of ethics issues for any law enforcement person or any elected person. In this case, he’s both.”

Paul Babeu’s a lot of things!

When asked for a statement about the allegations and the online profile, Babeu’s attorney said:

“He believes he’ll be judged by his record as a 20-year veteran of the United States Armed Forces, police officer who has saved two lives in the line of duty and responded to thousands of emergencies, and Iraq war veteran.”


Quadriplegic Undocumented Immigrant Dies In Mexico After Being Deported From His Hospital Bed

In August 2010, Quelino Ojeda Jimenez, an undocumented construction worker in Chicago, fell 20 feet off a building while on the job and was paralyzed from the neck down. Unable topay his own medical expenses, he was deported back to Mexico on December 22, 2010.

But he never made it home. Instead, he was left to languish at a small Mexican hospital that was unequipped to handle his needs. UPI reports that Ojeda died on New Year’s Day:

A young man returned to Mexico by a Chicago-area hospital after a construction injury that paralyzed him from the neck down has died, officials say.

Advocates say Quelino Ojeda Jimenez, 21, spent months in a small hospital in Mexico that did not have the facilities to care for a quadriplegic, the Chicago Tribune reported. […]

He never even made it to his home,” said Jesus Vargas, a friend in Chicago. “He was always in the hospital stuck to the machine that helped him breathe.”

Ojeda, who was working illegally in the United States, was treated at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, Ill., after a 20-foot fall paralyzed him. The hospital transferred him to Mexico three days before Christmas in 2010.

Ojeda’s deportation followed a heated battle between the hospital and immigration advocates. He was transferred to a Mexican hospital in an air ambulance despite protests from Ojeda and his family that the move would jeopardize his health.

In light of his death, the Chicago hospital that treated him has said it will reexamine its policies for treating international patients.

Ojeda told the Chicago Tribune last February that he feared returning to Mexico because he “need[ed] a lot of things they don’t have.” Tragically, his fears turned out to be all too real.

Because A White Guy Said It

(copied from Persephone Magazine)

It does not matter what you say. As a woman, as a woman of color, as a woman of size, as a woman with large breasts or no breasts and a lifetime of experience with bucketloads of passion. It does not fucking matter.*

Because unless there is a white guy backing you up, you are an angry bitch. Uppity, spirited, “that girl,” the femanazi, the super-libber, the PC chick, the conspiracy theorist…

A few months ago I posted something on a forum about how interesting it was that we only bomb brown countries. As Tom Wise suggested, perhaps it’s time we stop talking about how the war was for oil, and instead question why we feel we’d be entitled to that oil in the first fucking place.

Almost immediately, but just as predictably, I was hit with good old Reverse Racism. The Double R that gets pulled out whenever the privileged hear something they’d rather not. It is the equivalent of putting your hands over your ears and screaming, “La, la, la, fucking la,” until the other person gives up and walks away.

Even the site administrator called me a racist.

Then, another well-known poster there put on a clip of George Carlin ranting on how we only bomb brown countries (skip to the 2 minute mark if you’re interested in hearing it). And suddenly, it was as if God himself had shone through the clouds and crowned me righteous and worthy. The tides turned. All of a sudden everybody could “see the point” I was trying to make. All of a sudden I was no longer the nefarious reverse racist infiltrating white society only to destroy it. I was just sharing the same opinion as George Carlin. I was worth believing.

I decided that day not to post there anymore. At least not with them knowing my ethnicity and gender. But the problem hardly stays online.

Last night I had dinner with my ex-husband and a mutual male friend who is visiting Paris. Discussing Prop 8, the friend asks me, “Well, but you probably feel more comfortable around gays than straight men, don’t you?”

I say, “Of course I do. A majority of my time in a straight club is spent getting away from men grinding up on me as though they own me.”

Naturally he doubts my story. “It can’t be that bad, though?” My ex-husband, bless his bouncer past, promptly sets him straight. He tells him how I used to go to his club all the time and he had to assist me more than once when men became predatorial on the dance floor.

And as soon as my ex mentions this, the man shuts up. It is not enough to take my word for it. Never mind that I’ve been hanging out in my post-puberty body for a fair amount of time now. I must be exaggerating because that’s what women do. The worst part? This guy wasn’t even a douche. He is a genuinely nice guy with an amazing girlfriend. But his natural default state is to disbelieve my story.

I just wish my own experiences were enough. That the experiences of fellow women were enough. But we must always come with backers. We must always have a few men nodding along behind us in the crowd. And at the very least if we’re going to be so bold as to bring up racism or sexism in polite company then we better be willing to quote reputable studies that have been widely recognized by the psychological and sociological communities.

If we lack this armor we are just drama. Dramatic or… wait for it… psycho bitches who think everybody is out to rape them or thinks they must be, “Like, soooo attractive to be hit on so much and totally, probably, like, thinks like a victim.”

This is so dangerous because I believe it teaches us not to trust our own judgments. Sadly, in this world, that can be life or death. When that guy hits on you for the third time at the club we should just get over it. He wasn’t being that creepy. “Oh no, girl, don’t talk to the bouncer about him, that’s just drama. Just have a good time.” I complained anyway but nothing was done.

And hey, when he tries to attack you while leaving the club—which happened to me and a friend in June of this year—the police may ask you why you didn’t complain “more than once” to security. I shit you not.

Because it is never good enough. It’s always a teachable moment from man to woman. So listen up, child, because that’s exactly what you are. At least until a white man comes to back up your claims. But I don’t have to tell you that. You already know. The trick is for this argument not to be dismissed outright by some dude in a Quicksilver t-shirt because the fact is, he has final say on the veracity of our claims.

It’s not fucking coincidence I can quote that man at length. It’s a motherfucking necessity. And people wonder why I can’t sleep at night…

*I wanted to note that I am fully aware that when men of color talk about racism they are not believed by white society either. This is not a woman’s problem in totality. Sadly, that hardly negates their default reaction of disbelief when, as women, we share our own stories with them.


Taking livestock is ploy to force relocation, Black Mesa residents say

Taking livestock is ploy to force relocation, Black Mesa residents say

  • Rangers employed by the Bureau of Indian Affairs rode in on horse back and four wheelers, armed with portable corals and livestock trailers, to take horses and calves from Dineh tribal elders living on Black Mesa, last week. Residents of the traditionally tribal land say the livestock seizure is the latest push in a relocation effort elders have fought for more than three decades.

    “They’re violating universal human rights,” said Bahe Katenay, one of the Dineh people who lives in the Big Mountain Community of Black Mesa. Katenay grew up on Black Mesa and helps tribal elders maintain their traditions. “These people still have a right to food, to their culture, to safety, to health.”

    Rangers with the Hopi Tribal Government told Black Mesa residents that the roughly eight cattle and 25 horses were taken because they were not properly registered, said Derek Minno Bloom, who volunteers with the Black Mesa Indigenous Support collective. The collective is made up of people who do not live in the Black Mesa area and are largely non-native, but have responded to elders’ requests for outside help in order to stay on their land.

    Some of the animals have been returned, Katenay said, although he did not have an official tally. Black Mesa Indigenous Support is raising money to help elders get their animals back, Minno Bloom said.

    Louella Nahsonhoya, who works for the Hopi Tribal Government, said she would send members of the press a written statement about the livestock by the end of the week. Before then, she will be unable to answer any questions about why the horses and cattle were taken.

    “This is part of forced relocation,” Katenay said, noting that the official U.S. policy is to relocate only those Dineh people who willingly leave their land. Approximately 40 tribal elders remain on Black Mesa, many of whom are at least 80 years old, Katenay said. None of them is willing to relocate.

    “They are trying to maintain their culture, their heritage,” Katenay said.

    The back story is convoluted, but the conflict stems from the U.S. government’s collusion with Peabody Coal Company Since the 1970s, the company has steered efforts to remove Dineh and Hopi people from their ancestral homes on Black Mesa, in order to mine coal there. The Bureau of Indian Affairs-approved Hopi tribal government is not so much a traditional authority. Rather they are deputies of the U.S. Federal Government, Katenay said.

    Efforts to remove remaining elders from the land have made life there more difficult. Although people depend on animals for their livelihood, livestock roundups happen as often as twice a year. Officials have capped off water wells and destroyed pumps, although water is hard to collect on the arid mesa, Katenay said.

    Still, relocating is not a viable or easy solution for the elders. Many do not speak or read English. They have a deep wealth of knowledge, but it largely pertains to traditional life: herding, weaving, histories and rituals.

    Those who are relocated are put in modern homes, with less land and fewer animals. The amenities are unfamiliar: Someone who grew up without electricity and running water might not know which foods go in the refrigerator and which go in the cupboard, Katenay said. Younger people often are surrounded by modern distractions, leaving their elders in solitude.

    “They’re not going to force these people out,” Katenay said of the remaining elders. “These people have been resisting for more than 30 years.”

    Elders have seen, first hand, that coal mining leads to pollution, the depletion of clean water and other problems, Katenay said. In a sense, they resist relocation to help everyone. He tells the story of one woman who speaks no English, but has come to understand there is war and upheaval in the world outside Black Mesa.

    “She is doing it for all the people in the world,” Katenay said. “They’re not only doing it for themselves. They’re doing it for all of humanity. If we allow this coal company to do what they want to do, we’re all in danger.”

    (taken from

Hidden City: Unearthing Kevin Sudeith’s Urban Petroglyphs

The artist carves images of spacecraft, helicopters and airplanes on boulders around New York.


To hear Sudeith talking about his work, click on the audio file below. His Web site contains additional images of his work. (Special thanks to the band Ohioan for the snippet of their song “Being Cold” for our audio.)


—excerpts from William Burroughs—

America is not so much a nightmare as a non-dream. The American non-dream is precisely a move to wipe the dream out of existence. The dream is a spontaneous happening and therefore dangerous to a control system set up by the non-dreamers.

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Before the police dragged them off, the members of Pussy Riot, the Russian day-glo balaclava-clad punk rock protesters, sang their anthem “Revolt in Russia” (“Revolt in Russia – the charisma of protest / Revolt in Russia, Putin’s got scared!”) near the Kremlin. Their inspiration for a style of resistance never before seen in Russia, was the riot grrrl punk movement, including groups like Kathleen Hanna’s Bikini Kill, and flash mobs. The young women of the collective, average age 25, have revealed only the smallest details about their lives. None will divulge their day jobs. They only use first-names.

In the two weeks since their mid-January action, the all-female group has become a potent symbol of anger at the status quo in Russian society and their videos have gone viral all over the world. Like many young people in Russia, the members of the Pussy Riot collective are furious at Vladamir Putin’s plans to seek the presidency again and his return was the impetus behind the formation of the group (as well as their song “Putin Has Pissed Himself”). From The Guardian:

“We understood that to achieve change, including in the sphere of women’s rights, it’s not enough to go to Putin and ask for it,” said Garadzha. “This is a rotten, broken system.”

Her bandmate Tyurya said: “The culture of protest needs to develop. We have one form, but we need many different kinds.”

The band began writing songs with lyrics such as: “Egyptian air is good for the lungs / Do Tahrir on Red Square!” and performing on trams and in the metro. Videos of the flash gigs began spreading across the internet. When the protest leader Alexey Navalny was jailed for 15 days after his arrest during Russia’s first post-election protest on 5 December, three members of Pussy Riot took to the roof of the jail where he was being held, setting off red flares as they sang “Death to prison / Freedom to protest!”

The fear of arrest long ago left the band members, steeped in the tradition of illegal protest. “We have experience with it, we’ve been detained at protests before,” said Tyurya. “It’s not scary – you’re surrounded by good, normal people, those who protest against Putin.”

All eight women were detained during the Kremlin performance, questioned and released. Most got off with administrative fines rather than the 15-day jail sentences often doled out to those who stage illegal protests.

“The revolution should be done by women,” said Garazhda. “For now, they don’t beat or jail us as much.”

“There’s a deep tradition in Russia of gender and revolution – we’ve had amazing women revolutionaries.”

The band is getting ready for its next performance, something that usually takes a month to pull together. Its members don’t discuss plans on the telephone or give away details, out of fear that the security services will disrupt the project. Is what they do art or politics? “For us it’s one and the same.”

Despite projected temperatures of -20C, tens of thousands of protesters are expected to march on Bolotnaya Square, across from the Kremlin, on Saturday. The Russian presidential election will be held on March 4. Vladimir Putin, is, of course, expected to win handily.