I heard Liz Phair for the first time when I was 12. My best friend surpassed the Parental Advisory sticker and bought her self-titled album.
We went to the county fair, sang “Red Light Fever,” and at home turned the volume all the way down on my boombox to listen to “H.W.C.” For a while, I wrote her off as part of the pop affliction of my youth, but I recently became addicted to her first album. It’s brilliant (and super acclaimed, so duh I missed it.)
Exile in Guyville was released in 1993, when Liz Phair was 23. She’s a perfect companion to your morning afters, if you like your commiseration in dirty lyrics and pessimism. There’s a rawness and a warmth in the album—it’s somehow both comfortable and unsettling. Standout tracks are “Fuck and Run” and “Divorce Song.”
The Great Auk was a large flightless bird that lived on remote islands across the North Atlantic. In 1844, a group of Scottish fishermen captured the last Great Auk in the British Isles. They kept the bird tied up for three days until an ominous storm arose. Believing the bird was a witch responsible for their predicament, the men clubbed it to death.
The Last of Us – bittersweet series of true tales about how various species went extinct. Complement with Jon Mooallem’s Wild Ones, which looks at this very process taking place as we speak.
Now extinct, the thylacine was once the largest known carnivorous marsupial. It was the last extant member of its family, Thylacinidae; specimens of other members of the family have been found in the fossil record dating back to the early Miocene.
Intensive hunting encouraged by bounties is generally blamed for its extinction, but other contributing factors may have been disease, the introduction of dogs, and human encroachment into its habitat. Despite its official classification as extinct, sightings are still reported, though none have been conclusively proven.
The thylacine is a candidate for cloning and other molecular science projects due to its recent demise and the existence of several well preserved specimens.
Here is a compilation of all five known Australian silent films featuring the thylacines, shot in Hobart Zoo, Tasmania. The last known thylacine, nicknamed Benjamin, died in captivity in 1936.
Written in the Bones. New comic, written by Christopher M. Jones & illustrated by Carey Pietsch.
I’m hoping to have printed copies of this at MOCCA, ABPCC, and TCAF this spring, and SPX in the fall! More info to come.
Me and Carey worked really hard on this comic; if you got something from it I’d love for you to reblog it, and maybe even buy a copy from Carey when she’s in town or even if she’s not. Thanks so much for reading.
Katzenclavier, or Cat Piano Wood engraving from La Nature, 1883:
An octave’s worth of cats arranged in a row with their tails stretched behind them. And a keyboard fitted out with sharpened nails would be set over them. The struck cats would provide the sound. A fugue played on this instrument—when the ill person is so placed that he cannot miss the expression on their faces and the play of these animals—must bring Lot’s wife herself from her fixed state into conscious awareness…
The Irish werewolf is different from the Teutonic or European werewolf, as it is really not a “monster” at all. Unlike its continental cousins, this shapeshifter is the guardian and protector of children, wounded men and lost persons. According to some ancient sources, the Irish werewolves were even recruited by kings in time of war. Known in their native land as the faoladh or conroicht, their predatory behaviour is typical of the common wolf, not beneath the occasional nocturnal raid on local sheep or cattle herds. If attacked or surprised while in wolf form, they usually simply run off because this causes them to shift back into their more vulnerable human form. However, after changing back into a man or woman, evidence of their lupine adventure remains on their bodies. If wounded, the injury remains. If they kill a sheep or cow, the telltale bloodstains stay on their faces and hands.
The most famous of the mythical Irish werewolves are the people of Ossory (modern day Kilkenny) whose legends live on even today. Among other lingering tales, the Ossory folk were documented by none other than Giraldus Cambrensis who, in the year 1185 transcribed what was no doubt a much older, oral folktale. According to Giraldus, the Ossory werewolves worked in pairs, male and female. A chosen couple lived as wolves for seven years before returning to human form to be replaced by a matched set of two others. During their time as wolves, they fed from the herds but this was taken as their due for watching over wandering children, healing the wounded, and guiding lost strangers to safety.
Despite the fact that this is a pre-Christian folk belief, the Irish werewolves eventually gained a reputation for being under a curse from either St Natalia (St Nailè) or, naturally, St Patrick as punishment for some vague transgression committed long ago. If you read Giraldus’ account of these creatures, it is easy to separate what may be the original tale from his preachy commentary at the end.