I write things and am nominally in charge here. Below are my most recent posts.

The bulk of my work is in a style I have, in an act of mild narcissism, named psychochronography. Psychochronography, an offshoot of the artistic concept of psychogeography. Psychogeography is a practice originally developed by the Situationist International as part of their efforts to forcibly dismantle the established social order. Psychogeography is the study of how physical spaces impact social, cultural, and personal lives. Its central technique is what is called the derivé, or drift, in which one wanders through an urban area according to some idiosyncratic logic that causes one to cut against the usual lines and paths traced.

Psychochronography applies this notion to our internal landscape. Taking seriously Alan Moore's notion of ideaspace, psychochronography suggests that we can wander through history and ideas just as easily as we can physical spaces, and that by observing the course of such a conceptual exploration we can discover new things about our world. Topics I've applied this approach to include Doctor Who, British comic books, and Super Nintendo games.

Kings Never Afraid to Burn (Little Earthquakes)

Little Earthquakes (1992)

Little Earthquakes (live, 1992)

Little Earthquakes (live, 1997)

Little Earthquakes (live, 1998)

Little Earthquakes (live, 2003)

Little Earthquakes (live, 2007, official bootleg, Clyde set)

Little Earthquakes (live, 2014)

There are two approaches to choosing a title track for an album. One is to pick something that seems a thesis statement for the album, capturing its major musical and lyrical themes while not risking confusion by wanting to be a single. The other is  to pick something with a cool title. It is this latter approach that explains why an album dominated by fairly simply arranged piano ballads featuring confessional lyrics flecked with spots of idiosyncrasy is named after an austerely ominous song whose lyrics are basically wall to wall crypticness. 

Much of Little Earthquakes feels as though it appeared sui generis from nowhere save for the interior of Tori mos’s head. There are a few exceptions—the ruins and traces of Y Kant Tori Read and of the 80s at large lurk throughout the album. But for the most part, Amos feels profoundly singular. On top of that, Amos is historically extremely reticent to talk about her musical influences—one is left to infer them from what ...

The Pain of the Respect Thereof (Girl)

The traditional Eruditorum Press post-holiday ebook sale is running from now until January 2ndDetails are here.

Girl (1992)

Thoughts (1992)

Girl (live, 1992)

Girl (live, 1996)

Girl (live, 1998)

Girl (live, 2009)

Girl (live, 2017)

In many ways the slightest song on Little Earthquakes, “Girl” is hamstrung most obviously by its positioning as the second track on the album. Coming off of “Crucify,” it is doomed to be the markedly inferior of the two post-80s empower ballads. Coming immediately before the jaw-dropping triple threat of “Silent All These Years,” “Precious Things,” and “Winter,” it is subsequently doomed to be forgotten by “that doesn’t make you Jesus” at the absolute latest. That it made the album over “Upside Down,” ”Take to the Sky,” or even “Flying Dutchman” is in hindsight one of the more baffling decisions made about Little Earthquakes.

It’s not fair to say that “Girl” is a bad song. Indeed, individual moments are as fine as anything on the album—the haunting, arrhythmic male vocal over “sit in the chair and be good now,” or the mad spaghetti of sounds that make up the bridge. Really, the overall soundscape of the ...

2019 Post-Yule Sale

Another year over, which means that it's time for the annual Eruditorum Press post-holiday sale at Smashwords. But first, a practical word: I'll be putting another Boys in Their Dresses entry up tomorrow morning. I'll do one more on December 30th. I have a few more written past that, so I'll run the series on Fridays for a few weeks overlapping with Dalek Eruditorum, which will begin January 6th.

Currently Dalek Eruditorum is set to run in its 26-post version. But it's a mere $35 away on Patreon from going up to its 39-post version, and has until January 6th to get there. That would add essays on The Crusade, Evil of the Daleks, The Green Death, Invasion of the Dinosaurs, Seeds of Doom, Deadly Assassin, State of Decay, Kinda, The Greatest Show in the Galaxy, the TV Movie, Planet of the Ood, Closing Time, The Magician’s Apprentice/The Witch’s Familiar, and something from Series 12.

Meanwhile, we have until January 1st to get to the $800 threshold needed for Series 12 reviews. If we don't make it, I'll do short reviews for $2+ patrons, but the full shebang Eruditorum Press reviews will only ...

Where Things Stand

Couple of business updates for everyone.

First of all, TARDIS Eruditorum v5 is back in print just in time for the holidays. The Kindle and print editions are still stubbornly not connecting with one another, so here they are: 

Kindle

Print

At this point, volumes 1-5 of TARDIS Eruditorum, Last War in Albion 1, and Neoreaction a Basilisk are all back in print. I expect I'll get v6 early next year, and v7 out in general... ooh, I had been saying January/February, but let's call it March/April just cause November was kind of a train wreck for productivity. I have like three more essays to write, but they all involve a lot of television watching that I just haven't found time for.

Speaking of Neoreaction a Basilisk, I've cut the UK Kindle price to the bare minimum for a bit in case anyone needs some cathartically funny reading about how we're all fucked.

Finally, I wanted to highlight that Dalek Eruditorum is still only at the baseline 13 post version, with the Patreon stalled at $667. So it needs $33 to get the second swath of stories, and $83 to get the ...

Let Them Bleed Now (Precious Things)

Precious Things (live, 1991)

Precious Things (1992)

Precious Things (TV performance, 1994)

Precious Things (live, 1996)

Precious Things (live, 1997)

Precious Things (TV performance, 1998)

Precious Things (live, 1998)

Precious Things (live at Glastonbury, 1998)

Precious Things (TV performance, 1999)

Precious Things (live, 2003)

Precious Things (TV performance, 2003)

Precious Things (official bootleg, 2007, Tori set)

Precious Things (live, 2011)

Precious Things (2012)

Precious Things (live, 2014)

In September of 1990, Amos submitted an initial version of the album that would eventually be called Little Earthquakes. The track list was in several regards perverse, even given that Amos only had the Siegerson sessions to go on—most puzzlingly, “Mary,” and “Sweet Dreams,” both made it on while “Silent All These Years” and “Upside Down” both missed out. Atlantic rejected this version of the album, however, and so Amos went back to work.

With next to no budget left for improving the album, Amos found herself working at a home studio with her then-boyfriend Eric Rosse. They brought in a handful of session musicians including Steve Caton, Amos’s guitarist from Y Kant Tori Read, and Amos set out to write a new batch of songs. The songs from these sessions ...

The Sea is the Sky (Flying Dutchman)

Flying Dutchman (1992)

Flying Dutchman (live, 2001)

Flying Dutchman (2012)

Flying Dutchman (live, 2017)

Some time early in Amos’s time in LA, while she was still playing the airport Holiday Inn to pay her rent, a friend of hers helped her move, and asked her kinda sorta boyfriend Rantz Hoseley to help. Hoseley was attending art school in the city, and the two hit it off immediately (Hoseley cameos in the video for “The Big Picture”). A few years later, in the wake of Y Kant Tori Read, Amos called her friend to chat. Hoseley, an artist who wanted to make it in the comics industry, had recently left Los Angeles after a number of setbacks that included being told by Marvel editor Tom DeFalco that he should give up and become a plumber and what he describes s “some very scary near-fatal experiences,” and was living with his parents in Washington, but the two remained close. Amos was starting to bounce back from her own setback and in the early stages of Little Earthquakes, and asked her friend how he’d describe himself. Hoseley’s response, delivered from the depths of his depressive spiral, was to say, “Tori, I’m the ...

A Little Warm in My Heart (Winter)

A fitting entry for a day I'm snowed in with a foot of snow. Anyway, quick update about where we stand on Doctor Who Series 12 reviews, as it's just under a month until it debuts. The answer is that we are very, very far from them—the Patreon is at its start of month lull due to declined pledges, but as it stands we're over $100 from the $800 tier where I'll do Series 12 reviews. If you'd like me to howl into the void about Chibnall Who, you'll want to go to Patreon and fix that. And in the process you'll unlock 26 more Dalek Eruditorum entries.

Winter (live, 1991)

Winter (1992)

Winter (music video, 1992)

Winter (TV performance, 1992)

Winter (live, 1997)

Winter (TV performance, 2003)

Winter (live, 2005, official bootleg)

Winter (live, 2007, official bootleg, Tori set)

Winter (radio performance, 2009)

Winter (2012)

Winter (live, 2017)

Fathers are, of course, a standard of women’s art, whether about an invented relationship (“Papa Don’t Preach”) or an authentic one (“Daddy Lessons’). And traditionally there is a fraught tone to these. The character changes—the father can be treacherous, unreliable, abusive, authoritarian, or any ...

An Angel To A Girl Who Hates to Sin (Happy Phantom)

Happy Phantom (demo, 1990)

Happy Phantom (live, 1991)

Happy Phantom (1992)

Happy Phantom (live, 2001)

I’m Not Gonna Fuck This One Up/Happy Phantom (live, 2007, official bootleg, Tori set)

Happy Phantom (live, 2014)

A slender, even whimsical doodle of a song, “Happy Phantom” sees Amos larking about on the occasion of her death, or more accurately its immediate aftermath. This, as Amos explains it, came from the collaborative interplay of the rest of her faery circle, which collectively “decided we needed to hang out with death for a while.” Speaking nearly twenty years later, Amos rationalized this as a need for a measure of ego death: “the image that I had created for whatever reason, had to die. If so, she balked big time in crafting the song. By and large, however, other options present themselves.

The song is simple enough—the second shortest on the album, coming in an entire second longer than “Leather,” it uses each of its verses deliberately, establishing a concept, adding depth to it, and finally subverting it. It opens with a jaunty and bluesy piano line which Amos plays with a loud and slightly out of control sounding abandon. The vocals, meanwhile ...

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