Carnivàle (2003-2005). I love film, but a great series goes beyond the film medium. You can delve into the characters and the situation, little by little explore the world created and get fully encapsulated by it. ‘Carnivàle’ is such a series. I remember seeing this for the first time around the time ‘Pale Ravine‘ came out. It was during summer, I was visiting my parents and although it was great weather outside, I locked myself in my basement room to watch this. I saw it all in just some days, as I couldn’t get myself away from the screen. There are some really dark moments in this series, and also some seriously incredible music (Jeff Beal), cinematography and acting. Originally planned for 6 seasons, it was cancelled after just 2. Damn shame as it was so much potential in its mysticism around Christianity, freemasonry, nuclear testing, dark arts and the weirder parts of humanity. Something that fascinates me very much. No matter how short it is though, it gets under your skin and leaves a mark. Clancy Brown is incredible as the dark priest, and almost worth the watch alone. Hard to say, but this might be the best cinematic experience I’ve ever had. And I’ve had quite a few great cinematic experiences.
Personal Best (magazine). When I first sit down to read, I often tend to want to read about something that interests me. I’m often too restless to sit down with a book, so I tend to rather read magazines or get inspired by art books. One magazine that does it right is ‘Personal Best’, started in 2011 by Norwegian noise-fiend Lasse Marhaug. Although it’s maybe mainly based around noise music, it’s rather more about underground music culture with its colourful personalities. Also the interviews are often about something completely different than music or what the person is famous for. This is something that magazines like ‘The Wire’ are supposed to write about, but fail to capture me in their often pretentious and difficult writing style. ‘Personal Best’ is pretty much what the names says. Personal! Something missing in most magazines these days. Then of course this is a one man, one issue a year type of deal. But still. Essential reading if you manage to track down a copy.
Belgium. Not really a great destination for great landscapes. Actually, I’m sure most Belgian people would think I’m crazy for adding their country as my top favorite travel destination. I also have to note that I actually never saw the sun while visiting Belgium. I’ve probably been there over 10 times now and still as far as I remember.. no sun. But! Somehow I love visiting there. So many great people, fantastic beer, weirdo music and art. I guess when their country is so small, flat and fairly depressing, you need to find a good escape. And I think this is a great place for exactly that. Somehow most of my favorite music and musicians come from this fairly forgotten place in the middle of Europe. As well as some seriously incredible architecture. Luckily I have several reasons to visit often. I’ll be back soon.