Wizard Rock

Somebody suggested to me recently that J Mascis is in fact Saruman.

I of course laughed at such a ridiculous concept, and berated them for their utter stupidity. “Sure, J’s got long white hair”, said I, “But he’s an American grunge pioneer, not an immortal sorcerer from the Land of the Valar! Where is his staff? Show me his cloak! You are a total idiot, mum.”

But later that night I confess my mind returned to the matter. I was working into the small hours on my seminal Tolkien musical suite, The Seven Sons of Fëanor, when the comment resurfaced in my thoughts, like a stealthy Russian Shark-class nuclear sub, unseen until it breaks the waves.

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Musings on Coolness

When faced with the question “Who is the Coolest Person on Earth?”, those encumbered with infirm opinions usually take several minutes to answer, stammering incoherently in pursuit of a decision. When they finally get round to evincing their (wrong) opinion, the questioner has normally wandered off due to boredom.

Conversely, those of us equipped with robust opinions and a staunchly decisive personality fire back an unshakable answer to this question with such intense swiftness that the questioner is often stunned, usually wincing with the realisation that they have found themselves in the embarrassing position of having had insufficient time to prepare a follow-up question.

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At last… King Elessar Telcontar vs. Elric of Melniboné

Imagine a deadly duel between two of fantasy’s greatest swordsmen.

The setting is some unreal dimension, transcending the boundaries of great works of fantastical fiction. Weird creatures soar through smoky skies, and raging fire-pits pock the landscape.

On a forsaken plain at the heart of this unusual world, two terrible enemies face each other.

To one side stands the newly-crowned King of Gondor, Elessar Telcontar, handsome and fell, and taller than most. His storied sword, Andúril, glints in the light of a nearby fire. Aragorn son of Arathorn is in complete control of his lengthy weapon, and it silently awaits his command. The man’s Númenórean face is wise, and his robust jaw set firmly against his opponent.

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