TGIF13: 6’+ Episode 232 is Up!

2013 Logo IconTo quote the description given at the new listing:

“It’s Friday The 13th and Strange Jason is…kinda dead. We use lightning and caffeine to try to jolt him back to life, along with F13-inspired tracks from GENKI GENKI PANIC, THE JASONS, STRVNGERS, THE MONSTER ONES and a brand new song from WEREWOLVES IN SIBERIA. Plus, Monstermatt Patterson gets shot into space in MONSTERMATT MINUTE: PART X and Kraig Khaos chills with Kevin Bacon in another KILLER KUT.”

Remember to email 6′+ (contact at 6ftplus.com) or leave a comment below about the show, whether you liked it or not. Tell your friends, leave a review on iTunes, but above all – enjoy.

You can find all episodes of 6′+ over at the official site as well as on iTunes and Stitcher. They’re also on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

TGIF13 X: Making a Cardboard Hockey Mask

You might have noticed I didn’t title this “TGIF13 X: Make Your Own Cardboard Hockey Mask.” I chose the title I used because the subject of today’s post is not a tutorial. Instead it’s a time lapse video of someone shaping the iconic mask out of cardboard (and packing paper) and painting it. That doesn’t mean you couldn’t possibly use this to make your own, but it’s not going to be as easy as a video where you’re guided through each step of the process. Especially since the complete process took about 20 hours! You can watch a master craftsman in action thanks to MudbrainsTvDIY:

Given the video’s subject matter, it’s surprising that MudbrainsTvDIY chose to score it with Kevin MacLeod’s “Hand Balance Redux” rather than another MacLeod composition that’s commonly associated with Jason Voorhees. But then again I did a Friday the 13th article with “X” in the title and didn’t make it about Jason X, so I really can’t express too much shock.

6’+ Episode 231 is Up!

2013 Logo IconTo quote the description given at the new listing:

“We conclude our retrospective trilogy with some of the best psychobilly that has come out in 2018. Wreck along to AS DIABATZ, CIGARATZ, TRASH BATS, THE GRUFFS and more. Monstermatt Patterson does his best P. Paul Fenech impression with a chainsaw, and we rush to the hospital during the MONSTERMATT MINUTE.”

Remember to email 6′+ (contact at 6ftplus.com) or leave a comment below about the show, whether you liked it or not. Tell your friends, leave a review on iTunes, but above all – enjoy.

You can find all episodes of 6′+ over at the official site as well as on iTunes and Stitcher. They’re also on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Music to Game By VIII

Just like last year, I’m going to take a look at the entries from my 2017 “Music to Haunt By” review series with a focus on their use in tabletop role-playing games. Speaking of last year, I’ve since learned that the Atrium Carceri album I covered then was actually inspired by the Kult RPG! Digging further into the past also revealed more examples of audio releases created specifically for use with select Dungeons & Dragons adventures, along with the gaming set I mentioned back when I first discovered how popular gaming music was. I even learned there’s a Call of Cthulhu campaign which includes suggestions about music to use while playing! I also found some additional details about the origins of Zew Cthulhu’s audio releases.

But what about more modern examples? In addition to a fairly recent kaiju wargame soundtrack, I also learned there’s a Lovecraft-inspired album whose creator openly calls for Call of Cthulhu players to use it! Terra/Sol Games has free audio enhancements and Nocturnal Media has theme music for Talislanta: Tales of the Savage Land. The H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society has also released a licensed audio drama version of the classic Masks of Nyarlathotep campaign, along with a special prop set for gamers. I wonder if they noticed the article in Unspeakable Oath issue 23 where a reviewer suggested buying their Dark Adventure Radio Theatre releases specifically to use the enclosed props in gaming sessions?

But now I’ve gone too far off topic. So let’s get back to my look at material which wasn’t originally intended for use with RPGs. As always, the order of the albums reflects the order in which I reviewed them and does not reflect any personal preference. I occasionally had to remove some tracks for spacing purposes (or if they didn’t seem to offer any potential gaming use) but you can find the complete listing in each of the links.

Mark Harvey – If you’re looking for the perfect combination of music and sound effects to play during tabletop adventures in specific settings, you owe it to yourself to check out Mark Harvey’s work. The track which opens Pumpkinland is called “Pumpkinland” and features a slow, rumbling buildup which carries on through entire track. There are also touches of musical instruments to keep the tension up. It’s not too overwhelming for younger players while still being creepy enough for everyone else. It’s great for just about any spooky setting. You can also try playing it right before starting your next horror role-playing session to create some instant atmosphere. The track’s mild lurking feel also helps it flow into the next track: “Creature.” Said track turns up the lurking sensation and absolutely oozes with unease. It’s all atmosphere with no additional music aside from the occasional “throb.” It’s over 6 minutes, so you could potentially get away with looping it over and over again during a single session to keep players from getting too comfortable while playing a horror RPG. “Swamp” picks things up a bit with hissing music and a feel that’s almost like something breathing. There are the occasional distant cries heard as well. Most fantasy RPGs will have players venture into a swamp at some point, so don’t let the name trick you into thinking it can only be used for horror games. The organs and horns “Ghouls” are sometimes joined by vaguely mystical or spacey touches, so it also has some fantasy potential. It’s a bit insect-like at times, so it also works for encounters with creepy crawlies of any size. “The Pumpkin Patch” is an epic soundscape whose length depends on the format you purchase it on. The digital download runs a little over 25 minutes but has a brief silent pause about 17:14 into the track. This is due to Bandcamp’s size limits and the uninterrupted 34 minute version can only be found on CD. There’s wailing wind, creaking branches and night birds. There’s even some howling wolves, crickets and thunder at times for good measure. On the music side of things, there are the occasional touches of instruments. But they come and go too quickly to let you make any definite identifications. Either way, it makes for a spooky backing to any horrific expedition, be it a journey through Ravenloft or Dunwich.

Pumpkinland II starts with a track named after the album. In fact, it has an appropriately dark and low synth opening. There’s plenty of musical variations to keep things interesting (and disturbing). It gets even creepier halfway through, thanks to the vaguely metallic notes and subdued string work. I also enjoyed how the string work picked up as it plays out. The vaguely creaking open of “Nightfall” brings a swaying rope to mind. Perhaps your players will experience it during an encounter with a gibbet at a crossroads somewhere? Its sinister synth tones take on an almost heartbeat-like feel at times. Said heartbeat is enhanced by both the percussion sounds and the soft sounds of wind which are woven into the track. The sounds of monkeys and birds are merged with dark synth work in “Lagoon.” There are steady, stab-like tones and even some vaguely otherworldly touches. Later we can hear effects like a heartbeat, something moving through vegetation and a yowling cat in the distance. The track picks up a bit for the second half (especially the heartbeat and moving sounds). You could potentially time a something to happen when the heartbeat reaches its highest point. Alternately, you could wait until when the jungle sounds yield to a heartbeat as the track’s unseen traveler exits the lagoon. Clocking in at over 8 minutes in length, “Caverns” is one of the album’s longer tracks. The synth work has an appropriately heavy mood and strange laughter can be briefly heard at times. The fluttering bats and distant dripping perfectly capture the feel of wandering in an underground realm. The sound of footsteps let us know we’re not alone in the caves. These briefly give way to more synth work, but the effects do return. My only (minor) complaint is how the effects simply get repeated rather than use variations of them. This just might become your track of choice for exploring dungeons, but there’s also potential for haunted caves and mine shafts. Synthesizer notes are used to create a low key sense of dread in “Green Mist.” “Midnight” clocks in at a little under 24 minutes, so it can be played in the background throughout every gaming session to build tension or as the score for a specific scenario. The sound of wailing wind is louder than it was on the other tracks. The inclusion of rain and creepy bird sounds enhances the mood, as do the sound of something rustling. There’s plenty of variations, especially the weather effects. Sometimes a random sound effect is used once and never appears again. These include church bells, bats and distant thunder. All other effects return in some form throughout the track.

Pumpkinland III changes things up by starting with a track called “Procession,” which has what I like to call a “medium low” musical backbone. There are some neat variations to the plodding drumbeats and other instruments take over at times. The synth heavy “Rites” is suggestive of dark doings and runs for over 12 minutes. Its unique use of drums is supported by dripping sounds and distant moaning. So it’s ideal for when players investigate dungeons, crypts, catacombs, prisons and forgotten temples. Pounding synth work and some new wind effects kick off the ominous “Pumpkinland III” (which is perfect for deserts and arctic wastelands) while “Nocturne” features low, heavy synths and chirping insects. The chirping fades in and out and crickets join in at times to keep things interesting. The use of insect calls also mean it can be used as the musical backing for when players encounter the Necronomicon. Those new to the world of H.P. Lovecraft should look up “Al Azif” to understand why that makes sense. The creepy opening of “Docks” vaguely reminds me of Nickelodeon’s Are You Afraid of the Dark? series. But the soft wind and creepily cooing synthesizers take things in a different direction. Dripping water and softly lapping waves can be heard later on, along with the occasional appearance by wordless female vocals. The synths get very varied about halfway through. There’s also a sound effect that’s either someone walking or the sound of the docks settling. In addition to use with anything involving pirates, playing it while the players have to cross a haunted bridge would make things even creepier. Game masters can make up a story about a ghost who crosses the bridge at times in order to take advantage of the “walking” sounds if your adventure involves a bridge but doesn’t mention any ghosts. Low synth notes lurk in the background of “Nightmare,” which conjures up a feeling of mild nervousness. A lengthy screech breaks the tension and returns just before the end. Other random effects put in brief appearances throughout the track. The sounds of wind and militaristic drum beats are combined with synth work in “Graveyard.” The synth work is just as wonderfully varied as the drums are steady. I love the sneaking tones and mournful notes. Previous albums used variations on certain sound effects in the tracks to keep things interesting, but this time synth work handles that particular task more. But don’t let that make you think the effects are boring. Hell, there’s more different wind sound effects in this than the other two albums combined!

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6’+ Episode 230 is Up!

2013 Logo IconTo quote the description given at the new listing:

“Throw up those devil’s horns because this episode is all about the ROCK. It’s the best horror punk of 2018 (with some horror rock and blues trash thrown in.) Hear tracks from THE CASKET CREATURES, GEEK MAGGOT BINGO, THE JASONS, TWIN GUNS, FIEND CATS and more! Monstermatt Patterson gets devilocked in a London dungeon during the MONSTERMATT MINUTE, while Kraig Khaos returns for another KILLER KUT.”

Remember to email 6′+ (contact at 6ftplus.com) or leave a comment below about the show, whether you liked it or not. Tell your friends, leave a review on iTunes, but above all – enjoy.

You can find all episodes of 6′+ over at the official site as well as on iTunes and Stitcher. They’re also on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Free RPG Day Is Here!

It’s time for our annual unofficial (in addition be being completely unauthorized and unsanctioned) celebration of Free RPG Day! So once you’re back from your local game store, go ahead and check these out:

Old Spice got a lot of attention for creating a new character class which lets people adventure as Gentlemen or Gentleladies. Although many took their reference to an unnamed RPG to mean Dungeons & Dragons was the game it was designed to be used with, others noticed how it was a closer fit with Pathfinder. But since Pathfinder is based on the 3.5th edition of Dungeons & Dragons, you can make it work with some minor tinkering.

Speaking of Dungeons & Dragons, Wizards of the Coast released an update to their famous Ravenloft setting called Curse of Strahd. In addition to the free introductory adventure Death House, they’re also offering various handouts for players and artist Mike Schley is offering a free download of the maps he created for Death House. Other potential resources include the advice given in the Amazon reviews for Curse of Strahd and the Dungeon Masters Guild.

Dungeon Masters Guild also has both volumes of the Lovecraftian Bestiary available under a “Pay What You Want” model!

Given the popularity of Rifts and Palladium’s other “Megaverse” games, it’s amazing their website’s “Cutting Room Floor” section hasn’t been featured here earlier. You can find all sorts of neat stuff there, including character sheets and a game master’s screen!

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6’+ Episode 229 is Up!

2013 Logo IconTo quote the description given at the new listing:

“We look back at the Best Music of 2018, focusing on the rip-roarin’ new surf music that has floated up from the deep. Featuring tracks from KING GHIDORA, The TERRORSURFS, BLACK WIDOWS, THE 427s, BLACKBALL BANDITS and more. Monstermatt Patterson pops by to hang ten with another MONSTERMATT MINUTE.”

Remember to email 6′+ (contact at 6ftplus.com) or leave a comment below about the show, whether you liked it or not. Tell your friends, leave a review on iTunes, but above all – enjoy.

You can find all episodes of 6′+ over at the official site as well as on iTunes and Stitcher. They’re also on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Free RPG Day Is Coming!

Free RPG Day is scheduled for June 16th this year! Here are a few of the many free offerings which might be of interest to our readers:

Cthulhu Confidential/The Fall Of Delta Green
Unknown Armies
Dungeon Crawl Classics
Midnight Legion
Lamentations Of The Flame Princess
Numenera

You can also get things like dice, a collectible card, and even a sweet character folio. although that last one is so good we’re not 100% sure it’s free. You’ll have to find out for sure by visiting your local participating game store!

To learn more, head over to the official Free RPG Day website. No game stores in your area? Don’t fret, as we’ll be posting our annual collection of free gaming stuff on the big day as part of our own unofficial celebration!

Jimmy T. Murakami (1933–2014)

Teruaki “Jimmy” Murakami was born in San Jose California on June 5, 1933. Sadly, his family was moved into an internment camp during the 1940’s. The camp’s practice of screening Disney cartoons to the people held there is what first sparked Murakami’s interest in animation. After his family was released in 1946, they initially considered returning to Japan. But after learning of their property’s destruction in the war and having already lost their farm in San Jose, the Murakami family chose to move to Los Angeles in order to be closer to their friends. The 1950’s saw Jimmy taking the first step in his chosen career path by attending (and graduating from) Chouinard Art Institute. He was later hired as an animator at UPA Burbank Studios in 1956 and also designed characters for an Oscar-nominated short Trees and Jamaica Daddy the following year. He then moved to New York and was snapped up by Pintoff Studio, where he worked on another Oscar-nominated short called The Violinist in 1959. That year also saw Murakami traveling to Japan. He wished to connect with his Japanese roots and wasn’t sure if he would be coming back. Murakami soon found himself working for Toei Animation as a consultant. But some disagreements led to his working as a painter and English teacher before deciding to return to the USA later that year. He once again found himself working for UPA and worked on the layouts for 1001 Arabian Nights. 1960 saw him travel to London, where he produced and directed various projects. His 1961 film Insects was written and completed in his new home and earned him a BAFTA award!

He returned to America in 1964, where he formed Murakami-Wolf Productions with Fred Wolf. The company produced numerous animated films, with Breath (1965) winning the Grand Prix at the Annecy Festival and Magic Pear Tree (1968) being nominated for an Oscar. Murakami-Wolf Productions’ The Point made history by being the first animated special to air in prime time on American television in 1971. 1971 was also when Charles Swenson became part of the team and the company was renamed “Murakami-Wolf-Swenson.” It was also around that time when Murakami moved to Ireland to lay the groundwork for eventually becoming known as the “Founding Father of Irish Animation.” After having established a studio there and working on a mixture of animation and live action called Death of a Bullet in 1979, he returned to Los Angeles in 1980. This resulted in his working on two live action projects for none other than Roger Corman at New World Pictures! Having previously acted as the associate producer for Corman’s 1970 film Von Richthofen and Brown, he anonymously directed additional material for Humanoids from the Deep, and also directed Battle Beyond the Stars. But the film is more important than just being a case of his being credited as the director of a live action movie. Although some critics were quick to point out it was made to cash in on the popularity of Star Wars, others have noticed it was much more polished than the usual quickie space opera. Corman recycled music and special effects footage from the film in numerous projects, from movies like Forbidden World and Ultra Warrior to the infamous trailer for the unreleased 1994 Fantastic Four movie. Footage from it was also used by other companies for films like Star Slammer and the early LaserDisc game Astron Belt. But let’s get back to the director, who soon found himself back in London to work on two animated Raymond Briggs adaptations. Murakami handled the supervising director duties on the Christmas classic The Snowman in 1982 and directed When The Wind Blows in 1986. But his biggest animated success of the decade came in 1989: The year he formed Murakami-Wolf-Dublin to produce Teenage Mutant Ninjas Turtles cartoon! But eventually he left Murakami-Wolf-Dublin (which was renamed “Fred Wolf Films” for its future ventures) and he moved on to other projects (including directing a music video for Kate Bush in 2005 after having been previously approached by her in 1989) before eventually passing away in 2014 at his Irish home. In addition to his work, his legacy lives on with the Dingle International Film Festival’s Jimmy Murakami Award. Listing all of his projects, both post-1989 and his past works, would be a massive undertaking and I only scratched the surface for this article in order to keep it from becoming a book length project. I hope you visit his Internet Movie Database page to learn more, in addition to watching all of the video interviews he did for DiscoverNikkei:

Bibliography:

Obituaries in the Performing Arts, 2014 by Harris M. Lentz III
Jimmy Murakami | Real People | Discover Nikkei
Animation: A World History: Volume II: The Birth of a Style – The Three Markets by Giannalberto Bendazzi
Animation Pioneer Jimmy Murakami Dies at 80 – Rafu Shimpo
Film Cartoons: A Guide to 20th Century American Animated Features and Shorts by Douglas L. McCall
Jimmy T. Murakami – Wikipedia
Founding father of Irish animation industry – The Irish Times
Historical Dictionary of Irish Cinema by Roderick Flynn and Patrick Brereton
Humanoids from the Deep – Wikipedia
Battle Beyond the Stars (1980) – IMDb
Monsters Under the Bed: Critically Investigating Early Years Writing by Andrew Melrose
John Coates: The Man Who Built the Snowman by Marie Beardmore
The Jimmy Murakami Award | Dingle International Film Festival

6’+ Episode 228 is Up!

2013 Logo IconTo quote the description given at the new listing:

“Misfits Covers Songs! In honor of Lodi’s favorite sons playing New Jersey on May 19, we have an episode packed with Misfits tributes from THE BITCHFITS, SPOOKHAND, THE MISSYFITS, MAD SIN, GARBAGE TORNADO and more. Monstermatt Patterson also chimes in with a RAT FINK of a MONSTERMATT MINUTE!”

Remember to email 6′+ (contact at 6ftplus.com) or leave a comment below about the show, whether you liked it or not. Tell your friends, leave a review on iTunes, but above all – enjoy.

You can find all episodes of 6′+ over at the official site as well as on iTunes and Stitcher. They’re also on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Free Zombie Music, Volume VI

It’s Zombie Awareness Month and that means it’s time for another free music compilation! There’s a little something for everyone in the following 13 tracks: surf, rock, horror punk, acoustic guitars and even some synth stuff! Be sure to click on the link on the left for the free download and the one on the right for the artist’s official web presence:

“Zombie Surf”Tiki Cowboys
“una de zombies”cocktail lounge
“Oleada Zombie”Los Rocket Munsters
“Trioxin Twist”Kill, Baby… Kill!
“Zombat”Moonfrog
“Shambling Horror”Ghoulshow
“Zombies”Alex The Kid
“I AM ZOMBIE”Sam Mulligan
“the night of the living dead”simo maffo
“Zombie (live)”The Cryptkeepers
“Zombie Style”Cyco Sanchez Supergroup
“Zombrero Walk”Cyco Sanchez Supergroup
“Zombie Rockers From Outer Space”Cyco Sanchez Supergroup

Some of you are probably hoping for translations for tracks 2 and 3. The name of cocktail lounge’s offering can be roughly translated as “one of the zombies” and “oleada” means “wave” in Spanish. Also, the latest release (as of this writing) from Cyco Sanchez Supergroup has enough zombie music to fill an entire installment of this series!

As always, Ray O’Bannon is offering free printable CD sleeves and tons of other zombie goodies for you to enjoy. If you burn this compilation to a disc, I highly recommend using one of his sleeves to store it in. You can even print out the image illustrating this article and glue it onto the sleeve if you want to!

Special thanks to the CDC for offering the open source image (and to Bob Hobbs for creating it)!

As always, Gravedigger’s Local 16 is not to be held responsible for anything that may occur (be it good or bad) as a result of downloading from any links given here. Attempt at your own discretion. We make no guarantees about the future availability of the tracks listed above, so get them while you can. Blah blah blah…

6’+ Episode 227 is Up!

2013 Logo IconTo quote the description given at the new listing:

“Feeling a little low? It’s happens to the best of ghouls. We aim to raise your spirits with an episode featuring tracks from BLACK WIDOWS, LOS JAVELIN, ROBOTRON, DARK THOUGHTS, THE DEADLY LO-FI and more. Plus, a pun-ishing MONSTERMATT MINUTE and KILLER KUT.”

Remember to email 6′+ (contact at 6ftplus.com) or leave a comment below about the show, whether you liked it or not. Tell your friends, leave a review on iTunes, but above all – enjoy.

You can find all episodes of 6′+ over at the official site as well as on iTunes and Stitcher. They’re also on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

The GdL16 Santo de Mayo Flashback

There doesn’t seem to be much in the way of English language news regarding El Hijo del Santo, Santo Jr. (formerly El Nieto del Santo) and the controversy with his cousin Axel this year. So until some news develops (or we get our hands on some El Santo movies to review), let’s put things on hold and enjoy some El Santo celebrations from previous years:

El Santo de Mayo 2017!
Samson in the Wax Museum
El Santo de Mayo 2015!
El Santo de Mayo 2014!
Happy El Santo de Mayo!
It’s El Santo de Mayo!
El Santo de Mayo
Viva El Santo!

Feliz Cinco de Mayo!
Happy Cinco de Mayo!

It’s Free Comic Book Day!

It’s the first Saturday in May, so that means Free Comic Book Day is here! More specifically, our unofficial (in addition to being unsanctioned and unauthorized) celebration of the event. Thankfully we’re not having any issues with linking directly to images hosted on Facebook this time around. So enjoy the following sample of a few of the various free comic books our readers might enjoy:

Silver – Dark Planet Comics
2000 A.D. Regened – Rebellion Developments
The Ghost In The Shell: Global Neural Network – Kodansha Comics
World of Aspen – Aspen Comics
Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas – TOKYOPOP
Doctor Who – Titan Comics
Overwatch – Dark Horse Comics
Invader Zim – Oni Press

But we have a little something extra for you before you head on out to your participating comic book store! Both Michael Hedstrom’s Black Cat and Mark Harvey’s Fleshrot: Songs from the Dead can be streamed for free online. The first one is the soundtrack for the comic book Black Cat 13 and the other is the soundtrack for a graphic novel called Fleshrot: Tales from the Dead. You might even be able find copies of both books at your local comic shop! Also, Mr. Harvey has been known to give away free downloads of select tracks on his blog, so be sure to check over there regularly to see if you can get some Fleshrot: Songs from the Dead goodness!

Happy Free Comic Book Day!

As always, Gravedigger’s Local 16 is not to be held responsible for anything that may occur (be it good or bad) as a result of downloading from any links given here. Attempt at your own discretion. Blah blah blah…

It’s Time For Podcast Land’s “Podcast Of The Month” Award!

Podcast Land has a monthly award for best podcast and we think Six Foot Plus has what it takes to win the May 2018 award. If you feel the same way, just head over to our listing at Podcast Land, enter your email address into the field, and press the vote button. It’s really just that easy!

If we get at least 5 votes, then Six Foot Plus will also be included in the rotation for the “Another Great Podcast” sidebar. So the podcast will still get some extra publicity even if we don’t win! Do you really need any more incentive to vote (and get the word out)?

Please visit Podcast Land to learn more about the rules for “Podcast Of The Month” and “Another Great Podcast.”

UPDATE: Podcastland’s voting area went dead a few days after this was posted and still doesn’t seem to be working as of 6/11/18. We did get enough votes to get onto the “Another Great Podcast” sidebar (which vanished along with the podcasts you could vote on) and even made it into the top 5 prior to that happening! So if you voted, you have our thanks even if no winner was ever determined!

Free Comic Book Day is Coming!

Free Comic Book Day 2018 is scheduled for May 5th this year, so set a reminder for yourself now before you forget! We’ll be posting an additional reminder on that day, along with a look at some titles of interest and a bonus surprise.

For more details, simply head on over to Free Comic Book Day’s official website and Facebook page.

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