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.

Record Store Day Is Here!

It’s the third Saturday in April, which means Record Store Day is here once again and it’s time for our annual unofficial (in addition to being unauthorized and unsanctioned) celebration of the big day! Whether you don’t have a participating store in your area or just want extra goodies after you get back from the local record store, we have a great selection of stuff for you. But please try to buy something at your local store because buying physical media is more important than you might think. Let’s start with some suggested vinyl purchases:

The Mission Creeps
Zombina and the Skeletones
Taken By Savages
Pirato Ketchup
The Nevermores
Savage Remains
Wood Chickens
Killjoy Records
The Coffin Daggers
Lucas Giorgini
Dead Beat Records

Here’s an interesting bit of trivia: Taken By Savages was formed by some of the people behind the cult movie review website BLEEDING SKULL! You wouldn’t know this from the name alone, but the vinyl offering from Lucas Giorgini is a soundtrack to a fictional horror movie and the special edition includes bonus items like faux lobby cards and 3D glasses. If you’re an 80’s horror fan with a turntable, you owe it to yourself to pick up a copy of Giorgini’s A Murder Collection. But if you don’t have one, CD and digital download versions of the album are also available. With Best Buy reportedly ditching CDs this July and Target changing the terms they have with labels over how they buy compact discs, it seems possible that CDs will make a nostalgia-fueled comeback at some point in the future.

While many of the above albums are listed with a price given in non-US currency, you can simply click on “Buy Now” to get the option to pay in your currency of choice. Supplies are limited for many of these, so act fast and buy now! Speaking of buying, you have the ability to “Name Your Price” with the following selection of songs:

Intrepid Mutants are offering the tracks “Sleep Paralysis” and “Mutant Rats” under this model. The Dragstrip Devils have a similar offer for “Motor Mouth” and “Shakin’” (which is a special demo version).

Ponyboy Oneman Trio, Tiki Twins, and H. Zombie were kind enough to make all of their albums available this way. I’d say the same about The Haints and the dark folk duo ramshackle and scarecrow, but they only have a single release each so far! Since the following bands make their work available in a mix of ways, let’s skip directly to some choice selections from The Doubleclicks, Fletch Cadillac, and Beware The Dangers Of A Ghost Scorpion!

But let’s not forget the free downloads. The Blue Giant Zeta Puppies have made their complete discography available for free on Bandcamp and the Internet Archive has a complete album from Asimov Cocktail. The Spoils and Caleb Hines both have a free album while Krackatoa has too many freebies to name. So let’s start things off with “Something in the Woods.” The Exotic Ones, Mad Mad Chika & Los Abducidos, and Jonah Knight all have select tracks available for free download on ReverbNation. Finally, Brett W McCoy recently organized his SoundCloud page by musical genre and most of the tracks can be downloaded!

Oh, and one other thing: Some of the links in this post also contain hidden surprises! A link to a vinyl release might also include a cassette edition of the album or a free music download. You might even find other vinyl LPs from a band if you look around a link to a different vinyl release, or perhaps you’ll find one while looking through digital downloads. This is also true for many older Record Store Day posts on this site, so be sure to check out the previous editions while you’re at it.

Happy Record Store 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…

The Tsunamibots Vs. Brand New Luddites, MAN VS. MACHINE

Summary: Two opposing, mirroring forces – automation v. individuality, freedom v. oppression, nature v. technology – clash in the fantastic new album, Man Vs. Machine. The expertly crafted punk and rock songs from the Brand New Luddites find singularity with the circuit-breaking surf power of The Tsunamibots. A magnificent record that will leave you questioning if you’re a human or a robot by the end.

Band New Luddites Vs. The Tsunamibots
Man Vs. Machine
Sharawaji Records

Assimilation has already happened. You just didn’t notice because you were too busy looking at your phone.

Man Vs. Machine details this downfall of humanity, one currently happening in real time. The brilliant new split from The Tsunamibots and (introducing) the Brand New Luddites, Man Vs. Machine builds upon the world introduced in the Tsunamibots first EPs of dynamic surf rock. Less a concept album and more of a status update, Man Vs. Machine recognizes the slow technological seduction currently enthralling mankind. It also suggests that while the robots are winning, victory isn’t – nor ever will be – absolute.

That is because of the Brand New Luddites, who open the record with some of the best punks songs you’re going to hear all this year. “Complacent” calls us out for living in a “small-screened world,” failing to see the bigger picture – and the bigger threat facing humanity. “Internet Race,” arguably the best song on the split, argues that these methods of mass communication – social media, your favorite subReddit, etc. – have birthed “the new hive mind.” Technology has enforced conformity. Just take a ride on any bus or subway. Count the number of white earbuds or how many heads are pointed downward to an illuminated screen to see the truth behind BNL’s warning.

After Man Vs. Machine, BNL deserves their own full-length record after this amazing introduction. These four – singer Colonel Malware, basic Private Power Surge, drummer Captain Virus and guitarist Corporal Blue Screen Of Death – set Man Vs. Machine up perfectly, painting a picture at the closing seconds of their side of the split. As they chant “Enter the coup / of robot kind / Whaddya do? / Who are you”, they are answered with a resounding, digital reply: “I AM ROBOT.”

From there, the Tsunamibots enter and remind every human why they’re one of the best surf rock bands around. “010010” is a sonic explosion, a crushing, that announces their arrival. “Programmable Dudes” is a slower jam, but the infectious chorus is hard to resist. “C:\>_RUN” makes the plight of avoiding deletion at the hand of your robotic overloads sound fun. The Tsunamibots continue to evolve upgrade their sound. “Awareness Signal” and the closing track, “Android Anxiety,” are high energy songs that do display a Man…Or Astro-Man? influence, but their quirks and their quarks prove that the Tsunamibots are not just digital copies.

Ending on “Android Anxiety” implies that even after the robots’ victory, the conflict – the titular “Man Vs. Machine” – will continue. It’s less a case of “good vs. evil,” and more of two sides of the mirror finding themselves in conflict. There’s a great deal of intelligence – artificial and organic – behind Man Vs. Machine. The concepts of “robot” are explored. If a human mind is automated, are they not just robots in disguise? Though the album art on both the LP and CD is painted in a stark black and white, the album is splattered with shades of grey. On the surface, it’s some of the best punk and surf that will come out this year, but repeat listenings will unveil deeper, darker truths. Highly recommended.

TGIF13: 6’+ Episode 226 is Up!

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

“It’s the remake you actually want! We celebrate FRIDAY THE 13TH with song from THE 3-D INVISIBILES, THEY’RE GHOULS, ZOMBIE!, FIRST JASON and more. Monstermatt Patterson slaps on a hockey mask and ends up drafted to the NHL in a very confusing 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.

TGIF13 IX: Camp Crystal Cake

The Homicidal Homemaker is my kind of online cooking personality. Although there are plenty of cooking shows where they make something spooky in October, her show maintains a horror feel for the whole year. I also love the various little touches she includes, like the creepy props placed around the set. How can you not love a cooking tutorial with a fake puddle of blood in the background? The subject of today’s post not only shows you how to make a Jason Voorhees-inspired treat, but it includes scenes of crew members getting killed as part of a parodic tribute to the Friday the 13th franchise! So let’s watch courtesy of the Homicidal Homemaker’s official YouTube channel:

This just goes to show that the “Crystal Cake” song from Six Foot Plus’ previous tribute to the unluckiest day of the year was more than a one-off joke. Come to think of it, a slice of Camp Crystal Cake would be the perfect choice of dessert after one consumes a Jason Burger…

6’+ Episode 225 is Up!

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

“It’s the Six Foot Plus 7th Anniversary Show! We celebrate with an episode full of psychobilly, horror punk, surf music, bad monster jokes and more. Tracks from GO!TSUNAMI, DIE GRUWEL, THE MISSION CREEPS and more. Monstermatt Patterson gives the gift of the MONSTERMATT MINUTE while Kraig Khaos offers up a KILLER CUT.”

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.

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