Are you an Edgar Allan Poe fan in need of some fun? Or perhaps you’re in need of the way to make learning about writing in iambic pentameter that’s both entertaining and easy to understand? In any case, all you need to do is watch the music video for MC Lars’ song “Flow Like Poe” from his The Edgar Allan Poe EP album thanks to the official MC Lars YouTube account:
According to its description, the above video was first shown in New York’s famous Carnegie Hall as part of the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards in 2012 (The same year he released The Edgar Allan Poe EP). In case you’re wondering, the classical music sample is from Johann Pachelbel’s “Canon in D” and you can purchase the same kind of raven puppet seen in the video here. I know the picture there looks different than what you’d expect but trust me, it’s the same type of puppet.
Earlier this year, MC Lars teamed up with MC Ohm-I to release a remix of “Flow Like Poe” as part of The Ill Remix EP Vol. 2. It’s just as insanely catchy as the original and can be downloaded for free (along with some other cool tracks) here.
The year was 1992. After the success of their Hare Jordan ad teaming up Michael Jordon and Bugs Bunny during the Super Bowl, Nike was keen on recapturing the magic. Although the ad had initially been considered risky, it lived up to the company’s goal of creating “innovative advertising-but innovative in a way that captures the atheletes’ true nature.” While a team-up with a cartoon character was a natural fit for a family-friendly role model like Jordan, how could the formula be applied to an athlete like Charles Barkley?
Although Toho authorized Godzilla’s appearance in the ad, this was a rare occasion where they weren’t involved in the creation of the special effects. That duty was handled by none other than Industrial Light & Magic, whose award-winning work has been seen in the Star Wars series, Jurassic Park and countless other films. Rather than use computer graphics, ILM opted to use the traditional methods of realizing Godzilla (albeit with their own twists).
For more information about Charles Barkley and his fascinating career, I highly recommend visiting his official website. After all, the man is the reason this piece of sports/Godzilla/advertising history exists and deserves your attention.
In the early 90′s, Tales From The Crypt was EVERYWHERE. So much so that I knew exactly what the Crypt Keeper looked and sounded like despite never having seen a single episode. In fact, I remember watching an episode of the animated spin-off Tales From The Cryptkeeper and being pleased they used the same voice actor (but puzzled over the character’s drastic design change). So when it came time to release an official soundtrack album, a special single called “Crypt Jam” was put together to help promote it (along with the show and HBO). Not only did the Crypt Keeper himself, John Kassir, sing but there was also a music video! Thanks to howarddavid31, you can see if for yourself below:
I’ve wanted to see this video (or at least hear the song) ever since I saw a promotional trading card for it and now that I finally have, all I can say is…um…wow. That was so 90′s it actually hurts to watch! Oh well, at least it had some new Crypt Keeper goodness in it.
When you’re making a Halloween playlist and you want to do something a little off-the-beaten-path, you can’t go wrong with Q Lazzarus’ “Goodbye Horses” (AKA The Buffalo Bill Song from Silence of the Lambs). This song is horrifying in that movie and perfect to play when you want to send those people who KNOW what it is into frightful shivers. The song is about self-acceptance and rising above adversity, which is HILARIOUS considering the context of that scene.
Back when Strange Jason and I were gearing up for the first Halloween countdown, he showed me an amazing Halloween display video. In it, an elaborate spooky animation display was projected onto the front windows of a house. It was incredible and mere words couldn’t do it justice. Sadly, I lost the link in the great computer crash of 2008 and had no luck retrieving it. Thankfully, I was finally able to rediscover the video this year thanks to some creative searching. It turns out the “Hallowindow” display was created by a extremely talented illustrator named Mark Gervais. I’ve also since learned that not only does he create a new animation every year, but he sells DVDs of each show at the official Hallowindow website. Thanks to his Youtube channel, you can see some examples of the animations in action:
Today’s UAHS is “Kandy Korn” by the late Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band, off of the Strictly Personal release. Despite being a near-life long Zappa fan, I’m not that much into Beefheart. He’s far more avant-garde than Zappa and some of his more discordant songs are straight up hard to listen to.
However, this song is more psychadelic and accessible. The lyrics are very curt and after two minutes in, the song turns into a whirling spiral of song. The funny thing is – Beefheart captured the exact feeling of eating candy corn. You start out with purpose, even enjoying yourself and then it just turns into this garbled mush of sugar and artificial colors. It’s not a negative feeling, just a wandering one. Eat a bag of Brachs and you’ll see.
…Follies, that is. For those unfamiliar with the program, D.C. Follies was one of two (the other being Sid & Marty Krofft’s Red Eye Express) shows made in the 80′s by the creators of H.R. Pufnstuf that teamed human actors with puppet versions of famous politicians and celebrities. D.C. Follies was arguably the most successful of the pair, having lasted two seasons in syndication. In the following clip, Robert Englund makes an appearance as Freddy Krueger in “Freddy Krueger’s Nightmare: Dan Quayle Elected President” (the fourth episode of the show’s final season):
Lux Interior (aka Erick Lee Purkhiser) was born on October 21st. I think we need a holiday for that. Dia del Lux. It’s fitting that he was born in the middle of the Halloween season. I recently was at a shindig where ‘Songs The Lord Taught Us’ was put on from start to finish. A chance rose to speak with an older gentlemen there (not too old) who had the chance to catch The Cramps with their original line-up when they were primarily a NYC band.
I’ve written on how I came into the Cramps late, another bad example of discovering a great group through the Obituary pages.
The Cramps, “Garbage Man”
There aren’t many songs by the Cramps that help out with feeling low, save for perhaps ‘I Was a Teenage Werewolf.’ Ivy’s guitar picking on that song, and just that haunting theme to it make it good for when you feel like crap and the world is wet and cold.
Here are some Cramps Videos. Just for the hell of it.
The Cramps, “I Was a Teenage Werewolf”
The Cramps, “The Creature From The Black Leather Lagoon”
Since Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and Beaker have already gone ghost hunting, it would make perfect sense for their next Halloween-related experiment to focus on the grand tradition of carving Jack O’Lanterns. Thankfully, we can see it all thanks to the official themuppetlabs Youtube channel:
Saying The Misfits didn’t invent horror punk is like saying The Beatles* didn’t invent rock and roll. It’s a factual statement, one that elicits a “no, duh” from the crowd but still, when you think of horror punk – POW! The Misfits.
*or, fuck. I don’t know. Whoever.
In fact, Punk and Horror have go hand in hand like whoever sang “I Wanna Hold Your Hand.” Here are a few examples to interject into your playlist this Halloween season.
The Ramones, “Chainsaw”
On the first Ramones album, you have this song about the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. As best said by Ari Lehman during his interview with Dr. Gangrene, there was a time when being into horror wasn’t a socially acceptable thing. It still might not be, but it’s gotten better for the freaks and geeks in this world. There was a time where being an outsider meant horror movies, punk rock and possibly sniffing glue.
I always liked this song, mainly because the sound of the first Ramones record was so primitive. It wasn’t expertly mastered but I think this might have been what the mind of a kid growing up in that time might sound like. Or something. It’s a fun song and it’s about Leatherface. What’s not to love?
The Freeze, “So Long Ago”
Most noted for being on the THIS IS BOSTON, NOT L.A. comp, The Freeze are an underrated band from Boston’s hardcore days. Lead singer Cliff Hanger’s voice is a distinctive whine much like a chainsaw that cuts through the distortion of the guitars. With biting lyrics and a really great music arrangement, The Freeze put out some great records. Pick up the Land of the Lost/Rabid Reaction CD release that collects the two vinyl releases. You’ll find ths song, which was the very first song on 6’+. Instead of having a song from The Misfits or Nekromantix, I kind of wanted to have something off the beaten path, just to establish the small niche that the podcast would occupy.
SNFU, “Bodies in the Wall”
One of my favorite bands is SNFU. I got into punk later in my life. When I should have had a skateboard and a copy of ‘If You Swear, You’ll Catch No Fish,’ I was listening to Frank Zappa and not much else. Such is life. I remember seeing this abbreviation while searching the used CD store in my hometown but never buying until I moved away. SNFU is a band I probably won’t ever see live, which is a shame since the documentary about them said they had one of the greatest live performances around. Canada produced a lot of great punk bands and SNFU is no exception. The never had a certain bent to their songs, which allowed them to sing about everything. On their first album, ‘And No One Wanted To Play,’ you can find this song about a haunted house.
SNFU, “Where’s My Legs”
You can also add “Beautiful, Unlike You and I,” “Visiting The Bad Again,” “Lovely Little Frankenstein,” “Gravedigger,” “The Devil’s Voice,” “The X-Creep” “The Electric Chair” and others to your playlist. This song involves mad science, murder and zombies. I think it’s perfect.
There are other songs from non-horror artists that I can’t think of. If you know them, leave a comment.
In the late 90′s, the only way to get a feel for what a haunted attraction was like was to either sort through photo galleries online or to read lengthy written descriptions with pictures. But as streaming video technology got better and the price of digital cameras went down as time went on, filmed tours through a haunt became the default way to experience haunted attractions.
There are plenty of reasons why people watch them. Perhaps you’re not able to visit any in your area. Perhaps you’re just a Halloween enthusiast who just can’t enough of haunted attractions (like me). Or maybe your appetite was whetted by the Tiki-themed haunt walkthrough videos that were posted awhile back. Whatever the case is, I think you’ll enjoy the following selection of tours through various haunted houses, both home and professional. I even threw in some haunted hayride videos for good measure:
The story goes that, back in the early 80′s, Vincent Furnier (better known as Alice Cooper) was approached by some foreign filmmakers about starring in a horror movie. Cooper was hesitant about the idea, until the filmmakers assured him that the film would only be seen in the Philippines. As it turns out, this was less than true and Monster Dog was seen all over the world. In it, he plays a rock star named “Vincent Raven” who runs afoul of a werewolf while trying to film some music videos at his childhood home. As most hardcore fans of his will tell you, the movie is only worth seeing as a curiosity or as a way to hear his performances of the two songs written for the film, “Identity Crisis” and “See Me In The Mirror.” In fact, that was the only way to hear those songs until they were released as part of The Life and Crimes of Alice Cooper CD set in 1999. As Monster Dog currently doesn’t seem to have a legitimate DVD release, I thought I’d share the two performances from the film below:
Although I absolutely love the first song, I can emphasize with Cooper’s legendarily low opinion about the quality of the rest of the film. Supposedly he’ll just laugh and immediately change the subject whenever anyone tries asking him about the film. That said, you can read some more details about the making of the film at this unofficial fansite.