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happy halloween¬†This is it, the day we’ve all been waiting for! Go, have a Happy Halloween, and have fun. And don’t forget the real meaning behind Halloween: To celebrate the defeat of Death and Satan at the Cross of Christ. Tonight, the forces of darkness are mocked, as we all gather together with candy and such. So, until next year, I shall go forth into the night and enjoy the day, until the clock strikes Midnight, and the Post-Halloween Depression sets in.



NECRO SHOCK RADIO: Session 3-13 – The Halloween Hootenanny!

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Hey, everyone! It’s Uncle NecRo’s favorite time of the year! And to celebrate, I’ve whipped up a special Halloween Hootenanny for this session of Brutal Music Therapy!

Featuring cuts from:

graveyard bats - crush your lie the deadlines - the life and death of... rackets & drapes - trick or treat kryst the conquerer grave robber - be afraid dark night - night of halloween coriolis - coriolis blaster the rocketboy - succulent space food for teething vampires alice cooper - the last temptation


HALLOWEEN’ING 2015: Day 30 – Gothic Literature

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HALLOWEEN'ING 2015oxford book of gothic talesNowadays, when someone refers to “Gothic fiction”, they’re probably thinking of the modern urban fantasy types featuring brooding vampires and…well, it’s mostly vampires. Nothing wrong with that, I guess. But, when I think of Gothic fiction, or Gothic literature, as the title of this Halloween’ing post is, I think of the classics: The stories and poems by the likes of Edgar Allan Poe, Mary Shelley’s creature, Bram Stoker’s famous vampire, Washington Irving’s Legend of Sleepy Hollow, the ghost stories of M. R. James, plus a myriad of others.

These are stories that were made to be best enjoyed in the dead of night, preferably by candle light and in a drafty, musty castle. That last part might be hard to come by nowadays, but the point is, these are atmospheric classics that begs to be read in the manner they deserve. And not just this one time of the year, either.


HALLOWEEN’ING 2015: Day 29 – Revenge of the Top Ten Favorite Halloween Mix Songs

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HALLOWEEN'ING 2015Okay, so we’re getting close to the big day, and you’re still wondering what kind of mix to throw on for your party. Might I suggest first checking out my original playlist post from 2014. Beyond that, if you’re still wanting more, I provide for you now the sequel to that post, Revenge of the Top Ten Favorite Halloween Mix Songs! Thunder, lightning, and maniacal laughter is inserted here…

“Bark At The Moon” (Ozzy Osbourne)

The title track from Ozzy’s third release, “Bark At The Moon” tells the tale of a creature that once terrorized a town, killed, and then got better. The video is like a mini-Hammer horror flick, borrowing heavily from Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. What other reason do you need to include this one?

“Halloween Theme” (John Carpenter)

The melody to this theme to Carpenter’s legendary Halloween franchise is simple, effective, and classic. Carpenter composed it on a piano, a simple melody that burned itself into the psyche of American culture. This needs to be included, definitely.

“Carmina Burana: Introduction” (Carl Orff)

I first came across this piece on the soundtrack to the movie The Doors. While I could take or leave classical music at the time, this piece of music actually hit me with its dark choral setup. This is actually part of a catana based on a bunch of medieval poems that was composed in the early 20th Century…but this is probably the most famous bit that everyone knows.

“(Every Day Is) Halloween” (Ministry)

Of course, I would include this in the mix. Because everybody else does. Seriously, I’ve seen this song featured on so many Gothic-themed collections that I’m pretty sure there’s an unwritten rule that this must be issued to you in some kind of welcome package when you decide to embrace the darkness. Also, it has the word “Halloween” in the title, so there’s that.

“This Corrosion” (Sisters Of Mercy)

Dark, atmospheric, and with a nice jaunty beat so you can dance to it. Also, one of my favorite Sisters Of Mercy songs.

“Dead Souls” (Joy Division)

The version of this song that I first heard was the Nine Inch Nails cover that was featured on The Crow soundtrack. I happened to choose the original Joy Division version on here because, well, you got to show love to the forefathers and all.

“Bela Lugosi’s Dead” (Bauhaus)

Okay, let’s do the checklist, shall we? Post-punk godfathers of the whole Goth movement in the 1980s? Check. Song about the actor who made the physical embodiment of Dracula iconic? Check. Tremendously atmospheric music that’s best heard in darkness lit by flickering candles? Check. Yep, on the list.

“This Maniac’s In Love With You” (Alice Cooper)

I loves me some Alice Cooper. He has such a rich library of Halloween fun to pick from. Usually my personal mixes involves ALL of the Alice Cooper. But in this case, I went with this cut from the 1989 release Trash. It’s a very jaunty and disturbing piece. And also, I’ve already used “Feed My Frankenstein” on last year’s list, so there’s that.

“Black No. 1 (Little Miss Scare-All)” (Type O Negative)

What would a Halloween playlist be without something from Type O Negative? Safe, that’s what. And who wants safe? Nobody on this blog, that’s for certain.

“Mr. Scary” (Dokken)

If you’re up on both your horror movies as well as the hair metal from the 1980s, you’re probably be thinking to yourself, “why didn’t he chose “Dream Warriors” from that album?” And I wouldn’t fault you for thinking that. I mean, that song was featured on the Nightmare On Elm Street 3 soundtrack. But, I went with my favorite cut from the beyond excellent Back For The Attack release, the guitar instrumental “Mr. Scary”. Why? Because it’s awesome. And it has the word “Scary” in the title. It was a natural choice.

So, there we are. Another ten choices for your Halloween mix. Will there be another one next year? We’ll just have to wait and see. Until then, enjoy.


Music Review: MALCOLM & ALWYN – Fool’s Wisdom

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malcolm + Alwyn - fool's wisdom

Fool’s Wisdom
Myrrh Records

For the life of me, I swear I had a review of this particular album done and posted years ago. Maybe it was only done for my former ‘zine publication–STATIC–that I did back in the 1990s, and never really did one for my forays into online blogging. But, going back thorough my highly prolific list of music reviews I have in my personal collection, I came upon the realization that I don’t have a review posted for British Jesus rock duo Malcolm & Alwyn’s debut release Fool’s Wisdom. Consider this my rectifying of the problem.

I first came across the music of Malcolm & Alwyn by way of the elders in the church I was attending in the 1990s, who all lived through the Jesus People movement in the 1960s and 1970s. They had a copy of this on vinyl, and since I was going through my neo-hippie phase back then (as a lot of college-age kids groping to find their identities sometimes do, I make no apologies), I recorded off a copy for my own listening enjoyment from the well-loved vinyl record they had. Later on, Word, Inc. (who bought up the label this album was originally released on) re-released a lot of Jesus Rock-era albums onto CD, and Fool’s Wisdom was one of the titles, which I bought…and then gave away to someone who really liked it better than myself. Now, here we are in the second decade of the 21st Century, and this debut album is now available for full download on Amazon and various other legal download sites. Now all we need is one of those Vinyl Revival re-issues to bring things full circle.

As far as the music on this release, I actually kind of like it, in the capacity of something to throw on when I’m in that Hippie Rock kind of mood. Yes, “Hippie Rock” is a genre in my head. Quit looking at me like that. It’s acoustic-based folk rock that typifies the era, and strong comparisons to Simon & Garfunkel and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young pop to mind, as well as asides to pre-electric Bob Dylan. The musicianship is quality, the songs are rather memorable, and–while I have to be in a very specific mood to throw this on–the entire album is solid front-to-back. Mind you, nowadays, I don’t throw it on nearly as many times as I had in my younger days, but it’s still a strong presence in my collection. I recommend this for fans of older classic folk-stylings of the previously mentioned Simon & Garfunkel and CSN+Y, as well as James Taylor, and acoustic music in general. Not as big on the pretentiousness, though.

HALLOWEEN’ING 2015: Day 28 – McDonald’s Trick Or Treat Pails

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mcdonalds_halloween_pails_1986This wasn’t the first time McDonald’s Happy Meals came in a shaped “box” other than the classic one that was part of many of our childhoods if you grew up in the 1980s, but the one that really embodies the spirit of Halloween was the Trick Or Treat Pails that they put out back in 1986, and repeated to do so through to the 1990s.

The concept was simple but brilliant: make the containers of the Happy Meals come in essentially smaller, bucket-shaped versions of those plastic Jack-O-Lantern patterned trick-or-treat buckets they sell every year. Mind you, they were probably more geared toward the toddler set (I happened to be within the “probably too old to be trick-or-treating” age at the time these came out), as they didn’t seem to hold a lot of candy to satisfy your average candy monger. But, they did come in handy as decorations and holding other items.

I’ve seen these listed on eBay for a significant amount, so the nostalgia value of these things exist. Personally, I can’t recall if my sister and I ever got one of these. Either way, it’s a nice bit of flashback material to those who recall these fondly.


HALLOWEEN’ING 2015: Day 27 – “The Boogieman”

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quantum leap the boogieman¬†Quantum Leap was one of those shows I have rather fond memories of from my youth. I remember first discovering this show back in the fall of 1989, my mother being a fan of it at the time; a prime-time sci-fi drama about a guy who “leaps” into the bodies of various people in different points of time to make things right. I found it to be brilliant. I was also 15 at the time; I thought the mullet hair-style was brilliant. The point I’m trying to make here is that, no, Quantum Leap didn’t necessarily age well, but it’s still an enjoyable piece of sci-fi escapism I like to revisit once in a while. But I digress.

One of my favorite episodes that I remember watching on its first broadcast run was the Halloween episode “The Boogieman”. In this episode, our protagonist–Sam–leaps into horror novelist Joshua Ray, described in the episode as a kind of second-rate H. P. Lovecraft. Sounds like someone I’d want to check out. Anyway, there be weird things a’brewin’ in the House of Ray, as the people associated with him begin dying. And Sam’s future guide, Al, can’t seem to give him the information in time to save them in time. As a matter of fact, Al seems to be acting kind of odd, even for Al.

For a Halloween episode, “The Boogieman” is a nice neo-Gothic style spine-tingling mystery that hits a good many of the tropes associated with these kind of stories, especially the “It was all a dream…OR WAS IT?!?” kind of resolution. Oh, um…spoilers, by the way. And the throwaway twist at the very end is still chuckle-worthy, methinks. Overall, “The Boogieman” would make a great addition to any kind of Halloween-themed marathon for the telly.



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