NECRO SHOCK RADIO UPDATE

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closed for renovation

Greetings and salutations, my wonderful freaks. This is your Uncle NecRo, finally getting around to a long-overdue update of sorts to let everyone know what’s going on with the ongoing experiment in Brutal Music Therapy we do here on NECRO SHOCK RADIO.

Getting right to the point: We’re taking the summer off. And by “we” I mean “I”, and by “summer”, I mean the time between Memorial Day and Labor Day. The reason for this is a pretty good one, actually.

For the past couple of years or so, I’ve been posting the recent shows on my regular blog, Confessions Of A Christian Freak. I’ve been planning moving NECRO SHOCK RADIO back to its own home, to streamline things and make it a bit easier to see what’s available and just have a nice solid place for everyone to get their Brutal Music Therapy fix.

A friend of mine has the NECRO SHOCK RADIO domain, and has been waiting for me to do something to use it on. And after ten years of doing this, and no indication that I’m going to be ending things any time soon (no matter how many times I try), I’m going to take the summer months allotted to build something nifty for everyone to play in.

The idea is, besides posting the shows there with the streaming and links for downloading the show, but to also provide a comprehensive list of what’s available in the legendary Therapy Vault for anyone to request (if that ever happens, that is). I haven’t decided to host all of my music reviews there as well, that may be overkill, but it’s a possibility.

So, I cannot express my appreciation for everyone’s continued support of NSR. I can’t wait to finally open up the new digs come Labor Day, and we’ll kick that one off with a special 10-Year Anniversary Special Session. See you all then.

Ten years. Gads. Cheers, all…

– Uncle NecRo

::END TRANSMISSION::

Obligatory Memorial Day Post (2017 Edition)

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arlington cemeteryToday is Memorial Day here in the United States of America, where I dwell. A day where we remember and acknowledge those veterans and soldiers who have fought for our freedoms in the past, and are currently fighting for them now. Also a day to remember the loved ones that have shuffled off this mortal coil, some far too soon.

Since I hold my family to be a very important part of my life, I thought I would take a moment to share a list of the names of the family members I remember fondly while growing up:

Bill Wheatley (Great-Grandfather)
Charlotte Marie Case (Great-Grandmother)
Robert Case (Grandfather)
Esther Case (Grandmother)
Gerald Strand (Grandfather)
Betty Strand (Grandmother)
Orland Krohn (Grandfather)
Fern Krohn (Grandmother)
Douglas Erickson (Great-Great Uncle)
Natalie Erickson (Great-Great Aunt)
Janice Nuzum (Great Aunt)
Bill Rabe (Great Uncle)
Murial Rabe (Great Aunt)
Barry Rabe (Second Cousin)
Janet Donahey (Aunt)
Janel Case (Sister)
Allen Donahey (Cousin)
Jerry Donahey (Cousin)

…this is not a complete list, of course. And by no means is it by order of importance. These are the ones that I remember as have being part of my life. There have been others, and there will be others to come. Such is the nature of living.

Anyway, happy Memorial Day, and thank you for all who have served, and are still serving in some capacity. Cheers, all…

::END TRANSMISSION::

CALLING IT A YEAR, FOLKS (A Metapost)

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2016-badLet’s just cut right to the chase, here: 2016 was a trying year. I’m not saying it was a bad year, per se; here we are, a bit less than two months to go, and looking back there seems to have been enough bummers to send even the most sunny smile-wearing optimist into a downward spiral of existential quandary.

Mentally picturing that last part I wrote just put a smile on my face. Excuse me for a bit while I regain my composure.

2016-good

There we go. Where were we, now? Oh, right.

I’m gonna call it a year right now, folks. I know, I know, it’s only the beginning of November. And no, I assure you it has nothing to do with any “Post-Halloween Depression”. It hasn’t been that bad this year, as a matter of fact. It’s just that, given the recent happenings in the ongoing dramady that is my life, I thought it prudent to take the rest of the year off to regroup, deal with the fallout that’s happening right now, and try and look forward to the near future. Namely, next year.

Without going into detail, there was another death in the family on Halloween night itself. As of this writing, tomorrow (November 5th) is the funeral. Then there’s the beginning of the period of the year I like to refer to as the “Holiday Clusterbomb”, which is always a stressful time, regardless of how much I try to not get involved with this superficial time of the year.

I’m just tired right now. I need to try and get things reorganized, especially with my writing, and get some kind of rhythm back on. Writing and posting on this blog, along with producing sessions of NECRO SHOCK RADIO have been my few outlets of creative joy in my life, something I haven’t been able to get back to as much as I’d like.

So, until the beginning of 2017 in a couple of months, I’m going to take the time to recoup a bit. Focus on finally finishing up the backlog of articles and reviews I’ve started but put on hold for whatever reason, then scheduling in advance for next year. Work on getting some Sessions of NSR in the can. Mind you, there will still be your periodic post here and there in the remaining weeks of 2016, mostly reviews of the new theatrical movie releases (there’s Doctor Strange, and also Rogue One with the Exalted Geeks on the docket) and the yearly OBLIGATORY YEAR END REVIEW post I try and get out on December 31st-ish. But for the time being, please excuse the proverbial radio silence from here on out.

If I’m still alive by the end of the year, I shall emerge again in 2017. Have a happy something-or-other, my wonderful freaks. And please disregard all the blood.

::END TRANSMISSION::

July 31, 2016

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I will never forget Your precepts, for by them You have given me life. – Psalm 119:93

It’s been a while. A while since I’ve posted something substantial as far as brain droppings go. A while since I even posted some kind of general update to at least prove that I still exist on this plane of mortality. Did’ja miss me? I’m sure there’s at least a couple of you that did. Hi, Mom.

As it stands, I wish I had something positive to report. Even something as innocuous as “Doing fine, life is good, totally blessed,” and other similar posts I generally gloss over in my social media feed. Then again, even if I posted something like that and meant it, I’d have friends and acquaintances calling me to see if I’m feeling okay.

It’s not easy being the negative charge on the proverbial battery of life.

Boy howdy has 2016 been a trying year. I believe I began wishing for some kind of reset button around May or so. Here we are, the tail end of July, in the middle of the wicked season that is Summer, and there were two events in the past couple of months that have made me want to count this year as a wash. Just to give you an idea of what’s been happening to keep me from wanting to keep up with the content on this blog o’ mine:

My final grandmother passed away at the beginning of June. She was a week or so away from her 90th birthday. She passed away in her sleep; but it was the months leading up to her passing that took the most out of me and my family. It was tough, watching her fade away like she did. I’m still mourning her loss. I suppose I will for a while.

The second thing that hit me pretty hard this summer was something that I really did not see coming at all. Which is why, three weeks after it happened, I–and sever others as well–am  still feeling the whiplash. I can’t really get into the details at the moment; I’m still processing things, and I’d like to get as much information as possible to make a fair assessment of the situation. Let’s just say that, as of today many of us are finding ourselves without a church to call home. Like I said, I’ll probably go into more detail at a later post, I just want to be able to do so in a way that’s gracious and not falling into the realm of sensationalist muck-raking. Because we’re getting enough of that with this current election period, amirite?

Until next time, I hope to shake off the dark fog I’ve been in for the past few months to get back to posting my brain droppings, reviews and other fun stuff. It’s a struggle, buy by the grace of God I go. Cheers, all.

::END TRANSMISSION::

MAY 2015, Part 2: Playing Hooky, Pancakes in Iowa, and Memorial Day Shenanigans…

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RED GREEN!

Spotted at my Aunt’s house…sadly, it didn’t come with a roll of duct tape…

Continuing on with my assessment of the month that was May…

Weekend 3 (May 16th): This was the day I planned on going to a folk metal show in Lincoln, but decided that morning to skip out and do nothing. I wasn’t feeling like traversing all the way to a city that bears nothing but bad memories and the like, just to get my face melted off by a trio of bands that, admittedly, I am not very familiar with, outside of checking out some clips online. They’re very obscure, and I know I would have enjoyed them more had I gone, maybe even picked up some merch and looked into buying a download of one of their albums. I would have even been supporting live \,,/METAL\,,/ playing in Nebraska. But, my despondency levels due to my ongoing depression won out, and I instead remained in Omaha. I do not regret this decision.

Weekend 4 (May 23rd-May 25th): Memorial Day Weekend. Due to the events happening last year, I decided to once again participate in the annual Pancake Feed that the Dunlap, Iowa Volunteer EMT puts on in the Firehouse the Sunday of Memorial Day Weekend. I actually enjoyed helping out last year, and this year I thought it would be a good way to come full circle for certain things. I arrived Saturday morning around 10:30-ish to my Aunt and Uncle’s place (it’s been a familiar home-away-from-home since I could remember), and napped in my Uncle’s easy chair for a while, as my Aunt Joyce was called away to help with an accident that happened on Hwy 30 a mere fifteen minutes after I had driven in that area myself. Chilling. But, she finally arrived back, and after chatting for a bit, I accompanied her to the local cemetery. She was helping map the entire place, and she had to go back and double check a few things. I got to walk around a graveyard, which is one of my hobbies. Don’t act so surprised. She pointed out some of the more interesting monuments there, including some gravestones dating back to the Civil War period, and a couple of her favorite ones there. Gleeful chats of the morbid abounded. I’m beginning to understand the part of the gene pool that got sloshed onto me. So now, whenever one of my parents ask me, “Where do you get that kind of morbid behavior from?”, I can now smile conspiratorially, instead of wonder myself.

Dunlap Graveyard

Later on, Aunt Joyce had to take part in some church activities, so Uncle Pat and I joined my Cousin Rob and his kids at the local ice cream and burger joint for some dinner and catching up. My Cousin Julie and her family showed up as well, so it became a nifty family reunion of sorts. Then we all went back to the firehouse to a surprise party thrown for Uncle Pat for his birthday. Yeah, I forgot to mention that it was his birthday that day. There was cake. Very good cake. The kind with toys on top that the kids there made short work of removing to play with when the cake was cut. After all the birthday-related hobnobbing was over, those who were to be involved with the Pancake Feed commenced with the pre-setup duties. For me, that entailed helping to bring over all the foodstuffs needed, breaking open several dozen eggs into five gallon buckets for the scrambled eggs (the highlight of the whole thing), bringing over various cooking implements and the like. Basic grunt work, like last year. There were a few there that remembered me from last year. A couple of people I didn’t recognize praised my work ethic, which always makes me rather uncomfortable, as I’m always thinking that I could always put more effort into whatever it is I’m doing than what I am. Kind of a messed-up situation, having people tell you you’re doing awesome, while you’re thinking that you’re really sucking at what you’re doing. Anyway, we finished that up and went back to Casa de Cogdill, where I immediately went to bed, on account I was looking at a 5:30am start time the next day.

Uncle Pat's Birthday Cakes

the cake, sans the toys…the kids made off with the majority of them…before I could play with them…

I awoke to the alarm at the prescribed time, somehow managing to not instinctively throw the Android across the room to make it shut up. I don’t care if I was raised in a farming family, 5:30 in the morning is a time when only the truly bent really enjoy being up at. Oh, I’ll do it, but just don’t expect me to be cheery at that time. Or coherent. Or able to conjugate verbs, for that matter. I was lucky enough to conjure up the motor skills needed to turn the shower knobs. But, shower and dress I did, and I was off to meet Uncle Pat at the Firehouse to begin the final setup for the Pancake Feed that was to start at 7am. Others started trickling in, as we set up some signs, moved the emergency vehicles outside, set up tables and chairs, and got the food prepared. I nominated myself for juice duty, as it was something I did last year, and it also kept me from having to manhandle the food serving too much. That, and I could indulge my OCD side, in making a bit of a game with seeing if I was able to keep an even amount of juice-filled styrofoam cups out at any given moment. The goal itself was to maintain a perfect square of juice-filled cups, which…okay, I’m beginning to now see how kind of sad that is. Still, no one ran out of juice cups to grab. Yay, me.

Juice 3 juice 2

The pancakes were really good. The sausages were fantastic, though. They were Farmland brand, I was told, and I found myself having to make myself not snack on those tasty links of spiced breakfast pork meat the whole time. The eggs were good, though needed a bit of salt. The ham was good, but I do have to admit that I kept looking at the bunch of ham that was being served, and couldn’t help but think about a certain Patton Oswalt bit and snicker, which drew a few confused looks from the servers at times. I didn’t really explain, as I’m not going to do so now, really.

HAM!

“ALL OF THE HAM!!!!”

Massive amounts of people came, consuming mass quantities of carb-laced goodness. I think Uncle Pat gave more firetruck rides for the kids there than before, not certain exactly how many he gave. It was a lot, enough for him to comment on it later. I managed to stay and help out until a bit after Noon, when my body began aggressively insisting that I go lay down somewhere, and soon. So, I was given leave to head back to Casa Cogdill, where I gratefully crashed on the couch for a few hours. I was told I looked comfy. I was.

Pancake Feed 2 Pancake Feed 1 Inside Pancake Feed 3 Inside Pancake Feed 2 Inside Pancake Feed 1classic dunlap fire truck

The next day, Memorial Day, I didn’t have to be at work, so I stayed one extra night, and went to the nearby town of Woodbine, where my cousin Rob dwells with his family, to hang out a bit. It was his youngest child’s third birthday, the one I came to nickname “Boo”, on account of her uncanny resemblance to the toddler in Monsters, Inc. Watched Big Hero 6 (which is something I have to get around to reviewing now), hung out with the kids, chatted with the cousins and family, then I made up a cup full of various fruit and grabbed a diet Root Beer for the drive back to Omaha, for the planned Cookout & Movies gathering at Nex’s place. Got there in time for a couple of hot dogs, then watched Stargate and The Grand Budapest. I did more socializing that weekend than I normally do in a handful of months. And my introvert nature was making me hyper aware of this.

cowboy hat n' motorhead

As my Gran’pa always said, “Son, if you ever get the chance to wear a pink cowboy hat, don’t pass it up.”

Last part is coming up…

::END TRANSMISSION::

MAY 2015, Part 1: Blockbuster Movie Time, and a Graduation…

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dead fish in hooper parkThe month of June is here once again. The Middle of the Year that is 2015. And May is over with. None too soon, as I marvel and wonder at how exactly I managed to survive the goings on of that month. It was jammed packed, the weekends were, the sacred days of when I’m not obligated to go to work and exchange my services for the currency needed to exchange for goods and services. A vicious cycle, that.

But, anyway, the point of all this is to share what the weekends of the last month was, complete with nifty pictures captured on my Android. Let’s reminisce along with your Uncle NecRo, shall we?

A couple of things before we begin: 1) that picture of a dead fish up there was an actual fish I found in the middle of the park in Hooper, Nebraska, when I was walking around one sunny Wednesday afternoon there, thinking about stuff to write about. It seemed random and odd. So obviously I had to get a picture. 2) I’m listening to the self-titled album by White Lighter, one of the bands Stavesacre/The Crucified vocalist Mark Solomon sings on, while I write this. Not too bad, for an indie rock record. You might want to pause right now, purchase the download on Amazon like I did, and listen along while you read this. You know, for the full effect. “Getting into the mind-frame of the writer” and all that. If that’s a thing. I don’t know if it is. Let’s pretend it is, for the sake of this blog.

Ready? Here we go, then:

Weekend 1 (May 2nd): Not too eventful, outside of finally getting to see a showing of The Avengers: Age Of Ultron along with members of the Exalted Geeks. Saturday was the day most of us could find the time to get together. Saw a bunch of the Geeks that I haven’t for a while, and we all went to the Aksarben Theater, which is one of those tragically hip modern type movie theaters that feature, among other things, an open bar and a Blue Bunny Ice Cream counter. I had to partake in a small dish of Peanut Butter Panic. Cost $5, but…I had no choice in the matter. Sorry. As to the movie itself, I expounded more upon that in my review here. Then I went back to the Victorian and called it a day.

Alisha n' Uncle NecRoWeekend 2 (May 9th): This was the weekend of my cousin’s second-oldest’s High School graduation. It was a bit of a mixed bag, as far as how I felt about this. I mean, on the one had, not only is it a Rite of Passage of sorts for Alyssa (the kid in question, here), an event to be celebrated happily, but it’s also a chance to finally see that side of the family this year (most of them, anyway) without having it be a funeral for once. And there was cake. That’s always a good thing. On the other hand, though, it also meant one more glaring indication that I am getting old. The passage of time stops for no man. Or woman, if you want to argue the point.

If you’ve never been to Palmer, Nebraska, I don’t blame you. It’s one of those middle-of-nowhere small towns that only the Midwest can produce. The kind of town that, if you’re not familiar with to begin with (like I was, despite having lived in a slightly bigger small town nearby at one point in my life), while driving there you begin to think that the town itself does not exist in reality, that it only appears in the light of a full moon, when the veil between this reality and the parallel one it lives in is finally lifted. But, I found it, and made it to the High School in time for the graduation ceremonies to begin.

I was struck by how small the graduating class was. This coming from someone whose own graduating class barely made it past the 50 mark. Alyssa’s own class was roughly half of mine, which says something. Well, not really. If you’ve seen the size of Palmer, then you could probably understand. That didn’t stop the gym itself to be packed with all sorts of people, presumably the family and friends of the graduates. I, of course, sat with my own family, which consisted of an entire row of chairs. The blood runs thick in our family. I was seated next to the two youngest members of their household, so I was more or less obligated to try and make them lose composure and giggle during the presentations. I’ll give those two credit—they were very well practiced at keeping their composure. Although, I they could have obliged with a grin or something, rather than those “who is this oddball, and why is he related to me?” kind of looks I got mostly. Eh, whatever. Made the older kids laugh, and that’s what is really important. I think.

Alisha's graduation

After the graduation ceremony, there was a kind of joint reception put on by the families of three of the graduates, Alyssa’s being one of them. There was the afore-mentioned cake, the requisite tables full of pictures and other memorabilia, streamers and balloons, and a nifty pot-luck style of buffet that was nice. I drank a lot of iced tea, snacked on a lot of fruit, chatted with the various members of the family from all of the age groups, and generally had a very good time just hanging out like that. Then the DJ showed up. They hired a DJ. Which makes sense, really. Problem is, I haven’t been hip to what it is the young’uns are listening too, as I mainly don’t care. For the most part, general pop music is something I don’t mind having to sit through, as I built up a decent brain filter to block the unpleasantness without having to turn into Mr. Music Elite Jerkwad. For the most part. The problem is, there seems to have emerged in the pop music world a mutated abomination that is known as “Hip-Hop Country.” Or is it “Country Hip-Hop”? It doesn’t matter, as this takes the two of my least-favorite genres—Country and Hip-Hop Rap—and creates something that is somehow worse than Dub Step. I never thought there would ever be a style of music that I would consider more unlistenable than Dub Step, but lo and behold, here we have it. And it’s not a situation where a Country artist collaborates with a Hip-Hop Rap artist, either; no, this is where an otherwise Modern Country song has the singer start rapping. And it’s the whitest and most horrible thing that will make your ears sad. So when the DJ broke out the rappin’ country dudes, that’s when I decided to give my final congrats and goodbyes to Alyssa, hopped inside the Aluminum Falcon and bid farewell to Palmer. Until the next one graduates. Here’s hoping nothing worse crops up in the music world by then.

(Part 2 Coming Later)

::END TRANSMISSION::

Some Meta Posting For Now…

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1875:  A round tower and Great Cross in the graveyard at Monasterboice monastery, County Louth, founded by Saint Buite. Figured panels on the South Cross illustrate the Crucifixion, the Last Judgement and the Murder of Abel.  (Photo by Mercer/Sean Sexton/Getty Images)

1875: A round tower and Great Cross in the graveyard at Monasterboice monastery, County Louth, founded by Saint Buite. Figured panels on the South Cross illustrate the Crucifixion, the Last Judgement and the Murder of Abel. (Photo by Mercer/Sean Sexton/Getty Images)

Here we are, nearly to the middle of the year that is 2015. The smack-dab middle of the middle year of the decade of the…”Tens”, is it? I know about the first part being the “Aughts” or something like that. Really, the teenage years are the most awkward and ill-defining, be it humans or decades.

It’s also Saturday morning, in what is normally known here in my neck of the world as Memorial Day Weekend. The weekend in preparation for Memorial Day, the last Monday of May set aside to remember those who have sacrificed their time, efforts and sometimes even lives for the freedoms we all too often take for granted here in the U. S. of A. The manner of remembrance of which is marked by not going to work, congregating outdoors in sensuous pagan rituals known as “grilling burgers and brats” and drinking copious amounts of adult beverages, while wearing rather unflattering and sometimes tacky clothing and listening to what is called Country Music singing about patriotism, drinking said adult beverages, and some unidentified female referred to as “Baby Girl” whose choice of transportation is either a pickup truck or a tractor, depending on the artist in question.

I feel I should tell you, tender reader, that I’m writing this post freestyle, and make not promises as to doing any editing. All of this is straight from my sleep-deprived brain to your eyeballs, while I wait for my clothes to finish drying at this early hour.

Anyhoo, this weekend, after my laundry is finished in a bit, I’m taking off for the mythical land of Dunlap, Iowa, to spend a couple of days with my Uncle Pat and Aunt Joyce at their place. I’m going to help them out again this year with the Pancake Feed their volunteer rescue team puts on. I did so last year, and figured I would do it again this year. It would be a nice short vacation out of the madness that is my dwelling and daily routines and rituals.

I’m not planning on bringing along my laptop. I really want to focus on some things that have been bumping around in my surprisingly spacious skull. Meditate on certain things, all that. The only techy device I plan on bringing along is my Android. Otherwise, I’m bringing along my Bible and binder notebook for the old school writing when the urge to purge my brain droppings comes about. Old school, baby.

Then, on Memorial Day proper, I return to the land of Omaha, to partake of one of the previously-mentioned grilling rituals with several members of the Coven of Exalted Geeks, followed by the watching of a b-grade movie. I shall enjoy it immensely.

The clothes are done. I must now prepare for my journey into the netherworld of Iowa. Cheers, all, and a have a memorable Memorial Day Weekend. For all of you reading this from other points in the world, enjoy your weekend.

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