Showing posts with label music. Show all posts
Showing posts with label music. Show all posts

Nov 23, 2019

LISTEN TO SATANIC DOO WOP


For fans of: Chelsea Wolfe, Amy Winehouse, Postmodern Jukebox, and Satan, the Prince of Darkness.


From Twin Temple's website:

Everybody knows that the Devil has all the best tunes. From Robert Johnson selling his soul at the crossroads to the blood-soaked black metal of Norway, Satan has long loomed large over the music world, striking fear into the hearts of the sanctimonious. But nothing that has gone before will prepare you for the arrival of Twin Temple: Los Angeles’ one and only purveyors of Satanic Doo-Wop. Devout Satanists and meticulous preservers of rock’n’roll’s ancient, timeless spirit, this black-clad and effortlessly stylish duo have created a sound that blends their Satanic ideology with the irresistible sass and melody of classic ‘50s and ‘60s rock ‘n’roll. The result is Twin Temple (Bring You Their Signature Sound…Satanic Doo-Wop), a debut album that not only serves to salute the Dark One, but also delivers some of the catchiest and coolest music to emerge from any genre in years.



Sep 27, 2019

JOHN CARPENTER: LIVE RETROSPECTIVE


"I'm a director of horror movies. I love horror movies. Horror movies will live forever." 
After thirty years, John Carpenter is finally getting his due. And he's having fun again.

For those who have followed the trials and tribulations of the cult director, everyone knows that he's a man who has consistently proven to be ahead of the times. One of his most celebrated films, Halloween, was met with critical dismissal and audience disinterest upon its initial release, but which saw a total reversal on both of those fronts over the coming months. It was "the little indie film that could," as the dearly departed co-producer/co-writer Debra Hill once put it, and it would go on to become one of the most respected horror films of all time and spawn a franchise comprising eleven films, with two more entries on their way. A similar fate would befall The Thing, perhaps the director's most respected film, which would not only have its own reversal in the minds of critics and hearts of audiences, but nearly derail Carpenter's career, putting him on a different path of safer studio fare (Christine, Starman) to show audiences he was capable of telling less icky, mean-spirited stories.

But the 2010s have shown that Carpenter's impact hasn't just been on audiences, for whom he's provided decades of nightmares, but on a legion of filmmakers who have grown up under his tutelage. Adam Wingard with The Guest. Jim Mickle with Cold in July. Jeff Nichols with Midnight Special. David Robert Mitchell with It Follows. And this list is endless, as new films are announced all the time that cite Carpenter as their inspiration. None of these filmmakers hide their love and respect for a man who, for much of his career, received too little of both. The current iteration of Hollywood, which so far has remade four of Carpenter's best efforts, with more on the way, and where Halloween and Vampires have been sequelled into mediocrity, is the same land where Carpenter can't find funding for his own projects. To film fans, that can be especially aggravating. But as he's so far proven during his John Carpenter: Live Retrospective tour, he has gotten the last laugh, night after night. Because try as producers might to keep re-purposing Carpenter films through remakes or sequels in a blind effort to achieve mastery through affiliation, they will never even begin to touch the majesty of seeing him perform his most famous themes as part of a six-piece band (which includes his son Cody Carpenter, Daniel Davies, John Konesky, Scott Seiver, and John Spiker).

In July of 2016, I got my chance.


Much like Carpenter's filmmaking style, musical style, and much like the man himself, John Carpenter: Live Retrospective featured zero bullshit. There was no opening act, and no intermission. There were no pyrotechnics, no surprise guests, no gimmicks. The presentation was simplistic, to the point, and somewhat dorky (said in the lovingest way possible). During performances of his film themes, a large screen behind the band played a muted montage of the appropriate title. And for cuts from his two Lost Themes albums, that screen either displayed abstract light shows, or nothing at all. During The Fog, the stage filled with...you guessed it...fog. For They Live, the band paused after the song's intro to slip on some Ray-Bans. During Big Trouble in Little China, which Carpenter introduced as being a search for "the girl with green eyes," the lights illuminated solid green. And for every single one of these tracks, film themes or otherwise, Carpenter was chewing gum and dancing adorably behind his keyboard. He was beckoning to the crowd for rhythmic hand claps, the devil horns, and during Big Trouble in Little China's "Porkchop Express," the hand gesture shown off by several of its characters, known as the "Buddha finger." And the crowd, who waited with bated breath for the most recognizable horror theme of all time, lost their minds as the band launched into the main titles for Halloween, which they followed up with In the Mouth of Madness, likely the closest thing to rock 'n roll the director has ever scored. Even cuts from the surprise album "Lost Themes II," which is quite different from its predecessor, demanded new evaluation when presented so intimately and enthusiastically by its musical personnel. "Distant Dream" alone proved this.

In a night filled with surprises, the band chose to end the show with an unexpected choice: a track from Christine, a less celebrated title with a less celebrated soundtrack. But as the band performed, you could see why: because they enjoy the hell out of themselves as they play it--more than any other song in their set list.


Some film tracks, such as The Fog, are as you remember them. But so many others, now with the use of a full band, sound electrifyingly new. Never have the main titles from Escape From New York, confined so long to merely synthesizer, sounded so full and tremendous and utterly bad-ass. And with scenes from the film playing out on screen featuring Harry Dean Stanton's Brain and Donald Pleasence's President of the United States, the crowd was reminded that they don't just love Carpenter's films, and they don't just love his music, but they love his music because of his films, and they love his films because of his music.

Seeing John Carpenter embark on a tour during which honors his own legacy--one so often disregarded unless it's being exploited--offered another stark reminder: in this world of endless sequels, remakes, and loving cinema homages, there will only ever be one John Carpenter. The John Carpenter: Live Retrospective tour has come to an end, but a second tour that promoted his movie themes, was immediately announced. Will Carpenter and co. tour again? Never say never. If they do, and you haven't yet had the pleasure, don't miss out. (Or, of course, you can pick up a Blu-ray of the tour from Storm King Productions.)

Set List
Escape From New York (Main Title)
Assault on Precinct 13 (Main Title)
Vortex (from Lost Themes)
Mystery (from Lost Themes)
The Fog (Main Title)
They Live (Coming To L.A.)
The Thing (Main Theme - Desolation) (Ennio Morricone cover)
Distant Dream (from Lost Themes II)
Big Trouble in Little China (Pork Chop Express)
Wraith (from Lost Themes II)
Night (Daniel Davies solo; from Lost Themes)
Halloween (Main Title)
In the Mouth of Madness (Main Title)
Encore:
Prince of Darkness (Darkness Begins)
Virtual Survivor (from Lost Themes II)
Purgatory (from Lost Themes)
Christine: Christine Attacks (Plymouth Fury)


Nov 24, 2013

FREE MUSIC: OBSIDIAN KINGDOM

Received the below from Obsidian Kingdom. Unfortunately I'm not familiar with them, so I don't know how much of their pure sound is reflected in this remix album. As such, I can't really offer up much of a critique beyond "it's different, but I like it." Give them a whirl if you're feeling curious. If you enjoyed the Sinister soundtrack, these fellows might be up your alley. Plus, free!

We are Obsidian Kingdom, an independent act from Barcelona.

We are currently promoting our latest release, TORN & BURNT - The Mantiis Remixes, which features astounding reworks of seven tracks from MANTIIS, signed by artists as renowned as Oktopus (Dälek), Subheim, Poordream, Necro Deathmort, Jr Morgue, Drumcorps, Larvae and Mothboy.

You are kindly invited to download the digital album from our Bandcamp profile for free; you can also stream it on Spotify, iTunes, Soundcloud and every other major online music distributor. 
A limited digipack edition is also available at our online store. The artwork has been curated by Belgian artist and taxidermist Raf Veulemans and Majorcan designer Tomeu Mulet.

Band Name: Obsidian Kingdom
Album Name: TORN & BURNT – The Mantiis Remixes
Year: 2013
Genre: Electronic / Ambient / Experimental
Country: Spain
Tracklist:
01. And Then It Was (Oktopus remix)
02. Last Of The Light (Subheim vs Poordream remix)
03. Awake Until Dawn (Necro Deathmort remix)
04. Fingers In Anguish (Jr Morgue remix)
05. Haunts Of The Underworld (Drumcorps remix)
06. The Nurse (Larvae remix)
07. Answers Revealing (Mothboy remix)

Download

Oct 8, 2013

#HALLOWEEN: THE BOY WITH NO SHADOW: AN INTERVIEW WITH LONESOME WYATT


Lonesome Wyatt and The Holy Spooks are no stranger to The End of Summer. Having featured this delightfully dark musical act three times before, finding a new way to describe it/him/them is a fool’s errand. Fact is, I could very well use the whole “so and so meets the guy from this thing” and dozens of other lazy comparisons ad nauseum, but all I really need to say is this: Listen for yourself, because if you're not, I feel sorry for you. Though he made a name for himself with Those Poor Bastards, an act that infuses country and Americana with goth and darkness, it is as Lonesome Wyatt and The Holy Spooks where something clicked with me in a way that it feels legitimately special. Add a scratchy layer of vinyl grain and Wyatt’s music could easily sound as if it were plucked right out of the 1970s, where society seemed suddenly enamored with death, evil, and the very real possibility of the devil walking amongst us.

While on a break from touring, Wyatt was kind enough to answer a few questions about his newest release – “Halloween is Here” – his history with/as The Spooks, and his life as a seeker/celebrator of the morbid.



TEOS: I’ve listened to enough of your music (and read your first Edgar Switchblade misadventure) to recognize a fellow dark-side dwelling miscreant when I see one. What draws you to this odder road less traveled?

I suppose it all goes back to having a very secluded childhood with all those spooky cornfields rustling all the time. Too much solitude can make a fella a little strange.

TEOS: Much of your music is really story-driven – something Johnny Cash was always known forso I hear a lot of his approach, including the dark humor, in your work. I also hear occasional glimpses of Timber Timbre and Tom Waits. 

Who else would you cite as an inspiration in your musical life? Was there a particular singer or songwriter, author, or perhaps filmmaker you may have discovered at a young age that made you realize this was what you wanted to do?

Growing up, I would say Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark and Gremlins were mostly to blame. I also remember getting a record called "Trick or Treat" by Oscar Brand from the library and that made a big impression on me. The songs were pretty goofy, but for some reason they really sent my tiny brain spinning.

Later on, Johnny Cash's "American Recordings," and Nick Cave's "Murder Ballads" showed me the mighty power of music.


TEOS: I can certainly appreciate your appreciation for the dark side and the supernatural. I've always been very intrigued by the paranormal. Tell me: how much of it do you believe? Do you believe in the existence of ghosts – in things beyond our understanding?


Well, there are sounds beyond our range of hearing and sights beyond our range of seeing, so who knows what we're missing? Maybe we're surrounded by horrible monsters and dead people. I sure hope so. I believe anything is possible and impossible.

TEOS: You are constantly trying new things, yet wanting to remain in this dark playground where your imagination is at its most potent. At this point in your career, are you consistently trying to reach new fans, or satisfying the ones you’ve already earned?


I try not to think too much about reaching new fans or how the project will be received or any of that kind of stuff. Of course I hope some people will enjoy it, but it's beyond my control. It just cripples you and fills you with anxiety if you worry about that. I try to keep things pure and create whatever idea I become excited about at the time. Hopefully it connects with someone.

TEOS: Moving onto "Halloween is Here"... I admit, and I say this more as a fan and less as a critic, I was a little disappointed the first time I listened to the new album.  I was anticipating something beautiful, dark, and more musically driven like “Ghost Ballads” – one of the new tracks, “Such a Fright,” for instance, is along the lines of what I was expecting – but it was probably halfway through my second listen that I “got” it – and loved it – and I realized you had a different goal: Instead of just doing a flat-out musical record, create this kind of old-school Halloween party ambience with flamboyant lyrics and quirky descriptions. And you really do nail that idea, right down to the perfectly vintage-looking album artwork. What other templates were you following when you were putting together this album? Who were you honoring, if anyone in particular?

That's always the problem when listening to a new album by someone whose last album you enjoyed. Your brain gets thrown in a loop when it's different than you expected. I just didn't think having this album really serious and quiet would make any sense. I see Halloween as more of a party for horrible things than a somber or sad experience. The whole thing is a tribute to all those obscure Halloween albums from the 50's-80's. No one makes this kind of stuff anymore, so I thought it was important to try to carry on the tradition. Hopefully it's not too insulting to those mysterious gods of the past.


TEOS: Your previous album as Lonesome Wyatt and The Holy Spooks, “Ghost Ballads,” is likely your most story-driven yet. The first track, “The Golden Rule,” doesn’t really get lost in poetic hyperbole – it’s a rather straightforward ghost story set to some pretty beautifully dark music. Listening to "Halloween is Here," however, it's evident you really didn't take this same approach.

Not really. This album is very different from Ghost Ballads. I think the only similar song would be "Such a Fright." Otherwise, it's not really as soft or pretty sounding. I was inspired by old Halloween records and wanted to try to capture that strange energy a lot of them have. There's quite a bit of group singing on this one. It sounds like a gang of deformed monsters. The rest of the album has stories, which were inspired by great albums like "Scary Spooky Stories."  It's really for all ages of creeps.

It was also important to me to make it sound and look handcrafted and not mass-produced. We printed all of the record and CD jackets on vintage style chipboard paper and I hand numbered them. The illustration by Strange Fortune Design Co. is just perfect and creepily vintage. I really hate slick, glossy things.


TEOS: Compared to previous Lonesome Wyatt releases, like “Heartsick,” for example, “Halloween is Here” has a sillier tone – not just in the content, but in the several songs where your vocals are accompanied by that sea of monstrous sounding voices you mentioned earlier. And on top of that, you add stories about werewolves suffering from depression, or kleptomaniac ghosts (from... Indiana). While the new album still has that patented Lonesome Wyatt darkness, it feels like you said, “Let’s just have some fun.” Was this a conscious choice? And if so, how early on in the realization did you know you just wanted to have a blast?

I just don't like doing the same album over and over. Ghost Ballads pretty much covered the gloomy horror, so I thought this one should me more rowdy and unhinged. It was my goal to create something that sounded like a bunch of crazy creatures having a celebration. I like to think of it as mentally ill rather than fun. Fun has some bad connotations.

TEOS: Probably my favorite aspect to the album is this kind of purposely implied feel that it’s something children would listen to at a party, but then at the same time some of the stories are pretty gruesome – especially “The Giant Fist.” So in a sense it sort of captures our fond recollections of Halloween (which more often than not stem back to our youth) and marries it to this kind of disturbing but quirky storyscape. It’s tough to explain but I think it makes the album that much more special – sort of a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

I'm glad you noticed that, pal. This is just the way I see Halloween. I think it should be both exciting and ridiculous, but also surreal and frightening. When you look at old Halloween decorations many of them were unnerving and disturbing, but now everything is smiling and cute. I don't like that at all. We need to return this holiday back to its peculiar roots. It should be full of creepy terror and graveyard thrills.

TEOS: What is it about October 31st that compelled you to construct an entire concept album around it?

I have always loved that odd Autumn feeling that blows through the air around Halloween. Everything is filled with death and wonder.

TEOS: When can we expect to see the first music video based on one of your Halloween songs? And if so, do you know which song you’ll be using?

Unfortunately, I don't think we'll have time for a music video with this one. There are just too many projects going on. It's a real shame. I think I have to slow down on all this stuff at some point.

TEOS: What does a typical Halloween night look for Lonesome Wyatt?

It's not a very pretty sight. I usually just stay at home and watch some horror movies on VHS and listen to Halloween records. As with most things, the idea of Halloween is much better than the stinking reality.



I thank Lonesome Wyatt for taking the time to discuss his new descent into madness, and I’m especially thankful for him having used Halloween as its backdrop. It’s always been my favorite night of the year for a multitude of reasons, but it seems that Halloween seems to be less celebrated and feel less important year after year. It’s starting to feel like those people who care about it belong to this very unpopular club that doesn’t have all that many members. So, my genuine thanks to LW for trying to contribute to it in some way in an effort to keep it going and keep people enthusiastic.


“Halloween is Here” can be purchased on vinyl (no it can't - sold out!), CD, and digital download directly at the official Lonesome Wyatt site, as well as your usual online retailers.

Apr 21, 2013

1340 KAB: THIS IS STEVIE WAYNE, YOUR NIGHT LIGHT


It had been a long day for Al Williams. With the April heat suddenly coming on in full force, all he had wanted to do was stack the Sea Grass with a few twelve-packs and head out into Bodega Bay with Dick and Tommy. Making this difficult was Kathy, his well-meaning but neurotic wife, who had been driving herself crazy – along with Al by default – trying to organize the town’s Centennial. “Had the statue been finished? Had the candles been ordered? Would the dark and somber Father Malone remember he was to perform the benediction?” That’s right, their town of many years, Antonio Bay, was turning one hundred years any minute, and while many townspeople seemed excited at the prospect, he could only scoff and wonder if he should be so lucky to live that long. But he had finally managed to escape, and after handing off the final case of beer to Dick and Tommy, who waited impatiently on the Sea Grass, they shoved off from the docks and motored for a while – far enough away where the only sign of life from town came in the form of some phantom dog barks, but close enough that they could still pick up the signal from the KAB station lighthouse off Spivey Point.

He needed this – bad. Good friends and cheap beer, and sure, maybe they’d try to catch a fish or two. His old vessel creaked and cracked like she were about to fall apart at any moment, but she was sea worthy, alright – he'd been taking her out for years.

He wasn't sure where to set his sights: Whateley or Arkham Reefs, maybe. But he knew the where didn't matter; all he wanted was to kill his engine and drift along with the tide. The journey to the docks where the Grass was tied had been a long one – figuratively and literally – and the evening had grown dark and late. But everything was perfectly in place now, and hopefully, nothing would come along to ruin it. The water was calm, softly lapping at the Grass’ hull, and the sky was clear – not a bad patch of ominous looking weather in sight. And the men had all night to fish – Nick couldn't make the trip, but had said he'd meet them back at the dock at 7:30 the next morning for breakfast.

Al settled into his cot, snapped a beer, and flipped the switch on his ancient radio.

And Stevie Wayne’s show was already in full swing…





Notes:
1 In order to present all the source music heard in The Fog, I had to play around with the film's timeline. Technically, 1340 KAB transmits on two separate nights, so in order to recreate these two shows as one uninterrupted program, I had to do some combining.

2 Only one track from the film does not appear, as far too much of it was talked over, chopped up, and impossible to isolate. I was unable to locate its title or artist to secure a clean copy, so I replaced this missing track with "The Charleston," which is a pretty good doppelganger. Additionally, I added "Moonlight Serenade," which does not appear in the film whatsoever, but I needed one more track to end the show, and it seemed in keeping with the station format, especially alongside the Lindup/Moorehouse stuff.

3 Three of the songs found in the track-list have made-up names, as ID information on them is non-existent. The song titles are phrases lifted from the film, and the artist names are bits of John Carpenter-related trivia (for extra dorkiness).

For all of these artistic liberties, I would normally say I'm sorry, but I'm not, because this was really, really hard.

Apr 2, 2013

CLOWNING AROUND


Daniel Licht's most prestigious gig might be his current one - scoring TV's "Dexter." But he took some time out to provide some eerie melodies for this entry in the Silent Hill video game franchise.

This one, in particular, is chilling.

Mar 22, 2013

LONESOME WYATT & THE HOLY SPOOKS



My god do I love this album. It is everything a dark-stuff loving weirdo like me could ever hope for. It is a complete embrace of everything spooky and ghostly and murderous and haunted. Brought to you by Lonesome Wyatt and the Holy Spooks (also responsible for the similarly dark, but more country-flavored Those Poor Bastards), Ghost Ballads is thirteen tracks (naturally) of creepy, atmospheric, and sometimes even graphic music. But not screaming, death-metal graphic, mind you. I've seen this artist's genre described as Gothic Americana or Dark Folk, and both are certainly appropriate. 

The stand-out track is definitely "The Golden Rule," which seems plucked right out of an Edward Gorey tome. The story of Mary Moore, a woman once murdered and brought back to life, who, with the help of two children, ax-slaughter anyone they come across. Other stand-out tracks are "Terror on the Ghost Ship," in which a sailor is thrown overboard and devoured by ocean creatures, and "Curse of the Poltergeist," in which you can use your imagination...

But what made me fall in love, truly, with this album was the inclusion of "Skin and Bone," which should sound familiar to anyone who grew up reading the often-praised Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark collections. The lyrics are ever in place as you remember them, now set to the perfect and eerie music. "Old Woman All Skin and Bone"is a traditional song and has been around forever, but it's safe to say Scary Stories popularized the song with young readers. Based on some of the music videos I've watched for Lonesome Wyatt's songs, I'd hazard a guess he was certainly a fan of those ghastly dripping books (as we all were/are).


The full track list as as follows:

1. The Golden Rule 
2. Curse of the Poltergeists 
3. Terror On the Ghost Ship 
4. Dream of You 
5. Skin and Bones 
6. Boy With No Shadow 
7. October 1347  
8. The Mouldering One Returns 
9. Midsummer Fair 
10. Haunted Jamboree 
11. Death of Me  
12. You Cannot Be Saved from the Grave  
13. Bone Orchard Rise

Given its odd-ball subject matter, Lonesome Wyatt's discography won't be found at Walmart, but the usual online retailers have this and the other albums (Heartsick, Sabella, and the first album Moldy Basement Tapes - extremely low-fi recordings made on cassette in a basement). You can also snag them directly from the band's website to support them directly

 
 

Lonesome Wyatt is perfect for Halloween, late-night listening, and when the rain is coming down. Though it may sound like I'm pushing it, it's not often when I'm able to find something like this that's not only well-realized and well-executed, but manages to appeal directly to tenets of my personality. This is not something I'd share with casual music fans, but only with those who I feel are...let's call it peculiar...like I am. I have a feeling I'm going to be listening for a long long time.

I leave you with the official video for "The Golden Rule." There's really nothing I can say about it except...wow.