Friday, October 31, 2014

Sending All Hallows Off Softly into an Icy November Breeze

I was unable to find a decent copy of “I Talk to the Wind” on YouTube. At least not one from the original album, In the Court of the Crimson King: An Observation by King Crimson. Instead, I found this video of John Wetton, Ian McDonald, and Steve Hackett performing the song live. 

John Wetton was the bassist and singer for King Crimson for years. Ian McDonald was the mastermind behind the music for the title track of Crimson’s first album, as well as this song, for which he played all the woodwinds on the original. Steve Hackett was the original guitar player for Genesis, and he seems lost on this song. He’s adequate, and can’t be blamed—this is not a simple piece, and it’s done heartfelt, or not at all.

It’s not the original, but it’s nice to hear, all the same. Wetton and McDonald put a good effort into this. It’s a Crimson thing. Most wouldn’t, couldn’t understand.

Anyway, this is the song I like to send Halloween off with. Haunting, sad, and yet...and yet....



By the way, Ian McDonald would later go on to found Foreigner. Yes, Foreigner. Hey, a body’s got to pay the bills.

Happy Halloween to all, and to all a good night!

Halloween Jukebox: The Ramones’ “Pet Sematary”

A nice, goofy little song to kick off the Halloween festivities. Me, I don’t want to be buried in a pet cemetery, either, but that’s on more or general principle than that whole reanimated-as-evil business.

Stephen King used a quote from a Ramones’ song in his original Pet Sematary novel, so I can only imagine how he felt when the band made this song for the movie. It he didn’t think he’d arrived before then, he was sure of it now.



Thursday, October 30, 2014

Halloween Jukebox: Radiohead’s “Pyramid Song”

Legend has it that Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke came up with this song while dreaming on the couch. Tears streaming down his face, he awoke and went straight to the piano, where he groaned out these halting, funereal chords for the black-eyed angels of his dream.

I’m not one of those snooty wannabe musical highbrows in perpetual awe of Thom Yorke and his band, but this haunting, atmospheric dirge for a nightmare was one of their finest moments. Seasons Greetings.



Getting Our Halloween On, Part 2

The shadows lengthen.
I love the shadows at play here and in the next photo.

You can’t tell from the photo, but the big, stuffed pumpkin pillow at left is threadbare and raggedy with the years. We’ve had it for as long as we’ve been married, though, and I can’t bring myself to get rid of it.

The kitchen windowsill is a jolly haunt.

Readers of my graphically violent novels surprised at the cute factor here should know I’ve got enough gore and negativity in my skull to kill half a dozen normal men, so I find the cute stuff a necessary balm. Besides, Halloween belongs first and foremost to the children. They’ve got middle school and all the rest of their lives to wallow in the ugliness.

Yes, my wife painted a portrait of our cat Otis in the style of Van Gogh and had it mounted and framed. Also, a pumpkin wearing a witch’s hat.

Atop the armoire in the breakfast nook, where my wife keeps her stoneware.




















My daughter made this for her ceramics class in high school. Her teacher would semi-jokingly ask, “Well, Ms. Aiken, what disturbing images are you looking to bring to life this week?”

BOO.



It’s almost here!



Getting Our Halloween On, Part 1

It’s all about setting a mood. The contributions made by this season’s achingly beautiful fall colors, and that inimitable October light, cannot be overstated.
This is the small bookcase across from where I sit on the living room sofa. That big chunk o’ wood to the right is the entertainment center.

Yep. Definitely looks haunted. Let’s check it out!

I’m sure you all recognize a certain Very Special Guy here.


Let’s show some love for the little ceramic trick-or-treater on the left. He’s spookier than either Lock, Shock, or Barrel.


BOO.

But Only If You Are So Inclined



All I do is pin links back to my blog here, but if you’d like another follower for your own Pinterest board, then follow me at lroyaikenauthor, and I’ll follow back.

You could also follow me on Facebook, or Twitter. I’m not a compulsive poster/tweeter. Sometimes I’ll go a week without any activity. Which is to say, I won’t flood your feeds with one cute repost and retweet after another, with occasional notifications regarding what groovy eatery I’m making the scene at. 

Lots of times I post links to the Amazon pages for my books. What can I say? I’ve got a trilogy to finish, and these books don’t write themselves. I’m not running any Kickstarter or Patreon action, either, so I’ve got to get people to buy my books to keep me afloat.

I’m putting together a big photo dump of Halloween decorations the Pinterest peeps will love. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Halloween Jukebox: Siouxsie and the Banshees, “Halloween”

So my wife dressed the pumpkin in a silly hat
while it awaits the knife.
It’s just a couple of days away. Friday never comes up so fast as it does when Halloween falls upon it.

My wife brought a very nice pumpkin home that I’ve yet to carve. But I’ve finally begun to unravel the knot in my head that’s stalled my momentum writing The Wrong Kind of Dead. I can’t very well let the blog go dark, either, not with the Greatest Night of the Year upon us. If I’m not promoting the books I’ve already written and published, they don’t sell, and if they don’t sell, I can’t write the third. And Halloween is only two days away. Et cetera. 

So much to do, so little time. I think it will help if we have a little music, and the frenetic pace of Siouxsie and the Banshee’s “Halloween” is apt for more than simply the title of the song. If you’re prone to seizures, though, you might want to avoid this. I’m serious.



Tuesday, October 28, 2014

TMI Tuesday Before Halloween

We haven’t gone totally ape with it, but we have decorated for Halloween. The decorations came together over time, not all in one day. Somehow, knowing this is the last time we’ll be decorating this particular house in this city, in this state, slows me down.

I should be rejoicing. It’s been a gorgeous October, and if this is the last time I’m seeing these colors in Colorado it’s because I’ll be back among friends and family in South Carolina. My last child will be out of high school and moving on in May. It’s time for the Next Thing—and that’s a good thing. 

It’s been a good eight years here inasmuch as we have grown children and published books to show for it, but my wife and I can’t afford to wait around here to die. Not so far from family and friends. We might as well be on a desert island out here. It’s pretty in Colorado, but lonely.
Along the easement up into Frontier Park, across the street and a couple of houses down from mine. Ideally, I won’t be here to see these colors this time next year.



Notice how hard I’m selling this to myself. Truth be told, I’ve always been resistant to change. I like my routine. To awaken, pour my coffee, come downstairs to the office, do the social media patrol, poke around at my latest book, maybe torture a blog post out of myself. It’s lonely, and it gets dull at times, but it’s what I’ve got. I’m trading what I know for...what?

There aren’t many basements in South Carolina. I’ll be working above ground for a change. I strongly suspect that, just as it was before I got married nearly 25 years ago and left the state, it’ll take major shaming or a bomb threat to get me out of the house to go visit those family and friends. Case in point: my roommate in 1990 had to shame me out of the house to go to the very party where I met my future wife. 

The temptation to lock myself up in a room and hide has always been strong with me. I’m well aware that if I don’t have close friends or any kind of meatspace social network after nearly eight years in Colorado, it’s my own fault.
Orange lights over my basement office window. After the New Year, I’ve got to depersonalize my office, along with the rest of the house, by way of staging it for sale. No more tchotchkes and knick-knacks on the shelves, and it would probably be a good idea to box up some of the more controversial books.



So, I’m going to call upon stronger things than my personal pathology. It’s already taking everything I have to get Act One of my third book out of the way, while rewriting Bleeding Kansas for the Ultimate Edition, and to maintain consistency of tone on a series I’ve been working on for nearly three years now.

I need to get The Saga of the Dead Silencer behind me. I need to be on to the Next Thing.

Meanwhile, there’s the here and now. With Halloween on a Friday, Friday will be here before we know it. My son will be playing his last football game of the regular season that night, so I’ll miss the last half of trick-or-treating. Not that anyone has been stopping by after 7:30 p.m. over the last couple of years; it’s been mostly small children. Which is good. I’ll take a neighborhood full of small children over one filled with surly and disaffected teenagers any year of my life.

To think my son went to that elementary school on the east side of Frontier Park. Now he plays his last few games of varsity football for Rampart High and...what?

One thing at a time, I keep telling myself. This change is necessary. This change is good.

No, really. We need to be somewhere else this time next year, filling our Halloween candy bowl in another neighborhood, in another state, far away from where we raised our children, but closer to the people who care about us. 

Why is this so hard?
Along the greenbelt north of my house. I’ve got to pick a path. Can’t stand here forever.






Saturday, October 25, 2014

A Walking Dead Workout

The clever people at the Daily Hiit came up with this poster, which enables participants to get their workout and their zombie apocalypse jones taken care of in one fell swoop. Like, swoop.

So who’s up for this?



Look at it this way, if this was a drinking game, a Walking Dead viewing party would soon become Sprawled Out and Stinking Dead.

Now imagine binge-watching seasons of The Walking Dead while putting away juiced kale and energy drinks, with 20 or 25 lbs. dumbbells handy for the flys and squats. I keep two 20-pounders by my desk chair for when I’m in the mood. And I’ve got a lot to catch up on as far as this series goes...and I could stand to lose 20 lbs. of gut fat in time to put it back on over Thanksgiving and Christmas....

Yeah, I sure gotta think about this, don’t I?

Halloween Jukebox: Surf Macabre with The Ghastly Ones’ “The Ghastly Stomp”

The commonly used name for this subgenre is Horror Surf. It was popularized by, of all things, the theme to the 1960s television show, The Munsters. If you liked that, you’ll probably like this.



We have none other than Rob Zombie to thank for signing this Van Nuys, California, band to his Zombie records. This track opens their 1998 disc, A-Haunting We Will Go-Go, which is comprised of instrumental tracks in between occasional skits. I have to play it at least once during the Halloween season. Click here to hear all the instrumental tracks on the album (minus the skits, unfortunately) if you’re so inclined.

Colorado isn’t an Amazon affiliate state so I’m not offering a link, but if you go to the page on your own you’ll see the disc is out of print, and available new from only four sellers, two of those in Japan, and all starting at the low, low price of $124.99.  Used prices are a little more reasonable, starting at $17.9o, but they slide quickly up to $119.98. 

It’s weird learning that this quirky disc I bought on impulse via a Columbia House mailer in 1999 is a collector’s item, but I have no intention of parting with it. You can still download the MP3 album for $9.49 or individual tracks for 99 cents each, so we’re not entirely out of luck.

Rockin’ Roy’s Drive-By Reviews: CONSTANTINE

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: I don’t do starred reviews. I either like something, or I don’t. I loved the premiere episode of the NBC TV series Constantine. There. See how easy that was?




The opening shot is of a very grim-looking Ravenscar Asylum for the Mentally Deranged, where we find our titular hero strapped down for electroshock therapy. In the comics he was in there for ten years. Here, we get the impression it’s been some time, but not quite as long. He self-committed over an botched exorcism in Newcastle in which an 11-year-old girl was taken away to hell by a demon named Nergal, but not before her physical form was ripped apart before everyone’s eyes.

This makes John Constantine a hero with the Dark and Troubled Past that not only haunts him, but affects the attitudes of those who know him. The attitudes range from, “Get over yourself,” to “Stay the hell away from me!”

He gets Called to Adventure by a possession within the asylum that turns out to be a Message from Beyond the Grave, so Constantine flies from the UK to Atlanta to find the daughter of a deceased pal, who is under attack by a major demon. Hijinks ensue. 

Via a not-so-friendly angel who pops in from time to time, we learn that Something Big and Supernaturally Horrible This Way Comes. A blood-spattered map reveals bad things scheduled to go down all across the continental USA. Road trip! And we’ve got the start of our season’s story arc.

I was impressed by how well the show had the feel of the comic, even if Constantine is going to be roaming the US instead of England for his monster of the week. Yes, there were a lot of changes. Constantine doesn’t smoke—the cigarette hanging out of his mouth is a visual trademark in the comic—and sidekick Chas is American, instead of English. Another good review I read notes that the characters are “Nerfed” for network TV, but I’ve been disappointed enough times over decades of watching Hollywood botch my favorite books and comics that I’m satisfied with what I see here.

I’m wondering if the Something Big and Horrible is along the lines of Alan Moore’s “United States” storyline in Swamp Thing, where the original character was developed in the mid-1980s. (John Constantine first appeared in Swamp Thing #37, in the story “Growth Patterns,” cover date June 1985. A good concise history of the comics character is here.) There was one line in which Constantine blackmails a former associate into working for him again that came off a lot like this panel from Swamp Thing, including the “I’m a nasty piece of work” line.

For now, who knew? I have an appointment show on Friday nights.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Another Random George Carlin Moment

When it came to explaining things, we used to break it down for our listener, as in, “There’s a lot going on in this article/story/episode/blogpost rant. Let’s break it down.” Now we unpack, as in, “This is a really loaded article/story/episode/ blogpost rant with much to unpack, so let’s begin.”

Whether this change from breaking things down to unpacking is good or bad, or what American English language maven George Carlin would have made of this, is speculation. Speculate away. It’s a beautiful Sunday. I’m taking a walk.
Sic transit gloria October.




“Regret” by New Order: One of the Most Perfect Pop Songs Ever Made

It’s a bold statement but it’s conviction, not clickbait, that inspires the title. The more I listen to this, the more I like it.

Curiously, I didn’t like the song much at all when I first heard it. As it was released in April 1993  I would have had to have heard this first in California, and I probably wondered why 80s pop was playing on the X-alt station out of Tijuana while the rest of the world was all about grunge and alt-rock. I’m fairly certain I had to have heard “Regret” played on the Armed Forces Radio in Japan while I was there from 1994 through 1997. 

If I’m sounding ambiguous, it’s because I can’t for the life of me remember any particular instance where I’ve heard it. The song has always been “just there.” It wasn’t until decades later in Colorado, when I was listening to a disc from The Brit Box: UK Indie, Shoegaze, and Britpop Gems (now out of print) from the library that I came across this again—and flippin’ loved it.

Took me long enough, eh?



I can’t get over the anachronistic sound. This had to have confused, if not angered a lot of people in 1993, who, like myself, were ecstatically happy to have the brightly colored, slickly packaged, synth-pop 1980s behind them. Unlike a lot of those empty confections, though, this song endures. It’s no accident that “Regret’s” single guitar riff and Peter Hook’s driving, proactive bass make it happen, with the synthesizer chords merely providing atmospheric backup, like the very moods of the sky under which everyone else is playing. Add Bernard Sumner’s plaintive, very 1980s voice (as opposed to that 1990s slur/growl) singing lyrics in which the character dreams of a place to call his own—that universal ache to live like “real people,” whoever they are—and you’ve got a song for the ages. 

Especially for mid- to late-October Sundays when the sky is bright, the sun is warm, but there’s a shivery chill to the wind, and we’ll have to clean up these leaves eventually. But only when the wind dies down, the sky closes over gray, and the gold of these leaves fades to dull , crumbling brown. 

Meanwhile, let’s enjoy the color and the sunshine and the mood before it all bleeds away.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Fall Color Is Still On For Colorado Springs

A few days back I lamented the early stripping of the trees due to a strong storm that was coming through the Front Range. While the storm made the usual mess of limbs and leaves, it wasn’t so severe that it closed October down early on us.

My favorite aspens in my neighbor’s back yard are a little thinned out, but still quite beautiful:




















The above photo is from this afternoon. The following are from a walk I took through the neighborhood greenbelts the day after Sunday’s storm. We’re smack in the middle of that most wonderful month on the North American calendar, and looking very much the part.


Halloween and my birthday aside, what I really love about this month is the light shines in a way you never see at any other time of the year. You’d think there would be one other time as the sun takes the same position in the sky on its way back north after the solstice, but no. 





Below is the view of Pikes Peak from the eastern end of Frontier Park behind my house. The storm left quite a bit of snow on the mountains. 



This may be my last October in the state of Colorado so this is, as they say, bittersweet. Once my son graduates, we hope to sell the house and move to upstate South Carolina. Wherever you are, here’s hoping it’s at least half as pretty.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Free, Public Domain Ghost Stories by a Master Who All But Invented the Form

M.R. James may not have invented the form, but he refined it to such a degree we almost can’t imagine it any other way. It’s rarely been done as well since the early 20th century when James was on the scene with such books as Ghost Stories of an Antiquary, A Thin Ghost and Others, and A Warning to the Curious.

Thanks to the Internet and the work of the people behind www.thin-ghost.org, you can read these for yourself, and decide if no less a contemporary than H.P. Lovecraft was wrong when he wrote, in his essay “Supernatural Horror in Literature”:

Montague Rhodes James has an intelligent and scientific knowledge of human nerves and feelings; and knows just how to apportion statement, imagery, and subtle suggestions in order to secure the best results with his readers.

2012 Royal Mail stamp issued as part of their
“Britons of Distinction” series.
Click on the “Stories” tab across the main page for a listing. James’  “greatest hits”—the stories most anthologized and dramatized, etc.—are “Oh, Whistle, and I’ll Come to You, My Lad,” “Casting the Runes,” and “A Warning to the Curious,” so you might want to check those out first. Most of these were written with the intent of being read aloud, so there’s not much descriptive fluff to drag them down.  James wasn’t afraid of gore, either, though he did counsel “reticence” in the description—but to maintain and even increase the intensity, not to detract from it. We’ve got children getting their still-beating hearts cut from their bodies in one tale.

M.R. James had an interesting observation about how proper ghosts in a proper ghost story should behave:


Another requisite [for a ghost story], in my opinion, is that the ghost should be malevolent or odious: amiable and helpful apparitions are all very well in fairy tales or in local legends, but I have no use for them in a fictitious ghost story.

In M.R. James’ literary cosmology, the supernatural element is always the antagonist, usually aroused into being by some poor hapless thing Poking His Nose Where It Oughtn’t Be. It’s a rule that’s fun to bend from time to time, but there would be no thrill in the bending if it wasn’t a rule in the first place. Check out the site, check out this writer and his stories, and watch a master at work.


___________________________________________

If classic stories for free reduces their Perceived Value for you, I’ve got some premium zombie action for you here. Behold! The first two books in my SAGA OF THE DEAD SILENCER series, novels of post-apocalypse adventure that are neither Guns and Ammo porn nor weepy soap opera. 

Check out Book 1, Bleeding Kansas, in Kindle and paperback. When you’re done with that, go straight to Grace Among the Dead, also in Kindle and paperback. These are brutal tales, brutally written, and both picked up by Luzifer-Verlag for German translation. Check out what the Germans stomach so much better than your fellow Americans.

Book 1 has ONE exploding head
on its cover.
Book 2 has TWO exploding heads.
See the pattern here?




















They’re also available in Canada and the UK.


Saturday, October 11, 2014

Season of Mists, 2014 Edition

One of my most popular posts last year was “Misty Morning Hop,” which was nothing more than a collection of photos taken in my backyard on a foggy October morning. It captured a mood, though, and I was pleased others were able to enjoy that fine, holy quiet with me.

As it happens, I’m up early on a Saturday morning, and I realize I better grab the camera, because, as with the last time, I’m just one day ahead of a storm that will strip these just-turned leaves.


Not all of the trees have changed yet, but my favorite aspens over in my neighbors’ backyard will go naked nearly one month earlier than usual.









In the above photo, you can see how the fog is rapidly burning off. It was gone altogether before 9 a.m.

The Russian sage bloomed nice and pretty this year.




I felt honored to have this last look. Let it be known for the record that the early post-dawn hours of 11 October 2014 were solemnly beautiful. You had to be there.

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Needs More Clown: Watching Stephen King's IT on a Saturday Night

Well, if clowns are everything you were
ever afraid of, you’re still coming up short.
I wasn’t getting anything done at the keyboard anyway, so I made good on a threat I’d made to myself last spring to watch the 1990 made-for-television adaptation of Stephen King’s IT.

I bought the DVD and put it under the tree as a gag gift for Christmas four years ago. My children, who were five years removed from having seen it with me in another age and another state, actually backed away at the sight of Pennywise the Dancing Clown’s face on the cover of the DVD case. In all these years, we’ve never watched it, although I did learn my son had taken it with him to a sleepover once. “They didn’t appreciate it,” was all he had to say about it.

Tim Curry, on top of being the Sweet Transvestite from Transsexual, Transylvania, has ruined clowns for generations of children with this movie. Watching it again last night, I realized he really didn’t have a lot to do. And when he did have something to do, he could have done a lot more.

I can only imagine what people who had not read the original novel made of this. If you didn’t know the Lovecraftian backstory, the antagonist appears to be an evil, child-eating force that manifests as a clown before attacking. Not that he always eats them. In one case, we hear of a body being found that was “severely mutilated.” The modus operandi is entice-terrorize-kill. 

The first kill in the film is cleverly done in broad daylight, just before a storm. We first see Pennywise in and out of the blowing sheets on a clothesline. But does the girl go to see the strange clown among the sheets (who reveals his evil face at one point) or does the clown grab her? All we know is this happens in broad daylight, and the girl disappears along with the clown.
As soon as I saw this face I’d be inside that house so fast you’d think I’d teleported.




So what’s so special about the “Lucky Seven” or “Loser’s Club” kids that they don’t get killed when Pennywise shows up to terrorize them? The notion of these ‘tween and early-teen children getting together is borne of one character having his brother killed, along a public street (albeit empty of cars and pedestrians) in broad daylight. The entity we call IT (when IT’s not Pennywise) manifests itself in a talking photograph and a bleeding book to this same brother. His parents take the book, and seem not to notice the blood everywhere. Later, we learn that the citizens of Derry either don’t see these gory manifestations, or choose not to see them. These manifestations torment the children—six boys, and one semi-magic girl—and find them wherever they are. Yet, despite many encounters, in a school shower, a home bathroom, a Chinese restaurant, the school basement, etc., IT/Pennywise does not kill them outright as he does other children.

Note my slash. The entity that kills and eats children is not always a clown. Sometimes he appears as a big, moving, malignant ball of blinding light that can levitate its victims to their deaths. In the town library he’s a poltergeist blowing out the glass in the doors and sending books flying. We learn from the token black kid that every 30 years something awful happens in Derry, and what our hero kids are witnessing happens to be, well, IT.
Promises, promises.

 

Except we learn IT didn’t always terrorize before he killed. Also, he didn’t always single out children, despite describing himself as, “I am eternal. I eat children.” To cap off one 30-year period, the town was somehow enticed to a picnic in a meadow next to a metal works shop that exploded, killing adults and children alike. In another year, there was a big fire. (We see an old drawing, supposedly from the period, of Pennywise holding the match that started it.) Again, adults and children. Then there was that time in colonial days when over 200 settlers—say it with me—adults and children alike, disappeared without a trace, without so much as a “Crotoan” carved into a tree to mark their passing.

This major inconsistency threatens to obscure the biggest inconsistency of all, though: that this is a very, very  powerful entity, capable of taking on hundreds of humans at once, and it doesn’t care if it does its business by dark of night or by the light of the sun, because whatcha gonna do, puny mortal? So I ask again: how do seven children—children the entity is able to isolate and visit individually—manage not to get killed?

Incidentally, whatever power the Lucky Seven’s number had is diminished when one of the children, since grown, commits suicide rather than face IT/Pennywise again. This was something that could have been used as a pinch/plot point, but is essentially thrown away.

Reading the original novel won’t help on these points. Although, in a passage as reminiscent of James Michener as it was H.P. Lovecraft, we learn the entity crashed in from outer space during the time of the dinosaurs, and that little piece of real estate over the crash site, which would eventually become a town, despite all (including having the first settlement vanish entirely), was just rotten from then on.

[SPOILER ALERT] Reading the novel barely prepares you for the children encountering Pennywise one last time as a cheap projection on the wall before finding an impossibly tiny door to that leads to...the lair of a giant spider. Which has to be struck in its glowing underbelly with a wad of silver, then beaten with fists before having its heart torn out. Somehow, the spray from an asthma inhaler, which worked 30 years ago, doesn’t work so well when IT is in spider form.

The original novel is one of those Stephen King works you can effectively rip down the middle, and keep the first half as a really good book. Although in this case, we still had a very disturbing scene with the Loser’s Club (as they were exclusively known in the book), to wit: in order to cement the Mystic Bond between all the children, the girl of the group lies down for a mystic gang-bang from the boys. There was an image of birds gathering on a wire, then leaving the wire. There was nothing prurient meant by this, as near as I could tell (not that I was looking for it), but it was hard to look at these kids and not think about that part in the book:
NO.




















So, no, don’t read the book. I love Stephen King, don’t get me wrong. He’s the only writer alive in America who knows how to write about what it’s like for normal, working people to actually have to live here. When he tries getting mystical, though, as he did bringing God into the post-apocalypse of The Stand, or riffing on Ancient Evils and where they come from in IT, he trips all over himself. 

The only reason for this nearly three-hour movie to exist is for the 15 minutes Tim Curry appears as Pennywise the Dancing Clown. It would have been gruesome good fun to really see him dance. I was at least hoping for some of that same frisson that frightened my then-small children ten years ago when we saw it on DVD for the first time. But that was then, and this is now. 

You know how the old tag line used to go, “DON’T WATCH THIS ALONE”? In this case, not having people squealing and screaming to either side of me drew my attention to everything that was wrong about the movie.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Rockin’ Roy’s Halloween Jukebox: Patti Smith, “Dancing Barefoot”

From Wave, 1979. 

The ominous E-minor/D/E-minor/A chords chugging behind Patti Smith’s sung melody in this dark love song blow through the speakers like a chill breeze on a warm Indian Summer’s day. Listen towards the end of the song as the keyboard wails and Patti Smith outdoes Jim Morrison’s spoken-word act by reciting a poem that actually makes sense:





Happy October. The month we've all been waiting for is here.