Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Spooktacular in Screaming Sound!

Spike Jones was a bandleader and musician specializing in satirizing contemporary & popular music in the time-period of 1940's-1950's, much of the time utilizing odd, purposely-juxtaposed or even non-musical instruments resulting in hugely popular de-compositions. Just in time for Halloween.

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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Drop Dead!

Arch Oboler, born in 1907 (d.1987), was a nuclear blast of energy & ideas involving himself in movies, plays, television, directing, producing, screenwriting, writing novels, and had a long-running horror radio show by the name of "Lights Out" - one cut from the album being one of the episodes - and apparently made film history with his use of effects in two of his 3-D movies from the early fifties, and during the war years made anti-Nazi films that stars of the era (Joan Crawford one of them) lined up to be a part of, some taking pay-cuts for the chance.
Unfortunately, horror was to touch his life literally when his six year old son drowned in a ditch used for excavation that filled with rainwater on the site where Oboler's new house was being built in 1958.

Drop Dead!, with it's iconic cover, was released in 1962, and features in it's cast Mercedes McCambridge, a minor star of movies and TV of the era and who would later be cast as the wife in TV's long-running series The Coach in the 90's.

Track listing:
    A1 Introduction to Horror   
    A2 I'm Hungry (Movie-Type Horror)   
    A3 Taking Papa Home (Suspense-Type Horror)   
    A4 The Dark (Radio-Type Horror) 
    B1 A Day at the Dentist's (Comedy-Type Horror)   
    B2 The Posse (T.V.-Type Horror)   
    B3 Chicken Heart (Science Fiction-Type Horror)   
    B4 The Laughing Man (The Ultimate in Horror)

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Sunday, October 10, 2010

Lone Rager

Dunno why, but I pulled my entire Metal section from the shelves, all 300+ LP's I've held onto with a sick grasp since my early teens, and flipped through all of them, reminiscing on each individual cover art. Maybe it's that time of year, when things are getting all dark and spooky: a lot of metal falls into that bleak arena, if not for the music than certainly for many of the covers holding in the vinyl. Picked out some Venom and Danzig for the wall for the next few weeks, spun a few discs to make sure I hadn't grown up and actually still liked it all and then shuffled everything away again, with one extra exception.

Lone Rager's "Metal Rap" EP out of 1984 on Megaforce Records. Megaforce is a record label run by Jon & Marsha Zazula, formed early after Jon opened his record shop in New Jersey called Rock 'N Roll Heaven (legend has it that he was originally going to name it "Metallica Records", but a certain Lars Ulrich convinced him otherwise calling it stupid, and then copped the title for his recently-formed band) after getting Metallica's demo in the mail & deciding he wanted to release their first album.
And this Metal Rap release is Jon's loving ode to the genre he still promotes to this day. Now, there's no official evidence that the "Lone Rager" IS Jon Z, but as the back cover states: music & lyrics - Jon Zazula, Producer - Jon Zazula. So I think it's safe to say that the hefty boy on the front sweating through the pillowcase is Jon Zazula.
The music? Aheh. Um, well, it's exactly what it says it is. Doesn't get much more earnest than this. This is love, baby, love for metal. And if you hear tiny voices in the chorus it's not your ears ringing from the banging of the head, it's The Children of Steel Singers - a chorus of 15 kids aged 3 months (!) to 10 years old, including a Rikki Zazula.
The first side is the rap, the second side is the same tune minus the vocals which are replaced by a blistering (?) mass of guitar-soloing by Andy "Duck" MacDonald and they both clock in at 5:26. And, in case you're too busy swingin' that hair around (or giggling) to listen properly, here's the lyrics from the rear cover, clickable for readability -