Friday, October 21, 2011


image credit: @galendara
This year's crop of Halloween-related musical releases has been a little light. But I reckon between occupying Wall Street and bitching about folks occupying Wall Street and everyone preparing for the Rapture we've all really had a lot on our collective plate.

Still, there is some good, spooky shit out there, and I am gonna pause for a moment to shine my own little light on a handful of my favorites.

The Halloween mash-up collection is what we can now safely call an annual tradition. We've been gettin' 'em steady since 2004 thanks to the combined might of scene staples like DJBC and Cheekyboy, and they are always positively packed with pleasant surprises. This year's compilation is the double disc Texas Chainsaw Mashacre, which notably includes, among its Duck Sauce and Deadmau5 bootlegs, Sticks Downey's "C.H.U.D.," an original horrorcore cut that I actually included in last year's Halloween Crap-tacular.

The Texas Chainsaw Mashacre volumes 1 and 2 are freely available from the Monster Mash-Ups site, and I insist that you check 'em out.

While not intentionally Halloween-y, per se, the latest from my Canadian homeboy The Garthim-Master should fit in nicely with your seasonal playlist. Combining thick, atmospheric beats from German producer DJ Extend and The G-M's own unique blend of story-driven narratives and impressionistic lyrical gymnastics, Ghosts of Nostalgia is a look back on the beloved entertainment properties of our childhood that's not afraid to take a grim turn. For every breezy "Dude, Where's My AT-AT At?" there is a dirge-like "Krang" or a surreal "After Midnight."

I've actually been grooving to early leaks of joints like "Save the World," "The Crystal Shard" and "Rorschach's Journal" for a while now, but the full release is now available to everyone. For the very competitive price of free.

Expect a full review in the near future – most likely after the limited edition vinyl drops – but in the meantime spend a little quality time with this one yourself.

Lastly comes a brand new single from fellow GeekDad John Anealio. Generally, there are a number of elements I expect from John's songs: things like delicate guitar-work, straight-ahead percussion and cleverly-layered counter-melody. What I don't expect is bawdy humor, but "Undead Love Song" certainly has it.

There are a few easy jokes to be made about a human-zombie marriage (and consummation), and Anealio makes 'em all. The trick is, he's so mellow and earnest with his delivery that you totally don't even mind!

This one is also available as a free download, so add that grisly fucker – I made a pun! – to your collection.

So what about you, faithful readers? What's on your new Halloween listening list?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Double Damage

Earlier this year MC Frontalot coordinated a Kickstarter effort to raise funds for a shiny new music video for the song "Critical Hit," the debut single from his recently released Solved LP. The nerdcore community pulled out every goddamn one o' them stops and not only met the goal but totally annihilated it! (At present, Front is sitting at over triple the requested amount.)

This means that, in addition to the previously announced video extravaganza, Frontalot now plans to craft another 2-3 additional videos including an animated epic for his Dr. Awkward/ZeaLouS1 collab "I'll Form the Head."

For the moment, though, please be content with this delightful deconstruction of the pop star lifecycle. I'm including it in my Halloween coverage because it is, on a purely existential level, sort of disturbing. Also it features the Grim Reaper, Brian Posehn and a (thankfully fictitious) MC Frontalot sex tape. All of which are rather terrifying.

Monday, October 17, 2011

His Snake-tastic Majesty's Request

If anything, Halloween is a holiday for the bad guys, which makes this announcement from Slytherin Wizard Rock staple Draco and the Malfoys all the more relevant:

After 7 years on that WRock-grind, it appears as though brothers Brian Ross and Bradley Mehlenbacher are hanging up their scarves. Of all the scene's notable dissolutions in recent years, this is particularly significant. You see, the Malfoys epitomized 2nd-generation Wizard Rock in its truest form.

Debuting in 2004 – at what was likely the first ever all-WRock show, a house party featuring Harry and the Potters that also saw the introduction of The Whomping Willows – the band represented the first instance of an act being formed in direct response to the Potters phenomenon. To put it another way, if the brother DeGeorge were MC Frontalot and YTCracker, then Brian and Bradley were Beefy and Ultraklystron. (And, by extension, the house party was… Rhyme Torrents? I dunno; maybe I'm grasping to extend my metaphor here.)

Still, the band served as the bedrock foundation of what would go on to become the musical arm of Harry Potter fandom, a cultural juggernaut that leveraged its recognition and acclaim into an engine for social good. Not bad for a couple of Parseltongued miscreants!

While naysayers have been prophesying the end of Wizard Rock since Deathly Hallows rolled on to bookstore shelves, and the disbanding of the Malfoys doesn't exactly run counter to said claims, it's hard to understate the impact that acts like DatM have had both on nerd culture and on the developing social awareness of their young fans. And for that, you power-hungry, soul-split revenants I salute you.

(Hat-tip to Matt, my finger on the pulse of Wizard Rockery for the tip!)