I think it’s safe to say that a lot of people are sick of zombies. And yet, The Walking Dead continues to be one of the most popular shows on television, even producing a spinoff (Fear The Walking Dead) that’s gotten some good buzz. There are those who might be tempted to just give up on the show—and zombies—altogether. Yet The Walking Dead remains one of the most compelling and innovative dramas on television.
You know those nights? The kind where someone ends up in jail, someone goes to the ER, and maybe you wake up the next morning with a whole bunch of bruises and a suspicious tattoo and why are your shoes so muddy and exactly what is that smell? The self-titled debut album from The Warden is the aural equivalent of that.
There’s a line in Bruce McDonald’s Hard Core Logo in which Pipefitter, drummer savant says, (and I’m paraphrasing wildly here) “No one ever writes checks to the bands who influenced them.” Upon listening to Everything Is Roses 1985-1989, an anthology of Nashville’s Raging Fire, it seems like a whole lot of bands should have written some checks. The music of Raging Fire sounds familiar (though I’d not heard them) because so many bands aped their style. Strong front women with their own eclectic voices owe a debt to Melora Zaner. She doesn’t have a bombastic voice, but she makes you listen because of her nuance and passion. Without Raging Fire, a whole slew of bands wouldn’t exist.
Are you a discerning celebrator of Samhain, looking for some different music to terrify and delight your friends with at your next public ritual? Or perhaps, you’re just a happy Halloweener, looking for some bombtracks for the next party. No worries, Fellow Traveler… we’ve got you sussed.
Let’s face it: with few exceptions, everyone is sick of zombies. That’s not to say that zombie movies and TV shows are dead in the water (with zombie sharks), but it does mean that artists are going to have to do better than the standard ripoffs of “I’m coming to get you, Barbara.”
Enter Tony Burgess and Bruce McDonald. Based on Tony Burgess’s book, Pontypool Changes Everything, the McDonald-directed film Pontypool—which screened at TIFF in 2008—is a breath of fresh air in a cemetery full of empty, stinking graves.
By Tyler Hodg
The Chapin Sisters harness the sounds and feelings of folk music of the past, all while staying current with their latest release, Today’s Not Yesterday. It’s the follow-up to the duo’s 2013 Everly Brothers cover album (review), and their first album of original material in five years. While their style has remained fairly intact as the years have passed, the production now sounds more crisp than ever before.
If the name Gerard Johnson doesn’t ring any bells, it should. Perhaps you will recall a grubby, claustrophobic film from a few years back called Tony. (I can see you nodding at your computer as you read this blog post. But I swear I’m not creepy.)
Croydon Municipal, as I have mentioned frequently, is an amazing boutique label. An offshoot of Cherry Red Records, Croydon Municipal is run by Saint Etienne’s Bob Stanley, who culls his gargantuan record collection to curate brilliantly themed, thoughtful compilations (like his Popcorn Girls collections, or the current Songs For Swinging Ghosts). On All About The Girls, the theme is lost girl group gems, and it is a delight through and through.
When I stated on Facebook that I was watching the 1980 Italian horror-fi movie, Contamination, I got heat from a couple of people.
“How come you’re watching that?”
And I thought, I’ve built a career out of watching horrible films and writing about them. There’s no reason why this should be a surprise.
Then it struck me: maybe there are people out there who don’t intentionally seek out and watch films they know aren’t great. Wow. That floors me. It leaves me wondering how to recommend Contamination, which is a gigantic piece of shit that I adored.
Attention humans: be prepared for your record collection to become marginally spookier, but a whole lot weirder with the delightful new release from Croydon Municipal/Cherry Red Records (and just in time for Halloween), Songs For Swinging Ghosts.