Friday, July 24, 2009

Constant Rotation, the fifth part.

Can it be? A pictureless post? Well, we'll see.

Music, after all, causes imagery in the mind and spirit, and requires not any added visual input.

My 'Making Hallowe'en' video library is decidedly monsterish. Horror, horror, Hallowe'en, and more horror.

But when it comes to music, especially when I'm outside with spray paint, drills, bandsaws, and so on, I go with a lot of not-so-monsterish audio.

Certainly I have Hallowe'en music in the rotation; the soundtracks from Mad Monster Party, Dawn of the Dead, IT, Plan Nine From Outer Space, Orgy of the Dead (it's hypnotizingly bad), The Haunted Mansion, and so on.

I also have filled one of my MP3 players with nothing but radio dramas from the 30's to the 80's, relating to Hallowe'en and horror. Of course, the Mercury Theatre On The Air's 'War of the Worlds' broadcast of 1938 features prominently, along with the better-known Hallowe'en episodes of Jack Benny, Burns & Allen, Fred Allen, and many regular episodes of Lights Out, Inner Sanctum, X Minus One, Suspense, Dimension X, and loads of others.

But I have found (God bless the Web) some wonderful audio dramas like The Peoria Plague, a remarkably dark and effective alien/zombie plague drama from WUHN 106.9 Peoria IL, broadcast in 1971 or '72. There's no hard date for it (the station became WUHN in '71, but some say the production wasn't done during its first year). It's available on numerous torrent and sharing sites. I'm not about to become one of them so just get it from these guys here.

Also in rotation is another fine radio program from October 31st, 1973, a Hallowe'en on-air treat from WKBW 1520 AM, Buffalo NY ("KB 15"). They produced their own fairly popular War of the Worlds drama, and add a number of other features like the history of Vampires, and a telling of 'The Monkey's Paw'. They also riddle it with classic radio ads from the era for various bars, record stores (Sattler's!), and so on. A very charming, well done and worthy addition to the audio library for hours of tinkering time. I wish more stations did such things on Hallowe'en... and if they did, I wish someone would post them for us maniacs to share! You may be able to find it here.

But beyond those dynamite cuts, most of my audio-only Hallowe'en tinkering tunes are pretty mainstream, un-monsterish cuts.

A lot of Steely Dan and Donald Fagen. Makes the work go by quickly, and very groovily. I'd say funkily but that sounds more ridiculous than groovily. Those of you who already know and 'get it', good for you. Those who don't, please discover it.

I also give a lot of airtime to the late Nick Drake's brand of acoustic, odd, beautiful music. Five Leaves Left, Pink Moon, just search for him, you'll find everything you need to know. His River Man is so Autumn to me, likely because I first heard most of his work, and repeatedly River Man, during one splendid Autumn in the late 80's.

I know a lot of haunters can't create without a lot of metal and hard rock wonderfulness; it seems horror and hard rock go together for lots of people (not least the bands themselves) but I was just never into that kind of music, so you won't find anything remotely like it in my files. I guess for me it's akin to the difference between Rue Morgue or Fangoria, and Famous Monsters of Filmland (the real one). I'm more of a classics guy, with classic horror and traditional Hallowe'en tendencies.

I play a lot of Windham Hill label artists. These folks always seemed to speak to me through their music. It's not for everyone, but it certainly is a massive part of who I am. The Anger/Higbie groups (Quintet, 'Montreaux', etc.), Michael Hedges (the late 'guitarist from another planet'), Alex De Grassi, Will Ackerman (no relation to our beloved Uncle), Mike Manring, George Winston, and many others.

Their music is wistful, timeless, and lends itself without being intrusive, to those moments of thoughtful creation, mulling over colors, designs, concepts.

Of course, I have to give many listens to the music of the late Vince Guaraldi, he of the Peanuts cartoons jazz compositions. Anytime you can listen to any of his work is a good time to do so, but Hallowe'en especially works. Well... I don't listen to the Charlie Brown Christmas music until December, but you get the idea. Guaraldi rules.

Oh alright, here's a picture.Terrifying.

Now get the fruko y sus tesos outta here.

Shpoonk out-

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