• Nightmares (1983)

    nightmares1983Horror anthologies were popular in the 80s. I’m not exactly sure why. Maybe people liked smaller stories that packed a concise punch. Movies like Creepshow, Tales from the Darkside: The Movie, and Twilight Zone: The Movie were just a few that managed to pull it off (more or less).

    Nightmares is not a very good anthology. The four stories are supposed to be based on urban legends or something (this was back before the internet).

    Story 1: someone is hiding in your back seat when you go to get gas and a pack of cigarettes. The urban legend itself is pretty boring and the way it was executed here had no real terror. That’ll teach you for buying cigarettes. Har har, ya limey bizz-natch.

    Story 2: Emilio Estevez is a punk video game nerd (wat?), who wants to be the best. He manages a high level achievement and the game comes to life in full Tron special effects. This one was probably the best of the lot, but only for the cheese and bad graphics.

    Story 3: Lance Henriksen is a priest who is finding his beliefs swaying to the dark side when an ominous pickup truck starts to give him heck. This is an urban legend?

    Story 4: This big ass rat terrorizes a small ass family. There were a couple tense moments thanks to keeping the rat nicely hidden. The climax was super cheap, though. Everyone is like “oh, it’s a cute rat” instead of pew pewing the mother-effer.

    These stories felt more like some of the less enjoyable episodes of Tales from the Crypt. It’s mostly a forgettable waste of time. I only watch these things because I’m an 80s purest and a horror completest. If I were just wanting to watch a fun anthology movie, this would not be on the list.



  • Glass Animals – How To Be A Human Being (2016)

    how to be a human beingApparently, I only listen to U.K. bands anymore. These guys are relatively new. They released their debut album Zaba a couple of years ago. If I had to classify their sound, I would say it’s “indie electronic rock” but that really doesn’t capture the finer nuances of what they do. If I had to classify them in D&D terms, they would probably be chaotic neutral.

    This new album is a step forward for them as the songwriting seems a bit more honed or at least the theme was more obvious than Zaba. It’s like each of the songs is a little window into the human condition across many walks of life. It’s almost like watching a TV and flipping the channel between songs. I hate commercials so much.

    Before the album came out, they released “Life Itself” and “Youth” and I enjoyed them, but they didn’t really grab me. Then about the time the album came out, something clicked with “Youth” and I’m not sure if it was reading the lyrics or what. I proceeded to listen to the song on repeat for about a week. I wouldn’t say it’s a perfect song (due to repetition), but I love the melodies and the lyrics (after reading them).

    This is a solid album from beginning to end and I found myself wanting to listen multiple times after digesting the music. It grows and evolves with every listen.

    Don’t be a punk ass. Go check it out.

  • Wild Beasts – Boy King (2016)

    wild-beasts boy kingI’ve been a loyal follower of Wild Beasts since I heard Two Dancers. They are from the U.K. and they have a fairly unique style that encompasses many facets of the rock landscape. They also have two vocalists, one with an airy falsetto and one with a deeper baritone.

    This new album, Boy King, is heavy on the synth pop and it’s delicious. The songs are so infectious and riddled with carnal testosterone-laden subtext. Hell, the title itself is a hidden gem, not to mention the cover.

    As the opener, Big Cat, says: “You can look, but don’t touch.” The whole album is like window shopping wet dreams. Each song is a little peak at something salacious, but hidden enough to make you wonder: “Hmm, what is under that blanket?”

    The production is absolutely superb. It sounds so crisp and yet kind of fatty analog style like it was produced in 2085 (it’s a time paradox). There are meaty beats and fuzzy synths with such clarity. I actually looked up the guy who produced it, John Congleton, and I’ve listened to some other albums he’s produced (St. Vincent). He’s kind of the shit.

    Basically, this album is amazing and I’ve listened to it close to 15 times. It doesn’t get old and it keeps pumping along like a moist well that never dries up. You can interpret that however you choose.

  • Not For The Squeamish

    31days-ofbloodandgoreThis will be the 7th annual event. I’ve already begun the selection process and I’m excited about the options available this year.

    I’m going to work very hard to do all 31 reviews. I must do it for the sake of completeness.

    As always, I’m open to suggestions if anyone would like me to review something special.

    Below you’ll find my tentative list:

    1. Nightmares (1983)
    2. Cat’s Eye (1985)
    3. Zombie (1979)
    4. Don’t Go In The House (1980)
    5. Monster in the Closet (1990)
    6. Xtro (1983)
    7. Open Grave (2013)
    8. Slaughterhouse (1987)
    9. Uninvited (1988)
    10. 1408 (2007)
    11. Plutonium Baby (1987)
    12. Maggie (2015)
    13. Intruders (2016)
    14. Demons 2 (1987)
    15. The Beyond (1983)
    16. House II: The Second Story (1987)
    17. Murder Party (2007)
    18. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)
    19. Disturbing Behavior (1998)
    20. Intruder (1989)
    21. Night of the Creeps (1986)
    22. Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse (2015)
    23. Contamination (1980)
    24. Dead Snow: Red vs Dead (2014)
    25. The Others (2001)
    26. Dracula Untold (2014)
    27. Ouija (2014)
    28. The Witch (2015)
    29. Crimson Peak (2015)
    30. Freaks of Nature (2015)
    31. Freddy Vs. Jason (2003)

  • The Exclusivity Needs To Go

    iPoopMusic streaming has become a huge money-making service for the companies that had enough sense to set up shop early on. Though there was resistance from the music labels (there always is), the general public has spoken and streaming is here to stay.

    The problem is that there are too many services and there really isn’t any actual competition. They all charge virtually the same price and they don’t offer that much variance in their song catalogs. Each one has their own little feature differences and promotional deals for new customers.

    I subscribe to Google Play, because I like that I can upload my own music to fill in the gaps where they don’t have certain albums/tracks. I don’t like how there is minimal distinction between music I’ve uploaded and music that is in their catalog. It’s especially annoying when an album has double the number of tracks because the MP3s I uploaded have slightly different track lengths.

    The thing that really grates my cheese about all of this is the exclusivity nonsense that is increasing in prevalence thanks to Apple Music. For some reason, Apple Music is the platform that gets 1-2 week early releases. Partly, it’s Apple trying to gain subscriptions from people who can’t wait. It’s also the record labels hoping that people will just buy the music instead of stream it, since it is also usually available in the iTunes store. It makes sense from a business standpoint, but I don’t think I’ll ever be subscribing to Apple Music (beyond the free 3-month trial, suckerz). In the end, I’ll just wait or break out my peg-leg. It’s just sad that this has become a thing. Of course, if the tides turn and Google Play starts getting exclusives, I probably won’t give a shit.

  • The 90s Are Alive Again

    AfteCrystal Popsir searching far and wide, my dreams have come true. I’ve found the holy grail of a 90s kid: Crystal Popsi.

    Way back sometime in 1992 or 1993, I remember going to this food fair thing they would do in downtown GR. Meijer was the main sponser and we’d go every year to get free samples and coupons. That year, they had a big table set up for the new “Clear Cola” from Pepsi. I got little sample cup and I liked it. It was a unique flavor that I hadn’t tasted before. Something about the whole package was magical. I went back for seconds even though you aren’t supposed to do that.

    I’m pretty sure we bought a couple two liters before it went off the market within a year. Since then, I’ve seen little blurbs about the old pop. I even watched that guy drink an old bottle and puke it up.

    Then they did the little sweepstakes giveaway last December that I missed even entering by like 4 hours. 🙁

    When I heard it was coming back Summer 2016, I nearly crapped my pants. I waited and waited and resisted buying the overpriced sweepstakes bottles on eBay.

    Last Monday was the official release date. I went to various retail outlets and turned up empty-handed. Meanwhile, dozens of people on Twitter were posting their bountiful finds. Some even purchasing the entire store stock they could find (a**holes). On Tuesday, I had 8 bottles in my hands (I left some for the other nutballs).

    The first sip was oh so amazing. It was the exact flavor I remembered. It’s only going to be around for 8 weeks, but they will be glorious.

  • The Remixes Are Coming

    new1sAhoy there, faithful follower(s). This is an announcement. We have decided to re-release the New 1’s remix album to all major music streaming/download services.

    In 6-4 weeks (approximately), you will be able to stream the New 1’s on Spotify, Google Music, Apple Music, and Tidal (thanks, Jay-Z and Becky with the good hair).

    Basically, we have to create new cover art (everything was lost in a fire). AND we have to consult with some lawyers to make sure we won’t be sued by the Army of Dons. Freedom of speech, baby!