Episode 5: Mary Shelley

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Do you remember Halloween?

I do.

I remember a time when masks, fake blood, toilet papers, and overcoming fears were the keys to a successful All Hallow’s Eve. Lately, however it seems as though the act of making Halloween less fearful has turned the creatures that go bump in the night into those that go bump and grind in the night.

Samhain (not the band) was a celebration of the end of the lighter half of the year and the darker half beginning. It celebrated a time when spirits could move beyond this world and, in order to avoid harm, people dressed in costumes to confuse and disorient the spirits.

Fear can be a wondrous emotion. Mary Shelley recognized this as she drew inspiration from Darwin’s reanimated vermicelli (the worm not the noodle) and the complications of her birth that led to the death of her mother. Utilizing those concepts, Shelley created the greatest myth in Modern times: The myth of a lonesome scientist who pushes too far into the unknown and creates something outside of his control. Without the smallest hint of fear mankind becomes unruly and unquestioning, too much fear makes us meek and afraid. The greatest action we can take is to embrace fear, as the Celts (not the sport’s team) did and dispel it with understanding and reverence.

We have enough monsters in the world without making more.

Rage well,

Updates:
Reading Guide for Frankenstein (Thanks Mr. A)

November: Xaime Hernandez

January 22, 2011 – In an effort to replace Valentine’s Day (which no one celebrates and everyone complains about), Bibliodiscoteque suggests Bibliophile Day! Take a book you love, wrap it in brown paper with twine, and mail it to friend (put a return address so the USPS doesn’t freak out). Choose one friend. This is about giving, so choose well and don’t be mad if you don’t get a book. If enough people do this the USPS benefits, book stores benefit, and your brain benefits …as does the writer.

If you have not already, become a friend of the show on Facebook or Garagepunk Hideout.

Set List: Episode 5 – Mary Shelley

Frankenstomp – Satan’s Pilgrims
The Warlock in the Woods – Shannon and the Clams
I Get Lonesome – Beck
Steal Away – Murder By Death
Dead Love Rag – Mama Rosin
Flirted With You All My Life – Vic Chesnutt
the skulls request – Olds Sleeper
Death Is The Only Real Thing – The Chesterfield Kings
Wild One – Those Darlins’
My Time Has Gone – The Pussywarmers
This Is Not A Light – Movie Star Junkies
Tongues Of Fire – Movie Star Junkies
Tonight’s The Night – Solomon Burke
My Body’s a Zombie for You – Dead Man’s Bones
Monster in Me – Hyper Nova
She’s Lost Control – Joy Division
Dark Entries – Bauhaus
Insight – The Trouble
People – Dex Romweber Duo

Episode 4: Who Fears the Devil?

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Manly Wade Wellman is to those who recognize the name, a master of supernatural folk tales. Reading his short stories and novels brings to mind when my friends and I would tell ghost stories and drink cokes while sitting around campfires or just burning junk we found in the woods. To those who don’t know his name you are missing a folk tale specialist whose operating table is the romantic and fantastic stories of the American South. His writing is truly American.

I came to Wellman’s work through Mike Mignola’s Hellboy comic, but the character of Silver John most likely matches up with Hellblazer’s John Constantine. Silver John is a wandering musician without home or money. In each of the numerous stories he appears in he uses chicanery, quick whit, and slight of hand to defeat black magic and the occult. Silver John’s appeal is that Wellman never reveals the full extent of John’s powers. The reader remains in as much awe as the people John frees from the antagonistic forces of evil. Silver John is a good man cutting into the darkness of the unknown and the fist half of this podcast is dedicated to a land of deep forest, steep mountains, dirt-roads, bonfires, and guitar contests. Historically inaccurate and overly romantic; but that is the luxury of fiction.

The second half focuses on The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and The War of the Worlds. This novel, co-written, with his son, merges the dramatic styles of Doyle and Wells so fluently that it needed the attention. That and there are some really fantastic songs about Sherlock Holmes that just couldn’t wait.

Manly Wade Wellman eBooks for free:
The Golgatha Dancers
The Devil’s Asteroid

So relax, brew some coffee, and crack open a book.
Rage Well,

Updates:
1. I strongly recommend, though I don’t mention it in the podcast, checking out these other great Podcasts:
Way Past Cool
You Got Good Taste
The Big Enchilada
Kicks from the Boot

2. Come back at the end of the month for Mary Shelley.

3. January 22, 2011 – In an effort to replace Valentine’s Day (which no one celebrates and everyone complains about), Bibliodiscoteque suggests Bibliophile Day! Take a book you love, wrap it in brown paper with twine, and mail it to friend (put a return address so the USPS doesn’t freak out). Choose one friend. This is about giving, so choose well and don’t be mad if you don’t get a book. If enough people do this the USPS benefits, book stores benefit, and your brain benefits …as does the writer.

Setlist: Episode 4 – Manly Wade Wellman

Goblins Are Go – Michael Futreal
I Put A Spell On You – Shane MacGowan & Friends
A Thing You Gotta Face – Polka Dot Slim
Broken Mouth Blues – Nic Armstrong
Day I Die – Bloodshot Bill
Aberdeen, Mississippi – John Schooley And His One Man Band
Root Hog Or Die – Micah Blue Smaldone
How’m I Doin’ – Mountain Man
Good Time Vandy’s Got The Blues – Midnight Evils
I’ll Never Get Out of this World Alive – C.w. Stoneking
Back in Hell – Delaney Davidson
It’s all over but the cryin’ (from musicalley.com) – Cooterfinger
Castin’ My Spell – Johnny Kidd and The Pirates
Caveman – Eddie Angel
Spann’s Boogie Woogie – Otis Spann
Dr Watson And Mr Holmes – The Spirits Of Rhythm
My Dear Watson – Thee Headcoat Sect
Dreadlock Holmes – Honey Fed Worms
Rock’n’Roll Detective – The Radioactives
People From Another World – The Jive Five
The Kid From Mars (Album version) – The Gazmen
Destination Venus – Man Or Astro-man?
In the Shadow of Wire Mountain – Michael Futreal
Let’s Go To Outerspace – Quadrajets

Episode 3 – Christa Faust

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Christa Faust has worked with the best.

She has written tales of such exotic locals as Camp Crystal Lake, Elm Street, and the Twilight Zone. Hell- she has even worked the friendly skies.

What is amazing is the legitimacy and level of ethos she brings to these novels. But the worlds that she walks best in are the ones she creates herself.

In 2004’s Hoodtown, Faust operates as a tour guide through one of the most imaginative and well-thought out worlds in contemporary literature. X, a former Mexican wrestler must fight to bring justice to a world no one outside the community wants saved. A great many reviews on Amazon credit Christa Faust with creating one of the best heroines ever. I say forget that! She has created one of the best characters ever. Period.

The world and the characters are compelling enough that despite the in-depth approach to the world, I would still love to walk around the streets of Hoodtown some more. Perhaps one day.

It would be easy enough to dismiss creating a brilliant enigmatic neophyte detective as a stroke of luck, but Faust does it again with flawless ease in Money Shot (spoken about in greater detail in the podcast itself).

With the state of Hard Case Crime in flux (at least when this was written), it is difficult to say when Money Shot’s Angel Dare will return in Choke Hold. Until then, use this time wisely: Listen to this podcast, brew some coffee, and spend next weeks gas money picking up Christa Faust’s books. If you like it brutal and truthful, you’ll love her work.

–Updates
1) I am now on iTunes. Subscribe and get each new podcast delivered FREE to your iTunes account monthly.

2) Next month – Another double-header:
Part 1 – Manly Wade Wellman
Part 2 – Mary Shelley

3) January 22, 2011 – In an effort to replace Valentine’s Day (which no one celebrates and everyone complains about), Bibliodiscoteque suggests Bibliophile Day! Take a book you love, wrap it in brown paper with twine, and mail it to friend (put a return address so the USPS doesn’t freak out). Choose one friend. This is about giving, so choose well and don’t be mad if you don’t get a book. If enough people do this the USPS benefits, book stores benefit, and your brain benefits …as does the writer.

Setlist
It Ain’t The Meat – The Swallows
Pink Pedal Pushers – Carl Perkins
Bad Woman – The Fiends
The Bad In Me – Rumble Club
Burlesque Is Dead – Big John Bates
Burlesque Queen – The Dustaphonics
El Corredor Quemado – Los Peyotes
Girl Of Matches – Thee Headcoats
I Believed Your Lies – Mickey & Ludella
Queen of the Wrecking Ball – Candye Kane
Dose of Hell (1) – Congregation
Shot Down – Bantam Rooster
Ain’t Gonna Wash My Face – Dorothy Wright
When Sin Stops – Buddy Holly, Waylon Jennings
Bye Bye Love – Collins Kids
All the Stars – Demolition Doll Rods
Don’t Give A Toss – Krewmen
Make You Say Wow – Bob Log III
No Teasin’ Round – Royal Pendletons
Fool About You – Little Porkchop
Don’t fuck around with love – Blenders

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Episode 2 Part 2 – Where Wolf?

Oh Grandma, what big hype you have!

Recently, and to my own disapproval, vampires and werewolves have become media whores. Once relegated to the shadows and the recesses of the imagination, one can’t throw a cross without impaling a creature of the night.

Since I was a kid I have had a love affair with werewolves. My mother’s penchant for B-movies was widely known around the neighborhood, and on Saturdays, rather than playing outside in the soggy New England humidity, my peers and I would find excuses to go inside and catch the Creature Double Feature broadcast out of Boston. In the days before cable television, the static and broken television signal only added to the creepiness. It was there I was introduced to Lon Chaney’s Wolfman.
There is something innately sad about werewolves. Perhaps it is the gypsy curse, the uncontrollable feral instinct in all of us, or the lack of respect that they get in film and literature; always second string to the much more romantically ridiculous vampires. In lit, there are a few great werewolf stories, Cycle of the Werewolf by Stephen King and Bernie Wrightson Sharp Teeth by Toby Barlow, the Lonely Werewolf Girl by Martin Millar.

Millar’s wolves are a huge dysfunctional royal family. They have class and sophistication, but squabble over regency, traitors, and fashion. It does what intelligent horror should, it holds a mirror to society and reveals that we are not too different from the creatures of our nightmares.

The recent surge in YA fiction fails to do this – Lesser authors replace scathing social commentary and wry humor with romanticism and bodice ripping yarns of young love. Millar’s wolves are able to function as symbols for the ridiculousness of society, others writer’s fumble about with a mythos of inaccurate plot devices. Not to mention a writing style designed for the intellectually deprived.

Find yourself a copy of Millar’s fiction if you have not already and find out for yourself. Symbolism, metaphor, and allegory can be far more frightening that long yellow teeth.

Rage well,

Set List: Episode 2 Part 2 – Where Wolf?

I’m a Lone Wolf –Leon Payne
She Said – The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion
3 Dogs – The Jooks of Kent
No One Knows You’re a Dog – Blacktop
Moon Madness – Pasquale & the Lunar-Tiks
Ain’t I’m A Dog – Ronnie Self
Nice Day For A Slaughter – Monster Klub
Blue Moon Of Kentucky – Wanda Jackson
Rockin’ At Midnight – Roy Brown
All Night – Screamin’ Jay Hawkins
Night In the Lonesome October – Calabrese
kentucky frieds best with intro – Wolfboy Slim & His Dirty Feet
Like Wolf – Sonny Boy Williamson
Out Of The Swamp – Dan Melchior’s Broke Revue
Werewolf – Wanda Chrome
Werewolf – The Rockin’ Barracudas
No Club Lone Wolf [*] – The Cramps
November Graveyard – Sylvia Plath (REMIX – Carlson)
Smack Dab (In the Middle) – ’68 Comeback
Werewolves – Betty & The Werewolves
Dont Feed Me – the goddamn gallows
I Was a Teenage Werewolf -The Creeping Cruds
Werewolves On Wheels – Ghoultown
Werewolf Boogie – The Ripmen
Addicted To Freaks – The Beatings

 

Episode 2: Martin Millar

Martin Millar is a class act.

I say this with no sense of irony or sarcasm.

I took a chance for the second podcast and decided to send out an invitation. I simply asked what four bands/tracks might Mr. Millar wish to hear on a podcast in his honor.

Not only did I get a great email in reply, but a music lesson as well. Not to mention he managed to use the greatest word in the English language: Ethos (more on that another time).

I grew up in the 80’s and punk was a life support for the suburban ills of the mundane and taciturn. It helped me break from what I viewed as a mold and helped my find a voice.  As I grew older and my music tastes changed, I found myself reluctant to go back and explore certain bands and sounds.

One such beast was Led Zepplin. To be honest, and possibly rude to the subject of this podcast’s dedication, they meant nothing to me. I understand Jimmy Page is a fantastic guitarist with a rich background, but they never moved me. Until I read Martin Millar’s Suzy, Led Zepplin, and Me.

The opening chapters of Millar’s book generated in me an excitement for a band I was never excited about. When a fictional character’s excitement becomes your own, folks, that is the brand of capable writer.

Martin Millar’s writing has introduced me to punk fairies, vain poets, Fire Goddesses, and a failed sorcerer turned private eye.  His writing is vivid and raw and his humor quick and well timed. The novels are what punk albums used to be: bastions against the usual and predictable. One day I wish to see him heralded as the one true great punk writer.

In this month’s first installment, I present you with music inspired and directed by Martin Millar. From the Sex Pistols’ use of A Led Zepplin riff to T-Rex’s use of a Howlin’ Wolf song these are the songs I hear when I read his work.

Thanks for the help Mr. Millar and I hope you enjoy.

Oh – as I mention in the podcast, I wanted to hype his new book, Curse of the Wolf Girl, but had too many songs to work with to hightlight both author and work.

So, there is a part two (a blues, country, rockabilly, and garage tribute to all things lupine) in two weeks.

Rage Well,
Erik

Set List: Episode 2 – Martin Millar

God Save the Queen – The Sex Pistols
Communication Breakdown – Led Zeppelin
Suzy Is A Headbanger – The Ramones
未来は僕等の手の中 – THE BLUE HEARTS
Armagideon Time  – The Clash
20th Century Man – The Kinks
Fan Club – The Damned
Chinese Rocks – Johnny Thunders
Personality Crisis – New York Dolls
Teenage Lament ’74 – Alice Cooper
Jeepster – T. Rex
You’ll Be Mine (Single Version) – Howlin’ Wolf
Love In A Void – Siouxsie & The Banshees
Neon Angels On the Road to Ruin (Live) – The Runaways
Oh Bondange! Up Yours! – X-Ray Spex
The American in Me – The Avengers

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Bibliodiscoteque  Episode 2 – Martin Millar
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Episode I: Robert Bloch

I have the heart of a child. I keep it in a jar on my shelf.

-Robert Bloch

There is a moment in Psycho when Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins) is talking with Sam Loomis (John Gavin) in front of the office at the Bates’ Motel. I distinctly remember, as a kid, watching Perkins shift and stutter and eat peanuts (or something) and thinking that I wasn’t just watching an actor, but someone who understood psychosis. Someone truly uncomfortable in their body.

This also started me thinking about the man behind Norman and the happenings at the motel. The man who fictionalized Ed Gein and prevented generations of movie-goers from ever showering while home alone again: None other than the late Robert Bloch.

I did not know him personally but from what I have read Bloch was an amazing writer and a unique individual. I could retell  inane anecdotes about his friendship with Lovecraft (the two killed one another in stories), I could list the dozens of books and movie credits, talk about his Jack the Ripper contribution to Dangerous Visions, or simply cite what has already been written. I did not know the man and better people than I have written about him. This month’s post, and those to come, is to peak the curiosity of those who look for connections within literature and music.

These posts are meant as a gateway drug. It is for those readers who are not listeners, those listeners who are not readers, and those who balance both. I find, typically, that collectors tend to go hand in hand – if not simply run in the same circles.

You know who I mean, the socially awkward and obsessive collectors who own four wrecked copies of a particular book/album and buy new ones all the time hoping the next will be in better condition or an earlier printing. The same people who plastic bag entertainment for posterity. I know you because I am you.

So listen up bibliodiscophiles – The old order needs to be remembered. Progress is well and good and new idols have their worshippers, but if no one remembers the old gods, who will keep our history?

Rage well,
Erik

NEXT MONTH: Martin Millar


Set List: Episode 1 – Robert Bloch

Gretschy – Amazing Royal Crowns
Take a Trip to my Grave  – Gutter Demons
House in the Woods – The Singing Loins
One Fine Day – Reverend Beat-Man
I Have No Friends – Big Joe Williams
Psychotic Reaction – Count Five
Psycho – Eddie Noak
45  – Brokeoffs
32-20 Blues – Robert Johnson
Dying Crapshooter’s Blues – Blind Willie McTell
Whiskey Rebellion – The Bad Ones
Genocide – Link Wray
When I Die – Rollie Tussing
Jesus Does the Dishes – Wingnut Dishwasher’s Union
I’d Rather be a Devil – Guadalupe Plata
Pay the Devil His Due – The Raunch Hands
Graveyard Shake – The Deadly Snakes
Dig That Grave! – Hipbone Slim and the Knee-Tremblers
Per Arnoldi – Bazookahosen
Route 666 – The Phantom Creeps