Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Mythology of Steven Part 2.5

Da Da is a highly overlooked Cooper album from 1983. The album revolves around an insane, unnamed character(Who some think may be Steven again). The character is a cannibal, as revealed in the song, "Fresh Blood." The title track is an instrumental introduction to the album in which we here fragments of a conversation between a psychologist and his patient. Soon it becomes clear that the patient has a history of violence, cannibalism, and is confused whether he has a son or a daughter. The same confusion reigns as whether this is a "Steven" album or not.

“[Doctor] Tell me about your son. [Patient] My son, yeah well, he took care of me. He's took care of me for a long, he still takes care of me. She takes good, and she takes care of me. She takes, she takes good care of me. He takes care of me, Do you believe it. I have a daughter too. [Doctor] You don't have a daughter. [Patient] Yeah, I have a daughter, yeah. [Doctor] A son - you have a son, a son. [Patient] No I, no I, all I have, I have I have a son, I have a son and a daughter, and a daughter. No, I have a son, daughter, daughter too, and a boy, and a boy “

The patient’s confusion is probably a flirt with the Alice Cooper persona. Alice Cooper is a man with a girl’s name, and therefore the patient could be Alice’s father. In the next song “Enough’s Enough”, it becomes clearer that there is a father character in the story. It’s father of the storyteller (Steven?). We learn that the father was glad when the mother died, and that he kept the storyteller’s brother, Former Lee Warmer, locked up in the attic. Then the songs tells the story of how the main character gets by in America (“No Man’s Land”), how he falls in love (“Dyslexia”), an erotic venture with two women (“Scarlet and Sheba”), what he thinks of his home country (“I love America”), a song about a cannibal like killer (“Fresh Blood”) and at last a suicide epic (“Pass The Gun Around”). It’s mainly the first song, the third “Former Lee Warmer” and the last song on the album, which has made many Alice Cooper fans suspect that the person telling the story is in fact Steven. The themes present on the album, and especially in these three songs resemble those on the “Steven albums”. The three Stevenesque tracks are some some of the creepiest Alice Cooper tunes in his entire catalogue. Although relatively short at 9 tracks, This Cooper album ranks in my top 5 fave Alice Cooper albums and I have every one of them. There's just something about it that grabs me. Unfortunately Alice has never performed the material from this album live. He says that he doesn't even remember recording this album he was drinking so heavily. I would love to hear a live version of Former Lee Warmer. It just wouldn't be Halloween without Former Lee.

Former Lee Warmer
Pass The Gun Around
This album Out of Print

Funny Toon

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Boo Hoo

Voltaire, is a Cuban-American musician popular in the goth scene, although I would have to say it's closer to new wave than anything else. He's also an experienced animation and comic artist, and is a professor at the School of Visual Arts in New York. Even though Voltaire was born in Cuba, his music has strong roots and connections to European folk as well as other influences such as the goth scene. However, many listeners (including myself) find his music hard to classify. Although it has a sound reminiscent of European folk music, many people claim it to be darkwave or even goth cabaret. One thing is for sure it is extremely enjoyable to listen to and addictive as well. The album Boo Hoo came out in 2002 and was largely inspired by his sadness over the breakup of a relationship. Thus the hilarious cover art: Voltaire as sweater-wearing troubadour on stage, one eye blackened, with broken hearts behind him. The album features the song "BRAINS!" which is arguably Voltaire's most notable song which was originally a song written for the Cartoon Network show The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy. Good Stuff and I'll certainly be featuring more Voltaire coming up.

The Vampire Club
Buy It

Funny Toon

Monday, October 26, 2009

Army Of Darkness

Army Of Darkness is a 1993 comedy horror/adventure film and the third installment in the Evil Dead series. The original title was supposed to be Bruce Campbell vs the Army of Darkness. The Evil Dead series are just all around awesome and fun horror movies to watch. They are so over the top, especially the third one. I watched this yet again the other night and Bruce has many memorable one liners. Army of Darkness is not as violent or gory as the prior Evil Dead films, relying more on slapstick. It does have it's moments though. Danny Elfman wrote the "March of the Dead" theme for the movie, but after the re-shoots were completed, Evil Dead II composer Joseph LoDuca returned to score the new film. LoDuca sat down with Raimi and they went over the entire film, scene by scene. The composer used his knowledge of synthesizers and was able to present many cues in a mock-up form before he took them in front of an orchestra. I had to put up the whole album for us Evil Dead fans, but it won't be up long.

192 kbps

Building The Deathcoaster
Give Me Some Sugar/Boneanza
Time Traveller
Ash Splits
Little Ashes
Ash In Chains
Night Court
The Forest Of The Dead/Graveyard
The Pit
God Save Us
Foul Thing
March Of The Dead (Elfman)
Whites Of Their Skulls
The Deathcoaster
On The Parapet
Ash Bucklers
Soul Swallower
Manly Men
End Titles

Copy and Paste this link into your browser to download

Funny Toon

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Mythology of Steven Part Two

Today I'm going to talk some more about Alice Cooper's fictional homicidal maniac character known as Steven. Steven made his official first appearance on the Welcome to My nightmare album but his roots can be traced back to the Love it to Death album on the song "Ballad of Dwight Fry" which is a predecessor to the character. In fact Alice has said that this song was the one that gave him the idea to invent the character of Steven. On the follow up to the Nightmare album, Alice Cooper Goes to Hell, the album has a text on the original LP inner sleeve that says:

“Lay still, Steven, and I'll tell you a bedtime story. I'll tell you a bedtime story that's not for all children. It's a very special story, that only special children will understand. It's a half-awake story, and it will be better if you close your eyes. It's a story that takes place in a dream, like other nightmares you have known. It's a dream that Alice has dreamed. You can dream along with him. You can follow Alice down the staircase, deep, down the stairs to the pit where he doesn't want to go, but he has to. If you go to sleep now, Steven, you can go down the long and endless stairway and sing sweet songs to Alice and free him. And if you can't get to sleep, Steven, and in the middle of the night you get out of bed, when everything is quiet and the trees are still and the birds are hiding from the dark, you can lie down on your bedroom floor and press your ear tightly to the boards. If you listen very carefully you can hear Alice searching for a way out, forever chasing rainbows. Sleep tight, Steven. And have a good night.”

The music itself seems to be more about Alice himself rather than Steven. In 1983 Cooper released the ultra creepy Da Da which is an album that revolves around an insane, unnamed character. The character is a cannibal, as revealed in the song, "Fresh Blood." The themes present on the album, and especially in three of the songs resemble those on the “Steven albums”. There is a Steven=Alice theory that supports the hypothesis that Steven is the main character on Dada, but I will deal with that in another post.

The next "official" appearance on an album came in 1991 with the Album Hey Stoopid. Steven makes his appearance on the last track on the album called Wind up Toy. Though the song was never released as a single, the song is very popular among Cooper's fans, often favourite above all others by some. In the song we learn that he is imprisoned in a lunatic hospital and that he makes only friends are the insects, rats and his toys on the floor. This tells us that he still has the mind of a small child. Obviously it upset Steven to become an adult. The song possibly suggests something happened that forced him to be like an adult, before he was ready for it. In the closing moments of the song we hear in a creepy schizophrenic voice,
You have to go now it's bedtime
Then a short pause and in an almost quiet like, child's frightened cry we hear a drawn out Steeeeven that will make the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end. Stay tuned, more Steven to come.

Wind Up Toy
Buy It

Funny Toon

Saturday, October 24, 2009

There's a Monster in my Pants

Most people know Fred Scneider as frontman for the best party band of the late 70's new wave era, the B-52's. What some people don't know is that he released a couple solo albums also. Well the first one was called Fred Schneider and the Shake Society. It was released in 1984 before the B-52's released Bouncing off the Satellites. Satellites is not one of the B-52's better efforts. Too bad they couldn't have combined the two albums and came out with one great album. So I'm going to feature Monster which is a perennial favorite Halloween song from Fred's first solo album. It certainly has been featured here before because it's an upbeat, quirky, funny song which had a great video which aired a lot on MTV back when they were good and used to play just music videos. In the song there is an innuendo implied, although Fred states in the disclaimer that this wacky space-age song is about a dinosaur walking around in his polka dot PJ's and not what some dirty-minded people might think. You decide, here's part of a lyric. "There's a monster in my pants and it does a nasty dance. When it moves in and out. Everybody starts to shout. Monster aah!" The backing vocalists include Kate Pierson. If you liked the B-52's then you should have this album. Here's a couple great Halloween party tunes.

I'm Gonna Haunt You
Buy It

Funny Toon

Friday, October 23, 2009

Songs in the Key of X

Songs in the Key of X: Music from and Inspired by the X-Files was the first album released in association with the popular television series The X-Files released in 1996. It contained both music that had been featured in the show, as well as music whose themes were in line with the concepts of the show. The album peaked at #47 on Billbord's Top 200 chart. Producers used the Compact Disc's pregap, so a listener would have to actually manually rewind the first track a full nine minutes to hear the 2 hidden tracks by Nick Cave. This is hinted at in the CD booklet - "Nick Cave and the Dirty Three would like you to know that "0" is also a number." Not all CD or DVD players will allow you to "rewind" back to these tracks as this violates Red Book standards. I was tempted to put up the bonus "hidden" tracks but decided against it and will go with my faves from one of my all time favorite TV shows.

Unmarked Helicopters by Soul Coughing (featured in episode: Max)
Red Right Hand by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds (featured in episode: Ascension)
Buy It

Funny Toon

Phantom of the Paradise

This is another repost from last year. The movie and the music have a solid cult following around the world.

Phantom of the Paradise is a 1974 horror-thriller musical film written and directed by Brian De Palma. The story is a loosely adapted mixture of Phantom of the Opera, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Picture of Dorian Gray and Faust. The film was marketed with the tagline "He sold his soul for rock n'roll", and then with "He's been maimed and framed, beaten, robbed and mutilated. But they still can't keep him from the woman he loves." Initially a box office failure and panned by some critics, it has since gained a huge cult following. The film was a box-office bomb the year of its initial showings. Curiously, the film's major market during its theatrical release was in Winnipeg, Canada where it stayed in local cinemas over four months continuously and over one year non-continuously until 1976. Relatedly, the soundtrack sold 20,000 copies in Winnipeg alone, and it got Gold status in Canada. The film was later shown on area IMAX screens in the 90s. A 2006 fan-organized festival, dubbed 'Phantompalooza', reunited the original cast and featured a concert by Paul Williams in the very theatre where the film played during its original run. A cult favorite and hard to find.

128 kbps

1. Goodbye, Eddie, Goodbye - Archie Hahn, Juicy Fruits
2. Faust - Bill Finley
3. Upholstery - Jeffrey Comanor, Beach Bums
4. Special to Me (Phoenix Audition Song) - Jessica Harper
5. Phantom's Theme (Beauty and The Beast) - Paul Williams
6. Somebody Super Like You (Beef Construction Song) - Harold Oblong, The Undeads
7. Life at Last - Ray Kennedy
8. Old Souls - Jessica Harper
9. Faust - Paul Williams
10. The Hell of It - Paul Williams

Copy and Paste this link into your browser to download

Funny Toon

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Agents of Fortune

Agents of Fortune is the fourth studio album by Blue Oyster Cult released in 1976. The platinum selling album peaked at #29 on Billboard's Pop Albums chart, while the single "(Don't Fear) The Reaper" peaked at #12 on the Pop Singles chart, making it Blue Öyster Cult's biggest hit. The album was also the band's greatest critical success. Of course, upon the success of the single, "(Don't Fear) The Reaper", Blue Öyster Cult became the center of a controversy surrounding the supposed pro-suicide lyrics of the song. Some stupid idiots never actually listened to the song which is a love ballad concerning love that lasts beyond death, and a call to seize the day. Unfortunately stupid idiots still exist to this day and continue to run around screaming, "oh that bad music makes people kill themselves, we must ban it so we can protect everybody". But forget them, this is essential rock n roll here. Reaper was also inadvertantly responsible for one of the funniest sketches ever to appear on Saturday Night Live that aired in 2000. Featuring the overly loud and vigorous cowbell player, Gene Frenkle (played by Will Ferrell). Absolutely hilarious.

Sinful Love
Tattoo Vampire
Buy It

Funny Toon

Monday, October 19, 2009

Shaun of the Dead

Shaun of the Dead is a brilliant zombie movie and one of the best to come out in the last 20 years or so. We just watched it again last night and it just rocks. Prominent are many references to George A. Romero's earlier Dead films (Night, Dawn and Day of the Dead, with Dawn in particular being referenced). In particular, the plot of Shaun relates directly to the plots of Romero's zombie films — all of which involve several people trapped in a building, with flesh-eating zombies attempting to break in to devour them, without a direct explanation for the cause of the zombie plague. The title Shaun of the Dead is also both an obvious parody of and homage to the title Dawn of the Dead. Numerous lines, scenes and background details also directly refer to the Romero films, including the music playing over the Universal logo, which is the synthesizer soundtrack to Dawn of the Dead. The film also features a Kid Koala remix of "The Gonk," which was used over the closing credits of Dawn.

The film's score by Pete Woodhead and Daniel Mudford is a pastiche of Italian zombie film soundtracks by artists like Goblin and Fabio Frizzi. It also uses many musical cues from the original Dawn of the Dead that were originally culled by George A. Romero from the De Wolfe production music library.

A short clip of the music video to The Smiths' single "Panic" is shown in the movie, where the line "Panic on the streets of London" is heard while Shaun is flicking through TV channels. Also the song "Don't Stop Me Now" by Queen is heard in a scene at the pub where Shaun, Liz, and Ed bludgeon the zombified owner of the pub to the beat of the tune. Additionally, "Kernkraft 400" by Zombie Nation is heard during one scene while Shaun is on a bus. Great movie, great soundtrack.

The Gonk
Buy It

Funny Toon

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Halloween Party Classics

A quick little weekend post. I won't have to go into much discussion here as I covered Zombina and the Skeletones a couple of posts ago. Today a couple of songs from one of their Halloween themed EP's. The EP is called Halloween Party Classics and it included just four covers of some classic Halloween tunes that are perfect for any rockin' Halloween parties. I believe it was released in 2007 and I'm not sure where one would go to buy the EP now as I'm pretty sure it's a fairly rare commodity now. Enjoy.

Monster Mash
Draculas Tango

Funny Toon

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Welcome to My Nightmare

Welcome to My Nightmare is a concept album by Alice Cooper, released in 1975. This was Alice Cooper's first solo album (all previous Alice Cooper releases were band efforts). The songs, heard in sequence, form a journey through the nightmares of a child named Steven. This is the first appearance of Steven on an album. He goes on to appear officially on 3 more albums and may unofficially be referenced on others. Referencing other sites throughout the net and my own observations, we will take a walk through the Nightmare today because Alice Cooper certainly conjures up images of Halloween.

The album is a journey through Steven's mind, which is severely damaged. He lives in a constant nightmare and we are guided through this nightmare, by The Curator (played by Vincent Price). In the first song on the album, the title track, we are introduced to the nightmare. On the second song, “Devils Food”, Steven is trapped in a spider's web and is about to be eaten by The Black Widow. The spider and the web (and the whole nightmare) are only in his mind, so Steven thinks he has to obey The Black Widow, to get away alive.

The next song on the album is called "Some Folks," and reading between the lines, one can understand that the song is about how Steven enjoys killing women and possibly making love to their dead bodies, and then we learn of Steven’s abuse of his wife. The song “Only Women Bleed” tells us this. We once again learn of Steven’s lust for the dead, in the song “Cold Ethyl” where it’s clear that Steven is having sex with a woman’s (Ethyl’s) corpse. The next thing that is revealed to the listener is of Steven’s childhood and how he became the psycho killer we now know. In “Years Ago” we understand that Steven was alone as a child, and maybe that he feels rejected by friends and adults. The song “Steven” shows his transformation from an innocent child to a murderer. The refrain to the song “Steven” goes like this:

“Steven!/ Steven! I hear my name! Steven! Is someone calling me? I hear my name! Steven! That icy breath it whispers screams of pain!”

The voice that chants “Steven! Steven!” is most probably his wife, as he is killing her. This means that Steven could be beseeching her to stop screaming. After we have taken part of Steven’s transformation, he wakes up. Until now, we are unsure if the nightmare is a real nightmare or in fact part of Steven’s mental disease. But in the song “The Awakening” we understand that during the nightmare, Steven has killed his wife. From this we can draw the conclusion that the nightmare occurred when Steven was sleepwalking but not knowing what was real or what was his imagination, he abused his wife during “Only Women Bleed”, made love to her corpse during “Cold Ethyl” and then sat down in his easy chair, “waking up” and at first thinking that everything was a bad dream. But then he realizes what he has done. As a result of this he escapes into drinking alcohol, which takes place in "Escape". This is the basic storyline although there are some aspects of some of the songs that seem to still be up for debate.

Knowing the full story line makes the album that much creepier. Although Only Women Bleed is a nice ballad on it's own which charted at #12 on the charts, sandwiched in between the other songs it becomes more of a creepy song. While the album on first listen is not as gritty as previous albums with the Alice Cooper band, after listening to it knowing the story behind Steven, one realizes that the concept and the album is quite brilliant. Later on this month we will walk again with Steven and discuss his relationship with Alice, but for now listen to these three tracks in sequence with the alternate version of The Awakening instead of the original, then tell me it doesn't send a chill or two up your spine.

Years Ago
The Awakening
Buy It

Funny Toon

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Taste The Blood Of Zombina and the Skeletones

Zombina and The Skeletones are a horror rock band from Liverpool, England, formed in 1998 around the nucleus of vocalist Zombina and songwriter Doc Horror. The majority of their tongue in cheek lyrical content deals with themes of horror and science fiction, yet their musical style is upbeat and pop oriented, with elements of garage punk, doo wop and hard rock. Some critics have said they are the best unsigned band on the planet, and no-one even realizes they're unsigned. Fiercely self-sufficient since their inception in 1998 while still at school, the band have combined brain-controlling hooks, exceptional pop, electrifying stage shows, gallons of blood and good old fashioned hard graft to build a truly international fan base of all ages and, seemingly, all tastes. On record they're the 'Beatles of Horror', with albums such as "Taste the Blood of Zombina and the Skeletones", "Halloween Hollwerin'", "Monsters On 45", "Death Valley High" and "Out Of The Crypt And Into Your Heart". Taste The Blood Of Zombina and the Skeletones is the first official album by them which first came out in 2003. I have really gotten into these guys big time and simply love their music and personally highly recommend them. Fun to listen to and it sounds like they're having a blast making these albums. More to come from these guys for sure.

The Grave (And Beyond)
Nobody Likes You (When You're Dead)
Buy It

Funny Toon

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Born of the Night

Midnight Syndicate is an American musical group that has been working mainly in the genre of gothic music since 1998. The band is based out of Chardon, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland. Their music is commonly used to provide atmosphere during the Halloween season, in haunted attractions and in the role-playing game industry. Over time Midnight Syndicate has become the standard with the Halloween and haunted attraction industries. In addition to haunted attractions, amusement parks worldwide license their music during the Halloween season. Born of the Night was the second album of the band Midnight Syndicate, released in 1998, and is currently out of print. As you may have guessed these guys play great creepy atmospheric music that is perfect for Halloween. The album has a theme - the setting is a haunted castle, there is a definite feeling of being in a gothic haunted castle amongst many different creatures of the night, such as gargoyles, bats, and vampires. Basically this album captures the spirit of the night and its mysteries and the many different creatures one would encounter in or near a haunted castle. Music like this is great for piping outdoors to creep out the trick or treaters especially if you've got your house all jazzed up for the occasion. if you're hosting a haunted house or are looking to set a darker mood for a party, this is the best Halloween music out there.

Haunted Nursery
Born of the Night
Buy It

Funny Toon

Friday, October 09, 2009


For the rest of the month of October, homercat is going to try to focus on the darker creepier side of music as each day gets us closer to my favorite holiday, Halloween. I've had the house decorated since the first. Nothing better than a good creepy song or album to get the mood set for October. For the most part the rest of this month will have some kind relationship to the dark side of music. I may put up a couple of normal posts in between hauntings. It's inevitable that when Halloween rolls around every year, there are bound to be a couple re posts of stuff that I have featured in the past. Especially when it comes to what I consider essential Halloween party music.

I'm starting Halloweenfest off with a true classic soundtrack from one of the great horror movies of our time. This is one of those reposts that manages to get up When director John Carpenter was making Halloween, it's budget was a paltry $320,000. It went on to gross $47 million at the box office in the United States alone. Remember this was 1978. Needing to save a few bucks, Carpenter wrote the score himself. A major reason for the success of Halloween is the moody musical score, particularly the main theme. Critic James Berardinelli calls the score "relatively simple and unsophisticated", but admits that "Halloween's music is one of its strongest assets". Director John Carpenter notes that he played the film, without the music, for a movie executive, and she said that it wasn't scary. Months later, once she had seen it finished, with the ominous score composed and attached, her opinion changed completely. Carpenter, with just a few sparse notes, manages to interpose urgency, dread, fear, and evil presence, ever so exceptionally into the foreboding film. Creepy atmospheric minimalism at its very best.

Halloween Theme - Main Title
The Shape Lurks
Laurie Knows
Buy It

Funny Toon

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Last Splash

The Breeders are an American alternative rock band formed in 1988 by Kim Deal of the Pixies and Throwing Muses' Tanya Donelly. The band has experienced a number of line-up changes; the current line-up consists of Kim Deal (lead vocals and guitar), her twin sister Kelley Deal (guitar and backing vocals), Jose Medeles (drums and percussion), Mando Lopez (bass guitar) and Cheryl Lyndsey (guitar); Kim Deal has been the band's sole continual member.

Last Splash is their second album which came out in 1993. Last Splash peaked at #33 on Billboard's Top 200 album chart. By June, 1994, the album was certified Platinum by the RIAA for shipment in excess of one million units. The title of the album is taken from a lyric from its lead single, "Cannonball." The song I remember hearing all the time is Divine Hammer. It seemed like the station I listened to played it all the time which eventually prompted me to go out and buy it.

Divine Hammer
Buy It

Funny Toon

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Malice in Wonderland

Malice In Wonderland is the eleventh studio album by the Scottish rock band Nazareth, released in 1980. On this album Nazareth decided to return to the AOR experimentation they had toyed with during the 1970s on albums like Close Enough for Rock & Roll and Play 'N the Game. In doing so they also managed to retain their identity as a hard rocking group this time out by tempering their pop experimentation with a tougher sound that took advantage of their new dual-guitar lineup. All in all, while Malice in Wonderland not their best album, it is one of several high points in Nazareth's career and the best-ever fusion of their hard rock and AOR tendencies. In short, it's required listening for the group's fans and also an album likely to please hard rock lovers and AOR fanatics alike.

Hearts Grown Cold
Buy It

Funny Toon

Thursday, October 01, 2009

House of a Thousand Guitars

Back in 2006 Willie Nile released what I considered the best (albeit unknown) record of the year and quite possibly may be the best album to be released in the last five years. The album was called Streets of New York and it was fantastic. Right from the opening intro, this record, for lack of a better expression, kicks ass! The day I got this I listened to it ten times in a row, then it was bedtime. I still listen to it all the time. Well Willie has gone and done it again with an outstanding new effort.

House of a Thousand Guitars Is Willie Nile's sixth studio album which came out earlier this year. It literally picks up right where his previous album left off. On this album he demonstrates the diversity of his song writing and performing abilities with an equal mix of classic guitar rock and an equal part of his deep and sensitive piano ballads. I might as well say it now. Looks like I'll be rating this album as the best album of 2009 come December. I believe the magic of Willie Nile is his unbridled passion for life that permeates the man and his music. I can best describe the album through the lens of the title track, a hook-driven song about an imaginary place where great musicians dwell and can make their music in peace. “You can spread your fingers ‘cross the universe . . . in the House of a Thousand Guitars,” sings Nile, while naming House denizens Jimi Hendrix, Robert Johnson, Hank Williams, Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, John Lennon, Muddy Waters and John Lee Hooker, who, as the lyric says, is “gonna kick your ass.”

Willie Nile has likely made the best album of his career and I really didn't think he'd be able to top his last one. There is a song for every mood on this album. Each time I listen to it I enjoy it more than the last. Radio and the RIAA be damned, this work deserves to be heard!

House of a Thousand Guitars
Give Me Tomorrow
Buy It

Funny Toon