Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Elvira Presents Monster Hits

It's amazing what you can find at your favorite thrift store when you least expect it. I always hope to find some kind of treasure and my last visit was very productive. Elvira, Mistress of the Dark gained fame on Los Angeles television station KHJ wearing a black, gothic, cleavage-enhancing gown as host of Movie Macabre, a weekly horror movie presentation. The rest as they say is history. In the 80's and early 90's Elvira was everywhere and I for one did not complain a bit. In 1987 Elvira becomes the national spokesperson for Coor's Beer, making her the first female celebrity ever to endorse a beer product. In 1989 she became the spokesperson for Mug root beer. What I find funny is that even though she did a long-running series of Halloween-themed TV ads for Coors Light Beer and Mug Root Beer, her trademark cleavage was covered up for the beer commercials. ??? My how times change.

Elvira Presents Monster Hits was released in 1994 on CD and cassette. A too short but sweet 9 track set presented by the Mistress of the Dark. On two tracks she actually tries her hand at singing. On one track she duets with B-52's frontman Fred Schneider on the so-goofy-it's-great "Here Comes the Bride of Frankenstein" and even tries her hand at hip-hop on the pretty cool "Monsta Rap", a nice little ride through the monsters of the day. Maybe one of my favorite lines ever with "Freddy Krueger gives good glove." Of course it's out of print with copies going for 5 to 30 dollars, if you can find one. As synonymous with Halloween as Santa Claus is with Christmas, Elvira, Mistress of the Dark has carved out a niche in popular American culture that is sure to endure for decades to come.

Monsta Rap
Here Comes the Bride of Frankenstein

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Friday, October 22, 2010

The Mythology of Steven Part 2,5

Might as well stick with the Steven theme.

Love it to Death is the third album by the Alice Cooper Band released in 1971. This album gets a brief mention of Steven. Although he isn't referenced at all here, the song “The Ballad of Dwight Fry” can be seen as a “predecessor” to Steven. According to Alice Cooper, this song was the one that gave him the idea to invent the character of Steven. Cooper's first two albums were pretty much considered "failed" albums at the time. This was the album that brought the Alice Cooper band into the mainstream. Much credit is generally given to producer Bob Ezrin, cleaning up the band's sound with fresh ideas and making it more accessible than the previous psychedelic type albums.

The album cover caused much controversy at the time of its release. Early pressings show Cooper's thumb sticking out of his pants, thus giving the illusion of a penis. This led Warner Brothers to censor it (four different versions of the front cover exist on LP). Alice Cooper's thumb along with his right arm is clearly airbrushed out on censored versions. I have posted the original uncensored version below. In 2003, the album was ranked number 460 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

The Ballad of Dwight Fry
Buy It

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Monday, October 18, 2010

Goes To Hell

Being that Alice Cooper (and his original band)has finally been nominated for the rock n roll Hall of Fame for the 2011 ceremony it will only be fitting to talk about the Coop this month. Whether he actually makes it in remains to be seen. He is going up against Chic, Bon Jovi, Beastie Boys, LL Cool J, Neil Diamond and Tom Waits Just to name a few. He's been eligible since 1995 so that makes 15 years of being snubbed so that the likes of Madonna and her ilk could be inducted. I imagine Chic , beasties and ll cool j will be shoo ins, if past history is any indication and the Coop is likely to be snubbed again. As most of you know Alice Cooper's career spans more than four decades. Cooper has drawn equally from horror movies, vaudeville, and garage rock to pioneer a grandly theatrical and violent brand of heavy metal that was designed to shock (like chopping up bloody baby dolls). The first shock rocker so to speak. In the seventies politicians and pressure groups tried to ban the Alice Cooper band's shocking act which only served to fuel the fire, making the Alice Cooper band even more famous.

Last year in October I talked about Alice's fictional character Steven, who we were introduced to on his classic Welcome to my Nightmare album. I Talked about several albums where Steven made his appearances. Alice Cooper Goes to Hell is another concept album which came out in 1976, a year after the Nightmare in which Steven sort of makes an appearance. Now this story is not really about Steven but on the albums original liner notes on the inner sleeve we have this little text.

“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.”

Most fans think the storyline is about Alice himself and Steven is the one listening to this bedtime story, who is telling the story to Steven is not entirely clear and is open to conjecture. The story seems to go like this, Alice is sentenced to go to Hell (“Go to Hell”). Hell is symbolized by Disco music (“You gotta dance”). In Hell, Alice meets the Devil (“I’m the Coolest”) and realizes that he has met him before (“Didn’t We Meet” possibly a reference to the Nightmare album). “I Never Cry” deals with Alice’s real alcohol problems and in “Give the Kid a Break” Alice pleads to the Devil to let him go. In “Guilty” Alice says that if doing rock n’ roll dooms him to eternal Hell, than it’s worth it and he is guilty because he loves rock n’ roll. “Wake Me Gently” is a song that connects to the Welcome to My Nightmare-theme, where Alice thinks that everything is a nightmare, and wants to wake up. In “Wish You Where Here” Alice makes a phone call from Hell to his girlfriend. In the song “Going Home” he is indeed finally going home, escaping Hell. There are some parts of the album where the Steven and the Alice Cooper character seem to be the same person which is another discussion altogether. So to sum it all up this album is not an "official" Steven album but it bears mentioning in the whole Steven storyline.

Go To Hell
I'm the Coolest
Buy It

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Wednesday, October 13, 2010


 My friend over at Got the Fever had a request for Joan's version of Season of the Witch and I thought that would be a great choice and it goes well with Halloween.

When it gets really hot out, a lot of us try to get as close to Naked as possible, without being too obscene.   Being it's October most of us don't have to worry about getting too hot, but then Joan is always hot.  This Naked is an album released only in Japan by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts in 2004. Ten of the songs here would eventually surface in 2006 on her Sinner album. Some of the songs were reworked for the 2006 release and a couple songs had appeared on some earlier releases, most notably Fetish. Needless to say this is a must have for Joan Jett completests such as myself and can be quite the dickens to find. The only collection I know of that has her recording of Science Fiction Double Feature from her stint in the Rocky Horror Picture Show which is alone worth the purchase price, then there's also the requested track Season of the Witch.

Season of the Witch
Science Fiction Double Feature
Buy It

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Friday, October 08, 2010

Halloween Party Music

October is here and homercat has decided to get a jump on Halloween with these selections of Halloween  party tunes. For now It's mix party disc time. I'm putting this up again because this is a mix I made for a friend at work last year and I also posted this last year.  There are a couple of new additions from last years mix but it is very similar. I'm putting this up today because It won't be much use for a party if I wait until the day of Halloween. This way if you are hosting a party you might want to use some of these. I burned this as a mp3 disc but one could always break it up into regular cd's if so inclined. I know it has mostly already been featured but maybe you didn't grab it and you want some of these others. Then maybe you'll listen to the ones you didn't get and think hey I kinda like that. Homercat really enjoys putting Halloween posts together for his favourite holiday and I hope y'all will enjoy this. Future busy schedule may prevent me from delving into further October ghoulishness but we'll see.

Artist /Title
1 Peter Gabriel /Intruder
2 John Carpenter /Halloween Theme - Main Title
3 Voltaire /Worf's Revenge (Klingon Rap)
4 The Timelords/ Doctorin' the Tardis [12" Mix]
5 Charles Bernstein/ Main Title Nightmare on Elm Street
6 The Cramps /Surfin' Dead
7 Zombina and the Skeletones /Braindead
8 David Bowie /Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps)
9 Warren Zevon /Werewolves Of London
10 Alice Cooper/ Skeletons In The Closet
11 Blue Öyster Cult /Godzilla
12 Bloodrock / D.O.A.
13 The Presidents Of The United States Of America/ Ghosts Are Everywhere
14 HorrorPops /Walk Like A Zombie
15 Voltaire /BRAINS!
16 Joan Jett & The Blackhearts /Season Of The Witch
17 Bill Wyman /Spooky
18 Total Coelo /I Eat Cannibals (Extended 12'' Dance Mix)
19 Oingo Boingo /Dead Man's Party
20 Intro Song (Trioxin Mix)/Return of the Living Dead Soundtrack
21 Mike Oldfield /Tubular Bells remix
22 Zombina And The Skeletones /Dracula's Tango
23 Alice Cooper /Keepin' Halloween Alive
24 Fred Schneider /Monster
25 Alice Cooper /Former Lee Warmer
26 Voltaire /Zombie Prostitute
27 Rob Zombie /Everybody Scream (Rob Zombie)
28 Zombina And The Skeletones /Monster Mash
29 45 Grave /Partytime (Zombie Version)
30 Nick Cave /Red Right Hand
31 The Ramones /Pet Sematary
32 Alice Cooper/ Steven
33 Zombie Nation /Zombi
34 Insane Clown Posse /Boogie Woogie Wu
35 Gary Numan /I Can't Breathe
36 Brownsville Station /The Martian Boogie
37 The B-52's /Planet Claire
38 Fat Boys / Are you ready for Freddy
39 Ennio Morricone / Humanity (Movie Version from The Thing)

Copy and Paste this link into your browser to download
Tracks 1-19
Tracks 20-39

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Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Solo in Soho

Phil Lynott was an Irish singer, bassist, musician, songwriter and poet who first came to prominence as the frontman of Thin Lizzy. He released two solo albums and also formed and fronted the band Grand Slam, right up until his death on 4 January 1986. He was 36 years old. Solo in Soho is his first solo album, released while he was still in Thin Lizzy. Current and former Lizzy members guested on the album as well as Dire Straits frontman Mark Knopfler who plays on King's Call, a lament to Elvis Presley. Unfortunately Lynott's last years were dogged by drug and alcohol dependency leading to his collapse on the night of 25 December 1985 at his home. After his estranged wife Caroline drove him to a drug clinic in East Knoyle, he was taken to Salisbury Infirmary where he was diagnosed as suffering from a kidney and liver infection. He died of heart failure and pneumonia in the hospital's intensive care unit on 4 January 1986 at the way too young age of 36. Love this album, if you've never heard it I highly recommend it. I almost like it better than Jailbreak, almost.

Dear Miss Lonely Hearts
Tattoo (Giving It All Up for Love)
Buy It

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