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Halloween Stuff from Brian

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(Scott), I likely won't get the Part 3 of QOTSA done until tomorrow, so as so often happens Brian
steps in with some very different material, and you know we LOVE this kinda stuff here......can't wait to hear these myself........
(And of course congratulations to the AL Champion KC Royals!)
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Hello all. I took some time off. I wanted to put together something cool for Halloween, but I was at a loss as to what to do. Initially, it was gonna be some great horror movie soundtracks, or some good spooky metal albums. But I think I finally settled on a good themed post.
 

I've been a Edgar Allan Poe fan since I first read "The Cask Of Amontillado" and "Masque Of the Red Death" when I was 11. I shouldn't have to tell you how genius his stories are or how beautiful his poetry is. Suffice to say, if all you know is "The Raven", you're doing yourself a colossal disservice... So, here's some Edgar Allan Poe audio!

                                                                        
 
 
First up is the Closed On Account Of Rabies tribute. This was an album produced by the great Hal Willner, and it features an eclectic array of talent doing adaptations of Poe. Some highlights - Christopher Walken reading "The Raven", Ken Nordine's amazing "Conqueror Worm", Iggy Pop's "Tell-Tale Heart", Jeff Buckley's lovely and haunting "Ulalume".... My favorite has always Diamanda Galas's hypnotic, possessed reading of "The Black Cat". There's others too. And while I've never warmed to the few music tracks on this - and my personal copy has them edited out - I've included the whole 2 disc album here so you can make your own decision. And thanks to Willard's Wormholes for originally putting this and other Hal Willner tribute albums up. Just google the phrase "Hal Willner Week" - you'll find the others on his blog. They're all good.

 
This next one is something I put together. The core of it is the album Tales Of Mystery and Imagination... and no, I don't mean the Alan Parsons release. It is a collection of readings by a man named Bill Mitchell. I don't know anything about him, and I can't find info on this album (sound like the early 60's), but it is a great listen! His deep, sonorous voice and subtly English diction make it riveting. And it is helped along by just enough music and sound effects. I think you'll like it.

Tacked onto this are two good single tracks I found. From a poetry anthology (I think), we have William Dufris' straightforward, entertaining "The Raven". And as a super-special bonus, I have includes William Burroughs'reading "The Masque Of the Red Death". One of my favorite writers, and my favorite Poe story...it's perfect. And hey, I just realized all three of these guys' names is "William". Weeeeeiiiiiirrrrdddd.......

I collect Poe-related CDs and tapes. I thought of including the 5 Disc Vincent Price/Basil Rathbone collection, but figured that'd be overkill. Maybe I'll save it for next year, huh?

 
The most famous Halloween prank ever pulled was Orson Welles's War Of The Worlds radio broadcast in 1938. While the hook for people has always been the mass-media panic that ensued (A. Brad Schwartz wrote a great book about it), I've always found it just a riveting piece of drama, as well as a great adaptation of the original novel. The Mercury Theater players were really good. There's one moment I've always loved: when the Martian ship starts killing with it's heat ray, and it cuts off the reporter's broadcast mid-sentence....it's just chilling.

I have a Halloween ritual I heartily recommend to you. First, have a good real Jack O' Lantern. Put it in your living room - or where you're comfortable - as your only light (this means turn off all your damn devices, kids). Light it, and play the broadcast. Let your mind create pictures as you listen in the shifting shadows. It's pretty cool, I think. Gives you an appreciation for the lost art of radio shows. Come to think of it, it'd work well for the Poe, too....

Happy Halloween!



 
 

 



 

 
 





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