Oct 31, 2012

Countdown to Halloween - It's Here!

Wow, I woke up this morning and there is so much cool stuff I want to share with you guys before getting to my proper Halloween post!

First, local band Darling Pet Munkee has a new 7 track EP titled You Better Believe It! I posted about them before but if you're not familiar with them, they do songs based on those classic comic book mail order ads. Here's the video of the first single from the new album, "Hypno-Coin." You can pay what you want for the new album online.

Horror rock band Calabrese (that rocked me recently) has released a video for their song "Dead Don't Rise" from their newest album Dayglo Necros.

Finally, another of my favorite bands, Zombina and the Skeletones have also released a new EP called That Doll Just Tried to Kill Me. If you don't know them, they're sorta rock n pop wrapped in a surfpunk soft shell. If you buy from their download page (as opposed to say, iTunes) you get a bonus track.

They've also posted band member Doc Horror's Halloween sound collage.
You can get that for FREE!

Well, the big day is finally here!
Our local weather is predicting no rain so I'm a happy spook!
Have a fantastic night and be careful out there!

Here's a Halloween safety video from 1977

And here's one from 1985

They're waiting for you! 

Oct 30, 2012

Countdown to Halloween Day 30 - Oldies But Ghoulies

It's almost time kids! Local weather is saying things should be dry for tomorrow night and that is the best gift the Great Pumpkin could ever bestow on me!

Didn't have much time to get creative so here's a few more plastic discs that need the dust blown off them. As with previous posts, these are ripped right from a giant black disc so if you want quality, go buy it!

First up is former Las Vegas DJ Don Hinson and his Rigormorticians. This one was released in 1964 to jump on the "Monster Mash" train. It has one of my all-time favorite Halloween songs, "Riboflavin Flavored, Non Carbonated, Poly-Unsaturated Blood." Try that 5 times fast! This song was much later covered by punk band 45 Grave.

Don Hinson and his Rigormorticians

Next we go back a little further to 1959 when Bob McFadden released Songs Our Mummy Taught Us. McFadden was a voice-over artist. Among many other characters, he also voiced Cresty and the Cavity Creeps.

Bob McFadden Songs Our Mummy Taught Us

And the inevitable final vinyl of the day (month?)...This is one of the weirder things in my digital Halloween collection. Released in 1969 in Germany, Dracula's Music Cabinet is a soundtrack for a movie that never was. It's psychedelic! It's funky! It's got weird studio effects and strange vocals! If this description didn't entice you, check out the cover!

Dracula's Music Cabinet

And as a bonus for All Hallow's Eve eve, here's 45 Grave's cover of Don Hinson's "Riboflavin..."

Be sure to visit the other bloggers that have their porch lights on by clicking below. 
They're waiting for you! 

Oct 29, 2012

Countdown to Halloween Day 29 - The First Halloween Nativity

Way back in May, I posted about a Kickstarter project called The First Halloween Nativity Set. It got here over the weekend just in time for Halloween so I wanted to share the unboxing with you.

Here's the front of the box.
The LEGO guy in the bottom left is so you know how big this thing is!

The back of the box tells the story of the First Halloween. 

Removing the contents can be a bit tricky. It's packed in a Styrofoam tray and after trying to pull it out by hand (see missing chunk on right side) and scattering bits of it everywhere, I figured out you have to slide it out of the box.
LEGO guy again for scale in bottom right
First out is the mausoleum and moon. Sadly, one of the clouds broke off my moon during shipping. I'm trying to superglue it back together. The good news is you can turn the moon around to hide the hole, but it does look a little odd (see final photo). The bad news is the hole that goes on the post seems a little small and doesn't go down far enough to be stable enough for me. As long as it doesn't get bumped, it should stay on fine though.

Hey look! LEGO guy is back! And there's a hole in the moon!
Here is the gargoyle taking the traditional place of an angel atop the structure.

The three wise zombies. They must have eaten LOTS of brains to get that way!

And here's the family: Frankenstein, his Bride and baby Drac.

The guests included a wolfman, a mummy...

and a couple of hell hounds to round out the manger.

Side and front views
And then there was much rejoicing!

The First Halloween Nativity Set

As you can see, the figures are hand painted which, combined with their cuteness, really gives them a nice craft-y look compared to something cranked out by a large corporation.

My one gripe with the whole set is the moon. Broken off cloud aside, the moon is not very thick and I have no doubt if you drop it from waist height on a hard floor that it will shatter like it was hit by the Death Star. But I do understand that it can't be very heavy because of where it needs to be positioned.

I hope these sell really well and the guys can do an add-on pack if for no other reason than I want a Creature in my nativity.

To find out more about this set, including ordering info, visit The First Halloween site.

UPDATE: As you can see from the comments below, they've replaced my broken moon. How's that for customer service! And I never even directly contacted them.

Be sure to visit the other bloggers that have their porch lights on by clicking below. 
They're waiting for you! 

Oct 28, 2012

Countdown to Halloween Day 28 - Pumpkin King

I wanted to bring you an awesome post today showing the unboxing of my First Halloween Nativity Set that arrived yesterday. But Hurricane Sandy is making me de-Halloween the yard. Luckily I had one more photo socked away for a quick post.

I got to go into Salem during the day yesterday and took more photos, including some great costumes, which you can check out on Flickr. There was a quadruple rainbow over the city (what does it mean??). My camera couldn't quite catch them all, but all the light arcs in the photo are actually rainbows. That was pretty wild!

Salem MA October 27 2012 quadruple rainbows in the sky

I also went back in after dark to do some spooking around town. Even though my red LED eyes weren't working, I was happy as the costume is still creepy. I'll have a couple photos later today that someone took of me. Can't wait to see them!

Pumpkin King Halloween board game

Pumpkin King is a 2005 game for 2-4 players ages 8+. The components are absolutely fantastic but the game itself, not so much. You are a pumpkin racing other pumpkins through the cemetery to claim your place atop the scarecrow to become the Pumpkin King! But watch out for the Cylopean witch's cat, Baazlebub, that's looking for pumpkins to stew.

There are 24 cemetery tiles that you lay out to make a single path to the scarecrow. On your turn, you roll the dice. You move your pumpkin  the amount on the orange die and the cat (who starts at the scarecrow) the number on the black die. If you roll a cat's eye on the black die, you move the cat anywhere on the path. If a pumpkin is landed on by another pumpkin or the cat, they go back to start. There are four safe tiles that look like craters, if you're on it you can't be bumped. And that's it!

It's an extremely simple game that can get drawn out by people getting bumped back to start frequently. If you can get a deal on it, I still recommend it for the parts alone.

Be sure to visit the other bloggers that have their porch lights on by clicking below. 
They're waiting for you!

countdown to halloween 2012 logo

Oct 27, 2012

Countdown to Halloween Day 27 - League Post: Tradition

The assignment from the League of Extraordinary Bloggers is brief and to the point this week
This is Halloween! This is Halloween! What are your Halloween traditions?

Halloween around the Dex household usually starts ramping up at the end of September. Even though Halloween may be on the shelves since August (which I dislike) it's right around my birthday when I start getting in the October mood. Getting a Halloween themed cake, and sometimes gifts, doesn't hurt.

The first weekend of October is when the decorating starts. Outside, we have a variety of Peanuts/Snoopy flags and signs in the yard. And one very large black cat, who is always a hit in the neighborhood, especially with the kids.

Then it's on to the inside. A few years ago I found these great vintage-style masks at WalGreen's for a buck each. Unlike the vintage ones, these are made of foam instead of rigid plastic. I haven't seen them carry these since I found them which is a shame. I was hoping they'd do different designs every year. These get hung on the doorway from the living room to the kitchen. I taped strips of black fabric behind the eye holes to make them a little creepier.

One of my other favorite decorations is this Jim Shore vampire statue.
He stands about a foot tall and has some nice scenic detail inside his cape.

I had a lot of fun experimenting when taking photos of him.

And then there's this little guy, who is about 6" tall.

One of the things I look forward to the most in October is the Feast of Flesh. It's a really crazy night of live music, horror burlesque, zombie costume contest and a classic horror movie. Words just can't do it justice!

And of course, I love going to Salem in October when tourist mode is set to max. On the weekends there is a street bazaar and as it gets closer to Halloween, more people are walking around in costume, day or night. There's plenty to do all month long! Here's a few pics from my travels so far, you can see more on Flickr along with my pics from 2011.
I plan on visiting tonight so I'll probably have even more pics in the next few days!

The person on the left is preaching the Good Word while the witch is mocking him.
Gotta love Salem!

Of course throughout the month, I'm also shopping for cool new Halloween stuff and watching as many horror movies as I can.

And then it's Halloween! We will usually stay at home until about 6:30 for Trick or Treaters. My stepdad dresses as Freddy and terrorizes the neighborhood during this time. Then we head into Salem and walk around for a few hours. A good portion of the downtown area is closed to vehicle traffic because there are so many people in town. My stepdad usually stays on Liberty St, which is a high foot traffic area and people take pics with him all night. I prefer to walk around and spook people. My biggest problem with my costume is that I can't take photos of other people in costume. There are a lot of great ones!

So that about sums up my October. What are other Leaguers up to?
That Figures recommends some good movies
Talk Star Wars to Me has a funny step by step for DIY costuming
Branded in the 80s has some great stuff going on

Be sure to visit the other bloggers that have their porch lights on by clicking below. 
They're waiting for you! 

countdown to halloween 2012 logo

Oct 26, 2012

Countdown to Halloween Day 26 - Moody Music

Today we bring you a terrifying trio of creepy instrumentals...

First, as promised yesterday, is Music for Monsters by Sounds Records released in 1962. 
The best way to describe it is vintage weird.

Click for Treat!
Next is a double album by Verne Langdon: Phantom of the Organ (tracks 1-7) and Vampyre of the Harpsichord (tracks 8-15). These were originally released in '73 and '74 respectively.

Click for Treat!
 And the final vinyl to kick off your weekend is a mystery. I wasn't able to find any info on it online, much less cover art. You will need to create a free account to snag this one.

Click to test yourself against the horrors of Dr Blood!

Be sure to visit the other bloggers that have their porch lights on by clicking below. 
They're waiting for you! 

Oct 25, 2012

Countdown to Halloween Day 25 - Spooky Sounds

What would Halloween be without a few sound effect records? Probably pretty boring!
I used to obsess about collecting these but there's only so many you can have before you start losing track of what, if anything, makes one better than the other.
I've picked out a few from the collection at random to share with you today.

The first is from Sounds Records. This is one of three Halloween albums released by this company originally in 1962. It has a 4 minute "continuous" track and 9 other tracks which have the sound effects singled out. I'll be posting one of the others tomorrow which has some kicking theremin tracks.

Next is one from the BBC released in 1977. This one's also from a set of three but contains sound effects only. It sports a whopping 91 sound effects! And you have to appreciate that psychotropic, nightmare inducing cover!

Be sure to visit the other bloggers that have their porch lights on by clicking below. 
They're waiting for you! 

countdown to halloween 2012 logo

Oct 23, 2012

Countdown to Halloween Day 23 - Shock! Terror! Fear!

Today we're going to start dipping into the classic audio of our favorite holiday!
Also, it's kind of a lazy post because I'm a bit under the weather today.

First up, is Frankie Stein and His Ghouls released on Power Records.
A total of five LPs were released during 1964-1965, this is their second: Shock! Terror! Fear!

The music is typical of the 60's surf/dance rock  that was cranked out to appeal to that generation of Monster Kids with horror sounds added to make them a bit creepier. Each of the song titles lets you know the type of dance it goes with such as watusi, twist, etc. so you know which moves to bust out!

frankie stein and his ghouls

Who's Afraid of the Weerdo Wolf (Watusi)
Bodies Under the Bridge (Swim, Twist)
Slay Boy (Fox Trot, Hully Gully)
Horror Staccato (Monkey, Lindy)
Ankle Twist (Twist)
Doom at Midnight (Frug)
Stoned (Monkey, Watusi)
Stoned Again (Monkey, Watusi, Lindy, Twist)
The Ghostman Rings Twice (Mashed Potato)
 Doomsday (Fox Trot)

Be sure to visit the other bloggers that have their porch lights on by clicking below. 
They're waiting for you! 
countdown to halloween 2012 logo

Oct 22, 2012

Countdown to Halloween Day 22 - Hot Wheels Street Creeper

Among the gifts I got for my birthday last month was a Hot Wheels car I hadn't seen before: Street Creeper. This one would have been a good candidate for the lackluster Target 5-pack that came out this year.

Hot Wheels Street Creeper

This is a great looking spider-iffic ride. At first I thought the chrome on the sides were bat wings but quickly figured out they're supposed to be spider webs. You can see it has a set of eight eyes up front on the card art, further adding to the spider-i-ness. According to Hot Wheels wiki, Street Creeper is a new addition to the line this year. Hopefully it will show up with a new paint job in a future Halloween pack.

Hot Wheels Street Creeper card art

Be sure to visit the other bloggers that have their porch lights on by clicking below. 
They're waiting for you! 
countdown to halloween 2012 logo

Oct 21, 2012

Countdown to Halloween Day 21 - CALABRESE!

Calabrese Providence Fete Music Providence October 2012
Friday night I got to see one of my favorite bands, Calabrese, for the second time. What's that got to do with Halloween you ask? They're a horror rock band! I'll talk about them a little more later on, first I'm going to do a little flashback and then a rundown of the evening.

Seeing them on their first East Coast tour last May gave me something to blog about and the kick I needed to actually start blogging. I originally started on Tumblr and moved/expanded here within a couple of months. So if you've been enjoying the blog, give Calabrese a listen as I don't know where this would be without them!

On to the show!

Oct 20, 2012

Countdown to Halloween Day 20 - Lego Manbat

Na-na-na-na-na-na-nope! Not Batman, Manbat!
LEGO blind bag figures series 8 brings a man-sized bat to the spooky table. A similar figure also appears in their Monster Hunters line but that one is brown and looks a little more demonic.

LEGO Manbat minifig series 8

In the Monster Fighters storyline, Manbats are servants of Lord Vampyre, the head baddie. While this guy is definitely a great addition, I'm not so sure on the arms. Because the wings are attached you can't really put his arms down, but that's a real minor nitpick on it.

What you can do is swap his head piece with your vampire figure to make him a little weirder!

LEGO vampire with manbat ears
Be sure to visit the other bloggers that have their porch lights on by clicking below. 
They're waiting for you! 
countdown to halloween 2012 logo