Ringworm/GoatWhore Live in Cleveland, 6-29-15

So it isn't too often that I come out of my shell and go out to see bands play live anymore, but a Ringworm/GoatWhore billing was just too good to pass up. So I grabbed my camera and headed up to Now That's Class in Cleveland, Ohio. I missed seeing GoatWhore by a week when they played at The House of Shock this past October in New Orleans and they have been on my must-see list ever since then.

Before I start with the photos, I'd like to first apologize to the band Black Breath, who played before Ringworm. I decided to hang back and watch them, which was a big mistake. These guys from Seattle melted my face with their set. And because of the low lighting (which affected all of my shots) and being towards the back, I couldn't get any shots that would do them justice. If you haven't checked them out, do yourself a favor...

So it had been a while since I last set foot in Now That's Class, a punk/hardcore/metal/anything else bar on the west side of Cleveland that has its own skate ramps inside...

Just looking at the ramps made me want to go grab my old board and turn back the clock...

When Ringworm took the stage, I made my way up to the front, camera in hand. And as in previous instances of seeing them live, they did not disappoint. A blistering set from start to finish.

After Ringworm, the mighty GoatWhore took the stage and proceeded to demolish the entire place. A precise wall of total destruction that left my ears ringing and my head spinning...

It's shows like this that make me want to go out and catch more bands live again. If you have the chance, check this tour on their few remaining live dates.

Back to the Halloween projects next week!



Goblin Rebirth

I received a pleasant surprise from my mailman yesterday in the form of the Goblin Rebirth record that I had pre-ordered back in May! I wasn't sure what it was until I opened it, as the record showed up a week before its official release date. Sweet!!

And I'm glad I ordered the "pink & gold merge" vinyl because it is stunning, especially with how it ties into the colors and art of the sleeve.

After a couple of spins, I'm really pleased! A solid release filled with synthesizers and guitars that harken back to the classic, lush Italian horror soundtracks of the original Goblin. Another highly-recommended release!!

The standout track on this release for me is, "Back in 74":

X drifts away from his woodland home, leaving his companions behind to finish the ceremony. He cannot understand what has happened but he knows he should not be here. He is dazed and confused. He has no sense of time or distance. Now he is in a place that is vaguely familiar and he watches as an elfish group playfully instructs its offspring. One of the children is particularly daring and disobedient... The fairground is fertile land for goblin mischief. It dawns on X that he is looking on his own past.

X relives his childhood and early adult life, observing his triumphs and mistakes. So many errors—something is telling him that he should be seeking elsewhere and his journey begins.

You can stream the full release at the Goblin Rebirth SoundCloud page. And you can still order shirts, vinyl and CDs from Relapse Records.


Creature Crüe Kickstarter

Ed, Marsha, Mondo, Mike, Jordu and the rest of the Distortions Unlimited gang are kicking off their newest endeavor after their successful run on the Travel Channel series, Making Monsters. Starting today, a new Kickstarter campaign goes live to support Creature Crüe, a new reality-TV series documenting Distortions' monster-making projects (and did he say making monster movies!?!?).

If you enjoyed Making Monsters, Creature Crüe looks set to pick up right where things left off and then push it all to the next level. And that ain't a bad thing!! 

Check out the Creature Crüe Kickstarter page here and help support some much-needed haunt entertainment!!

Frank Vinci - "You're Just What I've Been Looking For (Angela's Theme)"

The weekend soundtrack mix keeps on rolling. Today, we go for a new wave track that burrowed itself deep into my head with that incredibly catchy synth riff.

From 1983, it's Frank Vinci with "You're Just What I've Been Looking For (Angela's Theme)" from the cult horror classic, Sleepaway Camp.

With an ending like that, do we REALLY think Angela was "Just What I've Been Looking For"???

Pye Corner Audio - "Stars Shine Like Eyes"

On rotation for tonight's prop-making session:

Centuries After Death, Mummies Still Telling Stories

I recently came across this interesting story by Karen Weintraub over at National Geographic:

After they died, the wealthiest and most prominent residents of 18th-century Vilnius, Lithuania, were interred beneath the Dominican Church of the Holy Spirit, in the center of town...

...More than half the bodies in the Lithuanian crypt quickly decomposed, leaving behind nothing but skeletal remains. But for some reason—perhaps the season of their death combined with the consistently dry underground climate—other bodies dried out and naturally turned into mummies. Instead of becoming skeletons, skin survived intact and facial features remained recognizable.

Photos by Kiril Cachovskij

Be sure to check out the rest of the story and photo gallery at National Geographic. When viewed through the eyes of a haunter, the photos make an incredible reference material for corsping, but the story itself should not be overlooked. Each mummy has endured centuries of time, yet been preserved in a completely timeless state, still able to give an accurate snapshot into the individual's life before their final burial.


Ghost Debuts Three New Songs Live

On June 3, Ghost played a live set in their hometown of Linköping, Sweden, in which they debuted the latest iteration of their singer Papa Emeritus III, the Nameless Ghouls debuted their new masks and they ended up playing THREE new songs from their upcoming release, Meliora.

I'm really digging what I'm hearing! Definitely more in alignment with their first release, Opus Eponymous, and I really like the harmonies mixed with the harder guitar sound. Can't wait until August 21, when Meliora releases.

Midwest Haunters Convention, 2015 - Part Two

If you missed Part One of my Midwest Haunters Convention review, you can read it in all its glory right here!

When we left off, we had just gotten back to our hotel room Saturday afternoon and we were going to get ready for the highly anticipated Masquerade Ball. We had some time to spare, so we decided to have another visit with our old friend, Mamuwalde...

This time, we sat down to watch the 1973 blaxploitation horror sequel, Scream Blacula Scream, co-starring the always sassy Miss Pam Grier. Again, William Marshall owned every scene he was in and gave another stellar performance as the black prince, making this another solid film. And again, I digress...

As we watched the movie, we started getting our costumes and makeup ready for the evening's festivities. This time around, I went with a new character, Dr. Albertin Kyphosis, a mad alchemist with a twisted spine and a fractured psyche. I had worked on the costume for about 3 or 4 weeks, and went with a makeup that I created from reference photos that I had pulled two nights before. The entire thing was completed in about an hour and I was really happy with the way that everything came together. I will have a full blog entry next week, detailing everything with this costume and makeup...

Jim on the other hand, had his costume and makeup ready to go in all of about 10 minutes and it still turned out great!!

Once we were all ready, we made our way over to the Masquerade Ball. And as usual, the array of costumes and makeups was absolutely amazing. I had the camera snapping like crazy...

Now THAT is some Steampunk.

Stacey Rager and her family. And Jim...

Hector Turner from Halloween Haunt Calendar.

Duck Dynasty. And Jim...

A killer bat costume, complete with retractable wings.

The infamous Tater from Froggy's Fog as the even more infamous Granny. 
Don't get too close, she's a mean one...

Bart Butler from A Haunter's Life and The Dead Zone Haunted House. 
He stood about 8 feet tall.

As everyone made their way into the large ballroom, the evening's festivities began, including the always-popular Body Art Fashion Show. This year's makeups did not disappoint. I was able to squeeze my way up near the front to get a good vantage point to check out the show...

After the Body Art Fashion Show, I was able to shoot a couple of photos of the Scariest Costume Contest judging.

With everyone running around on stage and the dark lighting, I wasn't able to grab many usable photos, so I retired to the rest of the ballroom to grab shots of all of the partygoers...

(Somehow, she just kept showing up in my photos from the night...)

We had a lengthy discussion on the virtues of all things Ghost...

After a couple/few/some/many cold ones, we scoped out the dance floor, but called it an early evening. Fortunately, the party picked back up by the time we had made our way back to the hotel room and went to bed/passed out... D'oh.

On Sunday, we woke up refreshed/hung over and made our way back to the trade show floor for one last trip through the vendor displays. 

It was a standoff...

I picked up a few odds and ends and made my way over to the Haunters Hangout booth for their big raffle. I had picked up a few tickets, thinking I might have the slightest possibility to maybe take something home. I was surprised by the amount of prizes that had been donated...

It was great seeing hosts Deoblo, JWAL and Brad in the flesh, as well as a few of the show's featured guests.

As JWAL called out the winning ticket numbers for the prizes, I watched people going up to claim their winnings (some even winning two or three times). I laughed thinking that I could get anything with five measly tickets...

And then it happened. See the skull faces behind JWAL's head in the photo above? He called out the winning number. I had to triple-check that the numbers matched the ticket that I was holding. Oh damn, I won!

A really cool, custom foam skull face plaque from VFX Creative Studios. The plaque is about 18" tall and has a sturdy hook on the back for mounting. I was beside myself. I never win anything. But I did now, and I got the chance to go up, get a picture with the guys, and claim my prize.

It was the perfect ending to an incredible weekend, packed full of non-stop mayhem and fun. Each year, the Midwest Haunters Convention is the other highlight to my haunting season. It gets my haunt creativity flowing and is the starting point to the countdown to Halloween. So with the excitement and new ideas still rattling around in my somewhat fuzzy brain, it's time to get down to business and get back into the garage. I have a long list of things to do for 2015 and I have less than 150 days to do it. Are you ready for the big night?

Oh, and it's never too early to start planning ahead. It was just announced the the next edition of the Midwest Haunters Convention will be June 10-12, 2016 in Columbus. Who is going to meet us there!?