New from LaCreeperie - A Shadowed Path Podcast Episode #1: Witchy Women

It gives me great pleasure to write this post, announcing the debut of my own little podcast, A Shadowed Path. The podcast will run bi-weekly on Mondays via the Damn Fine Network of podcasts.

This post is meant to be a visual representation of all the things I talk about in the episode, so if there's something that interests you, you'll know what to look for.

We begin the episode with the title cut from the Vincent Price spoken word album Witchcraft & Magic. I couldn't think of a more fitting way to introduce this episode entitled "Witchy Women". Pictured below is the vinyl format of the album, but it can also be found digitally on YouTube.

After the intro, we went into a little Siouxsie, and I would be remiss if I did not show the great video for the song, "Face To Face" from the Batman Returns soundtrack.

Next up, we heard my favorite track off the Nightmare On Elm Street 4 soundtrack, "Therapist" by Vigil. 

Following that was the first segment, "The Written Word" where I discuss favorite books and authors. This episode featured Shirley Jackson, Angela Carter and Silver Ravenwolf. Clicking on the names will take you to the website, and any titles I currently have available by said authors.

Grooving on, we heard "Ribcage Mambo" by Frenchy, off the Halloween Hootenanny compilation from 1998. All killer, no filler.

The next segment, entitled "The Spoken Word" featured a jazzy trifecta of witchy tunes from the Mad Monster Party, and Bell, Book & Candle soundtracks, and the theme song from Bewitched sung by Steve Lawrence (cuz I'm cheesy like that). Don't judge me monkey...

(I realize this clip is out of order, apologies!) The intro to "The Spoken Word" was a clip from the fantastic 1990 film The Witches, adapted of course from Roald Dahl's beloved book.

What is this, a freak-out?! I indulged myself by assaulting your ears with the trailer from 1976's  "The Witch Who Came from the Sea." It makes me belly laugh every damn time...

Moving on to the final segment, entitled "The Final Word" This is where I like to give shout-outs, thank you's and offer info I deem worthy to bring awareness to.

Dark Town Sally is one of my favorite artists, she creates (among other things) dreamlike witches, each in their own little Halloween world. Truly beautiful. Unfortunately, she and her family (and countless others) have been affected by the devastating hurricane Maria. Give her a follow on Instagram to enjoy her lovely artwork, and there should be links available there for appropriate organizations in need of donations directly aiding Puerto Rico.

Dark Town Sally Webshop

Podcast Master Mr. Tony Giles is entirely responsible for A Shadowed Path podcast. His network is, in my opinion, of a very high caliber so I had my work cut out for me. Every show is a winner, and I hope to live up to the quality of his other shows. The chance to bring books, music and art into this medium has been a secret desire of mine, and I'm very grateful for this opportunity. I hope you'll stick with me, I promise I'll get better!

The Damn Fine Network has a Patreon campaign, and would welcome new patrons to help keep the DFN on the air, and expanding content.

The Damn Fine Network Podcast

My Final, Final Word of the episode is a message I want to shout from the rooftops: BE YOURSELF. IT'S OK TO BE DIFFERENT. And I could not say it any better than Mama Cass does in the 1970 film Pufnstuf, as you see below. I encourage you to pay close attention to the lyrics, and hear how relevant the words are today, nearly 50 years later. 

P.S. I hope you'll join me on October 30th for episode 2 of A Shadowed Path. If you have any questions or topic suggestions, feel free to contact me on Instagram, or the Contact tab on this blog or via the website.

Book Review and Book-To-Film Comparison of I Am Legend by Richard Matheson

I Am Legend by Richard Matheson 1997 Edition
Having previously never read I Am Legend, I thought now would be an opportune time, especially in the current socio-politic state of the world. I'm very glad I did because it was a very eye-opening, educational and thought provoking read.

I Am Legend was written in 1954 if you can believe it, making it 63 years old. And it's as remarkable today as it was then. Perhaps even more so, because it doesn't feel like Science Fiction, it feels more like a possibility.

Forget what you've seen in the classic 1971 film adaptation The Omega Man, a very interesting example of social commentary in its own right, but nowhere near as revealing as the book. However, it seems as though the part of lead character Robert Neville was created for Charlton Heston, as he is described exactly as we see him in the film. Forget the 2007 version starring Will Smith too, which has its merits, but gets lost in so much CG and over-the-top action just to keep the modern day viewers interested. This story needs none of that. It is simple, straightforward and believable in that if you thought you were the last person - human being that is - on Earth, what would it do to your state of mind, and your ability to survive?

The last third of this story is gripping and devastating. We witness Robert Neville lose the last shred of hope, accept his fate and realize just how little man has evolved. And for us, 63 years later, it's sobering to think that we are more like the 'vampires' in the story than anything else. As a result, I'm more than a little sad, but also in awe of Richard Matheson's insight into humanity, and his ability to articulate such a poignant, and shockingly real view of human nature and our own potential destiny.

Are you thoroughly depressed now? Maybe this will cheer you up... There are several other stories in this anthology, but there is one called Prey which I'm pleased to report is the original story which became the final story in the 1975 made-for-TV film Trilogy of Terror starring Karen Black. Richard Matheson himself wrote the teleplay along with William F. Nolan which stands to reason why this adaptation is exceptionally faithful to the original story. And a real treat.

Like this edition? You can purchase it here and I will receive a penny or two for your referral!

Big Changes Afoot: Reaching Up & Taking Chances

If I've learned anything in the last 13 years of online retailing (a new, fancy term for selling things on the internet) it's that being flexible to change is absolutely imperative if you want to stay in the game.  So it's time for yet another change...

I am in the process of adding several facets to the blog, and will eventually be offering sponsorship to artists, authors and more who would like to advertise here. You will soon be seeing promotions of some of my favorite artists, authors and fellow online retailers to get things going.

This will be an ever-changing, on-going process, so I hope you'll check in often to see what's new. In conjuction with these changes, I will be phasing out the Etsy Shop over the course of a few months. My hope of course is that current Etsy customers will cross over to the website, but I know full well that I will lose some regular customers who prefer to shop on Etsy, and am willing to accept that. It's just one of the many chances you take when attempting to grow a business. This is something I have been thinking about for the last year, and I believe the time is right. We shall see...

So you will begin to see these changes almost immediately, as I attempt to get a real blogging schedule in place. I hope you'll come along for the ride, I promise it won't be boring. Stay tuned!

Book Review: Darksong by Jean Simon 1990 Evil Radio Run Amok

 This one not only pulled me in because of the cover art, but because of it's premise. I dove into it right away in case it sold in the shops. A fairly quick read for me because of the font and page count.

Half way through, I almost gave up. It's not that it's boring, it's just rather high in the melodrama department. The "scary stuff" is limited to a few sentences, effective in nature, I just found myself wanting more of it. Men might find it tedious and much like a Harlequin romance, without the romance. Funny, because a cursory research on the author shows her first book was indeed, a Harlequin-type romance novel. Darksong is her first horror novel.

There are a few surprises, and interesting kills buried between the many pages of family drama. What perhaps is most disappointing is the wishy-washy heroine--granted she is under the influence of evil, but I found her to be kind of weak for a real estate agent single mother of two, even for the late 80's when this was no doubt written. (Published in 1990).

I stuck it through to the end, which was not fleshed out well, and with no explanation of the evil torturing the characters. Very few answers are offered, and even less scares. Kudos to the art/marketing department for the creepy and compelling cover art, it definitely does the job even if the content does not.

A Very Personal Post: LaCreeperie Writes A Book

At long, long, long, LONG last, I am finally entering full-on writer mode. Last night, while reading a Halloween anthology, I suddenly had an epiphany; I need to write a Halloween anthology myself. For as long as I can remember I have been the appreciator, the critic, the promoter of horror books and it's high time I wrote one myself. So full disclosure, you're reading it here first, I AM WRITING A BOOK. Let me explain...

The struggle I've had with just writing yet another book that may or may not get any kind of interest has been very, very real and a bit debilitating. I assumed it was the other debilitating affliction which plagues almost every writer; self-doubt taking over yet again. But no. I have always been a non-conformist, forever taking the less-traveled path in all things under my own control. So I was finding a lot of difficulty getting the excitement going for the writing I have been working on previously, and discouraged by that. What I have come to realize is that I want to put something out there that hasn't been done seven trillion times, but previously had no idea what that was, or should be. Until now.

Halloween themed books are very few and far between. I'm not really sure why that is, but I'm very glad of it because it's one of the main reasons why I am going in this direction. Also, I won't pretend it's not a perfect book to promote myself, (being that I run a horror themed bookshop) in addition to Amazon, and will be publishing it in ebook and Kindle formats, with the hope of a softcover edition to come within a year.

I am being completely transparent and open about this because I finally, FINALLY know I am on the right track, and have a (mostly) clear view of the path ahead. Stay tuned for updates on the book, which I will post here, as well as some tidbits on Instagram. I am shooting for an  October 2017 release, which does not give me much time AT ALL. But if all goes well. I'll have it ready for upload by Halloween this year. Why couldn't I have had this epiphany a few months ago, so I'd have more time?? Typical me. But I arise to the challenge, let's see what happens...

P.S. This has given me the idea to do a Halloween Anthology post, featuring the titles I have in my collection, or have read. That'll be fun, right? Stay tuned!

To Podcast Or Not To Podcast...and A New Bookshop

 Recently, I entertained the thought of starting a podcast, thinking I might have something new and valuable to add to the podcast community that wasn't a re-hash of the thousands of podcasts out there. I truly wanted to bring a fresh idea to a tired one, hoping to grow awareness within the horror community not only of my online bookshop, but of other worthy interests in the way of art, music, lesser known films and and the like.

Well, after serious thought I have decided against it. There are just so damn many podcasts already clogging up the vast airwaves, I found it entirely too intimidating to begin at the bottom and claw my way up. Besides, I'm supposed to be writing a book (which I am) and don't need yet another endeavor taking time away from the projects I already have on my plate. Speaking of which...

I have just changed my old record shop into another bookshop called JustCoolBooks, featuring Pop Culture, Biographies, Music themed books, Non-Fiction and more. In my effort to keep LaCreeperie all about all-things-dark-and-creepy, I am currently in the process of removing these categories from LC to make room for more of what sells best; mainly Horror, Halloween, Paranormal and Gothic titles. Wait, didn't I just say I have enough on my plate?? Yes, but this is just a test, a six month trial to see if it's worth having two bookshops. Time will tell...

So for now, you will not be hearing my voice over the airwaves, but you can get more of the great service and selection you have come to expect within my new online bookshop JustCoolBooks. As always, a thousand thanks to all of my loyal customers who allow me to pursue this passion of keeping the written word alive in its physical form, I couldn't continue without you.

Book Review: The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen

 As I've said before on this here blog, I'm a late bloomer. I'm also old. So I suppose it may come as a shock to some to learn that I have only just finished reading The Little Mermaid for the first time. It made me smile, it made me cry. But not for the reasons you might think. Intrigued? Read on...

First of all, I now understand where most mermaid stories have come from, or are/were at least inspired by. The fact that this story was written in 1837 absolutely blows my mind. Not because it's still around and being newly reprinted for the a ga-zillionth time. It blows my mind because somewhere along the centuries, we've rather lost the desire to create and/or read stories with less-than-happy endings. Although this indeed has a happy ending, just not the one most have come to expect.

I'm not mentioning any spoilers here because I think everyone should read it. But the one thing I will mention is that the last couple of lines--which are simply a thinly disguised warning to children to be good and obey their parents--and included in most fairy tales, felt like an afterthought, and unnecessary. But hey, that's just me. Read or reread it, as the case may be, and decide for yourself.

P.S. Want another bombshell? I've never seen Disney's mega-hit animated version either. And at this point, I'm not sure I want to.

Book Review: Less Than Zero & Imperial Bedrooms by Bret Easton Ellis

 Going in to Less Than Zero, I was not even aware that there was a sequel. But I had of course seen the 1987 film, and was really looking forward to reading the original story. I was not prepared, initially, for the melancholy tone of the book. But at around 100 pages in, I began to relish it. The tone and writing style reminded me of The Bell Jar, along with its easy to read format.

If you've only seen the film Less Than Zero, not much will be spoiled for you plot wise, as it's nothing like the book. Perhaps the overall mood is the same, and the film is beautifully shot. But you're in for an almost completely different story within the book. When I finished it, I wanted to know what happens to Clay after college, and was not left wondering long, having read shortly afterwards that there was indeed a sequel called Imperial Bedrooms. Read on...

I did not have high hopes for Imperial Bedrooms, as I was left with a rather flat feeling after reading Less Than Zero. I understood what was different about Bret Easton Ellis' writing style, for it to have been so well received in 1985, but I just didn't find it that impressive. So going in to Imperial Bedrooms, I just thought I'll find out what happens to Clay, and it will be a quick read. The book is set (in real time) 25 years after the end of Less Than Zero.

A quick read indeed. I was able to finish it within 24 hours. Quite a feat for me, as I'm a busy lady and tend to be a bit of a slow reader. The first half of the book absolutely flew by, and I inhaled the first 100 pages in nothing flat. 25 years makes a good writer even better, at least one would hope, and this is certainly the case for B.E.E.

The second half of the book did not fare so well for me, I found it tedious and drawn out. The 'murder mystery' plot line running through it had become wearisome. Perhaps this is because Imperial Bedrooms was at first just a short story, later fleshed out to novella length. It shows. But that's just my non-expert opinion. That being said, I enjoyed it more than Less Than Zero, but I seem to be in the minority in that opinion. So read it for yourself and see which camp you're in. more thing...the event which occurs within the last 10 pages or so put me off my food. Perhaps that's just my sensitive nature, but you have been warned.

LaCreeperie Around The Web: You Tube Channel

Being in the age of viral video, it's almost unheard of for a business not to have a YouTube channel, or at least be uploading tutorials or video of some kind pertaining to said business. As I've said before I'm a bit of a late bloomer, but I also like to do things my own way.

I thought it was time for LaCreeperie to have a YouTube Channel, and I'd figure out what to put on it later. Well I've put a few things up, and will be actively adding more videos on a regular basis. There will be an ever-growing list of themed playlists, and perhaps one day I'll get brave enough to make some videos of my own. But if you happen to follow me on Instagram, you know I'm not in the habit of being in front of the camera.

Featured below is a fun playlist of spooky spoken word videos by the likes of Vincent Price and Christopher Lee. This was a fun one to put together, and I'll definitely be adding more to it soon. Hope you enjoy it and subscribe to the channel, because you never know what will c-r-e-e-e-p in.

Book Review: And I Don't Want To Live This Life by Deborah Spungen

 Sid and Nancy...the names are synonymous as heroin and track marks. Few of punk rock's most sensational stories are as compelling as this one. Hard-edged proof that truth is stranger than fiction.

Being a punk rock fan nearly since its inception, I had of course heard the basics of the Sid and Nancy story, and fell in love with Alex Cox's 1986 film of the same name. I had no other curiosity about the tumultuous existence of Nancy Spungen, mostly because she has most always been depicted in a most unflattering light.

So when this book came across my path, my first thought was that it would be great for the shops. But as I glanced thru the blurbs on front and back cover, I found myself opening to the first page and scanning the first few lines...

Well I was immediately sucked in. In fact, I didn't put it down for 50 pages (which is a lot for me as I'm a bit of a slow reader). It was completely fascinating from the very beginning, and I proceeded to inhale it every free minute I had for the next 48 hours, until it was finished. (Also no small feat for me at 430 pages in such a short time, I'm a busy lady).

I can easily and honestly say this is one of the best books I have EVER read, and I'm old and have read a LOT of books in my life. Not only is the story absolutely, insanely insane, but it greatly appeals to the writer in me in a non-fiction capacity. See, Nancy's Mom was not planning to be a writer, she had many other ideas for her career as an educated, middle class person. But this story begs to be told, not only because of the notoriety surrounding Nancy's short, wild life, but for the family and friends that survived the affects of the devastating tornado that was Nancy Spungen--truly from the moment of her birth.

I'll give no other details here, because you MUST read it for yourself. Suffice it to say that you will in no way be bored, even if you only have a casual interest in Sid & Nancy, or if you're a hardcore fan.

Book Review: The Trouser Press Record Guide by Ira A. Robbins

 Originally published in 1983, The Trouser Press Record Guide: The Ultimate Guide To Alternative Music (4th edition 1991) packs a punch for those of us who prefer the sprawling wilderness of the post-punk era to today's paltry offerings labeled as 'new music'. With a focus on the often unknown bands, to the well-known within the Punk, Post-Punk, New Wave and otherwise alternative bands from all over the radar. Robbins and his crew offer highly opinionated, but detailed information, providing much more insight than the usual fare given in a typical issue of Rolling Stone.

The added beauty of the book is the additional info of vinyl releases for each band, as, if you remember, the majority of popular (and not so popular) music ceased to be pressed on vinyl when the almighty CD began its reign near the end of the 80's. Leaving vinyl production (mainly) to the rare artist who insisted on a vinyl pressing or special vinyl-only release.

I am not in the habit of posting pre-written material for my blog, however, the following review by Timothy P. Young sums it up pretty well:

"What makes this book great isn't the reviewing they do (concise and well written, always) but rather the fact that Trouser Press provides histories for each band before jumping into their material, and traces the progression of bands through their careers... If you want to understand the individual formations of bands, their original vision, how and why they changed and a full critical accounting thereof, buy the Trouser Press Guides."

If you would indeed like to purchase this buried treasure of the alternative dark ages, Amazon currently has it available for a price suitable for all budgets here: The Trouser Press Record Guide 4th Edition . Ira Robbins has since published a 5th edition called The Trouser Press Guide to 90's Rock: The All-New Fifth Edition 1997 of course including the 'influential' bands of the 90's Grunge movement. And you can bet your most valuable record I will be purchasing The Trouser Press Guide to New Wave Records for myself this Christmas.

Trouser Press began as a fan-zine in 1974-1984 publishing 95 issues featuring rare interviews, reviews, obscure photos and much more in its 10 year life span. Highly recommended.

Reading The Classics of Gothic Fiction: Dracula by Bram Stoker

You would think tackling a classic like Dracula would be a difficult job, and it's true that it's taken me a while to get to a place where I could decide what I wanted to say about it. I mean this is a worldwide, beloved classic of gothic fiction; the parental story that has birthed an unfathomable amount of other books, films, art in its many forms, and the list goes on....Then why am I so disenchanted with it? Why have two solid, serious attempts to read and absorb this most famous of stories, both lead to only getting 2/3 the way through the book? I simply cannot bring myself to finish it. Am I missing the most crucial parts? Perhaps, but I don't think so. At least if any of the films are any indication. I know that literature of the period in which Dracula was written are notoriously slow-burns. In other words they take a long time to get to the good stuff, or the really scary stuff, or the big payoff at the end. In fact I read a lot of Edwardian/Victorian gothic fiction, so I'm well used to the language and styles of writing in those periods. Well, I gotta say, after seeing the many film versions of Dracula, I know how it ends well enough to get the gist.

Am I jaded by my love of the films of Dracula? Most notably Francis Ford Coppola's 1992 effort which is labeled as Bram Stoker's version, and happens to be my favorite? Maybe so. But where is this great love story between Dracula and Mina in the book? Each diary entry (for the most part) is so long and laden with overly descriptive passages that my mind constantly wanders, or I start skipping through the blah-blah-blah parts.

With all of that being said, it did start off well, and I was really enjoying it up to about the halfway mark. I love the language of the 18th & 19th Centuries, with their flowery descriptions and proper dialogue. Easily painting pictures in the mind of that most intriguing time in history. So WTF? Why can't I bring myself to finish it? Maybe I'll revisit it someday, and the third attempt will be the one that takes, but until then, I guess it just looks pretty good on my shelf.

Friday Night Videos Week 2: Darkwave Delights

I'm about to do something I NEVER do, and that is promote a Facebook community. First off, you should know that I believe Facebook is the devil. I absolutely abhor it on so many levels...but being a small business, it is a necessary evil. Granted, I spend as little time there as possible, choosing to give most of my daily social media time to Instagram. Yeah, I know they're owned by Facebook. But enough of that...

So I guess you could say I'm cheating this week with my Friday Night Videos, as I have not made this list, but it is SO GOOD I just had to blog about it. It would have taken me months to compile a list as extensive and diverse (within the darkwave etc. genres) as this. So have a look at Old School Legacy: Gothik New Wave Post-Punk on Facebook, you'll be sooo glad you did.

I wish I could figure out how to post the video list here and have it play continuously, but I'm not that technologically astute, so the link to their videos will just have to it is: Old School Legacy Video List

Until next time, enjoy!

Book Review: Rip It Up and Start Again: Post-Punk 1978-1984 by Simon Reynolds

Here's another book review for you,.. Rip It Up And Start Again: Post-Punk 1978-1984 by Simon Reynolds is the latest text I'm devouring, and so far, so good. I like that the chapters are segmented into groups of bands, sometimes by year, and sometimes location. Simon has definitely done his homework, but it helps to have been there, in the UK. where most of the Post-Punk scene developed. It also helps to be old enough to understand the movement, yet young enough to dig it. 

Chapter 16 particularly intrigued me; Sex Gang Children: Malcolm McLaren, the Pied Piper of Pantomime Pop. His recount of Malcolm's devious dealings differs greatly from, say Adam Ant's version in his autobiography: Stand and Deliver. I had always thought that Adam was being rather gracious regarding his version of how the original Ants left and went to form Bow Wow Wow under Malcolm's tutelage. I suppose we'll never really know now...

This particular edition came from the UK, because a little research birdie told me that the US version is missing over 200 pages of info. I'll never understand why publishers do this, but whatever. I ordered my copy from Amazon UK, and it was really reasonable. There is a companion book to this called Totally Wired: Postpunk Interviews and Overviews  which I will no doubt invest in soon.

If you're a Post-Punk junkie like me, you'll love the in-depth info Simon provides on the actual bands themselves, and the records they put out in the day. There's a great index in the back, as well as a thorough timeline on the Post-Punk history, for quickie reference.

Pick this up and play some records.

Reading the Classics of Gothic Fiction: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

 A few months ago, I decided to read some of the most famous titles in Gothic Fiction. I'm beginning this venture with Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. Now I read a lot of 19th Century stories, and already love the language and style of the Edwardian and Victorian eras, so I had a pretty good idea that I would love it, I just didn't know how much.

I'm not going to bother rehashing the story, we're all familiar with it. So I thought I would just show several beautiful editions of the book, and perhaps talk about a small point or two...

Something I just have to bring up, is how different nearly every film or TV adaptation is from the book. And I'm talking about major plot points...but I'll get to that later. First, let's get a gander at a few vintage editions I have had in the shops and one or two from my personal collection. Check it:

Frankenstein turned out to be one of the best books I've read in the last year. It will be one I reread several times from now on as well. These kinds of books do not come around very often for me, I'm old and lose interest easily. But this book is one of those rare treasures that grow and change with you, and I can't wait to read it again.

Entering the World of Podcasts: An Ongoing List of Favorites

 Here's a useless fact about me: I am always late to the party. But the upside of this is newly discovering cool things that most people take for granted. It has been this way all of my life, and I suspect, will be for the rest of my life. So keep this in mind...

I have just recently entered the world of podcasts, for the first time. Jeezus there is so much out there it's staggering, And overwhelming. And more than a little frustrating finding a really good one. Am I just too picky? Too old? Why would I want to listen to you and your friends drone on about nothing, and offer nothing in the way of interesting information? This is what I'm coming across more often than not, and no one is more surprised than me to discover how much people make these things just to hear themselves talk.

So the purpose of this post is not to bash the many useless ones I've come across so far, but to talk about the very few I have found enjoyable and informative. This really must be a different world, one you have to seek out and explore to bring into your own world. But enough of my yakkin...

First up is Mick Garris' brand spankin new podcast Post Mortem. Truth be told, this is the first podcast I have ever listened to in its entirety. Maybe that's why I'm having trouble finding any that live up to this one. Granted, there's only been one episode so far, but when the first guest is Rob Zombie, I guess that's kinda hard to beat. Can't wait for the next episode. UPDATE: This is a bi-weekly podcast, and you'll find yourself wishing it were more frequent. And that each episode were longer.

Next is This is Horror Podcast. When the description states that this is a show for readers, writers and creators, you've pretty much got me snared. Add a bloke with an East End London accent and an endearing lisp, now I'm really interested. In just one episode, I learned so much! These guys are writers or creative types, and often interview other published writers for insight into that world. Thanks guys, I'll be listening. UPDATE: I have since been so enjoying the This Is Horror Podcast that I have become a Patreon supporter of the show. For a monthly contribution far less than the cost of a Startbucks coffee, you can show your support and help keep the show on the air. LOVE IT!

Next up is Crypt of the Macabre. Ok, these guys had me at Slimey Limeys. They focus on Hammer and British horror films exclusively. And how could I not love a podcast that celebrates Peter Cushing on a regular basis? Their format is one I find appealing, like something I might like a LaCreeperie podcast to be one day. It's an idea I've been tossing around for a while now. See, I should clarify that I have of course heard of podcasts, I'd just never gotten into listening to them before now.

Next up is The Damn Fine Cast which is a podcast mostly revolving around (horror) soundtrack releases on vinyl and otherwise. Being that the guys are British, I could listen to them talk about geometry and I'd still be fascinated. But lucky for us they keep the pace moving and stick to the facts while playing snippets from the featured soundtracks, and even an occasional film. Look for their off-shoot podcasts too, they are all worthy of your ears. And I swear Tony sounds like Neil Gaiman! Also, he has just introduced me to Dungeon Synth; dark/medieval ambient music which is right up my alley OMG.

Another great one is Beyond the Darkness from Darkness Radio. This one covers all kinds of creepy topics, real and imagined. Always interesting, with great production value. Dave and Tim have frequent guests, spooky stories, horror film reviews and lots of true stories. Top notch!

Lastly, (for now) is the Mysterious Matters podcast. This one took me a little while to warm up to because the host's voice is...unusual. I wasn't sure if it was a computer generated voice at first, but realized nope, that's just how Bob talks. No matter, his guests are enough to get you hooked, with the subject matter covering all things strange and unexplained. But then the guests do a wonderful job explaining things that seem otherwise difficult for our puny brains to accept. I have found myself playing it for hours nonstop.

This post will continue to include new podcasts I come across and want to share. If you guys have a favorite, let me know! And I'll seriously consider adding my own podcast to the masses in the future.

Book Review: Record Collecting For Girls by Courtney E. Smith

The first mistake Courtney E. Smith made with her book Record Collecting For Girls is giving it that particular title. Unless her plan was to trick vinyl lovers into reading it...because I'm here to tell ya it doesn't have anything to do with collecting records....vinyl that is. And while I read the reviews before I purchased it, I guess I had some glimmer of a hope that people were just failing to mention the lack of vinyl part.

The second mistake made by the author is the overwhelming lack of valuable content. This 'book' reads like a personal diary of sorts, and how it even got published is a mystery to me...unless she just called in some big favors from PR, Editing and Publishing friends she had in college or at MTV. It lends itself perfectly to one of my biggest pet peeves; the latest glut of "girls with vinyl" photos that seem to be clogging every social media known to mankind. I'm talking about the ones featuring 'models' who clearly don't have a clue about what a record is, evidenced by how they are placing them over certain parts of their body, or just trying to look sexy while putting their hands all over the record(s) in a very uneducated manner. All fluff, no substance. But I digress...

If you're interested in the long haul, read on, as I cannot help but to respond directly to certain parts of the book...the music fanatic in me just won't allow it to rest until I get some things off my chest. Most of this is directed at the author herself, or in some cases it's just me ranting out in general.


Do not ass-u-me all of your readers listen to the force-fed selections on the radio and on television. Saying that you had a hand in what was put out there (She worked at MTV in the early 2000's, when everyone I knew had long since given up on MTV) is fine, but not all of us subjected ourselves to the bulk of such drivel. That being said, I am a fan of Franz Ferdinand et al, but that certainly wasn't shaping what I was listening to at the time. If you're going to ass-u-me anything, be it that your readers will perhaps have more sophisticated musical tastes than even yourself.

On 'Guilty Pleasures'...

While I appreciate that we all have them, and can readily groan at each other's reluctant confessions of them, it's more than a bit of a stretch to proclaim that your admitted love of the Pussycat Dolls (God help us) is "punk as fuck". Do not attempt to throw around that precious four letter word in such a blase` manner. Perhaps it's an age thing, or out of pure respect I have for that momentous movement, but please do not think for a moment that The Pussycat Dolls and Punk belong in the same UNIVERSE. Seriously.

Also, I don't know one person who would put DEVO on a guilty pleasures list. They have earned immunity by being pioneers of a sound that continues to be emulated 30+ years later. Be careful how you lump others into the mix too, such as Sid Vicious, because each of these artists have too loyal a fan base to ever be demoted to a 'Guilty Pleasure'. Oy...

The Smiths Chapter

I'll keep this part short and sweet, which is what you should have done. The Smiths chapter was way too long, even for avid fans of the band, of which I am one. Make your point, or as I like to say, 'state your purpose' and move on. Don't risk alienating or losing your readers who may not be even casual fans. But I'll give you this; you've got coconut sized balls to put in print your thoughts about a 'boy' who listens to too much (what's the definition of too much, anyway??) Smiths, and your warning us to stay away from such 'boys'.

A Vinyl Point...Finally!

The author brings up an excellent point in that digital music is what you listen to while doing five other things on your computer. Playing an actual vinyl record requires (or at least suggests) you to really pay attention to the music, while the physical demand requires you to put the needle on the groove. I believe these are just two of the many reasons why records seem to posses an irresistible pull. Something within the grooves awakens the obsessions within us, and unlocks deep, dark desires while giving our ears a sensory treat. But them's my words, not hers.

Final Note

I'm not even going to go into the whole "Beatles vs. Stones" chapter, as that's a tired argument and not one I'm interested in at all. Yes, both of those bands were my introduction to music and rock-n-roll in general too. They both have my utmost respect. But an entire chapter about your how's and why's of who is better or more relevant is simply just...y-a-w-n.

As I said earlier, this book reads more like a personal journal or diary, and probably should have been kept as such. Certainly, the editor was sleeping on the job by allowing the many glaring grammatical errors and awkward sentences to remain, but kind of proves this was a 'who-you-know' kind of effort, if you catch my drift. All scathing aside, I'm glad I read it for nothing more than as an example of what kind of book I don't want to write. And yes, dear readers, yours truly is writing a book on record collecting. For reals, not just for girls.

Friday Night Videos with LaCreeperie Week 1: Gothy Goodness

To my surprise and delight, several followers of mine have asked for the playlist link to our newly instituted Friday Night Videos weekly venture. I decided to make blog posts of them, in case this becomes a regular thing. Time will tell...

This is by no means a full list of my gothy favorites, just an impromptu gathering of some of the videos I play often while working on your LaCreeperie orders and other businessy stuff.

If this goes over well, I'll make another one next week. If you like, please follow my new channel and we'll see where it takes us.


Book Review: Who Killed Mister Moonlight by David J of Bauhaus

 After reading a glowing review of this book in a UK music magazine, I knew I had to give it a shot. Being the late bloomer that I am, Bauhaus had only had a minimal spot on my favorites list before I took the time to fully explore their discography. The exception to this is Peter Murphy, who has, up until recently been very high on my favorites list...but that's another blog post.

I was hoping for some insight on Bauhaus with this book, and I got it. I was hoping for a little inside dirt on the band, and I got it. But there's a lot more to this book than just dirt and reliving the exalted past. David J is a very introspective writer, and I appreciated his openness and honesty, even when the road was rocky. And, of course, the road was indeed very rocky.

If you have even only a casual interest in Bauhaus, I'd still recommend this book because it gives a great overview of the times, knowledge of how the record companies really work, and a little taste of the esoteric. The occult, in this case. Which may be a slight turn-off to some, but David doesn't spend too much time on this subject, so don't go running for the hills if that isn't your cup of tea. You can simply skip over the chapters/areas where he discusses it, and not miss anything too critical.

The one problem I had with the book was the glaring number of typos, misspellings, grammatical errors and the like, It astounds me that in this day and age, these things only seem to be getting worse. It's like it's an accepted flaw, and I just can't see my way through that. As an amateur writer, I would be mortified if the book I had poured my heart and soul into were printed full of these kinds of mistakes. Rant over. Give it a read, and put on a Bauhaus (or David J) record while you're at it.