Halloween Medicine Show – Snake Rattle Rattle Snake – Church Fire – Reverend Deadeye – DJ Vince Voyeur –

Writing a Halloween post in December comes off as procrastination and poor timing, though I believe any moment that may or may not be Halloween provides a perfect opportunity to write about the holiday. The further you get from October 31st, the more you need it around. This year my wife and I actually dressed up, instead of tossing around ideas – Bob Ross & a Happy Little Tree, Bill & Ted, Wayne & Garth, Chihiro & No Face, creative option & related creative option – and choosing the lazy road instead (an actual road). Out of love for older Tim Burton films, and the characters in Beetlejuice specifically, we decided on Lydia Deetz (me) and Beetlejuice (her). We also determined that modeling our dynamic after its depiction in the cartoon felt like the right option: best friends instead of enemies.



Best friends. Not enemies.


Choosing an event to dress up for presented the second obstacle. Sitting at home, drinking beer, watching Beetlejuice in our costumes sounded like a great idea, but felt slightly wasteful. The solution presented itself in Syntax Physic Opera‘s Halloween event, featuring DJ Vince Voyeur, Church Fire, Reverend Deadeye, and Snake Rattle Rattle Snake.

Read on, fellow Halloween fan(s)! I have written multiple interesting words about this place, the bands, and the event in general, including a graymonster music Q&A exclusive.

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Metropolis: The Silent Film and The DJ

As an avid fan of the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, I consistently look for interesting shows that no other theater has. After discovering their intent to feature Science Friction: Metropolis with live turntablism score by Denver’s DJ Ultra Violet, I was hooked.

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Ten Covers You’ve Probably Never Heard: Featuring Kimbra, STRFKR, The Civil Wars and More

Sometimes a piece of music contains the ultimate combination of elements, music so perfect that updating with compelling differences would fall under sonic blasphemy.

^If the food and drink were ‘reinterpretation’^

Although possible, I have yet to find one so absolute it denies modification. A good cover can salvage an old song from obscurity, making it relevant again. Innovation and advancement, musical or otherwise, often require new approaches to former ideas. Listed below you’ll find several great songs and ten of their best, revised counterparts.

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1957-1970: The Beatles Give The World a New Sound

The film Nowhere Boy depicts the initial formation of the Beatles
from the perspective of a young John Lennon.

It starts with him running from hundreds of screaming fans,
followed by the unfortunate realization that he was just dreaming.
In one scene, Lennon sits alone in a movie theater, surrounded by girls, watching an Elvis Presley film.
His glance shifts quickly between the screen and the theater filled with swooning females, whose extremely positive reaction causes some surprise on the part of Lennon, as well as some jealous feelings and a spark of ambition.
As a huge grin spreads across his face, the audience can sense what he is thinking.
Later, after describing this strange experience to his biological mother, he complains: “Oh, why couldn’t God make me Elvis?!” to which she responds, “Because he was saving you for John Lennon!”
If she did say something similar in real life, she probably had no clue how right she would be.
She also wouldn’t live to see John’s wish realized.

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Rock Fan…Rock Star: Marlon Brando, James Dean, Elvis Presley

When asked his thoughts on Elvis by St. Louis Magazine, Chuck Berry notes:

“I think he had a wonderful manager (chuckles). But one thing Presley had that no other person had was that voice. He had a voice better than Bing Crosby’s. That’s another thing: I came up believing that singing did not mean just saying it with ups and downs and varied melody. Singing is almost like swinging: It vibrates.
Understandably, Chuck Berry and other African-American rockers at the time probably felt at least somewhat bitter and resentful toward this white kid popularizing the hits they created.
In the fifties, white musicians were classified as genuine Rock and Roll, while black artists were filed under the second-class title of Rhythm ‘n’ Blues. Songs were being covered by dolled up white boys and topping the charts, without any credit being given to the original artists.
I would be pissed too.
At the time, the issue reigned supreme on the minds’ of black performers, but in retrospect, with age, distance, and maturity, they can appreciate Elvis for what he brought to music and culture, as illustrated in the more or less favorable quotation from Berry.
In the years following, and to this day, the ‘founding fathers’ of rock n roll, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Bo Diddley, are typically given appropriate recognition for their contributions to the genre, allowing a distinction between their roles and what Elvis accomplished.
Each represents two very different sides of the same musical coin.
Berry and friends are the Fathers of Rock, whereas Elvis will always be the King.

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Control: The Legacy of Joy Division

Updated: April 5th, 2015

A few months ago, while browsing through feature films at the local library, I came across one entitled Control. Initially, the movie seems like a biopic about Joy Division, but quickly establishes itself as a portrayal of Ian Curtis, the band’s tragic lead singer.

While reading the synopsis, I developed a sense of dread.
At this point in the game, I only knew so much about the band.
I will list that prior knowledge below.

The Things I Knew About Joy Division:

-They existed sometime in the late 70s/early 80s range, certainly not the 90s
-The 4 songs I have heard, I really really love
-I like the way they dress. Very business casual
-The lead singer has a deep voice
-I have a poster of them on the wall that I like to look at
-Their music complements the film Donnie Darko perfectly
-The lead singer killed himself

The last point brings me to a state of hesitation. I had the unfortunate experience of discovering suicide first hand, and it’s not something I would recommend or typically volunteer to watch onscreen, as most filmmakers have no idea how to handle the material tastefully, if a tasteful depiction of suicide even exists. Knowing the film’s conclusion before it even started, a conflict arose between wanting to know more about the band, and not setting myself up to view disturbing content. Curiosity won the battle as usual, and thus I added Control to my overflowing stack of CDs and brought it home.

For nearly 12 weeks, Control sat next to the bed waiting to be watched. I couldn’t do it. Surprisingly, I was never in the mood to witness someone’s life disintegrate. I renewed the movie four times and incrued several dollars in late fees. (I now owe them roughly $89 for late CDs and won’t be visiting for some time). Finally, I just returned it.
A week later, still sitting on the library shelf…still waiting…I grabbed the DVD and forced myself to sit and watch for 2 hours, well beyond my usual 90-minute-time-limit for films. 92 minutes? Get the hell out of here.

As for the movie, I loved it. Completely.

Although this post got written in a day or two, the process took months.
Coming up with a topic is easy, but discovering what the post is about, at its core, can take forever.
Writer’s block, anxiety, lost sleep, procrastination…these things fuel any decent piece of writing, and I would not exchange them for anything……not even for a bag of tater tots…which would hit the spot about now.


Quick note: the post is a bit longer than usual, clocking in at around 2 hours of quality music. So, take your time, no need to rush, take a nap, eat some tots, revisit if necessary, the post won’t be deleted any time soon! It is a lot to absorb in one sitting.

A plethora of good music and information can be found on the next page.
You wouldn’t want to miss it.

I hope you enjoy reading about one of the most innovative bands in existence.

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