Monthly Archives: October 2012

The Shining

This time on Tapes on Books, Stephen King’s harrowing horror classic, The Shining. A nearly unhinged writer takes his telepathetic son to the worst place on earth for nearly unhinged writers and telepathetic children, a remote haunted mountain resort with a proud and long-standing tradition of slaughter. Gruesome antics ensue.

Listen to the mix with us, Danny. Forever. And Ever. And Ever.

The Mountains: Opening with Sighs – Goblin / Lost Something In the Hills- Sibylle Baier

Jack Torrance: King Volcano – Bauhaus
I’m no shrink, but I might have a few second thoughts about an unstable, violent, recovering alcoholic struggling writer surviving alone with his family for months. Sounds like a recipe for disaster. The evil hotel encouraging you to murder your family is the proverbial icing on the crazy cake. Or is that the proverbial blood gushing out the elevator?

The Shining/Danny Torrance: Do I Have Power – Timber Timbre
This kid is freaky not because his telepathic abilities, but because he thinks like a 35 year old man (I still wasn’t doing that at 40). Oh, and his non-invisible invisible friend who gets a kick out of showing him grisly visions. That too.

The Overlook: Hotel – Dirty Beaches / Heartbreak Hotel – John Cale
At some point in the mid nineties, I went up to this place in the middle of the night, drunk, obviously, and was able to sneak around all over. Though I never came across any twins or abandoned Big Wheels, it was the second scariest hotel I’ve ever been in. Of course, the first one was scary mostly due to the dead hobo stench and clown paintings.

The Wasps: Page 1 – Fantomas
“Gee, Dad, thanks for the wasps’ nest. They’re all dead, right?”

The Topiary Animals: Fatal Flower Garden – Nelstone’s Hawaiians
Sentient angry hedge animals is number seven on my all-time terrifying things list. Right above talking to girls and right below a dentist riding a horse-sized hairless cat.

Delbert Grady: This House is Haunted – Alice Cooper
I am not sure I’d take parenting advice for the haint groundskeeper who recently axed down his family, but I have to admit Delbert is pretty darned charming. It’s like he has the personality of Casper, but the self control of Slimer from Ghostbusters

The Ballroom and the Bartender: A Good Man is Hard to Find – Bill Haid & His Cubs
This might be the sweetest bartending gig of all time, aside from the terrible tips, I assume.

Jack’s Typewriter: Page 2 – Fantomas
Type. Type. Type. Type. Type. Type. Type. Type. Type. Type. Type. Kill. Bedtime.

Snowed In: Just You and I – Angelo Badalamenti / Coldest Night of the Year – Vashti Bunyan
The disheartening isolation consistent in this book is enough to make anyone rethink your vacation plans at that quaint cabin. This is, unless, you do happen to be some sort of crazed psycho-killer. If only Wendy had been able to live tweet these events for us.

Room 217: My Body’s a Zombie for You – Dead Man’s Bones
In the edition of The Shining that I have this room makes its first appearance on page 217. Eek, extra creepy! I’m pretty sure my wife would venture into 217 if it was Ryan Gosling’s rotting corpse. Ah, what a meme that would make.

“Redrum”: Redrum – Tom Waits
I have actually drank red rum once that caused me speak backwards. Now, that was scary.

The Grady Twins: Thank Heaven for Little Girls – Ed McMahon
Yeah, yeah, I know that the twins weren’t in the book as such. But the creepiness of Kubrick’s iconic image can only be sonically matched by Ed McMahon terrifyingly singing about children. Sleep with the lights on, kids.

The Dogman: Page 6 – Fantomas
“I’m going to eat you, little boy.” (shiver)

Dick Hallorann: Help Is On Its Way – The Centimeters
Respect to Dick for using his power for good. If I had the “shining”, I’d probably just order a bunch of pizzas from bed, save up my text messages, and prank shine other psychics.

Wendy Torrance: It’s Over – Roy Orbison / It’s Useless to Struggle – The Gothic Archies
Ah, the deafening damsel in distress…makes you almost root for Jack. Sorry to go back to the movie, but is Shelley Duvall attractive? I can never tell. And, how great would the movie version be had Robert Altman directed it, using the same cast he used for Popeye? That would have made for the best super scary shitty musical ever!

Jack Cracks: Paranoia – Hawkwind / I Broke Up – Xiu Xiu
SNAP. CRACKLE. POP.

The Chase and The Roque Mallet: Jangling Jack – Nick Cave
The roque mallet is an underutilized murder weapon, in my opinion. Adds a bit of distinction, class, and sportsmanship to the whole bashing brains out bit.

Boiler Explodes/Jack Burns: Wildfire – Langley School Music Project
I think we’ve all been there when we let our daily chores go by the wayside in times of emotional distress and family strife. But, you know, probably not quite this bad. Stephen King’s important public service reminder to make sure you check your pilot light before you go completely nutso.

Escape/The End: In Heaven (Everything is Fine) – Lady in the Radiator
Well, as that one guy said, we all shine on…

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The Magicians

A step back to the future this week with Lev Grossman’s homage to and re-imagining of modern fantasy, The Magicians. A pop-cultured urban tale where secret magic and fantastical worlds are real, but so is all of boring old life’s other horrible stuff. And, best of all, the people who do magic don’t handle the real world stuff all that well. It’s a total thaumaturgic train wreck! Think Holden Caulfield does Narnia.

Just don’t call it an “adult Harry Potter mix” here.

“Quentin did a magic trick. Nobody noticed.”: Show the World – Apples in Stereo

Quentin Coldwater:  Danglin’ Feet – Devotchka
Huh, a socially awkward teenager obsessed with child fantasy novels is having trouble getting laid and feels sorry for himself. Go figure. At least he gets to do magic and stuff…when I was that age, I just sat in my basement waiting for AOL to load pics of Kathy Ireland.

Entrance Exam: Prove It – Television
Card tricks, inventing languages, and drawing things that suddenly come to life…now that’s my kind of test.  So much more fun than Christmas treeing the SAT.

Brakebills: College – Animal Collective / Freak Scene – Dinosaur Jr
Hogwarts mixed with Animal House. Okay, where do I sign up?

Elliot Waugh: A Drinking Song – Divine Comedy / Ballad of Big Nothing – Elliott Smith
“If he gets drunk on fine wine and plays Miss Misery one more time…I swear I am going to fireball his mopey ass.” Elliot’s clearly more of a Conor Oberst fan, but we aren’t, so he ain’t getting his dream theme song.

Penny: 30 Century Man – Scott Walker
My question is if one could master space, time, and dimensional travel, why in the world would they sport a mohawk?

Janet Pluchinsky: Because the Night – Patti Smith
Both Patti and Janet could probably bully me into making out with them and have it be the greatest moment of my life. Speaking of which, why does this never happen?

Josh Hoberman: When Jokers Attack – The Brian Jonestown Massacre
Its not such a bad thing to be the comic relief, especially when you are sporting some sort of untapped power within. People are more likely to be laughing WITH you if they know at any moment you can summon a terrifying portal.

Alice Quinn: Wallflower – Doug Sahm
I think it is impossible to read this book and not fall a little bit in love with Alice. I mean, its not like on weekends and most weeknights I sit at home writing several volumes of fan fiction detailing her crazy adventures and boy troubles in alternate universe or anything silly like that. I may have started a Tumblr page about her.

Physical Kids: Bad Reputation – Joan Jett
What?! Just cause we are brilliant, hedonistic, esoteric, narcissistic, recite spells in several dead languages, traverse continents as geese, have pet monster tattoos, and are generally so much better than you?

Life After Graduation: Just Be Simple – Songs: Ohia
Unending amounts of time and money and limitless powers may sound like a recipe for total happiness, but…well, wait. Yup, that really should bring you happiness. What gives?

Quentin & Alice: No Children – The Mountain Goats / No – The Wedding Present
Its always a little rough when the “doing it as arctic foxes” stage of the relationship is over. And who better than John Darnielle to write a song about ensorcelling unfaithfulness? Well, maybe that guy from the Weddoes. I reckon he can conjure up a trick or two about what to do when the magic disappears for a spell.

The Neitherlands: Holes – Mercury Rev
If I had the gang’s all-access magic button pass to any fantasy world I would totally head down to Middle Earth, then Oz, then Donkey Kong world, and finally, for dessert, Candy Land. Just got to make sure I avoid holes for Neverland Ranch, Jar Jar Binks’ planet, and Kansas. Ugh, worst vacation ever.

Fillory: This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody) – Talking Heads
Looks like Narnia. Smells like Narnia. Weird talking critters like Narnia…just has a lot less religion and a lot more booze.

The Watcherwoman: Time is on My Side – Irma Thomas
Halting time forever is such delicious dastardly plot. Why don’t more villains work that angle?
I tried planting some clock-trees in my yard…that was a waste of a perfectly good Indiglo. Just in case you ever try it, remember: Swatches ain’t acorns.

The Beast: Prince of Darkness – Mekons
Classic “Obsessive English schoolboy turns into crazed world-destroying demigod” situation. If I had a quarter…

Alice’s Sacrifice: I Would Die 4 U – Prince
Alright, in full nerd disclosure, technically Alice didn’t die, rather she purposefully turned into a niffin which is some sort of a creature consisting of raw magic energy. Too bad Prince doesn’t have a song called “I Would Turn N2 A Niffin 4 U”.

Julia Wicker: I Don’t Love Anyone – Belle & Sebastian
Nobody wants to know about a magical kingdom and be told you can’t go there. This is basically how I feel about Canada. Also, one time, I heard there was a bar that served mixed drinks in fish bowls, but by the time I finally made it there it was against the law or something. Ergh. Julia’s story in Book 2 is great though. Hang in there.

The Real World Again/The End: You Were Right – Built to Spill
At some point, most of us figure out that even the greatest fantasies and aspirations can often be just sad dreams realized through jarring reality checks. But then again, of course, most of us don’t get to be kings and queens of our fanciful misconceptions, do we?

Lord of the Flies

Things get slightly out of hand this week with William Golding’s brutal reflection on the duality of man. Civility and savagery battle it out on a desert island, giving you second thoughts about those sweet innocent children playing tag at the park. An important reminder that humankind is built of good and evil and those waters can get muddy pretty quick.See what happens when people stop being polite, and start being murderous…here.

“The boy with fair hair lowered himself down the last few feet of rock and began to pick his way towards the lagoon”: Pigs on the Wing, Part 1 – Pink Floyd

Plane Crash: I’m Stranded – The Saints
My! Aren’t we looking mighty spry for just surviving a plane crash?

Gathering: On the Beach – Neil Young / Boys Keep Swinging – David Bowie
Who wouldn’t love a little fun-time beach camping with the boys, am I right? What are the chords for Kumbaya?

Ralph: He’s a Mighty Good Leader – Beck
Like a young JFK. “Ask not what your island can do for you, ask what you can do to not kill each other.” “Ich bin ein Islander!”

The Conch: Let’s Work Together – Canned Heat
Cue the movie montage…building shelters, laughing around a fire, gathering berries and water, long walks on the beach, sharpening sticks, repeated inappropriately stabbing animals, painting each other with blood, ritual dance around fire, repeatedly stabbing each other inappropriately…end movie montage.

Piggy: Piggy in the Middle – The Rutles
Yeah, yeah. I know Nine Inch Nails has a song called “Piggy” that fits pretty well to describe the torturing the book’s husky voice of reason. But a fake Beatles band is just so much more British, flustered, and feminine…also perfect for poor Piggy.

Jack: Evil Urges – My Morning Jacket
The nefarious choir boy. No doubt, when he grows up, he’ll be the CEO of some evil company like Halliburton, Lehman Brothers, Monsanto, or, just maybe, Piggly Wiggly.

The Beast: Heart of Darkness – Pere Ubu
Come on, kiddos! There is almost never really any monsters on remote jungle islands. Well, except for King Kong’s island. And that smoke monster from Lost. That fat dude who kept hitting Gilligan in the face with his hat. Oh, and cannibals (watch out for them too).

The Glasses and The Fire: Smoke Signal – The Band
Thanks for the fire, four eyes. Now, its just a simple task of us kids being responsible enough to complete the menial task of tending the fire until we’re rescued. Can’t foresee any issues there.

“Kill the Pig, Spill the Blood”: Deathtripper – Pig Destroyer
Pig Destroyer might be the best grindcore band name ever, or at least, right behind The Bathtub Shitters. Chop the Pig and Save (okay, okay, sorry, last Piggly Wiggly reference for this one).

The Group Splits: Kids Don’t Follow – Replacements
Bloodlust, barbarism, and bad attitudes! The boys are starting to turn. Truth be told, in a similar situation, I would also probably join the group that wears loincloths and eats meat. Mostly because that’s how I’m living already.

Simon and the Lord of the Flies: Strange – Wire
If you can find a better song to describe the scene where the creepy Christ-like propheteering tween has a lengthy philosophical discussion with a severed Boar’s head on a stick, you just let me know.

Jack’s Savages: Children in Heat – The Misfits
I’ve been to a Misfits show…it is pretty close to a “LotF” situation. Lots of confused youth, painted faces, and idol worship. Oh, and devil locks! Side note: A Misfits concert is the only concert by any band where it’s perfectly acceptable to wear that band’s t-shirt. You do that at any other show, and you’re a dope.

The Fire Dance/Simon Murdered: Frenzy – Screamin’ Jay Hawkins
I’d love to see a reality show that puts all of Screamin’ Jay’s 57 famously illegitimate kids on an island in a “Lord of the Flies” meets “Survivor” meets “American Idol” scenario. The winner would receive the love and approval of their late, great deadbeat dad. And survival, of course. And maybe a recording contract.

Piggy Crushed: Fall on Me – REM
And ask the Sky, And ask the Sky FAAAALLLL ON ME, Ohhh FAA (SPLAT!). This blurb brought to you by an actual semi-feral twelve year old.

Ralph’s Chased:  Run Boy Run – Sanford Clark
Dang, the Jack’s tribe is getting all “hot and bothered” for Ralph. Er, no, no, not what I meant. Um, I mean these kids got a serious case of “jungle fever”. Wait, no, that isn’t the right term either. Ah, whatever, just run!

Discovered: Clowntime is Over – Elvis Costello / Grown Up Wrong – Rolling Stones
What a great “punch in the gut” finale! I don’t know what is better….that the unsuspecting naval officer stops an attempted savage child-on-child murder and simply says that he expected a “better show” from the kids or the fact that he is about to hop on his warship and do the same thing. Bam, juxtaposition in the house…Golding style!

“Ralph wept for the end of innocence, the darkness of man’s heart, and the fall through the air of the true, wise friend called Piggy.”: Pigs on the Wing, Part 2 – Pink Floyd