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Your Favorite Genre Song?

September 3rd, 2012

The forthcoming publication of Rock On: the Greatest Hits of Science Fiction and Fantasy has me contemplating some of the great rock ‘n roll genre songs. There certainly is a ton of them.

Science fiction? How about David Bowie’s “Space Oddity,” Genesis’s “The Return of the Giant Hogweed,” or Mastadon’s album-length epic Crack the Skye? (Great stuff!)

Fantasy?  Let’s see . . . there’s King Crimson’s “In the Court of the Crimson King,” The Moody Blues “House of Four Doors,” and of course Uriah Heep’s Demons & Wizards. You can’t go wrong with any of those.

Horror? Yeah, there’s plenty, everything from Dickey Lee’s sappy ghost story “Strange Things Happen” (OK . . . it’s not really horror, but I recall it giving me a chill when I heard it as a kid) to anything by your favorite death metal band. And we might as well toss in a lot of the songs of Bruce Springsteen, whose work inspired the horror anthology Darkness on the Edge a few years back.

I’m not trying to be definitive here, just free associating – rattling off a few titles that come instantly to mind. The point is, if you’re a fan of genre fiction, you’ve probably got a personal rock ‘n roll playlist of greatest hits. And you almost certainly have a favorite.

At the moment, my favorite is “Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner,” by  Warren Zevon and David Lindell. It’s a complete horror story in a three minute song, delivered with equal doses of irony, political commentary, and literary awareness that leads all the way back to the medieval  epic Rolandskvadet (The Lay of Roland).

I’ll be playing that song this coming Saturday (September 8), when I return to Riley’s Pour House for a night of American and Irish music . . . and later this month when I perform my “Songs of the Horror Writer” show at Horror Realm.

Hope to see you there.

In the meantime, consider using the comment box below (or Facebook or email) to tell me your favorite genre song(s). I’m always looking for new material.

Rock on!

21st Century Scop does Horror Realm

March 11th, 2012

Mike Christopher, Lawrence C. Connolly, John Amplas at Horror Realm.

The undead sure know how to party.

I’ve just returned from Horror Realm, where I shared billing with John Amplas (Martin), Mike Christopher (Dawn of the Dead), and Kyra Schon (Night of the Living Dead).  Also in attendance were Chris Rickert (Eljay’s Books), Tiffany Apan, and lots and lots of zombies.

Primarily a media convention, with a strong focus on the films of George A. Romero, the event drew a couple hundred enthusiastic fans, many of them decked out in their best living-dead regalia.

The  21st Century Scop performance centered on Voices: Tales of Horror (nominated for this year’s Bram Stoker Award). It drew a nice group of readers and fans. Chris Rickert did the introduction.

Here’s the playlist, a great way to revisit the show if you were there . . . or imagine you were if you weren’t. Click the links to access notes, samples, and highlights:

Horror Realm readers.

“Axle Rising” (Veins: Soundtrack)

“The Haunted Attic 1961” (Voices)

“Step on a Crack” (Visions)

 “Shooting Evil” (This Way to Egress)

Something in the Darkness (Veins: Soundtrack)

“Mrs. Halfbooger’s Basement” (Voices)

“Downhill Run” (Veins: Soundtrack)

“Monte” (Voices)

A question-and-answer session followed, then it was back to the signing table to hang out and talk to fans and make new friends, many of whom I hope to meet up with again when Horror Realm returns in September. I’m already planning to attend.

Were you there this weekend? Do you have a comment or something to share? The comment tab below and the Facebook, Twitter, and contact buttons above are open. Feel free to share your Voices!

Upcoming Appearance: Horror Realm

March 7th, 2012

Horror Realm is a media convention with a nice roster of people affiliated with the horror film industry. Here is the information from their website:

Saturday, March 10
Crowne Plaza Pittsburgh South
Bethel Park, PA

Lawrence C. Connolly Panel
Moderator: Chris Rickert, co-owner of Eljay’s Books

Join the 21st Century Scop in exploring media, music and literature.  Mr. Connolly is author of the Veins Cycle series of supernatural thrillers.  His collection Voices: Tales of Horror has been nominated for a Bram Stoker Award this year for Superior Achievement in a Fiction Collection.