eldritchhobbit: (Halloween/natural lanterns)


I love the music of Samantha Gillogly. If you ever have the opportunity to see her perform live, do it! She's brilliant. You can find her music on iTunes.

For this Halloween season, she has a brand new (and very holiday-friendly) music video of her violin cover mashup of "Sally's Song" (from The Nightmare Before Christmas) and "Sarah's Theme" (from Hocus Pocus). Watch, listen, and enjoy!



Here's another beautiful listen: Samantha's atmospheric rendering of "Danse Macabre."

eldritchhobbit: (LOTR/Road Goes Ever)
As you may already know, I am a sincere fan of Giuseppe Festa and his band Lingalad. I've had the great fortune to write/publish about the band's Middle-earth music, hear Giuseppe play live on several occasions, and even be a part of his film on the American West, Oltre la Frontiera. I know some of you are fans of Lingalad's work, as well.

I'm happy to report that Lingalad has a new album, Confini Armonici (Harmonic Borders). It's gorgeous! I highly recommend it.



Here's a new video to give you a taste: "Occhi D'Ambra" ("Eyes of Amber").



I just had to share. :)
eldritchhobbit: (Halloween/vintage)
Hey everybody, what's the coolest thing about this year's holiday season? [livejournal.com profile] karmaku is getting married on Halloween day! Woohoo!!!! CONGRATULATIONS on the happy occasion!!!

So [livejournal.com profile] karmaku is looking for the perfect Halloween party play list. Let's help out!

I'm limiting myself to 30 songs for the sake of my sanity. Click on the links below to hear the songs. Remember, this is party music: songs to which you can dance and/or sing along.

(Reminder: if you're looking for a different sound, the "boograss" music list my husband made last year for the Halloween countdown is here.)

thriller-624-1382985460



Essentials for the Perfect Halloween Party Playlist
(in no particular order)

"Thriller" by Michael Jackson with Vincent Price
"Bloodletting (Vampire Song)" by Concrete Blonde
"Werewolves of London" by Warren Zevon
"Bela Lugosi's Dead" by Bauhaus
"Dead Man's Party" by Oingo Boingo
"Monster Mash" by Bobby “Boris” Pickett & The Crypt-Kickers
"Re-Animator" by Paul Roland
"The New Zero" by Rasputina
"Move Your Dead Bones" by Dr. Reanimator
"Season of the Witch" by Donovan
"Halloween" by the Misfits
"Grim, Grinning Ghosts" by Barenaked Ladies
"Don't Fear the Reaper" by Blue Öyster Cult
"We Won't Go" by Hungry Lucy
"The Haunting" by Nosferatu
"Time Warp" from The Rocky Horror Picture Show
"Zombie Jamboree" by Harry Belafonte
"Ghostbusters" by Ray Parker, Jr.
"I Put a Spell on You" by Screamin' Jay Hawkins
"Graveyard Picnic" by Voltaire
"Superstition" by Stevie Wonder
"Psycho Killer" by Talking Heads
"Skullcrusher Mountain" by Jonathan Coulton
"Man with the Hex" by Atomic Fireballs
"Somebody's Watching Me" by Rockwell
"Sleepy Little Creepy Little Town" by Jonah Knight
"Bad Moon Rising" by Creedence Clearwater Revival
"Graveyard Rock" by Tarantula Ghoul & Her Gravediggers
"Do They Know It's Hallowe'en?" by North American Hallowe'en Prevention Initiative
"This Is Halloween" by Marilyn Manson


What else should be on the list? Please pitch in with your recommendations for [livejournal.com profile] karmaku!


"If you squirm at the Conqueror Worm,
This is no place for thee,
Or if you fright at the mere site
Of the corpse of my Annabel Lee.
If you fear there's something you hear,
A heart beating under the floor -
Still your heart, there's no need to start.
It's just me having tea with Lenore."

- "Graveyard Picnic" by Voltaire
eldritchhobbit: (Halloween)
Are you ready to get this party started? I am!

I'd like to begin by sharing some photos I took last week. The historic Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill in Kentucky is the country's largest restored Shaker community, and its gorgeous grounds had everything needed to put me in the Halloween mood. Pumpkins? Check. Cornstalks? Check. Black cat? Check. Hay-bale spider? Check. (Click the photos for larger versions.)

Taken at the Shaker Village during A Long-Expected Party 3 in 2014 Taken at the Shaker Village during A Long-Expected Party 3 in 2014


"The Ghost of a Flower" by Anonymous

"You're what?" asked the common or garden spook
Of a stranger at midnight's hour.
And the shade replied with a graceful glide,
"Why, I'm the ghost of a flower."

"The ghost of a flower?" said the old-time spook;
"That's a brand-new one on me;
I never supposed a flower had a ghost,
Though I've seen the shade of a tree."



The Shaker graveyard was beautifully situated at the top of a hill.

Taken at the Shaker Village during A Long-Expected Party 3 in 2014 Taken at the Shaker Village during A Long-Expected Party 3 in 2014


The rest of my photos from the trip are here.

Now let's set the tone for the month with some chilling mood music. I just discovered violinist Samantha Gillogly last week at A Long-Expected Party 3, where I heard her play live and bought her CD. She's absolutely fantastic. Here is Samantha Gillogly with "Danse Macabre."

eldritchhobbit: (HP/Absent friends)
I had a wonderful time at ConCarolinas. I caught up with some old friends, made some new ones, traded book recommendations, and talked Arthur Conan Doyle, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Suzanne Collins to my heart's content. At Jonah Knight's fantastic concert, I also got to hear a new track ("The First") from his next steampunk album, and it was brilliant. I'm a huge fan of his first steampunk album, The Age of Steam: Strange Machines, and now I'm most excited for the sequel.

And now, links to share:

* On the latest from StarShipSofa -- which marks my sixth-year anniversary working with the podcast -- I begin a three-part "History of the Genre" special about reading Harry Potter in a Native American context. It's here in Episode #340. If you listen, I hope you enjoy!

* Speaking of Harry Potter, Professor Sara Martin Alegre taught the first university course on Harry Potter in Spain, and as a result she and her English Studies students have put together a new English-language book they are sharing for free: Addictive and Wonderful: The Experience of Reading the Harry Potter Series.

* Last year I attended the "Joss in June" academic conference on Joss Whedon studies and thoroughly enjoyed the presentations. I'm happy to say that now the "Joss in June" special double issue of Slayage: The Journal of the Joss Whedon Studies Association is online for general access. Check out these great essays! In particular, don't miss this treat: "Exploring Cabins in the Whedonverse Woods" by my former graduate student, Curtis A. Weyant.

* Read Kurt Vonnegut's 1973 letter to the man burning his books.

* It's that time again. Here are my work-in-progress lists of English-language young adult dystopian novels and secondary sources about them. If you have any recommendations or suggestions for me of works I should include, I'd be most grateful if you'd let me know! Thanks so much.
List 1: English-Language Young Adult Dystopian Novels, 1960-1999 (with links)
List 2: English-Language Young Adult Dystopian Novels, 2000-Present (with links)
List 3: A Select Bibliography of Secondary Sources on YA Dystopian Fiction (with links)

My Autographed Copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
eldritchhobbit: (Pros/Literary Type)
Happy 450th birthday to the Bard himself, William Shakespeare!

William Shakespeare - Text Portrait


And in other news...

* Would you like to see Adagio Teas offer fandom tea blends for Bodie, Doyle, and Cowley of The Professionals? If so, please vote for The Professionals here.

* Do you want to see H.P. Lovecraft's Dream Cycle adapted into a dark fantasy film? Check out this Indiegogo campaign (with three enticing teaser trailers) for The Dreamlands.

* This year, May 13 will be one of my favorite holidays: New Tori Amos Album Day! Very exciting.

* All 36 hours of interactive lecture from my Spring 2014 class for the Mythgard Institute, "The Gothic Tradition," are now available for download here as a "course pack."


Cowards die many times before their deaths;
The valiant never taste of death but once.
Of all the wonders that I yet have heard,
It seems to me most strange that men should fear;
Seeing that death, a necessary end,
Will come when it will come.

- Shakespeare's Julius Caesar
eldritchhobbit: (Tori/winter)
May you and yours enjoy the blessings of the season. Thank you for the gift of your friendship, my friends!

Virginia Holiday Card 2013


Don't miss the brand new Sherlock minisode "Many Happy Returns" (just released today)! It's brilliant.

And for your listening pleasure, here are some of my favorite seasonal songs...
- Favorite Holiday Song, Full Stop: "A Spaceman Came Travelling"
- Favorite Traditional Christmas Song: "I Wonder As I Wander"
- Favorite Contemporary Reimagining of a Traditional Song: "Holly, Ivy and Rose"
- Favorite Quirky Christmas Song: "Chiron Beta Prime"
eldritchhobbit: (LiW/I Know)
Two cheers and one moment of silence...

Cheer #1. Guess who's playing for the NCAA Division II national championship this upcoming Saturday? We are! Go Lenoir-Rhyne University Bears!

Lenoir-Rhyne University Celebration


Cheer #2. Dreams in the Witch House: A Lovecraftian Rock Opera is fantastic. I've come to expect nothing less from the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society, but even so, it exceeds my hopes. Consider it a "must listen" for fans of H.P. Lovecraft's work.

And a Moment of Silence:
R.I.P., Peter O'Toole (2 August, 1932–14 December, 2013). He was one of the true greats. My favorite film of all time, in fact, centers on his brilliant performance.

The Lion in Winter (1968)


What we do in dungeons needs the shades of day. I stole the candles from the chapel. Jesus won't begrudge them and the chaplain works for me.
- Henry II (Peter O'Toole) in The Lion in Winter
eldritchhobbit: (Headstone)
Today I have a special treat for you! My wonderful husband, Larry, is a son of the Blue Ridge Mountains, an Appalachian man, and during the Halloween season he swears by the melancholy tales of death, hauntings, and mystery told via bluegrass music (or should I say "boograss" music?). As with all of bluegrass, some of these songs trace their ancestry back to older traditional ballads.

This year, he's shared with me his countdown of the spookiest, eeriest, most atmospheric "boograss" songs. (NOTE: All links go to YouTube videos for your listening/viewing pleasure.)

Moonlight Fog


Larry's "Unlucky Thirteen" Best "Boograss" Songs

1. "Bringing Mary Home"
as performed by The Country Gentlemen or Mac Wiseman

2. "Knoxville Boy"
as performed by Larry Stephenson

3. "Long Black Veil"
as performed by Seldom Scene or Bill Monroe

4. "Eli Renfro" (a.k.a. "The Ghost of Eli Renfro")
as performed by Del McCoury Band or Nashville Bluegrass Band

5. "O Death"
as performed by Ralph Stanley

6. "I’ve Come to Take You Home"
as performed by Seldom Scene

7. "Brown Mountain Light"
as performed by Charlie Moore or Tony Rice or The Country Gentlemen

8. "Ghost of Norma Jean"
as performed by Steep Canyon Rangers

9. "It’s Just the Night"
as performed by Del McCoury Band

10. "Little Margaret"
as performed by The Knitters or Sheila Kay Adams

11. "He Had a Long Chain On"
as performed by Tim O'Brien or The Knitters or Jimmy Driftwood

12. "The Ballad of Sarah Malone"
as performed by David Davis and the Warrior River Boys

13. "Caleb Meyer"
as performed by The Greencards or Gillian Welch


Under the Cut: Honorable Mentions - An Epic List with Links )

Mountain Intensity


Well, many say they've seen him,
His hands all red with blood.
But he gets off: his daddy's rich
And his grandpa is the judge.
Townfolk up and lynched him,
But 'til this very day,
Although they hung the Knoxville boy,
He won't stay in his grave.

When the fog rolls into Knoxville
And the river is on the rise,
Don't go near the Knoxville boy --
There's murder in his eyes.


- "Knoxville Boy," Larry Stephenson
eldritchhobbit: (A is for Amy)
My heart goes out to everyone touched by the tragedy in Boston.

A few notes for today:
* My latest "Looking Back on Genre History" segment (which is the first in a multi-part exploration of Star Trek's long-term and uneasy relationship with Native America) is now up on StarShipSofa here. If you listen, I hope you enjoy!

* It looks like my family in Oklahoma is set (see No. 1) and so are we (see No. 5): Best Parks in the United States for Hiding During the Zombie Apocalypse.

* On Saturday we saw a stunning performance of Carl Orff's Carmina Burana (the piano-percussion version) by the Lenoir-Rhyne University A Capella Choir and College Singers. In case it's not on your "Most Frequently Played" list in iTunes, Carmina Burana is a musical setting of texts by students and clerics from a 13th century manuscript discovered in a Benedictine monastery in Bavaria. The libretto includes songs of love, of spring, of the tavern, and of fortune, some of which are quite irreverent, satirical, and risqué! I'm not a fan of spring or summer - in fact, I'm planning soon to disappear indoors and not come out again until sometime around late September - but the saucy and stirring performance put a dent even in my hum-buggery for the night. "O Fortuna" rocked!

* I love the new trailer for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.

eldritchhobbit: (LOTR/Hobbit)
* Last call for holiday cards! If you'd like one from me, please reply here. Many thanks!

* Happy birthday to [livejournal.com profile] tuesday_darling, and happy early birthday to [livejournal.com profile] juliakarr, [livejournal.com profile] janellemadigan, [livejournal.com profile] mguibord, [livejournal.com profile] gypsyjr, [livejournal.com profile] tuilelindowen, [livejournal.com profile] whswhs, and [livejournal.com profile] arkhamdenizen. May all of you enjoy many happy returns of the day!


I've been thinking a lot about Bilbo Baggins, both because of the soon-to-be-released The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey film and in preparation for teaching my "J.R.R. Tolkien: Hobbits, History, and Heroism" seminar at Lenoir-Rhyne University in the spring. Being the fan and student of Tolkien-inspired world music that I am, my thoughts have turned to Bilbo-centric songs.

So here are a few of my favorite Bilbo Baggins-centric (as opposed to merely Tolkien-related) songs from musicians around the world.

(No, Leonard Nimoy's "Ballad of Bilbo Baggins" doesn't make the list. Ha!)


1. "Bilbo's Last Song," words by J.R.R. Tolkien, music by Stephen Oliver for the BBC Radio 4 adaptation of The Lord of the Rings (British)
The words make this one of my favorite songs, period.



2. "Accanto al Fuoco" (Bilbo's "I Sit Beside the Fire" Song), words by J.R.R. Tolkien translated into Italian, music by Lingalad from Voci dalla Terra di Mezzo (Voices from Middle-earth) (Italian)



3. "Bilbo's Song" (a.k.a. "The Old Walking Song"), words by J.R.R. Tolkien, music by The Tolkien Ensemble from An Evening in Rivendell (Danish)



4. "Eärendil" (Bilbo's poem as performed in the Hall of Fire in Rivendell), words by J.R.R. Tolkien, music by Andi Grimsditch from The Tolkien Song Cycle, Vol. 1 (Argentinian)

This version of "Eärendil" is by far the best, most moving adaptation of Bilbo's poem I've heard. It's heartbreakingly beautiful. (You can hear an excerpt from it here.)


5. "One More Time," lyrics and music by Hobbit (from Bilbo's point of view) from All for the One (U.S.)
(You can hear it here.)

I feel the wind upon my face now.
There's something strange about today.
I have to say, I can't believe this feelin':
A new adventure's gonna come my way.
I think I've found a destiny across the Brandywine.
Yeah, passing undetected, just one more time...


Honorable mention goes to Kevin Henry's U.S. country-folk theme album Bilbo's Great Adventure, which is a hoot and worth a listen here.
eldritchhobbit: (Lovecraftian)
It's a Giveaway! And EVERYBODY WINS!


Yesterday I posted about some of the music I like most at Halloween time. I saved the best for last, however. I'm a recent convert to the wonderful Paranormal Modern Folk stylings of Jonah Knight, who writes and sings songs about ghosts, monsters, superheroes and steampunk with a literary edge. He says, "I feel inspired equally by Lovecraft, Twin Peaks, and Scooby Doo." Here he is in - where else? - a graveyard:

Photobucket


I had the good fortune to attend a concert of his earlier this year, and then I immediately bought his album The Exploration of Dangerous Places; songs such as "Sleepy Little Creepy Little Town" and "Deep Under Ground" instantly became favorites. Since then, his The Age of Steam: Strange Machines has become my go-to CD. The song "?" follows me around daily like a rather disquieting ghost.

I couldn't be happier that his new album, Another Creepy Christmas, offers dark and haunting reinterpretations of classic Christmas tunes. At last, a Christmas album perfect for Halloween! What could be better?

I'll tell you what! A GIVEAWAY!!! And Everybody Wins!!!
__________________________________________________________________
Here's What To Do:
1. Visit Jonah Knight on Spotify (it's free!) and listen to his songs.

2. Comment here (at my LiveJournal) with a snippet of a lyric (paraphrasing is fine) that you find to be influenced by H.P. Lovecraft. Include your email address with your reply. All replies will remain screened so only I can see them.

3. Everyone who replies with the above will be emailed three free song downloads from Jonah's new album! One randomly chosen winner will also receive the physical CD of Another Creepy Christmas. I'll get in touch with the winner for his/her snailmail address.

(Psst! If you go to Jonah Knight's website and enter your email and zip under "Free Ghosts," you'll get yet another free download!)

This giveaway is open through October 30th. Please spread the word to anyone who might be interested. Thanks!
__________________________________________________________________

And now, in honor of Jonah Knight's Lovecraftian awesomeness, here's the man himself...

Text of the Day: "The Unnamable" by H.P. Lovecraft (1890-1937)

Excerpt: We were sitting on a dilapidated seventeenth-century tomb in the late afternoon of an autumn day at the old burying ground in Arkham, and speculating about the unnamable. Looking toward the giant willow in the cemetery, whose trunk had nearly engulfed an ancient, illegible slab, I had made a fantastic remark about the spectral and unmentionable nourishment which the colossal roots must be sucking from that hoary, charnel earth; when my friend chided me for such nonsense and told me that since no interments had occurred there for over a century, nothing could possibly exist to nourish the tree in other than an ordinary manner. Besides, he added, my constant talk about "unnamable" and "unmentionable" things was a very puerile device, quite in keeping with my lowly standing as an author. I was too fond of ending my stories with sights or sounds which paralyzed my heroes' faculties and left them without courage, words, or associations to tell what they had experienced. We know things, he said, only through our five senses or our intuitions; wherefore it is quite impossible to refer to any object or spectacle which cannot be clearly depicted by the solid definitions of fact or the correct doctrines of theology - preferably those of the Congregationalist, with whatever modifications tradition and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle may supply.

Read the Complete Story: Here
eldritchhobbit: (Headstone/wings)
Be sure to keep your eye on this countdown tomorrow. I have something very special planned, and it's a first for my annual Halloween celebration!

Also? The stomach flu is not nice. Not nice at all.

Now let's talk about music.

One of my favorite groups to listen to during the Halloween season is Nox Arcana. Whether you want music inspired by the Grimm Brothers, Edgar Allan Poe, and H.P. Lovecraft, or music inspired by pirates, vampires, and haunted houses, their albums are a perfect backdrop to October. You can listen to many of their songs at their website.



One of my favorite groups period is Glass Hammer (Tolkien fans might know them from Journey of the Dunadun and The Middle Earth Album), and their new album Perilous, currently available for preorder, promises to be their darkest yet. Check out the cover art!

Photobucket


Another artist I enjoy whose work is especially October-appropriate is Paul Roland. With albums such as Gargoyles, Gaslight Tales, and Re-Animator, how can you go wrong? One of my favorite songs of his is his tribute to H.P. Lovevcraft's fictional city of Arkham. Here's a very clever fan video:




In other news, my latest "Looking Back on Genre History" segment is available here on the latest episode of StarShipSofa. It's about Jane C. Webb Loudon's The Mummy! A Tale of the Twenty-Second Century (1827), which is our Text of the Day.

Excerpt: "If I recollect rightly, the ancient Egyptians did not imagine the souls of their dead remained in their bodies, but that they would return to them at the expiration of three thousand years."

"And it is now about three thousand years since Cheops was entombed."

"It is strange," continued Edric, musing, "what influence your words have upon my mind: whilst I listen to you, the racking desire I feel to explore these mysteries becomes almost torture; and I muse upon it till I fancy it an impulse from a superior power, and that I am really selected to be the mortal agent of their revelation to man."

Read the Complete Novel Here: Volume 1, Volume 2, and Volume 3
eldritchhobbit: (Sherlock/Lestrade doubts it)
I'm up to my eyeballs in work, but there are so many geeky reasons to smile at the moment, I just had to share the happiness...

* Yesterday was one of my favorite personal holidays, made all the more enjoyable because I never know the exact day it will occur. It was the first Starbucks pumpkin latte of the season. Autumn is on its gorgeous way! Come soon, dear fall!

* Today is the seventy-sixth birthday of the late, great Buddy Holly. Here, enjoy a song on me...



* Tonight, while lecturing on Edgar Allan Poe and his C. Auguste Dupin, I'll get to point out one of my happiest geek-girl moments of this year: spotting the apt genre tribute Moffat-n-Gatiss worked into the Sherlock episode "A Scandal in Belgravia." Whose portrait hangs on Sherlock's bedroom wall? Edgar Allan Poe's, fittingly enough. (Screencap or it didn't happen.)

* Tomorrow, Rupert Graves guest stars on Doctor Who. Enough said.

* Sunday, I'm to be interviewed by the kind folks at the MuggleNet Academia podcast. This will be difficult to do if I spontaneously combust the night before thanks to the Graves-on-Who goodness, so I'll try to keep it together. It won't be easy, though, I suspect.


“It is simple enough as you explain it,” I said, smiling. “You remind me of Edgar Allan Poe’s Dupin. I had no idea that such individuals did exist outside of stories.”
- Watson to Holmes, Arthur Conan Doyle, A Study in Scarlet
eldritchhobbit: (Tori/I was here)
I was in intermediate high school when Monkees fever hit the United States (for the second time around), and I pulled out my mother's vinyl records, bought every new single and album, and watched reruns of The Monkees faithfully on MTV. One of my favorite memories of those years was seeing the band play during their 20th Anniversary Tour in 1986, which was a ridiculously fun and fabulous concert.



Less than four years ago, in the fall of 2008, I had the good fortune to see Davy Jones perform solo (and here's my mini-review).

It's sad news that Davy Jones now is gone. The end of an era indeed. *holds up virtual lighter*
eldritchhobbit: (Trek Reboot/McCoy Silence)
Many thanks to everyone who took part in my poll on the "Vampire Novel of the Century." The poll is still open, if anyone else would like to take part.


In other news...

* As of the time I'm posting this, there are only three tickets left for my Sherlock and Science Fiction web lecture/Q&A on February 18. Thanks to everyone who has helped spread the word about this event.

* I have an update about Star Trek and History, the collection edited by Nancy Reagin that will include my essay "If This Is the (Final) Frontier, Where Are the Natives?" Wiley Blackwell has slated it for April 8, 2013 publication, just ahead of the expected May 2013 release date of the new Star Trek film. Huzzah!

* R.I.P., Etta James, January 25, 1938 – January 20, 2012. I was listening to her haunting cover of "Somewhere" only hours before I learned of her death. *moment of silence*

* Neil Gaiman's Sherlockian story "The Case of Death and Honey" (from A Study in Sherlock) has been nominated for an Edgar Award. (So, too, has an episode of the amazing Justified.)

* Previously I posted that China Glaze was releasing a new nail lacquer set in honor of The Hunger Games. Here is new information and detailed pictures of "Colours from the Capitol: The Hunger Games Collection."

* Lastly, my sweetheart gave me my Valentine's present early, a wonderful little netbook to make all my travels this spring/summer/fall far easier. (While I like tablets, they're not terribly useful/efficient for my purposes.) I just got a new "skin" to personalize it, and I'm quite tickled with what I found. To me, it looks like a cross between Conan Doyle's Dr. John Watson, looking off into the distance, and a refugee from H.G. Wells' War of the Worlds, contemplating the Martians.




The official description is as follows: "A lone figure decked out in suit and bowler hat, is drawn to a mysterious, almost alien structure in the distance as a flock of silhouetted birds keeps watch, flying overhead, in this faded black and white grayscale design." I love it!

eldritchhobbit: (Sparkly)
Well, as of today I'm no longer a thirty-something. I've been angsting about this milestone, but today I've decided that it's all right. New decade of my life, bring it on...

Huge thanks to [livejournal.com profile] estellye, [livejournal.com profile] cookiefleck, [livejournal.com profile] agentxpndble, [livejournal.com profile] thrihyrne, and [livejournal.com profile] homespunheart for the snailmail goodies, and to [livejournal.com profile] zmaddoc, [livejournal.com profile] ievil_spock_47i, [livejournal.com profile] homespunheart, and The Sage in Bloom for the virtual goodies, and to everyone who has posted good wishes for me today. I am blessed to have such wonderful and thoughtful friends! *huge hugs*

Happy birthday wishes to three friends who share my birthday, [livejournal.com profile] doctorwho42, [livejournal.com profile] barbedwriting, and [livejournal.com profile] savageseraph. Happy early birthday wishes to [livejournal.com profile] metal_aria, as well. May all of you enjoy many happy returns of the day!


It seems fitting today to share a couple of songs with you.

First, if I had an official theme song, this would be it: Marian Call's "I'll Still Be A Geek (After Nobody Thinks It's Chic)." Click to listen.


Second, a song near and dear to my heart, another one that would appear on the soundtrack to my life: Tori Amos's "Flying Dutchman."




In other news, a couple of cool things:

* Librivox.org has some new, unabridged recordings out, and some of them are especially of interest:
-- The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes, Vol. 1 by Various Authors
-- The Gray Phantom by Herman Landon
-- The Colors of Space by Marion Zimmer Bradley

* Ah Pook the Destroyer has a new album that's a musical interpretation of H.P. Lovecraft's work: The Silver Key.


I have some exciting professional news to announce soon, but for now, I'll just wish everyone a wonderful day. I'm grateful for you, my friends!


"I have been a nerd
Since long before anyone heard
That bookish girls should look and act a certain way.
And I'll still be a geek
When I am utterly antique
Because I do not care what normal people say."
- Marian Call, "I'll Still Be A Geek (After Nobody Thinks It's Chic)"
eldritchhobbit: (Headstone)
I'm off to Portland, Maine for the next several days to participate in a scholarly colloquium on "Freedom, Empire, and Conflict in Two Greek Wars" (to the tune of Herodotus and Thucydides). But never fear! The countdown shall continue without interruption. And speaking of the countdown...


One of my favorite groups to listen to during the Halloween season is Nox Arcana. Whether you want music inspired by the Grimm Brothers, Edgar Allan Poe, and H.P. Lovecraft, or music inspired by pirates, vampires, and haunted houses, their albums are a perfect backdrop to October. You can listen to many of their songs at their website.




They have a new thematic album available for preorder, The Dark Tower. This is the "trailer" music video. Enjoy!



Text of the Day: Today's text is "The Lady Witch" by Jane Francesca Agnes, Lady Wilde (1821-1896).

Excerpt:
About a hundred years ago there lived a woman in Joyce's Country, of whom all the neighbours were afraid, for she had always plenty of money, though no one knew how she came by it; and the best of eating and drinking went on at her house, chiefly at night -- meat and fowls and Spanish wines in plenty for all corners. And when people asked how it all came, she laughed and said, "I have paid for it," but would tell them no more.

So the word went through the country that she had sold herself to the Evil One, and could have everything she wanted by merely wishing and willing, and because of her riches they called her "The Lady Witch."


Read the complete story.
eldritchhobbit: (Colour Out of Space)
Apologies for being quiet lately. At the moment, there just aren't enough hours in the week. However, soon you'll be hearing from me every day (in October), so maybe you should just count your blessings. Ha!


Some good things...

* Pumpkin spice lattes are back at Starbucks. For me, this is like Christmas and New Year's Day combined. Mmmm, pumpkin. Fall, come to me!

* The fabulous Rebecca MacPherson has joined the new group blog The Fabulous Female, which celebrates women of history and today.

* Speaking of fabulous people, and related to my last post, the always-awesome [livejournal.com profile] cookiefleck made it to the ceremony for Buddy Holly's new star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. She posted pictures here.

* Next week Tori Amos's new album, Night of Hunters, is released. New Tori Amos Album Day is one of those holidays I always try to observe. The album is up now for NPR's "First Listen." If you only have time for one track, I recommend "Your Ghost."

* I've accepted a lovely invitation to be one of five special guest speakers at next year's conference on dystopia and the problem of technology (official title TBA), which will be sponsored by The Working Group on Political Theory at Duke University. It should be a fantastic event.

* Later this week we're hearing Wes Moore, the author of the New York Times bestseller The Other Wes Moore, speak about his work, and then attending a reception with him. I'm looking forward to it.

* Here's a new quiz from Smart Pop Books (in support of Nyx in the House of Night: Mythology, Folklore, and Religion in the P.C. and Kristin Cast Vampyre Series, which includes an essay by yours truly).

* Speaking of Smart Pop Books, Fringe Science: Parallel Universes, White Tulips, and Mad Scientists is now available. You can read excerpts from the essays, including my "In Search of Fringe's Literary Ancestors," here.

* Happy early birthday wishes to [livejournal.com profile] ekeppich, [livejournal.com profile] jinxed_wood, [livejournal.com profile] princeofcairo, [livejournal.com profile] chickenfried_jo, and [livejournal.com profile] llembas! May each of you enjoy many happy returns of the day.


Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.
- George Eliot
eldritchhobbit: (Buddy Holly)
I was raised with a deep and abiding love for Buddy Holly, one of the great fathers of rock-n-roll, the man who brought rhythm-and-blues to white audiences, country-western to black audiences, and helped create the vibrant fusion of rockabilly that gave birth to modern rock.

He is my father's favorite musician, and by the time I was in kindergarten, I could sing his entire discography from memory. I still can. He recorded music for only two years. He died at the age of 22. His influence, however, is alive and well.

Today Buddy Holly would have turned 75. Today he receives a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.


I'd like to share one of my personal favorites with you in honor of this day, a song written by Buddy Holly, with vocals and acoustic guitar by him, recorded at home in his apartment the month before his tragic plane crash. Here's "Learning the Game":




And here's another favorite (also on YouTube): "Well... All Right."

* From today's LA Times: "Buddy Holly's 75th on Wednesday? That'll be the day."
* From LubbockOnline: "Holly's star on Hollywood Walk of Fame leads to Music Box concert."
* "Buddy Holly: 75 and Timeless"

"I'm not trying to stump anybody... it's the beauty of the language that I'm interested in."
- Buddy Holly

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