Sunday, December 18, 2011

Day of Rest: The Cherry Tree Carol

A lovely little Christmas ballad that dates back to the 15th century.  This version is sung by the amazing, and very under-appreciated Jean Ritchie.  

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Last Song: A Violet From Mother's Grave

Mary Jane Kelly, Jack The Ripper's final (known) victim was apparently overheard singing this on the night she was murdered.

The video gives a pretty good mini-history lesson, but be warned, there is pretty graphic imagery contained in it.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Monday, December 12, 2011

Ted, Just Admit It

Proof that there was a time when Perry Farrell was actually involved in making good music.
While the album came out in 1988, I associate it with the summer of 2000:  I was working backstage in a production of Wizard of Oz and I had met an awesome new friend.  When not at class or at the theatre, I would spend a lot of time writing bad poetry, drinking and listening to this:*

So why is it here?  "Ted, Just Admit It" contains samples from an interview with serial killer Ted Bundy.

There's going to be people turning up in canyons, there's going to be people being shot in Salt Lake City , because the police there aren't willing to accept what i think they know, and they know that i didn't do these things.

That's Bundy, denying his crimes.  Despite overwhelming evidence, he proclaimed his innocence throughout his trials.  It was only until his appeals were exhausted that he began to give details about the murders.

Despite the song's age, there's a certain relevance to it: blood, violence and crime: it doesn't really bother people in this modern age.

*I also spent a lot of time listening to Summertime Rolls, but you didn't come here for a love story.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Off Topic: Jack Chick's "Lisa"

Chick Tracts. Those little comics that you find in laundry mats, and tucked away in bathrooms in college campuses. They tell stories of how evolution is a lie created by Satan, and how sitting in a basement pretending to be a wizard is a one way ticket to hell. In fact there are a lot of ways one can be sent to hell in Jack Chick's world. Here's a short list of them:

1. Being Catholic. This seems to be a big one. In fact I could compile another list of everything Chick blames the Catholic Church for. But that's for another post.

4. Being a part of that group that wears those funny little hats

8. Having sex out of wedlock (oh, yeah, AIDS? God's punishment, of course)

Essentially Chick's website is one stop shopping for "you're going to hell" type preaching. But there's one tract you won't find on his website. Lisa. It's a legitimate Chick tract, but let's just say it's message isn't easily welcomed. Despite Chick's attempts to erase it from history, it can easily be found with a simple google search.*

I would post it here, but Jack Chick Publications is know for zealously defending it's "intellectual property". So instead, I shall post links. Those will probably be taken down as well, but hey, "enjoy" them while they last!

Let's begin.

Henry is a bad man. He doesn't have a job.  His poor, long suffering wife is forced to work as a waitress in some slimy dive.

His wife, as one might expect, isn't happy about the situation and tells him so. Henry's response?

"Get off my back Linda".

Henry stumbles off to get beer, picking up some porn along the way. He makes his way home to indulge and is soon joined by his pervert neighbor. As Henry and his neighbor indulge in the oh so heterosexual activity of watching porn together, the neighbor reveals some "juicy gossip". Apparently Henry is sexually molesting his daughter Lisa.

Fortunately for Henry, and unfortunately for Lisa, the neighbor is willing to keep a secret as long as he and Henry "share and share alike".

Feeling ill yet?

Two months later, Lisa is at the doctor's for a rash. But it isn't just a rash, it's herpes. And what's "worse" the doctor knows. 

Henry screams "SHE LIED" but the doctor isn't buying it. Henry then resorts to blaming his wife. Her lack of respect is what made him want to diddle his daughter and treat her like the neighborhood pedophile bike. The doctor doesn't contest this of course, because along with not accepting Jesus Christ as their personal savior, the other cause father/daughter incest is lack of proper respect from ol' wifey.

What follows is the typical Jack Chick styled "you're going to rot in the pit-fires of hell if you don't accept Jesus Christ, blah, blah, blah . . ." 

Because of the good doctor's wise, Jesus loving' ways. Henry repents and accepts Jesus Christ as his personal savior. Of course the doctor tells him that he's still going to have to call the cops on him, because, you know he's got to render unto Caesar what is . . .


Henry is let go. Because that whole born again thing Henry will never have to worry about prison, and getting shanked in the rectum. His soul is clean (unless Lisa tells an adult who isn't insane, or some kind pharmacist becomes concerned about the fact he's dispensing Valtrex for a six year old).

So Henry merrily returns to his wife to spread the good news.

Apperently she had her suspicions that he was raping her daughter.  Now, she has proof, so she'll be the one to call the cops on him. Now that he's a Christian, he can't lie, right?


They pray, and that makes everything better! In the final panel we finally see Lisa. Her mother tells her that her that "[her] daddy and [her mommy] will never hurt her again."


I'm pretty sure that anyone with a hint of common sense has already figured this out, but this tract is pretty, well, fucked up.

Sexual abuse wrecks lives, and I don't think "I love Jesus now, so daddy's sorry" would cut it. Plus Henry being saved doesn't get rid of Lisa's herpes.

The neighbor? He's still free to run around and wreck the lives of other children. Granted, snitching on him would probably get Henry in trouble as well . . .

Police: So your neighbor raped your daughter and gave her herpes.

Henry: Yes.

Police: Was there any time that he could have had access to your daughter, been alone with her?

Henry: Well . . . uh, you . . . see I was . . .I'm saved ok? Jesus in all his glory has changed me so I no longer do that to her . . .

Jail. Rectum. Shank.

Yes. These are fictional characters, but Jack T. Chick is suggesting this is ok. That if you rape your child, Jesus will make it all better. As I previously stated, that the tract is no longer available on the official site.  Is that because Chick realized how fucked up it is, or because enough people, even the ones who regularly dispense his tracts on street corners, called him on it?

Suffer the little children indeed.

*God Bless the internet, huh Jack?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


 A brilliant piece written by legendary songwriter Leon Payne, and performed by Jack Kittel.  I managed to dig up some info on it here and here.
What I can unravel is as follows: 'Psycho' was written in 1966 by a prolific blind songwriter Leon Payne, who's music career stretched back to the 1930s and who's writing credits include such classics as 'Lost Highway' (Hank Williams) and 'I Love You Because' (Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash). Depending on who you believe, Payne wrote 'Psycho' in response to a notorious mass shooting spree at the University Of Texas and the strangely affecting letter the shooter left next to the bodies of his mother and wife, or to the story of murderer and grave robber Ed Gein (who also inspired Bloch's book/Hitchcock's movie of the same name), or possibly both.   - Record Hunting in Australia  

Speaking of Australia, Beasts of Bourbon also recorded a great version:

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Past Few Days (In Pictures and Video)

Shuster Nights of Horror-6   

I'm pretty worn out.  I hope to get back to normal after the end of this week, but for now, I'm going to rest.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

By A Serial Killer's Request: Carnival

The song has nothing to do with murder and mayhem, and this isn't a "Day of Rest" entry.  So why is it here?

Serial killer Aileen Wurrnos requested this tune be played at her funeral.  


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Quote of the Week

"I'd just like to say I'm sailing with the rock, and I'll be back like Independence Day, with Jesus June 6. Like the movie, big mothership and all, I'll be back."

- Aileen Wuornos, Final Statement, October 9, 2002

NCBS Murder Ballads Project. 2. Stagger Lee pt 2

If you're not a fan of "foul" language you might want to skip today's post.

Sing a Song of Murder, has talked about the lore surrounding "Stagger Lee" before, but Nick Cave's version takes it to a different place entirely.  A forced homosexual act was probably not what the original writer of "Stagger Lee" probably had in mind.  I'm sure these lyrics never popped into his head either:

I'm a bad motherfucker don't ya know
And I'll craw over fifty good pussies 
Just to get to one fat boy's asshole

Love the Take That shirt.

From what I've read Cave took lyrical inspiration from The Life: The Lore and Folk Poetry of the Black Hustler.  I'm currently trying to search out a copy that won't cost me 59.99 (used).

I think that "Stagger Lee", like "Delia's Gone" might have taken some inspiration from gangster rap, which was huge at the time of Murder Ballads.  If you don't remember the glory days of Snoop Dogg, Tupac, and uh . . .others* it involved a little of this . . .

Some of this . . .


And a lot of this

A lot of violence,  a lot of "motherfucker/motherfucking/motherfuckers" and the phrase "suck my dick".

Of course Eazy-E wasn't really suggesting that Dr. Dre get down on his knees and unbutton his fly.*1 It was more of an expression of dominance; "I'm the alpha male. You're a woman compared to me."*2

Lyrically, and through Cave's spoken word performance, "Stagger Lee" seems to be poking fun at rap's hyper-masculinity.  When Cave's Stagger Lee says "suck my dick" he really means "suck my dick."  

I stated in the previous post that Stagger Lee is the quintessential American song.  So does a "foreigner" have any right to sing it?  There's something to be said for being outside looking in.  Conservatives ranted and raved about gangster rap, and yet violence is so much at the heart of America, and American music.   It seems that only Americans have yet to accept that.

* Sorry, I'm hopelessly white.
*1 I'm really white.
*2 Lilly White

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Day of Rest - Boulder to Birmingham

I would rock my soul in the bosom of Abraham 
I would hold my life in his saving grace. 
I would walk all the way from Boulder to Birmingham 
If I thought I could see, I could see your face.

Tomorrow it will be five years.  I'd still walk from Boulder to Birmingham to see you again.  Miss you beautiful girl.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Another Look: The Ballad of Jesse James

Original post here.

Sherwood Ross apparently took umbrage at the "lies" told in "The Ballad of Jesse James" and decided to write his own version.

Poor Jesse was not poor
That's a lot of horse manure
He stole half a million from the till;
He was 34 years old
And his only god was gold
And nary a single rich man did he kill.

Ouch.  Then again, this Jesse James never cheated on America's Sweetheart.

You can see the entire song here.

Monday, October 10, 2011

NCBS Murder Ballads Project. 2. Stagger Lee pt 1

Stagolee was a bully man, an' ev'y body knowed,
When dey seed Stagolee comin', to give Stagolee de road,
O dat man, bad man, Stagolee done come.

- Stagolee, 1911, Journal of American Folklore

Stagger Lee. AKA Stackolee. Stack O'Lee.  Armed and extremely dangerous.  Shot a man over a Stetson hat.  A bad, bad, man.

Stagger Lee, like many of the songs on Murder Ballads has a wealth of lore and history that predates Nick Cave's gritty, often vulgar version.  There's even an (excellent) website dedicated to it.  For a more detailed history of the song, I recommend you go there.

 Mississippi John Hurt's version, which for some is the definitive Stagger Lee.

Another version recorded by Hurt in 1964


Lloyd Price's version, which was the first version of Stagger Lee that I ever heard.  It's a really upbeat version.  Nothing like a dancing the night away to a tune about cold blooded murder.

Even Woody Guthrie gave the tune a go.


The website lists 428 versions of Stagger Lee.  428.  To hell with "Take Me Out To The Ballgame."  This is the quintessential American song.  "So, if this is an American song," you might be thinking, "who does that fucking Australian think he is?"

Guess you'll have to wait for pt 2.

Quote of the Week

Murder merely relieves tension.

- Cotton (Mary Vivian Pearce), Pink Flamingos

Tales to Terrify Children: "Little Orphant Annie" by James Whitcomb Riley

This was one of my favorite poems as a child.  Goblins and ghouls take away misbehaving little brats to parts unknown.

Little Orphant Annie

Little Orphant Annie's come to our house to stay,
An' wash the cups an' saucers up, an' brush the crumbs away,
An' shoo the chickens off the porch, an' dust the hearth, an' sweep,
An' make the fire, an' bake the bread, an' earn her board-an'-keep;
An' all us other children, when the supper-things is done,
We set around the kitchen fire an' has the mostest fun
A-list'nin' to the witch-tales 'at Annie tells about,
An' the Gobble-uns 'at gits you
Ef you

Wunst they wuz a little boy wouldn't say his prayers,--
An' when he went to bed at night, away up-stairs,
His Mammy heerd him holler, an' his Daddy heerd him bawl,
An' when they turn't the kivvers down, he wuzn't there at all!
An' they seeked him in the rafter-room, an' cubby-hole, an' press,
An' seeked him up the chimbly-flue, an' ever'-wheres, I guess;
But all they ever found wuz thist his pants an' roundabout:--
An' the Gobble-uns 'll git you
Ef you

An' one time a little girl 'ud allus laugh an' grin,
An' make fun of ever' one, an' all her blood-an'-kin;
An' wunst, when they was "company," an' ole folks wuz there,
She mocked 'em an' shocked 'em, an' said she didn't care!
An' thist as she kicked her heels, an' turn't to run an' hide,
They wuz two great big Black Things a-standin' by her side,
An' they snatched her through the ceilin' 'fore she knowed what she's about!
An' the Gobble-uns 'll git you
Ef you

An' little Orphant Annie says, when the blaze is blue,
An' the lamp-wick sputters, an' the wind goes woo-oo!
An' you hear the crickets quit, an' the moon is gray,
An' the lightnin'-bugs in dew is all squenched away,--
You better mind yer parunts, an' yer teachurs fond an' dear,
An' churish them 'at loves you, an' dry the orphant's tear,
An' he'p the pore an' needy ones 'at clusters all about,
Er the Gobble-uns 'll git you
Ef you

- James Whitcomb Riley (October 7, 1849 – July 22, 1916)

A link to Riley reading his poem.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Georgia Lee

She'd been dumped there in a patch of trees, and her death barely made the newspapers. This was around the time of the Polly Klaas case — or during some other headline-making search for an abducted girl — and Waits was disturbed at the possibility that kids like Georgia Lee don't get as much coverage because they're too poor, or too black, or too troubled, or they're not photogenic enough, or ...
                                              -  Kurt Gegenhuber, The Celestial Monocord

Sung from the perspective of a murdered girl's father, "Georgia Lee", is a stark, haunting song, that as Mr. Gegenhuber points out, evokes Blind Willie Johnson's "Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground." It's a hymn for the lost; it echos what probably goes through so many minds when we hear about a murdered child: Why, God?

Most of the songs covered on this blog are sung from the murder's perspective.  People are fascinated not only with what might go on in the mind of a murder, but with violence in general.

There another side to murders of course, the victims.  But one thing about fictional songs, is that since the people in it aren't real, we don't really have to think about the pain and the sorrow that the violent death of someone's loved one causes.

The beautiful, "Georgia Lee" reminds us of that.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Cruel Mother and The Ballad of Susan Smith.

I was trying to find a way to start this post without spouting some long repeated statement about how mothers killing their children really, really, upsets people. You know what I mean: "perhaps no crime is horrifying then mothers who blah, blah, blah."

Really though. The idea of a mother killing their own, is horrifying. I think people would rather believe that all killers are unknowns that lurk in the shadows, rather than pondering the idea that a woman could kill her child. A child who loves her and trusts her; who she's supposed to protect with her life.

 "The Cruel Mother" has many versions and variants: "The Greenwood Side", "Fine Flowers in the Valley and the "Minsters Daughter of New York" are just three of them. The story however remains pretty much the same. A woman has two illegitimate children in the forest. She kills them. As she walks home she sees two children at play. She tells the children how well she would treat them if they were hers. They inform her that they are her children, and when they were hers she killed them.  The song typically ends with her being cursed to hell. (Link)

 What keeps certain songs alive is having a universal quality, something that people in every age can relate to. The Cruel Mother speaks to that horror and disgust that we feel, that same horror and disgust that people felt centuries ago when they heard a mother had murdered her child.

 That horror could have inspired Lee Ann Brown's modern retelling of "Cruel Mother", "The Ballad Susan of Smith." In 1994 a woman named Susan Smith claimed that she had been carjacked, and the man who did it had driven away with her children Michael and Alex still in the car. The story made headlines, bulletins went out all over the nation. The news broadcast interviews of a tearful Susan begging for her "babies".(Link)

 Then nine days later it happened. Susan Smith confessed to the murder of her children She had driven her 1990 Mazda Protege' to John D. Long Lake. She got out of the car, put it into drive, and let it roll in to the lake with her sleeping children inside.(Link)    The public's sorrow and anger was instant.  Sorrow for two precious children.  Anger for the woman that did it.  The possible motive: that she had done it to win back her rich boyfriend, further enraged people.  "That bitch." "That monster."  

I remember watching a clip of the funeral with my father. At one point he sucked in a breath, wiped tears from his eyes and said, "hope she rots in hell."

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Day of Rest: Gentleman Jim Reeves

"If I, a lowly singer, dry one tear, or soothe one humble human heart in pain, then my homely verse to God is dear, and not one stanza has been sung in vain."

- The inscription on Jim Reeves memorial in Carthage, Texas.

It's always a good day for Jim Reeves, but something about fall really puts me in the mood for him.  A warm, comforting voice to listen to as the nights get colder. 

I have about 30 hours worth of overtime coming in on my next paycheck.  Great money, but I've had little time for anything else.  My schedule for October is looking a little less hectic, work-wise, and I'm looking forward to reading, crafting, baking and writing.

So relax and enjoy Gentleman Jim Reeves, one of the nicer fellows on this blog.  Tomorrow, it's back to the grind(house).


Saturday, October 1, 2011

Off-Topic: Desperately Seeking Squeaky Fromme.

  Westchester Lariat. Classmate of Phil Hartman. Child of the 60's. Charles Manson's #1 cheerleader.  Lynnette "Squeaky" Fromme.

Not involved in the 1969 Tate/LaBianca murders she was later sentenced to life in prison for attempting to assassinate then president Gerald Ford in 1975.

In 2009 Squeaky was paroled.  She settled in Marcy, New York, and with the exception of a few stories via the tabloids that's pretty much the last anyone has heard from her.

No, have no intentions of tracking her down.  I'm sure she wants to be left alone.  But sometimes I wonder what's she's doing.  Still pinning for Charlie?  Still waiting for the revolution?  I remember reading an article in 2004 that claimed she was still "devoted" to him.  A lot can change in five years though.

I think of Squeaky bagging groceries.  Buying grapes, possibly guns.  Trying to work a cell phone.  Standing in her room alone trying to send a message to man in California.

She was 18 years old, she met him on Venice Beach.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Off-Topic: The Martyrdom of Saint Agatha

(This was originally posted in a different blog.  This is one of my favorite entries, so I thought I'd post it here as well.  I have made a few changes to the original.)

St. Agatha, Francisco de Zurbaran 1630-33

Dear Virgin and Martyr, whom the Church recalls in her liturgy, you heroically resisted the temptations of a degenerate ruler. Subjected to long and horrible tortures, you remained faithful to your heavenly Spouse. Saint Peter, we are told, gave you some solace and so you are invoked by nurses. Encourage them to see Christ in the sick and to render true service to them. Amen
- Prayer to Saint Agatha
As you can probably guess from the prayer.  The lovely lady in the painting is Saint Agatha who was born in Catania, Sicily around 231 CE and died around 251 CE.

You might be wondering about that plate she's carrying. You might be even thinking, "are those . . .?"

Those are breasts. Her breasts.

Saint Agatha of Sicily, Orazio Riminaldi, 1625

I first learned about St. Agatha in 6th grade, during Sunday school, during a Catholic sex ed class.

According to legend, Saint Agatha was a beautiful young noble woman, who have devoted her life to Christ. Unfortunately she caught the eye of a Roman prefect. When she turned down his sexual advances, he turned her over to a brothel in hopes they would teach her a thing or two.

But Agatha wasn't having any of it. She was a chaste, servant of God, and that was it.  The prefect could go jump in a lake. 

Instead of jumping in a lake, the prefect had her tortured.  One of the most significant acts was her breasts were cut off.

Now according to Catholic writings St. Peter cured her, and made her breasts grow back. She continued to be tormented in other nasty ways (including being rolled naked in a bed of hot coals), until she died in prison.

She is the patron saint of many things, including bell makers (because her amputated breasts look like bells), rape victims, torture victims, and more recently, breast cancer patients.

There's even a cupcake type confection named after her, Capezzoli di St Agatha.

In art, St. Agatha is often portrayed carrying her breasts on a platter:

Other depictions choose to show her with simply an instrument of her torture:

There are also depictions of St. Agatha during her torture. Like this one by Sebastiano del Piombo:

The Martyrdom of Saint Agatha, Sebastiano del Piombo. 1519

The leering men. The way that one man (the prefect?) leans back as he watches. And there's the look on her face; it seems to be a mix of pain and rapture. Look at her line of sight; she isn't looking at any of them. There's part of me that wonders if people got off on pictures like this.

Of the images I've seen, my favorite one is probably by Giovanni Tiepolo:

The Martyrdom of Saint Agatha, Giovanni Tiepolo, 1756

I like the rough quality of the painting. I like the way the whiteness of her skin contrasts with the rest of the painting. The look on her face is less about religious ecstasy, then asking "why?"

When I related this story to a friend she asked "so what's the moral? Turn down a guy and have your boobs cut off?"

The moral, is that despite being raped and tortured, Agatha refused to give up her commitment to God. If you read any stories of various Catholic Saints, you'll find that they place a fairly strong emphasis on female chastity. Tale, after tale involves women going through horrible lengths to remain chaste. And while the male saints often have equally gruesome ends, and while many of them took a pledge to remain virgins as well, their chastity is often a side-note, and not a primary reason for their persecution. 

One has to remember that these tales emerged from pretty horrible times. Disease was rampant, if you lived past five you were lucky, or perhaps unlucky. You worked until you fell over dead. And it was even worse if you were a woman. Rape law? Non-existent. Father wants you to marry some ugly, diseased troll. Tough luck. But you had one thing, the promise of heaven.

St. Agatha might have been horribly tortured, but God rewarded her. And she had cupcakes named after her.*

*I really want to figure out how to make those things.

Quote of the Week

Murder is always a mistake - one should never do anything one cannot talk about after dinner

- Oscar Wilde

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Day of Rest: There is A Kingdom.

It was Nick Cave's 54th birthday on the 22rd.  So in honor of that, I'm posting this wonderful song.

Still working on the "project".  I will probably have more free time this upcoming month, which means I'll have more time to research and work on this blog.  Have a good rest of the day!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

TV Set

Campy, gory, horror inspired, psychobilly fun courtesy of the Cramps.  How'd he kill her?  Why did he kill her?  We don't know.  What we do know is that Lux Interior is pretty creative when it comes to a corpse.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Buenas Noches from a Lonely Room (She Wore Red Dresses)

From the long proud history of "she broke my heart, so I broke her neck" type songs, comes Dwight Yoakam's Buenas Noches from a Lonely Room (She Wore Red Dresses).  It was the fourth single off the album of the same name and the lowest charter (link), which doesn't surprise me.  It's a great song, but songs about spousal murder don't always go over that well.

While much detail is paid to the woman, the way she made him suffer, and her oh so lovely red dresses, the description of the murder is short, matter of fact, with a tinge of dark humor.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Quotes of the Week - Karla Faye Tucker, Richard Thornton

Yes sir, I would like to say to all of you — the Thornton family and Jerry Dean’s family — that I am so sorry. I hope God will give you peace with this. Baby, I love you. Ron, give Peggy a hug for me. Everybody has been so good to me. I love all of you very much. I am going to be face to face with Jesus now. Warden Baggett, thank all of you so much. You have been so good to me. I love all of you very much. I will see you all when you get there. I will wait for you.
                                                     - Karla Faye Tucker, Final Statement

Make no mistake, this is not Karla Faye Tucker's day, this is Deborah Ruth Davis Thornton's day.
                                                       - Richard Thornton


Sunday, September 18, 2011

Day of Rest:Take Your Burden To the Lord And Leave It There

My ad­vice to you is put all your trou­bles in a sack, take ’em to the Lord, and leave ’em there.
- Charles Albert Tindley (Link)

It's lovely where I am.  Going to be pulling in a few extra shifts at work for the next two weeks, but I will continue to try to write and post when I can.

Have a good Sunday!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Off-Topic: I Spit On Your Grave

The following image is NSFW.  Meaning it's Not Safe For Work.  The following image is also tacky, tasteless and downright immature.

So click at your own risk.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Gillian Welch - Caleb Meyer

A fine blend of storytelling and music.  I love these two.

I think that in another life Gillian Welch and David Rawlings made moonshine deep in the Appalachian mountains. Or they handled snakes.  The song is from Welch's 1998 album Hell Among the Yearlings, but it seems far older then that.  Effortlessly so.  Nothing about it seems forced or fake to me. The old ghosts flow from them.  A perfect song.

As for Caleb, he kind of deserved it, no?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Quote of the Week- 9/13/11

“I'm the most cold-hearted son-of-a-bitch you'll ever meet.”

- Ted Bundy

Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, Murder Ballads: 1. Song of Joy

After much stalling, nail biting, and procrastinating The Murder Ballads project finally begins!  I plan to cover every song on Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds' classic album, Murder Ballads.  Enjoy.

Have mercy on me sir
Allow me to impose on you
I have no place to say
And my bones are cold right through

I'm a big fan of story songs; ballads that tell a tale.  Which is one thing I love about Nick Cave; he's a expert storyteller.  This song, and the album are perfect examples of that.

In "Song of Joy", the lyrics and music come together to create a vivid picture. When I listen to it, I can feel the cold, see the stranger on the porch, his features barely visible in the dim light.  Listen to the stranger's story of love, loss and brutality.  Listen as Nick Cave talk-sings, as the menace in his voice and the music, slowly, painfully build to the last line:

 Do you sir have a room?
Are you beckoning me in?

When I first heard this song, I thought of the case of Jeffrey MacDonald, an Army doctor who was convicted of murdering his pregnant wife and two daughters. Maybe it was because of the line "I was visiting a sick friend/I was a doctor then" and the line about the killer writing on the walls in "the victims' blood". Granted "pig" wasn't exactly "quoting John Milton", but still. (McGinnis, Joe. Fatal Vision)

MacDonald blamed the murders on a "hippie cult", but the jury didn't buy it and convicted him.  He continues to profess his innocence.  (Link)

Nick Cave's killer of course roams free, and might be ready to kill again.  So are ya beckoning him in?

Hit it.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Get Your Gunn

Pseudo-morals work real well
On the talk shows for the weak
Selective judgements
And goodguy badges
Don't mean a fuck to me
- Marilyn Manson, Get Your Gunn

Okay everyone let's all take a nice deep breath, and prepare for the following article.  This article will mention, abortion.  By all means give your opinion, but please be civil.  

Oh and there's Marilyn Manson, but really, is anyone still shocked by him anymore?  

According to Marilyn Manson, Get Your Gunn was inspired by the 1993 murder of abortion provider Dr. David Gunn.(Link)  Gunn's killer Michael Griffin claimed he was acting on orders from God:

"For five hours that afternoon, Griffin stood outside The Ladies Center waiting for Gunn to leave. Griffin recalls: "I felt like I had another word from the Lord for him: that he was accused and convicted of murder and that his sentence was Genesis 9:6 'Whosoever sheds man's blood, by man his blood shall be shed.'" 
"Then, right before he got in his car, I said, 'David Gunn, are you going to kill children next week?' " Griffin claims that Gunn replied by saying, "Yeah. Probably."

Five days later, Griffin fired three .38caliber bullets into Gunn's back as the doctor got out of his car in the parking lot behind the offices of the city's other abortion clinic, Pensacola Women's Medical Services.  (Link)
I've pretty much been pro-choice since 6th grade.  I have this memory of being the only person who raised my hand in support of abortion during a current events discussion.  At age 15, this song pretty much represented everything I was angry about.  At this point in my life the lyrics seem a little bit, silly at times.  Still, listening to it takes me back to my dark little bedroom; writing bad poetry, jumping around, slamming doors etc.  Ah, memories.

There's also something in me that recognizes the song's rage.  The anger at the hypocrisy of it all.  On the day Dr. Tiller was murdered, I gave Get Your Gunn another listen.  Goddamn your righteous hand . . .

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Day of Rest : Washington Philips -What Are They Doing In Heaven Today?

Sorry for my absence.

Wow.  It's been almost a year.  Work, health and life got a little overwhelming for awhile.  But I'm back.

1. This will get finished, but instead of trying to cram it into one month, I'm going to try and post about it over a period of time.

2.  I will make an effort to actually post and not let this blog die like so many of my others.

3.  Can anyone explain what the heck this person is talking about?

Are you saying that DR. BALL puts " to do" ads in newspapers?And you are all working with the UN?For heroin and AK's?SONGS OF MURDER will NOT be helpful to you when your name arises with Penn.

I'm so confused.