WILD, WILD TURKEYS.
Posted on November 24, 2021 Leave a Comment
Here at the TNUC Lair, we wouldn’t dare treat the Thanksgiving season as just a lull between the two big holidays.
I suppose pretty good evidence of that can be found on not one, but two “Mystery Meat” mixtapes released over the past few years — the only Thanksgiving/holiday-feast themed mixtape series in existence.
But this year I wanted to have something tangible, old and crusty that I could kick my feet up and stare at as I sip my glass of bourbon and take a forty second drag of my Old Gold heater.
So Uncle T went for a quest to find a couple ancient ceramic Wild Turkey decanters and boy did I rise up with gold. Watch the video.
These beautiful big birds of the month are part of a group titled the “Wild Turkey Lore Series”. The bird with the extra wide wingspan is the first in the series, debuting in 1979 and carrying on over the next few years with turkeys in different natural habitats. Each were sculptured by hand and “crafted with a traditional bisque finish that’s designed to enhance its rich detailing and coloration”.
I can’t think of a better way to honor the Great American Turkey than filling these with whiskey and turning loose on Thanksgiving. I hope you enjoy the video.
BEER WOLF IS BACK!
Posted on November 3, 2021 Leave a Comment
No, you’re not dreaming. THE COORS LIGHT BEER WOLF IS BACK. Just typing or commanding that sentence out loud sends shivers down my spine and over towards my crotchal region.
A company called The Laundry Room and the good people at Coors Light Headquarters recently teamed up for a howlin’ hot endeavor to awaken our hairy hunk of burning love from his mighty slumber and plaster his face all over t-shirts, jackets, bandanas, crop-tops, hats, spandex white shorts and more! They’ve collectively catapulted Beer Wolf right back into the spectrum. AHROOoo!!
Recognize that furry head? That’s Uncle TNUC’s pride and glory Beer Wolf mascot head that I let the ‘fellas from The Laundry Room borrow! A couple months ago they held a top secret photoshoot in the mountains of Yosemite National Park and Beer Wolf’s giant squash made a special appearance.
Of course I had my trepidations since the mascot head is so precious to me and such a rare artifact. Initially one of the plans presented to me was the company flying me out to the shoot and personally guarding the furry bastard with my life, but instead I shipped him out safely and he was handled with the utmost care.
This whole experience was very surreal given that our little community of Beer Wolf supporters and admirers have just been going about our business, while collecting vintage gems and hoping he’d return one day. I really hope this clothing collection motivates Coors Light to keep the momentum going and maybe Beer Wolf will start re-appearing in commercials, liquor stores and (fingers crossed) reunited with ELVIRA!
Take a look at this nifty historical timeline of Beer Wolf, specifically “1993 – 2020 Rare Vintage Sightings”. Let’s not gloss over that essential time period. If it wasn’t for Beer Wolf disciples like the ones reading this very article, I don’t think this promotional launch would have been possible. It’s because of efforts like our #BeerWolfWednesday hashtag on the social media fronts that raised awareness of the mighty BW and spread the word after a nasty hibernation put him on the endangered species list and (gulp), almost made him extinct.
Let’s be honest, Beer Wolf isn’t a household name like Joe Camel, The Kool-Aid Man or his rival, Bud Light’s Spuds MacKenzie. Mr. Spuds gained a ton of popularity in his day and the merchandise items never really went away. Go wander into 90% of antique and vintage shops and you’ll be hard pressed not to find a Spud’s shirt or token to this day. Beer Wolf on the other hand is far more elusive and less of a common mascot, which makes him so much fucking cooler. Plus, he drinks more beer and pulls more babes.
My point in all of this isn’t to compare the two beer-guzzling canines. It’s just a realization that without people sharing these “rare vintage sightings” and making more people aware of this radical bastard, who knows if the people at Coors Light would have shut the door on him forever.
Check out the full line at the link below and tell ’em TNUC sent ya. AHROOoo!!
Posted on October 29, 2021 1 Comment
In the tail end of summer, we decided to move to a new home. The days were getting shorter, early mornings a little drier, and the nights a little crisper. We were all excited to move – we loved it out in Western Massachusetts. From the sleepy old New England towns with a white Georgian steepled church in their center, to the acres upon acres of dense woods and hills that rolled along the forgotten edges. We even loved the old forlorn mill buildings that stood alongside the Housatonic and Connecticut rivers, silently standing beside them like ancient guardians.
No one was more excited than my father. He was a history buff first and foremost. His love of history splintered into so many directions: from antique store explorer to archivist to antiquarian and everything in between. It didn’t stop there – he would even try to integrate the “old ways” into our family lifestyle, and some of that, like the hearth, I remember quite fondly. So, he was naturally excited to be moving into such an historic home. It was an eighteenth-century saltbox colonial, and even that could barely contain his excitement. His smile made the exposed beams running along the ceiling shine and it could have even split apart those wide, gorgeous pine floorboards.
Father became a new man when we moved in. To be fair, it didn’t exactly happen overnight. No, the change was gradual – in fact it seemed to coincide with each dusty box he dragged down to the basement. The change was drip fed with each heirloom, with each antique furnishing, and with each new volume he added to the archives down there. It was almost as if he was rediscovering himself. Rediscovering something lost – box by box. I always wondered what was down in that basement and why my dad seemed so different, but I was never allowed to go down there.
My mother never said a word about any of this. Whenever I would attempt to broach the subject, she would always redirect the conversation to some other topic. But she would give me this look – this knowing look. She knew something but would never say. She was as locked as the cellar door, but that look was a little crack – no wider than the tiny sliver in the cellar door that only let you see the very edge of cobweb draped stairs descending down into pitch blackness.
One day, when we were all eating dinner, father came up from the basement holding a skull and plopped it down on the table where it watched us all eat. My mother gasped in horror, but quickly regained her composure and resumed eating. But, just like her little smile was a tell of some deeper knowledge, I noticed her hands trembling as she held the spoon and shaking as she passed the salad bowl. I kept my eyes glued to my plate, and tried to eat, I really did – but when I would look up that’s all I could see were its hollow eyes staring right back at mother and I.
I knew I couldn’t ask mother about the skull, so I decided to ask my father directly. After dinner I waited until mother was doing the dishes, then ran out to the backyard where he was splitting wood for the evenings fire. My nerves were on high, but I gathered up the courage and asked him anyway. He put down his axe, crouched down to my height and then stared directly into my eyes. Those were not my father’s eyes. All the previous warmth was gone, replaced with a hollowness not unlike the eye sockets of that skull. Then he put his mouth to my ear and whispered, “Tonight, after the toll of dusk’s bell, you may come.”
That night I laid in bed and could not sleep. It was the same for mother, who I could hear sobbing in her room with the door closed. She must have been trying to muffle it by crying into a blanket or pillow so as not to cause me any alarm. But little could she have known I was already awaiting my own invitation to descend the cobweb covered stairs into darkness. Knowing this, her sobbing made me sad, made me feel as if I was opening her wound that much more. The longer I waited, the more the guilt and fear nibbled at my veins. I could only gaze out the window at the deep woods, the rolling hills, the dirt paths to ancient farms, and if I leaned a certain way, I could make out the white Georgian steeple of the old Baptist Church in the town center. Every hour the toll of the bell reverberated through my mind, and throughout this sleepy New England town.
Then as a complete moonless darkness enshrouded the town the church bells tolled for the last time. Dusk’s bell. I didn’t want to go downstairs, but I had to. I recalled the way my father had looked me in the eye as if to say, “this is your one chance, you’re only chance to see the cellar.” I tiptoed down the steps, heart beating so fast that I thought mother might hear or feel the vibrations using that special sense only mother’s have. But she didn’t, and there I was, hand on the cellar door. I lifted the iron latch and pushed it open.
The stairway was surprisingly steep. I had to duck my head as I slowly descended each narrow step, holding onto the railing with one hand and swatting away the ever-present cobwebs with the other. Once downstairs I immediately scoured the ceiling and found a lightbulb with a pull string and turned the lone light on. I was struck by the sheer amount of stuff: there were chair legs coated in decades of dust, and countless molding cardboard boxes scattered about every inch of the floor. The cardboard boxes also encircled the trunks of oak trees that served as the pillars on which the entire house stood. It seemed that father had also given these sturdy oaks a second purpose as names were carved into the trunks, most of which were unfamiliar, but occasionally someone shared my last name or my mother’s maiden name. It made me smile, this was just like dad, a family tree. It gave me a glimmer of hope that maybe he was still with us, that this would all pass.
Like all colonial basements the walls were a motley of field stone dug up from the land and dredged from the nearby river valleys, then stuck together with a thick cake of lime and mortar – which had been refilled dozens of times over many generations of leaks and moldy growths. And all along these stone walls were metal shelves which were adorned with a dizzying assortment of paint cans, sealants, primers, grout, polyurethane, coffee cans filled with nails, and so on. Homeowners assortment aside, there were also some real historical treasures strewn about that ranged from yellowing photographs to wooden figurines.
Fascinating as all this was, none of it could explain the changes that had come over my father. His recent behavior had taken a dangerous and eccentric bent that was completely out of character. For instance, he set up cinder blocks in the street to try to divert traffic away from the house. He recently snipped the wires on all the nearby streetlights. Lastly, the father I knew would never have let the weeds and vines overtake the mulch beds to the point where they started to root through the cracks in the patchwork stone foundation. This just simply was not him.
I stood down there for a long time, going through the boxes and marveling at the assorted antiques within. However, as time passed there was a mounting dread slowly accumulating like damp humidity. The air was becoming mustier, moister, thicker. And then I found something that was off. In the dark corner of the cellar, past the oil tank where the light did not reach was an alcove that appeared to be nothing more than a dead spider trap, but as I ran my hand along the cool, damp stones of the wall they suddenly hit splintered wood. I groped around the wood and found a hook lock. I unfastened the hook and pushed open a door. Just then all the remaining light from the room was seemingly sucked into the open doorway like a blackhole. The light whooshed past and briefly illuminated a long hallway in the shape of a T. I could not see around the left and right corners, could not get a sense of how far those hallways went. But against the back wall, right at the epicenter of light with an exposure so high that the image remains burned into my retina to this day was a picture of my father the happiest I had ever seen him. On the day he moved in.
This is why I always say I had two fathers: your grandfather whom you know, and my father who remains brilliantly exposed against the pitch blackness of that forbidden hallway.
*Written by author Michael Neirinckx. TNUC sincerely thanks him for this timely offering. Now I urge you disciples to play the following track from the obscure 1989 horror movie The Cellar while you re-read “The Descent” once more!
NIGHTMARES & DREAMSCAPES MIXTAPE.
Posted on October 22, 2021 9 Comments
“Sleep. Those little slices of Death. How I loathe them.”
– Eddie Allan Poe
It’s October of 1988. My parents ship me off to boarding school at one of the snottiest and most prestigious prep schools in the country. Talk about a fish out of water. To say I wasn’t pleased would be an understatement. I’ll never forget my old man grabbing me by the single-dangling earring and whispering into my ear with last night’s peppermint schnapps’ on his breath, “go clean up your act…or else”. I didn’t have much of a choice.
Campus life at a boarding school in New England ended up not being so bad. Like a magnet I gravitated to a pack of juvenile delinquents as we bonded over good music, hijinks, horror movies and sneaking off into the night with the girls from Omega Mu.
Aside from Brad in his daddy’s Porsche, the kids at school loved us. We threw the best parties and turned everyone onto the cutting edge bands about to break. During the day we’d hang out in the quad and trade cassette mixtapes while the girls tanned and frisbees soared over our heads. My trench coat pockets were always loaded with tapes, a sack of ‘ludes and my trustee switchblade.
The richy kids and trust fund dependents called us the “Twisted Sister Society”, because apparently that’s what we looked like with our rat’s nest-teased hair and prep school blazers-turned-into-trench-coats. We eventually started our own fraternity and plans immediately began for the biggest Haunted House Party in the academy’s history.
Halloween night, ’88. We formed a secret handshake plan to host the party in the basement boiler room of the institution’s old mansion. It’s the most ancient building both on campus and in town. This place had serious history. Macabre history regarding a disfigured maintenance worker who was locked inside the boiler room and left to die. We figured what better place to crash on All Hallows’ Eve?? Party on!
All were welcome under a couple conditions. No going home until dawn and positively NO SLEEPING.
All night long we drank punch, smoked skinny joints, scared each other, danced around the fire, headbanged over burning barrels, chased girls through the boiler room, ate candy, stair-dived into kiddie pools of beer and played hide the salami. One of our groups even held a séance with pentacles drawn in rat’s blood and black candles lit.
If anyone was caught trying to sleep, they were escorted to a special locked room and were forced to listen to young TNUC’s mixtape creation, ‘NIGHTMARES & DREAMSCAPES’. This mix was carefully constructed to evoke spirits, night demons and other horny apparitions to keep you wide awake.
Now decades later I call on you disciples to wrap a pair of headphones around your skull and sink deep into TNUC’s Nightmares & Dreamscapes.
Thank you to Kane Banner for killing it with the mixtape artwork this year! Also a huge thanks to Auntie TNUC, Chad Allegro and Heath So Spooky for their relentless support and ideas over the years. And last but not least all you BEASTS IN THE NIGHT aka TNUC Disciples for spending any of your time on this website. I realize a portion of people stick only to the social media output, which is OK — but these “blogs” have become secondary to some people and that sucks. For those of you reading this, that means you’re actually here…so THANK YOU. I love you all.
RAD BASTARD ALERT: PETER STEELE.
Posted on October 13, 2021 1 Comment
Peter Steele. Lord Petrus Steele. Green Man. Gothic Gaston, Big Pete. The Girthy Godfather. Uncle Pete. The Jolly Green Giant. At least two of these names are correct.
Type O Negative’s towering lead singer and brooding bass player was a musical force that we all miss dearly. His deep baritone was a perfect and unique delivery for the band’s songs about love, death and nature. Dark, heavy music had never been done in a style that combined feelings of power, romance and violence, all the while never losing a sense of humor. The band’s 1996 release ‘October Rust’ is one of my listening rituals during the Halloween season. I can’t go through the month without going on a few “October Rust rides” in the car.
Guys wanted to be him. Ladies him inside of them. Need proof of that? Go jump on social media and start looking at Peter Steele content. 11 years after his passing and they still lust for The Green Man.
Let’s ponder at some of the reasons why we love Pete…
#5 HIS OBSESSION WITH AUTUMN
Begin by watching this video of Pete standing in the woods and opening up about his love for the season of change. Many of us can completely relate to his words. I don’t know what Mr. Steele’s living situation was up until his death at the early age of 49, but I really hope he got to live in the woods with his woman to worship her the rest of his life.
#4 HE USED TO DRIVE A GARBAGE TRUCK
Anyone who knows TNUC knows about my love for garbage trucks and admiration especially for guys who ride on the back of garbage trucks. I’ll never forget being a kid and seeing the guys hanging on the back and thinking it was the coolest thing ever. When I discovered that right up until touring with Type O Negative in 1994, Pete used to drive a trash truck for the New York City Parks and Recreation, this catapulted him to the raddest bastard on the planet.
“Green Man” is what the kids in the park used to call him because he would wear a green uniform. Imagine this 6 ft 8 inch vampire tossing bags in the truck with one arm dangling and winking at your mom as he drives by? Coolest man alive and dead.
#3 HIS ANTI-WEAKLING GOTH PERSONA
When I think of gothy types these days (meaning males), the only thing that comes to mind is Twilight movies, Damien from Bride of Chucky and pasty kids with huge black sweatshirts staring at their shoes. The ladies pull it off with excellence but something about the male goth species just doesn’t click.
Big Pete on the other hand was a different story. Pete got the job done. First of all, he looked like a wrestler or a guy who should be galloping through the mountains on a horse wielding a sword and decapitating people. This is definitely not the guy ANYONE fucked with in high school. He beat up the jocks and could steal their girls if he wanted to.
However at the same time his lyrics were often deeply personal and vulnerable. Pete had a tender side that he balanced exceedingly well.
#2 OFF-STAGE APPEARANCES
For having such a dark and brooding presence, Pete showed his humorous side when making appearances on talk shows including The Jerry Springer Show and Ricky Lake. But the most legendary appearance was when he posed nude for Playgirl in 1995 to show the world his jolly green giant.
Steele later found out from his guitarist Kenny Hickey that only 23% of Playgirl magazine subscribers were female. After being asked by men to sign copies of the magazine, Steele somewhat regretted the decision: “After I did it, I thought, ‘Oh my God, what did I do?’ It was more than upsetting that so many guys had it. Girls, OK, but there just seemed to be at least as many guys. Not that I’m homophobic, but it was certainly irritating.”
#1 THE SONGS
It all comes down to the songs. All these reasons why we love Uncle Pete couldn’t exist without the music he left us with. Whether it’s Type O Negative or his previous band Carnivore, this man was a powerhouse of a vocalist. He brought such a unique style and insane vocal range that is honestly incomparable to any artist.
A dreamy heavy metal masterpiece right here. I can listen to this music any time of year but during the Autumn season it just hits different. Drink some wine and crank these up by a bonfire.
Autumn in her flaming dress
Of orange, brown, gold fallen leaves
My mistress of the frigid night
I worship, pray to on my knees
There will never be another Peter Steele. REST IN POWER.
NIGHTMARE GIFT SHOP (THE VIDEO).
Posted on October 1, 2021 3 Comments
The place your parents warned you about. The place where both dreams and nightmares are made!
This lost video was recently found in TNUC’s dusty attic and restored as best as possible for your viewing needs. Please share it it around if you enjoy it.
Music: Steve Moore – The Jefferson Institute