HUNTER’S MOON/HARVEST MOON
Posted on September 30, 2021 Leave a Comment
As I write this passage, it’s the eve of October.
The black candles have been lit.
The cauldron is about to boil.
All is right.
It’s also during this time when the cool air moves in like a power surge. Everything we love about the Halloween season is about to erupt. Just today the band Ghost released a song called “Hunter’s Moon” from the upcoming MIchael Myers sequel, HALLOWEEN KILLS.
Not only do I love the song and can’t wait to see our favorite Boogeyman stalk babysitters on the big screen again, but it’s also just unbelievably refreshing to have a big rock tune on a major motion picture soundtrack. Especially a horror flick! I can’t remember the last time we had a band do a proper song for a movie. Bride of Chucky? Queen of the Damned? It definitely feels like a lost art.
I’ve read interviews with Ghost and when they cite influences and references, they never mention Blue Öyster Cult. I find it pretty strange given the blatant similarities. This isn’t a knock on the band at all (I support ’em), but you can’t deny the resemblance. The sweet-sounding vocals contrasting with macabre lyrics, occult imagery and now a song titled “Hunter’s Moon” which after listening to almost feels like a sequel to BÖC’s “Harvest Moon”.
It really doesn’t matter at the end of the day. Two stellar tracks that bring to mind the pure atmosphere of Autumn. Howling winds carrying dead leaves to the ground…decaying cornfields…creaky cemetery gates…
TNUC’S NIGHTMARE GIFT SHOP.
Posted on September 23, 2021 3 Comments
The creaky floorboards. The flickering television playing old monster movies. The alluring stench of rubber latex and fake fur. Uncle T in the corner, melting a crucifix and medallion into molten silver and pouring it into a bullet mold. This could only mean one thing.
You’ve stepped inside
TNUC’s NIGHTMARE GIFT SHOP!
Welcome babes and boogeymen of all shapes, sizes and sexual orientations. We can’t wait to show you what adorns these dusty, wood-paneled walls!
It’s funny how certain memories from childhood become so hazy over time and harder to remember details, while other memories — like first encounters, are so vivid. Take for instance my first experience at a Halloween costume shop. I remember it like it was yesterday.
This would have been around 1989 or 1990 at a crusty mom ‘n pop place in the city. After seeing an ad in our local newspaper during the month of October for place to buy/rent costumes called ‘Morris Novelty’, I begged my parents to take me. My imagination ran wild that a place could even exist that was dedicated to costumes, gags, masks and make-believe. Mind you, I wasn’t a horror fan at this point…but I was more than intrigued.
We drove to the location and what I pictured in my mind was not what stood before us — an abandoned looking building with not a single car in the lot. But venturing this far out in the Volvo station wagon, we weren’t turning away without checking it out.
Sure enough this unassuming place was indeed a business. The first floor looked like a dilapidated department store. Some clown costumes and ballerina stuff. Costumes that were obviously geared more towards theater people. The place smelled like a wet carpet and old fried food. A bit of a letdown, until we saw a wooden staircase with a sign pointing up that said MASKS.
My parents led the way as we proceeded upstairs and began to hear one of those Halloween sound effects tapes playing. This second floor was darker but not intentionally dark. Minimal lighting like your grandmother’s attic or your sketchy uncle’s “devil’s den”. Strange smells too. Then I glanced upwards to feast my eyes on a vision that hit me like a ton of bricks. A mountain of masks towering over us on some wood paneling and corkboard walls. An intimidating sight to behold.
Ghouls, demons, weirdos, beasts, old creeps, Hannibal Lector’s “muzzle” mask and things that my horror-virgin self couldn’t wrap my head around. I didn’t run out of there screaming or anything, but all I could do was stare in awe/shock.
Shelves upon shelves of hideous freaks with fangs and rotting flesh looking down at you like they want lunch. Again, I hadn’t dipped my toe in horror movies at this point, so even movie references were way over my head. My only exposure was quickly shuffling through the horror section of the video store, looking at the artwork and thinking that anyone who watches this stuff must be completely mental.
It’s one of the earliest memories I have of getting a true feeling from all of this. It’s that same fascination yet intimidation as when your friend’s older brother plays you Pantera and Iron Maiden for the first time after you’ve been listening to nothing but Green Day.
That’s why our theme this year is dedicated to all the Halloween costume shops of the world. Weather it be Frank’s Freaky Novelties, a drug store in the middle of nowhere or Spirit Halloween, we salute them all. There’s no feeling quite like walking into one of these stores and getting your monster fix.
A monstrous-sized FUCK YEAH to my pal Cody Kaufman who came up with the incredible artwork for this year’s theme. I can’t stop staring at it! [click here to enlarge]
We have a slew of goodies coming this way for the spooky season. Next week we’ll premiere our promotional video for TNUC’s Nightmare Gift Shop, so keep your eyes on this site.
If you have memories of old Halloween costume shops, please share in the comments section!
Posted on September 16, 2021 Leave a Comment
We’ve all heard stories of people finding strange things in the middle of the woods. Or perhaps you’ve experienced it yourself. Objects, structures, cars, staircases, graves, ancient relics and other random oddities that seem like they were dropped out of nowhere. The same puzzling thoughts enter our minds. Why is this here? How did it get here? Where the hell am I?
It happened to Uncle T during a recent weekend trip to the (almost) tip of Cape Cod when a TOWER FORTRESS appeared seemingly out of thin air. Soon after I would discover a legend behind the tower…
It’s called the “Jenny Lind Tower” and it’s location is on the property of an abandoned air force base in North Truro, Massachusetts. It’s also pretty much footsteps from the ocean and the beautiful National Seashore. The story of how this castle-like structure found its way out here goes like this:
A 19th century opera singer named Jenny Lind was supposed to perform in Boston in 1850 in an auditorium above a railroad station. *This tower was part of the original railroad station structure.* However the concert was oversold and when many people couldn’t get in, they rioted and crashed the gates. As legend has it, to calm the angry concertgoers Jenny Lind climbed the tower and sang to the public. P.T. Barnum was the publicist for Lind so its possible he created the legend behind the name.
In 1927, the station was being torn down and a rich man named Henry Aldrich had the tower dismantled and transported by train way out to Truro, Massachusetts. Aside from having the money and resources to do this, it’s unclear as to why exactly he wanted this specific tower near his seaside property.
Where this story gets ghastly is its connection to a famous ghost called “The Witch of Wellfleet” who haunts the woods of Truro and the town of Wellfleet. Her real name was Goody Hallett and she was the lover of an actual pirate captain named Samuel Bellamy. For over 300 years stories have been passed down about “banshee screams” heard on the sea cliffs, putting a curse on the passing ships and causing them to wreck as Samuel Bellamy’s pirate ship did in 1717. Local legend says that when the banshee witch starts screaming, the ghost of Jenny Lind ascends her tower to sing and her enchanting voice stops the witch and frightens her away.
That’s right, Jenny Lind is a good witch.
I should also note that the walk to this “haunted” tower through an abandoned air force base was also very cool. The base has been inactive for some 27 years, but the radar structures and old buildings are still very much intact.
Happy wandering, TNUC disciples. You never know what you’ll encounter.
LADY OF THE DUNES.
Posted on September 8, 2021 1 Comment
Submitted for the approval of the TNUC midnight society, I call this story, the LADY OF THE DUNES.
Actually “I” have nothing to do with this story. This is a well documented, real life tragedy that is no TNUC tall tale. The story revolves around the remains of an unidentifiable murder victim’s body found mutilated out in the dunes of Cape Cod during the summer of 1974. To this day the “lady of the dunes” death is a complete mystery.
On July 26, 1974 a young girl was walking the beach with her family and dog when they discovered a decomposing body. According to police reports, the body was that of a woman laid face down on part of a beach blanket, covered in insects after having been sitting in the sun for two weeks. A blue bandana and pair of Wrangler jeans were under her head. She had long auburn/red hair. Both hands and one forearm were missing. Her head was nearly decapitated.
Her body was exhumed several times, as recently as 2013 and composite drawings were done. Where this story gets mighty interesting and spooky is how it might be somehow tied to the movie JAWS. This revelation was theorized by horror writer Joe Hill (Stephen King’s son) a few years ago while he was attending a 40th anniversary screening of the classic film.
Something caught his eye about a third of a way into the film. The scene where flocks of tourists are shuffling on and off the ferry to “Amity” (fictionalized Martha’s Vineyard), a woman with dark hair and a blue bandana is seen for a brief moment. According to Hill, he shot up in his seat when he saw the “startling resemblance”.
His theory goes like this: Jaws was filmed in the summer of 1974 only 100 miles away from where “Jane Doe” was murdered. Often times locals would have gotten word that there was a movie being filmed nearby and would want to be involved — especially something so simple as being an extra.
Production companies back in the day would assign extras to wear their regular clothes to make it look as authentic as possible with the territory. Unfortunately during these times they didn’t keep records for background actors.
Hill wondered, “What if the young murder victim no one has ever been able to identify has been seen by hundreds of millions of people in a beloved summer classic and they didn’t even know they were looking at her?”
“What if,” he wrote in 2015, “the ghost of the Lady of the Dunes haunts JAWS?”
Call it far fetched if you will, but it’s definitely something I haven’t been able to stop thinking about. TNUC visited Race Point Beach this summer and while walking the shoreline couldn’t help but start thinking…what if..?
Hill added “It would be no surprise at all if a girl summering on the Cape decided to take a few days to explore the Vineyard… especially with the added bait of celebrity to draw her in.”
47 years later and the case remains an unsolved mystery.
RETURN TO SUMMER CAMP MIX.
Posted on August 13, 2021 7 Comments
As the morning sun shines on the dew soaked grass, a rooster lets out a cock-a-doodle-doo, Nurse Davenport’s giant underpants go flying up the flagpole and Uncle T lets out a huge belch over the outside loudspeaker. Just another morning at Camp TNUC.
That prior evening, Camp TNUC held their 2nd annual ‘Beer Can Mountain’ party where we invite the neighboring camps from Lake Waramaug into our lair for a beer guzzling contest like no other. It begins with gathering the worst beer we can find, which campers refer to as “deadbeat beer” or “horse piss”. You know, the bottom of the barrel crap that’s only sold in 30-packs to the low budget alcoholics of the world and the stuff you can’t believe is still made. “Brewed in a prison sweat sock!” as Counselor “Rad” Chad likes to say.
Once we’ve cornered the market in shitty brew, we extend the invite to the other nearby summer camps from up the creek. Computer Camp, Fat Camp, Bible Camp…you name it. Each group then chooses (1) power camper to engage in a battle of who can annihilate the most beers. Funnels, ice luges, turkey basters and other tools of the trade are acceptable means of consumption.
All finished cans and bottles are tossed into a pit in the middle of the campground. Whoever is deemed the weakest and finishes the least amount of beers has to spend a night sleeping under BEER CAN MOUNTAIN. Smothered in a 20-foot pile of stale beer cans dripping with warm deadbeat juice, they do what they can to survive the night.
Everyone aside from the weakest link gets to party all night with the girls — excuse me, WOMEN, from Wrinkle’s Gentlemen’s Club, the only exclusively 60+ elderly exotic dancing club in the Northeast. I know what you’re thinking, but don’t knock these golden gals until you try ’em. Linda, Laverne, Florence, Ruth, Diane and Winifred “Winnie” Whoppers will show you an old fashioned good time that you shall never forget. Plus — as a major bonus, Winnie makes a mean French Toast that you’ll want to devour the next morning to help with that hangover. Just make sure the old bird remembers to put her dentures in!
To commemorate such a meaningful event, we’ve brewed up a brand new mixtape of songs (a sequel to Part 1) that have been playing at Camp TNUC all summer long. Enjoy it and thanks for listening. Now go out and hit the lake!
ROXY MUSIC’S AVALON.
Posted on July 22, 2021 Leave a Comment
According to ancient legend, Avalon was the magical “Island of the Blessed” – a mythical land where King Arthur recovered from his wounds after the Battle of Camalann. This is also where his sword the Excalibur is said to have been forged.
“Avalon is part of the King Arthur legend and is a very romantic thing. When King Arthur dies, the Queens ferry him off to Avalon, which is sort of an enchanted island. It’s the ultimate romantic fantasy place.”
– Bryan Ferry
I was probably 14 or 15 when I first laid eyes on this artwork. Up until this point, I pretty much only gravitated to album covers that featured heavy metal people, skulls, face paint, chicks, things on fire, etc.
In the case of Avalon, this intriguing photo of a knight holding a falcon and gazing out at a beautiful sunrise checked all my boxes but mystified me in a new way like nothing else before it. That balance of stark power and natural beauty would also amazingly transition to reflect the sound of this album. To this day it’s still one of my favorite recordings of all time.
People throw around the word “dreamy” probably too often, but listening to this album is like walking around in a dream. From the opening track ‘More Than This’ to the closing instrumental ‘Tara’, the listener is taken on a swirling ride of luxurious compositions, seductive sax and Bryan Ferry’s ultra-smooth but dramatic vocals. Guitars and washes of synth create evocative new sounds that depict exotic images of foreign lands and a world of mystique.
The production quality suggests it must have cost a fortune. I used to daydream and picture Roxy Music’s recording sessions taking place inside an all-glass studio that sat at the edge of a cliff overlooking the Mediterranean, while flocks of falcons guarded the studio fortress.
The title track possesses such an elegant atmosphere with it’s sexy structure and Ferry’s words about late-night possibilities. Take a moment to revisit:
It’s way too easy to drift into another dimension while listening to this music. The music video features Bryan Ferry in his white dinner jacket– captivated by a beautiful woman dancing around in a castle. I should also note that Auntie TNUC walked down the aisle during our ceremony to this song a couple years ago, so this one is pretty damn special to me.
These photos are taken from the show Red Oaks, a TV series that ran from 2014 to 2017. One of the main characters Wheeler, is making serious moves on his lifelong crush Misty and in one of the scenes he gives her a cassette tape of Roxy Music’s Avalon. There are scenes that follow with Misty listening to the album that I can tell you are pure magic. In fact Red Oaks features a ton of great music and montages. TNUC strongly recommends watching the show, especially seasons 1&2.
I’m eternally grateful for this album. It opened my eyes to a world of new sounds and music at a time in high school when I didn’t picture myself deviating from certain genres. Artists like Duran Duran, King Crimson, Deadsy and Billy Idol. It all started with Roxy Music and this 1982 opus.