Saturday, July 27, 2013

Roger Hodgson Retrospective
The Voice of Supertramp
by Anthony Servante


The Driving Force behind Supertramp


Many bands break up. Some of my favorites have broken up over the years. And sometimes after the break-up some of the band members remain and keep the band name, even tour with the band name, though it is not the same band anymore. Consider the case of Barclay James Harvest. They were together over 30 years when the decision was made for the two main songwriters of the band to part company. But something strange happened: they both kept the band name and attached their own name to the band: John Lees’ Barclay James Harvest; Les Holroyd’s Barclay James Harvest. And neither band is Barclay James Harvest. Together Lees and Holroyd created the sound of the band; separately they merely resemble the BJH music.


Another Hodgson Hit.

Now consider the case of Supertramp. They broke up in 1983, but Rick Davies kept the band name, and Roger Hodgson went solo. It was apparent right off that Supertramp’s new sound was not the hit-making sound heard during the Hodgson years. And that’s ok. Rick Davies had a different vision for the band and was willing to give up the band’s popularity so that he could steer the group in a new direction. In concert he played the songs he had written for the band, plus new material in the Hodgson-less group. But the fans wanted to hear the hits, and that was not the direction Davies wanted to go. Eventually he succumbed to the demands of the fans and played the old hits—the Hodgson written songs. And that’s where Barclay James Harvest and Supertramp differ: The hits of BJH were a joint effort by the two main songwriters, while the hits of Supertramp were not collaborations—they were Roger Hodgson songs.


The Post Supertramp Hodgson


When Hodgson left, it was under the agreement that he would get back his own songs (the ones he wrote for Supertramp) and that Davies would keep the band name. Here Hodgson explains, “To tell you the truth…, I would never have handed over Supertramp, I am not that much of a fool, to just hand over something I had put 14 years of my life into to Rick for nothing. I really was the driving force in that band for 14 years. I remember very clearly the only thing I cared about when I gave Rick the name was that I would leave with my songs and my voice intact. That would be my security. For him, his security would be the name, obviously”.


Songwriter and Hit-maker.


In concert it is quite obvious that Davies is trying to capture the Hodgson sound, hiring singers that attempt without success to sing the range that Hodgson’s songs demand, the sound that he wrote for the range of his own voice. The Davies sound was not Supertramp, and the dwindling fans could be noted in the smaller and smaller venues that Davies was left with for lack of the Hodgson library to rely on. He even had a fake retirement tour that brought in the fans hoping for a Hodgson appearance, but it was all a ploy. I remember the fans booing when spokesman Doug announced that “ This was Supertramp’s last concert; and then added—this year!” We were tricked. Then they played some Hodgson songs to appease the fans.


Relaxed Before a Show.


Here is further clarification: “Hodgson’s concern is that Rick Davies has resurrected Supertramp and gone back on an agreement that he would not perform Roger’s songs in the set. However, the marketing for the Supertramp tour promotes a set list rich in Hodgson tunes. Supertramp performing Roger Hodgson songs without the Hodgson voice will clearly not be genuine to the fans. Roger Hodgson left Supertramp 27 years ago and as part of his departure, Rick Davies agreed that the continuation of Supertramp would become a vehicle for Rick’s songs and Roger would do his own songs in his solo shows.”

Let’s take a look at the list of Roger Hodgson songs and the Rick Davies songs. Let's see why Davies needs to rely on the Hodgson hits.

Here are the hits written by Roger Hodgson:

The Logical Song
Give a Little Bit
Dreamer
It’s Raining Again
Breakfast in America
Take the Long Way Home
Sister Moonshine
Land Ho
If Everyone was Listening
Hide in Your Shell
Easy Does It
Lady
The Meaning
Two of Us
A Soapbox Opera
Even in the Quietest Moments
Babaji
Fool’s Overture
Child of Vision
Lord Is It Mine
Crazy
Know Who You Are
Don’t Leave Me Now
C'est Le Bon
*****

And songs written by Rick Davies:

Bloody Well Right
Crime of the Century
Goodbye Stranger
Rudy
Asylum
Summer Romance
Another Man’s Woman
Ain’t Nobody But Me
Poor Boy
Lover Boy
Downstream
From Now On
Casual Conversations
Gone Hollywood
Just Another Nervous Wreck
Oh Darling
You Started Laughing
Put on Your Brown Shoes
Bonnie
My Kind of Lady
Waiting So Long
*****

Although Davies had some popular Supertramp songs, there were no national hits, Top 40 favorites, radio station driven requests. Hodgson had the national and international favorites, the ones heard on radio stations all over the world. As you can see, these lists show two very different styles, two very different concert experiences. Davies needed the Hodgson hits to keep his own limited library alive in concert.

Which brings us to the Roger Hodgson live show.

Hodgson plays Hodgson, that is, he plays the songs he wrote, the songs that were written for the range of his own voice. Even with Supertramp, he wrote “Hodgson” songs, songs that he would sing in the studio and in concert. And that is what we get today when we attend a Roger Hodgson show: we get the best of Supertramp, the hits, the voice, the lyrics, the music. Plus we get the Hodgson solo music, which to this blogger, is still the Supertramp sound because Supertramp is Hodgson, and Hodgson Supertramp. 


The Modest Super-star.


Davies has the name, but Roger Hodgson has the spirit of the hits and the hits themselves played by the hit-maker himself. And that is our reward, true fans of Supertramp and of Roger Hodgson. We get the total package. In Hodgson's words from my interview with him (check the archives here on my blog): "Some of the biggest hits I recorded with Supertramp were songs I’d written in my late teens before I even met Rick and formed the band with him. Songs such as Dreamer, It’s Raining Again, Breakfast in America, Two of Us, A Soapbox Opera and even the beginning of Fool’s Overture, were all written during that time period. These songs are my babies – pieces of my heart and I still love playing them in my concerts today."

The success of Supertramp rests on the hits of Roger Hodgson. Although Supertramp has become a different band musically without the talents of Hodgson, it is a band without hits, which may account for their relying on Hodgson’s hits when they play in concert. As a solo artist, Hodgson plays only the songs he has written, be they hits from Supertramp or solo works; he does not rely of any songs he has not written to draw an audience. With Hodgson, you get the best of Supertramp and his solo works (songs I believe maintain the musical style of Supertramp during its heyday--listen to songs as "Had a Dream (Sleeping with the Enemy)" or "Death and a Zoo") because his music is synonymous with Supertramp hits.


The Real Thing!


Now don't get me wrong. I like Rick Davies' Supertramp, and had he given the fans the chance to get used to the new sound, he might have developed a following; instead he tried to keep Hodgson's fans under the illusion that "he" [Davies] is Supertramp. He isn't. But he can keep the projector and the backdrop screen common to the Supertramp live concerts. He can play "Bloody Well Right"; it is, after all, his song. But we’ll keep the “Voice of Supertramp”. We'll keep Roger Hodgson. 

See Roger Hodgson on his worldwide Breakfast in America tour:

http://www.rogerhodgson.com/

Thursday, July 25, 2013


Zombies, Ghouls, and Gods Rise Yet Again
By Anthony Servante.
A Third Look at Literature of the Zombie Apocalypse,
Featuring Tonia Brown, Armand Rosamillia, Eric A. Shelman, Julianne Snow,
Joan De La Haye, David Moody, Jaime Johnesee, Todd Brown,
Eric S. Brown, and Gregory Lamberson.


 Well, are you, punk?


Welcome back, dear readers, for another peek into the Zombie Apocalypse. With us today we have an assortment of horror writers offering updates and opinions on the subject. But before hearing them out, let’s review what we’ve put on the plate so far. The Pre-George Romero zombies in film were either Voodoo victims (White Zombie-1932) or reanimated corpses possessed by outer space aliens (see Invisible Invaders-1959).


 Vodou Master & his zombie slave

Zombies possessed by space aliens have
first Romero undead look we know today.


Combining the pack mentality of a ghoul (white zombie), and the immortality of a god (living dead), the Romero zombie was born. Since then it has evolved thanks to its treatment in a variety of ZA stories. With Romero, the reason for the dead rising remained an unknown factor, creating a creepier experience for the movie-goer. With the voodoo zombies, killing the Vodou Master freed the possessed victim; with the alien zombies, killing the outer space host returned to corpse to dead status. With a denouement in sight, the movie fans always saw a light at the end of the tunnel (just as we know the good guy never dies). But with Romero zombies, one did not know how to “kill” them, let alone what created them. (Later we learn that a trauma to the living dead’s head deactivates them but learned little else.)

But Romero wasn’t just interested in scaring film-goers; he had a social comment to make as well. In Dawn of the Dead (1978), Romero mocks the zombie as consumer, at once showing the dead as dangerous creatures and bumbling clowns, setting the film in a shopping mall, a place the good guys, the bad guys and the dead guys all fight over. The survival of the living becomes secondary to having the most possessions. The dead simply follow their instinct to stroll the mall, surrounding themselves with the possessions they sought in life.


Zombie shoppers.
.

Our authors will address the zombie as tool for social commentary, the “unknown factor” behind the rise of the dead, and the variations and evolution of the Romero zombie. So, let’s get started.




Tonia Brown-Gnomaggedon



Tonia Brown


Biography:
Tonia Brown is a southern author with a penchant for Victorian dead things. She lives in the backwoods of North Carolina with her genius husband and an ever fluctuating number of cats. She likes fudgesicles and coffee, though not always together. When not writing she raises unicorns and fights crime with her husband under the code names Dr. Weird and his sexy sidekick Butternut.


Question 1How are my zombies different? 
The zombies in Gnomaggedon start out at about four feet tall, and move on from there. This is because they begin as gnomes in the enchanted land of Malgaria, and eventually start infecting all of the races—everything from giants to elves to humans. When a party of adventurers come across the zombie gnomes, they assume the creatures are just regular undead. (Typically, ghouls and zombies in these kinds of fantasy lands are corpses raised by magic.) When the victims of the zombies get up and attack the party, they realize this is not their father’s magic zombies. It’s worse. The zees are a product of *dramatic pause* science! 

Question 2. Does your zombie feed to subsist or to mimic the habit of eating in life?
These zees are purely interested in spreading the infection. They kill to convert. Simple as that. 


Question 3. Does your zombie decay (and will eventually rot to nothingness) or will it live forever in its undeath?
Yeah they will probably fall apart at some point. They decompose at a pretty natural rate. Though the magic of the land will keep then together somewhat.

For more on Tonia Brown, visit www.thebackseatwriter.com

*****




Armand Rosamilia-Dying Days Series.


Armand on his 
Summer of Zombie Blog Tour


Biography:
Armand Rosamilia is a New Jersey boy currently living in sunny Florida, where he writes when he's not watching zombie movies, the Boston Red Sox and listening to Heavy Metal music...

Besides the "Miami Spy Games" zombie spy thriller series, he has the "Keyport Cthulhu" horror series, several horror novellas and shorts to date, as well as the "Dying Days" series:

Highway To Hell... Darlene Bobich: Zombie Killer... Dying Days... Dying Days 2... Still Dying: Select Scenes From Dying Days... Dying Days: The Siege of European Village... and many more coming in 2013.

He is also an editor for Rymfire Books, helping with several horror anthologies, including "Vermin" and the "State of Horror" series, as well as the creator and energy behind Carnifex Metal Books, putting out the "Metal Queens Monthly" series of non-fiction books about females into Metal...


How is your zombie different from the mainstream?
I just released "Dying Days 3" a couple of days ago; it progresses the zombie apocalypse because the zombies are becoming cognizant of their surroundings and remembering who they used to be, but they aren't the same nice people they were before they were bitten.





The Dying Days Series


For more on Armand, visit: 
You can find him at http://armandrosamilia.com
and e-mail him to talk about zombies, baseball and Metal: armandrosamilia@gmail.com


 *****




Eric A. Shelman-Dead Hunger Series


Eric "The hat speaks for itself" A. Shelman


Biography:
I live in SW Florida now, but spent my teen and most of my years in southern California – south Orange County. I was actually born in Fort Worth, Texas. My dad died when I was four, (I stood there and watched it happen; one of my earliest memories) and almost a decade later, my mom remarried and we moved to southern California. I met my wife, Linda, in 1980, got together with her in 1983 and married her in 1986. In 2001 we sold our house, threw the dogs in a motor home, and drove our asses to Florida. We’d both lost our jobs and were living on a prayer and unemployment, so with the equity in our home, we thought we’d sell it and start over in another warm, sunny climate. It was that time, between 2001 and 2011, that I just quit writing. Out of the Darkness was out there, but it got to the point that I felt like a damned liar for calling myself a writer. I finally stumbled onto the zombie people on Facebook, and I even read a zombie novel for the first time. After reading it, I thought about the fact that I hadn’t actually created for the longest time, so decided to jump in and write a zombie novel – AND just resume my writing for the first time in over a decade. So, it was the first time I actually decided to write for a particular genre – not just horror, but zombies in particular. I mean … how fine-tuned can you get? After writing that book in about four months, I was so jacked up about writing again that I dug out a serial killer novel called “A Reason To Kill” that I’d written a decade earlier, updated it (somewhat) went back through it, and put it out. Then I thought, “Damn … where is that friggin’ witch novel I started a decade ago and dumped at 54,000 words?” So I found it on an old CD, fired up Microsoft Word and finished that book, too. By that time, it was time to get back on Dead Hunger II, so I finished the Gem Cardoza Chronicles in TWO months. Then I was so ready to get on book three, that I wrote Dead Hunger III in another four months, and The Chatsworth Chronicles were born. After that I wrote Dead Hunger IV: Evolution, (that took FIVE months!) and between my work on Dead Hunger V: The Road To California, I wrote Shifting Fears, a bit of time travel fare blended with serial killer nonsense. It came out on my birthday, April 3, 2013. So there! Enough? Enough!


Question 1: How are my zombies different? My zombies have the ability to recognize things that are dangerous to them, but this ability only results in them not advancing further, no evasive tactics. This could develop over time, but so far has not. They also have the ability to know when a deficiency in themselves, such as a broken arm or something else will hinder them and ultimately put them at risk. They have an offensive mechanism borne of the combined gas that caused the condition, mixed with the gaseous nature of decomposition, that when combined, create an almost chloroform-type gas that can knock out their prey. Once out, the victim will not awaken until touched - or bitten, as it were. As the books move forward, it is discovered that pregnant females whose brains were heavily charged with estrogen at the time of their conversion into zombies, have further abilities. 

Question 2. Does your zombie feed to subsist or to mimic the habit of eating in life? My zombies eat in an attempt to satisfy an insatiable hunger that can never be satisfied, no matter how many humans they consume. It is purely their nature. 

Question 3. Does your zombie decay (and will eventually rot to nothingness) or will it live forever in its undeath? The decay advances very slowly, but as long as a small, dried up lump of a brain exists within their skulls, the individual cells within their bodies manipulate the movement of their extremeties to where the brain and eyes direct them. They will live forever - or long enough to qualify as forever - unless their brains are destroyed. Even their heads can live without the body, just so long as the brain is intact.


*****




Julianne Snow-Days with the Undead


Julianne Snow


Biography:
It was while watching Romero's Night of the Living Dead at the tender age of 6 which solidified Julianne’s respect for the Undead. Since that day, she has been preparing herself for the (inevitable) Zombie Apocalypse. While classically trained in all of the ways to defend herself, she took up writing in order to process the desire she now covets; to bestow a second and final death upon the Undead. As the only girl growing up in a family with four children in the Canadian countryside, Julianne needed some form of escape. Her choice was the imaginations of others which only fostered the vibrancy of her own.

Days with the Undead: Book One is her first full-length book, the basis of which can be found in her popular web serial of the same name. Along with many zombie shorts published on her blog, she has a story in Women of the Living Dead as well as two zombie pieces; a standalone short and a collection releasing the summer of 2013. Julianne’s second novel in her Days with the Undead series will also be released in 2013. Stay tuned!

.
1. How is your zombie different from the mainstream?
I don’t think my zombies are different from the mainstream. They’re dead, they’re primal, and they will eventually decay as they assimilate the living into their ranks whenever they can. One thing I think is different from the mainstream is my use of animals throughout the series. I don’t want to give too much away, but the contagion isn’t species specific. I think that adds a whole new twist to the genre.

2. Does your zombie feed to subsist or to mimic the habit of eating in life? Explain.
Since the flesh zombies consume cannot be digested and used for energy, the act of eating is merely a mimicry of what they did when they were alive. There is a voraciousness in their attack and they use whatever weapons they have to infect, their mouths included. A lot of damage can be done with a mouth full of teeth…

3. Does your zombie decay (and will eventually rot to nothingness) or will it live forever in its undeath?
The flesh of the zombies I have described will rot away but that will not stop them from moving. As long as the skeleton is articulated in some manner and attached to the nervous system it will continue to be mobile and strive to propagate the infection as far as it can. Eventually the skeleton will break down as the tendons holding it all together dry out and snap away from the bone. When that happens, the brain will still live on for some time until it wastes away to nothing.

For more on Julianne, visit,
Twitter: @CdnZmbiRytr
Facebook: Julianne Snow
FB Fan Page: Days with the Undead
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/cdnzmbirytr/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/110149434437717424445/posts
Goodreads: Julianne Snow
Amazon Author Page: Julianne Snow
Blogs: Days with the Undead & The FlipSide of Julianne & The Randomness of Julianne

*****





Joan De La Haye-Oasis



Joan De La Haye


Biography:
Joan De La Haye writes horror and some very twisted thrillers. She invariably wakes up in the middle of the night, because she's figured out yet another freaky way to mess with her already screwed up characters.

Joan is interested in some seriously weird stuff. That's probably also one of the reasons she writes horror.


1. How is your zombie different from the mainstream?
My zombies are faster, stronger and angrier than the mainstream. They're also in the Southern Hemisphere. But apparently they're also Romero-esque.
 
2. Does your zombie feed to subsist or to mimic the habit of eating in life? Explain.
My Zombies feed to subsist. They need human flesh to feed their insatiable hunger.

3. Does your zombie decay (and will eventually rot to nothingness) or will it live forever in its undeath?
My Zombies were created due to radiation, so while they're burnt and disfigured they will get stronger, and hungrier and angrier while they continue to feed on the few human survivors that they find, they don't decay and fade away.

For more on Joan, visit:
Website: http://joandelahaye.com/ or http://twitter.com/JoanDeLaHaye
David Moody-Hater Series


David Moody


Biography:
David Moody grew up on a diet of trashy horror and pulp science fiction. He worked as a bank manager before giving up the day job to write about the end of the world for a living. He has written a number of horror novels, including AUTUMN, which has been downloaded more than half a million times since publication in 2001 and spawned a series of sequels and a movie starring Dexter Fletcher and David Carradine. Film rights to HATER were snapped up by Guillermo del Toro (Hellboy, Pan's Labyrinth) and Mark Johnson (producer of the Chronicles of Narnia films). Moody lives with his wife and a houseful of daughters and stepdaughters, which may explain his pre-occupation with Armageddon. 


1. How is your zombie different from the mainstream?
Hater was never intended to be classed as a zombie story. It's simply a story of a divided humanity - us versus them, with no prospect of reconciliation. Only one side will survive. I think that's a characteristic all zombie stories share. (N.B. my Autumn series features more traditional - i.e. undead - zombies).

2. What does your zombie subsist of?Explain.
2. Haters are driven by an unstoppable desire to hunt out and kill every last one of the 'Unchanged'. This is driven by an inherent belief that the Unchanged will kill them.

3. Does your zombie have a death span?
3. Both Haters and Unchanged alike are still alive. Therefore there is no death span - just the lifespan a human would expect during a time of war.

For more on David, visit

(Coming soon: my review on the “social” commentary inherent in Hater).

 *****



Jaime Johnesee-Bob the Zombie


Jaime Johnesee


Biography:
Jaime Johnesee worked as a zookeeper for fourteen years before deciding to focus on her passion of writing. Her decision has proven to be a good one, as her books have been received with critical acclaim, including Oh The Horror and Shifters, which was recognized as one of the best horror novellas of 2012. Although her initial foray into the literary world has been marked by success, Jaime has just begun and is a force to be reckoned with in the years to come. 
Jaime Johnesee worked as a zookeeper for fourteen years before deciding to focus on her passion of writing. Her decision has proven to be a good one, as her books have been received with critical acclaim, including Oh The Horror and Shifters, which was recognized as one of the best horror novellas of 2012. Although her initial foray into the literary world has been marked by success, Jaime has just begun and is a force to be reckoned with in the years to come.

 “I warn you, Bob's not the average zombie. He's sort of Clark W Griswold [National Lampoon’s Vacation] if he were raised and sentient”. Jaime

Q: How is your zombie different from the mainstream?
           
A: Bob is radically different from most of the zombie stories out there. In this world, zombies are raised from death by necromancers and actually retain their human soul. The only difference between them and humans is the fact they're decomposing. Also he's a bit of a comic and he really does his best to help others.

Q: Does your zombie feed to subsist or mimic the habit of eating in life?
           
A: Bob and the zombies of his world do eat, but they tend to prefer meats rather than veggies. It actually takes the zombies some time to learn what their new undead systems can and cannot tolerate. For instance, Bob's favorite foods are Taco Bell and Pepsi Slurpees.

Q: Does your zombie decay (and will eventually rot into nothingness) or will it live on forever in its undeath?

A: Actually this is a bit tricky. See, Bob is rotting away alright, but anytime something falls off, he can staple it back on. The iron in the staple attracts the magic used to reanimate him. So once stapled back on, whatever fell off is as good as...well, not new, but pretty much as it was before it sloughed/fell/flew off. I haven't figured out how to kill a zombie in this world, yet. Believe me, Bob has tried many different ways to end his unlife, to no avail.

For more on Jaime, visit: 

*****

  



Todd Brown-Dead Series


TW Brown


Biography: 
Welcome to MY world...

A few minutes with author TW Brown.

Tucked away in the Pacific Northwest with my wife Denise, a Border Collie named Aoife (pronounced EYE-fa), a guitar collection, and an increasing number of aquariums sporting a variety of fish (cichlids are my new favorites), I live for football season when I can cheer on the Oregon Ducks and be disappointed by my Seattle Seahawks once again. I am a fan of Cookie Monster, KISS, and Dr. Who (along with most things British).

1. How is your zombie different from the mainstream?

I have seen it more since I did it back in 2009, but one of the things that I think I did first or was one of the first few is the immune factor. Not everybody bitten is going to turn. I could also incluse the “baby cry” sound that mine sometimes make, but I think not being 100% contagious is the biggest.

2. Does your zombie feed to subsist or to mimic the habit of eating in life? Explain.
Mine do it because they sense humans as a source of warmth that they are draw to like moths to flame and they want to pull that warmth into themselves.

3. Does your zombie decay (and will eventually rot to nothingness) or will it live forever in its undeath?
My zombies are biological freaks. I actually wrote a scene with a scientist in my DEAD series who was trying to discover if there was some way to hasten their decomposition. He had these different chambers, but nothing was having any effect. At one point, when he was becoming frustrated that biology was not acting as it should, he laughed because he was standing in a room staring at several tanks containing the walking dead…biology had already gone out the window.

For more on Todd Brown, visit:
His blog can be found at:
twbrown.blogspot.com/
You can contact him at:
twbrown.maydecpub@gmail.com
You can follow him on twitter @maydecpub and on Facebook under Todd Brown, Author TW Brown, and also under May December Publications.
*****




Biography
"Gregory Lamberson is the sort of force that dark fantasy and horror are lucky to have." - FANGORIA magazine

"Why in the name of all that's unholy has Hollyweird not got their sights on this series? I'm just going to put it out there -- Greg Lamberson is the most cinematic author writing today and The Jake Helman Files are nothing short of the most awesome movies that have not been filmed yet."
-Author Bob Freeman, the Occult Detective

Two-time IPPY Gold Medal winner and three-time Bram Stoker Award finalist Gregory Lamberson is an author and filmmaker who loves to thrill people. Rave reviews of his work have appeared in Fangoria, Rue Morgue, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and Booklist. All of his books are available in print and as e-books, and some are also available as audio books. In 2013, Medallion Press will publish Lamberson's novel THE JULIAN YEAR, the first TREEbook, which will employ revolutionary time-triggered branching technology.

Lamberson's novel PERSONAL DEMONS, winner of the IPPY Gold Medal for Horror, is the first volume in the action packed occult detective series "The Jake Helman Files," published by Medallion Press. Other books in the series include the zombie novel DESPERATE SOULS, the new Cthulhu themed COSMIC FORCES(nominated for Superior Achievement in a Novel by the Horror Writers Association), and TORTURED SPIRITS, which is scheduled for October 2012. PERSONAL DEMONS, DESPERATE SOULS, and COSMIC FORCES are also available as audio books from Audible.com, and TORTURED SPIRITS will be as well.

Lamberson is also the author of the werewolf series "The Frenzy Cycle" for Medallion Press. This series started with THE FRENZY WAY and continued with THE FRENZY WAR in June, 2012.

Lamberson's second novel, JOHNNY GRUESOME, won the IPPY Gold Medal for Horror and Dark Scribe Magazine's "Best Small Press Chill" Award, and was nominated for a Bram Stoker Award by the Horror Writers Association. The novel spawned a rock CD, GRUESOME, an award-winning online comic book, and a collectible mask.

Lamberson's first novella, CARNAGE ROAD, waspublished by Creeping Hemlock Press in May 2012. Library Journal gave it a starred review: "Lamberson's (Personal Demons) latest is both bleak and beautiful, a brain-splattering zombie thriller that is at its core a paean to the power of friendship, even in a dead world. This novella may be brief, but it has real bite, along with taut zombie action, scathing social commentary, and a suitably nihilistic ending. Zombie fans are in for one easy ride through the apocalypse. [Print Is Dead is Creeping Hemlock's zombie-themed imprint.--Ed.]"

Lamberson wrote and directed the 1988 cult horror film SLIME CITY, which is available on DVD as GREG LAMBERSON'S SLIME CITY GRINDHOUSE COLLECTION, a 2-disc collection which includes his vampire film UNDYING LOVE, the thriller NAKED FEAR, and GRUESOME, a short film starring "Scream Queen" Misty Mundae. His 2010 film SLIME CITY MASSACRE, starring horror icon Debbie Rochon, is available on DVD, the PlayStation Network. and Xbox Zune. The film continues to screen around the world. His production SNOW SHARK: ANCIENT SNOW BEAST will be available on DVD this winter, and he is currently line producing MODEL HUNGER, directed by Rochon.

Combining his literary and cinematic interests, Lamberson wrote the instructional filmmaking book CHEAP SCARES: LOW BUDGET FILMMKAERS SHARE THEIR SECRETS, which was nominated for a Bram Stoker Award. He also created the popular horror entertainment website Fear Zone, which he edited for two years, and is one of the founders of the Buffalo Screams Horror Film Festival. He is an Active member of the Horror Writers Association and International Thriller Writers, and his website is www.slimeguy.com.
"Gregory Lamberson is the sort of force that dark fantasy and horror are lucky to have." - FANGORIA magazine
"Why in the name of all that's unholy has Hollyweird not got their sights on this series? I'm just going to put it out there -- Greg Lamberson is the most cinematic author writing today and The Jake Helman Files are nothing short of the most awesome movies that have not been filmed yet."
-Author Bob Freeman, the Occult Detective
Two-time IPPY Gold Medal winner and three-time Bram Stoker Award finalist Gregory Lamberson is an author and filmmaker who loves to thrill people. Rave reviews of his work have appeared in Fangoria, Rue Morgue, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and Booklist. All of his books are available in print and as e-books, and some are also available as audio books. In 2013, Medallion Press will publish Lamberson's novel THE JULIAN YEAR, the first TREEbook, which will employ revolutionary time-triggered branching technology.
Lamberson's novel PERSONAL DEMONS, winner of the IPPY Gold Medal for Horror, is the first volume in the action packed occult detective series "The Jake Helman Files," published by Medallion Press. Other books in the series include the zombie novel DESPERATE SOULS, the new Cthulhu themed COSMIC FORCES(nominated for Superior Achievement in a Novel by the Horror Writers Association), and TORTURED SPIRITS, which is scheduled for October 2012. PERSONAL DEMONS, DESPERATE SOULS, and COSMIC FORCES are also available as audio books from Audible.com, and TORTURED SPIRITS will be as well.


Greg Lamberson

Gregory Lamberson update:
"I'm going to launch my first e-book, SCAREMONGER: A Lily Dale Chiller in about a week. It could be an ongoing series with a female lead. STORM DEMON, Book Five in The Jake Helman Files, will be published in October. And THE JULIAN YEAR, the first TREEbok (Timed Reading Experience E-book) will be available in December."

For more on Gregory, see Zombies, Ghouls, and Gods, Part One at: http://the-black-glove.blogspot.com/2012/02/servante-of-darkness-7-zombies-ghouls.html.

*****





Eric S. Brown: Bigfoot series.


Eric S. Brown


In Book Two of the Bigfoot Wars, zombies make their first appearance. I am currently working on a review of the use of zombies in this series for Zombies Spotlight which will feature book reviews for each of the authors participating in this article. The Bigfoot books will be first of the reviews and we will catch up more with the author Eric S. Brown. Consider this a preview. Thank you.
*****


Todd Brown has honored us with a closing thought on the Zombie Apocalypse genre, so I’ll let him take it from here.
  
One of the things that I hear from time to time is that “zombies are history” or “The market is oversaturated”. Five words: What a load of crap. People have been saying that about vampires for over a decade…guess what? Twilight blew away box offices despite all the people who openly grouse about it.

I have a different take; I think BAD zombie offerings are what are on the endangered species list. With so much out there, the readers can now be more selective. The days of just being glad you could find a zombie book on the market have been replaced by a wide variety and some very creative takes on the classic ideas.
I think most of the people banging the drum on the undead hordes are the people who either A) were never along for the ride to begin with; or B) can’t help but share the sour grapes in the bowl at their desk. One thing there has never been a shortage of is negative spewing, armchair quarterbacks.

As I write this, World War Z is just a few weeks away from opening. Brad Pitt folks. It doesn’t get much more mainstream than that; The Walking Dead is one of the most watched cable programs in history; the Amazon Top 100 Horror Writers list is like a zombie author minefield. And just recently, my friend John O’Brien was entrenched for several days at number three behind King and Koontz. I don’t care who you are, that is a horror writer’s dream to be sitting at that table.

So, I return to my premise that it is not the zombie that is old news, it is the abundance of mediocrity that has suffered a bullet to the brain. Not that they are gone, but I think that cream has risen to the top. That is a good thing. It makes it easier for those seeking to carve their own niche to find some quality examples because, let’s face it, that was a real hit-and-miss exercise just a year ago.

As a writer, I enjoy picking up a good zombie book and seeing where a talented author will take me. This past few months, I have had the pleasure of reading offerings by Armand Rosamilia, Mark Tufo, and the aforementioned O’Brien. As a person who has watched the original Dawn of the Dead over a hundred times (not an exaggeration), I love zombies. A good book blows away a movie any day, and as recently as 2005, that was not easy to do by any stretch of the imagination. David Wellington’s Monster Island was one of the rare gems. Other than that, the offerings were sparse and difficult to find. At one point, I had ever single title that Amazon had to offer in the “zombie fiction” search.

It is easy to forget that e-readers were still being resisted and the self-pub scene was comparable to FM radio in the early seventies. For those of you old enough to understand that reference, I think it might still come as a bit of a shock when you take in the landscape that unfurls before us.
So, let people continue to scream about how the sky is falling on the zombie genre. Those acorns that are falling are growing into mighty oaks.


Todd Brown

*****

Well, dear readers, that wraps up Zombies, Ghouls, and Gods Rise Yet Again. What follows now for our participating authors is the Zombie Spotlight, where I will review a zombie related book by each author with three things in mind: the zombie as tool for social commentary, the “unknown factor” behind the rise of the dead, and the variations and evolution of the Romero zombie. So, keep an eye open for the Zombie Apocalypse reviews. See you then, Darkness fans. 


Thursday, July 11, 2013




Pauline Alexander Interview: Echoes of Grace

by Anthony Servante



Pauline Alexander


Biography:
Pauline Alexander's pure and angelic vocals take centre stage with Edwin Gallacher's complex finger picking style of guitar. Their stripped back acoustic sets are a seamless mix of folk and easy listening complemented by their interpretation of song and original material. Vocally Pauline is very easy on the ear and has been said to have echoes of Sandy Denny, Eva Cassidy or Karen Carpenter.

An emerging Scottish Singer from Glasgow. Her debut album 'Thoughts For The Masses' was an Iain Anderson 'Album of the week' on BBC Radio Scotland and has also been widely played on multiple radio stations including BBC Radio Wales, Ulster and Shropshire. This year saw Pauline's 'Dear Sister' Music Video make its TV debut on The Phil Mack Country Show on Showcase TV. 2013 has been busier than ever adding Glasgow St Patricks, Third Degree Burns, Tryst Festival, Innerleithen Music Festival and Folkstock to her festival billings.

Pauline acknowledges that her career is "lovingly promoted by my other half Stephen Thomson. He does his day job and comes home and spends time promoting me. That's devotion and belief in me!" 

Quotes:
'...her voice is quite de luxe! Never miss an opportunity of hearing her!' (Iain Anderson BBC Radio Scotland) '.

..Her live performance was simply stunning and was without doubt THE voice of this year's festival ' Jon Hollingworth- Arran Events

Weblinks

www.facebook.com/palexandersings

To buy

Introduction: 
We welcome to the Servante of Darkness Blog, Pauline Alexander. I first heard her magnificent voice in a Facebook group named Trad! Traditional British & Celtic Music. She sang "Fields of Gold" by Sting with a mellifluous vocal style more akin to the English Renaissance than today's Techno Age. This was a voice I wanted my readers to hear and a person I wanted to know. So, I introduced myself to Ms. Alexander and arranged this interview. Now I'd like to introduce her to you, my readers. And after the words, please listen to the top ten songs hand-picked by Pauline herself. Let's begin.




The Interview:

Anthony: When and how did your singing career begin?
Pauline: It was an interest in acting at school that set me up for my involvement with music later on. I was quiet at school and found that I became interested in performing in the school shows. I think I may have surprised one or two people, I liked that! I became the lead singer in 'Dave' a Rock band formed at school too. Later after working for a few years, mainly in youth work and community drama jobs, I replied to an ad on a UK website in 2005 to work with a songwriter in Bristol, England (Jonathan Rowland). From there spawned a few demos and I also joined a function band (Washington Street) which started me off performing most weekends, and when the band split I continued to work on a solo basis and gather original material. My local Glasgow station 'Celtic Music Radio' had a presenter by the name of Andrew Quinn, who found my demos on myspace and encouraged me to send them in to his show; from there other presenters heard my music, and I had my first live radio interview in 2009. It has snowballed from there. Encouraging words go a very long way.

Anthony: What training did you receive to capture your unique sound?
Pauline: I completed a performing arts course at a nearby college. It's here I realized quickly, that it was actually singing not acting that I was most passionate about. In all honesty though, I think the best training anyone can have for shaping their 'sound' is by listening and appreciating music. As a teenager I could literally lose hours locked away listening to music. Singing along to it, trying to master the harmonies that I was hearing. I was sociable, I enjoyed going out but I also really valued my own time with music and I feel that this is the true way in which your own sound can be developed. When performing live, I normally perform as part of a two piece and the guitarists I have worked with have brought about their own sound and influences. This, of course, adds another dimension to the overall sound from a live point of view. I'm now working with a guy called Edwin Gallacher and he is influenced greatly by Tommy Emmanuel and Simon and Garfunkel

Anthony: How do you select the music you interpret?
Pauline: Very good question :) I feel it's almost instinctive. I think I'm naturally drawn to music that moves me and where I think or hope I would be able to bring something of myself to it. The melody and mood of the song are always very important to me. The challenge of taking a known song and perhaps stripping it back to a completely raw state is something I really like. It depends on the individual taste, whether it works or not I guess. I always wanted to do 'Brothers in Arms' by Dire Straits. I always had a good feeling about that song and we now do it as part of our set. I think it works :-)

Anthony: Which other music genres, and which artists/bands interest you?
Pauline: I could probably talk about this subject all night.

Most of my musical influences most definitely come from an era when I wasn't born. I grew up listening to my mum and dad's music: Beatles, Beach Boys, ELO, Gerry Rafferty. I'm also very drawn to pure,crystal clear voices. The kind of voices that make you sit up and take notice. I'm a huge fan of Karen Carpenter, Judith Durham and Joan Baez - Melodic, tuneful and distinctive. I also like Sam Cooke and Matt Monro. I think all of these singers have a sound which creates a certain emotional ambiance for their music. More recently I have been taken (like so many others) by the talent of Eva Cassidy. Where a great actor will bring a script alive, the perfect blend of voice and song will do the same. I'm a big believer that a good song is a good song regardless of genre. I'm also blown away by bands like Metallica.

Anthony: Can you tell us about Thoughts for the Masses?
Pauline: 'Thoughts For The Masses' is my debut album and came about after a three year period of working on material with Jonathan Rowland. It is a mixture of my own work and the work of other writers Ron Lindsay and Clark Sorley. The songs are a collection of thoughts and reflections, lyrically the songs tackle issues such as mental illness and domestic abuse. A video for one of the songs on the album can be viewed on youtube. (Dear Sister). I'm delighted by the positive response the album has had and the airplay it has received from UK and abroad. The album was featured as an 'Album of the Week' on BBC Radio Scotland and I'm honestly very proud of that.



Anthony: I'm cursed in that the music I love, as yours, is not played very much in the USA. Do you have any plans to reach out to the US fans and maybe tour here?
Pauline: Aww that's very nice of you to say. I would love very much to come to the US one day. I could get excited thinking about that. I've never even been to the US on holiday! There are a few stations in the US that have featured my music. Scrub Radio, UIC Radio, WRUR 88.5 and Gashouse Radio. There have also been some very kind folks from the US that have heard my music on Radio here and been in touch to tell me so!. 'Celtic Music Radio' seems to have reached out to all over the world. I hope that one day, I will get to the US to play. Even just once. I'd better start saving my pennies :-)

Anthony: Can you tell us about your current tour?
Pauline: Most of the gigs and shows are taking place throughout Scotland. Various festivals and folk clubs, that we have never played before, so we are really looking forward to the months ahead. This year will also see our first performance in England when we head to Hertfordshire in September for 'Folkstock' . 
NOTE: For more gigs, click here.

Anthony: Dede Williams of Trad! Traditional British & Celtic Music introduced me to your music. How traditional do you consider your sound? To me, it has a timeless quality.
Pauline: I'm very thankful to Dede Williams :) I don't feel that my own music has a particularly traditional sound or feel to it. That said, there are many traditional songs that certainly influence and inspire me however and have become part of the live set. I try not to limit myself to genre, I think you have to be true to who you are and first and foremost. I think that strong melodies and lyrics will always be timeless and will reach out to people. Rather than trying to be 'current', I think it's better to do what feels right.

Anthony: Are you working on any new music that fans can look forward to?
Pauline: Yes I am . Working on new material for my second album as we speak and have been trying to write over the last couple of months. I'm also involved in a new musical venture. 'The Grand Gestures'

The Grand Gestures is an electronica project involving a variety of artists from the Scottish music scene collaborating with Grand Gestures founder Jan Burnett. The music is written around loops, vintage synths, home-grown noises and live drums. Every artist writes their own concept and lyric. I was selected as a participant for album number two with the only remit being to steer towards the 'dark and poignant'. I was quite inspired by the Nick Cave/Kylie Minogue 'Murder ballad' idea for this project....I've tried to dredge up some pretty dark stuff. 'The Grand Gestures Second' album is due for release in October time. Which will include my own collaboration track 'A Whisper of Sayonara'. The link is up for a short time, a few days to listen https://soundcloud.com/thegrandgestures/a-whisper-of-sayonara

Anthony: I'd like to request a top ten list of your songs and any other music that has influenced your music. And could you tell us a bit about each song, why you selected it?
Pauline:

1. Those Were the Days -Mary Hopkin 


I used to hear this song being played at home as a child and I always thought it was a very unusual sounding pop song. I was too young so I really didn't know why. I later learned about the Russian origins of the song. I now realize that I always loved the pure sound of the vocals and the distinctive melody. Very haunting and nostalgic. It was a very different kind of pop music to my childhood 80's favourites of the time,but I really appreciated it . It was one of the first songs from a time when I wasn't born,that I remember feeling really meant something to me.

2. While My Guitar Gently Weeps - George Harrison.


I'm a huge Beatles fan; everyone that knows me, knows this! I've always admired this song. However, when I heard this completely stripped back version of just George , I was stopped in my tracks. For me, this version brings out the emotion of the song a lot more. Sometimes less is more. It's a simple, beautiful and well-written song.

3. House of the Rising Sun - Joan Baez. 


Joan Baez is completely inspiring, not just musically but as a person of principles. If I could take a time machine back to listen to her performing in the old coffee houses I would. Perhaps I should call on the Doc and Marty for the DeLorean? :) The first version of this song I heard was by The Animals which is a great version. Once I heard this pre Animals version from 1960, I was captivated. The power of voice with guitar only can be amazing, and Joan Baez proves this with this track.

4. Crescent Noon -The Carpenters. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aKYNckacP6E




I'm a massive fan of The Carpenters music and sound. Karen Carpenters fine voice for me is the best and she is without doubt my favourite female singer. Karen had a 'wise beyond her years' sound to her voice, very haunting, soothing and the most amazing tone. My biggest influence vocally, without a doubt. This beautiful song 'Crescent Noon' is from the 'Close to You' Album from 1970. It's maybe not recognized as one of their biggest hits but for me,it highlights in full their talents. Richard carpenters production and arrangements can't be overlooked either.


5. The Witches Promise- Jethro Tull 


I think Jethro Tull are an outstanding band . An incredibly exciting sound and fusion of genres. Including prog rock, folk rock,amongst others. I find this particular track very mellow and it's nice to lie back and listen to. Ian Andersons flute and vocals are a great combination


6. Dumb - Nirvana (Unplugged in New York)


Nirvana- Unplugged in New York is one of my favourite albums to listen to. Ever. I enjoy the dark, angst-y and sometimes aggressive sounds of Nirvana. I don't think this track was ever released as a single from the album 'In Utero', but it stood out for me with this live album. Kurt Kobain was complex, and a very compelling performer/songwriter.

7. If I were a Carpenter - The Four Tops http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CXX36b_mlMo


The Motown era was way before my time, but I was brought up listening to my mum and dad playing such artists as Diana Ross and the Supremes, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson. It was catchy feel good soul/pop/R&B music. It was music that made me feel glad to be listening to music. Levi Stubbs of 'The Four Tops' was an outstanding singer and I love the power and energy in this version of 'If I were a Carpenter'.


8. Tennessee Waltz - Eva Cassidy 


I'm very taken with this beautiful version by Eva Cassidy. She had a rare ability to put her own stamp on any song with such individual presentation. A brilliant singer and arranger. It's justice that word spread about her talent, and I especially admire her for choosing material that was close to her heart, rather than attempting to 'fit in'. A lady with a special voice and a guitar that needed no gimmicks. I'm a huge fan

9. Where Lucifer Lingers - written by Ron Lindsay, Performed by Pauline Alexander. 



This is the opening track to my debut album 'Thoughts For the Masses'. I was completely honoured when Ron Lindsay asked me to sing his song. The song is about experiencing and reflecting on the the hell of mental illness. The song has had a very positive reaction and I'm proud to have been part of it.


10. Dear Sister -Written and performed by Pauline Alexander, melody by Jonathan Rowland. 


This is the first song I've written and had recorded, and it will always be special to me for that reason. This is also a track from my album 'Thoughts For the Masses'. A video has also been created for this song which can be viewed on youtube. The song is from the point of view of watching someone close to us in a negative relationship, perhaps knowing that it's not doing them any good but are ultimately powerless to help.

Anthony: An amazing list of songs, many of my favorites among them. Thank you for sharing.
Pauline: Can I just say....10 songs was not enough!! Just sending a couple more songs.


11. Broken Youth - Written and performed by Pauline Alexander, Melody by Jonathan Rowland.


This is another song from my album 'Thoughts For The Masses'. This song is about the anger,violence which is apparent within some young people today, for a variety of reasons I guess. It's not particularly cheerful but then life is not all plain sailing! The song can be heard at Spotify.

12. 'Skipping Barefoot Through the Heather' Also known as (Skippin Barfit Through the Heather)


This is a Scottish traditional song, which I came across a few years ago. My mum had a record called ' Glasgow Street Songs'. I decided that I was going to sing this song for a TV audition for a Scottish music special. I enjoy performing this song as part of my live sets. A video clip of me singing this track can be found on youtube.


13. Gerry Rafferty- Shipyard Town. 


Gerry Rafferty is one of the finest singer/songwriters ever to come from Scotland. He'll mostly be known for his huge hit 'Baker Street' which is a brilliant track . 'Shipyard Town', however, is one of my favourite tracks. Very poignant, reflective and a great melody

Anthony: May I add: 

14. Fields of Gold by StingRendition by Pauline Alexander



Anthony: Ladies and gentlemen, Pauline Alexander. Thank you again for visiting with us today.
Pauline: Thank you very much for having me :-)