When I was younger I saw some pretty scary movies and didn’t think anything else would freak me out, but I was proven wrong by Goosebumps in elementary school. Goosebumps was first brought to me by the Scholastic Book Fair as a book series written by R.L Stine. I went crazy with those books. Anytime I saw one I’d have to own it. I know I wasn’t the only kid who freaked out about them because soon there was a Goosebumps TV show and Goosebumps stuff every where, from pencils to bedsheets.
When I was younger I used to watch a lot of weird TV shows. For some reason I really liked Designing Women, Welcome Back Kotter and Perfect Strangers, but there were some shows that were normal for a kid to like; like Goosebumps. The book series was now a television show and I watched it whenever I could. It was scary but not too scary to where I’d be sleeping with the light on. There were two episodes in particular that really freaked me out as a kid: “Night in Terror Tower” and “Say Cheese and Die.” I had already read the books but for some reason seeing it played out weirded me out way more.
“Night in Terror Tower” was a two-parter and I think they made you wait a week until you found out if these kids were going to be lost in time forever or if this crazy guy is going to kill them or not.
“Say Cheese and Die” was also another one that scared me. These kids find a weird looking camera when they’re snooping around an old warehouse. The camera predicts the future of people when you take their picture. The weird thing about it is that camera only predicts bad things happening to people. I don’t know why that weirded me out as a kid, because now that I’m older and rewatching different episodes it’s all hilarious, noticing that some of the masks and makeup were really bad and now understanding that most of the actors were Canadian and that’s the reason why when they said ‘alright’ or I know’ it sounded funny. Oh, and some of the characters are in other stuff as adults; the main character in “Say Cheese and Die” is Ryan Gosling.
There is talk of a Goosebumps movie in the works. Jack Black will play a young writer named R.L Stine whose imaginary monsters are set free in a town in Maryland. His niece and a neighborhood kid team up to cage all the monsters. I’m actually excited for this to come out in theatres!
So, if you have a niece or nephew that you’d like to scare and not scar for life, the Goosebumps TV series is a good starting point. You can find our Goosebumps DVDs in our kids’ section.
It’s finally October and for most people that means a lot of different things. For me that means I can wear my jacket without anyone asking, “Oh my gosh, why are you wearing that jacket aren’t you hot?” It also means at the end of the month, for a day, it’s totally fine to have a pocket full of candy and tell people how cute their children are and it’s okay to give the said cute children candy. It also means for some reason every scary or creepy movie is even more scary and creepier.
I’m pretty excited about Halloween. I love other people’s costumes, I love candy, and I love getting scared from watching movies, and when the movie ends I feel ridiculous. For almost the whole month of October I’m watching horror movies and other movies that make you feel paranoid about answering the phone or going outside. So, if you don’t watch a lot of scary movies but want to get into the Halloween spirit, I’ll let you know what movies for sure freaked me out.
Hellraiser is directed by Clive Barker, a director who has made plenty of movies that will leave you sleeping with the light on. This movie was, from what I remember, the first scary movie I ever watched. It starts off with a guy named Frank going to a foreign country and buying a crazy looking puzzle box. He brings it to his childhood home and solves the puzzle box and is immediately ripped apart by hooked chains and is taken into the box. Creepy. Then Frank’s brother Larry moves into the childhood home to try to reconcile his failing marriage with his wife Julia, who is in love Frank.
One night Julia meets her dead lover (zombie Frank) in the attic and decides to help him lure men into the house so he can ‘restore’ himself and they can run away with each other. Soon after, Larry’s daughter thinks she catches her stepmother sneaking dudes into the house to cheat, but soon realizes she’s very wrong.
I haven’t seen every scary movie ever made, but from what I have seen I can say that Hellraiser still scares me. Definitely not as much as it did when I first saw it, but enough to make me jump from my light switch to my bed after I do watch it.
One time when I was 5 or 6, my uncle, who couldn’t have been more than 16, babysat me at my grandparents house while my parents were gone. He rented Hellraiser and let me watch it. I have no idea why he thought that would be okay and to this day, I still haven’t asked him about it. From what I remember I didn’t cry or freak out, I just sat on the couch with my knees serving as my new chin rest and watched it. To this day Rubik’s cubes kinda weird me out.
If you’re ready to get totally scared, or lightweight scared, head on down to Streetlight
Records and check out our horror section. We’ve got movies that will make you need a flashlight to take out the trash.
Yesterday on our Facebook page, we asked the question, What’s your favorite non-traditional Christmas song of all time? We got some great answers and decided to share them. So, here you go:
Have any others to add to the list? Let us know in the comments.
I am not afraid to tell you that I really like Christmas music, have always liked Christmas music, and frankly enjoy the Christmas season. I say this fully understanding the ultra-capitalist implications of my holiday-lust, but whatever; I enjoy nostalgia. That being said, I know many many many people who despise this time of year, and who really really really hate Christmas music.
I get it – Christmas is annoying. It is religious. It is oppressive.
For me though, there is something interesting about the music of the season, and the infinite interpretations that exist of the holiday music canon. Perhaps its appeal lies in its commonality; we all know these songs (like it or not), and these days our culture is sort of lacking in tradition and communal experience, isn’t it? Whatever it is, I humbly submit eight of my favorite Christmas-themed albums. These are just eight though! I have left out a bunch. Feel free to comment on your faves as well.
Various Artists – God Rest Ye Merry Jazzmen (Columbia Records, 1981)
An outstanding collection of concise and occasionally weird versions of all the classics; a real mood-setter. Perfect for cookie-baking and general Christmas-related household puttering. Required listening for the Christmas-music enthusiast.
Duke Ellington and his Orchestra – The Nutcracker Suite (CBS, 1960)
This is an often overlooked piece of pure holiday gold. A Christmas miracle, really. Original pressings are hard to find (and typically pricey), but reprints and CD versions are out there. Go get.
Vince Guaraldi Trio – A Charlie Brown Christmas (Fantasy Records, 1965 & 2006)
There is not much to say about this expect that it is just the best. The remaster from 2006 sounds really great and includes awesome liner-notes that tell the story of how Guaraldi was hooked-up with the Peanuts gig, and how his music became synonymous with both Schultz’s work and Christmas.
Various – Death Might Be Your Santa Claus (Legacy, 2012)
This was a Black Friday Record Store Day release in 2012 and the most festive thing about it is the cover. The music may not put you in the traditional capitalist Christmas spirit, but it is rad, and spooky, and real-feeling, which is perfect for that particular darkness one can feel during this special time of year.
Various – A Very Special Christmas Volume I (A&M, 1989)
This is perhaps included on this list due to nostalgia – it is one of the first Christmas music albums I can remember listening to with my mom and my brother, and it contains awesome versions of the classics as well as some amazing originals such as Run DMC’s modern classic “Christmas in Hollis”. My favorite track is U2’s impressive rendition of “(Its Christmas) Baby, Please Come Home,” which is full of verve and yearning, like most of pre-Zooropa U2.
John Fahey – The New Possibility & Christmas with John Fahey Vol. II (Takoma, 1968, 1975)
It always blows my mind when someone hasn’t heard The New Possibility, John Fahey’s sort-of famous album of Christmas songs reworked for finger-picked guitar. It is more likely that people have heard that album, but haven’t heard Volume II, which is just great and also features a bizarre psychedelic lion on its cover. These are both (usually) easy to find on vinyl.
The Beatles – The Beatles Christmas Album (Apple, 1970)
The Beatles never released an official collection of Christmas songs, but each year from 1963 to 1969 they released an un-official Christmas-themed EP which was given to members of the Beatles Fan Club as a gift. These flexi-discs featured a Christmas message and a song or two (hastily recorded). In 1970, the year of the band’s demise, they compiled all of these on one 12” LP, as a thank you to their loyal fans. This record is hard to find, and typically expensive. It has never been officially released but bootlegs abound! Happy hunting.
Christmas music, you might have noticed, is a big deal. It’s also, historically, been a bit of a cash cow for record companies. Bing Crosby and Elvis, Susan Boyle and Josh Groban, along with hundreds of other artists, have all tried their hand at singing Christmas songs. Here are the 12 best-selling Christmas albums in the U.S., based on their RIAA certification.
1. Elvis Presley – Elvis’ Christmas (1970 reissue of 1957 album, Diamond certified)
2. Kenny G – Miracles: the Holiday Album (1994, 8x Platinum)
3. Various Artists – Now That’s What I Call Christmas Music! (2001, 6x Platinum)
4. Mannheim Steamroller – A Fresh Aire Christmas (1998, 6x Platinum)
5. Mannheim Steamroller – Mannheim Steamroller Christmas (1984, 6x Platinum)
6. Nat King Cole – The Christmas Song (1963, 6x Platinum, Originally released as The Magic of Christmas)
7. Josh Groban – Noel (2007, 5x Platinum)
8. Celene Dion – These Are Special Times (1998, 5x Platinum)
9. Mariah Carey – Merry Christmas (1994, 5x Platinum)
10. Barbra Streisand – A Christmas Album (1967, 5x Platinum)
11. Johnny Mathis – Merry Christmas (1958, 5x Platinum)
12. Bing Crosby – White Christmas (1945, 4x Platinum, Originally titled Merry Christmas)
Bonus: The best-selling Christmas single of all-time, selling over 50 million copies worldwide, is…you guessed it, Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas.”