Tag Archives: mixtape

She got Swayzed.

35. The Secret Bedroom – R.L. Stine

Every time I switch towns I eventually run into the same old story – there’s that creepy house where somebody got murdered. And you know, in Mississippi, it was my house. It was drugs. No unfinished business. Lea of The Secret Bedroom is not so lucky. I mean, it could’ve been drugs, but, it wasn’t mentioned specifically if drugs were involved in the 100 years ago murderage, so… Lea is not so lucky in many ways. She falls victim to the many tropes – she’s a new kid who spills on the prime bitch at school, then gets asked out as a joke but she doesn’t know until she gets stood up, in her wallowing she hears footsteps upstairs in the boarded up bedroom, the girls she ends up being friends with are either too popular to keep up getting to know her or they found a boyfriend and no longer cared (Friends!), AND her parents keep leaving her alone in their haunted house (Thanks, Lea’s parents.) and she would be okay with it – if it was being haunted by Patrick Swayze. Patrick Swayze, gateway ghost.

Mixtape –
1. School – Nirvana
2. Misery Keeper – Electric Citizen
3. Zero – Smashing Pumpkins
4. Phone Call – The Faint
5. Mother Father – Swans
6. Sick, Sick, Sick – Queens of the Stone Age
7. My Dreams – Electric Six
8. I Only Said – My Bloody Valentine
9. Lost Boys and Girls Club – Dum Dum Girls
10. Your Sins Will Find You Out – Eli “Paperboy” Reed
11. Everybody Dies – Those Poor Bastards
12. I Dreamt – The Black Angels
13. Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now – The Smiths
14. Love Can Destroy Everything – The Raveonettes
15. Noorus – Chelsea Wolfe
16. Ripe – Nine Inch Nails

Pammy and Thaddeus chomp down parsley in an attic bedroom. There’s no corpses in there or anything. Also no Swayze or Swayze-related materials. They’re like the wind.

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It could’ve just been The Cretins.

Welcome to year four of YA Megamix Summer! This year’s theme is “Class of Soon to be Nuked High” in honor of the the world teetering on the brink of destruction based on the whims of a moldy orange madman. Good luck having a future, enjoy these glib reviews and mixtapes for the next three months and if the country is still here at the end of August, we’ll resume our mental health/horror programming.

 

24. The Night Walkers – Otto Coontz

Way to not end the story, man. Maxine is cured, no one else is, and there’s no resolution beyond blaming the guy who runs the dump for the pollution. Writing is about making choices. When you bring things up, like “the soul” a few times and have Nora the Cassandra thinking that’s the “leg up” they have and then never resolving anything… At 163 pages, you could have added another chapter or two and resolved the story. I expect more of an author that admits to being the puppet and mask maker for the San Francisco Mime Troupe AND being concerned about environmental protection in his bio.

 
Mixtape –
1. A Forest – The Cure
2. The Number of the Beast – Electric Six
3. Home Sick Home – Faith No More
4. Damned If She Do – The Kills
5. Time for Death – GWAR
6. Under My Chin – Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster
7. Infected Girls – Electric Six
8. Burning in Hell – Electric Citizen
9. Iron Moon – Chelsea Wolfe
10. The Angry River – The Hat
11. If Wishes Were Horses – Witchcraft
12. My Mule – Abner Jay
13. Sore Eyes – Widowspeak
14. Old Pine Box – Those Poor Bastards
15. Forest Clouds – Windhand

Duncan was in charge of emotional support while I wrote the outline for Day of the Robots. She didn’t even put that in her bio because it took second fiddle to seeing works from the Louvre at Atlanta’s High Museum of Art in 2009 and almost auditioning for a season of So You Think You Can Dance? in the same day.

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“Don’t con me. You know my brother’s trial starts tomorrow.”

38. The Last Victim – Hannah Kuraoka

Okay, so, one reason not to flip houses would be the Black Christmas/The Last Victim problem. Some nutbar who previously lived there or nearby could either still be in the attic slash still able to access the house and kidnap and/or murder any young girls who just happens to live there. Always check for secret passageways, loose floorboards holding important pieces of evidence, and burn that sage to keep the evil spirits out. I also have house blessing powder. But I don’t flip houses. Or murder people. I guess I could start doing either at any time. At any time. To be fair, I’m so allergic to dust and fumes that I really couldn’t do any remodeling without accidentally killing myself, so, maybe I could do both at once in a fashion. Ominous noise.

When Pickles and Belvedere face off, there are no victims, only clashes of guinea pig power the likes of which will never be seen again outside of Pighalla.

When Pickles and Belvedere face off, there are no victims, only clashes of guinea pig power the likes of which will never be seen again outside of Pighalla.

 

Mixtape –
1.    “Message in a Bottle” – The Police
2.    “Young Ones” – Witches
3.    “Noisy Summer” – The Raveonettes
4.    “Ode to Clarissa” – Queens of the Stone Age
5.    “Blood Like Cream” – Red Fang
6.    “Follow You Home” – The Creeps
7.    “Kicking” – Torche
8.    “Stalker Song” – Danzig
9.    “So Many People in the Neighborhood” – Ween
10.    “Blood Red Moon” – The XX
11.    “Night Comes Out” – The Raveonettes
12.    “Cul de Sac” – Tomahawk
13.    “Tyler” – Toadies
14.    “I’m Here to Kill You” – Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats
15.    “Black Grease” – The Black Angels
16.    “In the Pines” – Widowspeak
17.    “Melvin” – The Belles

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The wrong kid died.

37. Twins – Caroline B. Cooney

The saga of Mary Lee, Madrigal, and Jon Pear. Yes, Jon Pear, like a mumbled pronunciation of “John Pierre.” I narrowed my eyes quite a bit while reading this one, mostly at Jon Pear and that total bitch, Madrigal. I’m surprised she didn’t consume Mary Lee in the womb, thus negating the rest of the story. That must be why Jon Pear considers her “mixed” to his “pure” evil and why she messed up her carefully constructed attempt to off her twin – the one her parents tried to save. Oh please. If you’re going to carefully construct a murder scenario for your twin involving a ski weekend, always have a contingency plan, or you’ll never live up to Jon Pear’s standards.

Danger Crumples has never found any other guinea pig that looks like him so now guinea pigs will be impersonating him in a ski suit. Horace, on the other hand, is like opposite Mortemer.

Danger Crumples has never found any other guinea pig that looks like him so no guinea pigs will be impersonating him in a ski suit. Horace, on the other hand, is like opposite Mortemer.

Horace

Horace

Mortemer

Mortemer

Danger Crumples

Danger Crumples

 

Mixtape –
1.    “Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)” – The Arcade Fire
2.    “Black Soul Choir” – 16 Horsepower
3.    “Dominos” – The Big Pink
4.    “Charles William” – All Them Witches
5.    “Dead Girl” – Agents of Oblivion
6.    “Underdogs of Nipomo” – Archers of Loaf
7.    “Sheena’s in a Goth Gang” – The Cramps
8.    “Am I Demon” – Danzig
9.    “Nietzsche” – The Dandy Warhols
10.    “About You” – Catalogue
11.    “Sympathetic Noose” – Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
12.    “You Were Born to Be My Gallows” – Dax Riggs
13.    “I Want to Eat a Complete Stranger” – Dick Valentine

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The inside cover says (“Important!”) I should return my copy to Nancy Ann Heftin of Ann Arbor, MI and gives an address and phone number – BUT! – at some point it was all crossed out. Priorities, Nancy Ann, priorities.

38. Stranger With My Face – Lois Duncan

I’ve made it no secret that I love Lois Duncan’s books, especially Locked in Time, and Stranger With My Face is no exception. I’m not in the mood to double check myself before I wreck myself, but I’m pretty sure I read somewhere that this one is Lois Duncan’s favorite of her own books – and it’s awesome, so, not my favorite, but Lois the excellent writer can clearly be trusted to choose wisely. She should be sent after the grail. I mean, she can deftly weave in some supernatural elements, realistic characters, and is a real master of actual teenager suspense – plus, I find the literal end of the story funny- so, she’d get it. I don’t think she would even need the Henry Jones’ diary for help, and she’s certainly not going to Marcus Brody on anyone and get lost in her own museum. There should be a Lois Duncan museum. Thus ends my super helpful “review” of Stranger With My Face.

Which is Twiglet and which is Pammy? I know. I’m not sure that everyone who encountered them could tell me which is which though.

Which is Twiglet and which is Pammy? I know. I’m not sure that everyone who encountered them could tell me which is which though.

 

Mixtape –
1.    “Freedom Run” – Kyuss
2.    “She’s My Witch” – Kip Tyler
3.    “Body Electric” – Sisters of Mercy
4.    “Cheree” – Suicide
5.    “A Little Soul” – Pulp
6.    “Ride a White Swan” – T Rex
7.    “How Heavy This Axe” – The Sword
8.    “Over and Over Again” – Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats
9.    “Man for All Seasons” – The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster
10.    “I’m a Demon” – The Wildbunch
11.    “Endless Night” – Graveyard
12.    “Fire” – Torche
13.    “The Dark Age” – Widowspeak
14.    “Sugar Baby” – The Kills
15.    “What the Stars Have Eaten” – Deadboy & the Elephantmen
16.    “Let It Go” – The Black Ryder
17.    “The Suburbs” – The Arcade Fire

 

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“Become a part of the NIGHT WORLD. Enter to win a flower pin.”

12. Soulmate – L.J. Smith

I did not know of the Night World series, or any other L.J. Smith series, actually, until I found a bunch of Night World books in the detritus of a closing book store’s YA section in 2014. I was looking for 1970s, 80s, and 90s YA as I usually am and the 1990s editions of the series have the most amazing covers. They’re paintings (of course, like I’d really be attracted to photography-based covers in YA…so 2000s…) of the main female characters (sometimes with special guests) surrounded by flowers and weird monster and demon faces and one face that really looks like wolf form attacking Lucy in the rain-Gary Oldman-Dracula from Bram Stoker’s Dracula and ravens and black cats and this one has a candlestick and they are bizarre and awesome pieces of book coverage. I know that this one was published in 1997, when I was a freshmen in high school and had moved on to reading Interview with the Vampire and Silence of the Lambs, but if I had known about this series when I was a teen I would have totally loved it. The female characters are well drawn and considering these are always romances, they’re feisty enough to not drive me nuts with their romantic angst (they’re certainly not swooners or “rape me and I’m yours” types) and I know I would have totally related to them –minus opportunity- when I was younger.

Soulmate concerns a romance throughout the ages, kind of like what Gary Oldman-Dracula is trying to imprint upon Winona Ryder-Mina in Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and by the way, I dug that movie quite a bit when I saw it as a teenager (surprise surprise); you know, “I have crossed oceans of time to find you” and all that other shit vampires say to not look like pedophiles to high school girls who don’t recognize them for the creepers that they are. Anyway, Hannah aka vampire dude’s soulmate, current body edition, is seeing a psychiatrist and it brings up repressed memories of her other lives with said vampire, and how said vampire murdered everyone she knew when they first met (and her) and it’s an interesting path to reconciliation. I know that the soulmate concept has a bigger part to play in the Night World, but I don’t have the whole series and I haven’t read all the ones I do have yet, so I have no idea where it’s going. Hopefully not a sad, couple filled kegger. Maybe Thunderdome for couples. I do know that I shelved the re-published, multiple books to one volume, covers featuring bland black and white photographs of random, staring girls versions of these books when I worked at the public library and I was not even remotely intrigued to read them. That was a shitty re-design, people. A shitty re-design. Those lonely, staring girls do not say “I have charisma and well constructed female characters inside.” They say “You will be alone forever inside the black void.” I, like, already know that.

Thaddeus knows Pickles is not his soulmate, that would be Pammy, but they still enjoyed each other’s company without dramatic protestations and no prehistoric villages had to be slaughtered.

Thaddeus knows Pickles is not his soulmate, that would be Pammy, but they still enjoyed each other’s company without dramatic protestations and no prehistoric villages had to be slaughtered.

 

Mixtape –
1.    “Seventh Wave” – Devin Townsend
2.    “Satellite” – TV on the Radio
3.    “Freya” – The Sword
4.    “Sweet Leaf” – Black Sabbath
5.    “Schyssta Logner” – Witchcraft
6.    “Night City” – The Sword
7.    “All Black” – Hanni El Khatib
8.    “Long Time Coming” – Droids Attack
9.    “Mouths of Madness” – Orchid
10.    “Moonchild” – Fields of the Nephilim
11.    “Satan/Dance You Fukr” – Zydepunks
12.    “Bruane Brenn”- Kvelertak
13.    “High Road” – Mastodon

 

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Homicidal Wonder Pets Ho!

13. The Dead Game – A. Bates

Humiliation and high school go together well in many areas across this great land. In this particular novel, the humiliation is not specifically reserved for outcasts and the perpetrators, beyond involving one insanity cookie whose artwork inspires the line: “Your fingers are like sausages poking at the clay.” (Awesome!), aren’t outcasts either. For once, the middle and high achievers are poking at each other, which I would have appreciated noticing when I was in high school. And middle school. And elementary school. Why weren’t they just working with those on their own playing field? Those who maybe wanted to compete? When I watch the Real World/Road Rules Challenge, which I do because some of those people have been on TV longer than I was in college and I recognize that achievement, they’re always whinging about people getting not getting rid of the stronger players because if they want to win, they should really win against people that are like them – good competitors-, not just leave weak teams till the end so that winning is easy. Picking on the weak is really just for most politicians and corporations anyway – but I guess some of them do get exposed through their own version of the dead game…but that can be the price of hubris and dick pics.

Her name may not be spelled the same as the usually trustworthy Wonder Pet guinea pig, but Morty's not taking any chances; especially when Ming (aka "Ming-Ming") is there too.

Her name may not be spelled the same as the usually trustworthy Wonder Pet guinea pig, but Morty’s not taking any chances; especially when Ming (aka “Ming-Ming”) is there too.

 

Mixtape –
1.    “Nuclear War (on the Dance Floor)” – Electric Six
2.    “Digging the Grave” – Faith No More
3.    “School” – Nirvana
4.    “Rococo” – The Arcade Fire
5.    “Dive” – Nirvana
6.    “Down at McDonelllzzz” – Electric Six
7.    “White Fright” – Bass Drum of Death
8.    “Harnessed in Slums” – Archers of Loaf
9.    “Sing” – Blur
10.    “Prescilla” – Bat for Lashes
11.    “He’s So Fine” – Bass Drum of Death
12.    “Military Man” – Evil Cowards
13.    “Breed” – Nirvana
14.    “Laboramus” – The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster
15.    “Be Aggressive” – Faith No More
16.    “Big Black Backwards” – Agents of Oblivion
17.    “Oh Me” – Nirvana

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American Horror Story: Oregon

21. Eyes of a Stranger – Sharon E. Heisel

Antique carousel!  This was a horse of a different color when it comes to 1990s YA suspense. Normally, there’s a girl, maybe she moves to a new town and suddenly she finds a cute boy and – oh! – he asks her out or asks her to come to the party of that girl who has been giving her dirty looks since she first came to school and then something bad happens, probably to the cute boy, and then the very normal, clearly pretty girl deciphers the mystery and gets away while some random gets Scooby Dooed. Eyes of a Stranger gives the narrative main haul to Marissa, who is clearly pretty but also happens to have one leg that’s shorter than the other…which makes it very hard to run away. She also has some rules to live by that make her a relatively formidable opponent in comparison to the usual YA last girl protagonists. Marissa lives out in the country with her Uncle Paul, a carousel man, and helps him run the carousel whenever she isn’t in school. The carousel attracts one customer who has very icy eyes and keeps bringing different blonde girls to take a ride. Marissa is not blonde but I bet you can guess where this is going, but not what’s in his toolbox. Ugh.

This is Ozy’s “I’m suspicious” face. He wouldn’t be a great carousel employee, but he could definitely ferret out suspicious characters.

This is Ozy’s “I’m suspicious” face. He wouldn’t be a great carousel employee, but he could definitely ferret out suspicious characters.

Mixtape –
1.    “Villain” – The Duke Spirit
2.    “Thoughts of a Madman” – The Nomads
3.    “French Bacon” – Electric Six
4.    “The Fool” – The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster
5.    “Midnight Creeper” – Eagles of Death Metal
6.    “Brief Encounters” – Franz Ferdinand
7.    “Little Girl, Little Boy” – The Odyssey
8.    “Wasted Away” – Dum Dum Girls
9.    “Floating Friends” – Archers of Loaf
10.    “Falling to Pieces” – Faith No More
11.    “Black Don’t Glow” – Bass Drum of Death
12.    “Stay Where You Are” – The Ettes
13.    “Summer Ends” – The Raveonettes
14.    “Dear Prudence” – Siouxsie and the Banshees
15.    “She’s My Man” – Sigue Sigue Sputnik
16.    “Friday Night” – The Darkness
17.    “Lightning Song” – Queens of the Stone Age

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I wonder which of the probably girls (One is so crossed out – take that ownership, Alexia, erase her completely!) who wrote their names inside the front cover of my copy also nibbled on the back cover.

19. Funhouse – Diane Hoh

I was reading an essay recently that involved a mild comparison of reactions to losing one’s job for confusing or right-to-work-state style reasons across genders and races…and one of those reactions, the homicidal maniac kind of reaction, seems to be perpetrated more often by the same kind of person who was responsible for all the “accidents” perpetrated at the seaside carnival in Diane Hoh’s Funhouse. Somebody’s ego and sense of honor was butthurt enough to begin trying super hard to kill teenagers related to the people that ruined his (oops, I was trying to be vague. Oh no!) working life and sense of family honor. Let’s just say that as a culture we’re lucky that everyone doesn’t have the most butthurtable of egos or there’d be no one left, especially not teenagers. I do have to say though, relevantly, the yard-based chase scene in this book was killer.

Pere and Merri’s idea of a funhouse. Look how much fun they’re clearly having. So. Much. Fun. Just for reference, they did that to themselves.

Pere and Merri’s idea of a funhouse. Look how much fun they’re clearly having. So. Much. Fun. Just for reference, they did that to themselves.

 

Mixtape –
1.    “White Riot” – The Clash
2.    “Ultra Twist” – The Cramps
3.    “Swollen Summer” – The Bravery
4.    “Tonto” – Battles
5.    “Lose My Mind” – Bass Drum of Death
6.    “Pottery” – Butthole Surfers
7.    “One By One” – The Ettes
8.    “Alabama Song (Whisky Bar)” – The Doors
9.    “Swim Club” – The Cave Singers
10.    “Destroy the Children” – Dick Valentine
11.    “Givin’ Up” – The Darkness
12.    “He Gets Me High” – Dum Dum Girls
13.    “I Gotta Feelin (Just Nineteen)” – Eagles of Death Metal
14.    “Radiation Blues” – Dax Riggs
15.    “Clogger” – 16 Horsepower
16.    “People Are People” – Depeche Mode
17.    “Worst Movie Ever” – Electric Six

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Poetry haunts everyone in different ways.

29. The Ghosts of Now – Joan Lowery Nixon

Angie Dupree’s family including her career driven father, barely-covering it up alcoholic mother, and teen brother Jeremy move to a tiny town in Texas and stumble into some terrible rich kid highjinks. I thought there were going to be ghosts. There were no ghosts and barely even any suspense of ghosts…sigh. Anyway, segue, when Jeremy ends up in a coma, Angie’s method for solving the mystery of what happened to him involves invading his drawers and reading his poetry (that’s where the “ghosts of now” came from – more sigh), harassing some girl named Debbie on the phone and by going over to her home repeatedly (geez, Angie…sigh), and bringing to light the town’s dividing lines between people who moved in to make money off of oil, locals without money, and locals with money; technically, there aren’t enough pages to make all that work out to a sensible point, not with Angie spending so much time yelling at people and visiting the hospital to tell Jeremy’s bizarre harem of elderly bedsitters to leave the room. Again, I thought there were going to be ghosts. Pffft.

“Rich kids always think their highjinks are the best highjinks even though they never are.” – Horace

“Rich kids always think their highjinks are the best highjinks even though they never are.” – Horace

 

Mixtape –
1.    “The Killing Moon” – Echo & the Bunnymen
2.    “Web in Front” – Archers of Loaf
3.    “You Blew Me Off” – Bobby Bare Jr.
4.    “Never Let Me Down Again” – Depeche Mode
5.    “(You’ll Never Be) So Wrong” – Bass Drum of Death
6.    “Cherry Cola” – Eagles of Death Metal
7.    “Grass” – The Black Ryder
8.    “An Occurrence at 450 South Third Street” – The Black Angels
9.    “Evil Blooms” – Dum Dum Girls
10.    “Right On, Frankenstein!” – Death From Above 1979
11.    “Stevie” – Kasabian
12.    “Ghosts” – UNKLE
13.    “Swollen Summer” – The Bravery
14.    “Psycho Killer” – Talking Heads
15.    “I Disappear” – The Faint

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