Foxhound Favorites: Video Game Music Radio

Foxhound FavoritesI am highly influenced and inspired by my friends. Over my life I have connected with a lot of awe-inducing geniuses, and I try to celebrate them as much as I can. It gets hard, of course, because as we get older, we all move away and shift focus, and evolve in our lives, but even then there are people who can swoop in for a lunch or a drink, pick-up where you left off a few years ago, and enrich your life with their own, and hopefully vice versa. One of those friends is Brendan McLeod.

Brendan, my husband, and I became friends in college, and from the first time I’ve met him I have always been impressed with his optimism, will, and drive to keep owning. He is in the Video Game designing biz, and is a huge advocate of the culture around it, including its music. Last time he was in town, he told me he’d started a radio show podcast called Foxhound Favorites that celebrates a scene I was unaware of…musicians and bands and DJs remixing and covering and bringing to the forefront the video game scores that have always played in the background.

Every Thursday, Brendan a/k/a Fox, and his dog Pullo a/k/a Hound design a playlist based on a hand-picked and annotated theme from this community, most recently: Mega Man X.

I dabble in gaming. Right now, I am at an impasse with it because I failed a case in L.A. Noire and I’m pretty pissed about it. Apparently after thirty-years on this Earth, its taken a video game to tell me I don’t read people well and am pretty gullible. Thanks for the life assessment, Rockstar Games. Anyway, I tend to favor first-person shooter/mission games like Grand Theft Auto 5000 and Fallout 3, games that don’t necessarily have original scores. I have had Nintendo days and Sega days here and there, but I wouldn’t say I was an expert on any of it, so with all that I was pretty sure I wouldn’t recognize anything on Foxhound Favorites.

Curious, I tuned in and had so much fun listening that I started sweeping through the archive. I was really surprised by what I did recognize. First, scores in games I had played but never payed attention too like Silent Hill and Castlevania; then, games I’ve never played but somehow have become part of my collective consciousness like Mega Man and Chrono Trigger. Sensations were nostalgia, wonder, and the occasional “awwww, that’s my jam!” It was really nice experiencing the range without the visual distracting the ears, if that makes sense. Also, there is some real talent here. Who thought trills in Mega Man would translate into some Jimi Hendrix lightening-shreds? I also found it’s pretty fun stuff to work to. In fact, I’m listening to the 2014 Greatest Hits as I draft this. This episode is pretty great, and is among my favorite episodes that include Halloween and Castles.

If you are a dabbler like me, or a hard-core gamer, or just like pop-cultural allusions, you definitely should check out FOXHOUND FAVORITES’ archives and catch new episodes every Thursday.

Oktoberfest in NYC, Concord, and Salem; Halloween in T-town


NYC skyline from a top Green-Wood Cemetery.
NYC skyline from a top Green-Wood Cemetery.

October flew by faster than a mini-pumpkin in a cannon. My husband and I visited New York City to be with dear friends Nicole Caputo and Jonathan Campo, and we had a blast. Trying to account for all the places we dined and drank and reveled in is folly, but folly has never stopped me before. My friends live in Park Slope, and we are all die hard Jonathan Ames fans. So, natch, our sauntering would turn into inadvertent Bored to Death tours. We crossed the Gowanus river and took in a show at the Slipper Room, which we realized later was the scene where Jonathan is dumped by his hippie girlfriend. There was always the possibility of running into the man himself at one of the beer gardens, but alas our paths did not cross. Which is good, because I tend to melt in front of these gents.

The Slipper Room may have been my favorite happening of this trip because the performances were beyond any Burlesque stuff I’ve seen (not that I have seen much). Thursday nights are Glitter Gutter, and every act was really whimsical, funny, and kind of geeky. The M.C. was Walt Whitman (James Habacker) in a hobo-version of Oscar Wlide’s sunflower suit, and pretty much had me in stitches the whole time. The performers were great and added a lot of humor to their acts. One performer, Tiger Bay, did a Mallory Archer performance set to Danzig’s “Mother,” and it was….just…only the words “danger zone” come to me right now. EDIT: I just found out this is a phenomenon going on for a long while, under the hashtag “nerdlesque.”

I also had a really lovely cocktail called London After Dark at Analogue, while trying to get out of the rain on the west side.

J. Mascis continues to own.
J. Mascis continues to own.

There were also the quiet times that were the best. Like going on cheese runs at Fleisher’s, dining on Nicole’s heavenly meals, and having coffee with her in the morning–a tradition that spanned the four years of our college lives together–visiting Green-Wood cemetery, where apparently I missed visiting Rufus Griswold, and catching up with Diana over dosas, and talking about James Tiptree over burgers with Aleks and Pete. One major quiet highlight was getting to sit in on a recording for Jonathan’s sketch animations with Gravy Boat Regatta. I’ve always been fascinated by voice acting, so getting to see how weird it looks in person vs. what the final outcome of it becomes was really cool.

Oh, crap, right–and we saw J. Mascis at The Bowery!

After NYC, we drove to Concord, where we spent the next morning wandering Walden, then the afternoon and evening stomping around Salem. Salem ended up being a little bit of a professional excursion, as I am working on my She Walks In Shadows submission [which, hey, will be open to general submission Nov. 15th!], which deals with Eunice Babson from “The Thing On The Doorstep.” Arkham is based on Salem, and the Crowinsheild house is supposedly modeled on the same mansion found on Essex Street. Supposedly, Asanath and Derby did their expiraments on the third floor, but that floor does not look very conducive to alchemy….

The only way I’ve been able to describe Salem, during Halloween at least, is like New Orleans and St. Augustine had a baby that looked like Elizabeth Montgomery. It was beautiful and corny and borderline “in approps.” The weirdest thing was hearing a group of high school girls hunt down specific victims of the witch trials in the graveyard and get really giddy when they found them. Martha Corey fan clubs abound, evidently.

Where mysterious sobbing could be heard coming from the top floor.
Where mysterious sobbing could be heard coming from the top floor.

The night, and the whole trip, was topped off by burgers in the old Salem jail with friend and Poe scholar extraordinare, Rob Vellela, who told us all about the recent unveiling of the new Poe memorial in Boston. Alas, I did not get to see it. We were too citied out by the time we arrived in Massachusetts. Next time.

When we came back home, it was non-stop Halloween times. I attended a neat Fright Film Fest in Railroad Square, but on by the Cultural Alliance at Railroad Square, a new non-profit gallery and organization that has been putting on killer, free festivals and activities for the community. And because it was Halloween, some spooky love was given to “Dive In Me,” Jesse Bullington and my haunting story in The New Gothic. It was included in this awesome, best haunted houses list that ran over at Quirk Books. Many thanks to Carrie Jo Tucker for finding Suicide Sinks so creepy. I know I wouldn’t want to be caught diving around there.