Insidious Chapter 2

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Insidious Chapter 2

Music by Joseph Bishara

 

Void Recordings – 2013

 

What really makes the score for Insidious Chapter 2 scary is that you can never quite get a hold of it.  The string work is always moving about in tracks like “Ghost Photographs” and “The Flickering Entity”, which keeps you on guard because you anticipate danger around every audio corner.

Sadness pervades “Empty Home.”

The tiniest touches in “Had a Bad Dream”, will give you the shivers.

When the lower notes of the piano hit hard in “Don’t You Dare”, it will jar you from your seat and make you shudder with dread.  The screechy strings should cause your skin to crawl moments later.

You can’t help but leap from your seat when the loud pick of the string vibrates three-quarters into “Only Ghosts Left.”

The quietness that follows the violins & cello in “This is My Room” leaves lots of space for your mind to imagine the darkness to come.  “To Live Again” uses room ambience to set you up before the strings pounce.  It’s cues like this that prove Bishara’s choice to use bowed instruments without other orchestra, was a smart choice, because you hear every musical device so much more clearly.

“Putrid Chamber” reeks of supernatural energy that floats about.  The violins creep up and down during “Further Striking.”

The technique of the strings sustaining notes, then skirting about in “One of the Dead” is really chilling.  This style of playing should make your body tremble with fright.

“Good Little Girl” crackles with the violins sounding like maniacal laughter, highlighted with Alisa Burket’s chilling voice.

Deep regret seeps out of “Closing Further.”

This soundtrack and the movie don’t give you many opportunities to catch your breath.  Insidious Chapter 2 is designed to terrify you as much as possible, so hearing “Time To Forget” is a much needed reprieve to ease things down a bit.

“New Haunting” introduces the next chapter; I’m sure will follow in this highly effective film series.

Altogether Joseph Bishara has taken his skillful audio tapestry for Insidious Chapter 2 one step further into the void of terror.  It’s not always easy listening to this score, because it delivers so much intense overpowering fear.  This isn’t a negative criticism, as it is exactly what the composer set out to do.

www.jbishara.com

www.voidrecordings.com

Crab Monsters, Teenage Cavemen, and Candy Stripe Nurses:

 

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Crab Monsters, Teenage Cavemen, and Candy Stripe Nurses: 
Roger Corman: King of The B Movie

By Chris Nashawaty

Abrams – 2013
ISBN:  978-1-4197-0669-1
272 pages, $35.00

 

This book is so well put together that just from the outside, it’s worth getting.  Slick paper sport glorious colorful photos that include both rare behind the scenes shots, frames from movies and movie posters from Roger Corman’s catalog of films.  But this isn’t just a photo and poster book.

The text is really what matters, as Roger Corman’s story is told through candid stories and quotes from not only Corman himself but graduates of the “Corman Film School”; Allan Arkush, Peter Bogdanovich, James Cameron, Francis Ford Coppola, Joe Dante, Robert De Niro, Peter Fonda, Gale Anne Hurd, Ron Howard, Jack Nicholson, John Sayles, Martin Scorsese, Sylvester Stallone, William Shatner and Mary Woronov (to name a few).

The way author Chris Nashawaty and Abrams designed this book makes it a treasure trove of information about the movie business.  Starting out as an engineer, Corman gravitated into films when it gave him the opportunity to tell stories, entertain people and make him money at the same time.

Its’ obvious Corman is an innovator, not only as a film director himself but as a producer.  Corman has the distinct ability to not only crank out pictures, but anticipate what the audience wanted to see that Hollywood couldn’t give them.  Eventually Hollywood got with it and started making similar films on a higher budget (like Jaws), which caused Corman to adapt and ride the waves of the marketplace.

When drive-ins were taken away by the big studios, Corman focused his product for cable TV and home video.  When those disappeared, he shifted into DVD.  Corman has always stayed ahead of the curve, which is proven by his incredible longevity.

Countless people admire and respect Roger Corman for giving them an entrance into the industry.  It’s like he had an open door policy for talent and allowed them to get their feet wet before they’d move onto to bigger things.  Almost like a minor league baseball operation for the majors.  I laugh and love Corman’s quote, “Just think.  If you are successful enough, you won’t have to work for me again.”

What I really enjoyed besides hearing about Roger Corman, was everything  about the movies I grew up loving as a teenager like; Piranha, Humanoids From the Deep, Galaxy of Terror, Slumber Party Massacre, and Forbidden World.  Just hearing the stories from the people who made those movies was priceless for me.

Crab Monsters, Teenage Cavemen, and Candy Stripe Nurses: Roger Corman: King of The B Movie exceeded my expectations and I loved every second reading it.

www.abramsbooks.com

 

Author Zac Crain Interview

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Author Zac Crain speaks about writing Black Tooth Grin: The High Life, Good Times, and Tragic End of “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott

 

 


Terry Wickham:  When did you first hear Pantera?  Back in 1983, my long-time friend Andrew Krepela told me he was pen pals with a guy in Texas, who was in a metal band that recorded in his band mate’s father’s studio.  So when he got a cassette (during those tape-trading days) he played Metal Magic for me. His pen pal was Rex (“Rocker”) Brown.

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Zac Crain:  I’m not exactly sure when I first heard Pantera. Best guess, I’d say I first heard them not terribly long after Cowboys From Hell came out, and I probably knew what they sounded like before I actually knew it was them. It was just sort of around, you know? When I first started working on the book, I was surprised by just how many songs I actually knew. I think I took a lot of them in by osmosis.

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TW:  Speaking of those early Pantera albums (before Phil Anselmo joined the band) I feel there’s no shame in liking them.  In fact, the first thing I ever finished as a filmmaker was a music video (where I told a story to the lyrics of the song) for “Come On Eyes” from Pantera’s third album, I Am the Night.

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ZC:  Oh, I think you’re right. It was a different sound, but it was a good representation of that sound. And, I think, obviously there was something there, since Terry Glaze went on to have success with Lord Tracy. When I started working on the book, I realized that one of my neighbors, Kinley Wolfe, among many other bands, had played bass in Lord Tracy. He had all the early Pantera records, and he introduced me to Terry. I flew up to Maryland and spent a day with Terry there.

TW:  What sparked you to write Black Tooth Grin: The High Life, Good Times, and Tragic End of “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott?

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ZC:  I covered Darrell’s memorial service for Spin magazine, and that was probably when I had the first inkling that this was something I wanted to do. There was a ton I didn’t know, not just about the band, but especially about Darrell. I knew the hard-partying side, at least by reputation, but I started to get more of a picture of who he was as a person, and it seemed to me like it would be a great story to tell — about him, about his family, about the band, and everything that goes along with that.

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TW:  How long did it take to write your book?  You’ve got a lot of people within speaking about the band and “Dimebag” in particular, which had to take some time.

ZC:  The book publishing business, I found, is kind of hurry up and wait. I finished the first draft of the book — researching and interviewing and writing — in just about a year. I spent most of that time researching and interviewing, and I was doing interviews up until a few weeks before I turned it in. The last one I had scheduled was Trent Reznor, but Vince and the family I think kind of shut that down. Which is fine. That’s their right. So, about a year for the first draft, and then maybe six months later, I did a rewrite, which it needed. I wrote about 50,000 words of the first draft in one month, writing between 11 pm and 4 am every night, then getting up a few hours later and going to work. The second draft, I was able to polish and reorganize and sort of work more of the mountain of material I had into the story. That’s when I really was able to nail the structure, and my editor, Ben Schafer at Da Capo Press, was a huge help with that. And then everyone signed off, but the book didn’t come out for another, I want to say, year or so. I finished the first draft in January 2007, and then it finally came out June 2009.

TW:  Did you ever get the chance to see Pantera live?  If so tell me about the experience.  Unfortunately, though I’ve been a lifelong metal listener and have known Pantera almost from their beginning, I never got the chance.

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ZC:  I did not. For whatever reason, it just never happened. I grew up in a small town, and so I didn’t really have an opportunity, and by the time I was in Dallas, they were just about done. I wasn’t a huge fan of some of their later albums at the time, and so it didn’t seem mission critical to see them. I have a better appreciation for them now, after having spent a lot more time with them, so, you know, I probably would have done it differently now. I do feel like I have seen them — at least a little bit — because I probably watched 50 full concerts while I was writing. I found a guy who gave me a ton of bootlegs, so I saw a lot of video of live shows and heard even more.

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TW:  What was the hardest part about writing Black Tooth Grin?  Did anyone give you a hard time?

ZC:  Well, like I mentioned, Vince was never really onboard with the idea, and I 100-percent get that. It’s his brother and when I started working on this, it wasn’t terribly long after everything happened. I thought it might be different, because he reached out through his manager after I wrote the Spin piece, and he relayed to me that he appreciated it. But very early on, he told me he wasn’t interested in participating or even supportive of the idea at all. So that shut a few things down. Basically every band on Roadrunner Records wanted to talk to me, but — I think it was the guys in Slipknot — they reached out to him to tell him they were going to do it, he said no, and that killed all of the Roadrunner interviews. That was in the first month or so. I just kept working, and never heard anymore from them. Just before I turned in my first draft, they put out the word to pretty much everyone in the music business to disavow me, but all that really cost me was the Trent Reznor interview. I was done by then. I had emailed a few times with Rita Haney, Darrell’s girlfriend, and it seemed like she was going to talk to me. At one time, I felt I was close to arranging a meeting. But then she cut off all contact.

That was the hardest part logistically, but that just made me have to handle everything a bit more creatively. Try to find more people, dig in a little deeper. The hardest actual writing part was the club shooting. I got video of the whole thing from the Columbus Police, and also a evidentiary video of the aftermath. I saved watching both and writing about them until the very end. I watched the videos very late at night — I don’t know why; that’s just sort of how it played out — and it was just — it was very hard to watch, and then very uncomfortable to write about. That’s an understatement.

TW:  Did you get to actually meet any of the folks you spoke to or was it all done by phone and Internet?

ZC:  A lot of it was by phone, yeah, because a lot of these folks were spread across the country or even overseas. Buddy Blaze was in Hawaii, and so I had to do most of my interviews with him sort of late at night, because of the time difference. And I did fly up to see Terry Glaze. But for as many of the local people as I could I did it in person. Tommy Snellings I spent a long afternoon going through all of the memorabilia he had saved, and several albums worth of photos. He gave me a Diamond Darrell guitar pick. Scott Minyard, Jerry Hudson — I met them at places Darrell had been, and that helped, too.

TW:  Did you ever hear what Vinnie Paul thought about your book once it was done?  If so, what was his reaction?

ZC:  No. I assume he hasn’t read it. I saw him at a Danzig show not long after it came out, but he didn’t talk to me.

TW:  What about Rex Brown or Phil Anselmo?

ZC:  I don’t know about that either. I’d guess no. But Rex wrote his book, and maybe at some point might have flipped through mine for comparison. But I never heard.

TW:  Did you ever get any feedback from any hard rock or heavy metal musicians to their opinion?  I figure his friends, like Zakk Wylde would want to read it.

ZC:  Again, I never heard. I’ve gotten a lot of feedback from people who knew Darrell, and they were complimentary. But that’s about it. I think Pantera fans like it. I have heard from them.

TW:  What’s your favorite Pantera album and why?

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ZC:  Vulgar Display of Power. I think that is absolutely the best representation of what they wanted to be, which was like a super-heavy version of Van Halen. They were still a unit — I think it was Far Beyond Driven when Phil recorded his vocals apart from the rest of the band, in New Orleans — and everything was clicking.

TW:  What’s your all-time favorite Pantera song?

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ZC:  Again, I would go back to Vulgar Display of Power and say “Mouth for War.” The way it starts off, with those machine gun drums, and then Darrell’s opening riff, heavy but sort of swinging, and then Phil just shows off everything he can do. The video is great, too.

TW:  Are you planning to follow the book with any other tomes on heavy metal or hard rock?  Do you have a website where people can follow your work?

Hm, maybe, if I found a story that really connected with me. I don’t have one now, but I certainly haven’t written it off. And I don’t have a website, but you can follow me on Twitter at @zaccrain. But you’d have to be forewarned, it’s mostly ridiculous jokes.