Why Do We Monster Mash?

YouTube Screen Capture
Clip from a Monster Mash (Reenactment)
For many of us, every Halloween is signified by that one song we hear at least once every spooky harvest season. No matter what the neighborhood ghouls and goblins get into, few songs are as much of a rite of passage, hallmark and staple as Bobby "Boris" Pickett's "Monster Mash." Ubiquitous within the Halloween season, it seems to be mandated by law to appear in every "Halloween-episode" of every sitcom committed to tape, we as a society almost take for granted that "Monster Mash" will always be there. Whether you love it or hate Halloween (that venn diagram doesn't really seem to really intersect) chances are all you might know of the "Monster Mash" is #1 it's a graveyard smash and #2 it caught on in a flash. That's why I'd like to take a moment away from costume shopping to really examine why the "Mash" has managed to trick and treat listeners for over 50 years.

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Evil Dead's Army of Darkness in the Music Industry

Shout! Factory
Ash, Brandisher of Boomstick
It's an exciting time for fans of cult film franchise Evil Dead. This week sees both the Shout! Factory blu-ray release of Army of Darkness, in what has to be the definitive release of the film boasting four different cuts and an undead army of extras, as well as Halloween night ushering in the next chapter of the ongoing saga in the Starz miniseries Ash vs. The Evil Dead.

The magnitude of the Evil Dead fanbase is both esoteric enough to not realize the vastness, yet passionate enough to feel almost mainstream, which one could argue it is now that a 2013 remake was released worldwide by Sony, taking in close to 100 million dollars. But what's fascinating about how inspiring the devotion of its fans is, is how many times the films are eluded to or referenced that just seems to barely fly under most radars and create some deadite magic of its own. Especially in the world of music.

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Maidens of the Moshpit: A Feminist History of Orange County Punk

John Gilhooley
Punk-rock goddess Angela Adams-LaBounty is sitting in a Huntington Beach Starbucks and reminiscing about violence, teen angst and sweat-drenched bodies flying through the air at Costa Mesa's legendary the Cuckoo's Nest. The 49-year-old hairdresser's phone bleeps and blinks; when she looks down, she breaks into laughter. "It's my punk boyfriend from high school--the one I lost my virginity to!" Her interviewer laughs and reassures her this info will be off the record. Adams-LaBounty sternly replies, "ON THE RECORD! My choice. His $19 motel in Stanton!"

Soon, the conversation returns to the origins of Orange County's punk scene. In the late 1970s through the '80s, bands such as the Adolescents, TSOL, the Vandals and others were gaining prominence on the national landscape as hardcore began to overpower the original artsy wave of punk. "There was a freedom in knowing that nobody was watching you or cared what you were doing," says Adams-LaBounty.

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The Top Five Films of Master P

Mikamote via Wikimedia Commons
The Bout It One Himself, Master P

Hip-hop and Hollywood have combined to create the biggest story in all of entertainment at the moment as the N.W.A. biopic Straight Outta Compton is dominating the box office and receiving rave reviews for bringing rap history to the silver screen. Its success has already caused quite a number of moves to be made in the industry, including the announcement of a biopic for No Limit Solder and iconic rap entrepreneur Master P. But if you've ever been bout it bout it, you'd know this wouldn't be the first time P's solid gold tank would roll into the celluloid canon.

No Limit Films was actually a pretty groundbreaking division of P's No Limit Records, paving the way for rappers to star in their own direct-to-video films and prove there's a market to see them act. From ambitious but humble beginnings shooting on VHS to getting some actual big name stars under P's direction, there's quite a lot to "Hoody-Hoo" in your popcorn about. It is in anticipation of more P cinema that we bring you The Top Five Movies of Master P.

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Five Essential BET UnCut Clips

YouTube Screen Capture
Nelly Tells Us What It Must Be
This Saturday, while The Fourth of July marks our nation's proud birthday, it sadly also commemorates nine years since the treasured block of programming BET UnCut went off the air. From 2001-2006, the 3:00 AM ET broadcasting timeslot on BET was dedicated to the clips they couldn't play at any other time of the day. While the allure for many was the loosening up about what could be shown in a video and the promise of provocative sex and violence, the hour would also lend itself to allowing independent regional stars (including Murs, Labtekwon, Madlib and Dilla) without the major label budgets to get their clips screened to a nationwide audience.

It is with the sweetest of memories that we reminisce over these five BET UnCut classics. If you've ever wanted to know what the best of 3:00 AM television was all about, look no further.

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Boom Bap Project's Reprogram Turns 10

Rhymesayers Entertainment
Boom Bap, Original Rap
While underground hip-hop fans around the country have spent much of 2015 celebrating the 20th anniversary of innovative indieground rap label Rhymesayers Entertainment, this year marks a few ten year anniversaries as well. This week marks one decade since the release of Boom Bap Project's Reprogram album. Consisting of members Destro, Karim and DJ Scene, Reprogram marked an interesting entry in the label's catalog. Released during Rhymesayers' initial wave of the Northwestern hip-hop additions to the predominantly Minneapolis roster, Boom Bap Project's upholding of traditional hip-hop particulars allow Reprogram to echo both the elements of where RSE and hip-hop was in 2005.

We spoke to Karim about the making of the album, the Seattle-Rhymesayers connection, and how he feels about the project ten years later.

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The Five Best No Limit Albums In Honor of Independence Day

No Limit
This Saturday is the day we here in America observe our nation's independence. The wonderful freedoms we have include our opportunity to sell our albums out of the trunk of our automobiles and ride that wave of success into creating a multimillion dollar multimedia empire. At least, that's what Master P did. A true independent, his releases with No Limit Records were a prime slice of the American dream. He released so many of his and his family's records on his own that made such an impact, all the labels wanted a piece. While P took full advantage of this popularity and flooded the market with what seemed like monthly releases, it made the tidal wave of No Limit music a touch challenging to navigate, especially in retrospect. That's why we suggest spending your Fourth of July with these No Limit classics. Ya heard me?

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Kid Rock's History of Rock Turned 15 But The Internet Forgot

Warner Bros.
Kid Rock, Not For Kids
Last week, as the Internet failed to remind you, was the 15th anniversary of the Kid Rock album The History of Rock. No, seriously, it happened. Even in this age of thinkpiece-after-thinkpiece and 25th anniversary spectacles that are merely the 5th anniversary celebrations of 20th anniversary coverage, the decade-and-a-half mark for Kid Rock's follow-up to his Diamond album Devil Without a Cause went entirely unmentioned. Unsure of why a nation of websites would leave all that money on the table, we at the Weekly are here to heroically right this wrong and pick up the torch where lesser sites have dropped it and embalmed their credibility.  This is Kid Rock's History of Rock, 15 years later.

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The Musical Journey of WWE's Daniel Bryan

Daniel Bryan
This week, the good people at WWE release Daniel Bryan: Just Say Yes! Yes! Yes! on Blu Ray and DVD. A hotly anticipated release, Bryan's five year tenure in the company has made him one of the most beloved stars on the roster. From his mixture of brutal-looking strikes with exciting speed, to his genuinely endearing charisma, there's a lot about Bryan that's made him stand out and capture the hearts of WWE fans worldwide.

While it shouldn't be surprising that his tremendous in-ring skills and crowd-controlling personality had made him a fan favorite even in his many years competing prior to WWE, what may not be as known is how his musical choices and endeavors helped foster quite a unique place for him in the sports-entertainment world as well. With two fingers pointed in the air, we at the Weekly are celebrating this week's release with a gallop back through Bryan's musical memory lane. This is Daniel Bryan's musical history.

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Bizzy Bone's "Money in a Ziploc Bag" is Truly a Timeless Classic

YouTube Screen Capture
Bizzy Bone Mid-Classic
This Sunday night (the third of the month), Cleveland rap innovators Bone Thugs-N-Harmony return to The Observatory. We always love seeing the group as, along with a catalog packed with classics, they put on a great show as they're some of the most charismatic harmonious entities to ever share a group. At Burgerama last March, this cadre of Cleveland's finest emcees destroyed the stage when it was their turn to perfrom. But while when some people first hear the name Bone Thugs-N-Harmony they think of "Tha Crossroads" or "1st of the Month" or perhaps even the group's solo work like Krayzie Bone's "Thug Mentality" or his assist on Chamillionaire's "Ridin' Dirty," we at the Weekly have a very special connection to a Bone family ditty.

There's nothing like Bone Thugs-N-Harmony. There's also nothing like money in Ziploc bag. Uh-huh. Uh-huh.

To some of you, a tidal wave of treasure late night memories just splashed across your brain. To everyone else, I'm almost jealous that you get to experience this for the first time. So please, clear out all distractions, shut the blinds to simulate darkness, turn the lights down low and watch the following video after the jump.

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