Satanic Panic book release at Fantastic Fest – Wednesday, Sept. 30th!

satanic panic book launchThe new book that I contributed to, SATANIC PANIC: POP CULTURAL PARANOIA IN THE 1980s is out! To celebrate, I will be on a panel at Fantastic Fest with editor Kier-La Janisse and some of the other authors on Wednesday, September 30th at 8:30 p.m. We’ll be discussing the book, showing some clips of some of the more notorious news segments from the era, and then there will be a rare 35mm screening of the 1981 cult fave horror film Evilspeak!

More info here:

And here:

If you don’t have a Fantastic Fest badge, you can still get into the screening if space is available. Check here to see if there are any tickets:

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John Schooley Japan Tour 2015!!!

john-schooleyI’m going to Japan! I may have ridden this mule all over the world, but I’ve never been to anywhere in Asia before, so this is something I’ve always wanted to do. Only three shows!

Friday, August 21 – Tokyo at Club Heavy Sick

Saturday, August 22 – Kobe at The Bee’s Knees Lowbrow Rock and Roll Art Bar

Sunday, August 23 – Yonago at トリスキール Triskele Cafe

If you have friends in Japan, tell them to come on out, and share the Facebook page for my tour so people can know this is happening. It may never happen again!

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New book! Satanic Panic: Pop-cultural Paranoia in the 1980s

SP-cover-WEBHey, some of my writing is gonna be in an actual book! I wrote the afterword for this upcoming anthology on the 1980s Satanic Panic, put out by Canadian publisher Spectacular Optical! This is a crowd-funded endeavor, and there is an Indiegogo page where you can pre-order the book. Pre-ordering gets you some cool extras that you won’t see if you wait and buy it on Amazon.

The book features chapters focused on different aspects of the era, from movies to music to Jack Chick publications.  It is absolutely fascinating, and laid out beautifully with lots of photos and artwork. If you are a fan of horror movies, true crime stories, religious weirdness, rock n’ roll music, etc. you will love it.

Awhile back I wrote a little post on this blog about the Satanic Panic, which lead co-editor Kier-la Janisse (also film programmer, founder of the Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies, and author of the super-cool book House of Psychotic Women) to contact me about contributing. I came to this project just as an average schmoe with a blog who happens to have an unhealthy fascination for the era, but the other authors have much more impressive résumés.  Their contributions are fascinating and compelling, and I’m honored to be included.

Here is some more info from the Spectacular Optical web page:

Spectacular Optical Announces Upcoming Second Book:

spanicIn the 1980s, it seemed impossible to escape Satan’s supposed influence. Everywhere you turned, there were warnings about a widespread evil conspiracy to indoctrinate the vulnerable through the media they consumed. This percolating cultural hysteria, now known as the “Satanic Panic,” not only sought to convince us of devils lurking behind the dials of our TVs and radios and the hellfire that awaited on book and video store shelves, it also created its own fascinating cultural legacy of Satan-battling VHS tapes, audio cassettes and literature. The second book by Canadian micro-publisher Spectacular Optical,Satanic Panic: Pop-Cultural Paranoia in the 1980s, offers an unprecedented and in-depth exploration of how a controversial culture war played out during the decade, from the publication of the memoir Michelle Remembers in 1980 to the end of the McMartin “Satanic Ritual Abuse” Trial in 1990. This new anthology, expected to be released in summer 2015, follows on the success of KID POWER!, Spectacular Optical’s inaugural book about cool, tough and sassy kids in cult film and television.

Satanic Panic: Pop-Cultural Paranoia in the 1980s features 20 new essays and interviews addressing the ways the widespread fear of a Satanic conspiracy was both illuminated and propagated through almost every pop culture pathway in the 1980s, from heavy metal music to Dungeons & Dragons role playing games, Christian comics, direct-to-VHS scare films, pulp paperbacks, Saturday morning cartoons, TV talk shows and even home computers. The book also features case studies on McMartin, Thee Temple ov Psychick Youth and Long Island “acid king” killer Ricky Kasso. From con artists to pranksters and moralists to martyrs, the book aims to capture the untold story of the how the Satanic Panic was fought on the pop culture frontlines and the serious consequences it had for many involved.

Satanic Panic’s roster of contributing authors and media critics includes Gavin Baddeley (Lucifer Rising: Sin, Devil Worship and Rock n’ Roll), Liisa Ladouceur (Encyclopedia Gothica), David Flint (Sheer Filth), Alexandra Heller-Nicholas (Rape Revenge Films: A Critical Study), Adrian Mack (The Georgia Straight), Forrest Jackson (Cosmic Suicide: The Tragedy and Transcendence of Heaven’s Gate), Alison Nastasi (Flavorwire), Leslie Hatton (Popshifter), David Canfield (Twitch), David Bertrand (Fangoria; Spectacular Optical), Alison Lang (Rue Morgue), Kevin L. Ferguson (Queens College/CUNY), Wm Conley (Deathwound), Kurt Halfyard (Twitch), Samm Deighan (Satanic Pandemonium), Stacey Rusnak (The Postnational Fantasy: Essays on Postcolonialism, Cosmopolitics and Science Fiction), Ralph Elawani (C’est complet au royaume des morts), Gil Nault (Liturgie apocryphe) and Joshua Graham, alongside co-editors Kier-La Janisse (House of Psychotic Women: An Autobiographical Topography of Female Neurosis in Horror and Exploitation Films) and Paul Corupe (Canuxploitation). The book will also feature comic art by Rick Trembles (Motion Picture Purgatory) and original illustrations by Toronto artist Mike McDonnell.

The book’s launch in summer 2015 will be accompanied by screenings and panel events in multiple cities. Stay tuned for more developments on that front, as well as a full table of contents list to be announced later this spring. Please see attached for cover art, which will be printed with metallic silver ink on black matte.

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Schooley and Mariconda – Let’s Get Frankie!

1904091_10152275892099486_918541362_nOver the past year I’ve played a handful of shows with Mike Mariconda. If you know anything about rock n’ roll and didn’t just fall offa the turnip truck and into a pile of cut-sleeve denim vests, you probably know Mike as the guitar player for the Raunch Hands, or as producer on a huge list of rock n’ roll records (including the Devil Dogs, Spaceshits, New Bomb Turks, Revelators, and a million bands), or from playing with the Devil Dogs, Cosmic Psychos, and others.

Last year Mike and I teamed up to play as a duo for a show. Mike played baritone guitar, and I played my usual one man band setup like I do. It was originally going to be just a one-off thing, but we ended up doing it a few times, much to the confusion and disdain of Austin audiences.

11129908_10153230977764486_9049052619747825585_nThe original idea was to do all Hound Dog Taylor songs, which would lend themselves to a two-guitar/simple drum setup pretty well. Originally this “project” was gonna be “John Schooley and the Houserockers,” ala Hound Dog Taylor and the Houserockers, but then it became “John Schooley and his Housewrecker,” and finally just “Schooley and Mariconda.”

Our aesthetic ended up becoming “a combination of Hound Dog Taylor and Suicide,” which we thought sounded genius, but you can probably imagine how that went over with the world at large. We did all Hound Dog Taylor songs for the first show, but ended up adding songs by other artists, until in addition to Hound Dog Taylor we were covering Dale Hawkins, Polka Dot Slim, Alan Vega solo material, Snooks Eaglin, WHATEVER WE FELT LIKE.

11200818_10205470718141666_6104531597632616164_nNow Mariconda is leaving this godforsaken country and moving back to Spain, so if you missed this handful of gigs, you missed your chance. Luckily, Ángel Delgado-Reyes videotaped a few songs for his blog so you can still catch a glimpse of the Schooley-Mariconda duo in all its “glory.” Mike claimed at the last show that it was his retirement from playing guitar onstage, and we got pretty lit, our playing was sloppy as fuck, and made lots of smartass comments at the audience, so it was a fitting ending to his stellar career.

11160634_10205421878640709_4819433378903593611_oProbably our best number was our set closer at every show, a version of Hound Dog Taylor’s Let’s Get Funky where I sang the lyrics to Frankie Teardrop by Suicide – Let’s Get Frankie! Genius! Nobody got any footage of that one, though. Aaron Blount of Knife In the Water was the only person in the audience who ever picked up on what we were doing on that song, anyway.

Besides, as Jim Dickinson famously observed:

The best songs don’t get recorded, the best recordings don’t get released, the best releases don’t get played.

So, here’s the only recorded works of Schooley and Mariconda, compiled for you, faithful blog reader. Enjoy.

44 Blues

What’d I Say

Look Out Mabel

A Thing You Gotta Face

She’s Gone

Posted in COMEDY GOLD, General Orneriness and Contrarianism, Life, Lost classics, Music, One Man Band | 2 Comments

Strange Country – when country music was hip, Part II

buck owensLast time, I was talking about country music, and how people don’t even know that it can be cool anymore. There was a hip underbelly in country music even as it was also marketed as the safe, God-fearing, family loving music embodying rural hearth and home. Oddly enough, the artist who best represents both sides of this dynamic in country music – hip as fuck, but also corny and hokey and willing to shamelessly pander to the moron demographic – is Buck Owens.

Buck Owens in the 1960s epitomizes country music at its coolest. A gifted songwriter with an amazing string of hit records (in an era when widespread popularity and quality were not mutually exclusive concepts), Buck’s output during this period will never be equaled. They just don’t make ‘em like this anymore. 15 consecutive number one hits – and they’re all great! Buck wasn’t a solitary genius, either. He had an amazing band of musicians behind him, honed into a razor-sharp outfit by a punishing road schedule, and dressed to the nines…

More after the jump! Continue reading

Posted in Forgotten History, General Orneriness and Contrarianism, Lengthy discourses, Long-winded screeds, Lost classics, Music, My opinions are important and should be displayed on the internet | Leave a comment

Strange Country – when country music was hip, Part I

So I’m a DJ now. Started a DJ gig at the Aristocrat Lounge: Strange Country. Yeah, yeah, DJing takes lots of talent, but it seems like there are a million soul DJ nights going on in town, and I wanted to do something different. I chose the name Strange Country not because I’d be playing novelty records all night, but in honor of Billy Strange, session guitar player extraordinaire who played on the coolest Lee Hazlewood albums, and a million others from country and western to pop to rock n’ roll.

Calling it Strange Country would also maybe help to signal that I wasn’t going to be playing I Walk The Line. We all love Johnny Cash, but let’s be real – Johnny Cash is to country music as Bob Marley is to reggae at this point.

But like Johnny Cash, Billy Strange was a cool dude. Anybody who played on These Boots Are Made For Walkin’ would pretty much have to be. He was a serious hepcat, and he also played country music. A lot of people don’t seem to know that country music can be cool, too. Or at least, it used to be.

roy lanham

I ripped off a Roy Lanham album to make this flyer.

I’ve accumulated a lot of country and western records over the years, and this was easy, because most people didn’t want them. If you read the interview I did with Walter Daniels from a few posts back, we both talked about our days working in record stores, how country music wasn’t appreciated by many in the indie rock and punk rock world.

My alienation served me well, however, because I’ve been able to pick up lots of country records cheaply since the Sonic Youth fans were too square to know what they were missing. If you are reading this, I’m probably not telling you anything you don’t already know, but if there’s one thing I’ve found from writing shit on the internet, it’s that all kinds of crazy people might end up reading it. Hey, this might be news to some of them, if not you!

Today we are in the middle of a “vinyl resurgence,” but country records still don’t have the cachet of something with “northern soul” or “popcorn” in the ebay description. That’s fine with me. Even while the price of vinyl in other genres gets ridiculous, most country records are still inexpensive. Perhaps that is because country music has a bit of an image problem. Why might that be?

We’ll examine it in excruciating detail after the jump! Continue reading

Posted in Forgotten History, General Orneriness and Contrarianism, Guitar nerd shit, Lengthy discourses, Long-winded screeds, Lost classics, Music, My opinions are important and should be displayed on the internet | 2 Comments

Dead Mall Blues – The Video!

Anand Modi shot and directed this great video for the title cut from my new album with Walter Daniels on 12XU Records. Filmed on location inside Highland Mall in Austin, Texas, it not only gives you something to gawk out while listening to our song, it documents a bit of soon-to-be vanishing Americana:

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