Saturday, December 17, 2011

Christmas With Karling: a holiday treat for rockabilly and western country fans

Looking for a last minute holiday gift for your rockabilly/western country friends? No problem – head over to and wrap up Christmas for Karling. My favorite Southern California rockabilly gal - the British-born singer-songwriter Karling Abbeygate - has just released her first holiday album and I’m hooked. Although she includes a number of classic holiday favorites (“Jingle Bells,” “The First Noel,” “Deck the Halls,” and “Silent Night”), the original tunes are what makes this album unique.
As soon as you pop in the CD, you know this is going to be a one-of-a-kind Christmas album. It kicks off with the oddball tune “What’s in the Box,” a track Tim Burton and Danny Elfman would be proud of with mystery contents, goofy sound effects, and slightly creepy back-up vocals. Then there’s the Wanda Jackson-esque “Christmas Party,” the perfect soundtrack for getting your eggnog on.
Karling’s pouting, whispery voice on “Santa’s Got a Crush On Me” will remind anyone of Marilyn Monroe’s sexy “Happy Birthday” and you can see how she’s got a hold on the big man in red. But what I adore about the song are Karling’s creative and innovative lyrics about a very naughty Santa and a vindictive, jealous Mrs. Claus. A slightly more twisted and dark version of the classic “Santa Baby,” the humor which laces this track (and others) makes this a holiday record I’m not ashamed to admit plays on repeat in the car.
CLICK HERE to read the rest of the review on my Examiner site....

Monday, November 21, 2011

The 2011 Freak Show Festival Review

The second annual Freak Show Festival hit Austin on October 15th, offering a line-up hand-picked by festival founders Clint and Rachel Simmons that was also informed by a Facebook poll of last year’s attendees. Danger*Cakes, Austin’s local Pickled Punks, and horror punkers Calabrese got the party started while people melted in the sun. Koffin Kats returned to the Freak Show for their second year with what I believe was probably the high point of the festival in terms of audience reaction and energy. These guys always know how to give their all to the audience, and we weren’t disappointed. Next, Colleen Duffy of Devil Doll brought her blend of Wanda Jackson-inspired rockabilly to the stage, proving she’s not one to be messed with as she waved a fake pistol around during her rendition of “Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down).” Finally, Mad Sin graced the stage, having come all the way from Germany for the gig. True psychobilly fans were obviously pleased to have a chance to see this legend of the genre, but it felt like much of the crowd had already dispersed. Nevertheless, the wrecking pit was decent and Koefte de Ville was in fine form.

Click HERE to go to the Examiner website to continue reading this article.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Patricia Day of Horrorpops files suit against Mattel Inc. over "Rockabilly Barbie"

Day filed a "trademark infringement" suit on December 23, 2010 against Hard Rock Café and Mattel Inc. for selling a Barbie doll made in her image without permission.

Mattel and Hard Rock have recently teamed up to release a series of Barbie dolls in the likenesses of pioneering female rock and roll stars. The first three – the "Debbie Harry Doll", the “Joan Jett Doll”, and the “Cyndi Lauper Doll” – are specifically named after the musician whose likeness they appropriate, “with authorization and compensation to the female musician upon whom they are based” (Tehranian, “Day v. Wonderama”, 8). But the so-called “Hard Rock Café Barbie Doll”, or “Rockabilly Barbie” (retail $80), bears a striking resemblance to Day, and yet Mattel didn’t “obtain any licenses for the use of her right of publicity for commercial purposes.”


The Perfect Life After Death: The Psychobilly Zombie

I just posted a 6-part series on zombies in popular culture versus zombies in psychobilly. It's too much to copy and paste each of the 6 parts here on Blogger, so please follow the below links if you're interested!

SECTION A gives examples of the so-called Zombie Renaissance within recent popular culture.

SECTION B discusses the origins and definitions of zombies that make us think they're evil and must be killed.

SECTION C talks about how zombie stories over time have corresponded to major fears or anxieties that permeate the masses.

SECTION D analyses the ways in which zombie movies help us prepare for disaster and learn strategies for surviving a real apocalypse. It's about the catharsis we get from killing zombies.

SECTION E describes the idealistic zombie (post)apocalypse that psychobillies have constructed as a fantasy preferable to their current situation.

SECTION F caps off the series by talking about what it means when psychobillies dress up as zombies and how they identify with zombies.

Plus, there's a really cool slideshow of psychobilly flyers and how they depict zombies: HERE.

Please leave comments on the Examiner page or on here to let me know what you think!