Sunday, September 27, 2015

FALL (MUSIC) PLAYLIST 2015

I've been working on fall decorating this past week, and since October starts Thursday, I'll soon be putting out the Halloween stuff as well.

That means it's time for a soundtrack! A fall soundtrack, that is. (I've also been working on a Halloween one that I'll link to soon.) A rule I usually go by when making a playlist is to only choose 1 song per band — but in this case, I'm going to break that rule, because a few of these bands are just too perfect for the theme to limit them to one.

What's on my list... 

Scars — Leave Me In Autumn (1981)
In my YouTube playlist I used the album version since it has better sound, but here I'll post a live version that was recorded on the Old Grey Whistle Test. Scars were an amazing band that sadly only lasted one album, but it's one of my favorite albums ever, and no matter how often I hear it, I never tire of it. They really had something special.



Japan — Halloween (1979)
I love Japan, and David Sylvian is one of my all time favorite musicians — so they'll probably be noted a lot on this blog; Halloween is a perfect song for this time of year.



The Damned — Grimly Fiendish (1985)
The Damned actually have quite a few songs that fit this theme, so I'll be sneaking another one in later — but Grimly Fiendish is without a doubt perfect for a Halloween playlist.  




The Phantom Chords — Born to Be Wicked (1990)
Speaking of The Damned... after they temporarily broke up in 1989, Dave Vanian formed The Phantom Chords with Damned guitarist Roman Jugg, and drummer Bryn Merrick. They recorded an album that was sadly never released, but has luckily ended up on YouTube through bootleg copies. (Bless whoever uploaded them.) This isn't great quality, but who cares — it's awesome. 



Echo & the Bunnymen — People Are Strange (1987) 
This is obviously a cover, (originally by The Doors) but I'm choosing this version because I initially discovered it through The Lost Boys, and like it a wee bit more than the original. 



The Cure — Lullaby (1989) 
Is there anything about this song or video that isn't awesome?! No, that's right, there isn't. Perfect choice. *double thumbs up* A++ 



Peter Murphy — Cuts You Up (1990)
Peter has many brilliant songs, but this is one of his standout tracks for me; it's just beautiful, and fits this time of year so well. 



Creedence Clearwater Revival — I Put A Spell On You (1968)
There have been many covers of this song, (which was originally written and performed by Screamin' Jay Hawkins in 1956) and while I do actually really like the original, I thought CCR's version fit this list the most. It just has a great feel to it. (The Bette Midler version will be on my Halloween list.) 



Bill Buchanan — Beware (1962)
This is a silly song that I've always really liked. It has that '60s party sound that makes you wanna dance. My only complaint is that I wish it was longer! 



The Specials — Ghost Town (1981) 
It's hard not to like this song, and while it's not actually about ghosts or anything Halloween related, (but rather a social commentary about a dying town) the eeriness of it makes it a fun choice for Halloween. 



The Damned — Shadow of Love (1985) 
I told you The Damned would pop back up again! This is one of the first songs I ever heard by them when I was a young teen, and I pretty much became an instant fan. Couldn't love it more than I do.



Lung Overcoat — Past Lives (1983)
What a band name, huh? I've always thought this was a good choice for a Halloween party, just has the perfect vibe for that. 



The Cure — A Strange Day (1982)
You could argue that just about any of the Cure's early songs would fit on a Halloween / Fall playlist, and you would be correct every time! There were lots of choices, but I decided to go with this one because I don't hear it too often.



Will Smith — A Nightmare On My Street (1988)
You won't find too much rap / hip hop on my playlists, but this one is an obvious win.



Michael Jackson — Thriller (1983)
Kind of a must track, right? I love Michael Jackson, so the fact that this gets played every Halloween and probably will for the rest of time is A-OK with me. (I'll have the video version on the Halloween playlist, but just the album version here.)



Japan — Ghosts (1982) 
Another one from Japan, (because they're amazing) which happens to be one of my most favorite songs, ever. They were in top form here. 



HIM — Sleepwalking Past Hope (2007)
To end things on a beautiful note, this song by HIM has always been a favorite of mine. It's melodic and melancholy, which is what they do best. 



Wednesday, September 23, 2015

HEY, IT'S AUTUMN!

Can I just start off by saying how HORRIFIED I am that it's already late September?! How! I feel like I blinked and half the month disappeared. I wish I could have a do-over for this month, but oh well, always forward.

It's autumn, though! Bittersweet. It's already been established on this blog that I love fall, so it's no surprise that even though I'm panicky about the date and may need to lay down for awhile, I am happy it's finally here. I noticed Monday that the trees are starting to turn color where I am, lovely. :) I'll be posting about that soon.

Early autumn in my part of Virginia.
Being the 23rd day of September, that also means that there are 37 days till Halloween, 92 days till Christmas, and 99 days left in 2015. Yikes. Before you know it we'll be singing Jingle Bells.

Some things to note for this upcoming season:

Neon Indian - Vega Intl. Night School (Release date: 16 October, 2015)
I'm new to Neon Indian, so I can't say I'm giddy about this just yet, but I will give it a listen when it comes out. I do like the first single off the record, Annie. (Click here to check it out.)

ABC Family's 13 Nights of Halloween (Beginning Monday, October 19th)
I already wrote a post about this, which you can read here.

Dave Gahan & Soulsavers - Angels & Ghosts (Release date: 23 October, 2015)
This is the fifth album by Soulsavers, and the second collaboration with Dave Gahan — who of course is the vocalist of Depeche Mode, as well as an awesome solo artist. I really like the first single, 'All of This and Nothing,' which you can listen to here. If you're a Psychedelic Furs fan like I am, you may have also grinned at that title, since it happens to be the name of one of their best songs. (In my humble opinion.)

New single from Vaniru - Dead or Dance (Release date: 4 November, 2015)
You probably don't know who Vaniru is, and that's OK — but if you like Japanese music, then you should really check them out. According to their website, there's also supposed to be a cover of New Order's 'Blue Monday' included with the single, which should be interesting. I can't even imagine that song with their treatment, but I really want to hear it. (Click here for more info.)

The Peanuts Movie (Release date: 6 November, 2015)
Again, I love Peanuts! So I'll be seeing this. Not totally thrilled that it's a 3D animated film, since I prefer the original animation used in the specials... but I'll not grumble too much and give it a chance. *fingers crossed on this one* IMDB

Is there more stuff than this to note? Probably! But those are the top things that come to mind right now. I'll add more later if anything else pops up.

On a random note, I saw this article yesterday about a realistic moon light, Luna: A Lantern That Looks Like a Moon. How cool is that? I would most definitely want this in my home — particularly in a child's playroom, I think it'd work really well there. (Although really anywhere, and no, I don't have any children yet, just what if-ing.) You can find Luna on it's official website here: luna-the-moon.com

I suppose that's all I'll ramble on about for now. Happy Autumn to you! :)
Let's make it great.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

PEANUTS HALLOWEEN

Before I say anything, let me just first state that I don't work for Oriental Trading, so anything I say here is entirely my opinion, and my opinion only. That being said, if Oriental Trading would ever like to pay me for blogging about them, then they are more than welcome to. *wink*

Peanuts! I love Peanuts. Charles Schulz is a big inspiration for me, and like a lot of people, his comics and specials were a big part of my childhood. So much so, that no matter how old I get, it still doesn't feel like the holidays without watching one of them. It'll remain a tradition for me that I'll someday happily pass along to my own children.

I also really love Halloween, (which at this point is probably not a shock) and Oriental Trading has some of the BEST selection of Halloween stuff that you'll find. If you've never checked out the Halloween section of their website, I highly recommend that you do. Oriental Trading: Halloween.

This year, they've also added over 50 exclusive Peanuts items to their shop, (they're not all Halloween, some are also Thanksgiving and Christmas themed) and I'm completely buzzing over it. So in honor of their majesticness, I thought it'd be fun to put together a wishlist of my favorite items. (Click on the product name to be directed to it's page.) 


1. Peanuts® Halloween Bags 
I really love the design on these, and since they're kinda big, they'd work well for trick -or- treating. This design also comes in a tablecloth that I really like.

2. Peanuts® Halloween Pails
Adorable, and since they're metal, they'll be able to be reused for future Halloweens.

3. Laminated Peanuts® Halloween Tote Bags
Cute! Great for trick -or- treating, and since they're polyester instead of plastic, they'll last a long time, too.

4. Peanuts® Halloween Cupcake Holder
This could obviously work for more than just cupcakes, so it's a great choice. They also offer individual cupcake holders, and Peanuts cupcake baking cups for a really great price.

5. Peanuts® Halloween Character Picks
Even more cupcake goodness! Along with the holder listed above, and the mentioned individual holders and cupcake baking cups, they also offer these really cute character decorations.

6. Peanuts® Dinner Plates / Peanuts® Dessert Plates
The dinner plates are the ones that feature Linus + Sally sitting in the pumpkin patch, and the dessert plates are the 'It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!' logo. They also offer matching napkins.

Click here to see what else is offered in the Peanuts section of orientaltrading.com!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

ABC FAMILY'S 13 NIGHTS OF HALLOWEEN 2015

If you're not familiar with '13 Nights of Halloween,' it's basically 13 nights (it's mostly at night, but also shown during the day) of Halloween themed shows and movies shown on ABC Family, beginning on October 19th, and ending on Halloween night. It's pretty much a Halloween tradition for those who grew up with it, (like moi) and every year the lineup is different, so when ABC Family announces it in September, it's kind of a big deal.



A few days ago, they released the programming schedule for this year, so I thought I would go ahead and note it! (I'll include my thoughts on it at the end.)

MONDAY, OCTOBER 19th
1:30 - 5:00 PM ET/PT — Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
5:00 - 8:00 PM ET/PT — Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
9:00 - 11:00 PM ET/PT — Hocus Pocus
12:00 AM - 2:00 AM ET/PT — Tim Burton's Corpse Bride

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 20th 
4:00 - 6:00 PM ET/PT — Tim Burton's Corpse Bride
6:00 - 8:00 PM ET/PT — Hocus Pocus
9:00 - 10:00 PM ET/PT — Stitchers
10:00 - 11:00 PM ET/PT — Stitchers
12:00 AM - 2:00 AM ET/PT — Casper

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 21st
5:00 - 7:00 PM ET/PT — Casper
7:00 - 9:00 PM ET/PT — The Addams Family
9:00 - 11:00 PM ET/PT — Addams Family Values
12:00 AM - 2:00 AM ET/PT — I Know What You Did Last Summer

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 22nd
4:00 - 6:00 PM ET/PT — The Addams Family
6:00 - 8:00 PM ET/PT — Addams Family Values
8:00 - 11:00 PM ET/PT — The Hunger Games
12:00 - 2:00 PM ET/PT — I Still Know What You Did Last Summer

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 23rd
5:30 - 8:30 PM ET/PT — The Hunger Games
8:30 - 11:00 PM ET/PT — Sleepy Hollow
12:00 AM - 2:00 AM ET/PT — Matilda

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 24th
*note: this "night" begins in the morning and lasts all day
7:00 - 9:00 AM ET/PT — Matilda
9:00 - 11:00 AM ET/PT — ParaNorman
11:00 AM - 1:00 PM ET/PT — Tim Burton's Corpse Bride
1:00 - 2:30 PM ET/PT — Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas
2:30 - 4:30 PM ET/PT — Casper
4:30 - 6:30 PM ET/PT — The Addams Family
6:30 - 8:30 PM ET/PT — Addams Family Values
8:30 - 11:00 PM ET/PT — Monsters University
11:00 - 11:30 PM ET/PT — Toy Story OF TERROR!
11:30 PM - 1:30 AM ET/PT — Hocus Pocus

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 25th
*note: this "night" begins in the morning and lasts all day
7:00 - 9:00 AM ET/PT — ParaNorman
9:00 - 11:00 AM ET/PT — Tim Burton's Corpse Bride
11:00 AM - 12:30 PM ET/PT — Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas
12:30 - 2:30 PM ET/PT — Casper
2:30 - 4:30 PM ET/PT — The Addams Family
4:30 - 6:30 PM ET/PT — Addams Family Values
6:30 - 7:00 PM ET/PT — Toy Story OF TERROR!
7:00 - 9:45 PM ET/PT — Monsters University
9:45 PM - 12:00 AM ET/PT — Hocus Pocus

MONDAY, OCTOBER 26th
5:30 - 8:00 PM ET/PT — Sleepy Hollow
9:00 - 9:30 PM ET/PT — Toy Story OF TERROR!
9:30 - 11:00 PM ET/PT — Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas
12:00 AM - 2:00 AM ET/PT — Tim Burton's Frankenweenie

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 27th
4:00 - 6:00 PM ET/PT — Tim Burton's Frankenweenie
6:00 - 7:30 PM ET/PT — Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas
7:30 - 8:00 PM ET/PT — Toy Story OF TERROR!
9:00 - 11:00 PM ET/PT — Hocus Pocus
12:00 AM - 2:00 AM ET/PT — ParaNorman

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 28th 
4:00 - 6:00 PM ET/PT — ParaNorman
6:00 - 8:15 PM ET/PT — Hocus Pocus
8:15 - 11:00 PM ET/PT — Dark Shadows
12:00 AM - 2:00 AM ET/PT — Casper

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 29th
5:00 - 7:00 PM ET/PT — Casper
7:00 - 9:00 PM ET/PT — The Addams Family
9:00 - 11:00 PM ET/PT — Addams Family Values
12:00 AM - 2:00 AM ET/PT — Hocus Pocus

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 30th
2:30 - 4:30 PM ET/PT — The Addams Family
4:30 - 6:30 PM ET/PT — Addams Family Values
6:30 - 8:30 PM ET/PT — Hocus Pocus
8:30 - 11:00 PM ET/PT — Poltergeist
12:00 AM - 2:00 AM ET/PT — Poltergeist II: The Other Side

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 31st 
*note: this "night" begins in the morning and lasts all day
7:00 - 10:00 AM ET/PT — Batman
10:00 AM - 12:30 PM ET/PT — Batman Returns
12:30 - 3:00 PM ET/PT — Poltergeist
3:00 - 5:30 PM ET/PT — Sleepy Hollow
5:30 - 7:00 PM ET/PT — Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas
7:00 - 9:15 PM ET/PT — Hocus Pocus
9:15 - 11:30 PM ET/PT — Hocus Pocus
11:30 PM - 2:00 AM ET/PT — Sleepy Hollow

And there it is! The 2015 lineup. As far as what I think of it... I like it, overall. I will admit that I don't think it's as good as it used to be when I was a kid, and from what I've read from a few other blogs that have complained about it, I'm definitely not alone in thinking that. They used to offer a lot more choice wise — whereas now, I think they most likely just pick what's most popular and then obviously just repeat them over and over. I actually don't have an issue with repeating them like that, because it's good to show something more than once just in case you miss the first airing, so it's really more just that they don't give you a huge selection in general that's the problem.

I personally think they do that because 13 Nights has gotten really popular over the years, and they've had time to figure out what movies people watch the most, so thus they only choose what gets them the most viewers. It's smart of them to do that, and I do like quite a few of their choices, (namely Hocus Pocus and The Addams Family) but it'd be nice if they'd add more old favorites, and perhaps space out the repeating ones a bit better. I also wish they'd not pick movies that have nothing to do with Halloween, like The Hunger Games and Matilda. Again, I think they do that because those films are popular, and they know it'll bring in viewers, even though they don't really fit the theme.

I guess for people like me who grew up watching it, we get a little stuck on wanting to see things that they used to show, so it kinda sucks that there are so many good movies and shows that never get used for it anymore. But ah well, I guess we'll just have to get our DVD's out! And perhaps keep our fingers crossed for things that still haven't been released on DVD, but hopefully someday will. (Looking at you, A Disney Halloween.)

I'll repost a link to this schedule closer to the actual start date, and I'm also going to be posting something else related... but I'll keep that a secret for now. *wink*

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

WOW, IT'S SEPTEMBER.

Seriously, IT'S SEPTEMBER. There are only four months left in 2015. Let's let that sink in for just a moment...

This happens to me every year, but I just never seem to get used to how fast time goes by. I'm a little less anxious about it in this case of course, because that means autumn is just around the corner, and that's certainly nothing to be sad about.

We still have plenty of leaves on the ground! This taste of early autumn that we've been getting for the past few weeks has been lovely, I wish it could stay like this all year.

I suppose now that it is September, I don't have to feel bad about skipping summer to talk about fall anymore, so you can expect a plethora of fall related posts soon. (I'll let this serve as a warning post, ha.)