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The Holden Caulfield of modern horror.

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American Ghoul is a horror novel in the tradition of Shelley and Stoker, and yet brings a sense of freshness and humor to the genre, as author Morton tells the story of a high school outsider in the late 1970s. It’s fascinating to read Morton’s account of 17-year-old Howard Pickman, and realize you feel a profound empathy for his protagonist despite the rather gruesome secret he must strive to protect. What’s also fascinating is how Morton recreates the high school experience of the late 1970s, complete with jocks, freaks, and the dark artists who came of age in the heyday of punk rock. This is a book rich in spirit, and transcends the usual exploitation of the horror genre to offer a redemptive tale of Howard and his friends Sebastian, Gerald, and Dwayne, who form a bond, and a band, while trying to stay alive in a world that doesn’t take kindly to strangers, individuals, or ghouls. But maybe it should.

Excerpts from the “Random Numbers” project.

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There are 22 cranial and facial bones that make up the human skull.

In 1812 Beethoven composed  “Drei Equali” requiring 4 trombones.  It was performed at his own funeral procession.

Typically, it’s wise to have at least 8 place settings for dinner parties.

Dogs of similar size and purpose to the modern beagle can be traced back to Greece in the 5th century BC.

 You can hide your phone number on outgoing calls by pressing *31 followed by the number.


This Can’t Be. No, really. It can’t.

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Their eponymously titled debut (and finish, as The Corpsemen did not last past these 4 songs and one video), is a punk rock summary of what it was like to be a high school outsider in the late 70s. I get the feeling these guys listened to the Ramones and the Runaways by way of the Delfonics.

But the real question is, how did this band, the knowledge of which has been zero and zilch until the discovery of a cassette tape stuck between the seat cushions of a 1978 Chevy Nova, wind up being portrayed in the novel “American Ghoul” by Walt Morton? I mean, “novel” last I checked, means “fiction”, which means the band “The Corpsemen” and the members of aforementioned band — Sebastian Jones (singer/guitarist), Howard Pickman (bass), Dwayne Garcia (drums) and Gerald Spaznek (not sure what Gerald plays, thinks its some of the strange noises so I guess synthesizer) — are not flesh and blood creatures who actually walked the earth but are characters of the imagination dreamt up by author Morton.

To go one step farther, what if Walt Morton is a fictional character as well? Or this “novel” is actually an account of what really happened in 1978? What if there’s a ghoul sitting right next to you on the subway, right now? How could you tell? You couldn’t! So long as this cassette is still (barely) operable, I’m going to transfer its contents to the obligatory 1’s and 0’s and get The Corpsemen music out there anyway. Maybe you’ll enjoy it as much as I did. Or think I did. If I exist. You get the picture…

Available for kids’ parties, raves, club dates, other.

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Need an act for your coffee house, sophisticated cocktail party, or to warm-up the crowd before The Decemberists take the stage?  What about Vitally Important recording artists The Burlinson|Whitten Trio?  They often perform as a duo, so you’ll save on the cost of the third member.  Or they can expand to form a seven piece, if you have an unlimited budget.

Yes, even them.


Even paranoid presidents enjoy vitally important family time

Vitally Important thought for the day: even paranoid ex-Presidents and their families had moments of unfiltered joy while celebrating a long holiday weekend.  We the people is right!