October 31, 2009. It was on that night that Slipknot would bring the touring cycle for All Hope is Gone to a close by performing to a sold-out crowd at the Pearl Theater inside the Palms Casino Resort as part of FANGORIA's Trinity of Terrors. No one knew it at the time, but that Halloween night concert would be the final time that the band would perform with bassist Paul Gray, who died in the spring of 2010. I was at that show - a memorable highlight of my short tenure working for FANGORIA magazine, serving as the Director of New Media for the event and co-hosting live webcasts throughout the weekend, including installments with Slipknot's Sid Wilson and Corey Taylor. Oddly enough, early this morning, Facebook memories surfaced a few images from that event that led me to dig into the archives to take a look at some never-before-seen photos and video that I was tempted to share... pausing and considering that sharing them next year on the 10th anniversary would be more appropriate. And then something unexpected happened: Slipknot released a surprise new single and music video... "All Out Life."
It's Monday morning as I write this, and as has been the case in recent years, there's a feeling of disappointment. You see, yesterday was trick-or-treat day where we live here in Illinois - 1-4pm on a Sunday. The next subdivision over (literally around the corner and across the street) is a different town and will do theirs on Wednesday, Halloween proper.
If you're in Chicagoland, Boo! At the Zoo has become a tradition that families look forward to each and every year. We first took part back in 2016, and for the third consecutive year, Ferrara Candy Company has been presenting some Halloween fun at Brookfield Zoo on weekends through October. As always families are invited to enjoy the fun amidst seasonal decor, with activities including a corn maze, photo ops, trick-or-treat stations staffed by more than 400 Ferrara employees, the infamous Pumpkin Smasher, live pumpkin carving demonstrations featuring 1,000-pound pumpkins, a haunted hayride and more. There's even opportunities to see some of the animals enjoying pumpkins as a treat - which some of them really, really love!
If you're looking for a Halloween Playlist, then you've come to the right place. The right mix of tunes for your Halloween party or seasonal enjoyment can be a tricky thing in that there's a balance that needs to happen between classic tunes with timeless flavor and some new school jams to keep things fresh. That's why I've curated a new Halloween Spotify Playlist for 2018 that aims to do just that - some tricks are there, but it's all treats! With over 5 hours of music, this genre-spanning playlist includes tracks for the whole family, featuring Disney hits from The Descendants, Vampirina and The Nightmare Before Christmas to classic tracks from Warren Zevon, Michael Jackson and AC/DC to gems from Captain Clegg and the Night Creatures and Vince Guaraldi to fresh tracks from the likes of Ghost, Demon Hunter and Product of Hate. Best enjoyed by hitting "shuffle" and playing it loud, we'll be spinning this at Rock Father HQ for the Trick or Treaters to enjoy! Get it on Spotify or the player below...
On November 2, Danny Weinkauf is back with his Red Pants Band to deliver a fourth album of family-friendly jams when Inside I Shine hits the streets. The familiar bassist of They Might Be Giants recently issued a new single off the record, and it's one I agree with wholeheartedly. "Pumpkins (Are My Favorite Fruit)" holds a lot of appeal for yours truly (pictured top), an October baby that was born into the crisp autumn air of America's #1 pumpkin-growing state, The Land of absurd property taxes, massive corruption and other baffling facts Lincoln, Illinois. Featuring Tina Kenny Jones on vocals and horns with Steve Plesnarski on drums, check out this new ode to the greatness of the gourd below!
For years, tales of haunted toy stores have spread as urban legends, like the fabled Toys "R" Us in Sunnyvale, California - one said to be so frightening, it's inspired decades of theories and once appeared on an episode of Haunted Lives: True Ghost Stories, directed by Tobe Hooper (Poltergeist) and narrated by Star Trek's Leonard Nimoy. While the iconic retailer closed its doors here in the U.S. back in June, there is a chance for you to take a stroll through a Toys "R" Us once more, but not one of the many currently inhabited by pop-up stores like Spirit Halloween or Party City's Halloween City / Toy City combos... a haunted Toys "R" Us. For one month only, those who are brave enough have the opportunity to visit ZOMBIES 'R' US - "A New Haunted Experience" located inside the former Toys "R" Us location in College Point (aka Flushing, NY) Queens.