Welcome To The Curios

The Curios have been gathered from near and far. They may be common-as-muck or one-of-a-kind. They may be worth a pretty penny or a dime-a-dozen. They may be horrifying, captivating, loathsome, or scintillating.

Whatever the cause of their creation, hopefully they bring enjoyment to someone out there.


It's Hallowe'en time!!!

(from left: 2005 - JD from Heathers, 2006 - Freddie Mercury, 2007 - Rorschach, 2008 - Jesse Custer, 2009 - Joel/Mike from MST3K. Also serves as a handy timeline for measuring my increasing face-girth)

Like a million other bloggers out there, I love Hallowe'en. But I don't have the wherewithal or motivation to do a daily countdown or anything like that. BUT, in the past, I have made compilations to celebrate Samhain: One For The Freaks (over at my old blog, Champignon for My Real Friends...) & Meat For The Beast.

And this year's no different!

But first, an explanation: This year, I'll be attending the same Hallowe'en party that has been held without fail since 2003 (years '03 & '04 not pictured above) dressed as a clown. And so far, every time I've mentioned it, someone will say "An evil clown?"

It's a surprisingly common theme - during my search for a suitable outfit, roughly 90% of the costumes I saw were preceded by the words "creepy" or "evil". Do an image search for 'clown' and the results are about 50-50. I even searched for 'murdered clown', to find the source for the image I used as the cover, and Google asked if I meant 'murder clown'. No, I meant 'murdered clown' (please note that I can't find any proof that the photo was actually taken at the scene, nor can I find a photographer's credit, so apologies for that).

Well, no, I'm not going to be explicitly evil. I will be replicating John Wayne Gacy Jr's Pogo makeup, but that's mostly out of convenience. But I'll be damned if I'm going to be 'jolly'.

So heere it is, 2010's clown/circus-themed Hallowe'en compilation -

Something Bad Happened to A Clown - download link

(don't ask why I capitalised 'A' and not 'to' and vice versa, I only just noticed and I'm too lazy to change it)

1. Wurlitzer fairground organ - Puppet on a String: I originally found this on Music For Maniacs, and it sets the mood quite nicely.

2. Tom Waits - Lucky Day Overture: who better to get as your carnival barker than Mr Waits?

3. Elvis Presley - Carny Town: okay, thanks, Mr Presley, but you're not quite what we're looking for.

4. Stan Ridgway - Running With The Carnival: are there any circuses worth running away to join anymore? I haven't been to a circus in a long, long time, but even I can tell that they're mere shadows of their former selves.

5. Jan & Dean - The Joker Is Wild: It would be remiss of me not to mention the Clown Prince of Crime, the Joker, on a clown-themed compilation. One of the main reasons I've chosen to dress as a clown this year was a memory of watching the Adam West Batman TV show, and seeing Cesar Romero's moustache bristling through The Joker's greasepaint; it just felt so... wrong. And I plan to instil that discomfort in my fellow party-goers.

6. Ogden Edsl - Kinko the Clown: huge credit must go to my significant other, who remembered that when we were doing our orientation courses at a community radio station, this was the track that they used to demonstrate what qualifies as an 'inappropriate' track to play on-air.

7. Warren Zevon - Something Bad Happened to A Clown: I don't know how he does it, but Mr Zevon hits maudlin, bittersweet, tragic, comic, innocent and sinister notes, all in this one song.

8. Oingo Boingo - Clowns of Death: well, it's just not Hallowe'en without an Oingo Boingo song, is it?

9. Mr Bungle - Carousel: While the track samples one of my favourite circus-themed pinball machines, 'Cyclone', Mr Bungle also notably used parts of 'Cotton Candy Autopsy', by David Louapre and Dan Sweetman for their 1991 self-titled release.

10. Ed Cox - Mad Clown Disease: another discovery courtesy of Music For Maniacs. Calliope for the glowstick crowd.

11. Crispin Hellion Glover - Clowny Clown Clown: A few years ago, I had the pleasure of seeing Mr Glover introduce his film 'It Is Fine. Everything Is Fine!', as well as a very lengthy and honest Q&A session, and some readings from his books. It was quite simply amazing.

12. The Invertebrates - Circus Doctor: I think I may be spending a little too much time on Music For Maniacs, because that's where I found this one too... Be sure to read the comments for a little extra info from Mr Tim Wheeler, from the Invertebrates.

13. Sufjan Stevens - John Wayne Gacy Jr.: I think we're all familiar with the tale of John Wayne Gacy Jr, aka Pogo, but Mr Stevens opts to humanise Gacy into almost a sympathetic character. An interesting angle.

14. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - The Carny: Another affeccting tale of carny kinfolk.

15. The Vivian Girls - The Gentlemen: Not to be confused with the Brooklyn trio, or the works of Henry Darger, from whom both bands have taken the name, these Vivian Girls formed in Melbourne, released one album, and transformed into Flesh Vs Venom. 'The Gentlemen' is midway-after-midnight, boozy and woozy, the perfect tune to stumble home to, face smeared with someone else's greasepaint, sawdust clinging to the raw skin on your knees...

ENJOY! And have a very happy Hallowe'en!

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