Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Raising Hackles

You're reading Books, Beer and BLOGshit! It's the only blog that enjoys breaking down cheesey 80's metal videos! I am your Aqua Netted blogger, Mr. Frank!

We have a guest writer on The BLOGshit for this installment. The catch? They aren't going to discuss writing. They are going to discuss Ratt's definitive rock video, Round and Round. That can only mean one man, Douglas Hackle, author of CLOWN TEAR JUNKIES will be joining us to give the ultimate break down of Ratt's 1985 video of Round and Round, one of the crowning achievements of MTV's heyday.


As a special treat, Douglas Hackle also appears in the newly published installment of Tall Tales With Short Cocks, Vol. 4!  Listeners to the Books, Beer and Bullshit Podcast may recall our review of Tall Tales Vol. 3. This new collection is chock full of great names in Bizarro Fiction and could prove to be the best collection of 2013! We implore you to check this and Clown Tear Junkies out.

So watch the video along with Douglas Hackle and pause at the appropriate time stamps in the video breakdown below.

0:02 - What would you like more than anything to be in that silver bowl?

Mashed potatoes and gravy. Nah, scratch that—I changed my mind. A miniature
version of one-hit-wonder, Canadian rapper Snow performing his hit song “Informer”
(accompanied by a miniature, dancing, batwinged, fetal polar bear cub with a Chicken
McNugget for a head.)

0:17 - Would you rather sport Stephen Pearcy's hair style for one month or have your entire
wardrobe consist of Stephen Pearcy-cut shirts for an entire season?

Alas, although it pains me to admit it, I think I actually had that hair style at one point.
Folly of youth and all that. So I guess I’ll go with the Stephen Pearcy-cut shirts. I’d just
avoid going out in the sun while wearing them, lest I get a really stupid looking tan line,
what with those necklines going all the way down to the bellybutton.

0:43 - Does this video still hold weight if Uncle Miltie isn't in it?

Uncle Militie exits the house and, consequently, the video rather early on—right at
about the 1:07 mark—after he decides he can no longer endure the loud rock music
being played by Ratt up in the attic. But, however briefly we get to see the man, Milton
Berle remains a powerful cultural, psychological, political, and aesthetic force in
the video. Even after he leaves the premises accompanied by himself in drag (Uncle
Miltie was doing that sort of shit decades before Eddie Murphy ever thought to do
it), his presence is still felt through the duration of the video, all the way up until its
denouement. The director of the video achieves this enduring presence-through-absence
effect, this lingering atmosphere of power-through-gender-obfuscation, using a film
editing technique borrowed from early 20th-century German expressionist cinema. The
technique is known only by its untranslatable German name: rechtkaftfahrzeugerung-sesellschaftensschutzversichhaftpflichtversicherungrechtkaftfahrzeugerungsesellschaften 
agungschwindigkeitsbegrenzün. Indeed, apropos of this technique, many believe “Round
and Round” represents the finest modern example of it usage, or as French philosopher
Michel Foucault once declared, “Un, deux, trois, Pepe Le Pew, Francois-Pierre-Jean-
Claude, Le Freak C’est Chic, bon appétit, crème de la crème, Van Damme, soup du jour,
faux pas, French fries yum yum, Savoir-Faire is Everywhere, Pierre!!!!!!!!!!!!”

1:08 - Do you think synchronized rock moves need to make a comeback?

Man, I don’t even know. What I do know, however, is the only thing that is quite
possibly more bad-ass than a good old-fashioned Duran Duran table flip is busting
through the goddamn ceiling, falling onto a table, and sticking your guitar is someone’s
face while shredding that shit like mozzarella cheese, yo. Take that, ya fancy-pants,
richy-rich assholes!!

1:26 - Is that Pee Wee Herman’s bicycle in the foreground?

No. However, that bike is on display at the official Ratt Museum, which is located in the
city of . . . of . . . my imagination. *hangs head in shame*

2:00 - As a juggalo yourself, do you think these guys have too much make-up on or not quite

Frank, do your homework before you do these interviews: I’m a bruggalo. Or a
juggaroni. Or…or…or something. Regardless, I believe that federal law should require
U.S. citizens, even babies (especially babies) to wear clown make-up 24/7/365. So to
answer your question, not nearly enough.

Breaking Bruggalo

2:23 - Has there ever been a more convincing look of utter satisfaction in this medium before or

There has not. Nor, I daresay, is that look likely to be bested in the future. Nor would I
restrict the claim merely to the medium of music videos. That facial expression may very
well be the most convincing look of utter satisfaction ever to be filmed anywhere. That
butler my dog.

2:27 - Is it true you are working on a similar entrance for all your book signings?

As I indicated in my answer to the “synchronized rock moves” question above, nothing
quite says “Hello, here I am—betta recognize, bitch!” like busting down through a ceiling
while playing a blaring electric guitar. That as an entrance for a book signing? Aw, hellz

3:02 - Have you ever considered writing a bizarro piece based solely around the setting of this video?

No. However, the song “Round and Round” seems to get referenced in at least every
other short story I write, regardless of what the story is about. The song is even
mentioned in my contribution to the latest volume in the Tall Tales with Short Cocks
anthology series from Rooster Republic Press (Volume 4—the ebook version was just
released on 12/16). Yes, these days it’s difficult for me to pen a short story and not
mention that song. (See below for more on this.)

3:13 - Is it the song or the video that does it for you?

Neither. I think the whole Hackle-“Round-and-Round” phenomenon is the result of
nothing more than an irrational compulsion. It’s what Edgar Allan Poe called “The Imp
of the Perverse”: i.e. the irrational desire to do something self-destructive specifically
because it is self-destructive. In other words, I know I should not reference the song
“Round and Round” in my short stories, I know that absolutely no good can come of out
of the practice, therefore I continue to reference “Round and Round” in my short stories.

3:20 - Remake the band using only people from Rooster Republic Press (bonus points for
creating a stage name for each.)

Lead Vocals – Douglas “D is for motherfuckin’ Douglas” Hackle

Lead Guitar – Arthur “I’m too cool and pretty for Facebook” Graham

Drums – Etienne “How the hell do you pronounce my Frenchy, fancy-pants first name?”

Bagpipes – John “Da Loch Ness Monsta” McNee

Bass Guitar – Danger “Um ... Danger Slater??” Slater

3:58 - Do you like Ratt at all outside of this song?

No. Aside from the song “Round and Round,” the only music I can stand to listen to
nowadays is this defunct Estonian-Indonesian trio that played a mixture of various jazz
styles, baroque classical, Hindustani classical, Celtic-funeral-doom-grindcore-death
metal, noise, psychedelic funk, punk-prog, bluegrass, unhip hop, post-1997 acid techno,
pre-2006 Euro trance, proto-2013 Eskimocore igloo anti-pop, and sampled authentic
whale song. This band didn’t even have a name. What’s more, all three band members
promptly committed suicide after recording there first and only album. I’m the only
person who has ever heard said album. Yeah, what can I say—I’m cooler than most folks.
I’m sorta hardcore.

Douglas Hackle

Douglas Hackle is the author of CLOWN TEAR JUNKIES published by Rooster Republic Press. Here is some wonderful praise for that book:

“Hackle may be the best absurdist story writer working today [...] I enjoyed this book more than

any other book that I've read in a long time." - Bradley Sands, Author of TV Snorted My Brain

"He sits up there with his pen and paper or word processor or baby seal skin and razor blade

(or whatever fucked-up instruments he uses to write stories like this) and he tells us the kind of

tales we didn’t even know we were thirsty for in the first place. The kind of tales that matter,

in their own weird way. The kind of tales that make reading a joy." - Danger Slater, Author of


"You walk away [from Clown Tear Junkies] with a clear feeling of how odd Doug Hackle is.

It's almost like finding an anonymous notebook in the halls of a high school that was dropped

by someone who wrote these twisted little things never intending anyone else to read them. But

share them he did!" - Ray Fracalossy, Author of Tales from the Vinegar Wasteland

Also, Karen Brissette, the #1 reviewer on Goodreads in terms of votes—and she's #1 by an

extremely large margin of votes at that—weighed in on Clown Tear Junkies. Here is what she

had to say:  http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/755536483

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Stryper Hates Their Drummer

You're reading Books, Beer and BLOGshit! It's the only blog that muses over resurgent 80's Christian metal has-beens. I am your sinner and blogger, Mr. Frank.

In the past few months I've been finding a new appreciation for the rock band, Stryper. Stryper came out of the 80's glam metal scene and had the unique angle of being Christian rockers. Everything about the band was driven from a near evangelical push for everyone to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. The bands name, their look and their lyrics were all driven by their theology.

At the time that really turned me off. To me Jesus was so opposite that everything metal was supposed to be. Metal was rebellious, dangerous and dark. Jesus was the light and the way and love. It just never mixed in my mind and I wrote Stryper off as a bunch of pussies (their super ballad, Honestly, did nothing to help their case either.)

Fast Forward fifteen years or so. The Lord sends to me Armand Rosamilia (yes, that Armand Rosamilia) who begins to instill in me a new found appreciation for what Stryper was and is. He guided me to songs and albums I had ignored or was ignorant to. Two notable albums being an album of cover songs called The Covering and a collection of re-recorded Stryper songs entitled Second Coming. Check them both out you should be as pleasantly surprised as I was.

Couple this with an now brand new Stryper album that sonically should put any issues of them being a bunch of 'pussies' to rest once and for all. Their lead single off the album, No More Hell To Pay, is immediately gripping and you can't help but start thrashing your ghostly locks to the beat.

Cue the video. Rock out to it. Get the song into your bones because you're going to need to watch a second time around and really WATCH what's going on in the video because you may be hypnotized by the bad ass music the first time around and miss it.  Go on, Ill Wait. We'll pick up on the other side.

Did you notice it? Did you see it? Once you do it's comical. That's right, Stryper hates their drummer!

Right there, just 9 seconds into the video. There he is, in the middle of the desert. Just him and a bass drum and two cymbals propped up against it. That's all he gets. The WHOLE video. 

I can picture it now: The whole band and video crew parked on the side of a desolate highway in the badlands of Wyoming. The shoot location maybe about a half mile walk off the road. They crew has all these off roading dollies with all terrain wheels and stuff on them. Cameras, lighting, hardware, hardshell cases with guitars all piled on. Then -

"Opps, no room for your drum kit dude. Just grab and drum and a cymbal or some shit and follow us. Grace be upon us all."

"But, wait, I gotta put my stuff on the dollie."

"No time man, we gotta roll, schedules to keep and shit. Just carry the shit and shut the fuck up. Praise Jesus."

"Damnit! Err, I mean Hallelujia!"

So now they are out there, the cameras are rolling. They band is looking all bad ass with their axes slung around their necks, decked out in leather and sunglasses, kicking up dust clouds. Then there's Slappy (I'll call him Slappy because that's all he seems to do in this video, slap shit) in the back of everyone slapping the side of a drum desperately trying to keep up with the image.

The director starts begging him for more -

"Slappy, can you like do something else other than play paddy cake with the bass drum. All praise his name."

"Dude, I don't even have sticks! What the hell do you want me to do?! Err, uhh, to the heavens I pray thee well."

"I don't know Slappy, pick up that cymbal and pretend you're a gypsy or something. Amen."

So now Slappy is getting incredulous. He's marching around in the middle of the wastelands slapping out Cum Ba Ya My Lord on a giant crash cymbal and he doesn't even have drum stick to twirl around and look all bad ass with.

Now Slappy looses his damn mind. The other members of the band are rocking out with their guitars. They look cool. If this were a fair fight the bass player would have like one string tied between two fingers and he would have to try and strum it with his giant schnozz.

Slappy goes apeshit crazy and picks up the bass drum and starts singing One Toke Over The Line Sweet Jesus. He raises the bass drum over his head and dares God to strike him down where he stands like a deranged Lt. Dan in black and yellow striped leather chaps.

The director yells "Cut! Print! We got it. Thanks boys."

Everyone packs their gear back on the dollies. Slappy drags his bass drum through the jagged dust and rocks behind him. His cymbals he leaves behind. He used them as Frisbees at some point when he became unhinged during the shoot. Fuck it all, Amen.

Go on, scroll back up. See it again in a whole new. Praise Jesus.

From Wikipedia:  Robert Lee Sweet (born March 21, 1960 in Lynwood, California) is the drummer of the Christian metal band Stryper. He and his brother Michael originally founded the band as Roxx or Roxx Regime. Robert became known as the "Visual Time Keeper" for his wild drumming and captivating drum kits. Unlike most drummers, Sweet faces in the direction of stage left or right while playing, not straight ahead, so that the audience can see him and not have their view of him obscured by his drumkit. Sweet also played a key role in the visual direction of the band itself as well as being a significant contributor to the group.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Action Zombie Super Force Unite!

You're reading Books, Beer and BLOGshit! It's the only blog that is completely self serving! I am your blogger, the writerly Mr. Frank!

This is a total pimp of a blog post this time out folks. Books, Beer and Bullshit's own Mr. Frank teamed up with The Mayor, Armand Rosamilia and seven other writers to put together a Dying Days anthology. STILL DYING 2 is the result. For the first time, Armand Rosamilia opened up his Dying Days zombie apocalypse world to other writers to play in and the result is breathtaking if this blogger does say so himself.

Each writer adds his or her own personal touch while keeping with the cannon of the Dying Days world. If you are familiar with the Dying Days series you are going to enjoy all the different approaches and voices this anthology allows for. If you haven't had an opportunity to step into the Dying Days world this is a great place to get your toes wet.

Take a look at the line-up of writers, their stories and a brief description of what to expect of each:

Nine authors... Ten stories... nothing but zombie horror!

Dying Days creator Armand Rosamilia invited eight incredible authors to set foot in his world, and the results are creepy and the anthology a page-turner. Enter this zombie apocalypse... if you dare.

How Me And Bozy Became Dads by Patrick C. Greene

A road side inmate clean-up crew find themselves caught in the middle just as a plague takes hold of the city. Small time hoods Randall and Bozy find freedom-which just became worse than imprisonment.

Gator Aid by Frank Edler

Can a popular Floridian tourist trap survive and thrive as an attraction during the end of civilization?

The Trap Line by Sean Slagle

Spencer, his sister, and her boyfriend have been hiding safely in a hunting cabin since the beginning of the apocalypse. But all of that changes when another family of survivors shows up.

Dying Days: Television by Armand Rosamilia

What's more important than television, even during the end of the world?

Flight 509 by Jaime Johnesee

A man is stuck on a plane during the ZA and has no clue how to get out alive.

The Old Man And The Apocalypse by A.D. Roland

He just wanted to live out the rest of his days in peace. With the walking dead stumbling around his retirement community, it wasn't too easy to do that, but he'd managed. An unexpected visitor reminds him, though, that sometimes life isn't just about waiting to die.

The Happiest Kingdom On Earth by Brent Abell

Two men trying to stay alive in a zombie ravaged world find a group of survivors who have taken refuge in Florida's premiere tourist attraction and find out how high the price of admission can be to stay in the "Happiest Kingdom on Earth".

Dying Days: Stew by Armand Rosamilia

Stew and his dog Orion are just trying to scavenge in a restaurant when things get tricky. Can they survive a zombie attack and find hot dogs for Orion?

Lucifer's Revenge by Mark Tufo

A monsignor reluctantly finds himself in the midst of a zombie apocalypse.

Dying Days: Angel by Tim Baker

Angel Godwin must escape her own home or be taken by zombies.

If that doesn't get you excited, I don't know what will. Fans of the podcast will already be familiar with Armand Rosamilia and Tim Baker. The book also features zombie veterans Patrick Greene and the legendary Mark Tufo. Brent Abell, Jaime Johnesee, AD Roland and Sean Slagle are names on the rise. And then there is me, with one of my favorite stories to have written, Gator Aid.

STILL DYING 2 is available on Amazon in digital and print editions TODAY! Go get yourself a copy (or three) and enjoy some top notch zombie fiction set in one of the best zombie apocalypse worlds you're ever going to read!

Keep your ears out for Armand Rosamilia appearing on the Books, Beer and Bullshit Podcast later this month as well to discuss this and a plethora of other new releases.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

A Tale of Two Shittys

You're reading Books, Beer and BLOGshit! It's the only blog on the internet that get's upset at things! I am your vindicated blogger for this article, Mr. Frank.

This time out on The BLOGshit we are going to discuss a book I had no intention of covering for either the podcast or the blog, David James Keanton's FISH BITES COP! More accurately we are going to discuss my review of that book and the subsequent drama that surrounded said review. That is where the fun begins.

Now, I read this book on an entirely personal level. As a rule I always provide a written review of anything I read on GoodReads (and Amazon when applicable) regardless of the book being covered on the podcast or here on the blog. So as always I posted my initial review on Goodreads.com. I prefer posting my reviews on Goodreads.com for a variety of reasons, most notably their liberal guidelines with regard to review content. I can use colorful language and post links within my reviews. This is something deeply frowned upon at Amazon.com

Let's take a look at the exact review for David James Keaton's FISH BITES COP! that was sucessfully posted over at Goodreads.com shall we:

To say FISH BITES COP! author David James Keaton has a chip on his shoulder would be the understatement of the year. In FISH BITES COP! (Stories To Bash Authorities) Keaton let's loose on anyone with an ounce of authority, and it's not pretty. If you're a fan of that guy who wrote FIGHT CLUB you too will soon forget what's his name after reading the new bad ass in town, David James Keaton.
So now you're thinking, "I'm cool, f#&k tha po-po, I can be down with this Keaton dude," but you better check yourself before you wreck yourself. Hidden in each of the stories in this collection are pop culture dress downs the likes which have not been seen since John Bender dressed down Principal Vernon in THE BREAKFAST CLUB. You best make sure you have all the cool movies picked out or Keaton will leave you feeling like a quivering mess who only enjoys movies on par with Barney the Purple Dinosaur.
If you can get past all that without drawing a single bead of sweat then you are in for a treat. This is dark, crimey, noir without an ounce of mercy to show for it. Each story punctuated by what I now have come to discover is The David James Keaton Ending. A unique short story ending technique that has your barreling along down a one way street doing 70 when all of a sudden DJK slams on the breaks and sets the car into a skid. You grab hold of anything you can clinch your fists around only to find yourself miraculously come to rest between two parked cars with barely an inch of space in front and back of each bumper.

What the hell does all that mean you ask? It means David James Keaton's FISH BITES COP! is not my usual fare but the stories in this collection were a breath of fresh air, even if said air was tainted with spit, sh!t and maybe a little blood. If you like your fiction all too real, maybe a bit dark and sadistic and definitely laced with thick,gooey sarcasm then this book and this writer are for you! Three stars because it's not my usual reading fodder but for people into this stuff a definite 4 to 5 star effort.
There it is. A fairly positive review. Some profanity but certainly nothing vulgar. If you were to read the book you would find the content of the book far more derogatory, profane and vulgar. Anyone put off by the language in this review is sure to be upset even more by the subject matter of the book.

So on the occasions where I do post my reviews on Amazon, I typically just cut and paste whatever I put up on Goodreads. Of course I have come to understand that Amazon is not fond of the seven dirty words so I typically censor that stuff out before posting. This time out I had already censored words like fuck and shit to f#!k and sh!t. Fickle but really no matter what place holders I use there we all know the intentions of my word choices.

Guess what? I get an email notification from Amazon that basically says my review was rejected because it violated Amazon's terms for acceptable review policy (or something of that nature). There were links to the official posting policies and encouragements for me to reword my review and try again.

Hey we don't want to offend anyone who might be interested in reading a book that includes killing police and goldfish. Let's tone it down buddy!

You betcha!

I set out to give a review that contained no foul language. No one occurrence of the S-word or (perish the thought) the F-bomb. This is wholesome, all-American language. Call me Mr. Family values. I wrote that review with all my heart and all the restraint I could muster. And do you know what? I am damn proud of that effort.

I checked the review all over. Proofread, edited, corrected. It was time to submit. Click. Oh I did so hope the god of the Amazon book review would accept my most G rated effort to date. The email showed up in my inbox. I bit my fingernails nervously.

Thank you for your review! Woohoo! So here it is, a review worthy of the pope himself. Nary a bad word in the lot:

David James Keaton's FISH BITES COP is an amorous romp through a dark noir world filled with hatred for police, fire and rescue personal and all points of authority in between and beyond. It's the kind of story you will want to make love to. Not ordinary love but the monkey kind of love. The kind of love that can only be had by swinging from the branches of exotic sub-equatorial trees high up in a canopy. The kind of love making that necessitates the flinging of number two at the object of your affections. And not man on monkey love, although I am sure there is a special place for that as well, but monkey on monkey love. Man monkey on female monkey love. Male monkey on male monkey love. Female monkey of confused sexual orientation but Im pretty sure he was originally a she monkey love.
And that's okay.
The last thing I want to do with this review is horrify the good folks at this reputable retail giant with potty words. Drivel words that might actually represent my true feelings toward this book. I wouldn't want to use words like that, there are plenty of words like that already readily available for sale at this fine establishment. So instead of upsetting you with words like that I will tell you how thumbing through this book was something akin to a vigorous session of wiping excrement from within the folds of my glutes. Don't you hate it when you have to use a low grade toilet tissue and your finger breaks through right at the moment of truth, at the deepest depths of the swipe and you come up with the brown finger. It's like the hole in the bottom of the popcorn tub trick gone bad. And that stink? The only thing that will get rid of that is time and bleach.
Seeing as you will now be holed up in the confines of your own space now waiting out the stink finger it would be a great time to whip out your copy of David James Keaton's FISH BITES COP that you purchased off this unorthodox and highly unhelpful yet completely within said retailer's strict community guidelines. Take in a story or two. Ignore that stank on your digit and dream longingly of your next round of rough primate POOH flinging
I don't get it. This is what happens when you leave your dirty work up to bots. I wrote this review with the inspiration from the very stories contained within FISH BITES COP! Just a moment where I railed against authority. Who are you to tell me what I can and can't say? But this is also to point out the hypocrisy that sometimes exists within the policies of large corporations. I once purchased a book titled SCARY FUCKING STORIES by DF Noble (yes, that DF Noble) from Amazon. They were all too happy to take my money and let me read SCARY FUCKING STORIES. Yet when it came time to write my review for SCARY FUCKING STORIES I had to edit out the title of the very book I was reviewing.

I won't pretend to have all the answers. I'm just incensed that Amazon doesn't have the answers either. I, the consumer am punished for giving an honest review of a product I plunked my hard earned money down on yet the product itself can get away with content much worse. I do know this. I am not asking for Amazon to fix the problem in favor of MORE censorship. I never want that.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Friday Night Special

You're reading Books, Beer and Blogshit! It's the only blog that rocks out with it's cock out! I am your lifeless blogger, Mr. Frank!

This time out on the Blogshit we want to appeal to those with no social life on Friday nights. You know who you are, responsibility (most likely family responsibility) has got in the way. No more impromptu excursions out to the local bar scene at 11pm at night. Long gone are the days your can pick up and hit the strip clubs with you buds at the drop of a dime. It's a chore for you to plan a ladies night out at the local male review with your girls.

Books, Beer and Blogshit is here to offer you up an alternative to your 'How Did It Become This Mundane?' Friday nights! Anyone who is a dedicated listener to the Books, Beer and Bullshit podcast are all too familiar with the proverbial Mayor, Armand Rosamilia. Constant Listeners of the more recent podcasts also know mystery/thriller writer Tim Baker (Episode 20). You may also recall those two are part of a broader threesome of writers that include writer Becky Pourchot.

In addition to working together at various local appearancse in the Palm Coast, Florida area, the threesome have recently teamed up to created a talk radio show on their local Flagler Beach radio station, Surf 17. Collectively the three are known as The Castaways. They can be heard Friday nights from 8pm until 10pm having fun discussions ranging from their writing experiences to more broader pop culture topics and all stops in between. They pepper their discussions with themed music picks like memorable songs from their high school years.

The result is a talk radio show that is both harmonious and eclectic at the same time. The three writers come from different times and experiences. The music they plays is a different as their personalities and genres in which they write. Tim Baker talks detective thrillers and classic rock. Becky Pourchot is all about the YA Paranormal Romance while playing 80's and 90's pop rock  and everything from the Greece Soundtrack. Armand Rosamilia brings the edge with horror and zombie fare mixed with a wide array of hard rock and heavy metal sensibilities.

For two hours every Friday night, The Castaways regale us with thoughtful discussions of the writing process and personal stories from their past that inspire their musical choices. In short, it is a great radio program for anyone stuck in on a Friday night. The Castaways  are the centerpiece to what would have been a boring Friday night at home had you not had Books, Beer and Blogshit to lead you to where the excitement is happening in the internet world.

That is not all there is to offer however. Oh no. Books, Beer and Blogshit is going to show you that down in Flagler Beach there is five hours of awesome being broadcast to the entire internet. Originally The Castaways aired for three hours from 7pm until 10pm. That was until Tim Baker's B-Sides and Deep Tracks took over the first hour time slot of The Castaways recently.

Tim Baker's B-Sides and Deep Tracks is a one hour music program that airs on Flager Beach Radio Friday nights from 7pm until 8pm. It serves as the pre-show to The Castaways. If you come from the Classic Rock era this show is right up your alley. If you come from somewhere outside that era, there is still a lot here for you to love! The meat and potatoes of the show is presenting B-Side tracks and less heard fare from artists like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin. Tim Baker has great knowledge of these songs and you will be surprised at both the amount of very popular songs there were actually B-sides and how good a deep track can be. Give it a try, it's the perfect show to set the mood for an otherwise mellow Friday night.

After The Castaways, the nasty comes out to play. Mando's Manic Melodies started right after The Castaways, Friday night at 10 pm and assaults your ears until midnight.Though the title of the show maybe a bit uninspired, don't let it fool you. Mando's Manic Melodies, hosted by Books, Beer and Bullshit's own Armand Rosamilia is a two hour tour de force of head banging classics your loved and never knew you loved until you've heard them for the first time again in twenty years. A relentless barrage of Anthrax, Megadeth, Metallica, Judas Priest, Sex Pistols, Dream Theater and Iron Maiden just to name a few, blast out your ear drums just the way they used to when Rikki Rachtman hosted the headbangers ball and you forced your eyes open for all three hours to get your metal fix.

The three shows work together to form the perfect storm for an otherwise ho-hum Friday evening you thought you would be subject to. So, if you have nothing going down this Friday night for one reason or another we STRONGLY encourage you to tune in to Flagler Beach Radio starting at 7pm and hang in for the whole five hour affair at least once. FlaglerBeachRadio.com streams all their radio show live on their web site and you can also download the TuneIn app for your mobile device to listen live.

There shows are currently listen or die format. If you miss it, you miss out. The gang assure me podcast versions of the show are forthcoming. At the moment though, if you miss a moment you miss everything. Let that serve as a bit of extra incentive to listen in so you don't miss a moment.

Give The Castaways a try one Friday night. You won't be disappointed. If' you enjoyed Armand or Tim on Books, Beer and Bullshit podcast you will get more of their great spirit on their own radio show and get introduced to another spirited writer in Becky Pourchot. Tune in and turn it up!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Pete Rose Has A Giant F#*king Head

You're reading Books, Beer and BLOGshit. It's the only blog that wants to get to second base with Draven Star on the first date. I am your southpaw blogger, Mr. Frank.

It's been too long since we last gathered at the Blogshit. We've been doing a whole lot of talking books too with not a word on beer or bullshit. It's time to remedy that, at least on one front. This time out we are going to bullshit. Bullshit about Pete Rose.

Pete Rose? Yep. Pete Rose was in the headlines recently, weighing in on the current performance enhancing drug usage scandal plaguing baseball. Pete Rose, who was banned from baseball back in 1989 for gambling on the sport, made some very valid and colorful points comparing the grounds for his permanent ineligibility from the sport with the mild punishments players like Alex Rodriguez were handed for repeated violations of the steroid abuse policy. Rose said he would have been better off abusing drugs or beating his wife instead of gambling.

As you can imagine those types of comments drew some ire from women's groups and substance abuse counselors. Someone always has to bitch even if he has a very valid argument. The point is that Pete Rose is prone to say stupid things because he has a giant head. It has to be difficult if not downright impossible to reign in the amount of stupid shit floating around in the enormous cranium.

I have a love/hate relationship with Pete Rose's head. I've had this relationship with Pete Rose for many more years then I can count. It all started at a very early age when I had a dream. The moment I woke up from that dream, a dream I will remember for the rest of my life, Pete Rose and I were inextricably connected.

The dream was the usual collection of odd events, people and places that have no connection to one another. We've all had those dreams. This one picks up with me in a row boat motoring across a bay that is as flat as glass, towards an island something akin to Alcatraz Island. I have no idea how I know this, but I'm going to that island to free refugees. Refugees from what you ask? I haven't the slightest idea, there were just refugees and I had to go free them.

Anyway I get to the island and collect up some refugees from the prison and we head back to the rowboat to escape to freedom. That is when the fun begins. As I step into the boat I get shot in the neck and fall into the boat facing up to the sky, incapacitated. I can see the blue sky and clouds through blurred vision, I'm dying.

Then Pete Rose, in full uniform, hovers into view. He shot me in the neck. He never admits it and I never ask, I just know it was him. Despite attempting to kill me for freeing refugees he seems to feel horrible about it. He gets in to the boat and cradles me in his arms. He hands me a slice of pepperoni and compels me to eat it, assuring me it will undo all the damage like some magic potion.  I eat the pepperoni and, what do you know, I'm good to go. I get the boat away from the waters edge and we zip back across the bay to freedom.

I'll never forget that dream, ever. Pete Rose shot me in the neck and gave me pepperoni to make it better. Couple that with a boyhood fascination with a larger then life icon of baseball. Pete Rose is one of those special kind of players that transcend your favorite team. If you were w Yankees fan or a Dodgers fan or a Rangers fan, you couldn't help but love and respect Pete Rose. We all feel for him. He deserved to be punished for gambling on the sport sure, but a lifetime ban of one of the greatest men to ever play the game? That just seems criminal.

Then I take a trip to Las Vegas in 2000. I'm walking around the indoor mall in Caesars Palace and walk by the Barnes and Noble where I see a mob of people in an already crowded mall. I peer into the mass to try to spy what is drawing everyone's attention to the front of the store. That's when I see it. It's impossible to miss once you see it and can never be unseen once you have.

Pete Rose's Giant Head.

I mean it's colossal. I would never have thought a head that large could ever be held up on a human neck. It's moving and disturbing at the same time. I was enchanted and repulsed by it all at once. I stood, dumbstruck, and then just looked at some random stranger standing next to me who was also trying to take in the calamity and I said to him, "Jesus, he has a big head." The guy nodded at me like he knew something was amiss but couldn't' place his finger on it until I pointed it out.

Pete Rose comes and goes from our collective consciousness. These days he's out of the spotlight most of the time and thus out of sight, out of mind. Still, as I've said before a head like that can't hold back, to do so would be to break the laws of physics, so Pete Rose will open his mouth and the world will marvel at his audacity. There will be headlines in the papers and hours spent discussing it on sports talk radio. In the media frenzy that surrounds it all you can be sure that I'm out there somewhere not caring at all about the repercussions of what he said but marveling once again at what a giant fucking head Pete Rose has.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Summer of Zombie Blog Tour - Armand Rosamilia

You're reading Books, Beer and Blogshit. It's the only blog that never gets to Joe McKinney during a balls out zombie blog tour! We are your bloggers, Mr. Frank and Mr. Jeff.

The Summer of Zombie Blog Tour is closing out this time with our final tour post. The Headliner. Armand Rosamilia. In the true spirit of Books, Beer and Bullshit Podcast, this will mark Armand's second appearence on the BLOGshit, thus making him the official mayor of the blog as well as the de facto mayor of the Books, Beer and Bullshit Podcast.

Not only is Armand closing out the SoZBT here on the BLOGshit but you will soon be able to listen to the sultry audio styling of Armand Rosamila on his third  Books, Beer and Bullshit podcast appearance in which will will reflect on the Summer of Zombie Blog Tour as well as catch up on the plethora of Rosamilia literary offerings that have popped up like an outbreak in the past few months.

Read the blog interview and keep your ears peeled for the big big podcast interview coming soon!

The Blogshit:  Which of your books do we need to be talking about now and what is inside the pages to get excited about it?

Armand Rosamilia: Dying Days 3 just came out, and I am very happy with the progression of the story. I hope the readers feel the same way.
The Mayor's Latest

The Blogshit:  What is it about zombies that keep you writing in this genre?

Armand Rosamilia: I will keep writing about zombies as long as I have fresh ideas and new angles to attack it. I never want to write a cliché tale about a bunch of stereotypical survivors trapped in a building. At this point I would quit writing them. Unless I sold a ton of them and became rich, then I'd keep pumping them out.

The Blogshit:  With the saturation of zombie fiction in the current market, what do you do to keep your writing fresh and relevant?

Armand Rosamilia: I try to come up with ideas I haven't seen or read, if possible. Even basic ideas can be well-written and twisted to make it unique. I imagine I'm doing it so far.

The Blogshit:  What makes your zombies stand apart from all the others?

Armand Rosamilia: My zombies are horny bastards. They don't just want to bite you, they want to violate you sexually. It's a scary concept.

The Blogshit:  Do you write (or plan to write) outside the zombie genre?

Armand Rosamilia: Of course. I have written thrillers, erotica, and recently began a contemporary fiction bunch of stories called Flagler Beach Fiction Series. I try not to limit myself. I'd rather just write a story and then figure out where it fits.
This series WILL shock you!

The Blogshit:  Do you think the mega hype around the movie adaptation of World War Z will have a positive or negative effect on the zombie fiction scene?

Armand Rosamilia: I hope it will be positive. Between the movie and TWD I hope more and more viewers become readers, and some of them stay around after the hype has died down.

The Blogshit:  Is there a need for attrition in the zombie fiction market? 

Armand Rosamilia: In any market, I think. But the cream of the crop always rises. Or some cliché like that. There are too many great books being buried under the pile, but I think that is always the case. Readers will find the better ones and word of mouth will help propel them to the top. In the perfect world, anyway.

The Blogshit: What do you see in the future of zombies, both on the page and off?

Armand Rosamilia: It will have another lull, and the casual fans will go look for the next big thing, but the small group of rabid fans will keep the subgenre alive. As long as you are a good writer, they will come.

The Blogshit:  We are building a menu for a fictional sandwich shop. Typically we ask what to put on the namesake of you sandwich. For the Summer of Zombie Blog Tour we are going to set aside a special menu sub-section so: What do we put on your zombiefied sandwich?

Armand Rosamilia: The Mando is a pork roll, egg and cheese sandwich on a cinnamon raisin bagel… but then we add two cheeseburgers to either end, and three slices of bacon. MMMM…

When Will This Guy Write A Food Book? 

There he is! Again! Once more! Armand Rosamilia, the mayor of all things Books, Beer and Bullshit. The mayor of all things zombie. The mayor, period!

Once again, be sure to keep riding along on The Dying Days storyline as the plot thickens. In addition take a look at his Flager Beach contemporary fiction series. They are a great demonstration of the versatility that is Armand Rosamilia. There are a billion and a half ways to check out Armand Rosamilia and the tons of words he has to read.  Here are just a few:

Armand Rosamilia's Blog

Armand Rosamilia on Amazon

Armand Rosamilia on Smashwords

Armand Rosamilia on FaceBook

Armand Rosamilia on Twitter

Friday, June 21, 2013

Summer of Zombie Blog Tour - James Cook

Arrgh, matey! Ye be reading Books, Beer and Blogshit. It be the only blog that talks like a pirate even when it's not Talk Like A Pirate Day. Arrrrg!  We be your land lubbin' bloggers Captain Frank and First Mate Jeff.

It's time to pull up anchor and cast off for another round of Ye Olde Summber of Zombie Blog Tour with your featured writer, Captain James Hook!


What's that?

Oh goodness, how embarrassing  Folks, we don't have Captain James Hook, we have zombie writer James Cook. Oh well, we're sure he still brings the booty and if you don't enjoy the interview ye will surely walk the plank or be keel hauled or take a long drop with a short stop. 

Here there be words.  Ye have been warned. Arrrrgh!


The Blogshit: Which of your books do we need to be talking about now and what is inside the pages to get excited about it?

James Cook: My latest release is the third volume of the Surviving the Dead series titled, Warrior Within. This novel picks up where the last installment of the series—This Shattered Land—left off. The two main characters find themselves in Hollow Rock Tennessee, a small town that has built extensive fortifications to protect themselves from the zombie hordes. The zombies, however, are not the biggest problem that the people of Hollow Rock face. A rogue militant group calling themselves the Free Legion has laid siege to the town and cut off their trade routes. Gabriel and Eric have been recruited by the town mayor to train a small, highly-mobile expeditionary force to re-open the trade routes and eliminate anyone who tries to stop them. At first, the task seems simple, but soon the two survivors learn that all is not what it seems in Hollow Rock. As the remnants of the Federal Government send supplies and troops to aid in destroying the Legion, they draw the attention of other forces vying for supremacy in the wastelands of North America. What ensues is an action-packed journey into violence, brutality, and the dark side of human nature. Ask yourself this: How far are you willing to go to survive? How hard would you fight to stay alive, to protect those you love? This is what Warrior Within is all about. The characters find out exactly how far they are willing to go to protect the things they hold dear.

The Blogshit: What is it about zombies that keep you writing in this genre?

James Cook: Well, for starters, people keep buying my books. That makes me happy. (joke) All kidding aside, I think it’s a fascinating genre. It opens up a world of possibilities, creates a theme of constant danger, and gives authors a chance to explore a variety of topics. Human nature, relationships, the fragility of life and the human psyche, how people build civilizations, the motivations behind creating and codifying laws—the list is endless, as are the possibilities.

The Blogshit: With the saturation of zombie fiction in the current market, what do you do to keep your writing fresh and relevant?

James Cook: The characters. Surviving the Dead is not your typical zombie series. Rather than just being endless pages of zombie smashing, the story focuses on the two main characters’ struggle to maintain their humanity in an inhumane world, and to find a place where they can carve out peaceful lives for themselves. Along the way they make friends, and enemies, they laugh, they love, they fight, they kill, and they take damage. Mental, physical, and emotional. They watch people they care about get hurt and killed. They do things that give them nightmares and make them doubt the justice of their actions. They are not perfect, and they make mistakes. I think that’s what has driven the popularity of the series, and what keeps people interested in the story.

The Blogshit: What makes your zombies stand apart from all the others?

James Cook: My zombies really aren't all that different. They are mostly your standard Romero shamblers. A few unique attributes that I focus on is their physical strength, how they behave at night versus during the day, and that they are easily distracted.

The strength thing relates to the human body’s pain response. People are actually a hell of a lot stronger than they think they are, but our bodies’ pain receptors stop us from using our strength to its fullest potential because doing so harms our tissues. Zombies could give a pinch of distilled donkey shit about tissue damage. They can use all of their strength, all at once, with no chance of fatigue, and doing so makes them seem superhumanly strong.

The zombies in my books also go quiet at night, at least until they are right on top of their prey. No one is sure why.

Last, my zombies don’t have superhuman focus and concentration. They are dead. Only their base instincts remain. If they can’t see, smell, or hear prey for a long enough period of time, they forget what they were doing and wander off.

The Blogshit: Do you write (or plan to write) outside the zombie genre?

James Cook: Absolutely. My immediate plans are for an urban fantasy series titled, Jeremiah Cain: Vampire Hunter, and a traditional fantasy series titled, Gladiator of Corsryn.

Jeremiah Cain is in large part a response to my general dissatisfaction with the urban fantasy genre. I’m tired of reading about people falling in love with vampires, and snuggling with werewolves. Since when are these monsters sympathetic characters? Screw that. You’re not going to see Cain getting mixed up in that nonsense. As far as he is concerned, the only good vampire is a dead one. And that same philosophy applies to anything else that goes bump in the night.

Gladiator of Corsryn is, as stated above, a more traditional fantasy series. However, don’t expect elves, and dwarves, and fairies and whatnot. The series was inspired by my love of the old Robert E. Howard Conan novels. Expect lots of fighting, killing, crushing of enemies, seeing them driven before you, and hearing the lamentations of their women.

After that, I may dip my toes into the military or paranormal thriller waters. Time will tell.

The Blogshit: Do you think the mega hype around the movie adaptation of World War Z will have a positive or negative effect on the zombie fiction scene?

James Cook: I don’t think it will have much of an effect at all, really. I think it will be a moderately successful film—assuming it doesn’t suck, and result in a bomb—that really won’t affect the zombie fiction genre one way or the other. People are buying zombie books because it’s an interesting genre. The demand has been there for decades, but it wasn’t met because traditional publishers, who owned the fiction market up to that point, didn’t think it was worth their time. They didn’t think zombies would be a money-maker. To an extent, they were right. Zombie fiction is still, in terms of sales, a very small sub-genre when compared to romance, mysteries, and thrillers. It’s a niche market. That’s what makes it great for self-published authors. People who like zombie fiction tend to consume a lot of it, and this gives first-time writers, or writers who have been writing for a while but are still struggling to find an audience, a chance to start building a readership. I’ve said for years that if you are just getting started in writing, look for an underserved niche market to get your foot in the door. That’s what the zombie genre has done for me, what it has done for others, and what it will continue to do for the forseeable future.

The Blogshit: Is there a need for attrition in the zombie fiction market?

James Cook: I don’t think so. In publishing, the cream rises to the top. Those books that are commercially viable—for whatever reason—will find their audience. Those that are not as good will get bad reviews, see poor sales, and eventually fade from the lists. I imagine at some point companies like Amazon and B&N may initiate some kind of bottom line sales quota and start de-listing books that aren't selling, but with the massive volume of server space out there—which is growing all the time—I don’t see why they would need to do that anytime soon. The publishing business is a classic case of the 80/20 rule, which states that, generally speaking, 80% of your business will come from 20% of your customers. If you look at the numbers, this holds true in the literature market. Avid readers, people who read ten or more books a year, comprise the lion’s share of profit generation for publishers. These are people who read A LOT. From a business standpoint, it makes sense for Amazon and other booksellers to have a huge inventory of books for them to choose from. They make money either way, and it costs them very little to keep a book file on a small stretch of hard drive in a warehouse somewhere out in East Bumfuck, Nebraska.

The Blogshit: What do you see in the future of zombies, both on the page and off?

James Cook: I think that in years to come, the popularity of zombies may wane a bit due to cultural over saturation. But I don’t think it will ever go away completely. Zombies have become an entrenched cultural icon much the same as vampires and werewolves. Ask yourself this: How long have vampire novels been around? How long have people been reading stories about werewolves? Ghosts? Monsters?

The answer: Decades. Centuries, even. I started reading vampire novels when I was freaking nine years old. I’m thirty-two now, and I still read them. Can’t get enough of them. And there are millions of people out there just like me. Ergo, there are millions of people who like zombies, and will continue to do so for years to come. Furthermore, there are babies being born every day. Children growing up. Adults buying their first ereader. New readers eager for the next action-packed, spine-chilling story. And many of them will turn to zombies for that thrill.

In short, the future of zombies is good. Maybe not as good as it is now, at least not indefinitely, but it’s going to be around for a long, long time. Hell, it already has been.

The Blogshit: We are building a menu for a fictional sandwich shop. Typically we ask what to put on the namesake of your sandwich. For the Summer of Zombie Blog Tour we are going to set aside a special menu sub-section so: What do we put on your zombiefied sandwich?

James Cook: Gunpowder, bacon grease, and the blood of my enemies. Yum.

That is now seven of nine in the SoZBT. What is amazing is that James Cook like all the other writers on the tour has a take on the genre that is all his own. That is what you need to survive in this world of zombie fiction. Adapt or die is the lesson! We hope you decide to check James Cook out if he sounds like your taste.

If you are curious here are a few links you can find James and his work at. Catch you next time Constant Blog Readers!




Monday, June 17, 2013

Summer of Zombie Blog Tour - Bryan Smith

You're reading Books, Beer and Blogshit! Its the only blog that doesn't suck donkey bezels. We are you blogger hosts, Mr. Frank and Mr. Jeff.

We are getting down to the nitty gritty here. This is the next to last week of the Summer of Zombie Blog Tour so it's time to whip out some big guns. A veteran not only of zombie fiction but a muscle in horror as well, Mr. Bryan Smith.

Anybody that knows anything about the genre knows that Bryan Smith is a name that brings quality in writing. He survived the debacle at Leisure/Dorchester and has come out the other side with titles at Deadite Press and Samhain Publishing as well as ventures into self publishing. He has found new life in the digital age and proves he has lasting power.

So here he is, a man who needs no introduction but we gave him one anyway. For your enjoyment, the very talented: Bryan Smith...

The Blogshit:  Which of your books do we need to be talking about now and what is inside the pages to get excited about it?

Bryan Smith: The Late Night Horror Show from Samhain Publishing, which was released in March.  It features three parallel plotlines set in alternate realities where the worlds of movies are real.  One of these plotlines involves the immediate aftermath of a zombie apocalypse, while the other two involve vampires and backwoods maniacs.

The Blogshit What is it about zombies that keep you writing in this genre?

Bryan SmithI've enjoyed zombie films going back to the original theatrical release of Romero's Dawn of the Dead.  My occasional forays into zombie fiction undoubtedly stem from that initial seed of fandom planted way back in my youth.

The Blogshit: With the saturation of zombie fiction in the current market, what do you do to keep your writing fresh and relevant?

Bryan SmithI agree there has been a saturation of the market, but this hasn't been a particular concern of mine.  The reason is that while I do write about zombies from time to time, my subject matter mostly involves other horror tropes.

The Blogshit What makes your zombies stand apart from all the others?

Bryan SmithI haven't written much in the way of what's considered the traditional Romero model for shambling, mindless zombies.  Most of the zombie fiction I've written has been more in a comedic or satirical vein, similar to things like Return of the Living Dead.  Although I do plan to eventually write a more straightforward Romero-esque zombie novel.

The Blogshit Do you write (or plan to write) outside the zombie genre?

Bryan SmithMost of my writing is outside the zombie genre.  Of my 15 or so published books, maybe three of them feature zombies.

The Blogshit  Do you think the mega hype around the movie adaptation of World War Z will have a positive or negative effect on the zombie fiction scene?

Bryan SmithI believe the effect will be neutral.  The movie will have a successful opening weekend and people will talk about it for a while, but then the hype will fade, as happens with all big Hollywood films these days.  It can't have the same impact of an ongoing cultural phenomenon like The Walking Dead.

The Blogshit Is there a need for attrition in the zombie fiction market? 

Bryan SmithI would never tell anyone not to write something they truly feel motivated to write.  And obviously there are many people who want to read zombie stories.  As long as the public hunger for this type of fiction is there, people will keep producing them.  The sheer amount of zombie fiction out there is kind of overwhelming, though, and attrition will likely occur at some point as a natural consequence of that.

The Blogshit What do you see in the future of zombies, both on the page and off?

Bryan SmithWith The Walking Dead continuing to set new ratings highs, I think interest will remain high for both cinematic and literary zombies for a some time to come.

The Blogshit We are building a menu for a fictional sandwich shop. Typically we ask what to put on the namesake of you sandwich. For the Summer of Zombie Blog Tour we are going to set aside a special menu sub-section so: What do we put on your zombiefied sandwich? 

Bryan Smith Turkey, pepperjack cheese, onions, jalapeno peppers, spicy mustard.  Pretty basic, but that's what I order every time I go to a sub shop.

Ladies and Gentleman that was Bryan Smith. He may have been short on words here but rest assured that is not the case with his fiction. Mr. Smith is a bit more elusive than many of the other zombie authors on the tour. With good reason as a heightened level of fame most surely requires a greater level of privacy. Fret not, he is still readily available to follow. Check out his bio and points of interest below.

Bryan Smith is the author of several mass market horror novels from Leisure Books, including House of Blood, Deathbringer, The Freakshow, Queen of Blood, Soultaker, Depraved, The Killing Kind, and The Dark Ones. Samhain Publishing and Deadite Press are now my primary publishers. My first release from Samhain is due in 2013, while Deadite is reissuing my old Leisure titles. I like beer, loud rock and roll, horror movies, Britcoms, a bunch of the usual stuff.

Bryan Smith on Facebook
Bryan Smith on Twitter
Bryan Smith's "The Blog That Dripped Blood"
Bryan Smith on GoodReads