The Mid-Week Beat: Goblin & Horror Rock!

goblinIn honor of the scariest month of the year, today’s Mid-Week Beat is focused on a band who is best known for their chilling soundtracks to some of the most iconic horror films.

The Italian prog-rock band Goblin formed in the early 1970s. They were orignially named Oliver until Cinevox, their record label, changed their name to Cherry Five. The band was influenced by the prog-rock titans of the time: Genesis, Yes and King Crimson. However, Cherry Five had their own strange and cinematic sound and Cinevox mostly published film soundtracks, so the band was often called upon to perform and arrange various composer’s soundtrack compositions. This made the group very familiar with the musical techniques that were unique to soundtrack work.

In 1975, the band was called in as a replacement for composer Giorgio Gaslini for the film Profondo Rosso (Deep Red) after he had a conflict with the film’s director Dario Argento. They changed their name to Goblin in an effort to differentiate themselves from Cherry Five, who had just released their debut LP. The Argento soundtrack albums ended up being huge hits, selling more than a millions copies, and from then on, Goblin’s music would forever more be associated with Argento’s films.

The success of the Profondo Rosso soundtrack kicked off the most prolific and successful period for the band and they would go on to provide the scores to many horror classics including Suspiria, Zombi and the European release of George Romero’s Dawn of the Dead. This prolific period ended in 1978 when the band began to splinter. What remained of the original group continued to provide sountracks to Argento’s films including Tenebrae in 1982 and Non ho sonno (Sleepless) in 2000.
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San Francisco: Get Ready for Halloween with Shocktoberfest 12!

October is upon us and thus begins the season of all things dark, creepy and sinister. Over the next month, I’ll be featuring events that set the mood for Halloween and the first event that caught my eye was Shocktoberfest in San Francisco.

This trio of noir-horror plays is celebrating its 12th year and is a collaboration between San Fransisco’s renowned Thrillpeddlers and author Eddie Muller, who wrote the evening’s plays. The Thrillpeddlers have been around for nearly two decades and specialize in authentic Grand Guignol horror productions. The Theatre Du Grand Guignol was located in the Pigalle neighborhood of Paris and was open from 1897 to 1962. It specialized in horror shows and today the term Grand Guignol is used to describe a wide range of graphic horror entertainment, ranging from Elizabethan theater to modern splatter films.
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