Friday, August 21, 2009

Horror-rock at Folk Fest 2010?

The city is raving about the 2009 Folk Fest like it was the second coming of Jeebus – and by all accounts (and judging from Steve Earle’s beard) it just might have been. While the Dedmontonian’s musical proclivities tend to lean towards Motorhead, Pantera and Rob Zombie, I have been known to partake of an evening or two of Folk Fest in the past. So in light of their success for their 30th anniversary, I’m going to look forward to 2010 and suggest to Mr. Terry Wickham an act that would bridge the gap between the folkies and the horror nuts like me: Roky Erickson.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with his work, I would best describe his sound – well, as best as a my addled mind can describe – as a darker version of Tom Petty. Many of Erickson’s songs, such as “I Walked with a Zombie”, “Two Headed Dog (Red Temple Prayer)”, and “Night of the Vampire”, feature supernatural or horror themes.

Unfortunately, Erickson suffered from Schizophrenia, and in the late 60’s and early 70’s he was in and out of a string of mental hospitals in his native Texas. It was after that when Erickson adopted a heavier sound, and began incorporating horror and sci-fi elements into his music. Despite some amazing albums in the 80’s, Erickson’s mental health took a turn for the worse, and his creative output dwindled.

Thankfully, in 2001 Henry Rollins and Roky’s brother Sumner pulled him out of his slump. Sumner gained legal custody of his brother, established a trust fund, and proceeded to sort out all the legal tanglings that had left Roky penniless. Now Erickson is receiving proper medical care and is currently working on a new album with ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons, and he’s been a fixture on the live music scene in Austin for the past few years now. In fact, he just played at this year’s SXSW festival.

Here’s one of my favourite Roky tunes – imagine this song being performed at Gallagher park with ominous storm clouds a-brewin’. Terry, please bring this guy here!


One more festival - the last of the summer - wraps this weekend. Our annual Fringe Festival ends Sunday, and there's a few plays you horror fiends shouldn't miss.

For the Love of a Zombie is a funny, Ed Wood-vibed Zombedy with two shows left:

August 21 7:00 pm

August 22 4:30 pm

The show's at #1 Westbury Theatre (TransAlta Arts Barn).

Also, Dr. Frankenfurter squeezes into his latex for only three more shows:

August 21st- Friday- 7:30 PM

August 22nd- Saturday- 7:30 PM

August 23rd- Sunday- 8 PM

Catch Frank, Riff Raff, and the rest of the gang at New City Suburbs on Jasper Ave!

And lastly, the boys at Mostly Water Theatre (who entertained the crowds at last year's Deadmonton Horror Festival with their short film "Gaylien") are wrapping up their new show "Wetware", which runs every night at 6pm (until Sunday) at Filthy McNasty's.


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