Saturday, September 6, 2014

Episode 11 - Escape! (The End of Humanity Song)

"You're married...?  To a guy named Bananforth?"

Hey, what does the number one movie of the summer and our latest podplay have in common? Besides both of them being awesome?  I'll let you make the connection.  What we have here is yet another outstanding Earbud Theater production written and directed by Nicholas Thurkettle.  Escape! (The End of Humanity Song) is an absolute blast and we wouldn't blame you if you stopped reading and went straight over to listen- HEY!  Where do you think you're going?  We've got some credits to get to here, don't you want to know the talent involved? Well, all right then:

Escape! (The End of Humanity Song) written and directed by Nicholas Thurkettle

Produced by: Casey WolfeAaron Drown and Branon Coluccio

Performed by:
Austin Rogers as Alex
Jim Van Over as Garland
Tosca Minotto as Perla
Jill Cary Martin as Jan Maloof
Matthew Henerson as Dr. Marlin Labat

Spot art by Kevin Necessary (who you can read about further below).
End Credits Music: Lá Lá é Lé Lé by Bohemios da Cidade
Special thanks to Rupert Holmes

Okay, now you can go listen.  And don't for get to mosey on over to iTunes (Earbud Theater) and subscribe.  And if you haven't already - please feel free to rate and/or write a review.  Those things really help expand our reach.  Thanks, cats.  NOW you can go listen.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Kevin Necessary - Spotlight on the Artist

So, tomorrow sees the release of Nicholas Thurkettle's Escape! (The End of Humanity Song) and we'll go into greater detail on that then.  But for now we want to set aside some time to focus on the talented man who did the art for this particular episode (heads up: we're going to be expanding our artist focus in the next few months so pay attention - some neat stuff should pop up).  Since he knocked it out of the park with his piece for Habitat, Nick was all to eager to invite Kevin Necessary back and Kevin was gracious enough to accept.  Without further ado, let's unveil the "podart" for the episode that you may pour over it, analyze it for plot clues and just plain admire a kick-ass piece of art:

Look!  Art you can drink!

Lovely isn't it? But what does it mean?  WHAT.  DOES.  IT.  MEAN?  You can find that out tomorrow, in the meantime a big thank you to Kevin and here's a little interview Nick conducted with the artist himself:

Q:  Who are some of the major influences you draw from when it's time to come up with an image?

A:  Who are some of my influences? Yikes. How much space do you have? I love simple, effective design work, like the stuff Saul Bass created back in the 1960s, to the Frank R. Paul, who illustrated these garishly wonderful pulp magazine covers in the 1920s. I've been heavily inspired by cartoonists such as Bill Waterson, and my hometown hero (and friend), Jim Borgman. I find inspiration from as many sources as I can. Though I do my best not to emulate them, I try to find what it is about that work that fires up my imagination, and do my damnedest to express those emotions through the prism of my own work.

But if there's one artist that has truly influenced me, it was Ralph McQuarrie. He was the first concept artist on the original Star Wars Trilogy, and I was exposed to his artwork almost as soon as I was exposed to the films themselves. His concept art helped me go from wanting to be Luke Skywalker, to wanting to be the one who creates the world Luke Skywalker lives in.

Q:  You seem to resonate strongly with the sci-fi/fantasy/horror material that Earbud traffics in. Can you give us a very brief history of your relationship with this genre and what some of your own favorites are?

A:  One of the first books I remember my parents reading to me was The Hobbit. I don't remember a time when I wasn't watching, reading, or listening to science fiction and fantasy. And I really do love the old pulpy stuff. The Twilight Zone ("Five Characters in Search of an Exit" and "The Lonely" are favorites). Forbidden Planet. Stories such as "The Cold Equations" by Tom Godwin, and "The Hell-Bound Train" by Robert Bloch. Dune, the Foundation Series. And I've listened to a ton of X-Minus One.

Q:  In the early days of pulp sci-fi, sometimes the writers came up with their stories based on the artwork as opposed to the other way around. What do you love to draw that could easily be the subject of an Earbud podplay?

A:  I'll throw two images at you.

I've had an image in my head for years about a Ming the Merciless-style villian, the type you'd find in any 1930s serial, with a shocked look on his face as he stands over the smoldering body of the story's hero -- who was shot by one of the henchmen and is now quite dead. Also gaping in surprise are the damsel in distress and the hero's sidekick. None of them know what to do. I think it'd be a funny story.

The other image: A man sits by a porthole in a darkened room on a space station. Visible in the window looms the dark blue eye of Neptune, casting dim light onto the scene.

Q:  Where can our listeners go to see more of your work and buy some of it?

A:  I don't have anything for officially for sale -- yet! But you can visit my site,, and if there's something there you see that you want, drop me a line and we'll work something out.

Q:  And lastly - if you were at a bar when the world was coming to an end, what would you order at last call?

A:  I would order the best bourbon they had, neat. Guess I'd better make sure I'm at a decent bar when the world ends. I don't want to be stuck with only Jim Beam as a choice.

Very nice.  Great work, Kevin.  And we'll see you all back here on September 5th for the release of "Escape!  (The End of Humanity Song)."

Friday, August 29, 2014

Your Labor Day Entertainment: Heston vs. Killer Ants!

Hey, first a heads up.  Yes the title has the word 'naked' in it, but there is no nudity in this thriller.  Sorry.  There's nothing better than nudity on the radio.  But what this does have is Charlton Heston duking it out with hordes of killer ants!  Some classic "Hestonisms" here too delivering sexist lines as only he can.  I think I've written about this before but this was the first audio drama I'd ever heard, caught it on a road trip as a little kid and it really stuck with me.  If you want to know - I can tell you how they made the sound of the ants, but only if you want to know.

This is the original Lux Radio Theater production courtesy of Sci Fi Emporium.  If you care to branch out into the movie version, you can get that HERE.

As we segue from Bea Little to Escape! (The End of Humanity Song) which arrives next week.  This can be your weekend supplement.  I plan on listening to it on my new Harmon Kardon Wireless Speaker (assuming it arrives on time).  I'll let you know how it sounds!

Enjoy your labor day!

- CW

Thursday, July 17, 2014

"Where the hell did that idea come from?"

Casey Wolfe here - just contributed the bloody and screaming podplay, "Bea Little" to the fine folks at Earbud Theater.  It went live last Saturday and got a decent reception in large part due to the elevating performances of Sean Keller and Melissa Graver (who play John and Beatrice respectively).  Also because it features a rather disgusting use of a power drill which brings me to the point of this missive.

There was a moment during the editing of the podplay where I was suddenly taken aback, "Hey, this is some sick shit.  What the hell, dude?  Where did that idea come from?"  It took me about two seconds to reach back in my brain and figure it out as the source was a typical entry in the childhood-trauma department and therefore has never completely gone away.

I was about eight or nine years old and when my Mom would go shopping at the Base Exchange (grew up an Air Force brat and this was where the military would go for their department store-esque purchases), I'd have to tag along.  Once inside, she'd go off and do her thing and I'd go over to the magazine rack and wait it out reading whatever I could find until she was done.  Usually this would be a comic from the Marvel universe or, if I was particularly lucky, MAD Magazine - perfect for sporadic reading.  But this time, there was something there that usually wasn't (and, tellingly, was never present afterward).

It looked like a comic book, but there was no superhero on the cover.  Instead there was a desiccated, face - a grinning, rotting corpse staring straight at me.  Naturally, I had to pick it up.  Flipping through the pages, I'd never seen anything like it.  Violent imagery that landed with great impact probably due to the fantastic artists rendering the nightmares.  I don't know who drew the particular issue, but here's a pretty good example from artist Jack Kamen:

Jack Kamen

There were three stories, blood, knives, axes, corpses.  This wasn't supposed to be on display for some kid to come and look at, I was in illegal territory and freaked out.  So, naturally, I had to explore further.

The story I read was something called (to the best of my recollection, I have been unable to find this since) "The Organ Grinder."  It centered on a husband and wife who clearly hated each other.  Maybe one found out the other was cheating, I forget the reason for the conflict, just that it was there.  Anyway, in a fit of rage the wife ends up killing the husband and then - to dispose of the body - SHE CHOPS HIM UP AND PUTS PIECE AFTER PIECE OF HIM IN A MEAT GRINDER UNTIL HE'S NOTHING BUT A GORY SOUP!  Holy shit!  Totally repulsive and nauseating.  Naturally, I had to explore further.  The wife rinses the 'husband soup' down the drain and mops up the mess until everything's spotless.  Problem solved, right?  Wrong.

When she's finished taking care of the corpse she fixes herself a nice warm bath, strips down (what's up titillation!?) and slips in.  And then it happens... bloop.... BLOOP... Bubbles start coming up from the drain and then suddenly THE REANIMATED GRUE THAT WAS HER HUSBAND COMES BACK UP THROUGH THE DRAIN, WRAPS HIMSELF (ITSELF?) AROUND HER LIKE THE BLOB OR VENOM OR SOMETHING AND PROCEEDS TO SQUEEZE, CHOKE AND DROWN HER UNTIL SHE'S DEAD.  That's it.  Over.  Done.  Shellshock.  Magazine back on rack.  Leave the store and ride shotgun in the family station wagon contemplating the transgression I'd just experienced.

It really freaked me out, but you know what?  When we were back there the next week, I was looking for that magazine.  This, I've noticed is a common trait among horror fans - especially as kids - that we can experience something that completely terrifies us and yet return to that well again.  And again.  There's a great podcast about exactly this over at The Daily Grindhouse (one of the first ten episodes when they were hosted by G and The Man Called Perry.  It's possibly the Monster Squad episode where they interview Fred Dekker).  And there's a website called Kindertrauma completely devoted to this exact phenomenon.  You should check it out.  (In fact, I'm going to see if anyone there can figure out what magazine it was I was reading - Tales From the Crypt seems likely but could be something different entirely.  If you know, leave a comment below, I'd love to revisit it.)

Anyway - there you go.  A little insight into the seed from which would eventually grow "Bea Little."  I can only hope that some unsuspecting youngster happens across the podplay and freaks him or herself out so much that years later they create something equally twisted.  Because apparently, terrifying is fun. 

- CW

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Episode 10 Bea Little

Well, we managed to overcome some laptop issues, connection issues, childhood trauma issues and a fight with management - but here it is, the latest podplay, Bea Little.  And only a day late.  Will have more to say about this later in an upcoming blog post, so for now, let's just give credit where credit is due:

Melissa Graver - Bea Little
Sean Keller - John Little
Branon Coluccio - Lewison


"Headache" by Frank Black

Aaron Drown and Casey Wolfe

Written and Directed by Casey Wolfe

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Lament for the death of a laptop...

So, last night we hit the booth, courtesy of Mr. Aaron Drown, and Nicholas Thurkettle directed his piece, Escape! (The End of Humanity Song) with a truly killer cast of actors.  Suffice it to say, we've never had a story like it and it truly shines. Can't wait for you to hear it, but I'm not here to talk about that, I'm here to talk about disaster...

You may remember us touting the recording this months episode a few weeks back.  Well, it's nearly done (and it's a killer, oh BOY is it a killer.).  Barring a few tweaks it's finished, and ready to make the mentioned July 11th release date.  Except maybe not.  Because at the moment it's locked inside a dull silver square to which access has been denied.  A dead laptop.  Are there backup files?  Sure. Is there another means of putting the final touches on it!  Maybe.  But see in the deep, dark caves here at Earbud there's not a ton of access to tech, not like you surface dwellers have anyway.

Anyway, there may be something new for you tomorrow or maybe not.  What we CAN offer you is a little sneak peek. So without further ado, here is the spot art for our maybe July release, Bea Little.

Drawn by the amazing Phil Jimenez

Is that freaking cool or what!?   Stay tuned Earbuds...

Thursday, July 3, 2014

For your convenience... iTunes.

That little button up there - small but powerful.  We know you're used to the ol' right-click-save drag'n'drop model of saving our podplays to your podplayer, but those days are over for you, friends!  Journey over to the iTunes store courtesy this teleportation device:

And subscribe.  Write a review, heck, if you do that - gosh - that'd be swell.  And of course, share, spread the word, the weirdness, the wordness.  And if you haven't listened to Habitat - our latest and greatest - do it!

We now return you to your dimension.  We think it's your dimension, anyway.