Thursday, October 16, 2014

Episode 12 - Over Halloween

Erika Lebeaux is not a big fan of Halloween - too many bad memories of a pretty nasty one when she was little.  So it comes as a bit of a surprise that she would be here to interview the man w ho made the film that's pretty much the definitive icon of the holiday.  A man who is infamously cranky and who, in success, seems to have created his own monster.  A man who is totally, completely, absolutely - OVER HALLOWEEN.  

And so we're off on our 12th episode of Earbud Theater.  We've always liked the scary and we've always wanted to do a piece directly tied to the holiday.  About a year ago we thought, "Hey, what if we asked xxxx if he wanted to write or at least participate in developing an Earbud idea?  Everyone thinks of him when they think of Halloween."  So we reached out to him.  He never answered.  But through that failed run at the master of horror (well, one of 'em anyway) we came up with this wonderful little idea.  We're super pleased with the results and as always, we have a great, talented crew that helped out with this.  Without further ado - THE CREDITS:

Written and directed by Casey Wolfe

Performed by
Daheli Hall as Erika Lebeaux
Jared Rivet as The Director
And introducing
Buzby as himself

All songs by Kevin MacLeod can be found HERE.  The songs used are:
Gathering Darkness
Gloom Horizon
Static Motion
The Escalation
Echoes of Time

Engineering and Demon Summoning courtesy of Craig Good

Amazing Mind Blowing art by Megan Hutchison.  We have a limited number of watercolor prints available for sale email us for details.

Arright, time to put this to bed.  Now, you go to bed, plug in your headphones and enjoy Over Halloween.  

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Pre-Show Warmup

Art by Megan Hutchison
You know what that is?  A couple of sinister looking fiends?  Yes.  An amazing piece of art that captures the essence and fun of the Halloween season?  Yes.  But it's also the spot art for our next podplay, Over Halloween.  Yes, the edit is finally finished.  It was torture, it was hell, but it was worth it - and we don't mind going through hell and being tortured if it means something great for you, listener.  And for the very first time, we have a limited number of watercolor prints signed and numbered by the artist that will be available for purchase!  Ask for details

Be on the lookout for the release within the next 24 hours.  And don't worry, we'll absolutely let you know when it's up and live.  We'll ride to your house on the leathery wings of night creatures if necessary.  

But you can't wait?  You need something now?  Well, you're in luck - because here are some recommendations to put in your October Playlist, some homegrown and some from friends.

First, we have our top horror podcasts that you should check out, revisit or share:  Bea Little, Shift, Beneath the Basement and Ethan Burrows are the podplays that lean towards the more horrific and creepy.  

Second, we have recently become obsessed with The Truth podcast - you probably know it already, but it's the brass ring in terms of audio storytelling.  Real quality stuff.  Here is their archive list - go there and check out the Halloween episode they did last year called The Devil You Know.  The one about the 'dentist' freaked us the hell out.

Finally, gather round the campfire - Campfire Radio Theater that is!  They just released part one of a two-part Halloween episode called RIP, but we'll also recommend The Philadelphia Xperiment

So there you have it.  Tricks and Treats for your ears.  As well as a visual tease to get you ready and primed for Over Halloween.  (Who is the girl?  The house looks familiar too... And what's with the two... what are they...?  Stay tuned.)

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

October One. Bring the horror.

Daheli Hall and Jared Rivet killing it.  

Hey so a couple weeks ago THIS happened.  Two very talented individuals, Dahali Hall and Jared Rivet, were put through the wringer in the subterranean, soundproof booth where Earbud nabs its screams of horror and shrieks of pain.. and occasionally - certainly in this case - kick ass performances.  It was a lot of fun and a lot of hard work.  It's always impressive to see people giving their all and then more after that.  This particular episode is one of TWO that we're unleashing on you for the month of October simply because it's our favorite time of year.

We'll keep you posted on the titles and release days of course, but in addition to that we're going to have some recommendations for other superscary podplays you should check out. Because you can never get too much horror in your head when it's Halloween season.  Right guys?

Well, it's not QUITE a centipede, but that's okay, you're not quite human.

To get you kicked off, we'll recommend a classic of our own making, the straight-up horror podplay SHIFT.  Our first release and one of the more terrifying entries.  Check it out.

And welcome to October.

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