There are multiple ways to listen at RadioDork.com
Somehow I missed this one last year. Maybe this is the first year he’s been listed in Shoutcast. Last year was lazy – I didn’t do in-depth research, mainly stuck to searching Shoutcast, Live365, etc..
This station is the project of one man – namely Clay Roe.
He plays pretty much everything all the other stations listed in my Halloween Internet Radio post play, combined. (I will use a few terms in this post that assume you’ve read that post.) Old, new, novelty, sound clips. No longer stuff, though – he keeps it all pretty standard radio length.
And, though he plays all the categories the other stations specialize in, he plays much better selections and more variety within those categories than I’ve heard anywhere else. And, I’ve heard him play stuff I’ve only ever heard on Dr. Demento but not any online station.
This guy clearly knows music. Even what, at first glance, seem to be keyword songs aren’t the usual songs you hear everywhere else and were obviously chosen for content or mood/style, not just a keyword in a title. He also plays very fitting-for-the-season selections from well known musicians that I had never heard. And I love the non-English songs sprinkled in – that’s a great touch.
Yes, he leans toward older songs. Oldies, vintage, whatever, but at least it’s not the same old stuff.
But, I’ve also heard plenty of Midnight Syndicate, The Creepshow and HorrorPops, a lot of the various incarnations of Oingo Boingo, a lot of Zombina and the Skeletones, and other modern acts. Also, there’s a few remixes and mashups I can’t help but wonder if he did himself.
And I’ve heard dozens – maybe hundreds – of songs I’ve never heard before, as well as every one of my all time favorites I look forward to every year, plus special surprise treasures I’ve never heard on any other station, like the “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” from Dead Space, “Put the (Bleeping) Lotion in the Basket”, and the old “Tearing the Heart out of Saturday Night” Joe Bob Briggs MonsterVision promo.
I could keep describing, but, I’ll quote what he said for himself in an interview I found from 2015 on SpookyLittleHalloween.com….
“More than 2,000 Halloween tracks currently in the library…more than 1,000 in active rotation at any given time. And hundreds of “others”, as I call them: sound collages I create, TV and movie clips, trailers, educational films cuts, anything non-musical, but Halloween-related. My goal was always to make the stream listenable for long periods of time…without any repeats and always changing.”
The whole interview is worth reading.
And no commercials!
Well, except for a couple vintage TV ads for horror-themed toys I’ve heard.
I do want to comment on how awesome his non-music stuff is. I love the old movie radio spots, and he plays carefully selected clips from Chilling, Thrilling Sounds of the Haunted House album – a Halloween favorite of mine since childhood. There’s even clips from old Arch Oboler radio thrillers and from Peoria Plague – a radio drama from the early 70s. (I doubt most would even recognize it, but I’m into audio theater.)
My first day listening, I heard clips from some old radio Halloween special that were spread out between songs so there was a continuity further confirming that this isn’t just a huge playlist played on shuffle. One day, he played clips from The Shining throughout the day. As well as what I think was The Ghost and Mr. Chicken – an old Don Knotts movie. A couple weeks later, I started hearing a lot of clips from What We Do in the Shadows.
And then there was that chilling 911 call he played.
The entire lineup – music and non-music – is just so beautifully crafted. It’s all these human touches that is my favorite feature of this station. It is a completely different experience from every other station listed here.
Bottom line – this an Internet radio station in the truest sense. What Internet radio CAN be but usually isn’t. A human curator, editor, organizer, presenter. You can almost see him through these selections – hunkered in a closet (yes, really – read the interview), playing a track, which reminds him of another track, which he then adds to the rotation and bookends with related clips. Seemingly always there at the controls, huge library he has an intimate knowledge of at his fingertips, continually tweaking and queuing up just the perfect playlist.
Like some undead George Gimarc.
Let’s see… Something negative to say… Hmm…
Well, not all his source materials are of top quality. And I don’t mean because they’re old – I’ve heard plenty of these songs, old and new, that sound great on other stations. (His Voltaire tracks sound terrible, for example.) However, the tracks are at fairly uniform volume and that counts for a lot – it’s not the case with a lot of stations.
And, depending on what you’re looking for, Dead Air isn’t as one-size-fits-all as HalloweenRadio.net. Some of the punk, truly old stuff, and the truly bizarre would probably cause certain people to tune out. He himself says this station is for long listening. So, no, you can’t count on popular, well-known songs if you only listen a couple hours.
If you’re having a Halloween party, put on HalloweenRadio.net and within a short time, a party starter like Monster Mash will come on. Before the party is over, your half drunk guests will get to repeatedly shout “GHOSTBUSTERS!!”. And everyone will hear songs they know in between. If you want to listen all month and not hear the same standard songs too many times, like me, go for Dead Air. You’ll get a fascinating and fun journey through the history of Halloween kinda’ music and all the non-music stuff thrown in.
Anyway, A+, five stars, two thumbs up, etc.. I’ve been as excited about this station as I am once I’ve decorated the house for Halloween. It’s great audio decoration. I have listened to this station nearly non-stop all month. Even sitting in bed on my headphones and via my wife’s Bluetooth speaker in the shower that I barely ever used before. No podcasts, no other stations and that is unheard of for me – usually I have a huge list of Halloween stuff I’m listening to all month.
If he makes a Christmas station, I’m pretty sure I’d be torn away from my annual Xmas in Frisco as I’ve now been torn away from HalloweenRadio.net.
- After six years of loyalty to (redacted), I may have a new favorite Halloween Internet radio station – Dead Air @98point3FM 12:49:31, 2016-10-06
- RT @98point3FM: @ABQChristopher The evil reign of (redacted) shall fall this good eve! HUZZAH! https://t.co/MIY09uyVzc 13:00:18, 2016-10-06
- @98point3FM I read the Good Groupie interview and, yeah, you’re my kinda weirdo – erm, I mean enthusiast! ( https://t.co/n9BYKwFogZ ) in reply to 98point3FM 13:05:35, 2016-10-06
- Laying in bed, watching Waxwork 2 – Lost in Time with Terra. One of our yearly Halloween movies. https://t.co/1GHUXhM5nT 19:17:15, 2016-10-06
- Signs provoke silly walks at downtown Albuquerque intersection https://t.co/7MAJNogA6V 04:24:06, 2016-10-07
- Our cafe is decorated for Halloween… https://t.co/fekLwtaxTm 11:10:10, 2016-10-07
- 2016 Halloween in our cafe room: https://t.co/WjqAOP5oQy via @YouTube 11:16:04, 2016-10-07
- Spirit Halloween store. A very important part of the Halloween season. https://t.co/oDVwR6epMH 12:50:46, 2016-10-08
If you’ve never listened to Halloween Internet radio before, this post will hopefully be a good overview. I have been an Internet radio enthusiast for a very long time with eight consecutive Halloweens (as of this writing) of searching out and listening to these sorts of stations. I was passionate for terrestrial radio for many years before that. Sure, music is good, but I loved most finding the unusual stuff. I lived for community radio, college radio, late nights, scanning AM – I filled hundreds of cassettes over the years with stuff I knew I’d only ever hear once. And the unusual always picked up around Christmas and, to a lesser extent, Halloween. I guess I’m kinda’ looking to recreate that experience.
With that said, it should be clear that I have no interest in the “stations” of Pandora, Spotify, etc.. Those aren’t stations – they’re song playlists. And I’m not looking for just music. No matter how good the selections are, it’s a completely different experience than finding that one little weird station that has no listeners but some probably obsessive person has (hopefully) meticulously crafted to perfection. There are tens of thousands of streaming stations out there and the following is all about actual stations, created by humans. Like traditional terrestrial radio but streaming to you via a URL you plug into an Internet radio player. If you’ve never used one, TuneIn is a user-friendly, cross-platform place to start.
Before I begin, let me first define what I mean by Halloween songs. I’ll start by coining a term…
Title keyword songs.
Pretty much ALL Halloween stations play songs that seem to only be in the playlist because they searched for certain keywords and those words appear in the song title yet any meaningful thematic connection to Halloween or horror is practically non-existent. So you get many plays of songs like Superstition, Little Devil, Devil Inside, Beast of Burden, and Zombie. See what I mean? Songs by Stevie Wonder, Neil Sedaka, INXS, The Rolling Stones, The Cranberries, etc. don’t exactly create a Halloween atmosphere, which is, of course, what I put these stations on for.
Sure, there’s also songs like The Devil Went Down to Georgia, Werewolves of London, Don’t Fear the Reaper, and Witchy Woman that fit lyrically, more or less, but so many of those songs are so well known they still just don’t feel like Halloween songs.
Unfortunately, all the above is what MOST Halloween stations call Halloween music and you’ll hear it more than anything.
Secondly, you should know – and I find most people don’t – that there has been a movement in recent years that has given us some Modern Halloween Music – such as the dark fantasy neoclassical music of Midnight Syndicate and Nox Arcana as well as the Halloween Carols of Kristen Lawrence.
Thirdly, I want to clarify that when I mention Halloween oldies, I’m mainly referring to those 50s and 60s novelty records with a horror sort of theme that have been with us forever on Halloween party compilations like Monster Mash, The Blob, Purple People Eater, I Want My Baby Back, Monster’s Holiday, Grim Grinning Ghosts, etc. – you surely know at least a few of them. If you were (or are) a Dr. Demento listener, you’ll also know some of the more obscure songs from that era as well – Dead, Dinner at Drac’s, My Son the Vampire, Zombie Jamboree, and all those.
And finally, there is a whole decades-long middle era between the oldies and the modern that I just expect to be a staple of any Halloween station so I’m not going to mention this content in my notes below. This mostly consists of the more recognizable horror movie themes and selections from the soundtracks of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Little Shop of Horrors, Beetlejuice and the like. As well as appropriate tracks from Gothic and Goth-favorite (or just plain dark) bands like Bauhaus, Dead Can Dance, Oingo Boingo, White Zombie. A few stations actually occasionally play psychobilly music. And of course, you’ll get sick of hearing Michael Jackson’s Thriller, the Ghostbusters theme, and the handful of scattered novelties like A Nightmare on My Street.
There’s a neverending supply of types of music (and not music) from all of recording history that could end up on a Halloween station but those are the four most heard categories you’ll encounter on these stations. The truly unique stations play more than just those four categories.
With all that said, let’s start with my favorites…
This station is newer – I just discovered it in 2016. It’s unlike any other and I’ve enjoyed it so much, it deserves more than a couple paragraphs, so I wrote up a full informational post. The following is a very shortened version…
This station plays pretty much everything all the other stations listed here play, combined.
Old, new, novelty, plus lots of trailers and clips from horror movies, TV shows, and even radio thrillers. No longer stuff, though – he keeps it all pretty standard radio length. Aside from that, it could be described as a compilation of what I love most about HalloweenRadio.net and Steve Kraft’s station but with more personality than either.
And, though it features songs (and not songs) from all the categories the other stations specialize in, there’s much better selections and more variety within those categories than I’ve heard anywhere else.
I’ve heard dozens – maybe hundreds – of recordings I’ve never heard before, as well as every one of my all time favorites I look forward to every year, plus special surprise treasures I’ve never heard on any other station, like the “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” from Dead Space, “Put the (Bleeping) Lotion in the Basket”, and the old “Tearing the Heart out of Saturday Night” Joe Bob Briggs MonsterVision promo.
The entire lineup – music and non-music – is just so beautifully crafted. It’s all these human touches that is my favorite feature of this station. It is a completely different experience from every other station listed here.
Anyway, A+, five stars, two thumbs up, etc.. I’ve been as excited about this station as I am once I’ve decorated the house for Halloween. It’s great audio decoration. I listened to this station pretty much non-stop in October 2016.
Which brings me to my other favorites…
This station is nearly perfect in its universality and needs no lengthy description or details. If you need a one-size-fits-all, go-to Halloween radio station, this is it. (Especially if you only want music.) Old songs, new songs, horror movie music, etc.. Though, it also suffers from too many title keyword songs described above.
If you’d rather have soundscapes, they have their atmosphere station and I can vouch that it’s usually really good. Need it to be kid friendly? They have a kids station. Oldies only? They have one of those, too. And they’ve a station that plays nothing but horror movie score pieces.
All of their stations are of professional grade when it comes to sound quality. I can’t think of another station I can say that about. Even at 128k, most stations just don’t sound great.
We kick off every Halloween season with their main station and it gets more play on our stereo during October than any other. So, yeah, it gets an A.
(They seem to be slowly increasing the number of commercials each year, though.)
Now on to my other long-time favorite…
This is more of an ambience/atmosphere station. I mainly listen to it in headphones. For me, it’s perfect for when I don’t just want music.
Rather than try to describe it, I’ll just list what I hear on it…
… Easily half this station’s content is haunted house soundtracks and other horror soundscapes, some playful, some a bit too truly horrifying for my idea of Halloween. The rest is the most diverse collection I’ve yet to hear on any other station…
… Halloween oldies
… Modern Halloween music
… Songs from kids’ Halloween albums, past and present
… Spoken word stories from Poe and the like, many read by Vincent Price
… Speaking of Vincent Price, my Halloween isn’t Halloween without the stuff he did for Caedmon and this station plays all of it
… Movie radio spots from the 40s to the 80s
… Music from horror movies, modern and classic.
… And lots of oddities and curiosities in general.
… And no commercials!
In short, he collects awesome Halloween audio stuff so I don’t have to. His station therefore gets a solid A. I’ve listened to it three or four Halloweens in a row and will every Halloween as long as he keeps the stream going.
(note – he streams some kind of god-awful electronic dance music year-round and switches to Halloween stuff on October 1st.)
For the rest, here’s what I’m gonna do. I’ve been listening to Halloween Internet radio since 2008 and there are many stations. Many come and go, some I see every year. I’m going to focus only on the stations I recognize as available every year. And I’m not gonna do a huge, detailed write up. I’ll spend a day with one station playing – it may or may not get much of my attention during my workday, but as I hear significant things, I’ll jot a note with a plus for positive things, a minus for negative things, and both for stuff I have mixed feelings about. Then I’ll just paste those notes here. As usual, these ‘In my headphones’ posts are mainly for my own reference but posted online in case anyone else can benefit from the info.
Hopefully, I’ll listen to a bunch of these, make a bunch of notes, and post this in time for the first week of October.
And my plan is to update this list from time to time as I find relevant stations.
+horror movie trailers
–too much heavy metal
+Vincent Price Caedmon
+-lots of orchestral stuff
+-more spoken word, radio dramas, and soundscapes than music
+Those just plain odd 1962 readings of Poe by Richard Taylor that I love
+-narrated stories – some kinda too long, but still atmospheric
–title keyword songs
+music from horror movies
—the volume tends to vary between tracks
+-lots of (often long) tv/movie clips but not always obviously Halloween/Horror-related
++plenty of weird little odds and ends
—this station seems to just alternate between Midnight Syndicate and title keyword songs – the one then the other – with occasional old novelty song and a few tracks from horror movie scores
+oddly enough, I actually find the PSAs they play are usually enjoyable
Scared to Death Haunted House Ride Radio
I only recall seeing this one the last couple years. And they don’t have a website that I can find.
UPDATE – As of October 2016, I cannot find this station anywhere. I will leave the info here for now so I won’t have to rewrite it if they come back.
+fewer title keyword songs than most stations
+music from horror movies (kind of a lot, actually)
—the volume can vary drastically between tracks to the point that it pretty much ruins what is otherwise a really great station
+-several White/Rob Zombie songs
+a pretty unique playlist – I’ve heard several things I haven’t heard on other stations
+more Voltaire than most stations
… I absolutely love this station but the drastic volume changes make it a station I can’t just leave playing
- Halloween is all packed up to be stowed away for another eleven months. https://t.co/pfcUWkVsHs 10:33:17, 2015-11-01
- Good morning!! Or not… And I had errands to run this morning, too. #grrrr https://t.co/0GCcgU02nL 08:36:28, 2015-11-02
- Two hours cooking dinner or half off delivery calzones from Pizza 9? #twistmyarm #househusbandnightoff https://t.co/dAAboAHqZE 12:32:50, 2015-11-04
- Doctor Hoo's late night snack. https://t.co/U6p3OyvHmv 21:04:29, 2015-11-04
- We got the tire fixed. And bought a spare. Yeah, I know. Yay for us anyway. https://t.co/uYDLu898Tg 13:46:53, 2015-11-05
- Trick R Treat kitten – Tricksie for short. He is 24 days old today and walking around quite nicely. https://t.co/cw1mHXXWsT 14:26:14, 2015-11-05
- Halloween month being over means the return of PSO and Art Bell nights with Terra! :) https://t.co/KyapD756ZI 18:48:36, 2015-11-05
- Nice find at The Loft – a new thrift store that just opened nearby. Replaces my Yamaha that died last December. https://t.co/jmuy4VJV6q 13:32:51, 2015-11-06
- My desk area of the kitchen counter. A mess, as usual. Now with tape deck. #househusband https://t.co/oGb2UT1XSL 10:12:38, 2015-11-07
- Halloween-ized cafe windowsill. https://t.co/ZRvFVefNlV 13:36:20, 2015-10-25
- Monster House. With Terra and Wesley. First time for all of us. https://t.co/PvfWOjDAJt 17:58:16, 2015-10-25
- Another cafe room windowsill #halloweendecorations https://t.co/FKzRLaymqL 14:41:12, 2015-10-26
- Saturday the 14th. With Terra and Wesley. #halloweenmovies https://t.co/0zA7HgWrIq 17:18:24, 2015-10-26
- RT @RELEVANT: Here are 15 very sad, very hilarious Christian breakup lines. https://t.co/JfnDPhSASR 20:14:49, 2015-10-26
- Holly watching me as her 2-week old baby sleeps in my lap. https://t.co/CoIzYOEtCw 13:46:05, 2015-10-27
- Attack of the Killer Tomatoes. With Terra and Wesley. #yesreally #halloweenmovies https://t.co/y6MF4tuEqe 17:17:37, 2015-10-27
- BBC's Rocky Horror Show Live Gala Performance. With Terra. https://t.co/nuOQkJK4kT 20:03:44, 2015-10-28
- RT @ABQreddit: 19 Words That Have A Totally Different Meaning In New Mexico #ABQ https://t.co/rLJ87bqE4b 21:21:56, 2015-10-28
- Our Halloween weekend begins with Krispy Kreme :) https://t.co/H0JZz6t7Hl 08:58:31, 2015-10-29
- Grave Encounters. With Terra. Our first time seeing it. https://t.co/xfFXQBliSn 10:22:32, 2015-10-29
- Asylum (2008) With Terra. https://t.co/yKEXo6S1fD 12:26:59, 2015-10-29
- Shutter Island. We've never seen it. This better be good. https://t.co/M3Y2lvnJkL 18:53:16, 2015-10-29
- Boo. With Terra. Our fifth and final insane asylum binge day movie. https://t.co/mOkor7BfEZ 21:30:28, 2015-10-29
- Kitties waiting their turn for breakfast. https://t.co/IK4FeLeQXX 08:14:18, 2015-10-30
- Our annual viewing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show!! https://t.co/wyJQDOdsYS 18:42:43, 2015-10-30
- Exeter. With Terra. A late insane asylum horror movie list entry. This will be our sixth. https://t.co/0fIIHaLzvV 20:59:19, 2015-10-30
- The Descent. And so begins our family day on the couch Halloween horror movie marathon! https://t.co/ye2kvdB5Rs 11:58:49, 2015-10-31
- Event Horizon. With Terra and Wesley. https://t.co/QPObIFPa1u 13:47:04, 2015-10-31
- The Fourth Kind. No title card at the beginning. Our last Halloween movie. That's 42. A new record. https://t.co/cerkGFQFzK 19:11:31, 2015-10-31
I finally got around to listening this. I decided that Halloween month was a good excuse to do so. Especially since it’s coming to an end.
This is an audio comic book.
That’s the short version.
It kinda breaks my heart to post the rest of my thoughts. I know Eric Busby is a respected name in modern audio theater. And I’ve been meaning for a long time to listen through this and was ready to love it.
But, I don’t love it.
There’s no denying it’s a cool universe/mythos. (Though, it owes a lot to Doctor Who and Underworld and doesn’t bother to hide it very well.) The sound design is good enough most of the time to take me into that world. The music is a great touch (when usually I’d complain about so much music) and the effects usually get the job done, though many are obviously from free sound effects libraries. But, they’re mixed well so I don’t think about it much. It’s an experience that’s more immersive and atmospheric than most stuff out there.
Much of the casting is disappointing. Strictly amateur hour. Most of the acting is pretty unremarkable – sometimes just bad – but David Ault is at his most dull here. I’ve heard him in a few things and he’s just kinda boring. I often wonder if he’s the only English accent for hire in American low budget audio theater. What he does is reciting lines but not really performing. And that’s even more true in this show than usual. I think it’s supposed to be the character’s flat affect? But that’s not what it sounds like to me.
The character of Byron doesn’t interest me much, either. The writer gives him plenty of dialogue but it’s written rather blandly. Not really any depth or nuance. Though, most of everyone’s dialogue is pretty color-by-numbers and predictable. That doesn’t give him or anyone else much to work with. But, I think the character is written inconsistently. For instance, how much time he spends explaining himself to other characters. Yet so much of the rest of the time, he’s written as someone who wouldn’t bother explaining himself to people. Since these are his chronicles that he himself is writing, the information could have been given to us that way – in the form of narration – and it would be more consistent with the character, I think. (To be clear, descriptive narration is used quite a bit and I applaud that but expository narration is used much less.)
Oh yeah, and Byron seems genuinely unlikable. And that makes me disinterested. He’s not a cool antihero or even intriguingly dark – he’s just kind of an ass hole. His smart-ass demeanor is probably supposed to come across as wit. But, as someone says in 2.10, “Your melancholic enigma routine doesn’t work on me!”
Yeah, me neither.
Even with all that said, though, there’s still a lot to like. It does a lot well. I’ve pretty much listed everything bad about it above. The dislike I felt toward the central character and the actor playing him just can’t be ignored, no matter how much else is done well. But I certainly didn’t hate it. I give it a C- just to barely tip the rating to the negative half of the scale. It was a mostly satisfying way to spend my Halloween month listening but once was enough.
Imagine if the world as you know it… was nothing more than an illusion. What if creatures like elves, dragons, vampire, zombies and werewolves walk amongst you every day… But you never see them. This is the world I walk in. I am called Byron and these are my chronicles.
- My recently begun coffee bag label collection. #homebarista #homecafe https://t.co/cZmkgITC6O 18:20:52, 2015-10-18
- Underworld: Evolution. With Terra. #halloweenmovies https://t.co/P9uxsoaQBe 18:27:55, 2015-10-18
- On our back door screen. Black widow and prey. I may never sleep again. #notahalloweendecoration https://t.co/Mb1F61eWv3 15:14:22, 2015-10-19
- Trick or Treat kitten is now eight days old. https://t.co/Qmm7qhjGf8 11:43:23, 2015-10-20
- Addams Family Values. With Wesley and Terra. https://t.co/XW0MEJwnEm 18:02:01, 2015-10-20
- Rosemary's Baby. With Terra. Somehow, I've never gotten around to seeing this. #halloweenmovies https://t.co/hd2AKOzICH 19:14:23, 2015-10-21
- Firing up the heat for the first time this year. Yay! https://t.co/tB6R0yxREM 08:19:18, 2015-10-22
- Spent my afternoon with three great gals, enjoying lunch and the view at Club Rio Rancho. https://t.co/cfwyT4jPLI 15:57:32, 2015-10-22
- Bram Stoker's Dracula. With Terra. After 6 Hammer Dracula films (with 3 to go), taking a break for another… https://t.co/HC6wGLlFNb 18:57:53, 2015-10-22
- Dracula AD 1972 (Hammer Dracula #7 of 9) and Sonic breakfast with Terra. https://t.co/D9tYqdqcFb 11:17:48, 2015-10-23
- The Satanic Rites of Dracula. Hammer Dracula #8 of 9. With Terra. https://t.co/oLYUG5AFuO 13:23:44, 2015-10-23
- And finally, The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires. Hammer Dracula #9 of 9 With Terra. Like the previous 8. https://t.co/fLeVhASyd7 15:08:50, 2015-10-23
- Ed Wood. With Terra. This, to me, is a #halloweenmovie https://t.co/VneGIhEmF6 18:09:27, 2015-10-23
- Young Frankenstein. With Terra. https://t.co/5Kfy2KzwgQ 17:58:31, 2015-10-24