Wednesday, October 22, 2014

October 22nd - "Helping Haunters" - FREE MP3 download

Greetings ghouls and fiends,

Back in 2002 I participated in producing a charity CD (with a number of other artists).  It was called "Haunters Helping Haunters" and I had three songs on the disc.

"Helping Haunters" was recorded specifically for this disc.

Please have a listen and ENJOY...

Tonight I'm making this tune available for FREE!

Download "Helping Haunters" now - here.

I hope you enjoy some of the FREE Halloween treats I'm posting.  Remember to support independent artists (like me) by downloading or purchasing music - you can find my music for download here, here, here and here.

Mark Harvey

Click here if you can't figure out where to download the track

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

October 21st - Richard McGhee - WITCHCRAFT (Free MP3)

Around this time of year I get really lonely for Richard McGhee. Here is a FREE MP3 download of Witchcraft (click here) by Richard McGhee *Star Vocalist* recorded at the Rain Station's Halloween Bash that we had many years ago. This tune features Richard McGhee *Star Vocalist* (click here to check him out LIVE). The track taken from a live recording (off the board) at a Halloween party at the Rain Station. We hired Richard McGhee *Star Vocalist* to be the entertainment at our party and I got a first class recording of his show.

Such a perfect time of year to celebrate Richard's life (see what I wrote about him in a previous post by clicking here). Such a perfect song for the Halloween season. His spirit lives on in my memory and his determination to be THE *Star Vocalist* that he was inspires me everyday to live my life to the fullest.
Your comments are appreciated.


Mark Harvey

Click here if you can't figure out where you're supposed to click to download the song.

Monday, October 20, 2014

October 20th - Halloween Compliation CD

Greetings boils and ghouls,

Each year I create a new Halloween compilation CD to send out to my friends and fiends and this year is no different.

Here's this year's track listing:

1) A Time That Never Was - Lonesome Wyatt And The Holy Spooks
2) Vampires - The Astronauts
3) Twilight Sky - Rain Station
4) Howlin' For You - The Black Keys
5) Frankenstein - Lenny Kravitz
6) Keepin' Halloween Alive - Alice Cooper
7) Came Back Haunted - Nine Inch Nails
8) Leading To Death - Poliça
9) Headless Horseman Keeps Gettin' Better - G4GORILLA
10) I Thinks She Knows That I Put A Spell On Her - DJ Earlybird
11) Thriller (Sabo Moombahton Remix) - dj3100
12) Ghosts - UNKLE
13) Dead Souls - Joy Division
14) Spooky Madness - Big Bad VooDoo Daddy
15) Graveyard Swagger - Sick Figures
16) Spooky (Mk's Home Alone Edit) - M.k.
17) Season of the Witch - Dr. John And The Blues Brothers
18) Rattlin' Bones - Preservation Hall Jazz Band
19) Harvest Home - Mark Lanegan Band
20) Forever Halloween - The Maine
21) Ghost Story - Coldplay

Well...there it is.

Happy Haunting,

Mark Harvey

Sunday, October 19, 2014

October 19th - The History of Halloween

Halloween's origins date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in). The Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom, and northern France, celebrated their new year on November 1. This day marked the end of the summer, the harvest, and the beginning of the dark, cold winter, a time of year that was often associated with human death. Celts believed that on the night before the new year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. On the night of October 31, they celebrated Samhain, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth. In addition to causing trouble and damaging crops, Celts thought that the presence of the otherworldly spirits made it easier for the Druids, or Celtic priests, to make predictions about the future. For a people entirely dependent on the volatile natural world, these prophecies were an important source of comfort and direction during the long, dark winter.

To commemorate the event, Druids built huge sacred bonfires, where the people gathered to burn crops and animals as sacrifices to the Celtic deities. During the celebration, the Celts wore costumes, typically consisting of animal heads and skins, and attempted to tell each other's fortunes. When the celebration was over, they re-lit their hearth fires, which they had extinguished earlier that evening, from the sacred bonfire to help protect them during the coming winter.

By A.D. 43, Romans had conquered the majority of Celtic territory. In the course of the four hundred years that they ruled the Celtic lands, two festivals of Roman origin were combined with the traditional Celtic celebration of Samhain. The first was Feralia, a day in late October when the Romans traditionally commemorated the passing of the dead. The second was a day to honor Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruit and trees. The symbol of Pomona is the apple and the incorporation of this celebration into Samhain probably explains the tradition of "bobbing" for apples that is practiced today on Halloween.

By the 800s, the influence of Christianity had spread into Celtic lands. In the seventh century, Pope Boniface IV designated November 1 All Saints' Day, a time to honor saints and martyrs. It is widely believed today that the pope was attempting to replace the Celtic festival of the dead with a related, but church-sanctioned holiday. The celebration was also called All-hallows or All-hallowmas (from Middle English Alholowmesse meaning All Saints' Day) and the night before it, the night of Samhain, began to be called All-hallows Eve and, eventually, Halloween. Even later, in A.D. 1000, the church would make November 2 All Souls' Day, a day to honor the dead. It was celebrated similarly to Samhain, with big bonfires, parades, and dressing up in costumes as saints, angels, and devils. Together, the three celebrations, the eve of All Saints', All Saints', and All Souls', were called Hallowmas.

As European immigrants came to America, they brought their varied Halloween customs with them. Because of the rigid Protestant belief systems that characterized early New England, celebration of Halloween in colonial times was extremely limited there. It was much more common in Maryland and the southern colonies. As the beliefs and customs of different European ethnic groups, as well as the American Indians, meshed, a distinctly American version of Halloween began to emerge. The first celebrations included "play parties," public events held to celebrate the harvest, where neighbors would share stories of the dead, tell each other's fortunes, dance, and sing. Colonial Halloween festivities also featured the telling of ghost stories and mischief-making of all kinds. By the middle of the nineteenth century, annual autumn festivities were common, but Halloween was not yet celebrated everywhere in the country.

In the second half of the nineteenth century, America was flooded with new immigrants. These new immigrants, especially the millions of Irish fleeing Ireland's potato famine of 1846, helped to popularize the celebration of Halloween nationally. Taking from Irish and English traditions, Americans began to dress up in costumes and go house to house asking for food or money, a practice that eventually became today's "trick-or-treat" tradition. Young women believed that, on Halloween, they could divine the name or appearance of their future husband by doing tricks with yarn, apple parings, or mirrors.

In the late 1800s, there was a move in America to mold Halloween into a holiday more about community and neighborly get-togethers, than about ghosts, pranks, and witchcraft. At the turn of the century, Halloween parties for both children and adults became the most common way to celebrate the day. Parties focused on games, foods of the season, and festive costumes. Parents were encouraged by newspapers and community leaders to take anything "frightening" or "grotesque" out of Halloween celebrations. Because of their efforts, Halloween lost most of its superstitious and religious overtones by the beginning of the twentieth century.

By the 1920s and 1930s, Halloween had become a secular, but community-centered holiday, with parades and town-wide parties as the featured entertainment. Despite the best efforts of many schools and communities, vandalism began to plague Halloween celebrations in many communities during this time. By the 1950s, town leaders had successfully limited vandalism and Halloween had evolved into a holiday directed mainly at the young. Due to the high numbers of young children during the fifties baby boom, parties moved from town civic centers into the classroom or home, where they could be more easily accommodated. Between 1920 and 1950, the centuries-old practice of trick-or-treating was also revived. Trick-or-treating was a relatively inexpensive way for an entire community to share the Halloween celebration. In theory, families could also prevent tricks being played on them by providing the neighborhood children with small treats. A new American tradition was born, and it has continued to grow. Today, Americans spend $2.5 billion annually on Halloween, making it the Country's second largest commercial holiday.

Information courtesy of the History Channel.

Thanks for reading...

Mark Harvey

Saturday, October 18, 2014

October 18th - Master of Music Macabre

Here's another repost...
An interview I did with Ghoul Skool :

If you haven't heard 13th Track Halloween Radio or listened to the music of Nobody Records then your missing the best part of Halloween. Read along and check out the links as we interview Mark Harvey, the Master of Music Macabre!
Q: The 13th Track is the Premiere Halloween Radio Station. Why Halloween?
A: Halloween is my favorite holiday. For years I would put together mixes of Halloween (and Christmas) music and give it to friends. A sort of music to live your holiday by. As the years went on I started collecting anything and everything Halloween audio related. As my collection grew I decided I wanted to share my collection with a broader audience so I started Halloween Radio.
Q: Your collection of Halloween related songs is staggering, how long have you been collecting them? Do you have a favorite find? Is there a favorite song associated with Halloween?
A: I've been collecting Halloween related audio for around 22 years (I'm 34 now). My favorite find is a recent one. I finally located The Munsters LP in excellent condition. This LP features the Munsters theme with lyrics. Of course now that I found one, they've been showing up left and right on eBay. It'd be tough to pick just one favorite song since I've got so many. I'm into the more fun, party side of Halloween music. Music that is good to dance to. Something to get the girls dancing!
Q: You split your record selections for the 13th Track between classics (pre-70s) and modern (post 70s), in your opinion was there a shift in the music at that time? Where do you see Halloween music headed in the future, will it be darker, more Culdee or could there be another "Monster Mash" looming on the horizon?
A: There seems to be a shift from the pre-70s to the post 70s. Music from the 70s fits better with newer music. Music from the 60s and earlier tends to fit together. I've been DJing for many years and figured that 70s and before and 70s and beyond would be the logical place to split the broadcasts. Earlier Halloween music tends to be more whimsical, while newer Halloween music a bit darker (not in all cases). As far as the future of Halloween music? I think musicians will continue to record whatever inspires them. I know there are lots of new whimsical Halloween tunes, but with society getting a bit darker I also feel that Halloween music will emulate what's going on, so it should also get darker.
Really, people record for whoever they think their audience is, even if it is just for themselves. When I record my music I record the music for myself and hope that there is someone out there that can relate to what I'm doing. So far so good. As far as another "Monster Mash" on the horizon, I doubt it. Songs like that one come around once in a lifetime. Of all the emails I get, "Monster Mash" is still the most requested song. I'm still trying to write a song that rivals it. Hopefully someday I'll succeed!
Q: Nobody Records is a unique name, oft times there is a special meaning linking the name to the owner is it so in your case? How long has Nobody Records been in business? Where are you located?
A: Back in the late 80's my band, The Screaming Paisleys, needed a record label name to release our debut LP "EXIT" on. I had a band mascot (if you will) that I called Nobody - a no eyes, nose or mouth doll. I liked the name and it seemed to fit and it has stuck now for 16+ years. The label is located in Northern California near Oakland.
Q: The artists on your label are truly talented, how do you find them or do they find you? Do you solicit material from new acts or do you create them?
A: I've found most of the artists on my label. I do accept unsolicited material and I've signed acts who've submitted demos. Much of what is on my label has some connection to me - either I am the band or part of the band or good friends with the band. My goal is to be able to someday add many more artists to the label and get affiliated with a major label.
Q: Have you been associated with providing music for the dark ride industry? If so, in what fashion?
A: I've created many custom tracks for the dark amusement industry. People from all over the world contact me for specialized tracks. It helps that I am a haunter and dark rider. I understand what it takes to put on a good show. Music, in my opinion, is the least considered, but the most effective aspect of any dark attraction. I like to see floor plans, understand the themes or gag in each space. Then I create a track that immerses the visitor in the desired location. Right now I am working with a dark ride company in the Middle East. Another goal of mine is to work for an amusement company putting together tracks for rides, theme parks and events.
Q: Do you do anything special for Halloween such as parties, haunts or charitable functions?
A: Yes. Each year I put on a haunt for children called "Pumpkinland" (named after my CD series). Children enter free and I collect canned goods or small donations for an entrance fee from the adults. All proceeds benefit the Davis Street Community Center in San Leandro, CA. Last year I wasn't able to put "Pumpkinland" together, but plan on getting it back up and running this October. I've got many new pneumatic props (built by Brent Ross, Devious Concoctions) and look forward to putting on a professional show for the kids this year.
Q: Is there a special Halloween memory that remains with you?
A: Yes. Trick or Treating as a kid. I have many fond memories of combing the hillsides in San Carlos, CA with my friends in search of candy and good scares. It was safe back then to wander around until all hours of the night with your friends. We'd come home with pillow cases full of candy. I also loved carving Jack-O-Lanterns, visiting Half Moon Bay, CA and decorating the house for Halloween. The new fond memories of Halloween include meeting Rob Zombie, Karen Black, Bill Moseley and Alyson Hannigan at Universal Studios. They all did radio spots for Halloween Radio and received copies of my Pumpkinland CD and my band, Rain Station's CD, DARK RIDE. I also enjoy visiting local haunts and hearing the tracks I've created for them in action.

And that's it folks...repost du jour...hope you enjoyed it and keep visiting Mark Harvey World each day during the month of October.

Hallowe'en Greetings!

Mark Harvey
(the picture to the left is me at a pumpkin patch in Half Moon Bay)

Friday, October 17, 2014

October 17th - Half Moon Bay Art And Pumpkin Festival

Greeting ghouls and boils,

This weekend - 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. October 18th and 19th is the 44th Annual Half Moon Bay Art And Pumpkin Festival.

From their website (here): "The festival began in 1971 when the Main Street Beautification Committee was formed. The all-volunteer, non-profit group was founded with the goal of raising funds for the revitalization of Main Street in downtown Half Moon Bay which, at the time, was beginning to show signs of decay. Realizing the area's abundance of pumpkin patches, the committee decided to organize an old-fashioned festival in the downtown area for visitors who had come to pick Halloween pumpkins.
The first year of the Festival, about 30,000 people attended the event and only one local non-profit group opted to present food. Now the event bulges with enormous crowds and dozens of local non-profit groups operating food and game booths, earning substantial portions of their annual budget from the festival weekend selling everything from pumpkin pie and ice cream to linguica sandwiches and corn dogs.

"The Pumpkin Festival has done more the for this city, by far, than any other thing in the city's history," according to former City Manager Fred Mortensen. The ever-increasing proceeds are committed to to beautifying the downtown area and contributing to civic causes. In addition to the restoration and maintenance of Main Street, a wide variety of local community service organizations benefit greatly from festival proceeds."
It has been years since I have attended as it gets SUPER trafficky (if that's a word). If you do happen to head over there grab a pint of Half Moon Bay Brewing Company's Mavericks Pumpkin Harvest Ale (here). "Mavericks Harvest Pumpkin Ale is a truly delicious beer based off their beloved Mavericks Amber Ale. It’s made with more than 500 pounds of locally-grown, roasted and spiced Sugar Pie pumpkins added to the brew kettle. The result is a subtle pumpkin pie flavor balanced by a biscuity maltiness."

Again, this free-admission festival will be held on October 18-19 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Main Street between Miramontes and Spruce Streets in Half Moon Bay. To get to Half Moon Bay, take 101 or 280 to Highways 92 or 84 west. You can also get to Half Moon Bay via Highway 1 from both north and south. Get directions from your location.

Happy Haunting!

Mark Harvey

Thursday, October 16, 2014

October 16th - Jack the Giant Pumpkin Man

Good evening fiends and ghouls,

I was super excited to receive the Jack the Giant Pumpkin Man I ordered. I set him up immediately upon his arrival and he is now sitting in my living room keeping watch over my driveway.  I am going to need to find a light to illuminate him so he can been seen in my window at night.

I had planned on getting all my Halloween decorations out this past weekend, but one thing led to another and I had too much work to do.  I did manage to watch "The Nightmare Before Christmas" and "It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" along with some other fun Halloween cartoons.

I got to share these cookies with my kids as well, pop popcorn and eat Jelly Belly jelly beans.

It is fun to have seasonal goodies and decorations in the house.  I need to do a better job of decorating the house before the month gets away from me.

I have so many fun things to put up...I better get on it!

Happy Haunting!

Mark Harvey

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Thank you for visiting - Mark Harvey