Sunday, October 31, 2010


It has been a few decades since I'd carved a pumpkin, but I gave it a go. That's Shyboy Tim and Scooter Polanski in the photo above, getting ready to kick off the last Grind - Fu Cinema for the year. Watching movies with the Grind - Fu audience has been a ton of fun and we can't thank you enough for all of your kind words and support. Next year's season can't come soon enough!!

With this final blog post of my Shuffle Function Halloween Countdown I want to share with you the evolution of the Grind - Fu Cinema cake. For three years now I have asked Amber (our decorator from Hilltop Hy-Vee) if she could make us a disemboweled girl or a zombie eating brains, and she has always smiled and replied "YES!!" This year when we decided to add Se7en to our double bill I knew that we had to make a cake of Gwenyth Paltrow's head and put it in a box to be delivered to the Grind - Fu Cinema audience, just as it is done in the film.

Amber again smiled and quickly agreed to the challenge. So let's start at the beginning and work our way to the end.

The first thing Amber did was make up a quick batch of blood.

Amber than started to make some muscle and body tissues for the decapitated portion of the head. Keep in mind, everything she made is edible!

Here Amber is working on the eyes of Gwenyth, out of fondant.

Here are all of the collected body parts made of fondant the night before the cake was assembled. Vertebrae, muscle, eyes, ear, cartilage, teeth and gore.

The next day Amber began by sculpting the cake into the shape of Gwenyth Paltrow's head. I was able to snap a few shots, but I was working too!

It's come along way at this point, and when next we see it color and features have begun to to take shape. I was shocked at how fast this went.

And before I knew it, the cake was done. We just had to put it in the box, and get it to Grind-Fu Cinema for the grand presentation.

A delivery guy appeared at 7 p.m. with a cake for Grind-Fu Cinema. After a lot of shouting "What's in the box?!!!", Shyboy Tim signed for it, and we waited until intermission to open it.

Here is Shyboy Tim doing the honors with his switchblade.

Seconds after this, I sliced her up and we all enjoyed eating neck, noses, eyes, hair and trash bags! Amber did an amazing job and this cake was a lot of fun to spring on folks. I am very glad that we decided to have cake before going in to watch the film Se7en! There wasn't much of her left after we were done.

After the films everyone grabbed a hand full of candy and their complimentary Pine Scented Air Freshners and headed out into the night.

It was a great night at the movies.
Thanks everyone for a great season of Grind - Fu Cinema.


Halloween is Here! And Grind-Fu Cinema is done for the season!

Yesterday was a busy busy day, but a night of big screen scares, pumpkins and heads made of cake (delivered in boxes). Last night also marked the end of the Grind-Fu Cinema - a big thanks to all who came out for the night, and a gargantuan thanks to Amber who again made our cake. Later on today I will get around to loading up my computer with photos of the festivities, but for now I am enjoying a lazy morning in bed watching this great documentary, American Scary. . It is a documentary about classic public television horror and monster shows, and it is a lot of fun. I'll be back later today with a ton of photos - and don't forget zombie lovers, tonight is WALKING DEAD night!!


Friday, October 29, 2010





OCTOBER 30th @ 7:00pm

Wiecking 220 Auditorium
Minnesota State University, Mankato


The FINAL Grind-Fu Cinema of 2010 is our annual Halloween Scare Fest, and we aint lyin'. This year, the terror has been jacked up to 11, as we present a couple of films that will horrify and disturb like no other films we have ever screened. This year we are presenting Dario Argento's Suspiria, and David Fincher's Se7en! UNCUT! UNCENSORED! UNBELIEVABLY DISTURBING!

If you haven't seen Suspiria before, you should be warned: This is not just any scary film. The visuals and sounds that will unfold before you over the course of its 90 minutes will make you squirm, scream, and possibly make you leave the theater. This is the film that actually made Shelley urge Scooter Polanski and myself to stop the film after 12 minutes because it was simply too intense and unrelenting to handle. Not many films can genuinely make me feel the terror on the screen, but Suspiria is definitely one of them.

Now, David Fincher's Se7en is a different beast. The horror in this film is more real. Unfortunately, it feels all too real. It'll grab you and fill you with some serious dread, and the worst part of it all is that what happens doesn't seem all that unrealistic. Se7en set the bar for crazed serial killer films, both in look and tone. Rubbish like Saw WISHES it could be Se7en, instead of the ridiculous Rube Goldberg crap that it serves up.

Let's also not forget that Grind-Fu is FREE. This Halloween Eve pure horror fest is presented at no cost to you, simply because you guys rock. Dress in layers, too, because the shivers may not be entirely on the screen. It can get pretty cold in that theater sometimes. Dress up, too. This is Halloween time, you know.


I'm The New Boy In Town! Where Can I Go?


We are one day away from Grind-Fu Cinema folks!! That chill in the air is just Mankato getting ready to screen Suspiria and Se7en. Today's Halloween post is all about something called the ghost box. I have seen it creeping into ghost hunting shows that I frequent and although I am not sure what to make of them, they are pretty creepy. A ghost box is essentially a radio that has been hot wired to sweep the AM and FM airwaves randomly. This process supposedly provides spirits or ghosts the raw audio data necessary for them to "speak" with. You then have an EVP, or Electronic Voice Phenomenon.

Apparently you don't need to be a rocket scientist to make one of these, a simple trip to Radio Shack and som tweeking and your good to go. I did find a guy who walks you through the entire process. You can follow along and make your own ghost box just in time for Halloween.

I am a very skeptical person when it comes to things like this, and I'm not sure what to think about ghost boxes. It appears to be utterly random when you see one being used, in fact it literally sounds like you have you hand on the tuner of your radio and you're turning the knob back and forth across static and random radio songs and talk. Then suddenly out of the blue you hear a word jump out that seems to answer the question asked of the spirits. Maybe this will help - pretend like we are asking this question, "Is there anybody here that would like to speak to us?" Now think of the beginning of The Ramones song Rock and Roll Radio, and in your mind put a louder "YES" in there somewhere. You got it! That's what it's like.

I know that our brains will always seek out a pattern when presented with randomness - think of making out images in the clouds. I'm not so sure that ghost boxes are any different than this. If we are expecting to hear a certain reply, I think we can make ourselves believe we have heard it when presented with random "noise". Here are some examples that I found on-line of a ghost box in action.

Like I said I think these devices are questionable, but yet they are fun to listen to. Kind of like our Paul McCartney is dead shows we just did. I don't believe for one second that he died in a car crash in 1966, but I get a kick out of looking for clues! If you find this interesting you should try to track down this 3 CD set. It is not to be listened to in the dark that's for sure!


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Post - Shuffle Function Radio Roulette - Post

LOOOOOOOOOONG day at work so I am getting to this a little later than I would have liked, but that wasn't so bad now was it. In fact that may have been one of the top three Shuffle Function Radio Roulettes we have ever done. The Radio Gods apparently liked their gifts that I dropped off after the show this morning.

While I was playing the Max Brooks interview this morning (he wrote that amazing book World War Z you know) Maverick Slim aka Gary wandered into the studio to look over my Radio God offerings. If you know Gary at all, then you probably know that he is an avid old school wrestling fan. He was quite taken with one of my gifts for the Radio Gods, and thought he'd try it out for himself.
The snow was blowing about when I went to the KMSU radio tower to ask the Radio Gods to play nice tonight. I believe this may be the first time I have gone out there and had to contend with the white stuff, but I will do whatever it takes to make sure our listeners don't have to suffer through a horrible round of Shuffle Function Radio Roulette.

Shyboy Tim and I were also very pleased to be the first to give th new turntables a workout in the studio were we record the night show. These turntables were purchased with some of the pledges that poured in during the KMSU Fall Pledge Drive. Thanks to all the Radio Heroes for your support, and let me tell you - those turntables are sweeeeeeeeeet. Have a look for yourself. That's Shyboy Tim basking in the glory of the new turntable.

Seriously folks - these are awesome turntables and we can't thank you enough. How about
another adorable picture of Shyboy Tim breaking in the new turntable!

We will see you in the morning for the Purple Knif Show hosted by Lux Interior of The Cramps!!


The Pre - Shuffle Function Radio Roulette Blog Post (and # 29 for those playing along at home)

Tonight at 6 p.m. Shyboy Tim and I celebrate Halloween the scariest way imaginable to a couple of control freaks - we let the fates control the playlist. It is Shuffle Function Radio Roulette! We dive into my extensive K-Tel Record collection (about 500 albums) and see what happens. Here is how we play:

1) Each K-Tel album is numbered. We heve written down each number on a slip of paper and tossed all of them into a magic hat. We begin by closing our eyes and reaching into the magic hat for a number.

2) I grab the corresponding K-Tel album out of the pile.

3) Shyboy Tim flips a coin to see which side of the record to play. Heads is side one or A, and tails is side 2 or B.

4) Shyboy Tim then rolls a ten sided dice (from his magic bag of holding) to determine whish track to play.

5) I cue up the song and we jump for joy or curse the day we were born, depending on which song has been chosen.

This has been our holiday tradition since the second year we've hosted Shuffle Function, so it is 8 years old tonight. Several years back we had a horrible string of bad luck with the songs - so bad we thought about quiting the Radio Roulette. At that time we thought it best to make offerings to the Radio Gods, to gain their favor, and for the most part it seems to be working. This morning I went out to the KMSU radio tower to leave our offering.

Let's hope it works - you can find out tonight at 6 p.m. at 89.7 fm on your radio dial. I will be back later on tonight with a bunch of photos from the Shuffle Function Radio Roulette show, and more - so check back in tonight for that!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


This is a busy week for Shuffle Functioneers - and an exciting one. Let's do this chronologically folks.

#1 - Tomorrow morning in the second hour of Shuffle Function (7 a.m. ish) we will be airing our interview with Max Brooks, author of World War Z and The Zombie Survival guide. You don't want to miss this!
#2 - Thursday night at 6 p.m. we celebrate Halloween by turning our playlist over to the Radio Gods and K-Tel Records. It is Shuffle Function Radio Roulette time (more on this on tomorrow's Halloween post).
#3 - Friday morning from 6 to 8 a.m. on the morning show we will be playing Lux Interior's Purple Knif show on vinyl. This is Lux playing 45 records from his music collection - the music that informed and influenced the music of his band The Cramps.

#4 - Neil Young Listening (and Watching) Party at 2 p.m. on Saturday at the Wiecking 220 Auditorium on the campus of Minnesota State University Mankato (where we hold Grind-Fu Cinema). Hear and see Neil perform his new album Le Noise in it's entirety. Free event and the first 20 people to show up with their new KMSU Radio Hero Member Card will get a Neil Young poster of Le Noise.
#5 - Last but definitely not least GRIND-FU CINEMA this Saturday night at 7 p.m. We will be screening Suspiria and Se7en, eating cake and celebrating the final Grind-Fu Cinema event of the season. Oh - and there will be surprises too!! Come in costume !!
This summer I read a great book about the life of Houdini that sparked my curiousity about paranormal activity and spiritualist. One of the earliest thorough researches of a known "haunted house" occurred at the Borely Rectory in England. Harry Price was the man behind the research, and he published a book in 1940 called 'The Most Haunted House in England'. It is a quick and fun read, filled with flowery language common to the era. Initially I thought this would simply be a fun read, but as the story progresses and time ticks away it is actually a well documented account of a house that really did have some paranormal activity on a regular basis.

After years of collecting experiences and spending time with the residents in the rectory, Harry Price actually set up a round the clock ghost hunting experiment in the Rectory. The Borley home was known to have a variety of paranormal activities; movement of objects, footsteps, raps and knocks, forms and apparitions (including a ghostly nun known to walk the gardens at sundown and a full horse drawn carriage driven by a headless man), bell ringing throughout the house, doors being locked, previously unknown objects appearing and then later disappearing, thermal variations, lights turning on and off on their own, objects being thrown, and physical harm and abuse just to name a few! Price rented the Rectory and set up a number of volunteers to stay in the house and note every occurrence in a journal. He was very strict about who was allowed to participate, and he spent a lot of time teaching the volunteers what to look for and note. All of this is recorded in his book.

Two things freaked me out the most about the occurrences at the Rectory. One was the idea of objects appearing and then disappearing - this happened the first night Price stayed over in the house! An old fur woman's coat appeared hanging from a door in the room they stayed in. It had not been there when they initially arrived, and disappeared a few week later. The second freaky thing for me was the 'ghost writing" that happened throughout the house. Some of it is pictured above. The printed words are actually from one of the inhabitants at the time. Much of the "ghost writing" was directed at her, asking for help. Price was extremely skeptical when it cane to believing in all of this phenomenon, but even he was unable to explain this. He would make sure that nobody was in the house or had access to the areas that most of these writings occurred, and they would still show up! I would move out - and that is exactly what did happen. After Price held his investigations, and after years of abandonment, the Borley Rectory burned down.

This is a great book to hunt down - my copy is from the series called Collector's Library Of The Unknown. I thought it would be silly, but actually by the end I had to leave the light on in my room when I went to bed reading! The full title again is The Most Haunted House In England by Harry Price.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


This is my hand covered with the best blood and gore material out there - red velvet cake. If you are starting to work on your costume for Halloween and need a good blood, look at my previous post here to get the low down! I have some eye candy for you today kids.

Vincent by the amazing Tim Burton.

A short film by Adam Sager (who worked on the film Coraline) called Hallow's Eve and The Pumpkin Dream.

Hello, Frankenstein made with cats! This made me laugh, a lot!!

and last but not least - my favorite beer and one of my favorite horror films, all in one!


Monday, October 25, 2010

HALLOWEEN COUNTDON POST #25 - It's Max Brooks Time!!

Last week Tim and I had an opportunity to speak with Max Brooks, author of our favorite zombie related book World War Z. As a self proclaimed zombie geek, I had a ton of questions to ask him about his books, influences, and the zombie genre. George Romero will always be the king of all things zombie, but if you ask me for my two cents worth, Max Brooks is the heir apparent.

You can hear our interview with him this Thursday on the Shuffle Function morning show. Mr. Brooks was a blast to talk with, and I can't wait for you to hear it. We have been playing Halloween music since October 1st, but I think it is pretty safe to say you will hear a bunch of zombie tunes Thursday morning as well!

Shyboy Tim and Shelley interview Max Brooks

author of World War Z and The Zombie Survival Guide

Thursday October 28th on the Shuffle Function morning show between 6 - 8 a.m.
Last fall we offered a Shuffle Function exclusive for listeners during the Fall KMSU Pledge Drive, The Shuffle Function Zombie Survival Kit. It was a proud moment for Shyboy Tim and I, knowing that we were ensuring the safety and survival of our listening audience even after the zombie apocalypse!

We mailed out a lot of these, but I know for a fact that not everyone opened theirs - the label does instruct us to open the seal only in the event of a zombie outbreak! I assembled them, but if you woul like a sneak peek at some of the goodies inside - then have a look.

fire starter

germ killer

zombie odor neutralizer


When the sh%t hits the fan, it's Iowa!

Shelley - oh we told Mr. Brooks that Mankato would be a safe haven for him in the case of a zombie apocalypse, so these will come in handy!!