Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Out Now: DOLLAR HALLOWEEN by Wyatt Doyle!

Dollar Halloween
is a new book of photographs by Wyatt Doyle, focusing on the glut of cheaply manufactured Halloween decorations, toys, and knick-knacks created for and sold in American dollar stores. Preview the limited edition hardcover in its entirety via the Issuu embed above. 

Doyle's introductory essay to the book follows: 

Los Angeles is a dollar store town. With significant blocs of its population composed of recent immigrants, low-income laborers, and entertainment-industry cannon fodder—all working for peanuts—dollar stores help ensure the continued survival of the working poor by offering grocery essentials at a buck apiece. If you’ve got a dollar, you’ve got a dinner…or something, anyway, until a dinner comes along.

The ubiquity of the 99 Cents Only chain makes the brand the Starbucks of their weight class (at least in Los Angeles), and their high-ceilinged, well-lit interiors provide familiar and reassuring echoes of their more expensive cousins (unlike most smaller, ethnic, or independently owned discount shops). 

When a medium-sized 99 Cents Only in my old neighborhood outgrew its location, the company opened a much larger store, barely a block south—only to retain the original location as well. Even with the roaring success of the new superstore, there was no discernable drop in business at the old location, just a few yards away. Both stores continue to thrive.

*     *     *

Halloween decorations are curious items to begin with. The trappings of the holiday are so deeply ingrained, so traditional, they’ve all but lost their meaning. A date or the time of year is enough to move us to festoon our homes with make-believe rotting corpse parts and an ever-growing variety of sparkly death totems.

And where there’s a need, or even a mild desire, a dollar store stands ready to fill it, for whatever you’ve got in your pocket. Come autumn, their aisles swell with an onslaught of flimsy window decorations and off-brand Halloween tchotchkes. Most made in China, few sturdy enough to survive a single use.

Plastic jack-o’-lanterns and fastener-hinged cardboard skeletons are familiar, but the uncontrollable compulsion to foist more and more stuff on each other leads to the introduction of dozens of ultimately disposable decorating ideas to the seasonal shelves each year. And if Walgreens wants to sell you their version for $9.95, you’d better believe there’s a factory in China crapping out something like it that’ll wholesale for pennies and still turn a profit.

The haste, disinterest, and cynicism in the products’ manufacture are often reflected in the product. At times the low production standards and cheap molds add a layer of unintentional deformed menace to an expression, or lend an accidental resemblance to some obscure movie monster; other items, the process renders unrecognizable. Thin, plaster skulls crusted with cheap sequins, possibly topped by a bat- or spider-shaped glob…plastic severed limbs, heads, and masks, their spray-on painted details applied out of register…armies of gaudy Grim Reaper figurines, familiar year-round from the windows of the city’s many Santeria botanicas…and occasional malformed, misshapen rejects that appear to have collided with another product somewhere down the assembly line. Most of it dusted with glitter, all of it junk. When you handle one, it leaves paint on your fingers. Throw it away, and bits are left behind.

copyright © 2015 Wyatt Doyle

Purchase Dollar Halloween in limited edition hardcover here.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Sunday, August 2, 2015

"I'll Go," From Rev. Branch's New CD

Purchase I've Got Heaven on My Mind, the new album from Rev. Raymond Branch:
CD: bit.ly/RevBCD      Download: bit.ly/RevBdownload

All proceeds go directly to support Rev. Branch and his ongoing community work at the Heavenly Rainbow.

Album recorded and mixed by Todd Burke; produced by Wyatt Doyle and Mike McGonigal

Visit www.RevBranch.com for more

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Monday, July 20, 2015

Rev. Branch Sings the Velvet Underground

As another sneak preview of his new album, enjoy Rev. Branch's heartfelt interpretation of the Lou Reed composition "Jesus," originally recorded by the Velvet Underground in 1967. This stirring rendition appears on Rev. Branch's LP, I've Got Heaven on My Mind, now available on CD and download.

Rev. Branch frequently asks for song recommendations, and the Velvet Underground's "Jesus" was a composition I thought might speak to him. Though Rev. Branch is 84, he's never followed rock or popular music, and the Velvet Underground (and the song's composer, the late Lou Reed) were new to him. Still, he recognized a familiar dynamic at work in the songand in his covering the track. As he explains in the liner notes of the new CD:

"With this song, rock and roll took the message from the Christian family, and made rock and roll out of it. But when I was a little boy on Bayou Black, we got our radio broadcasts from TennesseeNashville. (In those days, we didn't have much radio in Louisiana.) We took what they called hillbilly songs and changed 'em around our way, made them spiritual songs. We put 'em together.

"It seemed to me that's what I was praying when I was 3 or 4 years old: Help me in my weakness...and right down the line."

The album was recorded and mixed by Todd Burke (Fitz and the Tantrums, Ben Harper) and was produced by Wyatt Doyle of New Texture and Yeti's Mike McGonigal.

Join Rev. Branch for a live performance to celebrate the release of the CD at the Heavenly Rainbow this Sunday, July 26 at 3:30 pm. For more details and to RSVP, visit the event page on Facebook. Copies of the CD will be available for purchase at the event.

Out-of-towners can order copies of the CD here: bit.ly/RevBCD

Watch "Rest," another clip from I've Got Heaven on My Mind, here.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Friday, July 10, 2015

From Rev. Branch's new CD: "Rest"

I first heard Rev. Branch in the 1990s. I was living in Hollywood, where his signal barely reached. On a late night crawl through the AM band, I landed on what sounded like some ethereal border radio broadcast: A lone guitar buzzed, crowed and sighed a rudimentary progression looped like a mantra. The raw, shouted voice of the singer sounded distant and disembodied, bleeding in from another room. A low whistle of interference drifted in and out in ghostly accompaniment. At times the broadcast faded entirely into aural snowdrift, only to gradually re-emerge. What I heard had the timeless quality of a field recording, with aspects of the cut-up tape experiments of Burroughs/Gysin. It was like nothing I’d stumbled across previously on the radio. I was transfixed.

Rev. Branch’s Rainbow Gospel Hour could be heard on KTYM-AM out of Inglewood for over 40 years, financed with income Rev. Branch earned from his trade as a barber. Rev. Branch assembled each program with care, using the tools he had. Initially Rev. Branch accompanied himself on guitar, even self-releasing a handful of now-prized gospel singles in the 1960s as "Ray Branch and his Guitar." But in the last few decades, arthritis has meant putting down the guitar. For some time he played the Omnichord, an instrument similar to an electronic autoharp. Currently he plays a QChord, a next-generation Omnichord with an ethereal character.

With a portable, dual tape deck boom box perched on the podium of the Heavenly Rainbow Baptist Church in South Los Angeles, he’d dub in and out of previous episodes, recycling cassettes. He'd record performances live to tape, timing inserts by the second hand of the clock on the church wall. Ghosts of previous recordings inevitably bled through, adding sonic texture and patina that would only become more layered and enigmatic once transmitted by KTYM’s diminished after-hours broadcast signal. (KTYM powered down its signal after midnight and lowered its airtime fees accordingly, making late-night hours affordable.)

Even Rev. Branch couldn’t always say for certain exactly who was tuning in at 3 am on Sunday mornings, though he began each show with the welcome, “This program is designed for the sick and shut-in…in the sanitariums, hospitals, and penal institutions. We want you to know that we love you! And we care for you.”

After a historic 43 years, Rev. Branch was surely among the longest serving broadcasters in Los Angeles radio; four decades on air is a rare achievement by any criteria, But Rev. Branch retired the Rainbow Gospel Hour in 2014 without fanfare when KTYM announced plans to change ownership and format. He remains active, and today, at 84, he continues to hold a musical service every Sunday, and keeps daily hours at the church building assisting the community, welcoming all who arrive at the Heavenly Rainbow’s door.

I love Rev. Branch's music, and I'm constantly inspired by his tireless efforts on behalf of the community, and by his no-nonsense, D.I.Y. approach to life, music, and helping each other out. I'm proud to be a part of releasing this new collection. I’ve Got Heaven on My Mind, his debut full-length release, and his first in high fidelity. was recorded and mixed by Todd Burke (Fitz and the Tantrums, Ben Harper) at the Heavenly Rainbow. The twelve tracks include a selection of hymns and spirituals that will be familiar to longtime listeners of the Rainbow Gospel Hour, as well as Rev. Branch’s stirring new interpretation of “Jesus,” written by Lou Reed and originally recorded by the Velvet Underground in 1967.

We’ll be celebrating the album’s release with a musical service and celebration at the Heavenly Rainbow on Sunday, July 26 at 3:30 pm. First copies of the disc will be available there, but out-of-towners can purchase copies of the CD here and the download edition here. Sales benefit the Heavenly Rainbow and Rev. Branch’s continued good works there.

—Wyatt Doyle

Here’s a preview from the album, the poignant “Rest.”

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Free Download: BATTLE CRY #1 (December 1955)

Men's Adventure Library editor Bob Deis's MensPulpMags.com is offering a free download of Battle Cry's historic first issue from December 1955.

Click here for Deis's essay and download link..

Friday, May 22, 2015

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Wyatt Doyle & David Coleman talk CRYPTO!

Tomorrow -- Friday, May 8 -- Cryptozoology Anthology editors Wyatt Doyle and David Coleman join host Jeffery Pritchett for a talk on the Church of Mabus program.

Listen live here: http://churchofmabusradio.com/

Cryptozoology Anthology is available now in paperback and limited edition hardcover with bonus content.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Nicholas Pike, DEVIL MAY CALL, and the Wheelharp

Composer Nicholas Pike demonstrates the Wheelharp, playing his theme from Devil May Call.

Devil May Call is directed by Jason Cuadrado, from an original screenplay by Cuadrado and New Texture's Wyatt Doyle. It's available now on DVD and VOD from Lionsgate.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

CRYPTOZOOLOGY ANTHOLOGY Available in Paperback and Limited Edition Hardcover!

cryptozoology (n.) The search for and study of animals whose existence or survival is unsubstantiated or in dispute, such as Sasquatch, the Loch Ness Monster, fish with human hands, the Yeti, the Thunderbird, the Ape-Man Monster of Tennessee, and the 'Thing' at Dutchman's Rig. 

For three decades, when American men had questions about the Yeti, the Loch Ness Monster, Bigfoot, and other weird beasts from the strange world of cryptozoology, they found answers in the hard-hitting pages of men's adventure magazines. 

Now, collected here for the first time ever, are samples of sensational period reporting and wild, "true" accounts of savage, fist-to-claw duels between man and Sasquatch, man and fishman, man and monster! Plus full-color vintage pulp artwork that accompanied the stories' original publication, rare archival discoveries, men's pulp history, expert analysis, cryptid-by-cryptid commentary, and much, much more. 

This latest installment in the Men's Adventure Library is edited by Robert Deis of MensPulpMags.com, David Coleman (The Bigfoot Filmography) and Wyatt Doyle (Stop Requested), and includes contributions from luminaries such as Sir Arthur C. Clarke, John Keel, and many others. 

Cryptozoology Anthology is packed with 13 biting tales of creatures notorious and obscure, and the limited hardcover includes bonus material exclusive to that edition, including an additional wild story rescued from obscurity. Don't leave civilization without it!

Available NOW in paperback and limited edition hardcover.