Saturday, May 24, 2014

Episode 9: Pete Mesling Reads - A Radio Gothic Experience

If you count the minutes between Radio Gothic episodes of The Bare Knuckle Podcast, number nine is here to save your day. Pete Mesling takes up the roll of narrator once again to read you two of his published short stories, and this week's picks are not for the weak-stomached.

The action kicks off with "Slipknot," Mesling's controversial story of racism and rape set in the Old West. Not only is this your chance to hear the author read his shocking tale in its entirety, but you'll get the scoop on why it was censored upon initial publication, and why it's now been restored to its full glory. "Slipknot" can also be found in the anthology The Zombist: Undead Western Tales, from the Library of the Living Dead Press.

For the trivia-minded among you, "Slipknot" sat for a long while with nary an undead component. The zombie element isn't something that Mesling would have forced, but when the idea struck, it seemed like the right direction to take the story in. When he saw that bringing in the supernatural resulted in a far more interesting tale, there was no turning back.

The second story you'll hear in episode nine is called "A Pound of Flesh," and it takes you in a very different, though just as harrowing, direction. This story originally saw the light of day in the Cathy Buburuz-edited Champagne Shivers 5, from Sam's Dot Publishing.

As is often the case when it comes to Mesling's creative process, "A Pound of Flesh" came to fruition when two ideas collided. One was that of a stranger who arrives at a man's apartment and proves difficult to get rid of. This didn't amount to a full-fledged premise until Mesling began asking himself, What if said man has a briefcase that the reader will think contains something mysterious, when in fact it is empty and its owner has come to collect rather than deliver?

The hard part has been done, folks. Your job is easy. Simply kick back and let yourself slide into a world of anxiety and dread. Like hammer blows to the base of the skull, this week's episode will leave you feeling refreshed and revivified when the brutality finally ends.

UPDATE: You can now read Mesling's "Slipknot" and "A Pound of Flesh" for free at his None So Deaf blog!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Episode 8: Robert McCammon, David Lee Roth - A Radio Single Speak Experience

The pod has been cast once again, dear friends of The Bare Knuckle. As always, there's a little something for everyone in the latest and greatest episode, but fans of novelist Robert McCammon and Van Halen front man David Lee Roth should pay especially close attention. That's right, your host, Pete Mesling, gives you his insights into both of these creative artists in one jam-packed show.

If the pairing seems disparate on the surface, we assure you that there is at least a slight connection. The McCammon novel that we're focused on is The Five, the main characters of which are members of a touring rock group called (you guessed it) The Five. As for David Lee Roth, it's all about his video podcast, The Roth Show.

There are a few musical surprises to be found here as well. Mesling treats us to a song called "Darkest Night," which he wrote the music for, based on lyrics by Robert McCammon himself. You'll also hear his inventive acoustic arrangement of Van Halen's "Little Dreamer" and a special tribute in the form of an acoustic-guitar instrumental, which will be your reward for listening through to the end.

So put your feet up and settle in for another round with The Bare Knuckle, folks. Life can wait.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Episode 7: Pete Mesling Reads - A Radio Gothic Experience

Whether or not you're familiar with the fiction of Pete Mesling, you're in for a treat, because this is your chance to hear him read his short story, "Crossing Lake Serene on a Dare." Originally published in Black Ink Horror #6, "Lake Serene" is the story of a young boy tasked with stealing into the house of area eccentric, Farley Clarris, and returning with proof that he's actually been inside. Well, this being the product of Mesling's deranged imagination, things don't go according to plan, and nothing ends well.

As an added bonus, your gracious host also reads an unpublished tale that will have you clutching at the nearest blankie for reassurances that will not come. "The Ingrate" tells the story of one Sid Barlow, small-time hood who's gotten in over his head. Lucky for him, the seemingly useless footlocker that he begrudgingly accepted from his uncle before he died in a car fire is about to come in handy. But maybe not quite as handy as he at first believes. This one lives in the long, dense shadow of the original Twilight Zone television series.

So, enjoy The Bare Knuckle's first Radio Gothic episode, and learn why Rue Morgue has called Mesling's work "claustrophobic and terrifying." We think you'll find it worth your time.

UPDATE: You can now read Mesling's "Crossing Lake Serene on a Dare" and "The Ingrate" for free at his None So Deaf blog!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Episode 6: Haydn, Bach, Mozart, et al. - A Radio Cadenza Experience

Greetings! Your curiosity is about to be well met. Pete Mesling gives you something of a Cook's tour of classical music in this week's episode. And if Daniel Barenboim is correct that music quickens time, this week's installment of The Bare Knuckle positively has wings. The thread tying all of the selections together is virtuosity, so whether you're an avid listener of classical music or more of a neophyte, there's bound to be something that captures your attention here.

To give you some idea of what's in store for you, consider that you will hear works for the clarinet, harpsichord, piano, violin, cello, and voice. Composers covered are Haydn, Paganini, Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Liszt, and Leroy Anderson. And if you want to talk personnel, how do the names Glenn Gould, Itzhak Perlman, Janos Starker, Gerard Schwarz, Leonard Slatkin, Maria Stader, and Daniel Barenboim grab you?

Such a show, and all you have to pay is attention. Now that's what I call a deal. Thanks for stopping by.