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Bump In the Night

TRACK #197:

Bump In The Night by Dennis Michael Tenney

Whaddaya say we ring in the official appointment with a double dose of Dennis?

It’s difficult to talk about Kevin Tenney’s 1986 debut without mentioning it’s Sweet Song, Bump In the Night, performed there by butt-rockers Steel Breeze, who have possibly the silliest juxtoposition-as-band-name from an era built on such nonsense.

Steel Breeze? Seriously guys? The literal interpretation of that idea is probably the only thing saving it from complete stupidity. Or maybe that makes it worse, I’m not sure. Either way, it’s not even approaching tough. Just the word “breeze” itself is so passive, I don’t care if you throw “murder” in front of it, there’s no coming back. It can’t be toughened up. Though “steel” is a valiant effort, I suppose.

But enough about them though, cause they’re not even featured here, as The Shindig has opted for the similar, though artistically purer form of Bump In the Night from the song’s author, Shindig All-Star Dennis Michael Tenney.

His demo for this tune, while less polished and less flashy than the falsetto strewn official from Steel Breeze, is better. Steel Breeze’s cut just feels like they’re trying to show off, and Dennis’ workmanlike approach is much appreciated in contrast.

Gone are Breeze’s unnecessary vocal flourishes, the wussification of the backing vocals, that flanger heavy intro, and the general Foreigner-ness,…not that I have anything against Foreigner. Oh yeah, and Dennis’ solo is way better, you ask me.

Naw, this version just has more heart, and it’s lyrics get the treatment they deserve from the man who penned them.

You’ll hear Dennis croon about how “the stairway’s a dragon,” or “the coat racks a madman” when you turn out the lights. Fair enough I suppose, logical conclusion do get harder to make,…as you lie there awake.

While it’s no The Beast Inside, what could be? Dennis is just gearing up for that opus here with Bump In the Night and it’s easy to see the seeds of that classic take root.

We were pumped to find this version of the track and allow Dennis stretch his legs a little more and really make The Shindig a place he can call home.

Originally intended for 1986’s Witchboard, here’s Dennis Michael Tenney’s demo for Bump In the Night.

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Computer Date

TRACK #196:

Computer Date by Dennis Michael Tenney

Much like Halloween, Dennis Michael Tenney has been on the All-Star roster without proper representation for some time now.

And just like Halloween, we’re gonna make it official for him in 2018.

Of all Dennis’ many contributions to his brother Kevin’s Class of 1988  valedictorian Night of the Demons, Computer Date may be the most curious.

It’s featured prominently, and basically in its entirety, when the gang first arrives and starts partying down at Angela’s Hull House Halloween Hootenanny.

But why this cut? Lord knows. It’s definitely a rocking little tune suitable for the scene and pretty danceable. Evidence to it’s 80’s danceablity  can be seen hereand here.

But it’s a strange sort of song. Kinda feels like something Dennis had laying around with enough of a beat to work with the scene. Not a problem necessarily, but what is this track all about?

What sounds like a pretty standard song about using a computer dating service turns into, I think, a bizarre situation where Dennis is fucking a robot.

Now, correct me if I’m wrong please, cause I’m genuinely unsure what exactly is happening in this song. She talks a little roboticly, about “stereo taping” the fucking and playing it back. And apparently they need a whole reel-to-reel, which to me indicates a fair amount of fucking.

I’m not sure if we’re told who or what she is exactly, but what we do know is that she can take some abuse without blowing a fuse. That sounds like that could be robot talk, but could just be metaphoric too.

The problem for me occurs around the line

“When I asked them what they thought made her so different

From any other girl I’d meet on the street.”

This could be a great indicator as to what’s happening, but for the life of me I can not figure out what the hell Dennis is saying.

I think it’s

” they said believe it or not,

she’ll come with drive and a slot

and that’s a combination never to beat.”

I dunno, kinda sounds like he’s fucking a robot.

Or just a chick that’s ready to go, I guess, and it’s all a double entendre.

I think his “computer” date is the computer. But I have absolutely no idea if that’s what he’s actually saying.

Maybe it’s just me. I dunno. Maybe I’m a pervert and I’m adding all this weird robot sex shit where it isn’t, but I’m not sure.

Whatever the hell is happening, it’s always a pleasure to hear Dennis Michael, and at 3 tracks, that officially add him The Shindig All-Star Team,

Now batting, center fielder Dennis Michael Tenney with Computer Date.

 

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The Beast Inside

TRACK #133:

The Beast Inside by Dennis Michael Tenney

So it’s 1987 and you’re Kevin Tenney and you just made a crazy Halloween movie about kids getting possessed in an old abandoned funeral home.

It’s all edited; its fun, it’s funny, the gore looks great, Linnea looks great, Amelia looks great, the pacing is down, everything us shaping up to be a fine horror romp.

But something’s missing. Where’s the music?

What you need is an end credit tune that says everything you want to say in a decidedly late 80’s hard rock fashion. What are you to do?

You hire your fucking brother Dennis Michael Tenney, that’s what you do. Then you tell him “knock it outta the park bro,” because “everything’s riding on you.”

And then he gives you The Beast Inside...

…and it clears the fucking bases.

Composer of the main theme and the rest of the music from Night of the Demons that isn’t Bauhaus’ Stigmata Martyr, Dennis Michael Tenney knows his way around a hard rocking 80’s power ballad, and The Beast Inside is no exception.

It’s got the slow melodic verse followed by the chugging chorus. It’s got a weird demon voice saying “The Beast!” just before the solo tears in from nowhere. And it’s got the strangely vague yet vaguely epic lyrics.

What the hell is Dennis talking about here?

It plays more toward the figurative side of it’s double entendre that’s for sure, making a metaphor out of it’s title for the beast inside of all mankind. Then it throws in a bunch of vague cold-war anxiety just to let you know it’s being written in the mid-80’s. But if we don’t analyze it too much (which honestly, we shouldn’t even be doing) it makes for a pretty rocking coda to a movie about demon possession.

And it’s all lead in by a Halloween prick getting his comeuppance via a slice of ironic justice served up by his dear, doting wife. That’ll teach ya to shove razor blades in apples, ya old blowhole.

At #133 here’s Shindig All-Star Dennis Michael Tenney with….The Beast Inside!

 

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Night Of The Demons Theme

TRACK #108:

Night Of The Demons Theme by Dennis Michael Tenney

There are few Halloween movies I love as much as Night of Demons. It satisfies all the criteria for a Halloween horror hit. If you’ve never had the pleasure of seeing it, click here for some reasons why it should be playing right now on your television set. Or better yet, just click this to watch the fucker immediately on whatever screen you happen to be reading this. To hell with the rest of my post. You’ll hear the song right off the bat and see the real animations where these GIFSs originated.

Seriously. I won’t be hurt. You’ll be watching Night Of The Demons and my goal will have been actualized instantaneously.

Still here? Alright, fair enough. Maybe you’ve already seen it. Or maybe you’ll just wait. Or maybe you don’t care at all about watching Night Of The Demons. If so, you’re probably not reading this either, so who cares about you? Why am I continuing to address you? Back to people who care!

One of the things I love most about Night the Demons is this great theme from director Kevin Tenney’s brother Dennis and the awesome opening credit sequence which it accompanies.  

What better way to kick off a Halloween gore fest than with some seasonal synth and some simple, spooky animations? A solitary glowing Jack-O-Lantern and some scarier synth? Yeah, maybe you’re right. But there ain’t no gore in Carpenter’s original, so my statement still stands.

So, if you’ve already had your fill of Michael Myers, pull up a chair and spend All Hallo’s with Angela, Stoogie, Sal, Suzanne and the rest of the demons gang. You may not live to regret it.