Runnin’ with the Horror Hounds
March 25, 2015
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May 14, 2015
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Do You Smell What The GraveRobber’s Cookin’?

My taste buds—like my posture and defense to the jury—are pretty unrefined. I grew up in a house without frills, so food was more about eat than art. As such, I’ve carried into adulthood an as-long-as-it-ain’t-been-previously-chewed attitude.


I’ll cook occasionally, but the menu never extends beyond a dish that can be prepared and eaten in the same pan. My The Devil’s Carnival songwriting partner, Saar Hendelman, however, couldn’t be more different in this regard.

Saar regularly hosts food-oriented get-togethers where he prepares lavish feasts. The feasts are always composed of exotic, multi-syllable ingredients—ingredients that I’d have trouble spelling, let alone identifying in a produce lineup. It’s during Saar’s cookouts where I’m most aware of my lack of food sophistication.


The type of disparity present in Saar’s and my chow cultures carries into other aspects of our relationship, including our writing process. These differences are often the flavoring that make us a good team. I’d like to think that these distinctions also help inform the unique voice of our collaborative work. As Saar often puts it, I provide the caveman, and he provides the fop. And that’s how a carnival grows!

For the past eighteen months, in addition to working on Alleluia! The Devil’s Carnival 2, Saar and I have been busy on a new music-based project. Our hope is to release this new work shortly after Alleluia! Even though this intended launch is months away, this past weekend Saar and I hosted an informal listening party for friends and colleagues. At the party, we shared a taste of our new work, including a handful of tunes. The evening also included Saar’s home-cooked food. The food, and the night, were themed to the project… and those themes included murder and America.


Next to Saar, I’m useless in the kitchen… but, in preparation for the listening event, I was cast in the role of sous-chef. As such, I chopped turnips, rutabaga and vegetables that I’d only previously read of in witch literature. The menu included pickled raisins, barley and stew. And everything was cooked in bourbon and beer. In keeping with this American theme, we also prepared a Kentucky cocktail called Bourbon Sling, which we served from mason jars.

The food was killer, and the listening party went off without a hitch. Our guests ate, drank and listened to songs in a backyard BBQ-type setting. By the end of the night, most were full and slurring from the Bourbon Sling.


When it’s ready, I’m excited to share this new work with all of you, the fine folks who have supported my musical projects over the years. Who knows? Perhaps we’ll throw a giant listening party/picnic when the time comes?

Until then, you can visit me next weekend at Collective Con in Jacksonville, Florida. I’ll be a guest at the convention May 8th-10th. The weekend’s festivities include an after-hours screening of Repo! The Genetic Opera. Please visit Collective Con’s website for tickets and appearance times. Hope to see you there!


  • Arielle

    YES! New projects! This already sounds incredible and very intriguing indeed- I cannot wait! Love how you present the duality between your two styles, yet how they work so well together. A listening picnic party sounds like the perfect way to kick it off and celebrate! Doesn’t get much better than great music and food together. Hope you enjoy your time in FL, ugh I wish so much I could make it and finally meet you! ONE DAY!!!

  • Dani DeathBringer

    Is somebody a wrestling fan? Do you smell what The Rock is cooking? I’m practically drooling at all the mention of yummy foods. I think we cook alike !

  • Jacqueline Goldblatt

    I cannot wait for this new project, or The Devil’s Carnival 2! I’ve been itching for another horror musical, and now the time is coming closer!

  • Jean-François Martel

    this is exciting! 😀

  • Begoña F Martin
  • Amanda McDonald

    I won’t be at collective con but the bestie and I will be at the screening of Repo!

  • So desperately wish I could be at the Collective Con this weekend. Sounds like an absolute blast!

    And damn that little food and bourbon extravaganza sounds like a slurred and fabulous time. Jealous.

  • Juliet Rellis

    I see what you did there with the title! It’s a play on the Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s famous wrestling phrase, “Can you smell what The Rock is cooking? *inhales deeply* ”

  • Emily Greene

    Informal, relaxed home cooking, when done well, can be preferable to eating at the most pretentious expensive restaurants in the world.

  • Messr. Night

    Considering I was just introduced to that Donner Party bake-off video last night, this post was all the more enjoyable. I should be thinking about AMS, but now I just wanna hangout and experience one of these cookouts. Make a stroganoff, bring some vodka, and we’ll call it a party!