LOUISVILLE LOVES HORROR #14: JC Denison of BRENDA & AuralgamiSOUNDS LOVES The Exorcist (1973)

I first met JC Denison sometime in the mid 2000’s when he was playing drums in weirdo indie pop band Lucky Pineapple. Soon after that band’s unfortunate demise (they were great!), he relocated to Chicago to pursue other endeavors for a few years, then returned to Louisville with a vengeance quickly becoming one of our music community’s busiest people, hands down. As of right now, he spends his time running a cassette label in auralgami SOUNDS, he manages ClifTones, an eclectic weekly radio program on ARTxFM (Tuesdays 3-6PM), and of course plays drums in one of my favorite bands: BRENDA, who are responsible for Night School, one of my favorite albums of 2016.

Speaking of Brenda, they’ve got a trio of special shows coming up this month. On October 22, they will be playing at Resurfaced after a super fun 3 on 3 soccer tournament (go here for details). On October 28, in celebration of Halloween, a few parts of Brenda will join members of the Deloreans, Maximon, Cat Casual, and others to form ‘Ville Communication, a tribute to the music of the Beastie Boys. This show is set to happen at Zanzabar (go here for details). Then, the following day October 29 Brenda will perform as The Pixies with a few other cover bands, also in celebration of Halloween (go here for details). Hell yeah.

We reached out to JC to ask if he’d be willing to talk about one of his own personal favorite horror films as part of our ongoing daily LOUISVILLE LOVES HORRORseries. Thankfully, we were fortunate enough to not only get a kick-ass choice and a well-thought response, but also a fantastic Halloweeny photo of him taken from Brenda’s “Top Shelf” music video shoot (see above, pictured right).

Read on as our friend, in his own words, talks about one of horror’s most terrifying, genre-altering flicks…


“Your mother sucks cocks in hell” is probably the most oft cited cultural reference used to spark a laugh or an eye roll between my father and me, no matter the season. Hell, it’s probably the only cultural reference that we share. That and his James Brown impression, which is awful, but funny, but awful, but so goddamned funny.

For the record: I left the church first, but he wasn’t far behind.

So yeah, there’s the Catholic thing.

I never went to teenage sleep-away camp or had childhood nightmares or gave a shit about vampires. But damn, when you sculpt my fear with the glaze of the horror and guilt and general GODawful mystery of the institution in which I spent the first 18 years of my life, you’ve got my attention Mr.’s Blatty and Friedkin.

There’s something to be said, having been raised in the Catholic church in the 80’s and early 90’s, about watching a movie with Priest as hero and martyr. Nowadays, I suppose Regan, with all her pea-green-soup spewing glory, head-spinning, and cruci-fuxing (working copyright), wouldn’t be as vilified as most priests.

Heroes become villains. Times change.

And so does horror.

Holy shit! Just the mist and the autumnal weight and a mom dealing with the pangs of raising a teenaged daughter had me on the edge of my seat. There’s something about watching Ellen Burstyn interact with Regan that screams at you: SOMETHING’S GOING DOWN SOON!!! BRACE YOURSELF!!! Had there been no possession… Had there been no restraints or neckspinning or anniversary-induced spider walkers… I’d still have been scared shitless.

Put me there now. Put me in Washington, D.C., in October, with that late ‘70’s graininess, and dialogue as crisp and dry as the leaves on the ground, and damnit I’m gonna feel a little afraid.

A little senseless. I’m checking the windows. I’m locking the locks. I’m thinking about going back to the church…