It’s Halloween on Friday. An unkindness of ravens gathers as ghosts and witches stir in the shadows, while the werewolves are listless, waiting for the full moon. Meanwhile, the spirits in the haunted nursery gaze from the window – what’s that coming over the hill? Is it a monster? Death, the night prowler, stalks the unwary, but DsD’s okay (he’s got gris-gris). The devils and demons aren’t going to bother him! Spook yourselves silly and don’t forget to send more worms slithering to firstname.lastname@example.org. Whooo-oooo—ooo!
Japan – Halloween – bethnoir: One of the things I like about Hallowe’en (there are many) is that I get to hear Japan in the supermarket sometimes, can’t get more on theme than this.
The Preservation Hall Jazz Band – Halloween – ghe: The Preservation Hall Jazz Band do a fine job of keeping traditional jazz alive in New Orleans. Here’s their rendering of “Halloween”.
Slash – Ghost – DsD: Rifftastic from the second scariest top hat in popular culture, and with a guest vocal bonus just for Beth!
The Hekawis – (Return of) The Spook – deanofromoz: Something truly obscure for you this week. In January 1998, I went to what was supposedly the Hoodoo Gurus last ever live show (they have since reformed and currently tour). I would still rate it as one of the best gigs I have ever seen. Anyway, the support band before the support band was The Hekawis. I had never heard of them before, or since, this gig, but they did a nice little set, and handed out free copies of their CD to the early arrivers like myself. I play it every now and then because it’s a great listen, and includes an organ driven cover of “Sweet Soul Music”. They obviously never made it anywhere (to my knowledge), but they have a great sound. On this track, a short and largely instrumental track, they channel 60’s surf music, layered with some spooky sounds to fit this week’s theme. Hope you enjoy, and if anyone knows anything else about this band, please let me know.
Cowboy Junkies – Witches – DsD: How delicate is this? One of the first tunes I ever heard from the Junkies, and a major reason I fell in love with them. AND
Zala: In which Margot quietly joins a coven. I’ve always loved this song. It’s not scary, but it cocks a snook at convention. (And when do witches convene for their biggest party? On Hallowe’en, naturally.)
All About Eve – Ravens – Zalamanda: In which Julianne is afear’t by echoes of Edgar Allen Poe, asserts herself with firearms and encounters talking birds. While not specific to Hallowe’en, the song (too pretty to be genuinely scary, despite ominous feedback effects) makes reference to a “high religious power” which makes me think of the day after Hallowe’en (traditionally celebrated with a verse or two of “Bootie Call”…)
Southern Culture On The Skids – Werewolf – DsD: A heady potion of rock’n’roll mixed with garage rock. Add chilli sauce, stir until smooth, and serve for two minutes only at full moon.
Warren Zevon – Werewolves of London- AliM: I’ve always liked this, so much so that I just downloaded it on iTunes only to find I already had it. Now that makes me want to howl.
Bobby ‘Boris’ Pickett – Monster Mash – DsD: This song was SSOOO big a childhood favourite, that when I finally rediscovered it in the internet-music era – after a gap of fully 25 years – I could still sing every word accent-perfect! Don’t care that I’m 50 next month: I hear this and instantly turn into a seven-year-old again!
The Automatic – Monster (What’s That Coming Over the Hill) – AliM: This isn’t credited with a band name on my laptop so ‘Spill points if you can tell me whether this is the original or a monster of a cover.
Midnight Syndicate – Haunted Nursery – bethnoir: Midnight Syndicate are an Ohio band which specialise in making music for imaginary films, usually of the horror or spooky variety. This one gives me the willies!
The Unsettlers – Dead and Gone – bethnoir: The Unsettlers have been disappointingly quiet on the recorded music front recently, but this creepy tale is appropriately dark and moody for the time of year.
Zombie Zombie – Driving This Road Until Death Sets You Free – DsD: Not my usual fare, I’m sure you’ll agree, but some spooky, squonky stabs of synth supplemented by scary synth-mashed screaming seems somehow synchronous with the season, no?
Atomic Rooster – Death Walks Behind You – AliM: I used to have this excellent album and I remember the creepy cover, which was Blake’s “Nebuchadezzar”, a drawing of the Babylonian ruler crawling naked, dishevelled and quite, quite mad. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nebuchadnezzar_(Blake)
AC/DC – Night Prowler – DsD: An ALL-TIME fave, and has been for THIRTY-FIVE years. Someday, somehow, I WILL get this zedded over on the mothership.
Iko Iko – I’ve Got Gris-Gris – DsD: There’s only one way to survive Halloween. Lock the door, and protect yourself with some stronger [musical] magic than is being cast at you. Me? I’ve got Gris-Gris! I’m hoping it may well work for Chris (amongst others) just as well as it does for me.
Atomic Rooster – Devil’s Answer – AliM: Another from the “Death Walks Behind You” album, not sure what it’s about but it’s catchy as HELL.
Blue Oyster Cult – The Revenge of Vera Gemini – AliM: From the “Agents of Fortune” album, Vera Gemini was a Marvel comic-book figure, the daughter of a human and a demon, spurned by both sides. Cue human sacrifice, world domination and general mayhem. Why doesn’t she have her own movie franchise?
Sunn O))) – Cursed Realms (Of The Winter Demons) – DsD: “((Ali) You said, and I quote: “I don’t reject anything!!” OK, you asked for it:”) If this doesn’t scare you off now, then nothing that knocks on your door on Friday night will either. Enjoy!