Earworms 27 October 2014 – Halloween Special


Photo on 20-10-2014 at 15.56

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 earworm@tincanland.com. 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!

20 thoughts on “Earworms 27 October 2014 – Halloween Special

  1. Well, that was hugely enjoyable. Some classic Hallowe’en tracks there and some nice alternatives to the standard fare.

    Sunn O))) were a brilliant ending. That level of distortion and feedback is beyond being a mere Sonic Attack.

    If I had got my act together I’d probably have gone with this;

    Careful With That Axe, Eugene

    Imagine; going to stay with your odd relatives in their creepy house in the woods and strange cousin Eugene comes in from chopping up logs for the fire.

  2. So is this the week that beth gathers us round the campfire in the deep, dark wood and tells us of her close encounter with the Dead? 😉

  3. I left UK in 1958 and I have no memory of anything called halloween being there, but when I arrived in the US, there it was, somehow we never clicked. From my umpteen thousand iTunes and albums I can’t think of any tune related to this topic, sorry about that.

  4. I lied, or at least a search through iTunes proved me wrong, I have 3.
    Ghost Dance by Tulku.
    Ghost of a chance by Ella.
    The Ghost who burned my house down by Cold Crows Dead.

  5. Wow, what a collection of ghoulish Earworms.

    Apologies not to have contributed but will return once I’ve scared myself witless listening to them.

    Well done Ali for curating and thanks to everyone else for supplying so many tunes.

  6. “Haunted Nursery” gives me the creeps. I may be a ghostly presence myself for a while, young Munday left the laptop charger on the settee and the dog has chewed it through … aagghh!

  7. I won’t have time to listen to these tonight. Will save for a treat tomorrow. Since I can’t send worms in the right format at the moment here’s my contribution(s) for what it’s worth. LINK
    T-Rex – One Inch Rock
    Puppini Sisters – Spooky
    Roy Harper – The Spirit Lives
    Bert Jansch – She Moved Through the Fair
    Katzenjammer – Hey Ho On the Devil’s Back

  8. Another vote (delivered by a slightly trembling hand, raised from behind the sofa) for Haunted Nursery as the spookiest of that lot.

  9. Award for the most atmospheric track this week goes to ….

    Midnight Syndicate – Haunted Nursery – great sound effects!

    The award for the one song that I remebered (but not quite all the words) goes to ….

    Bobby ‘Boris’ Pickett – Monster Mash

    But the best track of the lot goes to ….. drum roll ….. loud guitar ….

    AC/DC – Night Prowler

  10. A good selection there, folks. Thank you Ali and all.

    Haunted Nursery easily takes the spooky crown. The Preservation Hall Jazz Band, in particular, got under my skin for some reason. And yes, DsD, the gris-gris track is groovy.
    (I dipped a single toe into Sunn O))). O No)

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