Sunday, October 16, 2011
Halloween Mix Tape 2011
The "Halloween Mix" post seems to be done by everyone, along with the "Halloween Movies To Watch List," but as it's been a few years (2008) since I've posted one and I already built this mix in my iPod, I figured I may as well share it with you.
Here are my rules: I make a mix of 13 songs every year. Songs that have appeared on past mixes cannot be included on new mixes.
This was mainly devised to avoid lists of the same songs usually featuring purple-people-eaters and werewolves from London.
There are a few songs I'm pretty proud to have on here... stuff that maybe you haven't heard.
I've also got some old classics that maybe you never would have thought to put on a Halloween mix.
I even have a few songs I heard on other Halloween Mixes found across the web and have now incorporated them into my playlist for this year.
Enough talky-talk, make with the playey-play.
I've put album art (what's an "album" grandpa?) and links to the songs either via Amazon or iTunes if you like it enough to purchase. (As always, I get a few cents if you use the links, so click and support if you can).
An odd start, some might think, but I build my song lists out of some songs that remind me of moments in time, or trigger a sense memory for a season. Night Moves has a vibe to it that feels like that twilight moment just before the light is completely gone from the day. When the hills and trees are but silhouettes. And then the end of the song when Bob brings it down for a second and sings "... With Autumn closing in..." It's a great way to start off a mix that celebrates Autumn and October.
I was reminded of this song from Wendy the very good witch's The Halloween Tree blog (the song played automatically when you would visit). Sure it's technically about the Summer of Love, but to me it always felt like a Fall song as it was one of the songs the "classic radio station" played over and over the autumn my parents lost power in the house due to an early snow storm. I clutched that radio, praying the batteries wouldn't die, and listened to "All the hits from the '50s and '60s radio station" hoping the power would return by October 31st (it did).
On top of the personal attachment, the song is by a band called THE ZOMBIES. C'mon now!
This track is a brand new release so if you're listening to it, congratulations, you're officially a cool hipster and one step ahead of everyone... until tomorrow. The band is called "Band of Skulls" which definitely sounds like it belongs in the pantheon of Halloween. The song is a bluesy rock jam. As their new album doesn't come out until next year you'll have to listen and watch the music video (whats a "music video" grandpa?) on YouTube HERE.
4. Keepin' Halloween Alive - Alice Cooper
This one is a no-brainer for inclusion in ANY Halloween mix, says I. As I didn't do a 2009 Mix I had to just trumpet its wonderfulness with THIS POST.
What can I say that hasn't already been said?
It's catchy. It's fun. It's by the Coop.
For some reason it was a Limited Release and is no longer available via CD or even MP3 download. My questions to Shout! Factory have gone unanswered as to if it will ever be reissued.
It's out there if you want it -coughyoutube-cough...
At the close of Scream 4's dark ending, this song kicks in and plays through the credits. It's catchy enough that I Shazammed it right in the theater. A foot tapper that mentions voodoo dolls, the devil, getting even and... bad karma.
Link to Amazon MP3 download HERE.
I caught the pilot episode of American Horror Story on FX and this song played on that first episode over the credits (what's with me and end-credits songs?). It's short, weird and the title could apply to most horror movies going all the way back to Night of the Living Dead.
A Frankenstein of a song. The screech-singing of goth rocker Wednesday 13 + the catchy riffs of an '80s hairband and... clapping.
It sounds crazy, but it works or should I say "It's aliiiiive... IT'S ALIIIIIVE." Clapping in a song makes anything catchy and fun.
Just ask John Mellencamp.
8. I Can't Decide - Scissor Sisters
Speaking of catchy and fun, I give you the Scissor Sisters.
Their whole album is catchy and fun. It's like time traveling back to when ABBA was popular, but it's music for today. And as far as a creepy Halloween song goes how about an incredibly catchy song about someone deciding whether to murder someone or not?
You've never heard a song like this, I guarantee it.
I know, I know I can hear the groans. Look, I don't watch True Blood. But I heard this song and thought, "Hey that's cool." Only after adding it to my mix did I find out it's from HBO's True Blood. So fans will go "Yay!" and non-fans will go "Argh!" and I'll go "Meh." because I had no idea. I just thought it was a good song called "Bones" with great harmonies. Vampires are just a bonus.
Ok, ok, ok. I didn't know about this one either.
More True Blood soundtrack.
I DON'T WATCH THE SHOW!
But hey, they make good soundtracks.
Beck. Good stuff.
I've had many a Halloween Addict fan clue me in to Ryan Gosling's (yes, THAT Ryan Gosling) band "Dead Man's Bones." But it took Rue Morgue's "Hymns from the House of Horror" mix for me to finally hear this song and it stuck with me.
A haunting song with a chorus of children dressed in Halloween costumes? I'm listening.
That's right. I went there. If ever there was a song to play at a party, any party, Halloween or otherwise... this is that song. It was on the charts in late September and through October and that's probably why it feels Autumny to me. And it's called "On the Dark Side." How spooky is that?
Saxophone. Cymbals. John Cafferty doing his best to top Springsteen. A foot tapper.
This is my show closer.
And it deserves to be.
I'm going to contain my desire to write twelve paragraphs as to why "Highway to Hell" is the best AC/DC album ever made.
But this song... starting with the slow blues chords rocking out of Angus's guitar... then Bon Scott's vocals cut through the air with the first line "Somewhere a clock strikes midnight... and there's a full moon in the sky..." Is there a BETTER way to end a Halloween mix than with these words?
The song is loaded with lines that paint a picture in your mind: "A rat runs down an alley and a chill runs down your spine... And someone walks across your grave..." And when all is said and done, it's a scary song about the Night Prowler... the boogeyman.
Listen to this on a quiet night... about 12:01am... with all the lights off... you'll feel the power of this song.
Don't worry, when all is said and done and the last few strums of guitar fade out, Mr. Scott will make a little funny to let you off the hook with a Mork from Ork impression. Yes, seriously.
There you go. 13 songs. Why 13? Because it's spoooooooky, silly.
10? Not spooky.
4? Also not spooky.
A baker's dozen? Terrifying.
To read up on 2007 and 2008's Halloween Music Mixes, check HERE and HERE.
So, your turn, what's on YOUR Halloween Mix this year?
Classics? New and different stuff?
Share in the comments!