Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Matt's Halloween Mixtape; Part Four

The mischievous aura of the fall season has firmly taken hold and we move into the final stretch.  As our Halloween festivities come to a head we remember again how to embrace and celebrate the creepy unknown.  As such, this next installment to my Halloween Playlist takes on a more upbeat vibe; disturbing macabre is traded for energetic, campy fun in presentation of otherworldly, paranormal themes.  The tone is set, it's time to give in to Halloween's nature as a time of respect and celebration for the dead, and the darkness inside us all…

Talking Heads - Psycho Killer

Over a brilliant pulsating bassline and funkified guitar stabs, David Byrne spews a staccato series of warnings of his own ticking-time-bomb insanity.  He sings from the perspective of a deeply paranoid, disturbed outsider whose madness is entirely internal.  He has accepted however that it will soon explode, declaring himself the titular "Psycho Killer" and begs listeners to "run run run run run run run away".  He gets closer to the edge as the song progresses, shifting from first person to second person as if he's schizophrenically talking to himself, and inexplicably singing the final verse almost entirely in French.  The funky musicianship and Byrne's almost gleeful delivery combine with the subject material to make this a true classic of Halloween fun.  

Marilyn Manson - Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)

Any number of Marilyn Manson tracks could have made this playlist in the darker early installments, but to me he really transcends himself with his cover of The Eurhythmics Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This).  To it's benefit (in my opinion) Sweet Dreams doesn't contain much of Manson's infamously blatant lyrical shock tactics.  However, as a vaguely creepy song to begin with, it becomes a true staple of ominous debauchery and dark celebration when delivered with his signature musical persona.  

Misfits - Scream

Easy with the pitchforks, Misfits fans, this will not be the last time you see them on this list.  Glenn Danzig sits this one out, but in terms of "Halloween music" that almost works to the Misfits advantage.  Within the band's turbulent context it plays sort of like a modern, cover-band take on the Misfits sound; or perhaps, a self-aware band under the guise of the Misfits.  Regardless, Scream is a very good stand-alone song and Michale Graves does an admirable job at Danzig's place on the mic.  The song itself is about fear, and the strangely enjoyable thrill of giving or receiving it.  Doesn't get much better than that these days. 

Rob Zombie - Dragula

Rob Zombie's 1998 album Hellbilly Deluxe really should be considered right up with Bing Crosby's "Merry Christmas" as far as holiday music goes.  Plain and simple, this is a truly quintessential Halloween album.  From beginning to end, the album is chock full of scary noises of all types, horror movie samples, distorted vocals, and a general obsession with B-horror fun.  Nowhere is this better represented than in stand-out single Dragula.  Wrapped in pounding industrial rhythms and drilling metal guitars, Dragula is a fist-in-the-air anthem from the perspective of an immortal force of destruction, mayhem, and revelry.  In other words, this song IS Halloween.  

Running List:

Sonic Youth - Death Valley '69
HorrorPops - Walk Like a Zombie
Suicide - Frankie Teardrop
Acid Bath - Finger Paintings of the Insane
The Beatles - Revolution 9
The Butthole Surfers - [TBD]
AFI - Fall Children
Man...or Astro-Man? - Put Your Finger in the Socket (Maximum Voltage Version)
Bauhaus - Bela Lugosi's Dead
Talking Heads - Psycho Killer
Marilyn Manson - Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)
Misfits - Scream
Rob Zombie - Dragula

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