Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

Once again we've made it through 31 days of great Halloween music, without even a murmur of "The Monster Mash" echoing from the dungeon!  So what is 2012's most hallowed Halloween song?

Well, it's not just one song, but two: "Halloween 1 & 2" by The Misfits!  The first is an ode to all things both fiendish and nostalgic about the holiday (the "brown leafed vertigo" line gets me every time), and the second is mostly in Latin and seems to be a sort of incantation for becoming a werewolf. Last year the band's ode to horror hostess great Vampira was featured on this blog, and in my opinion they are the greatest horror rock band ever. 

Today's songs are Halloween itself distilled into a few short minutes.  The bonfires are burning bright, pumpkin faces are in the night... and I don't just remember Halloween, I'm living it right now!

That's it for another great month of fun and scary music!  Hope to scare you again next year, but until then, bad dreams darlings, stay sick, and good night, whatever you are!!!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

T-minus 1

Only one day until Halloween, and things are getting spookier by the minute!  In today's song we'll hear the tale of a myseriously missing carny and his unforunately present horse Sorrow, courtesy of spook-master Nick Cave and his Bad Seeds.

"The Carny" first appeared on Cave's 1986 album Your Funeral... My Trial, but also gained recognition as one of the songs Cave performed in the 1987 Wim Wenders film Wings of Desire.  That film concerns invisible angels in Berlin who listen in on human thoughts and comfort those in distress, and sometimes desire to become human themselves.  In a sublime chain of influence, both "The Carny" and Wings of Desire inspired animator Marc Craste to make 2004's Jo Jo in the Stars, which is a dazzling 12-minute animated film featured below.

"The Carny" is pretty much a short story itself, and features the usual blend of menacing, gothic weirdness and disparate music styles that we've come to know and love from Nick Cave.  And one must wonder, where did that carny go?  I say it's funny how things go. 

Jo Jo in the Stars:

Monday, October 29, 2012

T-minus 2

Seen any good horror movies this month?  Today's song asks all those pesky questions that we're not supposed to ask during horror movies, like why do lovers always park down deserted lanes near haunted houses and homes for the insane? 

"The Axe Murderer Song" comes from Camper Van Beethoven's 1993 album Camper Vantiquities, which compiled several of the band's B-sides and rarities.  Formed in California in the early 80s, the band became a college radio staple before disbanding in 1990.  Members then went on to play in several other influential 90s bands, such as Cracker and Counting Crows, but in 1999 Camper Van Beethoven reunited and have been releasing new work, touring, and asking the hard questions (like why do axe murderers only attack when you're partially nude?)  ever since. 

Sunday, October 28, 2012

T-minus 3

It's the last day of the last weekend before Halloween -- do you have your tricks and treats ready to go?  Mine are bursting at their stitches, so ready or not, I'm letting one of my tricks slip out with today's song!

So you know how this weekend is a tribute to perhaps the eeriest city in the nation, right?  Well, although I do love New Orleans and all the songs that extol its spookiness, the real reason for this weekend's theme is that I also LOVE CHERI don't mean that I love Cher ironically, or with the detached kind of appreciation that I might hold for, say, Neil Diamond; I really, truly, from the bottom of my black little heart LOVE CHER.  I think she's a great artist and a national treasure and should perhaps be on our money one day.

So what could be better than Cher singing a New Orleans-based spooky song that's suitable for Halloween listening?  Why, an animated Cher singing a New Orleans-based spooky song that's suitable for Halloween listening, of course!  "Dark Lady" comes from her 1974 album of the same title and was written by a member of surf rock group The Ventures.  The story concerns a woman who goes to see a fortune teller in New Orleans, from whom she learns about her lover's unfaithfulness.  Although Cher sings from the perspective of the cheating victim, in the cartoon she's the fortune teller, which makes for a bit of a meta-Cher experience.  I mean, who else could pull off being the yin to her own yang?  Cher today, Cher forever!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

T-minus 4

Continuing our trip through the land of haunted bayous, today we're taking a ride a ride a ride a ride a ride with Southern Culture on the Skids in their Voodoo Cadillac! 

Southern Culture on the Skids appeared on this blog a couple of times last year, and have obviously made a number of creeptastic contributions to Halloween music.  In fact, in addition to their recently re-released album Zombified, which consists entirely of songs of a spooky nature, their first album from 1985 was called Voodoo Beach Party.  Although many of their songs hold true to the southern influences that the band's name suggests (such as the joys of fried chicken, banana pudding, and high, high hair), they also draw heavily from the look and sound of old horror films.

"Voodoo Cadillac" is the first track off their most commercially successful album, 1995's Dirt Track Date, and has the bluesy, little-bit-dangerous sound one might expect from a song about a trip to New Orleans in a possessed muscle car.  Let's ride!

Friday, October 26, 2012

T-minus 5

Halloween in New Orleans
Today is the first day of the last theme weekend of the year, and kicking off our tribute to the spooktacular city of New Orleans is the title song of Concrete Blonde's most commercially successful album, 1990's Bloodletting.  Technically the song is called "Bloodletting (The Vampire Song)," which gives you an idea of where this is going.

New Orleans has become infamous for Anne Rice's vampires, but it is also home to numerous vampire tours, balls, and legends, and even a vampire film festival.  In "Bloodletting (The Vampire Song)," a poor soul seems to have had a bad case of vampirism slapped on her and is now headed down to New Orleans to think the situation over.  Don't you just hate that?  You think you can trust somebody and then it turns out they're undead.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

T-minus 6

As Lou Reed says, Halloween in New York City is something, to be sure, and part of what makes it so special also happens to be the title of today's song: "Halloween Parade."  The Village Halloween Parade has been taking place every Halloween night since 1974 and is currently the country's largest public Halloween event. 

The parade is put on by the people and for the people, and is renowned for its unbounded creativity.  Giant puppets, live bands, circus performers, and thousands of costumed participants walk the parade route (Sixth Avenue from Spring St. to 21st St.) every year.  

Lou Reed's song (from his 1989 album New York) pays homage not only to the Halloween Parade itself, however, but also uses the parade's revelry as a lens to chronicle friends he lost to the AIDS epidemic.  Flamboyant characters are mentioned in each verse, then lamented in the chorus: "This Halloween is something to be sure/Especially to be here without you."  This creates a somber tone, but the joy of the event and the people who take part in it still comes through.  

Having attended the Halloween Parade several times myself, this song puts me right back there amongst the "born again losers and lavendar boozers," and makes me wish I could be in New York this Halloween to experience the show again. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

T-minus 7

Hell's bells, Halloween is only a week away!  That means there is only one theme weekend left, and today's song previews the homage we are going to pay to a place that has given us all manner of monsters, from vampires to zombies to voodoo queens: New Orleans! 

Every time I've been to New Orleans, some weirdly unsettling thing happens, such as when an older lady in my hostel room stayed up all night whispering chants while worrying a canister of salt she kept under her bed.  Of course, the land the city is built on was exhumed from a swamp and the area is known as the land of voodoo, so it's not surprising that odd things of an uncanny nature tend to happen there. 

In keeping with the city's penchant for the mysterious, today's song is about a particular purveyor of New Orleans dark arts, voodoo priestess Marie Laveau.  Born in 1794, she worked as a hairdresser for wealthy white people, whose gossip may have helped increase Marie's diviniation "powers."  Although she died in 1881, her legend lives on, with her name gracing New Orleans tourist shops and trinkets, and her grave still drawing pilgrims who hope her spirit will grant them a wish. 

Bobby Bare & Shel Silverstein

She's of course been a presence in books and music as well, such as this classic 1974 hit written by Shel Silverstein and performed by Bobby Bare.  As the song says, she'd go ooooo-weeee!  Another man done gone.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

T-minus 8

Although horror pop-punk band the Groovie Ghoulies broke up in 2007, chief ghoul Kepi Ghoulie is still around and keeping his signature brand of undead bubble-gum punk alive and well.  Since 2008, Kepi has released several albums and EPs and also makes adorable monster-themed art, as you can see here.

Today's song, "Sleepy Hollow," is a romantic little number about the difficulty of maintaining a relationship in Headless Horseman territory, and comes from Kepi's 2008 album Hanging Out.  He is currently on tour in support of his 2011 album I Bleed Rock 'n Roll, and although he is a great act to see at any time, his Halloween shows are sure to be something special!  Make sure to check him out if he comes to a town near you!

Monday, October 22, 2012

T-minus 9

Okay, so I know it seemed like yesterday's song would be the last one about Satan, but surprise!  He's back today for one more.  This is really, seriously, no-foolin' the last one, as it says right in the title: "Last Song About Satan."  It's performed by country gothic group Slim Cessna's Auto Club, which formed in the early 90s in Denver, Colorado.

Although their fire and brimstone tends to be a bit tongue-in-cheek, their devotion to various traditional country music styles is true and their energy is whiskey-charged.  "Last Song About Satan" comes from their 2000 album Always Say Please and Thank You. Despite the song's irreverent title, it actually presents a pretty solid argument against the Demon in Chief.  So this is my last song about Satan (for this year).

Sunday, October 21, 2012

T-minus 10

Although we've been having some fun at Satan's expense the last couple days, I thought we might all need a little churching this Sunday to counteract any bad juju we may have conjured during our Say You Love Satan theme weekend.  Here to remind us that Satan is real (and that he ain't to be messed with) are The Louvin Brothers, with the title song from their classic gospel album Satan is Real.

Don't be fooled by the campy cover of this album (or the provocative title); Satan is Real is a masterpiece that can be enjoyed by people of any or no faith.  The album has been reissued several times since it first debuted in 1959 and songs from it have been covered by artists such as Johnny Cash, Gram Parsons, and Emmylou Harris.  In addition, the Louvin Brothers helped popularize close harmony singing in country music and wrote many other songs, both gospel and secular, that are now considered standards, such as "Cash on the Barrelhead" and "If I Could Only Win Your Love."

Here they are at their most plaintive and pious, though, to remind us of all of the danger of our folly.  Take a hint, you sinners!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

20: A Score!

Since this is Saturday and we all need a vacation once in a while, today Satan is taking a holiday!  This song was written in 1937 by bandleader Larry Clinton and has been recorded by many big band jazz greats, such as Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, and Tommy Dorsey.  For the purposes of this weekend's devilish theme, however, and to keep things especially evil, the version we're featuring today was performed by Church of Satan founder Anton LaVey.

Before inventing a religion (and arguably perfecting the art of con), LaVey learned to play the organ and worked as a roustabout at carnivals and circuses.  An album of his music was released in 1995, which takes its name from today's song: Satan Takes a Holiday.  Many of the songs on it are well-known and considered standards, and were even performed by LaVey during his days of playing the organ professionaly in various venues of ill-repute. 

His singular style is quite different from how the songs are often played, though, and today's creates a much more mischievous/sinister vibe than most big band versions.  Can't you imagine Satan jaunting through the evening countryside in Grandpa Munster's Drag-U-La hot rod with this song on the hi-fi?

Friday, October 19, 2012

Nineteen (84)

Another Friday has rolled around, so that means it's time to roll out another theme weekend!  Are you ready to flash those devil horns and sell your soul for rock 'n roll?  This weekend is all about celebrating the original Man in Black (or red, I guess), the Santa Claus of Halloween, ol' Scratch himself!

To kick it off, today's song is by self-proclaimed "Greatest Rock Band in the World," The Supersuckers!  This group has been around since the late 80s and lives in Seattle, but their sound is pretty far from the angsty grunge associated with that town during that time period.  They fall much more on the mindless fun side of rock 'n roll and also have a sizable country influence, even recording an entire country album called Must've Been High and collaborating with Willie Nelson and Steve Earle.

"Born with a Tail" is from their 1995 album The Sacrilicious Sounds of the Supersuckers and shows off their hard-rocking, good-timing metal side, with all the  devil-loving swagger that entails (pun always intended).  Oh yeah, you know I'm in league with Satan!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

18: Barely Legal

Is today's song actually a song?  Is it a story?  A prose poem?  With Tom Waits it's hard to say, but one thing's for sure, this track is creepy.  It comes from his 1999 album Mule Variations and is stamped with Waits' signature whiskey-soaked gravel voice and atmospheric recording touches that conjure up an eerie seediness like none other. 

Waits is known for depicting grotesque places and people in his work and this song is no exception.  I mean, what exactly is that guy building in there?  We have a right to know!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


Don't you hate it when people say they love Satan, but they don't really mean it?  Da Grimston & Mist-E have those poseurs' numbers in today's featured song, "Pentagram Sam." 

I have to confess that I don't know a lot about this group (other than they are hilarious), and can't seem to find much about them on the interwebs, but I do know that they are associated with a genre of house music called Witch House, which also includes groups like Salem and oOoOO.  Here's hoping they keep writing songs about the sorry state of devil worship these days.  In the meantime, however, enjoy this song as an appetizer for this weekend's upcoming theme: Say You Love Satan!

*Note: As I said, this group is hilarious, so I highly recommend you open the clip in YouTube, where you can read the lyrics along with the song.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Bitter 16

Today's song comes from one of the most influential albums ever made: The Ramones.  Released in 1976, it was The Ramones' first studio album and is credited with starting punk.  The album contains many songs that have now become punk rock standards, such as "Blitzkrieg Bop," "Beat on the Brat," and "Judy is a Punk." Today's song is not just a punk classic, however, it's also inspired by a horror movie!

"Chain Saw" starts out with the buzz of a saw and then goes into a tale of woe based on the 1974 movie The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.  It also happens to contain the most endearing mispronunciation of "massacre" ever recorded, rhyming it beautifully with "They took my baby away from me."  Like all of the other songs on The Ramones, "Chain Saw" comes in well under three minutes, but is chocked full of stripped-down rocking awesomeness that changed the face of popular music forever.

Monday, October 15, 2012

15: Halfway to Hell!

It's October 15th, which means we're already halfway through the most wonderful month of the year and are only 16 days away from Halloween! Once again, the time has flown by at a frightening rate, and we still have so much time and so little to do. Wait a minute. Strike that. Reverse it. Let's press on!

The real Karen Black.
Since we're halfway to the big day, I thought today's song should directly celebrate that most special of days we're all so impatiently waiting for. It's "I Believe in Halloween," performed by 90s glam-punk group The Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black. The band's name is on homage to actress Karen Black, who starred in a multitude of horror films over the years, such as 1975's The Trilogy of Terror

The Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black

The band was fronted by Kembra Pfahler, who is a performance artist as well as a musician. Performance was definitely a main attraction to TVHKB's shows, which mixed elements of vauedeville and burlesque with pop/goth punk sounds to create their shock rock-style music. "I Believe in Halloween" is a bit more low-key than some of their other work, but still rocks and is perhaps the only song with a chorus that consists entirely of repetitions of "eeeeeww."

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Fourteen-agers from Mars

Real-life Zombie Boy,
artist and model Rick Genest
To wrap up this weekend devoted to the spooky songs of Stephin Merritt, we're presenting a song by his primary band, The Magnetic Fields. Although The Magnetic Fields often feature several different singers, both male and female, "Zombie Boy" is sung by Merritt himself, in his distinctive so-deep-it's-sad-even-when-he-sings-happy-songs voice. 

Like many Merritt songs, the lyrics in "Zombie Boy" are clever, the tune is catchy, and the gender/sexuality lines are blurred -- in this case, in addition to being gay, the zombie is a cross-dresser. During the moonlight strolls he takes with the song's narrator, he dresses up in silk slips, high heels and mink stoles, and swivels his hips as the narrator works the controls.

The song comes from one of my favorite Magnetic Fields albums, 2008's Distortion, which was influenced by feedback-drenched 80s/90s band The Jesus and Mary Chain. If you like "Zombie Boy," you should seek out the whole album because it's great! The rest of Stephen Merritt's oeuvre is too, of course, and, as you will hear, he can write a gay zombie love song like nobody's business.


Saturday, October 13, 2012

13 Ghosts

Today's song comes from another Stephin Merritt side project, the Future Bible Heroes, which plays disco-influenced electonica. Vocals for the group are often performed by Claudia Gonson, who is a regular member of Stephin Merritt's primary band, The Magnetic Fields. 

Although Merritt's distinctive pop sensibility and musical arrangements are stamped all over today's song, "I'm A Vampire," Gonson's voice gives us a refreshing female perspective on vampire life. With all the hoopla lately over pretty-boy vampires, it seems like the ladies have been left out. Doesn't anyone remember "The Blood Countess" Elizabeth Bathory, or movies inspired by her, like Daughters of Darkness or The Hunger

Leave it to Stephin Merritt, who's known for blurring gender roles in his songs, to even the playing field. As the song says, lady vampires are just as classy and sexy and glamorous as they were 700 years ago. Wouldn't you like to share some of your blood with one?

Friday, October 12, 2012

12: The Penultimate Peril

Gotcha! There isn't just one peril left in this blog of woe, but many, many, many more perils! Two and a half more weeks' worth, in fact! And if you can't tell from today's heartbreakingly morose title, the kickoff to this week's theme weekend isn't just going to focus on the spooky incarnations of musician Stephin Merritt, but also one of his partners in crime -- Lemony Snicket!

Stephin Merritt and Lemony Snicket
Outside the world of the Baudelaire orphans, whose lives are chronicled in Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events books, Lemony Snicket is known as novelist and musician Daniel Handler. Before becoming known as Lemony Snicket, however, Handler played accordion on the now-classic three-volume concept album 69 Love Songs by Merritt's primary band, The Magnetic Fields. Since then, one of Merritt's side-projects, The Gothic Archies, has contributed songs to each audiobook in Snicket's series, culminating with a collection of all the songs called The Tragic Treasury in 2006.

Featured today is a song from that collection, "The World is a Very Scary Place," which corresponds to book three in the Snicket series, The Wide Window.  If you're not familiar with Snicket's books, take a peek at the 12 books in 120 seconds clip below!  It'll get you right up to speed and is narrated by everyone's favorite sweet transvestite, the pleasantly-voiced Tim Curry.  And if you like what you see, or are already a Lemony Snicket fan, then get excited because the first entry in his new book series, All the Wrong Questions, is being released on October 23rd!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Eleventh Hour

Head full of tricks and treats, leading me through the nighttime streets?  There must be something in the air or the water or all that candy corn I've been eating because just like Ryan Adams, I've got a Halloween head. This song comes from his 2007 album Easy Tiger, which is his ninth studio release.

Known as an alt-country/rock guy, first as frontman for the band Whiskeytown and then as a solo act, lately he has been taking a more metal-influenced direction. In 2010 he released a sci-fi metal concept album called Orion. "Halloweenhead" isn't exactly metal, but it's definitely dark and pretty much gets the doleful/rascally spirit of the season dead-on.

*While this video claims it is the "explicit" version of the song, you will most likely be much more offended, and perhaps even nauseated, by the terrible dancing than the language. Keep a bucket handy. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Clock Strikes 10

Since yesterday's song was sung by the Dresden Dolls' Amanda Palmer, I thought we'd continue with dark cabaret today and hear a song by Cuban-American musician Voltaire.  His music is a bit like what European folk music might sound like if it were played by Church of Satan founder/carny huckster Anton LaVey.  

Voltaire has been consistently releasing albums since the late 90s and is a multi-talented artist;  in addition to writing and performing music, he also creates comic books, stop-motion animation, and works as a professor at the School of Visual Arts in New York City.  You can hear his flair for imagery scattered throughout today's song, "When You're Evil": while there's children to make sad, while there's candy to be had, while there's pockets left to pick, while there's grannies left to trip down the stairs, he'll be there...

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Hate Potion #9

Okay, so some people might say it's cheating to put a song on this year that was also on last year, but to those people I say... so what! Isn't cheating and lying and general malevolence what Halloween is all about? Besides, this isn't exactly the same version of "Science Fiction, Double Feature" we've all come to know and love over the years as the opening to The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Performed on the Craig Ferguson show by Amanda Palmer from the Dresden Dolls, Stephin Merritt from the Magnetic Fields, Moby, and author Neil Gaiman, this concoction of Halloween wonderfulness nearly makes my head explode with delight. Plus, it makes a tasty teaser for this weekend's upcoming theme -- the spooky songs of Stephin Merritt! In this clip, he's the one dressed like a depressed Eskimo and playing the resonator ukelele. Just try not saying the audience participation lines along to the song... I'm afraid that for me those prunes are always going to give Dana Andrews the shits.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Signs Point to 8

Today's song sounds exactly what I imagine being a werewolf feels like. Driving and visceral, listening to TV on the Radio's "Wolf Like Me" is like running through the woods under a full moon with the scent of blood lodged in your nose and brain.

Formed in Brooklyn in 2001, TV on the Radio's music spans genres, taking equal influence from punk, electronic, and soul music. They've collaborated with a who's who of the rock and indie-rock world, such as David Bowie and members of Blonde Redhead and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Although one member died of lung cancer in 2011, the band continues to play shows, but has not announced plans for further recordings. Hopefully they will be with us for a long time to come. But for now, our hero awakes, a man not entirely himself... 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Deadly Seven

Although it's almost been Hot Topic-ed to death, I had to top off this theme weekend with a song from The Nightmare Before Christmas.  Is it a Christmas movie?  Is it a Halloween movie?  Is it both?  I'm not sure, but it's become a classic of animated horror and perhaps the strongest link between animated horror of the past and the present.

The movie was Tim Burton's first full-length animated feature and drew as much inspiration from classic Christmas TV specials as horror films.  Even so, it is plenty dark and rife with ghouls.  Here, in the opening song called "This is Halloween," you can see echoes of Fantasia and Mad Monster Party, as well as Tim Burton's own trademark cartoonish, gothic expressionism that has influenced so many other filmmakers after him:

Saturday, October 6, 2012


Today we're digging even further back in the animated horror comedy vault than we did yesterday to bring out a segment from the 1940 Disney classic Fantasia. While the movie would not be considered horror on the whole, there are definitely some scary parts. In fact, I thought the most horror-influenced section, "Night on Bald Mountain," was probably too scary to fit in with today's theme. But if you haven't seen it before, or if it's been a while, check it out!  I just re-watched it and was again surprised at how eerie and downright evil the imagery in that is. This ain't no Little Mermaid

Fantasia is the third animated movie that Disney made and is probably still their most experimental. It consists of eight animated segments set to pieces of classical music and was originally conceived as a comeback short for Mickey Mouse, who had declined in popularity in the late 1930s. The Mickey short started to get expensive, though, so Disney decided to expand the idea of setting animation to classical music into a feature.

To honor not just the scary but the silly as well, we're going to look in on Mickey Mouse and his noble attempt at a more efficient dungeon cleaning system. The music is a piece called The Sorcerer's Apprentice, which is the same title of the short, and was composed by Paul Dukas. The story is based on a classic Goethe poem that proves once again that hubris doesn't pay. In the end, it'll only get you in trouble with your boss. 

...and speaking of getting in trouble, Disney's copyright laws won't allow video embedding, so you can see the full clip here.

Friday, October 5, 2012

A Fifth of Friday

It's Friday, so that means it's time to kick off this season's first theme weekend: songs from animated horror comedies!  And to start, I'm digging way back in the vault to pull out that cobweb-covered Rankin-Bass opus, Mad Monster Party.

Made by the same folks who made the Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Frosty the Snowman specials that still make an appearance on national TV every year, Mad Monster Party was written by the creator of Mad Magazine and the characters were designed by an artist from Mad.  The cast is star-studded, with the main character (Baron Boris von Frankenstein) played by Boris Karloff and the Monster's Mate played by the late and very great Phyllis Diller.  Even the title song has star appeal -- it's sung by jazz singer Ethel Ennis.  
The movie was enormously influential on Tim Burton's animation, as we will all be able to see in the full-length version of Frankenweenie that opens this weekend. 

So if you like ghastly puns, classic monsters, and stop-motion animation as much as I do, seek out Mad Monster PartyUntil then, enjoy Phyllis Diller dancing with a mummy to Little Tibia and the Fibias...

Thursday, October 4, 2012

10/4, Good Buddy

Since today is 10/4 Good Buddy day, we're going to honor all those men and women who transport our goods, help keep our 24-hour interstate diners in business, and inspire classic songs about great big convoys and girls wearing nothing but a smile and a towel on the billboard near the big ol' highway.  

There is no shortage of eerie events that happen out there in the middle of the night on desolate stretches of road, and no denying that spending days and weeks alone in a big rig can make one a bit loopy, so it's no surprise that several trucker songs incorporate more than a little spookiness.  Today's song is no exception and comes from the self-proclaimed "Scariest Band in the World," Deadbolt.

Formed in California in 1988, the band often features two bass guitars to create a sinister rumble called "The Wall of Thunder." Their singer, Harley Davidson, sounds like a cross between Lurch and Joe Friday.  As you can see, they also sometimes use power tools on their instruments during sets and shower the audience with hot metal sparks. 

Today's song is an unholy little ditty called "Voodoo Trucker," complete with CB radio interference.  Look out because he makes you a zombie and then steals your soul!   Carnies and hoboes call out his name!  Voodoo Trucker!!!


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Third Eye's a Charm

In the tradition of the great girl groups of the 60's come The Pipettes, a collection of singing and dancing matching-outfitted fashion plates from Brighton, England. They brandish much of the Phil Spector genius with just a little of the crazy. Like many of the classic girl groups, The Pipettes were "manufactured" by an in-house svengali (Monster Bobby), but unlike many of the classic girl groups, these ladies have equal input on their songs, their look, and their performances. 

The catchiness of their songs is impossible to resist. In this number we hear about the benefits a relationship can enjoy when alien experimentation leads to complete memory loss. A handy bit of knowledge for the lovelorn!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


Today's song is The White Stripes' "Little Ghost" from 2005, which recently got a second life as a part of the excellent stop-motion horror comedy ParaNorman.  Although I had some issues with the personification of the movie's zombies (isn't whole point of zombies that they are bodies without souls, not rotting versions of the people they always were?), the movie has a great story, a great look, and a great big, veiny, blood-red beating heart. 

All in all, this is turning out to be a stellar season for animated horror comedies. In addition to ParaNorman, Hotel Transylvania was recently released, and the most exciting development is still to come -- the full-length version of Frankenweenie! I've loved Tim Burton's original  Frankenweenie short for years, as well as most of Burton's other work, so this one should be spooktacular. Until it's released, though, enjoy this little ditty about the heart-sickness that comes from falling for a ghost.  Ain't that always the way?  Just when you think you've met that perfect someone, turns out they're incorporeal.

Monday, October 1, 2012

It's baaaaaack!!!!!

Yes, it's that time of year again -- the temperatures are dropping, the bags of candy corn are full-priced, and the lattes are pumpkin-spiced.  Time to celebrate the best non-"Monster Mash" Halloween songs ever recorded!  I've spent the last year down in the crypt making a list and checking it twice, finding out which songs are naughy or... naughtier.  Hope you'll enjoy what I've exhumed!

To start off, here's a song by the band that inspired me to start this blog in the first place, The Cramps.  It's "The Creature from the Black Leather Lagoon," that lovable juvenile delinquent who hails from the moon.  So sit back with your bowl of candy corn and rot your mind along with your teeth!