I bet you all thought I was dead. I've just been sleeping. Like Lestat. My the rumblings of Altar have brought me forth from my slumber. Yup SunnO))) and Boris have collaborated. Not released a split, but all 5 have fused together to create a drony spacey masterpiece. It's good Halloween music. It got me to thinking about my favorite records to listen to around Halloween. So here they are, for this year (since none of these lists are ever definitive), my top 10 Halloween jams. I tried to stay away from stuff like goth (because I'm not 16 anymore), metal (duh, no brainer), or the Misfits (double duh, what song of theirs wasn't about Halloween or a horror movie?)
1. Warren Zevon - Roland The Headless Thompson Gunner
Yeah, yeah, I know that Werewolves of London is the one all the classic rock stations dust off this time of year, but let's give the man some respect. He wrote more than one tune.
2. Pink Floyd - Interstellar Overdrive
Awesome scary psych song. I love the formula of the introduction of the main musical theme, then an open-ended middle exploration before gradually making its way back to the original theme. Much like this next one....
3. Iron Butterfly - In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida
O.K. seriously. My dad saw Iron Butterfly with Canned Heat at the Fillmore East in 1970. He said it was a "drug supermarket" and that this song scared the shit out of him. I bet he was on a few barrels of Orange Sunshine at the time. (I think they should bring back barrels of LSD. Just for nostalgia. Like Wacky Packs.) But this song is the ultimate one-microgram-over-the-line anthem. I heard it on FM radio a few days ago but they pussied out and just played the single version so when I got home I put it on the turntable and cranked up to 11. That evil organ part is perfect for the season.
4. Flaming Lips - Scratchin' The Door
Another one in the same vein as the last 2. It's basically their version of Interstellar Overdrive. Creepy, crawly psych guitar lines and weirdo lyrics to boot.
5. Hawkwind - Masters of the Universe
This is my own personal drug freakout song. The first time I heard this song I was ripped on acid. It was terrifying. All I wanted to do was clamp my hands over my ears and go put on the Grateful Dead's "Anthem of the Sun" or something. But my inner Tyler Durden was urging me on, "This could be the greatest moment of your life and you're ruining it!" So I sucked it up and embraced the fear and came out the better for it. I mean, look at me, I got a blog now.
6. SunnO))) - Bathory Erzsebet
The whole BlackOne album is pretty amazing October music, and it's really hard to pick one track, but I mean they fucking locked Malefic in a coffin, miked it, and put it in the back of a hearse to record the vocals. Oh, and the dude has crippling claustrophobia. How does that not make for real terror in the vocals. Mixed with the deepest low end your puny human ears can pick up and the tolling iron bells, it's real mood music. Plus it's for Elizabeth Bathory, who according to legend, bathed in the blood of virgins to keep herself looking young. Cher took a beauty tip from her I bet.
7. Six Organs of Admittance - River of Transfiguration
This has more of a psychological scary vibe to it. It's not so much terror as it is the prelude to terror. You know something bad is going to happen in the movie when you hear this, and that moment is stretched out to nearly a half hour on this cut.
8. The Eagles - Hotel California
Don Henley. 3 guitars playing the most over-rated, overblown guitar solo in rock history. Everytime I hear this, I know there's a middle aged guy with a mustache and a business mullet working on his old Camaro in the garage and he closes his eyes and gets really into it at the end and shakes his head along with the notes and maybe makes a little bit of the lead guitar face. The horror.....the horror.
9. Tom Waits - like, most of the songs on The Black Rider
O.K. this one's got November, Flash Pan Hunter, Just The Right Bullets, Crossroads, and T'aint No Sin with William S Burrough's creepy old "I'm not dead yet" junkie vocals on it. Need I say more? This is the ultimate album for fall. For the cold rain blowing down your upturned collar. For scarecrows, rotting pumpkins, and grey skies. Just one more reminder like the thousands of wet leaves plastered to the concrete like thousands of advertisements for summer's demise. But goddammit, it sounds so good.
10. Faust - Faust Wakes Nosferatu
You can't really single out just one track on this album. It's more about creating an overall mood. Ideally there would be no track breaks on this album. Fantomas tried doing that but it didn't really work. It would for this. Plus, they're German.
Well that's it for tonight kiddies. I've got a few cans of beer and a mound of candy to eat (where the fuck are the trick-or-treaters? When I was their age we were out in force, dammit! Nowadays everyone is too scared from watching the news to let the kids go out) and some bad movies to watch. May the night fires and blood sacrifice of Samhain bring us a healthy crop next year! HAIL!