Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Halloween Fun, Part 1

One thing about me that some of you might not know is that I hosted a radio show in college called Music for Monsters.  This show consisted of horror-themed music (particularly punk, metal, and psychobilly, but really all kinds of things) interspersed with scary stories that I read on air.  It was a lot of fun and I'm glad I didn't leave my small, liberal arts college without giving college radio a try, but mostly what I've taken away from it is a large collection of Halloween-appropriate music to play all month long.  I'll share some of my favorites with you here.  Everyone knows Michael Jackson's "Thriller" and the classic "Monster Mash," but here are a few unexpected options to spice up your Halloween party (or just a playlist to get you in the mood).

1) The Misfits' "Halloween" is an obvious choice, and I love that song, but so many of their songs work just as well for this occasion.  Another one of my favorites is "Skulls," but I listed that one on my punk favorites list.  Instead, I offer you "Ghouls Night Out."

2) When it comes to creepy music, you really can't do much better than The Cramps.  A little bit garage rock, a little bit rockabilly, and completely weird, it's almost too hard to choose just one song.  I've picked "Rockin' Bones" from their "Psychedelic Jungle/Gravest Hits" album, but I also almost always put "I Was a Teenage Werewolf" on my Halloween playlists.

3) The Meteors are a great psychobilly band and if you're having a Halloween party (even if it's a party of one), you'd be remiss not to include "Graveyard Stomp" on your playlist.

4) "I Was a Teenage Zombie" by the Fleshtones is another classic that I played early on my show

5 and 6) So, in the 1950's and 60's, there was a trend of horror/sci fi movies and music that followed it (which is how we got songs like "The Monster Mash").  There are seriously like a billion of these cheap, little rock n' roll songs about Martians or Frankenstein's monster.  In fact, one of my favorites is "The House of Frankenstein" by Big Bee Kornegay...
OK, one more!  "Shudders and Screams" by Ben Colder...

7) But not all great horror music is vintage.  There are a lot of fun, contemporary songs to choose from as well.  Let's say you want to have a dance party.  I've got you covered.  Here's a song that was playing at Dorney Park when I went for their haunted houses two weekends ago, "Kill Everybody" by Skrillex.
Rihanna's "Disturbia," Kanye West's "Monster," "She Wolf" by Shakira, and "Big Bad Wolf" by Duck Sauce are also good choices.  Every single Die Antwoord music video is the stuff of nightmares, but I can't tell if the songs would be creepy on their own or not.

8) For fans of serial killer thrillers like The Silence of the Lambs, GreensKeepers' "Lotion" is a good, unusual song.

9)Another punk favorite is "Army of Zombies" by Lars Frederiksen & the Bastards

10) And just for fun, here's the title song from the Steve McQueen movie The Blob to round out our Halloween playlist.

In other news, I finally found a real job!  I was beginning to get really discouraged, and then all of a sudden, I had some options.  I'm working in an office that primarily writes and prints airline menus.  So it doesn't exactly use my degree, but I do feel like I'm using some of my skills, and the main thing is that I get to wake up every morning, put on respectable adult clothes, and earn a real salary with benefits and everything.  Given the nature of airlines, my co-workers are very international and I find that exciting.  In my cubicle and the surrounding cubicles, I hear English, French, Russian, Arabic, and I'm always looking at other languages on the translated menus.  Working full-time means I still might not post more than once a week, but I do have some other Halloween-related posts stored away for the upcoming weeks.

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