It's the week before Halloween, which just so happens to be one of my favorite holidays. I've always been attracted to the off-kilter, especially when it comes to music. Who doesn't like happy songs about tombstones and werewolves and coffins and severed heads? I've been dying to unearth some of the sinister sounds of the season... and so I present you with a Halloween list of 13 ghoulish tunes.
1. "Fresh Blood" by Eels
(Mark Oliver Everett of Eels)
Hombre Lobo, Eels' latest album (released June 2, 2009), is Spanish for "werewolf." See picture above. Enough said.
Watch for the wolf man howl around minute one.
2. "They Are Night Zombies!! They Are Neighbors!! They Have Come Back from the Dead!! Ahhhh!!" by Sufjan Stevens
A lovely choral ode to zombies... sort of like a placid, brain-dead indie version of Orff's Carmina Burana.
"They Are Night Zombies!! They Are Neighbors!! They Have Come Back from the Dead!! Ahhhh!!"
3. "Graveyard" by Chad VanGaalen
Death is okay! Graveyards are fun! Let's dance and sing!
4. "Halloween Song" by Evangelicals
"Halloween Song" is more fun than pop rocks, wax lips, and sugar sticks in a treat bag. It comes complete with ghost "oooo-ing."
5. "Shankill Butchers" by The Decemberists
There's nothing like lulling your kiddies to sleep with tales of the Shankill Butchers and their sharpened knives. Mind your mother's words, indeed.
6. "Coffin Trick" by Atlas Sound
Bradford Cox is Atlas Sound. (You can read about the new album, Logos, at Colossal Youth.)
He tricks out his treats with experimental noise, and somehow it all works.
7. "October Is Eternal" by Of Montreal
If there was a film soundtrack about techno glam poppers stuck in perpetual Halloween, it would sound like this.
"October Is Eternal"
8. "Ghost Song" by Patrick Wolf
Patrick already has his Duran Duran costume all picked out.
9. "Every Day Is Halloween (Ministry Cover)" by The Postmarks
The Postmarks put their sweet-voiced stamp on a Ministry classic.
"Every Day Is Halloween"
10. "Remember Severed Heads" by CLUES
What's with the severed heads? I really haven't a CLUE.
"Remember Severed Heads"
11. "The Mummy" by Benji Hughes
With a name like Benji, you're pretty much born looking like a lost member of the Allman Brothers.
Don't get the mummy drunk.
12. "Devil Town " by Bright Eyes
(Conor Oberst, aka Bright Eyes)
Conor Oberst is an American alt rocker in Devil Town.
13. "Werewolf" by Cat Power
(Chan Marshall, aka Cat Power))
Cat Power sings to the moon in this chilly ballad for the lycanthropic.
Your suggestions for morbid masterpieces I'm missing?
Private Jack's Mannequin Show at The Blue Note, 11/8
Thanks to commenter Jane for the following tip:
Jack Daniel's is sponsoring a private show at The Blue Note on November 8 featuring Jack's Mannequin. All you have to do to get on the guest list (assuming there are still available seats) is visit the Jack Daniel's Studio No. 7 website, enter your birth date, click on "Columbia," and fill out an event registration form.