Monday, October 17, 2011

Bad Moon Rising-A Halloween Mix


This is the first of two Halloween mixes coming down the pike this month.  This one focuses more on the 1970's and 1980's, though not exclusively.  The next one will be more 1950's and 60's.  Get your demons out, tis the season.

1. Bad Moon Rising- Creedence Clearwater Revival-American bands in the 1980's from the Minutemen to R.E.M to Sonic Youth (who went so far as to name a record after this song) rediscovered and celebrated the records of CCR. The first time I saw R.E.M. live on the Fables of the Reconstruction tour, they played Creedence nonstop before the show and covered at least two of their songs during the set.  CCR peppered their records with a swampy hoodoo sound and the occasional foreboding lyrical theme, like this one, works well in the Halloween context. The weird thing about this one is that musically its so upbeat, doesn't match the lyrics at all.

2. Wolves, Lower- R.E.M.- Less immediately obvious for this type of mix is R.E.M., but their early albums, particularly Chronic Town, had a slightly menacing and creepy Southern Gothic feel.  I love all the weird sounds and ambient touches Mitch Easter threw into the mix on this EP.

3. Mrs. Alves- John Carpenter- As far as sequels go Halloween II, scripted but not directed by Carpenter, is a solid genre film, not groundbreaking like the original, but enjoyable for what it is.  But the soundtrack, this time played on synthesizer rather than piano, is as good, if not better than the original.

4. Jack On Fire- Gun Club- Speaking of Hoodoo. "New Orleans, at the Mardi Gras, I was dancing in a costume made of straw, some Creole boy was lying dead, I used his blood to paint the costume red."

5. I'm Insane- Sonic Youth- Clip below is live in the Mojave desert from the Gila Monster Jamboree in January 1985.  Also on the bill were Redd Kross, the Meat Puppets and Psi Com fronted by a pre-Jane's Addiction Perry Farrell.

6. Left of Reckoning- R.E.M.- Spooky little bit at the end of the second side of Reckoning.  Video of "Time after Time" below.

7. Bar-B-Q Pope- Butthole Surfers- The live take below is interesting, not so much because Gibby is naked and too distracted or fucked up to actually play, but because its so damn early (82 I think), primitive and Gibby looks like John Boy from the Waltons or Ferris Bueller's friend.  A friend of mines Dad coached him in high school basketball and when asked simply said "he was not to be trusted".   I didn't realize Paul Leary sang some of these songs till recently, lovely guitar playing.

8. I Think of Demons- Roky Erickson-  No shit you do!  Years ago my friend Chris juxtaposed the Elevators "I Had To Tell You" with Roky's "Two Headed Dog" on a cassette mix to illustrate the deterioration ("fear I'll lose my spirit" for real) of the man, what neither of us realized at the time was that the Elevator's lyrics were primarily the work of Tommy Hall ( and actually in the case of "I Had To Tell You" the lyrics were written by Tommy's wife Clementine) while Roky was always a horror fan with demons and monsters on his mind.

Clementine Hall
9. TV Set- The Cramps- What's a Halloween mix without the Cramps (rhetorical)? They'll cut your head off and put it in their TV Set.

10. Chainsaw- The Ramones- The first two Ramones album had a lot of horror b-movie action what with this, "you should never have opened that door", "glad to see you go" and "i don't want to go down the basement".  Below Los Ramones live in Houston.

11. Murder on the Moors- Thee Headcoats- Very Joe Meek/Lord Sutch especially with the howling wind at the beginning and end.  Good stuff.

12. Nightshift- Siouxsie & The Banshees- booga booga!  The Doors have much to answer for, I guess. I wonder if Robert Smith is wearing his high top basketball sneakers in this clip, I can't quite tell.

13. Halloween- The Misfits- Like the Cramps these guys and Halloween are a natch. "Once again the Misfits but first Jerry wants to say hi to his Ma."  They'd morphed into more of a thrash band by 1983, the time of the clip below, to the detriment of a lot of their songs.

14. Death to Our Friends- Sonic Youth- Sometimes with this band it's better when nobody bothers to sing.

15. Sonny's Burning- the Birthday Party- "hands up who wants to die" heh, great way to start a song - "flame on!"

16. Fire in My Bones-13th Floor Elevators- "there's something living deep inside my bones" - the other?

17. Something (Live)- The Butthole Surfers- live version trumps the original on EP for sheer ferociousness. The Buttholes moved to Athens GA in the mid 80's in order to "walk in Michael Stipe's footsteps". I bet they scared him too.

18. Old Man Kensey- R.E.M.- So yes I have an agenda to re-contextualize R.E.M. as spooky.

19. Sinister Purpose- Creedence Clearwater Revival- Another great track and evocative title from Green River.

20. Hallowe'en- Sonic Youth- Kim Gordon is creepy to me, she's got some kind of reptilian mating thing going on here with some cat pulling some weird moves on her- "slither up to me, falling on the ground, twisting around".  Some chicks dig creepy, whatcha gonna do.

21. You Should Never Have Opened That Door-The Ramones- Reminds me of a Dennis Wheatley book or at least a movie based on one, specifically The Devil Rides Out, recommended for your Halloween viewing. Another fun one is The Dunwich Horror based on the H.P. Lovecraft story and starring Sandra Dee and Dean Stockwell.

The Devil Rides Out
The Dunwich Horror

22. Laurie's Theme- John Carpenter- More creepiness from the second Halloween film.

23. Don't Fear the Reaper- Blue Oyster Cult- Carpenter used this song very subtly in the first Halloween movie.  If memory serves it's on the radio as Jamie Lee Curtis is driving around near the beginning of the film, its almost too subtle, but you have to admire his restraint as these days that kind of  music cue would be repeated ad nauseam and at high volume.

Check back next week for our next thrilling installment!!!!!

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