If you haven’t guessed by now, I go all out for Halloween and Christmas. My house is covered with decorations on the inside and out (it’s an inherited genetic disease), our house and cars are scented with the pertinent holiday smells and I listen to seasonally appropriate music. I have wasted way too much time tracking down Halloween-related music and here are some of my favorites…
Oingo Boingo is one of those bands that I actually like almost every song on their albums. Pretty much all of Oingo Boingo’s Discography is Halloween appropriate and I’m not even talking about “Dead Man’s Party”. Seeing as Danny Elfman is the soundtrack composer of 90% of the Halloween movies in existence, it’s not so surprising that his songs from the Oingo Boingo days were pretty much all about death, destruction, insanity and distopia. If you really want to get a real variety of some of their best, “Boingo Alive” is my favorite.
Listening to Alice Cooper was a good way for a kid to rebel in the 1970’s. He was made to be controversial by design. His shows were outrageous and horror themed but it was all good fun. One of my favorite Alice Cooper stories was the one about biting the head off of a chicken. According to Alice this is what really happened:
“After an unrehearsed stage routine involving Cooper and a live chicken garnered attention from the press, the band decided to capitalize on tabloid sensationalism, creating in the process a new subgenre, shock rock. Cooper claims that the infamous ‘Chicken Incident’, which took place at the Toronto Rock and Roll Revival concert in September 1969, was in fact an accident. A chicken somehow made its way on stage during Alice Cooper’s performance; not having any experience around farm animals, Cooper presumed that, since the chicken had wings, it would be able to fly. He picked it up and threw it out over the crowd, expecting it to fly away; the bird instead plummeted into the first few rows of the crowd occupied by disabled people in wheelchairs, who reportedly proceeded to tear the animal to pieces.
The next day, the incident made the front page of many national newspapers, and Zappa phoned him to ask if the story, which reported that Cooper had bit the head off the chicken and drunk its blood on stage, was true. Cooper denied the rumor, whereupon Zappa told him, “Well, whatever you do, don’t tell anyone you didn’t do it”, obviously recognising that such kind of publicity would be priceless for the band.”
Alice is decidedly less controversial now than he used to be with all these new-fangled “death metal” bands hanging around. These days Alice has a Radio Show, Owns a Baseball Themed Restaurant called “COOPERTOWN” and golfs in his free time. Now Alice says controversial things of a different nature like :
Dirtbag… Anyway, before the days of golf carts and chicken fingers Alice had some pretty awesome creepy songs. The album “Welcome to My Nightmare” is great thing to listen to on your way to break into an abandoned Insane Asylum. But my favorite Alice Cooper song for this time of year is “Halo of Flies” from the album “Killer”.
Brown Bird is a fairly recent discovery for me, I really like their stuff but they kind of creep me out. There isn’t a lot of info about them out there but it’s some guy named David Lamb and some girl named MorganEve Swain singing old-timey folk songs that sound like they were recorded in a cemetery using instruments made out of human bones.
So far my favorite album is their latest “Fits Of Reason”, unfortunately David Lamb is currently battling Leukemia so they are on a temporary hiatus.
Like Oingo Boingo’s “Dead Man’s Party”, Warren Zevon’s best stuff is overshadowed by his best known hit “Werewolves of London”. Warren Zevon was a unique guy, he lived a crazy life and wrote some crazy music. His Dad was a member of the Russian Jewish Mafia and his Mom was Mormon. Needless to say Warren had an interesting perspective and it bleeds through in his music. On the subject of death Warren said that his Mormon background influenced him in that death was spoken about matter of factly around the dinner table. Warren was fairly obsessed with death and the macabre. Two of his most death obsessed albums were called “Life Will Kill You” and “My Ride is Here” they were released 2 years apart. Ironically Warren was diagnosed with terminal cancer shortly after “My Ride is Here” was released. He announced his diagnosis on The David Letterman Show. During the interview he noted, “I might have made a tactical error in not going to a physician for 20 years.” It was during this broadcast that, when asked by Letterman if he knew something more about life and death now, he first offered his oft-quoted insight on dying: “Enjoy every sandwich.”
If any of you 4 people reading this are interested further you can also check out my Halloween playlist on Spotify:
Posted in Art, Halloween and tagged Art, Halloween, Music by maroonbeard with no comments yet.