Hey, it’s a Hallowe’en mix!
Though I’ve made up Christmas playlists for the last five years, I’ve never made a Hallowe’en mix, or expected to. But this comes by request of good old Ken Goken,1 longtime MvC! reader and former resident Bible college student of the defunct Jay Pinkerton forum, who’s having a Hallowe’en party and asked what kind of soundtrack I might make up. I didn’t know he was even allowed to celebrate a wicked holiday like Hallowe’en, but I’m happy to deliver exactly 80 minutes of somewhat spooky seasonal songs, perfect for burning to a CD and leaving no space to spare.
It’s more or less bookended by a couple of offerings from Stephen Merritt in two of his various guises (the second is from the soundtrack to the Lemony Snicket movie; author Daniel Handler happens to be Merritt’s friend and accordion player). Beulah covers the Talking Heads (coincidentally, You Ain’t No Picasso recently posted the bootleg whence this track comes, so do yourself a favour and grab it while you can). There’s also a trio of songs about murder, from the perspective of both the murderous and the murdered, and a quartet of songs about monsters. Also, indie rock superstars band together to spoof Band-Aid with a seasonal charity single aimed at wiping out Hallowe’en.
And the final word comes from one of the few true monsters who can claim credit for a few pop music compositions, an evil psychopath whose delusions of grandeur outstripped his limited musical ability, a creepy, cold-eyed manipulator who masterminded a ruthless spree of the foulest villainy in Southern California in the 1960s while managing to achieve a footnote in pop music history with a few disputed contributions to some Beach Boys songs. I speak of course of Mike Love, who takes the lead on the band’s cover of “Monster Mash” from the 1964 Concert.2
- Gothic Archies — “City of the Damned”
- Concrete Blonde — “Bloodletting (The Vampire Song)”
- The Ramones — “Pet Sematary”
- Echo and the Bunnymen — “People Are Strange”
- The Violent Femmes — “Country Death Song”
- Nick Cave and Kylie Minogue — “Where the Wild Roses Grow”
- The Smiths — “Suffer Little Children”
- The Cure — “Lullaby”
- Siouxsie and the Banshees — “Halloween”
- Bauhaus — “Bela Lugosi’s Dead”
- The 13th Floor Elevators — “Night of the Vampire”
- Donovan — “Season of the Witch”
- Warren Zevon — “Werewolves of London”
- R.E.M. — “I Walked with a Zombie”
- Dream Syndicate — “Halloween”
- Beulah — “Psycho Killer (live)”
- North American Halloween Prevention Initiative — “Do They Know It’s Halloween?”
- The 6ths — “The Dead Only Quickly”
- The Beach Boys — “The Monster Mash (live)”
1. Ken’s last name isn’t actually Goken; that’s his forum handle. But I feel weird using his real name here and besmirching his reputation by association with all my usual potty talk. The man went to Bible college, for Christ’s sake. (I’m not swearing — that’s exactly why he did it.)
2. Because of the deep, spooky voice he’s affecting in place of his usual nasal tone, and because Brian jokingly refers to Mike as “Boris” Love in the intro, my girlfriend initially thought Boris Love was an actual Beach Boy she hadn’t heard before. Then she felt like a real dummy.
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