"Bela Lugosi’s Dead" by Bauhaus // Live at Coachella (2005)
One of the highlights of my live concert attendance history, is seeing Bauhaus - almost thirty years into their career - absolutely own the Coachella stage while being sandwiched between Weezer and Coldplay on an unusually mild Saturday night, in the desert, at the end of April in 2005 (oh, i was a young and beardless boy). The band’s set opened with a crackling performance of their goth rock classic, “Bela Lugosi’s Dead”, in which Peter Murphy (then approaching the age of 50) performed the entire song, hanging from the scaffolding, upside down like a bat. It was an incredible amount of fun to watch the band storm through their set with a killer performance that never stumbled for a minute. Another highlight was seeing Murphy confidently head to the front of the stage, following a blowout finale of “Dark Entries” to announce, “You can say now that you were there!”. And I will happily say so. It’s Halloween, so why not break out a classic performance for the season and for the ages. Happy Halloween!
My apologies for not following through with all of my grand plans for this Halloween. Damn copyright laws and family tragedies shot holes all over the usual PMW Halloween celebrating. I suppose that I’ll just have to go extra batshit insane about it next year - or institute a “Halloween-in-March” gameplan. Whatever the case, I hope that everyone is having a fantastically spooky Halloween!
Now, let’s get back to playing music around these parts.
"The Attic" by The Marshmallow Ghosts // The Marshmallow Ghosts (2011 // Graveface Records)
With Halloween falling on a Thursday this year, it can often fall on the previous weekend to carry the bulk of the celebration. This does not mean that the good day is behind us and if anything, it means that we’ve still got time to send out some spooky vibes before the official day. Few places manage to put forth a special Halloween vibe like Graveface Records, who have a special weapon up their sleeve in the form of The Marshmallow Ghosts (made up of members of Dreamend, Hospital Ships, Casket Girls, Lady Lazarus, and Black Moth Super Rainbow). For the past several years, they Marshmallow Ghosts have crafted a new release for each coming Halloween season. Each time drawing inspiration from the autumn atmosphere and the memories of important Halloweens of the past. The result is never a generic attempt at capturing a metal sound or some kitschy spook-house sound, instead the band manages to create something genuinely dark, spooky, and fun. “The Attic” is a perfect example of what the band does best - crafting a swirling dark dream pop gem that uses organs, buzzing synths, crashing drums, fuzzy guitars, and choral vocals to send home the playfully eerie Halloween goodness. Highly recommended!
THE SOUNDS OF HALLOWEEN // a mixtape for The Halloween Empire
It’s the last weekend before Halloween so naturally, there will be many a party taking place this evening. I’m cutting it a little close here, but I thought it would be a good time to break out some longplay mixes that offer a special soundtrack for a spooky night on the town. This particular mix originated on a Halloween themed blog that I helped with a couple of years back and given the timelessness of many Halloween favorites, I thought it might still be worth a listen. The entire mix is filled with classic Halloween themed surf rock go-go jams, eerie post punk tracks, haunting dream pop gems, and all sorts of other goodies. The tracklist is not up at the Soundcloud link, but if i remember correctly, you’ll hear treats from:
Cults // The Fresh & Onlys // Jay Reatard // Wolf Parade // Joy Division // Pictureplane // Grimes // Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti // Ghostland Observatory // Crystal Castles // Ministry // Siouxsie & The Banshees // The Ramones // Dead Man’s Bones // Echo & the Bunnymen // Bauhaus // North American Halloween Prevention Initiative
Share the Halloween goodness and send the mix to a friend or reblog for all to enjoy. Get out there and have a tremendous time. Be safe and make sure there’s no razor blades in your cocaine or heroin in your candy apples. HAPPY HALLOWEEN!
"Dracula’s Daughter" by Beach Day // Originally by Screaming Lord Sutch (Original 1964 // Cover 2013)
Halloween is just around the corner, so I’m going to take every opportunity that I can to share the music of the season. Beach Day are game for some Halloween treats, as they have put their garage pop/ surf rock spin on the Screaming Lord Sutch monster jam, “Dracula’s Daughter”. The original is an absolute gem of the old school monster party songs - featuring all the goofy spook-house noises and the lyrics that basically tell a playfully scary story about being in love with a monster (or in this case, the monster’s daughter). Beach Day attacks it head on and picks up the pace in the process, crafting a jangly Halloween anthem that’s part 60’s girl group, part sunny, surf pop bash. The end result is a great little song that will sound excellent pumping out of the speakers at your Halloween house parties. You can download the track for free at Beach Day’s Facebook page.
"Seance" by Tender Bats // Halloween Compilation No.1 / Rituals (Out 10.8.13 via Snowbeast Records)
Oh! Hell! This is something special. The good fellas over at Snowbeast have been readying a Halloween compilation entitled, "Rituals", which is set to drop tomorrow. As of this moment, you can sample the dark and eerie beauty “Seance” by Tender Bats. It’s a song that’s swimming in layers of spooky ambiance that is built from foreboding post rock guitars, chilling walls of noise, and distant, haunting vocals. It’s an excellent first taste of the goodness that awaits. Pre-order the cassette now at the Snowbeast Store and check back tomorrow at the Snowbeast Bandcamp for the digital release.Other artists include Cemeteries, Seismograph, Camp Counselors, Field Mouse, Psychic Twin and more!
TREEHOUSE OF HORROR XXIV Couch Gag // By: Guillermo Del Toro
Surely, it’s been made readily clear that I’m a huge Halloween junkie, and despite this blog revolving around music 99.9% of the time, I have to post this non-music, very-halloween-y clip from this year’s Treehouse of Horror. I don’t watch The Simpsons the way I did growing up, but I never miss a Halloween special, and this year’s special features an opening couch gag created by Guillermo Del Toro. Naturally, it’s pretty fucking amazing and seeing the various characters of Springfield inhabit Del Toro’s world of monsters and Hollywood horror history. So, please forgive the odd non-music post and enjoy something that is just downright wonderful in every creepy crawly way. Bonus awesome for Lisa’s descent into the world of Pan’s Labyrinth.
"Bela Lugosi’s Dead" by Dog Bite // Originally by Bauhaus
We’re about six weeks out from Halloween, and that means that we’re in prime position to start playing our favorite sounds of the season. One of the all-time great tracks to break out for this time of year is the iconic goth masterpiece, “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” by post punk/ goth pioneers, Bauhaus. This year, we can thank the guys in Dog Bite for whipping up an absolutely killer cover of the the eerie classic. The Atlanta based band has managed to paint with the lines of the original, while still giving it enough of their own brand of chilly electronics to make it stand out. You can download the track right now from the Carpark Records’ Soundcloud Page.
"The Hearse Song" by The Marshmallow Ghosts // The Marshmallow Ghosts / Corpse Reviver # 2 (2011)
It’s Labor Day weekend and in my mind, that means it’s time to break out the Halloween decorations and to start breaking out the music of the season. The Marshmallow Ghosts make it easy to celebrate the coming season without making it overtly obvious. They manage to bring all of the atmospheric spookiness that comes with music associated with Halloween, but also wrap it up in a dreamy, shoegaze/fuzz-pop package. Here, the Graveface Records band even manage to turn the classic creepy poem, “The Hearse Song”, into a full on track that is as infectious as it is eerily appealing. It welcomes the haunted sounds of the autumnal season without resorting to childish jokes. Grab a free download of the track from Treat Viinyl. You have to love a band that openly admits that they “only really exist to listen to whilst trick or treating at age 30”.
"Das Modell" by Wampire // The Hearse b/w Das Modell (Available 3.5.13 via Polyvinyl)
I’m not sure if it’s intentional or not, but Wampire knows just how to crank up the volume on my Halloween love. On their excellent track, "The Hearse", they brought the eerie organs and driving beat that sounded like some beautifully weird collaboration between Oingo Boingo, Wolf Parade, and John Maus, and here on that track’s B-side, they inject their brand of spooky-synth-punk into a Kraftwerk jam from thirty plus years ago. It’s another killer treat from a band that I’m always excited to hear more from - especially considering my penchant for anything that reminds me of the most wonderful time of the year - Halloween.
"Walk Me Home 2" by Memory Tapes // A Halloween Mixtape (2012)
It’s Devil’s Night and you’re probably going to need some sort of eerie music to help soundtrack your creeping. Luckily, Memory Tapes is back this year with another Halloween mini-mix to provide your ears with Halloween goodness. Here you will find a longplay track (just under 14 minutes) inspired by old horror film soundtracks - loaded with eerie synths, and hushed, creeping beats. It’s an excellent listen for the Halloween season, but hell - it’s so good that you could just use this to soundtrack any of your late autumn nights.
"Day 2 (Await)" by Blood Cousin // Last Night I Walked With a Zombie (Split) (2011)
For the past couple of years, Furious Hooves has been releasing splits for Halloween. Last year saw the first release, a split between Mumbledust and Blood Cousin, which saw both bands tackle dark folk tracks that celebrate the eerie music of the season. “Day 2 (Await)” is one of those tracks - the one from Blood Cousin - and it’s a pitch black beauty that sounds like the somber ballad of a low fog rolling in over graveyard. It’s melancholic guitar barely enough to rise the lovely, hushed vocals out of a whisper. Highest recommendation.