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Monster Shindig

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Monster Shindig by Danny Hutton

The last time I checked this was a fucking shindig.

But what is a shindig, exactly?

Well, Merriam-Webster defines shindig as follows:

 

ˈSHinˌdiɡ/

noun informal

  1. a social gathering with dancing
  2. a usually large or lavish party

Google definitions had this to add:

  1. a large, lively party, especially one celebrating something.

Now, if you listen to any of the turkeys over at Urban Dictionary, they’d all have you believe a shindig is a small affair, consisting of anywhere from 5 to 20 people. One bozo even suggests it can contain no more than 12!

That’s why Webster’s is Webster’s and these idiot kids are logged into Urban Dictionary from their mom’s laptop.

No one better try curtailing our shindig, particularly not because some dildo in the cafeteria uses it improperly. No, we’re going definitive with our socially lavish and lively gathering that’s celebrating something.

And around here, that something is Halloween, which encompasses jack-o-Lanterns, trick or tricking and and all sorts of spooky shit of a generalized nature. That definitely includes Monsters.

From Hanna-Barbera’s 1965 record of the same name, Monster Shindig looks to muscle in on Boris Pickett’s racket by throwing their characters Super-Snooper and Blabber Mouse into the mix, stumbling upon just this type of haunted jamboree.

The cat and mouse team doesn’t show up in the song however, leaving this bizarro tune free to roam around the streets on Halloween night.

So, lets have a party…big big big and kick-off the second half of our playlist right, with another kind of shindig, performed here by Danny Hutton, who some of you may know as one third of Three Dog Night.

Bring a ghoul-friend and go berserk!

 

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The Monster Mash

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The Monster Mash by Bobby “Boris” Pickett and The Crypt Kickers

Around Halloween, dozens of internet outlets will cough up a dozen or so songs they think you ought to play at your Halloween party. The more enterprising sort might even toss you a couple you didn’t think of or haven’t heard before. The too-cool-for-ghoul-school nitwits’ll even attempt to buck convention with some underground hits which barely qualify and have little to no business playing at your party.

Invariably though, most Halloween playlist fakers (particularly the the oh-so-hip clique) tell ya the one thing you should never even consider playing at your party is The Monster Mash; so horrifically lame, so dreadfully passé.

I read one list that even had the audacity to claim it didn’t conjure up any feelings of fright. Are you serious? It’s a novelty song…about a bunch of monsters…having a party. Of course it doesn’t conjure up any feelings of fright you fuckin’ nimrod, it’s a joke.

They also went on to suggest I play Disturbia by Rhianna. 

They shouldn’t be allowed to make Halloween party playlists and they certainly shouldn’t come up on the first page of a Google search.

Moreover, they included The Freaks Come Out At Night by Whodini. Who-fuckin-Dini! They have a song called The Haunted House of Rock, which is played at a Halloween Dance in a movie titled Trick Or Treat. F minus to your bullshit suggestions.

These people are idiots. Don’t listen to them.

Is The Monster Mash played out? Of course it is. It’s 50 fucking years old and the only time anyone ever plays it is at Halloween.

Can you’re Oct. 31st spare 3 and half measly minutes for The Monster Mash? Yes it can and you should take off your fucking mask and hang your head in reverence for the Halloween National Anthem. The fucking heathens…..skip The Monster Mash….skip your passing interest in a holiday that didn’t need your bogus suggestions. Can’t even find The Shindig in a Google search on the matter and I get these bozos telling me to pass on The Monster Mash.

Ok, if you’re offering up 10 suggestions, I can seeing glazing over it in lieu of a few songs that people are less familiar with. Should have made it 13 songs and showed a little class. Even still, what’s 13 songs? You throwing a party for an hour?

Saw a list of 25 once. Could have just made it 31 and been a bit more festive. Still ain’t handling the job of party DJ.

That’s why Halloween Shindig exists, to rebuke these johnny-come-latelies and offer up a list of serious suggestions; to encompass all and handle the task at hand. Does anyone need a 12 hour Halloween playlist? Probably not but it’s here and growing longer each year. I hope to one day have 24 hours worth so your Halloween couldn’t possibly fit anymore music.

You only need to fill 4 hours? We’ll hook you up 3 times over again. Only want a party filled with Monster Raps? No problem. Here’s 2 hours worth.

Is Love Is A Lie very Halloweeny? Not at all but it’s in Friday 4 when Crispin Glover dances like an idiot and that’s the kinda Halloween party some people are throwing. Not your Shindig? There’s 230 other songs to pick from but it should be represented, just like The fucking Monster Mash should be represented.

To hell with your non-festive, non-referential garbage pop. Play that shit at your wedding. Tonight is Halloween and you should be playing the goddamn Monster Mash.

 

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The Munster’s Theme (with lyrics)

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The Munsters’ Theme (with lyrics)

by Jack Marshall & Bob Mosher

Everybody loves The Munsters’ foot stompin’ surfy theme, but Jack Marshall’s tune actually had some lyrics to go with. Written by the show’s producer Bob Mosher, this version of the theme was never featured on the show.

However, thanks to the album At Home With the Munsters, fans are given a chance to hear this more typical sounding theme.

It may be a little slower, and definitely not better, but it does feature some clever lyrics and even a nod to our hallowed holiday. Shindig approved!

I led the track it with a clip from The Munsters’ Revenge, a TV movie produced in 1981 which actually takes place around Halloween, and features The Munsters at 2 different Halloween parities. Finally.

Because, every evening is Halloween, at The Munsters’!

 

 

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The Munster’s Theme

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The Munsters’ Theme by Jack Marshall

Speaking of iconic, it’s high time we talked about the most iconic family in all of horror-dom, The Munsters.

Though only lasting 2 seasons, Herman, Lily, Grandpa, Eddie and Marylin Munster have lingered on, long past their short stint on the airwaves to become some of horrors most beloved characters.

With such talented actors as Yvonne DeCarlo, Al Lewis and Fred Gwynne hamming it up in such great costumes and make-up, it’s not hard to understand why the show has remained so wonderful to watch and still manages to capture new generations of viewers.

So loved are The Munsters, they’ve been revisited and recast more times than just about anything in the genre, with 5 separate actors playing Herman, Grandpa and Lily, and 7 stepping into the role of Eddie. Marilyn still has the most though, at 9, including 2 actresses (Beverly Owen and Pat Priest) during the show’s initial run. That’s pretty crazy.

However for fans, these revisits have run the gamut from quaint and acceptable (1981’s The Munster’s Revenge) to somewhat watchable (1995’s Here Come The Munsters) to the flat-out cringe inducing (the ill-advised, ill-conceived and ill-received The Munsters Today.) The latter (being a rebooted, sequel-series that aired from 1988 to 1991) somehow managed to stay on the air an entire season longer than the original show, though only producing roughly the same number of episodes.

While each installment has something of merit (The Munster’s Today does feature a rather good turn from Howard Morton as Grandpa) nothing quite matched or lived up to the series. Even 1966’s Munster, Go Home! (the closest to actually feeling like the show) is hampered by the decisions to film in color, recast Marilyn and lose the laugh track.

All that said, perhaps the most iconic aspect of the show is its oft played, oft covered and oft imitated theme song composed by Jack Marshall. If you’ve ever seen the un-aired (and colorized!) pilot for the show, you know just how instrumental Jack’s theme really was.

Instantly recognizable, it’s one of the great television themes of all-time, and just about every rehash (including Munster, Go Home!) has either failed to include it, or used some seriously bastardized version (The Munsters Today) that feels egregious.

Though they were changed a bit between seasons 1 and 2, I’m not quite sure which I honestly prefer most. I’ve included the season 2 theme on the Shindig because I believe it’s the one most often referred to, covered and imitated. Also, The Los Straitjackets’ version appears later in playlist, and that definitely has a distinctly Season 1 sound.

So, let’s spend some time on the Shindig with America’s First Family of Fright, The Munster.

 

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Morgus The Magnificent

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Morgus The Magnificent by Morgus & The 3 Ghouls

Chances are, if you grew up in New Orleans between the years of 1959 and 1989 (and maybe even later) you’re familiar with local legend and House of Shock host Morgus The Magnificent.

Perhaps the most prolific host, Sid Noel’s seminal mad scientist still gets syndicated airplay down in the Big Easy, where the good doctor has one hell of a loyal fan base.

So much so that hometown hero Dr. John, who most famously speculated that he was “in the right place, but it must have been the wrong time,” cut this tune about the doc back in the early 60’s.

Released under the pseudonym band “Morgus and the 3 Ghouls,” Dr. John pays tribute to medical contemporary and self proclaimed 38th degree mason Dr. Morgus and his late night House of Shock.

Morgus also has the honor of being one of a few hosts to have his on movie. “The Wacky World of Dr. Morgus” finds our titular physician creating a Batman: The Movie style machine which turns people into dust and then back into people again.

So sit back with the 2 docs, and enjoy this old piece of Horror Host history.

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Happy Halloween

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Happy Halloween by Zacherley

Perhaps the granddaddy of all Horror Hosts, John Zacherle performed as Roland (later Zarcherley in New York) as Philadelphia’s host of Shock Theater in 1957.

In addition to being one of the most iconic personalities of the genre and one of its earliest originators, Zarcherley also released tons of spooky music during his career as a Horror Host.

Just in time for #60, here’s the Cool Ghoul himself wishing us all a very Happy Halloween.

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Dracula’s Daughter

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Dracula’s Daughter by Screaming Lord Sutch and The Savages

British rocker Screaming Lord Sutch is a pretty spooky cat. Check him out.

That’s pretty spooky.

He also made some spooky music, too.

Like this tune that I’m filing under the Monster Song category, as he isn’t explicitly detailing the plot of the 1936 sequel to Universal’s classic Dracula.

He pretty much just uses the title as a jump off point for a crazy story about a girl named Mary that bites him in a graveyard. A girl who’s pops just happens to be Dracula.

In addition to this music, he also founded a totally legitimate British political party called The Official Monster Raving Loony Party.

He also hung himself in 1999 following his mother’s death, and years of clinical depression. Now that’s pretty spooky.

But what the 3rd Earl of Harrow left behind was a lot of a fun garage tunes and some perfect Shindiggin’ material.

Bookended with clips from Dracula’s Daughter just for good measure.

The Shindig hopes you’re resting in peace David Sutch, you spooky sonofabitch.