Audio

Halloween

dead-kennedys_halloweenTRACK 140:

Halloween by Dead Kennedys

Halloween needn’t always be about ghost and goblins, right? Well, at least not according to Dead Kennedys front man Jello Biafra, who uses the holiday as a jumping off point to throw some criticism at the socially repressed who use Halloween as an excuse to dress up like an idiot and get drunk.

Your business suit and tie are your costumes, insists Biafra, satirically jabbing

But why not everyday?

Well, I somehow doubt your boss is gonna be too jazzed about you showing up to work everyday and getting hammered in a Batman costume.

Nor is that sexy cashier from the Jamba Juice gonna be too excited to go have dinner with some jackass dressed up like The Wolfman.

Well, what will they say?

Probably “You’re fired,” and “don’t ever call me again,” respectively.

Maybe that’s the right reaction. Maybe it just means you need a new job and a better girlfriend. Or maybe you’re the asshole. Maybe leave the crepe hair and capes at home like a normal person, idiot.

But I get Jello’s point,…to an extent.

It’s metaphorical, in its way and we could all stand to live less reserved lives and quit reserving Halloween as the one night to break out of our social conformity.

But is that what’s really happening on Halloween? Is that what it’s really all about? Are these people to whom Mr. Biafra speaks seriously stuffing themselves into a costume for work? Is Halloween really the night they’re their truest selves?  Should it really just be all the time? I doubt that, but maybe that’s the problem he sees.

Maybe we’re all so programmed into that 9 to 5 lifestyle that it’s no longer just a costume, but who we all really are now. Maybe that’s his gripe. Maybe he’s right.

I can’t say for certain, but that’s no reason to exclude it from a Halloween playlist. However, it can’t be included out of context just for saying “Halloween” a bunch of times either. A frank discussion should be had.

One thing I am certain he’s right about is that you better plan all week, all month and all year, cause some of you are really phoning it in with these costumes. But that’s a conversation for another song.

For now, let’s just enjoy the Dead Kennedys’ Halloween.

Happy Halloween, Weeners!

 

Audio

Tonight

return of the living dead2TRACK 139:

Tonight by SSQ

There’s a lot of reasons why everyone loves Return Of The Living Dead. There’s its great special FX, its endlessly quotable script, its moments of genuine fright, its fantastic soundtrack…

and then there’s Trash.

In the role that turned Linnea Quigley into a horror icon, Trash is the terminally insouciant, death obsessed, gutter punk exhibitionist who just can’t seem to keep her clothes on.img_7145

She also can’t seem to talk about anything but death, but I doubt there was one straight male horror fan in 1985 between the ages of 12 to 34 who gave one damn.

I love Linnea Quigley. She stars in one of my favorite Halloween movies of all time and appears in my favorite Christmas movie of all time. I love to see her in anything and I’ve sat through quite a bit of garbage (Deadly Embrace, I’m looking in your direction) simply because she makes an appearance.

You may not always get a Trash or a Suzanne (Night of the Demons) or a Spider (Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama) but you’ll always get Linnea. And whether she’s being cute and bubbly, or morose and sassy, she will always be refreshing compared to her surroundings.

This track from SSQ will forever remind me (and I’m sure countless others) of both Trash and Linnea and my first experience with the horror vixen, who takes almost as close a place in my heart as The Mistress of the Dark herself.

So, let’s get some light over here, Trash is taking off her clothes again.

X’s and O’s,

Halloween Shindig

Audio

Flesh To Flesh

ost_rotld2TRACK 136:

Flesh To Flesh by Joe Lamont

Return of the Living Dead 2 gets a bad rap. Granted, it’s pretty well deserved, but it gets a bad rap all the same.

Honestly though, in its defense, it had a full count walking to the plate: take one of the most beloved, successful and awesome zombie horror/comedies ever, which wraps itself up pretty fucking tightly and expand on it. Go!

Yeah it strikes out, but that was to be expected. At least it doesn’t get caught looking. It goes down swinging.

It’s never very dark or scary or serious (as the trailer led people to believe) nor is it ever terribly funny. Comedy is tricky and when it face-plants, it does so hard and loudly. It’s not quite as cringe inducing as its equally I’ll-advised contemporary, C.H.U.D. 2, but unlike its counter part you at least feel like your watching an honest to god sequel, despite how shitty that sequel may be.

One thing ROTLD 2 gets sort of right is the music. While nowhere near the iconic status of its predecessor’s, there’s some good tunes to be had on this soundtrack. Whether it’s Anthrax or Leatherwolf or this turn from Joe Lamont.

Being that this really the only thing the Shindig ultimately concerns itself with, Return of The Living Dead 2 gets its day.

Here’s Joe Lamont with Flesh To Flesh.

Audio

Ghostbusters

gb2TRACK 134:

Ghostbusters by Run D.M.C.

Since everyone got so pissed off this summer about the Ghostbusters remake, and even more pissed off about the new song by Fall Out Boy ft. Missy Elliot (definitely not featured on the Shindig), I thought we’d take a look at another Ghostbusters Theme reiteration that surely pissed off purists in its day.

I’ve said it before and I’ll probably say it again, but when it comes to Monster Raps, no movie’s got that shit on lock like Ghostbusters 2.

A prime example of this is Run D.M.C.’s Ghostbusters, which (as sacrilegious as it may sound) I actually enjoy a little more than Ray Parker Jr.’s seminal theme.

Don’t get me wrong, Ray’s original Title Track is an unrivaled classic, both for Halloween playlists and just generally speaking. It also serves as the basis for Reverend Run and Co.’s sonic sequel. This jam however is way less played-out, awesomely 8o’s in its own distinct way and just plain old fashioned ridiculous in the best way possible.

Sampled up with tons of clips of the boys bustin’ and schillin’.

You can click this glowing text to watch the official video. It’s pretty great.

So, who you gonna call?

You call the Ghostbusters, well that’s who you call!

 

Audio

The Beast Inside


Night Of The Demons 1988TRACK 133:

The Beast Inside by Dennis Michael Tenney

So it’s 1987 and you’re Kevin Tenney and you just made a crazy Halloween movie about kids getting possessed in an old abandoned funeral home.

It’s all edited; its fun, it’s funny, the gore looks great, Linnea looks great, Amelia looks great, the pacing is down, everything us shaping up to be a fine horror romp.

But something’s missing. Where’s the music?

What you need is an end credit tune that says everything you want to say in a decidedly late 80’s hard rock fashion. What are you to do?

You hire your fucking brother Dennis Michael Tenney, that’s what you do. Then you tell him “knock it outta the park bro,” because “everything’s riding on you.”

And then he gives you The Beast Inside...

…and it clears the fucking bases.

Composer of the main theme and the rest of the music from Night of the Demons that isn’t Bauhaus’ Stigmata Martyr, Dennis Michael Tenney knows his way around a hard rocking 80’s power ballad, and The Beast Inside is no exception.

It’s got the slow melodic verse followed by the chugging chorus. It’s got a weird demon voice saying “The Beast!” just before the solo tears in from nowhere. And it’s got the strangely vague yet vaguely epic lyrics.

What the hell is Dennis talking about here?

It plays more toward the figurative side of it’s double entendre that’s for sure, making a metaphor out of it’s title for the beast inside of all mankind. Then it throws in a bunch of vague cold-war anxiety just to let you know it’s being written in the mid-80’s. But if we don’t analyze it too much (which honestly, we shouldn’t even be doing) it makes for a pretty rocking coda to a movie about demon possession.

And it’s all lead in by a Halloween prick getting his comeuppance via a slice of ironic justice served up by his dear, doting wife. That’ll teach ya to shove razor blades in apples, ya old blowhole.

At #133 here’s Shindig All-Star Dennis Michael Tenney with….The Beast Inside!

 

Audio

Trick Or Treat

elvira_trick-or-treatTRACK 132:

Trick or Treat by Elvira

If you’re an Elvira fan like me, than you’re no doubt at least tangentially aware of her Halloween albums.

There are a number of them, the bulk of which feature the mistress herself singing on her own original tracks. They’re pretty great.

What you may notice however, is that while these Halloween albums feature lots of allusions to the holiday, Elvira herself only participates in songs tangentially related to Halloween itself. What gives?

If you’re like me and you administer a Halloween themed music blog, you may have even dug deep enough to find the many references to an actual Halloween song she sings called Trick or Treat. There’s even a couple of clips on YouTube of her performing the track. So where’s the damn song?

Who knows exactly, as it seems it was never officially released on any of her albums. However, The Shindig dug deeper still and purchased an episode of The Dr. Demento Show from October of 1983 that featured Cassandra Peterson as co-host.

As you’ll hear in the clip, The Doc mentions Elvira’s forthcoming album will be including original tunes, one of which they preview on the show, our white buffalo Trick or Treat. Why this never came to fruition is a Halloween legend of limited and miopic interest.

So, here it is Weeners! Enjoy.

 

Audio

Punky Punkin

punky-punkinTRACK: 131

Punky Punkin by Fran Allison and Ollie Fame

This strange dusty Halloween relic was written by Cy Coben and originally recorded by Rosemary Clooney (yeah, George’s Ma Dukes) back in 1950.

No disrespect to Mama Clooney but the Shindig prefers this version from 1952 recorded by Fran Allison and Ollie Fame. It’s a little sillier, a bit more up-tempo and generally more fun to listen to, in our opinion.

I always say “our.” Why do I do this? Who exactly is the “we” in this equation? I’m the only one here, so who the hell am I referring to, exactly? I think this is perhaps burgeoning psychosis, but I digress.

Looking online it seems a lot of people have memories of learning and singing this tune in grade school around Halloween.

I have no such memory.

In fact, I have no memories attached to this song whatsoever. I don’t even know when I first heard it, where I heard it or why it was even being played. It’s just been on my computer (and the playlist) for some years now, defying my temporal lobe.

I enjoy this song a great deal, though. It makes me happy when I hear it. It’s a nice little Halloween ditty that’s fun to play.

I think I may be the only one who feels this way however, for it’s a weird number that’s always sure to turn a head or two in the party crowd:

Angry Listener : “What the fuck is this nonsense? Is this a Christmas song or some shit?”

Me: “No, but it does kinda sound like one, huh? It’s just an old Halloween song about pumpkins. It’s for kids, I think.”

Angry Listener: “Well why the fuck are we listening to it then?”

Me: “Cause it’s Halloween and we’re at a Halloween party and she’s singing about a pumpkin that’s all stoked it gets to be a Jack-O-Lantern instead of a pie. Why else?”

Angry Listener: “Oh Yeah? Well this song punkin’ sucks. In fact, it can suck my punkins. How bout that?”

Me: “Go suck your own punkins, pal. Fran Allison is a sweatheart, you hedonistic dildo!”

This exact conversation (or an entirely less confrontational version of it) has happened every year with someone listening to this playlist since Punky Punkin’s inclusion.

Maybe this will happen at your party.

Or maybe it won’t because you wouldn’t be caught dead playing this kind of bullshit at your Halloween party.

That’s fine. In fact, that’s exactly what The Shindig is here for. To be a convenient one-stop hovel of Halloween hits where we talk about and provide Halloween song suggestions you can peruse or listen to or download and add (or not add) to your own party playlist.

You can’t honesty be expected to want to add all of them. Nor could you be expected to even listen to all of them much less like all of them. We wouldn’t begin to presume such things. But they are all here, ripe for the picking this harvest season.

But seriously though, if you don’t like this song you’re probably an asshole.