Cleolinda Jones (cleolinda) wrote,
Cleolinda Jones

Spook Music 2: The Spookening

The rest of the playlist: thirty-one songs divided into two sections, the generally creepy and Even I Can't Defend This as a "Halloween" Song. That is to say, songs that defied categorization, in... two categories.

General Menace

Section downloads, as individual links are running out:

>> General Menace 1 (Alice Cooper - Danny Elfman, MegaUpload)
>> General Menace 2 (David Bowie - Meat Loaf, SendSpace)
>> General Menace 3 (NIN - Siouxsie, SendSpace)

Definitely creepy, possibly funny or cheesy, but not really fitting a particular category of evil:

Alice Cooper, "Poison." Again with the '80s. God, I remember when this one was the talk of the entire fifth grade. Probably because the video, which we were all forbidden to watch, involved a lot of black lingerie that would clearly warp our tender minds.

Backstreet Boys, "Everybody (Backstreet's Back)." Okay, not so much general menace as general hilarity ("Am I sexual?" is probably the line that makes me laugh the hardest, with "Gonna bring the flava" a close second), and included for the sake of its Monster Mash-themed video, as several other songs are. Force people at your party to do the limpwristed faux-"Thriller" choreography if you can. Bonus trivia: Josie Maran, the young model getting snacked on by whichever Boy is supposed to be the vampire (I really should know which one, as one of the Boys is my seventh-grade math teacher's nephew, and it's probably him), ended up playing vampire bride Marishka in Van Helsing.

Billy Idol, "Eyes Without a Face." I didn't realize this was actually inspired by the movie Eyes Without a Face until it was pointed out to me that the background singers are saying les yeux sans visage, which is the name of the (French) movie in its native language. Bonus: A live Tori Amos cover of the song. The performance date is included in the file name; I don't know anything else about its provenance.

Chris Isaak, "Baby Did a Bad Bad Thing." I love the way it opens with the menacing guitar beats (bomps?). I very nearly put it under "Psychopaths," because whatever Baby did is clearly driving Isaak insane. Was also used in Eyes Wide Shut, back before Tom Cruise went bugfuck nuts. Meeeeemorieeeees...

Danny Elfman, "Main Titles" and "End Credits," Sleepy Hollow. I actually have a surprising lack of Danny Elfman in my music folder, now that I look--I have the songs from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and the aforementioned track from Red Dragon, and I think a track from Edward Scissorhands, and that's it. And considering how pervasive a composer Elfman is, that's saying something. Anyhoo, the two tracks included here are a pretty good overview of the soundtrack.

David Bowie, "Scary Monsters (& Super Creeps)." Personally, I am of the opinion that if you didn't have time to put together an actual Halloween playlist, you could just throw on whatever Bowie you've got and you'd be set for a party. This, however, is the only song I had on hand that I could actually shoehorn into a literal Halloween theme.

Depeche Mode, "Walking in My Shoes." I love almost the entire Songs of Faith and Devotion album, but this one and "In Your Room" are probably my favorites. Okay, and also "I Feel You." But if you want to know why I specifically chose this song for this playlist, all you have to do is watch the video. Director was Anton Corbijn; came out in... 1995? It's one part forbidden nun-priest love, one part purple velvet, one part ice skating, one part inexplicable little people, three parts Hieronymous Bosch, and 100% WTF.

Garbage, "Subhuman." Do you ever imagine things when you're listening to a song? Like, persistent visual associations, like an informal music video in your head? I get some really odd ones sometimes, and I feel like I should tell you what I see with this song so you'll know why I included it. For some reason, the music makes me think of driving through a tunnel--a silver, almost futuristic tunnel--with colored lights, mostly red, yellow, and orange, in a very black night. I don't know why. It just does. But lyrics make me think of Aztec sacrifices ("Burn down all your idols, destroy your idols," "Come down from your altar..."), for some reason. You put the two together, and you end up with a bloodthirsty Aztec priestess who has somehow woken up in the (late?) twenty-first century, learned to drive a really sleek car (maybe a Jaguar, even), and has decided that this new world is going to suit her just fine.

Meat Loaf, "I Would Do Anything For Love." I include this solely because the video is a masterpiece of melodramatic cheese with a Phantom of the Opera/Beauty & the Beast theme.

Nine Inch Nails, "Closer." If a creepier video has ever been filmed, I don't want to know about it. (Note: that link may be an uncensored version of the video, because I'm pretty sure the crucified monkey wouldn't have made it onto MTV... yeah, I'm watching it now, and there's nudity. It's uncensored. You know what? The censored version is actually creepier. I can't find it on You Tube, though, because all that comes up are fan vids. Sigh.)

Richard Marx, "Hazard." I know that Richard Marx is kind of a byword for '80s pop cheese, but come on, listen to it. It's actually a really lovely, creepy song. (Didn't they put out at least two, maybe three, versions of the video? If I'm remembering this right, the versions would have been that the narrator of the song 1) definitely killed the girl, 2) definitely didn't kill the girl, and 3) isn't revealed to have done it or not, and you just have to wonder.) Also, just to ensure that you think I'm crazy, I'll give you another of my mental images: there's an instrumental bridge in the middle of the song, and for some reason, I've always imagined the narrator slow-dancing with the drowned girl. On a dock. After she climbed back up out of the water. It's more sad than creepy, the way it plays out in my head.

Shakespear's Sister, "Stay." Another song where I don't really know what's going on, but that second female vocalist is clearly evil incarnate.

Sinister Ducks, "March of the Sinister Ducks." Or so it says in the track information. Neil Gaiman had this for (legal!) download on his blog at one point. Don't quote me on this because I'm not 100% sure, but I have heard since then that the vocalist may actually be Alan Moore. Alan frickin' Moore, y'all. Think of that the next time you pick up From Hell or V for Vendetta.

(Nasty and small, undeserving of life
They smirk at your hairstyle and sleep with your wife

Siouxsie and the Banshees, "Face to Face." If I'd had room, I probably would have thrown most of the Superstition album in as well. Just go get the whole CD--it's the one with "Kiss Them for Me," if you remember that one. One of the first five I ever owned, in fact. This track isn't on Superstition, however; it's actually on the Batman Returns soundtrack. I think it plays over the end credits, but if you listen very carefully, you can hear it playing in the background of the costume party. Excellent song.


Section downloads:

>> Atmospheric 1 (Afrika - Eleanor, SendSpace)
>> Atmospheric 2 (Iggy - Loreena, SendSpace)
>> Atmospheric 3 (Lo-Fi - Stones, SendSpace)

These can't really be defended as "Halloween" songs at all, but they sound appropriate in some way, and if any of them strike your fancy, you can include them on your playlist.

Afrika Bambataa, "Afrika Shox." Used in the dark techno club scene in Vanilla Sky, but has a genuine sense of foreboding about it apart from that. Highly recommended. (Yet another Tom Cruise movie. If we could get a Tom Cruise Being Very "Heterosexual" movie directed by Anton Corbijn with a Nine Inch Nails score, I'm pretty sure we'd have the scariest fucking thing ever put into theaters.)

Angelfish, "Suffocate Me." Shirley Manson's previous band; the song has a flat--deadpan?--tone to the vocals that we'll see again in the Rasputina track below.

Beck, "Diamond Dogs." Bowie cover that was allegedly used in Moulin Rouge (it's burned off my copy of the soundtrack CD, actually), but I'll be damned if I can figure out where in the movie it appears. The can-can dancers are referred to as "diamond dogs," and the phrase appears on a placard in the same scene, but I don't know if you actually hear the song. Of course, this is the same part of the movie that mashes up "Lady Marmalade" and "Smells Like Teen Spirit," so there's no telling what all's in there. Bonus appropriateness: lyrics include the phrase "Halloween Jack."

Bernard Herrmann, "Prelude and Rooftop," Vertigo. Fantastic air of menace from the first note on. I've always liked the Vertigo score because it has those blaring, menacing horns, but also a wistful, romantic undercurrent--I think someone once described the score as "swooning."

Edvard Grieg, "In the Hall of the Mountain King." Mislabeled as Wagner on the original mp3, for some reason. My copy's kind of crappy quality, so if anyone else has a better version, please to be ponying up.

Eleanor McEvoy, "The Fire Overhead." What's Following Me is a great album, if you ever feel like picking that up. Irish folk-tinged rock? Fiddles and drums and electric guitar, let's put it that way. I don't really know how to describe it, except that she's awesome. This particular track sounds like a cross between goblins dancing around a bonfire and the apocalypse. But a really fun apocalypse.

Iggy Pop, "Candy." Duet with Kate Pierson from... 1992 or so? If you really, really want to stretch it, you can claim that "candy" is Halloween-appropriate. I just like the noirish mood and the rain at the beginning.

Jonny Greenwood, "Moon Trills." Instrumental, no vocals, and completely terrifying.

Joy Division, "Love Will Tear Us Apart." God, I find this song so creepy for some reason. I think it's the weird, flat, distorted tone of the vocals. (At least, I hope that's distortion.) I think this one was also used in Donnie Darko as well.

Kylie Minogue vs. Massive Attack, "Slow Angel." Probably the best mashup I've ever heard, because it's relatively seamless--the two songs (Kylie's "Slow" and Massive Attack's "Angel") mesh incredibly well. In fact, I think I like the mashup better than either of the two original songs. Creepy and menacing. And hot.

Lloyd Cole, "Butterfly." For the man in your life going to the costume party as Humbert Humbert. Really creepy in its own way.

Loreena McKennitt, "The Mummers' Dance (remix)." More of a Celtic approach to Halloween, but you can't say that isn't fitting.

Lo Fidelity All Stars, "Battleflag." Dark, pulsing techno-ish song used to horrific effect at the end of the ER episode where Noah Wyle and Kellie Martin (the characters' names escape me, since I never watched the show much) get stabbed by a disgruntled patient.

Marilyn Manson, "Personal Jesus." Cover of the Depeche Mode song; Entertainment Weekly says Tilda Swinton would blast it--yes, the Manson cover--on the Narnia battlefield set to get into character for the White Witch, which is so badass I can hardly bear to contemplate it.

Phil Collins, "In the Air Tonight." '80s staple that I believe was used on the original Miami Vice TV show and I know was used in Risky Business, and certainly umpteen movies since. I think one of the reasons the song's lodged in the pop-culture subconscious is that we don't really know what, exactly, is in the air tonight, which kind of ups the menace factor. Bonus: Holly McNarland's cover.

Rasputina, "You Don't Own Me." A very... deadpan cover of the Lesley Gore classic. I kind of think that Wednesday Addams would have this in her CD collection.

Rolling Stones, "Gimme Shelter." God, this one's well-nigh apocalyptic, if you stop and listen to the lyrics.

As with the previous entry (vampires, werewolves and zombies, oh my), if you have your own recs, upload 'em and post links in the comments.

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Tags: halloween, music

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