Category Archives: Horror

31 DAYS OF HALLOWEEN MUSIC. DAY SIXTEEN: BURN THE WITCH

Now seems like a good point in this experiment to mention Dracula’s Ball. It’s the event around which the entire (Philadelphia) year revolves. This Halloween it’ll feature Clan of Xymox and my good friends Ego Likeness (whom I first saw at Dracula’s Ball roughly 15 years ago).

Fittingly, here’s Ego Likeness with a very Halloween-appropriate song.

Phun Philly Phact: Facebook, which sold our info to actual Nazis (not Grammar Nazis nor Soup Nazis) took the moral highground and banned this video for Dracula’s Ball.

31 DAYS OF HALLOWEEN MUSIC. DAY FOURTEEN: ONCE MORE WITH FEELING

look, people; I love the Ramones as much as you do. The were true originals and I probably wouldn’t be a musician today if had never donned leather jackets and shouted “1,2,3,4!”. That said, some of their later work seemed kind of rushed (maybe the had an instinctual sense that they weren’t long for this world). For example, Dee Dee didn’t even show up for the recording of “Pet Sematary” (which he wrote); the producer played bass on it and added the synth later. Maybe if the Ramones had been allowed a little more time to craft the song, they would’ve ended up with something akin to Helalyn Flowers‘ cover version – which I think really captures the spirit of the tune.

See you tomorrow.

31 DAYS OF HALLOWEEN MUSIC. DAY THIRTEEN: THE POW WOW MAN

Fun fact: When my father was young, the sound of an air raid siren would cause him to have a nose bleed. This was shortly after WWII – and at the dawn of Cold War. Dad’s no fool; he knew what those sirens meant. In an effort to provide my father with the best possible medical treatment that they could afford, my grandparents sent for a Pow Wow Man. Rural Pennsylvania is creepy as shit, folks.

This brings us to entry number Lucky 13 on our count-up, The Skeletal Family with “Black Ju Ju”.

31 DAYS OF HALLOWEEN MUSIC: DAY TWELVE: STRANGE THINGS HAPPEN

From the haunted year of 1965, here’s Dickie Lee with “Laurie (Strange Things Happen)”

Last night at the dance I met Laurie,
So lovely and warm, an angel of a girl.
Last night I fell in love with Laurie –
Strange things happen in this world.
As I walked her home,
She said it was her birthday.
I pulled her close and said
“Will I see you anymore?”
Then suddenly she asked for my sweater
And said that she was very, very cold.
I kissed her goodnight
At her door and started home,
Then thought about my sweater
And went right back instead.
I knocked at her door and a man appeared.
I told why I’d come, then he said:
“You’re wrong, son.
You weren’t with my daughter.
How can you be so cruel
To come to me this way?
My Laurie left this world on her birthday –
She died a year ago today.”
A strange force drew me to the graveyard.
I stood in the dark,
I saw the shadows wave,
And then I looked and saw my sweater
Lyin’ there upon her grave.
Strange things happen in this world.

31 DAYS OF HALLOWEEN MUSIC. DAY ELEVEN: LADY FINGERS

For some of you younger readers, this might be hard to believe, but songs about killers used to dominate the airwaves. Heart had “Magic Man”, which was about Charles Manson. Then there were the Boomtown Rats with “I Don’t Like Mondays”; their ode to mass shooter Brenda Ann Spencer. And, of course, David Soul had huge hit with “The Ted Bundy Twist”.

With that in mind, let us now turn to the Punk band that should’ve been bigger than Nirvana – Killdozer. Here’s their 1984 ballad about a hard-working Wisconsin farmer.

Prairie home Companion is bullshit, people!

See you tomorrow.

31 Days of Halloween Music. Day Ten: Some Pretty Spooky Shit

There was once a time when, if you wanted to see a horror movie, you had to settle for crap like Abbot and Costello Meet Frankenstein.

We’re lucky to live in a Golden Age of Horror that has given us Innkeepers, The Babadook, The VVitch and Hereditary. The variety of Dark Music have also expended greatly in the past few decades. When I was young, if you wanted to hear something scary, you had a choice between Alice Cooper, Kiss, or David Soul.

Somehow, this all leads us to The Bestial Mouths [I’m not sure how we got her, but we did, so let’s just enjoy it for what it is.] whom I’ve always considered the Unofficial Band of Halloween. There are some bands that have to work at being spooky, but –somehow- it just seems to come naturally to The Mouths.

See you tomorrow.

31 DAYS OF HALLOWEEN MUSIC. DAY NINE: GOLGATHAR THE DESTROYER IS MY COPILOT

Quickly; name a band which formed in the late 1960s, included a member named Ozzy Osbourne, were known for their occult imagery, and had a song titled “Black Sabbath”? If you guessed Black Sabbath, you are, of course, correct. If you guessed the Fabulous DeFranco Family, you’re tripping balls, my friend. But if you answered with “Coven”, you are also correct – Satanically correct!

Coven is one of those bands I wish more people knew about (They’ll be playing the Troc on10/25). They’re fronted by the amazing Jinx Dawson (who hasn’t aged a day since 1968. Seriously. It’s like she made some sort of bargain with…never mind). I bet you think the legendary and completely brilliant Ronnie James Dio was the first perform to salute an audience with the “Devil Horns”. Nope. It was jinx.

So, it is which much demonic happiness that I present to you, from their 1969 album Witchcraft Destroys Minds & Reaps Souls, Coven performing “Wicked Woman”.

See you tomorrow.

31 Days of Halloween Music. Day Seven: What the Hell is Going On Here? (Part One)

I’ve been involved in the music industry (it’s called an “industry” because of the usually high number of job-related deaths) for over 30 years – the majority of which I’ve spent bitter and disappointed. In in perfect world (ie. MY world), Tex and The Horseheads would’ve been bigger than Madonna and “The Fab Four” would refer solely to Throbbing Gristle.

That said, every now and then a music trend bubbles up that gives me hope for the future and one of those trends is taking place at this very moment right under your earbuds. Finally, after over a decade hipster lumberjacks and what I’m just assuming are those big-eyed paintings come to life dominating every corner of the industry, darkness has returned to the world music! OK, maybe not all of music world, but it has firmly entrenched itself in Europe. And Europeans are really good at making dark music. Exhibit A: Ash Code.

Ash Code are from Italy and that’s really all I know about them despite have purchased many of their songs and played them pretty regularly on my radio show. Since I’m unfamiliar with their biography, I’m just going to make one up: Ash Code live in an abandoned villa high in the mountains of that part of Italy where most missing persons cases are not mob-related (that should narrow it a bit). Ash Code have never toured in America because they have to rest on their native soil.

See you tomorrow for Part Two.