Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Best Halloween Music you have Never Heard

Go get your Halloween music… Go ahead, I'll wait… Got it?  Good, now go fling it in the closet. Why? Because this year the Haunted Gallery is making your Halloween playlist and I promise you it is the darkest, smokiest, sexiest, collection of Halloween Music you have never heard.  

Investing way more time than I probably should have, I have created a Halloween collection for all of you sinners and sinneritas. Yes, evil has never felt so good. ;)

Just as every good ghost story has its roots in folklore, each song in the playlist has its roots in folk music. Off-tune pianos, fiddles, organs, acoustic guitar, blues guitar, and harmonica… these are the instruments that give this playlist a distinctly vintage American folk sound, thus rooting it firmly to America’s shadowy, superstitious past.
I present to you the Haunted Gallery Halloween Music Playlist -  finally, a Halloween mix for adults...very badly behaving adults. Bon appetit!

The Haunted Gallery Halloween Music Playlist 

1. Closer - Kings of Leon
The haunting echo of the guitar coupled with the lead singer's voice makes this song an instant favorite. The song is rumored to be about a vampire who has been searching for is long lost love and can sense as he is getting closer to her.   

2. Phenomenon - Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Not to be confused with the similarly titled song by L.L. Cool J, this songs distorted organ and catchy chorus beg to be played at a Halloween Party.  

3. Bad Blood - Beck
After its ambiguous intro, this song settles into a nice "seedy Texas roadhouse" feel.  With bluesy riffs and dark lyrics, this song should be playing in a bar full of strange people.

4. Play with Fire - Cobra Verde
A minimalistic rendition of the classic by the Rolling Stones. The main line of the song, "Don't play with me cuz your playing with fire." sounds more like a dare than a threat.  

5. Evil is Going On - Jace Everett 
From the guy who brought you the theme song to True Blood, Evil is Gong On would fit perfectly in a Halloween themed burlesque act.Trust me, I've envisioned it many a time. :)

6. Werewolf - Cat Power
Basic acoustic, shivering violins, and Cat's smokey, 2am voice deliver a sympathetic, yet dark, tale of the conflicting duality of the werewolf.

7. Fresh Blood - the Eels
This is the coolest song on the playlist. Everything about it is laid back, and foreboding all at the same time. The lead singer's monotone delivery remains consistent until the moment he mentions the word "blood", at which point he appears to relapse into some primitive impulse. Whooo!  

8. Bleed to Feed - CC Adcock and the Lafayette Marquis
Another sexy Halloween song. The whole damn thing. 

9. What You Do to Me - BlakRoc
Keeping the party alive, this vintage/hip-hop joint has just the right amount of minor tonality and organ. Imagine a dark house full of ghouls, giant swinging chandeliers, and lighting raging through the windows, with this song on the stereo.

10. And When I Die - The Heavy
If George Thorogood and Screamin Jay Hawkins where spliced together this might be what it would sound like. The chorus is a little light for my tastes but the rest of the song more than makes up for it.

11. Mr. Splitfoot - Paris Motel
No song on my playlist exploits the noises from musical instruments in order to paint a terrifying narrative better that this one. If any song will give you nightmares, it is this one. One of my favorites.

12. Barton Hollow - The Civil Wars
Fully embracing their folk roots, The Civil Wars gives us Barton Hollow, a mournful lament of a sinister place where not even the preacher can save your soul. 

13. Bones - Little Big Town
From folk to country, Bones is has all the right criteria for our playlist. This song is the master of Halloween innuendo.  Listen to it and you will soon agree.

14. Swampblood - The Legendary Shack Shakers
With a nod to CCR, the Shack Shakers take our playlist from south to the deep south. This song might have a little voodoo in it. 

15. Howlin for my Baby - M. Ward
Another vintage sounding cover of a vintage song. This song applies the bass guitar in just the right places to give some lupine attitude to an otherwise even keeled tune.

16. Ain't No Rest for the Wicked - Cage the Elephant
If there is one song you have head on my playlist, this one is probably it. Nonetheless, Cage the elephant is unique enough to make the playlist and round out our spooky journey through the American south... for now.

17. Wolf Like Me - TV On the Radio
Fast paced, sexual tension disguised in werewolf metaphor. 

18. Rev 22-20 - Puscifer
When I said "evil has never felt so good", I was referring directly to this song. Originally from the Underworld Soundtrack, it takes a special talent to make lust sound this blasphemous. You're going to need a cold shower and a set of rosary beads after listening to this one.

19. Snake in the Grass- Vallejo
A great little song out of Austin, Texas. Snake Charmer's main guitar riffs have an unmistakeable Halloween vibe while the lyrics deliver our second warning of the evening to the ladies.

20. Diablo Rojo - Rodrigo and Gabriella 
Plunging way south of the border, our playlist picks up Diablo Rojo. Subtle in its nefarious qualities, this amazing guitar duet really shows its Halloween spirit when played in a room lit solely by flickering candlelight.

21. Frenzy - Screamin Jay Hawkins
How could you not love an creepy old song that sounds like it is being sung by Oogie Boogie from the Nightmare Before Christmas? When Screamin Jay comes on the radio, things get a little psychotic...

22. She's Not There - Neko Case & Nick Cave
A cover of the original by the Zombies. This version is faster and has a slight French/Creole undertone. Nick Cave makes any song sound creepy instantly.

23. The Amazing Sounds of Orgy - Radiohead
Everything in this song has an unnatural eeriness to it. If ghosts could write music, this is what it would sound like.

24. Where Did You Sleep Last Night - Jim Oblon
A unique cover of the haunting original by Leadbelly (not Nirvana) This song winds down the evening with mellow vocals and creepy off-tune guitar.

25. The Ghost Who Walks - Karen Elson 
A Gothic melody about a ghost who forever searches for her love... who just so happened to be the one who murdered her. Karen Elson just so happens to be a supermodel and is married to the lead singer of our next song...

26. Blue Veins - The Raconteurs
Dreary "Last-Call" blues echo throughout this song as Jack White sings his love song not to the woman, but to her blood. A good song for the end of your party.

There you have it. Please be sure to drop me a comment and let me know what you think, as I am always looking for feedback. J.P.


Sharon Day said...

Fantastic! I have to admit that every time I'm headed to the cemetery at night, I listen to Muse "Absolution." It just has this haunted churchyard feel to it. Love this playlist. You are brilliant!

J.P. said...

Yes, I should have mentioned earlier that this playlist is an ever-evolving creature and that I am always looking for similarly themed recommendations. I thank you sincerely for yours. I'm happy that you love it!

AllHallowSteve said...

Fantastic list.
I'd only heard 2 of the songs listed.
So great to discover new stuff.

merricat said...

A favorite aspect of the season is always compiling a new playlist. Although a few of yours have been on mine in years past, the majority are unfamiliar. Having a special affection for the Fox sisters story, I am especially excited about the Mr. Splitfoot piece. Thank you, thank you.

Galilla Sinatra said...

I know this is an old post but just wanted to let you know that you know that your comment on #5 - Jayce Everett, inspired me choose that song for a Halloween burlesque show we were doing in Second Life. I posted a video on youtube if you'd like to take a peek. (Second Life if a 3d virtual world).

Anonymous said...

Thanks, really enjoyed comming across these.