Picking up where I left off in our quest to discover the music that perfectly encapsulates the creepiness that is October, why don’t we get our dancing shoes on a bit. After all, dancing monsters is a time honored tradition. (see Monster Mash, etc. More on that soon.)
Let’s get a little disturbed with a Rihannatrack that’s both eerie and always makes me think of creatures dancing in fog in a cemetery. Tell me you didn’t envision that too 😉
And let’s pay tribute to Mamma Monster herself, Lady Gaga, fitting because not only is she just overly freaky herself (and proud of it) but she’s currently starring in this season of American Horror Story.
Remember to post any of your suggestions for the perfect October playlist in the comments section. Stay scary!
Well, Thanksgiving is this weekend. That magical time of year where you are practically required to stuff your face as much as humanly possible. It’s a glorious thing, and one of my favorite parts of fall.
But you know what else October is good for? HALLOWEEN! Yes, it’s still 3 weeks away, but I’m STILL EXCITED!
October is a special month, when you think about it. Very rarely do two major holidays converge on the same four week period. And this month is when you truly start to feel that the summer is past and that the transition to winter has definitely taken hold. The air is crisp, the leaves are turning, and there’s a vibe in the air. It’s hard to describe this vibe; it’s vibrant and fresh, but also melancholic and…yes, let’s face it, creepy. There’s a finality in the air, a sense of decay and death, and not just because Halloween’s coming; it’s in the very air and trees around us. It’s no wonder just about every civilization that has a festival of the macabre has it around this time of year. Winter’s coming, and back in the day it wasn’t a guarantee that everyone was going to make it through, so the world gets a little scary leading up to it.
So, as humans are wont to do with things that scare us, we have some fun with it. We have our harvest and then we party hearty in costumes, visit Wonderland for mazes that make you jump and scream, and watch scary movies (Click here for a great article on the appeal of the Horror genre). And since music is always the soundtrack to our lives, I always put together a playlist or two that really tries to capture the spirit of the season.
Case in point; this song. This is Nick Cave and the Bad Seed’s 1994 track “Red Right Hand”. I’ve recently rediscovered it; I vaguely recall it from the Screamsoundtrack back in the day, but it’s been around since then. The original or various covers have cropped up in soundtracks like Dumb and Dumber, Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant, Hellboyand the upcoming Crimson Peak. Chris Carter said the track was an inspiration for the show X-Filesand the song recently cropped up again as the theme for the BBC series Peaky Blinders. And since I’ve found it again it’s in heavy rotation on my iPhone. Let’s listen…
Chimes? Check! Organs? Check! Creepy story? Check! Borrowing from Milton’s Paradise Lost in reference to the Vengeful Hand of God? (“Should intermitted vengeance arm again / His red right hand to plague us?”) Check and check! Really, does it get much more October than this?
No, really, I’m asking. What songs make this spooky time spooky for you? I’ll be posting more ideas over the next few weeks so go ahead and comment with your picks. Any other staff that want to put up their own creepy songs as posts should absolutely go for it.
Scar Tissue is a memoir from one of the world’s most renowned lead singers. In this book, Anthony Kiedis of the Red Hot Chili Peppers reminisces about his life up to now. It all starts in Kiedis’ birthplace, Grand Rapids in Michigan. He then moves to Hollywood with his divorced father, where he is first introduced to drugs and girls and theft. After he graduates high school, his drug addiction worsens but he creates the legendary band known as the Red Hot Chili Peppers, who is already selling out arena concerts after releasing their fourth album. Throughout the book, we meet Kiedis’ many girlfriends, each of them eccentric and different: Haya, Jennifer, Jaime and so on. He recounts many fond experiences, ranging from his first time meeting his bandmates to his sudden leap from homelessness to stardom. We see him and his fellow bassist Flea endure the come and go of countless band members, as well as the deaths of a lot of very close people. Scar Tissue is a peek into his mind.
As a fan of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, I really enjoyed reading this book. Anthony Kiedis is many things: a womanizer, a poet, a drug addict, and you could see these things in his writing and experience. Now that I listen to the band’s music, I understand how Kiedis got the inspiration for his songs and the meaning behind them. I feel more connected to him and the band, in a way. Even if you aren’t a Red Hot Chili Peppers fan, you could still read this book just to get an idea of what the 90’s rock scene was like. You might even start listening to the band. Scar Tissue is one of the best music memoirs out there. Playing in a band is a long and bumpy journey.
New soul music is something that I struggle with at times. And by “new soul music” I mean soul music made since that period when EVERYSINGLESOULARTISTCREATED THE BESTMUSICEVER! Seriously. If you ever want to get people dancing at a party – thrown on some Motown.
But new soul music, it gets tricky. All lot of the new stuff I really like, but much of it – like Sharon Jones or Raphael Saadiq – are throwbacks to the earlier sound. Now they’re excellent throwbacks, but nothing that reinvents the style.