"The past keeps knock-knock-knockin' on my door,
And I don't want to hear it anymore."
At this time of year, one of my favorite things to do is to "troll" on hypem.com to see what cool Halloween songs are out there. I don't know if I'm too early, or if people aren't feeling it this year, or what, but I haven't been having a whole lot of success with that. Instead, I've been involved in a far more laborious process of trying to find the random song here or there that might have some tenuous connection to our most battered holiday.
But labor when searching for music usually equals fun, so I'm not complaining. Trying to build songs around a common theme is yet another way of discovering new music, and if you only have one way of locating new stuff in 2011, you're definitely missing out.
People try to mess with Halloween more than any other holiday, I guess because its roots are essentially not of the world of light. All of that darkness--plus the ghouls, goblins, vampires, demons, werebeasts, black cats, pumpkin people, and men and women dressed as provocative version of same in bars and at costume parties--scares those who are convinced that the world should be a safe place.
Halloween has become a night of unjustified terror for parents. The "trunk or treat" phenomena is the best current example of the fear paranoia that surrounds this holiday. Just tonight, the waitress at our local sports bar, a pretty sleazy place in a lot of ways, was extolling the virtues of "trunk or treat," calling it "a safe alternative, especially for young children." But that would imply that regular trick or treating is somehow unsafe, that urban legends about razor blades in apples and other things are somehow true. They aren't. Shit, the terrors in our neighborhood are the freaky Christian woman who makes children recite a Bible verse in order to get candy and the dentist's house that gives out toothbrushes.
So, if it seems like the wind is out of the Halloween sails this year, that's probably the reason why. Today's parents, the same ones who won't ever let their children's hands get dirty, have co-opted the simple joys of children walking house to house to collect unhealthy food from their neighbors. Heck, even back in the 60's, my parents made us bring the candy home so they could look at it and see what they wanted us to have or didn't. That's just parenting. But to take away the opportunity for children to enter the chaos, the harmless debauchery of Halloween, I don't think that's parenting at all. That's something else.
But, enough of that. I started off thinking about music. I think I found some pretty good stuff, songs that were sent to us, an old Lou Reed favorite, new things from other people's blogs. My thanks, as always, to those other blogs and the discoveries they provide us with whenever I have the time to look around.
Of course, along the way, I was bound to come across some songs that I liked that had nothing to do with Halloween at all, and those are represented here as well.
I hope there's a little something unplanned for your Halloween, a little something that causes a small fright or catches you off guard. And, just for the record, it's not my mix that I'm calling "Halloween-ish," it's the holiday itself, times being what they are.
I hope you enjoy this collection of songs that have everything and nothing to do with Halloween.
Harry Manx and Kevin Breit--"Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep" (mp3)
Laura Stevenson and The Cans--"Halloween, pt. 1 and 2" (mp3)
Monarchy (feat. Britt Love)--"You Don't Want To Dance With Me" (mp3)
Wolf Parade--"Ghost Pressure" (mp3)
Little Hurricane--"Give 'Em Hell" (mp3)
Guided By Voices--"The Unsinkable Fats Domino" (mp3)
Halloween, Alaska--"Empire Waist" (mp3)
Daisy McCrackin--"I Think I'm A Ghost" (mp3)
Nada Surf--"See These Bones" (mp3)
The Boxcar Lilies--"The Ghost Tree" (mp3)
Mighty Moon--"Vampire Plans" (mp3)
Lou Reed--"Halloween Parade" (mp3)