Yeah, it's been a while since the last update. We'll be back to our regularly scheduled programming soon, but in the meantime, the new Halloween CD is done -- and it's even got a couple tracks from Dayton artists on it. If you'd like a copy, let me know. Or you can just download the music and the cover and burn one for yourself.
By the way, if you take the second option, make sure you set the burning method to "disc-at-once" or reduce the forced pause between each track to zero (0) seconds. As usual, I used a cross-fader to bleed the tracks into each other, which will sound really annoying if there is any forced pause between them.
JONES HALLOWEEN CD 2008
Well, another spooky-ass year has come and gone. If you know me, then you already know why this one right-royally sucked complete and total ass! And if you don’t, just trust me that it did. But why should that stop me from compiling yet another goofy compilation of horror movie trailers and scary musical oddities from the past and (near) present?
Yes, once again it’s that time of year. Halloween: the favorite holiday of horror movie buffs, goth freaks, and others with undiagnosed personality disorders. Put on a costume, throw a party, and for god’s sake call Hollywood and ask them to stop making those ridiculous Saw movies!
- "All Night Orgy of Sex and Violence..." - Okay, I was lazy on the intro here. This is yet another clip from "Nasty," the best-ever episode of the '80s British sitcom, The Young Ones (just like the one that opened last year's disc).
- "Zombies," The Lillingtons - From the band's final release The Too Late Show (2006).
- "I Put A Spell on You," Screamin' Jay Hawkins - According to Mr. Hawkins, when this song was recorded in 1957, the (uncredited) producer "brought in ribs and chicken and got everybody drunk, and we came out with this weird version. I don't even remember making the record. Before, I was just a normal blues singer. I was just Jay Hawkins. It all sort of just fell in place. I found out I could do more destroying a song and screaming it to death."
- "Run Away! (Nightbeast Theme)," The Nightbeast - Homegrown talent here. Dayton's own Nightbeast (a.k.a. Nick Testa) has been slowly building a career over the last few years as sort of an awkward suburban Ladies’ Man with a Casio keyboard. I caught his act a couple of years ago at the now defunct Elbo's down by the Greyhound Bus Station and laughed my ass off. If you like this, check out more of his stuff at http://www.myspace.com/thenightbeast before the joke gets too old.
- Dr. Black and Mr. Hyde - Given the subsequent track here, I was tempted to go with one of the many Blacula radio spots I've got in my arsenal. But Oakley thought this one was just a scream! And of all the blaxploitation film spots I've heard, this is the one that always leaves me on the floor--your momma too...
- "Soul Dracula," Hot Blood - In pop music, I think the difference between a musical fad and a musical genre is that a fad spawns a far greater number of one-off novelty tracks by mock-up artists that never really existed. And if I'm right, I think I'm also right that disco is the ultimate musical fad of all time. Seriously, name the subject: Halloween, Christmas, politics, Star Wars, the starting lineup of the 1978 Houston Oilers... I'll give you even money that disco has a joke song to fit the occasion. Although not widely known, "Soul Dracula" by Hot Blood is a divine treat for obscure, late-'70s pop culture dorks like me.
- "Frankenstein," Gene Defcon - Picked this up on e-music. More low-budget camp here from former members of Bikini Kill, Tight Bros., From Way Back When, Bangs, Mocket, and the Primadonnas. "Frankenstein" can be found on this project's 2000 album Come Party With Me.
- "Would You Be So Hot (If You Weren't Dead?)," The Damned - In their heyday, The Damned approached punk rock with a sense of serious humor that went far over the heads of even their biggest fans (check out Machine Gun Etiquette, their best album, if you don’t believe me) . This selection from their 2001 reunion album Grave Disorder doesn't quite measure up to the surreal, driving noise they produced in the old days, but it does feature Patricia Morrison (of The Gun Club) on bass, and although Dave Vanian and Capt. Sensible may have lost a step (or two) over the last twenty years, they're still doing pretty well.
- Psycho 1965 re-release radio spot - Although this radio trailer is not from the original 1959 release, it follows the tradition of all original promotion for Psycho in that it features no media from the film but simply commentary by the director.
- "Psycho Repairman," The Humpers - From the band's 2002 release Positively Sick on 4th St.
- "Anything Can Happen on Halloween," Tim Curry - From the 1986 straight-to-cable video production of The Worst Witch. And yes, it really is that Tim Curry. Read more about it at http://blog.wfmu.org/freeform/2006/10/im_all_excited_.html.
- "Spooky Swing," Parados - From their 2007 instrumental album Haunted.
- "Keep Watching the Skies" - Clipped from the original, Howard Hawkes classic The Thing (from Another World) (1951), which is actually not as good as John Carpenter’s 1982 remake.
- "Man from Mars," The Neanderthals - The overworked psychobilly genre becomes no more popular at any other time than it does at Halloween. And because it's so ubiquitous this time of year, I try to keep the psychobilly on these compilations to a minimum. But a couple tracks always seem to sneak in here. This one is from the Neanderthals' 2005 release Neanderthals in Space.
- "Witches' Rave," Jeff Buckley - The first of three artists on this Halloween compilation reaching out to us from beyond the grave. Jeff Buckley's brief but notable rise from cover artist to modern rock icon was tragically cut short by his semi-mysterious death by drowning at age 30 in 1997.
- Phantasm radio spot - Perhaps the most surreal horror film ever (except for Suspiria, I guess), Don Coscarelli's Phantasm still freaks me out today almost as much as it did in 1979. I think that's probably because its trademark funereal imagery has somehow gone without imitation in the last 30 years--so to me, at least, it still looks freshly creepy. If you've never seen the film and you're looking for something that'll freak you out until Christmas, this one is worth a rental this Halloween season.
- "Haunted House," Hasil Adkins - As a child in 1940s West Virginia who didn’t know about a then-new invention called multi-tracking, Hasil Adkins grew up listening to Hank Williams records under the impression that Hank was playing all the instruments at the same time. Thus upon embarking on his own musical career, Adkins taught himself to be a one-man band. His first attempt at a musical career ended in the late '60s after issuing singles on a dozen minor record labels, each of which disappeared into obscurity. Almost literally disappearing himself, Adkins spent the next fifteen years living in his mother's home but still committing thousands of original recordings to ever-growing piles of reel-to-reel tape strewn about the living room. As the story goes, one of the founders of Rhino Records picked up a scratchy Hasil Adkins 7" at a garage sale in the early '80s and spent the next 18 months tracking down the artist. It took little convincing to get Adkins to release many of his home recordings on Rhino, record new material, and tour in support of it all. Although credited with less than 6 days of formal education, Adkins did speaking tours for college audiences on his unique approach to musical artistry and continued to play and record music until his bizarre death (10 days after being run over in his front yard by a complete stranger on an ATV) in 2005.
- "I Want to Be Evil," Eartha Kitt - Near as I can figure out, the Greatest Catwoman of All Time recorded this signature tune some time before 1962. Thanks to Melissa for suggesting this one.
- Horror of the Zombies radio spot - Since its first release in 1974, this Spanish film has drifted from drive-in screens to late-night cable to VHS and now to DVD under at least a dozen titles spanning six languages. I've never seen it, but the number of titles this one has had leads me to believe it's quite the snoozer. But the radio spot makes it sound cool, no?
- "Zombie Prostitute," Voltaire - Though copping a French name, this solo artist has been releasing his peculiar blend of Tejano, roots, and indie rock music since 1998. "Zombie Prostitute" comes from his 2007 release, Ooky Spooky.
- "Saturday Evening Ghost," Frankie Stein & His Ghouls - Like Hot Blood (see track 6), Mr. Stein & His Ghouls are largely fictional--although here the fiction comes from the kids music industry rather than disco. The name of Stein and his crew appears on a string of similar recordings through the late '60s on the Power Records label, an imprint of Peter Pan--and if you're above the age of thirty and you never had a Peter Pan record when you were a kid, you were quite deprived (though that's probably also the reason you're not a complete dork like me today--I had a million of 'em!).
- "Halloween," Die Kreuzen - Not quite UN-sung, but perhaps only-a-little-sung, heroes of '80s hardcore punk, Die Kreuzen disbanded some time in the '90s. But all of their original recordings were recently re-released on CD by Quarterstick Records, including Century Days, from which this metallic cover of John Carpenter's movie theme is taken.
- Willard radio spot - Yeah, the plot sounds dorky: wimpy young man who gets picked on by everyone befriends a horde of rats, who enthusiastically follow his orders to tear his enemies to pieces. But believe it or not, this one's pretty good as cheap horror films go. By the way, I'm sorry, but I just don't see how Bruce Davison's frantically understated performance as the title character in this 1971 classic can be improved upon--even by Crispin Glover (in the utterly superfluous 2003 remake). So do yourself a favor and rent the original.
- "Demons Are A Ghoul's Best Friend," Ghouls' Night Out - From this all-girl group's 2006 album The Mourning After.
- "Halloween," Dead Kennedys - Originally released as a single in 1982, you can now find this track on any number of DKs reissue comps. But please remember that the other money-grubbing shitballs in the band wrested control of many of Jello Biafra's (lead singer's) songs a few years ago, so if you go looking for DKs recordings to buy, make sure you get them straight from Alternative Tentacles (Jello’s label). As one commenter on e-music put it, "If you don't, the terrorists win!"
- "Rubber Room Rock," The Spectres - Anybody remember when you used to be able to find a seemingly endless array of obscure (but good) indie rock on MP3.com, all available for free and legal download? Mmmmm... Well, those days are over now, but the legacy lives on. I picked up this little beauty (and another called "Did It for Elvis!" which I put on the 2002 Halloween disc) in 2001 and have been sitting on it all these years.
- "Graveyard Blues," The Gits - I always try to close these things with something a little bit strange or maudlin... mournful sometimes? Recorded on a handheld cassette player at Dayton's Canal Street Tavern way back in 1986 (and later released on the Private Lubs cassette, which was reissued in 1996 as Kings & Queens), this track features the voice of the lovely Mia Zapata, whose band The Gits came up in this town and then moved to Seattle in 1988. Although poised on the edge of indie rock stardom, The Gits' career ended tragically in July 1993 when Ms. Zapata was abducted, raped, and murdered as she walked home from a late night at the recording studio. Although remaining at large for nearly ten years, her assailant was identified and sentenced in 2004. Zapata's death has been the basis of episodes of a half-dozen TV crime shows and inspired the foundation of Home Alive, a non-profit group that raises money for and holds classes on anger management and women's self defense (http://www.homealive.org/). Most recently, her life has been the basis of the independently released Gits Movie (http://thegitsmovie.com/).