Friday, October 30, 2009

Boo!: Halloween Mix Tape Spectacular

Somehow, boys and ghouls, Halloween is nigh upon us already. I don't know how, either, but tomorrow night is once more my oh-so-favorite holiday of all holidays. I've already made plans to go commune with ghosts at a haunted plantation, and I hope you've got some killer plans yourself.

In the meantime, why don't you give the following songs a listen to help get you in the mood for some good old fashioned trick-or-treating. I've tried to put together a nice little compendium of all sorts of things that go bump in the night, and I hope you'll enjoy this heaping of songs about vampires and ghosts and blood oh my! Unlike my dear partner's zombie mix earlier in the month, this probably isn't the greates All Hallow's Mix you'll ever hear, but I hope it'll make your top 5...

I decided to kick things off with one of my favorite ghostly tracks, the Psychedelic Furs' "The Ghost In You." The stark synths and epic builds make this a glittering example of what made 80s music so amazing. It's also got that inherent touch of melancholy that characterizes so much of the best music. At least, in my mind.

mp3: The Ghost In You (Buy: Psychedelic Furs)

Next up, a lovely, lovely ballad to the undead. Pink Mountaintops are fantastic anyway, and this tender, acoustic guitar driven ode to vampires is a must on any Halloween mix. You can find it on their splendid new record, Outside Love.

mp3: Vampire (Buy: Pink Mountaintops)

I couldn't not throw in a zombie jam, so next on the list is the most fabulous Beat Happening's "Zombie Limbo Time." I love the juxtaposition of droll, monotonous vocals and such a hilarious song concept.

mp3: Zombie Limbo Time (Buy: Beat Happening)

Next on the Halloween docket is I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness, one of the multitudinous bands from Austin that I am pretty much in love with. They're also, in my humble opinion, one of the spookiest bands around. They manage, with their adaptation of moody English post-punk with a hearty dose of theatrics, to create a feel of ominous darkness in pretty much all of their music. It's mood music for damn sure. And it's great.

mp3: The Ghost (Buy: I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness)

A Halloween mix probably wouldn't be a good Halloween mix without a song about Halloween, so to the rescue comes The Dream Syndicate. One of the many reasons I love my former roommate, Chelsea, she introduced me to a number of great bands, TDS included. It's spare, 80s goodness, perfect for all of us music snobs. Use it to impress even the most discerning of your friends!

mp3: Halloween (Buy: The Dream Syndicate)

Mazzy Star makes an appropriate addition to the mix, because I find Hope Sandoval's voice to be one of the most mystifying and haunting this side of ever. "Fade Into You" might be their most famous, but there are some gems on all the Mazzy Star records, including this one.

mp3: Ghost Highway (Buy: Mazzy Star)

For the past couple years (thanks, Chelsea) I've been getting more and more into New Zealand bands. Sure, I've long had an appreciation for the new ilk, like Die! Die! Die! and Cut Off Your Hands, but the older ones were totally unknown to me. Flying Nun has to be one of the best labels EVER, I kid you not. How so much good music spawned from such a tiny country I'll never know. Goblin Mix's "Travelling Grave" is fitting on so many levels.

mp3: Travelling Grave (Buy: Goblin Mix)

Back in the day, I was HUGE into Britpop, as I'm pretty sure I've mentioned at least ten thousand times. I always had a soft spot for The Bluetones, and not only because I thought the Morriss brothers were beautiful. I enjoyed their melodic, delightful poppiness. And so, here they are.

mp3: Vampire (Buy: The Bluetones)

Sticking with friends from across the pond, I present to you Pete & The Pirates. My love for them is well known around these parts, and I feel their dark newish song "Blood Gets Thin" is an apt addition to this here mix. And oh, how wonderful they are.

mp3: Blood Gets Thin (Buy: Pete & The Pirates)

Band of Horses is another band I find fitting for this time of year. They're moody, atmospheric, and perhaps not spooky, but definitely haunting. Sub Pop is offering up several BOH mp3s, including this one.

mp3: Is There a Ghost (Buy: Band of Horses)

After years of wanting to, I finally got to see Viva Voce live a few months ago. It was so goddam wonderful, I can't even fully explain it. Their dirty little ditty fits in nicely on a Halloween mix, so here you go.

mp3: From The Devil Himself (Buy: Viva Voce)

I'm pretty sure that this is one of the best song titles around, especially when you're thinking of Halloween songs. The Mountain Goats know what's up, that's for sure. And this, this is a creepy song.

mp3: The House That Dripped Blood (Buy: The Mountain Goats)

And finally, just because, Does It Offend You, Yeah?

mp3: Dawn of the Dead (Buy: Does It Offend You, Yeah?)

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