One of the things I always enjoyed about being a “working” band with RRSL was playing on (or nearabouts) Halloween: costumes, cover tunes, general idiocy = always a blast. In 2007 we put on a “Dead Rock Star Ball” in both Johnson City and Knoxville (in JC we had The Neverwills and Fierce Embracew/us; in Knoxville, FE and Stacie Collins and her band). The idea was to perform songs by, uh, dead rock stars. The shows were great fun, but picking, learning and rehearsing the songs was the best part, in my opinion.
So, this year I’m just doing some picking. It’s a little Halloween mix for your listening pleasure: I hope there’s at least one new and creepy tune for you to discover here:
“Red Right Hand” (Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds) — rock and roll at its most cinematic
“Last Caress” (Misfits) — you may know if from Metallica’s cover version, but the Danzig-led Misfits version is the best!
“Welcome to My Nightmare” (Alice Cooper) — kind of a gimme, but a true shock-rock classic
“Two Headed Dog (Red Temple Prayer)” (Roky Erickson and the Aliens) — Roky hears demons … and they seem to tell him some pretty cool stuff: “I’ll be walking in the Kremlin with a two-headed dog”
“Season of the Witch” (Donovan) — great riff, and just about as creepy as 60s pop-psych gets
“Psycho” (Jack Kittel) — first heard this on a radio show Elvis Costello dj’d, and Robert Alfonso taped for posterity; I hear EC still covers it often in concert
“Pardon Me, I’ve Got Someone to Kill” (Johnny Paycheck) — never has straight-up first degree murder sounded so deeply since
“Everyday is Halloween” (Ministry) — this was Tracey’s suggestion: she was a bit of a club-kid back in college, or so I hear
“I Put a Spell on You” (Screamin’ Jay Hawkins) — campy and fantastic
“Man in the Long Black Coat” (Bob Dylan) — definitely captures a mysterious mood; who is The Man? Does it matter?
“Sober” (Tool) — yes, it is a real stretch to think of this as a Halloween song, but it is in one of the creepiest songs I’ve ever liked … and the video is just as, if not more, creep-tastic
“I Ain’t Superstitious” (The Upholsterers/Jack White) — the classic (and really scary) version is Howlin’ Wolf’s, but I couldn’t find that one … Mr. White will have to do