To keep up with tradition, I thought I’d post a little something for my favorite Halloween music. Cat Power’s cover of Michael Hurley’s “The Werewolf” has definitely been one of my favorite tunes this October. Hurley’s original track is just as haunting and transcendent. It gives me absolute chills, which is perfect for this Halloween season.
I don’t know about you guys, but this October has been really stressful. Honestly, I feel like I haven’t been able to catch my breath. I’ve just been pushing through, and trying to smile and mask it all. It’s been a heck of a month and I cannot wait until November. Halloween has never been one of my favorite holidays as I feel like it’s the time for childish and outlandish behavior, which gives permission to people to not act like themselves. I didn’t go into October thinking, ‘oh, I’m going to be someone different!’ It kind of snuck up on me and I involuntarily felt like someone else all month long.
Being in disguise kind of takes a toll on you for an entire month. Looking into the mirror and not recognizing the eyes staring back at you is frustrating and kind of heartbreaking because I’ve just been trying to find my way back to myself. Feeling trapped while someone else reaches the surface is surely a recipe for stress and depression.
With all of that said, Cat Power’s “Werewolf” has been a familiar and uncanny anchor for me to feel like myself. Her voice just always clears my view through all of the fog. It’s like I can hear her energy and it jolts me back into reality. There’s a glimmer of myself that I can catch, even if it only last a few minutes. Also, a song about being a werewolf is just another snippet of relatability. Having to transform into something unfamiliar and untameable to wake up not remembering who you were for a moment of time? Yeah, I copy that loud and clear.
I wish I could say Happy Halloween…but to sign off on a positive note, Happy end of October!
Hello, everyone! It’s that spooky time of the year again! Last year, I had a great time sharing some of my favorite tracks from my Halloween-inspired playlist. I thought I’d make it a sort of tradition and include more of the artists and tracks here. I hope you all enjoy!
I first heard this song in the film, The Craft (1996). Yes, back in the 90s. It’s one of those underrated films about teens fitting into the ‘wrong’ crowd. I would describe it as Clueless gone goth. Breckin Meyer is even in it. There are a lot of familiar faces in the film like pre-Scream Neve Campbell and Skeet Ulrich. The style in the film is so awesomely 90s-goth.
I remember being a kid and wanting to wear black lip-liner and a cute plaid skirt with some combat boots…Glad my mom smacked that idea out of my mind. Don’t think it would have been appropriate to pull off the edgy look at 5 years old. The ladies in the film just looked so cool and bad a**, though.
Anyways, “Dark Secret” is one of the best tracks on the soundtrack. It sounds like Halloween with the ghostly whistling in the background and Sweet’s excellent emphasis on sadness, madness, and confidence as he repeats – “It’s a dark secret. Carry it with you.” What’s the secret? I’m not entirely sure, but what’s more Halloween than being “different” to the point that you have to keep your true identity a secret. Very ‘be-witchin’!
So, I have a pretty cool story about The Tontons. I had this really close friend in junior high and to me, he was the guru of all cool music. He really got me into indie rock and broadened my horizons on the meaning of great music. He got in touch with me while I was in college and told me about this band, The Tontons, where his older brother is a band member. I was like, what?! So, immediately I got into their music and they’re excellent.
“Desperados” is one of those tracks that can hypnotize you. The lead singer, Asli Omar, croons and swoons as she beautifully parts the waves of all the eery instrumentation. It’s like she’s putting a spell on the listener. I can’t put my finger on it, but the music sounds like a mixture of western cowboys and latin conquistadors having a music festival on El Dia de Los Muertos. Pretty cool.
Update: I actually met Asli Omar yesterday and she’s the most down-to-earth person. She’s seriously so sweet.
I talked about Thom Yorke last year in my Halloween post, but I couldn’t pass up another opportunity to feature more of his music. This guy is a music genius. I am a HUGE HUGE fan of Radiohead and Yorke and listening to their music really shaped my college experience (when I heavily started listening to them).
The eeriness about this song comes from Yorke’s beautiful voice on top of this pulsing sensation of chaos and erratic music. It’s like he’s caught in this storm and shapes the storm and aims it at whomever he pleases. It’s a perfect song to listen to during a rainy day actually, and even more great for a Halloween mixer.
This song is absolutely beautiful and powerful. It’s like I feel it everywhere when I listen to it. I first heard the album version on One Tree Hill and both incarnations are quite the experience to listen to. I take it as a lost love. The lead singer, Finn Andrews, sounds absolutely distraught and heartbroken, calling after his sweet Lavinia. Not sure if Lavinia is an actual person or she stands for something else – like a drug or state of mind. But, the song is this beautiful/dark desperate cry for her. He’s possessed by her love.
I hate to admit it, but I first heard this song on the Twilight: Eclipse film. Yeah, I totally have a love/hate relationship with this series, because it’s so awful – but it was a heavy part of my adolescence. Everyone was talking about Twilight and I had to see what all of the fuss was about. I threw myself into the madness and the one good thing I got from it was Eclipse’s soundtrack. I can’t even lie – it’s amazing. I can listen to it in its entirety. So, with a song from the soundtrack of a film about vampires and werewolves, it’s bound to have some sort of Halloween significance.
It’s hot! It’s like sexy and dark and cool. I can imagine Dracula walking in slow-mo through a cloud of fog, tilting a top-hat or something. I don’t know. The song, to me, is calling out all monsters and telling them to cast their shadow and enjoy the night. But it does it in a cool way. “The moon is always full for us.”
Another excellent soundtrack is from Fight Club. Yeah, we’re going to talk about Fight Club for just a second. What is more Halloween than a guy with split personality and dueling it out with his own corporeal Id? “Where is My Mind” excellently represents the madness of this film and the idea of meeting your most primitive self and figuring out that your mind has a life of its own.
In the midst of losing your mind and battling it out with it when it occasionally shows up to wreck some havoc, why would you want to look for it? The answer is clear. You need it. You own it…
Well, that’s it for now. Listen to these tunes to make today even more awesome. Or, on a regular day.
So my playlist for Halloween is AMAZING! Pretty contemporary, but none the less…AMAZING. The first song that I want to mention is Thom Yorke’s “Hearing Damage”. Now, this song is perfect for Halloween, because it not only sounds like an endless stream of chaos but the message: to HEAR DAMAGE, brings on the science-fiction + realism of the track. The opening lyric: “A tear in my brain allows the voices in”…WOW! Ok, the song is basically about becoming a zombie or being a living zombie. I know, I know. I went there. Yes, it’s about today’s life of technology – chaotic and somewhat soul draining. We live by the machine and become walking zombies of ourselves because we believe that technology can “do no wrong”. Thom repeats this to the point of it losing meaning and as though he’s become sucked in this warped world of machine music. I love it, though. So, zombies = Halloween. Check. But, this song means so much more. It’s kind of creepy because it sounds like a pleading chant, but then the voice becomes so distorted that it’s not even human anymore. NICE! So are we hearing damage by listening to this song? Maybe. Or, are we hearing damage by listening to the message of this song, because it’s a reflection of a real problem? We could be.
Another great tune in my playlist is Phantogram’s “When I’m Small”. It’s another track that’s eerie and packed with meaning. I hear it as a story about a girl named ‘Lucy’ and her willingness to ‘die’ than be with whoever she is in a relationship with. She feels ‘small’ with this person, because of a lack of love in the relationship or a lack of power. This person knows how to push her buttons, and does so to get a rise out of her knowing that she needs him for some reason, so he can take advantage and feel powerful without her actually leaving. Kind of dark, yes. But wow, this song makes me want to dance. It’s hypnotic, but meaning/story aside, the more I listen to it, the more trance-like I become. So, evil boyfriends/vampires = Halloween. Check. How did I get vampire out of this song…just listen to it?
TV on the Radio’s “Wolf Like Me”. Now, this is a band that I have been meaning to write more about. I will have a full post on them in the near future because THEY ARE AWESOME! In the meantime, this track is the epitome of the Halloween music that I long for. It’s another catchy, trance-like track. But it’s also NOT. There’s something about the song that makes me more awake. Though it’s so chill, it’s also fast and pulling all at once. The vocalist has a soulful voice, but the music is chilling and impulsive. Which brings me to the story = animal instincts and giving in to impulse. Sex. Yes, a little dirty, but surely not distasteful. It’s a sexy tune using the metaphor of becoming a werewolf to becoming one’s true self and giving into desire. Letting out and “howling.” That’s what makes it trance-like, the sexiness, but then it wakes you up with the speediness. Listening to this song is like running a marathon. So yes, werewolves = Halloween. Check.
Also, check out Kasabian’s “Vlad the Impaler”. This song is catchy, made for dancing, and about Vlad, the Impaler aka Dracula. 🙂 “You can’t kill me, I’m still alive.” There’s more humor in this track. Especially with the “get loose, get loose” part. In all seriousness, though, this song is about snapping people out of our sometimes zombie/undead lives. “Get loose” from the trends. Be an individual. Be yourself. Take charge of your own life. “We need to raise the dead / We need to raise the people.” We need to wake up! Also, it’s about telling the difference between the alive and the dead. The real and the fake. The genuine and the imposters. It just speaks so much. So, Dracula = Halloween. Check.
Check out these tracks for Halloween or just for whenever! They’re great! These are only my interpretations of the songs. I would love to read some of yours!