spooky but jaunty

| On
Sunday, October 22, 2006
jack o'lantern

It's the Spooky Mix time of year! I have been thinking about this one for a while -- I would alternate working on it and the Indian Summer mix depending on the weather (rain: spooky/ sun: summer). this is not the Ultimate Spooky Songs mix or anything as final as that. I decided to make it short (13 unlucky songs!), and not really go out of my way to find anything that wasn't already on my computer, although I did purchase the Shankill Butchers from iTunes -- I have been meaning to get a physical CD (because the art is always so great) but haven't got around to it yet and I had to have it. I could probably make a bonus mix with a few of the more quietly creepy songs that ultimately didn't make the cut here. (admission: because of the biting song. I had to have it, and it influenced the rest.)

1. I Wanna Bite Ya -- PlanningToRock: This song... this song gives me that giddy euphoria that starts in the center of my chest and radiates outward. You know the kind where it seems like your neural net has unknit itself from whatever it was attached to and has re-made itself into an internal trampoline so you're all WOO HOO and bouncy, so much so that you might accidentally drop a brick on your foot and not even feel it due to neurons on trampoline duty, but you don't even mind because... WOO HOO? Yeah, it's like that for me with this song, and I'm not really sure why. Perhaps because it sounds like the fey but carnal love child of Glam Rock and Screamin' Jay Hawkins? Perhaps because of the gleefully perverse nature of the lyrics "I'll take a bite outta ya/ take a bite outta ya/ take a bite outta ya (I wanna bite you!)"? Perhaps it's just some atavistic combination of sounds... I don't know. Furthermore, I DON'T CARE! Just play it again and keep the smart remarks to yourself.

2. Black Magic -- Jarvis Cocker: At first I thought this sounded sort of Elvis Costello-y, but then maybe I thought that because Jarvis is wearing big Attractions-era Elvis glasses on the album art. Then I thought it actually kinda sounded like ... Tom Petty. (seriously! there are moments! and I CAN enumerate them if pressed.) Ultimately, it doesn't matter who I think it sounds like because there are spooky chiming bells, there is someone pounding away on a keyboard, there's some fuzzy guitar, there's a vaguely 80's hearkening 60's girl-groups feeling, there is black magic, and that's enough. It's true. "nothin' can compare to/ black magic, yeah yeah yeah!"

3. Mr. Punch -- Future Bible Heroes: Manic and freaky. Not unlike being trapped inside of some horror movie puppet show, but only for a few minutes so the scare is an enjoyable increased heart-rate instead of madness, despair and trying to fling yourself out into the audience which turns out to be comprised of pinwheel-eyed harlequin dolls with razor-sharp teeth and therefore not a viable exit. Good times!

4. They Are Night Zombies!! They Are Neighbors!! They Have Come Back From The Dead!! Ahhhh! -- Sufjan Stevens: Aww, what halloween mix would be complete with out a good zombie tune? this has lovely sweeping violins, a rousing zombie chorus, some sensitive and thoughtful zombie lyrics as well as some nice non-verbal "please don't eat my brains" wailing.

5. Nosy Neighbor -- The Ditty Bops: More creepy bells and chimes and violin... and getting rid of those pesky neighbors. I guess better to take care of it before they become zombies... "you'll disappear, not a trace to be found." I think it's slightly more sinister because they sound so sunny; like hearing Pollyanna sing about how many bodies the trunk of her car will hold.

6. Beware -- Andrew Bird and his Bowl of Fire: I couldn't leave this off -- it has the spoooooky violin, and then the wailing of "so, bewaaaaaaaaare, oh beware!" Safety first, is what I always say!

7. Shankill Butchers -- The Decemberists: Oooh -- this is delightful and frightful! I first heard this song in JANUARY when I saw Colin Meloy's solo performance. It is interesting to hear the final version vs. that early iteration. Colin's solo version was a lot more ramshackle and rollicking like a peg-legged maniac with a knife chasing you down the street, but this one is creepier and coiled up like the boogeyman behind the door with a cleaver.

8. Evil and a Heathen -- Franz Ferdinand: Those Franz Ferdinand boys aren't doing anything to make me love them less. Although I suppose it is possible that various members of the band keep bees or fly kites or other seemingly harmless hobbies, in my mind they exist only at night in a world of sharp tailoring and debauchery. (although I do recall reading about a karaoke excursion after a pdx show which involved lots of Everly Brothers songs, which I find extremely charming for some reason. Probably because it IS charming. But it was also at night, so it doesn't really disprove my theory. Besides, I'm sure the Everly Brothers could tell some stories!)

9. Little Ghost -- The White Stripes: "Can you scare me up a little bit of love?" I know I've mentioned this song before... but come on! It's so fun, and has a ghost and a mystery and one of my favorite song sound repetitions in recent memory... "The first moment that I met her/ I did not expect a spectre/ when I shook her hand I really shook a glove" Expect a spectre? My heart beats faster just thinking about it! and that's before we get into his mysterious "condition." Okay, maybe I'm just really easy, but what's not to love here?

10. Things Are Too Good (They're Bound To Go Bad): Marykate O'Neil: Finally! An ode to that sneaking suspicion that when things are going well... you shouldn't get too comfortable. Included because a) it's a fun song, and b) there is a laundry list of superstitions to ward off bad luck!

11. The Devil Himself -- Viva Voce: I think this is actually about the vagaries of recording contracts, but it has handclaps (!!!) and the chorus " hey now/ you're gonna get your blood sucked out!" so it doesn't seem like too much of a stretch...

12. Do They Know It's Halloween (Cadence Weapon remix) -- North American Hallow'een Prevention, Inc.: Hee hee! Celebrity-filled (including Beck and David Cross) benefit record to "save" the children from Halloween. "it's a mistake to be out when the ghosts are about/ it's Halloween!"

13. Fake Palindromes -- Andrew Bird: Let us not obsess about how this is the second Andrew Bird song on such a short mix, let us instead think on the fact that the man knows his way around some creepy! Any song that starts "my dewey-eyed Disney bride" and ends with..."I'm going to tie your wrists with leather and drill a tiny hole into your head" before spinning off into some opium-haze violin swirl seems like it belongs here. I will brook no arguments!
3 comments on "spooky but jaunty"
  1. This sounds like the perfect mix, but I think that of any mix you create. You are Miss Mix-A-Lot, methinks...

  2. Mix-A-Lot-itis -- I can't help it... it's a sickness, really. There is no cure!

    (and it is far from a perfect mix, but I do think it is a FUN mix. It makes me laugh, at any rate.)

  3. Funky Cold Medina made me laugh this morning on 107.5...who knew it was such a perfect shower song at 5:30 in the a.m.?


Klik the button below to show emoticons and the its code
Hide Emoticon
Show Emoticon