My birthday is three days before Halloween, so it’s no surprise it’s my favorite holiday. For the past 29 years most birthday celebrations have included costumes, candy, and general Halloween merriment. I don’t always celebrate the holiday with decorating and dressing up, but I love the vibe of the season. A cool breeze and a little bit of spook make my heart flutter. For the big 3-0 this year, I’m throwing a little party with my close girlfriends and we are going classic with pumpkin carving, (spiked) apple cider, and watching Hocus Pocus on the deck. I can’t wait!
I recently cruised through our record collection and thought it would be fun to pull some favorites of mine that fit the Halloween feel. Although we have “Thriller” and “Black Magic Woman” I dug a little deeper, looking for out of the ordinary tunes that scare and delight. We’ve been collecting records for about 10 years and the older we get the weirder our tastes have become. Light the black flame candle, pour some blood red wine, and give these a listen.
ALBUM: The Ventures in Space, The Ventures,1964. Instrumental surf rock with an alien vibe, perfect for wearing glow sticks and sipping dry ice cocktails.
SONG: “Season of the Witch” Super Session, Mike Bloomfield, Al Kooper, Stephen Stills, 1968. This song was originally done by Donovan and has been covered a lot. This version is quite possibly my favorite song ever. At 11 minutes long, it lures you into a trance, soon the desire to dance naked under the moonlight takes hold.
ALBUM: Gris-Gris, Dr. John The Night Tripper, 1968. This album has a great voodoo vibe. With French slang and African beats, it’s psychedelic and takes you deep down into the swamps.
ALBUM: Black Sabbath, Black Sabbath, 1970. This one is a given and if I had to go with something obvious only Black Sabbath would do. It starts out with a stormy night and the church bell ringing summoning the harbinger of doom. The whole album has a dark, gritty vibe. I’ve been trying to get into early metal, stuff I would have surely been sent to bible camp for.
SONG: “Camarillo Brillo” Over-nite Sensation, Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention, 1973. Frank Zappa has quickly become one of my favorite artists. Once I embraced his quirky lyrics, it was easy to see his talent as a guitarist and composer is absolutely incredible. This song is about a one night stand with a witchy woman. Cling to every single word in the lyrics, they’re entrancing, “he said she was the magic mama and could throw a mean tarot” Bonus: Also on this album, “I Am The Slime” and “Zomby Wolf”