I can state with ease, and it is a well established fact, I am something of a record geek. I prefer the term ‘record collector’ or even ‘music buff,’ but I can live with the ‘geek’ moniker. Now I also know as a matter of fact, my wife wishes wholeheartedly I wasn’t such a collector/geek. See, there’s a particular and peculiar trait in people like me, and it’s called “the completist syndrome.” The definition: “somebody who collects a particular kind of thing and wants to obtain an example of everything available, even of inferior items.” I can’t just buy a CD of one of my favorite artists and be content, I feel compelled to collect everything in their discography … everything.
Let’s say I’m a Paula Abdul fan. I would have to collect, not just all her full length CD’s and Albums, but I would find it compulsory to track down every single variant of "Straight Up" or "Opposites Attract" in its many forms: 7” singles, CD singles, 12 inch singles, remix here, remix there…
side note: I ‘m not a Paula Abdul fan at all. In fact I can easily state, again as fact, I think she erred in not fulfilling her destiny as a Lakers Cheerleader. In fact, I believe her going into the music industry caused some kind of “butterfly effect,” which might explain the personality of our chaotic American lives since the eighties. And to think, I always blamed everything on Ronald Wilson Reagan, (here’s one reason, just add up the letters, he’s President 666. Coincidence? There are no coincidences! Know what I mean ...)
The thought I’ve been attempting to start is this: last week my fine fellow Amoeba blogger, Chadwick, wrote about some great Halloween records, and since I am a completist, I couldn’t resist but spotlight two other records on the Sounds label he touched upon. In other words I’m assisting Chadwick conform to the Completist mindset. I’ll apologize to him later in person … Anyway, here we go.
The beautiful city of Glendale is not only the home of Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery, (which is home to over 250,000 people including Humphrey Bogart, Sam Cooke, Don Drysdale, Errol Flynn, Aimee Semple McPherson), the site of L. Ron Hubbard's original Church of Scientology, and the birth place of Don Van Vliet also known as Captain Beefheart ... Glendale was the home of Sounds Records located on Carmen Drive. And though these records are kind of rare, (and lets get this straight once and for all, it doesn’t automatically mean the record is valuable!), these 7 inch beauties wander into Amoeba Hollywood more often then you’d think. The first release on Sounds Records is EP 501, called “Hallowe’en Spooky Sounds,” it includes all the warped scary sound effects you‘d ever need to scare the hell out of those annoying Trick-or-Treaters banging at your door. Tracks include Storm, Dog Howling, Footsteps with Chains, Laughing Witches, my favorite cut - Goblins Laughing, and of course the Halloween prerequisite, yet weirdly delightful, Screaming.
The other record I own in this series, and on green-vinyl, is EP 503 Music for Monsters. Five oddly demented theremin crazed tracks, punctuated with an array of insane laughter, chains being dragged, thunder, wind and some disturbing animal noises! The tracks are: Ghouls Glide - a rewrite of ‘the worms crawl in, the worms crawl out,’ Skeleton Dance, Banshee Love Call - highlighted by a really out of control, pissed off cat hissing and growling in the background and The Dracula Drag which has some pretty good theremin action going on, and finally Dinner Music for a Monster.
There actually might be other records of this ilk on this label; I just haven’t seen them yet. Until I discover otherwise, I’m happy to know between a couple of Amoeba bloggers, we have the complete set.
Of course, if you are looking for something completely sinister, wicked and terrorizing for that Halloween get together, I always go old school … I mean old old school: Bach’s “Toccata and Fugue in D minor,” also know as the main theme in the 1975 film Rollerball.
If you have a choice of organists to pick from, I’d go with the Virgil Fox version. In the seventies he toured as “Heavy Organ” with a psychedelic light show, and Virgil Fox really knew how to go BIG and push the limits, especially if a piece required the untamed touch of unbounded evil.