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Music History Monday: October 20

Posted by Jeff Harris, October 20, 2014 10:56am | Post a Comment

To read more Behind The Grooves, go to http://behindthegrooves.tumblr.com.

On this day in music history: October 20, 1962 - "Monster Mash" by Bobby "Boris" Pickett & The Crypt-Kickers hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks. Written by Bobby Pickett and Leonard Capizzi, it will be the biggest hit for the singer and songwriter from Somerville, MA. The novelty classic will be recorded in the garage studio of producer/label owner Gary S. Paxton, and also features musician Leon Russell on piano. The record will be rejected by several labels before Paxton works out a distribution deal with London Records and releases it on his own Garpax label. The song is an immediate hit upon its release. Entering the Hot 100 at #72 on September 8, 1962, it will rocket to the top of the chart just six weeks later. On its initial release in the UK, the BBC will actually ban the record for being "too morbid," though it will later peak at #3 on its re-release in 1973. "Monster Mash" will also make chart history as the only single to chart on the Billboard Hot 100 three separate times. After its first run in 1962, it will peak at #91 in September of 1970. The single will actually make the top 10 a second time, peaking at #10 in August of 1973. "Monster Mash" is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.
 


On this day in music history: October 20, 1977 - A chartered plane carrying members of the Southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd and their crew crashes into a swamp near Gillsburg, MS. The band is on tour in support of its latest album Street Survivors, released just three days before. The Convair CV-300 plane is in route from Greenville, SC to Baton Rouge, LA when it runs out of fuel and crashes into a heavily wooded area. Lead singer Ronnie Van Zant, guitarist Steve Gaines, singer Cassie Gaines (Steve’s older sister), assistant road manager Dean Kilpatrick, pilot Walter McCreary, and co-pilot William Gray are all killed on impact. The other members of the band and crew will all sustain serious injuries from the crash. Drummer Artimus Pyle and two members of the road crew will be able to climb from the wreckage and get help for the remaining survivors. The cause of the plane crash will be determined to have been caused by a malfunctioning ignition device on one of the engines and by pilot error when the pilots accidentally dump the remaining fuel instead of transferring it to the still working engine. After the accident, the band's label MCA Records will quickly withdraw the original cover artwork of Street Survivors, which shows the band surrounded by flames. The background will be airbrushed black on all subsequent repressings until it is reissued on CD when the original artwork is restored. Lynyrd Skynyrd will not perform again for ten years, until the surviving members reform the band in 1987, with Ronnie’s younger brother Johnny Van Zant taking over as lead vocalist.
 

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13 Albums That Are Perfect for Halloween

Posted by Billy Gil, October 20, 2014 07:30am | Post a Comment

13 Halloween Albums

It’s hard to believe Halloween is just around the corner. Luckily, there are plenty of great new albums and classics for your Halloween party or just to carry you into scaresville.

 

Krzysztof Penderecki and Jonny Greenwood - Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima / Polymorphia / Popcorn Superhet Receiver / 48 Responses to Polymorphia

penderecki greenwoodYou might not recognize his name, but Krzysztof Penderecki has soundtracked many a nightmare. The Polish, avant-garde composer was wildly inventive (and controversial) when his compositions first gained notoriety in the late ’50s, and thus his jarring compositions, featuring such innovative techniques as clustering tones, and such foreboding titles as “Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima,” came to be used by wildly inventive and controversial film directors, from William Friedkin’s The Exorcist to Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining and David Lynch’s Wild at Heart and Inland Empire. Meanwhile, Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood writes response pieces to both “Therenody” and “Polymorphia,” and his moody, solemn orchestral pieces serve as a terrific foil to Penderecki’s terror-inducing works.

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Drac-factor: Ten Recording Artists with Definative Dracula Appeal

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, October 19, 2014 11:30pm | Post a Comment
Dracula vampire elvis halloween costume
Halloween approach-eth and the pumpkin-spiced hype is unrelenting. What's more, a new vampire movie hit theaters this Fall -- Dracula Untold, a dark, Marvel-esque origin story starring Welsh hottie Luke Evans as Prince Vlad (the Impaler). While time will only tell if this particular incarnation of the Dracula legend is truly franchisable immortal, it got me thinking about recording artists who could suitably don Dracula's cloak. Stars that possess a kind of timeless magnetism, like Elvis Presley, pictured above -- you just know he'd be down to drink some blood. Or, similarly, stars who naturally exude a kind of Draculaic vibe, sharp-dressed with cheekbones to match. With this in mind, I've come up with a short list of ten living recording artists who possess a definitive undeadliness, or Drac-factor, as I reckon it. So cover your necks or succumb willingly, here come some Drac-tacular candidates for your consideration:

David Vanian the damned dracula vampire halloween young ones spooky goth punk rock band
Dave Vanian, lead singer and ever-present member of The Damned, has been serving that undead-and-loving it look since the band began in London in 1976. Vanian, a stage name that stems from a play on the word "Transylvanian", took his patent gothic chic looks to new heights when The Damned appeared as the spooky musical guest on an episode of The Young Ones to perform a song that may or may not be called "Nasty". It is worth noting that The Damned are distinguished as the first British punk band to release a single, an album, have an album hit the UK charts, and tour the United States. That said, if you don't have The Damned's 1977 debut LP Damned Damned Damned in your collection, surely some kind of vinyl vampire is coming for you i.e. I don't know how you can sleep at night. That's a buy or die record, folks.

DJ JS-1's Guest-Packed Album "It Is What It Isn't" Proves That Hip-Hop Is Alive and Well

Posted by Billyjam, October 19, 2014 05:46pm | Post a Comment

If you prefer your hip-hop rooted in the traditional golden era style and with a respect for the four elements of the culture including the DJ as turntablist - then DJ JS-1's recommended new album It Is What It Isn’t is the hip-hop album for you. This latest release from the longtime New York City boom bap producer / scratch DJ - that arrived in Amoeba this past week care of his Ground Original imprint with distribution from Fat Beats - is back-to-back quality hip-hop that's more like a rich hip-hop compilation due to the long list of talented emcees that join the instrumentalist throughout its 21 tracks.

JS-1's impressive list of emcee collaborators is a balance of emcees that have been consistently putting it down since the golden era to an array of new school innovators. That long list numbers a few dozen hip-hop artists and includes KRS-One, O.C, Ras Kass,  Buckshot, Erick Sermon, Homeboy Sandman, Sadat X, Murs, Fashawn, Wordsworth, Torae, Kyle Rapps, Blacastan, Professor X, A.G., C-Rayz Walz, and the Artifacts' El Da Sensei and Tame One to name but some. 

A full-time b-boy and lifelong dedicated hip-hopper the Queens, NY DJ JS-1 began his career two decades ago. He was a member of the Rocksteady Crew. As well as been a hip-hop DJ with a talent for scratching he was also a graffiti artist who went by the name JERMS.

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