(In which we... Wait... Did you hear that? Hold on and AAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!)

Posted by Job O Brother, October 30, 2012 01:10pm | Post a Comment

witch black cat halloween
"What you should be scared of is Romney's plan for those of us in the working class!"

It’s been just long enough since last year’s Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup hangover to allow me to look forward to another Halloween. Assuming I will have learned nothing from previous celebrations, I’ll undoubtedly be purchasing an extra big bag of candy under the pretence of preparing for trick-or-treaters, knowing full well that, in the five years I’ve lived here, I’ve gotten exactly one caller.

Let me tell you though – that one trick-or-treater made me so excited I gave him three huge handfuls of candy; enough that both he and his mother looked a little concerned; there was almost certainly an after-hours comb-through to search for pins and poison in the hoard I’d bestowed.

I’m digressing here, but why hasn’t anyone invented candy pins? Am I alone in thinking that would be neat?

poison labels
Still better than Necco Wafers!

Every year I assemble folks to watch horror films and eat candy. I don’t yet know what we’ll be watching (last year it was Susperia) but I am ready with a playlist of atmospheric Halloween music, some of which I’ll share with you…

First, nothing fills out a Halloween playlist better than a hearty dose of organ music by the baddest mutterficker of baroque: Johann Sebastian Bach.

You’re familiar with this, his Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 565, but there’s so much more to enjoy. Ask someone in the Amoeba Music classical section to help you select an organist if you’re too scared to shop the section alone. (I know many of you are more fearful of selecting classical music than you are of the ghosts and goblins celebrated this time of year.)

If you’re like me and cannot get enough of this stuff, I highly recommend Werner Jacob’s recordings of Bach Organ Works, released in a box set by EMI.

If, however, you’d like to put a spin on this – eh-hem – classic, you could always opt for Wendy Carlos’ rad realization of the same titles, all synthesized for your satisfaction. For that matter, lots of Carlos' compositions are cool to creep by.

Another good classical choice could be the keyboard music of William Byrd. This Renaissance composer crafted some harpsichord music that is sumptuously spooky, and would be more intimate than Bach’s organ music. Byrd would be lovely for a creepy dinner party.

You know what else would be good for a creepy dinner party? Me. Invite me.

Bordering the world of classical and contemporary are the recordings of Clara Rockmore, the celebrated theremin player. Easy on the ears [I realize this is subjective] as well as the eyes, Rockmore unfortunately didn’t record very much music, and you won’t have to collect her records long before you’ll have all that’s available.

In a similar vein, I think music composed for glass harmonica is both refined and subtly sinister. I’d like to think it’s mood music for a vampire that’s seducing you into his or her embrace. (If you are bitten by a vampire, be sure to get tested. It’s 2012 and there’s no excuse not to, kids!)

Folded into my mix will be some contemporary music, too…

Everyone’s always emphasizing that you should have a “safe” Halloween; considering that Halloween really isn’t significantly more dangerous than other days, and is in fact much safer than drunken fests like New Year’s Eve, I admit I always balk at this well-meant wish. I think Halloween gets a bad rap in this respect; for this reason I wish you only a fun and freaky Halloween. Get haunted by something!

halloween border

If nothing else, you need to get some of this Bach.
Atmospheric, melancholic brilliance from the enigmatic Scott Walker
The brilliant Wendy Carlos always transcends boundaries.
Nico, the perfect mood music for the damning of your soul
The enigmatic Patty Waters sings from and into the marrow of our bones.
Clara Rockmore is as sweet and spooky as Halloween.
Swans is a band that makes me feel haunted year-round.
Disintegration by The Cure and a pack of cloves will make me a teenager again, and that's scary!
Plus much, much, so much more available at any one of our three retail stores!

Relevant Tags

Michael Gira (4), World Of Skin (1), Swans (17), Tones On Tail (3), Nico (5), Patty Waters (1), Thomas Bloch (1), Glass Harmonica (1), Theremin (6), Clara Rockmore (2), Renaissance (4), William Byrd (1), Moog (8), Holidays (95), Halloween (85), Candy (3), Susperia (1), Classical (24), Johann Sebastian Bach (4), Baroque (5), Sean Jackson (1), Werner Jacob (1), Wendy Carlos (4), Henry Purcell (1), Scott Walker (17), The Cure (44), Mazzy Star (13)