Haunting Melodies

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You know when it's close to midnight and something evil's lurking in the dark?
Under the moonlight you see a sight that almost stops your heart?
You try to scream but terror takes the sound before you make it?
You start to freeze as horror looks you right between the eyes, you're paralyzed!

’Cause this is Thriller … and Thril—ler plays all the time -- along with Monster Mash, Freaks Come Out at Night, and Werewolves of London. These Halloween standbys and a dozen or so other songs that have become seasonal clichés had me searching for a broader party playlist this year.

So I’m taking a new approach. To get out of that rut of playing those same, tired tunes, I asked a whole bunch of local musicians, artists, writers and all-around culture-makers to share a few of their favorite Halloween or late fall songs. I’ve combined them all into one great big playlist for your own bone-chillingly-cool listening pleasure. So, now get up! Get up! … and start working on that costume. Start planning your tricks and treats and enjoy.

Me (Shine)

  1. Black Sabbath ‒ Black Sabbath
  2. Bauhaus ‒ Dark Entries
  3. Iggy Pop ‒ Gimme Danger

Demian Hostetter, Pork & Beans Brass Band

  1. Screamin' Jay Hawkins ‒ I Put a Spell on You
  2. Unknown ‒ the worms crawl in
  3. DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince ‒ Nightmare on My Street

Seth Johnson, Sky Blue Window, Nuvo, Musical Family Tree

  1. Harry Nilsson - Jump Into The Fire
  2. The Sonics - The Witch
  3. Talking Heads - Psycho Killer

Kipp Normand, The Most Interesting Man in Town

  1. Cab Calloway ‒ St. James Infirmary
  2. Andrew Bird ‒ The Great Illinois
  3. Neutral Milk Hotel ‒ Ghost

Rob Peoni, Sky Blue Window, Musical Family Tree

  1. Jookabox ‒ Phantom Don't Go
  2. Sir Deja Doog ‒ The Seventh Night
  3. Apache Dropout ‒ Candybar

Todd Robinson, LUNA music

  1. Yo La Tengo ‒ Every Day
  2. Mark Kozelek ‒ LIVE at LUNA music 2004
  3. Ben Watt ‒ The Heart Is a Mirror

Jon Sheets, Affordable Hi-Fi, Mike's House

  1. Jimmy Smith ‒ Theme from The Munsters
  2. Dave Edmunds ‒ Creature From The Black Lagoon
  3. The Who ‒ Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Dan Snodgrass, Bonesetters

  1. Clues ‒ Approach the Throne
  2. Broken Social Scene ‒ Meet Me In The Basement
  3. Sir Deja Doog ‒ Love Coffin

Wendy Spacek, Soft River Reading Series

  1. Screamin' Jay Hawkins ‒ I Put a Spell on You
  2. Arcade Fire ‒ Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)
  3. Vashti Bunyan ‒ Here Before

Ben Traub, Rooms

  1. Unwound ‒ Demons Sing Love Songs
  2. Neutral Milk Hotel ‒ Holland, 1945
  3. Helms ‒ Candy Fish

Jorma Whittaker, Marmoset, Bait & Tackle Tabernacle

  1. Robyn Hitchcock ‒ I Often Dream of Trains
  2. Felt ‒ Let the Snakes Crinkle Their Heads to Death
  3. Cocteau Twins ‒ Treasure


Cover image: Lon Cheney in a film still from The Phantom of the Opera, 1925.

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