Halloween Playlist October 27, 2011Posted by Matt in music.
Tags: AC/DC, alice in chains, Anthrax, Beck, Black Sabbath, Creedence Clearwater Revival, drive-by truckers, Faith No More, Halloween music, Hank Williams, Iron Maiden, Kanye West, Mastodon, Motley Crue, Outkast, Ozzy Osbourne, Pantera, Phish, playlist, Robert Johnson, Ryan Adams, Sufjan Stevens, Talking Heads, The Police, The Raveonettes, The Rolling Stones, Type O Negative
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As is true with any occasion, I always feel the need to compile a playlist best reflecting that specific time. With Halloween only days away, it is time for us to put together one reflecting that spookiest of holidays. I looked through my iPod library and these were the songs I chose – at least for now. My only rule was to only choose one song by a particular artist, though I would not be averse to breaking that rule if the songs were cool enough to do so. So, without further ado, here are 25 songs from iPod to go on a Halloween playlist. Your suggestions are always welcome.
AC/DC – Highway to Hell – Come on, a singer who died not long after recording this singing about being on the “Highway to Hell?” That’s messed up. (Runner up: Hell’s Bells)
Alice in Chains – Them Bones – “Gonna end up a big old pile of them bones.” Fatalism is essential for Halloween.
Antrax – Fight ‘em Til You Can’t – Possibly the only song I know about a zombie apocalypse (Runner up: Skeleton in the Closet, Belly of the Beast)
Beck – Satan Gave Me a Taco – Worst trick-or-treating ever. (Runner up: Devil’s Haircut)
Black Sabbath – Black Sabbath – Possibly the spookiest song ever recorded. The famous three note riff is a diminished fifth, whose music qualities were seen in the past as Satanic. (Runner Up: Children of the Grave)
Creedence Clearwater Revival – I Put a Spell on You – Witchcraft is always welcome.
Drive-By Truckers – Demonic Possession – Favorite lyric: “(The Devil) says the only thing that’s buggin’ him / is that hell’s filling up with Republicans”
Faith No More – Zombie Eaters – Not just zombies, zombie eaters. (Runner up: Surprise! You’re Dead!”
Hank Williams – Angel of Death – Williams never sounded spookier and more poignant than this tune recorded just a short time before his death at age 29.
Iron Maiden – The Number of the Beast – How can you have a Halloween list without Maiden? (Runner Up: Children of the Damned)
Kanye West – Monster – A truly twisted song featuring and introducing the amazing Nicki Minaj.
Mastodon – Divinations – Yes, they are the best metal band working today.
Motley Crue – Shout at the Devil – Sure, it’s totally over-the-top and campy, but it’s still an awesome good time.
Outkast – Dracula’s Wedding – Well, do you know of any other songs mentioning Dracula?
Ozzy Osbourne – Mr. Crowley – You have to include this ode to occult master Aleister Crowley in any Halloween list. (Runner Up: Zombie Stomp)
Pantera – Cemetary Gates – This song is quite possibly my favorite metal recording of all time. (Runner up: By Demons be Driven)
Phish – Wolfman’s Brother – Phish may not immediately come to mind when you think of Halloween music, but this is one of the only werewolf songs I can think of.
The Police – Spirits in the Material World (Spirits help Sting sneak onto the list)
The Raveonettes – Dead Sound – The Raveonettes first album is pretty spooky sounding anyway with its ethereal female vocals and crashing layers of guitars, but this song takes the Halloween prize.
Robert Johnson – Hellhound on my Trail – A truly terrifying song from a guy who supposedly sold his soul to the devil and died young. (Runner up: Me & the Devil Blues, Crossroad Blues)
The Rolling Stones – Sympathy for the Devil – The Stones: keeping the devil alive in rock music for fifty years.
Ryan Adams – Halloween Head – It may not sound spooky or anything, but it does have the word Halloween in it.
Sufjan Stevens – John Wayne Gacy, Jr. – A disquieting ballad about one of the most famous and deranged serial killers in American history.
Talking Heads – Psycho Killer – Not just a killer, a psycho killer.
Type O Negative – Black No. 1 – Back in about 1995 or so, I saw Type O Negative in concert opening for Pantera. It was, without a doubt, the most terrifying concert experience of my life and this song is one of the reasons why. (Runner up: Christian Woman)
What would you add to the list?
Ten for Tuesday: 1990 July 13, 2010Posted by Matt in top ten.
Tags: alice in chains, Black Crowes, Firehouse, Garth Brooks, Jane's Addiction, MC Hammer, Megadeth, Nelson, Pantera, Pixies, Poison, public enemy, Sonic Youth, top ten, Uncle Tupelo, Vanilla Ice
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Are you ready for a new series of sorts? Welcome to the top ten time machine.
Today I thought that we could take a step back in time for our list, a leap of 20 years in the past to 1990. In 1990, I was 13 years old, in the seventh grade at Beebe Junior High, and already had one of the largest cassette tape collections of any of my friends. To commemorate this year bridging the gap between the big hair of the 80’s and the sullenness of the 90’s, we will be taking a look at the music released during that 365 day period. Later on I’ll do the same with movies.
Top 10 Albums Released in 1990
10. Alice in Chains – Facelift
A precursor of the grungy early 90’s, Jerry Cantrell’s sludge-rock guitar riffs fill up whatever space is left over from Layne Staley’s growling vocals. Though this work is not up to the same level as 1992’s Dirt, it is still good and contains some of their best known songs like “Man in the Box” and “Bleed the Freak.”
9. The Black Crowes – Shake Your Money Maker
Chris Robinson’s band takes the hazy, reverb-drenched rock sounds of times past to a new era, channeling the Stones and countless others in their rumble to the top. Over the past twenty years, the Crowes have proven themselves to be among the standard-bearers of the classic rock sound and that is no more evident than on this work, with songs like “She Talks to Angels” and a great cover of “Hard to Handle.”
8. Pixies – Bossanova
When music historians look back at the most important bands of alternative rock, one of the names high on the list will no doubt be the Pixies. Their stamp is all over the boom of bands in the early 90’s and you can see why on this work with tunes like “Velouria” and “Dig for Fire.
7. Pantera – Cowboys from Hell
Dude, when it comes to metal guitar there was nobody like the late Dimebag Darrell. This album still amazes me today and there is a good possibility I’ll be listening to it any time you come by my house when I’m working out. “Cemetary Gates” may very well be my favorite heavy song of all time.
6. Megadeth – Rust in Peace
Dave Mustaine is the king of making metal with a social conscious, and that is no clearer than it is on Rust in Peace, which may be the magnum opus of a long and fruitful career. I had the chance to see them perform this entire album live last year and believe me, it is still awesome.
5. Garth Brooks – No Fences
How can you possible be a country music fan in the South and not mention this album when talking about the early 90’s? You could not avoid this 20 years ago, but with songs like “Friends in Low Places,” and “The Thunder Rolls,” why would you have wanted to?
4. Sonic Youth – Goo
Another band that will no doubt appear on the aforementioned list of the most important bands of alternative rock, Sonic Youth blew it out of the water with this, their follow-up to 1988’s classic Daydream Nation. With loud guitars, curiously strange tunings, and great songs like “Kool Thing” and “Dirty Boots,” the bands influence goes far beyond album sales.
3. Uncle Tupelo – No Depression
Some movements are started with bombastic writings and some with angry mobs and pitchforks – Uncle Tupelo mixed a together a banjo with a distorted guitar and created a genre, alt-country. The dual genius of Jay Farrar (Son Volt) and Jeff Tweedy (Wilco) was destined not to last, but at least we got great songs like “Graveyard Shift” and “No Depression” out of it.
2. Jane’s Addiction – Ritual de lo Habitual
It is a shame that the career of Jane’s Addiction was so short and tempestuous, but the small amount of music they did release was so incredible and so far beyond its time, that it’s almost a good thing they weren’t around to disappoint. “Stop” is one of the best opening tracks ever.
1. Public Enemy – Fear of a Black Planet
Forget the cartoonish reality television star that Flavor Flav has become in recent years, 20 years ago he and Chuck D set an incredibly high bar in the world of rap music, one that few have reached in the two decades since. “Fight the Power” still gets me riled up today.
In addition to that, here are five albums released in 1990 that I owned back then, but wish I could say I didn’t.
5. Poison – Flesh and Blood
This was the point where Posion first tried to transition, at least partly, from being a good times hair band of the 80’s to something more serious. No thanks, it makes me want to pull out Look What the Cat Dragged In again…
4. Firehouse – Firehouse
Yes, I did own this piece of garbage. In my defense, though, I was only 13 or 14 at the time!
3. MC Hammer – Please Hammer Don’t Hurt ‘Em
Seriously, everybody within a few years of my age owned this one in 1990, so leave me alone while I try to make myself forget it…
2. Nelson – After the Rain
Why did I own Nelson? I have no idea, except that maybe the girls in junior high liked them.
And, of course, number 1 has to be…
1. Vanilla Ice – To the Extreme
Wow, this was so bad it was beyond comprehension, but again, who didn’t own it in 1990? Yeah, that’s what I thought.
Next: Movies in 1990
Ten For Tuesday: Music to Play LOUD! July 28, 2009Posted by Matt in top ten.
Tags: albums, Beastie Boys, Black Keys, Green Day, guns n roses, Jane's Addiction, loud music, Pantera, Radiohead, Rage Against the Machine, Sonic Youth, The Hold Steady, volume
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What is it that makes us want to turn some types of music up loud, raise a fist in the air and rock out? There is just something about it that makes us want to blast the decibels to an extreme, eardrum-bursting level and lose ourselves in a cloud of crowd-pleasing power chords. Some albums are just that way and, despite the fact that they will no doubt contribute to me needing a hearing aid by the age of 40, I’m glad to have them. Below are ten albums, in no particular order, that I love to blast out loud. Enjoy.
10. Beastie Boys – License to Ill
I thought about including my favorite Beastie’s album, Paul’s Boutique, but their testosterone-fueled party anthem-filled debut seemed more applicable in this instance. Just try to keep the volume low on classic songs like “Rhymin’ and Stealin’,” “No Sleep Till Brooklyn,” “Brass Monkey,” or “Fight for Your Right,” it can’t be done.
9. The Black Keys – Rubber Factory
You can’t go wrong with this loud and crunchy blues-rock duo, whose Jimmy Page-like blues riffs can knock anybody flat on their back. From the opening track, “When the Lights Go Out” (If you’ve seen “Black Snake Moan,” you’ve heard it) through the rest of this great collection, they hit as hard as anyone in the business today.
8. Pantera – Cowboys from Hell
This one will take you back. Pantera burst on the scene with this blast of aggressive metal in 1990 and it still resonates today. Dimebag Darrell was one of the most distinctive guitarists of an era and Phil Anselmo’s vocals are rife with unbridled fury. I put this album, with great songs like “Psycho Holiday” and “Cemetary Gates,” on when I’m tired at work. It perks me right up.
7. The Hold Steady – A Positive Rage
The Hold Steady have been called the greatest bar band in America and this live collection displays them in all of their ragged glory. Songs like “Stuck Between Stations” and “Massive Nights,” are meant for playing in noisy bars with amps turned up loud.
6. Jane’s Addiction – Nothing’s Shocking
There are few songs from the past 20 years that are more mind blowing than “Mount Song” turned up as loud as it will go. Just try it out and thank me later.
5. Radiohead – The Bends
The first of Radiohead’s incredible trilogy of albums from 1995-2000, this strongly rivals OK Computer as the best work by the greatest band in the world. The intricacies of this album cannot be heard at low levels, just pump it up loud and lose yourself in the sonic goodness of “High and Dry” and “Fake Plastic Trees.” It is an experience not to be missed.
4. Sonic Youth – Daydream Nation
I admit that I didn’t always appreciate the artsy noise-rock of Sonic Youth. Today I don’t know what I would do without them. This breakthrough album from 1988 is a blast from the beginning with “Teenage Riot” to the 14 minute “Trilogy” at the end.
3. Rage Against the Machine – Rage Against the Machine
This debut from everyone’s favorite rap-rock Marxists is violent, rage-filled shotgun blast that took the country by storm in the early-90’s. “Killing in the Name Of” is, without a doubt, one of the greatest, loudest anti-authority anthems ever put down.
2. Guns N’ Roses – Appetite for Destruction
What do you get when you mix 70’s stadium rock, punk sensibilities, and a good dose of sleaze, drugs, and debauchery from the streets of L.A.? Guns N’ Roses. And this is definitely their best work. “Paradise City” is one of the greatest rock anthem ever recorded and it cannot be played at low levels.
1. Green Day – 21st Century Breakdown
Not the best collection on the list, but it is my favorite from the current year and I happen to be listening to it right now, so this incredible concept album definitely needs a spot. Like many others on the list, this album is meant to be experienced as a whole, so I would encourage you to eschew the Itunes-fueled idea of downloading individual songs and get the entire thing. You won’t be disappointed.
What about you? What do you like to turn up to 11?
Ten For Tuesday – Halloween Playlist October 28, 2008Posted by Matt in top ten.
Tags: AC/DC, Black Sabbath, Blue Oyster Cult, Creedence Clearwater Revival, halloween, Motley Crue, music, Ozzy Osbourne, Pantera, playlist, Rob Zombie, Robert Johnson, Rolling Stones, top ten
There are many defining characteristics of the holidays that we celebrate, from the decorations that we adorn our homes with to the stories we tell our children to the clothing we don. In many cases, our musical choices also reflect the holiday extravaganzas. With Halloween this is no exception, for where would be without the ominous tones that seep into our very brains and manipulating our fear impulses. So, I thought that for today’s top ten list we could look at ten songs that may deserve a place on your Halloween playlist. Enjoy.
10. Blue Oyster Cult – Don’t Fear the Reaper
Sure, it’s silly, but what would Halloween be without more cowbell?
9. Creedence Clearwater Revival – I Put a Spell On You
From the pounding guitar to John Fogerty’s piercing vocals, this ode to witchcraft has all of the dark characteristics of a great Halloween song.
8. Rob Zombie – Living Dead Girl
Either on his own or with his band White Zombie, horror-rocker Rob Zombie definitely deserves a spot.
7. Motley Crue – Shout at the Devil
During their short early-80’s Satan fascination stage, the Crue crafted this devilish song with its well-known, “Shout…Shout…Shout..” incantation that is still a concert staple.
6. Pantera – Cemetary Gates
The ominous feel of this song is multiplied by Dimebag Darrell’s distinctive guitar stylings and Phil Anselmo’s screaming voice – hitting notes he never would again on a Pantera album.
5. Robert Johnson – Me and the Devil Blues
Johnson garners bonus points for having allegedly sold his soul to the devil in Clarksdale, Mississippi and how can you resist a song with lyrics like: Early this mornin’ when you knocked on my door / and I said hello, Satan, I believe it’s time to go.
4. The Rolling Stones – Sympathy for the Devil
Continuing the devil motif is this incredible piece of work from one of the world’s greatest bands, told from the perspective of Beelzebub himself.
3. Ozzy Osbourne – Mr. Crowley
Mr. Osbourne is a must-have for any Halloween get-together and any number of his songs could have been on the list (Suicide Solution, Bark at the Moon, etc.), but I had to go with this ode to famed occultist Aleister Crowley.
2. AC/DC – Hell’s Bells
It was a toss-up between this one and Highway to Hell, but this one’s dirge-like guitar work from Angus Young puts it over the top. When Brian Johnson screams out, “I’m gonna get you, Satan get you,” it will, truly, get you.
1. Black Sabbath – Black Sabbath
Did Sabbath do anything but Halloween-appropriate songs? I thought pretty hard about including Children of the Grave or Paranoid, but this one, with Tony Iommi’s dire three note opening takes the cake. It still gives me chills when Ozzy calls out, “Oh no, please God help me,” in a doomed voice over the blasting guitar. Yes, this could be the soundtrack to every horror movie ever made.
What do you think? What should have made the list? What should have been left off?