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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Atlanta artists, DJs, and music scribes conjure up 19 of their favorite Halloween jams

Let's get something straight. I don't like scary things. Never have. I watch It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown and Beetlejuice every Halloween and typically need a night light to sleep. The same goes for music. Anton LaVey's “Satan Takes a Holiday” is a whirlwind of zany, Satanic organ jigs and ditties. Leave it to the Black Pope to make the happiest sounding record this side of the lake of fire. — Jeffrey Bützer

Apparently, this Northwest ’60's garage band tried to hire Vincent Price to do the opening monolog of this track, but he was too expensive and they couldn't afford it. Ironically, decades later Michael Jackson would do exactly the same sort of intro with fantastic commercial results. Nevertheless, “Werewolf” by the Frantic embodies the classic American tradition of Halloween: Spooky, otherworldly, and fun. — Cole Alexander. (Black Lips)

While I gave serious consideration to submitting Outkast's "Dracula's Wedding," Charles Sheffield's "It's Your Voodoo Working," and Gene "Bowlegs" Miller's "Frankenstein Walk," this Brian Auger track has it all. From the lyrical content to the wild video, this song evokes exactly what a Halloween party should look and sound like. — Brian Poust (DJ Agent 45)

Halloween is my favorite holiday of the year, like a lot of other people, and though the usual suspects come to mind (“Bela Lugosi's Dead,” “Every Day Is Halloween,” all the Misfits.), the piece of music that really puts me in the mood is the score that Goblin did for the Suspiria soundtrack. It's a classic, it's creepy as hell, and it has definitely been a staple in my past seasonal celebrations. The whole album is great but here's the title theme. — Jennifer Von Schlichten (Black Lodge)

I had a record of Halloween hits when I was a kid that included the original "Monster Mash" by Bobby Pickett and the Crypt-Kickers. While ubiquitous in the fright season and especially great for dancing with pre-schoolers, I was always fascinated by all the DIY sound effects in the background — bubbles blown, rusty nails pulled, and chains drug on the ground. And any song that's been properly covered by everyone from the Misfits to the Beach Boys is a classic.
— Ryan Peoples (Oryx and Crake)

Brian Eno, "Shadow" from Ambient 4: On Land: For a while I was experimenting with playing records while I slept. This particular track gave me the worst nightmare I've ever had. I was on a ghost cruise ship as a baby, being rocked by my dead mother (not dead in real life). Still gives me the shivers. — David Norbery (Nomen Novum)

Vishnu and Brahma lead Shiva's barat of witches, goblins, and ghoulish beings. From the film Har Har Mahadev. This is extremely magical. The most beautiful element of Halloween is the mixture of festive spirits and the scary unknown. This song and movie clip embodies a parade of ghouls, monsters, and freaks marching to the wedding of the Opium King. I personally am enamored with this fantasy because I would love someday to be married on Halloween. — Juan Montoya (MonstrO, Stallone)

The song that captures the Halloween spirit the best for me would be "Ghost Town" by the Specials. I've been listening to these guys since I was 14 years old, and I often end my DJ sets, and ride around the city to this track because its ghoulish, Nightmare Before Christmas-style choral melody has always resonated with me. — Speakerfoxxx

"The Past is a Grotesque Animal" by of Montreal is a song that usually resurfaces around this time of year for me. — Mike Netland (Qurious)

Genesis, A Trick of the Tail LP: From my Pops' collection. This was one of the first albums I ever heard and fell in love with at a young age. I always dug the cover artwork and the characters in costume and whatnot — excellent and creepy songwriting. My pops would play this record on blast when the kids would come over for trick or treating, and he ALWAYS dressed up as Alfred E. Newman from Mad Magazine. Every year. — Dillon Maurer

The indomitable Jan Terri's music videos have the same kind of appeal as her fellow Chicago-ite, Wesley Willis. I don't always know why I'm watching it, but Halloween's as good a reason as any. — Dan Dixon (PLS PLS)

Michael Perkins, "Murder By Phone." Like I’m walking down foggy dark alleyways in a John Carpenter movie, looking over my shoulder — can’t answer the phone for fear of murder. — Elise Tippins (Featureless Ghost)

Three 6 Mafia's "Anyone Out There?" is a dumb song. It's an obvious rip off of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Cask of Amontillado" which was just a dramaticized retelling of Joel Headley's "A Man Built In A Wall," but I digress. This song with it's $3 John Carpenter melody was the first thing that jumped out in my mind, probably because it almost seems like Lord Infamous might have done some of that shit. I mean, the man was kicked out of Three 6 for getting arrested too much. — James Halcrow (Wizard Smoke)

The Microphones, "V. Universe": This is absolutely the scariest record I've ever heard. When I was first getting into this band when I was like 15, you could not have told me that this album was not made by actual dead people. And not like the undead — camp zombies and indie pop ghosts — but people that had died totally normal, unspectacular deaths and were now just plain dead. And for whom the experience of dying was so incredibly horrible and terrifying that it's all they can remember about being alive. — Chandler Kelley (Hotels)

Frank Zappa loved Halloween, and his annual concerts in New York were always wild and crazy. Here is a rare video clip of one of his most descriptively gruesome songs, "The Torture Never Stops." — James Kelly (Slim Chance and the Convicts)

Misfits, “Halloween” and “Halloween II.” The name says it all, but both versions capture different elements of Halloween nostalgia. The fast-paced original conjures youthful rebellion while the Latin lyricism of the second version offers a more ominous incantation. — Jonathan Williams

This Halloween, you'll find me in Oakland Cemetery around 3:30 a.m. blasting this one on repeat. Zombie tears shall flow! — David Matysiak (Coco Art / Hollow Stars)

Do you really need to read why an album called Zombies VS Robots! is a go-to Halloween pick? Well, it may not be what you expect from the title. The 18-minute EP from the now defunct Connecticut hardcore kings the Flaming Tsunamis is a high-intensity and rather comical bout with a world were zombies fight robots ... And bands sing about it in their garage. After all, Halloween’s supposed to be fun. — Clay Duda

Aside form the obvious, I have always pulled Samhain's November Coming Fire off the shelf around this time of the year — every years since the age of 14 or 15. And every time I drop the needle on the record I'm immediately transported back to those brisk autumn days of my teenage years: Slipping on a hoodie and trucking down the street on my skateboard, pulling rad ollies and bonelesses along the way. — Chad Radford

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