By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
"Darkness falls across the land, the midnight hour is close at hand. Creatures crawl in search of blood, to terrorize y'all's neighborhood."
—Vincent Price, "Thriller"
We know there's nothing like a sugar buzz to cause cranial confusion and a depressed decision-making faculty. Oh, sure, give us 14 Stella Artois and we have no problem making appropriate choices, like, "Since I just barfed on my ironic T-shirt, maybe I should take a cab home." But give us a fistful of Smarties and all logic flies out the window, including the ability to choose the soundtrack to a candy-eatin' All Hallows Eve. We know you suffer from this dilemma too, so in the spirit of helping out our fellow man, we have compiled this, Your Halloween Playlist:
"I Walked With a Zombie"—Roky Erickson
Is this song an eerie metaphor, an allusion to the 1943 film of the same name or a severe LSD-induced hallucination? Since this is Roky we're talking about, it's most likely all three.
"Ghostbusters"—Ray Parker Jr.
Pop songs have posed many excellent rhetorical questions over the years: "What if God was one of us?" "Where does my heart beat now?" "Why don't we do it in the road?" But in 1984 Ray Parker Jr. asked the most important musical question of all time: "Who ya gonna call?" Nowadays he's often heard asking patrons of a Santa Monica Starbucks, "Would you like to try our Pumpkin Spice Latte?" Oddly enough, this question too is followed by Parker Jr. exclaiming, "I ain't 'fraid of no ghost!"
"To Hell With the Devil"—Stryper
The original album artwork depicts the members of Stryper wearing nothing but feathered hair, greasy exaggerated pectoral muscles, silky loincloths and angel wings as they save a fallen soul from the fiery pits of hell. Alternate title: "Larry Craig's Fever Dream."
"Dr. Frankenstein"—Ice Cube
Are we done yet?
"Werewolves of London"—Warren Zevon
This tune manages to be as catchy as measles with just three chords, a slew of goofy lyrics and a substantial amount of "Ah-Ooooh." No wonder it's been covered by everyone from Adam Sandler to the Grateful Dead to the Kidz Bop Kids. Now that's some scary shit.
"My Mind Playin' Tricks on Me"—Geto Boys
Here's the rub: Bushwick Bill and his boys from the ghetto (his "Geto Boys," if you will) are out trick or treating ("robbing little kids for bags," if you will) when all of a sudden some dude (maybe six or seven feet tall) rolls up on them. Bushwick and his boys attack, blood is flying, and then the seven-foot dude disappears into thin air. Bushwick Bill's crew disappears too. It's just Bill punching the concrete. And it's not even close to Halloween. Goddamn, homey. His mind is playing tricks on him.
"Pet Sematary"—The Ramones
We like this song mostly because it irritates our old punk friends who deride the band for selling out to write the theme song to a Stephen King movie. We also like that there's a synthesizer on the track. Our old punk friends hate that too. But our old punk friends hate most things. You'd think somebody ran over their baby with an 18-wheeler or something. But it's probably because they're old and they still consider themselves punk.
"6 Feet Deep"—Gravediggaz
What are rappers to do when rapping about being a cop-killing gangsta won't scare suburban white people anymore? They rap about gleefully pulverizing heads, casting disease and slaying for porridge.
"Runnin' With the Devil"—John Cowan Band
We're going with a bluegrass cover of the song instead of the original Van Halen version. We kind of lost our respect for the guys ever since Diamond Dave, Eddie and Alex gave Michael Anthony the shaft for this reunion excursion. Also, there's no Texas stop on the tour. Gimme something to write on, man, and I'll write, "The new/old Van Halen can eat a dick."
"Never Gonna Give You Up"—Rick Astley
Aw, snap. You've been Rick Rolled!