Since I’ve been out of town this weekend, I asked my new favorite fellow Halloween music junkie, Clay of Dead Air 98point3FM, to share some more music picks with us. You can check out his first post and all the Halloween music posts here. Today, there’s 5 more awesome tunes for you plus his guidelines for spotting a spooky song. Enjoy! – Miranda
By Clay Roe
Owner of Dead Air 98point3FM
Dead Air Music…
While I understand the allure of online music playlist streaming services, personally I prefer listening to music knowing there’s a human at the other end: someone shaping the listening experience in real time. Tweaking segues. Overlapping sounds. Matching tempos…or contrasting them. Blending themes. Coloring the presentation with interstitial sound and talk – even mistakes.
That’s what makes radio fun for me. Both to listen to and to create.
Not just track/silence/track/silence/commercial/silence/repeat.
When picking the music for Dead Air, it has to pass at least a few of these criteria:
- Is it spooky, creepy or odd?
- Is it amusing?
- Does it make me feel nostalgic for Halloween?
If a track meets at least two of these requirements, I throw it in the mix whether I like it personally or not. (Unless it’s angry screaming death metal. To me, that’s not scary. That’s ridiculous.)
Even if it meets ALL the points, however, some songs get pulled after a few plays. I easily spend as much time removing songs from my active playlist as I do adding new ones. (YOU SEE?!?….There’s one now! While writing this I just heard a weird 1960s track with a scream at the beginning, then two minutes of surf guitar. I must have liked it last year. This year, not so much. Delete.)
Surf guitars are not scary, either.
Here are some of my personal favorites in the current Dead Air library, in no particular order…
Betty Hutton – Old Man Mose
A frontrunner for being my all-time favorite. There are many versions of Ol’ Mose in my library, but Betty does it best. That forceful voice. That screaming. That period sound. So perfect.
Glen Gray and The Casa Loma Orchestra – The House Is Haunted
In case you haven’t noticed, I have a penchant for vintage Halloween tunes. I picture this one playing in the distance somewhere on an old victrola in a dusty abandoned house. But which room?
Barnes and Barnes – Cemetery Girls
This is a holdover from my childhood, listening to Dr. Demento in the dark. I refuse to get rid of it. Do not ask me to.
Tracy Morgan and Donald Glover – Werewolf Bar Mitzvah
I first heard a tiny clip of this as a quick cut scene gag while watching “30 Rock.” I thought, “Ah, man. I wish that was a real song.” Imagine my joy to find it was. Perfect modern interpretation of the 1960s Halloween novelty song tsunami. Never forget. (Also a personal favorite of mine! – Miranda)
Thurl Ravenscroft – Children’s Day at the Morgue
That classic baritone Grim Grinning Ghosts voice.
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