26 September 2007

In This Town We Call Home, Everyone Hails to the Pumpkin Song!

Splotchy has a history of compiling the finest mix tapes around. He does so with the help of the 'blogosphere,' as the kids are calling it these days. I was fortunate enough to participate in his latest Green Monkey Music Project, the 'Can't Wait For Halloween Mix'. If you haven't guessed, it is the greatest Halloween mix tape in the history of civilization! And it's downloadable!

There are a lot of great songs in this mix, but I am going to discuss my choices.

1. The Residents, "Harry the Head"
Every time I want scary music, I go right to these guys. What do they look like? No one knows. They've been wearing these eyeball costumes for decades. No one even knows if it's the same people under the costumes for all of those years. They've been making aggressively strange music for longer than I've been listening to it, and a short bio won't do them justice. You should read a long one. Harry the Head is about a head. Named Harry.

2. Lordi, "Would You Love a Monsterman"
LORDI! You might wonder why I have included a metal song in my mix. You clearly don't know who Lordi is, the only Finnish monster metal band to win the Eurovision Song Contest, which is a huge deal in Europe, and almost totally unknown in the US. They're that good. They make you want to jump up and down and spit fire and and proclaim that metal is KING. And the lead singer's name is Mr. Lordi. I'm not making that up. Here is the video for the song that won that contest (past winners have included Celine Dion and people that sing like her):

If zombie cheerleaders and a monster rock band performing in a high school gym don't melt your metal heart, then nothing will. "Would You Love a Monsterman" has a pretty great video, too. They also have a brand of Finnish cola and a restaurant, called "The Rocktaurant." Best band ever.

3. The Shaggs, "It's Halloween"
The Shaggs were a family of sisters in rural New Hampshire. Their father decided that his daughters should have a rock band, bought them instruments, and then a couple of months later decided that they should record an album. Problem was, they hadn't really learned how to, oh, play their instruments. Or keep rhythm. Or sing. The album ended up being one of the greatest pieces of outsider art ever created. The song sounds awful, but just let it wash over you. You'll love it. It's charming, unironic and naive. Punk rock at its finest.

4. The Creation, "Nightmares"
The Creation was a groundbreaking psychedelic rock band, the best known purveyors of a strain of psychedelia called ""freakbeat." You've probably head a song of theirs that was featured in Rushmore, "Making Time." The song used a violin bow on an electric guitar, a technique so awesome that Pete Townsend tried to recruit the guitarist, and Jimmy Page just stole the technique. Future Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood was a member for a while as well.

5. Ashcroft and Bacon, "Unseen Hand"
Yes, that's future Attorney General John Ashcroft singing. The guy that covered up the nudity on the statue of blind justice. I was actually looking for another song by him (I figured, what's scarier than a future Bible thumpin' Attorney General singing?) , and I found this song instead, which sounds even creepier than what I was looking for.

All tracks (and everyone else's picks) are available for download at I, Splotchy.


Splotchy said...

I don't have a lot of The Residents, but I remember back in high school picking up The Commercial Album on the title alone. They are delightfully weird. It's nice to have this song on the mix.

Cool about Lordi! I don't feel so bad for not having heard of them before, knowing that most Americans are in the same boat I am.

I still don't know whether I like The Shaggs or not, but it is definitely an experience listening to them, or as you aptly put it, letting them wash over you.

Nightmares is my favorite song by The Creation.

And the Ashcroft song? Scaaaaary. How would you like your hand? Red and right, or unseen?

Thanks a lot for participating! Some truly groovy tunes!

Splotchy said...

Oh, I actually picked up that Residents album 'cause of the cover, not the title.

John Travolta and Barbara Streisand upside-down, with the Residents' heads has their eyeballs.

pistols at dawn said...

Ah, Lordi. I had all my Eurodwelling friends telling me about them, and every single explanation took about thirty hilarious minutes. Even after I knew who they were, I'd still feign ignorance just to hear my friends suffer through the explanation.

Man, am I a jerk.

I prefer the punker version of the Shaggs - Old Skull. Man, does that crap suck.

Grant Miller said...

Nice find on the John Ashcroft album. I think Letterman played some of the shaggs a few years ago. Scary stuff.

The Guv'ner said...

As a card carrying Brit, the idea of a band called The Shaggs is amusing me greatly. I wonder if they have a junior version called The Snogs?