Monday, October 31, 2005

Halloween, Creepiest Song Ever

Today in Music History:

1990, During a gig in Seattle, Washington, Billy Idol dumped 600 dead fish in Faith No More's dressing room. They responded by walking on stage, naked during Idol's set.
It is Halloween so it was best that I save the creepiest song for this day. When I first heard todays song I was very young and I do believe it scared the bejeebus out of me. As a matter of fact, I still can not listen to this song to this day because it really gets under my skin and quite frankly, it gives me nightmares. Why do I have this song then? And why in the hell did it become a top 40 hit? Well I keep it around to play for folks if they've never heard it and then I can creep them out too. As for the top 40 thing, there's no predicting what kind of music will become a hit.

The artist is Bloodrock, and the song is DOA. Bloodrock was an early '70s hard rock band from Fort Worth, TX. They charted with six albums between 1970 and 1972 and scored their first and only Top 40 hit with the totally morbid DOA which is off their second album. What's really weird is that the first album is a lot more creepy than their second one. Bloodrock 2 actually has some upbeat stuff on it. Guitarist Lee Pickens recounted this story how the song came about.
When I was 17, I wanted to be an airplane pilot. I had just gotten out of this airplane with a friend of mine at this little airport and I watched him take off. He went about 200 feet in the air, rolled and crashed. The band decided to write a song around the incident.
Complete with ambulance sirens, plodding, eerie, music and lyrics such as
I remember
We were flying along and hit something in the air

Life is flowing out my body
Pain is flowing out with my blood
The sheets are red and moist where I'm lying
God in Heaven, teach me how to die


If anyone knows of a creepier song, feel free to lay it on me.

DOA by Bloodrock
(File taken down, check current posts for some more great music)


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Bonus Halloween Song

Monster Ass (Monster Mash parody) from the local radio station

Friday, October 28, 2005

Ghoulish Sampler

Today in Music History:

In 1972, The United States Council for World Affairs announced it was adopting The Who's 'Join Together' as it's official theme song.
Am I scaring you?Today I've got three Halloween inspired tracks that I hope will tide you over the weekend until homercat rises from the dead to eat brains on Monday.

#1 I covered Insane Clown Posse in another post a while back. While I abhor rap music for the most part, ICP is rap I can tolerate and enjoy. Go figure. This track is very creepy. It has sort of a haunted slasher movie vibe to it. Make way for the boogieman y'all

(File taken down, check current posts for some more great music)


The Boogieman by Insane Clown Posse

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#2
This is the title track to what I believe is the very best David Bowie album ever. I know people that hate David Bowie(??) but they really like this song and it goes well with a Halloween themed post. Besides it kicks zombie ass. It'll keep you running scared.

Scary Monsters(and Super Creeps) by David Bowie

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#3
Finally from a garage punk band from the 60's called The Tamrons, we have a song with a twilight zone type riff, not the spookiest, but good stuff anyways.

Wild Man by The Tamrons

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Have a good weekend.

Funny Toon

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Halloween=Blue Oyster Cult

Today in Music History:

In 1984, 19-year-old John D. McCollum killed himself with a .22 caliber handgun after spending the day listening to Ozzy Osbourne records. One year later, McCollum's parents took court action against Ozzy and CBS Records, alleging that the song "Suicide Solution" from the album Blizzard of Ozz contributed to their son's death. The case was eventually thrown out of court.
blue oyster cultBeen going through my files lookng for stuff that might have a Halloween type feel to them. So I remembered a song about a vampire and the next post was reborn.

For the last 30 plus years, Blue Oyster Cult has been following their own unique path. Their motto “On Tour Forever” still holds, as the band plays over 100 dates per year. The group has often collaborated with science fiction writers like Michael Moorcock and Eric Van Lustbader on writing songs and the band's logo is the ancient symbol of Cronos, the Titan god who ate his son the Grim Reaper. Thus some of their songs manage to have a slightly creepy feel to them. Maybe not creepy but weirdish.

The band that became Blue Oyster Cult was organized in 1967 at Stony Brook College on Long Island. By 1971, they changed their name to Blue Oyster Cult and released their self-titled debut album the following year. Three albums later, they released Agents of Fortune in 1976. The album contained the single “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper” which was their first to break into the Billboard charts when it reached number 12 on Billboard’s Pop Singles chart. The first Cult song I ever heard appeared on this album. Oh and it's not that Reaper song.

Blue Oyster Cult has released more than 25 albums and have had their music appear in numerous films and video games. Current members include Eric Bloom (vocals), Buck Dharma (guitar), Allen Lanier (keyboards, guitar), Danny Miranda (bass) and Bobby Rondinelli (drums). Having seen them in concert numerous times, their live shows have always been a hundred times better than their studio albums. I especially recommend On Your Feet or on Your Knees a live album released in the early 70's and Extraterrestrial Live which came out in 1982. The BOC website also has 2 mp3's on this page for free download from their last live album released in 2002.Now for the tune.

Tattoo Vampire by Blue Oyster Cult
(File taken down, check current posts for some more great music)


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Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Halloween=Alice Cooper

Today in Music History:

In 1964, A riot broke out in the studio when The Rolling Stones appeared on The Ed Sullivan show in New York. Sullivan was quoted as saying 'I promise you they'll never be back on our show again'.
Alice CooperHere comes Halloween creeping around the corner. What would Halloween be without a little bit of Alice Cooper. If you're having a party you have to play at least one Cooper song or your party is just a farce. I have some unresolved Alice Cooper issues which I am going to harp on once again. The Rock n Roll Hall of Fame will be gearing up to induct new members in it's induction ceremonies in March and once again I hope there will be no glaring omissions, most notably Alice Cooper. Last year they inducted Buddy Guy, the O'Jays, Percy Sledge, the Pretenders and U2. Hey I like the Pretenders but come on guys, before Alice Cooper?

This is not really the "rock n Roll" hall of fame it's more of a pop music hall of fame, which is fine, I guess. It stopped being the Rock n roll hall of fame when they inducted Michael "pedophile" Jackson twice, while ignoring truly groundbreaking rock n roll artists. You say what about that "Thriller" album in the 80's wasn't it groundbreaking? Well let's see we have the 19 minute video of Thriller that was groundbreaking or was it. Seems that Alice Cooper did a whole video of his Welcome to my Nightmare album back in 1976 on ABC(which won an Emmy award), before Mtv was even a concept. Talk about groundbreaking. Methinks Michael was just copying, especially since Alice used a Vincent Price voiceover when Mike was just a pup. Sadly after 40 million copies sold and over 20 gold albums, Alice is consistently ignored by the Hall of Fame. Alice influenced so many artists that it would be impossible to list them all. David Bowie was inducted back in 1996 yet he used to attend Cooper shows before he sang about Major Tom. Alice recently released a new album, "Dirty Diamonds", which incidently rocks with a vengeance and he shows no sign of slowing down. And yet, somebody is going, "Nah, I think we'll induct the Talking Heads (2002).

It`s now late 2005, and the powers to be will be voting soon to see who gets in for 2006. Let's hope that Alice will not be snubbed once again by the institution now commonly referred to as the 'Rock And Roll Hall of Shame' due to glaring omissions from their inductee list while some acts that have been inducted seem to be simply one hit wonders who influenced no one at all, or ones who simply copied the originators like Alice. To the surprise of many music fans, Cooper's guillotine and snakeskin boots have been one of the most popular attractions at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, but the artist himself has never been nominated. Let me clarify a bit. Glen Buxton, Dennis Dunaway, Michael Bruce and Neal Smith were a big part of what made The Alice Cooper Group great. They co-wrote and played on most of the hits songs associated with Alice, including "School's Out." So the Alice cooper band should be inducted first, and then Alice himself as a solo artist. As it is now it just ain't right.

Other glaring omissions are Black Sabbath, Kiss (29 gold albums,9 of which went 3x platinum or more), and Jimmy Buffett (36 albums, 7 gold, 4 platinum and 2 double platinum). Hey if James Taylor can get in the Rock n Roll hall of Fame then dad burn it these guys deserve to be in there too. Surprisingly The Clash, AC/DC, and Elvis Costello, and the Ramones have made it in, so maybe there's hope. But until the Alice Cooper Band is in the Hall, it's just not a legitimate showcase for rock n roll.

So a massive three Cooper gems will be listed today, all of them decidedly creepy and a worthy addition to any Halloween party.

(Files taken down, check current posts for some more great music)


I Love the Dead from Billion Dollar Babies

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Ballad of Dwight Fry from Love it to Death

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Killer from Killer

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Thursday, October 20, 2005

Piece of Cake for the Gambler

Today in Music History:

1962, Bobby 'Boris' Pickett and the Crypt Kickers started a two week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Monster Mash', it made No.3 in the UK eleven years later in 1973. The song had been banned by The BBC as it was deemed offensive.
CakeBefore Kenny Rogers sang about Lucille and the Gambler, he fronted a band called the First Edition. Kenny Rogers and the First Edition's debut release was the psychedelic song "Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)," which reached No. 5 in 1968. In the summer of 1969, they had their second Top Ten hit, "Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town". This hit started the band in a folksy direction and that's all I'm gonna say about Kenny because this post is about Cake.

It's about Cake because they do a killer version of "Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town". When I first heard Cake back in 1996 I was blown away by the bands style. I loved how they blended hip-hop, country, new wave pop, jazz, and guitar rock into their songs. The speak-singing dead pan vocal style of frontman John McCrea made me a bigger fan. For some reason critics just love to hate this band and called them one hit wonders when The Distance came out. If you ask me Fashion Nugget is a brilliant piece of work. Many years later Cake is still around, much to the chagrin of the critics. But I digress.

I'm not sure when they recorded Ruby, as I accidentally stumbled across it a couple years ago in some fan forum or someplace. Can't quite remember. Anyway let me say this first, the guitar in this song is incredible. I have this song on my playlist which is set on random, and whenever it pops up I always listen to it 3 or 4 times before I go onto the next song. Whether You're a Cake lover or hater this one's a keeper.

Ruby Don't Take Your Love to Town by Cake
(File taken down, check current posts for some more great music)


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Friday, October 14, 2005

The Joe Perry Project

Today in Music History:

1988, Def Leppard became first act in chart history to sell seven million copies of two consecutive LPs, with 'Pyromania' (released in 1983)' and 'Hysteria'.
the projectWhen Joe Perry left Aerosmith in 1979, he formed The Joe Perry Project with vocalist Ralph Mormon, bassist David Hull and drummer Ronnie Stewart. The quartet got off to a good start with the back-to-basics debut Let the Music Do the Talking, which is an excellent album, selling almost 250,000 copies and charting at #47. Received well by critics, the record got little airplay and efforts were made by the powers-that-be to kill the record in an attempt to force Perry back into Aerosmith. Not long afterwards, the same vices that plagued Aerosmith began to rear their ugly heads once more in Perry's latest band. In total the Joe Perry Project released three albums with three different lead singers. The last album being an almost total dud released in 1984.

Realizing that he was on a sinking ship, Perry made up with his former Aerosmith bandmates and rejoined them full-time later the same year.

Joe recently released a new solo album where he played all instruments except the drums. People may be unfamiliar with Joe's stuff from the non Aerosmith years. While the first album is the best, there are some good cuts from all the albums, so I recommend the album, the best of the Joe Perry Project which came out in 1999.

Once A Rocker, Always A Rocker by The Joe Perry Project
(File taken down, check current posts for some more great music)


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Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Zombies for Cash

Today in Music History:

1957, During an Australian tour Little Richard publicly renounced rock 'n' roll and embraced God, telling a story of dreaming of his own damnation after praying to God when one of the engines on a plane he was on caught fire.
Should I do a best of entry, or continue with the Halloween type theme started by Surfin Dead. Wait, how about combining the two for some good fun.

Best Use of a Johnny Cash song in a horror movie
da manActually, this song is so well placed I could amend that to say in any movie. The movie is the remake of Dawn of the Dead. Before I go on let me say this before I get attacked by hardcore Romero fans. This is not a movie review. I know you hardliners thought it was sacrilege that someone should remake the excellent original. I know you hate it that the zombies run, which you think makes it less scary, although I like the running zombies. This is about the well placed use of a Johnny Cash song.

The film opens with a nurse finishing her shift at the hospital. We hear talk of a bite patient and then Sarah the nurse drives home. She sees her cute little neighbor kid as she arrives home. She has some shower sex with the hubby (thereby missing the news on the TV about the zombies) In the morning all hell is breaking loose, neighbor girl kills hubby, hubby comes back as a zombie and tries to kill Sarah. As Sarah flees the house and jumps in the car, she sees the neighborhood going to hell and with zombie hubby hot on her tail she speeds away. As she drives along she is witness to all kinds of mayhem and she eventually crashes and passes out. The opening credits start and so does the song. The Man Comes Around by ole John Cash. As the song plays, the credits are interspersed with scenes of zombies, riots, injured people and press conferences. Being that the song is about the end of the world so to speak it fits perfectly. As the opening credits close out, the spoken words at the end of the song make the hairs stand up on the back of your neck and you get little chill bumps.
And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts
And I looked and behold, a pale horse
And it's name it said on him was Death
And Hell followed with him.

Damn, now that's what I'm talkin' bout. You know you're in for a good movie. And I enjoyed it immensely. I'm one of the few Romero fans who enjoyed the remake as much as the original. So listen to the song and think about zombies taking over the earth. It works pretty good. I seem to think I heard this song in another movie, but try as I might I just can't remember it.

The Man Comes Around by Johnny Cash
(File taken down, check current posts for some more great music)

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Sunday, October 09, 2005

King Elementary

Today in Music History:

1976, the Sex Pistols signed to EMI records for £40,000 ($68,000). The contract was terminated three months later with the label stopping production of the ‘Anarchy In The UK’ single and deleting it from its catalogue. EMI later issued a statement saying it felt unable to promote The Sex Pistols records in view of the adverse publicity generated over the last few months.
King Elementary are a group of rockers hailing from Jackson, Mississippi who just released their debut album a while back. Here's the deal though, each member is only eighteen years old and they just graduated high school, but they play like they've spent a lifetime getting wasted, getting laid, and getting dumped. Or look at it this way, members of Franz Ferdinand and the Bravery celebrated their 30th birthdays before landing a record deal. I just got this album and I'm more than a little impressed and maybe slightly jealous. I gotta say keep your eyes on these guys. After listening to the album I can tell you that you're going to be seeing a lot more of King Elementary. Without going into a detailed anaysis of each of the eleven songs, the album would be a worthy addition to any collection. The last time teenagers rocked this hard they were and are known as Def Leppard.

Kudzu, which is the name of the album, has a definite garage rock feel to it. If I had to compare it to anything I don't know if I could. Maybe grunge butts heads with garage rock and pop. Yeah that's it. The bottom line is that King Elementary are better than bands twice their age -- and this is just their debut. There is some real talent here. Maybe that's why I'm a little jealous. This song is the mellow one from the album.

Spur of the Moment by King Elementary
(File taken down, check current posts for some more great music)

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Friday, October 07, 2005

Music for Zombies

Today in Music History:

1967, Cass Elliot from The Mamas And The Papas spent the night in a London jail after being accused of stealing from a hotel. A TV and concert appearance had to be cancelled.
The CrampsIt's October already, so maybe let's throw out some music best suited for Halloween type festivities. The very first post I did on this music blog was about this song so I"ll have to repost as it's probably the best zombie song ever recorded and most suited for this time of year. I first heard it when I saw the movie Return of the Living Dead at the theater back in the 80's. For example you know you're in for a good tune when the song starts out with, "Aaahh my favorite brain soup, cream of nowhere." The song is Surfin' Dead by The Cramps. This song originally appeared on the Return of the Living Dead Soundtrack and was added to their album Smell of Female as a bonus track on the CD. Like the black-blooded, flesh-rotted, brain-slurping demons of the kitschy B-movies they adore, you simply can't stop the Cramps. Nor should you want to. Thirty years into their deliciously decadent career, latex-clad howler Lux Interior and six-string-slinging supervixen Poison Ivy Rorschach (and whatever rhythm section they're employing this week) are just as trashy, creepy, deviant and fun as ever. Witnessing a Cramps show is like stumbling upon a secret pagan shindig in the woods behind the trailer park, where sketchy carnival freaks, dope-addled Elvis impersonators, slimy swamp creatures, swingin' Russ Meyer sexpots and maybe-malevolent Martians gyrate wildly to stompin' horrorbilly garage-rock in front of a blazing bonfire. Now that's a party I would love to be at!

Surfin' Dead by The Cramps

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Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Van Morrison Covers

Today in Music History:

1999, It was reported that Jimi Hendrix's sister Janie was planning to exhume her brothers body and move it to a pay-to view mausoleum. Other plans for the new site included a chance for fans to buy one of burial plots around the guitarist's new resting-place.
VanMorrisonI am always curious to hear people cover another artists song. I enjoy hearing the way they interpret the music. Sometimes a cover version might suck or someone might take the song in a whole different direction. There are numerous covers of the works of Van Morrison. A musical purist might say there is no such thing as a good cover version of a Van Morrison song. He did it best the first time. So what if one asked the question, What is the best cover version of a Van Morrison song? I suppose there would be a lot of debate. Maybe I can create a little debate with my choice. In my continuing best of series I would have to say Brown Eyed Girl by Jimmy Buffett as the best cover. Bet I get some dissenting opinions on this one. Let me tell ya why. Well actually I don't have too many reasons. The first being that I'm a Buffett fan. The second being because of the steel drums in this version. I'm a sucker for any song with some steel drums in it, and Buffett puts the steel drums to good use here. Well then there you have it and now let the debate begin. Feel free to tell me I'm full of crap eh?

Brown Eyed Girl by Jimmy Buffett

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