Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Specifically, this is a rant about Halloween music, and its targets are two-fold. Understand: this is nothing personal against Cassandra Peterson - AKA Elvira, Mistress of the Dark. I'm sure she's a very nice lady. I am equally as sure that Ms. Peterson probably loves Halloween just as much as the rest of us. However, in my mind, she represents all that is commercial and phony about the darkest of holidays. The enemy embodied, so to speak. She has given a face to all the corporations that have exploited and capitalized off the ancient celebration of Halloween, Hallowe'en, All Hallows Even, Samhaim. To be even more direct: I can appreciate a good horror host. If she were only in that role, I could be more forgiving - who doesn't like a buxom, bee-hived, valley-girl, Vampira-esque bombshell introducing cheesy B horror movies? But when she was let into a studio to record 'music' for Halloween, that's where I draw the line! Her compilation albums are so obnoxious, so horrendously banal, and have so little to do with the whole point of this ancient tradition, that it I try to dissuade anyone I see picking one up off the rack while shopping.
I said this rant was two-fold, and here's the sequel: as much as I despise everything the Elvira character stands for, there's a corporate entity that idolizes her and thinks she's hilariously campy and completely Hallow-rific! If you've ever heard of MUSIC CHOICE on cable television, you'll know what I mean. Music Choice is a cable option you can pay for to let you listen to music on your TV. The problem is: they tend to have a limited play-list, meaning they play the same songs over and over and over. Now it would appear that this is a problem for them when it comes to Halloween, for unlike Christmas, there haven't been a lot of Halloween albums released by pop artists over the years - you simply won't find A JOHNNY MATHIS HALLOWEEN, or ROBERT GOULET SINGS HALLOWEEN. Not understanding (or caring) that there have been over fifty years of horror soundtracks to pick and choose from, or that groups like Midnight Syndicate have released fourteen years worth of music to sample, they instead choose to go the Elvira route and compile their playlist almost exclusively from her catalog. Sure, you get the occasional classic thrown in - almost by accident, it seems - Danny Elfman's 'This Is Halloween,' John Carpenter's score for Halloween and Halloween II (but not for the terrific Halloween III or any of Alan Howarth's scores for the later sequels); or a rare Midnight Syndicate track about once a week - so here's a quick, helpful suggestion for the folks at Music Choice:
Purple People Eater has nothing to do with Halloween. Michael Jackson's Thriller has nothing to do with Halloween. The Itsy-Bitsy Spider has nothing to do with Halloween. Dr. Elmo's Redneck Drac has nothing to do with Halloween. Bessie Smith's The Devil's Gonna Get Ya has nothing to do with Halloween. Anything Voodoo related has nothing to do with Halloween. Witchy Woman by the Eagles has nothing to do with Halloween. Evil Ways by Santana has nothing to do with Halloween. Anything recorded by Elvira has nothing to do with Halloween (as hard as that may be to believe). The Chipmunks have nothing to do with Halloween. Crazy Fever by High Noon has nothing to do with Halloween. Attack of the 50 Foot Woman by The Tubes has nothing to do with Halloween. Louis Armstrong's You've Got Me Voodoo'd has nothing to do with Halloween. Night Train by The Kills has nothing to do with Halloween. Martian Hop by the Ran-Dells has nothing to do with Halloween. And for the love of all that's unholy - Maneater by Hall & Oates has NOTHING to do with Halloween! The list goes on and on...