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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Not your typical list of essential Halloween music

13 Rock albums
  1. Irrilicht, Klaus Schulze: While one of the great if not greatest Kraut-prog-rock album, this bordering on classical composition is probably what I'd imagine dying in outer space would sound like.
  2. Eskimo, The ResidentsPublic: From those anonymous, avant garde, neo-dada rockers, this album, like the tundra, is cold, harsh, and biting.
  3. Image LTD/Second Edition, Public Image LTD: Public Image LTD, the band formed from the remains of the Sex Pistols, sounds like most other post-punk bands at the time, sonically. But Johnny Rotten's delivery of dark and psychologically fragmented, if not downright distrubed lyrics, make these esesntial statements often skin-crawling.
  4. Mirage, Kluas Schulze: More Kraut-rock, proto-electronic, creepiness.
  5. Wormwood: Songs from the Bible, The Residents: More mainstream (sic) than Eskimo, this concept album recounts some of the more unfortuante and sinister (tent stake anyone?) stories from the Bible.
  6. Terminal Tower, Pere Ubu: These early recordings from the most important American band you've never heard, including remnants from what may be the first punk recordings with Rocket From the Tombs, aren't as expressionisticly anxious as their classic work, or as out there as Dave Thomas' more Jehovah Witness influenced albums, but lyrically these are their most disturbing works; the first three songs: Final Solution, Heart of Darkness, and 30 Seconds over Tokyo.
  7. Psychic, Powerless…, and Rembrandt Pussyhorse, The Butthole Surfers: First time I heard Psychic, Powerless, it caught me off-gaurd and genuinely frightened me. Rembrandt is more playfully sadistic, but this is art rock at its most maniacal.
  8. Prayers on Fire, The Birthday Part: or better known as Nick Cave's first band, took the dark themes of delta blues, namely Robert Johnson, cross-bred it with post-punk angst, and turned it to 11. The themes of murder, death, the devil, are as old as blues itself, but when delivered in Cave's searching howl, it's astounding.
  9. Real Life, Magazine: Another post-punk masterpeice, that alos is fragmented, and confronting themes of alienation.
  10. The Wonderful and Frightening world of The Fall, The Fall: The Fall weren't the most artful of the post-punk era bands (notice a pattern here?) But the delivery, droning or unweidly, is unique, effective, and at times startling.
  11. Tubeway Army, Gary Numan and Tubeway Army: Heavily inspired by Bowie's Berlin period, this "In Cars" band's first two albums (the first, amazing, the second an amazing mess) are sci-fi-techno-punk (heavily inspired by Philip K. Dick) influenced expressionism in all its anxious electronic flalings.
  12. The Firstborn is Dead, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds: Less aggressive than The B-day party, and more nuanced, yet still quite dark and anxious. Now that Cave has made his peace (or a peace) with God he's made some of the most exceptional music of the last decade, but you can definately see his wrestle at work here (or in Henry's Dream, or Murder Ballads, or Tender Prey...)
  13. Pixies, The Pixies: A collection of early tracks and b-sides, mostly on here for their bone crushing cover of David Lynch's "In Heaven (Lady in the Radiator song)."

6 Essential Movie Soundtracks:

  1. Fantastic Journey: The Best of Goblin, Goblin: If you don't know Goblin you don't know horror movies. Their soundtrack for Suspiria is one of the all-time great soundtracks in any genre. Deep Red, Tenabrae, Dawn of the Dead; all classics, and even some of their work from lesser-known features are notable.
  2. Film Musik (Aguirre, Nosferatu), Popol Vuh: Another important rock band turned film composer. Aguirre actually sounds more frightening taken away from its image source.
  3. A Nightmare on Elm Street, Charles Bernstein: Really an impressive score.
  4. Cat People: Music from Val Lewton Scores, Slovak Radio Orchestra: Great classic horror film music.
  5. The Twilight Zone: The Complete Scores of Bernard Hermann: Hermann's best known for Psycho, but this collection is perhaps a better showcase for his talents, as he takes short motiffs and uses them in half-hour formats. Great classic sci-fi from probably the greatest American film composer.
  6. Poltergeist Score, Jerry Goldsmith: Kids choir=uber-creepy, especially considering what happened to the kids who made these films.

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