The last time I checked this was a fucking shindig.
But what is a shindig, exactly?
Well, Merriam-Webster defines shindig as follows:
a social gathering with dancing
a usually large or lavish party
Google definitions had this to add:
a large, lively party, especially one celebrating something.
Now, if you listen to any of the turkeys over at Urban Dictionary, they’d all have you believe a shindig is a small affair, consisting of anywhere from 5 to 20 people. One bozo even suggests it can contain no more than 12!
That’s why Webster’s is Webster’s and these idiot kids are logged into Urban Dictionary from their mom’s laptop.
No one better try curtailing our shindig, particularly not because some dildo in the cafeteria uses it improperly. No, we’re going definitive with our socially lavish and lively gathering that’s celebrating something.
And around here, that something is Halloween, which encompasses jack-o-Lanterns, trick or tricking and and all sorts of spooky shit of a generalized nature. That definitely includes Monsters.
From Hanna-Barbera’s 1965 record of the same name, Monster Shindig looks to muscle in on Boris Pickett’s racket by throwing their characters Super-Snooper and Blabber Mouse into the mix, stumbling upon just this type of haunted jamboree.
The cat and mouse team doesn’t show up in the song however, leaving this bizarro tune free to roam around the streets on Halloween night.
So, lets have a party…big big big and kick-off the second half of our playlist right, with another kind of shindig, performed here by Danny Hutton, who some of you may know as one third of Three Dog Night.
The Monster Mashby Bobby “Boris” Pickett and The Crypt Kickers
Around Halloween, dozens of internet outlets will cough up a dozen or so songs they think you ought to play at your Halloween party. The more enterprising sort might even toss you a couple you didn’t think of or haven’t heard before. The too-cool-for-ghoul-school nitwits’ll even attempt to buck convention with some underground hits which barely qualify and have little to no business playing at your party.
Invariably though, most Halloween playlist fakers (particularly the the oh-so-hip clique) tell ya the one thing you should never even consider playing at your party is The Monster Mash; so horrifically lame, so dreadfully passé.
I read one list that even had the audacity to claim it didn’t conjure up any feelings of fright. Are you serious? It’s a novelty song…about a bunch of monsters…having a party. Of course it doesn’t conjure up any feelings of fright you fuckin’ nimrod, it’s a joke.
They also went on to suggest I play Disturbiaby Rhianna.
They shouldn’t be allowed to make Halloween party playlists and they certainly shouldn’t come up on the first page of a Google search.
Moreover, they included The Freaks Come Out At Night by Whodini. Who-fuckin-Dini! They have a song called The Haunted House of Rock, which is played at a Halloween Dance in a movie titled Trick Or Treat. F minus to your bullshit suggestions.
These people are idiots. Don’t listen to them.
Is The Monster Mash played out? Of course it is. It’s 50 fucking years old and the only time anyone ever plays it is at Halloween.
Can you’re Oct. 31st spare 3 and half measly minutes for The Monster Mash? Yes it can and you should take off your fucking mask and hang your head in reverence for the Halloween National Anthem. The fucking heathens…..skip The Monster Mash….skip your passing interest in a holiday that didn’t need your bogus suggestions. Can’t even find The Shindig in a Google search on the matter and I get these bozos telling me to pass on The Monster Mash.
Ok, if you’re offering up 10 suggestions, I can seeing glazing over it in lieu of a few songs that people are less familiar with. Should have made it 13 songs and showed a little class. Even still, what’s 13 songs? You throwing a party for an hour?
Saw a list of 25 once. Could have just made it 31 and been a bit more festive. Still ain’t handling the job of party DJ.
That’s why Halloween Shindig exists, to rebuke these johnny-come-latelies and offer up a list of serious suggestions; to encompass all and handle the task at hand. Does anyone need a 12 hour Halloween playlist? Probably not but it’s here and growing longer each year. I hope to one day have 24 hours worth so your Halloween couldn’t possibly fit anymore music.
You only need to fill 4 hours? We’ll hook you up 3 times over again. Only want a party filled with Monster Raps? No problem. Here’s 2 hours worth.
Is Love Is A Lie very Halloweeny? Not at all but it’s in Friday 4 when Crispin Glover dances like an idiot and that’s the kinda Halloween party some people are throwing. Not your Shindig? There’s 230 other songs to pick from but it should be represented, just like The fucking Monster Mash should be represented.
To hell with your non-festive, non-referential garbage pop. Play that shit at your wedding. Tonight is Halloween and you should be playing the goddamn Monster Mash.
Since we all know and have just addressed with whom you’ll contact over telephone wires should it become apparent that you in fact have harmful apparitions approaching, let’s task listeners with a similar question:
Yeah, but who do you call when you have Monsters?
That’s right and at last we come to The Monster Squad. From the very first CD in 2002, The Monster Squad has been a permanent fixture of Halloween Shindig and remains one of my favorite selections on the playlist.
Granted, I may be a bit biased but this song is representing hard. Let’s check the stats:
Is it about a horror movie?
Check, it’s about the goddamn Monster Squad.
Ah, yes, but is it in the movie?
In it? Motherfucker, it’s the Title Track. Triple check that shit.
We talkin’ bout Monsters?
Fuck yeah we are. It’s like a goddamn monster mash up in this motherfucker. Dracula, Frankenstein’s Monster, the Wolfman, the Mummy, the Creature from the Black Lagoon. That’s the big five, son. Throw in some sexy vampire chicks, a grotesque bat transformation and a werewolf exploding out of the sky and you’ve got some real monster shit on lock. Check + to Monster Song.
What more could you ask for? Well, they even mention Halloween too. Sure, it’s to illustrate how this ain’t Halloween (or some phony deal) but we’ll just look that other way on that one. They say Halloween and damn it if that ain’t all that matters sometimes.
Now all of that sounds like a Referentially Inclusive Monster Halloween Title Track to me, gang. That’s Great Pumpkin status right there.
And it’s a Monster Rap to boot? Holy shit, is there anything this song can’t do?
One of the most ridiculous tracks you can imagine, The Monster Squad was suspiciously recorded by some anonymous collective of Hip-Hop Demigods that chose to remain nameless. What?!
Why the hell anyone would elect to do this is so far beyond the scope of my imagination it boarders on madness. If I was responsible for this song I’d put it on every job application I ever filled out.
2 years as an Assistant Hanger Inspector for Sears and Roebuck.
4 months as a Substitute Wigsmith at The Downtown Clownery.
Oh yeah and I wrote the motherfucking Monster Squad Rap. What’s up?
From a time when everyone thought something like this was a really great idea, The Monster Squad (for anyone thinking otherwise) is a really great idea.
It’s is pretty whack? Yeah, I guess so. If you wanna be a jerk about it.
Is it poorly conceived and equally executed? Yeah, I suppose I’d have to concede that fact too, if you really want this to be a frank discussion about musical integrity.
But fuck that discussion and fuck you for wanting it pal, cause this song fucking rules. It’s a rap song about a group of kids fighting The Universal Monsters. Oh, did you not catch that? It’s a rap song about a group of kids fighting The Universal Monsters. Whomever is responsible for this song should be a cultural icon. They should have a fucking Grammy and an Academy Award.
Instead, (I’ve Had) The Time of My Life from Dirty Dancing took the honor that year. All right, fair enough. Maybe that’s a better song, but it lacks the lyric:
“We don’t wanna hang with the walking dead, so we gotta kick some monster butt instead.”
What’s up now, Academy of Arts and Sciences?
Looking into this travesty further, I discovered the competition that year was actually pretty stiff. Check this shit out:
Damn, that’s a solid 80’s line-up right there. Maybe I spoke too soon. Still, it should have been nominated at the absolute least. Who the hell is still talking about Cry Freedom 26 years later?
No one, that’s who.
But I digress.
An interesting side note to this song: the original version I had on the 2002 CD was pulled from my old VHS copy of Monster Squad. Incidentally, this was later signed by Tom Woodruff Jr.
Check it out.
This version contained the line:
“First came Dracula, now the Wolfman too, The Mummy and the Gillman swimming in the pool.”
What? Why did that roll call just fall the fuck apart?
Hear that sample below.
I always thought this was a pretty strange and horrendous line, particularly when they could have just as simply said “and the Creature from the Black Lagoon.”
But I guess they couldn’t say “and the Creature from the Black Lagoon,” for the home video release. Damn copyrights.
All things considered, that’s not a bad save. Syllabically sound, it even sort of rhymes, at least no more or less than the original false rhyme. But damn is it silly. Why is he in the pool? Did I miss a scene where he climbs out of a pool? Why did he just say that?
Upon upgrading the tune for better quality many years later when The Monster Squad finally saw a DVD release, I noticed the line was suddenly changed to “and the Creature From The Black Lagoon” and I thought “Shit, that must have been the original lyric. How about that.” Now, I just feel sort of nostalgic for the old, butchered scab.
But I’ve spoken too verbosely about all of this as is, so let’s just make with the goods, huh?
One of my favorite songs on the playlist from one of my favorite movies of all time. Here it is….The Monster Squad.
Cause you can’t not follow that sample with anything else. Right on the heels of one Frankenstein song comes this lesser known effort from Bobby “Boris” Pickett.
As stated previously, Bobby tried to recreate his Monster Mash success several times over the course of his career. File this one under the “Heavy Metal” attempt, though there’s little metal going on here.
Finding information on this track is a bit tricky but it seems to have originated off the Dr. Demento show.
Bobby has brought his (actual?) son along for the ride, who takes his own stab dear old dad’s monster making.
He creates a monster that’s the right shade of green and ready for some rocking. And even though he was implanted with a brain labeled, as Fritz claims, “Musician: heavy metal, not blues,” the song is a certainly a far cry from anything resembling metal.
It’s a Shindigger all the same, and how could it not be? Anytime Bobby Pickett decides to sing about monsters rocking out, we gotta represent.
Perennial spooksters and Shindig all-stars Blitzkid are back at #77 with their ode to Mary Shelley’s classic tale of science gone wrong.
Sympathetically written from the Monster’s perspective, the song actually has a bit more in common with the source material than the 1931 film used to lead the track in. But a clip that perfect can’t be ignored, not by The Shindig at least.
Inclusive, though not to any movie relevant to the Shindig (1992’s Wayne’s World) this hit from shock-rocker Alice Cooper needs no introduction to anyone reading this right now, I’ll wager.
One of 2 songs on the Shindig featuring a monster allusion to sexuality, Feed My Frankenstein uses the dubious imagery of Frankenstein to replace the word “cock.”
Why Frankenstein, though? Is it sewn together from several different cocks? Does it just want to be loved, only to meet disdain from all who gaze upon it? Or is it simply that it’s just a monster of a cock?
If that’s the case, why not Mummy? Feed A-MY…..mummy.
Hmm, guess that lacks a little something syllabically.
That probably cancels The Wolfman, too. And the Creature from the Black Lagoon is definitely out.
Hey, Dracula could work! He’s already a monster of a sexual nature. Plus, he’s associated with hunger (or more appropriately, thirst), something I can’t really say for Frankenstein. I guess he’s just not big enough, and I suppose that’s really the underlying, if perhaps juvenile, point.
As mentioned previously, this puppet was sculpted by my buddy and horror/music/Shindig enthusiast Mikey Rotella. I’ll reblog the photo so no one need dig for it. Pass it around Tumblr! Make his work famous.
Oh, and I almost forgot. This track is led-in with almost unnatural appropriateness by a sample from George Romero’s Day of the Dead. Too perfect for words.
Over the years, as the musical climate shifted, Boris Pickett attempted to recapture his Monster Mash lightning into all manner of bottle. The results were, well, not quite as successful.
In the early 80’s he tried rap, much to the delight of the Shindig.
Easily my favorite Boris Pickett tune, this goofy number is, I think, the funniest of his career. The ridiculous chorus of “Shock the body. Shock the body, body” in that Karloff voice is unmatched. Plus a rapping Frankenstein in the form of “Monster Mouth” is pretty fantastic too.
Though, I think the funniest aspect of the track is Boris’ initial excitement to hear the monster rap, and how quickly that turns to complete annoyance once the creature “won’t stop rapping.”
Even in the form of a silly rap, some remnant of Mary Shelley’s themes still persist,…kind of.
Either way, Boris Pickett’sMonster Rap is Shindig gold, all the way around.
Now that we’ve all had a chance to gawk at Elvira (some 1000+ times) lets keep the tunes going.
You mighta heard this tune on classic rock radio and not thought much of it. Hell, why would you? Damn thing don’t even got no lyrics.
Despite being largely unrelated to Frankenstein , or anything horrific for that matter, it finds itself on the Shindig, and just about every other Halloween collection or list, for the same reason – It’s called fuckin’ Frankenstein.
So naturally, it tends to get a bit more airplay around Halloween. At least that’s when I remember hearing for the first time anyway. In my Dad’s car, probably 17 years ago, driving around Massachusetts on a Sunday morning, getting coffee or donuts or newspapers or something morningy and its all red, and orange and brown all over everything and this song is playing in the cold air. So now, Its just guilty by association.
But why Frankenstein? Well, to quote Wikipedia:
“The song’s title, coined by the band’s drummer Chuck Ruff, derives from the fact that the original recording of the song was much longer than the final version, as the band would often deviate from the arrangement into less structured jams. The track required numerous edits to shorten it. The end result was pieced together from many different sections of recording tape using a razor blade and splicing tape.”
Sounds legit. And as a guy cutting sounds together, especially about monsters, I like that kinda thing. Sure, I do it digitally and it’s been years since I held (let alone cut) a piece of tape or film – but the image of a mangled, spliced together, frankenstein-ass looking piece of tape is awesome, halloweeny, and right up the Shindig’s alley.
So let the Monster Squad test you, and get down to this stitched-up instrumental.