Audio

The Monster Mash

TRACK #171:

The Monster Mash by The Krypt-Keeper 5

Born from the same scuzzy streets, Foodland chipped ham and shitty, 3-story apartment building in “downtown” Monessen, Pennsylvania that also gave birth to Halloween Shindig, The Krypt-Keeper 5 and this playlist go together like apples and caramel.

A band of bored FX students joined forces in the winter of 2005  to cut a Christmas album. Deck My Balls: Seasons Beatings from The Krypt-Keeper 5 was a substantial, 28-track package of punk covers, originals, re-workings and Christmas classics.

Featuring the vocal stylings and ivory work of a man you may be familiar with; sculptor, mask-dork, punch-technician and friend of The Shindig, Mikey Rotella.

Rhythming it up behind him were bassist and 4th Keeper Chuck Hendershot (aka Klaus Satan Von Chudberg), Timmy “Tiny Timminy Grinch” Estes slinging a six-string, and Todd Russell Parker McCulloch filling in with drum fills, guitar licks and just about anything else required.

They even played a couple of shows which, for any of the poor souls trapped in the Monongahela Valley, was probably the freshest air they’d ever breathed. Unfortunately, The Shindig never got to see them perform live, as it had moved on to the good life out in California’s beautiful San Fernando Valley by 2005. However, we can all pretend like we were there thanks to the miracle of modern video.

Yeah, that’s great an all, but the last time I checked this was Halloween Shindig. Why the fuck are we sitting here, 3 days before Halloween, talking about a goddamn Christmas album?

Well, that’s because buried deep within this seasonal offering is another kind of festive shanty, and it’s the 5’s take on a Halloween Classic, The Monster Mash.

And when Monessen’s own sons, The Krypt-Keeper 5, take on All-Star Boris Pickett’s seminal Halloween hit, there’s nothing but room for them on Halloween Shindig.

So, c’mon Weeners! Join Dracula, his son….and the wolfmaaan…for this take on the timeless graveyard smash.

 

Audio

The Monster Mash

TRACK #117:

The Monster Mash by 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 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 Disturbia by 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 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.

 

Audio

The Monster Squad

TRACK #116:

The Monster Squad by The Monster Squad

Since we all know and have just addressed with whom you’d 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:

  1. Is it about a horror movie?
    Check, it’s about the goddamn Monster Squad.
  2. Ah, yes, but is it in the movie?  
    In it? Motherfucker, it’s the Title Track. Triple check that shit.
  3. 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 “The Gillman” Woodruff Jr. Coincidence? I like to think not.

This version of the song 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. Who the fuck is the Gillman? Why are they calling The Creature from the Black Lagoon “The Gillman?” And 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.

 

Audio

The Monster’s Hop

TRACK #56:

The Monster’s Hop by Bert Convy

Several years before he became the host of Super Password, Tattletales and Win, Lose or Draw, and 4 years before Boris Pickett would soar to #1 on the wings of The Monster Mash, Bert Convy recorded this tune about a bunch of monsters dancing around inside a spooky house.

Though lacking the character and humor that ultimately made The Monster Mash such a smash, I rather enjoy The Monster’s Hop, maybe even a bit more than Pickett’s seminal Halloween hit. I think it’s catchier, certainly more up-tempo, and nowhere near as played out as The Monster Mash. Those are some pretty big checks in the plus column, you ask me.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying it’s a better song, not by any stretch of the imagination, but when listening to the Shindig leisurely (as is my wont) I will usually skip The Monster Mash, yet I always have 2 minutes to spare for The Monster’s Hop.

 

Audio

The Mummy’s Bracelet

TRACK #51:

The Mummy’s Bracelet by Lee Ross

Here’s a bizarre Shindig entry from singer Lee Ross.
Never heard of him? Well, don’t let it bum you out, cause neither has the Internet apparently. Digging up information on Lee seems to lead to a lot of cold trails.

What we can be sure of however, is that Lee definitely performed this catchy little number about the Mummy. Which Mummy, we’re less sure of, as Lee’s story doesn’t seem to match up to any Mummy film that I can cross reference.

This matters little however, because Mummy songs aren’t exactly falling out of pockets of novelty-rockdom. In a genre choked with Vampires, Ghosts and Frankensteins, a song about a Mummy is a breath of stale and musty air.

So lets sit back and enjoy this strange little ditty about the Mummy, and his bracelet.