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

Tonight

TRACK #139:

Tonight by SSQ

There’s a lot of reasons why everyone loves Return Of The Living Dead. There’s its great special FX, its endlessly quotable script, its moments of genuine fright, its fantastic soundtrack…

and then there’s Trash.

In the role that turned Linnea Quigley into a horror icon, Trash is the terminally insouciant, death-obsessed, gutter-punk exhibitionist who just can’t seem to keep her clothes on.

She also can’t seem to talk about anything but death, but I doubt there was one straight male horror fan in 1985 between the ages of 12 to Dead who gave one damn.

I love Linnea Quigley. She stars in one of my favorite Halloween movies of all time and appears in my favorite Christmas movie of all time. I love to see her in anything and I’ve sat through quite a bit of garbage (Deadly Embrace, I’m looking in your direction) simply because she makes an appearance.

You may not always get a Trash or a Suzanne (Night of the Demons) or a Spider (Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama) but you’ll always get Linnea. And whether she’s being cute and bubbly, or morose and sassy, she will always be refreshing compared to her surroundings.

This track from SSQ will forever remind me (and I’m sure countless others) of both Trash and Linnea and my first experience with the horror vixen, who takes almost as close a place in my heart as The Mistress of the Dark herself.

So, let’s get some light over here, Trash is taking off her clothes again.

X’s and O’s,

Halloween Shindig

 

Audio

Flesh To Flesh

TRACK #136:

Flesh To Flesh by Joe Lamont

Return of the Living Dead Part II gets a bad rap. Granted, it’s pretty well deserved, but it gets a bad rap all the same.

Honestly though, in its defense, it had a full count walking to the plate: take one of the most beloved, successful and awesome zombie horror/comedies ever, which wraps itself up pretty fucking tightly and expand on it. Go!

Yeah it strikes out, but that was to be expected. At least it doesn’t get caught looking. It goes down swinging.

It’s never very dark or scary or serious (as the trailer led people to believe) nor is it ever terribly funny. Comedy is tricky and when it face-plants, it does so hard and loudly. It’s not quite as cringe inducing as its equally I’ll-advised contemporary, C.H.U.D. 2, but unlike its counter part you at least feel like your watching an honest to god sequel, despite how shitty that sequel may be.

One thing Return of the Living Dead Part II gets sort of right is the music. While nowhere near the iconic status of its predecessor’s, there’s some good tunes to be had on this soundtrack. Whether it’s Anthrax or Leatherwolf or this turn from Joe Lamont.

Being that this really the only thing the Shindig ultimately concerns itself with, Return of The Living Dead Part II gets its day.

Here’s Joe Lamont with Flesh To Flesh.

 

Audio

Pet Sematary

TRACK #112: 

Pet Semetary by The Ramones

The Ramones (b) + Horror Title Track (htt) = Shinding Gold (sg).

And I don’t care what hardcore Ramones fans thought or what The Golden Raspberry Committee had to say on the matter, my equation is airtight.

And just like any good equation you could substitute a lot of bands for that b variable and still get the same value or greater.

Dokken? Check.

45 Grave? Check Plus.

J Geils Band? Double Plus Good.

It’s math. It just works. Numbers don’t lie. And when Joey, Dee Dee, Johnny and Marky set their sights on Stephen King, the result was a horror hit for the ages. Haters be damned!

Stephen King likes to name drop songs in his novels, particularly Ramones songs and Pet Sematary is no different, as Blitzkreg Bop plays heavily into the story.

I believe the story goes that the boys were approached by the producers for the inclusion of Sheena Is A Punk Rocker in the movie. Such fans of the novel were they that The Ramones simply offered to cut an original track just for the film. And not only that, but a Title Track to boot. Don’t know where I heard that, can’t confirm it but it’s in my head and why would I just make that up? Gotta be at least a partly true, right?

It’s one of the greatest Horror Title Tracks of all time performed by one of the greatest Rock ‘N Roll bands ever. The simplicity and raw power of The Ramones lends itself to perhaps the most cartoonishly straight forward song to ever accompany a horror film, or maybe any film for that matter. Though, there is Hard Ticket To Hawaii and The Stabilizer and thems some ridiculous ass Title Tracks.

So blow a raspberry at those Golden Raspberry farts and follow Victor to the sacred place.

 

Audio

The Surfin’ Dead

TRACK #111:

The Surfin Dead by The Cramps

So what do hot rods, racing, surfing and zombies all have in common?

Beats the hell outta me but they all come together in one helluva hammer droppin’, high-rev haulin’, outta sight asphalt eater from Ohio creepsters and Shindig All-Stars The Cramps.

Perhaps their most gracious addition to horror-rockdom, The Surfin’ Dead is prominently featured in Dan O’Bannon’s awesome 80’s zombie send-up The Return of The Living Dead.

While no slouch in the soundtrack department, I have to admit this is easily my favorite track off the album, no question. But I love me some Cramps so maybe I’m just a tad bit biased. Or maybe it’s just a great song.

Either way, it belongs on a Halloween playlist. Even a short one.

And just for good measure, Lux tosses in 2 shout outs to Cleveland’s pride and Cramps hoedad, Ghoulardi.

Cause your A-bone’s busted and you’re through the door, so do the dead

 

Audio

The Gonk

TRACK #89:

The Gonk by Herbert Chappell

Is there any song that says “zombie quite like Herbert Chappell’s strange tromboner The Gonk? Ok, maybe Thriller, but you know what I mean.

George A. Romero’s bizarre choice for musical zombie accompaniment has gone on to exemplify human stupidity, mass consumerism and well, the two combined together in the form of zombification.

More recently, the song got a well heard revamp from Robot Chicken’s clucking outro, further stapling this catchy tune onto the brains of pop culture.

Rounding out the 80’s and wrapping up our little zombie interlude, it’s The Gonk, on KZMB, all-zombie radio!

 

Audio

Night Of The Living Dead

TRACK #88:

Night of the Living Dead by The Misfits

Ah, Night of the Living Dead. A true classic by any definition. Romero’s Dead opener redefined horror, the zombie, claustrophobia and human villainy. And everyone’s been apin’ it since.

At the impressionable age of 12, it began a love affair with horror films that only gets stronger every year. It was the first one to really knock me on my ass:

“Holy shit?! Movies can end like that?!”

I shout to no one, in my Massachusetts bedroom late one Halloween night.

I respond 20 years later through a Halloween blog,

“They sure can kid, but most of em won’t, so don’t get too comfortable.”

It’s a film I love, no asterisk.

However, when it comes to a Halloween playlist, there ain’t much there to spin for your guest. No worries cause The Misfits have us all covered.

This ain’t no love-in, this ain’t no happenin’, it’s a goddamn Halloween party, so stumble in somnambulance!They’re coming to get you, Barbara…

 

Audio

I Walked With A Zombie

TRACK #87

I Walked With A Zombie by Roky Erickson & The Aliens

Roky Erickson’s a pretty far-out cat. So literally far-out in fact, that he once claimed he was an alien.

He was also admitted to a psychiatric hospital for the criminally insane where he underwent shock treatments, but that’s neither here nor there. Though the latter did occur before the former, I don’t mean to suggest that this clearly means he’s not actually an alien. Just saying…that happened too. It’s all pretty far out.

Originally the front man for psychedelia pioneers The 13th Floor Elevators, Roky embarked on a solo career after being released from the hospital in ‘74. What resulted was an altogether different experience in the form of Roky Erickson & the Alien’s The Evil One.

The Evil One is a pretty great album featuring all kinds of groovy monster tunes that could easily find a home on the Shindig. Particularly, I Walked With A Zombie, which has been a standing member of the playlist for some time.

There’s not much to it, honestly. It’s just the title, repeated over and over again, with the addition of the words “last night” attached to every 3rd go ‘round.

However, I like this song. Its got a cool and catchy, almost 50’s sound to it that I can’t help but sing along to. Maybe you’ll find yourself doing the same.

Included are some samples from the songs namesake, 1943’s I Walked With A Zombie. Here’s Roky & The Aliens kicking off a little zombie block here on the Shindig!

 

Audio

The Trioxin Theme (Main Title)

TRACK #79:

The Trioxin Theme (Main Title) by Francis Haines

It seems as though I’ve been ignoring my Horror Themes category. Better sock one in here before the playlist ends up with a giant lyric-less cluster somewhere in the middle.

And if you need a go-to Horror Theme, then Francis Haines’ Return of the Living Dead Main Title Theme will do just fine.

Perfectly creepy, perfectly Halloweeny, The Trioxin Theme is just the break we need from the rock to bring a little ambiance back into the mix.

As soundtracks go (official, purchasable albums that is) The Return of the Living Dead is a great one. Not only is the music awesome, but it chock full of so many great samples from the movie I don’t even need to bust out my DVD to lead them in. Just grab 2 tracks, splice ’em a little and we’re good to go.

From one of the greatest zombie movies ever made, here’s the synthy and spooky Trioxin Theme from The Return of the Living Dead.

 

Audio

Partytime (Zombie Version)

TRACK #4:

Partytime (Zombie Version) by 45 Grave

Now it’s party time, literally. We’ve established it’s Halloween, now commence the rocking.

Fourth in line is the first of many selections from possibly the finest horror movie soundtrack ever – Return of the Living Dead.

Apparently the original version of this song was actually about a 5 year old whom is raped and abused by her family. Now, I don’t know if that’s more Halloweeny, but it’s definitely more horrific, that’s for sure.

Needless to say, the producers asked Dinah Cancer if she could rewrite the lyrics to make it a bit more relevant to the film, and a bit less, well, rapey.

The result? Our first official crossover song, and one of the most ass-kicking tracks from a kick-ass soundtrack.

So, do you wanna party? It’s not a bad question, Burt.

Oh, let’s do thaaaaat.