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October 31st

TRACK #209:

October 31st by Acid Witch

For 2018’s 3rd belated official-induction of a Shindig All-Star, direct from Motor-City, it’s Halloween Metallers Acid Witch. They’re coming correct with the calendar date on which this whole holiday has always taken place.

Posting this song on any other day seemed, well, it seemed pretty stupid. So, we’re kicking off a heavy metal Halloween double-header with this tune, sure to make your Halloween a little more rockin’.

We’ve led it in with a sample from Halloween 2, where Loomis explains the meaning of that strange word they just found graffitied on the school chalk board to Haddonfield’s finest.

Of course, Donald Pleasence pronounces “Samhain” phonetically, but we can forgive him that transgression because, as always, he just sells the fuck out of this dialogue.

Happy….October 31st.

 

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Teenage Frankenstein

TRACK #208:

Teenage Frankenstein by Alice Cooper

He may just be using the whole Frankenstein motif as a metaphor for teenage alienation, but Alice Cooper crams enough monster imagery in this cut to make that mostly irrelevant.

Add to that the songs inclusion within Jason Lives and you’ve got a double-decker monster song sandwich of Shindigging proportions.

Particularly considering the scene, which is one of the more badass moments from Friday 6.

Jason has stowed away on an RV and proceeds to cause a straight up ruckus, imprinting Nikki’s face through a wall and stabbing Cort in the neck. He then allows the motor home to completely upend itself before blasting out of the top in straight Boss Voorhees fashion.

All of this of course is set to Cooper’s Teenage Frankenstein, where Cort emphatically cranks the volume on the fiddle and shouts like an idiot while his motor-Rome burns all to hell.

Here’s Alice Cooper, reinforcing his All-Star status with Teenage Frankenstein.

 

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Bump In the Night

TRACK #197:

Bump In The Night by Dennis Michael Tenney

Whaddaya say we ring in the official appointment with a double dose of Dennis?

It’s difficult to talk about Kevin Tenney’s 1986 debut without mentioning it’s Sweet Song, Bump In the Night, performed there by butt-rockers Steel Breeze, who have possibly the silliest juxtoposition-as-band-name from an era built on such nonsense.

Steel Breeze? Seriously guys? The literal interpretation of that idea is probably the only thing saving it from complete stupidity. Or maybe that makes it worse, I’m not sure. Either way, it’s not even approaching tough. Just the word “breeze” itself is so passive, I don’t care if you throw “murder” in front of it, there’s no coming back. It can’t be toughened up. Though “steel” is a valiant effort, I suppose.

But enough about them though, cause they’re not even featured here, as The Shindig has opted for the similar, though artistically purer form of Bump In the Night from the song’s author, Shindig All-Star Dennis Michael Tenney.

His demo for this tune, while less polished and less flashy than the falsetto strewn official from Steel Breeze, is better. Steel Breeze’s cut just feels like they’re trying to show off, and Dennis’ workmanlike approach is much appreciated in contrast.

Gone are Breeze’s unnecessary vocal flourishes, the wussification of the backing vocals, that flanger heavy intro, and the general Foreigner-ness,…not that I have anything against Foreigner. Oh yeah, and Dennis’ solo is way better, you ask me.

Naw, this version just has more heart, and it’s lyrics get the treatment they deserve from the man who penned them.

You’ll hear Dennis croon about how “the stairway’s a dragon,” or “the coat racks a madman” when you turn out the lights. Fair enough I suppose, logical conclusion do get harder to make,…as you lie there awake.

While it’s no The Beast Inside, what could be? Dennis is just gearing up for that opus here with Bump In the Night and it’s easy to see the seeds of that classic take root.

We were pumped to find this version of the track and allow Dennis stretch his legs a little more and really make The Shindig a place he can call home.

Originally intended for 1986’s Witchboard, here’s Dennis Michael Tenney’s demo for Bump In the Night.

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Computer Date

TRACK #196:

Computer Date by Dennis Michael Tenney

Much like Halloween, Dennis Michael Tenney has been on the All-Star roster without proper representation for some time now.

And just like Halloween, we’re gonna make it official for him in 2018.

Of all Dennis’ many contributions to his brother Kevin’s Class of 1988  valedictorian Night of the Demons, Computer Date may be the most curious.

It’s featured prominently, and basically in its entirety, when the gang first arrives and starts partying down at Angela’s Hull House Halloween Hootenanny.

But why this cut? Lord knows. It’s definitely a rocking little tune suitable for the scene and pretty danceable. Evidence to it’s 80’s danceablity  can be seen hereand here.

But it’s a strange sort of song. Kinda feels like something Dennis had laying around with enough of a beat to work with the scene. Not a problem necessarily, but what is this track all about?

What sounds like a pretty standard song about using a computer dating service turns into, I think, a bizarre situation where Dennis is fucking a robot.

Now, correct me if I’m wrong please, cause I’m genuinely unsure what exactly is happening in this song. She talks a little roboticly, about “stereo taping” the fucking and playing it back. And apparently they need a whole reel-to-reel, which to me indicates a fair amount of fucking.

I’m not sure if we’re told who or what she is exactly, but what we do know is that she can take some abuse without blowing a fuse. That sounds like that could be robot talk, but could just be metaphoric too.

The problem for me occurs around the line

“When I asked them what they thought made her so different

From any other girl I’d meet on the street.”

This could be a great indicator as to what’s happening, but for the life of me I can not figure out what the hell Dennis is saying.

I think it’s

” they said believe it or not,

she’ll come with drive and a slot

and that’s a combination never to beat.”

I dunno, kinda sounds like he’s fucking a robot.

Or just a chick that’s ready to go, I guess, and it’s all a double entendre.

I think his “computer” date is the computer. But I have absolutely no idea if that’s what he’s actually saying.

Maybe it’s just me. I dunno. Maybe I’m a pervert and I’m adding all this weird robot sex shit where it isn’t, but I’m not sure.

Whatever the hell is happening, it’s always a pleasure to hear Dennis Michael, and at 3 tracks, that officially add him The Shindig All-Star Team,

Now batting, center fielder Dennis Michael Tenney with Computer Date.

 

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Halloween Night

TRACK #189:

Halloween Night by Halloween

Several years ago when Halloween made their Shindig debut on Halloween with their song Halloween, we immediately bestowed upon them All-Star status. This was very premature, because at that point, it was their only contribution.

I knew then that they would have multiple appearances. I have an auxiliary playlist called The Shindig Bullpen for all the planned additions that have yet to make their way onto the blog. They’re all there, but the move was still premature.

Tonight’s track, however, finally makes Halloween The Shindig All-Stars they were born to be.

Since they already had a song called Halloween, I’m sure they were pretty disappointed. Now, they probably could have gone the Danzig route and just made a song called Halloween II, but Halloween opted to tag the word “Night” on there, and call it a day. It’s a solid move.

And since we were just dealing with Dr. Crowley and his Anti-Halloween Machine, we thought we’d check in with Angela Harris, who’s own Anti-Halloween machine, a religious group called HARVEST, is responsible for all the mayhem in 2014’s nostalgia stuffed The WNUF Halloween Special.

Her alarmist petitions seem particularly in contrast to Halloween’s somewhat reassuring song, where they tell you everything’s all right, Halloween’s just a fun night out at the Heavy Metal Horror Show. Nothing to worry about here.

Mrs. Harris, well, she doesn’t exactly concur.

Here’s Halloween, once again singing about Halloween and taking their rightful place on the Shindig All-Star team, with Halloween Night.

 

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Suspiria

TRACK #176:

Suspiria by Goblin

No Goblin block (or indeed even any brief conversation about Goblin) exists without a mention of perhaps their most famous of all arrangements, that from Argento’s Ballerina-Witch-epic, Suspiria.

This spooky, ethereal and very Italian supernatural shocker is classic horror business.

It has captivated and inspired fans and other filmmakers since its release in 1977. Not the least of whom being John Carpenter, who’s own classic horror offering, Halloween, has hallmarks of Argento’s masterpiece all over it.

And not the least of that being John’s score, which takes much inspiration from Goblin’s kinetic and prominent sounds.

Presented here at number 176 and rounding out our Goblin-Fest is the title theme from Suspiria.

Do you know anything about witches!?

 

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Tenebre

TRACK #175:

Tenebre by Goblin

Next up from Goblin is a track that technically isn’t a even a Goblin song at all, but a song performed by the 3 Godfathers Claudio Simonetti, Massimo Morante and Fabio Pignatelli specifically (and individually): the theme from Tenebre.

Goblin had long since called it quits by the time Dario Argento got around to tapping them again to score another horror picture.

And though they buried their hatchets (at least enough to work on this score) they choose to be credited here individually, rather than as a group. Bad blood runs deep.

But you can’t fool us. This sound is unmistakable, and we all recognize it for what it is – the sound of Goblin!

 

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The Theme from The Fog

TRACK #172: 

The Theme from The Fog by John Carpenter

This is Stevie Wayne here, your night light, on fabulous 1340 Shindig Radio, spinning the tunes for you all October long.

Halloween is just around the corner now, and I’ve got a solid block of spooky synth songs to shake your Samhain soiree. No singin’, just the smooth buzz of oscillating vibrations to give you and your guests the shivers.

This first one goes out to the men on the Seagrass. Watch out for that fog bank you’ll say isn’t there until all of a sudden it is. It’s filled with ghost pirates, and Garfield  won’t be there to bail you out.

Unil then, keep it here on Shindig Radio, and we’ll take you right into the witching hour. 

 

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Prince of Darkness

TRACK #168:

Prince of Darkness by Alice Cooper

In 1987, after struggling to work within the studio system and the unfortunate box-office performance of Big Trouble in Little China, John Carpenter decided to go rogue once again.

And rogue indeed, producing a straight-faced and strange (maybe even ahead of it’s time) film that I can’t imagine any major studio green-lighting. What emerged was an atmospheric, dread-drenched affair of Science converging with Religion to prove the existence of God.

Or perhaps more appropriately, the existence of Satan.

Sub-atomic. Moving within the atoms of things, where logic need not apply. Liquid evil. A green, putrid substance filled with all the abominations of the earth.

It was captured and sealed up long ago. A race of Humanoid Aliens, of which Jesus was a member, kept watch. But the truth was hidden. Wrapped in metaphor and buried under ritual.

Now, in light of our faithlessness, it has awoken, and it wants control.

I like Prince of Darkness. It’s a little talkie, sure, and maybe a tad slow, but I don’t mind. I could listen to Egg Shen spout off about theoretical physics all night. Donald Pleasence is solid, even if he feels like he’s just plugged in from The Devil’s Men, and A.J. Simon is only distracting if you actually used to watch Simon and Simon, which you probably didn’t. The supporting players do a fine in their respective roles, including Carpenter regulars like Victor Wong, Peter Jason and Dennis Dun.

And, once the scientists start being slowly absorbed by the evil and the hobos begin to gather, John turns on the gas a bit.

Speaking of the street people, Alice Cooper jumps in to play the pale-faced, beanie-rockin, head-hobo. He even kills a dude with a rusty, old bike. A dude who happens to be listening to this very song on his Walkman….meta.

Seems this bike was Alice’s own personal prop too, as he used to do this gag live during his stage show. Now thats pretty bitchin’.

Here’s reigning All-Star Alice Cooper rockin’ again with the patented Title Track Prince of Darkness.

 

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Trick or Treat

TRACK #166:

Trick or Treat by Acid Witch

Acid Witch rules.

Just look at that album cover!

That shit is awesome. That’s one of the coolest album covers I’ve seen in a long time. I know they say you shouldn’t judge stuff by it’s cover and what have you, but c’mon! Look at that fucking thing. There’s no way the band hiding behind that cover doesn’t rule.

And they do.

Sludgy, doomy and packed front to back with Halloween imagery, Acid Witch delivers the goods. Hailing from Detroit, it seems they’ve taken up the mantle from Motorcity’s own Halloween and dubbed their music “Halloween Metal.” Goddamn right.As such, they’ve got plenty of Halloween fodder for the Shindig, and like their local brethren, are first ballot Shindig All-Stars.

They even cut an EP last year called “Midnight Movie” featuring covers of songs already included on the playlist, with samples and everything. It’s like they covered the Shindig! It’s insane. I love these dudes.

First up from Acid Witch: Trick or Treat. Chuggier than shit and more unsettling than that, it’s written from the perspective of a true predator on Halloween, lurking in the guise of a mild mannered neighbor.

With his thicked-rimmed glasses, trimmed mustache and white cargo van, he relishes in the opportunity Halloween provides to snatch up children to feed his cannibalistic desires. His is the house you stay away from on Halloween, and every neighborhood has someone like him.

Creepy.

Sampled up with clips from the Tales From the Darkside pilot Trick or Treats, featuring a different kind of Halloween predator, Mr. Hackle.

Banker and land baron to a small farming community, he has the whole of the town indebted to him through IOUs. Every Halloween he allows the children a chance to enter his haunted abode and search for the IOUs to clear their parent’s debt.

There, they find he has a few tricks up his sleeve for them. But this year, the spirits of Halloween have a few tricks in store for him.

Featured within is one of the scariest witches to ever grace the screen, who’s cackle and entreaties for treats are the stuff of nightmares. What better combo for Acid Witch and their All Hallo’s horror?

Trick or treeeeaaaat.