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 this 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 WitchTrick 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.


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.



Trick or Treat

TRACK #165: 

Trick or Treat by Halloween

A band named Halloween wouldn’t be worth their weight in candy corn if they weren’t coming correct with a song called Trick or Treat.

Thankfully, Detroit’s Heavy Metal Horror Show doesn’t disappoint. From Halloween’s 1985 debut album Don’t Metal with Evil comes Trick or Treat, just like it says on the tin.

Bookended by random clips from both Hack-O-Lantern and Halloween 2.

So, in case you’re feeling like you’ve been trick or Treated to death these last few nights, Dr. Loomis is gonna let you know…

You don’t know what death is!



Trick or Treat

TRACK #163: 

Trick or Treat by Otis Redding

Similar to Chuck’s tune, Otis Redding’s Trick or Treat isn’t necessarily about Halloween either. It is more related though, if only because Otis actually uses the word “Halloween.” That’s a bonus.

Despite his utilization of the name, he mostly seems concerned that this floozy is playing games with his emotions. First she’s hot on him, then maybe she gets a little chilly.

Either way, Otis just wants to know what the score is, cause he ain’t about to wait until Halloween to find out he ain’t gettin’ a Treat, which I can only assume is some sort of sexual favor.

What does any of this even have to do with Halloween? Nothing really, I suppose. Then why use Halloween at all? It’s a good question. He gets to incorporate the phrase trick or treat, but I don’t see that as a huge selling point from a song writing perspective.

Here, it implies that it’s a treat if the girl loves him, and a trick is she only likes him. That’s pretty odd though, to consider being “liked” a trick. I get what Otis is saying, but it does seem a little strange to perceive the state of being “liked” as mere trickery.

I’d rather be liked than disliked, or straight up hated on, but hey, that’s just me.

At any rate here’s another Trick or Treat song with dubious usage of Halloween, albeit from one of the greats, Mr. Otis Redding.


Trick Or Treatin’

There’s probably no phrase more tied to Halloween than “Trick or Treat.” There’s simply no other association. It conjures up nothing but festive imagery, even when not used in that context.

Kids in costume, going door to door in droves, threatening the neighbors to produce treats under penalty of trick. It’s one of the grand old customs that’s still observed to this day. It’s the backbone of what it’s all about. It’s what makes Halloween Halloween.

Time was they called it “souling” and the “treats” were mostly just fruits and small cakes. Initially they were left out on the stoop for the dead. Guess people starting figuring “Hell, if they’re not gonna eat em…” Risky business, you ask me.

Fruther back still, it is said the Druids, searching for human sacrifices on Samhain, would rap upon your door and say the phrase. The Treat for producing a sacrifice (most probably one of your children) would be a Jack-O-Lantern filled with the fat from a previous sacrifice, which when lit, would protect you from whatever demons and spirits the Druids were planning on conjuring that evening. The Trick? Oh, just a hexagram in blood on your front door, inviting said conjurings specifically to your home. Trick indeed. 

Kind of a trick both ways, honestly. Seems you’re just in for it. Least you get a Jack-O-Lantern from the Treat, and that might protect your family. Well, the rest of your family. The kid you offered up is pretty well fucked. Unless of course they can successfully bob an apple out of boiling water on the first try. If not, off with their head. And should the opt against trying to bob the apple? Welp, into the Wickerman for a good old fashion sacrificial burning. 

Seems this day has some pretty sinister origins. Whether or not we’re engaging in a sort of ritualistic conjuring simply through the sheer micmicry of such practices (innocent as they may be or at least appear) is the question. 

Are we complicit to evil? Are we abominations in our masks? Is it now so secular it has no power? Or does it have more power, and we are just lead to believe it doesn’t? 

As Colonel Cochran tells us in Halloween 3:

“You thought no further than the strange customs of having your kids wear masks and go out begging for candy.” 

Have we?

Where ever the absolute truth may lie, these days you’ve got peanut allergies, childhood obesity and early onset diabetes to concern yourself with, nevermind possible psychological warfare and veiled Satanism.

And that’s to say nothing of Trick or Treating before it even gets dark or the dreadfully unfestive “Trunk or Treat.” Gag me with a Carmel Apple. Remember when Halloween was exciting, mischievous and just a little bit dangerous? 

Or perhaps a time none of us remember when it was possibly the most dangerous night of all? Now, that’s some real spooky shit.

As you can imagine, there’s no shortage of songs on The Shindig called “Trick or Treat.” At present, the playlist features 4 songs by that title. 5 if you count the Lou Rawls’ Garfield tune. There’s plenty more.

We thought it was time to indulge in a block of Trick or Treat goodness, cause hey, we like blocks.

Not all of these songs are specifically related to Halloween proper, but we’re not gonna be sticklers.

Whatever it meant, or means or conjures – within us or out in the ether, it is a part of Halloween; good or evil, or perhaps somewhere inbetween.

So, come on! Grab a Ben Cooper mask, a plastic pumpkin and crack a glow stick. Let’s go Trick Or Treatin’!



TRACK #160:

Halloween by Siouxsie and The Banshees

The British don’t really give a shit about Halloween. At least not according to me and this blog on the occasions where we’ve previously claimed as such.

We’ve based this idea almost exclusively on To The Devil a Daughter and The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane. Additionally, my wife has corroborated this somewhat, having spent some time in England and found their enthusiasm lacking.

Strange then that innovative British Post-Punkers and Goth pioneers Siouxsie and the Banshees have a song titled Halloween. Or maybe not, given their whole gothy aesthetic.

To be fair, their song isn’t a parade of Milky Ways, Don Post masks and burning orange gourds, though.

No, Siouxsie Sioux’s track is a more atmospheric affair that seems to deal with a loss of childhood innocence.

Doubling fitting then that we bookend it with samples from the aforementioned Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane, where American creeper Martin Sheen sleazes all over British Jodi Foster on the Eve of All Saints in a decidedly less-than-innocent fashion.

He also provides us with a pretty solid and concise description of what Halloween represents stateside:

“Oh, it’s a big day here when all the kids get dressed up in scary costumes and masks and go around to all the houses. When you answer the door the shout ‘trick or treat’ and you’re suppose to act scared, and if you don’t give them a treat, they’ll pull some dirty trick on you.”

Yep, that’s pretty much what we got going on over here.