Halloween is just days away. That means parties, booze and costumes, candy, games and general debauchery. But Halloween also has a music tradition and history. Perhaps the most famous early “creepy” music work is “Toccata and Fugue in D minor,” attributed to Johann Sebastian Bach sometime between 1703 and 1707. No doubt you’ve heard it countless times – you might have even played it for the kids as they trick-or-treat at your door. Should you need a little reminder, click here.
Halloween music really took off in the 20th century. From early songs such as “Monster Mash” to “I Put a Spell on You,” artists have continually taken on Halloween as a theme for a new song, or a way to reinvent an old one.
So, in the spirit of the helliday (see what I did there?), we present you with 13 songs about Halloween. Not surprisingly, most of them are titled “Halloween.” There are some tricks and treats below from the likes of punk all-stars Dead Kennedys and Siouxsie and the Banshees to folk standout Lou Reed … and what kind of playlist would this be without a little Marilyn Manson; performing a track from ‘A Nightmare Before Christmas’?
Anyway, below is the playlist – enjoy. And HAPPY HALLOWEEN!
Rodrigo y Gabriela have struck gold where many other musicians have struck out. Combining musical styles – in this case, metal and classical Spanish-style guitar – and performing entire sets and albums without one single lyric. In doing so, they not only have amassed a following, but a fervent one. Such was evident at their sold-out performance last Friday at Chicago’s Riviera Theater.
Here’s a sign that you’re doing it right: A check on craigslist for tickets weeks prior to the concert showed a massive disproportion. There were dozens of postings from people desperately looking for tickets to the show – just one posting actually selling tickets. Did ticket brokers miss the boat? Possibly. More likely, Rod Gab fans anticipated their arrival very early and made sure they scored tickets. And once they had them, they weren’t letting them go. That’s refreshing.
On to the show. We won’t spend a lot of time here talking about the magic of Rodrigo y Gabriela. If you’re not yet familiar, read this post from our review of a Rodrigo y Gabriela concert in Milwaukee. Besides, all you need to do is watch a little video – you won’t need convincing from me.
The highlight of the night (and one of this year’s best concert moments) came as a stunning surprise. Between songs, Rodrigo teased the audience about a special guest, then introduced Rob Trujillo – bass player for Metallica. It turned into perfect synergy (well, almost perfect – you’ll see) between the two styles of music represented by Rod Gab – their mind-blowing classical chops fused with their metal influences and inspiration while they jam Metallica’s “Orion.” It was the icing on an already sinfully outstanding cake. And the fans … let’s just say you can expect to hear them loud and clear as the music grapevine grows. Check out the crowd reaction at the end of the video “Part 2” and you’ll understand.
Enjoy the video below. It’s excellent and comes courtesy of TP1134. Below that are two more videos shot by Sound Citizen, if you want more Trujillo. Also, check out TP1134’s account for more of the concert from an excellent vantage point. An outstanding job.
Only three dates remain on their U.S. tour schedule: Oct. 20 in Austin, TX, Oct. 22 in Philadelphia, Oct. 23 in Boston and Oct. 24 in Baltimore. If they’re coming through your area, you’d be an irresponsible Sound Citizen not to go. No excuses. Overseas? Check out more tour dates below the videos.
SPIN magazine rolled out a couple of new iPhone apps – and they’re delivering music reviews, live video, news and more.
Like all other magazines in the digital age, SPIN has struggled to keep its print audience. Wisely, they have rushed full-force into the online arena and they’re doing it quite well. Not only do they offer a website loaded with great information and multimedia, but also a flip-book online magazine that can be delivered via email. More recently, they have released an updated version of their iPhone app and a brand new app, SPINearth.
First, the standard app offers an easy, quick way to see what’s new with SPIN. The app gives a one-button link to album reviews, news and photos. The reviews are up-to-date with the SPIN website and provide a quick link to iTunes where you can preview and purchase songs and albums. The news section gives quick, easy-to-read versions of the online content. And the photos are presented nicely, featuring snapshots from recent concerts and the like – turn your iPhone sideways to get a landscape view, flick the screen to see the next photo and click a button to get captions.
SPIN’s new iPhone app, SPINearth, has serious potential. Through a team of dozens of international and local correspondents, SPINearth offers live video of concerts from around the world. For example, I just finished watching a video of Pearl Jam and Chris Cornell perform “Hunger Strike” from their Temple of the Dog days at a recent concert at Gibson Amphitheater. The video itself was jumpy as hell – to be expected from user-generated videos, I guess. There are also updates from the correspondents as they travel and other interesting features.
Now the bad news. The SPINearth app crashes, and videos don’t always load. Also it’s a hog on the already-feeble iPhone battery. This app is a work in progress, so some bugs are to be expected. That said, it’s a great start.