Just realized that when I migrated to WordPress in the winter of 2010, I never did bring over some Halloween music mixes. Let’s fix that.
Here are the TWO mixes (yeah, not doing that ever again) from 2009:
In case you missed last year, here’s 2010′s mix:
Combined with this year’s mix (which you have to scroll down for) that’s about 7 1/2 hours worth of Halloween-themed music, with maybe just a couple of repeats. If you want track lists, just click on “October” of whatever year, 2007-2010. The link to the mix is dead (haven’t fixed them yet, and I have a ton of stuff to get done today, so they’ll stay unfixed for a while) on those months, but the track lists are there.
Enjoy and Happy Halloween! Be safe everyone!
If you know me, you know that get absurdly, inordinately passionate about some very trivial and small things in the world. Rickenbacker guitars. Girls who play bass. Vespa scooters. The little puff of steam that comes off the top of a longneck when you twist the cap off. I love those things. Above all of them, though, is my adoration of all things Cardinals, as in St. Louis Cardinals. My parents made me a Cardinals fan, my brothers reinforced it, and Jack Buck on KMOX put the ring on my finger that wedded me to the Redbirds. So yeah, with the World Series going on and last night’s improbable and silly and amazing and hilarious Game 6 done and a Game 7 to start tonight, I’m absolutely giddy. And now I find out that throwing out the first pitch for Game 7 tonight in St. Louis is none other than former Cardinals pitcher Bob Forsch.
Forschie. Robert Herbert Forsch. Amazing.
While most of the baseball world has by now forgotten who Bob Forsch was, which is a shame, expect the ovation at Busch Stadium tonight to be thurnderous. Bob’s a Cardinal icon. Good guy. Good with the fans, good clubhouse guy, maximum effort always. Forsch was a guy who looked like a ballplayer. At six-four, 200 lbs, he was what you’d picture a baseball player to be.
In grade school, Bob was my pitcher. The year I really discovered baseball and its statistical wonderments was 1977, the summer Forsch won 20 games for the only time in his career. The next season he threw the first of his two no-hitters. I was a Forsch fanatic after that. I’d spend hours outside throwing a baseball at a railroad tie retaining wall, trying to emulate Bob’s awkward, side-wheeling fall-off-the mound pitching motion. When our little league jerseys would finally arrive at practice just before our first game, I’d elbow through all the other kids like a crazed bride at a half-off wedding shop sale, frantically searching the gigantic box carton they came in for a #31–Forsch’s number.
I have no idea how or why Forsch became my guy. Maybe because he bore a striking resemblance to Luke Skywalker, and I’d just also gone bonkers for Star Wars. Maybe because every time he came to bat, Jack Buck in his gravelly voice would remind all of us in radio land that Bob was a good hitting pitcher, because he was a converted infielder (Jack seemed to work that into any broadcast that had Forsch pitching more than 4 innings.) I still remember that in the Post-Dispatch the sports editor used to put a game title on the top of every Cardinals box score, and on the one from Bob’s first no-hitter the title was “Brute Forsch”. (That title is rather comical; Forsch, for all his size, could rarely get a fastball up over 87 mph. Bob was a crafty pitcher, a fellow not blessed with particularly good stuff. Watching him pitch you’d just scratch your head and wonder how he ever got anyone out.)
I have no idea whether the Cardinals will win the World Series tonight. If they do, I’ll be going bonkers. If they don’t, I’ll be bummed, but it’ll pass. What I do know is this. I haven’t thought about Bob Forsch for a long time. Years probably. Finding out he was throwing the first pitch tonight is enough of a reward for me for this entire goofy, improbable postseason. You see, when I heard he was going to be there, I got a little misty-eyed. I discovered the 11-year-old kid in me who hero-worshipped Bob Forsch was still there. All of a sudden I was thinking of going to a baseball game with my brother Steve, he being forced to tow his snotty kid brother along with him. I thought of playing catch in the backyard with my stepdad, with me throwing with that awkward Forsch pitching motion and him laughing and suggesting that I was probably bringing it almost as hard as Bob could. All of those thoughts made me incredibly happy, and they are thoughts I haven’t thought for far too long, memories that I thought were buried long ago. I’d prefer the Cardinals to win tonight, but as far as I’m concerned, this entire postseason has been a pretty amazing gift that keeps on giving.
Go get ‘em Bob…and if Tony LaRussa needs a pinch hitter late in the game it’s important to remember that Bob Forsch is a good hitting pitcher. Just sayin’.
Yep, that time of year again! There’s nothing I enjoy more than the good ol’ fashioned creepy fun of doing a Halloween music thing, and this year’s version is a corker. Every song in the mix is a new one for this annual endeavor, and if I can drop any veil of modesty for a sec…this sucker delivers. Before you ask….
“Wait, how can you do a Halloween music mix without….”
As always, there’s no Ozzy. A surprising dearth of Danzig. Not one tiny bit of Danny Elfman or Bauhaus. I’m not saying that I don’t dig those folks: I do. What I am saying is that there are going to be hundreds, if not thousands of music mixes out there that will have all those folks represented to the point of overexposure. Here at the ‘Narc, we have a crippling weakness for the road less traveled, and as such that’s what our mix does.
“But dude, what about….”
There are plenty of cool, great songs out there that fit but aren’t on this mix, and the reason might be that I’ve been doing these sorts of mixes for years now and this year I was determined for there not to be any repeat songs from previous years. As such, if you’re looking for something obvious that’s missing, it could be because I used it on another mix….or perhaps I’m just dense. Always looking for selections for next years mix!
“Couldn’t you just do a whole mix of kick ass metal/goth/garage/chiptunes for this?”
I could, but I’ve got better taste than that. As it is, we sort of dabble in a lot of genres here. Except chiptunes. Seriously, if your idea of inducing Halloween party behavior is to put on the original Castlevania theme, you’re either too geeky or too inundated with hopeless hipsters to be worth saving.
Without any more ado…
1. “Do Not Adjust Your Set”
2. Ronnie Dawson, “Rockin’ In The Cemetery”
3. Otis Redding, “Trick Or Treat”
4. Tishamingo, “Devil’s Love Song”
5. The Grip Weeds, “Haunted”
6. Eyes, “When The Night Comes”
7. ELO, “Evil Woman”
8. Ariel Pink’s Haunted Grafitti, “Frigh Night (Nevermore)”
9. The Talking Heads, “Psycho Killer”
10.Patsy Cline “Walking After Midnight”
11.Donovan, “Season Of The Witch”
13.The Reverend Horton Heat, “The Halloween Dance”
14.The Boy Least Likely To, “Monsters”
15.Robyn Hitchcock & The Venus 3, “Ole! Tarantula”
16.Imelda May, “Psycho”
17.Band Of Horses, “Is There A Ghost?”
18.The Yardbirds, “Evil Hearted You”
19.Tegan And Sara, “Walking With A Ghost”
20. L7 “Pretend We’re Dead”
21.Tito & Tarantula, “After Dark”
22.The Cramps, “Rockin’ Bones”
23.James Carr, “The Dark End Of The Street”
24.Stephen Lynch, “A Month Dead”
Halloween Music Mix for 2011 is on the way. Promise to have it done by….maybe tonight, but tomorrow at the latest.
Chances are if you know who Tom Chick is, it is because you play videogames and know Mr. Chick as one of the pre-eminent games journalists/reviewers out there. Tom’s got his own site called Quarter To Three (so named because when you’re in the grips of a great game like Civilization, you look at the clock and realize “Holy crap, it’s a quarter to three…I gotta work in the morning!”) and on it he mostly talks games and games journalism.
But Tom’s also an actor–if you remember Oscar’s boyfriend Gil from season 2 of The Office, that’s Tom playing him. Tom is a huge movie geek, and he brings the same thoughtfulness and insight to the table when he writes and talks games as he does when the subject is gaming. Seriously, the Quarter To Three Movie Podcast with Tom and his cohorts Kelly Wand and Christian Murawski (a/k/a “Dingus”) is as entertaining, enlightening, and irreverent a take on film as you’ll find and is highly recommended.
So anyway, Tom’s a self-described horror movie buff, and for the rest of this month he’s counting down and reviewing some great overlooked gems in the genre. Absolutely worth a look if you want something new for your Netflix queue.
If you know me well, you know that for years my secret shame has been my enjoyment of a sitcom that is formulaic, has a laugh track, sits smack in the middle of prime time and on a major network. As I described it once on a message board, it is a show that is totally derivative, totally unoriginal, and yet still I find it legen-
Wait for it!
Of course, I’m talking about the CBS Monday night sitcom “How I Met Your Mother”. When the show started 6 years ago, I confess to not knowing much about it. I think I stumbled on it thanks to having left my first-ever DVR set to cast too wide a net, and upon noticing that it had captured an early season 1 episode or two, decided to watch five minutes or so before safely deleting it and moving on. Obviously it got its hooks into me fairly deeply, and became a must-Tivo Monday night thing going forward.
Now I know what you’re thinking. The show is awful. Maybe…or maybe you haven’t seen it. The creative forces behind the show are Carter Bays and Craig Thomas, two guys who cut their writing teeth by working on The Late Show with David Letterman. They’re funny guys. They write snappy dialogue. So the show has that going for it. Bays and Thomas also are interested in working within the confines of the narrow and constrictive confines of the sitcom formula, but subverting those bonds with childlike glee, playing with story constructions that use in medias res, imperfect narrators, flashbacks within flashbacks, and “found” props on the internet (go ahead and google “Lorenzo Von Matterhorn”). The show has an insanely likeable cast; Jason Segel, Alyson Hanigan and Neil Patrick Harris are TV vets who happily support or subvert their earlier television personas, and newcomers Cobie Smulders and Josh Radnor more than carry their own on the show. (Radnor in particular seems extremely underrated to me. He plays a largely thankless straight-man role to the rest of the cast with a winning aplomb, almost coming across as a John Cusack with actual range.) Finally the show has going for it some of the best music you’ll hear in a sitcom with Guided By Voices, Ted Leo, and Nada Surf among the many artists who’ve been featured in the show. (Sadly, licensing issues have forced the creators to remove or replace much of this music from the show on DVD and in syndication.)
(Tangent time: I think the moment the show won me as a fan for life happened that first season. In an episode called “The Pineapple Incident”, all the things I mentioned above come together gloriously. Ted has an unrequited crush on Robyn, who is out on a date. Ted gets wildly drunk and punches up ”Voices” by Cheap Trick on the juke box and while standing on a table sings it into Robyn’s cell phone. It is a sort of shmaltzy, but winningly funny scene in an episode where the story is told Sanjuro-style from the points of view of all the major characters. At the end of the episode, very quietly, they fade in “Voices” again, but this time it isn’t the Cheap Trick original, but rather Jon Brion’s delicate, fragile, wistful cover. That cover is a small miracle of its own–it originally appears on an album called Meaningless, to date the only non-soundtrack album of solo material that this pop genius has recorded and which was at the time released solo through Brion himself long before he found fame as the king of cinema soundtracks. That somehow it found its way into a network show–and yes, I knew it immediately–stopped me cold. I cannot imagine a more rare or cooler song to have ever appeared on prime time TV. Seriously, Jon Brion’s cover of “Voices” on a network sitcom is every bit as subversively hip as Elliott Smith performing on the Oscars telecast.)
At any rate, if you’re a frequent watcher of the show, this season you got one of the best subtle payoffs in sitcom history, and one that no longer makes me feel a little dorky for loving this show so much. See, another hallmark of HIMYM is the way it unapologetically does callbacks to earlier episodes and maintains running in-jokes (Robyn Sparkles, The Slap Bet, etc.) across multiple episodes and seasons. This one, however, was so artfully done and so subtle, I’m not sure more than a handful of people caught it, and it is worth flying up the flagpole of pop culture ephemera and saluting.
Way back in 2006 during the first season of the show (we’re now well into season 7), Ted meets a beautiful woman at a friend’s wedding. For whatever reason, they decide not to complicate their meet cute at the wedding by burdening it with expectations of future dates, so Ted and the girl, Victoria, only know one another by first names, and agree from the outset not to exchange phone numbers or anything else–they just want that night to be a perfect memory. Of course, both have such a wonderful time that Ted has to find her, and that’s the setup of season 1, episode 13, called “Drumroll Please”. At the end of the episode, Ted finds Victoria–turns out the only reason she was at the wedding was that she made the wedding cake and is a professional baker–and runs into her store to discover that she’s as happy to see him as he is to see her. During the entire scene, Pavement’s “Spit On A Stranger” is playing. Sadly for Ted and Vic, the romance can’t last; she gets a fellowship (don’t I know that agony) to take her to Germany to cook and their long-distance relationship falls apart when Ted cheats on her with Robyn.
So. Flash forward to this season. The show brings Victoria back for an episode…and turns out she’s getting married. Still, there are obvious sparks between now-single Ted and Vic. In the episode’s final scene, Victoria takes a final leave of Ted, telling him why their relationship would have never worked out anyway. During this scene, “Spit On A Stranger” is playing again, but it isn’t the original, hopeful and jaunty Pavement version–instead it’s Kathryn Williams’s almost mournful cover version. Now that is one spectacular callback, maybe one of the neatest otherwise throwaway moments I can remember in a simple sitcom setting. But now consider this: thanks to the aforementioned licensing issues, the Pavement version of “Spit On A Stranger” was removed from that first-season episode after the end of that season in 2006. On the DVD for season 1, and in syndication, there’s music, but it’s just generic guitar build playing. So…unless you were watching the show in 2006, and unless you recognized a Pavement song, and then unless you were still watching in 2011 and unless you somehow remembered that Pavement song playing the first time Ted and Victoria met now playing when they say a final goodbye, you’d miss the whole point. I don’t know why, particularly, but I just found that to be extraordinary.