Halloween is almost upon us, and throughout Fort Collins the festivities have already begun, since the day itself falls right in the middle of the week. There were swarms of half-naked underage drunk girls wandering the streets last night, looking cold and trying to look sexy and excited about prancing around in ‘sexy’ costumes in near-freezing weather. There were also the corresponding packs of roving overgrown boys, wandering around checking out the cold, drunk girls, and looking for pumpkins to smash and other mischief they might be able to get away with.
Can you tell I love Halloween? I really do like this holiday, though maybe not they way some folks choose to celebrate. Halloween honors mortality, that defining feature of life that adds so much meaning to our lives by limiting our days and making each one preciously fleeting. This week’s songlist, while including a few non-Halloween songs, draws together lots of songs about bones, death, ghosts, and other themes that suit this week’s mood.
1. Kenny Smith (Bluegrass Dancing)- “Amanda’s Reel” – Lest we become too inundated with Halloween too soon, here to start out this playlist is a very nice reel.
2. Elton John (Rocket Man – Number Ones)- “Rocket Man” – While ghosts and bones are more common as Halloween decor, costumes come in all varieties. Astronauts are just one of the cool costume options, as we all try to come up with ways to dress up as someone or something we are not.
3. Michael Jackson (The Essential Michael Jackson)- “Thriller” – No playlist this week would be complete without this song.
4. Michael Ball (Centre Stage)- “Music of the Night” – One of the easiest costumes for men is the Phantom of the Opera, requiring simply a white half-mask, a cape and some sort of dark dressy-looking outfit under the cape, as simple as a black shirt and black slacks.
5. Goran Ivanovic, Andreas Kapsalis (The Andreas Kapsalis and Goran Ivanovic Guitar Duo)- “Virtigo” – Not a costume idea exactly, but the movie Virtigo is an excellent choice for this time of year, and I like this song.
6. Caravan of Thieves (Funhouse)– “Eat You” – I love the staging for this song in this band’s live show- these folks are absolutely hilarious and adorable on this one. I’m not sure how one would dress up as a cannibal, but they seem to be kindred spirits to ghouls and the undead at least.
7. Ollabelle (Before This Time)- “See Line Woman” – This one is not a Halloween song, but it is a cool old folk song from the South, with lyrics that are indistinctly determined enough that each recording of it can interpret it however they prefer without anyone being ‘right’. My favorite version is still the one sung live by our local singer Luke Callen and by his band Von Stomper, but this version by Ollabelle is a close second.
8. Darrell Coyle (All I Need EP)- “Ghost” – Has everyone had a chance yet to check out Darrell Coyle’s latest EP? If not, this week is a great time to do so. He happens to have a ‘ghost’ song, after all.
10. Frightened Rabbit (Pedestrian Verse)- “Backyard Skulls” – Skulls. Even better- skulls and Scottish accents. I was just chatting with a friend last night about the flood we had here and about the problem of not knowing how many members of our homeless populations perished in the cities affected by those floods. So, a song about skulls in backyards seemed appropriate as a follow-up to that conversation as well as being a nice Halloween theme.
15. Queen (Queen)- “My Fairy King” – I was debating between using this song and “Great King Rat” for this week’s list- both are such imaginative, image-rich songs that have lots of costume potential.
16. The Haunted Windchimes (Live at the Western Jubilee)- “A Ballad of Human Progress” – This one sounds creepy and spooky and ominous enough to be on this week’s list, even if on the surface the title seems pretty tame.
17. Iron Horse (Whole Lotta Bluegrass: A Vocal Bluegrass Tribute to Led Zeppelin)- “Stairway to Heaven” –
18. Katherine Jenkins (The 50 Greatest Romantic Pieces by Katherine Jenkins)- “Hymn to the Fallen”
20. Meat Loaf (Bat out of Hell II: Back into Hell)– “Wasted Youth/ Everything Louder Than Everything Else” – These tracks together make my list 21 tracks long, rather than 20, but the first of these is a story which leads into the song in the second track. They just don’t sound right separated.
- 15 Halloween Songs for the Spooky Season (lipshipsandfashiontips.com)
- Songs to get you Halloween happy (theothersidereviews.com)
- The Damned Halloween Playlist (Monster Mash not included) (americanoflondon.wordpress.com)
- 13 Songs for Your 2013 Halloween Playlist (planetstereolive.wordpress.com)
- Music for Halloween: The Ultimate Party Playlist (apartmenttherapy.com)
- Here’s the perfect Spotify playlist for Halloween (digitaltrends.com)
- Halloween Party Playlist (themommies.org)