Michael Jackson: A Pity


Aw, kid.

"I Want Pity" (a mash-up of Jackson 5 and George Harrison) by CCC


OH, HELL. (Massive Halloween Playlist)


Halloween is one of my favorite holidays, if only because it gives me an excuse to sit down with a bowl of candy and watch Horror movies all month. I like to spend Halloween night proper taking in as many flicks as possible, but since I have the displeasure of having to work Halloween night, I'm going to try and pass along some of the fun to you, with a massive 26 song Halloween pile-up.

They aren't in any particular order -- that's for you to decide -- but I think you'll find some new stuff amidst the old stand-byes.

BUT FIRST... I've got one bit of business to get out of the way:


"Suicide" by THIN LIZZY: Somewhat sticking to the Halloween theme (death, hell, etc), I have uploaded a live version of Lizzy's rocker "Suicide," taken from the recently released (on eMusic, at least) UK Tour '75 album. I was going to throw up the studio version of this track, but the live version just blows it out of the water in my opinion.

... okay, let's get to the blood and guts:

Halloween 2008: Pimps of Gore, Gore, Gore

"Black Sabbath"
"N.I.B." by BLACK SABBATH: Do I even need to explain the absolute necessity of having Ozzy and Co. on your Halloween playlist? Especially the dark gloom of "Black Sabbath" and the kick ass "N.I.B." (as far as song titles go, it doesn't get much better than "Nativity in Black").

"Death Valley" by BORIS: This ought to freak those Trick Or Treaters right the fuck out. I guess I should just warn you going forward that this playlist goes heavy on the Heavy. Halloween is no place for Sufjan Stevens; he can have Christmas if he wants it. Halloween is for screaming feedback, like the crazy high pitched bug noises that punctuate the Sabbath-y riffs presented here.

"Please Mr. Gravedigger" by DAVID BOWIE: Okay, this one isn't heavy, but it sure is creepy. From a compilation of some of Bowie's earliest works, "Please Mr. Gravedigger" is a warbly-voiced "tune" about an old man who digs graves for "the dead and the maimed" and steals jewelry from the corpses. Bowie sings from the point of view of a man who killed a woman whom Mr. Graves is helping bury. Bizarre, yet perfect for the holiday.

"I am Stretched on Your Grave" by DEAD CAN DANCE: Sometimes you can't beat a traditional public domain tune to show you that groups like the PMRC were way off in going after Heavy Metal for their dark, death-obsessed lyrics. Sinead O'Connor made a semi-hit out of this number, but Dead Can Dance's live, mournful take would sound perfect over one of George Romero's zombie uprising gore flicks.

"Ghost Dance" by DEATH CULT: Not sure if I've posted this one before, but the combination of Ghosts, Death Cults and dead Native Americans was just too good to pass up.

"Born in a Haunted Barn" by THE DIRTBOMBS vs KING KAHN: The garage rock of Detroit's The Dirtbombs mixes nicely with King Kahn's psychedelic folk rock, and the ghostly chorus is the cherry on top.

"Chase the Devil" by EAGLES OF DEATH METAL: Dubbed "the pigeons of shit metal" by Axl Rose after the band pissed him off and got thrown off of a recent GnR tour. This fact makes me love them that much more. If you're going to make all of these songs into a free-flowing mix, I highly rec' keeping this Cramps-esque romp as the follow-up to the Dirtbombs/King Kahn track. They're perfect together.

"Profondo Rosso (Main Titles)"
"Suspiria (Narration)" by GOBLIN: I'll avoid going ape about Goblin once again, but you can't make a Halloween mix without grabbing a few songs from Dario Argento's go-to band for the soundtracks to his twisted visions. Three of these tracks come from Suspiria, while the other is the theme to his fantastic Profondo Rosso (Deep Red). Not to tell you how to do things, but if I were making a mix, I'd start it with the full length "Suspiria" and end the CD with "Suspiria (Narration)." Pepper the other tracks somewhere in the middle and you're guaranteed to have your listener ask at least two to three times, "Who the hell is this?!"

"Devil's Den" by JAMES BROWN: Okay, after all that Goblin, you're going to have the whole neighborhood crapping their costumes. Give 'em a little break with this scorching (mostly) instrumental from the Godfather of Soul. Even the Devil needs a coctail break every once in a while.

"Ripper" by JUDAS PRIEST: Spinal Tap's "Saucy Jack" wasn't the first hard rock song about England's notorious serial killer, Jack the Ripper. Unintentionally hilarious, and yet still totally badass.

"Last Caress / Green Hell" by METALLICA: Okay, time to remind your neighborhood that it's Hell Night, with a little medley from Metallica as they cover The Misfits' "Last Caress" and "Green Hell." Nothing screams Halloween like, "I've got something to say! / I killed your baby today!"

"Horror Hotel" by THE MISFITS: Really, just go ahead and pick any Misfits, Samhain, or Danzig tracks you want. They're all custom made for this shit.

"The Devil's Work Day" by MODEST MOUSE: A Pimps staple, Isaac Brock brings the scary with this grunting, growling piece of swampy goodness. People floating in the river, blood pouring out of kneecaps, hangings and demented laughter... yeah.

"Ghost" by NEUTRAL MILK HOTEL: If only because it's the best indie rock ghost song pretty much ever. Put some step into that skeleton.

"Ghostwriter" by RJD2: You're going to need some atmosphere to back up that smoke machine, dad, and here are a couple of loopable tracks for just that purpose. The former is for that graveyard scene you've got going outside, while the latter is for the party indoors.

"Death Rides a Horse" by RUSSIAN CIRCLES: Sorry, we lost the plot - and the rock - there for a minute.

"Feast of the Mau Mau" by SCREAMIN' JAY HAWKINS: Much like The Misfits, you could pretty much just take any Hawkins track and be set. This is one of those recipe tracks, like "Alligator Wine," where Jay howls out disgusting ingredients, like "Brush your teeth / with a piece / of a goose toenail!" Dude was just insane.

"Your Pretty Face is Going to Hell" by THE STOOGES: Just the sound of the guitar on Raw Power alone is enough to wake the dead.

"To Take the Black" by THE SWORD: I've been meaning to give these guys some love here for a long time, but in case you hadn't noticed, I'm never around anymore. For now, this massive slab of classic cock rock will have to be my treat to you. These guys are opening for Metallica on their current American tour, and I'm sure lameass metalheads all over will be booing them off the stage.

"The Black Angel's Death Song" by THE VELVET UNDERGROUND: The only band so off their rockers that they could make that Bowie song I posted earlier sound like Simon & Garfunkel, The Velvet Underground check in tonight with a song that sounds like beat poetry over the soundtrack to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Unsettling!

"Do the Ghost" by X-MEN: Closing things out, we've got the X-Men with their own "Ghost" dance, sounding like Screamin' Jay Hawkins meets the Dead Kennedys.



From Soundgarden to Sinatra! (WTF?)


I know, it has been a while. I can't say it won't be a while before I'm back, so tonight I'm packing this post with music... and total fucking randomness! If you're the kind of person who doesn't mind mixing his Sinatra with his Pearl Jam and his AC/DC, this one is for you.

"Shake a Leg" by AC/DC:
I must have heard this song dozens of times over the years, but it never grabbed me by the throat until it popped up on my iPod shuffle a few weeks ago. I was embarrassed to find out that it wasn't some obscure b-side, but rather just one of the many blistering rockers on the band's classic Back in Black album. This song easily climbs to the top of my favorite post-Bon Scott AC/DC numbers, and belongs on your next highway road trip soundtrack. I'm sure ol' Frank would have been a big fan. (Revisiting Back in Black takes me back to one of my strangest AC/DC-associated memories: a friend of mine hired a terrible team of DJs for her wedding, and at one point I had left the reception to catch a phone call. Upon my return, they were playing "Hell's Bells." Here's a tip to DJs everywhere: if you want to clear a dancefloor, play "Hell's Bells." I've never seen so many horrified grey-hairs in my life.)

"Hands All Over"
"Stray Cat Blues"
"Girl U Want"
"Mind Riot"
"Burden in My Hand"by SOUNDGARDEN
"Seasons" by CHRIS CORNELL:
Chris Cornell, former lead singer of hard rock bands like Soundgarden and Audioslave, has some new solo material out, and if you haven't yet heard it, it is FUCKING BRUTAL. And I don't mean "brutal" in the sense that thrash metal is brutal. Brutal as in virtually impossible to listen to, and cringe-inducing. I'm not even going to waste time trying to find links to his new music; doing so would be like actively finding someone to kick me in the balls.

Cornell was the next Robert Plant, a stunningly good looking and charismatic frontman with a wicked set of pipes that could evoke Rhythm & Blues one minute and then shatter your windows the next. His work in Soundgarden (and the one-off side project with Pearl Jam known as Temple of the Dog) proved that. Then... dude went solo. And not the good solo, like his "Seasons" from the soundtrack to Cameron Crowe's Singles, which made me hope for the day he would put out an acoustic album. Instead, Cornell released a couple of boring, plodding singer-songwriter-y records. His newest album, Scream, looks like a step in an even more misguided direction, with Cornell seeking to hip himself up to the kids like he's Justin Timberlake by leaning on producer Timbaland. Don't get me wrong, I've got nothing but respect for Timbaland. This misstep is all Cornell's.

Dude: stick to rock. You're in your mid 40s now, so who are you trying to appeal to with this crap? Teenagers aren't going to be fooled by a middle aged man trying to make singer-songwriter dance music. Ask Jewel how that shit went when she tried it. Even your Audioslave stuff kinda sucked, but at least you were back at the front of a muscular rock band.

Sorry about the tirade, but I just wanted to give you guys a handful of tracks that at least represented what was great about Cornell before this shit hits the airwaves (if it hits at all). The above tracks are presented chronologically, for the most part, with "Seasons" the exception. "Stray Cat Blues" and "Girl U Want" are, respectively, covers of Rolling Stones and DEVO songs. "Mind Riot" is a bit of an obscure choice on my part, from Soundgarden's (in my opinion) best album, Badmotorfinger. I've always thought "I was slipping through the cracks of a stolen jewel / I was tightrope walking in two-ton shoes" was one of the best opening couplets in any rock song.

"Reach Down" (live) by PEARL JAM (feat. Chris Cornell)
"Crown of Thorns" (live) by PEARL JAM:
As a sort of extension of the Cornell theme, here's the man joining Pearl Jam for a live performance of "Reach Down" from the aforementioned Temple of the Dog album. In addition, I've included a really rare performance,, Pearl Jam covering the Mother Love Bone song "Crown of Thorns." Mother Love Bone was lead by one of Cornell's best friends, vocalist Andrew Wood, who died prior to the release of the band's first full length album. Cornell joined most of the members of Wood's band (who had begun working with a new singer named Eddie Vedder, for Temple of the Dog. Circle closed. (The performance of "Crown of Thorns" comes from Pearl Jam's 2001 10th anniversary show in Las Vegas, and was released as one of the band's Christmas singles.)

"Hung Up on My Baby"
"Never Can Say Goodbye" by ISAAC HAYES:
It's too late for me to eulogize Isaac Hayes, so I'm just going to let the man speak for himself. Though I must add: listen to the fucking groove on "Hung Up on My Baby." Unbelievable.

"When the Wind Was Green" by FRANK SINATRA:
This has always been one of my all-time favorite Sinatra tunes, but I've only owned it on vinyl until last week when I finally hunted down a digital copy of the brilliant September of My Years. Frank's deep voice is buttery as hell here, and the way ends some of these stanzas (the way he sings "tumbling, stumbling down" or "in a brown wind, dying" for example) can just break your heart. What a voice.



Records for sale - update

Like I mentioned before:

Anyone wanna buy some vinyl?

Here's the full list of what's goin' bye bye. I'm going to try and update it on a daily basis, since there are a few things I haven't added and some things that I will take down as they sell.

If there's anything on this .doc file that tickles your fancy, please feel free to contact me with questions. Shipping is 1.50 per LP, or free with any order over $30.

Thanks for any help you can provide:


And, since I'm not a completely self-serving douche, here's an a couple more numbers:

"Spin the Black Circle"(live, from Self Pollution Radio) by PEARL JAM

"Making Plans for Vinyl" by GO HOME PRODUCTIONS


Records for sale pt. 1

Just a brief note here for now, but I've got some songs to post in the coming couple of days, so stay tuned.

Anyone wanna buy some vinyl? I've got bills to pay and records to sell (and miles to go before I sleep).

For now, I've compiled a list of 7" and 10" records I need to get rid of. I will follow up with a list of 12" LPs in the next week or so. I will try to keep this file updated as stuff sells.

If there's anything on this .doc file that tickles your fancy, please feel free to contact me with questions. Shipping is 1.50 per LP, or free with any order over $30.

Thanks for any help you can provide:


And, what the hell, here's an .mp3 to tide you over:

CHER, covering Bob Dylan's "Tonight, I'll be Staying Here With You"

I know, you're probably thinking Cher?!!. Just click it and see.


"You've had bad breaks? Well that's tough luck."


"The Ghost of Tom Joad" (featuring Tom Morello) by BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN & THE E STREET BAND:
Today sees the release of Bruce Springsteen's Magic Tour Highlights digital EP, featuring collaborations with Alejandro Escovedo, Byrds' guitarist Roger McGuinn and this duet with Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello on Bruce's "The Ghost of Tom Joad" (which RATM covered nearly a decade ago).

The EP features the final performance of E Street keyboardist Danny Federici. Royalties and profits from the EP (iTunes also has videos of each performance for sale at 1.99 a piece) will go to The Danny Federici Melanoma Fund, in honor of Federici, who died shortly after the March 20 Indianapolis concert where "Sandy" was recorded. The EP also features Springsteen covering Escovedo's "Always a Friend" and The Byrds' "Turn! Turn! Turn!" For more information, check out your iTunes store or head over to Amazon.

"My Daily Food" by TOOTS & THE MAYTALS:
This track came on my iPod Shuffle and pretty much plastered a gigantic smile onto my face. An explosion of happy, a party in a pill bottle, "My Daily Food" is over almost as quickly as it begins. What makes someone create such a great song and then decide, "Okay, if we make this thing longer than 2 minutes, we're really wasting everyones time"? A question only Robert Pollard might be able to answer.

"Laissez Briller Le Soleil" by LES BOOTS:
I don't know a damn thing about Les Boots. I can't even tell you how I stumbled onto this song, or where it came from. I most certainly can't tell you what they're singing about (though I'm pretty sure it's in French). All I know is that Garage Rock, in any language, is pretty much the best shit in the world.

Tuesdays with LIZZY!
"Bad Reputation":
Fans of Guitar Hero will recognize tonight's tune as one of the most fun tracks from the second volume in the game franchise. It is completely beyond me why this is the only Lizzy track to ever appear in either the GH or Rock Band series of games, since there are easily dozens of Lizzy tracks that would be perfect. No "Jailbreak," "Emerald" or "The Boys are Back in Town"? Come on, assholes.

(As a side note/afterthought: is every song with the title of "Bad Reputation" pretty kick ass? I can't think of an example where the song is lame, from Lizzy to Joan Jett. . . even Freedy Johnston.)

Bad Reputation, as rendered in Guitar Hero 2 (this version is a pretty spot-on cover):