Saturday, October 22, 2011

Halloween Music: Halloween Hootenanny

Halloween Hootenanny is a compilation CD produced by Zombie A Go Go records, which is owned by Rob Zombie.  Released in 1998, Halloween Hootenanny features 19 tracks by various artists spanning multiple genres including surf, psychobilly and hard rock.
Fans of Zombie's work might be a little disappointed as Rob is only present on the 2nd track "Halloween (She Get So Mean)" singing vocals with the Ghastly Ones playing the instruments.  This should in no way discourage anyone from checking it out.  Despite being 13 years old at the time of this writing, this is still a great CD.
The show opens and closes with a poem from legendary creature feature horror host Zacherle (still alive and kicking as of this writing).  The remainder of the tracks are originals and covers performed by a variety of well-known and not-so-well-known acts, including the Reverend Horton Heat, the Ghastly Ones and Southern Culture On the Skids.
Let's take a look at the track listing, shall we?  Of course, my little gourds...
1. Halloween Hootenanny-Zacherle (It's a poem)
2. Halloween (She Get So Mean)- Rob Zombie with The Ghastly Ones
3. The Halloween Dance- Reverend Horton Heat
4. A Fistful of Terror- The Bomboras
5. Werewolf- Southern Culture On the Skids (This is a cover, but a damn fine one.  Thus far the album has a surf rock/rockabilly feel)
6. Gravewalk-Satan's Pilgrims
7. Ribcage Mambo- Frenchy
8. I Drink Blood- Rocket From the Crypt (A definite rocker, here the tempo picks up)
9. Little Demon- The Amazing Crowns (This is a very upbeat track, a cover of a Screamin Jay Hawkins tune, they do it justice, I assure you)
10. No Costume, No Candy- Swingin' Neckbreakers (I swear they wrote this after watching Bungholio: Lord of the Harvest, the Beavis and Butthead Halloween special.  Anyone familiar with the BnB special in question will recognize the lyrics as being 'ahem' inspired by the lines from the show)
11. "The Munsters" Theme- Los Straitjackets (A Halloween CD standard)
12. Sinister Purpose- Zacherle with Southern Culture On the Skids (This is a VERY entertaining cover of an old Creedence Clearwater Revival tune with the lyrics modified to suit Zacherle's particular milieu)
13. Werewolves On Wheels- The Born Losers (Another nice surf rock tune, but named after perhaps the SHITTIEST WEREWOLF MOVIE IN EXISTENCE)
14. Psychic Voodoo Doll- Deadbolt (The self-styled Scariest Band In the World, Deadbolt has some great CDs that are, essentially, psychobilly, although more truly psycho than most.  This is an alternate take from the version that appears on their album Shrunken Head)
15. Banshee Beach- The Ghastly Ones
16. The Creature Stole My Surfboard- Dead Elvi (Chiller Theater's own House Band, this track is a nice little surf rock tune and also appears on the Elvi's first CD, Graveland) 
17.Extrasensory Deception- Davie Allen and the Phantom Surfers
18. Spooks Night Out- The Legendary Invisible Men (As the last of the musical selections on the CD, this one is short and sort of, weird.  It always gives me the depressing feeling one gets as the sky begins to get lighter on the morning of November 1st and you realize that the fun is just about to be over...)
19. Happy Halloween- Zacherle (Another Zacherle poem closes out the disc)

The CD can be played on shuffle for a nice party soundtrack or just for enjoyment, but I think it is best played in order, start to finish.  Thematically it 'feels' better that way.  The whole experience is like a trip through a good Halloween night, starting with an invocation from the Cool Ghoul and then progressing into preparation with Rob and the Ghastly Ones, moving along until "No Costume, No Candy" which is the whole trick or treating experience.  Then it's time to TP houses, egg cars and soap windows...and the real monsters come out.  Finally as the night pushes on you find yourself chilly, coming down from a candy fueled sugar rush and frankly confused about what to do next.  Are you still out on the streets?  At this time of the night?  Prepare to see things no human should and "Spooks Night Out" is the song that brings you that feeling as, exhausted from running for your life you make it back home in time to see the television station shut off programming for the night (yes, I am old enough to remember when television stations "signed off" at the end of the "programming day").  As the sun comes up the Cool Ghoul tucks you into your crypt with the final track and you can sleep the sleep of the unjust and nasty little monster you are.

An oldie but a goodie, 5 stars and a magical 13 years old.  Check it out.
And, for badness sake...keep those pumpkins lit.

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