My first quirky songs post was hugely popular. As it’s been a few years since I posted the original, I figured it was time for a redux. In this edition, I set my sights on Halloween to pull together a small handful of fun, quirky and demented tracks that fit the spookiest day of the year yet are great year-round.
Chad VanGaalen: Monster
There really is nothing out there like a Chad VanGaalen video. Each new video he puts out features his unique style of art. In “Monster” off his 2014 LP Shrink Dust on Sub Pop, VanGaalen describes in first person a grotesque monstrous form. And the accompanying video puts visuals to these words.
Marshmallow Overcoat: 13 Ghosts
Following my recent binge on 80s garage rock, “13 Ghosts” by the Marshmallow Overcoat packs some great vocal hooks and garage riffs into the sub-3 minute song. I love the video for this song, as rather than ghosts it appears to feature mime zombies. I’ve been jamming to this tune all February.
Roky Erickson: Night of the Vampire
Hailing from the 13th Floor Elevators fame, Roky Erickson’s foray into solo work post the original psychedelic band of the mid-60s ultimately saw him record an entire album of Halloween-appropriate music. “Night of the Vampire” is what drew me in, and keeps me rocking any time of night.
Harlem: Friendly Ghost
The second ghost-related song on the list hails from one of my favorite gritty, garage punk albums of the last decade: Hippies by Harlem. “Friendly Ghost” is an upbeat, raucous track with influences that span decades and sub-genres of rock.
O’Death: The Lake Departed
Nothing like a creepy song about murdering someone and throwing them in a lake to get you through the week. “The Lake Departed” is bog standard for what you get from O’Death. It’s a dark sound that is both demented and sweet.