Voices at Large

Haunting Tunes


Halloween counts itself among the ranks of other song-less holidays like Elanor Roosevelt Day (Oct. 11) or National Biodiesel Day (March 18). Sure, there's "The Monster Mash," but that fails to capture the true horror felt by unfortunate travelers and mischievous camp counselors. So, I asked some Concord staffers for their Halloween suggestions and their picks were positively frightening.

Out of the gate, I told them not to suggest the Vince Guaraldi Trio's "Great Pumpkin Waltz" (Charlie Brown's Holiday Hits) issuing the rule that it was too easy. That didn't stop Dino Balzano from suggesting it anyway.

Jeffrey Spector offered a veritable catalog of spooky tunes and albums, but my favorite was Odyssey by Korla Pandit. The creepy organist was a staple on '50s television where he had a show featuring him staring hauntingly into the camera and pumping out some of the weirdest music to grace the airwaves.

Julie Porter told me to check out Soul Message by Richard "Groove" Holmes. Much like Pandit, this album is eerie, but with its Les Baxter-eqsue melodies, it conjures up images of a haunted lounge pad. If a bubbling cauldron of Mojitos in the conversation pit is not your idea of spooky, she also aptly observed some of the cuts off Christian Scott's Anthem have a Twin Peaks kind of feel.

Margi Cheske said Paul McCartney's track "House of Wax" from Memory Almost Full has an otherworldly quality and Jonathan Bender suggested The Bad Plus' cover of the David Bowie classic "Life on Mars," from the album Prog, simply for the topic of Martians. Any of these tracks and countless others could help make your Halloween a chilling affair.

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