Monday, October 17, 2011

RANTS & RAVES: Still Feeling Ghoul-D

In 2009, while in the midst of my first Halloween at the day-job (it's like the Holiday Shopping Season to my company -- don't ask), I shared a few fun Halloween cuts to help set the mood for The Scariest Night of the Year.  Two years later and things haven't changed much -- the day-job is still the day-job, and every Halloween seems progressively more stressful (I can't believe this is my third Halloween...sigh). Rather than dwell on the stress, here are a few more (recent...ish) additions to add to your Halloween playlist.

My general disdain for the Rated R album had two real exceptions: "Te Amo" (which leaked awhile prior to the album's eventual release) and the Alfred Hitchcock-y/Edgar Allen Poe-ish/Vincent Price-esque intro in "Mad House". How I wish she had expanded on this to make it a full song. I know I'm not alone in that regard.

So Glee hasn't been as exciting storyline-wise recently as we all would have hoped. Oh well. Truthfully, I barely even watch the series anymore -- but do I get psyched about their sometimes brilliant mashup ideas? Uh, is the sky blue? Combining Yeah Yeah Yeah's "Heads Will Roll" with the baby daddy of all things Halloween-esque, Michael Jackson's "Thriller", what we get is a truly inspired, spooky romp. Added bonus -- the theme idea of Zombie Football Players is a little too on the nose...I'm not going there. But a part of me does wish my days in Marching Band were that killer. (insert drum kit/cymbal smash here.) Go on, (former NLT member) Kevin McHale. You belt out that MJ.

Hear me out. I included this one in my official "Resolution Radio" Halloween Show last year for a reason, okay? The lyrics are a really funny ode to the season. Yes. That's my reasoning and I stand by it. Girlicious may be defunct these days (surprised?), but they churned out some quality guilty pleasure trash pop, mmkay? Nevermind that the video is completely needlessly sexy (hence the fact that I'm leaving that out). Whatevs.

Natalia hasn't quite gotten her due as an artiste. Some of that is due to a poor choice of singles via her marketing department ("Free" feat., anyone?). It's kinda sad too, because when "Zombie" first came to us in 2010, I think more than a few of us were clamoring for her blend of dark, post-Gaga pop. Zombies are the It Costume of choice this year (or at least that's what they tell me at work), and what an effective use of monotone-AutoTune. Ahead of her time? Yes. Underappreciated? A little bit.

I'm not totally on the Minaj train, but there's no question that album cut, the fierocious "Roman's Revenge" off her debut record was something else. Gone are her commercially friendly, melodic hooks. It's replaced with something darker entirely, and Eminem kind of always sounds scary to me. I could do without Nikki's attempt at a British accent at the end but details, I suppose. It's the type of song that makes you a little bit uncomfortable, but that's the point. Ruh Ruh, Like A Dungeon Dragon.

Because duh. Korean Version (below) or brand spankin' new Japanese Version. It's all good. Her Whispuh-suh Are Da Luci-fuhhhh.

How could I leave the Reigning Queen of the Weird Pop out of this list, eh? While "Monster" (criminally un-released as a single) is another worthy contender, let's roll with the subtlety that is "Bloody Mary" off her latest disc, Born This Way. Did anyone else play "Bloody Mary" when they were little? I used to with my  friend who lived next door. We'd play just before going to bed (because we were young and stupid), and once we woke up the next morning with "I Will Kill You" written in lipstick on the mirror. We were obviously freaked, completely oblivious that it was written while we were my friend's older sister.

Oh, Rockwell. I don't fault you for wanting to include the King of Pop in your (only relevant) single. If I was the child of Motown Records CEO Berry Gordy, I (might) ask for extravagant name-dropping pulls. But the least you could have done was try and get him in the video. It's the main reason why anyone really liked this song anyway...

I swear I love this song for more reasons other than the title. "Supernatural" is an album cut from the Sugas 2002 sophomore album release, Angels With Dirty Faces. A Blood Shy & Avant wow cut, it's not quite Halloween-y in proper terms, as it's kind of about how love is a magical, mythical thing, but anything that includes the Sugas in (one of) their original formation (meaning with Mutya, okay) and with fuzzy electric bass and I'm hands in. Check out a live version of the song below. Too bad only one of these girls is still standing in Sugababes as we know it today.


I'm not sure what I was thinking when I didn't include this on my previous list as it seems so glaringly obvious (as does the Rockwell single). Oh well. Some people loved and adored "Rocky", myself included, so that it became the cult classic it is today (still). In college, my BFF and I went to our first live-action showing of "Rocky Horror Picture Show" and I'm still not exactly sure what the hell happened. Suffice to say -- it's not really for everybody. But for those of you who don't get it -- please note: don't think too hard. Just enjoy it for what it is -- complete drug-fuelled ridiculousness.

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