Rockin’ Goblins

October is here!  Theoretically, this is my favorite month.  The air starts to get crisp, and you can layer clothing and wear sweaters.  Football season is in full swing.  If you live anywhere but here, the leaves start to change colors, and you get to start up the first fire in the fireplace for the year.  Hot apple cider is the beverage of choice, and Halloween comes at the end and seems to kick off the beginning of the holiday season.  I love it!Now, to make October even more special for me, I am getting married this month.  (For those of you who were wondering about my father-daughter dance, we took the advice of several readers and decided to go with “What a Wonderful World,” but we decided we would rather dance to the Michael Buble version, because it’s a smidgeon faster.)  That means I have been too busy doing bridal and wedding stuff to get the chance to see or hear any local bands.  I actually had one scheduled, and then I had a bridal thing come up, so I didn’t show.  (Yes, I feel guilty.)  So I thought I would give y’all one more cop-out article, and then I’ll go back to my job of listening to bad bands to make sure that you don’t have to.I don’t know why people keep insisting that Halloween is for kids.  I think that it can be the most incredibly fun, adult holiday out there.  What other time of the year can you wear a patent leather miniskirt, thigh boots, fishnet stockings, and a bustier and be considered kitschy and not trampy?  This is the one day each year – next to Mardi Gras – when you can dress up as stupidly as you like, and people applaud you for it rather than make fun of you.

If your costume isn’t too complicated, the parties can be a blast!  I have a Wiccan friend who throws the best Halloween parties every year (you gotta love those pagans), and these are the music tips that I have learned from her parties and other awesome Halloween parties I have attended over the years.

The best music cannot be found on those cheesy Halloween CDs that you can get in the party stores.  Take some time, do your research, and get some really cool Halloween mixes downloaded onto your computer, and create your own party CDs.  “Monster Mash” is a must – even though nobody dances to it – as is “The Purple People Eater” and the Chipmunks’ version of “Witch Doctor.”  The theme music to The X-Files– the dance mix version – is a must-have for any Halloween party.

In fact, any theme song from a horror film is acceptable, as long as it has been put on a dance track.  This is a party, not a haunted house, so you want your music to be scary androckin’. A classic for decades has been Mike Oldfield’s “Tubular Bells,” which is the theme music for The Exorcist.  No Halloween party could be complete without Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” which should be immediately followed by The Rocky Horror Picture Show’s “Time Warp.”

Any song that mentions witches, bewitched, and magic is good; also, look for songs that use the word “nightmare.”  Two of my favorites are Alice Cooper’s “Welcome to My Nightmare” and “A Nightmare on My Street” by D.J. Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince.  For sheer cheesiness, nothing beats “Ghostbusters,” and almost any song by the band Type O Negative is appropriate for a scary party.

If you’re going for a more retro type of party, there are plenty of old songs out there that have a frightening vibe to them.  Find any version of “That Old Black Magic,” and make sure to have a copy of Ella Fitzgerald’s “Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered” on hand, along with her version of “Ding-Dong! The Witch is Dead” from The Wizard of Oz.  For that retro sound with a modern twist, play Squirrel Nut Zippers’ “Hell.”

I find it best if you take all of the genres and just mix them all together. Sometimes, the cheesier they are, the better they are going to be received by your guests.  Halloween is the perfect time to play those songs that nobody wants to admit they like, but really, they are among their guilty, little pleasures. So go get your costume, decorate with fake cobwebs and dry ice, and remember: Some of the best parties are the ones that aren’t afraid to put a little goof in with their scare.