This Is Halloween

Halloween Is Coming…

Today as I was driving along in my car, a really quiet, sad song had just finished playing on the car stereo. Suddenly, the stereo erupted in a cacophonous, dark, yet utterly joyous sound. It was the song Ichabod! by Th’ Legendary Shack*Shackers!* In short, it was the sound of Halloween. And it served as a reminder that the holiday is almost upon us.

First off, I need to say I’m a huge Danny Elfman and Oingo Boingo fan, and a pretty big fan of Tim Burton as well. So my adult memories and perceptions of Halloween are forever tinged with that particular brand of macabre. But rather than discuss at length the obvious choices—films such as The Nightmare Before Christmas (look, two holiday movies in one!)—I want to tell you that a Halloween-themed film worth seeing is the live concert film Farewell! Live from the Universal Ampitheatre. This is Oingo Boingo’s farewell show, filmed during the band’s last iteration of its legendary annual Halloween event. And it is not only theme-appropriate, but one of the best concert films of all time. “Well, he must mean if you’re already an Oingo Boingo fan,” you say to yourself. No, that’s not what I mean. I have sat down at least half a dozen non-Boingo fans to watch this, and each one left a fan. Some went out and purchased the film themselves—not an easy feat because it’s out of print now. But this is the age of the Internet—go find a copy!  Watch this film with friends!  If you love music, and you love Halloween, this is well worth your time.  Let’s see if I can find a clip online.  OK, here you go: Oingo Boingo performing I Am the Walrus.

Next up, for those of you in the Happy Valley region of western Massachusetts, or those within driving distance, I want to mention a weekend residency worth checking out. Rub Wrongways, the wonderful local label, is taking over The Basement in Northampton for two nights this weekend—Friday 10/26 and Saturday 10/27. They’re calling it the Rub Wrongways Halloweekend Explosion, and it promises to be a good time. Friday night you’ll find School for the Dead and When Particles Collide. Saturday night you’ll find A Severe Joy, The Fawns, and Sea Level. Both nights will feature costume contests, with prizes featuring tickets to other great upcoming shows like Dinosaur Jr. and John Hodgman. Shows start at 8:00. And did I mention they’re free? Get thee to a good time!

Parting thought:  on this day in 1969, Pink Floyd released Ummagumma. Let’s take a listen to the most, er, Halloween-esque track: Careful with That Axe, Eugene.


* In case you’re wondering, I was listening to my iPod through the car stereo, on Shuffle mode.