Friday, October 29, 2010

Friday's Music Moment: Cuts You Up by Peter Murphy

It's a point of pride to me to have a good iPod playlist at the ready for every holiday. Some are easy - just load up on the U2, Pogues, and Sinead for St. Patrick's Day, the Neville Brothers and Kermit Ruffins for Mardi Gras, and Run DMC for Christmas. (You don't believe me? You've obviously never heard Christmas in Hollis.) And you have to update it every year to account for the new stuff. Refining the playlist is a Sisyphean task I relish.

Halloween's a bit tricky. You want fear, yes, but not so much that you drive away the children.  My playlist has the movie themes from Jaws and the Exorcist and Friday the 13th, which the kids largely ignore but which always manages to freak out the escorts. And you want sweet too - all those treats, after all. I have "Sweet Caroline" (the Glee Cast Version) and "Candy" ( Iggy Pop and Kate Pierson) and "Scooby Snacks" (Fun Lovin' Criminals.) Anything with "Ghost"  or "Devil" in the title works; "Pretty Ghost" by the BoDeans, "Devils and Dust" by Bruce Springsteen, and "Little Ghost" by the White Stripes.

After that, you have to go straight Goth, and for that you have to turn back the Tardis to the 1980s. Siouxsie and the Banshees, the Cult, Ministry, Gene Loves Jezebal, Dead Can Dance. This song by former Bauhaus lead singer Peter Murphy is one of the tracks on my Halloween Play List that I listen to all year long, and not just because in 1990 I used to tuck my mock turtlenecks into my pants just like him.  It's an excellent song, 365 days a year. What is it that cuts you up? Peter Murphy's cheekbones, obviously.

I still have a couple of days to fiddle - what are the must-have songs on your Halloween playlist?


  1. Well, if you like Peter Murphy, why not dial back a few years for "Bela Lugosi's Dead"? A classic and poifick for Halloween.

  2. I'm just going to say it - that is the worst song. It just clicks and beeps for the first half. Once the chorus starts it improves, but I think I'd end up shaking the iPod and wondering what was wrong with the speakers if it were on my playlist.


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