The Semi-Annual Top 15 Halloween Tunes

As usual I’ve been busy getting Funeral for A Friend up to speed on the piano. Neighbors dig me…. Not so much last week when I pulled my fave-to-play Halloween tune out of the floorboards. Dear god my piano softly wept. The neighbors,  not so softly.

 So without further ado:

  1. Every Day is Halloween –Ministry
  2. Funeral for a Friend – Elton John
  3. Corpse Grinding Man – Harley Poe
  4. Superstition –Stevie Wonder
  5. Werewolf – The Frantics
  6. Time Warp –Rocky Horror Picture Show
  7. Werewolves of London – Warron Zevon (also playing this daily –but an easy tune)
  8. I Put A Spell On You – Screamin’ Jay Hawkins
  9. Little Drop of Poison – Tom Waits
  10. RE: Your BrainsJonathan Coulton
  11. Hell – Squirrel Nut Zippers
  12. Bad Things – Jace Everett.(True Blood theme song)
  13. Bad Moon Rising – CCR
  14. Psycho Killer –Talking Heads
  15. Ghost Town –Shiny Toy Guns

Well, it seems there are some new Samhain tunes in town since the last YoYo-Dyne list. It makes an evil girl weep tears of joy. Mind you, this list reflects the author’s opinion.

On the other hand (THING?!) feel free to nominate any others you can think of.

NOTE: any mention of Monster Mash, Twilight Zone, Friday the 13th Theme or anything by Rob Zombie or Alice Cooper will be laughed off the comments page.

Just too easy.

Let us end this fine playlist with a few atrocious pictures of Halloween costumes… that you wouldn’t be caught dead (or decaying) in.

As for Miss R? I’ll be adorned as a serial killer. The costume my usual street attire of black skirt, black stockings, FMPs and black low cut blouse.

No, it’s not Goth.  It’s just that serial killers look like anyone else on the street.

Trick or Treat my friends. Oh, and don’t shoot the piano player.

most offensive 2012 costume

Most Offensive costume of 2012

Pedo Bear Approved!

Damned furry footed freakin’ Hobbits

Tales From the Crib

The Miss R Mostest Fabulousest-est Halloween Playlist.

 

Hell I actually made a sauce for my dinner. For veggies.
Dammit Cate

Note: I had to add butter.
Really.

You know why fat is bad for you? Because it tastes good.
On we go to Miss R’s Halloween Top 20

  1. Funeral For A Friend….Elton John
  2. Psycho Killer…. Talking Heads
  3. Season in Hell….Eddie And the Cruisers
  4. Creep…. Radiohead
  5. Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead…XTC
  6. Deadbeat Club… B52’s
  7. What Sara Said…. Death Cab for Cutie
  8. Scary Monsters…. David Bowie
  9. Mack the Knife…. the hard-to-find version by Sting. Hint: It’s on a Kurt Weill anthology/tribute
  10. Over by the Frankenstein Place…. Rocky Horror
  11. Somebody’s Watching Me…. Rockwell
  12. Batman Theme…. The Ventures
  13. Bad Moon Rising…. Creedence Clearwater Revival
  14. This is Halloween…. Danny Elfman/Nightmare Before Christmas
  15. Bela Lugosi’s Dead…. Bauhaus
  16. I Put a Spell On You…. Screamin’ Jay Hawkins
  17. Dead Man’s Party… Oingo Boingo (hell I hate to succumb to the typical and mundane)
  18. Thriller…. Michael Jackson
  19. Squirrel Nut Zippers…. Hell
  20. Werewolves of London IS the last dammit. I’m sick of playing it in every band every year. Well when I used to play in band. Long term scars you understand

Currently listening:
Excitable Boy
By: Warren Zevon

Fall Survey Says….

As we used to say in grade school…
Have a nice trip. See you next Fall.




1. Do you like pumpkin pie?
only my own; a pumpkin chiffon, home-made crust and caramelized pecans on top

2. Apple cider?
is it fermented?

3. candy/caramel apples?
caramel apples yum. candy apples gag

4 Are you scared of black cats??
on Friday the 13th when I’m underneath a ladder shattering a mirror

5. Do you believe in ghosts?
only of the past

6. Ever seen a ghost?
every day

7. Do you carve pumpkins every year?
Used to with my daughter –smile-. Probably not this year.

8. What do you like better, Thanksgiving or Halloween?
 Halloween of course. What’s better? Creepiness, costumes, candy and the macabre OR Celebrating Genocide and Family Dysfunction.
Damn. There are a lot of similarities.

9. Do you still go trick or treating?
Honey, I’m too old to trick –on any level- and the last treat I got was divorce papers.

10. Do you have a Halloween costume?
Some people feel that my entire wardrobe qualifies

11.What is your costume?
Well this year I plan to go as Miss Twin Towers. As opposed to Miss Twin Peaks which is my usual appearance.

12. Have you ever been to a real haunted house?
It was allegedly haunted.

13. Ever sleep at a graveyard?
Mmmm yummy. Maybe that’s what I’ll do this year. Care to join me?

14. Which are better… witches or zombies?
Witches of course. Zombies do make better films though.

15. Do you watch scary movies on Halloween?
Natch. This year I plan on watching Steel Magnolias or Bridges of Madison County. Ooooh Scary Boys and Girls! –she says in her best Count Floyd voice-

16. Ever heard of Michael Myers?
Heard of him? Hell I was married to that bastard for 8 years.

17. If Freddy came up to you what would you do?
Call my shrink for an adjustment in my meds

18. Do you get scared easily?
Ya

19. Do you like candy corn?
Didn’t used to but I will eat a few pieces now. There’s something so… child-like about it.

20. Do you know the song monster mash?
Bobby Boris Picket.

21. Do you remember your first Halloween costume?
Yes. A lion. Still have some old 60’s Polaroids somewhere. Always loved kitties. Grrrrrrr.
 
22. Finish the line… TRICK OR TREAT……
Smell my feet gimme something good to eat

23. Do you hand out candy?
I prefer handing out fresh apples with tasty razor blades embedded in their ripe flesh

24. What is your favorite thing about Halloween?
No one fave. The New Year’s celebration (told you I love Witches), dressing up, my daughter’s excitement, costumes and of course chocolate. Oh and razor blades.
 
25. What will you do this year for Halloween?
Sleep in a graveyard. Probably alone. As fucking usual.

26. The actual day of Halloween?
Buy plenty of apples. Well, extra razor blades and LSD too. You don’t want to run out.

Currently listening:
Little Shop Of Horrors: Original Cast Album (1982 Off-Broadway Cast)
By: Alan Menken
Release date: 25 August, 1992

Miss R’s 2007 Halloween Costume Suggestions

Halloween is almost here.
My favorite day of the year.
Hell, every day is Halloween at my house.

As usual I’ve no idea what to do for a costume this year. Although since I have no party invitations nor beau to go out with it may be a moot point.

I’m fucking sick of the usual sexy  insert woman’s costume name here” that are all alike. French maids, hot vampires, goth brides, pirate wenches.
These have all become de rigueur the past few years. Of course far be it for me to abstain from Slutty attire. It’s just become so very yawn at Halloween.

Here are some ideas that have been roiling about in my puerile little brain. A major point here is cost.
I is ‘po.

Miss R’s Difficulty Rating is listed:

George Sand: Easy
Hit the Salvation Army and purchase a tailored men’s suit, grab some parchment and carry around my antique fountain pen.

Tippi Hedren in The Birds:  Fairly Easy.
Already have a couple of Fab 50’s suits, a glue gun and can hit up Michael’s for a few fake black birds to strategically place about my body and hair. Adorn with fake blood.

Miss Twin Towers: Moderate Difficulty
Salvation Army Formal Dress. Think gaudy Bridesmaid stuff. A sash with the words “Miss Twin Towers” written across it. A Beehive hairdo with a plastic model plane stuck through it. Yeah it’s tasteless so what. It IS funny.
To be honest I did this years ago as “Miss Cerritos” after a plane crashed in the city next to us. I’ve been a sick bitch for quite some time now.

Uniquitous Crazy Cat Lady from Down the Street: Moderately Easy.
Salvation Army time again. Tacky robe, truly awful slippers, stuffed cats, big-ass pink hair curlers, cigarette dangling from mouth

Medusa: Medium Difficulty
Long Black Dress from thrift store because mine are all too cool/expensive to cut up. A plethora of plastic snakes glued onto a headband. This last will be the challenge. Have to make it look hip and not schlocky. Ask guys I see if they ‘Wanna get stoned.’

Chain Smoker: Moderate Difficulty:
Wrap chains around myself and over a few pieces of bondage attire (love those O rings) that I may happen to own. Have a pack of cigarettes sticking out of my top. I like this one. Wonder why?

Semi-Formal: Easy
Full make-up and styled hair. Wear my tailored Tuxedo jacket with a swim suit bottom and flip flops.

Natalie Portman’s Character from Garden State: Easy
Wet down hair and apply loads of product for the wet look. Pull large Hefty Bag over clothing. Bag can later be used to dispose of those pesky body parts in the living room.

Lady Godiva: Moderate Difficulty
First problem is obtaining the wig, me being broke and all. Second problem is the whole 40-year-old-body thing. Last resort costume.

A Virgin Difficult.
Okay no one would buy this.
New Rating: Impossible.

Teenaged Girl: Easy
Spend $5.00 on abandoned 70’s attire at the thrift store. Apply several shades of color to my hair; oh shit! I’ve already got this part done. Place pack of ciggies in back pocket. Walk around all night calling people “Dude” and/or telling them “Go fuck yourself you’re not the boss of me.”

Well those are my best ideas so far. By all means let me know if you’ve any of the items I’m looking for or a costume to fit a busty size 14 gal.
Feel free to use any of the above yourself. I just want pictures.
Mmmm don’t I always –wink-.

~Miss R

Currently listening:
Violator
By: Depeche Mode
Release date: 22 February, 1990

The Absolutely Last Halloween Samhain Post

The Trick or Treaters were done by 8:00 PM.
Only three small groups of children came by all night. Yesterday afternoon I’d rushed over to Longs on California to pick up more candy, just in case we didn’t have enough.
Naturally this leaves me with somewhere in the vicinity of 3 pounds still in the house, plus the additional 4 pounds, just an estimate, that Cate brought home.

My powers never cease to amaze me:
If I wash the car it causes rain.
If I spend money I don’t have on Halloween candy it causes
a lack of marauding children.

Just think what would happen if I were to use
my powers for good instead of evil.

My daughter and her friend arrived back here at base camp by 8:15. This was the final trip home, after having made a pit stop earlier in the evening to lighten their loads.

I wound up driving my daughter’s friend home.
The smell of warm toasty fires and leaves hit me as I stepped outside. It was what I didn’t see that made me sad.
No groups of kids laughing and parading down the streets. There were very few porch lights on either. The sure sign of candy there for the asking!
How could this be?

One friend postulated that it was because all the kids went to the ‘rich’ neighborhoods. Sorry but I don’t buy that one. This is a rich neighborhood, despite our abode. Oh alright it’s not rich but it is a compilation of (over-priced) 450K homes mixed haphazardly with million dollar turn of the century mansions. Last year we lived in a decidedly blue-collar neighborhood and we had far more kids at the door.
Of course we also had the ever growing legions of parents who drive their kids from house to house.
What the hell is up with that anyway? The little bastards are going to get really obese if they don’t walk off the icky orange-wrapped taffy candies. Not to mention….. who’s giving out candy at their houses? The cheap bastards.

No Halloween for you

The overwhelming draw of Halloween to a kid is the spookiness factor. Walking down the block in the dark with your friends. Never knowing what the next stop would bring, what creepy haunted house you’d spy, or if you’d get the good chocolate bars or the stupidass Braches taffy. Worse yet the peppermints from the old lady on your street.

Halloween for kids is falling by the wayside. I personally believe it’s the parties held by churches, activity centers and schools which encourage a ‘family atmosphere’. For some reason this seems to give parents a false sense of security. Let’s face it. If a pedophile wanted to jump my kid they would want to hang out with, oh I don’t know, a roomful of KIDS?!

Razor blades in apples are an urban myth (except at my house of course) as is LSD injected into fruit or candy. Would you waste your psychedelic drugs on some rabid ankle-biter? Hell no. You’d share them with your friends. Dear God.

Speaking of God, there’s been a push over the last 10 years by some whackos to have Halloween considered a ‘satanic’ holiday. When I was living in Idyllwild 10 years ago the village decided that the traditional ‘Halloween Carnival’ name was too Demonic and Dark. The name was changed to the Great Pumpkin Carnival. Gag me.

Yet another perfectly good pagan holiday wrecked with religious dogma. In deference to my own spiritual beliefs (or lack thereof) I put out our traditional ‘dumb supper’ to honor my family and friends who have passed over the years. This morning I took the plate of food and consigned it back to the earth. It’s a calming and important ritual honoring loving connections. It dates back to the times far before Christianity and Judaism. It evokes serenity for me

Attention Fundies: All Souls was originally an ancient holiday honoring dead ancestors, and renamed to bring the pagans into the fold of Christianity. What’s wrong with leaving a few vestiges of the old celebration intact? Celebrating the passing of loved ones cannot help but intertwine with death and darkness. Making light of such things help to calm the basic human fear of death.
Doing away with what is really a healthy coping mechanism is sicker than any twisted ideology linking an homage and celebration to the work of an alleged devil.

Christian fundamentalists are trying to ruin Halloween, as they ruin the real intent of Christianity; acceptance, peace and love. How sad for us, our children and our future generations if they succeed.

So in a lazy, non media-savvy and obsessed society we have effectively done away with the one day that really IS for kids to enjoy and parents to wax nostalgic.
We’ve replaced it with Halloween parties for adults, where the women are encouraged to dress like half-assed strippers and the men like their pimps. The number of truly inventive and bizarre costumes dwindles year by year.

This depresses me greatly. I’m so happy to have been free to wander around our neighborhood scaring the little kids, carefully counting each piece of candy, and making note of the dentist’s house to avoid next year. The asshole always gave out toothbrushes.

Organized Halloween parties bite. Organized ANYTHING bites.

Think I’ll start in on that left-over candy in the house. The majority of it I’m donating to one of the food banks.
Except the apples and razor blades. Those are for my own kid.

~Miss R

The Postal Service
Currently listening to:
Give Up: The Postal Service
Release date: By 18 February, 2003

Can someone please open a window in here?

Had the stitches removed from my belly button on Wednesday. Oh joy. The other stitches (at the bikini line and internally) will dissolve over time.
Now there’s something creepy enough for Halloween.
Just wish that the pain would dissipate. Dammit sometimes being an acolyte of immediate gratification is a bitch.
the doctor told me to quit being such a stoic and take the damned Percocet more often. It’s gonna hurt for a lot longer.

God I love
Fall. Well normally anyway. Fall in Reno is kinda odd. There are a few deciduous trees here in town. Luckily I live in an older neighborhood and the blocks surrounding me are planted with many of these. Their leaves turning bright gold and red. Falling in the afternoon breezes.
Although I cannot see them float to the pavement and lawns I notice them there when looking outside from time to time.
I imagine the scent of fecund earth and am revitalized. It’s torture being confined to the house right now. I can’t open a window by myself because they are too heavy. Every so often I’ll wander to the front door, open it, and stand in the doorway. The sunlight touches my face and the aroma helps to heal my body and mind.

This season brings enough frost and occasional sprinkle of rain that the land releases the smell of nature.
Changing the seasons. An end to the year.
I love wearing sweaters, used to enjoy drinking mulled wine, and of course Halloween is my very favorite holiday.

The traditional ancient Celtic New Year is October 31st. In fact, the Christmas carol Here We Come A’Wasailing is a direct tie to our modern Trick or Treating.
On New Year’s Day all of the village would visit each other, bringing food, drink and visiting with neighbors. A vestige of that is all that remains on our modern All Saints Day/Halloween.

The Irish word for New Years Day is Samhain (literally summer’s end in Gaelic), for those of you who are interested in Celtic history.
When Christianity swept through Western Europe New Year’s was changed to the Winter Solstice to coincide with another change made by the new religion; aligning the birth of the Christ with Celtic/Pagan celebration of the re-birth of the sun.
Now our culture celebrates both sun rise and son rise.

The logic of ancient peoples makes sense. The old year ended when the harvest was done. The God died and would not be re-born until December 21st. Then the days start to become longer, the earth re-awakens, and the cycle beings again.

My own life has always seemed to follow a pattern which coincides with the cycles of our small universe. New jobs, new loves, endings and beginnings. Even such mundane things as amoveoccur in the Summer. Life begins anew in November. Coincidentally the month of my birth.

This is probably a reason that Fall has always been good for me.
An Irish/Welsh complexion glows in the breezes and filtered sunlight of Fall. We potato-eating whisky-loving people don’t fare as well in the summer. Witness my cupboard stocked with various sunscreens.
Having a red nose from too much time in the sun or at the pub does not count as a healthy glow. There’s a saying in the Program “Without the Irish, AA Meetings would be held in phone booths”.
Another digression. Shocking isn’t it.

My body is healing and changing as the old year ends. I’ve no idea what the New Year will bring.
Here’s a bit of synchronicity though; out of the hundreds of songs in my iTunes folder “New Year” by Death Cab for Cutie just started playing.

So I dreamall day and night now. Of the coming winter, feeling better, monsters, want, joy, everything. Good and Bad.

My hope is that this New Year brings a farewell to tumultuous change and pain and a greeting of promise, hope health and love.

Athblian shona duit!
(Happy new year to you!)

~Miss R



			

On Elton John, Halloween, and Being a Pianist


So I just finished working on the Elton John’s Funeral For a Friend.

Every Halloween I try to have this polished up. I first played the piece soon after Goodbye Yellow Brick Road was released.
Like every other piano-playing kid in those days I waited for the music books to be released after the albums.
After running through the sheet music a musician will begin to add their own flourishes and touches. Everything from additional chords in a segue, to changes in tempo and dynamics. Never underestimate the joy in adding an additional verse done strictly as an improvised solo either.
There are three taboos to fucking with another composer’s music:
1. Classical Music. You play it as written unless you’re screwing around and it’s expected by the audience.
2. Ragtime Music. Um, I occasionally break this rule and there is a lot of controversy about this between devotees of this rather obscure genre. Don’t tell.
3. Funeral For a Friend by Elton John. I have always played this as written by Elton. Maybe because it’s the best juxtaposition of classical and rock out there. Even all these years later I’ll pull out the raggedy-ass copy of the sheet music about 2 weeks before Halloween.
Other than these 3 exceptions I’ll do a read though of the piece as written and almost immediately begin inserting my own touches.

This year is different. I was not physically able to work on Funeral for Friend until two days ago. Believe it or not it is a demanding piece. The beginning is quite simple but by the change to Love Lies Bleeding I’m beating the hell out of the piano like Jerry Lee Lewis. Or Ben Folds. Or Elton John.

There is NOTHING as satisfying as playing a difficult, kick-ass piano piece for an audience that appreciates it.
Not even good sex can rival the feeling.
I can’t believe I fucking wrote that either. Clearly being confined to the house for three weeks is destroying my brain.

Well, Funeral for a Friend now sounds great as ever on the upright here at the apartment. Am sure that the poor neighbors would agree. My hands are killing me too.
Ran through some other stuff I’m used to playing at Halloween shows. You know, Werewolves of London, Creep, and a few Chopin nocturnes that will inspire suicidal feelings in the most jaded of humans.
Unfortunately there is no one to listen except for myself and of course the neighbors.

I’m an egomaniac with low self-esteem. A paradox with a piano and no outlet for my musical expression.

Yes it is satisfying playing music for my own edification. It is far MORE satisfying to play for an audience.
Despite butterflies, fear, inevitable wrong chords and notes, I miss it. Even at Halloween. Maybe especially now.
Every band I’ve ever played in scheduled a Halloween gig. During the years I played solo I always made sure there were plenty of holiday tunes in the repertoire for that most wonderful of evenings. God I can remember throwing in the Addams Family a few times when playing piano bars in the LA area. I’ve a knack for picking up TV show themes and transforming them into rag versions of their former selves. Yet another useless yet bizarre talent to my credit.

I guess the point of this blog is to say I’m glad to have Funeral sounding great, but disconsolate being unable to share it.

This year Halloween in Reno is bittersweet. Memories…
Elaborate and fabulous parties I would throw in Long Beach, the parades in Greenwich Village while living in NYC, the many years playing riotous and always fun Halloween shows in various bands on both coasts, seeing Oingo Boingo play their annual Halloween show in LA.

If you’re driving though my neighborhood this week you’re not hearing things. You probably do hear Funeral for a Friend coming in through the car window. You might be surprised at the passion, sadness and strength in the notes.

~Miss R