YOU ARE HERE: / Zharth's Music Log / Week 11 (Shocktober)

Zharth's Music Log

Week 11: Shocktober

Preface: Welcome to Shocktober, folks! It's one of my favorite months of the year. Horror is in season! I just bought a DVD collection of 50 horror movie classics, and I'll be spending this month playing horror-themed songs on this music log! For the first week of the month, we're gonna get ourselves in the mood...

Monday (10/01/07): Kooper & Stills - Season Of The Witch [Super Session, 1968]
Comments: If you don't know the story behind Super Session, it's a one-off collaboration between guitarist Michael Bloomfield and keyboardist Al Kooper (not shock-rocker Alice Cooper, who you just know we're gonna have to hear from sometime this week). Bloomfield skipped out halfway through the session, and Stephen Stills filled in. Season of the Witch features Kooper and Stills jamming on Donovan's popular tune, resulting in an even juicier version, in my opinion. Feel that chill in the air? Must be the season of the witch!

Tuesday (10/02/07): Alice Cooper - Welcome To My Nightmare [Welcome To My Nightmare, 1975]
Comments: As promised, here is Alice Cooper, the original shock-rocker, welcoming you to his nightmare. I remember playing a BBS trivia game way back before I knew about Alice Cooper, and it always confused me that one of the questions referred to an "Alice" as a "him". Live and learn. But the nightmares will never go away.

Wednesday (10/03/07): Jeff Beck - I Ain't Superstitious [Truth, 1968]
Comments: Jeff Beck on guitar, Rod Stewart on vocals, singin' about bad luck and superstitions and such. A good theme for Shocktober. Watch out as you're walking down the street, looking out for cracks in the pavement and open ladders. God help you if you own a black cat...

Thursday (10/04/07): The Rolling Stones - Dancing With Mr. D [Goat's Head Soup, 1973]
Comments: This funky voodoo rocker opens up The Stones' underrated Goats Head Soup album, the followup to Exile on Main St. The song tells some kind of tale of dancing on gravestones and partying with the devil, or being under the influence of some kind of groovy spell or who knows what else. I think it's pretty clear who Mr. D is, though. This song reminds me of the classic question, "have you ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight?"

Friday (10/05/07): Johnny Winter - Frankenstein [Live At Royal Albert Hall, 1970]
Comments: Before recording it with his own band and making it a hit, Edgar Winter was playing Frankenstein on stage with his brother Johnny. Edgar originally created the song as a showcase for his own multiple-instrument virtuosic capabilities, and to add a little evolution to Johnny's blues repertoire. However, I don't think the song acquired its name until Edgar recorded it in the studio a few years later. It started out quite long, but was chopped up and recombined to be more pop-friendly - its creation thereby alluding to the freak monster whose name it borrowed.

Saturday (10/06/07): The Outlaws - Ghost Riders In The Sky [Ghost Riders, 1980]
Comments: One part cowboy anthem, one part ghost story, one part southern rock guitar jam. The Outlaws are better known for the epic guitar workout Green Grass & High Tides, but their version of this classic is not to be missed. Bit more rockin' than Cash's version, that much is certain.

Sunday (10/07/07): Fleetwood Mac - Hypnotized [Mystery To Me, 1973]
Comments: It never ceases to amaze me that Fleetwood Mac are simultaneously one of the biggest soft rock pop acts of the late 1970's (care of Buckingham, Nicks, and Rumours), and one of the most unique and obscure bands of the late 60's as well as the early to mid 70's. Furthermore, this obscure band actually consists of the original blues rock powerhouse led by Peter Green, and an even less recognized but still brilliant at times transitional band. From this Bob Welch era comes the hypnotic and eerily moody Hypnotized, just the perfect setpiece for the Halloween atmosphere.