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The Friday Morning Listen – Halloween Edition

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‘ello kiddies. Happy Halloween. I have an idea…I’ve always wanted to do this. Hope you don’t mind.

I have a couple of scary huge speakers. Tonight I’m gonna hook ’em up to the biggest amp in the house (which, if you’ve gotta know, has 200 Watts of trick-or-treater-shakin’ power). The speakers will be stuck in the windows. Just as you ‘lil devils start to approach (which in uber-suburbia is 6PM), I’m going to let loose with some:

If I choose carefully, you might just be to ascared to ring that bell…and I get to keep all of the candy!

This is what you’ll hear:

“Sovereign” – Neurosis (Sovereign EP)

Big. Grinding. Slow. Heavy. You can almost feel those flames lighting your costume on fire. Heck, sometimes this stuff scares me…and I’m supposed to be a grown up!

“This Is The Law Of The Plague” – Diamanda Galas (Plague Mass)

The booming, foreboding drums. The chanting. The recitation of Leviticus. Galas’ terrifying, otherworldly voice.

I wouldn’t ring that doorbell!

“Symphony No. 1 (Third Movement)” – Glenn Branca (Symphony No. 1 (Tonal Plexus))

A pile of electric guitars hammer and bow away at a single E chord. Some dissonant horns drop in to push the weirdness over the edge…and to add a two-note repeat that brings to mind a siren announcing the end of the world.

“Disturbing The Priest” – Black Sabbath (Born Again)

Ian Gillan at his most evil. Tony Iommi ripping shards of metal blasphemy. This ain’t Avril Lavigne. It is a little upsetting…especially if you’re seven years old. You still want that candy?

“Ballad Of Dwight Fry” – Alice Cooper (Love It To Death)

The sound of a man going insane.



“Careful With That Axe, Eugene” – Pink Floyd (Ummagumma)

Classic rock’s psychedelic slow-burn to insanity. It made those neck hairs rise the first time I heard it…when I was sixteen. Wonder what a second-grader dressed as Sponge Bob will think?

“Black Angels” – Kronos Quartet (George Crumb) (Black Angels)

Subtitled “Thirteen Images from the Dark Land”, this is one frightening chunk of music. Like a good horror movie, just when you think things have calmed down…the entire quartet shrieks back to life. If I heard this blasting from a window I would turn around and go home back to my nice, safe Playstation.

Happy Halloween Kiddies.

(First posted on Mark Is Cranky)

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About Mark Saleski

  • “Black Angels” and Diamanda Galas!

    Mmmmm, that’s GOOOOD terror!

    I once took a nap while listening to “Black Angels,” and half woke up during the Marta piece, you know, the one with the field recording of Romanian women weeping. I’ve never felt so alone in my life.

    Word to the wise: never do what I did.

    What’s a mystery to me is why George Crumb isn’t better known. Between this, Ancient Voices of Children, and his two Makrocosmos sets for piano, he’s done some of the best work of any American composer in the last fifty years! Yet, he loses the popularity contests to minimalists and post-minimalists like Glass and Adams, and doesn’t get even a tenth the respect that a populaist third-rate composer like Bernstein does.

    Christ, Crumb and Galas should team up. Now, THAT would effing rock!

  • Also, I once saw Diamanda Galas and Praxis together on the same stage. Now that, THAT was incredible.

  • Galas & Praxis….sounds like a frightening combination. i bet there was a lot of shrieking!

  • A LOT of shrieking. And a lot of Buckethead. It was awesome.