Halloween has always been a popular holiday for adults in the 415 and 510 area codes. Of course, feel free to dress up your kids in whatever is popular for this spooky season. What’s hot for the little ones this year? Barbie, Bluey, “Stranger Things,” and Ariel from The Little Mermaid, of course. But the adults are ready to dress themselves up in a great time at venues like 1015 Folsom, Bottom of The Hill, Madrone Art Bar, The Great Northern, and Lazslo in the Mission District. The whole city will be in a “different character,” so to speak.
Here are a couple of tips from the professionals: if you’ve been drinking or doing whatever and find yourself in clothes that don’t fit and suddenly boarding a plane to the Bahamas, Berlin, or Bakersfield at 5am, just say no. Abort! Immediately find and guzzle settle-down juice. If you fail to pump the breaks, it’ll be a no-fun return flight.
At 48hills, we’re dedicated to helping you get in the right mindset with a Halloween soundtrack that not only scares, but also sets the right mood for your spooky eight, 12, or even 24 (for the adventurous ones) hour period of choice. Our playlist adds some new wrinkles to the Bay Area Halloween songbook. Let’s have some fun out there!
BACAO RHYTHM & STEEL BAND, “STRANGER THINGS” THEME (BIG CROWN RECORDS)
So, you can consult the experts who will explain in great detail how Netflix’s “Stranger Things” fueled the resurgence of ’80s nostalgia among a specific age group. Last year’s season four surpassed five billion weekly viewing minutes and gave new life to that iconic Kate Bush’s song. The show has had a significant impact. I understand how this interesting nod to series’ theme by the talented artists from Big Crown Records, Bacao Rhythm & Steel Band came into the picture. Their cool little groove of a tune is worth checking out.
B-52’S, “ROCK LOBSTER” (DB RECORDS)
Like how the original “Die Hard” is considered a Christmas movie, “Rock Lobster” could be a Halloween anthem. Just a thought.
BROKEN CLOVER RECORDS, BCR CLIPPINGS #1 (BROKEN CLOVER RECORDS)
San Francisco’s own Broken Clover Records released its first compilation this past September. It features a diverse range of musical styles that you would expect from a city that combines foggy atmospheres with a touch of sleaze.
Notable contributors to the compilation include Secret Emchy Society, Sagan, Dave Aju & The Invisible Art Trio, and TRIP SHOW. According to label owner Mickey Darius, the compilation covers everything from dreamy indie to queer country, glitchy beats, krautrock styles, stoner psych, dubby techno, and fuzzy post-rock. In Bay Area slang, it hits like a rent is due, Tuesday.
One standout track from the compilation is “K Racer” by The Tourist. It’s a mellow-yet-energetic track perfect for transitioning your Halloween dinner party into a lively kitchen dance party.
Pick it up here.
BOBBY BROWN, “ON OUR OWN,” GHOSTBUSTERS II SOUNDTRACK (MCA RECORDS)
We’re doing it a little differently—enough with Ray Parker Jr. Add a little New Jack Swing to your ghostbustin’.
Bobby always had the Halloween jam. So let’s “Heart and soul, d-d-dance.”
VARIOUS ARTISTS, BACK UP: MEXICAN TECNO POP, 1980-1989 (DARK ENTRIES RECORDS)
Sometimes we here in the Bay Area get spoiled with the amount of quality record labels right here in the city. Curse the automated cars all you want (they friggin’ suck), but support these imprints because they are doing God’s work. Back-Up: Mexican Techno Pop, 1980-1989 felt like a Halloween treat when it was released a couple of years ago. The 10 dissimilar tracks of Mexican new wave and post-punk, full of clockwork drum sounds and raffish synth expanses, had that darker side of pop feel.
Eight of these songs were culled from the 2005 CD-only compilation Backup: Expediente Tecno Pop on AT-AT Records. Also included are two previously unreleased cuts. This release marks the first time many of these songs appear on vinyl; it’s also the first-ever vinyl compilation of Mexican New Wave and post-punk.
Buy it here.
JOHN CARPENTER, “CHARIOTS OF PUMPKINS,” HALLOWEEN III SOUNDTRACK AND ANTHOLOGY II (MOVIE THEMES 1976-1988) (SACRED BONES RECORDS)
I think I was writing about an intense Afrikan Sciences release a couple of years ago when the phrase “John Carpenter dread” came to mind. Let me tell you, I’ve received some criticism, aka the bizness, from certain friends—published authors whose books have been turned into films mind you—for using that phrase over the years. I understand why, as it’s a bit of an unusual expression. However, when you hear it, you immediately know what someone is referring to. Carpenter is widely recognized as a celebrated filmmaker and musical genius, with his soundtracks (yes, he records his own soundtracks to his films) to his horror, suspense, and science fiction cinematic projects. Not to mention, his work had a significant influence on modern electronic music and beyond. This anthology showcases Carpenter’s talent as an artist, seamlessly blending visuals and audio to create a singularly terrifying experience that has captivated audiences for decades.
Grab it here.
LIL LOUIS & THE WORLD, “FRENCH KISS” (EPIC RECORDS)
Kind of like the reverse engineering of John Carpenter, huh? But just as deadly. Remember, no getting on planes before breakfast or a shower.
THE VILLAGE CALLERS, “HECTOR” (RAMPART RECORDS)
The Village Callers were one of the best bands in East Los Angeles in the late ’60s, according to singer-songwriter Mark Guerrero. They were also arguably the first band with members rooted in the Eastside Sound of the early to mid-’60s to incorporate Latin percussion, also blending R&B, Latin, and Latin jazz. Beat enthusiasts will recognize the opening of the landmark track “Hector” from its echoes in Beastie Boys, Brandy, Ice Cube, and Wreckx-N-Effect songs. It has become a staple. Quentin Tarantino used it in his car radio-friendly film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, but it also feels like a funky Halloween jam.
Can’t a ghoul get down?
DIGITAL UNDERGROUND, “FREAKS OF THE INDUSTRY” (TOMMY BOY MUSIC)
A freak factor of 11. Bay DNA.