Spooky audio, video, and reads for your All Hallows’ Eve!

This is Haunted Halloween Collection CD art…

I know it’s still early September, but Halloween’s definitely already in the air. For those of you itching to get into the holiday spirit, here is a curated collection of audio (mostly music, with some sound effects) and video to enjoy while you stay home to serve the trick-or-treaters!

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Outfits of the Season: Jenny skirts, Jenny dress, and ye olde Vamp tops

 

Jenny skirt in Harlequin print with Vamp top in mint.

A few months ago a mentioned some of my most-anticipated spring clothing items, among them Pinup Couture’s Jenny circle skirts and dresses.

I’m pleased to report that the Jenny items are vibrantly colored and very full. The cotton sateen fabric is thick enough to stay crisp, yet lightweight enough to help you stay cool in summer heat. The skirts are very nearly a complete circle, and look very authentic over crinolines. They are also tea-length, while the Jenny dress comes up just a bit higher.
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The WPIX Yule Log and classic Christmas music

Merry Christmas!

I’m a Christmas nut. I know it’s not even Thanksgiving yet, but I freaking love everything about the season – the lights, the food, the festive mood, and maybe most of all, the amazing holiday music. My favorite Christmas tracks are nostalgic, particularly the ones from the 1950s through the early 1970s that remind me of my early childhood. This is why I love the original WPIX Yule Log, a Christmas Eve television tradition since 1966. Originally conceived by WPIX General Manager Fred Thrower to bring old-fashioned holiday hearth experiences to New Yorkers, the “classic” WPIX playlist – like the Disneyland and Magic Kingdom Main Street Christmas loops compiled by “voice of Disneyland” Jack Wagner – brings many of my absolute favorite Christmas recordings together in a single, quirky package.

Being a West Coaster and a child of the 1980s, my first TV Yule Log experience happened care of KOFY TV-20, the legendary independent station in the San Francisco Bay Area known for its crazy dog bumpers. I remember hours of Philadelphia Brass, but I’m fairly sure the playlist was similar to the following WPIX playlist, which features everyone from Percy Faith to David Rose:

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Music Collection: A Christmas Music Box is BACK!

A Christmas Music Box “cover” art.

A Christmas Music Box” RETURNS FOR 2011, from STRANGEBEAT PRODUCTIONS!

StrangeBeat Productions presents “A CHRISTMAS MUSIC BOX,” yet another holiday tunes compilation just in time for Christmas! (originally released on December 1, 2010!)

NEW FOR 2011, We’ve compiled a full CD’s worth of NEW SELECTIONS for your Christmas listening, as well as a few minor touchups to some old favorites! Read on…

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Audio collections: This is Haunted Halloween is back with more!

“This is Haunted Halloween” collection CD art…

A festive two (plus) hour collection of holiday tunes, originally debuting on October 1, 2010! –

Access all three parts of the collection above, via Youtube!

Part One: Fun is packed with a selection of macabre party hits, from a new extended mix of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” to Sheb Wooley’s campy “The Purple People Eater”

Part Two: Fright follows with pieces reflecting the darker side of Halloween. Here, spooky film themes, ghoulish classical favorites, and other grisly tunes mix it up with creepy sound effects perfect for a stormy night.

Part Three: Fear offers selections from forty years of frightening films, games, and music lead you on the final journey from a house to a forest and into terrors unimaginable.

Produced by Jason Pittman and Kali Pappas, this collection offers new presentations of old classics alongside several fun surprises. But beware — this is not your average Halloween mix tape. Listen and share! If you dare…

“This is Haunted Halloween” Liner Notes:

“We recommend that the volume control on your phonograph be kept at a moderate room level for the fullest enjoyment.
The quality and dynamic range of the original recording has been preserved as carefully as possible…”
–Original Fantasia liner notes, 1957

Disc 1 is a fun ride through some Halloween favorites, some obscure tunes, and a surprise or two.
It has been designed as a party record with very few direct segues between tracks.

Disc 2 is a suite of scary songs, sound effects and music, featuring selections from horror film and television.
It has been designed to make full use (wherever possible) of the dynamic range allowed for by digital audio.

Attentive listening will yield the “fullest enjoyment” of the journey, particularly on Disc 2.

TRACKLISTING

DISC 1: Fun

1. Michael Jackson – Thriller (6:24)
2. Johnny Cash – (Ghost) Riders In The Sky (3:53)
3. Bobby (Boris) Pickett & The Crypt Kickers – Monster Mash (3:10)
4. Kay Starr – The Headless Horseman (2:54)
5. Donovan – Season Of The Witch (4:56)
6. John Zacherle – Dinner With Drac (2:57)
7. Ministry – Everyday (Is Halloween) (6:23)
8. Classics IV – Spooky (2:49)
9. Dickey Lee – Laurie (Strange Things Happen) (3:02)
10. Jimmy Cross – I Want My Baby Back (3:21)
11. Marilyn Manson – This Is Halloween (3:23)
12. Jumpin’ Gene Simmons – Haunted House (2:34)
13. Sheb Wooley – The Purple People Eater (2:14)
14. The Five Blobs – The Blob (2:40)
15. Vince Guaraldi – Great Pumpkin Waltz (2:27)
16. Screamin’ Jay Hawkins – Little Demon (2:21)
17. The Mellomen with Thurl Ravenscroft – Grim Grinning Ghosts (2:08)
18. Dave Matthews Band – Halloween (6:01)

TOTAL TIME: 1:03:36

DISC 2: Fright

1. E. Power Biggs – Toccata In D Minor, BWV 565 (2:30)
2. Bernard Herrmann – Prelude (from Vertigo) (3:12)
3. Mike Oldfield – Tubular Bells (from The Exorcist) (5:04)
4. Black Sabbath – Black Sabbath (5:43)
5. Tom Waits – What’s He Building? (3:10)
6. The Robert Cobert Orchestra – Opening Themes: Dark Shadows/Collinwood (2:46)
7. Wendy Carlos – Main Title (from The Shining) (3:30)
8. Gaylord B. Carter – Foyer Organ (from The Haunted Mansion) (0:58)
9. John Carpenter – Halloween Theme (3:36)
10. The Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Eugene Ormandy – Danse Macabre, Op. 40 (7:11)
11. Electric Light Orchestra – Fire On High (1:28)
12. Bloodrock – D.O.A. (8:26)
13. Henry Cowell – The Banshee (2:45)
14. The Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Leopold Stokowski – Night on Bald Mountain (from Fantasia) (14:07)

TOTAL TIME: 1:04:26

COMMENTARY

Welcome, foolish mortals… Please note that some of the following information may spoil certain surprises included in these musical mixes.

We intend for these liner notes to be informational and fun to read, while you listen and enjoy the musical presentation before you.
THIS IS HAUNTED HALLOWEEN…listen carefully.

DISC 1: FUN

1. Michael Jackson – Thriller (6:24)
Written by Rod Temperton
Originally released in 1984 on the Epic Records album Thriller
New mix by Jason Pittman

Although only the final single released from the album of the same name, Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” is hugely famous in its own right, thanks not only to the 14 minute long music video, an MTV staple, but also to the ending “rap”, written (at the last minute!) by songwriter Rod Temperton for horror legend Vincent Price. This new mix includes the second verse of the “rap”, unheard until the 2001 “Special Edition” reissue of Thriller, and now incorporated in its proper place in the mix. Can you dig it?

KALI SEZ:
Michael Jackson was like, the coolest guy EVER to young elementary-schoolers circa 1983. My uber-hip, oldergirl BFF was my musical tastemaker back in those days; she loved herself some Michael, Madonna, and Cyndi, so I did, too. But there was more to this album, and this track in particular, than image. It was and is a totally rocking song with clever lyrics, lush sound effects, and the spook-appeal of one of the most amazing actors of all time, the late great Vincent Price. His laugh and that brilliant rap are as fresh and awesome as ever. RIP, Michael and Vincent – two guys with the soul for getting down.

2. Johnny Cash – (Ghost) Riders In The Sky (3:53)
Written by Stan Jones
Originally released in 1979 on the Columbia Records album Silver

It’s an old classic, with many covers to it’s name; but it’s Johnny Cash’s deep baritone that really best sells the scare in this cowboy ballad, also used to great effect in Blues Brothers 2000. This track, along with the others on Cash’s Silver, were the last recordings made with Marshall Grant, the Tennessee Two’s original bassist.

Paul Frees – Ghost Host – Ballroom (from The Haunted Mansion)
Written by X Atencio
From the Disneyland and Walt Disney World attraction The Haunted Mansion

Included here is the first of two appearances of Disney’s “Ghost Host” from the Haunted Mansion ride, lovingly voiced by Paul Frees. Swingin’ wake indeed…

3. Bobby (Boris) Pickett & The Crypt Kickers – Monster Mash (3:10)
Written by Bobby Pickett and Leonard Capizzi
Originally released in 1962 on London Records single 5N-59041

A Halloween classic, driven by Bobby Pickett and his campy take on famed horror actor Boris Karloff (with a Bela Lugosi moment thrown in for good measure!) and featuring none other than session musician and later star in his own right Leon Russell on piano. Pickett’s classic has since been covered by bands from the Misfits to the Beach Boys, and even a 1965 Shindig! performance by Boris Karloff himself.

4. Kay Starr – The Headless Horseman (2:54)
Written by Gene de Paul and Don Raye
Originally recorded in 1947(?)
Released in 1998 on the HEP Records album I’ve Got To Sing 1944-1948

The history of this particular recording is a bit lacking; the recording date and lack of any information on record label, catalog number or release date indicates that this is a recording direct from radio broadcast. No 78 rpm record (ten inches across) seems to have been released, but three other versions (including Bing Crosby’s) were released, on the Decca, RCA and Columbia labels. A popular spook that year!

KALI SEZ:
I was raised on cheap Disney TV compilations, so nothing says “Halloween” to me quite like this song. This swingin’ tune was created by 1940s film songwriting superduo Don Raye and Gene de Paul for the Disney “package” film “The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad.” The incomparable Bing Crosby recorded the original film version, but we’ve elected to share the Kay Starr et al. track with you. And as the sinister doings of All Hallows’ Eve approach, never forget that “you can’t reason with a headless man.”

5. Donovan – Season Of The Witch (4:56)
Written by Donovan Leitch
Originally released in 1966 on the Epic Records album Sunshine Superman

Scottish singer-songwriter Donovan’s psychedelic track has occasionally been associated with Halloween or other creepiness, most notably in Gus Van Sant’s movie To Die For (later parodied on The Simpsons). Jimmy Page appeared in a session guitarist role on the album’s title, and it is rumored that he performed on other tracks from the album, including this. Covered by Hole, Vanilla Fudge, and Dr. John in the Blues Brothers 2000 film, Donovan thought enough of the song to re-record it on his 1983 album Lady of the Stars.

6. John Zacherle – Dinner With Drac (2:57)
Written by Jon Sheldon
Originally released in 1958 on Cameo Records single C 30

Although it was originally written with slightly more disturbing lyrics, a conversation with friend Dick Clark inspired the Cool Ghoul to write a slightly (but only slightly!) more family-friendly tale of one particularly dark and stormy night. This version, “Dinner with Drac, Part 1,” became the hit and relegated Zacherle’s original lyrics (complete with dissolving acid) to the flipside of the single.

7. Ministry – Everyday (Is Halloween) (6:23)
Written by Alain Jourgensen
Originally released in 1985 on Wax Trax! Records single WAX 007

KALI SEZ:
I don’t live with snakes and lizards, but I’ve always subscribed to the notion that spooky and macabre things don’t need to be confined to a single holiday. Further, flamboyant style is very nearly always misunderstood. Why can’t I dress up for no particular reason? Why does my makeup have to behave? “Why can’t I live my life for me?”

8. Classics IV – Spooky (2:49)
Written by Mike Sharpe, Harry Middlebrooks, Buddy Buie and James Cobb
Originally released in 1967 on Imperial Records single 66259

Classic IV’s cover of a Mike Sharpe instrumental composition is not strictly a Halloween song, but the spooky little girl in the lyrics seems to fit the spirit of the season quite well. Guitarist James Cobb and two other members of Classics IV later joined Atlanta Rhythm Section and rerecorded “Spooky” (produced once again by Buddy Buie) in 1979 for another Top 20 chart hit.

KALI SEZ:
Gothy girls, Halloween marriage proposals, and ghostly musical effects = adorable Halloween love song. Also, when queued up in order with “Laurie” and “I Want My Baby Back,” it creates a nice romantic progression: boy meets girl, boy gets ghost, boy loses girl, boy recovers corpse.

9. Dickey Lee – Laurie (Strange Things Happen) (3:02)
Written by Milton Addington and Cathie Harmon
Originally released in 1965 on TCF Hall Records single TCF-102

This sad love song from Dickey Lee of “Patches” fame plays up the sad AND the scary to great effect, in this retelling of a particularly frightening urban legend.

10. Jimmy Cross – I Want My Baby Back (3:21)
Written by Perry Botkin Jr. and Gilbert Garfield
Originally released in 1965 on Tollie Records single T-9039
A true one hit wonder, as described by songwriter Perry Botkin Jr: “Jimmy worked in some non-creative capacity in television. I can’t remember where we met him but he had a true southern accent and a decent enough voice to do our satire. We cut one more record with him (“The Ballad of James Bong”) and as far as I know, that was the end of his recording career.”* This “death rock” parody tune rips the “genre” apart, namechecking the Shangri-Las tune “Leader of The Pack” and coming to a far more gruesome end than most. Creepy! The flipside of the single contained an oddity; a track named “Play The Other Side”, also credited to Jimmy Cross. This was merely an instrumental version of “I Want My Baby Back”, with piano replacing the lead vocal.

*Thanks to Youtube user TheEastcoastsoulboy, the source of the above quote.

11. Marilyn Manson – This Is Halloween (3:23)
Written by Danny Elfman
Originally released in 2006
Released in 2008 on the Walt Disney Records album Nightmare Revisited

KALI SEZ:
Ahhh, The Nightmare Before Christmas. Two great holidays slammed into one misbegotten, if well-intended, horror. A unique interpretation of the Danny Elfman classic, this song reminds me of the Haunted Mansion Holiday overlay at Disneyland. The Haunted Mansion and Disneyland being two of my favoritest things in the world, of course.

12. Jumpin’ Gene Simmons – Haunted House (2:34)
Written by Robert Geddins
Originally released in 1964 on Hi Records single 45-2076

No, not THAT Gene Simmons (but, in fact, the source of Chaim Witz’s stage name). Enjoy this swingin’ cover of the raucous 1959 tune by Johnny Fuller, also covered by Jerry Lee Lewis, Sam The Sham, John Fogerty, and Bruce Springsteen in a 1980 Halloween show.

13. Sheb Wooley – The Purple People Eater (2:14)
Written by Sheb Wooley
Originally released in 1958 on MGM Records single K12651

A silly story about a purple being that eats people, or a cautionary tale involving something much more terrifying: purple people? You be the judge.

14. The Five Blobs – The Blob (2:40)
Written by Hal David and Burt Bacharach
Originally released in 1958 on Columbia Records single 4-41250
This rather bouncy track from the Paramount Picture The Blob is, surprisingly, from the same songwriting team responsible for such 60s classics as “What The World Needs Now” and “Casino Royale”.

KALI SEZ:
I harbor a very special love for ridiculous midcentury monster songs. Purple People Eaters are very swanky, of course, but my favorite is Burt Bacharach’s leapy, creepy BLOB. It’s cute. I mean, inasmuch as a sentient, murderous bulge of ooze can be cute.

15. Vince Guaraldi – Great Pumpkin Waltz (2:27)
Written by Vince Guaraldi
From the 1966 CBS TV special “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown”
Released in 1998 on the Fantasy Records album Charlie Brown’s Holiday Hits

Beautiful, pure, simple; Vince Guaraldi’s smooth piano jazz defines the Christmas holiday for many, and the successful Halloween special from Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang brings us this gem. Guaraldi’s Trio becomes the Sextet for this and other tunes from It’s the Great Pumpkin, without detracting anything from the lovely sounds contained within; a more whimsical take on Halloween.

KALI SEZ:
Besides “Linus & Lucy” from A Charlie Brown Christmas, this gentle, energetic piece by jazz pianist and composer Vince Guaraldi is probably the most recognized of the “Peanuts” tunes. This wistful track highlights the earnestness and sincerity of young Linus Van Pelt’s belief in the Great Pumpkin: “Everyone tells me you’re a fake, but I believe in YOU!”

16. Screamin’ Jay Hawkins – Little Demon (2:21)
Written by Irving Nahan and Jay Hawkins
Originally released in 1956 on Okeh Records single 4-7072

Screamin’ is right! The original shock rocker presents this devilish track, complete with voodoo mumbling and rockin’ instrumental backing. (Presumably) unlike his first big hit (and “Little Demon” flipside) “I Put A Spell On You”, Hawkins was awake and alert for this tune’s recording session. Without Screamin’ Jay, there would be no Arthur Brown or (creepy in his own right) Alice Cooper, just to name a few…

17. The Graveyard Busts with Thurl Ravenscroft – Grim Grinning Ghosts (2:08)
Written by Buddy Baker and X Atencio
From the Disneyland and Walt Disney World attraction The Haunted Mansion and the Disneyland Paris attraction Phantom Manor
New mix edited by Jason Pittman

The swingin’ wake comes to a close with this, the theme from Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion and subsequent rides. (It’s greeeeeeeeeeeat!) The four graveyard busts are joined by their “fallen comrade”, singer and voice actor Thurl Ravenscroft, whose distinctive bass voice graces commercials, cartoons, and who is well known at Christmastime for his chiding of the “Mean One, Mr. Grinch” from the beloved holiday special.
This new mix was assembled from isolated elements as presented in the Haunted Mansion Unauthorized 36th Anniversary Edition*. Enjoy the spectral sounds of the Disney singers, and be on the lookout for a special guest who joins in the fun!

*Thanks to grinning_ghost for compiling this truly fantastic set, as hosted for download on www.mousebits.com.

KALI SEZ:
It’s merely the awesomest theme park attraction theme song ever, featuring the vocal talents of Thurl Ravenscroft. With music by legendary Disney composer Buddy Baker and frightfully silly lyrics by celebrated Imagineer X Atencio, this tune carries you through the many show scenes and moods of the world’s three Haunted Mansions and lone Phantom Manor attraction. Our version melds elements of the graveyard scene music from both iterations of the show, including music arranged especially for Disneyland Paris by John Debney.

18. Dave Matthews Band – Halloween (6:01)
Written by Dave Matthews
Originally released in 1998 on the RCA Records album Before These Crowded Streets

Dave digs in on the vocal in this intense favorite from the DMB. Live, this is usually somewhat of a drum showcase for Carter Beauford; the original studio version plays up the creep factor, with some of Dave Matthews’ most powerful vocalizations and the haunting sounds of the Kronos Quartet. In the CD booklet, Halloween is one of two tunes with no lyrics printed, for obvious reasons; Dave felt he didn’t want to expose his mother to such lyrics in written form.

Marius Constant with Rod Serling – Main Title (from The Twilight Zone)
Composed by Marius Constant
Originally from the 1960 season of the 1959-1964 CBS TV series “The Twilight Zone”
Released in 1999 on the Silva Treasury CD boxset The Twilight Zone: 40th Anniversary Collection

Master of the bizarre Rod Serling appears here (in a serendipitous surprise) to close out the fun and lead us into the Twilight Zone. See you on disc 2!

TOTAL TIME: 1:03:36

DISC 2: FRIGHT

1. E. Power Biggs – Toccata In D Minor, BWV 565 (2:30)
Composed by Johann Sebastian Bach
Released in 1991 on the Sony Music album Bach: Toccata & Fugue BWV 565, Passacaglia & Fugue BWV 582, Pastorale BWV 590; Preludes & Fugues

This organ favorite is the first “half” of the famed Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 565, traditionally attributed to Johann Sebastian Bach. Dating back to the early 1700s, this piece is commonly associated with darkness, evil, haunted houses and the like. The beauty of the Fugue transcends such associations, and as such is not included here. The organist, Edward George Power Biggs was a proponent of performing period music on instruments from the period, particularly organs and harpsichords. Who knew something so old could be so loud?

KALI SEZ:
It’s probably the scariest music ever composed, so long as it’s played on a huge pipe organ with bone-rattling bass notes. No, really – we recently discovered that for thirty years, some scholars have been contending that this may have originally been a violin piece, not an original composition for organ! At any rate, this Bach classic (did we mention that some scholars ALSO contend that J.S. Bach likely wasn’t responsible for the piece?) is one of three tracks in this collection that featured prominently in Disney’s 1940 musical masterpiece, Fantasia. Yes, we really like that movie. Well, *I* really like that movie.

2. Bernard Herrmann – Prelude (from Vertigo) (3:12)
Composed by Bernard Herrmann
From the 1958 Paramount Pictures film Vertigo
Released in 1996 on the Varèse Sarabande album Vertigo: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Conducted by Muir Mathieson in London and Vienna, instead of the composer in Los Angeles. Aren’t musicians’ unions (and their accompanying strikes) wonderful things?

KALI SEZ:
Vertigo and Mysterious Island come equipped with two of my favorite film scores. And what a coincidence – they were both composed by Bernard Hermann! In addition to the haunting musical vortex, Vertigo’s prelude also features a fifties-fabulous title sequence by famed designer Saul Bass. Oh, and did I mention it’s the best Hitchcock feature ever (with the possible exception of Rebecca)? The NorCal filming locations are basically in my extended neighborhood, which helps. Then there’s the fact that I want to be Kim Novak when I grow up.

Paul Frees – Ghost Host – Foyer (from The Haunted Mansion)
Written by X Atencio
From the Disneyland and Walt Disney World attraction The Haunted Mansion

As he promised earlier, The Haunted Mansion’s “Ghost Host” returns, setting the tone for the fear to follow. This creepy fellow does get around, seeing as his accompanying Foyer music appears later on this disc. You never know where he’ll turn up next…
3. Mike Oldfield – Tubular Bells (from The Exorcist) (5:04)
Written by Mike Oldfield
Originally released in 1973 on the Virgin Records album Tubular Bells
Featured in the 1973 Warner Bros. film The Exorcist
New edit by Jason Pittman

Although it’s not particularly creepy on its own, the usage of “Tubular Bells” in William Friedkin’s film of The Exorcist forever cements Mike Oldfield’s epic work into some particularly scary company. The only thing scarier than the Exorcist association? The sheer talent of Oldfield, exhibited both in this particular excerpt and in the other 40+minutes of Tubular Bells, where he plays all the instruments, keyboards and stringed alike.

4. Black Sabbath – Black Sabbath (5:43)
Written by Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, Bill Ward and Ozzy Osbourne
Originally released in 1970 on the Vertigo Records album Black Sabbath

The birth of metal is here. A thundering rhythm section, crunching heavy guitars and the ethereal wail of rock and metal legend Ozzy Osbourne sell this supernatural story. Bassist Geezer Butler was the real victim here, having received a visit from a terrifying figure in black after spending time reading a book on the occult. Shaken, Butler told his tale to Ozzy and the band, and the result is this dreary journey into the heavy metal darkness.

5. Tom Waits – What’s He Building? (3:10)
Written by Tom Waits
Originally released in 1999 on the ANTI- Records album Mule Variations

What IS he building in there…and is it what’s being investigated or the creepy investigator that’s truly scarier? Thanks to my good friend Josh Siary, who introduced me to this particularly frightening track a while back. He and I ended up featuring it on the Halloween episode of our dearly departed radio show (RIP) Beatle and the Bobcat, so it was a natural to include here.

6. The Robert Cobert Orchestra – Opening Themes: Dark Shadows/Collinwood (2:46)
Composed by Robert Cobert
From the ABC TV series Dark Shadows
Originally released in 1969 on the Philips Records album The Original Music From Dark Shadows

The sound of a theremin is always scary, right?

KALI SEZ:
Robert Cobert’s theme to Dark Shadows perfectly captures the gothic spirit of America’s favorite vampire, spook, and time-travel soap opera. I mean, what better introduction to a SCARY show than SPOOKY flute and theremin music? We’ve included the otherworldly main theme AND the “Collinswood” sequence track that segued into the meat of the show. In the early seasons of the series, Alexandra Motke (who played Victoria Winters) would provide introductory voiceover during the “Collinswood” cue, while a visual of the Collins family’s ancestral home graced the television screen.

7. Wendy Carlos – Main Title (from The Shining) (3:30)
Composed by Wendy Carlos and Rachel Ekind
From the 1980 Warner Bros. film The Shining
Originally released in 1980 on the Warner Bros. Records album The Shining (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

Synthesizers are her specialty, and Wendy Carlos delivers for the opening credits sequence to one of Stanley Kubrick (and Stephen King)’s scariest movies. According to Carlos, the main theme of the piece is the medieval chant “Dies Irae”, in its slightly modified version as used by Hector Berlioz in his Symphonie Fantasique. Carlos’ longtime collaborator Rachel Ekind contributes to this piece vocally, using the electronic sounds of the vocoder to ramp up the scare factor.

KALI SEZ:
I wanted Berlioz’ “March to the Scaffold” or “Witches’ Sabbath” in our compilation, so we compromised via Wendy Carlos’ The Shining opening theme. It incorporates the Dies Irae motive in appropriately dark, brassy Symphonie Fantastique style, but with a heavy synth twist. Perfect.

8. Gaylord B. Carter – Foyer Organ (from The Haunted Mansion) (0:58)
Written by Buddy Baker
From the Disneyland and Walt Disney World attraction The Haunted Mansion

Welcome, foolish mortals…to the entrance foyer of Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion. Soon, the Ghost Host will appear and guide you through…what’s that? You say you’ve already heard from him twice? So unpredictable these spectres are… Ah well, enjoy the rest of your journey! *creepy wink*

KALI SEZ:
Oh hey look, it’s “Grim Grinning Ghosts” again! This time we give you the foyer cue, which is the first version of the theme that Haunted Mansion guests encounter when experiencing the attraction. Composed by Buddy Baker and performed by organist Gaylord Carter, this creepy prelude features (in addition to organ) some subtle tubular bellwork. “When hinges creak in doorless chambers…”

9. John Carpenter – Halloween Theme (3:36)
Written by John Carpenter
From the 1978 Compass International Pictures film Halloween
Originally released in 1982 on the Varèse Sarabande album Halloween (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

Performed entirely by director John Carpenter, this terrifying theme to Michael Myers’ first film lacks the jump scares the rest of the score contains. Instead, this music (here from the end credits, but merely presented in a shorter version over the opening titles) sets the stage for the fear to follow, and cements the story of Myers and his victims into horror movie history.

10. The Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Eugene Ormandy – Danse Macabre, Op. 40 (7:11)
Composed by Camille Saint-Saëns
Released in 1991 on the Sony Music album Saint-Saëns: Symphony No. 3 “Organ”, Carnival of the Animals, Danse macabre, Suite Algérienne

KALI SEZ:
“Death at midnight plays a dance tune…” on Halloween night! Camille Saint-Saens’ whirlwind waltz of the dead was originally written to accommodate words – a poem by Henri Cazalis. Saint-Saens later replaced the vocals with violin, which probably made for easier listening (even though the poem is neat!).

11. Electric Light Orchestra – Fire On High (1:28)
Written by Jeff Lynne
Originally released in 1975 on the United Artists Records album Face The Music

Although it turns out more epic than scary, the opening of ELO’s Face The Music album (with creepy front cover to match) contains one of the scariest effects in rock music: backwards vocals. Intended to be an indictment of the endless search for hidden backwards Satanic message in every heavy rock record imaginable, Jeff Lynne’s sonic landscape neverless manages to bring chills to one’s spine (assuming yours is still in one piece, of course.)

12. Bloodrock – D.O.A. (8:26)
Written by Rick Cobb, Ed Grundy, Steve Hill, Lee Pickens, James Rutledge and Nick Taylor
Originally released in 1970 on the Capitol Records album Bloodrock 2

The deadliest of the so-called “death rock” genre, which dates back to 1959’s “Teen Angel”, Bloodrock’s terrifying tune presents particularly bleak imagery, putting the listener into a plane crash victim’s horribly mangled body…or what’s left of it.

13. Henry Cowell – The Banshee (2:45)
Composed by Henry Cowell
Released in 1999 on the New Albion Records album New Music – Piano Compositions By Henry Cowell

Performed by Chris Brown, this particularly haunting track is noteworthy for being performed entirely inside the piano; no audible pressing of the keys is heard during the track. Composed circa 1925, “The Banshee” predates the “prepared piano” work of avant-garde artists such as John Cage, and in the case of Cage, served as a direct inspiration, as Cowell was one of his many teachers.

14. The Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Leopold Stokowski – Night on Bald Mountain (from Fantasia) (14:07)
Composed by Modest Mussorgsky
From the 1940 Walt Disney Productions film Fantasia
Originally released in 1957 on the Buena Vista/Disneyland Records album Walt Disney’s Fantasia

The liner notes from the original 3 LP release are worthy reading; here’s an excerpt:

“The recording of “FANTASIA” was a pioneering effort in multi-channel stereophonic recording. Compared with today’s modern equipment and techniques, our tools were crude and our theories unproved. Photographic film, with its inherent high noise level and other limitations, was the only suitable recording medium. In 1939, when the music for this motion picture was recorded, the results were considered sensational and seldom, if ever, has the marriage between picture and sound been so complete.”

Fantasia and it’s accompanying multichannel Fantasound soundtrack (presented on record in stereo and mono mixes) were the forerunners of what we now know as surround sound. Although an initial failure due to the expense of transporting and/or installing the necessary playback equipment, it nevertheless was one of many “firsts” credited to Walt and his film studio, and earned a place in audio history as the forerunner of Dolby Stereo, Dolby (Digital) Surround, and DTS.

KALI SEZ:
The penultimate Fantasia piece in this collection, our “Night on Bald Mountain” version is a Leopold Stokowski arrangement of the Modest Mussorgsky original. Like “Danse Macabre” and the “Witches’ Sabbath” movement from Symphonie Fantastique (which we referenced earlier via the Wendy Carlos piece), “Bald Mountain” aurally describes a witch/ghost/devil celebration. In Fantasia, the “black god” Chernobog presides over the festivities in ghoulish fashion.

The Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Leopold Stokowski – Ave Maria, Op.52 No.6 (from Fantasia)
Composed by Franz Schubert
From the 1940 Walt Disney Productions film Fantasia
Originally released in 1957 on the Buena Vista/Disneyland Records album Walt Disney’s Fantasia

Much like the end of the film, we end our journey through Halloween with an escape into the light. “Ave Maria” is lyrically a hymn to the Virgin Mary, but its combination with the Schubert song “Ellens dritter Gesang” makes it a popular selection for Christmas recordings by artists from Stevie Wonder to Luciano Pavarotti. Stokowski’s arrangement, complete with English translation, serves as calm repose from the chaotic horror of Mussorgsky’s work, and is a perfect transition from the darkness of Halloween to the oncoming Christmas season.

TOTAL TIME: 1:04:26

Compilation Produced by Jason Pittman & Kali Pappas

Art Direction by Kali Pappas

Engineering by Jason Pittman

Liner Notes by Kali Pappas & Jason Pittman

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

…listen and share, if you dare!

DISC THREE: FEAR

New music for 2011!

“We recommend that the volume control on your phonograph be kept at a moderate room level for the fullest enjoyment.
The quality and dynamic range of the original recording has been preserved as carefully as possible…”
–Original Fantasia liner notes, 1957

Selections from forty years of frightening films, games, and music lead you on a journey from a house to a forest and into terrors unimaginable. Turn the lights off and the music up! Attentive listening will yield the “fullest enjoyment” of the journey.

TRACKLISTING

Buddy Baker – The Haunted Mansion (Load Area Music)
HOUSE:
Humphrey Searle – The Haunting (Main Titles)
Richard Johnson and Diane Clare – Dialogue from The Haunting
The Cure – Pornography
FOREST:
Oliver Wallace – The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow
King Diamond – Them
ALIENS:
Gy Ligeti – Requiem (from 2001: A Space Odyssey)
Tangerine Dream – Madrigal Meridian
Tool – Faaip de Oiad
Kelly Bailey – Ravenholm Reprise (from Half-Life 2)
MONSTER:
Howard Shore – Shelob’s Lair (from Lord Of The Rings)
Jerry Goldsmith – Alien (theatrical trailer)
Jerry Goldsmith – The Eggs (from Alien)
Depeche Mode – Pimpf
ORGAN:
Gene Moore – Cast Out Devils (from Carnival of Souls)
Art Ellison – Dialogue from Carnival of Souls
Pink Floyd – Sysyphus (Part 4)
Type O Negative – Black Sabbath

TOTAL TIME: 45:00

Compilation Produced by Jason Pittman & Kali Pappas

Engineering by Jason Pittman

Liner Notes by Jason Pittman

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

…listen and share, if you dare!

A new (improved) Halloween music compilation and more…coming soon!

This is Haunted Halloween!

Hi everybody! Fans of our holiday audio compilations will be happy to learn that we’re reformulating our Halloween music collection for 2011. Jason and I can’t give you any details yet, but it’ll be unique and lots of fun!

I’m also brewing a new design for this blog and Strangegirl.com as a whole, in addition to some new fashion-related posts. Yay!

More music stuffs from Jason and/or Kali:

Music Collection: A Christmas Music Box

StrangeBeat Productions presents yet another holiday tunes compilation, just in time for Christmas!

A Christmas Music Box “cover” art.

VOLUME 1: From Mannheim Steamroller to Elvis himselvis, these FOUR DISCS of Christmas tunes provide plenty of variety for your holiday parties, gatherings, and personal time.

JASON SEZ – For those of you who have “acquired” Christmas music from me in the past, much of this material will be familiar. Approximately 20 minutes of music have been added to round out these four volumes to full CD length, and the mp3s have been carefully retagged (and in some cases re-ripped) to match the quality of the next set we have for you!

Disc 1 – 22 .mp3 files, tagged and labeled. (various bitrates)

Disc 2 – 23 .mp3 files, tagged and labeled. (various bitrates)

Disc 3 – 24 .mp3 files, tagged and labeled. (various bitrates)

Disc 4 – 22 .mp3 files, tagged and labeled. (various bitrates)

VOLUME 2: Enjoy the many moods of the holidays with selections ranging from traditional instrumentals to jazz and rock ‘n’ roll. We’re giving you a whopping THREE DISCS worth of our favorite Christmas tracks PLUS the following:

KALI SEZ – Here’s a bonus collection of vintage holiday recordings, as selected in 1970 by Jack “The Voice of Disneyland” Wagner for the Disneyland and Magic Kingdom “Main Street U.S.A.” Christmas music loops. These tracks can be randomized or played in order as they appear in situ at the parks!

Disc 1 – 28 .mp3 files, tagged and labeled. (various bitrates)

Disc 2 – 27 .mp3 files, tagged and labeled. (various bitrates)

Disc 3 – 25 .mp3 files, tagged and labeled. (various bitrates)

Disc 4 – 30 .mp3 files, tagged and labeled. (128kbps)

  • Compilation produced by KALI PAPPAS and JASON PITTMAN
  • Art Direction by KALI PAPPAS
  • Engineering by JASON PITTMAN
  • Liner Notes by JASON PITTMAN and KALI PAPPAS

Available for download NOW!

This is Haunted Halloween!

"This is Haunted Halloween" collection CD art...

A festive two hour collection of holiday tunes, debuting on October 1, 2010!  –

Disc One is packed with a selection of macabre party hits, from a new extended mix of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” to Sheb Wooley’s campy “The Purple People Eater.”  Disc Two follows with pieces reflecting the darker side of Halloween.  Here, spooky film themes, ghoulish classical favorites, and other grisly tunes mix it up with creepy sound effects perfect for a stormy night.

Produced by Jason Pittman and Kali Pappas, this collection offers new presentations of old classics alongside several fun surprises.  But beware — this is not your average Halloween mix tape.  Listen and share!  If you dare…

Available for download NOW:

Audio files:

– Disc 1 – 17 .mp3 files, tagged and labeled. (128kbps LAME MP3)

– Disc 2 – 14 .mp3 files, tagged and labeled. (128kbps LAME MP3)

Expanded notes on the collection and the various tracks:

Liner Notes.pdf

– Liner Notes.rtf (text only)

Artwork:

3 .psd files, complete with gutters and ready for conversion/printing (CYMK)

– 5 .jpg files, at screen resolution for viewing (RGB)

– 1 .jpg file, 800×800 pixels, for use as cover art in your preferred media player

LINKS:

http://tinyurl.com/hauntedhalloween

http://bit.ly/hauntedhalloween

Mirror:

http://tinyurl.com/strangebeat

http://bit.ly/strangebeat