by Dan Gibson
This week, for your listening pleasure, we have tracks by TSOL, Crystal Antlers, Tom Waits, and Ennio Morricone.
TSOL, "Silent Scream"
This being the season of all things dark and spooky, I thought I'd share my consistent go-to jam for Halloween. "Silent Scream" off of TSOL's debut album, Dance With Me, is a bit of a departure from their normal trademarked OC brand of hardcore punk. When they first arrived in the scene, their songs were mostly two minute short blasts of aggro angst and "Reagan Sucks!" ethos. By the time they got around to recording their debut, inspiration from the flamboyant goth scene started creeping into the SoCal sunlight, and TSOL took their cues and traded in muscles shirts for frilly shirts and whiteface makeup. "Silent Scream" is their ode to all things that creep in the night and the traditional tropes of horror films, and has been a consistent staple on my Halloween mixtapes for years. Stay scared!
Crystal Antlers turns what could potentially be complete chaos into intricately-cut sonic gems. They achieve a full sound without filler. This particular track makes it onto almost every compilation CD I make for my friends for good reason: It pulls you into its frenzy via a swirl of guitar, organ, and hyper-pulsating rhythm section, and then suddenly relaxes, highlighting the yearning vocals. They will show off their superb musicianship in Tucson once again on Thursday, October 27th at Plush. After seeing them twice this past year, I can tell you this show is not to be missed.
Tom Waits, "Bad As Me"
Full of his usual sublime trash imagery ("You're mother superior in only a bra"), lurching junk yard band backing, and gravelly, barked incantations, Tom Waits is back. Hallelujah.
Ennio Morricone, "Humanity (Part 1)" from The Thing: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Halloween's around the corner, and what better way to get in a dark mood than by listening to music from John Carpenter's The Thing? Apparently Hollywood recently released a prequel (also called The Thing) to this film, but I haven't seen it yet. However, I have seen the 1982 movie many times and the soundtrack—composed by legendary composer Ennio Morricone (with some edits and cues by Carpenter)—is cold and creepy and quite unforgettable. Here's the main theme. If you like it, track down the CD so you can treat trick-or-treaters to some haunting sounds as they approach your door looking for candy.