Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Horror Playlist: Autumn Begins…

list compiled by Anthony Servante

Each month we ask someone to be a guest DJ for us, by giving us their top 13 songs on their listening list at the moment, or just the top 13 songs or albums they think others should know about. This month, we got a special volunteer in one of our newest staff writers, Anthony Servante. And when you see the list which follows, I can promise you will see more such lists from him in future issues. There's some great classic, underrated and under-remembered picks, and then there's some Neo-Goth-Metal which sticks to your ear like hot blood.

Enjoy the videos and picks provided by our own Anthony Servante...

13. “Laurie: Strange Things Happen in This World” by Dickey Lee from the album The Greatest Hits Collection Sung by Dickey Lee, Rock ‘n’ Roll. One of my favorites from the Teen Tragedy Era (1960-65). From “Teen Angel” to “Leader of the Pack”, teenage death was in vogue. But Dickey Lee made an art of the music, especially in this classic with the twist ending. Shivers!

12. “Master Passion Greed” by Nightwish from the album Dark Passion Play (2007) Roadrunner Records. The first song that departs from the structure of aria type songs written for former singer Tarja Turunen. A solid rocker with a symphonic punch in its crescendo. With Tarja no longer holding the band back from touring the US, they played virtually every House of Blues in the States in 2008. Tarja followed their tour trail, but failed to find the audience that sold out almost every Nightwish show. The band returns to the US in 2012 for an arena-sized tour and a new CD.

11. “I Rise the Moon” by Creature with the Atom Brain from the album Transylvania (2010) The End Records. Loved this song since I heard it when Creature… opened for Alice in Chains at the Hollywood Palladium. I was not disappointed by the CD I picked up from the band after their set. ‘Millenio’ Rock with bluesy overtones and a crisp sound makes for an entertaining concert that translates well for home listening. One of my MP3 Player favorites.

10. “What’s a Girl To Do” by Bat for Lashes from the album Fur and Gold (2007) Caroline. This is the song I heard on a late night talk show that sent me looking for the LP. All their songs have an ethereal quality matched by a progressive beat. A sound that could be heard in a dream or a David Lynch movie. I added every song on the CD to my MP3 Player.

9. "When the Sun Sleeps” by Underoath from the album The Changing of Times (2002) Solid State Records. This song was recommended to me by a fan of Christian Metal. The band’s line-up changes with every LP, but the music ranges from Progressive to Industrial. Personally, I don’t hear the proselytizing in the lyrics; I just hear the Metal.

8. “I Live Alone” by November Group from Persistent Memories (1983) Brain Eater. The German New Wave brought this mini-hit to the USA at a time when American New Wave was producing mega-hits, so it was easy to overlook, but the band has since developed a cult with the rare release, Work That Dream (1985). They are often labeled Angst Rock, but given their mix of Techno and New Wave, they are a cross between Disco and Devo.

7. “Jackie Chan” by Dollyrots from the album Eat My Heart Out (2009) Beautyfreakshow Records. Saw the Dollyrots open for the Buzzcocks; their mix of Pop-Punk was very catchy. Kelly Ogden (bass, vocals) uses her Betty Boop-like voice to good effect for the Pop side of the music, while her bass adds the sonic speed expected from the Punk side. Their live show doesn’t expand on the songs any, but that’s okay because Punk songs beyond two minutes long can be draining on moshers.

6. “Prayer of the Refugee” by Rise Against from the album The Sufferer and the Witness (2006) Geffen Records. If Punk-Prog is not a term, this song should make it one. The band is well known for its PETA stance and Vegan lifestyle, but who cares?! The music is tight and fast—especially in concert. My brother, a Punk fan from the days of the Ramones, introduced me to the Post-Punk movement, and we haven’t missed a Rise Against concert since then.

5. “The Dance” by Within Temptation from the album The Dance (2007) Season of Mist. One of those big in Europe songs. Lots of fantasy elements to their songs lead fans to call them Goth, but the band insists they are Symphonic Rock. Potato, potahto.

4. “Maid of Orleans” by OMD from the album The Best of OMD (2002) A&M. As a hardcore fan of Ochestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, it was a pleasure to see them at their reunion concert early this year with the original line-up. This CD pulls all my favorites together for MP3 Player heaven.

3. “School Days” by White Door from the album Windows (2009) 101 Distribution. Release of the 1983 LP. Great song lost among the many hits of the 80’s. New Wave at its best. Although the music is standard New Wave style: Synthesizers, Mellotrons and catchy danceable tunes, White Door solidified the 80’s sound without any pretensions of being any more than just a damn good New Wave act.

2. “Cry for the Moon” by Epica from the album We Will Take You With Us (2005) The End Records. One of the stand-out songs by this Goth-Rock band. Death Metal vocals from the male lead singer Mark Jansen, formerly of After Forever, counterbalance the wispy operatic voice of Simone Simons to great effect. And I also love the sardonic lyrics of this song, mocking Goth Music ‘fairytales’ with a Goth song. Too cool.

1. “Gypsy” by Kingdom Come with Arthur Brown from the album Journey (1973) Castle. This new music style for Arthur Brown (“Fire”) added a new level for the emerging sound of Progressive Rock. Often confused with an Arthur Brown LP, it is actually the band Kingdom Come featuring the singer from The Crazy World of Arthur Brown (1967). Strawbs, the English band from the 60’s, may have used the Mellotron first, thanks to Rick Wakeman, but Kingdom Come used it to offset the spacey guitar work and dissonant rhythms. The song you’d listen to with headphones and a bit of herb.

--Anthony Servante

(Thanks to Anthony for giving us a killer list of music for this month's Horror Playlist. Definitely one of the most eclectic we've seen in a while.)