We adults have now taken over Halloween from the children, making it one of the year's biggest party nights. That's where I come in. Every October, I try my best to help you with your Halloween party playlists and since this holiday falls on a Saturday, ain't no way you're getting a DJ.
Now, we all know the chestnuts: Ministry's "Every Day is Halloween;" Rockwell's "Somebody's Watching Me;" "Ghostbusters;" "Thriller;" "Bela Lugosi's Dead" by Bauhaus; Rihanna's "Disturbia" and variations on The Cure, Siouxsie and Marilyn Manson. But these will only get you so far, and you'll sound like every other girl in town with a punchbowl and fake cobwebs. Here are some quick thoughts to help your Halloween party playlists come life ( or death, or whatever ).
Start with Soundtracks. Halloween is not just about scary and spooky, but also about comedy and drama. It's a night of spectacle where all of us are characters in our very own private movie. And I'm not talking about soundtracks to The Exorsist or The Hunger ( or even Hunger Games ). Anything from Shrek to Austin Powers ( Mike Meyers fan obviously ) to Star Wars to Warriors. It's all good. As long as the movie has memorable iconic tracks or scores, you're creating a mood that will bring back memories or even tie into certain costumes who show up.
Keep it Funny. Don't be afraid to go for goofier or novelty hits. You'd never play "Gangnam Style," "Macarena" or "I'm Too Sexy" at a normal party. Those go way beyond ironic to embarrassing, but tonight they're fair game. A good novelty track ( possible oxymoronic ) brings out the silly in the silliest of evenings, and a good comedy track ( Weird Al, Lonely Island, Dan Band ) keeps a party light and filled with laughter.
Break out of your usual genres. Some will go with trance, some with goth, some 2007 era Britney Spears. All very scary, but think about different but dramatic arenas like psychedelic ( 13th Floor Elevators, Happy Mondays, LOVE ), hard rock ( Motley Crue, Rage Against the Machine, Quiet Riot, Def Leppard, Coheed and Cambria, Muse ), or hip-hop, trap and grime ( Salem, RL Grimes, vintage NWA or even Weeknd has some creepier cuts outside of "Face" ).
If nothing else, you can't go wrong with tossing on a Grace Jones/David Bowie playlist and walking away. The king and queen of rock/pop drama never disappoint party guests and will always rule the night.
DJ Moose spins all these and more at OTTER: Rock 'N' Whore Picture Show, Sat., October 17 at The SoFo Tap.