Local Rhythms – All Hail All Hallows

TimCurryRHPSIt falls on a Saturday; at the end of daylight savings time no less. So this column is all Hallows, all the time.

In my neighborhood, I have a reputation for serenading the trick or treat crowd. Here are a few tunes you’re likely to hear – thanks to my Facebook pals for their suggestions.

Let’s start with the Top Five:

Without a doubt, number one is Bobby Boris Pickett’s “Monster Mash,” with “Werewolves of London” from Warren Zevon and Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” right behind. CCR’s “Bad Moon Rising” makes the cut for all those werewolf/vampire movies. “Spooky” from Classics IV is in for being sweet and creepy.

Then there are songs that deserve the top, like the wonderfully ghoulish “Welcome to My Nightmare” by Alice Cooper, or “Dead Man’s Party” – merely the best Oingo Boingo song of many. No Halloween is complete without one hit wonder Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’ “I Put A Spell on You.” For hip-hop fans, Will Smith as Fresh Prince on “Nightmare on My Street” is perfect. Bowie’s ‘Scary Monsters” always helps me feel the spirit.

Want freakishly weird? Try the cannibalism-themed “Timothy,” made by Rupert Holmes before his Piña Colada days.  A couple of my more esoteric friends chimed in with “D.O.A.,” a Bloodrock song about a car crash and its macabre aftermath. Then there’s the Ramones’ “Pet Sematary” which I heard on a recent trip to Salem, Massachusetts, or the Cramps’ “Goo Goo Muck,” which would be banned if folks knew what it was really about. Oh, and “It’s Halloween” by the Shaggs. They’re from New Hampshire, and the song is so awful it’s charming.

Without Facebook or my electronic music maven Rhapsody, I might have forgotten the Squirrel Nut Zippers’ “Hell,” which urges everyone to “get ready for a suit of flame,” or Ted Nugent’s “Stranglehold,” the perfect background music for doing unspeakable thing to small animals. A couple of others sure to help the mood are “Zombie” from the Cranberries and John Entwistle’s grisly baritone on the Who’s “Boris the Spider.”

For some, only Rocky Horror Picture Show will do. So here’s a tip of the witch’s hat to Tim Curry’s “Time Warp.”

Finally, the left field award goes to Richard Shindell’s “Are You Happy Now,” a song about getting dumped, followed by the ex toilet papering the house, smashing pumpkins on the lawn and stealing the trick or treat candy.

And with that, here’s my all-Hallows list of possibilities:

Newport Opera House: Last Kid Picked – This band is synonymous with Halloween in Newport since their first All Hallows gig as Werewolves of London in 1996.  There’s a full bar for this full-on masquerade ball, so pick a designated driver. 21+ $16/8pm http://www.newportoperahouse.com

Claremont Moose: Shredstock 2009 – The Agonist, a female-fronted metal band from Canada, top a bill that includes Hexerei, TranScenT, Hung, and Last Chance to Reason. A costume contest will undoubtedly include more than a few studs and chains. $15/5pm http://www.myspace.com/hexerei

Forester’s: Kelleyville Killer – Another metal show, this time in Newport, starring the Summoned, Kelleyville Killer, Wake the Sleeping, Your Chariot Awaits and We Met Aliens. There’s a 50/50 raffle, costume contests and other fun. $10/6pm 863-9824

Silver Fern: 360 – The downtown Claremont sports bar hosts its first annual costume ball with a band that plays the hits. Cash prize for best costume, food and drink specials 21+ $5/8pm 542-5747

East Buffet: Spectris – A trio with a strong repertoire of progressive rock, their recently released Industry is one of the best local CDs of the year. They also do a rave-up cover of “Ring of Fire.” 21+ No Cover/9pm 542-8880

Salt hill Pub Newport: Saylyn – Reggae music highlights the party upstairs in downtown Newport. This is the Claremont band’s first ShP appearance. Costumes strongly encouraged. 21+ No cover/9pm 863-7774

White River Junction: Gorey Daze – Pariah Beat perform amidst the Main Street Museum’s esoterica at 6pm, a DJ spins at Tip Top Café starting at 9. In between, costumed revelers march in the street, along with psychics and a monster petting zoo. Check gorydaze.blogspot.com for prices.

Westminster Meeting House: Jatoba – Barnaby’s Backwoods Jamboree with groove kings Jatoba, and Pleasant Valley Brewing volunteer taxis shuttle to the party from downtown Saxtons River. Costume contest, haunted trail. $15/6pm 802-869-4602

Everyday Inn: Ninja Monkey – Dubbed the Harvest Moon Halloween Smash, this Bellows Falls party features raucous music from a beloved local band. Costume party with cash prizes, and free taxi service provided by Pleasant Valley Brewing. 802-463-4536

Carmella’s: Hell Night – DJ dancing tonight, and if you want two days of dress-up, the downtown Claremont Italian restaurant is having a costume contest on Friday the 30th. 542-5005

Springfield Chamber of Commerce: The Illusion – The exact location is a mystery, but this Springfield party, featuring a band that’s been around since the 1960s, is sure to be fun if you can find it. 8pm 802-885-2779

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