Buttkickin’ Halloween Songs: “La Faulx” — Univers Zero (1979)

Yikes… Belgian band Univers Zero popularized integrating chamber music with progressive rock to create complex, often harrowing, and ultimately rewarding musical compositions. Part of the Rock In Opposition (RIO) movement in the late 1970s that rallied against the popular music of the day, the band took the standard guitar, bass, keyboards, drums paradigm and infused … Read more


Buttkickin’ Halloween Songs: “Psycho Circus” — Kiss (1998)

Step up! No one leaves ’til the night is done The amplifier starts to hum The carnival has just begun… You wanted the best? You got… a buttkickin’ title track from an otherwise crappy album. Look, I make no apologies for being a Kiss fan, and by “fan” I mean “actual fan of the music”, … Read more


Buttkickin’ Halloween Songs: “Total Eclipse of the Heart” — Bonnie Tyler (1983)

WAIT!! Where are you going? Settle down, there’s good reason for this. If you stick around, there might be a $5 cheese plate in it for you.. OK you’re still here? Good. Bonnie Tyler’s 1983 smash hit Total Eclipse of the Heart is probably the last song you’d associate with creepy crawlie spooky Halloween tunes, … Read more


Buttkickin’ Halloween Songs: “Look At Me Now” — Electric Light Orchestra (1971)

Someone is waiting, lurking in the trees The spirit of her is walking back to me Ah, look at me now, feeling emotion… What happens when the Reaper himself is betrayed by a beating heart? Eleanor Rigby-styled orchestrations never felt so chilling before… Electric Light Orchestra continued the baroque pop trend that began in the … Read more


Buttkickin’ Halloween Songs: “Nosferatu” — Blue Öyster Cult (1977)

This ship pulled in without a sound The faithful captain long since cold He kept his log till the bloody end Last entry read “Rats in the hold. My crew is dead, I fear the plague…” DRACULA!!! Well not quite. But if you’ve ever seen F. W. Murnau’s classic silent horror film Nosferatu — and … Read more


Buttkickin’ Halloween Songs: “Swamp Witch” — Jim Stafford (1973)

The swamp is alive with a thousand eyes, And all of them watchin’ you, So stay off the track to Hattie’s shack In the back of the Black Bayou… What the hell is it about the darkness of the swamp that brings out the worst of our heebie-jeebies? Is it the fog, the mists, the … Read more


Album Review: “Permanent Waves” — Rush (1980)

I don’t think Rush ever had such a clearly-defined demarcation point — as a band/creative entity — as their 1980 landmark release Permanent Waves. After the arduous process of recording their previous album, 1979’s Hemispheres, the band felt they were ready to move on from their signature longer pieces, filled with virtuoso musicianship, multiple stylistic … Read more


Buttkickin’ Halloween Songs: “Stranger” — Jefferson Starship (1981)

Raindrops falling Winter feels so gloomy Hear a knock upon my door Stranger calling Eyes that look like mine He said you know I’ve called before Look if we’re gonna talk sheer abject terror, it begins and ends with “We Built This City”, right? QED. But before this particular band devolved into the atrocity that … Read more


Buttkickin’ Halloween Songs: “She’s Just Killing Me” — ZZ Top (1996)

Everything about her was natural Everything about her was cool But I’m a little partial for beautiful girls Even if they blood runs blue… It’s that magical time of the year again, Hokeyfolks! October means fall. Fall means leaves changing, a crispness in the air, warm sweaters, hot apple cider, jackets and boots and scarves … Read more


Album Review: “The Monkees Present” — The Monkees (1969)

By 1968, The Monkees had passed their zenith as a commercial entity. Their April album release The Birds, The Bees & The Monkees earned considerable success (although less successful than their previous five albums), selling over a million copies and featured their hits “Valleri” and “Daydream Believer”. From that point on? Things weren’t quite so rosy. NBC … Read more

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