That’s right folks. As I’ve mentioned earlier this month, this is my favorite time of year, even if we have altered the course of the seasons so that Autumn, apparently anywhere except possibly New England, lasts only about a week and some change scattered out over the course of about one month of the year. As long as I get a nice moody All Hallows with some rain, thunder and lightening, burning leaves and whatnot, I’m happy. Hence returning home to the Midwest year after year (it’s been in the 80’s and 90’s everyday for about the last week here in LA). And this year is especially important because next year we are not going back, so this’ll be my last grasp at a perfect Halloween for a while. Gotta make it count…

And make it count I shall. I thought in lieu of the usual diatribe today I would instead post a couple top ‘pics’ that always go hand in hand this time of year – music, books and movies. This isn’t all of it, but it’s the tried and true. Most of you will know most of this stuff, but for anyone who doesn’t, if you love Halloween any of these will be right up your alley.

Let’s begin.


TYPE O NEGATIVE – BLOODY KISSES (digipak)* – I know I’ve prattled at length about this before, but the thing is perfect right down to every last note and sound effect. Like an Autumnal painting brought to life. Is that a clove cigarette I smell?

MIRANDA SEX GARDEN – FAIRYTALES OF SLAVERY – Katherine Blake and company made several great dark and eclectic album, but this is the masterpiece and perfect for the season – Haunting and distant, like winding a dark path in the middle of the night – you never know what’s just around every corner and the anticipation takes your breath away.

BLACK SABBATH – BLACK SABBATH** – To me 1975’s Sabotage is still their masterpiece, but this one is steeped in imagery from the opening bell toll and distant thunder storm to the electric smoke of Iommi’s unbelievable guitar work on album closer THE WARNING.

MINISTRY – THE MIND IS A TERRIBLE THING TO TASTE – I listen to Ministry, especially this particular album, year round, but something about October clinches its masterful malevolence for me. If you close your eyes and listen to BREATHE you can almost smell the Wicker Park leaves burning waiting in line for entrance into the Metro. A sick, industrial cannibalistic work of gorey fucking genius.

BAUHAUS – THE SKY’S GONE OUT – Another group where almost any album will do this time of year, but there’s something so sparse and creepy about tracks like THE THREE SHADOWS Prts. 1-3 or SWING THE HEARTACHE that this usually accompanies a dark room, an open window and a bong perfectly on those first genuinely chilly nights.

THE CURE – DISINTEGRATION and PORNOGRAPHY – two albums that are, in the band’s words part of a combined story, they represent everything The Cure is and why they are amazing. Dark, sad, filled with evocative texture, emotion and some rather frighteningly disturbing lyrics. Try listening to them in order of release (Porno first) while reading James O’Barr’s original THE CROW graphic novel** and see if you’re not crying like a baby by the end of it.

Okay, I didn’t realize I would run on at the mouth like this so I’ll do books and movies on Thursday.

* This is the best in my opinion but as you can guess, all their albums fit this time of the year.

** And yes, I am proud to count myself among the numbers who DO NOT recognize anything after Ozzy’s first departure as valid Sabbath. Why? Stated simply, Dio sucks. Ozzy was by no means the key ingredient, but come on, Dio? Look at his hair. I’ve long suspected Mr. RJD is actually Bill Ward’s elderly grandmother, who they turned to in a pinch to pose as a rock god and take Ozzy’s place. Good ol’ John Osbourne may have went on to eek about (maybe) one album’s worth of good solo material, and he may not have even, by some accounts, written most of the lyrics for his origin group, but he was the personification of what they were doing and it all fell apart after he left.

*** And another yes in that, and here I’ve found I am largely alone, I HATE THE FUCKING MOVIE. Big studio takes soul-wrenching story of the Ultimate Loss and turns it into superhero drek. UGH!!!