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Creepshow: Halloween Party Music

Music to keep your soiree from sucking like Dracula

It's that time again, guys: Halloween. Suburban yards across the Houston area are full of huge inflatable pumpkins, which were so much fun to shoot with pellet guns back in the day. Haunted houses opened up a few weeks ago and have been continuously inundated with stoned teens and kitsch junkies.

If you go by Wal-Mart's calendar, Halloween season started back in April, when they started stocking candy corn and plastic skulls next to chocolate eggs. And on top of all this consumerism, the inevitable train of parties you will be hitting up in the next few days will be grueling.

If you're unlucky enough to be hosting one of these throwdowns, you know the proper tunes are crucial. If the room gets quiet, and the Wolfman has to make small talk with a skanky zombie cheerleader, all hell will be unleashed. Then the guys who thought dressing up in orange and baby blue tuxedoes from Dumb and Dumber was a cool costume idea will start stealing beer and head to a better party down the street.

Oingo Boingo: Just because they had a Dead Man's Party doesn't mean you have to.
Oingo Boingo: Just because they had a Dead Man's Party doesn't mean you have to.

These songs ought to keep your party "ghoul" (for that pun, if you see me in public, you may legally punch me in the groin).

Michael Jackson, "Thriller" — A necessary Halloween evil, just like teenagers that still trick-or-treat and the crazy old lady down the street putting razor blades in your Snickers. "Thriller" has to happen. Get it out of the way early, and everything else is cream cheese. If someone wants to hear it again, show them the cobweb-­festooned door.

Oingo Boingo, "Dead Man's Party" — Oingo Boingo, better known as Danny Elfman's old band, was pretty freaking cool. Their videos looked like Tim Burton directed them on ecstasy. For bonus hipster points, put in a copy of Forbidden Zone to play on the television while everybody gets down. You'll get a few blank stares, but anything with Hervé Villechaize is worth it.

Hot Blood, "Soul Dracula" — This comes from that unsung genre of '70s music: Italian horror disco. It's got everything: discomfited Vincent Price ripoff voice-over, stereotypical female-sung disco chorus with blatantly sexual overtones and everyone chanting the name of the group for almost half the song. After the fifth listen, it became my ringtone.

Failure, "The Nurse Who Loved Me" — Dedicate this one to all six girls who show up at your party as slutty nurses. The awkward looks they give each other will only be surpassed by the sight of one of them leaving in tears, throwing off her little white hat: "Come back, sweetheart, the Jell-O shots are ready. Yes, I'll get you one of the blue ones."

Screamin' Jay Hawkins, "I Put a Spell on You" — It doesn't have to be October for this song from the Goth Little Richard to be creepy. Did you know Screamin' Jay had about 55 known children from dozens of different women? Each vocal sputter still makes you jump under the right circumstances. Read: pass out in a clown costume in a neighbor's bathtub. It also doesn't have to be October for that to be frightening. Marilyn Manson's version is good too.

Slayer, "Angel of Death" — Play this one too loud and the cops come. Not the slutty sorority cops, but the real kind, who would love nothing more than to taser your drunk ass. Expect broken windows and a broadsword through your air conditioner. It can happen. Hey, don't look at me. It was totally Dave.

The Misfits, "Halloween" — Remember when the Misfits weren't two low-rent original band members and some punk also-rans? Remember when Glenn Danzig couldn't bench-press a car? Crank it up.

 
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