October 28, 2013

Careful with that Ax

I was a creepy kid
I'm happy to say I'm linking up with Jen for Twisted Mix Tape Tuesday again.

This week's Twisted Mix Tape theme? Scary. Spooky. Chilling.

My Skewed View
Oh, be still my heart. I get to be creepy. :)

First up on the mix tape, an homage. Yes, that's Willem Defoe's voice. But the music and the arrangement... Lou Reed. Lou Reed passed away just a few days ago, and we all lost a treasure. A true treasure.

This may be the most frightening and unexpected song ever recorded. Tori Amos, performing an Eminem song. Sounds ridiculous, but in execution... wow. Chills.

I was a creepy kid. I dressed all in black and wrote poetry about death, wandered the streets at night in a full length hooded black cloak... you get the idea. But perhaps the creepiest of my proclivities was something I didn't even realize I was doing. You see, I'd never watched The Excorcist. I'd read it, yes, and for that reason I avoided that movie. So I had no idea what my parents must have thought when their goth 13 year old daughter spent all her time locked up in her room blasting Tubular Bells. Thinking back on that... if I were them I would have been terrified.

This song gives me chills. Maybe it's the saw, maybe it's the music box... maybe it's the subject. But this is real world darkness.

I think that an essential part of any person's college education should be staying up way, way, way too late, eating cold leftover pizza, and watching Pink Floyd's Live in Pompeii. And right when you think you might actually get to fall asleep, Roger Waters screams you back to full consciousness so that you can change your term paper into a treatise on the malevolence intrinsic to human nature.

The current reigning king of creepy- Thom York. That man has the most beautifully haunting voice. And this song is so quietly ominous and threatening. If I am ever invited to a fancy dinner party in an old, darkened Victorian house on a hill (a la Miss Havisham) and this song is playing, I will be extremely confident that I am going to die.

I love Tom Waits. I love everything he's ever done- from Alice to Mystery Men. And let me tell you about creepy music... nobody, but nobody, does it quite like Tom Waits.

When it comes to terrifying combinations of sound and imagery... this might be the most terrifying song ever recorded. Maybe. Thanks to this music video, the sight of Richard D. James' face is enough to give me nightmares. Fifteen years later.

This song all by itself isn't exactly terrifying. But the thing is, the whole album is tied inexorably to a book- House of Leaves by Mark Danielewski. It's one of the most chilling, disturbing books I have ever read. It's a work of suspense GENIUS. And the brilliant musician behind Poe is his sister- and wrote her entire album- Haunted- as a sort of companion to the book. If you haven't read it before, read it now. Really. I can't recommend it highly enough.

Last but not least, Porcupine Tree.
I don't say this often, but I think this song speaks for itself.

Happy Halloween. :)


  1. Porcupine Tree???? Someone else knows of them? I'm shocked! I became a fan of theirs with their "In Absentia" cd, and loved the "Fear of the Black Planet" one. Aphex Twin was definitely different, to say the least. Mike Oldfield's hit was a monster back when the movie came out, and still holds its power today, much like the theme from "Halloween" (which I'm surprised no one has chosen yet). Really a great job!

  2. "I had no idea what my parents must have thought when their goth 13 year old daughter spent all her time locked up in her room blasting Tubular Bells." I'm pretty sure they thought, "how nice that she likes Mike Oldfield!" Your parents were big fans of Mike Oldfield, and today when your mother read your blog, your father had to explain to her that Tubular Bells was used in the Exorcist -- a movie neither of them have ever seen.

    BTW, your father's favorite Mike Oldfield albums are "Ommadawn" and "Hergest Ridge." Beautiful music for flying on another astral plane entirely...

  3. Until this post, I had no idea Tubular Bells was in the Exorcist (which I have never seen). Perhaps that is why, in 40 years, it has never struck me as creepy. In fact, I always found it mellowing and comforting.

    And, what, no Tangerine Dream (most notably, The Sorcerer)???

    Nice post, by the way.

  4. During a study of psychedelic rock, we were told there were two kinds, those songs written to accompany a trip and those where the music was the trip itself. I didn't quite understand until I just re-listened to the Pink Floyd you listed. That was a TRIP! Absolutely awesome list!

  5. Thanks for celebrating Lou. We lost a national treasure, a true artist. Loved the Floyd and Radiohead , both have frighteningly good guitar.

    Happy Halloween

  6. Careful with that ax is one of the scariest songs of time! Thanks for sharing this list!

  7. YaY! Another Come to Daddy scare!

  8. Wow. This is a great list. You are the anti-me, I think. In a very good way. Our music tastes just meet in the middle a little. With my total respect for the music you love, but the darkness of this list is too much for me. Hence the scary of course. I never could do Tom Waits, The Cranberries or Tori Amos for that exact reason! Beautiful!

  9. Nice list! Perfectly creepy.

  10. Ah, Lou. He is already missed. I wasn't familiar with some of these and I like them. Thanks for sharing them.



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