For those that just want the rock and don’t feel like reading the bullshit, here’s the playlist. For everyone else, here we go.
Glenn Danzig and his band o’ horror-obsessed Misfits have reigned supreme over the crisp Autumn months for decades. Sorry ‘Zig, but that has come to an end. Now, Dead Moon don’t have any overt horror lyrics. They don’t sing about Halloween and Vincent Price and Ed Wood and all that. But their whole vibe is perfect for listening to while pushing on my skateboard down crunchy leaf-strewn streets on a crisp October afternoon. From their mostly black-and-white cover art to their brand of blistering, moody lo-fi 60’s style garage punk, they just fit the season nicely. Based in Portland, Oregon, vocalist Fred Cole, who cut his teeth in actual 60s garage punk band The Weeds/Lollipop Shoppe, formed DM in the 80s and they lasted until 2006. The tracks I’ve chosen below represent the best for the Halloween season, in name or theme or mood, though every album these dudes did is great in entirety.
1 – Dead Moon Night (Unknown Passage, 1989). A real ripper of an opener.
In 1975, Cole fronted a smokin’ proto-punk band called Zipper.
2 – Hey Joe (In the Graveyard, 1988). Not the spookiest of songs, but the subject matter does fit in here and it’s also my favorite version of this often covered song.
3 – Evil Eye (Unknown Passage, 1989).
4 – Psychodelic Nightmare (Nervous Sooner Changes, 1995).
5 – Walking On My Grave (Defiance, 1990).
And in 1978, his punk band, King Bee, released its only single:
6 – Dawning of the Dead (Dead Ahead, 2004). This track is even more lo fi then the rest of their stuff, but it’s just too great to leave off.
7 – I’m Not Afraid (Nervous Sooner Changes, 1995).
8 – Raise Up the Dead (Destination X, 1999).
9 – Graveyard (In the Graveyard, 1988). Were it not for “Dead Moon Night”, this woulda been the obvious opener…first song on their first album, and it kills.
10 – You Must Be A Witch (Live Evil, 1991). This is a live version of the hit from Cole’s 60’s band, The Lollipop Shoppe. A nice way to end the set, to be sure.
The original version of “You Must Be A Witch”:
Of course I will still be spinning The Misfits, just like every Halloween season (and all year round too). ‘Cuz you know, bonfires are burning bright, pumpkin faces in the night, I remember Halloween!