A Gloriously Gloomy Spooky Playlist for a New York October
Aside from culinary exploration, travel, and everything that goes with it, one of my other obsessions in life is music. I tend to approach what I listen to through a seasonal lens. On March 1st it's all traditional Irish music, all the time. Memorial Day weekend brings pirate radio broadcasts done in country at the height of the Vietnam War. As soon as October 1st hits, and through Halloween, it's the sounds of gloomy gothic rocking goodness. Up against the October rust in our environs, and through Halloween, these songs are a great soundtrack to the season. From 80s goth rock to modern doom to heavy rock, this is just a little taste of the good stuff. Let's dive in, shall we? Some selections may contain coarse language. As they say, enter at your own risk!
The Sisters of Mercy - Dominion/Mother Russia
The Sisters of Mercy released their record "Floodland" in 1987. Pamela Morrison was hired to play bass, and the Sisters were still at the top of their game. Front man Andrew Eldritch is the only person I know that can pull off a dark goth rock opus wearing an all white suit.
Type O Negative - Black No. 1 (Little Miss Scare-All)
I could wax ecstatic about Type O Negative all night and day. If you were alive in the 90s and early 2000s and were into heavier music, you owned Type O records. To me, Black No. 1 is a quintessential Halloween song. Band leader Pete Steele left us over a decade ago, and he's always missed around this time of year.
Ghost - Call Me Little Sunshine
I admit it, I'm a full on Ghost fanboy, and have been since they came onto the scene. The Swedish band has great music paired with amazing visuals and costuming. Ghost gives me hope for the future of heavy music. Their music is great all year round, but finds a special place during October into Halloween.
Misfits - Dig Up Her Bones
One of the greatest shows I ever saw was Misfits/GWAR in the late 90s. The Misfits had reformed with a new singer and drummer, Danzig had no intention of returning at the time, and we were given some fresh, new, and wonderfully energized Misfits music that still holds up today. Those of us that were there love that era, and "Dig Up Her Bones" is a great example.
Peter Murphy, Trent Reznor, TV on the Radio - Bela Lugosi's Dead
This list would be incomplete and pointless without the Bauhaus classic "Bela Lugosi's Dead". Just about everyone has heard the original. It's best listened to on vinyl. To me, aside from the original, this is the definitive version. Seeing Trent and Peter pull this off flawlessly is a treat to behold. No tricks here.
Fields of the Nephilim - Moonchild
This entry is a little more obscure. Fields of the Nephilim are a British goth rock band that's been around forever, and never really got the props they deserved. Their music is daaaark with gravelly vocals. They're still out there playing shows, duster jackets, hats and all.
Cathedral - Wheels of Confusion
Cathedral was an influential band in the doom metal category. They took Black Sabbath's sound and expanded on it, making some of the best records of the genre. This track is a personal favorite, and sees Cathedral covering Sabbath on a now classic Earache Records tribute album.
This Ascension - Swandive
This Ascension is one of my favorite bands you've never heard of. Formed in California in 1988, they too never got the recognition they deserved and split up in 2001. Swandive is arguably their creative peak.
Misfits - Halloween
Let's put a nice black bow on this with some Danzig era Misfits, and the song called Halloween. For better or worse, Glenn Danzig has rejoined the Misfits on vocals and they play sporadic shows, but nothing will ever be like the groundbreaking early music.
'Goth Castle' for Sale 90 Minutes from Rochester
Gallery Credit: Carly Ross