Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Halloween’

two steps forward, don’t say I didn’t warn you….

Is this a modern murder ballad? Not exactly, but I do think of it sometimes on this day.

I’ve been listening to a lot of Tim Eriksen lately, having heard him play last week and having bought his latest CD in the latest manifestation of who he’s been playing with this time around.

Back in July, when I was on the Cape doing a poetry workshop with Dorianne Laux and Joe Millar (so Beat, that Joe! You gotta check out his stuff), I left them with a parting gift of Tim’s CD Soul of the January Hills.* Finally, last Friday night, I re-bought it and have been playing it in my car. It’s got at least 2 (off the top of my head) murder ballads and I’ve been thinking about Lady Margaret, aka, Sweet William, too, lately. I’ve used a link to the wiki page for Sweet William, a little lame, I know, but there must be hundreds of places to look up more thorough information on that particular Child Ballad. You’ll have to do your own research and discover your own personal favorite version. There are lots. I love The Knitters doing it, but it’s no where to be found so I can share it here. I just love that John Doe and Exene singing that old timey stuff together.

Here’s the modern murder ballad for today, courtesy of The Dream Syndicate and youtube:

* if you can buy only one of Tim’s CDs, this is the one I recommend. But maybe that’s just me, lover of a capella and haunting ballads about love and death. When you read the liner notes, you also realize what an amazing tour de force it is. One take, not rehearsed. Damn.

Read Full Post »

Sitting at my friend’s house–beautiful, full of windows–looking out onto the snow-covered conservation land behind the house, the railroad tracks. We’re going into our 3rd evening without electricity, but they’ve got full power here (hence my ability to post). Some people have wood stoves, some have propane fireplaces, some have natural gas to cook on. We’ve got none of it, but Hubby pulled out the camping stove and we’ve got 3 small propane canisters. The stores are sold out for now. We’ve still got phone service because my land line is not cordless. No internet. We’ve got water, which is nice. Some friends haven’t got water. It could be until the end of the week until we have electricity. The temp went down to about 20 last night and the house is still chilly. There’s a line down under some huge pine branches at the edge of our property. Can’t communicate with my 78-year old mom who’s only 8 miles away because her phone lines are down and she doesn’t have a mobile. She wouldn’t be able to charge it eventually anyway.

It’s not terrifying to be without power, but annoying, depressing and this adult’s idea of scary enough on Halloween. The town has postponed trick-or-treating until next Sunday, thus dashing children’s hopes of candy, but also leaving parents more time to help out with costume details.

The first I’d ever heard Nina Simone was in the opening credits of the movie “Shallow Grave” (at least I think it’s in the opening credits. I have a vivid memory of it). I’d heard of her, but didn’t know a thing. I thought it was a man singing due to her deep voice. I mean, deep, people, not just her vocal range, but the quality of the emotion.

I’ve been falling in love with her ever since. Shallow Grave is not a horror flick, but it is a GREAT thriller and an extremely well-made movie. Highly recommended and could work well for Halloween night (not for kids). Directed by Danny Boyle, it predates Trainspotting, The Beach, and 28 Days Later (Slumdog, too, but let’s not go there).

Anyway, here she is, singing the Halloween-appropriate I Put A Spell On You by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins (sung by the man himself in Jim Jarmusch’s “Stranger Than Paradise”):

Read Full Post »