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Halloween playlist

Not sure why, as Halloween’s not a big thing for me, but got a yen to put this together. Not claiming these are the ultimate Halloween songs—just which of my songs are most “Halloween-y”. (And I wasn’t aiming for 50 songs. That’s just where it landed.)

  1. Angel Main Theme (the Sanctuary Extended Remix) – Darling Violetta – Live Fast, Die Never (Music from the TV Series)
  2. Another World – Joe Jackson – Night And Day
  3. Ballad for Dead Friends – Dashboard Prophets – Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Radio Sunnydale (Music from the TV Series)
  4. Bat Out Of Hell – Meat Loaf – Bat Out of Hell
  5. Beware Of Darkness – George Harrison – All Things Must Pass
  6. Boris The Spider – The Who – Meaty Beaty Big And Bouncy
  7. Brain Damage – Pink Floyd – Dark Side of the Moon
  8. Buffy Main Title Theme – The Breeders – Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Radio Sunnydale (Music from the TV Series)
  9. Clap For The Wolfman – The Guess Who – The Greatest Of The Guess Who
  10. Comfortably Numb – Pink Floyd – Pink Floyd The Wall
  11. Cry, Little Sister (Theme From The Lost Boys) – Gerard McMann – The Lost Boys
  12. Dangerous – The Who – It’s Hard
  13. The Devil You Know (God Is A Man) – Face To Face – Buffy The Vampire Slayer: The Album
  14. Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me – Roger Daltrey – The Lost Boys
    [A darker—and, I think, better—take on the Elton John song]
  15. Down in the Park – Foo Fighters – Songs in the Key of X: Music from and Inspired by ‘the X-Files’
  16. End Of The Night – The Doors – The Doors
  17. Funhouse – P!nk – Greatest Hits…So Far!!!
  18. Ghost Story – Sting – Brand New Day
  19. Ghost Train – Elvis Costello & The Attractions – Get Happy!!
  20. Ghostdancing – Simple Minds – Glittering Prize: Simple Minds 81/92
  21. Gold Dust Woman – Fleetwood Mac – Rumours
  22. Happy Phantom – Tori Amos – Little Earthquakes
  23. Hell’s Half Acre – Robbie Robertson – Robbie Robertson
  24. Keep Myself Awake – Black Lab – Buffy The Vampire Slayer: The Album
  25. Lost In The Shadows – Lou Gramm – The Lost Boys
  26. Moonlight Drive – The Doors – Strange Days
  27. On the Run – Pink Floyd – Dark Side of the Moon
  28. People Are Strange – Echo & The Bunnymen  – The Lost Boys
    [The original Doors version would also do. This cover isn’t much different.]
  29. Phobia – The Kinks – Phobia
  30. Rest In Peace – James Marsters – Once More, With Feeling (Buffy The Vampire Slayer)
  31. Rhiannon – Fleetwood Mac – Greatest Hits
    [Though Rhiannon isn’t a very scary witch]
  32. Science Fiction/Double Feature – Richard O’Brien – Rocky Horror Picture Show
  33. Showdown At Big Sky – Robbie Robertson – Robbie Robertson
  34. Something’s Gonna Die Tonight – The Doughboys – Tribute to Hard Core Logo
  35. Spooky Girlfriend – Elvis Costello – When I Was Cruel
  36. Sympathy for the Devil – The Rolling Stones – Beggars Banquet
  37. Tear Off Your Own Head (It’s A Doll Revolution) – Elvis Costello – When I Was Cruel
  38. Thriller / Heads Will Roll – Glee Cast – Single
    [I don’t have the Michael Jackson original, but I do like this mash-up]
  39. The Time Warp – Rocky Horror cast – Rocky Horror Picture Show
  40. Transylvania Concubine – Rasputina – Buffy The Vampire Slayer: The Album
  41. Under a Raging Moon – Roger Daltrey – Under a Raging Moon
  42. Under Your Spell / Standing (Reprise) – Amber Benson and Anthony Stewart Head – Once More, With Feeling (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
  43. Unmarked Helicopters – Soul Coughing – The X-Files: Songs In The Key Of X
  44. Werewolves of London – Warren Zevon – Excitable Boy
    [A recent acquisition. Ah-oo! Werewolves of London]
  45. Wicked Annabella – Dave Davies – Rock Bottom Live At The Bottom Line
    [So good I’ve included it twice.]
  46. Wicked Annabella – The Kinks – The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society
    [One list I saw had Apeman by The Kinks as a Halloween song. What? Nothing Halloween-y about Apeman at all. This one, though, is about a scary witch who snatches away naughty children who refuse to go to sleep. Clearly composed by an exhausted parent.]
  47. Witches’ Song – Marianne Faithfull – Broken English
  48. X-Files Theme – Mark Snow – Songs in the Key of X: Music from and Inspired by ‘the X-Files’
  49. X Files Theme (Remix) – P.M. Dawn – The X-Files: Songs In The Key Of X
  50. You Took The Words Right Out Of My Mouth (Hot Summer Night) – Meat Loaf – Bat Out of Hell
    [“On a hot summer’s night, will you give your throat to the wolf with the red roses?”]


Fall means new TV

Last year at this time, I was complaining that so many summer shows were still on, I had no time to check out any new programs. This year, that’s not the case. Both dancing shows are done (one permanently—sniff!), Mad Men is not on until March or something, Flashpoint took a hiatus… My PVR’s been near empty for weeks.

But I need a distraction from the news, which I’ve been particularly depressing of late. So I’ve decided to audition a number of new shows, to see if any are worth sticking with.

Best new show (so far)

Completely unfair to judge this yet, as I haven’t even watched all the new shows I intend. And just one episode isn’t much to go on. Nevertheless, I feel I should mention CBC’s Michael: Tuesdays and Thursdays (which, confusingly, actually plays on Wednesdays) as I suspect most haven’t heard of it. It’s a half hour comedy, pretty simple premise: Michael has been in therapy for 15 years for various social phobias. His doctor is writing a book about it.

Doesn’t sound like much, but it’s funny. And feels true. And it has women characters as well, and they even get to talk to each other (not about men). And it’s fun spotting the various Ottawa locations in use. And being Canadian, it’s both unlikely to overstay its welcome, or get cancelled prematurely—at least this season. CBC has no doubt ordered a certain number of episodes, all of which it will broadcast.

New shows I’m checking out only because of the cast

1. The Secret Circle

Because it features the delicious Gale Harold, whom I loved in Queer as Folk, here playing a very nasty warlock. It’s a show about teenage witches in a small town. And based on one episode, it’s… exactly what you’d expect a show about teenage witches in a small town to be. So far, not promising to be more, à la Buffy the Vampire Slayer. But still, enough entertainment factor there for me to return for more episodes and see how it goes.

2. Ringer

Speaking of Buffy, Sarah Michelle Gellar is back in this new series, playing identical twin sisters. Boy, has this one received mixed reviews, some really dire. And sure, the premise is fairly ridiculous, but again based on only one episode, I’m willing to give it a few more views to see how it develops.

3. New Girl

This one stars Zooey Deschanel, and its main selling is most definitely that it stars Zooey Deschanel. It is totally running on her personal charisma. I found the first episode OK. It had some funny moments. I know feminist me is supposed to be offended by her manic pixie dream girl persona, but in a season also giving us a redone Charlie’s Angels and The Playboy Club, (and I’m not so sure about Pan Am, either) it’s hard to work up the outrage.

Returning shows I’m looking forward to

1. The Mentalist

This is one I never would have picked before. Not that I dislike The Mentalist, but it’s more Jean’s show, just one I also don’t mind watching, because the characters are fun and have good interaction.

But I have to say that last season’s finale really blew me away. It was completely gripping in and of itself, in a way that show isn’t usually, it apparently resolved the Red John storyline that had underlined the series since its start (but had become increasingly and a somewhat absurdly convoluted), and in way that I really didn’t expect but still didn’t seem unrealistic at all.

Now, I just can’t wait to see how they get Jayne out of this, and back to helping the CBI solve crimes. (They promise it won’t all have been a dream.)

2. Big Bang Theory

Here’s another show that went out last season with an ending both surprising and realistic, and it should be great fun watching all this unravel. I love this show for its consistent ability to make me laugh out loud. For real.

3. Battle of the Blades

Because the only hockey players I want to see are those wearing figure skates.

Returning shows I’m not sure I’ll keep returning to

I’ve already decided to drop the too-uneven How I Met Your Mother, and I’m not sure about these two:

1. Glee

Because in the past, no matter how bad this show sometimes got mid-season (and it could get pretty bad), it always seemed to pull together a finale that made me love it again. But last season? Holy geez, that was crappy. Replaying the Quinn-Finn-Jessie-Rachel love triangle again? Seriously? It’s the night before Nationals, and they haven’t even written the songs they’re going to perform yet? What?

And having made Coach Sylvester a total cartoon then decided we all needed to cry over her sister, what the heck will they do with her next? And apparently they had some reality show this summer to pick new cast members.

I don’t know, Glee. You’re sitting on the PVR there, but I’m not feeling in a big hurry to press Play.

2. Bones

Brennan and Booth and baby. Boring!

And for a bit of dancing

I have been checking out Nico Archambault’s Ils Dansent, focusing on the training of 10 male dancers. With no dropping of one dancer each week! Just learning new and increasingly complex choreography. Nice-looking show. And I can certainly use the weekly exposure to the French language.


Vampires are incidental

I have friends who refuse to on some sort of principle to see (or read) some popular culture phenomenon. Harry Potter books and movies. Lord of the Rings books and movies. Titanic. Star Wars. (Although how that particular person managed to have a 70s childhood and 80s teenagehood and still never see Star Wars amazes me to this day.)

Key is that you have never tried to watch or read the thing yourself, and then determined you didn’t like it. No, you just decided, based on what you heard about it, that it wasn’t for you. Then you go to whatever extremes to never see it, no matter how popular.

For me, it’s Twilight. Even its fans admit that the books are, frankly, badly written. Bitch Magazine wrote a scathing overview of it as “abstinence porn”. No movie reviews ever seem to be particular positive. Overall, nothing I want to spend time or money on.

The problem is, though, that because I was a big Buffy fan, a lot of people somehow  think that Twilight would be just my cup of tea. I’ve come within a hair’s breadth of getting the DVD as a gift. I keep being asked my opinion of it. It keeps being recommended to me.

Yes, Buffy had vampires, but that hardly means I therefore enjoy everything with vampires in it. I’ve read no Anne Rice, do not watch Vampire Diaries, and have yet to try anything Sookie Stackhouse (though I know it’s supposed to be good, and I may try it at some point). Vampires were frankly, fairly incidental to my enjoyment of Buffy, because Buffy also happened to have great writing, compelling characters, heavy philosophical undertones, and plenty of humour. None of which, from what I can tell, Twilight shares.

So I was particular delighted to come across this YouTube video, wherein Buffy reacts to the stalkerish Edward in the way he deserves: