It is no secret that Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. Is there any other event celebrated on a mass scale whose very purpose is to challenge the tenuous divide between pain and pleasure? Halloween encourages us to enjoy our fear, to find mirth in the macabre, to recognize how death enriches life. On every other day, fear holds us back; on Halloween, it propels us forward. What’s not to love?
And so it is no coincidence that Halloween is the raison d’être of one of my favorite bands of all time: The Misfits. By turns melodic, aggressive, campy, and menacing, The Misfits traded in punk anthems that often made an effortlessly joyful celebration of horrific imagery. Every year, those anthems are the soundtrack to my October.
I’ve always wanted to take a stab at my own version of a Misfits tune, and this year, I finally did. Since Leah, my partner in crime, has her birthday just a few days after Halloween, I started with her favorite, “Skulls.” My version’s aesthetic goal is best described as a “Leonard Cohen spaghetti western.” I don’t think it quite got there, but the results are listenable enough. I hope you enjoy it. Happy Halloween!