Cab Calloway's song "Minnie the Moocher" is familiar to many people, due to its status a one of Cab's swinging classics, which was used for the title and inspiration for a spookly little Bettie Boop short cartoon, complete with a spectral walrus whose dance moves were rotoscoped from Cab himself. Flash forward to 1980 with Calloway in his 70s, Cab returned to belt out the tune in The Blues Brothers in classic Cab Calloway swinging style, returning the song to broad prominence. But do you know how the song came to be? You've probably heard the somber "Saint James Infirmary," but have you heard of "Willie the Weeper" or "Willie the Chimney Sweeper"? Mix the two, and you have a few pieces of the story behind Cab Calloway's big hit (Google books preview). [more inside]
Everyone's favorite twee cover band Pomplamoose has a pretty cool new video to go with their mashup of Royals/Loser/California Love. Soy un
Perdedor Royal. Enjoy.
If you've been tracking gloomy music from witch house sounds to doomy black metal stuff, you might have heard the name Chelsea Wolfe, who contributed to a hazy Halloween-all-year sounding 2-Pac/Notorious B.I.G. mixtape thing and covered Black Spell of Destruction, which was originally by Burzum. There was also her cover of The Modern Age, from the tribute compilation to The Strokes Is This It (prev). Then there are her two past albums: first The Grime And The Glow, which employed lo-fi 8-track tape hiss to add a haunted ambiance, then Apokalypsis, "moody drone-folk" likened to the sounds of PJ Harvey and Scout Niblett. If that catches your interest, great. But may I suggest skip ahead to the current album, Pain is Beauty, "emotionally exhausting in equally mad and enjoyable ways," in which the "permanent Halloween costume" of prior albums is cast aside, and "we get a better sense of her talent and spirit."
On October 19, 1995 Chuck Phillips interviewed Tupac Shakur at Can Am Studios Tarzana, California for an article published in the LA Times. The recordings were previously unreleased. Tupac talks about how the United States is full of gangs (the FBI/ATF/Democrats/Republicans), disparate media treatment of artists, how Tony Danza wrote him in prison, how Shakespeare's stories are the same things rappers talk about in their music, and the worth of black people's lives.
The pumpkins are mouldering or smashed, candy wrappers are strewn about, and your costume is tossed aside. Keep the mood going for a bit longer with some Halloween mixtapes, from film composer Alan Howarth (credits, IMDb), and three(tracklist) streaming mixes from electronic/breakbeat producers Evil Nine. If you are looking for more beats and rapping in your mixtapes, here are three volumes of Night of the Living Dead (NSFW), from Cookin' Soul.