Call for Essays About Any Aspect of Popular Culture, Present or Past


Some Very Good 'Halloweeney' Songs

Bookmark and Share

Here are some of the best “Halloweeny” songs to come out in the past year:

Magnolia Mountain, “Hellbound Train”
Album: Redbird Green
Website: Magnolia


A bluesy barn-burning rock ‘n’ roll song about getting on that hellbound train as it feasts on lost souls, and engaging in a little snake hip moan as you “drink a little whiskey, bourbon, beer, and wine”. Not exactly the most penitent attitude (although the pleas to Jesus do come later), but it sounds like this is just the sort of train that would take you to…

Anais Mitchell, “Hadestown”
Album: Hadestown
Website: Anais


With contributions from Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon, Ani Difranco, the Low Anthem’s Ben Knox Miller, Greg Brown, and the Haden Triplets, Hadestown is a full-blown folk opera based on the Oprheus myth.  The title track is a rousing number that makes the underworld sound like an expoited mill town under the iron thumb of Mr. Hades.

Josh Ritter, “The Curse”
Album: So Runs the World Away
Website: Josh


Tender and stately, the bittersweet tale of an archaeologist and a mummy falling in love with one another.

The National, “Anyone’s Ghost”
Album: High Violet
Website: American


OK, this is one of those “ghost of a relationship” songs, but I totally dig that part about “Go out at night with your headphones on again / And walk through the Manhattan valleys of the dead”.

Andrew Gilstrap is a freelance writer living in South Carolina, where he's able to endure the few weeks each year that it's actually freezing (swearing a vow that if he ever moves, it'll be even farther south). Aging into a fine curmudgeon whose idea of heaven is 40 tree-covered acres away from the world, he increasingly wishes he were part of a pair of twins, just so he could try being the kinda evil one on for size. Musically, he's always scouring records for that one moment that makes him feel like he's never heard music before, but he long ago realized he needs to keep his copies of John Prine, Crowded House, the Replacements, Kate Bush, and Tom Waits within easy reach.

Field Studies
29 Jul 2013
When it comes to crowdfunding, there's no easy way to talk about the money.
30 May 2013
Digital music makes sense to me. But dragging a needle through the grooves of a slab of vinyl and Led Zeppelin IV coming out? Now that's witchcraft befitting the Devil's music.
9 Apr 2013
The late Jason Molina was never anything but honest about his trials and errors, his long dark blues, and his farewell transmissions.
10 Feb 2013
This Is American Music is thriving in these challenging times because it hasn't lost sight of its core purpose: to champion good music, especially from its Southern surroundings, and to do it because it knocks you on your ass with emotional recognition or gets your ass up and moving because the music rocks so hard.
Now on PopMatters
PM Picks
PopMatters' LUCY Giveaway! in PopMatters's Hangs on LockerDome

© 1999-2014 All rights reserved.™ and PopMatters™ are trademarks
of PopMatters Media, Inc.

PopMatters is wholly independently owned and operated.