Not six years have passed since Origami Vinyl first opened its narrow storefront in the densely populated neighborhood of Echo Park, Los Angeles. In that brief time, the carefully curated record shop (no CDs, no cassettes, strictly records) has endeared itself to the local community with a slew of inclusive music events, from shows at the nearby Echoplex, to DJ nights at the ACE Hotel, to intimate in-store performances by a brow-raising list of headliners (Florence + the Machine, anyone?). Today, the team at Origami finds themselves at the epicenter of a vinyl resurgence, operating as influential taste-makers to a clientele that increasingly depends on their wealth of music knowledge. And, with Halloween fast approaching, I’m depending on them to handle my annual responsibility of curating a Halloween playlist for you.
OV Manager Emily Twombly, who DJs for Origami’s weekly Record Club at El Prado, and approaches all things Halloween with the same enthusiasm with which she approaches her collection of vinyl, is selecting a Halloween-appropriate album every day during October, and sharing it on the OV Instagram account. She’s been combing through it all: the creepy, the curious, the mid-century calypso, even the crossover comedy records. I asked her to share her all-time favorite Halloween records, and she provided this spooky-good list of essentials. And if that isn’t enough Halloween music for one sitting, check the very bottom of this post for Origami’s Halloween playlist on Spotify. Without further ado:
Roky Erickson – The Evil One
Emily says: “This is Roky’s first album after he got out of the mental institution. It features one of my favorites, “I Walked With A Zombie”. Although these songs are probably mostly metaphors for his mental illness, I’d like to think he’s just really into ghosts, demons, and ghouls.”
Dead Man’s Bones – Dead Man’s Bones
Emily says: “How to make the best spooky band: 1. Sing about zombies, ghosts, and monsters. 2. Have a theremin player in your band. 3. Have kids singing back up vocals. 4. Have said kids dress in old-timey Halloween costumes when you perform. 5. Name yourselves Dead Man’s Bones.”
Thee Cormans – Halloween Record
Emily says: “Aptly named, this record combines ’60s style surf rock and layers it with old horror movie sound effects.”
Last Ex – Last Ex
Emily says: “The members of Last Ex wrote a film score for a horror movie that never got made so they repurposed it and made an album instead. They combine weird tape manipulation with spaghetti western guitar and synths to create a really eerie, cinematic record. For all you screenwriters out there, I’d like to request that someone writes a horror movie based on this album. Preferably, it’d be a post-apocalyptic zombie western.”
Misfits – Evilive OR Legacy Of Brutality
Emily says: “It’s hard to choose just one Misfits record. This band obviously embodies Halloween. Bands take note, you can’t lose if you cover Misfits in October (or any time, for that matter).”
The Cramps – Songs The Lord Taught Us
Emily says: “Another quintessential Halloween band. Who knew singing about werewolves and zombies could be so punk? I also really love that at first glance of the album cover, Poison Ivy looks like Bette Midler’s character in Hocus Pocus.”
Only Lovers Left Alive OST
Emily says: “This soundtrack is as spooky and sexy as you might expect from a vampire movie. If you ever wanted to know what the feeling of making out with a vampire sounds like, just listen to this record. Of course Jim Jarmusch wrote and performed the music himself with his band, SQÜRL. The whole record is layered with ominous distorted guitars and feedback. It also includes a slowed down, creepy, and amazing cover of Wanda Jackson’s ‘Funnel Of Love’.”
Sam the Sham & The Pharaohs – Li’l Red Riding Hood
Emily says: “I picked this album mostly because it includes my favorite spooky song of all time, the title song, “Li’l Red Riding Hood”. A great garage record.”
This list should give you plenty to sink your ears into, but if you’ve heard it all and still have the hunger for more frightful tunes, Emily’s compiled a boooo-tiful playlist for us, which you can enjoy below. Check it out below, and visit Origami’s Instagram for Emily’s full list of Halloween records (#HalloweenForever).
Now that you know what’s in our turntables this October, what’s spinning in yours? Please share your favorite Halloween albums in the comments below and on Twitter with the hashtag #Nerdoween!