I suspect every person who’s sat behind a music-based radio station broadcast board — at least at a spot on the dial that confers the authority of music selection to the announcers — has a small cache of special occasion songs locked away in the storebox of their memory. These are the tracks that get toted out at certain times of the year, usually in accordance with holidays pre-printed on the squares of a calendar. Sure, any given station’s music director might put out a short shelf’s worth of comps suited to the season in question, but there’s greater accomplishment in sorting through the stacks to find that one song that few others know about but serves to deck the halls just fine.
For Halloween, there were always a few standbys — Ministry, of course, and Concrete Blonde giving their best alternative rock spin to an Anne Rice-style vampire swoon — but I found myself gravitating to a different track when the spookiest holiday came around. I don’t know that the two-man band House of Freaks would consider “Sun Gone Down,” from the 1989 album Tantilla, a Halloween song, but it hits all the right dark notes for me. There’s a “house up on the hillside, a hell hound in the yard,” and that’s just the opening lyrics. Before the song’s three minutes times out, they have added a casket, cold winds, a dark road, an empty tomb, and a graveyard lit only by moonlight.
What else could an aspiring goblin with a FCC operator’s license ask for when trying to fill a playlist in late October?
Listen or download –> House of Freaks, “Sun Gone Down”
(Disclaimer: I’m not sure if the House of Freaks catalog is still in print, at least as physical objects that can be procured from your favorite local, independently-owned record store in a manner the compensates both the proprietor and the original artist. If any of their music is available, run-don’t-walk to get it. Everything is great. Let this shared song be encouragement to explore more, rather than a replacement for fair commerce. I believe that sharing this track in this space at this time constitutes fair use. But I also know the rules. I will gladly and promptly remove the file from my little corner of the digital world if asked to do so by any individual or entity with due authority to make such a request.)