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The Centurion

Awesome Mix, Vol. 2: Heckin’ Spookin’

Nicole "Nico" Cisneros, Centurion Staff

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When music is the soundtrack to your life, you don’t put crappy songs in the queue. That’s why we’re giving you Awesome Mix, something that is exactly what it sounds like. In every issue, you’ll get a unique playlist full of songs that are actually worth getting stuck in your head. Your earbuds will thank you.
What up, my haunts and ghouls! Yeah, yeah, I know it’s a few days away from everyone donning masks and thrift store treasures so they can take candy from strangers. But it’s about damn time to get into the spirit!
Now I’ve tried my best to avoid the cliché Halloween playlist— i.e. Time Warp, Ghostbusters, etc.— to give you something new to shiver and shake to. I’ll accept gratitude in the form of Twix bars and Pop Rocks.
Twisted Nerve: Bernard Herrmann There is no more terrifying whistle in the world than the melody in this tune. Orchestrations slowly get layered atop it, only to crash together and take its place in the most terrifying way. 10 points for you if this tune conjures up images of Elle Driver on her way to poison The Bride.

Monster: Kanye West, Jay-Z, Rick Ross, Nicki Minaj, Bon Iver Yeezy and Jay-Z prove they’re out for other rappers’ blood, but Nicki Minaj truly shines here as the most fearsome beast in the game. This was pre-Pink Friday, when Nicki was making her name by killing features on other artists’ tracks. With feral bombasity and a few different personalities, Nicki closes out the track with quick, slick quips that cut every other rapper down to size.
Heads Will Roll: Yeah Yeah Yeahs Death is really decadent for Y3. There’s glittery blood and killer chrome, clear allusions to the Queen of Hearts, and synth that makes everything eerie yet cool. Obviously I won’t advise anybody to dance themselves to death, but this song makes it very hard not to.
Million Years: Nico Vega Witches– true green, powerful, dark mistresses of magic– this one’s for you. This is a ferocious homage, with hard drums and a grinding guitar, vocalist and songwriter Nico Vega growls out the lyrics, reminding every mere mortal she’s the HWIC. And if that chorus doesn’t set the Puritans straight, nothing will.
Wolf Like Me: TV on the Radio Ah, the tormented werewolf trope: from BBC’s Being Human to the “classic” Twilight saga, there’s always some poor schmuck who struggles with his newfound shapeshifting abilities. Yeaaah, TV on the Radio doesn’t play into that here. The narrator of the song is thrilled to be a werewolf, talking the whole time to his crush– who may or may not be just his type.
Bad Things: Jace Everett True Blood may be dead and gone, but its theme song is as immortal as the vampires on the hit HBO show. This Southern gothic/ country rock track was a perfect fit for the show– and, honestly, for vampires at large. Some of the lyrics are a mix of creepy andemo (I’m the kind to sit up in his room/heart sick and eyes filled up with gloom), but 99.9 percent of our generation’s vampires have fit this bill.
Short Change Hero: The Heavy Some people have songs they run to, others have their throwback track. This is my “runningfor-my-life-in-the-zombie-apocalypse” jam. The whole intro of the song sounds like a mix of someone trudging through a thunderstorm to dig a grave. Then it bleeds into this rough, Memphis-blues rock ballad about this hero who really, really shouldn’t be here. All that roughness and isolation give me some zombie paranoia (Remember kids, rule #1: cardio.)
Tribute: Tenacious D Satan didn’t know what he was in for when he encountered Kyle Gass and Jack Black on the highway late one night. He thought he’d get a few souls, maybe a few laughs. What he got was the Best Song in the World– and we got the Tribute to that song. It may not sound anything like the Best Song in the World…but at least we have this secondhand demon-repellent!
Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked: Cage the Elephant Sometimes, kids, the monsters are as real as you and me– hell, sometimes they are you and me. Cage the Elephant’s debut proved just that, with three tales that proved just how wicked we mortals can be, all in the pursuit of the almighty dollar. The harsh reality of the lyrics are covered by the fun beat, so don’t be scared here.
Jump in the Line: Harry Belafonte I made a valiant effort to keep this mix clear of typical Halloween tomfoolery, but there was no way I was going to exclude the perfect marriage of Belafonte and Beetlejuice. This song was a triumphant celebration for Lydia and the ghosts, and frankly, it’s fun as hell!
BONUS TRACK: Thriller – Michael Jackson Did you really think we were getting out of here without this?! “No mere mortal can resist the evil of the thriller!” Do you dare look behind you? Well, you won’t find this mix there. To find the playlist on Spotify, search AM#2: Heckin’Spookin’.

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Awesome Mix, Vol. 2: Heckin’ Spookin’