Did you have a house in your neighborhood that, whenever October 1st rolled around, it went from being what looked like a normal abode to a creepy funhouse?

That is BROKEN PEACH in music video form.

I’ve posted about BROKEN PEACH before and this was meant to be a repost, but I’d like to extoll them more. They’re a rock & soul band that has built up quite the following since forming in 2009.

When Halloween rolls around they get out their garb and spend a hell of a lot of time crafting some of the finest covers with the most engaging choreography to make the punkiest, gothy videos ever.

As someone who has a significant number of compilations solely dedicated to goth covers of pop songs, I can safely say that they put most of those covers to shame. BROKEN PEACH are endlessly inventive; they take twists and turns when they didn’t need to! I endlessly wonder how they find the time to plan and practice all of this out, while still putting out their own original work, as this feels like it’s on the level of drumcore work.

Granted, over the years I’m sure it has become somewhat easier as they have found their very signature look and uniforms — which I’ll note, they had pretty much out of the gate with their earlier videos — stance, choreography, personality (in a great sort of goth group way), and cadence. However, they’re always upping their game, and I’m always in awe of the results. They’re endlessly engaging, amazingly energetic but still tightly maneuvered, and their production and costume design is so finely tuned. Most importantly? The music always is fist-pumping, boundless fun.

They just released their latest Halloween work, their cover of BLONDIE’s One Way or Another. Please, click their YouTube links to check out their full song history. My personal favorites are Personal Jesus. Tainted Love and Don’t You Want Me and now, of course, One Way or Another, but they’re all great! Also, check out their non-spooky works, especially the soulful automaton-centric video for I Miss You!


It can be difficult to find a fun and enthralling collection of creepy songs that aren’t solely novelty works, but HALLOWEEN NUGGETS: MONSTER SIXTIES A GO-GO fills that void and has been a staple of my Octobers for many years now, and may be perfect for your Halloween party.

It’s a diverse three-disc collection of engaging early 60s fusion and surf and garage rock numbers that are all spooky in their own ways, kicking off with the emphatic and amazingly catchy THE MYSTRS’s Witch Girl.

(Please appreciate the fan video which marries the song with the Soviet witch classic VIY!)

Also featured on the disc? JIM BURGETT’s Jekyll and Hyde, as well as THE WEIRDOS’s languid and sample-and-scream heavy E.S.P. Theme for Shock Theatre.

Disc two features a few staples, such as THE SHANDELLS’s perky and potentially iffy Go Go Gorilia but it has an energetic heartbeat. It also has LEE ROSS’s haunting Johnny Cash-ish The Mummy’s Bracelet.

The third disc contains among many other dazzling tracks, the THE TWELFTH NIGHT’s Grim Reaper!

(These are a few select favorites of mine and I don’t mean to overlook any of the other songs. If I listed off every track I revel in, this post would be thousands of words long.)

Emblazoned by furious brass, sultry back-up singers, hard-hitting drums, and a swinging groove that often will make you sway like Audrey Horne in TWIN PEAKS, this compilation has a little of something to please everyone. It is endlessly listenable and, if you don’t like a song? Wait a few minutes as you’ll probably love the next.

It’s available to purchase digitally — and there are physical copies available — via most outlets but, to make matters easier for you, here’s a Spotify link:


While NINE INCH NAILS is best known for the soulful teen electronic angst of PRETTY HATE MACHINE and the the metal-influenced BROKEN and then the very pop-industrial THE DOWNWARD SPIRAL — sadly, causing so many frat bros to play CLOSER at their parties — FIXED is my favorite from Oscar-winner Trent Reznor.

“Give it to me; I’ll throw it away…”

FIXED is ‘Halo 6’ — the sixth NINE INCH NAILS effort from Reznor — an labeling affectation I actually appreciate despite the fact that it means very little apart from noting the years that passed in my life.


FIXED is a remix EP. A very long remix EP, comparatively given the length of some of the remixes, but a remix EP nonetheless. It is longer than BROKEN, the EP it is remixing.


This EP is 100% chaotic staccato mind-bending propulsion. It is unrelenting, especially the efforts from COIL (R.I.P.) and J.G. Thirwell. It’s 40 minutes of wall-to-wall noise and aural abuse and I can’t get enough of it. It’s my absolute favorite of the Halos, and I do not care who knows it, and I’m saddened that it’s one of the most over-looked of his oeuvre. (Thirwell’s WISH is a very particularly protracted and exceptional work.)

“I am so dirty …on the inside. (I want you to throw me away.)”

Also, come on, Thirwell — almost certainly drunkenly — renamed one of the songs ‘Fist Fuck’. That’s one hell of a swing. (How many other Academy Award winners would even admit to a song labeled that?)

[An endless array of percussion, then…] “I’m drowning! Let me out of here!”

I know I’m flying my full teen goth flags here, but fuck it. This album holds up; it’s far more experimental now than then, which is a strange remark, but electro music has sadly become relatively regressive since then.

If you haven’t heard it before — of if you haven’t heard it in over twenty years — and you like really fucking noisy eccentric over-emotional works, you owe it to yourself to queue it up however way you can.

“$##!!#$!@#!!!!!!!!!%^!#$Q&!$%@&&&@#$^#@$~!” […then droning whines]

Yeah, it’s a masterpiece of a clusterfuck. Despite edging very close to MERZBOW levels of noise, it still manages to be hooky and emotional and goddamn fun while also encapsulating the perverse nature that is NINE INCH NAILS. In other words: the perfect remix EP which apparently is a lost art nowadays.


Given that I’m referencing UNDER THE PINK instead of LITTLE EARTHQUAKES, that definitely sets a specific range of time as to when I was introduced to Tori. (Although I do remember vividly recall seeing the ‘Crucify’ video on MTV.)

So, first, the preamble: my best friend and I were infatuated with Tori Amos in our youth, to the point where we were endlessly watching bootleg live VHS recordings.

It just so happened Tori had booked an appearance for her UNDER THE PINK tour at what was essentially a high school theater in Burlington, Vermont, my nighttime home, and my English teacher? Inexplicably, he was working security and he knew I was a fan — I’ll note he was one of the best teachers ever as he was the kind of teacher that intuited what you were into and he’d press all of the works youreally needed to read to you — and he said: “I can get you backstage if you want!”

Obviously, I was elated and very excited.

“There are too many stars and not enough sky…”

We attended the show and loved the music and the performance, but were soured by the crowd patter, which were refrains of prior shows we’d already watched via our bootleg tapes. Consequently, we opted not to go backstage, which might have been a mistake — she is an exacting performer who knows what her audience wants — but we were so disheartened to see the routine of touring and dealing with fans that we didn’t want to put her through more of it.

My teacher did ask me later as to why we didn’t show up and I explained it through a lot of vagaries and white lies. I certainly appreciated his effort but simply: I didn’t want to deal with artifice and I spoke around that.

I will note: I still have the t-shirt from that tour. I rarely wore it, as it’s a white t-shirt and I was a gothling, but I hope I’ll never have to find another home for it.

Nonetheless: UNDER THE PINK is one hell of an album, from start to finish. There’s not a bad song in the bunch; it’s all carefully calibrated emotional catharsis. There are more electronics and strings swelling here and there than with LITTLE EARTHQUAKES — she certainly has a far larger budget and it definitely does not consist of the stripped-down piano barebones of LITTLE EARTHQUAKES — but it’s always in service to the work, as opposed to simply being ornamental.

Tori is not subtle; so many of her songs are overtly about abuse and trauma and coping and religion, but all of that was catnip to troubled teens like myself, and still soothes to this day.

There is a newly remastered version of UNDER THE PINK which, honestly, I think is a bit too clean, but it’s still a great version. Highlights include: ‘God’, ‘Icicle’, and of course ‘Cornflake Girl’ and ‘The Waitress’.

One last note: I do love LITTLE EARTHQUAKES as well as quite a bit of post-UNDER THE PINK work, but UNDER THE PINK resonates the most for me.



If you aren’t familiar with TILLY AND THE WALL, they were a brash Omaha, Nebraska band from the early naughts. Sadly, they dissolved about a decade ago (~2013) but goddamn they had a good run. They were the absolute perfection of idiosyncratic indie-pop, featuring a a number of tap dancers in a way that actually didn’t feel cloying but emphasized the backing work. Hell, they were even featured on SESAME STREET!

I think I faked it, oh did I fake it?

I managed to see them at Lincoln Hall — if you’re ever in Chicago, I can’t recommend the venue more as they’re so accustoming and their sound system will blow your mind — and it was beyond fantastic. It’s one thing to hear them tap, but it’s another thing to see them tap, and they even had pedestals for them!

I’m tugging at the seatbelt; I’m jumping out the saddle.

This is a remix, based off of their remix album ‘That Remix Sucks’ but obviously, none of them suck. This song is an endless parade of beats and echoes and awkward pauses and physicality and bodies and more, and I love it so much.

This is the original, not the NO CONTENT remix, but still great:


Similarly, from the same album, CSS’s remix of “The Freest Man” from the same EP endlessly floors me.

THOSE DARLINS – “The Whole Damn Thing” (2012)

THOSE DARLINS were two women who created the band they wanted to hear in the world. Then one died of cancer — Jerri, the front-person, on the far right — far too early, but before she died they released three amazing albums: a self-titled one, “Stick it In” and “Screws Get Loose” (with the helping hands of two others).

As you might expect, the band is done.

“The Whole Damn Thing” is a song about unapologetic appetites, all wrapped in under three amazing alt-country minutes, and — no pun intended — it is aural comfort food for me. I can never get enough of it.

I was lucky enough to see them at Chicago’s Lincoln Hall — a fucking amazing, but oddly endlessly pristine, venue — when they were touring their poppier album “Screws Get Loose” and goddamn it was so much fun.

I’m burying the lede here a bit, but if you have the chance to see a band perform? See them. Make the effort. Life is short and you never know what will happen and you never know how a performance will impact you. (Also, you can always just walk out if you don’t like it! That’s a thing you can do!)

“I’d like to let you I ate the whole damn thing!”

SNOG – “Old Atlantis” (1999)

This was it, this was the song. The first dance at our wedding, but also one of the first songs I danced to my with my future wife. I convinced a DJ friend of mine at the club, while I was with my girlfriend/future betrothed frequented to play it, despite it being a total floor-killer. We slow-danced, entangled together. I felt we were alone, luxuriating in the club’s limelight.

It was magical.

You can’t ask for a better moment than that.

(Yes, I realize that we were dancing to a nihilistic anti-capitalism song in a queer club that didn’t prioritize cleanliness, and that was perfect for us.)

“Old Atlantis” — via the album Third Mall From the Sun — is absolute bittersweet melancholy with amazing vivid imagery. The build is incredible; it’s an intensely emotional song. I’ve never heard anything quite like it, and I doubt I ever will again. It’s a singular work, something that works with the cadence of a quintessential prom song but also feels like it shoulders the weight of the outside world.

I cannot emphasize how much this song means to me or the feelings it evokes in me. The aural punctuation — the fire — in the latter third of the song devastates me every time. You’re encircled in an audio attack while the two of you are holding each other tightly, protecting each other through the aural maelstrom. It’s exhilarating, and then the clocks descend and the house lights flicker awake, and you can let loose your breath.

For as sensitive as this song is, Thrussell himself? Not so sensitive when initially dealing with fans. SNOG performed at a tiny-ass club just a stone throw away from us in Chicago many years later, and while buying merch, my wife and I gushed to him as to how much “Old Atlantis” meant to us, how much we loved the song, how we knew immediately that it would be our first dance for our wedding, and how formative his work was for us. He essentially hand-waved us away, which hurt, but we rolled with it because we knew this kind of shit can be tiring when you’re on the road! One of these days I’ll recount our times as bookies.

However, his partner later elbowed him into seeking us out before the show and he did apologize and thanked us for our kind words, which meant the world to us. Also, he is a consummate performer, and the show was incredible.

It’s not often you get to meet the artists who move you, who create indelible life moments, much less get to personally interact with them and, while that experience was a bit of a rollercoaster, it’s a memory I’ll always cherish, although not as much as our first dance.

“Let’s do it. You and me. Let’s do it. Together. Let’s. Burn it. All. Down. Again.”

I’ll close this out by noting that one of the most often exclamations I hear from folks are: “You used to be a DJ?!” I don’t know why, because hasn’t everyone considered themselves a DJ at some point in their life? (That said, unlike most, I was paid for the privilege.) Anyway, every time I’m like, just wait until you find out my wife and I had our own club night for years, and that we both helped to set up a collective to book underrated electronic bands. We’ve done a lot! We spent our twenties exactly how you should: by throwing around money you don’t have and shouldn’t be spending on efforts that very few folks will appreciate but will be extraordinarily memorable for those who do attend!

I’d be lying if I didn’t say that SNOG wasn’t a major impetus for that; I wasn’t exaggerating when I said SNOG was a formative work for us. We earnestly and honestly wanted to bring the same feeling we had with “Old Atlantis” to others, and we did all that we could to do so.

SNOG – “Cheerful Hypocrisy” (2015)

While SNOG can compose devastating works — see “The Ballad” and “Old Atlantis” — “Cheerful Hypocrisy” from the album “Compliance” aurally bounces. It’s pure bubblegum until the lyrics pop.

While the songwriting is quite progressive, although it does contain satirical use of slurs that I’m not too keen on, I’m not sure I can say the same for the video, which seems like a bit too much fetish well-wishing.

I’ll be honest: Despite the obvious STARSHIP TROOPERS riffs, I don’t love some of the phrasing, and I hate some of the lazy ALICE IN WONDERLAND tropes, but it’s still one hell of a song. Just be glad I didn’t extoll the song where he’s basically being spanked for four minutes straight.


SNOG – “The Ballad” (1997)

You may have noted that all of these music-themed weeks have included at least one spaghetti western-themed work, and this week is no different.

“The Ballad”, from his album (aptly named) Buy Me… I’ll Change Your Life – is certainly the most melancholy track, and could easily be slipped into any western. It’s expertly executed, and the depth of his voice only exacerbates that. It’s a brilliantly evocative work that made me realize that Thrussell was more than just a musical engineer.

“When the working day is done, I refuse to belong to anyone.”