Music Monday is a weekly SmartShanghai column, serving up songs from bands living and making music in China (or coming to China, or thinking about coming to China, or whatever). Copyright holders: if you would like your song removed, please contact us here, and we'll honor your request promptly.
Greetings and salutations Shanghai. After a long weekend at DAFF boy are my skinny jeans tired. Uptown Records had a booth at the bi-annual design, art, fashion fair and while I only broke even money wise, my cool point profits were through the roof. I must say the location was pretty awesome at what is seemingly incorrectly called the "West Bund," which also features the Long Museum. Inside the large grain-silo exhibition hall DJs played on top of a huge piece of industrial equipment where peering over the crowd.
I didn’t attend the DAFF’ter party but I hear the kids went crazy tearing up the warehouse space. Apparently one young party attendee started smashing bottles and then proceeded to fall on such bottles cutting open his face. When the ambulance arrived he refused to pay for the ride to hospital. How much is an ambulance ride in Shanghai you ask? A mere 170 Yuan! Yes while in America you would most go certainly go into debt if you had to take an ambulance, without insurance in Shanghai it costs less than a taxi from the airport.
Over the two DAFF days I had a chance to poll local Shanghai celebrities on their favorite horror movie soundtracks. Dark tunes were on my mind because this Friday the 13th a century old temple-turned-theater called The Pearl is hosting a 13-hour horror movie marathon. The night will include favorites like Night of the Living Dead and Susperia along with silent films scored live by piano, not to mention other spooky performances and surprises. To get you in the mood let’s check out which horror soundtracks and scores were selected from the following Shanghai movers and shakers.
B.O. – DJ & Elvis Provocateur
In true B.O. style our favorite swing DJ who can be found scratching his Serato over Screaming Jay Hawkins has picked a zany 60’s film titled Spider Baby. The film has actually been said to inspire contemporary musicians like White Zombie who reference the cult classic in their music. Enjoy an outtake from Spider Baby that features music from Ronald Stein, who also scored many low budget horror and exploitation films like Attack of the 50 Foot Woman and Reform School Girl.
Ronald Stein – Spider Baby
Dylan Byrne – Owner of Shanghai Tattoo
Hands down the scariest song ever made is the theme to The Exorcist. If you doubt Dylan’s commitment to The Exorcist then let him whip out his portrait of actress Linda Blaire in her fully-possessed glory that is forever tattooed on his body. The Exorcist's theme song is titled "Tubular Bells" and written by Mike Oldfield, who released several albums with the same name. Previously unknown, the movie’s success catapulted Oldfield's career and he eventually released over 20 albums (including two more albums titled "Tubular Bells").
Mike Oldfield – "Tubular Bells (Exorcist Theme)"
Sacco – Not the Guy
My pick, which I can’t believe wasn’t swooped up by anyone else, is the soundtrack for The Lost Boys. This 80s teen horror romp is just full of classic quotes like "we don’t ride with vampires" set to bands such as INXS and the sexy muscle sax work of Tim Capello. If I had to narrow it down to one song, I’d choose the Echo and the Bunnymen cover of The Doors' "People are Strange." But every track is gold on this bad boy.
Echo and the Bunnymen – "People Are Strange (Doors Cover)"
Lenz – Singer of Goushen
Lenz is the fiery singer of local Shanghai band Goushen, and has the reputation of having the purest evil heart in all of China. She knocked it out of the park with her pick of the Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me soundtrack. That one features music composed by Angelo Badalamenti, who worked with David Lynch on other projects such as Blue Velvet and Mulholland Drive. Our British friends at NME magazine liked it so much that they awarded Angelo’s work with the #1 film soundtrack of all time title. Spot on chaps, spot on.
Angelo Badalamenti – "Twin Peaks Theme"
Laura Ingalls – Bottom Third of Acid Pony Club
Happy Hardcore DJ and producer Laura Ingalls dug deep with his answer "anything from Goblin." I’ll go ahead and narrow it down and say the Goblin produced score of Suspiria, which is being shown at this Friday’s movie marathon. Goblin is an Italian band that worked extensively with filmmaker Dario Argento. With a large body of eerie work, Goblin is arguably the most respected name in the horror music game.
Goblin – "Suspiria"
Philipp Grefer – DJ, Promoter, and Nova Heart Manager
China’s answer to Malcolm McLaren and our favorite Beijing house promoter Philipp Grefer is in town this week putting on a Hot Chip show at club Arkham. He laid down a solid soundtrack choice in the form of Pet Cemetery. Produced by Elliot Goldenthal in his first major debut, Pet Cemetery's score is often compared to The Exorcist in blood curdling quality. Did you know Pet Cemetery 2 stars a young Edward Furlong? I know, freaky huh?
Elliot Goldenthal – "Pet Cemetery Score"
American Booze DJs – Confused Music Peddler
Nik Hilp, who is also opening up for Hot Chip Thursday, goes under the handle American Booze DJs (with one member) and brought his A-game with none other than Leprechaun 5: In the Hood. The straight-to-video classic features Ice-T and Warwick Davis, whom you might know from Harry Potter or as one of the Ewoks in Return of the Jedi. While panned by critics, we all know this is the best film of the seven movie series. Enjoy this rap laid down by Warwick Davis himself.
Warwick Davis – Lep in Da Hood
Andrew Rochfort – Photographer and SubCinema Host
One of the biggest authorities on horror is photographer Andrew Rochfort, who co-hosts Dada Bar's SubCinema night. These guys have been playing the strangest, scariest, most obscure horror films of past and present for years now. Andrew went with the classic score of the original Night of the Living Dead from the 60s. While various musicians contributed to the score, the main theme "Driveway to the Cemetery" from composer Spencer Moore hits hardest. This is another soundtrack that countless musicians cite as inspiration.
Spencer Moore – Night of the Living Dead Soundtrack
Morgan Short – Editor of SmartBeijing and Slap Bass Enthusiast
Not one to be outdone, our favorite bassist of the now-defunct Shanghai band Boys Climbing Ropes and current editor of SmartBeijing contributed with "Anything from the Despicable Me soundtrack." When not spending his time writing Lawson’s ice cream reviews, Morgan is an avid movie buff screening the classics of cinema nightly. Ahhh who am I kidding I actually love that damn movie. Finding out that most of those songs are Pharrell Williams jams isn’t making it go down any easier either.
Pharrell Williams – "Despicable Me Theme Song"
Well there you go, some of the best horror soundtracks of all time. If you are a fan of the genre, head down to the Pearl Theater this Friday the 13th . It's 100rmb, but considering it’s a 13-hour gig the costs seem to even out.