Story Time. My freshman year I joined WheatonImprov and, in one practice, I recall Brendon Culhane stopping a scene, shouting, waving his hands madly in the air. "No, no no no no! I want to see just ONE scene where you do something normal!" he yelled. I looked blankly at the corner of the room. He took a whiteboard marker and wrote "Creepy All Night" in the middle of the board, and then a line out, down to the lower corner. "See! This is where you are right now!" he said, pointing. "And this is where you WANT to be," he wrote in each corner "Real Life", "Human Experience", and "Meaningful Relationships".
Fast forward to the end of the semester. My soon-to-be best friend Steve was sharing music. I told him I wanted new music and he asked, "What kind" and I shrugged and, with a grin, he began to scour his iTunes. Within moments he had compiled a list of terrifying, haunting and appalling songs which, over the course of the proceeding summer, would sink me in a mire of creeped-out despair. It was a thick-lipped gem of subtle, slow-moving terror, consisting, amongst others, "John Wayne Gacy Jr" (which forever turned me off from Sufjan Stevens), "Song of Joy" by Nick Cave, and "Elephant Woman" by Blonde Redhead.
I was impressed. The mix has set a gold standard for me, by which all my mixes have been measured since. I created, within my limited ability, a "Creepy All Night 2" the year after, which was a much more aural, ambient creature, and altogether more "overtly" creepy, though vastly inferior to the original.
I've had a Creepy All Night 3 playlist in my iTunes since 2008. Songs have come and gone, and I've tried on various arrangements. For a while there was a "Carousel" theme that was (rightly) scrapped. I recently sent out emails to some friends asking for creepy songs--specifically "theatrically" creepy music, which yielded good results overall. As I set to compiling the play order, I messed around with themes--carnival, swamp, ambient, whatever. Several of the songs my friends sent me were so good, I knew I had to use at least a few. Eventually I settled on a Side "A" that was mostly voodoo swampy-sludgy southern-tinged tunes, and a Side "B" that, as it evolved, became a weird portrait of a serial killer. Rather than try to mash them, I've left them as Sides A and B, which works in my opinion, as a good mix should. I've even made album artwork.
Now, of course, to actually get this bugger uploaded with my crappy third-world connection.
Danse Kalinda Ba Doom - Dr. John
Weight of the World - Patrick Watson
Swimming in the Swamp - The National Lights
Judgment Day - Beat Circus
One Morning Fair - Erland and the Carnival
Salt Sack - Ramona Falls
Mr. Grieves (Live) - TV On The Radio
Dark Eyes - Devotchka
Underbelly - Wild Beasts
The Reggae Song - SixToes
The Electrician - The Walker Brothers
What's He Building? - Tom Waits
In The Room Where You Sleep - Dead Man's Bones
Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood - Nina Simone
(Thanks Babs, Ryan and Blade for the tracks! I may or may not amend this listing. Keep posted for an actual link to a download SOON. And of course, comments expressing how intrigued or impressed you are will only make this more worth it.)