Saturday, 23 October 2010

Dr Sketchy Halloween Set List 20 October 2010

/ Above: Vampira - the ultimate Halloween pin-up /

Seeing as how this time it fell on 20 October, it qualified as the Hallowe'en Dr Sketchy. Our elegant emcee Dusty Limits wore special cadaverous make-up to mark the occasion, and needless to say it was a great excuse for me to go heavy on the kitschy 1950s and 60s Halloween novelty records: think Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, Screaming Lord Sutch -- loads of screaming, basically. Inevitably I played the daddy of all Halloween novelty records – “Monster Mash” by Bobby “Boris” Pickett – but I saved it until the end of the night. I also worked in some weird curiosities: The Yma Sumac track comes from her 1957 Legend of the Jivaro album with the infamous cover of her hovering over a steaming cauldron, contemplating a shrunken head: it sounds like a voodoo priestess casting a spell. And a spine-tingling instrumental from a genuine Satanist: Anton LaVey, High Priest of the Church of Satan, was also a musician – and a friend of Jayne Mansfield. (See below. The photo is faded, but that's a skull Jayne is clutching).

My favourite Halloween record, though, is by the more obscure and enigmatic Tarantula Ghoul. Like Vampira before her and Elvira afterwards, Ghoul provided campy comedic introductions to horror films as the macabre Morticia Addams-like hostess of her own weekly TV show called House of Horror in 1957 – 1959 in Portland, Oregon. Sadly no footage of the show survives, but backed by her band The Gravediggers Ghoul cut one immortal single in her brief heyday: “Graveyard Rock” /”King Kong” (both songs are so good it qualifies as a double A-side!). Listening to Tarantula Ghoul’s sexily malevolent purring voice (pitched somewhere between Tallulah Bankhead and Eartha "I Want to Be Evil" Kitt) makes me wish everyday was Halloween. Read more about the alluring Ms Ghoul here; you can listen to and download “Graveyard Rock”/”King Kong” here.

/ Various glamour shots of Tarantula Ghoul /


Anyway, it was a fun night: the two featured models / performers (Agent Lynch and Lumberjack Luke) were both great and the legendary Royal Vauxhall Tavern is my favourite venue to DJ at. I hope the set list below might provide some inspiration for anyone planning a Halloween party.

In a similar vein: I found an old interview with Poison Ivy and the late Lux Interior (RIP) of The Cramps (a band that warped me at a young age) in an issue of Details magazine from 1994. They give tips on how to make your Halloween party truly memorable:

Party Dos

Put Valium in the punch bowl * Play music loud enough so guests are forced to do anything but talk * Throw out guests who whine for white wine * Give home perms, tattoos and / or bikini waxes to guests who pass out

Lux suggests these frighteningly good tunes for a perfect party tape

“Midnight Stroll” – Revels
“The Green Slime” – The Green Slime
“Mr Ghost Goes to Town” – Louis Prima
“The Headless Horseman” – Kay Starr
“The Ghost of Smokey Joe” – Cab Calloway

The article concludes with a recipe for their toxic-sounding Poison Ivy’s Scarlet Sangria:

To one large cauldron add:
13 pints blood-red wine. 1 #5 beaker cognac. 69 cc’s Cointreau, and slivers of blood oranges. For a really dramatic effect, light with a blowtorch and set fire to the house as you serve. Kills eight

/ Below: contestants in a 1950s Vampira lookalike contest. Some of these chicks are even scarier than they intended to be -- the one on the far right with the white belt looks like she should be entering a Margaret Hamilton as The Wicked Witch of the West contest /

/ Below: the genuine article /

Night Scene - The Rumblers
Sick and Tired - Lula Reed
Save It - Mel Robbins
Get Back Baby - Esquerita
Ghost Satellite - Bob & Jerry
Night of The Vampire - The Moontrekkers
Sauma (Magic) - Yma Sumac
Rockin' In the Graveyard - Jackie Morningstar
Torture Rock - Rockin' Belmarx
Beat Generation - Mamie van Doren
Skull & Crossbones - Sparkle Moore
Vesuvius - The Revels
The Monster - Bobby Please & The Pleasers
Wino - Jack McVea
Drac's Back - Billy DeMarco & Count Dracula
The Whip - The Frantics
Frankenstein's Den - The Hollywood Flames
Frenzy - The Hindus
The Creature from Outer Space - The Jayhawks
Bloodshot - The String Kings
Strollin' Spooks - Ken Nordine
Bop Pills - Macy "Skip" Skipper
Bo Meets the Monster - Bo Diddley
The Whip - The Originals
Monster Party - Bill Doggett
Caravan - John Buzon Trio
The Munsters Theme -All-Stars / Milton DeLugg
Dragon Walk - The Noblemen
Nightmare Mash - Billy Lee Riley
Black Tarantula - Jody Reynolds
Tall Cool One - The Wailers
Oo Ba La Baby - Mamie van Doren
Red-Headed Flea - The Caps
Big Man - Carl Matthews
King Kong - Tarantula Ghoul & Her Gravediggers
The Way I Walk - The Cramps
Mr Werewolf - the Kac-ties
Spooksville - the Nu-Trends
Drums A-Go-Go - The Hollywood Persuaders
Do The Zombie - The Symbols
Screamin' Ball - The DuPonts
Midnight Stroll - The Revels
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow - The Monotones
Vampira - Bobby Bare
Graveyard Rock - Tarantula Ghoul & Her Gravediggers
She is My Witch - Kip Tyler
I'd Rather Be Burned as a Witch - Eartha Kitt
The Voodoo Walk - Cindy & Misty/ Sonny Richard's Panics
Alligator Wine - Johnny Thunders & Patti Paladin
Monster in Black Tights - Screamin' Lord Sutch
Satan Takes a Holiday - Anton LaVey
Goo Goo Muck - Ronnie Cook & The Gay Lads
Monster Surfing Time - The Deadly Ones
I Put A Spell on You - Screaming Jay Hawkins
Theme from The Addams Family - The Fiends
Monster Mash - Bobby "Boris" Pickett
Dinner with Dracula - Zacherley
The Werewolf - The Frantics
The Mummy's Ball - The Verdicts
The Mummy - Bob McFadden
Frankenstein's Party - The Swingin' Phillies
Feast of the Mau Mau - Screaming Jay Hawkins
Coolest Little Monster - Zacherley

Read a nice write-up Dr Sketchy got in The Erotic Review -- the journalist was at the Halloween night. For all your Dr Sketchy needs, refer to this.

A special thank you to Steve "Evil" Eden for sharing his stash of Halloween novelty songs with me.

Happy Halloween ...

Monday, 11 October 2010

Dr Sketchy 4 October 2010 Set List

/ Above: Perma-pouting film noir icon Gloria Grahame in sweater girl mode, demonstrating how best to fill out a bullet bra /

Getting to the venue was a chaotic, sweat-drenched nightmare, but even the tube strike didn't dampen what turned out to be a fun night. The featured performer and model was Beau Burlington. For one of her poses she worked a motorcycle mama / rock chick look (black leather jacket, long black boots), so I cranked up some female-fronted rockabilly: Wanda Jackson, Jackie De Shannon and a sultry psychobilly deconstruction of the old Peggy Lee standard “Woman” by my old mates Empress of Fur.

For one of Beau’s earlier poses I played a great new discovery. I love the jazz staple “Caravan”, and this accordion-driven version by The Dell Trio is the most berserk I’ve ever heard – so lurching, abrasive and frantic, it sounds like it could be played under the opening credits of a horror film. Listen to it here on the great blog The Homoerratic Radio Show.

Little Ole Wine Drinker Me - Robert Mitchum
Stranger in My Own Home Town - The Earls of Suave
Love Potion # 9 - Nancy Sit
Tonight You Belong to Me - Patience and Prudence
Drums A Go Go - The Hollywood Persuaders
Oh Lonesome Me - Ann-Margret
You Ain't Nothin' But a Hound Dog - Little Esther
Yogi - Bill Black Combo
Oo Bala Baby - Mamie van Doren
Hearts Made of Stone - Otis William & The Charms
I'll Upset You Baby - Lula Reed
Poontang - The Treniers
Fool I Am - Pat Ferguson
My Heart Goes Piddily Patter Patter - Nappy Brown
I Would if I Could - Ruth Brown
Too Old to Cut the Mustard - Marlene Dietrich & Rosemary Clooney
Honey Rock - Barney Kessel
Comin' Home - The Delmonas
Gizmo - Jimmy Heaps
Tight Skirt, Tight Sweater - The Versatones
Caravan - The Dell Trio
Teach Me Tonight - Dinah Washington
Too Close for Comfort - Eartha Kitt
Yes Sir, That's My Baby - Ann Richards
Baby Won't You Please Come Home - Julie London
Spring, Sprang, Sprung - Jack Fascinato
I Wanna Be Loved - Ann-Margret
Les Feuilles Mortes - Juliette Greco
Autumn Leaves - Eartha Kitt
Petite Fleur - Chet Baker
Crazy Horse Swing - Serge Gainsbourg (Strip-tease soundtrack)
My Heart Belongs to Daddy - Hildegard Knef
Tuxedo Junction - Bill Black Combo
I Did What You Told Me - Adam Faith (Beat Girl soundtrack)
Woh! Woh! Yea - The Dynamos
If I Could Be with You - Mae West
Night Scene - The Rumblers
Lucky - Lizabeth Scott
Beaver Shot - The Periscopes
Woman - Empress of Fur
You Don't Know, Baby - Wanda Jackson
Trouble - Jackie De Shannon
The Strip - The Upsetters
Harlem Nocturne - The Viscounts
L'Eau à La Bouche - Serge Gainsbourg
Strip-tease - Nico (Strip-tease soundtrack)
Misirlou - Laurindo Almeida
You're My Thrill - Chet Baker (instrumental version)
Mack the Knife - Hildegard Knef
Begin the Beguine - Billy Fury
Boulevard of Broken Dreams / Fever - Sam Butera
I Wanna Be Loved by You - Marilyn Monroe
Everybody Loves My Baby - Brigitte Bardot

Sleazy does it ... my all-time favourite actor, the ultra-suave Robert Mitchum, was an underrated singer.

Resident emcee Dusty Limits suggested the theme "autumn" -- a good excuse to play Juliette Greco's version of the classic chanson "Les Feuilles Mortes", followed by Eartha Kitt singing the English language version, "Autumn Leaves." Here La Greco gives an exquisite and intense performance of "Les Feuilles Mortes" on German TV in the early 70s -- but check out how stony-faced and unmoved the tuxedo-clad audience is at the end. Tough crowd!

People often ask me, So what kind of music do you play at Dr Sketchy? Obviously it covers a wide range of various styles of kitsch and vintage sleaze, but strictly speaking the technical term for much of what I play is “Tittyshaker.” Think desperate, grinding instrumentals propelled by honking saxophone designed for strippers to rotate their nipple tassels to; the soundtracks of grainy black and white 1950s and 60s sexploitation B-movies; sequinned go-go dancers writhing in a cage ... and you’re on the right track. If you're curious to hear more, this excellent website is devoted to the dark art of the tittyshaker.

A prime example ...

For all your Dr Sketchy needs, go to the website.