Halloween Recording Challenge by Centretown Records
Centretown Records has done it again! The wonderful people who brought you the 2013 Christmas challenge now present Ottawa’s musical contribution to Halloween.
This year’s Halloween recording challenge delivers 14 songs from local, near-local and formerly local Ottawa musicians. There are a lot of really great contributions ranging from originals and covers, but three stand out, like a blood donor at Dracula’s Halloween bash. Delicious. An original, a remake of a classic and lastly a cover.
The original, and maybe my favourite song of the entire compilation, “The Monster and The Bride” by Devil and the Anti-Chris. If you can’t guess this is Devin and Chris Cook, a married couple, singing lovely romantic Halloween song about finding love in the graveyard. The duo did a great job lyrically, “We were buried, now we’re married, true love found in the cemetery, love like this will never die, I’ll be your monster, I’ll be your bride.” Never have sweeter things been said at Halloween.
The remake or reinvention is The Corghans’ “Halloween Bop.” It’s a wonderful new spin on The Ramones’ super catchy and anthemic “Blitzkrieg Bop.” Once again the lyrics is really what makes this song stand out. “Hey ho it’s Halloween, hey ho it’s Halloween, they’re carving up a pumpkin, putting on their face paint, kids are losing their mind, Halloween Bop.” Listening to the song makes me want to see a bunch of kids in their costumes pogoing their hearts out.
Now for the cover that really grabbed my attention. Der Faden took at stab at The Misfits’ “Skulls.” It is much slower, softer and features echoey female vocals. I doubt you will ever hear “collect the heads of little girls and put them on my wall, hack the heads off little girls and put them on my wall” sound so cute and so eerie all at once.
Honourable mention to Left-For-Dead Walker’s chilling tale of all the ways to kill her ex in “Nightmare Ex” and Nightshades’ “Nightshade Nightmare” for being so creepy and poised to haunt my dreams.
The Centretown Recording Alliance, is a group of musicians from Centretown Ottawa (current or past) who take part in regular recording projects as a means of challenging each other’s creativity and encouraging musical growth. The Alliance includes members from many established Ottawa bands.
The Centretown Recording Alliance Christmas Compilation
The Centretown Recording Alliance just released its Christmas song challenge compilation. The compilation features great originals and covers that range from very festive to songs that would make Scrooge and the Grinch proud . The only thing that might be better than the songs, are the excellent band names. Some of my favourites are, Misfit Toy Money, Chris Cringle and The Allbrights, The Steve Adequate Band and On Dancer, and the Baby Jesus Family Fun Times Band.
I asked Christopher Cook, member of the Centretown Recording Alliance, how this compilation came to be. “The Christmas compilation is a collection of songs recorded by a rag tag group of friends and friends of friends that we refer to as the Centretown Recording Alliance,” said Cook. “It’s the 7th in a string of recording challenges we’ve done where we record songs based on a theme or challenge. This one was pretty straightforward — a cover or original song about Christmas or the holiday season. The challenge is based mostly on the idea of solo/home recording but everyone approaches it with different levels of technology/experience/collaboration which makes for fun results.”
So who is this Centretown Recording Alliance? Who is this rag tag group of friends and friendly friends’ friends? The Centretown Recording Alliance, is a group of musicians from Centretown Ottawa who take part in regular recording projects as a means of challenging each others’ creativity and encouraging musical growth. The Alliance includes members from many established Ottawa bands. Generally most participants are from the Ottawa area, however there are several participants (satellite members) who’ve either left Ottawa and continue to participate or spend enough time in and around Ottawa that they are given official “Centretown status.” Cook added that, “Generally, we refer to the ‘spirit of Centretown’ so anyone who’s interested in supporting and encouraging creativity and developing the scene is free to participate.”
This is the 7th challenge overall, and the second Christmas one. It all started back in 2010 when a fellow by the name of Matt Wells, who used to be in the Centretown Cripplers with Christopher suggested the idea. “The general motivation being that we had a large group of friends, both people in bands and not, who had a lot of talent and interests outside of the more formal music groups they were involved in. Matt thought we should create something to challenge everyone’s creativity and output,” said Cook. They had 11 submissions in the original challenge and since then have done other album challenges and also single song theme challenges (Christmas, Canada Day, etc).
So take a listen to some fun tunes below and change up the same old mundane sound of Christmas. I also strongly encourage you to check out the rest of the challenges and other cool songs posted The Centretown Recording Alliance here.