October Mixtape

Halloween is my favorite holiday and October is my favorite month. Fall comes through and paints the leaves brilliant gold and red, the days get wet, and the house gets warm and cozy and impossibly to leave.Tom Waits

This year I decided to formalize something I usually do in private. I watched 31 horror films, one for each day of the month, and wrote about them as I watched. Certainly, all of this influenced what I listened to and my enthusiasm for Halloween is reflected in this list both directly with songs like Little Red Riding Hood by Sam the Sham and Werewolves of London by Warren Zevon, but also indirectly, through some of the darker song choices by Tom Waits and the atmospheric composition, Oscillations, by Cara Stacey.

My wife went back to working full time, which sucked all life from the house. Everything changed when we had our son and going back to an old routine feels strange. On the one hand, I’m enthusiastic to get back to my writing life, on the other hand, I will never be the same writer I was before. Sitting at my desk, filling my pen with ink, drafting pages of first draft work… I’m going through the motions and hoping something inside me will wake up and remember how to do all of this. In the meantime, it may be the time away or it may be my new perspectives as a father but a lot of my work needs sudden revision. Some of my characters aren’t written properly and some of the scenes I have don’t go far enough.

It isn’t all frustration, however. The final trailer for the new Star Wars film dropped this month and the appropriate sorrow of watching old characters pass these films to a younger generation was perfectly captured with the trailer’s use of Leia’s theme in the soundtrack. Somehow this theme fit well within this month’s list and it marks a distinct feeling of nostalgia, which pervaded this October. I was born in 1977, the year the first Star Wars came out and here I am with my own son born the year these new films hit theaters. It won’t be the same experience for him, and really my feelings are less about my son than they are about my reconstructed view of my childhood and life experiences through him. That’s what fatherhood seems to be so much about so far.

Other songs this month border on hair salon soundtrack. I don’t apologize. I was full of excitement this month and high on the rejuvenating sleep which came when our son started doing his nights. I danced and listened to songs by Peaches and Autre Ne Veut. I also hit some old favorites by Fleetwood Mac (Rumors is still one of the best albums ever produced). I think there is a lot of joy in this month’s list with just enough sorrow to highlight the edges.


Let me know what you think of this month’s playlist and please subscribe to my site to get a quick email reminder for next month’s mixtape.

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