Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Do They Know It’s Hallowe’en?

Posted By on Wed, Oct 26, 2005 at 12:00 AM

Cue spooky music and chaotic, spliced-together vocals from a cast of thousands explaining, probably, that Halloween is either A) under attack; B) evil; C) something kids in Africa don’t celebrate.

Tearing a page from the Harlequin Romance-Goth Book of Love manual, this all-star, single-song, four-mix disc reaches for parodic ’80s-styled trib greatness and falls somewhere between talent show and sideshow. Maybe the stitches are supposed to show, like some homage to Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride and Nightmare Before Christmas characters. With a guest-list that includes the Arcade Fire, Thurston Moore, Sparks’ Russel Mael, Peaches, Beck, Redd Kross and David Cross, it sure sounds like a lot of fun on paper, what with Elvira and Malcolm McLaren adding their saucy spookiness and Beck’s slight Vincent Price homage to “Thriller.” But save for the rousing chorus and a middle section where Cross and friends enact a campy scene from an imaginary horror flick, the record’s mostly a glorious mess.

It’s funny because it takes the piss out of sanctimonious do-gooders like Bob Geldof. But it’s also effing annoying for the very same reason the original star-studded Band-Aid effort was sandpaper-on-cold-sore unforgettable — it won’t leave your head.

There’s a remix by Ann Arbor native Disco D and Geno Washington (yes, that Geno Washington) cut his part here, so the D area is represented.

As an indie-rock tchotchke, this has an unparalleled pedigree. And, yes, proceeds benefit UNICEF. So actual criticism is moot. Fug it. Play it on your porch while handing out candy.

Chris Handyside writes about music for the Metro Times. E-Mail letters@metrotimes.com.

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