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I guess I just like liking things

It’s Halloween Week (Halloweek?), so every post this week should be pictured in orange and black, asking you for candy, and  jumping out at you when you close your fridge door or a bathroom mirror or something.

The actual album cover is lenticular, but that doesn't lend itself well to Internet pictures

The actual album cover is lenticular, but that doesn’t lend itself well to Internet pictures

I don’t have many traditions, but one I do have is to watch Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas around Halloween every year. Obviously this is not a tradition that goes back very far, since I was 21 when the movie came out, but traditions have to start somewhere. It took me a while to figure out if I should watch it at Christmas or Halloween, but I ended up on the latter because it’s about Halloween Town taking over Christmas and because people around me are less likely to look askance at me when I watch a movie that features a dude made out of bugs around Halloween than they would if I were to do so around Christmas.  Society once again forces me to conform so that they can feel safe. Society is jerks.


Nightmare Before Christmas is the most Tim Burton-y movie available, despite the fact that he didn’t direct it. Danny Elfman provides the music for it (natch), and it’s some great stuff. The Halloween Town descriptors in “This Is Halloween,” the sad lament of “Sally’s Song,” the wonder and amazement of “What’s This?” – not only is the music catchy and memorable, it’s packed with story and emotion. Catherine O’Hara, Danny Elfman, and Paul Reubens (Pee Wee Herman his own self!) sing in the movie and on the album and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Which is why it’s weird to me that, years later, Disney released a version of the album that had an extra disc featuring the songs sung by different people. Come to find out, it was a precursor/preview/demo of Nightmare Revisited, an album I had never heard of before I started looking things up for this post. I’m going to have to see if I can find that album to give it a listening, and I’ll tell you why: one of the songs included in the special edition I do have is sung by Marilyn Manson. I don’t think I’ve ever heard another Marilyn Manson song (other than “The Beautiful People” on Rock Band 3, but I tend to skip that one a lot), and it seems unlikely that I will pick the habit up any time soon. It’s a little too… out there for me.

That said, Manson’s version of “This Is Halloween” is something you need to hear. The song has plenty of creepy-crawly imagery in it, but it’s done in a scary-fun way in the movie. The stop-motion animation takes away the horror a little bit (if horror can indeed be taken away from a clown with a tearaway face and a creature with a mouth that goes all around his whole head), but Marilyn Manson singing this song puts all of it right back in. Understand, he doesn’t change a single word of the song, not that I can tell, anyway. There’s just a style he brings to it that makes it more creepy and disturbing than it ever was before.

With that kind of introduction, how can you not want to hear it?

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