From Misfits to Ministry: DJ Chris Ewen selects a ManRay Halloween dance party playlist
Chris Ewen knows the sounds that go thump in the night. The longtime Boston DJ has been spinning in underground clubs for nearly three decades, and though he’s been keeping busy in 2013 with a new Future Bible Heroes record and a few long-standing dance night residencies at T.T. The Bear’s Place in Cambridge — the weekly new wave party “Heroes” and the monthly X-Mortis goth night — Ewen is back under familiar black light when the ManRay “All Souls” Halloween party takes over the Paradise Rock Club this Thursday.
It’s another reunion, of sorts, for the clientele of ManRay, the infamous Central Square alternative nightclub that shuttered in 2005. But it also gives Ewen an excuse to dust off some older goth, punk, and synthpop hits; essentially, the songs that defined his DJ career since moving to Boston in 1985.
And it gives us a top-shelf party to celebrate the best holiday on the calendar. Every day might be Halloween, but on Thursday, holy shit we really mean it.
We asked Ewen what was on tap, musically, for Thursday’s event, which welcomes all, and he provided us with an exclusive playlist. Here’s a bloody taste of what you’ll hear later this week at the ‘Dise’s darkest night, with some Ewen commentary included in the quotes.
Bauhaus – Bela Lugosi’s Dead: “It wouldn’t be Halloween without the grandfather of all goth songs. The deep, dubby bass, the scraping guitar, and Peter Murphy crooning in the moonlight have ensured that this song remain undead over the decades.”
Misfits – Skulls: “A little night music from one of our favorite horror punk bands. Short, sweet & deadly… a kick in the face.”
Siouxsie & The Banshees – Halloween : “The Godmother of Goth + our favorite holiday = a powerful and timeless song from my favorite Siouxsie album, Juju. John McGeough’s guitars and Budgie’s primal drumming help propel this spellbinding track into its definitive place on this playlist.”
Alien Sex Fiend – Now I’m Feeling Zombified: “There was a time when ASF’s shows at ManRay were synonymous with Halloween, and this song captures Nik & the Mrs.’ idiosyncratic blend of B-movie horror and electronics perfectly.”
Carfax Abbey – Cry Little Sister: “A killer version of the Lost Boys theme… it was played to death at ManRay.”
Depeche Mode – The Dead of Night: “‘We are the dead of night, we’re in the zombie room’ — Depeche Mode give a nod to their dark side with this slithering dance floor filler.”
Sisters of Mercy – This Corrosion: “Bombastic choirs, Andrew Eldritch, and booming vocals and over-the-top production have maintained this Sisters hit’s status as an epitome of Gothly goodness.”
Wolfsheim – Once in a Lifetime : The ultimate synth pop song that defined an era at ManRay. The dark lyrics shine through the shimmering production, and the result is classic.” [Editor’s Note: Yes, yes, a thousand times yes. Modern classic, indeed.]
Ministry – Everyday is Halloween: “Back when Al Jourgenson was still singing with an English accent and noodling around with synthesizers, he crafted this seasonal favorite.”
Concrete Blonde – Bloodletting (The Vampire Song): “The underground anthem about New Orleans and vampires…with hooks to die for.”
Bonus track – The Velvet Underground – Venus in Furs: “I used to play this song a lot on ManRay’s fetish nights, always to a packed floor, and there were always a couple of people who wanted to know what it was… a testament to the Velvet Underground’s undying impact on modern culture. RIP, Lou Reed.”
ALL SOULS — A MANRAY HALLOWEEN: DJ CHRIS EWEN + DJ MOTHRA :: Thursday, October 31 @ The Paradise Rock Club, 967 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, MA :: 8pm, 18-plus, $10 :: advance tickets :: facebook event page