The Perfect Album For Your Halloween Playlist (And The Man Behind It)

The Perfect Album For Your Halloween Playlist (And The Man Behind It)

Meet Roky Erickson, one of rock music's most underrated talents.
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I have an annual tradition of dusting off my Halloween playlist every October 1st. I figure if we have to be subjected to Christmas music from Thanksgiving to New Year’s, it’s only fair if Halloween music gets a month to itself. Every year, I find new songs to expand the playlist. Last year, this led to the discovery of ‘The Evil One,’ by Roky Erickson.

‘The Evil One’ is a garage rock album from 1981, mostly made up of songs inspired by horror movies. Roky (pronounced as ‘Rocky’) Erickson’s playful take on these dark themes makes for an off-beat, amusing, and thoroughly unique album. Particularly notable are ‘I Walked With a Zombie,’ ‘Two-Headed Dog,’ ‘Night of the Vampire,’ and ‘Bloody Hammer.’ But really, if you like rock music or horror, you should probably just listen to the whole album. Obviously a Halloween playlist needs classic picks like ‘Monster Mash,’ but if you’re looking for something a little more unexpected to up your playlist game this Halloween, make it ‘The Evil One.’

As great as the album is on its own, it becomes more interesting when you know a little about Roky Erickson. His musical career stretches back to the 1960s, when he was a member of The 13th Floor Elevators, one of the first early psychedelic rock bands. Erickson wrote “You’re Gonna Miss Me,” which became the band’s biggest hit. The members of The 13th Floor Elevators were notorious for their drug use, which led to a persistent rivalry with the local authorities.

Eventually, police arrested Erickson for drug possession (he was found with a single joint), and he only avoided a prison sentence by pleading insanity. He was sent to a maximum security hospital for the mentally insane, where he was diagnosed with schizophrenia and given heavy medication and shock therapy. His heavy LSD usage hadn’t helped his mental health, and the treatment he received seems to have only made it worse. He did continue playing music in the hospital, forming a band with several convicted murderers.

After his release, he began recording music with a band called The Aliens, during which time he released ‘The Evil One.’ However, his managers capitalized on his mental state, pushing him into unfair contracts and cheating him out of his earnings. He was left to scrape by on Social Security checks, and his health, both mentally and physically, worsened over the next decade. At the time, he claimed to be an alien. He had also begun taking his neighbors’ mail and keeping it unopened in his home, apparently in an attempt to keep it safe for them. This led to his arrest for mail theft, and he was institutionalized again.

As hard as it is to believe, this story has a happy ending. After Erickson was released and continued to worsen in his mother’s care, his brother was granted custody over him in 2001. With his brother’s help, he’s made an amazing recovery, and even staged something of a musical comeback with live shows and new releases. After all these years, his talent is finally getting more exposure, and he’s doing better than ever. So this Halloween, check out Roky Erickson’s music. No Halloween playlist is complete without it.
Cover Image Credit: ^^RaviN^^

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30 Things I'd Rather Be Than 'Pretty'

Because "pretty" is so overrated.
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Nowadays, we put so much emphasis on our looks. We focus so much on the outside that we forget to really focus on what matters. I was inspired by a list that I found online of "Things I Would Rather Be Called Instead Of Pretty," so I made my own version. Here is a list of things that I would rather be than "pretty."

1. Captivating

I want one glance at me to completely steal your breath away.

2. Magnetic

I want people to feel drawn to me. I want something to be different about me that people recognize at first glance.

3. Raw

I want to be real. Vulnerable. Completely, genuinely myself.

4. Intoxicating

..and I want you addicted.

5. Humble

I want to recognize my abilities, but not be boastful or proud.

6. Exemplary

I want to stand out.

7. Loyal

I want to pride myself on sticking out the storm.

8. Fascinating

I want you to be hanging on every word I say.

9. Empathetic

I want to be able to feel your pain, so that I can help you heal.

10. Vivacious

I want to be the life of the party.

11. Reckless

I want to be crazy. Thrilling. Unpredictable. I want to keep you guessing, keep your heart pounding, and your blood rushing.

12. Philanthropic

I want to give.

13. Philosophical

I want to ask the tough questions that get you thinking about the purpose of our beating hearts.

14. Loving

When my name is spoken, I want my tenderness to come to mind.

15. Quaintrelle

I want my passion to ooze out of me.

16. Belesprit

I want to be quick. Witty. Always on my toes.

17. Conscientious

I want to always be thinking of others.

18. Passionate

...and I want people to know what my passions are.

19. Alluring

I want to be a woman who draws people in.

20. Kind

Simply put, I want to be pleasant and kind.

21. Selcouth

Even if you've known me your whole life, I want strange, yet marvelous. Rare and wondrous.

22. Pierian

From the way I move to the way I speak, I want to be poetic.

23. Esoteric

Do not mistake this. I do not want to be misunderstood. But rather I'd like to keep my circle small and close. I don't want to be an average, everyday person.

24. Authentic

I don't want anyone to ever question whether I am being genuine or telling the truth.

25. Novaturient

..about my own life. I never want to settle for good enough. Instead I always want to seek to make a positive change.

26. Observant

I want to take all of life in.

27. Peart

I want to be honestly in good spirits at all times.

28. Romantic

Sure, I want to be a little old school in this sense.

29. Elysian

I want to give you the same feeling that you get in paradise.

30. Curious

And I never want to stop searching for answers.
Cover Image Credit: Favim

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13 Taylor Swift Lyrics About Love

“We could get married. Have 10 kids and teach em how to dream."

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Taylor Swift is the only reason I've gotten through every love, and every break-up. Here's a list of 13 lyrics/quotes about love from Taylor Swift's albums.

“Losing him was blue like I’ve never known. Missing him was dark grey all alone. Forgetting him was like trying to know somebody you never met. Loving him was red.”

"Red" from the album "Red." This song perfectly describes every feeling that radiates through your entire being when you love and then lose someone.

“I wish we could go back, and remember what we were fighting for. I wish you knew that, I miss you too much to be mad anymore. I wish you were right here, right now, it’s all good. I wish you would.”

"I Wish You Would" from 1989. Sometimes I wish it was acceptable to just blast Taylor Swift during an argument because I totally would.

“You learn my secrets and you figure out why I’m guarded. You say we’ll never make my parents mistake.”

"Mine" from Speak Now. Let's surpass everyone's expectations.

“My baby’s fly like a jet stream, high above the whole scene, loves me like I’m brand new.” 

"Call It What You Want To" from the Reputation album. Once in a lifetime, there's someone who looks at your scars and calls you strong and brave, instead of damaged.

“My mother accused me of losing my mind, but I swore I was fine.” 

"Dear John" from Speak now. Love makes you do crazy things.

“One night he wakes, strange look on his face. Pauses then says ‘you’re my best friend’. And you knew what it was. He is in love.” 

"You Are In Love" from the 1989 album. Swift gives me chills with this song. Every time you think you're in love, you realize that the last time wasn't even close. True love, happens once or twice, and not for everyone.

“You pull my chair out, and help me in. And you don’t know how nice that is, but I do. And you throw your head back laughing like a little kid. I think it’s strange that you think I’m funny cause, he never did. I’ve been spending the last eight months, thinking all love ever does is break, and burn, and end. But on a Wednesday, in a cafe, I watched it begin again.”

"Begin Again" from the Red album. One of my top five favorite songs. Real love shows you how you should've been treated all along.

“Why would you wanna make the very first scar? Why would you wanna break a perfectly good heart?”

"A Perfectly Good Heart" from the first Taylor Swift album. Some people are only here to take. Never to give or share.

“The rain came pouring down, when I was drowning that’s when I cold finally breathe. And by morning, gone was any trace of you, I think I am finally clean.”

'Clean' from 1989. It can take years, even lifetimes, to finally feel free from love.

“There I was again tonight, forcing laughter, faking smiles, same old tired lonely place. Walls of insincerity, shifting eyes and vacancy, vanished when I saw your face. All I can say is it was, enchanting to meet you.”

'Enchanted' from Speak Now album. Love at first sight?

“Romeo take me somewhere we can be alone, I’ll be waiting all that’s left to do is run. You’ll be the prince and I’ll be the princess, it’s a love story, baby just say yes.”

'Love Story' from Fearless album. This song makes me want to take a chance and escape with a stranger.

“I once was poison ivy, but now I’m your daisy.”

"Don't Blame Me" from Reputation. I'm only better when I'm with you.

“We could get married. Have 10 kids and teach em how to dream.”

"Starlight" from the Red album. Only certain people are worth growing with.

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