Music News: What states listen to the most Halloween music?

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Above, listen to an episode of The Current's daily Music News podcast. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Spotify, or wherever else you get your podcasts. You can also sign up for a daily Music News e-mail.


Spotify has released data on who listens to Halloween music. According to the streaming service, Halloween playlists start to gain traction a couple of weeks before October 31, and really spike on the day itself — as well as the preceding weekend, when people are throwing Halloween parties.

Among the revelations:

People love Halloween music in Utah. It's the top state for spooky listening, and a hub for paranormal buffs generally.

If you get a reputation as a spooky town, you might actually listen to a lot of Halloween music. That means Salem, Massachusetts; and Doylestown, Pennsylvania, where the movie Signs is set. Despite The Exorcist, though, Washington D.C. is not high on the list of cities that love Halloween music.

White people love Halloween music. Most of the communities that heavily stream Halloween music are also heavily white, although two of the three most popular Halloween songs (Michael Jackson's "Thriller" and Ray Parker Jr.’s "Ghostbusters") are by African-American artists. Demographically, the biggest Halloween fans are women in their 30s and 40s. (New York Times)

Beastie Boys audiobook announces star-studded cast

The Beastie Boys Book comes out next Tuesday, and there will also be an audiobook with a star-studded cast. Chuck D, Snoop Dogg, Kim Gordon, Jarvis Cocker, Bette Midler, Rev Run, LL Cool J, and Jeff Tweedy are just a few of the voices you'll hear on the audiobook, narrated by Mike D and Ad-Rock. The 600-page book is a rollicking account of the band's history, and the surviving Beasties are heading out on a book tour promoting the volume. (Pitchfork)

Polaris Heritage Prize winners announced

The winners of this year's Polaris Heritage Prizes have been announced. The prizes honor classic Canadian albums released before the annual Polaris Prize was instituted in 2006, broken down by decade and split between jury and public prizes.

This year's jury honored critical darlings Kid Koala, Dream Warriors, Bruce Cockburn, and Jean-Pierre Ferland. The public, on the other hand, picked albums that were more...well, popular. That means Neil Young's Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, Rush's 2112, Broken Social Scene's You Forgot It In People, and Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill. (Billboard)

Remembering Wah Wah Watson

Guitarist Melvin Ragin, known as "Wah Wah Watson," has died at age 67. A cause of death has not been revealed. He joined the Funk Brothers, Motown's house band, in 1968 and played on some of the label's funkiest tracks — like the Temptations' "Papa Was a Rolling Stone." His stage name came from the wah wah pedal he used to great effect on that song and others, like Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get It On" and Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive." (Rolling Stone)

Tina Turner dishes on books

Tina Turner, 78, just gave a great interview...about books. The New York Times talked to Turner for their "By the Book" series, and she says that her go-to nightstand books are largely in the spiritual vein, including "anything by the Dalai Lama or Deepak Chopra."

A few fun tidbits from the interview:

The book that made her laugh the hardest was a book about sex, when she sat down to talk to her young sons about the birds and the bees and none of them could keep a straight face.

Jackie Kennedy is her role model. "I love reading about her childhood, her time in the White House, her sense of style and even her insecurities," says Turner. "It is comforting that someone as seemingly perfect as Jackie could be self-conscious about her imperfections."

If she hosted a literary dinner party, she'd invite Stephen King, Anne Rice, and Dante ("after all my years of studying The Divine Comedy, I need to ask him a lot of questions"). "I'd definitely serve Thai food," she says, "because I like things spicy."

She wants Mick Jagger to write his autobiography. "Mick is a great storyteller and he can outtalk anyone on the planet."

She realized she might be a reincarnated pharaoh after picking up a coffee table book on Egypt. "For some reason I felt a spine-tingling, instant connection, especially when I saw a picture of Hatshepsut," she says. The songwriters behind Private Dancer opening track "I Might Have Been Queen" were inspired by her feelings about her "Egyptian past," she says.

Joy Division, New Orleans style

For today's viral clip, we're spotlighting a new video for the Hot 8 Brass Band cover of Joy Division's "Love Will Tear Us Apart." The 1980 classic has already been widely covered by artists including Fall Out Boy, Nouvelle Vague, and Soul Asylum, and the Hot 8 Brass Band put a New Orleans spin on the track. The video is a sexy montage of Crescent City scenes, and demonstrates what you can do if your sheet music gets wrinkled. (Rolling Stone)


Songs sampled in podcast
Jahzzar: "Comedie" (CC BY 4.0)
BoxCat Games: "Against the Wall" (CC BY 3.0)
Beastie Boys: "Pass the Mic"
Calixa Lavallée: "O Canada"
Alanis Morissette: "You Learn"
The Temptations: "Papa Was a Rolling Stone"
Hannes Kästner: J.S. Bach's "Toccata and Fugue in D Minor"
Ray Parker Jr.: "Ghostbusters"
Tina Turner: "I Might Have Been Queen"
Tina Turner: "One of the Living"
Hot 8 Brass Band: "Love Will Tear Us Apart"


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