Arts & Events

Ira Marlowe's World-Record Halloween Songathon

By Gar Smith
Thursday October 27, 2011 - 10:17:00 AM

Bay Area singer-songwriter Ira Marlowe is within days of pulling off a truly tricky treat. Since the first day of October, Marlowe has been posting a new, original and ghoulishly gleeful song for each and every day leading up to Halloween. Anyone can tune in for free. You just need to "friend" him on Facebook. ( If you need another infusion of Marlowe's macabre melodies after this first bite, you're in luck: he's got two live performances scheduled for the next week (see below). 

"Yes, I have that many weird, creepy songs," Marlowe admits. But, in fairness, he has a leg bone up on the competition, having produced not one but two collections of spooky-tunes — Creepy Songs for Courageous Kids (2009) and the newly released Know Your Bones by Marlowe's haunted house-band, The Chills. 

Marlowe's latest ghoulish goulash includes the following frightful mix of devilish ditties: Zombie, A Most Unusual Neighbor, Cemetery, Know Your Bones (Parts 1 & 2), Boogerman’s Back, Green Green Slime, Thunder and Lightning, The Boy with Two Heads, The 17th of May, Mr. Stench, Cemetery Rap and Never Listen to Track 13

The Chills’ proudly claim the title as the reining "kings of haunted rock" with lyrics that conjure the spirits of Edward Gorey and Shel Silverstein (with a dash of Monty Python and a pinch of Tom Waits). 

Marlowe recently headlined the annual Goblin Fundraiser for kids at the Bay Area Discover Museum and is set to do two more local shows to close out the month. You can catch Marlowe in the flesh (signing tunes designed to make your skin crawl) at the following venues. 

Thursday, October 27th from 8-10 PM 

Café Royale, 800 Post St. @ Leavenworth, San Francisco. (415) 441-4099. No cover. (Marlowe's note: "an absolutely great place to perform. Not only is there a top-notch sound system, but they unfurl a red satin backdrop, with LIGHTS, and all of a sudden I feel like I'm performing in the deliciously decadent Berlin of the 1920's. If you live in The City, you should try to make this one!") 

Saturday, October 29th from 7-9:30 PM 

Bazaar Café, 5927 California St, San Francisco. (415) 831-5620. No cover 

KFOG's Peter Finch is hosting "a whole stable of storytellers, (plus one songwriter) to chill and amuse you." Children welcomed! Marlowe has promised to exhume some of his most nightmarish melodies including: "Green, Green Slime," "Look for Me," "Fear of Little Men" and "A Most Unusual Neighbor." 

Here's a sample of Marlowe in a mellower mood, performing his song "Umbrella People."