By Philip Costache
Devil’s Night has been around in its present form at least 60 years, and in most places it involves mild forms of mischief. Detroit, as you may well know, isn’t like most places. Starting in the 1970s, the city began to experience an extensive rush of more destructive acts of vandalism, such as arson, that engulfed many inner city neighborhoods, but also spread to several surrounding suburbs, albeit with lesser severity. In order to combat the widespread crime wave, Angel’s Night was created in 1994 by Detroit city officials (and God?)… I won’t go into detail about these blasphemous opponents of Lucifer – praise be to him!—and their mission to limit his benevolent influence upon us all, as these wicked assailments by the purported forces of good encroach upon Satan’s realm and transfigure him from a magnanimous soul to a surly old lion.
Wait! He speaks to me! I’m to be his liaison. Yes, holy one. How can I serve you better?
I am weary of these…these games, faithful lamb. Devil’s Night is MY night, and I shouldn’t have to share it with blasphemers. But, alas, my supremacy is incessantly being challenged. Why can’t everyone see I have humanity’s best interests at heart? So *deep sigh* I grow tired, and I simply do not know how much longer I can endure such insolence and neglect. So I ask you, sweet lamb, is a libation at a vexing and dispiriting time like this unwarranted? If you were to compile, for instance, a list of six songs that pay their due respects, I’d eventually regain my strength. You do want to see your beloved master and friend back in tip-top shape, do you not? Of course, of course you do, succulent lamb. BEGIN! *Sinister, maniacal laughter*
- Anna Calvi – The Devil
Young, beautiful, and musically gifted. You may think I’m describing Lucifer, but I’m not. Your kind thoughts will be taken into consideration on judgment day; I’m certain those of you who think favorably of him will be allotted a better place in HELL than those who don’t. But I digress. This time I’m talking about the nimble guitarist and spellbinding vocalist, yet somewhat obscure Anna Calvi. Sparse on lyrics but dense in atmosphere, this tune makes for a fitting overture.
- Beck – Devil’s Haircut
Although this song isn’t as lyrically obtuse as “Loser”, it still showcases Beck’s ability to perplex the average movie-goer. With a bitching beat to boot, this is one of the catchiest Devil-themed songs I could extract from the annals of music history. I can’t stop singing the chorus. Please, help!
- Judas Priest – Devil’s Child
Eight albums into their career, and Judas Priest were still writing demonic tunes about Satan’s beguiling lure. The legendary pioneers of heavy metal know all there is to know about the midnight hour, black leather, whips, chains, scorpions, bikes (you know the ones), hell-fire riffs, and furnaces spilling molten metal; more crucially, they grasp the importance of paying homage to one of their fundamental sources of inspiration. With their enduring fame Judas Priest made the Prince of Darkness cool for many generations of lamb. A master and slave relationship is a healthy relationship.
Feel my willpower slip
Light my fire
With cold desire
Losing all my grip”
Behold! Lucifer’s seductive thrall working to create yet another devotee. Headbang with us, lamb.
- Rolling Stones – Sympathy for the Devil
A timeless, “uplifting” hymn that binds dramatic and objectionable historical situations that unfold before Satan himself (initially, they are presented chronologically; because of the drugs and booze, randomly after the first few stanzas). Also, there’s a lot woo wooing. Beelzebub is portrayed as a propertied aesthete who is as well-mannered and charming as he is cunning and merciless. Harsh accusations and some of you may justifiably blame The Rolling Stones for their too accurate a description of Lucifer, but the man downstairs said he’ll let this one slide.
As a side note: We can, however, slam The Rolling Stones for their warped sense of 80s fashion (some may argue that all 80s fashion was warped) and the tommyrot they released then. I mean, the Stones really should’ve taken a decade long hiatus; consequently, Mick Jagger wouldn’t have been filmed dancing in yoga pants, saving everyone the embarrassment of being associated with him.
- D12 – Devil’s Night
Eminem and Detroit’s embodiment of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (Swifty, Kon Artist, Kuniva, and Bizarre) have churned out a worthy tribute to their hometown’s most infamous night of the year. Even though their rapping is rife with the usual inflammatory descriptions of thug life, it’s effective because the lyrics are uniquely dark and satirical—especially Bizarre’s poignantly masochistic, sadistic lyrics. This song—more than any other on this list—is the harbinger of Armageddon.
- AC/DC – Back in Black
YES! YES! Aaahhhhhhh, it feels good to be back in excellent ME (n) TAL form. Precisely what I’ve been craving, my tasty lamb. The masters of unadorned, simple and easy power-chord rock have really outdone themselves with this entrancing anthem. Kudos to Brian Johnson for being a strikingly believable personification of… well… me, of course. And, I must say, Angus Young looks scrumptious in those little shorts he’s always wearing. Now that I’ve been re-animated we can start enjoying life again. Turn up the decibels and proceed to smashing complex and difficult Lego sets someone had been working on for weeks, tipping over priceless China cabinets, feeding your cat dog food and your dog cat food; or being mischievous in any way, shape, or form imaginable. If you’re feeling particularly sinister, light something ablaze. I promise not to tell a soul.