Nilbog offers tribute to horror film scores at Cinefamily

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As Halloween nears, the L.A. band gets set to perform the music from cult classics like ‘Deep Red’ and ‘Friday the 13th Part III.’

While vintage horror films are being dusted off for annual Halloween marathons, one band is combing through classic titles to solidify its set list.

The members of Nilbog love horror. But they appreciate the sinister, electro-rock orchestrations that anchor the slasher flicks even more. The Los Angeles-based, five-piece act covers the scores of horror, sci-fi and giallo films (an Italian genre of horror fiction such as Dario Argento’s “Sleepless”), and they are certain there’s no other outfit like them. With Halloween approaching, Nilbog is prepping a gig at the Cinefamily.

“It’s a challenge to replicate the music,” said bass player Bret Berg, also co-programmer for Cinefamily. “The music is really underrepresented in a live context. A lot of these pieces weren’t meant to be played live. I think we’re the first to do it.”

Berg said the band took its name from the film “Goblin” — Nilbog is “Goblin” backward — and inspiration from John Carpenter, Giorgio Moroder and Ennio Morricone. For Wednesday’s show it plans to tap into scores of cult classics, including “Deep Red,” “Escape From New York,” “Friday the 13th Part III,” and “Goodbye Uncle Tom,” which will screen after the performance.

Though the horror genre is booming, as torture porn directors continue to one-up one another with films like the “Saw” franchise, Berg said he wished the current crop of themes provided the same frightening thrills.

“[The newer composers] tend to be too reverential without exploring their own melodic ideas,” he said. “A lot of the music we celebrate is an intersection of progressive rock, jazz and electronic. Everybody in the band is a fan of the music and films, and it’s a fun intersection.”

Nilbog performs at the Cinefamily at 8 p.m. Wednesday. Tickets are $12, free for members.


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