Every year around this time I get pretty excited because I can do my annual music-themed Halloween costume suggestions column. First off, it’s fun to think about and I truly enjoy mulling over the ideas. Secondly, I don’t have to talk to any local musicians or promoters or venue people, and that’s always a huge plus in my book. Anyway, here are a few easy ideas for becoming one of your favorite musicians this year. Enjoy the oohs and aahs.

Michael Franti

You'll want to start this as soon as possible, but if you already hate washing your hair that'll be a good head start. Franti's got the dreads, but you can possibly braid your hair, too, in case you don't want to commit or are grossed out by dreads. Hone an obnoxious sense of peace and justice that might come from a good place but ultimately comes across like you think you know how the world should work better than anyone. Get a knit beanie to wear even if it's a thousand degrees at whatever party you attend, some camo cargo shorts and a tank top that says something like "Listen to Bob Marley." Ditch your shoes and carry a ukulele. I don't think he's known for the uke, I just think that would be funny.

David Bowie

It kind of depends on what era Bowie you're going for, but we'd suggest either Goblin King from Labyrinth (you'll need a serious-ass crotch bulge and perhaps a fake baby), Ziggy Stardust (fashion a ginger mullet from either your own hair or a number of wigs and then get yourself some face paint and an eye patch) or, for extra ease, super-fashionable end-of-life Bowie á la the video for "Lazarus" from his final album, Blackstar (black sweater, black pants, an eerie sense of calm about the infinite nothingness that lies beyond the veil of death OR nightgown and face bandage with buttons sewn over where your eyes would be). Whatever you choose, you'll be popular and look cool as hell.

Andrew WK

Maybe he's just on my mind because of my recent interview, but you can pull this off by getting a long wig (or already having long hair), dressing like you work on a crew that paints houses and smashing yourself in the face with a brick. WK also has that pizza-shaped guitar, but carrying a slice of pizza with you everywhere you go is not only close enough, it's good life advice for all of us.


This one's a little trickier, so pay attention—work out long, blonde tresses that cascade down your back like a goddamn golden waterfall and then somehow wordlessly convey yourself to be the most gorgeous and talented goddess on the fucking planet. Also wear a one-piece gold lamé swimsuit covered in shiny, sparkly sequins. Be confident.

Anyone from Green Day

The Bay Area punk trio's Revolution Radio debuted at #1 on Billboard's charts this month, and to become Billie Joe Armstrong, Tré Cool or Mike Dirnt takes only a couple easy steps. 1. Get a dirty suit. 2. Wear it constantly and don't clean it. 3. Slather on eyeliner and other makeup to hide the haggard factor. 4. Mess up your hair. Boom. You win Halloween. Sort of.


Get a weird dress, throw your bangs in front of your eyes, slap a gigantic fucking bow on your head, case closed.

Twenty One Pilots

Easy. Just grab a friend and start sucking at music super hard—and we mean hard—and pretty much anyone cool will know what you're trying to do. Bonus points if you can get mainstream radio to play your songs often enough to drive people up the wall and curse the day they were born. Extra bonus points if you can somehow be considered the suckiest thing about Suicide Squad, which is really saying something.