SOUNDTRACK SHELF Podcast #02, August 2011

SLAMMO! The second installment of the soon-to-be-twice-a-month Cinefamily podcast mixtape dedicated to deep film soundtrack cuts is here! This episode is put together by my friend/co-worker Alex Nicolaou; I’m not actually featured on this episode, as Alex did all the music selections and back-announcing, but we’ll be collaborating together on future episodes, fer sure! Alex did a great job with this one; check it out!

Soundtrack Shelf Podcast: #02, August 2011! (MP3)

Playlist:
Cannabis – Cannabis-bis (Serge Gainsbourg)
Head – Daddy’s Song (performed by The Monkees, written by Harry Nilsson)
Chobizenesse – Il A Chaud Bibi (Michel Magne & Jean Yanne)
Bananas – Training (Marvin Hamlisch)
——
Girl On A Motorcycle – Take Me To My Lover (Les Reed)
…Tick…Tick…Tick… – California Girl (Tompall & The Glaser Brothers)
Zachariah – The Funky William Tell Overture (Jimmie Haskell)
Black Belt Jones – Main Theme (Dennis Coffey)
——
Wild In The Streets – Shape Of Things To Come (Les Baxter, Cynthia Weil & Barry Mann)
The Trip – Peter’s Trip (Electric Flag)
The Trip – Joint Passing Song (Electric Flag)
Psych-Out – The Pretty Song From Psych Out (The Storybook)
Gas-s-s-s – Today Is Where (Gourmet’s Delight)
——
Yor, Hunter From The Future – Yor’s World (Guido & Maurizio De Angelis)
Star Crash – Main Theme (John Barry)
L’Aldila [The Beyond] – Voci Dal Nulla (Fabio Frizzi)
Sette Note In Nero [The Psychic) – With You (Bixio – Frizzi – Tempera) Franco Bixio, Fabio Frizzi and Vince Tempera
La Città Delle Donne [City Of Women] – The Visitors (Gino Soccio)
——
Zoot Suit Jesus imparts his wisdom – a monologue from Greaser’s Palace
Jubilee – Plastic Surgery (Adam & The Ants)
La Fête Sauvage – La Fête Sauvage (Vangelis)
Stone – Rage (Billy Green, vocals: Jeanie Lewis)
Jeu De Massacre [The Killing Game] – Jeu De Massacre (The Alan Brown Set)
——
Os Trapalhões E O Mágico De Oróz – Retirada (Arnaud Rodrigues, vocals: Didi)

Posted in Film Writing, Podcasts | 119 Comments

“THE DIALECT OF THE BLACK AMERICAN”

“THE DIALECT OF THE BLACK AMERICAN” (1970)

Sometimes a resource like WFMU’s Beware of The Blog will pump out so much great content over the years that it’s very difficult to keep up with it all. This album, originally posted by WFMU in October 2007 as part of their second round of the 365 Days Project, is my absolute favorite kind of “Non-music” album (as classified by Discogs.com) Here’s what original WFMU poster Scott Soriano had to say:

One of my favorite spoken word records is this 1970 public service disc produced by Western Electric for libraries and schools…Essentially a long essay on how American society deals with Ebonics, “The Dialect of the Black American” is fairly radical in its message…and very entertaining in its presentation. That one of America’s biggest companies produced such a document is testament to how liberal the country had become [at that time].

Message aside, “The Dialect of the Black American” would be just another spoken word record if not for the presentation. Narrator (I assume) Paul K. Winston has the right voice for this record. His rich tone dashes from Standard American English to Ebonics without pause. The writing is good. And the record is funny. Some of the humor is unintended, I’m sure; however, listen to the end of the last track and you know that the writers were laughing as they came up with it. Top a great record off with a fantastic sleeve and here is one of the best spoken word records ever released.

I’m in total agreement with Soriano’s assessment of the narrator’s voice; he’s one of those voiceover dudes who speaks in buttery baritones that make the brain twitch in delight.

Paul Weston & Jeffrey Berman – “The Dialect of the Black American” LP (ZIP file)

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EGISTO MACCHI

EGISTO MACCHI – “BIORITMI” (197?)

Unpredictable and considerably spooky Italian library record with pieces named after biological stuff (“Cardiac Valve”, “Peristalsis”, “Microscope”, “Laboratory”, etc.), but sounding like a grab-you-by-the-throat giallo. Not exactly sure what menacing Spaghetti Western-style fuzz guitar and spidery string sections have to do with a track named after the wave-like muscle contractions that pass food down the digestive tract, but if this is the sound of digestion, then I probably should start eating milder foods. Whatever the case, it’s rad.

Egisto Macchi – “Bioritmi” LP (Library: Gemelli) (ZIP file)

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MORSE CODE

MORSE CODE – “PROCRÉATION” (1976)

Don’t know much about this band, outside of them being French-Canadian, but damn, that cover creeps me out. They were a four-piece symphonic prog outfit in the Genesis or King Crimson vein; mellotron licks drape this album like a heavy velvet cloak. Make sure you check out the track “Des Hauts et des Ha!” first — it’s mighty ridiculous and rad at the same time. And I gotta give it up for the 26-minute title track, which explores the same kind of territory as some of the longer O.G. jams of Van Der Graaf Generator.

I have a friend from France who told me recently that the Quebecois accent is “ugly”, and comparable to a kind of nasal “Valley girl” thing. I can mostly hear it, as French-Canadians speak with a much flatter tone than the typically jowly Gallic way of speaking. I’m sure most French-Canadians would probably say that the Euro-French tone sounds snooty and pompous, like someone from the U.S. would rip on a stuffy Brit for speaking nothing but “pfeffer-feffer puh pfeffer-feff.”

Morse Code – Procréation” LP (ZIP file)

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SOUNDTRACK SHELF Podcast #01, July 2011

BLAMMO! Here’s the first episode of a monthly hour-long podcast dedicated to rare movie soundtrack cuts! I’m doing this as a regular feature of my blogging for The Cinefamily in Los Angeles.

Soundtrack Shelf Podcast: #01, July 2011! (MP3)

Playlist:
Son of Dracula – Daybreak (Harry Nilsson)
The Cannonball Run – Cannonball (Ray Stevens)
Perfect Strangers – I’m A Shadow on the Walls of the City (Michael Minard)
——
Lifeforce – Theme (Henry Mancini)
Crosscurrent – Moose Chase (Jerry Goldsmith)
Brazil – Brazil (Michael Kamen)
Who Is Harry Kellerman and Why Is He Saying Those Terrible Things About Me? – Bunky And Lucille (Shel Silverstein)
——
Super Fuzz – Super Snooper (La Bionda)
The Black Angels – the “Cigarettes” song (??)
Lost Horizon – Question Me An Answer (Burt Bacharach, vocal: Bobby Van)
Super Fuzz – Rocket Theme (La Bionda)
——
Sex Pistols radio spot
Heart of Glass – Hüter Der Schwelle (Popol Vuh)
The Pyjama Girl Case – Il Corpo Di Linda (Riz Ortolani)
Carrie – Sue’s Dream (Pino Donaggio)
Dune – Take My Hand (Toto)
—-
Skidoo – Skidoo (Harry Nilsson, vocal: Carol Channing)

Posted in Film Writing, Podcasts | 762 Comments

ADRIAN BELEW

ADRIAN BELEW – “LONE RHINO” (1982)

Even though guitarist Adrian Belew was a part of, at various times, the Talking Heads and David Bowie live ensembles from the late ’70s and early ’80s — I still hadn’t caught his established “classic” solo album from around the same time until very recently.

The track that tipped me off to this album’s whopping greatness was “Big Electric Cat”, used to hilarious effect in the gonzo 1983 comedy Get Crazy directed by Allan Arkush (Rock and Roll High School). This track anchors this excellent album of sharply executed all-over-the-placeness. James Lee, one of the many reviewers on ProgArchives.com, sez:

Few debut solo albums show this much range and sophistication. Belew pulls out everything (for the time being) from his bag of guitar tricks, as well as showcasing his under-appreciated songwriting skills and distinctive vocal style. Of course, he was no newcomer- anyone who’d followed him from Zappa to Bowie to Talking Heads knew that this likeable virtuoso had plenty to offer.

“Big Electric Cat” opens the album with a driving cybernetic grind laced with screaming fuzz leads, very comparable to Bowie’s Fripp-heavy “Scary Monsters”. “The Momur”, “Stop It”, “Adidas in Heat” and “Swingline” reflect a definite Zappa sensibility- often less acidic and more playfully quirky, but with just as much attention to musicianship and stylistic left turns. The more serious songs (“Man in the Moon” and “Animal Grace”) provide an additional layer of emotion to the album- he really sounds like he’s singing his heart out at times. And in-between there is the title track (well, close enough) which veers from goofy to melodramatic, but with a surprisingly earnest pathos.

There are very few negatives about this album; I suppose if you’re turned off by the more experimental end of 80s pop, you’ll be hard-pressed at times…and while his vocals are distinctive and evocative, they may be something of an acquired taste. However, there are hooks aplenty and more than enough texture to reward further listening.

Adrian Belew – “Lone Rhino” LP (ZIP file)

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Bret’s also now blogging for The Cinefamily!

After much hand-wringing mixed with actual work, The Cinefamily (the repertory movie theater/non-profit arts organization I program for in Los Angeles) now has a spiffy new website, complete with a brand-new blog as well! The big model for us, blog-wise, is WFMU’s Beware Of The Blog, with its massive flows of of cultural analysis and tasty tidbits of found video/audio/ephemera, etc. In addition, we’ll also be posting MP3 downloads of our sizeable archive of in-house Q&A sessions we’ve conducted with actors and filmmakers over the years (such as Harmony Korine, Ben Gazarra, Alexander Payne, David O. Russell and more!) I might even start podcasting for the blog as well — we’ll see how that shakes out.

One particular series of posts I’m cooking up for the Cinefamily blog is an ongoing gallery I’m calling the Sci-Fi Cover Art Hall Of Fame; for years, I’ve been collecting sci-fi paperbacks that both appeal to my reading tastes, and have outstanding eye-popping freakazoid cover art. Just launched that series yesterday — you should check it out!

Have no fear — this in no way means that I won’t be doing Egg City Radio anymore. On the contrary — it’s giving me the energy to keep pushing ahead with ECR in a more focused manner!

Posted in Film Writing | 732 Comments

JOEL FAJERMAN

JOEL FAJERMAN – “AZIMUTS” (1981)

An icy-cold excursion into the outer realms of sequencer madness! I’ve always been scared off by the likes of Jean Michel Jarre, Tangerine Dream and the like, but there’s something about this record that is incredibly inviting, and not like all the work of all those others. Before I peeped the whole thing, a cursory needle-drop gave me the impression that it was the perfect soundtrack for a skiing documentary filmed in the fourth dimension; indeed, I was correct.

Other Fajerman album titles such as “Prism”, “Turbulence” and “Electric Ice” give me the impression that it should’ve been he, not Daft Punk, that scored Tron: Legacy. Perhaps then it would’ve been somewhat more tolerable a moviegoing experience.

Joel Fajerman – “Azimuts” LP (ZIP file)

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SLAPPY WHITE

SLAPPY WHITE – “JUST FOR LAUGHS, VOL. 1″ (196?)

Sometimes, you just have to get a little Slapp-happy. Half the jokes on this one barely make sense — but it’s Slappy’s delivery (conveying a careful, casual, yet confident surreality) that really sells this charming slab of old-school horseshit. For example:

She had on one of these strapless gowns, and her gown was cut so low, it would make a baby cry. It was more of a strapless belt. And I took her to one of these high-class restaurants — we sit down, the waiter brings over two hot bowls of barley soup. And this soup was so hot, I was blowin’ it, [makes lip-flapping noises], and all of a sudden she said “I can’t eat this soup, because I have heartburn.” I said “You don’t have no heartburn, your left breast is in the soup!”

Slappy White – “Just For Laughs, Vol. 1″ LP (ZIP file)

Posted in Live Sharity | 663 Comments

ANDREA TICH

ANDREA TICH – “MASTURBATI” (1978)

Back in 2007, Mutant Sounds listed this one, calling it “Zappa-esque” — and while normally that’s a 100% complete turnoff for this humble record listener, I decided to give it a spin anyway, as the cover art made it seem more charming than the average shat-out slab of Zappa’s forced “wackiness”. While there is a twinge of Zappa’s later ’70s stuff in the tone of the album, it’s closer to the playfulness of 10CC’s stuff from the period than anything else — but it’s still quite its own off-kilter, sometimes-funky, sometimes-somber thing.

According to the Italian music website Orrore A 33 Giri, this is Tich’s debut album — and pretty much his only solo album, as it was not a hit upon its original release. The site also compares it to both Zappa and Syd Barrett (a musical touchstone referenced in about one-third of all album reviews throughout human history at this point, so it’s difficult to take it that seriously whenever a mention of his brief sound appears in print.)

Apparently, the lyrics frequently touch on homosexuality, a then-still-very-taboo subject in Italian mainstream society.

Andrea Tich” – “Masturbati” LP (ZIP file)

Posted in Album Sharity | 773 Comments