Fitzpatrix

My Bizarre Adventures

Category Archives: Sounds

“Charm, Talent, Looks, and a Fantastic Voice”

Thanks for the memories, Adam West.

Thanks to filmnoir2019 for the video.

Modal Node to Joy

In May of 1977, an innovative motion picture was released that forever altered the way we understand and create films. It depicted a fast-paced, fantastical adventure that has fueled many imaginations and taught many important life lessons. Of course, I refer to the Hal Needham opus, Smokey and the Bandit! Just kidding, you know what I’m talking about.

There’s no denying the immediate impact that Star Wars has made on the pop cultural landscape, especially in the franchise’s early years. A wide variety of products were made to capitalize on the film’s widespread popularity, ranging from exciting new stories based on the universe, like the early Marvel comics and Brian Daley’s Han Solo Adventures (which I highly recommend), to other movies and shows that took their cues from George Lucas’s modern-day space serial. Even John Williams’s iconic orchestral score became in vogue, with Meco’s various disco remixes of the leitmotifs from the films being the most famous example.

One of the more obscure tributes to Williams’s work on the films is double bassist Ron Carter‘s 1980 album, Empire Jazz, an easy listening homage to the then-recent music of The Empire Strikes Back, including the themes for Darth Vader, Yoda, and the Leia/Han romance motif. Here is my personal favorite track on the album, the underrated theme of Cloud City kingpin and Rebel general, Lando Calrissian.

Thanks to Andy Lindemann for finding this album.

“Johnny? Let’s Be Good!”

Thanks for the inspiration, Chuck Berry.

Credit: Clément Monterastelli

A Cursory Antiquity of Temporal Lengths

Today is the 75th anniversary of the famed English physicist Stephen Hawking! Best known for his groundbreaking cosmology book, A Brief History of Time, as well as his numerous appearances in pop cultural institutions like Star Trek: The Next Generation and The Simpsons, perhaps the strangest homage to the scientist came in the form of A Brief History of Rhyme, a 2004 album produced by web developer and nerdcore hip hop artist Ken Lawrence under the alias of MC Hawking. Here’s a music video for my favorite track from the album, “What We Need More of is Science”.

Star Claus: A Yule Hope

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Let’s celebrate the release of the latest Star Wars film, Rogue One, during this 2016 holiday season in the most synergistic way possible. Have a listen to the B-side of Bobby Helms’ hit single and modern Yuletide standard “Jingle Bell Rock”, a cosmic Christmas carol entitled “Captain Santa Claus (and His Reindeer Space Patrol)”.

Cream of the Crop

Yesterday was the birthday of the late Master of Macho Madness, Randy Savage! Let’s belatedly celebrate the occasion with this intense music video featuring the former WWF World Heavyweight and Intercontinental Champion raising varying degrees of Hell during his Memphis wrestling days set to “Rock Warriors” by the Rods.

Get Us Out From Under…

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the comic book debut of the Amazing Amazon, Wonder Woman, in a backup story in All Star Comics #8! Since this humble origin, the popularity of William Moulton Marston‘s super-heroine skyrocketed and encompassed numerous media depictions, most notably the 1975 live-action TV series starring former Miss World Lynda Carter. Similar to the rise of the heroine she portrayed, the role of Wonder Woman greatly elevated Carter’s career and allowed her to showcase her various talents. With that in mind, check out Carter’s duet with country music maven Kenny Rogers on the 1980 Lynda Carter Special.

Hope you enjoy it and don’t forget to share your favorite Wonder Woman memories in the comments!

An Aquarian Exposition

Today marks the 47th anniversary of the inaugural Woodstock Music and Art Fair, one of the most important musical and counter-cultural events in popular culture! The four-day, New York-based music festival hosted some of the top rock and folk musicians of the time. Most remember the performances of Jimi Hendrix, Santana, Janis Joplin and the Who, but one of the most underrated performers at the show is the artist who kicked it off, the late, great singer-songwriter Richie Havens. Here’s a clip from his soulful opening Woodstock performance of “Freedom”, his improvisation of the traditional spiritual “Motherless Child“.

Under the water where the seaweed grows…

With the Rio Summer Olympics in full swing, I suggest checking out the 1980 animated cult classic Animalympics! Helmed by Steven Lisburger, director of Tron, this film features the vocal talents of Gilda Radner, Harry Shearer and Billy Crystal, as well as the animation work of Roger Allers, Bill Kroyer, and Brad Bird. What was initially conceived as one of two NBC animated specials that would commemorate the 1980 Summer and Winter Olympics was then released as a feature film as a result of the Moscow Olympics boycott. Still, this is a fun but very bizarre picture that almost feels like a psychedelic approach to the traditional squash-and-stretch, Termite Terrace style. One element of the movie that will always hold up is its exceptional soundtrack by Graham Gouldman of 10cc, best exemplified by my favorite song in the movie, “Underwater Fantasy.”

Listen! Do You Smell Something?

When most people think of their introduction to the Ghostbusters franchise, they usually mention the classic 1984 film but for me, I was first exposed to this quirky quartet of extranormal exterminators through the 7-season animated series The Real Ghostbusters. This series (and its cool yet highly underrated sequel series, Extreme Ghostbusters) helped to expand the universe established in the films and with its popularity came a plethora of ancillary merchandising, ranging from toystoothpaste and even a pretty decent soundtrack album released in 1986 featuring songs included in the first two seasons of Real Ghostbusters performed by Tyren Perry and Tonya Townsend. Here’s one of my favorite tracks from the album “Charge You Up!”