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Monthly Archives: August 2010

Soylent green, is. Made…of people?

Hey Soul Sister,

Ain’t that Mr. Mister

On the radio, stereo,

the way you look ain’t fair, you know.

Well, I wish it was Mr. Mister on the radio, because I’d give my couch, car and cat to never hear that shitty Train song at work ever again.

Welcome To The Real World might harbor the most 80’s sound waves of all time. Everything you’d expect to hear from the decade of indulgence is there: crazy quick synth, soaring masculine vocals, unnaturally crisp drums, and totally gratuitious, unexpected guitar screams. And yes, it does sound ridiculous…but it’s also totally awesome. It instills you with unabashed power. Power that makes your fist pump, your jaw jut, and your girlfriend cover her face and shake her head in disgust.

And it contains two of the best 80’s songs: “Kyrie” and “Broken Wings”. Not familiar with those tracks? Take a look at the following videos and let the memories rush in, no matter how sticky they may be.

Behold “Kyrie” and it’s on-stage, on-tour montage. Nothing spelled success in the 80’s more than jumping really high on stage and giving high fives to roadies.

Mend those “Broken Wings” with this black and white beauty. No mournful 80’s music video is complete without a somber cruise in a classic American convertible.

 >>>Click here to download Welcome To The Real World

In 1976 Gordon Lightfoot released his epic ballad “The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald.” The song’s a healing tribute to a shipping freighter that sank during a particularly nasty storm on Lake Superior during November of 1975. At the time the Edmund Fitzgerald was one of the biggest ships on the Great Lakes and, similar to the Titanic, was considered unsinkable by many.

So, when the big freighter left Superior, Wisconsin and disappeared en route to Cleveland, Ohio it caused a great stir not only in lakefaring communities but throughout nation as a whole. Many, such as news anchor Clyde Biggums at Cleveland’s WOHO, felt the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald could only be attributed to sabotage by clandestine Canadian forces.

1975 had been a blood-soaked year with countless Canadian and American military clashes along the two countries’ border. The ideological struggle of standard measurement vs. the metric system had erupted in cross-border mortar attacks throughout the Niagra Falls earlier in the year and, despite many attempts to reach a ceasefire, the fighting between both civilian and military forces continued to escalate across the North American divide.

However, until the Edmund Fitzgerald incident, the Great Lakes had remained a neutral territory through which commercial traffic was allowed to travel uninhibited. Captains and sailors were indifferent to the standard vs. metric debate because of their use of “knots” to calculate speed. And, because nobody on land knows exactly what a “knot” is, the water people were simply left to their own devices.

Many historians now agree that if Edmund Fitzgerald had made Whitefish Bay that stormy November day Clyde Biggums wouldn’t have found sufficient reason to incite panic throughout the Greater Cleveland area. This panic spread throughout the border region into full-blown warfare. Without the Fitz’s sinking the Battle of Winnipeg, and its countless loss of life, may have been all together avoided.

What follows is a transcript from a special news bulletin broadcast on Cleveland  television station WOHO during the evening of November 10th, 1975.

 

Clyde Biggums, News Anchor, Channel 6 WOHO, CBS Affiliate, Cleveland, OH

 

“Ladies and gentleman we interrupt your regularly scheduled viewing pleasures of Chico And The Man to bring you some spectacularly dirty, rotten news. Now, I want you to get yourselves seated all nice and comfy in your La-Z-Boys and secure those beverages tightly in your hands or squeeze them extra firm between your corduroyed thighs, because this is a whopper…a genuine whopper.

Ladies and gentleman, the Edmund Fitzgerald has gone missing…in Canadian waters.

Now, hold on folks, don’t go grabbing your shotgun and running out the door to grab your rowboat. There is no reason, I repeat, there is currently no credible reason to suspect that those dirty Canucks have anything to do with the vanishment of The Ol’ Duke. Even if Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and the stinky band of thieves he calls Parliament have threatened The Fitz on several occasions it is purely circumstantial.

More like Pierre TURD-OHHHHH!

We don’t want to fly off with our half-cocks and start World War 3. Don’t back talk me, sir, you do not want to start World War 3. Now sit back down in your La-Z-Boy before you act a fool. Yeah, I’m talkin’ to you, sit down, bitch.

Ok, now, the details of the “disappearance” are still real fuzzy, according to the United States Coast Guard. They say they didn’t get a distress call, there’s no life rafts floatin’ around in the lake or nothin’, and the son of a bitch is just gone. JUST GONE MISSING IN THE MURKY DEPTHS! Breathe, Clyde, breathe…keep your shit together…this is your shot.

Coast Guard officials point to gale force winds, and report that the Big Girl was running more stuffed than a ballerina at a Porgy & Bess cast party, as potential reasons for her disappearance. Additionally, The Cleveland Steamer was running in shoal-infested waters that were just waiting to give her belly a fit of Cat Scratch Fever.

The Coast Guard and multiple civilian vessels are combing the area. However, with winds exceeding 80 mph–that’s right, miles–the search for survivors is proving nearly impossible. Our meteorologists predict that it could be another 12 hours before a full-blown search can be undertaken.

Until then our prayers are with the crew of the Edmund Fitzgerald and their families. What a trying time it must be for them all.

Bitch, FUCK this shit! We all know it was those shady-ass Canadians who sunk the muthafucka! I don’t even care, I don’t even care, bring this war on. Pierre So-And-So had this shit comin’ for a long-ass time! Yeah, you frog, I’m talkin’ to you! I’m coming for you! Don’t even think I don’t know how to swim. I can doggy-paddle like a motherfuck! You best be runnin’, cuz Clyde is comin’ for you! REMEMBER THE FITZGERALD!”

*Blood-thirsty cheers heard in the background.*

*Biggums hastily leaves the set and the station’s transmission completely ceases several seconds later.

>>>Click here to download “The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald” at 320 kbps<<<

First off, I want to say thanks to Jeremy and Yoshiko for translating the album name and track titles for the site. If it hadn’t been for those two love birds this post would have been labeled “Japanese Spaghetti Dinner”. The Koto and Shamisen, mixed with an accordion on the first track, evoked images of Yakuza and Mafiosos caught in a mortal struggle for the last piece of garlic bread during an ill-conceived dinner date.

According to Yoshiko the title of this album has a double meaning. “Ruten directly translated means “never ending change,” or something of that nature. In this case, though, it probably means a wandering musician who doesn’t have a particular destination.” Pretty nifty.

The rest of the album cover, mainly the track descriptions, uses pretty antiquated Japanese wordage and wasn’t translated. Maybe you happen to know early 21st century formal Japanese script really well and want to take a look. You can peep them here:

Front

Back

Koto Musicians

Sachiko Tanaka

Shigeru Kubo

Shamisen Musicians

Sadano Jyou

Jyou Ji

>>>Click here to download Ruten

Tracklist

1. Ruten

2. Street Corner In Shanghai

3. 13th Night Of Lunar Month

4. The Moon In Otone

5. Parting Vessel

6. News From Shanghai

7. Little Song Of Nozaki

8. Atami Blues

9. Green Horizon

10. Manchurian Girl

11. Tokyo Love Story

12. Meiji Woman



There are so many reasons to love Goblin.

Primo, they composed the soundtrack to one of the best movies of all time: George Romero’s original Dawn Of The Dead. Goblin’s use of a full rock band mixed with primitive synth and sparing yet ghastly vocals are really the blood and guts of the Zombi, as it was called in Goblin’s home country of Italy. The track featured on this “Best Of” collection is a particularly jaunty number. I think it plays when the survivors first arrive at Monroeville Mall. I can envision Roger and Peter making zombie quiche with their rifle butts to the beat of this track while running past shops and boutiques, but I could be wrong. My disc is totally scratched or I’d fact check. If anyone can shed some light on this, please, let me know.

Secondo, Goblin’s made their claim to fame by composing the scores for horror films, almost exclusively. How nice it must have been for the guys of Goblin to wake up one day and say to themselves, “You know what? We’re sick of just playing normal prog rock all the time. We want to really spice things up. We want blood. Buckets of blood, God Dammit!” So they wrote songs about witches, serial killers, zombies, and the like. And were very successful, despite being an Italian prog rock band that writes scores for horror movies. I envy them immensely.

Terzo, their music hits all the right notes. They can be creepy when needed, as displayed in the song “Witch” from the film Suspiria:

But they can also flip the switch and crank out a catchy little tune, complete with awesome 8-bit accompaniment (which kicks in at about 45 seconds into the vid), like “Connexion” from the film Contamination:

Quarto, Goblin’s music has been remixed into some of the finest contemporary tracks. First, take a close listen to the already excellent theme from the movie Tenebre, as performed by Goblin.

Now, take a listen to the badass track “Phantom” by the electro duo Justice, which happens to also be one of my favorite groups.

Very similar but somehow Justice makes it their very own mind-blowing track. However, it maintains much of the original creep that makes Tenebre so delicious.

UPDATE: It seems that Gucci Mane has now sampled Justice sampling Goblin on his new track “Gucci Time”. Perhaps Tenebre will be sampled forever and ever in an infinite loop of horror madness.

Infine, Goblin are some of the snappiest dressers of all time. Just check out the turtleneck sweaters on these badboys.

“Hou want a scary track? I make it for you. Come back, one week.”

>>>Click here to download The Best Of Goblin

Tracklisting
Side 1

1. Profondo Rosso (From The Film Profondo Rosso)
2. Witch (From The Film Suspiria)
3. E Suono Rock (From The Film Wampir)
4. Suspiria (From The Film Suspiria)
5. Zombi (From The Film Zombi, or Dawn Of The Dead)
6. Connexion (From The Film Contamination)
Side 2
1. Roller (From The Film Roller)
2. Nocturne (From The Film Notturno)
3. Phenomena (From The Film Phenomena)
4. Withy (From The Film Contamination)
5. Tenebre (From The Film Tenebre)
6. School At Night (Lullaby Child Version) (From The Film Profondo Rosso)
7. Death Dies (Film Version) (From The Film Profondo Rosso)



There isn’t much I know about King Of Woolworths. There isn’t even a Wikipedia entry for the group. The little I’ve found out about project has been through sites run by fans around the globe. I only know that I LOVE this album.

It was only by a chance that I ever even heard about them in the first place. During the summer of 2002 the radio station WOXY, in Oxford, OH at the time, starting playing this curious little track called “To The Devil A Donut.” It started off in slow rotation but eventually made it into heavy play for a few solid months. I’m not sure the DJs even knew much about it…they just liked it so they put it on the radio.

It’s a pretty creepy track with bits from an old horror movie entitled “To The Devil A Daughter”. On the face there are very obvious reasons why it’s got a case of the creep. It uses snippets of dialogue about baptizing a baby in the blood of her dead mother, bringing that babe up in seclusion as the devil,  and then pumping her full of morphine. You know, the usual.

But it’s not really what’s on the face that makes it creep hypnotique, verging on a dream. With every song on this album I envision myself lying on the ground, staring face up at a different situation. The beat, the strange use of strange 70’s British synth, and the vaporous ambient cloud swallows you up and spits you out on another locale at each track’s start

With “To The Devil A Daughter” I envision myself sprawled out in a cold cellar of an ancient English country manor. It’s so old, in fact, that the floor is composed of soft, damp earth instead of hard cement. The walls are large stone without caulk. The ceiling is comprised of old oak beams, covered in spider webs. The room is lit by the soft but terrifying flicker of torch light. Hooded shadows work their way in and out of the ominous glow, always threatening but never pouncing. The suspense is terrible but just as it comes to a climax the track changes and I’m transported elsewhere.

In “Theydon” I’m lying on the beach somewhere on the coast of the North Sea. I don’t know how I got there and I don’t know why I’m wet and I don’t know why I’m wearing a blue and white fleece because I don’t ever wear fleece but I don’t care. I don’t care because beautiful music floats over my drenched body and connects me with the little pebbles covering my jeans. I say hello to the passing gulls. The sun rises and I worry temporarily that it will melt my bones, but the fear quickly passes and I’m at peace. Everything’s OK.

The album takes turns tossing you psychologically from dark to light, harm to safety. It’s like a continually operating wooden rollercoaster in an abandoned park that you keep riding over and over and over. You always think it’s gonna jump the tracks and fling you into a bloody underbrush demise. But it doesn’t, it keeps on round and round in a beautiful and terrifying loop.

I think Mr. King Of Woolworths himself, Jon Brooks, puts it best: “Everything’s fine, but there is something not quite right about it.”

>>>Click here to download Ming Star

Tracklist

1 Kentish Town 5:33
2 Bakerloo (Main Titles) 6:19
3 Where Fleas Hide 1:58
4 Stalker Song 4:44
5 Colcannon 5:14
6 To The Devil A Donut 6:02
7 Kite Hill 5:30
8 The Watchmaker’s Hands 7:11
9 Theydon 6:49
10 Bakerloo (End Credits) 4:40