Welcome back, Rural Alberta Advantage

I was first introduced to this band by a good friend of mine. He was driving me into work after spending the night at his house and I asked him what he’d been listening to recently. He said he’d recently gotten his hands on a new album by a band called Rural Alberta Advantage and that several of the tracks were pretty good.

A year or so later, I heard the name again and picked up their album. The track above is from their just released 3rd album, out today on Saddle Creek Records.

Hankies at the ready

I was looking up something else on my blog this morning and realized that I’d never posted much of an explanation about this song. I listed it as one of my 100 favorite songs, but only gave it about 2 sentences of coverage.

Anyway, this song was written in 2003, when Warren Zevon knew he was dying of cancer. It was released on August 26, 2003 (the day after I started working at my current job) on his final album, The Wind. Warren Zevon died 12 days later.

Now, I’m not a huge Warren Zevon fan; the only other songs I really know by him are Lawyers Guns and Money and Werewolves of London. However, this song is so amazing because it’s simple and direct about his ruminations about what will happen after he’s no longer around on the planet. Simultaneously, he gives us his own poetic thoughts about what it’s like to actually know that you are dying.

“This engine keeps running, but it’s running out of steam”

Word for word, my favorite two lines of this song are “sometimes when you’re doing simple things around the house/maybe you will think of me and smile/You know i’m tied up to you like the buttons on your blouse/keep me in your heart for a while”.

In two rhyming couplets of song, Warren Zevon says pretty much everything to be said to those who will be around after he is gone.
1) I may not be around anymore, but you still have your memories. Keep them.
2) You and I were close, but even if I’m no longer here, make sure I’m not forgotten.

Just learned about this awesome footage

I was watching the most recent episode of Doctor Who this evening (potentially Peter Capaldi’s best episode yet) and went surfing the internets for all things Whovian.

I’ve probably seen this before, but it stuck in my head today. Apparently, in a 1965 episode, The Doctor tunes in an episode of The Beatles on Top of the Pops where they are performing Ticket to Ride. For several decades, BBC had a standard procedure to tape over all live footage in order to conserve tape space for television shows (not that their methods for archiving television shows was all that good).

Anyway, BBC in their infinite wisdom, recorded over their footage of The Beatles on Top of The Pops, but kept this episode of Doctor Who, meaning it’s the only surviving footage from their performance.
Good going BBC!

http://www.zappinternet.com/video/pisSbiFfeN/Doctor-Who-and-the-Beatles/

50 years later, The Beatles and Doctor Who are still around. I mean, BBC is too, but I still…kinda cool that this footage would have been completely lost had it not been for The Doctor…

It was 20 years ago today….September 1994

Pulp Fiction Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

I enjoy watching movies, but of all the movies I’ve seen, there are only about 30 that I love them just as much every time I watch them. Pulp Fiction is one of those movies. The non-linear story line paired with the witty dialog, paired with the use of music throughout the movies as an enhancement to the storytelling. There are maybe 5 movies where, in my believe, the movie wouldn’t be the same with a different soundtrack, and Pulp Fiction is probably the most essential of those movies.

The soundtrack, much like the movie, starts off with dialog between Pumpkin and Honey Bunny about the potential for a big haul if they begin robbing restaurants. Following the legendary line “everybody be cool, this is a robbery/any of you fucking pigs move and I’ll execute every mother fucking last one of ya”, the soundtrack proper begins with the equally legendary “Misirlou” by Dick Dale. Misirlou is one of the few instrumental songs that I actually like and can listen to repeatedly without getting bored. Without this soundtrack, I may have never even bothered to listen to the song.

Next up comes the dialog track regarding the little differences between restaurants in Europe and the United States. I most definitely would not own the next track, “Jungle Boogie” were it not for this album. What can I say, disco just isn’t my thing.

What is my thing, however, is Dusty Springfield doing one of her most famous songs, “Son of a Preacher Man”. This song comes in during the scene where Vincent enter’s Marcellus Wallace’s house in order to take his wife, Mia, out for the evening. In the scene, Mia is still preparing for their night out, but music is playing over the house’s speaker system. She announces to Vincent that she’ll be right down. This song is my most played track from this soundtrack, originally released on the immortal album Dusty in Memphis. The song oozes sexy, telling a story of remembering a childhood where the preacher’s son and the person telling the story explore each other’s bodies.

The next story includes probably my favorite tale to tell about Pulp Fiction. When Vincent and Mia arrive at the location for their evening out, the restaurant, Jack Rabbit Slim’s, a Ed Sullivan impersonator announces that the restaurant will be hosting a twist contest. Mia raises her hand, reminds Vincent that his boss (her husband) told her that the was to have a good time, and she instructs Vincent that she wanted the trophy. With Vincent acceding to her request, the two proceed to dance. Thankfully, the announcement of the twist contest, coupled with the song to which Vincent and Mia dance, are included as one flowing track on the soundtrack. The song, Chuck Berry’s “You Never Can Tell”, was released in 1964 (making it 50 years old last month), and was his last top for hit until 1971’s “My Ding-a-Ling”. The dance, the batusi, from the 1960’s television series Batman. Brilliant, Mr. Tarantino, and thank you.

After the twist contest, Vincent and Mia head back to her place with the twist contest trophy. Once back inside, Mia puts on a reel to reel of “Girl You’ll Be a Woman Soon” as covered by Urge Overkill. This song was probably the biggest hit from the soundtrack, as a new composition, it was the catalyst for promoting the album via the radio by getting a song put into regular rotation on alternative stations across the country. This version of the song even peaked at number 59 on the Billboard Hot 100. And all for a song originally written and recorded by Neil Diamond.

The last musical piece which I like from the soundtrack is The Statler Brothers song “Flowers on the Wall”, which is on the radio when Butch is driving back to his house and accelerates to hit Marcellus Wallace, the man whom he swindled when he asked to throw a boxing match. This is another song for which I wouldn’t be aware were it not for this soundtrack. Butch sings along to the line “smoking cigarettes and watching Captain Kangaroo”.

Just because the above track was the lst musical piece I liked from the soundtrack doesn’t mean that it’s the last track I like. There are two more tracks, each involving monologues by Samuel L. Jackson’s character Jules. The first appears near the end of the film, although as far as the timeline goes, the scene takes place just before the Pumpkin and Honey Bunny dialogue. Jules explains why he doesn’t eat pig because they’re filthy animals. He explains that other animals aren’t considered to be food because they have personality. Quentin Tarantino did a fantastic job writing this scene, as it does a pretty good job making the argument that pig is a gross animal to consume.

Now, I’ve been a vegetarian for approximately 7 of the last 8 years (there was a period of time where I was losing a lot of weight and grudgingly gave it up in order to put on some weight), but my rationale for not eating pig is not for this reason. I think they taste too salty. However, this scene may be responsible for causing other people to think twice about eating pig, but I still say congratulations to those who have.

The final track on the album is merely a religious quote used by Jules immediately before he carries out hits on people at the behest of Marcellus. The passage he quotes is Ezekiel 25:17, which according to research, has the exact quote taken from a samurai movie as opposed to from the actual passage. Cinematically, the track takes place within about 10 minutes of the “Royale with Cheese” dialogue, but I believe it’s the last track on the album for two reasons. One, it’s bad ass to have the bone chilling reading be the last thing you hear on the soundtrack. But more importantly, Jules faces a certain amount of growth at the restaurant, where he is trying real hard to be the shepherd.

Quentin Tarantino has made a career for himself by making engaging movies that feature a balance between action, subject matter, and dialogue. Pulp Fiction was nominated for five Academy Awards, including for Best Picture. It lost that year to Forest Gump. Pulp Fiction is Tarantino’s most successful work, but he has enjoyed a career that includes Kill Bill and Inglorious Basterds. If nothing else, the Pulp Fiction soundtrack is responsible for introducing impressionable teenagers to songs by Dick Dale, The Statler Brothers, and/or Dusty Springfield.

Here’s a little story about falling in love

Many ice ages ago (if you count in leap ice ages, probably only one), I heard a song on a television show that was stuck in my head for a long time. However, this was in the days before Google and/or Wikipedia, so I was never able to figure out who it was that sang the song or the name.
I knew it went something along the lines of “papa was a rodeo/mama was a tonic and gin”. Knowing what I know now, that should have been easy to find, but in the days before the phrase “google fu”, it was something I’d never laid my hands on.

When I was near the very beginning of my current relationship, my girlfriend forced an album into my hands and told me to pay special attention to a song called Zebra. The backstory was thus: less than 3 months into our relationship, she was set to have a birthday. When I asked her what she wanted, she stated that she wanted a zebra.

Right, now…the name of the album was 69 love songs by a band I’d never heard of called The Magnetic Fields. It’s 3 cds of 23 songs each with an eclectic group of musical styles. One of the songs was titled: Papa Was a Rodeo.

I was already falling in love by this time, but it was one of those things that made me realize that she had a sense of humor to go with that love of science fiction (our first date ended in watching the first Star Trek remake) and ability to talk a good game about music.

i just ordered my birthday present to myself

Every year. I buy a gift for myself for my birthday.
This year, I found a copy of New Bad Things’ album Freewheel on vinyl. I absolutely love this album, unfortunately the band never made it, the label is extinct, and it’s next to impossible to find.

I still don’t know how much the seller will be charging for shipping, but they have 100% positive feedback on discogs.com, so I really don’t think I’ll be gouged.

Expect a full update once it’s arrived.

This is the best I can do, but i’m very excited to be getting this very soon by mail.

http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/NewBadThings

Or, name your price on a free download of a rare version of a song by them.

http://slrecords.bandcamp.com/track/new-bad-things-i-suck

Steven Soderbergh’s art project

http://extension765.com/sdr/18-raiders

So, apparently director Steven Soderbergh just took Raiders of the Lost Ark, cut all the dialogue out of the film, made it black and white, and put ambient techno music from Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross behind it.
He’s doing this as a lesson to people about how to properly frame a movie to tell a story. But all I can think is “oh my god, Trent Reznor doing the soundtrack to Raiders??? That’s all you had to say!!”.

I can’t definitively say whether I’m going to take the time to watch this, but it is interesting.

Colbert compares ISIS to Al Qaeda using grunge terminology

I was just made aware of this, but apparently on Tuesday September 16, Stephen Colbert was discussing President Obama’s justification for use of force against ISIS, when the Administration that the justification stemmed from the Authorization of Use of Military Force granted after September 11, 2001 because Al Quaeda had attacked the United States. ISIS being formerly Al Qaeda in Iraq, meant they were affiliated with the justification. And here’s where it gets funny, and when it relates to music.

Stephen Colbert then goes on to compare the two using grunge terminology “that would be like if the President was given authorization to bomb Nirvana in 1994 and used it as justification to attack the Foo Fighters today!”

Oh Stephen Colbert, thank you for making me laugh, i needed it so very much.

http://www.stereogum.com/1706372/colbert-explains-obamas-isis-strategy-in-terms-grunge-fans-can-understand/video/