Just forget the words and sing along

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Some Halloween Songs for Halloween

I've been toying with doing something like this for a while.  I've come to the realization that I don't do much with my Facebook fan page, aside from plugging my blog and cross-posting my tweets.   So, this past week, I thought I'd try something.  With the countdown on to Halloween, every day, I'd share one of my favourite Halloween songs.  And now that Halloween is here, I thought I'd compile everything on the blog.  So, here's the Halloween songs I shared.

This is Halloween

I love the film The Nightmare Before Christmas.  I always looked forward to the Halloween show of my old college radio show, because it was the only time of year I could get away with playing the soundtrack.  That’s why it pleases me so when, I look at the music charts I use at work, and see “This is Halloween” climbing the list of most-played Halloween songs.  The charts actually list three distinct versions that are in rotation.  The first one, credited to “The Citizens of Halloweentown,” is the version from the start of the film that we all know and love.  The second one, credited to the song’s composer Danny Elfman, is actually an early demo version that Elfman recorded, and has been released on several Elfman compilations.  (Elfman has called this release mildly embarrassing, as it’s just him messing around with his keyboards and singing all the parts.)  And, for the film’s 3D re-release in the late-2000s, Disney got Marilyn Manson to cover it.

The Devil Comes Back to Georgia – Mark O’Connor and Friends

We all love “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” but did you know it has a sequel?  In the early 1990s, champion fiddle player Mark O’Connor conceived a sequel in which the Devil challenges Johnny to a re-match, and this time, the prize up for grabs is the soul of Johnny’s infant son.  O’Connor’s sequel was a country music event.  O’Connor performed Johnny’s fiddle solos, with Marty Stuart singing Johnny’s parts.  For the Devil, original “Devil Went Down” performer Charlie Daniels did the fiddle solos, with Travis Tritt singing the Devil’s parts.  And Johnny Cash is our narrator.

March of the Martians – Harry Brueur

When released in 1969, the album “The Happy Moog” was a bargain bin release, billed as a “Moog synthesizer album for children.”  But one track, “March of the Martians,” has particular significance for Canadians of a certain generation.  For you see, “March of the Martians” was used as the theme song for the cult classic kids show “The Hilarious House of Frightenstein.”

Transylvania Twist – Bobby “Boris” Pickett 

In the perennial Halloween classic “Monster Mash,” Dracula laments, “Whatever happened to my Transylvania Twist?”  Well, capitalizing on the success of “Monster Mash,” Bobby Pickett produced a whole album of Halloween novelty songs, and he was sure to finally give us the Transylvania Twist.  I love it, because it sounds like every cheesy made-for-TV sound-a-like circa 1964.
It’s a Monster’s Holiday – Buck Owens

Over in my day job, I’ve been trying to track down more Halloween songs to fill out the music library.  And it’s been tough.  While there’s a lot of great country classics concerning ghost stories and such, nothing has the recognizability of a Monster Mash.  Finally, someone pointed me towards Buck Owens’ "It’s a Monster’s Holiday", and I was like, “This is it!  Our country music Monster Mash!”

And that's it!  Happy Halloween, all!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Fishing in the Discount Bin - Wayne's World

Here we go again on Fishing in the Discount Bin, where I watch one of the many movies I own and go a-bloggin' about it.  Next in the queue, the 1992 comedy classic that briefly sparked a trend of turning old Saturday Night Live bits into movies, Wayne's World.  Originally in my notes at February 1, 2015.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

So. A New Star Wars Trailer.

I've gotta get my podcast back up and running.  Too much of my nerdy proclivities are starting to leak into my day job.  Back on Wednesday, I spent far too much time talking about Back to the Future.

Last Wednesday, October 21, was officially "Back to the Future Day."  For those who are wondering why, it's because that date -- October 21, 2015 -- was the fantastic, far-off, futuristic date that Doc and Marty traveled to in Back to the Future Part II.  Plus, 2015 is the franchise's 30th anniversary, so it was a good excuse for the 30th anniversary party.

On Wednesday, a good chunk of my show was dedicated to talking about Back to the Future.  I just love that movie so much.  As many have pointed out, the entirety of the Back to the Future franchise now takes place in the past, as it was meant to be.  When franchise co-creators Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale came up with their time travel movie, they knew they didn't their heroes to go to the future because all movies set in the future always get it wrong.  "But Mark," you're saying, "The whole end of the first film where Doc takes Marty to the future!"  Well, Zemeckis and Gale never had any plans for a trilogy or a franchise back when they made the first one...they just thought it'd be a cute joke to end with.  So when the studio wanted a sequel, Zemeckis and Gale were all like, "Well...guess we gotta go to the future.  Painted ourselves into a corner with that ending, didn't we?"

But we're not here to talk about Back to the Future.  We're here to talk about the new trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens movie poster

When that poster first broke the day before the trailer, my first reaction was, "OH MY GOD THAT'S SO COOL!!   It's kinda cluttered, though."  A friend on Facebook remarked that he loved my enthusiasm tempered with pessimism.

And as I explained...I've been through all this before, with a little film called Star Wars: Episode I -- The Phantom Menace.  As much as everything gets me excited, there's a little voice in the back of my head going, "But what if BB-8 is the new Jar Jar?"

Another comment on Facebook told me to put my faith in JJ Abrams.  Last time I did that, I got Star Trek Into Darkness.  So, yeah.  I'm starting to temper my enthusiasm a little.

Which is strange.  I'm not one of those who felt massively burned by the prequels.  I'm a bit of an Episode I apologist, actually.  I didn't feel burned by the prequels until I saw the Star Wars: The Clone Wars movie.  That movie is so bad,  you guys.

That might be why I haven't bought my advance tickets yet.  I'm getting old and paranoid, guys.  As much as I want to be there on opening day, it comes out in the middle of December, and there'll probably be 4 feet of snow outside, and I'll have to drive into the city on icy roads with my crappy tires.  Fear is starting to consume my life.  Fear of driving on icy roads with crappy tires.  Fear that The Force Awakens is going to disappoint.  Fear of getting out of bed most days.

But still, there's enough in these trailers to get one want to get out of bed.  We still don't know these new characters.  Who is this woman Rey, and why is she so prominent on the poster?  I subscribe to the theory that they're going to reveal her last name to be Solo, and she's Han and Leia's daughter.

And why haven't we seen old Luke Skywalker in any of these promotional materials yet?  You know that when he appears in the film, it's going to be a big reveal.  A growing theory is that he's actually going to be revealed to be evil...which would be cool.  One of the oldest fan theories is that the film is going to be "The Search for Luke" and he doesn't show up until the last 15 minutes or so.

And what's that Death Star-looking thing in the poster?

Anyway, on to the trailer!

Not gonna lie...I kinda like the last trailer better.  The way it builds up to the reveal of Han and Chewbacca at the end with "Chewie...we're home."  This one, though, finally gives us more glimpses of our new characters, and even though it's just a couple of lines, we're finally getting impressions of who they are and what they're about.

Although, my heart did quicken when they started reinterpreting the "Han Solo and the Princess" theme in the trailer.  Reminds me of another tweet I saw:  "I really hope the film has more to offer than nostalgia." 

My excitement is getting tempered as the day draws closer.  Star Wars: The Force Awakens comes out on December 18. 

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Fishing in the Discount Bin - Canada Vignettes: A Love Story

Here we go again with Fishing in the Discount Bin, my weekly blog the latest DVD/Blu-Ray/VHS I've recently re-watched.  I continue going through stuff I bought from the National Film Board, Canada Vignettes: A Love Story.  This is in my notes at January 17, 2015.

Canada Vignettes: A Love Story

Sunday, October 18, 2015


Well, still haven't finished tuning up the website since my server crash a couple of months ago, so that means ramblings that usually go in the podcast go where they used to go...this blog!  I really should get on that, thought.  Holiday blockbuster season is right around the corner, so I'm gonna wanna start posting movie reviews again.  And let's not forget a little film called Star Wars: The Force Awakens.  You know I'll be getting a few podcasts out of that.  Anyway, until then, let's blog!

First up, let's talk about Legendary Pictures and their upcoming daikaiju cinematic universe.  Legendary Pictures made last year's American Godzilla reboot, which I thought was pretty good.  Last year, they also announced that they were working on Kong: Skull Island, a King Kong prequel/reboot all about King Kong and the island from whence he came.  Didn't take much for people to go, "Dude...does this mean they're gonna do King Kong vs Godzilla?"  Well, no, because while Legendary was making the films, King Kong is still owned by Universal and Warner Brothers has the American rights to Godzilla.

Well, that is, until Legendary dotted the necessary i's and crossed the necessary t's and made things all copacetic with the various movie studios.  And this past week, they announced their grand cinematic universe plans:

March 10, 2017 - Kong:  Skull Island

June 8, 2018 - Godzilla 2

2020 - Godzilla vs Kong

The connecting thread in all these films is going to be Monarch, the shadowy organization we saw in Godzilla that's been monitoring giant monsters.  They're actually going to be building quite the cinematic universe for this.  It's already been announced that for Godzilla 2, they secured the rights to such famous Godzilla rogues as Mothra, Rodan, and King Ghidorah. 

And I am thrilled.  I really enjoyed last year's Godzilla reboot, and if they can keep that momentum going, this is going to be good.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Fishing in the Discount Bin - Leonard Maltin's Animation Favourites from the National Film Board of Canada

Here we go once again with Fishing in the Discount Bin, where I watch one of the many movies I own and blog about it.  Time to get to one of my more esoteric purchases, Leonard Maltin's Animation Favourites from the National Film Board of Canada.  This originally appears in my notes at January 16, 2015.

Leonard Maltin's Animation Favourites from the National Film Board of Canada

Thursday, October 08, 2015

Fishing in the Discount Bin - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)

Here we go again with Fishing in the Discount Bin, my weekly ramble about the latest Blu-Ray I just re-watched.  This time out, I get to one of the...most disappointing superhero reboots of recent times, 2014`s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  This is in my notes at January 4, 2015.

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Fishing in the Discount Bin - Guardians of the Galaxy

Here we go again, Fishing in the Discount Bin, where I watch one of the movies I own and blog about it.  Today, we watch the movie that was going to ruin Marvel...until it didn't.  Guardians of the Galaxy.  I originally watched it and jotted this down on December 14, 2014.