janradder: (Default)
Top 5 Kid's Show Theme Songs:

For me, these are the songs that immediately transport me back to Saturday mornings when school was just a rumor and weekday afternoons when homework may have beckoned but would instead languish forgotten in my backpack. Here they are, in no particular order.

1. Scooby Doo: Where Are You?
From the opening sound of screeching bats and that groovy drum fill, to the bubblegum vocals and a rhythm track lifted straight from "In the Midnight Hour," there's not another cartoon intro that says to me Crappy-early-seventies-animation better (and I mean that in a good way).

2. The Adventures of Fat Albert
Being one of the last cartoons of the morning, this was perhaps the one I looked forward to most if only because of this song (and Russell putting down Rudy). With that bouncing beat, that "Hey, Hey, Hey!" and that funky organ, I was hooked from the first note. The "Nah-nah-nah's" at the end were to me like a seven-year-old's "Hey Jude." Go ahead -- try not to sing along.

3. The Lone Ranger
The William Tell Overture? Nah -- it's the Lone Ranger! "A fiery horse with the speed of light, a cloud of dust, and a hearty 'Hiyo Silver!'-- the Lone Ranger." Ah, my pulse still quickens whenever I hear those horns.

4. Batman
How many kids haven't run around singing the Batman song? It's iconic -- even the Who and the Jam both covered it. In many ways, the actual show was almost a letdown after the opening credits, but then how could anyone actually live up to the excitement generated by a Peter Gunn-like theme whose only lyrics were "Batman" sung over and over? (And for those who may not know, the song's composer, Neil Hefti, also the theme song for The Odd Couple.)

5. Land of the Lost
It's hard to choose one favorite out of all of Sid and Marty Krofft's shows, but this would have to be the one(sorry Bugaloos and H.R. Pufnstuf). I mean, it's got a banjo, for crying out loud, and to paraphrase Steve Martin -- how can you not be happy when you hear a banjo?

So -- what are your favorites?
janradder: (axe man)
Wherein you shall witness:

Neil Schonn's pants waist which begins somewhere just below his nipples!
Jan Hammer and his killer Keytar moves!
Jan Hammer's Keytar!
A painted-on tattoo of a heart struck through with lightning bolts!
Neil Schon's bare hairless chest and white-boy fro!
A wicked cool side-by-side rock-out by Neil and Jan as they remain trapped in a cage of enormous elastic bands!
And did I mention Jan Hammer plays the Keytar!?

Watch. Listen. Worship the Awesomeness.
janradder: (Default)
I don't know why but I find this oddly hypnotic. Maybe I'm just exhausted.
janradder: (axe man)
So teach your children to fear the home and all it contains.


I still remember being creeped out by the sick children, holding their stomachs in pain. Of course, I also thought they were morons for eating Spic and Span or whatever else it was they'd decided to ingest.
janradder: (Default)


Their favorite line: "Michael J. Fox has no Elvis in him."

And no, they have no idea who either Michael J. Fox or Elvis are.
janradder: (embarrassed)


Who knew you could transcribe a Hüsker song so that it sounded like something you might hear in your dentist's waiting room? Or worse, the New Age Spiritual Guidance Center?

(For a reference point, here's the original song, about 3:13 into the clip)
janradder: (Default)


In case you're unfamiliar with it, the show aired in syndication during the mid to late 80's and was about a guy who builds a robot girl who he tries to pass off as his real daughter.

I had a six year old step-brother at the time who was obsessed with the show, though I had no idea why. Over twenty years later, though, I still sometimes get that stupid theme song stuck in my head.
janradder: (watt)
Back in the mid-eighties, there was a show called Night Flight that aired on Saturday night on the USA network. It was a music show, and one of the only places where I could find punk rock on TV. In addition to Ramones videos and airings of Rude Boy, every now and then Night Flight would show Another State of Mind, a documentary about American hardcore punk. The movie followed the bands Youth Brigade and Social Distortion on an ill-fated tour of the U. S. and Canada, ending (if I remember right) in D. C., where they stayed with Minor Threat after their bus broke down.

As a teenager in central Connecticut who didn't know any punks aside from my friend, the movie was one of the few connections I had to a world I only knew about through the records my friend and I bought and listened to like they were transmissions from God. I'd sit up, late at night, transfixed by the images and words on the screen in front of me, wishing I could somehow step into that screen and be a part of what I was watching. As much as any book I read or record I listened to, this movie was a huge part of my childhood.

Someone has posted the documentary in its entirety, but here's an excerpt from it, where a punk explains how to slam dance. I used to watch this part, thinking I could put its lessons to use if I ever got the chance, though when I finally did see a show with slam dancing, I was too scared to join.

janradder: (watt)
Ah, well. At least I can watch them on YouTube.

janradder: (axe man)
This is really dumb, but it did make me laugh.

janradder: (Default)
The plane was thrown from the 31st floor and, after soaring out over Manhattan, proceeds to circle lower and lower to the ground. It's really quite beautiful, both in the circling of the airplane and the way it was filmed.


Flying from Sam Fuller on Vimeo.

(via [livejournal.com profile] pierogiqueen)
janradder: (Default)
Why it was crappy:

1. I was sick with a cold I'd gotten from Éiden.

2. I paid $7.75 to park downtown, then found out that the Delta Spirit show I'd been waiting to see for the past two months had sold out a couple minutes earlier (and I'd arrived just fifteen minutes after the doors opened).

3. After the woman checking ID's told me to try back in an hour and a half to see if there were any unclaimed tickets, I was heckled for two and a half blocks by a carload of suburban teenage girls driving their parents' Prius who kept calling me, alternately, Justin Timberlake and Brittany Spears.

4. Deciding to waste time by riding the light rail, I lucked out when I was joined by another horde of suburban teens who'd come from some high school sporting event and spent most of their time shrieking, screaming and holding the doors open at stops except for when a black couple got on the train at Lake Street and one of the kids started talking loudly about "the black guys."

5. After riding the train for an hour and a half, I went back to the Entry and found that there were still plenty of people trying to get in and there were no unclaimed tickets to be had.

How it suddenly became awesome:

1. Perhaps seeing my disappointed face peering in through the doors, a woman in line asked me if I needed tickets. When I said yes, thinking she'd say, "Yeah, it's sold out -- bummer," the guy she was with instead said, "We've got an extra one."

2. Delta Spirit was, seriously, fucking awesome -- those boys know how to put on a show. In the twenty-two years I've been going to see bands, last night's show was among the best I've ever seen. There was screaming, rolling on the floor, bodies flailing and jerking on stage, raucous rave-ups, beer-toasting sing-a-longs, and gut-wrenching singing, followed by the singer leaping from the stage after the band's last set, into the audience, where he started dancing to the music on the PA and grabbing people from the audience so that everyone was dancing. Plus, the band seemed to genuinely appreciate their reception, especially since this was their first headlining tour. Really, it was a great show (and if you have the chance to see them, by all means, do).


Thank you, again, to the people with the extra ticket -- I meant it when I said you made my night!

janradder: (watt)
And because, as I said yesterday, it's hard for me to pass up an opportunity to post something about Hüsker Dü, here's some old footage recently posted on YouTube from 1983. The show was in Philly with the Hüskers playing tracks off their soon to be released Zen Arcade. It's actually some of the best live footage I've seen from them. Over twenty years later, they're still one of the best bands I've seen play.

"Something I Learned Today"



And, if you're interested, here's some links for more clips from the same show:
"Broken Home, Broken Heart"
"Chartered Trips"/"Sunshine Superman"
"It's Not Funny Anymore" plus 3 more
"Eight Miles High"
janradder: (Default)
This morning our paper had a tiny blurb about Sonny Curtis, one of the original Crickets, who was in Iowa as part of the 50th Anniversary of Buddy Holly's death. Curtis was talking about how he came to write "Love is All Around," the Mary Tyler Moor theme song. He said the show was pitched to him in the morning, he quickly wrote the song, then played it for producer, James Brooks, and then played it ten more times during the day to other producers, saying it was finished before the end of that day. It didn't go completely without a hitch, though.

"One of the producers wanted me to change a lyric," Curtis said. "He thought that the line, 'And it's you girl' was 'And it's Jew girl.'"

Here, then, is the original theme song (it was changed slightly, in subsequent seasons), along with, in my opinion, the best of the covers by Minneapolis' own Hüsker Dü (because I can rarely pass up a chance to post something by the Hüskers).



janradder: (Default)
I totally went to school with the Duran Duran fan, and chances are, if you went to high school in the 80's, you did to. The ad's not as good as the Black Flag radio spots documented on Everything Went Black (you listen to them here if you've never heard them before and are interested. The ads start at 1:49 on the clip), but still -- it's a Black Flag TV spot!? I guess when you live near"SCENIC DOWNTOWN DETROIT" you get to see Black Flag on local TV.

Sam Sacks

Jan. 27th, 2009 04:29 pm
janradder: (watt)
Years back, a friend of mine who seeks this sort of thing out, came across an album called Sing it again, Sam! The Inimitable Song Stylings of Sam Sacks" at a yard sale. For less than a dollar, he took it home with him, and when he listened to it, he heard some of the most wretched singing known to humanity. Yes, it really is that bad. But, as with really bad movies, Sam Sacks moves beyond the realm of just a bad singer into the world of the brilliantly bad singer. William Hung wasn't even a speck of no-talent in his parents eyes when Sam laid down his twelve tracks of comic gold. He's also a far better singer than old Sam was.

I posted about this a while back when I came across WFMU's Beware the Blog which did a story on this record. Since then, another blogger has placed the entire album's worth of songs online for whoever so desires to download and enjoy. And a YouTube user has posted the lead track. Here, then, for your listening pleasure, is Sam Sacks singing the heck out of "Old Man River":

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