Archive for the ‘soundtrack’ Category

10 Years Of Being Lost: Fish Story Will (Still) Save The World

Friday, March 18th, 2016

A lot of these posts to celebrate my 10th anniversary cover genres, themes and other overarching threads that have been present on my blog for the past 10 years. But tonight’s post is just one song, one that’s really important to me.

Fish Story
Fish Story (Silence 1975 Version)
No movie has ever moved me as much as Fish Story. I think I’ve seen it over 10 times now, and each time a scene near the beginning of the film nearly brings me to tears.

The world is doomed. A comet is due to smash into Earth in mere hours, destroying all life on the planet. Tokyo is deserted save for three souls inside a record store. One man is a fatalist who is eagerly awaiting the planet’s demise. Another is a customer still in denial. But the clerk is still convinced that earth will be spared because, “Music will save the world.”

I get goosebumps just thinking about it.

It’s hard to stay optimistic these days, isn’t it? Seems like in the 10 years since I started this blog the world’s been nothing but bad news peppered with false hopes and dashed expectations. We stand on the verge of America’s most terrifying general election to date, and the world is still on the cusp of utter destruction, as serial killers disguised as CEOs pump millions of dollars into misinformation campaigns to delay action on climate change.

Sometimes it’s hard to keep your head in the light. Things get dark. Things got so dark for me a couple years back that my anxiety went into overdrive and fear of the unknown nearly crippled me into a soul-crushing depression on the eve of my move to Japan. I managed to get myself out of that funk (thanks to Yes) but I still sometimes come dangerously close to sliding back into it. I read the news, I think about the future, and I just want to crawl into a hole and bury myself inside.

But then I remember, music will save the world.


Yeah, so that’s the thing. I don’t know. But I believe it with every fiber of my being. Music has the power not to just change the world, but to literally save the fucking planet. It has the power to save the environment, stop terrorism, cure cancer, eradicate crime and make puppies even cuter. You name it. Music is life. Music can save the planet and music can save you.

“Fish Story,” and now I’m talking about the song, not the actual movie, is in Japanese. But the lyrics honestly don’t matter. As the movie explains, they’re pretty much gibberish. But the song saves the world. And when I listen to the song, I reminded how it saves the world, and that gives me hope for my world. No matter how silly that sounds.

Fish Story will save the world.

If you want to watch Fish Story, I highly recommend skipping the horrendous Region 1 DVD and instead grabbing a UK copy. The Region 1 edition by Pathfinder Pictures is not anamorphic (meaning there are vertical and horizontal black bars on the screen at all times) and the subtitles are burned in, making them hard to read. Additionally, from what I’ve read they’re also occasionally inaccurate and omit some key details during the film’s amazing conclusion.

If you can’t get that, then look for a torrent or check Netflix, it occasionally pops up there. Just don’t give Pathfinder Pictures your money, they’re idiots who bought the film off a Korean distributor instead of going the right (aka more expensive) route and getting their hands on a proper master.

I believe that music will save the world from most disasters currently facing us, but sometimes theft and public shaming are the only ways to save the world from bad media distribution.

And for more songs from Fish Story and more information on the song and its composer, check out this post.

And don’t forget, Fish Story will save the world.

10 Years Of Being Lost: I Like Bad Music

Tuesday, March 15th, 2016

If there is one thing this blog has taught me, it’s that  I have bad taste in, well, just about everything.

I guess that’s not entirely true, but in my search to find weird and hard-to-find records, I’ve discovered that I’m more likely to enjoy a substandard piece of entertainment that does one unique thing than I will a by-the-numbers, well-executed work that everyone falls head over heels for. Why else would I own the complete discography of Fireballet?

And it goes well beyond music. For example, one of my favorite movies of all time is Pretty Maids All In A Row. It’s a comedy about a womanizing high school guidance counselor; his favorite student’s affair with a hot teacher; and a series of grizzly murders taking place on campus. It stars Rock Hudson, Telly Savalas and Roddy McDowell, and was written by Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry.

It’s great.

Just kidding, it’s a fucking mess. But it’s fascinating mess! And it’s filled with situations, sub-plots and characters that you just don’t see in more polished work. I love it because its rough around the edges. Ambition, originality and just plain eccentricity goes a long way with me I suppose.

And I think that shows with tonight’s music, a selection of some of the…lesser tracks I’ve shared over the years that I still unapologetically love, no guilt with these pleasures.

Okay, maybe a little guilt.

Billy Idol
Heroin (Durga Trance Dub)
Heroin (Durga Death Dub)
Heroin (Don’t Touch That Needle Mix)
Heroin (Smack Attack)
Heroin (VR Mix)
Heroin (Needle Park Mix)
Heroin (Overlords Mix)
Heroin (Nosebleed Mix)
Heroin (A Drug Called Horse Mix)
Heroin (Ionizer mix)
Was this in the soundtrack to Hackers? I feel as if it should’ve been in the soundtrack to Hackers. Or at least The Net.

I actually just re-watched the video of this and to “Shock To The System,” the other single from Idol’s Cyberpunk, his failed 1993 album that all but completely destroyed his career. I like a few tracks on that record and I think it’s underrated, but even I wouldn’t go as far as to call it a lost classic. Reading about its release sure is interesting though. Did you know that this album was controversial? Apparently, many of those involved in early online communities, such as the the WELL, thought of it to be bullshit an Idol to be poseur. This was even though Idol went out of his way to seek advice and guidance from those in that community during the production of the album. It seems that some just couldn’t get behind the idea of a celebrity using the Internet as a means promotion.

I bet none of those people are among the 40+ million who follow Kim Kardashian on Twitter.

Dolby’s Cube
Hunger City
Howard The Duck
It Don’t Come Cheap
Don’t Turn Away (Lea Thompson Vocal)
Howard The Duck (Mega Mix)
I’m On My Way
Vinyl re-issues of movie soundtracks are hot shit at the moment. I blame/credit Death Waltz for starting the trend. And while I think it’s really starting to get out of hand (I just bought a glow-in-the-dark re-issue of the Fright Night soundtrack), I don’t think we’ve reached maximum saturation yet, mainly because the soundtrack to Howard The Duck hasn’t been re-released yet. And that’s a fucking shame.


Thomas Dolby. George Clinton, Stevie Wonder. Joe Walsh. They all perform on this album, and they’re fronted by Lea Thompson, who is a shockingly good rock singer. I want to hear her sing “Cherry Bomb,” I bet it would sound incredible.

My favorite of the Thompson-fronted tracks from Howard The Duck isn’t the theme song (although it’s rad), instead it’s “Hunger City,” an intense, 80s pop rocker that really channels the anger and energy of pop-rock like Pat Benatar or even some early Joan Jett. There’s a desperation to the lyrics, and to Thompson’s powerful delivery, that have a surprising aura of honesty to them. This song feels like it was written about someone’s real struggles, and not the struggles of a duck trapped in a world he never made.

The other songs are good fun, but “Hunger City” is a lost classic.

Bell & James
The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh
The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh (12″ Remix)
The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh (Instrumental)
I love this song so much that I almost typed this entire section in all caps with every sentence ending in exclamation points. THAT’S HOW GOOD THIS SONG IS!!

This is the title track to the film of the same name, and it more or less just tells the story of the film. So not only is this song a funky masterpiece of 70s soul, it also does you the service of saving you from having to watch The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh, because that is a bad movie that’s not good. I know I said that I like a lot of things that other people consider to be bad, but this is one instance where I share the critical consensus: that movie is a pile of dog shit.

The song is dope though, some might say it is the second-best song ever written with the word “fish” in the title.

Let’s Get Ill With Rappin’

Tuesday, February 16th, 2016


Rappin’ is the poor man’s Breakin’. No, strike that – it’s the poor man’s Breakin’ 2: Electric Bugaloo.

An all-but-forgotten 1985 hip-hop musical drama, it’s mostly known today for featuring an early starring role for Mario Van Peebles, as well as an early vehicle for Ice-T, whose featured more prominently in the film’s amazing trailer than the film itself. I’ve never seen the movie, but from what I’ve skimmed on YouTube I don’t think I’m worse for it. The soundtrack certainly is…something else.

I’ll be honest…this is one of those nights where I’m not sharing music that I would call good. I’m more…exposing you all to some musical history, artifacts if you will, from a bygone era that time has largely forgotten, rap’s first foray into the pop landscape.

It has not aged well. But let’s take a listen!

Lovebug Starski
The Fight Rap
A honest-to-goodness old-school hip-hop pioneer, Lovebug Starski started as a DJ in the late-70s before moving to rapping in the early 80s. He released several singles and one album, but he apparently went to prison sometime in the mid-80s, which put a serious dent in his music career. Dude still seems to be kicking it though, I found a video of him performing in 2008. I wonder how many other old-school pioneers have been lost to the ages?

Starski has two tracks on Rappin’. The first is the title track. It’s okay, although like most of the tracks on the album, his delivery seems rather stilted and simplistic when compared to what followed. I much prefer “The Rap Fight,” which is a dope electro tune with a sick beat and some totally ill synth lines. I would totally pop-and-lock to this one if my bones didn’t already pop-and-lock on their own throughout the day.

Melvin Plowden, Mario Van Peebles, Eriq La Salle, Kadeem Hardison & Richie Abanes
Snack Attack
This is a rap by the stars of the film, Mario Van Peebles, Dwayne Wayne from A Different World, the asshole doctor from ER and…two other dudes (more on the them in a minute).

In case you were wondering. Neither Mario Van Peebles, Dwayne Wayne nor Dr. Peter Benton from ER can rap. Not only can they not rap, they really can’t rap. And don’t forget, the standards for “good rapping” were pretty low in the early 80s. That’s not to say that the rappers of the era were bad, on the contrary, many are some of the best who ever lived, but the artform was new at the time. People were still figuring it out, the rules were still being made, so a lot of rap from the era is pretty simple.

With those limitations and expectations established, this is some bad rap that sounds horrible. Firstly, it’s a rap song about snacking. And, like I said before, this was the early-80s, but rapping about how much you like food? That was already well-trodden ground by The Fat Boys (who were amazing rappers FYI), so in addition to being a stupid topic for a rap track, it’s an unoriginal topic that’s been done better. I don’t know who’s rapping what line, but they’re all doing a horrible job. They got no flow, no rhythm, no meter. They’re just spouting out lines about food that rhyme. Well, they usually rhyme, at one point they do try to rhyme sardines with cheese and beans.

It’s even bad musically. Most great rap of the era was built off of solid samples or original electronic beats. This has neither, and is instead built off of a generic guitar lick and what sounds like a preset drum beat. Not to mention the piano outro that tries to give the track a jazzy feel, for some reason.

Peebles, Hardison and La Salle were all wise for not pursuing rapping further, but what of the other two on the track? Well, Richard Abanes is an experienced actor and singer, but he’s mostly known for his books. You may have seen them in the religious section, with titles like Harry Potter and The Bible, The Truth Behind the Da Vinci Code and What Every Parent Needs To Know About Video Games. I really wish he would take up rapping again, but only about these topics. Who would want to see a middle-aged Mormon rap about the evils of pop culture, “Yo now listen to what I have to say, Harry Potter is evil and he’ll make you gay!”

I couldn’t find anything as humorous about the mysterious Melvin Plowden, aside from the fact that he produced some forgotten rap tracks, including one called “You Ain’t Right Eddie Murphy.” If he was referring to Murphy’s then incredibly homophobic stand-up routine, yo Melvin, I agree with you.

Mario Van Peebles
Neighborhood Walk
“Rock Box” but bad.

The Force M.D.’s
Itchin’ For a Scratch
Now here’s an example of an old-school rap song that’s obviously dated but still great. A simple but catchy beat, some great synthesizer and, of course, some totally over-the-top scratching effects. The Force M.D.’s were a legit rap outfit with a long carer that produced a few minor hits, and it shows here. These guys got the rhythm down, and their lines are simple-yet-clever. The Force M.D.’s were mostly known for their ballads and love songs, but this track shows they had some solid old-school hip-hop skills too. An album highlight and a lot of fun.

Warren Mills
Flame In The Fire
The first of two pre-teen performers on this album. Mills is by far the better of the two because he can actually sing, but that’s faint praise. The production is about as generically 80s as you can get, it sounds like the bastard love-child of “Rhythm Of the Night” and a Pretty Poison song. And while Mills has pretty good vocal chops for a kid, he still sounds like a little kid. And there’s nothing I want to hear less than a little kid try to serenade someone.

The sax solo is pretty ill though.

D. Terrell
Call Me
Who is D. Terrell?

No, seriously, who is he? I can’t find anything on this dude. Can’t find anything on him online, I think this is the only song he ever wrote that made it to any release at all. It’s not all that bad. Not all that memorable either.  I feel like it belongs on the soundtrack to D.C. Cab for some reason.

Lajuan Carter
If You Want To (FU12)
I could be mistaken, I’m a little drunk and it’s been a long week. But I’m fairly certain that this is a song about wanting to fuck a robot. Literally. She says “I don’t need nothing but robot love.” Someone call Brent Spiner.

Lajuan Carter never released a full album proper but she’s had a decent career as a backup singer, appearing on the Set It Off soundtrack and on albums by Vanessa Williams and Darryl Hall. I don’t feel like this song really takes advantage of her voice, she kind of has a Vanity thing going on with a trying-to-be-sexy whisper voice. But she occasionally does let that soprano of hers rip and it’s pretty impressive.

Tuff, Inc.
Golly Gee
This album has too many shitty love songs by little boys who are all too fucking young to know what love is. This is the third one, and it is by far the fucking worst. Abysmal garbage. I don’t want to hear the lovelorn woes of little shits whose balls haven’t even dropped yet. You fucks. You don’t know what love is. You think love is holding hands after homeroom.

“What didn’t you know why he claimed to be true. He’s running around making a fool of you.”

What the fuck is that? What is this song suggesting? That the girl this kid is falling for has a boyfriend who is fooling around with other girls? What the fuck? YOU’RE TWELVE! When I was that age I didn’t know any kids who were prowling homeroom for pussy. Ick.

Eugene Wilde and Joanna Garnder
First Love Never Dies
The soundrack to the film Rappin’ ends with a quiet storm love duet, because…fuck if I know. This song is pretty awful, but I think that largely has to do with it being incredibly dated than anything else. In an alternate reality I could totally see this song being a top ten hit single and making an appearance on Solid Gold.

Joanna Garnder never really had much of a career, but Eugene seemed to have a few hit singles in the 80s. A quick search on YouTube turns up quite a few tracks, including the incredibly dope “Gotta Get You Home Tonight” which I can only assume was the early-8os equivalent of Boyz II Men’s “I’ll Make Love To You.” I totally bet that song would work on my boyfriend.

フォースと ともに あらん ことを。(May The Force Be With You)

Tuesday, January 5th, 2016

Star Wars is, of course, an international phenomenon, and during my time in Japan I’ve come to realize that the franchise might be even more popular here than it is in the west. Sure, in America you have much the mocked Star Wars fruits, but do you have a Star Wars vacuum cleaner? What about Star Wars chopsticks (that light up)? Can you buy a X-Wing inspired Star Wars pen and pen stand (for a combined price of over $2,000)? Star Wars dishes, high-end Star Wars doormats, Star Wars kimonos. You name it, Japan has it. It’s pretty dope.

In fact, Japan getting exclusive Star Wars goodies is not a new phenomenon, just check this out.


The Story Of Star Wars (Japanese Edition)
Side 1
Side 2

This is the Japanese edition of the Story of Star Wars LP, a 1978 record that summarizes the…story of Star Wars (duh) by combining audio and dialog from the film alongside original narration that helps to cut down the running time to something that would fit on an LP (and work without the aide of visuals).

Now, a lot of countries got this record, it was released all across North America, and also in several European countries. However, all those countries, no matter what their native language, got the album in English, even if the movie came out in their country dubbed.

This was not the case with Japan.

When the time came for the album to come out in Japan, Fox actually went out of their way to release a Japanese language version of the record, complete with all new Japanese narration, as well as the original Japanese dub of the film.

I don’t know what made Japan so special that they got a uniquely localized version of this record, but I think it probably had more to do with the LP buying habits of the Japanese people than the runaway success of Star Wars in the country. During the late 70s and early 80s, these “audio drama” types of records were oddly popular in Japan. In my time browsing the used LP bins here, I’ve seen audio drama LPs for countless TV shows, feature-length anime, sporting events and even wrestling matches. The releases dry up sometime in the mid-80s, I assume home video killed it.

I’m going to be real for a second. Even though I’ve lived in this country for two years now, my Japanese is still dogshit. In fact, calling it dogshit might be an insult to dogshit. So don’t ask me how loyal to the source material this translation is or anything like that.

So yeah, when I listen to this I can probably only pick up every 10th sentence, if that. But despite my ultra-limited understanding of the language, I still find this record an interesting listen. Not only am I using it to help with my Japanese, it’s also fun to listen to hear the dubbed voices and the stylistic choices they went with for each of them. Han Solo and Obi Wan sound like rough samurais (not surprising) while Luke still comes off like a whiny idiot. Most interesting, to me at least, is that C-3P0 still speaks with a British accent.

In case you’re wondering, R2-D2 remains unchanged. Bleeps and bloops are international.

Special thanks to the boyfriend for translating “may the force be with you” into Japanese. In case you’re wondering, you pronounce that “o-su to tomoni arankoto.”

Ice Cube Hates Brandon Lee

Saturday, November 14th, 2015

Just one song tonight. But don’t worry! It’s really bad.

Ice Cube
Street Fighter
One of the only things that bums me out about living in Japan is that it’s a little harder for me to find weird 12″ singles. That was my bread and butter in the states, but they’re not as common here. And when I do manage to find them, they tend to be insanely overpriced. That Neil Young single I featured a few days ago? That was almost 20 bucks. That would’ve been no more than five bucks in the states, but I guess that’s the (literal) price you pay for living on an island nation that has to import most of its used vinyl.

While Japan doesn’t seem to be a fan of the 12″ single, it is thankfully more than a fan of the needless soundtrack. Since coming here I’ve scored original (not expensive modern reproduction) soundtracks to Phantasm, Xtro, Prom Night, the Knight Rider TV show and even the little-seen Australian kung fu flick The Man From Hong Kong.

A few weeks ago I got really lucky and scored a copy of the soundtrack to Street Fighter.

Street Fighter: The Movie.

On vinyl.

Yeah, so I bought that.

Spoiler: it’s fucking HORRIBLE. Nas and The Pharcyde aside, it’s mostly second-rate hip-hop and new jack swing by artists who were nearing the end of their relevance (Chuck D and LL Cool J) or by nobodies who thankfully vanished without a trace (The B.U.M.S., Rally Ral).

Oh, and Deion Sanders with MC Hammer. Because 90s.

It’s shit. And not even fun shit. It’s boring, forgettable shit from a nearly forgotten era of pop music. Not even worth talking about. Except, for this, the title track by one Ice Cube. Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s shit too. But it’s shit in the most wondrous ways.

This is a boasting track, with Ice laying down rhymes about what a bad motherfucker he is. Usually, that’s quality material for an Ice Cube track. He is a bad motherfucker, after all. But Ice is a bad motherfucker when he’s talking about dealing drugs and drive-bys. He is not a bad motherfucker when he talks about his marital arts prowess. Who the fuck does he think he is, Wu-Tang?

Some choice lines:

“At the Japanese deli fo’ my troop.
And we all take malt liquor, in our wonton soup.
Oops as I smell my fork.
It smells like sweet’n’sour pork.”

Japanese deli. Wonton soup. Sweet ‘n’ sour pork.

Repeat after me, Ice, Japan and China are different countries with different cultures and cuisines.

He also talks about eating burgers with chopsticks, drinking 40s of sake and offing dudes with poison darts. But to be honest the culturally confused lyrics aren’t the worst offenders here. No, it’s when Ice calls out individual martial artists. At one point he straight up says “I want to kill Chuck Norris” before dropping a line targeting Jean Claude Van Damme that is sadly censored (probably because the movie featured Jean in the starring role).

Neither of those lines can hold a “what the fuck” candle to this though.

“Many black belts wanna try and snatch the pebble.
From the mas-ter, but I’m much fas-ter.
Just ask Bruce Lee.
Him, and Brandon died, befo’ I can who-ride.”

So, unless I’m mistaken, Ice just claimed that he could’ve laid waste to Bruce Lee had he been given the chance, and not only that, but that his son Brandon was actually lucky to have died before Ice had the chance to fuck him up.

This was 1994. Brandon Lee died the year prior.

Man, Ice that’s some fucked up shit.

Last Minute Halloween Music Post

Sunday, November 1st, 2015

It’s still Halloween for a few more hours in some time zones so it’s not too late to post this!




Henry Manfredini
Introduction To Horror
Excerpts In Terror
Moments Of Madness
It turns out that Friday The 13th soundtracks are weird.

While the original Friday The 13th was an immediate sensation the moment it was first released in 1980, at the time the film’s original score (in many ways the best thing about the movie) did not receive an official release. Neither did the score for the 1981 sequel.

It wasn’t until the release of the third movie in 1982 (man, they really banged these suckers out back then) that the film’s iconic score got a release. But that release wasn’t the score for the third film, instead it was a strange compilation that featured the opening credits theme for the first film (which is a disco number) followed by three cuts that combine highlights of the scores from the previous films and the new one.

In 2012, when La La Land Records began releasing the Friday The 13th scores on CD, they glossed over this release and instead gave the third album a proper soundtrack release. That album does include the opening title credits music, so I’m not including that one here. However, it does forgo these strange “greatest hits” cuts, so I thought I’d share them tonight.

Happy Halloween!

No One Will Care About It In Five Years

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015


If you follow me on Twitter, you know that I recently ranted a bit about Nicki Minaj. You might also know that such ranting put me under the ire of several feminists who think that white men have no right to critique pop music sung by a woman. (They may claim otherwise, but that’s what they’re doing). Go there for more information. I feel that a few of the people who attacked me might have some good points, if they didn’t decide to dogpile and insult me non-stop. If you do read their comments, don’t reply though. I’m not in the business of sending hate mobs. I just thought the entire disaster was worth mentioning.

I was going to write about this tonight. But I can’t find the words to express myself in a way that doesn’t come off as horribly defensive or dismissive. (It’s almost like race and media are complex issues and that a person’s value or worth as a feminist can’t be defined by a singular viewpoint regarding a single artist!) So here’s a depressing song instead.

Rabbit In Your Headlights (Instrumental)
Rabbit In Your Headlights (Underdog Mix)
Rabbit In Your Headlights (Underdog Instrumental)
Rabbit In Your Headlights (3D Mix Reverse Light)
Rabbit In Your Headlights (3D Mix Reverse Light Instrumental)
Rabbit In Your Headlights (Suburban Hell Mix)
I love this song, but damn it makes “No Surprises” by Radiohead sound like a party jam in comparison. These remixes don’t do much to alleviate that, and are all just dark and oppressively sad in their own ways. Still a solid tune though.

Village People
I Love You To Death
Okay fine, let’s go out tonight on a high note. Have you ever seen Can’t Stop The Music? You should see Can’t Stop The Music. It’s a musical starring the Village People, Steve Guttenberg and Caitlin (at the time Bruce) Jenner. It might be the greatest movie ever made. It is certainly one of the gayest movies ever made. And trust me, I’ve seen some gay-ass movies. Notice that I said gay-ass movies and not gay ass-movies.

That’s a whole other genre.

Anyways, the soundtrack to Can’t Stop The Music is unfortunately out of print. There’s a lot of amazing stuff on that LP if you’re a fan of horrible cheese, and I thought I’d pick two of the best tonight.

“Milkshake” is a song…about milk. In the movie the Village People are hired to sing a song for a milk commercial and this is what happens. And it’s not an innuendo either, it’s literally a song about how great milkshakes are. The end. It’s amazing.


Unfortunately I can’t find the video on YouTube, but it’s nothing more than the construction worker flaming it up around a construction site for three minutes while women in red evening dresses alternately fawn over and ignore him. It’s pretty much worth buying the movie for. That and the surprising full frontal male nudity during the “YMCA” dance number.

I’m not kidding.

If you want more information on this classic, I wrote a review on my other site. Also on that site is a review of the recent Demons soundtrack re-issue that isn’t that bad.

Ah, Village People. I feel better now.

Fight Music For The Fight – Bare Knuckle DJ Mix by Yuzo Koshiro

Saturday, September 6th, 2014

I came to Japan for a lot of reasons. I wanted to teach people and try and do something that actually can make a difference in people’s lives. I wanted to expand my comfort zone and try new and exciting things. I wanted to meet new people, make new friends and go on exciting new adventures.

All that and, y’know, buy DJ mixes of classic video game music.

The important shit.


Yuzo Koshiro
Bare Knuckle Legend Mix 
One of the first game music CDs I bought when I came to Japan for vacation last year was a copy of the Bare Knuckle II (AKA Streets of Rage II) soundtrack. It cost me nearly 50 bucks, but it was worth it, because that game’s music is, no doubt, some of the best music ever put on a cartridge. I want Yuzo Koshiro to score my life. I’m sure if he did it would be hella exciting, and feature 50% more dropkicks. And we all know dropkicks are the most dope kicks.

At least, I thought it was worth it, but that was because no one ever told me there was 4 CD VERSION WHAT THE FUCK.

Four CDs of Streets of Rage music. God. Damn. That’s my jogging soundtrack for the next month (that and the Pointer Sisters’ Break Out, did you know that’s one of the greatest albums of ll time, cuz it totally is). How do you fill up 4 CDs of music from Streets of Rage?

GOOD QUESTION allow me to answer it.

Not only does this set have the entire soundtrack to Streets Of Rage and Streets of Rage II for the Sega Genesis (Mega Drive), but it also includes, in their entirety, the complete soundtracks to the Game Gear versions of both games. That’s the kind of attention to completist overkill that I can really get behind.

The cherry on top is the fourth CD, which includes an exclusive DJ mix of the music from the series by Koshiro himself. That is what I’m sharing tonight. He apparently mixed this live at some game music club event in 2002. That’s incredible. Are game music DJ mixes a regular thing in Tokyo? If so, then fuck I’ve been going to the wrong clubs. I want to get my groove on to a non-stop Mega Man mix.

Wait, YOU KNOW WHAT WOULD BE GREAT? Gradius DJ mix. No, wait, a Darius DJ Mix. On second thought, no, that would just be too damn weird. On third (fourth? I’m tired) thought, I just want someone to do a DJ mix that combines all of the greatest game music of all time. Double Dragon, Tempest 2000, Shinobi, Afterburner, Pac-Man DX, you name it. Girl Talk that shit. Mash it up. That would be epic.

And they have to end it with Vib-Ribbon. Because there’s no time hurry up everything is so fantastic.

Now that I have these themes to Knight Rider and Airwolf I feel that I can do anything

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

Somewhere, buried in a scrapbook, photo album or shoebox is a photo.

It is a photo of me at the (then) happiest moment of my life.

It is a photo of seven year old me in motherfucking K.I.T.T.

Goddamn that was a good day.

Man, remember when TV was awesome? TV used to be awesome. And I don’t mean bullshit critically acclaimed awesome of today’s TV. I mean talking cars, flying motorcycles, shapeshifting detectives, cyborg secret agents, electro-kinetic guitarists and Night Court.

What’s on TV now? Shitty sexist sitcoms, non-stop reality TV, and over-the-top exploitation garbage disguising itself as art.

Yeah, there’s a lot of good stuff out there I guess. TV shows with nuance, interesting, complex characters, dramatic tension, and amazing acting. But fuck that shit. When I turn on the TV, I want to escape from reality completely and without question. I want to be free of tension, depression, anxiety and sadness. I don’t want to be reminded of anything horrible, any of mankind’s ills, and of the horrible problems in the world. I want to see a man and a talking car fight crime. I want to see a helicopter take out…whoever the bad guys in Airwolf were (it’s been a while). And I want to see it without a hint of pretense, without any suggestion that the people behind the scenes are thinking for one second they are making art (which was the problem with Lost, Heroes, and just about any other “serious” sci-fi show of the past 15 years).

And I’m sure there are a lot of TV fans reading this right now thinking that I’m full of shit. Fine, maybe I am full of shit. Maybe you (and everyone else) was right and Breaking Bad was actually a great show; maybe Game of Thrones is actually a well-written fantasy that doesn’t bank on controversy and sexism to bring in the ratings; maybe the Big Bang Theory actually is funny (FUCK YOU NO IT’S NOT).

Maybe all that is true. But I’ll tell you one thing; none of those shows, not a single one, have a theme song as epic as the theme song to Airwolf.















The Japan Symphonic Orchestra/K.R. Right Project
Airwolf Theme 1
Knight Rider Theme 2
Knight Rider Theme 1
Knight Rider Theme 3
Airwolf Theme 3
Airwolf Theme 2
I fucking love Japan and stuff like this is why. An EP comprised entirely of cover versions of theme music from Knight Rider and Airwolf, two shows that had absolutely nothing in common, not even networks, aside from the fact that both had utterly amazing theme music (and completely radical vehicles as the title characters). Why release something like this? Because the Japanese know amazing music when they hear it.

The first track is an extended, very extended (eight minute!) symphonic take on the Airwolf theme. And yes, it is as unbelievably amazingly spectacularly stupendous as you think it is.

The other five tracks are primarily synthesized versions of the music from both TV shows, featuring elements from the series’ incidental music as well as the main themes.  They’re all amazing, but hey, when you lead with an eight minute symphonic version of the motherfucking Airwolf theme, other shit just seems weak in comparison.

By the way “K.K. Right Project” is actually Kenji Kawai, a Japanese composer who worked on about a billion different Patlabor projects.

The Super Flyest

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014


There is an insanely awesome super deluxe edition of Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s Welcome To The Pleasuredome coming out later this year via PledgeMusic. However, do to stupid bullshit lawyer shit, it can’t be purchased by anyone living in the US or Japan. As those are the only two billing addresses I have, I’m screwed.

Would any of my UK/Australia/wherever readers be so kind as to buy it in my stead and mail it to me? I’ll pay for everything, including shipping, of course. I’ll even send you some tunes if you so desire.

If so, leave a comment with your email address. I won’t approve it, I’ll just use it to contact you. Thanks!

Someone helped me out! Thanks for all the offers everyone!

And now for something completely different.


Super Fly TNT – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

The original Super Fly is widely regarded as a classic of the “Blaxploitation” era of films, and is typically mentioned in the same breath as other classics such as Shaft, Foxy Brown and Cleopatra Jones. But here’s the thing about Super Fly – it’s really not that good a movie.

I mean, yeah, it’s not a bad movie. It certainly oozes style, and Ron O’Neal is one of the coolest motherfuckers who ever graced the silver screen. But it’s a pretty boring flick. It meanders for far too long, the acting is at times incredibly weak, and it’s not even directed all that well. And it’s entirely lacking in Antonio Fargas, who was literally in every other blaxploitation movie from 1969 to 1978. The only reason why we still talk about Super Fly to this date is because of its soundtrack, which is still probably one of the top five greatest soundtracks of all-time (a list that, for me, includes Purple Rain, The Crow and Flashdance and I will not budge on that).

But while Super Fly isn’t a great movie by any stretch of the imagination, I’m going to assume that it’s better than the sequel Super Fly T.N.T., which came out just a year after the 1972 original.

I say “assume” because, while I’ve read a great deal about the flick and have watched the odd clip on YouTube, I’ve never actually seen the movie in its entirety. It’s barely been seen by anyone since it’s original theatrical release, in fact. It would occasionally resurface on VHS throughout the mid-80s (I know my dad’s video store had a copy) but that was about it. As far as I know it has never been aired on cable television and its never been released on Blu-ray, let alone DVD, or even freakin’ laserdisc. It belongs in the pantheon of great lost films still searching for a new home video release, alongside other classics such as Willard, Rad and Meatballs III, y’know – classics.

Equally rare is the film’s soundtrack, which was performed and composed by African band Osibisa. It was released on LP alongside the film in 1973 and that was it for that. Judging from its rarity it appears that it never even got a second pressing on vinyl, and to date has never had an official CD release. And it’s a damn shame, because while I can’t speak to the quality of the film from which it came, the soundtrack to Super Fly T.N.T. is some dope shit. An amazing combination of funk, African music, and even some rock elements, it holds up amazingly well.  Check it out.

But whatever you do, don’t check out anything that’s even remotely involved with the second Super Fly sequel; The Return of Super Fly. Amazing VHS box art aside, that is not a quality flick.