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Music Reviews

Mancini, Henry – “Party, The” – [RCA Victor/ BMG]

Naysayer   1/3/2016   12-inch, Soundtrack

I first saw this movie while frying on mushroom tea so it holds a VERY special place in my heart. Having the opportunity to review the album is a gift which I take very seriously. Brief movie storyline: Peter Sellars (in brownface, or orange depending on the scene) is an Indian actor trying to break into the Hollywood movie scene. Attending the ultimate groovy Hollywood party at the Most tripped out pad (sunken conversation pit, glass walls, sections of the living room that move up and down, the best swimming pool), Sellars literally destroys the place. The bathroom scene seemed endless, but that was when I was peaking so…. There’s a parrot (birdie num num), a painted elephant, go go dancing frug-a-delic, and Claudine Longet (before she shot her ski champion boyfriend but after she left Andy Williams. Longet was a fixture of sorts of the A&M label, Herb Alpert’s project. Anyway…)
The music, composed by Henry Mancini, is a master class example of what the, then god, of film composition did. Swerving from glorious cheesy bachelor pad orchestrations (you can almost hear the martini glasses tinkling), to straight up no nonsense senior masters of jazz compositions (with the help of greats like Jimmie Rowles, Shelly Manne, Jack Sheldon among others), this thing is so smooth and the example of perfection. “Elegant” starts out with Mancini’s superb piano solo which moves into the rich orchestra work (think Breakfast at Tiffany’s), then Larry Bunker’s vibes and back to solo piano. There are some choice group vocal pieces which have the singers la la laaaing along. “Party Poop” pops in with the vocalists suddenly singing “Jimmie Rose, Jimmie Rose, Jimmie Rose”. So sixties. There is also sitar work and light psych dance tunes. (“The Party”, both vocal and instrumental are a must.) My only disappointment is that the Claudine Longet version of “Nothing to Lose” is not included. Those curious to hear her sing “nothing to wooose” will have to search. Enjoy this exceptional example of white 60’s grooviness.

Dark Moon [coll] – [PIAS]

Arcanum   12/10/2015   CD, Soundtrack

 

Set in the year 2067 Dark Moon#1 is a Music Soundtrack to accompany the observer who may be getting trapped on a journey to a harsher climate of the “Dark Moon” Through the magic of Multi-Media and theoretical physics, experience San Francisco and subsequently KFJC be destroyed by an asteroid that has veered from its course. Transport into the Manga-esque Dark Moon world and be one of the first humans to break the speed of light barrier while the sounds of this soundtrack transfer the data thousands of times that speed via quantum computing. Break down and discover advanced alien technology. All tracks are FCC FREE :) Produced by Freematik except for track 11 which has a dubstep/ digital glitch electronic produced by J.D. Keiser. Key Tracks: (Hip Hop) #’s 2 and 19 featuring Myka 9 of Freestyle Fellowship. (Rap) #4 Featuring AD Kapone, Chunk & Lasro. (Elecectronic) #1 & 8 by Freematik.

 

1. Dark Moon Theme
2.This Dark Moon ft. Myka 9
3.Galactic Interloper
4.Stranded On This Dark Moon ft. Ad Kapone & Chunk
5.On The Moon
6.Dark Frontier
7.When Fear Sparks In Your Hear ft. Mad Shad
8.Inn3rspace
9.Ancient Gears
10.Turbulence
11.The Creatures Attack
12.Faster Than Light
13.Signs of Life
14.Blasting Off ft.Three Dimensional Crew
15.Dark Energy
16.Alien Invasion
17.Artifacts
18Trapped ft. Agent 216
19.Synthetic Intelligence ft. Myka 9
20.Requiem

Carlo Rustichelli – “Seduced and Abandoned” – [CAM]

Sir Cumference   12/6/2015   12-inch, Soundtrack


 
 
From the 1964 Italian comedy Seduced and Abandoned, we get that fun European mix of musical styles by composer Carlo Rustichelli (who also did Divorce Italian Style and Four Days in Naples) Some of it sounds very much like you’d expect from an Italian comedy, and you also get some spaghetti western sounding stuff, and even some cues that sound like they should be from a war film – ah, those crazy Italiano’s! Some of the tracks are incredibly short.
 
 

Dankworth, John – “The Idol” – [Fontana]

Sir Cumference   12/6/2015   12-inch, Soundtrack


 
 
 
From 1966, we get some good stuff composed by legendary jazz saxophonist Sir John Dankworth. I had only really known his work from the early series’ of the Avengers (the pre-Peel era episodes). Good mix of tracks: You get some jazzy ones, some swinging stuff, some rocking songs, even one of those cheesy vocal tracks where the don’t use words. Cleo Laine (Dankworth’s wife) sings on a couple tracks, though only credited on the first one which doesn’t actually appear in the film! Not sure if the film is any good (despite staring an Academy Award winning actress) but the music’s fun to listen to!
 
 

Strange, Billy – “De Sade” – [Tower/Capitol]

Sir Cumference   12/6/2015   12-inch, Soundtrack


 
 
This is not what I was expecting when I picked this up. I was thinking a big guitar sound from Billy Strange, but what I got was a fantastic score to a 1969 film about the Marquis de Sade – written by Twilight Zone writer Richard Matheson, starring 2001’s Keir Dullea, and even partially directed by Roger Corman! There’s some standard big orchestral stuff (Main Title), some ’60s jazz kind of feeling tracks (Wine, Women And Jam), and a couple of trippy things to make you just go “what?” (Bacchanlia) I think most people can find a little something for their likes…

 

Dance of The Reality, The [coll] – [Real Gone Music]

humana   11/15/2015   12-inch, Soundtrack

Imagine writing and performing the soundtrack music to your father’s autobiographical film. This is exactly what Adan Jodorowsky has done, and he has done it with such lovely finesse that it alternately lifts you with its whimsically happy songs and tugs at your heartstrings with the nostalgic and sadder songs. Not a one on here isn’t a winner in its own way. I really want to see this movie now, but I know I have felt it first through the music. Think lovely orchestration with piano, strings, and up and down transporting through the emotions.

Cipriani, Stelvio – “Gli Orrori Del Castello Di Norimberga” – [Dagored]

billiejoe   11/4/2015   12-inch, Soundtrack

Two disc soundtrack for one of Mario Brava’s least popular films, title translated as Baron Blood. Italian horror film came out in 1972, has castles, woods, resurrecting dead, fog, etc. Side A starts off with normal strings and drums and horn soundtrack, it’s super cheese. Even has some “lalala” vocals. Gets slower and then darker.
B is more piano and darker and “ooooh ooooh” vocals and skronky horns and then faster piano. Perhaps this is the chase scene? Side c is hand drums and wailing guitar like a hippie jam. Then it’s back to upbeat cheery horns and lalala. D is quiet hand drums and horns chilled out then an organ comes in and gives us some old tymey chills and a line of dialog in Italian I can’t make out.
Fun story from wikipedia: “The Well to Hell hoax is an urban legend that circulated the Internet and American tabloids in the late 1990s. The hoax was an audio recording of the sounds of Hell, recorded by seismologists in Siberia. The sounds in the nine-mile deep pit included yells and haunting screams for help from sinners supposedly sent to Hell. The recording, however, was later revealed to have been a cleverly remixed portion of the soundtrack of the movie Baron Blood, with various effects added.”

–Billie Joe Tolliver

May, Brian – “Patrick” – [XOZMIQ]

mouthbreather   10/28/2015   12-inch, Soundtrack

Limited re-release of the soundtrack to this movie about a comatose patient who manipulates the mind of his hot nurse.
Score consists of the airy joys of falling in love (repeating melody) juxtaposed with the murderous creepy jitters on the next track. Fall in love, murder, rinse, repeat.

Lindsay, Mark; W. Michael Lewis; Robert Houston; The Wonderland Philharmonic “Shogun Assassin: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack” [Cinewax]

Grizzly Adam   10/9/2015   12-inch, Soundtrack

the source for agent orange from cage off hiphop 12″, mix in additional sampling from here, clockwork orange or baroque half whole synth note non stagnant pools of film spools in the same wonderful worlds as a lesser bernard fevre, not trailblazing, maybe just crackle crank pop B3, or starts good but quickly sounds dated as a synth hawkwind B4 or the best track rather fine for now not a must play electro pop B5 regardless of the toho idea of edo bakufu period and occidental visions of a ghoulish vampy campy 80s rock romp synth funk halloween party psych by the end but only ends B2 or a mood music sway or swingless should have just been an ishikawa goemon mythical emotion notions not the neitherworld of repeater loop key echo without the ching chong chiny cho that is so baddass B1 instrumentals except for voice track inclusions on the is that robert redford as the samurai or wtf a confederate union drum march or the trite bodies falling and the blood remarks except sick flesh rips slash gore effects A1 but de jure the simple music theory here of traveling three note chords arpeggios pairs and progression as voice leading octave apart timbres well explored at the time has that charm without the autre A2 and still dope slow procession funeral oriental airy shit A3 and proves material like this can be played a great deal that is to say well-shit A4 realizes dada diogenes

Martin: Donald Rubinstein [coll] – [Ship to Shore Media]

Cousin Mary   9/2/2015   12-inch, Soundtrack

Martin is a 1977 vampire movie made by Pittsburgh, PA film maker George Romero, well known for his horror classic Night of the Living Dead. Composer Donald Rubinstein was 24 years old when he wrote the score which varies from modern classical to jazz and beyond. Well written and well played, the quality was a pleasant surprise to me. Instruments include voice, a string quartet, piano, vibraphone, and many others. See inner sleeve for an engaging reminiscence written in 2015 by Rubinstein and for a complete list of musicians and recording information. Creepy and ominous throughout.

Dorough, Bob – “Multiplication Rock” – [Capitol Records]

humana   6/21/2015   12-inch, Soundtrack

Saturday morning cartoons, with Multiplication Rock intervals, learning with the aid of fun music. Almost as much fun as eating the cruellers my mother left out so I wouldn’t wake her up too early. Seriously, this is a blast from the past. Side A features Bob Dorough’s child-friendly voice singing the lyrics he wrote. Side B is a bit more funky with other voices joining the mix. I can visualize the whimsical cartoons that accompanied the music. This is a great add to our Soundtrack library. Remember, zero is a hero.

Birdman (Sanchez, Antonio) – “Birdman” – [Milan Records]

Thurston Hunger   6/21/2015   CD, Soundtrack

I don’t think it’s a spoiler to say that the best actor in
Innaritu’s “Birdman” was the drummer, he stole many a scene
(snaring them one might say). Listening to Antonio Sanchez’s
work here reminds me of the old Bernard Purdie release,
although I think Purdie had a little longer to stretch.
The first “Get Ready” piece here cuts off abruptly after
91 seconds and starts informally, likely trying to emphasize
how great Sanchez is off the cuff. “Just Chatting” a mere
37 seconds feels like a whole song, your imagination starts
to bring in horns and a bassline just as it vanishes.
“Strut Part 1” brings back images of sexist cartoon
boom-chicka chicks walking. Other times Sanchez nails a
kind of crime-about-to-happen 70’s cop show feel. He really
made the film crackle and while this CD is not quite as
striking, there’s still plenty here to work with on the
radio. And it all leads up to “The Anxious Battle for
Sanity” which is maybe sliced from “Get Ready” those two
both have a faint underlying string drone that adds to the
edginess. Also it may foreshadow the lyrical, dramatic
classical pieces that close this release. Not sure how
useful these are for our KFJC vibe, but Mahler moves from
flight to staggering self-doubt as well as Keaton did.
#18 leaps like a ballet, #19 (Mahler again with Violeta
Urmana singing) breaks like the dawn. These are pieces that
strike a familiar chord and gave nice weight in the film,
contrasting nicely with the more impulsive percussion
from Sanchez which I prefer.
-Thurston Hunger

Sound of Noise ( Borjeson, Magnus ) – “Sound of Noise” – [Hybris]

Thurston Hunger   5/7/2015   CD, Soundtrack

I used to say any decent drummer would have to have
a jazz project on the side, but that was before I
knew there were opportunities as ninja terrorists
as we see in this 2010 Swedish film. Billed as a
crime-comedy is 2/3 correct, Sound of Noise is a
crime-comedy-musical. The noise here is quite
accessible KFJC-wise. An homage to Kraftwerk in
parts(check the “Doctor Doctor” tracks)? A satire
of Stomp maybe? A battle cry against muzak? The
track that starts the album is pretty plush,
the action really starts in “The Van” a motorik
number with a drummer on the lam, putting the
crash in a crash cymbal. The closing number too
might trick a listener, as the six drummers go
into hiding as a resort band (but at the very
end, we catch a clue. “The Drum Battle” was an
amazing scene. “Money 4U Honey” is a feisty heist
that truly shreds. “Fuck the Music Kill Kill”
is industrial-strength. The love theme sneaks in
here and there, the best is the Melodica version.
If anything pieces are too short likely confined
to their use in the film, each of the “Auditions”
should have been a 5 minute jam. Tons of funs,
Haydn must be tapping his skeletal toes to this!
-Thurston Hunger
If like me you heard this and then had to see the
film but now want more…here’s an early Xmas gift

Knife In The Water ( Komeda, Krzysztof ) – “Knife In The Water” – [Cherry Red Records]

Cousin Mary   4/29/2015   CD, Soundtrack

Music by Polish jazz pianist Krzystof Komeda from the soundtrack to Roman Polanski’s first feature length film KNIFE IN THE WATER (1962) and his 1960 short feature INNOCENT SORCERERSS, ending with some fine tracks of Komeda’s own compositions and some standards. After Stalin died in 1953, jazz was no longer illegal in Poland but Polanski’s film was disapproved by the regime when it came out. The tunes are very hip and cool and expertly played – a snapshot of jazz in Poland at this time and its excellence for a soundtrack. Komeda also did the soundtrack for Polanski’s film ROSEMARY’S BABY and other films.

Frank (Rennicks, Stephen) – “Frank” – [Silva Screen Records Ltd.]

Thurston Hunger   3/16/2015   CD, Soundtrack

Listened to this album and was intrigued by it, feeling
the sense of a band gathering, and the shadow of
Suicide, well Alan Vega and not Don, and then the feeling
of a different Don Van Vliet, Captain Beefheart precision
pushing his vision. All the way through it once and I had
to see the film, and was not disappointed. So the first
feeling is gone, and now these songs are attached to
memories, from the film in all its intimacy and love for the
outside artist. And a pretty nice side swipe at SXSW
that I think KFJC fans will delight in, #20 is tongue in
ear after cheek. When madness spins around, many
things go flying out ward, amps, sparks, visiting German
families….but at the heart a sweet cover of “Lighthouse
Keep” ticks the Clockwork heart. Watching the film I felt
tangents to Scott Walker and Daniel Johnston, but
apparently Chris Sievey (RIP 2010) is the more immediate
inspiration we’ve only one Frankie Sidebottom 7″ and one
Freshies track on a collection, but this fine movie is
going to keep him alive forever. Now listening to the
soundtrack surely breaks the film flash-flooding into
my memory…I’d almost recommand folks get the soundtrack
first and listen all the way through, gathering your own
idea what the film might be like before watching it.
Can’t say enough good things about film and music.
-Thurston Hunger

Shutter Island [coll] – [Rhino Records Inc.]

Cousin Mary   2/25/2015   CD, Soundtrack

The composers on this soundtrack are a who’s who of modern classical composers – very intriguing selections that provide a variety of ominous, contemplative, experimental sounds. A few tracks (Cry, Wheel of Fortune, Tomrorow Night) are popular tunes from the late 40’s and early 50’s. The last track combines the two – a mix of Dinah Washington and Max Richter – that is gorgeous and moving. Highest recommendation!

Burwell, Carter – “Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2” – [Milan]

abacus   11/26/2014   CD, Soundtrack

terrible movie great soundtrack; composer Carter Burwell has done countless films: from most of the Coen brothers movies to In Bruges, Where the Wild Things Are and even Psycho III. this soundtrack stands out as a darker, more minimal accompaniment; ambient tribal beats with ambiguously produced sampling (musique concrete or mimicry?). snapping twigs, rustling leaves grinding stones: the opening track implies the obvious that doesn’t stand out as much in the delivery. stark soundscapes verging on electronica. wiccan ceremonies

Baxter, Les – “Cry of The Banshee and Edgar Allan Poe Suite” – [Varese Sarabande Records, Inc.]

Thurston Hunger   10/23/2014   12-inch, Soundtrack


Wow., *unquiet* village here, from Les Baxter. The sidelong
“Cry of the Banshee” piece is a jarring, unsettling piece of
music to push you to the edge and over. Feels like a modern
classical madhouse, with no simple melodies to hold on to
for a moment’s security. The flip side has shorter pieces for
Poe (but alas there is not a drop of Vincent Price or spooken word
to be found anywhere, it’s all music). Some electronics and other
malevolent forces conspire. Scarier than any Halloween.
Razor blades in the orchestra pit… 1970 era, Gordon
Hessler directed. It’s a shame no film clips are included
but youtube is just….over………there.

-Thurston Hunger

Rosenthal, Laurence – “Rashomon” – [Carlton]

Belladonna   10/22/2014   12-inch, Soundtrack


Laurence Rosenthal is an award winning Film/TV/Broadway composer who is known for his work on Cinema Paradiso, Miracle Worker, A Raisin in the Sun, Man of La Mancha, Clash of the Titans (original) and even Fantasy Island. Rashomon is two short stories by Ryunosuke Akutagawa which were then adapted into the Oscar-winning film by Akira Kurosawa but THIS release is from an adaptation for the Broadway stage, using elements from the Kurosawa film that were not present in the short stories. The Broadway production stared Rod Steiger and his wife at the time Claire Bloom who are obviously not Japanese although the story is about a Samurai and his wife. The story is told from four different viewpoints which vary greatly. This is very visual and unique, quite dramatic and heavy on percussion and flute, gamelan, gongs and cymbals.