Cheeseburger Gothic

#The Dave. #TheSoundtrack

Posted May 18, 2015 into Music by John Birmingham

[Warning - one major spoiler for ASCENDANCE below]

This is my second time through this topic. In more ways than one. We discussed imagined sound tracks after Emergence dropped, and I wanted to return to the topic now the whole season is done. And I tried writing and filing this particular blog this morning, but foolishly did so in my browser, not a note taking app. Hit submit. Lost it all.
Sigh.
Anyways. I had two extra tracks for Emergence. Hilltop Hoods Parade of the Dead as an end title sequence. And Lean on Me by Bill Whithers for the retreat of Her Majesty’s Vengeance from an ass kickin in Now Orleans. For the other two books, the by-no-means definite track list is below. Feel free to add suggestions. At this stage it costs nothing. And there's some obvious holes. Both Trinder and Heath need theme tunes. The final battle needs something suitably sombre for poor Zach.


RESISTANCE
Bad to the Bone - George Thoroughgood (Guyuk in the Inquisitor Pits).
California Sex Lawyer - Fountains of Wayne (Prof Boylan is in da muthafuckin house).
Push It - Salt n Pepa. (The Diwan dar Sliveen gets some respect)
Walk this Way - Run DMC (Threshy gets embiggened)
Re. Your Brains - Jonathan Coulton (A negotiation at Omaha)
Shoot to Thrill - AC/DC (The Battle of Omaha)
Forget You - Cee Lo Green (Dave leaves in a huff).
Lets Get Retarded - The Black Eyed Peas (Dave parties in LA)
She Hates Me - Puddle of Mudd (Dave vs Karin at the Consulate)


ASCENDANCE
California Luv - 2Pac (Jellybean kills a Revenant Master)
Bat Out of Hell - Meatloaf (Hyper speed motorcycle ride)
Risque - Cute Is What We Aim For (Threshy has a crush)
Woman - Neneh Cherry (Karin shows Dave who’s boss)
Feelin’ All Right - Joe Cocker (Threshy at the sports bar)
Song 2 - Blur (Dave and Karen bust some heads at Grand Central)
What’s a Few Men? - Hunters and Collectors (The charge of the fire fighters)
Disco Inferno - Marcia Hines (The Sliveen torch New York)
Last Day on Earth - Kate Miller-Heike (The flight from New York)

43 Responses to ‘#The Dave. #TheSoundtrack’

Surtac asserts...

Posted May 18, 2015

The Killers. Good choice, Murph. Though the other Killers choice might be 'Flesh and Bone'.


Murphy is gonna tell you...

Posted May 18, 2015
I like it because of the religious old soul flavor of the music. I also like it because of the line, "I got soul but I'm not a soldier."

In Zach's case, being a Seal, that is technically true.

Respond to this thread

Bondiboy66 would have you know...

Posted May 18, 2015
Needs more brutal Metal, especially for the battle scenes. First tune that springs to mind for the opening salvos of big battle scenes is 'Progenies of Great Apocalypse' by Dimmu Borgir - its very theatrical music, and the opening lines are quite appropriate: 'The battle raged on and on, fulled by the hatred for man'Here's a clip of an abridged version of the song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=joEAb_y7ZYA
Honourable mentions include War of the Gods by Amon Amarth, NWO by Ministry, Thunderhorse by Dethklok.

Bondiboy66 puts forth...

Posted May 18, 2015
Ooops typo - should have read
'The battle raged on and on, fulled by the venom of hatred for man'. The venom makes all the difference.

Rob is gonna tell you...

Posted May 18, 2015
Maybe Laibach now you will pay. Although one JB is quite scathing of Laibach in Falafel and Iron Sky has taken Laibach into soundtrack making.

Respond to this thread

WarDog mutters...

Posted May 18, 2015
Led Zep, Immigrant for the horde charge at the end of Ascendance

Respond to this comment

Murphy has opinions thus...

Posted May 18, 2015
Gotta have Disturbed's Stupify.

Respond to this comment

Surtac asserts...

Posted May 18, 2015
And now I'm thinking Denis Leary's 'I'm an Asshole' might be Dave's personal theme. :)

Respond to this thread

Surtac mutters...

Posted May 18, 2015
And when I first read about Lucille singing, I kept thinking about early Nightwish, when the classically trained 3 octave range soprano Tarja Turunen was their vocalist.

Respond to this comment

insomniac swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 18, 2015
Green Day's American Idiot - Threshy on tv

Murphy ducks in to say...

Posted May 18, 2015
I gotta say, American Idiot?

Overplayed and cliched.

insomniac mumbles...

Posted May 18, 2015
Over there, perhaps ... over here, not so much, but I get what you're saying.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan ducks in to say...

Posted May 18, 2015
I don't. A classic can never be cliche.

Rob puts forth...

Posted May 18, 2015
Creep by Radiohead- Performed by Richard Cheese might fit the bill.

Respond to this thread

Therbs puts forth...

Posted May 18, 2015

Trinder - "Spy" , They Might Be Giants

Heath - "Machine Gun", Jimi Hendrix or Johnny Cash's cover of "I Wont Back Down"

"March of the Pigs" - Nine Inch Nails (the monsters attacking Annie's house)

"Soldiers Things" - Tom Waits (Zach's farewell)

Respond to this comment

GhostSwirv swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 18, 2015

As soon as Dave starts getting those thoughts about Karin - an itty bitty bit of Barry White kicks in - then cliche needle scratch when she reminds him she can read his mind.

John Birmingham asserts...

Posted May 18, 2015
OMFG! That is brilliant. I feel that with this one comment the possibility of a movie adaptation has moved considerably closer.

Lulu would have you know...

Posted May 18, 2015
Or Marvin Gaye - Let's Get It On

Ceramic mutters...

Posted May 18, 2015
This is an awesome idea! Can totally picture it.

GhostSwirv ducks in to say...

Posted May 18, 2015

All I humbly ask JB is that for Opening Night at Grauman's Chinese a few dozen rows of seats are booked for your dedicated Cheeseburgers to be as one with TheDave.

GhostSwirv reckons...

Posted May 18, 2015
A decade or so ago I heard Craig Pearce holding court about the pitching session for Romeo + Juliet with the suits.

Baz was trying to dazzle them with his take on reimaging the story as a Western, only the custom guns idea survived, but the suits weren't buying until Baz flippantly said there would be a contemporary kick-ass soundtrack.

At which point they suddenly took notice and got interested cos they could see the dollar signs due to the studios commercial ties with established recording artists and labels.

I wonder what kinda music Shane Black likes to listen to?

Respond to this thread

Ceramic asserts...

Posted May 18, 2015
I was thinking for a panning scene of the mayhem in a city there could be Mystical Machine Gun by Kula Shaker.Perhaps a montage in Ascendence swapping between Karin and Dave fighting as they go up the apartment, and the residents out fighting in the streets?
https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/peasants-pigs-astronauts/id436134324

Ceramic is gonna tell you...

Posted May 18, 2015
Ok, so I've been thinking:
Emergence: Taking a walk with EmmelineEric Clapton: River Runs Deep
Resistance:When Dave wakes after abandoning Compton and no one is on his side.Nina Simone: Sinnerman
AscendenceCity fightingKula Shaker: Mystical Machine Gun

Respond to this thread

w from brisbane swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 18, 2015
A great list of songs! Would have liked to have seen 'Take this job and shove it'.

Respond to this comment

Rob reckons...

Posted May 18, 2015
I think Swamp by Tweaker would make a good ambient soundscape for the Hunn attack on Dave's Father in Law's house. https://youtu.be/3CT7ofyt120 I could imagine the Monsters moving in slowly and the heroes making preparation for the battle with this in the background. And if not a movie, perhaps a videogame? A mixture of Morrowwind and Battlefield 4 guns and axes kicking ass royally.

Rob ducks in to say...

Posted May 18, 2015
Wrong link for swamp here's the right one http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=EM2cdnRVEEI

Respond to this thread

NBlob asserts...

Posted May 18, 2015
Pre-De-Superfication of Dave by the Empath, he & Lucille engaged with the enemy with swagger, with confidence, with Hayseed Dixie.

Respond to this comment

sibeen has opinions thus...

Posted May 18, 2015
In Dave's chopper ride out to the rig in Emergence, I thought of Parquet Courts "Stoned and Starving". A cool song which reminds me of early The Saints.

Respond to this comment

Sparty2 is gonna tell you...

Posted May 19, 2015
no love for everyone wants to rule the world Tears For Fears?Andhammer to Fall, Queen?And 'I want it all' Queen for Daves party ?

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan puts forth...

Posted May 19, 2015
Even though the three novels are chockablock with situations spawned by indecision married with a lack of vision, I'm not quite sure where Everybody Wants to Rule the World would comfortably fit within any hypothetical sound track.

Respond to this thread

ShaneAlpha reckons...

Posted May 19, 2015
For Dave's Vegas Orgy - The Chili Pepper's "I Want to Party on your Pussy"
For one of Dave's warping moments - Motley Crue "Kickstart My Heart"
For Dave and Karins embassy fight - Cold Chisel "Yakuza Girls"

Respond to this comment

Brother PorkChop swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 19, 2015
Tenpole Tudor's Swords of a Thousand Men needs to be somewhere but perhaps not obscure enough for this thread. Personally I think The Dave would be somewhat eclectic majoring in catchy one hit wonders.

Bondiboy66 reckons...

Posted May 19, 2015
Brilliant! Love that tune.

Respond to this thread

Anthony puts forth...

Posted May 19, 2015

For Dave's flight into the rig I'd suggest "Friend of the Devil" by the Grateful Dead. The protagonist is a bit of a Dave "Got a wife in Chino, babe / And one in Cherokee / First one says she's got my child /But it don't look like me" and it has a nice steady beat perfect for watching the chopper come in.


And please, speaking as a long time rider - no stinking clichéd Meatloaf. Try Bad Motor Scooter by Montrose or Iron Horse (Born To Lose) by Motörhead.

Respond to this comment

Murphy ducks in to say...

Posted May 20, 2015
I think anytime The Dave is doing his mental whining about Annie he should be hearing this song in his head performed by none other than this band.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VBmCJEehYtU

Respond to this comment

Lobes mutters...

Posted May 20, 2015
Late to the party but am loving this album by London duo Public Service Beoadcasting. The Race For Space is great mix of music, pop culture and technology. Couple of songs on here that could surely find a spot in your oeuvre JB
http://www.thefourohfive.com/music/review/public-service-broadcasting-the-race-for-space-142

John Birmingham swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 20, 2015
Added to my stack on Rdio

Surtac mumbles...

Posted May 21, 2015
And that's a second recommendation for that work that I've seen in the last few days, so it goes onto my list as well.

Respond to this thread

Guru Bob ducks in to say...

Posted May 20, 2015
I don't see Wave of Mutilation by The Pixies anywhere on the list, which is a shame given the little reference hidden away in there....

John Birmingham is gonna tell you...

Posted May 20, 2015
So true!

Respond to this thread

Lobes mutters...

Posted May 20, 2015
Future Islands would be a good band for #TheDave soundtrack. At first they come across as a pleasant indie/pop band but then their lead singer unleashes his death metal growwl at the most unexpected moment and you're like "where did that come from?!" Hes channeling something huge and evil.

Respond to this comment

Respond to '#The Dave. #TheSoundtrack'

Kate Miller-Heidke, storyteller

Posted April 1, 2015 into Music by John Birmingham

I coulda killed a guy like Jimmy. The endearing/infuriating doofus of Kate Miller-Heidke’s ‘Jimmy’ – the sixth track on last years O Vertigo – put me immediately in mind of a guy I knew way back when. Stefan. A stringy haired, barefoot monomaniac whose enormous ego was built of Violet Crumble and self delusion. I road tripped all the way from Brisneyland to Sydney with him and can recall waking in a cold car by the side of the road somewhere in New South Wales. We had no petrol. He had no money. And I was of a mind to end his life and bury the body in a shallow grave.

Yet I didn’t, and now I recall that trip and my maddening road buddy with inexplicable fondness. Or it was inexplicable until I listened to ‘Jimmy’ and found in KMH’s lyrics, almost perfect recall of a guy she had never met. But she knows the type, I suppose. The type of hipster nitwit who can’t help but imitate the barista at the Colombian coffee stand, even though he sounds nothing like the dude, and everyone is watching, and your bullshit five dollar soy chai latte tastes like shit, because Jimmy insists on coming here anyway just to work on his stand up routine.

I said ‘Jimmy, don’t embarrass me.

I don’t want a display

Everybody’s staring, see,

I’m just not in the mood today.

And so what does Jimmy say? Does he apologise or dial it down? Hell no. Guys like Jimmy and Stefan they double down, bro! They come back at you with crackbrained non sequiturs like “What you don’t know is that I have a soul full of guns.”

And the hell of it is, they do. Not just big silly fucking cartoon guns either. To live as they do requires a courage we usually get sold in a very different form. In a Chuck Norris roundhouse kick, or the industrial-scale homicide antics of a 1980s meta-hero, an action doll made up of Schwarzenegger and Stallone parts. When I heard that line – “I have a soul full of guns” – it evoked a teeth-grinding envy for a writer who could bundle up so many truths in so few words. (I’m thinking of using it as a title for the first Karin Varatchevsky ebook.)

Envy is a feeling I’ve had more than once listening to Kate Miller-Heidke’s lyrics. I like her music of course, even though I have no technical understanding of it. She is classically trained, but works in popular music, possibly because of the freedom it offers. A teacher once described her voice as ‘garden variety lyric soprano’, which seems a little sniffy and dismissive to me. But her writing? That’s my game and if I’m playing one of her albums while I work, I sometimes find myself breaking off to listen a little more closely and to wonder at the narrative strength she brings to her writing.

It’s possible to enjoy all of her albums as collections of short stories, with all of the meaning, both surface and buried that comes packed in a really well written piece of short fiction, even a tale as unsettling as the suburban horror story she tells in ‘Sarah’, on Nightflight, the album that preceded 2014’s O Vertigo.

A cold read of Sarah’s lyric sheet threads the disturbing through the familiar – an old Stephen King technique. At the ’97 Livid Festival a girl goes missing. The close and familiar and safe, the playful and adventurous – “Stripy tights and fairy wings” – turned quite literally to creeping dread and mounting panic when the singer “turned around” and found her friend no longer there. The Hilltop Hoods, also great story tellers, talk of panicking on stage “like you lost a child” and that runaway panic accelerates through “Sarah” as wider and wider searches find nothing, until the police fish a blue dress out of a creek the next morning. It is a difficult song to listen to, not because it’s not beautiful, but because it so beautifully realises the horror of loss which most of us might experience for only a few seconds or minutes in our lives. Until the missing loved one pops back into sight. See if you can listen all the way through without goose bumps.

She is a pop artist though, and so darkness must be buried, even banished with light or with ironic shading at the right moment. “Drama”, again from O Vertigo, is another favourite character study, perhaps because it’s narrator, surely a late stage evocation of Lindsay Lohan, is so perfectly suited to the foot stomping tempo. “Lose my shit”, a much quieter but no less droll examination of desire, is possessed of a humour so dry it puts my martinis to shame, and most of that wry power comes not from the circumstances of the song, but the deadpan constraint of Miller-Heidke’s delivery.

I’ve always been more taken with story than character though, and it was story for which KMH first came to wider notice. Teen angst and doomed love are staples of pop music, but “Caught in the Crowd” drills deep under the usual surface details – girl meets boy, stuff happens, Just Like In A Taylor Swift Song! – to mine a deeper and more valuable emotional ore. With a few neat pen strokes she gives us an impressionist sketch of the course of true love totally not running smooth.

There was a guy at my school when I was in high school

We'd ride side by side in the morning on our bicycles

Never even spoken or faced each other

But on the last hill we'd race each other

When we reached the racks we'd each go our own way

I wasn't in his classes, I didn't know his name

When we finally got to speak he just stared at his feet

And mumbled a sentence that ended with 'James'

The awkwardness, the pain and reward of revealing just a little of the self, a tentative connection and it’s utter ruin in the face of cruelty and weakness asks us to acknowledge all of the terrible shitty things we have inevitably done in our own past. Wrapping it up in such a perky little pop song makes repeated play-throughs a strangely pleasant and compelling ordeal, like probing with the tip of your tongue at the raw wound of a tooth recently knocked out. There are those of us who never manage to pull off a story with the honesty of “Caught in Crowd”, even given hundreds of pages and hundreds of thousands of words.

How the fuck anyone does it in a few verses, I don’t know.

But I thought the one who might know would be Kate. I emailed her late last year, wondering if, when she’s putting an album together the tenor of the whole collection inspires the stories, or whether the stories themselves arise independent of any deeper wellspring. There’s a lovely quirky positive energy to a song like Jimmy, for instance, despite the exasperation, and the song is as much a character study as a narrative arc. That energy doesn’t so much change as mature into a really sardonic getting of wisdom by the time Lose My Shit rolls around. I found myself intrigued by all of this, because for a novelist the writing all takes place under one big sky, even when you’re breaking it down into shorter moments.

“So, long story short, what happens when you write an album like Vertigo? Are you deliberately creating a new world, or letting a lot of smaller, unique worlds emerge from each song?”

She kindly wrote back that with Nightflight, the album as a whole was its own world. “We tried to thread it through with stories about decay, light, darkness and death. It's quite a creepy album in some ways.”

(I remember Abe saying something like that here shortly after it came out. Like me, he found it very difficult to listen to Sarah.)

On the other hand O Vertigo! was mostly written by just Kate alone, and she didn't pay any attention to making it a coherent album.

“I didn't want to over-think anything, it was a much more instinctive process. Each song was its own world. Themes did emerge. A lot of it was about asserting myself, my 'voice' (both meanings), and generally being unashamed, being playful. Plus love and heartbreak of course. A lot of the songs were written while walking so it has a kinetic energy. It can be hard to tell a whole story in a song - mostly it's more like lifting the curtain for a couple of seconds, and each listener interprets the scene in their own way. I know 'Jimmy' means different things to different people. I know what the songs originally meant to me, but after I've been performing them for a while, sometimes I forget, because I've heard so many different interpretations from people.”

This is the defining experience of telling stories, of course. Once you let them out into the world, they’re not really yours anymore, they belong to whoever listens to them and in a very real sense there are as many versions of one story as there are people to listen to it or read it.

18 Responses to ‘Kate Miller-Heidke, storyteller’

Andy Dent mumbles...

Posted April 1, 2015
Fond memories of being in the audience when she confessed which role she had actually played in the back story to the Facebook Song (AYFKM?). I admire and often enjoy her work but it will never ever ever, be background muzak.

Respond to this comment

Bill Dezell reckons...

Posted April 1, 2015
I write fiction, not songs. I've sent many people with questions about how to fit a lot of story into a small word count to KMH's lyrics. This is especially true of Caught in the Crowd, Sarah, and Fire and Iron.

Respond to this comment

Chaz swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 2, 2015
Really love "Sarah" it is a true horror story as you say.

Respond to this comment

Surtac is gonna tell you...

Posted April 2, 2015
Saw her live here in CBR some years back - a good show as I recall.
Better go buy me some albums ...

Respond to this comment

JBtoo puts forth...

Posted April 2, 2015
She is amazing. Nice piece.

Respond to this comment

JG asserts...

Posted April 2, 2015
Kate is an exceptional singer-songwriter. I love her classically trained voice (amazing) and her beautiful, witty lyrics. Some of her songs have given me cause to reflect on decisions and actions I've taken in the past. She's certainly a wonderful storyteller.
I saw Kate perform at Brisbane's Powerhouse a couple of years ago, and own two of her albums ('Curiouser' and 'Nightflight'). Her song 'Sarah' is chilling and I've been too scared to listen to it a few times at night alone. Spooky stuff. There are a few other dark songs, but also some lighter, humorous tracks in the two albums. That song about the boy who doesn't fit in at school is sad and yes, captures the awkwardness of youth and regret. I like the mix of light and dark songs.
Kate's created too many good songs to mention, but I particularly like End of the World (which perfectly encapsulates a time in my life), and Ride This Feeling. Funny how music (particular songs) bring back memories.
Kate's voice is, as I said, beautiful: transcendent. She has the voice of an operatic angel, but she can also sound tough when she grinds out the hard-hitting stuff. Yep, Kate's an actress and storyteller through her music.
I have to be in a certain mood to listen to her songs (not always perfect running music, although some songs are right for that). It's a gorgeous journey with Kate. What a wonderful Australian talent.
Joanna

Respond to this comment

Abe Frellman would have you know...

Posted April 2, 2015
Bravo, JB. I think she is just wonderful. As hard as Sarah is to listen to, I still can't help but flash back to Albion Heights circa 1986 every time I hear Caught in the Crowd, despite the fact I have heard it a thousand times. It can even evoke the smell of sweat, blood and dirt that stings the nostrils as it fills them, still causing me to gasp nearly 30 years later. I have small list of 'favourite Australian taxpayers' I think about on the hardest of days, when I feel like tossing it in and returning to the private sector. You two are both on it.

Respond to this comment

Rob reckons...

Posted April 3, 2015
Saw KMH at the Corner a few weeks ago with Damian Cowell's Disco machine. It was a big night , she has an amazing voice live.

Respond to this comment

Spanner ducks in to say...

Posted April 6, 2015
Arrrrgh! I wanted to rant and rave about Jimmy and his bullshit lines. I had a visceral urge to stab at my keyboard, the jam down the caps lock and motherfucking shout that Jimmy didn't know shit and his "soul full of guns" wouldn't last three days humping a pack...
Then I read the rest of the the blog post and I stopped shouting. Jimmy has nothing to do with this.
I'll go give her a listen and maybe just maybe I'll learn not to get all angried up in the blood over an intro because maybe the writer is trying to take me somewhere through the prism of their experience so they can introduce me to something else.

Respond to this comment

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan mumbles...

Posted April 6, 2015
"the writer is trying to take me somewhere through the prism of their experience so they can introduce me to something else."

Who would ever want that? Not me. I consider it extremely rude and alarmingly presumptuous that any "writer" would even attempt such a thing.

Respond to this comment

Darth Greybeard has opinions thus...

Posted April 6, 2015
"Presumption, thy name is Boylan"

NBlob would have you know...

Posted April 6, 2015
See, now I'm confused. I assumed it was Paul Nasty Boylan. Perhaps Narssisic. Probably not Neat. I knew it couldnt be Naughty or Nervous. Then he told me "In Greek, I'm half Greek you know, we spell Danger with an N." Now His wrinklyness says Presumption is in there somewhere?

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan reckons...

Posted April 7, 2015
There are those who say that the dishevelment I display is endearing. I
cannot name anyone specifically who so holds, but I am sure they are out
there somewhere.

As for the Grey One's implied accusation, I can
say with high confidence that I have never attempted, directly or
indirectly, to take anyone through the prism of my experience to reveal
anything at all. I know this is true because I fabricate virtually all
of the personal experiences I've ever written about - except my story
about being chased by a pack of feral dogs in Oslo, Norway back in 1988.
That happened.

And the only possible revelation derived from that experience is advice to never embarrass a stray dog in public: he or she may have friends that will chase you into a public lavatory and not let you out until the authorities and local news media arrive.

NBlob reckons...

Posted April 7, 2015
Not helping with the confusion. Your disheveled appearance may be disarming, may lull one into a false sense of security, but endearing not so much. I suspect this to be a double blind where one states "oh no I made all that up" in an attempt to throw off investigators, or at least to metaphorically brush one's tracks with a branch. And embarrassing dogs is only entertaining when they started it, like when my old black lab farts in her sleep. Or in a Really Boring place like Helsinki. I have it on good authority that there is always something happening in Oslo. There's something deeper going on here.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan would have you know...

Posted April 7, 2015
Why won't anyone believe me when I say that I always lie? Is it because I'm black? Is that it?

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan is gonna tell you...

Posted April 7, 2015
I admit perhaps slightly stretching the term "endearing."

NBlob swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 7, 2015
Ahh, N for Noir.

Respond to this thread

Erin is gonna tell you...

Posted April 8, 2015
Thanks for this great article! I keep suggesting her music to everyone I know in hopes that she will become as big as she deserves to be, as big as her music is.

Respond to this comment

Respond to 'Kate Miller-Heidke, storyteller'

Emergence sound track

Posted January 13, 2015 into Music by John Birmingham

Rob Henry has tried his hand at book reviewing, having a tilt at Emergence here.

Towards the end he reveals his punk rock roots with a kicking little track list that would make for a metal-heavy soundtrack when the movie premieres.

I've been slowly building up my own playlist for the series, but won't release it until all three books are out. Until then, enjoy Rob's Emergence movie soundtrack:


‘New Orleans is a Dying Whore’ by Down. Intro song, title and director credits.
‘The Great Southern Trend Kill’ by Pantera. Helicopter ride to the rig on the crap worn out seat with the mean civilian cat lady pilot.
‘Wake Up! Time to Die’ by Pop Will Eat Itself. The memories of the last night of hookers and blow.
‘Weekend Warrior’ by Ministry. The first fight with the Hunn when Dave brains the orc with Lucille.
‘Where Eagles Dare’ Misfits cover by Biohazard. Where the SEAL team assemble to move Dave and meet the oversized scout.
‘One Shot One Kill’ by Pro-Pain. The fight scene with the Scout.
‘Surface Paradise’ by Root! As Dave travels via car, background noise on the radio.
‘Nemesis’ by Shriekback segueing into NWA on the car stereo. The Hunn coming up through the sewers in New Orleans and getting royally confused by baseball caps.
‘Guns for Show, Knives are Pro’ by Parkway Drive.For the Hunn.
‘Sheep in Black’ by the Clowns. Dave eating while thinking about his brother and the military men surrounding him.
‘Get the Girl, Kill the Baddies’ by Pop Will Eat Itself. End Credit sequence

14 Responses to ‘Emergence sound track’

Surtac asserts...

Posted January 13, 2015
Shriekback's 'Nemesis' has always been one of my favourites. Must go play it now!

Respond to this comment

damian mumbles...

Posted January 13, 2015
It's a long story caused by the relative capabilities of my new old car, but it left me making a MP3 CD. So I found myself putting 130 or so tracks on a CD in a random order. Sure this actually required writing a short program to treat the randomisation fairly, but anyhow it does mean I made a car playlist of 130 tracks in an order guaranteed to be random.

"Why is this relevant to Dave?" I hear you ask. Well, with totally random order the very first track ("Track 01") ended up being 'Pretty Paracetamol' by Fischer Z.

Respond to this comment

pi is gonna tell you...

Posted January 13, 2015
Needs more trance.

Therbs puts forth...

Posted January 14, 2015

Dave would definitely not be a trance kind of guy.

Rob puts forth...

Posted January 14, 2015
I imagine Dave listens to the Bloodhound Gang, much to his wife's ongoing disgust.

John Birmingham would have you know...

Posted January 15, 2015
Totes. They're on his gym playlist

Respond to this thread

Dirk has opinions thus...

Posted January 14, 2015
Hmm there should be room for the following:
ACDC - Highway to hell
Johnny Cash - The man comes around
Wolfgang Mozart - Requiem in D (for the Tarantino slomo killing)
Kayak - Ruthless Queen
Meat Loaf - Seize the night
Nightwish - Over the hills and far away.


Respond to this comment

Barnesm would have you know...

Posted January 14, 2015

Dave W would have you know...

Posted January 14, 2015


+1


;-)

insomniac asserts...

Posted January 14, 2015
I like what you have to say.

Respond to this thread

Barnesm mumbles...

Posted January 14, 2015

less is more


Respond to this comment

NBlob mumbles...

Posted January 14, 2015
Barber's adagio in D minor would be Most Excellent for the Slow Mo smashing.

Respond to this comment

insomniac is gonna tell you...

Posted January 14, 2015
No Wipe That Shit-Eating Grin Off Your Punchable Face by the Smith Street Band?

Respond to this comment

Rob ducks in to say...

Posted January 14, 2015
I don't do Smith Street, maybe Bomb The Music Industry 'Congratulations John, on joining Every Time I die'

Respond to this comment

Respond to 'Emergence sound track'

Taylor Swift, Helen Razer, the Cold War goes hawt

Posted November 3, 2014 into Music by John Birmingham

I gave Helen Razer my old targetting computer from the primary hovercraft. She used it to overwhelm Taylor Swift's air defence grid with a snark missile swarm:

1989, Ms Taylor Swift’s lauded new synth-driven reverie, is not the sort of album one can quickly dismiss. And this is why I set aside all of the weekend to dismiss it. You may not have this sort of time to disburse on comprehensive loathing for on-trend popstrels refigured by the orthodox rock press as “important”. As such, I have prepared a range of objections to Swift’s music, Swift’s persona and Swift’s uncritical critics for your easy use.

But, if you don’t even have time for a crib, here’s a spoiler: they all suck. They suck the end right out of history.

Perhaps the most irritating thing about a record that exhumes and then robs from the corpses of the very best of ’80s pop is that, at times, I quite like it...

19 Responses to ‘Taylor Swift, Helen Razer, the Cold War goes hawt’

Lulu puts forth...

Posted November 3, 2014
"Of course, forty-somethings who are affronted by the theft of their dismal Euro-disco are not Swift’s target audience"

Indeed we aren't.

Respond to this comment

Bunyip is gonna tell you...

Posted November 3, 2014
"...a kind of tasty girl power to young women who easily mistake low-calories snacks for the meat of feminism."?

Must remember to send Ms Razer a couple more ammo bins for that chain gun. +1

Respond to this comment

BigWillieStyle puts forth...

Posted November 3, 2014
Who's Taylor Swift?

Respond to this comment

insomniac mutters...

Posted November 3, 2014
I always assumed the gold hovercraft was your only one and now I find that its just your runabout. What's are the others constructed of? Platinum? Xenon?

Respond to this comment

w from brisbane would have you know...

Posted November 3, 2014
I have been following Taylor Swift's career for some time. I thought her last album, Red, was good and stood up well against most of the more artistically favoured thinking person's folk-pop.

Now with her new album, the praise has been extremely enthusiastic. Springsteenesque has been used regularly. Grantland's very thumbs up review, amongst other references, likened her to: Springsteen, Paul McCartney, Haim, Lana del Rey and Jan Hammer.

All somewhat ridiculous, of course. It is a formulaic pop album but with evidence of a coherent intelligent 'auteur', and she is hot, and the music is so accessible. The desire to treat her like Coleridge just shows the intensity of the desire to take the 'guilty' out of the guilty pleasure. Not that the pleasure should be 'guilty', they should just enjoy it, if they like it. It is quite good pop.

w from brisbane reckons...

Posted November 3, 2014
Aarrgh! I don't know why it is in italic

Bangar mumbles...

Posted November 3, 2014
Someone's being playing with the HTML again ;)
Closure people it's necessary for us all.

DNABeast mumbles...

Posted November 4, 2014
Some one did something odd. I've fixed it now.

Respond to this thread

insomniac mumbles...

Posted November 3, 2014

Respond to this comment

MickH puts forth...

Posted November 3, 2014
Who's Taylor Swift?
Is Helen Razor her house cleaner?

Respond to this comment

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan asserts...

Posted November 4, 2014
Most people don't know this, but Taylor Swift is a direct descendent of Jonathan Swift, the author of A Modest Proposal. Early in her music career, Ms. Swift's parents actively suppressed this information because they were concerned that it would offend her mostly anti-intellectual Southern American Yahoo audience that lacks the sense of irony necessary to appreciate - if not merely understand - Jonathan Swift's work. However, with Ms. Swift's recent successful forays into the broader popular music market, I suspect she will now be more open about ancestry.

Darth Greybeard mumbles...

Posted November 4, 2014
ISWYDT. "Yahoo" audience indeed.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan asserts...

Posted November 4, 2014
Thank you for noticing.

Respond to this thread

JBtoo has opinions thus...

Posted November 4, 2014
Haters gonna hate hate hate hate hate hate

Respond to this comment

beeso has opinions thus...

Posted November 4, 2014
Hmmm Taylor Swift vs Razer. That's a hard fight to pick sides on.

Respond to this comment

Halwes asserts...

Posted November 4, 2014
Taylor Swift is very, very hot and therefore should be accorded the respect she deserves ! Razer would wipe the floor with her in a fight though although I suspect that Helen's bodyguards wouldn't quite be up to the standard of Ms Swifts

Respond to this comment

Josh mutters...

Posted November 4, 2014
Thanks for posting this article. I miss the Razor/Robins days. Possibly showing my age here.

Respond to this comment

pi swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted November 4, 2014
I thought one of the critiques of that piece by Ms. Razer in the comments was pretty bloody good.

<cite class="fn">"
Graham Clark</cite>


Nov 4, 2014 at 4:53 am</a>


Leaving aside Helen Razer’s non-comprehension of Taylor Swift – or
Lady Gaga, for that matter, whom Camille Paglia understood perfectly –
let it be noted that ’80s pop songs about “the shadow of a nuclear
winter” were pulp fantasies about a war that everybody should have known
was never going to happen after 1962, if not sooner, made by artists
and for listeners who had pretensions to politically consciousness, but
were too slow, too intellectually cowardly, or too much on the wrong
side to recognize the real horror of the 1980s: that being, of course,
of course the rapid progress of neo-liberal political leaders within the
developed world, and their rich sponsors, in demolishing the checks on
the power of the rich and the protections for everybody else that had
been built up over the previous five decades."


Respond to this comment

DNABeast is gonna tell you...

Posted November 4, 2014
What a joyless shrew. Heaven forbid we enjoy music that speaks about human interaction rather than "big world events".

Respond to this comment

Respond to 'Taylor Swift, Helen Razer, the Cold War goes hawt'

Why Greybeard still loves the chanting of Druids

Posted August 14, 2014 into Music by John Birmingham

I listen to a lot more music now I have a streaming account. Listen to a lot more and pay for a lot more than I did as a teen. I wasn't no torrent freak of course. They didnt even exist then. I just didn't have much money.

I've often wondered why the new music which I find now, and which I love to play still doesn't seem to embed itself in my imagination or memory or even affections the way the music of my youth did.

Slate has the answer. Whole thing's worth a read, but the take away:

Between the ages of 12 and 22, our brains undergo rapid neurological development—and the music we love during that decade seems to get wired into our lobes for good. When we make neural connections to a song, we also create a strong memory trace that becomes laden with heightened emotion, thanks partly to a surfeit of pubertal growth hormones. These hormones tell our brains that everything is incredibly important—especially the songs that form the soundtrack to our teenage dreams (and embarrassments).

On its own, these neurological pyrotechnics would be enough to imprint certain songs into our brain. But there are other elements at work that lock the last song played at your eighth-grade dance into your memory pretty much forever. Daniel Levitin, the author of This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession, notes that the music of our teenage years is fundamentally intertwined with our social lives.

“We are discovering music on our own for the first time when we’re young,” he told me, “often through our friends. We listen to the music they listen to as a badge, as a way of belonging to a certain social group. That melds the music to our sense of identity.”

59 Responses to ‘Why Greybeard still loves the chanting of Druids’

Therbs reckons...

Posted August 14, 2014
It probably is largely to do with the development of it the adult brain, self. It's also about what you heard in the early days of your driving career, first dates, first gigs in pubs and the albums you bought or copied as a result. And yeah, Back in Black is one of the awesomest bits of guitar riffing evaah!

Respond to this comment

Spanner puts forth...

Posted August 14, 2014
I'm going to resist a cheap shot at Greybeard* and address the main premise of the article.

Man I hope that article is wrong. I know it applies to me but I hope it doesn't apply to Mr17 because his music is crap. I don't just mean that in a get off my lawn kind of way. I mean his hardcore music is total shit and I'd hate for him to be thinking that it's awesome later on in life when it sounds like Cookie Monster being fed into a wood chipper.

*it hurt to do that. Maybe I'm not feeling well.

Respond to this comment

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan has opinions thus...

Posted August 14, 2014
I cannot commiserate. Like you, the older I get - and the more disposable income I acquire - the more music I listen to, most of it totally new to me. But unlike you, this new music gives me the same feeling, makes the same connection, that music gave and made when I was younger.

I admit that all of my life I have been dead inside, which may explain this singular phenomenon. But my point is that, as I age, the void in my spiritual being where a soul should be is the same void that was there when I entered this miserable, doomed world; it hasn't gotten bigger or worse with time. I don't feel more dead inside than I did when I listened to that last song played at my eighth-grade dance and tolerated the blind idiots shuffling all around me.

So the passage of time hasn't prevented me from discovering, and enjoying the hell out of, the Cat Empire and Florence and the Machine, to name a few.

Barnesm ducks in to say...

Posted August 14, 2014
I too find I am listening and remembering the 'new stuff' with the same intensity I recall the old.

Surtac swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted August 15, 2014

Me too. Especially non-mainstream stuff, specifically more Americana, alt.country stuff ie. stuff that you'll rarely if ever hear on commercial radio. Examples? Avett Brothers, Alabama Shakes, the Killers, the Gaslight Anthem, even Celtic punk bands like the Dropkick Murphys or Flogging Molly.

Respond to this thread

DarrenBloomfield is gonna tell you...

Posted August 14, 2014
As a child of the 70s/80s I "streamed" a lot of music, via apps* like "7HT" and "7HO". I also "torrented"** a lot, via a data storage device called a "cassette recorder". Always ahead of my time, even then.

* radio stations
** taped


Respond to this comment

Aaron mutters...

Posted August 14, 2014
Well I always figured there would be a chemical side linked with puberty but for me it has always had more to do with time to engage and absorb it. The older you get the less free time you get so you end up going for what you know. The portability of music had improved my exposure but still, browsing time is precious.

Lulu asserts...

Posted August 14, 2014
I very much agree about the importance of time to engage and absorb it.

Respond to this thread

Quokka reckons...

Posted August 14, 2014
Well that does explain why I long for an ouzi whenever the Bay City Rollers come over the PA in the chum aisle at Coals.

Spanner would have you know...

Posted August 14, 2014
Nah that's just your garden variety homocidal mania there. Nothing to do with music.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan would have you know...

Posted August 14, 2014
Isn't it the source of persistent rumor that music of any kind puts Auntie Q into a homocidal rage?

damian ducks in to say...

Posted August 14, 2014
I was about to say that surely it's bouzouki music that would lead to homicidal mania and reaching for an ouzo, but realised I'd misread.

Dick mumbles...

Posted August 14, 2014
I think Q misspelled Uzi if it's homicidal mania.

Timmo reckons...

Posted August 15, 2014
I was unsure if the longing was for an Uzi or an Ouzo... either way it's worrying..

Respond to this thread

Spanner mutters...

Posted August 14, 2014
Err Paul anybody who discusses the "rumor" is soon found beaten to death with a cake spatula. I'm not saying that there is a connection but would you prefer a flowers or a donation to a charity at your funeral?

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted August 14, 2014
Flowers are always thoughtful.

Respond to this thread

Quokka has opinions thus...

Posted August 14, 2014
No Cake For You.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan would have you know...

Posted August 14, 2014
There never was any cake for me. Sure, a bolognese, perhaps. Some spanner crab, sure. Some bugs (it goes without saying). But cake? Never. Certainly no cheese cake. New York style.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan mumbles...

Posted August 14, 2014
Well, there was a pavlova. But is pavlova, technically speaking, cake? Don't think so.

insomniac puts forth...

Posted August 14, 2014
That popular New Zealand invention is not a cake.

Cakes go hard when stale, and biscuits go soft. Pavs go soft, or dissolve perhaps, so a biscuit might be closer to the truth.

Respond to this thread

insomniac reckons...

Posted August 14, 2014
For those of us around your age there is also the period between our teens/early twenties and now, ie the 90s and early noughties, where lots of music was just shit

Respond to this comment

Bunyip mutters...

Posted August 14, 2014
This may explain my visceral dislike of Disco and New Romantic music...
Apart from the fact that it's crap.

Respond to this comment

DrYobbo is gonna tell you...

Posted August 14, 2014
As a doctor, I'd point out this piece is a couple of degrees removed from Actual Scients (a Slate article about a popular science book about some actual research) and conclusions are to be taken with grains of salt as with most MSM scicomm. I'd also point out it can't explain Beeso's demented lust for terrible Strayan skip-hop as that wasn't invented back then.

Bunyip asserts...

Posted August 14, 2014
But, Disco is still bad, yes?

Bunyip mutters...

Posted August 14, 2014
Ergo, life is bad?

Barnesm mumbles...

Posted August 14, 2014
I too was trying to find the published peer reviewed studies that this story was relying on and came up wanting.

beeso would have you know...

Posted August 15, 2014
Thats cause unlike your puny minds, i have the ability to enjoy music made AFTER 1980.

Respond to this thread

Miss Maudy mutters...

Posted August 14, 2014
I haven't found much Young People's Music that I like enough to buy. The offspring spend their pocket money on iTunes, but the one plus about the personal music player is that *I* don't need to listen to their musical taste. However, I do subject them to mine. Loudly. Bit of New Romantic, bit of nineties angst, bit of seventies cock rock, smidge of the Blues, touch of punk, dash of jazz, bit more nineties angst and some hippy dippy stuff. I always thought my lack of music from the ougties was due to cash flow issues rather than it just being crap generally, but maybe I didn't hear anything I like? (Loving DoubleJ sick though. I've even written down songs I like. Maybe my musical taste won't stop in the nineties?)

Respond to this comment

pi has opinions thus...

Posted August 14, 2014
I don't listen to the same music I did as a kid. In fact, there isn't much music I listen to today that is older than two years old. Very little at all older than five.

Reckon some people are just nostalgic and/or get set in their ways.

Respond to this comment

Halwes would have you know...

Posted August 14, 2014

And here I was thinking that it was the very excellent purple haze and American clearlight that seared The Dark Side of the Moon, Animals and Meddle, absolutely note perfectly, into my addled brain.

Respond to this comment

Darth Greybeard would have you know...

Posted August 14, 2014
Druids? Pffft.

Deus Vult! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eC-JKId3SoA
Or as we like to say. "Two men, one horse."

Respond to this comment

Halwes ducks in to say...

Posted August 14, 2014

The other sound that I still love from my youth is didgeridoo ( Yidaki) music. A lot of people don't get the didge at all but the sound of a didge drifting over a still Arnhem Land evening is still really comforting to me. I really miss Manda strumming his guitar while we sang old creedence songs on the beach while the boys played clapsticks and Yidaki.

Respond to this comment

BigWillieStyle mutters...

Posted August 14, 2014
Music died the day Indecent Obsession broke up. I know it, you know it.

Respond to this comment

JG would have you know...

Posted August 14, 2014
Interesting article. Music is wonderful and I still love the music I grew up with: music from the 60s, 70s, and 80s. I even like some music from the 90s. I have a mixture of all this music bought from iTunes (along with a few old CDs), but I've also bought music I'd never have listened to in the past - music from the 00s. This contemporary music doesn't have the musicality of music I grew up with, but I've grown to like it, and much of it was bought purely for the beat: it's good running music.

I need music because I listen to it while I walk and while I run. It's part of my life. I have made several playlists according to my mood and the pace I feel like walking or running at at any particular time. Have named these playlists 'Running', 'Running Beat', 'Ministry of Sound - Fast', 'Pace', 'Chillout', 'Relaxation/Instrumental', and 'Spoken/Inspirational'. Listened to my 'Running Beat' playlist during my debut marathon last month. Of course, I can always just hit 'Songs' to play all songs (shuffled) when I don't know what I want. I only have 1,097 songs on my iPhone, built up over the past couple of years. I still love this music, even after hearing the same songs over and over.

I find that certain songs remind me of particular moments in my life; of certain memories, people, friends, concerts, encounters, situations. Music is etched into memories. It's as important, if not more so, than other things that remind me of my life - photos, smells, tastes, and so on.

I'm looking forward to discovering new music throughout my life, but I'll remain faithful and always in love with the music I grew up with - particularly music from about age 10 to 30.

Joanna G

.

Respond to this comment

Dino not to be confused with puts forth...

Posted August 14, 2014
JB when I was a little kid they shoved electrodes up my ass and played Suothern US ROK.
The they had the temirity to question me.
1971

Dino not to be confused with has opinions thus...

Posted August 14, 2014
I think it ws Tesla who said iof u give a man a hammer he will masturbate,
If you teach him how to make a hammer he will not understand

Halwes reckons...

Posted August 15, 2014

Dino, Cool it. You are being a wanker. My advice is don't say anything about other people's kids because it will make people like me want to punch you. Your point about the current Palestinian genocide isn't even being well made. I'm sure that you could really put an intelligent view on the subject if you put your mind to it. Try it sober. There are criminal acts being perpetrated on both sides and children are being killed and maimed every day with the vast majority of them being Palestinian.

Dino not to be confused with asserts...

Posted August 15, 2014
Punch me halwes.
I drew a moustache on the dality telegraph 'liftout about Elle.
Herad the dAmned?
Eloise?

Dino not to be confused with ducks in to say...

Posted August 15, 2014
On mon cheiree!
You are an old hag.

Dino not to be confused with ducks in to say...

Posted August 15, 2014
OMG I met an old hag once.

Dino not to be confused with has opinions thus...

Posted August 15, 2014
BUt OMFG
I danced with Jessica at a concert!
No shit.

Dino not to be confused with is gonna tell you...

Posted August 15, 2014
Iso cyanates.

Dino not to be confused with swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted August 15, 2014
The damage is permanent.
Data file corupted.
Compiler fucked.

Dino not to be confused with would have you know...

Posted August 15, 2014
Punckh ne holly.
Have ashor swordfisk.
Then die.

Dino not to be confused with swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted August 15, 2014
Sorry Halle not Holy.
Black sluts in Bomnds movies don't belong.
Send them back to the holes.

Dino not to be confused with swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted August 15, 2014
OMG they got these black bastards to work the mines then they made one a President.
Keep the Coolies happy.
Give them some watermelon..

Dino not to be confused with ducks in to say...

Posted August 15, 2014
Andvanced Weapons reaearch,
1967.
I was rthere.

Halwes has opinions thus...

Posted August 16, 2014
What's your address?

Dino not to be confused with mutters...

Posted August 16, 2014
Ch ch chains

Respond to this thread

Barnesm has opinions thus...

Posted August 14, 2014
Does this explain why Awesome Mix tape 1. from the Guardians of Galaxy is Number one album on the US Billboard charts?

Dino not to be confused with has opinions thus...

Posted August 14, 2014
Maybe Barnes,
If potential dfffre'ces are something.
What is pD?

NBlob reckons...

Posted August 18, 2014

Brigadier. I must be tactful as I'm typing this from the other side of the Pacific, but it may say a great deal about the differences between our great nations that while GotG soundtrack may be leading the US charts, The Might Mighty Hilltop Hoods lead Australia's charts.

http://www.ariacharts.com.au/chart/albums

I strongly recommend the track Cosby Sweater, featuring the line "pounding on Bush, like 70's porn." Double Plus gold I tells ya.

Also a side note, it is not proven that humans had evolved sufficient Larynx and hyoid bone to chant when Kahn Greybeard was a lad. He was probably more into the rhythmic beating of an Ass's jaw bone. or something.

Respond to this thread

beeso mutters...

Posted August 15, 2014
Trolling Dr Yobbo aside, I think Spotify and its pals have really changed that mental block of only listening to the favs. Now i can drift through wormholes of "this is like what you are listening to", without having to drop serious coin to do so.

There is nothing like buying an album to discover that the rest of the album after the song you liked is trash to prevent you wanting to branch out.

pi reckons...

Posted August 16, 2014
Spotify has changed me. I have a mammoth music collection that I effectively haven't touched since I got it. Hell most of the music I listen to is freely available anyway (mixes and such) but I STILL prefer to use spotify.

Respond to this thread

sibeen puts forth...

Posted August 15, 2014
For those who complain about what the yoff of today are listening to, what about educating them.

I have and my ten year old daughter's favourite song is Flannagans Ball by the Dropkick Murphys.

It may take time and patience, but young minds are easily molded.

pi reckons...

Posted August 16, 2014
My boy's favorite song is pump it by the black eyed peas.

Respond to this thread

Aaron puts forth...

Posted August 15, 2014
Stuff like spot iffy allows you to discover like good radio stations allowed you to do. Before most of them got eff'd in the A by consultant driven. commercial radio. I am about to become a parent and if I can teach them anything, it's a hatred for commercial radio.

Respond to this comment

Respond to 'Why Greybeard still loves the chanting of Druids'

Tom Lehrer profile

Posted April 10, 2014 into Music by John Birmingham

Buzzfeed has become a shorthand joke for everything wrong with online churnalism. But that's unfair. They do some great long form work. Including this piece on one of my favorite musical satirists, Tom Lehrer. His total canon consists of 37 songs, and yet he towers over the 20th Century, or at least that part of it concerned with musical satire.

If you're Lehrer fan you'll thank me for this link. If not, I pity you.

Lehrer then incorporated Lehrer Music, bought the rights to the record from Trans Radio, and began selling it by mail order through P.O. Box 121 at the Cambridge post office. He rented an empty room on the second floor of his rooming house, hired Harvard freshmen to help him with packing, and trudged down to the post office every Monday for months to send shipments.

By 1954 — when he was trying to avoid the draft by working for a defense contractor — he had sold 10,000 records. He had also quickly dissolved Lehrer Music, of which he was president, in December for “various reasons,” among them: “Certain stockholders objected to the president’s face.” He gave up and shipped off to Fort Meade in 1955, an early officer in the National Security Agency. (He is believed, during that time, to have invented vodka Jell-O shots.) By the end of the decade, he had sold 370,000 records.

14 Responses to ‘Tom Lehrer profile’

S.M. Stirling swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 11, 2014

"Poisoning Pigeons in the Park" alone earned him deathless fame.

"I just make zem go up

Where zey come down

Zat's not my department

Says Wehrner von Braun

Nazi, Schmatzi, says Wehrner von Braun."

Respond to this comment

Respond to this comment

w from brisbane swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 11, 2014

For more Tom Lehrer, there was a very good radio interview on Radio National's 'The Music Show' back in 2006. Unfortunately, now just the transcript is available. I listened to it live at the time. Tom was bubbly and engaged, which is not always the case as he can be a bit over talking about something he gave up 40 years ago. But this interview was fun and informative, Maybe the fact that the interviewer, Andrew Ford, is a doctor of music and a respected modern classical music composer helped pique Tom's interest, plus, as Tom plugs, his 3 CD boxed set had just come out.

Click on 'Show Transcript' on this page
http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/musicshow/tom-lehrer/3344656#transcript

Respond to this comment

Bondiboy66 would have you know...

Posted April 11, 2014

My ex's mother was a big fan. And I one of my diggers in the Army knew most Tom Lehrer songs and would sing them at random times....mind you the same chap knew The Internationale also and happily sang it when playing enemy on excercise.

Respond to this comment

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan asserts...

Posted April 11, 2014

When I was growing up in Chicago, every kid in my neighborhood knew the lyrics to all of these songs:

Be Prepared
Harvard Fight Song
I Hold Your Hand in Mine
Irish Ballad
Lobachevshy
Mlf Lullaby
My Home Town
National Brotherhood Week
New Math
Poisoning Pigeons in The Park
Pollution
Send The Marines
Smut
The Elements
The Irish Ballad
The Masochism Tango
The Old Dope Peddler
The Vatican Rag
We Will All Go Together when We Go
Wernher Von Braun
Who's Next?

Only now do I realize how odd that was.

damian would have you know...

Posted April 11, 2014

National Brotherhood Week in particular, for some reason, has been a central component in my concept of comparative religion for as long as I can remember. Also, Vatican Rag is still the core of my mental model for Catholicism.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan puts forth...

Posted April 12, 2014

The Vatican Rag is musically funny, too, being a parody of Ragtime. Lehrer was not just a funny man, he was an amazing composer.

My personal favorites, at the top of my list, are The old Dope Peddler, I Hold Your Hand In Mine and the Harvard Football Fight Song.

Come on, chaps, fight for Harvard's glorious name.
Won't it be peachy if we win the game?
(oh, goody!)
Let's try not to injure them, but
Fight, fight, fight.
And do fight fiercely.
Fight, fight, fight.

Respond to this thread

Guy has opinions thus...

Posted April 11, 2014

When my Dad was young he had to smuggle a copy of Tom's record into his parents house as they didn't approve of this "awful man". When I was the same age we were performing Tom's songs in charity shows. They still make me smile.

Respond to this comment

Bunyip reckons...

Posted April 11, 2014

"... I often feel like a resident of Pompeii who has been asked for some humorous comments on lava.

F'ing golden. Ta JB.

Respond to this comment

Respond to this comment

Ian Slinger has opinions thus...

Posted April 11, 2014

"If you're Lehrer fan you'll thank me for this link."

Thank you for that link.

My introduction to Tom Lehrer was unwittingly via The Captain Matchbox Whoopee Band in the 70's and the enthusiastic rendition of The Masochism Tango on their Australia album. They even did a rendition of it on an ancient ABC late night music program called Radio With Pictures where I seem to recall Microphone Mic Conway was beating other band members with a string of sausages. Good times.

It wasn't till years later that I joined the dots with other pieces of music and realised it was Tom Lehrer underlying them all. This article actually fills in a lot of the gaps.

Respond to this comment

AuntyLou asserts...

Posted April 11, 2014

Thank you so much JB. I needed this reminder. I was introduced to TL by a boyfriend's sister back in the 70's. I had a lovely friend from a very Catholic family that I introduced to "The Vatican Rag". She loved it so much that she took to to her youth group...thank Dog for young, hip priests who didn't nominate her for instant excommunication! I guess I love most how often TL songs are still relevant. My husband is a little bit sick of how often I sing the bit from "Send the Marines"..."then might makes right/ until they see the light/ they have to be protected/ all their rights protected/ 'til somebody we like can be elected!"

Respond to this comment

Rob would have you know...

Posted April 14, 2014

brillianrt, Must try and get a CD,

Respond to this comment

Darth Greybeard is gonna tell you...

Posted April 15, 2014

Love Tom Lehrer. One of our favourite ways to traumatise the kids in their teens was for the Beloved and I to do a duet of The Masochism Tango. With props. Eventually they all learned to love Lehrer too. Can't wait to corrupt another generation.

Respond to this comment

Respond to 'Tom Lehrer profile'