Friday Music

Hey there, cats n’ kittens….another week down, more music for ya:

Catching “Jackie Brown” last weekend, I was reminded of how much I love it. I’m a sucker for early-70s blaxploitation films, and since that was Tarantino’s main influence, it’s the reason why the film bounces back and forth with “Kill Bill” (taken as a whole) as my favorite of Quentin’s movies. Absolutely amazing soundtrack as well, with perhaps no song used to better effect than this one, which managed to convey both wistful romance and nostalgia at the same time: The Delphonics – “Didn’t I Blow Your Mind This Time.”

As per a request from that I post some more of my own compositions, here’s one of the earliest tracks that I did, which I’m still particularly proud of: @nubis – “Altered States of America.” Scary thing is, I did this before 9/11 and the subsequent change in our country….so this thing seems eerily prescient to me now.

This is an absolutely killer piece by the band Devotchka, whom I’ve mentioned here before. This is best described as Gypsy-Voilin-James-Bond-Film music, and the title alone merits its inclusion in this post. Devotchka – “Death By Blonde.”

I’m blaming for this one. She introduced me to the Playstation game Katamari Damashii (spelled “Damacy” in the US releases, but damn it, that’s not correct Japanese, so I’ll stick to the original romaji, thanks.). The game itself is a heady bouillebaise of day-glo Japanese strangeness, which I won’t go into here. The music, however, is AMAZING. The soundtrack ranges from J-pop to electronica with heavy influences of jazz and even samba. Really cool stuff. For example, here’s the main title of the game: Yu Miyake – “Katamari on the Rock (Main Theme)”

Sticking with Katamari momentarily, I also wanted to give another example — this time of the bright, bouncy J-pop variety: Yohihito Yano & Saki Kabata – “Lonely Rolling Star.” I love this one because it uses very retro-Nintendo synth sounds, which makes it sound like an old-school vidjo game, until they mix it a bit more and the vocals start. Very nice.

A question earlier in the week about the first vinyl album I ever bought reminded me of this song, from that album, and so I’m sharing it with you. It’s the lead single from the 1982 solo album of Donald Fagen of Steely Dan. The Nightfly is a brilliant album, heavily jazz-influenced, and my 13-year old brain went “YUM.” Donald Fagen – “New Frontier.”

I had previously posted a track from Rachid Taha (his cover of the Clash’s “Rock the Casbah”), and this is an excellent bit by him which appears on the soundtrack to the film “Black Hawk Down”: Rachid Taha – “Barra Barra.”

One of my favorite bits of downtempo/chillout electronica — I could listen to this all day long: Lamb – “Angelica.”

Lastly, as a “thankee-sai” to for lending me the issues of the wuxia comic book “Way of the Rat” that never were collected in trade paperbacks, here is the theme to “Once Upon A Time In China.” I thought about posting the vocal version, but since most of you don’t speak Cantonese, I went for the instrumental instead. Interesting cultural note: This music, in China , is similar to the “William Tell Overture” in America. Just as the Overture is automatically associated with the character of the Lone Ranger, this piece of music (based on a folk song called “Under the General’s Orders”) is associated with the character of Wong Fei Hong, the great 19th century Chinese hero (who actually existed). It is used in every film or television story about the character. Once Upon a Time in China – “Wong Fei Hung Theme (Instrumental)”

There you have it. Enjoy.