Thursday, March 16, 2006

Theme Music for SF Fans

Weekend Assignment #103: List the songs you'd play to kick a party into gear. You can choose up to five. And if you want to explain why those five, that's good too. It can of course, be any kind of music from any era -- and it can be any kind of party, too. Hey, it's your party. You're in charge of the jukebox, my friend.

Extra Credit: Name the song to play to start winding down the party.

Hmm. This is kind of a left field entry for me - somebody's else's left field, not the home team's. I don't throw parties very often, and when I have, it's always been a holiday party of some sort for Whovians and suchlike. Science fiction media fans, in my experience, tend to be more interested in what's on the tv than what's on the stereo. Consequently, I have never, to the best of my memory, played music at a party - except for whatever music happened to be on the soundtrack of the videos I popped in.

With that in mind, I present soundtrack music for an sf media party:

Journey of the Sorcerer - The Eagles. This banjo-and-orchestra instrumental has been the theme music for The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, ever since the original radio show, all the way through to, well, the radio show. Yes, it was also in the BBC tv series, and there was a version of the song in that mostly awful 2005 film; but 2005 also saw the last series of Hitchhiker's on BBC Radio. That's a more fitting capper to the franchise - and the song - than somebody's cover of the song for the film. It also makes a good intro/warm up to an sf party.

Back in Time - Huey Lewis & the News. One of two Huey Lewis songs from the Back to the Future soundtrack, Back in Time is just a good 80s rocker, and more referential to the film than the hit, The Power of Love. I love it when Huey says, "Get back, Marty."

Fate's Wide Wheel - Scott Bakula. If you're a leaper, you probably love this track; otherwise you've probably never heard of it. Written by Velton Ray Bunch, with uncredited lyrics by Chris Ruppenthal, it's from the Quantum Leap episode "Glitter Rock." A more complete version was later recorded for the Quantum Leap soundtrack CD. I once made a music video of the short version, played through twice; but that was several VCRs ago, and the videotape won't play the dubbed music track any more. Scott really doesn't have a heavy metal voice, but he pulls off this power ballad quite well.

Doctorin' the TARDIS - The Timelords (a.k.a. the KLF). This is a Doctor Who-themed version of the Gary Glitter song Rock & Roll, Part 2. I've actually heard it on the local NPR station a few times.

Buffy Theme - The Breeders. This is a kick-butt version of the Nerf Herder song that begins each episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. John gave it to me for my iPod, and I like it a lot.

If my guests would let me, I'd follow all this with all the music from the Buffy episode "Once More with Feeling," from the CD of the same name. I love, love, love Joss Whedon's songs from the "Buffy Musical" episode, including The Mustard. The entire lyric of that song, sung by producer David Fury, is as follows:

They got the mustard out!
They got the mustard out!

Who wouldn't love a heavy metal rant against bunnies, or a "book number" with wordplay like this:

When things get rough, he
Just hides behind his Buffy.
Now look, he's getting huffy
'Cause he knows that I know.

I frequently play this entire soundtrack (excluding the scores from other episodes) on my iPod. I did it just today, in fact.

Yes, I know: where's Also Sprach Zarathustra? Where's the original Star Trek theme? My answer: Eh. We might get to them in the course of the evening, but they're not my favorites. However, I do have a Kunzel/Cincinnati Symphony CD of sf themes, including those two. It was the first CD I ever bought. On the other hand, I don't even own any of the Star Wars soundtracks.

Extra Credit: Louis Armstrong's What a Wonderful World ends the Hitchhiker's series beautifully. It may as well end this hypothetical party, too. And if people don't leave after that, I'll play clips of Angel (David Boreanaz) singing off-key karaoke for Lorne at Caritas.

Oh, by the way, we don't have a stereo set up, except for our two iPods and the speakers and amp for the tv. So what I can't play on DVD, I'll play on the computer using iTunes. That's okay, isn't it?



DesLily said...

how about music from Close Encounters of the Third Kind?..

no star trek? Oooooooo lol

Becky said...

LOL I love it! I have the original Nerf Herders version on my iPod right now. I'll have to check out the Breeders version. Hey! Isn't there a way to share music from one iTunes user to another?? I'd love copies of your SciFi musical library. :-) p.s. I am in the process of downloading the first season of Lost for my iPod. That is one show I haven't had the chance to watch/figure out.

Georganna Hancock said...

I'd play my tape of music from "Twin Peaks". Doo-do-doo-do-do-do, well you know the theme or you don't. I love all those tunes!