Friday, November 17, 2017

Artificial Radio Hour with Rev. Dr. Dr. Phil Part 47

Hey folks!

A bunch of mostly electronic, mostly synthetic, mostly soundtrack stuff this week.

I have a heck of a lot of stuff like this, so this might be part one of two. Sorry to anybody who was expecting a week of turkey-themed music…

Evangelos Odysseas Papathanassiou is known professionally as Vangelis. He has released his own albums but is primarily known as a soundtrack guy. He got an Oscar for “Chariots Of Fire” but I prefer his Blade Runner soundtrack. There are multiple versions of that movie, so there are similarly multiple versions of the score. The one these cuts are from is called the “Definitive Edition”, whatever that means. I’ve edited the first three tracks of the album together as one track.

Magic Sword is a mysterious masked trio from Boise, Idaho. They haven’t done any movie scores yet, but I first heard them in a trailer for Thor: Ragnarok. They do make comic books for which their music serves as a score, so there’s that.

Smgsap is another group from the Soundwalk, this time 2004. Their piece was just about the right length to fit under Jesse Thorn’s dramatic recitation of M.O.P.’s “Ante Up”. I was originally going to set that to music, but someone else did already.

Director John Carpenter is one of the only directors I know who composes (and performs) the score for his own big-budget Hollywood movies. I have a few of his scores, many of them made in collaboration with sound designer Alan Howarth, but the main title from 1981’s Escape From New York kept going through my head so I had to include it here.

Wendy Carlos is yet another “electronic music pioneer” (apparently my fave type of musician). She is mainly known for the album “Switched-On Bach” from 1968. This album, performed on a Moog modular synthesizer, sold over a million copies and is credited with popularizing the synthesiser as an instrument. That recording led to her scoring the Stanley Kubrick films A Clockwork Orange and The Shining. The latter experience proved so unpleasant that she vowed never to work with the director again. Tron’s director was presumably nicer.

Clint, Travis, Justin, and Griffin McElroy. Photo by me.
The Adventure Zone is one of my favorite podcasts (for my other faves see the relevant blog posts). It’s three brothers playing Dungeons & Dragons with their dad. Griffin McElroy, the youngest brother, is the DM (Dungeon Master) writing the story and controlling the fates of Justin (oldest) Travis (middlest) and Clint (dad). In its earliest episodes it was kind of just an “out of the book” adventure, but pretty soon Griffin began expanding the story. One of the things he started to do was include original music. Inspired by Mort Garson (whose “Deja Vu” served as the theme of the show), Griffin’s electronic compositions added a depth that was also reflected in the increasingly complex and exciting storyline. I really can’t recommend the show enough, it’s really a top-notch ride from start to finish. Also it’s hilarious.

illustration by Oliver Barrett
Mort Garson was a Canadian-born composer/arranger/session musician in the Sixties, but my favorite works of his are the albums he recorded on the Moog synthesiser. Starting in the late Sixties, Garson was one of the many to release Moog records following the success of Switched-On Bach. His were among the best, which is why he kept making them throughout the Seventies alongside his (presumably better-paying) work for record companies and movie studios. This track is from Mother Earth’s Plantasia, a 1976 album of

“full, warm, beautiful mood music especially composed to aid in the growing of your plants”

I don’t know how effective it was. We recently got a Spathiphyllum so I figured this would be a good track to choose. I think it sounds like a game show theme, which makes sense because Mort Garson composed some game show themes.

The Hour Of Slack clip, featuring Rev. Ivan Stang, Dr. Howland Owll (aka Dr. Hal Robins), and Rev. Baby Bear speaking at X-Day, has its own background music so I didn’t add anything but some echo and reverb. I liked the discussion of “admitting it’s all BS” which is like breaking kayfabe. I don’t know who the “Wiccan couple” might be, but Stang does reveal that John Keel was privately candid about the Mothman’s existence. It’s also hilarious but not surprising that Stanislav Szukalski totally believed his schtick.

Stranger Things is an almost quilt-like sci-fi series on Netflix, in that it's asembled from pieces of other works. Depending on your familiarity with the source material, you can play spot-the-influence with the show, which I’ve heard annoys some people but doesn’t bother me.The music is an example of that, drawing heavily on the moody synth soundtracks of John Carpenter. This is the extended version of the opening title theme, which echoes (is echoed by?) the Magic Sword track that follows.

TONTO is an acronym for "The Original New Timbral Orchestra", called “the first, and still the largest, multitimbral polyphonic analog synthesizer in the world” although there is some dispute. It is certainly enormous. Tonto's Expanding Head Band was British duo (Malcolm Cecil and Robert Margouleff) who only released two albums but were quite influential through their work with other musicians such as Stevie Wonder.

That basically covers it for this week! Let me know what you think by leaving a comment or reply wherever you’re reading this. Talk to you next week!


- Rev. Dr. Dr. Phill

Opening/The First Test/Los Angeles, November 2019 - Vangelis (1982)

The Way Home - Magic Sword (2015)

3.13 - smgsap (2004)

Jordan Jesse Go Ep. 411: Night Pees with Alison Rosen 1/18/2016

Main Title [Escape From New York] - John Carpenter & Alan Howarth (1981)

Theme from Tron - Wendy Carlos (1982)

The Elevator of Tomorrow - Griffin McElroy (2016)

Swingin' Spathiphyllums - Mort Garson (1976)

The SubGenius Hour of Slack #1592 - For a Few Stark Fistfulls of Dollars More 10/16/2016

Voidfish Duet - Griffin McElroy (2016)

Kill Them All - Magic Sword (2015)

The Starblaster - Griffin McElroy (2017)

Stranger Things (Extended) - Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein (2016)

The Curse - Magic Sword (2016)

 Ferryboat - Tonto's Expanding Head Band (1974)

 Deja Vu - Ataraxia (Mort Garson) (1970)

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Part four of my podcast list. The last part.


(that doesn’t mean they’re not good)

Alison Rosen Is Your New Best Friend - A twice weekly podcast hosted by veteran interviewer and everyone's new best friend Alison Rosen featuring surprisingly honest conversations that are equal parts silly, serious, revelatory and sometimes involving a sombrero. Plus an eternal quest to find out if that thing you think or do is normal in a segment called "Just Me or Everyone?" -
Baby Geniuses - Baby Geniuses is a show for people who know stuff and people who don't know stuff, but would like to. Every week, comedian and super-genius Emily Heller and cartoonist and mastermind Lisa Hanawalt, challenge their guests to share some knowledge on any topic they want. -

Cocktail Enthusiast - Cocktail Enthusiast is an exploration of cocktails and spirits, mixology and drinking culture, and provides discerning readers with cocktail recipes, liquor reviews and drinking news. This podcast will bring you booze industry professionals and highlight the current state of the spirits industry. -

FanBrosShow - The Fan Bros Show are the Multicultural Maestros. Fan Bros discusses the week in geek while keeping an ear to the street for the topics and controversies that affect the world of fandom--all from the perspective of people of color. Show hosts DJ BenHaMeen and Tatiana King Jones serve as the cultural guides for this unique show, along with a revolving cast of guests that run the gamut of industries--from hip hop and politics, to comics, movies, television and video games.  -

The Flop House - Funny Talk About Film Flops. A comedy podcast examining the worst in recent film. With your hosts Elliott Kalan, Dan McCoy, and Stuart Wellington. -

The Greatest Generation - A Star Trek podcast by two guys who are a bit embarrassed to have a Star Trek podcast. We're reviewing Star Trek: The Next Generation from start to end! New episodes on Mondays and Wednesdays. Now with Deep Space Nine, & occasionaly Discovery! -

House to Astonish - Paul O'Brien (The X-Axis) and Al Kennedy (One Hundred Days of Comics) present a roundup of comics news and reviews, with nary a 'meh' to be heard. Also featuring the Official Handbook of the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe and more. -

Inside the Desert Oasis Room - Fun conversations with artists, musicians, entertainers, historians and more in the tiki, hawaiiana, island, surf, lowbrow and alternative cultures! -

Into It with Elle Collins - A podcast about everything you love. Each week Elle Collins and a guest discuss a different pop culture topic. -

Journey Into Misery - Journey Into Misery is a podcast that seeks to explain complicated comics characters, continuity and concepts to a patient and perpetually perplexed newcomer to the medium  Hosted by Kieran Shiach, with permanent second-chair Helena Hart. -

Just One More Thing: A Podcast About Columbo - Hosted by R.J. White and Jon Morris

The JV Club with Janet Varney - Remember what it was like to be an awkward teenager? And remember how some things haven't really changed that much for you since then? Join proud dork Janet Varney as she explores the highs and lows of the bygone years with some of her favorite women as they talk their way through the terrible teens into adult-lescence. Warning: This Podcast Contains Sincerity. I only listen to episodes with guests I know, which tends to be the male guests during the "Boys of Summer" shows. They're great, though. -

LESS THAN LIVE with KATE OR DIE - A bi-weekly podcast about comics from all angles. Join New York Times best-selling comic creator Kate Leth as she discusses the world of comics and what she's been up to lately. Kate answers questions from listeners and she interviews her friends and favourite creators in the comic industry. So join her on this journey into geek culture! -

Lou Reads the Internet for YOU! - Lou Reads the Internet for YOU. Giving voice to stuff you didn’t want to hear or know about. -

The Midtown Comics Podcast! - Straight From The Worlds Most Famous Comic Book Store. Midtown Comics is the largest retailer of comics, graphic novels, manga, and collectibles in the U.S.! It only makes sense that we have a weekly podcast featuring interviews with the hottest comic creators, debates on the best books of the week, trivia segments, and musical interludes! What's more? Listen to win prizes and have your comic questions answered each week! -
Minority Korner - Stop on by Minority Korner, a new podcast, every Friday. We'll visit neighnborhood Korners like: good ol race korner, the gender fun korner, sexy ass LGBTQIIALMNOP (there's a lot of letters there) korner, pop culture korner, politics korner, nostalgia korner, all from the lens of these two crazy minorities. Learn. Laugh. Play... like Blue's Clues! Only... more Black, Queer, and Lady Like! -

National Cynical Network Archives -
3-hour themed mixes, pretty fun & weird. SubGenius-affiliated. That link isn't good, try this one:

SILENCE! - Cosmic comic book discussion and songs from Gary Lactus and The Beast Must Die of - 

Wait, What? - A fortnightly podcast about comic books, graphic novels, and pop culture, past and present. -
You Are Not So Smart - You Are Not So Smart is a celebration of self delusion that explores topics related to cognitive biases, heuristics, and logical fallacies. David McRaney interviews scientists about their research into how the mind works, and then he eats a cookie. - 

Podcast list part 3!


A Bit Of A Chat With Ken Plume - FRED Entertainment - Ken Plume - Ken Plume loves to chat. Even more so, he loves to chat with people he finds interesting – really, the only criteria worth mentioning. In "A Bit Of A Chat With Ken Plume", he brings those conversations with interesting people to you, the listener. - Great, depending on the guest. It was too long, too often for me to continue.

Bunker Buddies with Andie and Travis - Join us every Wednesday as we take on every single Apocalypse scenario we (and YOU) can think of! We have no idea what we're talking about, so it'll probably get pretty weird. So, hunker in our bunker and let's survive this thing together! - Another McElroy-related show. It turns out that the hosts' charm didn't make the subject as interesting to me as I'd hoped.
Crybabies - Writer Susan Orlean (The Orchid Thief, The New Yorker) and actor Sarah Thyre (Strangers with Candy, Late Night w/ Conan O'Brien) co-host CRYBABIES, a deeply funny, often intimate, and surprisingly moving podcast about the things that make us cry. Each episode features guests of every creative stripe - writers, actors, musicians, comedians - who discuss the music, books, movies, television, and other cultural cues that make them weepy. These candid conversations with your favorite artists make CRYBABIES an original, must-listen podcast. - The quality varies with the guests.

David Feldman Show - Heard nationwide on Pacifica Radio -Some of America's best comedians, comedy writers, authors, journalists and professors come together for long form conversation. - It used to be more comedy and less politics, but now that it's on Pacifica, well...

Denzel Washington Is The Greatest Actor Of All Time Period - Comedians W. Kamau Bell & Kevin Avery are absolutely certain of one thing: Denzel Washington is the greatest actor of all time. And every week they will prove it as they talk Denzel with guests, share the latest "Denzel News" and review every Denzel movie - Good, but then again they're all good.

Doug Loves Movies - Comedian Doug Benson (Super High Me, Last Comic Standing) invites his friends to sit down and discuss his first love: movies! - Quality varies depending on the guest, and the audience. (LA audiences are better, usually).

The Dork Forest - Dork on Dork Dialog with Jackie Kashian. I am interested in whatever dorky thing you want to talk about. Guests speak to their love of books, TV, Movies, Comic books, websites, food, wrestling, cars, action figures and bees. There is room for all in The Dork Forest. This is a safe space. - Another great show that puts out more episodes a month than I can deal with. 

Escape Pod - The Science Fiction Podcast Magazine - Another show I wish I stil had time for. -

Extra Credit! - Extra Credit is a fan podcast of The F Plus. Unlike other fan podcasts, this podcast is also about people reading terrible things found on the Internet - mainly the stuff The F Plus hasn't touched for one reason or another. - Not as good as the original. -

Flash Forward - A show about possible and not so possible futures. From space pirates to conscious robots to the end of antibiotics. Hosted by Rose Eveleth. - Good, but not enough to hold me when I'm looking for podcasts to trim out of my listening schedule.

HOME: Stories From L.A. - A podcast about home, from the place where the land ran out - I only liked a few of these, including some they did about the port.

James Bonding - Matt and Matt. Bond over Bond. Matt Gourley and Matt Mira love James Bond so much they decided to make a podcast about it. Each episode they invite a guest to dive deep into one movie from the greatest film franchise known to man. - I dropped off once they had covered every movie. They've started making new episodes, but I haven't jumped back on.

Nerdist Comics Panel - Ben Blacker (co-creator, The Thrilling Adventure Hour; Deadpool v Gambit) and Heath Corson (Bizarro; King's Quest) host a rotating roundtable of comics professionals to discuss the process and business of writing comic books. - Also a fantastic show, but I only found myself enjoying the interviews with older creators, or episodes where Len Wein (R.I.P.) was a guest. I skipped more than I listened, so it had to go.

The Paul Goebel Show - If you love TV, you must listen - I was so behind, I couldn't hang, so I gave up.
Pop Rocket - Pop culture discussion with Guy Branum, Wynter Mitchell, Margaret Wappler and Oliver Wang. - Again, I was so behind the times, that this became so out of date (for me) that I couldn't keep listening.

RISK! - If you like The Moth, This American Life or Snap Judgment, take a walk on the wilder side with RISK! - Good storytelling show, but it was't enough to hold me.

RiYL - Cool people, neat stuff - Longform conversation with musicians, cartoonists, writers and other creative types. Quality varies depending on the guest.

Rock Solid - Rock 'n' roll all night ... and party once a week! Hosted by Pat Francis, Rock Solid is the comedy/music podcast that brings you music “both new and classic," plus lots of laughs and musical guests. Joining the fun are Producer Kyle Dodson and Pat’s hilarious rotating Co-Hosts: April Richardson, Mike Siegel, Christy Stratton and Murray Valeriano. - This is another one that was sometime great and sometimes not. -
Still Buffering - A sisters' guide to teens through the ages. Join sisters Sydnee McElroy, Teylor Smirl and Rileigh Smirl as they delve deep into the teenage mind and answer all their pressing questions. - This is a great McElroy-related show, but again I found myself skipping it more often than not.

Tights and Fights - Tights and Fights is the podcast that covers pro-wrestling with the sincerity and hilarity that it deserves. Every week, hosts Hal Lublin, Danielle Radford and Mike Eagle make sense of the chaos that is the world of sports-entertainment. Whether it's the latest headlines, a cultural analysis of an old angle or a debate about which wrestler has the best merch, Tights and Fights will examine every corner of the squared-circle for your enjoyment. - This is a great show, but I found I'm not into wrestling enough to listen to an hour a week. -

We Got This with Mark and Hal - Definitive Answers to Impossible Debates - Every Wednesday Mark Gagliardi and Hal Lublin (Drunk History, The Thrilling Adventure Hour, Welcome to Night Vale) take the dumb issues in life that people care too much about and settle the argument once and for all. No topic is too small or insignificant for them to dissect and decide! Whatever minutiae you argue with friends and family, don’t worry: We Got This. - This one is better when there is a guest, but there weren't enough guests for me to continue.

Welcome to Night Vale - Twice-monthly community updates for the small desert town of Night Vale, where every conspiracy theory is true. Turn on your radio and hide. Never listened before? It's an ongoing radio show. Start with the current episode, and you'll catch on in no time. - This is great, but I just listen to too many shows.
Word Balloon Comic Books Podcast - the comic book pop culture conversation show - It's a great show, depending on the guest, but it's very long. I had to bail.

The Writers Panel - The Writers Panel series is an informal chat moderated by Ben Blacker (co-creator of the Thrilling Adventure Hour; writer for Supah Ninjas, Supernatural, among others) with professional writers about the process and business of writing. Covering TV, film, comic books, music, novels, and any other kind of writing about which you'd care to hear. - It was only good if I'd seen the show, and if they talked about a show I wanted to see but hadn't yet, I had to save it for later. Eventually I gave up. -
WTF with Marc Maron Podcast - Get all your WTF needs at - I like Marc but his personality started to grate. Also he started putting out more than one episode per week, which was too much for me.