Tuesday, November 07, 2006


Thanks for stopping by the Great Star Wars Synchronicity Project, one nerd's attempt to find an album that synchs up with Star Wars in the same way Dark Side of the Moon synchs up with The Wizard of Oz.

Although the GSWSP is not over, regular experimentation has stopped for the time being. This gargantuan waste of time will not officially cease until the album that yields at least sixty synchs with Star Wars (the same number as DSOTM and Oz) is discovered. To date, the album with the most Star Wars synchs is Green Day's American Idiot (standing tall at thirty-five).

If you have any questions, please consult the F.A.Q. Once you're hep to this synch jive, check the Experiment Index to see if any of your favorite albums or artists have been spun in that galaxy far, far away. Thanks again, and may the Force be with you.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

An Announcement from James Greene, Jr.

Okay, I'm back, and I have something to tell you. While I was vacationing with my friend John this week, I missed my girlfriend, I missed my computer, but I didn't miss doing experiments for this blog. Now that I've returned, I still don't miss them. I'm not feeling terribly eager to sit down with five albums next week, or the week after that, or the week after that. I guess what I'm trying to say is, after almost a year of doing this, my enthusiasm has faded.

The idea of synchronization still intrigues me, and I do still hope to one day find the album that matches up with Star Wars in more ways than any other; however, I don't want to do this every day anymore. More like every so often, or every once in a while. There are other online endeavors I'd like to pursue. I'm really interested in starting another blog, one that isn't so specified. I'll probably start working on that in the coming days.

No matter what other e-crap I undertake, the GSWSP will definitely stay up and running for a long time. People seem interested, and hey, it's not like it's costing me anything. So, whenever I feel the urge to try some experiments again, or if I acquire an album I've been dying to play with Star Wars, I will do so and update this space accordingly.

Thanks for understanding. I appreciate all your support. May the Force be with you.

Friday, September 29, 2006

The Night Vader Went Crazy



Star Wars (1995 "Faces" VHS).


Bad Hair Day by "Weird Al" Yankovic. Contains "Amish Paradise," in which Yank refers to Amish children as "Amettes." I don't know if this is a real term; if Al invented it, than what further proof do we need that he is (as Kurt Cobain famously tagged him) a rock genius?


- The phrase "won't you come?" in "The Alternative Polka" coincides with a shot of R2-D2 rolling toward Luke and C-3PO after the robot auction.

- Luke complains about being stuck on Tatooine as the line "I think I'm cracking up" is heard in "The Alternative Polka."

- The chorus of "I'm So Sick of You" ("I'm so sick of you") is heard as Luke walks out on his Uncle Owen after their argument.

- Luke is looking at his dead relatives as the line "the body count's rising, and everyone's wondering why, Santa, why?" is heard in "The Night Santa Went Crazy."


Vally inteleschting...baht schtoopit!

My friend Chris Shields loves to point out how "Weird Al" isn't really all that weird. Oh, how he loves to needle me with that one.

"Come on, Jim. What's so weird about the accordian? What's so weird about slip on shoes? Nothing! 'Hardware Store,' Jim? Come on! That's not weird!"

Keep in mind this is coming from a guy who toured the east coast simulating an entire rock band with his mouth under the name "Mr. Transylvania." Now that is weird, much weirder than "Fat" or "Eat It" or pretty much anything "Weird Al" has ever done. I'm sure even "Weird Al" himself would admit to that.

However, compared to the average Joe iPod on the street (who most certainly does not simulate entire rock bands with his mouth under nonsensical names), "Weird Al" is, in fact, quite weird. He's weirder than my dad, he's weirder than Joe Namath, and he's weirder than your mailman.

Furthermore, "Weird Al" is just a nickname. Sure, he may not be weird by everyone's standards, but the doubters would also be forced to admit that Andre the Giant was not actually a giant but in reality just a really tall fat guy. In the same vein, the aforementioned Joe Namath has never spent any time onstage in a Broadway production, despite carrying the nickname "Broadway Joe."

I guess the point of this rant is shut up, Chris.

I'm sorry, man, I don't mean to dog you here. I just gotta stick up for my man Al. You'd know how I feel if we were talking about your homeboy Paul Naschy.

I'm taking next week off from the GSWSP because my friend John Piacquadio is comin' into town and he's gonna help me party down. That means no new experiments until October 9th. Sorry, synch nuts. I might post one or two things next week just for the heck of it (stories or news or such). We'll see. I might be too busy drinking liquor out of a coconut shell and wearing oversized novelty sunglasses.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Spatula Death Star



Star Wars (1995 "Faces" VHS).


The original motion picture soundtrack to UHF, the hilarious 1989 feature film starring "Weird Al" Yankovic, Kevin McCarthy, Victoria Jackson, and Michael Richards. Al pads out the tunes from his first movie (which is hilarious, by the way) with riffs on R.E.M., Fine Young Cannibals, and the Rolling Stones. Not quite as entertaining as the movie (again, hilarious), but fun nonetheless.


- The line "pleased to meet you" in "The Hot Rocks Polka" coincides with R2-D2 looking around for the first time at the other weird droids trapped in the sandcrawler.

- The line "I'm just walkin' down the road" in "Generic Blues" coincides with a shot of a small droid rolling slowly past Luke and C-3PO as they discuss R2-D2's whereabouts.


The UHF soundtrack closes with Al's classic meandering country ballad "The Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota." Yes, that's a real thing, and yes, I've been there. In fact, I'm wearing my souvenir Twine Ball shirt right now (it has an outline of Minnesota behind the phrase "Land of 10,000 Lakes and...LARGEST BALL OF TWINE MADE BY ONE MAN - Darwin, MN"). It's a couple of hours west of Minneapolis, right smack dab in the middle of nowhere. You know where Tom Hanks and Helen Hunt lived in Castaway? It's kind of like that, only with more grass and trees.

All the photos I took while I was there came out kind of crappy, so I won't bother posting them. They don't really convey the majesty of seeing it in person, anyway. That damn thing could kill people if it ever got loose from its pagoda. Yep, if you ever find yourself with some time to kill in the Twin Cities area, I'd highly suggest checking the Twine Ball out. Just be sure to watch out for tractor trailers. Unless you're livestock, they don't stop in those parts. Almost had a replay of that Metallica video out there.


Wednesday, September 27, 2006

I Want a New Dewback



Star Wars (1995 "Faces" VHS).


Dare to Be Stupid, "Weird Al" Yankovic's 1985 offering that boasted "Like A Surgeon," "Girls Just Want to Have Lunch," and the landmark title track. Also includes "Yoda," Al's parody of "Lola" sung from the perspective of Luke Skywalker. Funnier than it sounds.


- The phrase "I can hear your heartbeat" in "Like A Surgeon" coincides with C-3PO looking up to the ceiling, reacting to the noises he hears coming from outside the Tantive IV.

- R2-D2 is seen rolling away into the desert by himself as the line "well, I heard that you're leaving" is heard in "One More Minute."

- Al inhales sharply at the end of "One More Minute" at the same time the tube sucks R2-D2 up into the sandcrawler.

- The camera is on Luke as the line "I'll be playin' this part 'til I'm old and gray" is heard in "Yoda."


The title of this experiment is a play on "I Want A New Duck," which is Al's stinging parody of the Huey Lewis & the News song "I Want A New Drug" (found, obviously, on Dare to Be Stupid). It should be noted that I hate "I Want A New Drug" with a passion so blindingly intense that it prevents me from enjoying any aspect of "I Want A New Duck." I don't know what it is about that song. I guess I just hate ugly white people who musically advocate casual drug use.

Ironically, I have no problem with the indirect "Drug" ripoff song "Ghostbusters." This is probably because:

A) before "Huey Lewis: Behind the Music," I had no idea either song were related (and I probably never would have known had I missed that special, because I really go out of my way to avoid "I Want A New Drug")

B) I love songs about ghosts sung by black men and

C) "Ghostbusters" makes me think of the awesome movie it was written for, Ghostbusters.

Put that in your beaker and ponder its existence, Mr. Wizard.

I got Straight Outta Lynwood yesterday. I'm enjoying it so far. Like all Al albums, there are a couple clunkers, but for the most part it's smooth, enjoyable, giggly sailing. It must be good if I'm playing it indoors (as opposed to just rocking it in the car), breaking my usual aural apartment cocktail of computer hum and muffled neighborly discourse. Oh, and birds, too. The birds in my area like to chirp all night and day. It's like they get paid by the whistle.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Midnight Star Wars



Star Wars (1995 "Faces" VHS).


"Weird Al" Yankovic in 3-D. The album that made "Weird Al" a household name, thanks to the mega success of "Eat It." Everybody I knew growing up had a copy of this one - from Kevin Ryan, the kid I was friendly with in fourth grade who moved to Massachusetts, to Kevin Greene, my cousin from Massapequa with the feathered mullet. It was omnipresent, like Santa Claus or the threat of nuclear annihilation.


- The phrase "the big surprise" in "Nature Trail to Hell" coincides with the camera panning across the burnt out Lars homestead to reveal the charred bodies of Owen and Beru.


Well, at least I got to listen to In 3-D, one of my top ten favorite albums of all-time.

Oh, the memories that came alive in my head during this experiment: blasting the Yank on my walkman during long car rides through rural New York; my Osh Kosh B'Gosh bed comforter, upon which I would sit and tap my foot when I listened to the Weird One at home; putting on Groucho glasses and my mom's old wig to simulate the "Weird Al" costume kit seen in The Compleat Al; renting The Compleat Al six million times from the video store down the block (they should have just sold it to me); wondering if I would one day "own half of Montana" just like "Jimmy the Geek," the hero in "That Boy Could Dance"; blushing uncontrollably everytime the lyric "I'm a little girl when we make love together" came through my speakers during "Polka on 45."

When I die, someone please make sure I'm buried with my copy of In 3-D. I need to have it on the other side, especially if I end up in H-E-double hockey sticks.

I said that, H-E-double hockey sticks, once in a high school classroom, and none of the kids knew what I was talking about. Hockey, apparently, is a dying art form. On the other hand, this happened in Florida, not exactly ground zero for pucks and ice skates. I just hope Disney gets around to making Mighty Ducks 5 before the youth of America completely replace their faint memories of hockey with knowledge of Fallout Boy and virus protection software.

How I know "Weird Al" and I aren't in the same tax bracket: he paid $500 dollars to see The Phantom Menace before its official release. I can't think of a movie I'd pay that much to see in advance, even if the proceeds went to charity. Maybe Beetlejuice Joins the Foriegn Legion.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Mr. Darth in the Iron Lung



Star Wars (1995 "Faces" VHS).


"Weird Al" Yankovic's self-titled 1983 debut. Features hilarious parodies of Queen, the Knack, and Toni Basil. There's also, of course, a smattering of Al originals, including "I'll Be Mellow When I'm Dead," which was my personal anthem in fifth grade. This album is the most accordian-heavy offering in the Yank discography - he even snuck some in on "Buckingham Blues" (which, as the title suggests, is a straightforward blues song...about Prince Charles and Lady Di).


- The phrase "I'll be movin' on" in "I Love Rocky Road" coincides with the death of the Rebel Darth Vader is choking at the beginning of the film.

- A Jawa shrugs his shoulders after the line "what can I say?" is heard in "The Check's in the Mail."

- Princess Leia's hologram is onscreen as the line "you're beautiful!" is heard in "The Check's in the Mail."

- Luke storms away from the dinner table as the line "you can't make me settle down" is heard in "I'll Be Mellow When I'm Dead."

- The phrase "such an awesome sight" in "Such A Groovy Guy" coincides with the shot of the two Banthas through Luke's binoculars.

- Obi-Wan removes his hood for the first time as the line "such a groovy guy" is heard in "Such A Groovy Guy."


Fair enough.

I first bought this album on cassette at Caldor. No, it wasn't a Viking theme park; Caldor was the New England equivalent of Kmart. In my hometown, the most devastating barb a kid could throw out was something along the lines of, "Hey Fransen, where'd you get your socks - CALDOR?!" The irony, of course, is that Caldor was about the only moderately priced retailer within twenty miles. I think everybody who grew up there at one time or another had socks from Caldor, or shoes from Caldor, or hats or shirts or skis or boots from Caldor. I don't remember too many kids sashaying around the playground in Versace evening wear.

But I digress. I got "Weird Al" Yankovic (or WAY, as the fans call it) at Caldor, and within two minutes of owning it I managed to smear the insert with snot. I had a cold (I always had a cold). I wiped my nose with my chubby little digits and then proceeded to use those same chubby little digits to get a closer look at the cover photo. A few seconds later, I noticed the light yellow stain I had just made. I was mad (at myself), but not mad enough to shout out, "Jesus Christ!" like I did the time I couldn't get my firefighting G.I. Joe figure assembled fast enough. That got me a stern lecture from Mother.

My agitation eased after hearing "Gotta Boogie," in which Al also faced a mucous-related problem. Am I the only one who finds it odd that "Weird Al" claims to be clean or family-friendly, yet he sings about boogers and decapitation and characters in his videos are always flipping people off? That's not family-friendly. Alright, maybe it's more family-friendly than Gwar, but Al acts like he's the Pat Boone of parody when, in fact, he is more like the Pat Hingle of parody.

Maybe I'm just bitter because I sent him a personal Myspace message and he has yet to reply. What's up, Al? You too busy writing Grammy-winning parodies and raising a daughter and loving your wife and owning a dog to talk to some yahoo in Orlando? Get out of your ivory tower!

Man, I need a job.