Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Machine Gonk Etiquette



Star Wars (1995 "Faces" VHS).


Machine Gun Etiquette by the Damned, the prog punk classic from 1979 that offered up "I Just Can't Be Happy Today," "Melody Lee," and "Smash It Up Parts 1 & 2." Proved self-indulgent guitar noodling and keyboards could coexist peacefully with trashy, thrashy punk. Also proved the Damned worked best as a four piece (sorry, Lu).

As usual, I started this bad boy right after the second drumroll in the 20th Century Fox fanfare.


- The shout of "go!" at the beginning of "Love Song" happens about the same time the Star Wars logo pops up.

- During "Machine Gun Etiquette," the line "don't you wish that we were dead?" coincides with a shot of stormtroopers firing upon Rebel soldiers.

- The first chorus of "I Just Can't Be Happy Today" coincides with Darth Vader's first appearance.

- The phrase "the devil commands" in "I Just Can't Be Happy Today" is heard as we see the captured Rebel troops being marched away.

- During "Melody Lee," the phrase "nowhere to go" is heard as we see the droids walking out of the escape pod on Tatooine.

- The line "change of heart" is heard in "Melody Lee" around the time R2-D2 decides to go in a different direction on the surface of Tatooine.

- The breakdown in "Anti-Pope" coincides with R2-D2's journey through the canyon and capture by the Jawas.

- During one of the choruses in "Looking at You," we see Tusken Raiders looking at Luke and Threepio through some sort of telescope-like device.

- When the organ comes in during "Looking at You," Luke and Threepio look around like they can hear it.


I love it when something happens during that part where Luke and Threepio look around in the Jundland Wastes. Here, it was the start of an organ, which made me think about Phantom of the Opera. I never noticed it before, but the Tusken Raiders all do kind of look like Lon Chaney in that movie. I wonder if that was on purpose. I can easily imagine one of them sitting down in front of a row of keys and banging away like mad.

If I were a little more tech-savvy, I'd make a short Internet movie wherein I edit organ music into that scene and then immediately cut to a Tusken Raider behind a monstrous set of pipes in a cave somewhere. Actually, I could never do that. First of all, I'd have to find a pipe organ. Then I'd have to get it into a cave. Then I'd have to make a totally realistic Tusken Raider costume. Already I'm over budget.

Okay, yes, I could use action figures for this little mini-movie, but then I'd be totally ripping off that one guy who made all the Star Wars action figure films. You know his name. Stinky Whizzleteats? No, wait. Evan something. Evan Mathers? Well, the point is, I don't want to rip anyone off.

ANYWAYS...I do love it when Luke and Threepio "hear" things on the record I'm listening to. My fave so far was the beat drop in "Paul Revere" on Licensed to Ill. I bet Mark Hamill looks around like that in real life when he hears rap. I hate to stereotype, but cornbread strikes me as totally removed from anything the least bit urban.


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