Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Welcome Back, Kenobi



Star Wars (1995 "Faces" VHS).


Show & Tell: a Stormy Remembrance of TV Themes. Thirty-some odd punk bands covering their favorite TV themes. Murphy's Law, No Use For a Name, Furious George, H2O, yadda yadda yadda. The real selling point of this comp is the tuneless but spirited rendition of "Diff'rent Strokes" performed by Mr. Todd Bridges (backed by the Whatchu Talkin' Bout Willis Experience). That's the reason I bought it way back in 1997. Nowadays I listen to it and wonder what became of lesser-known bands such as Butt Trumpet and Clowns for Progress. Broken up? Dead? I'm sure the Internet knows. I'll ask it later.


- The line "she's a double dealin' diva with a taste for thievery" in "Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?" coincides with a shot of Princess Leia aboard the Tantive IV (remember, she stole the Death Star plans).

- The line "if he catches you, you're through" in "Roadrunner" coincides with a shot R2-D2 entering the escape pod (R2 is harboring the stolen Death Star plans, and if Vader or a stormtrooper catches him, he obviously would be through).

- Darth Vader starts pointing his finger at Princess Leia as the line "wanna poke your eyes out" is heard in "I'll Be There For You" (the "Friends" theme).

- Whispers of "fuck the police" are heard in "Cops" as we see the stormtroopers searching the Tatooine desert.

- When the line "love is all around" is heard in the "Mary Tyler Moore" theme, Luke C-3PO look around the Jundland Wastes (as if they're trying to see the love all around them).

- The weird noise at the end of "Bewitched" coincides with the torture droid advancing towards Princess Leia.

- The line "guys like us, we had it made" in "Those Were the Days" is heard as Obi-Wan Jedi mind-tricks the Mos Eisley stormtroopers (ensuring that he and Luke "have it made").

- The line "Javier and his knife" in "Gilligan's Island" coincides with a shot of Obi-Wan wielding his lightsaber.

- The droids are seen as the line "just the good ol' boys, never meanin' no harm" is heard in "The Dukes of Hazzard" theme.


HAAAAAY, they don't say "wanna poke your eyes out" in the "Friends" theme! They don't say "Javier and his knife" in "Gilligan's Island!" What the who-what-who?!

That was my Chris Kattan impression.

Yeah, so, punk bands change lyrics around sometimes, ya know? Happens a lot on Show & Tell. I used to think that kind of thing was really funny. I also used to think Moby wasn't that bad.

I apologize if my tone is surly. I'm tired. Maybe I'll feel better if I get started on the mountain of work that's sitting to my immediate left. Yeah, that should do the trick.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

The Great Star Wars SYNCHRONICITY Project

That's what this damn thing is called. I forgot for a minute while I was messing with the banner. Seems ridiculous, but I'm serious. I forgot the name of my own blog. I had to check old e-mails and websites. No kidding! I thought it was "Synchronization!"

Actually, I think that's what I originally intended to call this blog, the Great Star Wars Synchronization Project, but somewhere along the line I changed my mind. The Great Star Wars Synchronicity Project looks and sounds better, I think. Guess there's been a subconscious war going on in my head ever since. That ends now.

The Great Star Wars Synchronicity Project.


Maybe that will help me remember.

You know, sometimes it helps if we break it down. So let's do that. Let's break it down. "Synchronicity." Okay. "Synch," we all know what that is. It's a match, something that matches. "Roni?" That's something Vanilla Ice had once. "City?" Everyone loves the city. What's a synonym for city? Town? Burg? Burg is good. No, wait, I like town better. So what do we have?

Matching Vanilla Ice Town.

Ah, that's not gonna help me remember anything. I'll just check the F.A.Q. next time.

I'm not crazy. I swear to my neighbor's dog.

My Two Darths



Star Wars (1995 "Faces" VHS).


Television's Greatest Hits, Vol. 7: Cable Ready. A smattering of early nineties boob tube jamz. Some of these programs have endured ("The Simpsons," "Law & Order") and some have not ("Roc, "Davis Rules"). If you're suffering from depression brought on by the absence of Dan Quayle or Bell Biv Devoe from popular culture, this compilation may help. Consult your physician before purchasing. Side effects include wearing Cross Colors, drinking Zima, and remarking that everything you see is "totally def."


- The "yeah!" that starts "Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?" coincides with the explosion that forces C-3PO into the escape pod.

- Darth Vader stops at the end of the Tantive IV corridor at the same exact moment the bell rings at the beginning of "Saved by the Bell."

- The line "a little something special comes shining through" in the theme from "My Two Dads" coincides with the sandcrawler shining the light at C-3PO.

- The line "he's a man with no future, or so it seems" in "Roc" coincides with Luke taking the droids away after being denied a trip to the Toschi Station.

- The line "I don't have the answers" in the "Mad About You" theme coincides with Luke wondering aloud what he should do if Obi-Wan Kenobi comes looking for R2-D2.

- The theme from "America's Most Wanted" is playing as we see the stormtroopers searching the cantina for Luke, Obi-Wan, and the droids (it is also playing when we first see Han Solo).

- The first weird keyboard noise in "Unsolved Mysteries" coincides with the appearance of Greedo.

- Alderaan blows up during the emotional climax of the "Twin Peaks" theme.

- The weird noise at the end of "Max Headroom" coincides with Chewbacca mauling an Imperial guard.

- The "Kids in the Hall" theme begins as Luke and Han, dressed as stormtroopers, leave the Death Star control room and walk down that long hallway with Chewbacca in tow.


Something happened during the "Tales from the Crypt" theme, but I'll be damned if I can read the three words I scribbled down. Looks like "tots for Leia." That doesn't make any goddamn sense. I usually write so legibly. Well, it can't be that important, otherwise I'd remember it, right? Yeah, I wasn't living by that rule when I threw out my car registration renewal form last year. I was driving an unregistered vehicle for like three or four months! It's a wonder I didn't get pulled over and thrown in the clink!

I watched Donnie Darko last night. People have been crowing about that movie for years. Personally, my world wasn't rocked. It held my interest, but the none of characters were likable enough for me to honestly care what happened to them. Donnie's girlfriend seemed particularly grating and unnecessary. If I wrote that movie, I would have forged a closer relationship between Donnie and his youngest sister. She could have taken the place of the girlfriend, having the same fate befall her with equal or more emotional impact.

But, you ask, then how do you get Donnie's mom out of the house towards the end of the movie? Oh, I don't know, how about a million other plot devices? Business trip, funeral, college reunion, time share presentation...take your pick. Just about anything other than "Star Search" audition. That entire thing, with the dance instructor staying behind to start the motivational speaker guy's defense fund, was even more outlandish than what Donnie was dealing with.

I hate to belabor a point, but come on. Are we to believe that Mrs. Darko, who lives in a huge house and has three kids, one of whom is emotionally disturbed, is merely a homemaker who can take off at the drop of a hat? She has to have a job. Think of all her expenses. Middlesex appears to be a very affluent area. I think they have three cars. The kids are in what appears to be a private school. And Donnie's meds! How friggin' expensive do you think those are? How can she afford to take any time off, and on such short notice? The mommy-chaparone scenario completely falls through when you take all this into account.

That is, unless, Donnie's father is raking it in some how. The movie does take place in 1988, and Mr. Darko is obviously a Republican. What is he, a lawyer? A doctor? What's up, Mr. D? What do you do? That's the real mystery of Donnie Darko. Will anyone ever figure out the Darko family's net income? I guess we'll have to wait for the sequel to find out.

Monday, May 29, 2006

New Banner

Hope you like it!

And Then There's Darth



Star Wars (1995 "Faces" VHS).


TV Land Presents: Favorite TV Theme Songs. Exactly what the title implies; a buttload of everyone's favorite TV theme songs. "The Brady Bunch," "Good Times," "Dragnet," "Batman," etc. I was sold on this disc when I saw that it contained "What's Happening!!" As you are most likely aware, I am a huge "What's Happening!!" freak (despite the fact that I've been known to spell the title wrong on occasion).


- Darth Vader trots along the corridor of the Tantive IV in time with the beat of "The Andy Griffith Theme."

- The droids go their separate ways on Tatooine as the line "now it's time to say goodbye" is heard in "The Ballad of Jed Clampett."

- A low horn wail in "The Munsters Theme" coincides with the Jawa shooting R2-D2; another more high-pitched horn wail coincides with R2 whining and falling over.

- The line "fresh air!" in "Green Acres" coincides with a shot of a Jawa exiting the sandcrawler into the fresh air of Tatooine.

- The line "freaks were in a circus tent" in "Those Were the Days" coincides with the shot of the Tusken Raider pumping his staff and honking as he attacks Luke.

- "Good Times" starts as Luke wakes up after the Tusken Raider attack and recognizes Obi-Wan.

- The line "we're gonna make it" in "Making Our Dreams Come True" (the "Laverne & Shirley" song) coincides with the shot of Obi-Wan and Luke surveying Mos Eisley from the cliff.

- The last verse of "Making Our Dreams Come True" is heard as Obi-Wan and Luke enter Mos Eisley; the words seem to mirror their attitude ("nothing's gonna turn us back now, straight ahead and on the track now/we're gonna make our dreams come true, doin' it our way"). This extends through the Jedi mind-trick scene with the stormtroopers, during which the line "there is nothing we won't try" is heard.

- The line "don't get in trouble with the Man" is heard in "Chico and the Man" as we see Obi-Wan brandishing his lightsaber after slicing off Dr. Evanzan's arm.

- The last chorus of "Welcome Back" ("welcome back, welcome back, welcome back") coincides with Greedo confronting Han Solo.

- "What's Happening!!" plays during the entire Greedo/Han confrontation scene; right when Han gets up from the booth after killing Greedo, the "Barney Miller" theme starts and plays as he slowly walks out of the Cantina.

- The "Love Boat" theme starts right as Han greets Luke and Obi-Wan in Docking Bay 94 and asks them to board the Millennium Falcon.

- The line "set a course for adventure" in "The Love Boat Theme" coincides with a shot of Chewbacca, the Millennium Falcon's navigator.


Did not expect so many amazing moments. The "Barney Miller"/Han Solo thing was my favorite. That song has kind of a weird intro, with the noodly bassline and all, but it perfeclty reflected Han's "I just killed a guy, this is kind of awkward, but I don't really care so I'm going to leave" attitude. Of course, it doesn't really top the "Make All Our Dreams Come True" or "Love Boat" synchs. Should have recorded those. Coulda put 'em on YouTube and become an overnight sensation. Five stars apiece, I bet.

It should be noted that the stormtrooper who finds the piece of C-3PO in the desert and says, "Look, sir - droids!" popped up at the same exact moment the "Green Acres" theme started. That, my friends, was goofier than Pauly Shore and Stephen Baldwin running around in a biosphere for ninety minutes.

Oh, Bio-dome. I watched you once, expecting big laughs. You let me down. You let me down, Bio-dome, so we're through for good. Seriously, stop calling me. I'm not interested in a direct-to-video sequel.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Next Week's Totally Rockin' Schedule

Here's the schedule for "Totally Rockin' Boob Tube Jamz" week:

5/29 - TV Land Presents: Favorite TV Theme Songs
5/30 - Television's Greatest Hits, Vol. 7: Cable Ready
5/31 - Show and Tell: A Stormy Remembrance of TV Themes
6/01 - Songs in the Key of Springfield
6/02 - Go Simpsonsic with the Simpsons

All with Star Wars. I'm excited. I haven't done too many compilations or novelty albums. Should prove interesting.

Yes, I have been messing with the banner at the top of the blog a little. You're not crazy. I made a good one I'll probably throw up later. Or maybe I won't. You never know with a loose cannon like me.

Totally Rockin' Voter Apathy

Here are the results of the hotly contested race for next week's theme:

"Totally Rockin' Greatest Hits & Best Ofs" = 0 votes
"Totally Rockin' Boob Tube Jamz" = 0 votes

It's a tie!

Seriously, folks, what gives? Are you mad at me? Was neither candidate appealing to you? Are you burnt out on voting after "American Idol?" Do you really not care what I do here on the GSWSP, as long as I do something and keep doing it so you have something to read? I'm perplexed!

Well, I'll just go ahead and do "Totally Rockin' Boob Tube Jamz," 'cause that's what I would have voted for. Week after that, I should have all the CDs I need for "Super Sounds of 1980." I actually have all the discs I'd need for "Super Sounds of the Special Editions," but if I don't rock stuff chronologically I get all in a tizzy.

Schedule to be posted later. Time to lay me down to sleep.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Another Star Wars

Before we get started here, I wanted to let you folks know that I'm having another theme election for next week. If you don't care about any possible correlations between Stevie's second Songs CD and Star Wars, skip ahead to the second paragraph of the notes section. Read up on the contenders, cast your vote, and check back tomorrow to see if your theme won.

And now, back to our regularly scheduled programming.



Star Wars (1995 "Faces" VHS).


Disc Two of the Songs in the Key of Life album by Stevie Wonder. Features "Isn't She Lovely," "Black Man," and "Another Star." Not as good as the first disc, in my opinion. The songs on this one go on and on and on...and just when you think you're hearing them fade out, they get louder and go on for another two minutes. To quote Bill Shatner, I can't get behind that.


- The line "you brought some joy inside my tears" in "Joy Inside My Tears" is heard as C-3PO spots the sandcrawler that rescues him from the harsh Tatooine desert.

- R5-D4 explodes as the breakdown begins in "Black Man."

- The line "why can't it be everlasting, like the sun that always shines?" in "If It's Magic" is heard as Luke stares into the Tatooine sunset.


Man, this was the L.A. Clippers of synch experiments! Am I right or am I right? What's that? You're kidding me. Ah, crap. Well, just pretend it's last year, and that joke will make you shoot milk out your nose.

Okay, time to figure out what next week's theme. Since I'm such a groovy guy, I'm going to let you, the loyal GSWSP readers, vote again. Here are your choices:

"Totally Rockin' Greatest Hits & Best Ofs" would be a week featuring five greatest hits/best of CDs from artists I never took the time to really get into: Pantera, Kiss, ZZ Top, Faith No More, and Jimi Hendrix.

"Totally Rockin' Boob Tube Jamz" would be a week featuring five of the many television-related CDs I own. I'd do one comp of classics, one of early nineties cable crap, one with all punk bands covering TV themes, and the two "Simpsons" CDs I own (neither of which are Simpsons Sing the Blues or The Yellow Album).

The future's in your hands. Cast your vote by leaving a comment on this post. I'll tally all the votes at midnight tonight and announce the winner sometime tomorrow.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Songs in the Key of Lightsaber



Star Wars (1995 "Faces" VHS).


Disc One of the Songs in the Key of Life album by Stevie Wonder. Contains "Sir Duke," the tune that was number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart May 25, 1977, the day Star Wars came out. It's a tasty little jazz-funk number saluting some of Mr. Wonder's musical heroes (including Duke Ellington, the song's namesake). This disc also includes such memorable tracks as "Village Ghetto Land" and "Pastime Paradise," both of which were later reworked into rap songs.

That sounds so lame, doesn't it? Rap songs? I should say "blazin' hip-hop joints" or "phat urban jamz." Yeah, that would give me street cred.


- The line "what I'm about to say could mean the world's disaster" in "Love's in Need of Love Today" is heard as the opening crawl starts.

- Stevie's impassioned "no no no-ing" in the middle of "Love's in Need of Love Today" coincides with the Rebel being choked by Darth Vader.

- Stevie's "no no nos" continue as we see the stormtroopers looking for Princess Leia; when the camera cuts to the Princess, Stevie says, "yeah yeah yeah." Cut back to the stormtroopers, it's "no no no" again.

- The phrase "don't delay" in "Love's in Need of Love Today" coincides with the explosion that convinces C-3PO to get into the escape pod.


Not a lotta synchs from the Steve-man. The Stevenator, lettin' me down. Das Stevehaus Wunderbar, closed for business.


Alright, whatever street cred I had going at the start of this entry was just washed away by my "SNL" copy guy impression. I can't believe I did that. What was I thinking? I gotta get it together, man. Next thing you know, I'll be doing "Coffee Talk" impressions.

Early nineties "SNL," release me from your evil spell! The catchphrases and punchlines rattle my soul! I curse you, Lorne Michaels, I curse you!

By the way, FYI, the "no no no" thing was genug. I got a little verklempt.


Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Paradise by the Death Star Light



Star Wars (1995 "Faces" VHS).


Bat Out of Hell by Meat Loaf. Released in October of '77. Contains the smash hit "Paradise by the Dashboard Light," a song about getting it on in a car. Isn't that a lovely mental image? Meat Loaf getting it on in a car? But I kid the Loaf. "Paradise" is a very good song, I think. I especially like the Phil Rizzuto play-by-play. Did they actually get him in the studio for that, or was it lifted from an old broadcast? I guess I missed that part of "Meat Loaf: Behind the Music."


- The singing in "Bat Out of Hell" start at the same moment the camera pans down after the scrolling text disappears.

- The line "there's evil in the air and thunder in the sky" in "Bat Out of Hell" is heard the moment the two warring spaceships come into view.

- C-3PO and R2-D2 are seen aboard the Tantive IV during the attack as the line "when it's over, you know, we'll both be so alone" is heard in "Bat Out of Hell."

- "Bat Out of Hell" softens for a moment as the Rebels are crouched in the corridor of the Tantive IV, awaiting the Imperial invasion; the song gets heavy again at the same time the door explodes and the stormtroopers enter.

- "Bat Out of Hell" stops for a brief moment toward the end to shift musical gears; this brief stop coincides with the explosion that convinces C-3PO to get into the escape pod.

- The line "I gotta make my escape" in "Bat Out of Hell" is heard as the escape pod carrying the droids soars down to Tatooine.

- The line "the beach was burning" in "You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth" coincides with a shot of C-3PO walking through the Tatooine desert.

- The phrase "rolling over the sand" in "You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth" coincides with the first shot of the sandcrawler.

- The camera is on Luke as the line "all I got is time" is heard in "Heaven Can Wait."

- As the line "I won't look back" is heard in "Heaven Can Wait," C-3PO turns away from R2-D2 after the robot auction to walk toward the Lars homestead.

- The line "I was nothing but a lonely boy lookin' for something to do" in "All Revved Up with No Place to Go" is heard as Luke complains to C-3PO about how dull life is on Tatooine.

- Much of the first verse of "Two Outta Three Ain't Bad" reflects the argument between Luke and his uncle regarding Luke's future, which is going on as that verse is heard: "baby, we can talk all night, but that ain't getting us nowhere/I told you everything I possibly can, heres nothing left inside of here/and maybe you can cry all night, but that'll never change the way that I feel."

- The line "you'll never find your gold on a sandy beach" in "Two Outta Three Ain't Bad" is heard as Luke scans the sandy horizon of Tatooine for R2-D2 (and doesn't find anything).

- The chorus of "Two Outta Three Ain't Bad," which is the same as the title," is heard after the Tusken Raider attack in which only two of the three main characters (Luke and C-3PO) are felled.

- The line "I've been waitin' so long for you to come along and have some fun" in "Paradise by the Dashboard Light" coincides with a shot of Obi-Wan talking to Luke in the Jundland Wastes (Obi, obviously, is the one who has been waiting for Luke).

- The lines at the end of Phil Rizzuto's play-by-play in "Paradise by the Dashboard Lights" ("it's gonna be close, here's the throw, here's the play at the plate, holy cow, I think he's gonna make it") coincide with Obi-Wan successfully lying to Luke about his father's death despite looking very uncomfortable.

- The line "oh babe, don't you hear me crying, don't go" in "For Crying Out Loud" is heard as Luke is running to his landspeeder as Obi-Wan warns him not to go home.

- The line "how was I to know?" in "For Crying Out Loud" coincides with Luke's reaction as he pulls up to his homestead.

- The line "I'm gonna need somebody" in "For Crying Out Loud" is heard as Luke turns away from the sight of his dead relatives, clearly shaken.

- We see the little alien in the cantina reaching out for his drink as the line "feelin' so dry" is heard in "For Crying Out Loud."


I had a feeling about this one. I just knew lots of crazy junk would happen. Twenty-one synchs. That's as many as The Gray Race. Meat Loaf and Bad Religion now have something in common (aside from ridiculous, over-the-top vocals).

The Rizzuto synch I may get called out on, seeing as we don't actually find out Luke's father isn't dead in this movie, but that plot twist is such common knowledge that you can't really watch Star Wars without looking for little hints. The scene with Luke and Obi-Wan is a biggie. Something's up with Luke's dad. Total set-up. That's how I feel today, anyway. I tend to flip-flop on the whole how-far-ahead-was-all-this-planned? debate.

One fact that cannot be questioned is the line Meat Loaf sings repeatedly at the end of "Paradise by the Dashboard Light." "It was long ago and it was far away, and was so much better than it is today." "Long ago?" "Far away?" Come on. No way that's just coincidence. This album came out six months after Star Wars. The Loaf totally copped that phrasing, and if he can look me in the eye and tell me he didn't, I'll eat my hat (by the way, during this experiment, that line was heard as the Imperial guys argued in the Death Star conference room).

You know that's all Meat was doing between recording sessions - popping over to the nearest theater to watch Star Wars. That's all anybody was doing. People blamed the lousy economy back then on Jimmy Carter, but it wasn't his fault. Productivity was down across the country because the entire American workforce was dippin' out early (and sometimes not showing up at all) so they could see the nutty little space movie for the third or fifth time. It's a fact. If I could find my charts, I could show you the exact correlation. Unfortunately, my secretary quit two days ago, and now my office is a complete mess.

That reminds me; I need to call the temp agency.

Goddammit, where's my rolodex?

Come On, George - Episode II: Apathy of the Clowns

Well, Lucasfilm was listening, alright. Unfortunately, they could give two craps. The following is the form response many people have been getting after contacting the company and expressing their displeasure with the forthcoming DVDs:

I wanted you to know how much we appreciate the passion and enthusiasm you have for Star Wars, and thank you for sharing your concerns about our upcoming DVD release.

The DVDs being released in September will contain two versions of Star Wars: Episodes IV, V and VI – the Special Editions (which represent George’s vision of the movies) and the first versions, which will be included as bonus material. We hoped that releasing those “original” movies on a bonus disc would be a way to have some additional fun with the debut of the movies as individual DVDs. We certainly did not want it to become a source of concern or frustration for any of our fans.

As you may know, an enormous amount of effort was put into digitally restoring the negatives for the Special Editions. In one scene alone, nearly 1 million pieces of dirt had to be removed, and the Special Editions were created through a frame-by-frame digital restoration. The negatives of the movies were permanently altered for the creation of the Special Editions, and existing prints of the first versions are in poor condition.

So many fans have requested the original movies, we wanted to find a way to bring them to you. But since these movies do not represent George's artistic vision, we could not put the extraordinary time and resources into this project as we did with the Special Editions. The 1993 Laserdisc masters represented the best source for providing the original versions as DVD bonus material. Although these are non-anamorphic versions, they do preserve the original widescreen composition of the movies.

We want you to be aware that we have no plans – now or in the future – to restore the earlier versions.

We hope you will understand our decision and, again, want to let you know how much we appreciate your interest and enthusiasm.

Lynne Hale

Translation: go f yourselves.

Robert Harris sent this back to them, which sums up how I feel minus the intensity and rough language:

Dear Lynne,

I've read the statement which has been released under your name.

I wanted to make very certain that you totally understand what both Star Wars fans and Home Theater aficionados have been trying to say. Occasionally the message may have become muddled from passion.

Everyone respectfully understands that Mr. Lucas prefers his updated versions of the films.

There is no argument.

Everyone understands that a proper of restoration of the films could be both expensive and time-consuming.

There is no argument.

Allow me to explain that this has nothing to do with "prints." It doesn't matter if prints are faded, scratched, or even missing every scene in which a favored character appears.

Prints are disposable.

That said, we must believe that acceptable Pre-print elements survive in the form of interpositives, dupe negatives and / or separation masters. If this is the case, then Fox would be totally capable of creating a new anamorphic video master. This is what their archival staff does on a daily basis, and they do it exceedingly well.

Assuming that these elements exist, then no one is suggesting the reconstruction of elements or a restoration that isn't necessary.

The single point that has so many people dissatisfied is that the original films are not being placed into home video distribution in WIDE SCREEN ANAMORPHIC format.

No one is requesting that the films be digitally cleaned and re-mastered to perfection, although many feel that they may be deserving of such treatment.

A bit of dirt; an occasional scratch; an errant mark here or there is not what this discussion has been about.

While the use of your 1993 masters, which were the highest quality of their era, would have been fine almost a decade ago, they are no longer of a quality requisite to be screened with black on all four sides on wide screen monitors, no less an modern projection devices.

Now that we all seem to have better communication, can we please re-consider a simple re-transfer in anamorphic widescreen as opposed to using archaic video masters.

This isn't what LucasFilm, which has always led in both quality as well technology, has ever been about.

Without any high cost, without any restoration, and yet allowing Star Wars fans to properly screen on modern devices what to many is a veritable holy grail...

This should be a simple, painless and viable answer.

With best regards,


Later on, Harris posted this in the Star Wars thread at

What is being requested of them is nothing extraordinary. We're merely asking the leader in quality cinema technology to, in this one instance, simply be as good as those with less capabilities and funding.

To quote a Charles Bronson impersonator, this ain't over.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Come On, George

So it turns out all the ugly rumors are true. The original unaltered versions of Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi scheduled for release on DVD this September will not be presented in anamorphic widescreen. Several sources on the Internet have confirmed it, including and

Lucasfilm is just slapping the prints from the 1993 laserdiscs on these DVDs, claiming that's the best source they have. Those '93 prints are letterboxed, so you'll still get the widescreen experience, but it will only look okay on a regular T.V. On one of those fancy HD widescreen sets, it'll look like a postage stamp in the middle of an envelope (granted, one of those fancy, rectangular postage stamps that generally come from foreign countries, but a postage stamp nonetheless). This would be somewhat forgivable if they were doing a little restoration work to the movies, but they're not. What you saw in '93 is what you're gonna get in '06.

I wouldn't be so bothered by all of this if the original unaltered films weren't the main selling point of these DVDs. Why make such a big stink about finally releasing the original cuts if they aren't going to be up to industry standards? Do they realize just about every DVD release is anamorphic these days? All the other Star Wars DVDs are anamorphic, including the bonus features (which, technically, is what the OUT will be on these new DVDs - bonus features in a repackaging of the 2004 versions).

Look Who's Talking is available anamorphic. Look Who's Talking, the movie where Kirstie Alley has a baby that talks like Bruce Willis. Actually, all three Look Who's Talking movies you can get anamorphic. That includes the one with the baby who talks like Roseanne and the one with the dog who talks like Danny DeVito.

Basically what Lucasfilm is saying with their lazy gesture is that the original unaltered Star Wars trilogy is less important than the Look Who's Talking trilogy. In fact, they're saying the original unaltered Star Wars trilogy is less important than the following movies, all of which have anamorphic DVD releases:

Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls
The Apple Dumpling Gang
Cruel Intentions 2
Dunston Checks In
Fear of a Black Hat
Kangaroo Jack
Little Giants
Rugrats in Paris
Rugrats! Go Wild
Space Jam

Oh, and all three Naked Gun movies, because the "Weird Al" cameos really lose their punch at the 1.33:1 aspect ratio.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: the Star Wars films were around for two decades before the Special Editions. Those are the versions that garnered the critical acclaim, the Academy Awards, and won over the hearts of millions. If Lucas and his cronies are going to bother to release them on DVD, they should do it right. Make 'em so anybody with any ol' kind of T.V. set can enjoy them. Clean 'em up a touch, too. Do the damn films that hundreds of people worked on together and made you who you are today some justice.

Film restorer Robert Harris has offered Lucasfilm his services in the wake of this controversy, saying that if they push the DVD release date back, he could clean all three original films up and make them anamorphic in time for Christmas. He even said he'd piece the movies together from old release prints if he had to, based on the questionable claim that Lucasfilm had all the original prints destroyed after the Special Editions came out.

So far, Lucasfilm hasn't said anything publicly about this whole backlash and the Robert Harris offer, but from what I understand, they are listening intently to fan feedback as of late. I'd highly suggest, if you agree with any or all of the things I just typed, contacting Lucasfilm's PR department ( or their VP Jim Ward directly:

Jim Ward, Senior Vice President
Lucasfilm Ltd.
5858 Lucas Valley Rd.
Nicasio, CA 94946
Phone: 415-662-1800
Fax: 415-448-2495

Ask 'em to hire Harris. Tell 'em you want a version of the OUT that's up to snuff. Make some noise and they just might change their ridiculous ways. The bullshit has got to stop, the sooner the better. I, for one, do not want to have to wait any longer for acceptable versions of these three very enjoyable and important films to debut on a format invented after the Reagan Administration.

Lust for Lightsabers



Star Wars (1995 "Faces" VHS).


Lust for Life by Iggy Pop. Released in September of '77. Perhaps you've heard the title track? It's only been in every commercial ever made since 1996. Thanks, Trainspotting. Other songs include "The Passenger" and that one where Iggy talks to Jesus about the hot black girl. David Bowie plays piano and provides backup vocals, for better or for worse. Me, I'm not a fan of his constipated la la la-ing.


- Many parts of "The Passenger" coincide with R2-D2's capture by the Jawas: the song begins right after the film cuts to R2 rolling through the canyon; the lyrics "and I ride and I ride, through the city's backside" are heard as we briefly see R2 rolling along from the Jawa's perspective behind the rocks; the line "I am the passenger" is heard right before R2 is sucked up into the sandcrawler (and the moment he is sucked up, a cymbal crash sounds); more "and I ride and I rides" are heard as R2 is aboard the sandcrawler (which, technically, he is riding in).

- The line "then we put out the lights on them" in "Turn Blue" coincides with the Tusken Raider standing over Luke, who is raising his stick and is about to "put the lights out" on Luke.

- The line "you look so good to me" in "Fall in Love with Me" coincides with a shot of Princess Leia's hologram.


Nifty stuff with "The Passenger." I'm 99% sure that's my favorite Iggy Pop song ever. "Search & Destroy" is a close second, but I think that's more of a Stooges song. You know, I should really do an Iggy/Stooges week. Consider that on the schedule for the near future.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Darth Eat Darth



Star Wars (1995 "Faces" VHS).


Let There Be Rock by AC/DC, released in June of '77. Features such classic cuts as the title track and "Whole Lotta Rosie." 'Twas the first AC/DC album to feature the classic pointy red logo. Currently holds the distinction of being the very first CD in my vast alphabetized collection. On the other end? ZZ Top's Greatest Hits, of course.


- The very first "dog eat dog" in "Dog Eat Dog" is heard as Darth Vader really starts choking the Rebel guy aboard the Tantive IV.

- The line "with a flick of my knife I can change your life" in "Problem Child" is heard as Luke scrapes the gunk off of R2-D2 with what appears to be some kind of pen knife (not sure if that gunk is the actual carbon scoring Luke mentions; I've never been too clear on the specifics of that droid affliction).

- The beginning of "Overdose," with its somewhat maudlin riffing, coincides nicely with Luke staring at the Tatooine sunset; the song builds as our hero walks into his home, picking up ever so slightly as he realizes something is amiss, and it really kicks in right as Luke runs outside to search the horizon for R2-D2.


Let There Be Rock? More like Let There Be Nothing! There may be a "Whole Lotta Rosie," but there ain't a whole lotta synchs! Yeah, I got a problem, child, and I ain't talkin' 'bout that kid with the bow tie!

Changing gears here, I feel I need to address the whole Star Wars DVD controversy once again, as it's looking more and more like we the fans are getting the shaft on this upcoming release. I'm going to wait until later, though. I need to collect my thoughts, and as of right now, a few of them are harder to find than a Frank Thomas gold card.

Man, remember when that was what life was all about? Finding the Frank Thomas gold card? If you got one of those suckers, hot damn! You could get just about any other card from any one of your friends that you wanted. I remember one time I got a Frank Thomas gold card...I traded it for six Honus Wagners, three Mickey Mantles, the "Turn Back the Clock" George Brett-Pine Tar card, AND the Mike Scott where you can see the jar of Vaseline in his pocket. That was the happiest day of my life, I tellsya.

Speaking of Honus Wagner, that guy is dead.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Super Sounds of '77

Next week the GSWSP will play host to "Super Sounds of '77," featuring three albums that were released in 1977 during the absolute height of Star Wars mania.

Wait a minute, did I just say three albums? Three?! What the hell is going on? What about the other two days? Did they shorten the weeks, or am I suddenly feeling lazy?

The answer is neither! Thursday and Friday will be dedicated to the double album that contains the song that was number one on the Billboard Charts the day Star Wars was released - May 25, 1977.

The song?

"Sir Duke."

The artist?

Stevie Wonder.

The album?

Songs in the Key of Life.

The schedule?

5/22: AC/DC-Let There Be Rock
5/23: Iggy Pop-Lust for Life
5/24: Meatloaf-Bat Out of Hell
5/25: Stevie Wonder-Songs in the Key of Life (Disc 1)
5/26: Stevie Wonder-Songs in the Key of Life (Disc 2)

I desperately wanted to do an entire week of 1977 albums containing number one singles from that year, but that would have entailed purchasing This One's For You by Barry Manilow AND Part 3 by KC and the Sunshine Band. I'm dedicated to this project, but not that dedicated. Barry and KC will have to wait until I can get some free handouts.

In the works for future weeks: "Super Sounds of '80," "Super Sounds of '83," and "Super Sounds of the Special Editions." Rock!

From the Sandy Dunes of Tatooine



Star Wars (1995 "Faces" VHS).


From the Muddy Banks of the Wishkah, the posthumous Nirvana live album released two years after Kurt booked his flight on Braniff. Different from most live albums in that the tracks were taken from a variety of concerts as opposed to just one. Also, there is very minimal stage patter. Just a few "thank yous" here and there, a "Great Caesar's ghost!" before one song, a conversation about balloons at the start of the album, and a goofy jab at bootleggers towards the end. Kiss Alive this is not.


- Darth Vader throws his choking victim to the ground at the same moment the guitar gets real heavy again after the long break in "Drain You."

- The line "load up on guns" in "Smells Like Teen Spirit" coincides with the Jawa popping up and shooting R2-D2 with that huge gun.

- The phrase "an albino" is heard in "Smells Like Teen Spirit" as the camera focuses on R5-D4 inside the sandcrawler (R5-D4 is entirely white with a couple red bars, which is as close as you can get to an albino in Star Wars).

- R2-D2 is shut off by the Jawa outside the sandcrawler at the same exact moment the guitar stops at the end of "Been a Son."

- The line "I'm so happy, 'cause today I found my friends" in "Lithium" is heard as R2-D2 hobbles towards Luke and C-3PO after the robot auction.

- The line "we feed off each other" in "Milk It" coincides with the heated discussion between Admiral Motti and that other Imperial guy in the Death Star conference room.

- The exclamation of "Great Caesar's ghost!" before "Negative Creep" coincides with a shot of Luke looking shocked as he pulls up to the smoldering Lars homestead.

- The line "daddy's little girl ain't a girl no more" in "Negative Creep" is heard as Luke tells Obi-Wan that he's ready to go to Alderaan.


The same exact synch in "Lithium" with R2-D2 and "today I found my friends" happened during the Nevermind/Star Wars experiment I conducted in January (link). That's a first. The same synch on two different albums? What are the odds?

Unfortunately, these synchs did not occur in the same place on both albums (the Nevermind synch was during the first verse; the Wishkah synch during the third), so I cannot rightly accuse Krist Novoselic and Dave Grohl of trying to screw with our minds through track sequencing. Regardless, you gotta admit this is totally freaky. Freaky like Ouija.

One time my friend's sister tried to make a homemade Ouija board. I don't remember if it worked. I don't think it did. I'm not even sure "real" Ouija boards work. I used one once in high school, and I allegedly had a conversation with some Russian guy who died in the 1850s. He didn't seem to know a whole lot about the afterlife, though. In fact, I'm officially calling shenanigans on this one. Justin Plank, you were the only other person Ouijaing with me that night, so the heavy burden of these shenanigans rest squarely on your pale, Fleetwood Mac-loving shoulders.

How many people do you think have tried to contact Kurt Cobain via Ouija? Probably a million. Probably a gazillion. I think that's Ouija's main selling point. Contact Kurt Cobain and other dead celebrities with our product. Does it really work? We don't know, and neither do you! So come on, America, let's Ouija again, like we did last summer!

Next week is the 1977 theme. I need to come up with a good title. I'll come up with something and post it later today with the schedule. Feel free to make some suggestions.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Luke Skywalker Will Have His Revenge On Tatooine



Star Wars (1995 "Faces" VHS).


In Utero by Nirvana. The last album the band made before Kurt decided to check out. Features such classics as "Heart-Shaped Box," "Rape Me," and "All Apologies." Recorded at the famous Pachyderm Studios in Cannon Falls, Minnesota, by Steve "I Eat Beef Jerky Without Removing the Wrapper" Albini. He didn't produce In Utero, he recorded it. That's his thing. He's not a producer, he's a recorder. Hey, it's a free country. Call yourself what you want, bro!


- The start of the regular guitar riff in "Scentless Apprentice" coincides with the first appearance of stormtroopers.

- The lines "go away, get away, get away" are heard in "Scentless Apprentice" as the droids make their hasty exit from the Tantive IV via escape pod.

- The line "hey, wait" in "Heart-Shaped Box" is heard as C-3PO turns around and questions R2-D2 about his sense of direction on Tatooine.

- The line "I've been drawn into your magnet tar pit trap" in "Heart-Shaped Box" is heard the same time C-3PO is wandering through the desert alone, complaining about R2-D2 "tricking" him into getting lost.

- "Milk It" starts around the time of the infamous blue milk scene.

- Luke is complaining to his uncle about wanting to leave the farm as the line "I don't need a host to live" is heard in "Milk It."

- The repeated line of "cold heart" in "tourette's" coincides with a long close-up of Grand Moff Tarkin.


According to the Internet, Kurt Cobain is screaming the phrase "doll steak" in the chorus of "Milk It." To me, it sounds like "don't stay." I'll admit, it's a tough call. He very well could be screaming "doll steak." If he isn't, if the line really is "don't stay," then we have one more synch. That line is heard right before Luke gets up from the table and walks out on his aunt and uncle.

Yeah, I suppose I could peruse some tricked out Nirvana fan sites to figure this one out, but there are more important matters at hand. Namely, the brewing Star Wars DVD controversy.

Nerds are really starting to freak out over how the original versions of Star Wars, Empire, and Jedi will be presented on the forthcoming DVDs. Official Lucasfilm literature so far has been vague at best, leading to the inevitable deluge of unfounded rumors and wild speculation. The latest flame-up is over the widescreen option of each unaltered film supposedly not being anamorphic. That means it won't look as good as it could on a fancy widescreen HD television set. This has really chafed some cabooses out there, and I've read a handful of message board diatribes that could easily be admitted as evidence in a criminal trial should anything dastardly befall George Lucas.

If I may be allowed a statement: Nerds, calm the f down. Although Lucasfilm's handling of the unaltered trilogy has been rather shameful in recent years, there is no hard evidence yet that these DVDs will be inferior product. Yes, the cover art is wretched. The fact that our beloved films are playing the "bonus material" role to the 2004 reduxes is even more wretched. However, we have no idea how the actual movies themselves will look or sound yet. Please, for the children's sake, calm the f down.

DarthFirst, the guy/girl/thing who leaked the 2004 DVD set to the Internet months in advance, has said the anamorphic thing is bunk, that the non-CGI, pre-Jar Jar movies we hold so dear to our hearts will be up to 2006 DVD viewing snuff. I'm willing to put my faith in his word. For the love of all that is holy, I implore you - calm the f down.

Now, if these DVDs come out and they do suck-diddly-uck, then we can take the revolution to the streets. Until then, I suggest you take a few minutes each day to relax and recharge your batteries. Turn off your computer, walk out to your mailbox, and marvel at the wonder that is fresh air and natural light. Do this for about five minutes each day and you'll eventually start to realize that virtual lynchings are not the best way to vent your frustrations.

Thank you for your time, and drive home safely.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Corellian Seafood



Star Wars (1995 "Faces" VHS).


Incesticide, the collection of Nirvana b-sides and rareties released in 1992. The single "Sliver" proved to be a hit, with its catchy melody and lyrical yarn about grandparents. This record also features "Aneurysm," which has long gotten my vote for Greatest Nirvana Song Ever. I feel it best exemplifies what the band was all about; the quiet verse/loud chorus thing, the unique guitar tones, Kurt's pained vocal delivery, and loud ass drumming. Of course, I am but one man. I'm sure one most people out on the street would cite some b.s. like "Pennyroyal Tea" as quintessential Nirvana.


- The line "Polly wants a cracker" in "(New Wave) Polly" is heard as Luke complains about wanting to go to the Toschi Station (the Toschi Station, or going there, being the "cracker" that he wants).

- The groaning at the end of "Hairspray Queen" coincides with Luke coming to after the Tusken Raider attack.

- The slow, droning ending of "Big Long Now" coincides with Luke pulling up to the Lars homestead; the next song, "Aneurysm," begins as Luke discovers his relative's charred bodies.


Talk about a snoozer. I've been more amped up for tenth season episodes of "Happy Days." Can you believe that show went on for as long as it did? Sheesh. Well, at least it provided a showcase for a young Crystal Bernard, who would one day wow us as the saucy Helen Chapel on "Wings."

Oh, how I longed to spend a mere fifteen minutes at that lunch counter, drinking in Helen's intoxicating charm as she served the denizens of Sandpiper Air. Not even the blubberous, foul presence of Roy Biggins could taint such a wonderful experience.

You know who else was hot on that show? Farrah Forke. She was equally saucy, too. Maybe a little more so. I don't know. I think the jury's still out on that one. Yes, believe it or not, there is a jury currently deliberating as to who was more saucy on "Wings," Crystal Bernard or Farrah Forke. They're over at the Red Roof Inn on Route 9. Why don't you stop over and say hello?

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Come As You Are (to Hoth)



The Empire Strikes Back (1995 "Faces" VHS).


Nevermind by Nirvana, which I've already tried with Star Wars (link). One of the core memories I have tied to this album is that of Regis and Kathy Lee talking about it on their morning show. Kathy Lee looked at the cover and said something like, "You kin shee hish penish! That bebby's showin' hish penish!" No, the accent is not added for comic effect. She really said it in that clenched tooth old lady I'm-talking-about-naughty-bits voice, the kind of voice that makes men lose their faith in humanity and house pets pee on the rug. It's an awful memory, one that I am quickly trying to replace with thoughts of Rob Zombie and extreme nachos.


- The first quiet part of "Smells Like Teen Spirit" begins the exact same moment the Star Wars logo first appears.

- The phrase "yeah, it makes me smile" in "Smells Like Teen Spirit" is heard as Luke smiles at Han's joke about the lack of any civilization on Hoth.

- The phrase "as I want you to be" in "Come As You Are" is heard as Luke kills the Wampa (obviously, the way Luke wants the Wampa to be is dead).

- The first repetition of "I don't have a gun" in "Come As You Are" coincides with Luke stumbling through the frozen tundra of Hoth with only his lightsaber to protect him (look at his belt; he doesn't have a gun with him).

- The first line of "Lithium," "I'm so happy, 'cause today I found my friends," is heard right after the Rebel pilot locates Han and Luke on Hoth.

- The line "I'm not sad" in "Lithium" coincides with a shot of Princess Leia, who is letting Han know he's delusional if he thinks she is going to miss him.

- The line "I like it, I'm not gonna cry" in "Lithium" is heard as Luke gloats happily after Leia kisses him.

- The line "I'm not scared" is heard in "Lithium" as Chewbacca sticks his head up over the snow embankment and yells at the Imperial probot.

- The last heavy part of "Lithium" kicks in as the probot explodes.

- The phrase "I'm on a plain" is heard in "On a Plain" as we see a shot of R2-D2 sitting in Luke's X-Wing (plain/plane - get it?); the same phrase is heard later as we see Han, Leia, Chewie, and Threepio aboard the Millennium Falcon.


This one was pretty boss. I wouldn't say it was the most, but it was pretty boss. Yes, I'm talking like a kid in the 1950s and I'm loving every minute of it.

So, what's the deal? Did Dave Grohl name that side project Probot after the probot in Empire Strikes Back? Someone's gotta fill me in already. Hey, wait a minute, I bet Wikipedia knows. Wikipedia knows everything! I'll be right back.

[checks Wikipedia]

Well, that was a waste of time. All it said in regard to the name was "probe + robot = probot." Duh, Wikipedia! I could have told you that! I guess I'll have to conduct a more intensive search later to discover why Dave Grohl chose the name Probot for his all-star metal album (and by "later," I mean "never," because I don't really "care").

Monday, May 15, 2006

Blew (Alderaan Up)



Star Wars (1995 "Faces" VHS).


Bleach, Nirvana's 1989 debut. Recorded for something like $606.52, a bill that was footed by forgotten second guitarist Jason Everman. Ironic, considering he didn't play a single note on the album (although he did get his name in the liner notes). This sucker contains "Floyd the Barber," my favorite song about a beloved 1950s television character going on a homicidal rampage.


- The guitar in "Blew" begins the same moment the Lucasfilm logo appears.

- The line "come on in" in "Floyd the Barber" coincides with a shot of the Tantive IV door, which the stormtroopers blast through moments later.

- The line "you hang me out to dry" in "About a Girl" is heard as Darth Vader slowly lifts his choking victim off the ground.

- The camera is on R2-D2 as the line "cannot look me in the eyes" is heard in "Paper Cuts" (you cannot look R2-D2 in the eyes because he doesn't really have any).

- The line "this is getting to be a drone" is heard in "Negative Creep" as Luke complains about how unhappy he is to be on Tatooine.

- The line "daddy's little girl ain't a girl no more" in "Negative Creep" coincides with a shot of Princess Leia's hologram.

- Luke is on the ground, looking up at Ben Kenobi as the line "help me trust your mighty wisdom" is heard in "Mr. Moustache."

- The first line of "Big Cheese," which is "big cheese," coincides with the first close-up shot of Grand Moff Tarkin (who is the Death Star's big cheese).

- The wailing guitar in "Downer" begins the same moment the camera cuts to Leia's horrified reaction to the torture droid.


This is the first experiment in which something has synched up with the Lucasfilm logo. This should come as no surprise, but I really hate that new style Lucasfilm logo. You know, the one that's all regal and fancy-looking and sparkly. Here it is:

It's so Lisa Frank. All it needs is a unicorn and a rainbow. I hate it. I much prefer the original, non-sparkling version:

Simple, understated, easy to read. It's the kind of logo that says, "Hey, this film was made in the seventies. Seriously. Burt Reynolds was this close to playing Han Solo."

As far as I'm concerned, that glittering green monster should be relegated to video games and corporate letterhead. I'll be pretty bummed if they slap it in front of the original theatrical versions on the forthcoming DVDs, but I don't think they will. Unlike a lot of Star Wars fans right now, I'm staying optimistic. There's no reason not to take that Lucasfilm press release at face value.

That's me, good ol' optimistic Jim Greene! Can't hear anything negative outta me regarding future events! Just a positive, upbeat attitude. Why, that's what bein' optimistic is all about!

Sunday, May 14, 2006

It's Better to Burn Out Than Get Killed By Vader

Hey, I have five Nirvana CDs, so let's do Nirvana this week. Sound like a plan? Excellent.

5/15: Bleach w/ Star Wars
5/16: Nevermind w/ The Empire Strikes Back
5/17: Incesticide w/ Star Wars
5/18: In Utero w/ Star Wars
5/19: From the Muddy Banks of the Wishkah w/ Star Wars

What's that? No, I already did Nevermind with Star Wars. Remember? I guess not. Click here, dude. It's pretty killer.

[3:10 P.M.: I guess I didn't remember when I wrote this entry that I was considering doing Nirvana a couple weeks ago, because it sounds like I'm introducing an entirely new concept here. I gotta lay off the peyote!]

Friday, May 12, 2006

Boot Stamping On A Rebel Face Forever



The Empire Strikes Back (1995 "Faces" VHS).


The Empire Strikes First, Bad Religion's most recent studio album. Contains "Los Angeles is Burning," "Sinister Rouge," and lots of anti-Bush rhetoric. That's cool with me. I ain't exactly down with King W myself these days.


- The first guitar chord in "Overture" coincides with the appearance of the Star Wars logo.

- The solo in "Sinister Rouge" coincides with the descent of the probe droid to Hoth; its harsh landing occurs the same time the song switches tempos back for the last verse.

- The line "tell me, where is the love?" in "God's Love" is heard as Princess Leia kisses Luke in front of Han Solo.

- The line "the search is bound to fail" in "To Another Abyss" coincides with Admiral Ozzle trying to convince Darth Vader not to waste any time looking around the Hoth system for the Rebels.

- The line "we strike first and we're unrehearsed" in "The Empire Strikes First" is heard right after the Rebels fire the cannon at the Star Destroyer and cripple it, as all the pilots are racing toward their ships.

- The phrase "drop dead" is heard in "Boot Stamping On A Human Face Forever" right before we see the AT-AT Luke bombed fall over and hit the ground.

- The lines "look at the trouble we're in, we can't win" are heard in "Boot Stamping On A Human Face Forever" as Han, Leia, and Threepio are running through the Rebel base on Hoth during the Imperial attack; the next line, "we're stuck here together," is heard as part of the base caves in and momentarily prevents them all from escaping.


Okay, maybe I jumped the gun yesterday. Maybe there is no Bad Religion/Star Wars conspiracy at hand. Maybe, as my friend Nathan suggested a long time ago, this is all coincidental. There is no cosmic force aligning certain records with certain movies, probably. Everything in the world synchs up in one way or another with everything else, albeit with varying degrees of success, and I've been a fool to believe otherwise.

Oh well. I'm not going to let a little thing like common sense stop me from doing this project - at least not until I find an album that produces at least sixty distinct moments of synchronicity. I'm also not going to let it stop me from completely freaking out when I do find that particular album. Rest assured, I will be looking to everything from lunar cycles to ancient Sumerian birthing rituals for explanation.

You have to admit, though, a couple of the things in today's experiment were pretty cool. The lines in "Boot Stamping On A Human Face Forever" with Han and Leia in the Hoth base? Come on, that was just neat. Flat-out neat. No? Ah, go back to your World of Warcraft.

Last night I had a dream that I met Greg Graffin at Taco Bell. He walked in, sat down at the table next to me, and started listening to the brand new Vandals album. It was all hardcore rap. We struck up a conversation about the group's new direction; he was really into it. We walked outside, and Greg hopped in the back of a pickup truck that soon sped off. He gave me some really goofy advice right before the truck took off. I wish I could remember what it was.

Clearly (there's a word I need to ban from my vocabulary for overusage), Bad Religion has infected my brain. It's going to be a while before I dip back into their catalog.

Oh, P.S., by the way, I've been reading a few BR message threads regarding this blog, and I have to say thanks to everyone who had kind things to say. Aw heck, even you naysayers deserve thanks, 'cause you kept the babble going. Appreciated!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Can't Stop It (the Death Star)



Star Wars (1995 "Faces" VHS).


The Process of Belief by Bad Religion, the 2002 release that saw the return of guitarist Brett "I'll Quit the Band & Rejoin Whenever I Feel Like It" Gurewitz. This album also saw the addition of Brooks Wackerman on drums, whose manic style seemed to fit the band perfectly. I bet that made him pretty happy. No longer would he have to play second fiddle to Josh Freese in the Vandals.


- The line "into oblivian" in "Supersonic" coincides with the Star Wars logo fading into space; minutes later, the phrase is heard again as the end of the scrolling text fades into space.

- The line "you can make it if you try" in "Prove It" coincides with one of the first shots of the droids during the attack on the Tantive IV.

- C-3PO is seen waiting for R2-D2 to roll over to him as the line "he only wanted a friend, now he made something else" is heard in "Broken" (this is right after Princess Leia places the Death Star plans in R2, ensuring that "something else" is in store for 3PO).

- The opening lines of "Materialist" ("you're obsessed and distressed 'cause you can't make any sense of the ludicrous nonsense") coincide with 3PO's reaction to R2's decision to head in a different direction on the surface of Tatooine.

- The line "I have to walk this mile in my own shoes" in "Materialist" coincides with both droids going their separate ways in the Tatooine desert.

- The line "no peace, no friends" in "The Defense" is heard as Luke, depressed over his life situation, is seen walking outside the Lars homestead.

- At one point in "The Defense," the line "ain't it beautiful to be alive?—yeah, right!" is heard; this line coincides with Luke staring at the sunset, and he looks down to the ground the moment the "yeah, right" is heard.

- Aunt Beru is seen making something in the kitchen as the line "your mother's in the kitchen" is heard in "The Defense."

- Luke is lying on the ground after the Tusken Raider attack as the lines "why do you lie, why do you lie?" are heard in "The Lie."

- Obi-Wan presents Luke with his father's lightsaber around the same time Greg Graffin says, "but to you, I dedicate this song, yeah to you" in "You Don't Belong."

- The hologram of Princess Leia appears before Obi-Wan and Luke at the exact moment the music fades out in the middle of "Bored and Extremely Dangerous" and all the weird noises start; the ticking of the clock is heard as Obi-Wan and Luke sit silently for a moment after the hologram disappears, and the alarm rings right before Obi says, "you must learn the ways of the Force if you are to come with me to Alderaan."


Okay, what's going on? Am I going crazy? Have I been at this too long? All those synchs were right on the money! That last one, with the hologram? Downright eerie! Granted, this experiment didn't produce as many as The Gray Race (link), but come have to be starting to wonder.

Seriously, I haven't been this spooked since the original White Zombie experiments (link). If tomorrow's experiment is a dud, I'll chalk it all up to coincidence. If not, if something like this goes down again...well, then it's on. I'll have to get together another Bad Religion week, all the while trying to pick up on any subtle clues the band may have dropped over the years in reference to Star Wars.

Strange things are afoot at the Circle K (and by Circle K, I mean this blog).

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Against the Gonk



Star Wars (1995 "Faces" VHS).


All Ages by Bad Religion, a compilation of songs released in 1995. Don't know if it qualifies as a "best of" package, but it does contain many a fine BR tune. "I Want to Conquer the World," "Modern Man," "No Control," and "Fuck Armageddon...This is Hell," to name a few. The copy I currently have in my possession was borrowed from a friend who borrowed it from a friend who never asked for it back. I hope it's not cursed.


- The line "and I make a difference too" in "You Are (the Government)" coincides with Darth Vader's entrance.

- The line "I don't believe you have the answer" in "The Answer" is heard as C-3PO walks away from R2-D2 in the Tatooine desert (because he doesn't agree with R2's navigational instincts).

- C-3PO is seen wandering the desert, looking for help, as the line "searching for a modern day survivor" is heard in "The Answer."

- The line "Anna!" in "Anesthesia" coincides with the first appearance of Princess Leia's hologram; moments later, the line "Mona Lisa" coincides with a closer shot of the hologram.

- The line "looks as though faith alone won't sustain us anymore" in "Faith Alone" is heard as Luke is staring into the Tatooine sunset, wondering how he'll get through another season on the farm.

- The line "I don't believe in self-important folks who preach" in "No Direction" coincides with Vader's decision to Force-choke Admiral Motti for his smart-ass remarks.



You know, I saw Bad Religion once. Warped Tour '98. I don't remember much about their set aside from the following facts: they played late in the afternoon, Greg Graffin was wearing a blue shirt, and a mosh pit the size of Montana broke out when they played "Do What You Want."

It was the largest mosh I ever bore witness to, by gum. Trees were uprooted, houses were leveled, and the raging torrent of limbs and sneakers carried one pour soul all the way to Topeka. We learned a sobering lesson that day, my friends. When you go to a corporate sponsored festival tour, you put your life in other people's hands (and most of those people are shirtless and drunk).

Thankfully, my party and I escaped that day with nothing more than bad sunburns and a severe distaste for the band Civ. We also got out of the parking lot in under two hours. Someone must have been watching over us.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

You Are (the Death Star)



Star Wars (1995 "Faces" VHS).


Suffer, Bad Religion's breakthrough 1987 album. Features "You Are (the Government)," "Best For You," and "Do What You Want." Clocking in at just over twenty-six minutes, this is definitely one of the shortest records I've tried so far.


- The line "everybody's looking but they never can see" in "Give You Nothing" is heard as the stormtroopers are looking around the dark hallway on the Tantive IV for Princess Leia.

- The line "so you've got a place that you can call your own" in "Give You Nothing" is heard as R2-D2 opens up the escape pod on the Tantive IV and gets in.

- The camera is looking down on the Jawas, who are carrying R2-D2 to the sandcrawler, as the line "they're all looking down on you" is heard in "Best For You."

- The phrase "well fed" in "Part 4" coincides with a shot of Uncle Owen eating.


I read an interview online yesterday where BR guitarist Brett Gurewitz labeled the changes George Lucas made to the original Star Wars movies as "cheesy." Didn't know you were down with the cause, Mr. Brett. I'll see you in line September 12th.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Eat Your Droid



Star Wars (1995 "Faces" VHS).


80-85, a collection of nearly thirty pre-Suffer Bad Religion tunes. Nothing from the keyboardy, psychedelic Into the Unknown, though. Am I the only person who thinks they should just swallow their pride and rerelease that one? As a casual fan, I'm not about to pay top dollar for it on the bootleg market, but if it was officially released and reasonably priced, I'd definitely pick it up. To paraphrase Mary Woronov, there's a difference between art and bullshit; sometimes, the bullshit is more interesting.


- The line "man's quest for dominance" in "Part III" coincides with Darth Vader's first entrance.

- The line "you'll be down in hell" in "Faith in God" coincides with a shot of the escape pod drifting down to Tatooine.

- As the droids are walking around the surface of Tatooine, the chorus of "Fuck Armageddon...This is Hell" is repeatedly heard (the chorus, by the way, is the same as the title).

- The line "you live your life in darkness" is heard in "In the Night" as we see various shots of broken and run-down droids in the dark corners of the sandcrawler.

- The "hey!" or "ayy!" in the middle of the second "Bad Religion" coincides with Ponda Baba shoving Luke in the cantina.


Not so good, Al. At least some stuff happened.

After this experiment, I can go on record as saying my favorite Bad Religion song from this particular era is "Frogger." Is that song looked down upon in general by hardcore Bad Religion fans? I hope not. I'd hate to get hassled on the street, man. You know, by all those roving gangs of Bad Religion fans who are out looking for trouble.

Oh God, remember that "Seinfeld" where George tried to save the Frogger machine from the pizza place because it had his high score? THAT WAS HILARIOUS!! Not so much the part where he actually tries to evacuate the arcade machine, but the part where he and Jerry return to the pizza place and the chef is a real jerk to them.

"I think I remember why we stopped coming here."

That gets me every time! Yuk, yuk!

Sunday, May 07, 2006

How Could Hoth Be Any Worse?

Alright, folks, you asked for it, and now you're getting it: an entire week of Bad Religion.

5/08: 80-85
5/09: Suffer
5/10: All Ages
5/11: The Process of Belief
5/12: The Empire Strikes First

All with Star Wars, except The Empire Strikes First, which I think by law I have to do with The Empire Strikes Back. I'll probably do it with Star Wars, too, just to satisfy my own curiosity.

Yes, I do realize that two of the albums I'm using are compilations. I did the best I could with my limited resources. In a perfect world, the library would have every CD ever made - or I'd make enough money to buy every CD I needed for this project.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Me, Jello, & the Dead Kennedys Book That Never Was

I wrote a very lengthy version of this tale that quickly spiraled out of control, so I scrapped it and penned this truncated but still interesting (hopefully) version of Jim Greene Tries to Write a Book About the Dead Kennedys & Almost Succeeds.

In late 2001, I decided the world needed a comprehensive, exhaustive book about the Dead Kennedys, one of the most notorious punk bands of all-time (not to mention one of my favorites). I sat down, wrote each member a fancy-schmancy letter requesting their assistance, and dropped them in the mail. I didn't hear from back from any of them until February of 2002, when Klaus Flouride e-mailed me to let me know he, East Bay Ray, and D.H. Peligro were somewhat interested in this proposed book and that they wanted to meet with me in a couple of days.

I met the three of them in Jacksonville, FL, where they were playing one of the Dead Kennedys "reunion" shows with Brandon Cruz on vocals. For the record, these were about the only circumstances under which I would have attended a DK "reunion" show with Brandon Cruz on vocals. Klaus was very friendly and personable; he seemed to be the most interested in this book idea. Ray was also friendly, though a bit guarded. He was very careful about what he said to me, for fear that I might "use it against him." Although that was a little disheartening, I could understand.

D.H. I communicated with the least. He struck me as a pretty nice guy with a good sense of humor. I believe he had some prior engagement in the weeks following the Jacksonville concert, which is when I spent most of my time interviewing Klaus and Ray over the phone while they were at their respective homes. During this time I also spoke with DK artist Winston Smith and former DK drummer Bruce "Ted" Slesinger. All were very generous with their time and patient with me, considering I was just some punk college kid who had never really tried to do anything like this before.

I heard many fascinating and sometimes hilarious stories, including why Bruce/Ted left the band (he loved needling Jello, apparently, and the singer eventually laid down the ultimatum, "either Bruce goes or I go"), the infamous "Pull My Strings" performance (it was recorded as part of a live radio broadcast, and no one in the control room was really paying attention to what Jello was saying), and the time Jello retreated into the California wilderness to live in a shack with a really angry cat. This was the best part of the entire experience.

Unfortunately, things just weren't coming together on any other front. Outside of Winston Smith, it was damn near impossible to get anyone who knew the band to talk to me. Someone told me that was because they were all afraid risking Jello's wrath by taking part in something that was possibly non-Jello sanctioned. Also, I couldn't find an interested publisher. Most flat-out rejected me. One suggested I write a book about Courtney Love instead. I almost gagged.

Finally, at the end of February, I heard back from the High Priest of Harmful Matter himself, singer/poet/actor/activist Jello Biafra. Getting my letter to him was an ordeal in itself, as apparently he only communicates via fax machine. Anyway, he wrote the repsonse to my letter and addressed the envelope by hand, which was nice. His kindness ended there:

"Dear James,

Thank you for your offer, but as far as I am concerned, the last thing the world needs is a book about Dead Kennedys. Why not let the music speak for itself?

Plus, I have no interest in rehasing all the ugly gossip surrounding the other three ex-DKs' vicious ugly lawsuit.

I am sorry I can't be more helpful, but I don't really have the time for this anyway, let alone the interest.


Jello Biafra"

That was pretty much the nail in the coffin. I tried to convince myself to press on, but I could see not having Jello's help would be more of a hindrance than suddenly losing both of my hands. I thanked the other Kennedys for their help, told them I was moving on, and they wished me well.

In an ironic postscript, Jello came to my college to do one of his spoken word lecture things a month or so later. Of course I went, with the intention of confronting him and/or making a scene. When I got there and saw him, walking around outside the place like he owned the world, commenting on everything he saw in a loud, grandiose way so the Peanut Gallery surrounding him would have something to chuckle about, I decided to just let it be. Our worlds weren't meant to collide, and if they did, it would probably be ugly. I left during the first intermission of his word speak lecture.

So until another aspiring author decides to tackle the Dead Kennedys as his or her subject matter, the music will have to speak for itself (as Jello would prefer). I'm okay with that. I wasn't for a while, but I am now.

The music is very good, you know.

Please Stand By

Due to unforseen circumstances, the Dead Kennedys story I promised you will not be posted until sometime Saturday afternoon. I apologize to anyone who was sitting by the computer all night, refreshing this page every two minutes. Trust me, if you're a fan of the DK, it'll be worth the wait. Thanks for your continued support, and God bless.

Friday, May 05, 2006

A Child and His Star Destroyer



Star Wars (1995 "Faces" VHS).


Give Me Convenience or Give Me Death by Dead Kennedys. A compilation of singles, b-sides, and unreleased tracks released in 1987, one year after the band broke up. Includes "The Man with the Dogs," which may be my favorite DK song of all-time (the other contender is "Forward to Death"). Also includes that version of "Buzzbomb" where Jello inexplicably sings in an old lady voice.


- The line "they have come for your uncool niece" in "California Über Alles" is heard as the stormtroopers are seen marching Princess Leia to Darth Vader.

- The phrase "you turn to walk away" in "The Man with the Dogs" is heard as R2-D2 heads in a different direction than C-3PO on Tatooine.

- A Jawa is seen hiding behind a rock as the line "who's that kid in the back of the room?" is heard in "Insight."

- The line "it's tough, kid, but it's life" in "Holiday in Cambodia" coincides with Luke's disappointed reaction at having to clean the droids.

- The line "we shrug our shoulders and get back to work" in "Saturday Night Holocaust" coincides with Uncle Owen telling Luke to forget about Obi-Wan and his father.

- The line "you're from outta town" in "The Prey" coincides with a shot of Princess Leia in her cell aboard the Death Star.

- The camera is on the stormtrooper who Obi-Wan is Jedi mind-tricking as the line "you don't even know who you are" is heard in "The Prey."

- The cantina band is onscreen as Jello says, "Put those headphones on, it's bebop time!" in "Night of the Living Rednecks."

- Jello's description of the fight between himself and the people in the truck during "Night of the Living Rednecks" coincides with the fight in the cantina; the line "so I threw the rock" coincides with Obi-Wan whipping out his lightsaber and wasting Dr. Evanzan.


When "Night of the Living Rednecks" started, I knew that the description of Jello's fight would synch up with the fight in the cantina. That was exciting. Somewhere I have a bootleg of the entire concert that interlude came from. Traded some guy on the Internet a Ramones CBGBs show for it, I think. I need to dig that tape out and listen to it again.

No, wait. I need to dig that tape out, convert all the songs to MP3s, load them up on the ol' iPod, boogie down to Starbucks, buy an iced mochachino, and pop over to Urban Outfitters to buy a witty, pre-faded t-shirt that says something like, "Not Everything in Kansas is Flat." 'Cause that's how I roll!

Anyone catch the comment left by "anonymous" yesterday? Apparently he and George Lucas had a frank and open discussion about this blog and they both came to the conclusion that I'm a loser. Listen, Chevy Chase. I don't go to your blog and leave comments saying George Bush and I agree you're not funny. There's no reason to attack me. I'm a private citizen. I realize your life probably didn't turn out the way you would have liked it to, but that's no reason to take your anger out on me.

Take a deep breath, Chevy. Count to ten. Exhale. There, don't you feel better? Now, I'm sure you'll get a lovely invitation in the mail today requesting your participation in the Snow Day collector's edition DVD. Have a great weekend, and try to stay positive!

Thursday, May 04, 2006


Happy Christmas, war is over - Lucasfilm announced today that they will be releasing the original theatrical versions of Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi on DVD on September 12, 2006 (link).

Jennifer, hold my calls. I'm taking lunch early so I can go dance up and down I-Drive in my underpants.

Selling the movies individually as two-disc sets for thirty bucks a pop is pretty weak, but - oh, what the hell am I complaining about? I was gonna pay some asshole bootlegger forty for Star Wars on just one disc. Lucas is actually giving me more for my dollar. Do you believe in miracles?

The VHS smashing party is already being planned. Hallelujah.

Truly, this will be a day long remembered. It has seen the end of the Bearded One's stubborness, and soon it will see the end of my berserk rage towards him (and his associates).

Bedtime for the Rebellion



Star Wars (1995 "Faces" VHS).


Bedtime for Democracy by Dead Kennedys, their 1986 swan song. Less surf and jazz, more speed and thrash. Production thinner than Lyle Lovett. A few good tunes here and there. "Rambozo the Clown" comes to mind. "Lie Detector," too. First DK record I ever heard. I was in a shed with a kid named Joe, who was tuning a banjo, and he was blasting a dubbed cassette copy on a boombox. Memories, man, I'll tell ya.


- The first lines of "Dear Abby" ("dear abby, got a problem") coincide with the Rebels crouching in the Tantive IV corridor, awaiting the Imperial invasion (not only that, but the first two stops in the song synch up with a couple of the edits).

- The phrase "war is sexy" in "Rambozo the Clown" coincides with a shot of Princess Leia.

- The phrase "goddamn liars" is heard in "Chickenshit Conformist" as Obi-Wan lies to Luke about Darth Vader killing his father.


Bedtime for Democracy? More like Bedtime for Synchronicity! Dear Abby, gotta problem - this experiment was weak! Anarchy may be for sale, but at these prices, nobody's buying! Yuk, yuk, yuk!


I bet you'd really like to hear about the infamous Dead Kennedys book fiasco already. Well, I'd love nothing more than to lay it on you right now, but they kind of expect me to do some work around here for the next seven hours.

Tomorrow, my child, I shall unravel the entire sordid affair in a blog post longer than the Yangtze River. I'm thinking late afternoon, early evening-ish. Don't fret if it doesn't appear before the sun goes down. That just means I'm making it extra special for you.

A Dead Kennedys story, with chocolate chips and marshmallows, just like Grandma used to make!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

A Growing Boy Needs His Force

[5/6/06: It has been brought to my attention that the infamous penis/vagina landscape I talk about in the following experiment was actually a poster that came with "Frankenchrist." At no time was it ever the cover of the record. I guess the shriners were always on there. Some Dead Kennedys fan I am! Go ahead and disregard every instance where I refer to the penises and vaginas as the cover, and also the part where I say it was replaced with the picture of the shriners.]



Star Wars (1995 "Faces" VHS).


Frankenchrist, perhaps the best album title of all-time. This was the DK's third full-length record, and their most controversial. The original cover had a bunch of gray penises penetrating gray vaginas; some nutty parent saw that in their kid's record collection, flipped out, and decided to sue the band for distributing harmful matter to minors. The court case that followed was a pretty big deal (Gene Simmons tried to buy the film rights to it). When the dust settled, the court ruled in the DK's favor. The music on the record? Not as incredible as the cover, if you ask me.


- The explosion that convinces C-3PO to get into the escape pod coincides with the start of the drums in "This Could Be Anywhere."

- The lyric "kids at school takin' sides" in "This Could Be Anywhere" is heard as the droids start arguing about which way to go on Tatooine.

- The line "lots of exotic deformed babies" in "A Growing Boy Needs His Lunch" coincides with a shot of Gonk and the various other incomplete robots that surround him inside the sandcrawler.

- The line "we're going down to the chicken farm" in "Chicken Farm" is heard as the droids start walking toward the Lars homestead (which is also a moisture farm).

- The end of "At My Job" coincides with Admiral Motti recovering from Vader's Force choke; the evil laughter in the song sounds like Vader himself, laughing at the Imperial stooge's idiocy.

- Jello sings, "see homeless people passed out on the lawn" in "Stars and Stripes of Corruption" as Luke spies his dead relatives (who are "passed out" roughly where the lawn would be if they didn't live on a desert planet).


Not exactly gangbusters, but some interesting stuff.

By the way, the photo the Dead Kennedys replaced the penis/vagina thing with on later pressings of Frankenchrist? They got in trouble for that, too. It was a picture of some shriners riding around in their little cars from Newsweek. One of the shriners found out about it and objected. He filed suit against the band, I think, but the photographer who snapped the photo held the copyright and had authorized it for use as the record's new cover.

Defeated, Ol' Shriner McGhee withdrew from society. He was shamed by the fact his face was on a record by one of those "new-fangled rock groups," and he was hardly ever seen at the lodge or bingo thereafter. Some say he died staring at the very record that was his albatross, muttering obscenities with tears in his eyes.

You think the DKs would have learned their lesson about putting private citizens on their records after all the hassles they had with Fresh Fruit. On the back of that record, they originally slapped a photo of some cheesy 1960s lounge band with the DK logo superimposed on the kick drum. The lounge band found out about it and complained to the Kennedys, who tried to meet them halfway; they excised the band member's heads from the photo on the next pressing. That wasn't good enough for the loungers, so the fellas scrapped the picture entirely and replaced it with a nice photo of four old ladies sitting around having tea (who, apparently, never found out their likenesses were featured on a punk rock record).

Take note, future bands of tomorrow: avoid possible legal entanglements by leaving shriners, lounge acts, and genitalia off your record sleeves. Instead, why not use drawings of puppies? That will please everyone (unless you call your records Puppy Destroyer and Build More Pounds).

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Terminal Jedi

"Terminal Jedi"


Star Wars (1995 "Faces" VHS).


Plastic Surgery Disasters by Dead Kennedys. Eschews much of the quirkiness of Fresh Fruit in favor of a darker, creepier approach. Musically, this has to be the DK's apex. An intense storm of bitter psychodelic punk noise. Jello's lyrics were never more pointed or full of disgust (and he sings 'em well, too). There are moments of comic relief, the best of which comes early in the form of intense clarinetting on the break-neck "Terminal Preppie."


- One of the cymbal flushes in the middle of "Trust Your Mechanic" coincides with the explosion near the escape pod that convinces C-3PO to abandon the Tantive IV.

- The hippie shrieks of joy (pain?) in "Forest Fire" coincide with R2-D2's reaction to being shot by the Jawa.

- The line "is that a house or a fortress against the rest of the world?" in "Forest Fire" coincides with the first exterior shot of the sandcrawler.

- The line "how ya gonna get out?" in "Forest Fire" is heard as R2 wakes up aboard the sandcrawler and looks around.

- The phrase "why don't you take your social regulations and shove 'em up your ass" is heard in "Halloween" as Luke looks angrily at his Uncle after he it told he cannot go to the Toschi Station (I imagine Luke was thinking something along those lines at that moment).

- The "shit!" in the middle of "Riot" coincides with a shot of Luke appearing dejected over his Uncle's insistence that he stay on the farm another season.

- The line "the barricades spring up from nowhere" is heard in "Riot" and Uncle Owen explains to Luke why he can't go to the Academy yet.

- "I Am the Owl" starts at about the time Obi-Wan pulls off his hood, revealing himself to R2-D2.

- During "Dead End," the phrase "die in the end" is heard repeatedly; in one instance, the camera is on Obi-Wan, who does die in the end of the film. In another instance, the camera is on the Death Star, and then quickly cuts to the conference room inside. Everyone aboard the Death Star at that point (except Vader) dies in the end of the film.


First of all, a big thanks to all the people who have been commenting lately (especially those of you leaving positive comments). It's cool to know people are checking this blog out and having a reaction, one way or another.

Something I didn't include with the rest of the synchs but I thought was cool anyway was what happened during "Moon Over Marin." During the middle of that song, when it goes back to that dissonant opening part, Luke discovers his Aunt and Uncle are dead. As the notes are ringing out, you can see the pain on his face. As soon as he looks away, that arpeggio that leads into the solo begins. The song ends as Obi-Wan walks out of frame with Luke after Luke tells him he wants to go to Alderaan.

I thought that was neat, because the melody/harmony of that song is pretty emotional. However, it's called "Moon Over Marin," not "Suns Over Tatooine" or "The Empire Killed My Family, So Now I'm Gettin' the Hell Outta Here." The theme of the song doesn't really connect in any way to these particular scenes, so it's not a true synch (not by my standards, anyway).

There were a few other instances like that. "Well Paid Scientist" started the moment the film cut to Princess Leia being lead to Darth Vader by the stormtroopers. The bass that opens that song seemed to convey the weight of what was about to happen, but then Jello had to break in with, "You're a well-paid scientist, you only talk in facts," which had absolutely nothing to do with the Rebellion against the Empire, the Imperial Senate, stolen data tapes, Darth Vader, or Princess Leia. The singing started the same time Leia starting talking, though, and that was kind of cool.

Another one was the fast part of "Forest Fire," which started as all the Jawas came out of their hiding places to descend upon R2-D2. I think. I can't remember exactly. Not that it means anything, anyway. They weren't in a forest, and there sure as hell wasn't any fire. It just looked funny, you know? All those Jawas scrambling around to really fast music...

Well, as I'm sure you can see, these untrue synchs (yes, I totally just made that term up) just get less and less remarkable as I go on, so why don't I stop here, for both our benefit?

Monday, May 01, 2006

Forward to Darth



Star Wars (1995 "Faces" VHS).


Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables, the 1980 debut from Dead Kennedys. A lethal mixture of surf, jazz, and punk, capped off by frontman Jello Biafra's acerbic lyrics and Jolson-on-crack delivery. A bit dated, but one could level that accusation at every DK album. It still managed to blow my mind the first time I heard it, which was long after Jerry Brown and the neutron bomb had faded from public consciousness.


- "Kill the Poor" plays as the star destroyer attacks the Tantive IV; one of the many "kills" coincides with the large explosion that rocks the Tantive IV.

- "Forward to Death" begins as Threepio and the Rebels hear the strange noises outside their ship, which are the signals of Imperial capture (and, for most of the Rebels, certain death).

- "Let's Lynch the Landlord" begins as Darth Vader really lays into his choking victim, crushing his neck and tossing him aside.

- The gasp towards the end of "Ill in the Head" coincides with Luke's sigh as he stares at the sunset on Tatooine.

- The phrase "one arm bandit" is heard in "Viva Las Vegas" as we see Luke pick up Threepio's arm in the Jundland Wastes.


This was one of those experiments where I saw a lot of stuff and I said to myself, "Does that mean anything?" Nine times out of ten when that happens, the answer is no. This stuff really has to be instantaneous. If the connection doesn't whack you right in the head, then forget it. That's my rule of thumb. Unless, of course, your brain is totally fried from working all day and you momentarily forget that Owen is Luke's Uncle or that the big hairy thing onscreen is named Chewbacca.