Songs in the Key of Stratton
Stupid all-vocal covers and other humorous audio projects!
CRY LITTLE SISTER (THEME FROM THE LOST BOYS)
I’ve never been much of a fan of horror movies, but as a teenager I had a serious obsession with the Joel Schumacher vampire flick The Lost Boys. It was one of those beautiful mash-ups of a movie–combining dark humor, schlocky effects, eye-catching cinematography, a hip young cast, and a killer soundtrack (Echo and the Bunnymen covering The Doors, two INXS tracks, Roger Daltrey, Mummy Calls, Lou Gramm, and Tim Cappello, best remembered shirtless, with long greasy hair, wearing a snake and wailin’ on a saxophone). One track in particular really set the mood for the piece, playing over the opening titles, which streamed over a helicopter shot of the moon-soaked ocean, eventually settling on the Santa Carla (aka Santa Cruz) Boardwalk and Kiefer’s motley crew of vamps. That song was Gerard McMann’s Cry Little Sister (Theme From The Lost Boys).
Here, as a tribute to Michael, Star, David, Lucy, the Frog Brothers, Thorn the Helldog, cranky ol’ grandpa, and Sam (RIP, Corey!) is my all-vocal cover of the track. Press play–and try not to have a death by stereo!
DANCIN' IN HEAVEN (ORBITAL BE-BOP)
Thanks to HBO’s constant streaming of the ’80s teen dance classic Girls Just Want To Have Fun, I’ve always had a soft-spot in my heart for SJP and her dream to be on Dance TV. My cousin, Casey, and I would watch the thing over and over again–I could probably quote most of it if my life depended on it (which would be a weird thing for your life to depend on–when was the last time anyone was asked to rattle off Jonathan Silverman’s dialogue at gunpoint?)
The film sports one of the best soundtracks of that decade–an extremely hard one to hunt down, btw. I took it upon myself (believe me, this is totally self-inflicted!) to record a cover of my favorite tune from the flick–Q-Feel’s “Dancin’ In Heaven (Orbital Be-Bop).” And since I can’t actually play any instruments (which I plan to remedy this year with guitar lessons), I recorded the whole thing using vocals only. So…what it lacks in technical ability it more than makes up for in heart, much like Janey Glenn herself! Click…and “enjoy.”
One of my all time favorite movies growing up was the Disney produced all-night scavenger hunt comedy Midnight Madness. Teams from a local college descend upon L.A. tracking clue after clue in Leon’s game–there’s the heroic yellow team led by An American Werewolf In London’s David Naughton (with Michael J. Fox in tow, in his first big screen appearance); the evil Blue team, following the orders of a spoiled lazy rich kid (Animal House’s Stephen Furst); the Red all-ladies team with identical giggling twins; the Green jock squad nicknamed the Meat Machine; and the nerdy white team with Eddie Deezen (Grease and 1941). It also features Paul Reubens as a pre-Pee Wee video arcade employee. I’ve probably seen it twenty or thirty times…and I simply adore the disco theme song. So much that…yes…I’ve done an all-vocal cover of it.
Here it is…in all it’s cheeseball glory!
RIVERBOTTOM NIGHTMARE BAND
I’m a big fan of Jim Henson’s perennial holiday classic, Emmet Otter’s Jugband Christmas. It’s still as magical to me now as it was when I was a child (this was my favorite, my brother Shea was obsessed with Henson’s The Christmas Toy). As much as I loved Emmet, his ma, and the Bob Dylan-esque Percy Woodchuck (his rendition of “Barbecue” is timeless), the real stars of the piece where the ruffian Riverbottom Nightmare Band, the roughest, toughest Bear/Weasel/Lizard/Frog/Fish band anywhere on the planet. Their self-titled psychedelic song in the talent contest was constantly rewound and watched over and over, with every nuance memorized and repeated to family members, friends and acquaintances. Once I finally got Garageband on my MacBook, one of the first things I recorded was an all-a capella version of the song, with me doing several layers of multi-tracked vocals approximating every instrument and lyric of the piece. Granted, I was using a piece-o-shit $20 USB microphone (I’ve since got the Blue Snowball Mic, which is much better), but the results are pretty good. Crank it up, and consider yourself an honorary Riverbottom Nightmare Bander!
IT'S NOT HARD TO RHYME LIKE MIKE SKINNER
I seriously enjoy Mike Skinner (a.k.a. The Streets), the white cockneyfied British rapper. His rhymes seem very stream-of-consciousness, and very tongue-in-cheek. Often, I would imitate Skinner while free associating, which led to this little Garageband experiment. So here, for your listening pleasure(?), is my homage/piss take on The Streets, simply titled “It’s Not Hard to Rhyme Like Mike Skinner.”