April 29th, 2007

Pai Mei (Kill Bill)

Sailing with the Tide

First of all, I want to thank everybody for their words of support on Friday. This is the first time I've been online since I made that post. The rest of the day, while nowhere near as harrowing as that experience was, the day didn't ever really get that good, either.

Thank goodness that despite how busy it was, the weekend has thus far been a distinct improvement.

jailnurse wanted my help Saturday morning as he had finally located a Liferower, a piece of exercise equipment that he has wanted for years. He had actually mentioned it to me upon his return from the Navy, and he nabbed one on e-Bay for a very good price. This is what the item looks like:

The guy is sitting on the seat with his feet in the stirrups, but if you look at the board underneath the screen, you'll see the handlebars. The user pulls on these; the screen has a little video game that pits the user against a computerized opponent. Essentially, the user is playing an interactive video game by exercizing. The combination of this aspect with the primitive graphics caused us to begin to refer to the machine as the Atari 2600 Wii.

jailnurse had expected it to be a real pain to move, so he asked if, since I was going to be up there yesterday anyway for his daughter Sally's second birthday party, if he could pick me up Friday night so that we could go get it early Saturday morning. but it turned out to have wheels on it, making it actually remarkably easy to cart around. Stairs, though, were a problem, but the bottom shaft - which jailnurse detached for the trip home, made it less cumbersome to steer. The front of it, however, with the screen and whatnot, weighs approximately four and a half billion metric tons, so whomever was on the bottom of the Atari 2600 Wii had something of a strain when bringing the item downstairs (that was me).

Getting to the place to pick it up was an adventure as well. It was located near Trenton, New Jersey. Despite my cautioning jailnurse to check out several alternate map services rather than trusting to just one, he only bothered to print out the MapQuest directions, and, sure enough, it sent us in the wrong direction. Eventually, jailnurse had to go buy a map, and I plotted a course that brought us to the general area of our destination, whereupon the MapQuest instructions started to be more accurate once again. We were able to get some very simple directions from the former owner of the Atari 2600 Wii for the return that, thankfully, didn't have any tricks or weapons.

As I mentioned a few days ago, I just bought a new battery for my cell phone to replace the original which no longer keeps a charge. I must mention that the battery is about two years old now and has been really abused as I use my cell phone constantly. I just charged the new one last night. The thing of it is... the battery is silver while the rest of my phone is dark blue. I like it, actually, along with the slight crack on the bottom of the crystal on the face plate that I hated when it first showed up and I have just gotten used to. It adds to the character.

I happened to get a whole bunch of records in the mail yesterday, the new edition of Basil Poledouris' Red Dawn, Jerry Goldsmith's Contract on Cherry Street, the FSM Colpix twofer of Clifton Parker's Damn the Defiant and Maurice Jarre's Behold a Pale Horse, Randy Miller's Spartacus and John Barry's King Kong. The latter has reminded me of that Kong mix I'd like to make someday. The thing of it is... there are rumblings that what was recorded of Howard Shore's score might be seeing the light of day at some point. I want to wait until I know more about this possibility, as I would definitely want to include selections from that score along with James Newton Howard's final score for that version of the film as well as the iconic Max Steiner original, Steiner's music for Son of Kong and John Scott's beautiful King Kong Lives.

Sir Alec Guinness as Captain Crawford

I began reading the liner notes for Damn the Defiant! and realized that I had seen it on Cinemax several years ago, but I had missed the opening titles and never knew what the title was. The Lewis Gilbert film starred Alec Guinness, Anthony Quayle and a nasty Dirk Bogarde, and is about the Great Mutiny and remember liking it (in fact, I just put it on my queue at Netflix). I actually bought the disc for the Jarre score - I didn't know much about Parker's work - but am finding Damn the Defiant! to be quite rousing (and the vinyl mastering job is excellent).. This also made me think about a mix idea I had a while ago of music relating to sailing and the sea. Such an album would be a fairly large project, however. It would be a two-disc set which would include selections from Howard Blake's The Riddle of the Sands, Bronislau Kaper's Mutiny on the Bounty, José Nieto's Captain Cook, Bernard Herrmann's The Ghost and Mrs. Muir and Jason and the Argonauts, John Debney's Cutthroat Island, Erich Wolfgang Korngold's Captain Blood and The Sea Hawk, William Alwyn's The Crimson Pirate, John Du Prez's music for "The Crimson Permanent Assurance" sequence (this precedes Monty Python's The Meaning of Life), Elmer Bernstein's The Buccaneer... need I go on?

I really have to finish up the notes for the Jerry Goldsmith Star Trek disc. Hopefully I'll have a chance to tonight.
Goldsmith (film composer)

"Out there... thataway."

Upon his death in 2004, I embarked on creating an eight-disc tribute set of Jerry Goldsmith's work. Among the albums included was a two disc set of his music from the Star Trek projects that he had composed. While this was one of the easiest of the discs in that set to be put together, the end result was never satisfying to me, not so much because of what I might have failed to include but of the exact opposite. Two full discs was just too damn much. Despite the accessibilty of the music, the overkill just ended up stretching the patience of the listener. I was also a little too enamored of some of the alternate and additional cues that I had available and included quite a lot of them. Upon the creation of Silver Screen Star Trek mix, I determined that a project for future consideration would be a single disc album of Goldsmith's Trek music and specifically didn't include any on that album. As I've been on something of a Goldsmith kick as of late, the time seemed ripe to revisit this material.

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