Friday, August 6, 2010

v2, d137: WOF #7: Shuffleblog

And away we go.

#1: We'll Have Tomorrow from Little Shop of Horrors...sort of...

One of my favorite things about the newest Broadway cast recording of Little Shop (a show that's always going to have a special place in my heart and that I'd like to direct one day, though I'm afraid my version may end up being too dark, but that's for another day) is that it comes with demo recordings of songs that were ultimately axed before the show opened back in the 1980's and one that was written for the movie and was mercifully scrapped.  This song, We'll Have Tomorrow, is actually pretty good.  However (I recall from my days of researching the show when I was doing it in high school) Ashman and Menken decided that the second act was dragging just a bit, and throwing another ballad into the mix would lose the audience, so this one was cut.  (It's odd listening to the demo, where the guy is singing both parts at the same time due to the miracle of...AUDIO CASSETTE RECORDING!)  You really should try to track down some of these if you're a Little Shop fan: We'll Have Tomorrow, A Little Dental Music (a fantastic tune that, if I do direct the show, I might throw back in), I Found a Hobby (gross-out, so beware, but you'll catch a theme from it in Now, It's Just the Gas in the show itself), The Worse He Beats Me The More He Loves Me (cut because...well, yes.  Good choice), and Bad (aptly named).

#2: Take Me To Your Leader by Newsboys

This song always takes me back to the old youth group days.  It was kind of our unofficial theme song for awhile.  This Newsboys album was one of the first that I ever learned every song to.  (I think this was first, and All Star United's debut may have been second.  Unless you count Carman, and I'm not sure we should)  My youth group won a city-wide youth lip sync contest with our little rendition of this song.  It was pretty much brilliant.  I played Joshua, the ruthless judge in the second verse, and a Storm Trooper who brings in a cross and later boogies.  We had a belly dancer, a cop, a fat kid, and a three-headed alien playing a giant guitar. 

Incidentally, if anybody has or can get a hold of a copy of the Newsboys' movie (written and directed by Steve Taylor), that'd make an awesome Christmas gift.  We only had one, and I think my sister has it.  Quirky clean humor at its quirkiest and best. 

#3: Track 06 from Say No, Max!

Sounds like kids playing in a park.  I actually enjoyed doing this show.  Even if it was one of the worst scripts I've ever been a part of.  Even if Tiffany still, to this day, crumples into a little ball and rocks back and forth when you bring it up around her.

Not even exaggerating. 

Short track.

#4: Murder in the Big House by Steve Taylor

Speaking of Steve...

Taylor is one of my all-time favorite songwriters.  He cornered the market early on in Christian satire, and while even I think he may have taken it too far a time or two, he definitely didn't pull punches in an industry--okay, in a faith--that often finds itself guilty of going too soft on the things it should be coming down hard on.  Unfortunately, his solo career pretty much wrapped up before I started getting into music.  This is unfortunate for two reasons: First, I didn't get to appreciate his genius while he was in his prime, and second, it's all very 1980's/early '90s sounding.  That said, I still dig it.  And we still have novelty songs like Cash Cow: A Rock Opera in Three Short Acts and Lifeboat.  As a producer, Taylor gave us the aforementioned Newboys song (and wrote most of the lyrics on that album and the one before it, including a song called Shine that I still hear on the radio eighteen years later), brought Sixpence None the Richer back from the dead, gave the Insyderz a place to play their Skallelulia album, and discovered the band Chevelle.  Then he got screwed over and lost his record deal, so he made a movie.  It's called The Second Chance, and despite the fact that Michael W. Smith stars, it's definitely worth a rental.  Currently working on a film adaptation of Blue Like Jazz.  Basically, anything the guy touches is (at the least) interesting and (quite often) underrated and fantastic. 

This has been your Steve Taylor endorsement for the day.

#5: Warp-Factor Five by Bleach

This song doesn't really evoke any strong reaction or emotion from me.  Bleach was a good band, and theoretically they're getting back together?  I don't know.  I think it'd be hard to get the band back together after six or seven years apart.  The majority of the fans will probably have moved on.  Your die-hards will always be there (I'd be in line for a Five Iron reunion tour, for example.  Though that may be a bad example, because I'd also be kind of sad for a Five Iron reunion because I know how happy several of those band members are that Five Iron is over) 

Still, I've thought recently what fun it would be to get together the cast from, say, my old college production of Much Ado About Nothing and have another go at it with everything we've learned since then.  A lot of us would even be age appropriate for the characters we're playing!  Or like, with the high number of people leaving my workplace now, I could foresee trying to round up as much of this "old guard" in five years or so to do a show.  That seems like it would be awesome.  Maybe it isn't.  Maybe it's always just trying to recapture something that's gone and it always leaves you disappointed.  I don't think that would be the case, at least not with theater.  Maybe it's different with music, because everybody wants you to be who you were when you broke up, but you're different people and different artists, so you want to do something new. 

See, that's what's great about theater.  Nobody really cares who "you" were in the first place, so any time you get the band back together, you can do whatever the heck you want and they'll still love you for it. 

#6: Stuntman by Guerilla Rodeo

Word association: "Guerilla" sounds like "gorilla".  Robbie's latest thing is to watch youtube videos from the Houston Zoo.  His favorites are the meercats with the box of popcorn, the baby elephant playing in the pool, the kookaburra "laughing," and the video simply called "pumpkin smash."  Robbie has decided he might want to be a zookeeper when he gets older.  Today, though, he told me he wants to work in a theater like Daddy after I commented how good a job he did helping Mr. Craig vacuum the floor when he and Kim stopped by to pick me up last night.  So maybe between those two passions, he'll earn a decent living. 

#7 (one more, since Track 06 was kinda a short one): Decisive Battle by Powerglove

I used my home computer for this shuffle because it has far more songs than my iPod, thus granting the better chance for some variety in music.  Nevertheless, apparently you can't have a Shuffleblog without Powerglove.

And I'm okay with that.

I love this game.  Final Fantasy VI is probably one of my top 5 games of all time.  (Or Top  This was the game that maxed out the Super Nintendo's capabilities.  The music is fantastic, especially given the system's limitations.  I used to play this game at my friend Chip's house when I was in sixth grade.  I'd play something like once a week and I'd have this riff stuck in my head for the entire next week.  I used to have creative ideas (kind of like I do sometimes now) but they'd all work their way into a 16-bit rendering so they could be used for a future Final Fantasy game.  (Because naturally, all FF games would forever be on the immortal Super Nintendo) 

Which reminds me: Travis and I are thinking about creating a flash RPG based loosely on the gameplay from FFVI and the stories from the Hero Squad universe.  This may take more time than either of us actually wants to devote to it.  But that's okay.  We'll discover that as we go along.  When it's done, I'm sure you here at FOMW will be the first to know.