Rachel Sweet’s “Hairspray” video at Cinepunx

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Despite its many iterations — musical, movie musical, live televised musical — John Waters’ original version of Hairspray, released in 1988, remains the best. Now, I’m a fan of musicals, and I’ll admit the Tony-winning Broadway version is pretty damned solid, with opening number, “Good Morning Baltimore,” being the best of the bunch. I’ll even cut some slack to “You Can’t Stop the Beat,” despite it being almost insipidly cloying. That said, Waters’ film is just so perfectly bizarre and fun and joyous, with a perfect selection of Cameo Parkway R&B sides soundtracking everything. The plot, if you’ve never seen any of the various iterations, revolves around Baltimore teenager Tracy Turnblad getting on The Corny Collins Show, dancing, then becoming more racially aware, dancing, fighting for integration, and more dancing.
Read the From the Stereo to Your Screen column on Rachel Sweet and Hairspray at Cinepunx. Published 1/10/17

Review of the Amer soundtrack at Starburst Magazine

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We Release Whatever the Fuck We Want Records has started to gain attention for the interesting things they do to their records, and locked grooves are quickly becoming a hallmark. However, while the likes of the Dark Star soundtrack featured them at the end of each side, Amer's soundtrack 10-inch record begins with not just one locked bit of sound effect, but multiple instances thereof on each side. It's absolutely diabolical.
Read the full review at Starburst Magazine. Published 1/9/17

Review of the Lagrange Point soundtrack at Starburst Magazine

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Upon dropping the needle on Ship to Shore's release of the Largrange Point soundtrack, one wonders just how the music to an 8-bit game for the Nintendo Famicom can sound so amazingly full. Honestly, the music on Lagrange Point rivals the likes of such 16-bit scores like Outrun, and it's all due to a chip inside the cartridge -- Konami's VRC7 sound generator integrated circuit.
Read the full review at Starburst Magazine. Published 1/7/17

Review of the Black Mirror: San Junipero soundtrack at Starburst Magazine

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Is it possible that the best thing Clint Mansell's done in years was for a TV series? Obviously, it's not as if the composer has been churning out rubbish for the last couple of decades, but the music Mansell made for the "San Junipero" episode of Black Mirror is both emotionally resonant within the context of the program, as well as standing on its own two feet as a proper album.
Read the full review at Starburst Magazine. Published 1/6/17

Review of the L’assassino E Ancora Tra Noi soundtrack at Starburst Magazine

When the concept of a ‘film sonoro’ was introduced on last year’s release of Detto Mariano’s score for the Rambo knock-off, Striker, it turned out pretty well, creating a fun ambience of action pieces sprinkled throughout, but it doesn’t work quite as well here. The best thing Private Records’ imprint Stella Edizioni Musicali could have done with this release of Detto Mariano’s score for the 1986 giallo, Firenze! L'assassino E Ancora Tra Noi, was make it a double LP.
Read the full review at Starburst Magazine. Published 12/2/16

Review of ‘Rocktober Blood’ soundtrack at Starburst Magazine

Heavy metal horror was such a short-lived phenomenon in the early ‘80s, one can barely call it a movement in horror cinema. The actual metal-themed horror flicks - ones with a band bringing evil to a town - can be counted on one hand, but to their loyal legions of fans, they’re heads and shoulders above the standard fare of the day.
Read the full review at Starburst Magazine. Published 10/16/16

Review of the BBC’s ‘The Living Planet’ soundtrack at Starburst Magazine

Silva Screen’s continuing series of reissues from the BBC Radiophonic Workshop has absolutely delighted and amazed us, and the music from the BBC television series The Living Planet continues that trend. This LP is a bit of a departure from the past compilation releases, focusing entirely on the music of Elizabeth Parker for the 1984 documentary series.
Read the full review at Starburst Magazine. Published 10/16/16

The Perfect John Carpenter LP at Modern Vinyl

Perfect LP is a feature in which the Modern Vinyl writers take on the tall task of summarizing an artist or band’s career in an LP sized selection of tracks. Bypassing what was the single, what was the “hit” and what fans call for throughout shows, it’s time to decide what makes up the Perfect LP.

The Rules

The selections will total no more than 50 minutes. The selections are arranged in logical fashion, as in how you’d like to hear them in a real tracklisting.

The Subject

John Carpenter, horror and sci-fi director, is known for iconic films such as Halloween, Escape From New York, and The Thing, but deserves as much credit as a composer and performer, primarily accompanying his visual work. After a lengthy hiatus in both films and music, he returned in 2015 with the release of full length Lost Themes on Sacred Bones. It was a collection of original music, ostensibly composed music for various things, but never used. It was followed up with the release of Lost Themes II earlier this year, as well as a sold-out international concert tour.
Listen to the LP and read my comments at Modern Vinyl. Published 9/19/16