Friday, October 28, 2011
For those of you that are huge Halloween, Michael Myers fans, I noticed something that needed further discussion.
Michael Myers was locked up in an asylum after killing his sister, Judith, when he was just 6 years old in the year 1963. He escaped 15 years later in 1978 just as his psychiatric doctor, Dr. Sam Loomis (Donald Pleasance) arrives with an assistant in his car to the Smith's Grove Sanitarium. While Dr. Loomis is checking out the unusualness of patients roaming about in the rain and the driveway gate being left open, his suspicions immediately jump to the conclusion that Michael Myers has somehow escaped. He knows it is the night before Halloween, when Michael not only became a murderer, but when he was locked up, hopefully forever. But it was not to be so. "The Shape", as Michael Myers was known then, attacks Dr. Loomis' assistant, still in the car, who jumps out, leaving Michael Myers to escape away in the car to terrorize the town of Haddonfield on Halloween once again.
So how did Michael Myers, who has been carefully supervised and locked up in an asylum since he was 6 learn how to drive? Is this a huge and terrible implausibility made by writer / director, John Carpenter, and screenplay writer, Debra Hill? Or is it that someone at the asylum gave Michael driving lessons as Dr. Loomis cynically suggests? Well. I don't think so. Research has determined that the Smith's Grove Sanitarium had a pretty big budget, being able to afford a nearly world-renowned Dr. Sam Loomis, who regularly meets and evaluates the condition and progress of a murdering child in a seemingly well-off community. It is no stretch whatsoever during the 70’s for the sanitarium to have been able to afford many luxuries during the more financially prosperous generation of baby boomers, in what is now considered to be the "golden age of the working class.” Arcade games were very popular then and it would not be uncommon to find one at a pool hall, pizza parlor, skating rink, bowling alley, and yes, even occasionally at a hospital, or in this case, sanitarium. I have even determined exactly what arcade game Michael Myers played, learned, and practiced his skills as a driver, based on its' year of release, popularity (it was voted one of "The Ten Greatest Arcade Games of the 1970's”) and the nature, and object of it's goal, stated here in this description:
Designer: Howell Ivy
Sequels: Death Race 98, Super Death Chase
Inspired by the 1975 cult film Death Race 2000 (starring David Carradine and Sylvester Stallone) Death Race featured a steering wheel and an acceleration pedal. The nature of the game - running down "gremlins" that resembled stick people - and the working title, Pedestrian, touched off a media avalanche of controversy.
Maybe this idea should be explored further, maybe even in a short film context? Who knows? Well....not most of the Smith's Grove Sanitarium staff, anyway. Most of them are gone. Maybe only Michael Myers knows for sure. Halloween food for thought.
- Michael Fierce
Check out my podcast that Mikael Johnston and I compiled especially for Halloween.
And for those of you who don't use iTunes you can download our podcast episode here.
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Those of you not yet familiar with M83 can hear one of his songs in our "Ghosts Of The Virgin Suicides" Podcast. M83 is an electronic indie pop act by French musician Anthony Gonzalez. The musical style of M83 owes something to the shoegaze genre in its extensive use of reverb effects and lyrics spoken softly over loud instrumentals, although M83's songs employ considerably less guitar than most shoegaze bands. Gonzalez records mainly on his own, often with the help of his brother Yann Gonzalez, vocalist/keyboardist Morgan Kibby, and drummer Loïc Maurin. iTunes is offering a free 256 kbps AAC download this week of M83s new release Midnight City, which is a higher quality version than a 320 kbps MP3 for those non technofiles out there. This song is absolutely amazing, so grab it now while it's still free.
- M Pereira
UPDATE 10/29/2011: Unfortunately all good things come to an end and Midnight City is no longer free on iTunes but still well worth checking out and buying.
Thursday, October 20, 2011
The Virgin Suicides, both as a movie and as a soundtrack has been hugely influential on the artists of today. Hundreds of bands, maybe without even fully realizing it have woven some of it's magic into their projects. The Ghosts Of The Virgin Suicides can be interpreted as an homage to the original movie soundtrack by Air and to the film itself by Sophia Coppola, or as a sequel of sorts. I think of it as both. The Lisbon girls and their story will continue to do their hauntings in many different forms and hopefully you will enjoy this one.
- Michael Fierce
Download our "Ghosts Of The Virgin Suicides" Podcast episode free.
For those of you who don't use iTunes here is a direct download link to this Podcast episode. "Ghosts Of The Virgin Suicides" Direct Download Link
Welcome to Musica Phenomena. Musica Phenomena is a a blog and series of podcast mixtapes, which focus on indie and electronic music. The name Musica, to show that our first intent is to discuss and promote music of the non-typical variety. Phenomena, comes from the film of the same name by Dario Argento, showing our secondary intent is discussing and critiquing music-related films. Our podcasts will be very theme-oriented, covering many genres connected to indie and electronic music. We will bring you the rarest, most interesting and obscure, alternate, or remixed versions of songs in each of our podcast episodes. We invite you to listen and contribute to our podcasts, reviews, and discussions. If you have something you want to say or contribute, leave a comment or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. When you send music for consideration to be included in a future posting please send a link only. Please do not attach actual files to your email unless personally requested by us to do so.