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Music, voice demos from fellow actors, or other audio media that's currently caught my ear ...

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Oingo Boingo, Codeine, Cracker

While listening to a "flashback" radio program, I got jazzed about hearing Oingo Boingo's "Dead Man's Party".

I don't listen to CDs much, since my library has been ripped to my computer for digital jukebox goodness. While listening to Boingo on the radio, though, I realized that I hadn't listened to that album for a long time.

I went home and, sure enough, the entire Dead Man's Party album was missing. I dug it out of the closet, and while ripping it to the hard drive, wondered what other albums I'd missed. I found two more: Codeine's The White Birch and Cracker's Kerosene Hat.

Kerosene Hat has some good stuff, and is alternatively quirky, rocking, and mellowing. My particular favorites are the entertaining "Movie Star" and the downing "Take Me Down To The Infirmary". Most people probably know Cracker (not "Uncle Cracker") from their radio single "Low".

Speaking of mellowing, there's probably not a better album for this than The White Birch. I have fond memories of college days, getting back from the gym in the wee hours of the morn, and letting Codeine (the band) bring my heart rate down while I tried to regain fine motor control. Great to listen to alone in the dark (as long as you're not even moderately depressed).

And Oingo Boingo? Freaking Danny Elfman? Amazing and prolific and talented. The entire album moves me, with the "No One Lives Forever" and "Stay " being particular favs. And "Same Man I Was Before". And the titular "Dead Man's Party". Because it's good. And I like to say "titular".

I actually went to the Oingo Boingo fairwell concert, and took a close friend who was a HUGE Oingo Boingo fan (huge in liking them; tiny in skirt size). It is a blast to go to an amazing concert with someone of the same band-passion level (too little, and I feel like I'm wasting a ticket, and too much and I feel kind of guilty that I don't like them as much), and we were such good friends that I didn't feel obligated to put out at the end of the evening. So there was that.

So that's my mini jukebox for this week. Pretty cool to find great, forgotten albums ...

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Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Halo 2: Original Soundtrack Vol. 2

I'm listening Halo 2: Original Soundtrack Volume 2, which (for me) is much better than Volume 1.

The orchestral pieces on Volume 2 are much more refined and better mixed (Vol. 1 was a marketing release to build hype for the game, and many of the pieces weren't complete yet).

Also, composer Marty O'Donnell arranged the pieces in suites, to better evoke the epic sense of the Halo story and universe -- and does it to pretty good effect.

Interestingly, in the interview, O'Donnell mentions he writes a lot more piano than ever makes it into the Halo games. But then the Halo 3 E3 teaser trailer came out ...

You can check out an interview about the Volume 2 soundtrack with O'Donnell

There are getting to be some genuinely good game musical scores out there -- Halo/Halo 2, Fable, Grim Fandango, American McGee's Alice, BLACK, Final Fantasy, etc.

Good stuff for folks who like good musical scores ...

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