Thursday, December 19, 2013

Star Trek Exploration Kit!

I bought this kit at a model shop in OKC's Shepherd Mall, back when it was a retail location.  (For the past 10+ years it's been home to government offices.)
I bought and built it as part of my costume for our skit, "Star Track," which I mostly wrote.  The group was the United Methodist Student Movement at Oklahoma City University, which had a skit night every year for fraternities, sororities, and other groups to show off at.
This was about 1975, and I was Mr. Spot.  The silly skit used a lot of (rewritten) Gilbert & Sullivan songs as content.  My solo was, "I'm Called Mister Pointy-Ears," based of course on "Little Buttercup."
The biggest laugh of the skit came after I finished my song.  Captain Crook turns to Dr "Groans" McClown and says, "Groans, can't you help him?"  To which Dr. McClown snaps back, "I'm a doctor, not a voice teacher!"
This is what the set looks like in 2013.  The rectangular patch just above the phaser handle is Velcro to hold it onto a belt.  There's a similar piece of Velcro on back of the communicator.
At the top of the photo is the "medical scanner" I made for Scott Tyra, who played Dr McClown in the skit.  It's made from a cassette-recorder mike, with pieces of phono-plug connectors stuck into each end.
Someday I will scan or type up "Star Track" and inflict it upon a sleeping world.
See you Monday, for a new (re-released) music compilation of music that's better than a transporter beam to take me back.

Monday, December 16, 2013

MA-67 - U.N.C.L.E. Themes A-Go-Go - -Merry Christmas, U.N.C.L.E.-style!

To help keep the season festive, here's a fresh compilation of U.N.C.L.E. music.  Some of it is the familiar pack of different versions of the theme, or melodies from the show.  But, as K-Tel used to say:  But wait, THERE'S MORE!

The first grouping of songs comprises releases that sample U.N.C.L.E. themes as background to their own work.

The rest of the disc contains both variations on U.N.C.L.E. themes, and pop songs that refer to the series.  These may be about a character -- as in The Birdmen of Alkatraz's 1989 "April Dancer."

And then we have songs whose titles refer to the show, but otherwise the listener would have no idea that the tune is related.  It may be that the music was cranked out to fill up a kiddie record, or given the title as a whim.  But some of those songs are here, too!

It's a great privilege and pleasure to also include three special versions of Jerry Goldsmith's theme.  Track 21 is performed by The Illuminoids, a surf guitar band who will satisfy your soul if you want sunbaked rock'n'roll.  I've been talking with band member William, which led to my being the cover designer for their most recent CD single, which actually includes this arrangement!  (Of course it appears in this compilation with their permission.)

Another U.N.C.L.E. fan and friend is Robert Bruce, who graciously has shared some of his own U.N.C.L.E. themes collection with me.  These songs were promptly shoveled into the mix!  But Tracks 22 and 23 are live recordings of Bruce and accompanists playing lounge versions of a couple of U.N.C.L.E. tunes. 

The last track of the CD is an arrangement courtesy of U.N.C.L.E. fan  Robert Short, a graphics and design whiz who's worked on about a gazillion TV shows and movies.

01. Man from U.N.C.L.E. Promo - NBC, 1965 (0:14) 
02. Harlem Shuffle (live) - Open Channel D (5:25)         1983
03. Twiggy Twiggy - Pizzicato Five (4:08)  1991
04. Lucid Dream - Meat Beat Manifesto (2:12)  1996
05. Une Very Stylish Fille - Dimitri from Paris (3:17)  1996
06. Dirty Larry - Dimitri from Paris (7:25)  1996
07. The Legend of the Man from U.N.C.L.E. - Paula and the Jetliners (2:14)  1966
08. The Man from U.N.C.L.E. - The Ventures (1:46)  1966
09. Illya Kuryakin - Bobby Ellis & The Crystalites (3:20)  1967
10. Napoleon Solo - The Jokers (2:40)  1967
11. The Man from Thrush - Parris Mitchell Strings with Brass (2:36)  1967
12. Illya's Walk - Wyncote Records (1:59)  1967
13. The Thrush Tune - Wyncote Records (2:26)  1967
14. Return of the Man from U.N.C.L.E. Promo - CBS, 1983 (0:29)
15. April Dancer - Birdmen of Alkatraz (2:59)  1989
16. The Rock from U.N.C.L.E. - Doctor QE (2:48)  1994
17. My Friend Illya - The Ulterior Motive Orchestra (2:53)  1996
18. The Man from U.N.C.L.E. - Santiago Tamura (2:53)  1998
19. The April Dancer Affair - The Monochrome Set (4:23)  1999
20. Napoleon Solo - The Specials (3:07)  2000
21. The Man From U.N.C.L.E. - The Illuminoids (2:53)  2007
22. A Martini Built For Two (live) - Robert Bruce and the Mellowtones (3:41)  2008
23. Meet Mr. Solo (live) - Robert Bruce and the Mellowtones (2:14)  2008
24. The Man from U.N.C.L.E. - Revolution for Dogs (2:38)  2008
25. The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (live) - Tokyo Sexwhale (1:38)  2009
26. The Case of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. - The Vulcans (1:43)  2011
27. The Man from U.N.C.L.E. - Robert Short (2:07)  2012

Copious liner notes are also included, as always with my U.N.C.L.E. compilations.

New link, January 2015.

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© by Mark Alfred