Friday Five: 15 Geek Anthems

When it comes to rocking out, geek-style, there are no better bandmates than Scott K. Andrews and Magnus Anderson.

Scott has written for virtually every media, from the Kitschies-nominated Children's Crusade to audio plays for Big Finish to the best book on Dawson's Creek you'll ever read (Anne laughed for two days). For those that have ever met Mr Andrews, you'll know why he's an obvious pick for this week's Friday Five - he's a font of musical lore.

Magnus has also been published by Big Finish and has appeared numerous times on Resonance FM's Lollards of Pop. He's our go-to guru for all aspects of geek culture and is currently distilling some of his knowledge into a mysterious project being released in 2012.

Those who are about to rock - we salute you! [Wow. I've always wanted to type that. Who knew?!] You can sing along with the YouTube playlist.

Scott

"The Ballad of Barry Allen" - Jim's Big Ego. This track creates some kind of music/geek interface critical mass. Jim Infantino, singer and songwriter with the awesome Jim’s Big Ego, is nephew of Carmine Infantino, legendary comic book artist and co-creator of The Flash, whose original incarnation, Barry Allen is the subject of this song from his nephew’s album They’re Everywhere, for which he created the cover art. GEEKGASM! All this would merely be fodder for pub quiz questions if the song weren’t so damn brilliant, clever and unexpectedly poignant.
Bubbling under: JBE do the same thing for Peter Parker in "Being a Bug"

"Code Monkey" - Jonathan Coulton. Although his latest album signifies a confident maturation, Jonathan Coulton started his singing career as the world’s foremost purveyor of geek songs. He’s got songs about zombies, Benoît Mandelbrot (free download), giant squid (I imagine this is on permanent repeat on the Pornokitsch office iPod), robots, more robots, yet more robots (free download), evil geniuses (free download) and much more. In the end I plumped for his melancholy lament for frustrated computer programmers, "Code Monkey".
Bubbling under: Far too many to choose from.

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Friday Five: 15 Marvellous Musicah-ah-ah-als

Friday FiveHere's the thing about musicals: as a whole, the genre represents something rather extraordinary. Musicals are a stepping-stone, or a bridge; they're the way-point between one thing and another. They feel good but don't require much work. They span the gap between excitable childhood and moody puberty. Love 'em or hate 'em, musicals insinuate themselves into our consciousnesses and then stay there, fat and self-satisfied as any hypno-toad.

We Pornokitsch types, severally and individually, have a long and not particularly proud history with musicals. Today we're going to share a bit of that history with you. Sing along in the comments, why don't you?


Bex

Songs by Cole Porter, plot by Shakespeare and lead role in the film played by Howard Keel – Kiss Me Kate quite literally has everything I could possibly want in a musical. I’d pick the stage version over the film, though. You just have to see that dancing live.

It’s possible South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut has better songs, but Team America: World Police has puppet sex and dicks fucking assholes. I don’t really think there’s anything I can add to that.

 

I really, really want to know what was going through Benny and Bjorn’s minds when they were picking a collaborator for Chess: Our English, she is not so good. For this play we need a native speaker, a wordsmith greater than any other on this earth. A second Cole Porter. I know – Tim Rice! And the result is wonderful Abba melodies and lines like “Some are set up in the Somerset Maugham Suite.” I love it all.

My dad introduced me to Damon Runyon and everything he said about how great he was is true. Guys and Dolls is based on two of Runyon’s short stories and it’s full of his wit and warmth and, most of all, it’s full of New York. Great songs, too.

Whenever I'm falling out of love with Buffy, I remember Once More With Feeling. I love Xena, and Xena did a musical first, but Buffy did it better. So what if most of the cast can't sing? It's joyous, and even has a proper story. Only Lucy Lawless could have made it better.

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