A Song Before Annihilation: Hard Liquor (Sohn)

Perhaps the most addictive track of early ’17, which seems appropriate. It should come with tasting notes.

Just hit “repeat”.

Hard Liquor is the latest single off Sohn’s Rennen, which dropped last Friday, and is available through Amazon and the other usual outlets (I caught up to it on Tidal, for whatever that’s worth). Jovan Todorovic directed the video, which is shared below. Sohn will be playing the Twin Cities’ own (essential) Triple Rock Social Club in April.

A Song Before Annihilation: Dirty Mercy (Gin Wigmore)

If there’s a lesson to be learned from Gin Wigmore’s latest video outing, it’s that you shouldn’t let Gin Wigmore babysit your children. Shouldn’t, that is, unless you want them to aspire to far cooler things than their comfortable suburban pedigree might otherwise suggest.

Dirty Mercy, the latest video and single from Wigmore, has the artist inspiring such a youth to give more pedestrian preoccupations amiss, instead using magic markers and scissors to their full anarcho-creative potential to become the headliner of the rock show playing in their head. Wigmore’s vocal chops are as undeniable as ever, and David de Lautour’s direction is appropriately slick, but it’s the kid who rightly steals the show. This kid rocks.

Gin Wigmore’s Dirty Mercy is available for download and streaming through Amazon.com, the Gin Wigmore site, and other usual outlets.

A Song Before Annihilation: The Robots (Kraftwerk)

Regular contributor, friend, and noted German Denis K. mentioned in his own post about his latest piece here that ExB is “not-at-all robotic”.

Thus, I dedicate this edition of A Song Before Annihilation to him, with the added assurance that the videos below almost certainly in no way represent the nefarious and entirely non-robotic day-to-day goings-ons at ExB central. You can find both the remastered song and remastered album via Amazon mp3, as well as physical editions of the same.

A Song Before Annihilation: That’s Good (Devo)

A cut from the 1982 LP Oh, no! It’s Devo – this is pure propulsive synth-pop bliss, and somewhat notorious with regards to the video produced for it. The blatantly sexual (and utterly harmless) visuals that accompanied it proved too risque for MTV’s liking, which seems absurd given the turns their content has taken since. One wonders if so much of 16 and Pregnant might have been avoided if parents had been more willing to share with their spawn the teachings of the french fry and the donut, but I digress…

That’s Good still kills, and the video’s quirky simplicity and live-show energy is certainly endearing. Oh, no! It’s Devo is readily available in a number of formats from Amazon and elsewhere.

A Song Before Annihilation: Pop Muzik (M)

Originally from M (Robin Scott)’s 1979 LP New York · London · Paris · Munich. This gets more circulation in the ExB homeland than any reasonable mind can stand, and is as nefariously infectious as they come. The video for the 1989 remix is linked as well, because it’s just too dreadfully terrific.

A Song Before Annihilation: Theme from ‘Hercules’ (Pino Donaggio)

Though produced in conjunction with the film and later released on Intrada’s limited CD issue of its original score recording (I’m unsure if it appeared on the initial vinyl issue of the soundtrack from 1983), if memory serves this tasty little track never actually appears in Luigi Cozzi’s curious cult epic Hercules. Composed by the prolific Pino Donaggio (Carrie) and conducted by frequent Donaggio collaborator and Italian music personality Natale Massara (saxaphonist for the ’60s pop outfit I Ribelli), the track offers a buoyant and appropriately fantastic arrangement of the film’s main theme, and must have stuck well in Cozzi’s mind. Though sadly absent from the original film’s BGM the same mistake was not repeated for the diminished 1985 sequel The Adventures of Hercules, which recycled Donaggio’s 1983 recording wholesale.

While the Intrada edition is long out of print Donaggio’s score has been resurrected (albeit in abbreviated form) in digital by MGM, Theme from ‘Hercules’ included. It’s good stuff, writ large, and anyone who has yet to see the film for which it was recorded is doing themselves a great disservice. It’s an absolute hoot, overloaded with impossible color-drenched pulp visuals and starring the chiseled and glistening bulk of Lou Ferrigno, and is readily and cheaply available on DVD.

A Song Before Annihilation: Beginning of the End (Albert Glasser)

It’s thrills, chills, and bombast to spare in this brief suite of cues from Bert I. Gordon’s big-bug opus Beginning of the End (1957), courtesy of one of the director’s earliest collaborations with prolific cinema composer Albert Glasser. His minute-long opening theme to the picture is an all-out assault on the audience dominated by shrill strings and woodwinds and explosive brass, whose meandering motifs duel and overlap in martial conflict before collapsing into percussive, repetitive stings. The cue which follows (from the film’s Pied Piper finale) is of subtler stuff, if only just – what I wouldn’t give to have a more complete score recording!

The small sampling here (just shy of three minutes) comes courtesy of Starlog’s long out-of-print 1978 LP release, The Fantastic Film Music of Albert Glasser Vol. 1, which offers a stellar mix of the composer’s work ranging from his early outing on The Cisco Kid film series (circa 1948) to his rare non-monster Gordon collaboration, the colorful 1960 fantasy The Boy and the Pirates. It’s a shame that the implied Vol. 2 never came to fruition (Starlog Records wasn’t in action for long), but I suppose them’s the breaks. Vol. 1 is still readily available on eBay, Discogs and elsewhere at very reasonable prices (mine ran me a whole $7, shipped) and, needless to say, is highly recommended.

A Song Before Annihilation: Crack in the World + Time (Johnny Douglas and his Orchestra)

This is a fascinating, frustrating artifact – a radio-ready 45 rpm of two themes (in alternate versions, natch) from Crack in the World, the 1965 science fiction / disaster picture from producer Philip Yordan (Day of the Triffids) and director Andrew Marton (King Solomon’s Mines). The late great Johnny Douglas provided the excellent and indelible score for the film as “John Douglas”, but much to the chagrin of film music buffs the master tapes for it appear to have been destroyed (“threw them out” is the depressing annotation here).

The alternate versions available on this 45 are for the main and romantic themes from the film (“Crack in the World” and “Time” respectively), and while they’re far from the full score recording fans may crave I’m damned happy to have them just the same (this 45 doesn’t show up all that often, and I snagged this copy swiftly when I saw it at auction). Each track is performed by Johnny Douglas and his Orchestra, and “Time” features The Rita Williams Singers as well.

A Song Before Annihilation: Dangerous [feat. Joywave] (Big Data)

I don’t think much of Joywave or Big Data (I’ve not heard enough else from either to really develop an opinion), but I have to give credit where credit is due – Dangerous is a hell of a track, a paranoid little pop number that excels in efficiency (that bass lick!) and whose musical and lyrical hooks reach right into your grey matter. Just press repeat.

The video is pretty groovy stuff as well, a grim and slickly produced satire of brand marketing that’s better seen than described (joggers, slow motion, ultra-violence, and closed captioning snark to spare). Check it out below. Dangerous is available now through the usual digital outlets.

A Song Before Annihilation: II. Zealots of Stockholm [Free Information] (Childish Gambino)

I don’t have much to say here. I’ve had this album (as well as Gambino’s ace 2011 effort Camp) running on repeat for the better part of a week now, and rather than punch up a bunch of uninteresting critical platitudes (the dog days of the season have my brain too fogged to do any better) I’ll just give it a much-deserved shout out, share a groovy track, and leave you with a recommendation that yeah, you should do yourself the favor of picking it up – the digital edition of Because the Internet is all of $6 at Amazon at the moment.