Saturday, June 23, 2007

TV Characters Sing Just For You, Vol. 2

Well, since the blog is still here, I thought I'd post this. It was done and sitting on the hard drive for probably 7 or 8 months. As usual, it's all the clean-up work (trimming, tagging, annotating, etc.) that I hate to do, but the selection and order hasn't changed much in all that time. It's funny, but picking the songs and deciding the order is the easy part. Often, picking which songs to put on a compilation is a really fast process probably because I already have lots of ideas about what to use by the time I start to make one. But it's all the after-process that seems to be the real bottleneck. Just writing these lame entries for the posts can take me forever. Just look at the Railway Children, for example. Everything on that one was ready to go (everything was uploaded, I had the links, etc.) from the time I posted the album cover. Everything except for writing the post and then by the time I actually wrote it, I didn't feel like saying anything anyway!

I guess I haven't worked on finishing this particular comp though because I didn't like it as much as Volume 1 or Volume 3. Sometimes that's the problem with these later volumes. You use up the best material on the first volume and subsequent entries seem to be filled with leftovers and are much harder to make work properly. This particular volume seemed to have less cohesion than 1 & 3, so I wasn't as interested in finishing it, I guess.

But after I finished it and listened to it again, I liked it better. It grew on me and it had more cohesion than I thought. I know I'm probably the only one who cares about stuff like that, but it's one of the primary things that makes me like one of my compilations or not.

Before I made digital comps, I had been making up tape compilations for a long time before it occurred to me that cohesion was something I was trying to do with them. I like them to have a beginning, a middle, and an end. If they're good, after you've listened to them, it's like being taken on a ride. Sometimes they go in one direction and then they morph into something else. They have different moods, themes or sounds.

So if I can't get them to do that, I don't usually think they're that good. It adds that extra dimension to listening to it that I enjoy, but I always wonder if anybody else but me cares about it. Of course, I make these things up for myself, so it's really kind of academic anyway, but still I always wonder.

I think of it as a kind of narrative to the compilation. I think it's why I add these boring notes to these compilations. When I first started the blog, you'll notice I put on these incredibly long notes (much longer than the boring ones you read now) because I always imagined people would listen to the compilations and then go back and read the notes later and they would serve as a semi-interesting reference for anyone who was interested. But then I realized from some of the feedback that people were reading them up front before they listened to the music and that it was exhausting them, so I stopped doing it as much. It should've occurred to me that naturally people would read them first. I just thought they would be interesting to read either as you're listening to the comp or afterwards, but I should've realized that people aren't going to want to have to keep coming back to the blog just to read the text while they're listening to the compilation. Duh!

Also, it didn't seem to make too much difference either way. People didn't seem to comment on them anyway so I suspected that I was the only one who cared about this stuff and now I only do it occasionally on certain ones. It hadn't really occurred to me until much later to include these notes with the files so people could refer back to them instead of having to come back to the blog. But usually I write the notes after I've already zipped & burned the compilations, so it didn't occur to me to do it until just recently.

And I always think of compilations as having 3 basic (and arbitrary) distinctions. I think of 'mixes' as one continuous piece of music with things like crossfades usually of many different kinds of music. I think of 'collections' as a looser group of songs with no particular order. And I think of 'compilations' as being individual songs in some kind of order usually with a particular theme.

So I think of what DJ's do as mixes. People are doing some great mixes all around the blogosphere. Like what Record Brother did with his great blaxploitation mixes, for instance. Or what Quite Quite Fantastic used to do or what Pops & Scratches or Abstract Fidelity does, for instance. Diverse collections designed to create a sonic picture.

And I think of what Timbo at Licorice Pizza does as somewhere between mixes (ones that create an aural landscape and that take a lot of hard work to make into a seamless piece of music) and compilations (because of their specific themes and selections).

And I think of what PixelMutt used to do as collections of songs. Fantastic collections of individual songs that were grouped by theme but in no particular order.

All kind of arbitrary distinctions, I know, but it's the way I tend to think of it, so if you see me using those terms on the blog you know what I mean when I use them. It's also why I tend to bore everybody by using the word compilation 50,000 times on the blog. I can't think of any other good word to use since all the other ones seem to mean something else to me.

Also, when I listen to someone else's compilations or mixes I often try and figure out what their particular narrative is. Why did they choose to put this song after this other one? Why did they choose this piece of music versus another one? But I think narratives are often very personal and hard to discern. I usually have a hard time figuring out why people choose the order that they do, but it's fun for me to think about while I listen to the great music. I suppose that's why I always wonder if people can tell what my narratives are. I think that's why I put them in the notes sometimes. I think it's always hard for someone else to tell what motivates other people in general. Unless we can climb into someone else's head, it's always hard to tell what's going on in there whether it's about why someone chooses a particular song or whether it's about what they chose to eat for lunch. Still, I like thinking about it as I'm listening to people's comps (the songs, not the lunch).

It's always a lot more fun for me if my comps have a tight cohesion and so I tend to think of them as a little dissatisfying when I can't get them to work. Of course, some of them can't really have that cohesion like Oscar Winning Scores or Soundtrack Gamut, A-Z, for instance. There really isn't much of a narrative there and the only unifying theme is the alphabet or the year, but that's also kind of fun. It's fun to try and come up with an entry for 'A' like Airport '79 that would sound good as the first track. Or 'Z' that has a good sounding finale.

I guess that's why I don't do instrumental compilations as often because it's much harder to come up with that kind of narrative. Or an interesting unifying theme that hasn't already been done privately or commercially somewhere. And with these things, it often falls to musical consistency rather than a thematic one. Or it alternates between the two at the expense of the other (I know, I know, again something that's only interesting to me).

Take the mystery compilation, for instance. I would add individual tracks to ones that were already set because they were thematically consistent, but they sometimes interrupted the flow of the music. For example, I added 'The Cheap Detective' after I'd already finished that section of the comp and although it really qualified more as a film noir, I really had to put it after Murder By Death since it was a virtual sequel to that movie. Originally, there was a more consistent sound in that section since they were mostly comical neo-classical pieces there. 'The Cheap Detective' was really a great loose jazzy piece that ends up interrupting the flow of music, but thematically I really had to put the two Peter Falk's together!

Or conversely, I didn't put 'They Call Me Mr. Tibbs!' right after 'In The Heat of the Night' even though it was an actual sequel (and not just a virtual one), but it didn't fit musically so I sandwiched 'Harper' in between the two. So it often ends up being a toss-up between musical consistency and thematic consistency on these things. Well, these are the kinds of silly things I think about when I listen to them. When it works right, it's a lot of fun, but when I can't get that overall flow or cohesion to work properly (either musically or thematically), the comps don't seem as good to me somehow.

So this TV Characters comp seemed to have less cohesion and flow, but after I wrote the notes I realized it had more than I thought it did, so that may be why I liked it better than I did before.

And not to make this post any longer, but I forgot to mention the whole reason I'm posting this. It was because 'Filmpac' so kindly mentioned that Volume 1 was popular in p2p and wondered if I had any more volumes. I never got the chance to tell him how much I appreciated hearing that. Not only because I enjoyed hearing that someone else besides me listens to these things, but because I stopped doing p2p 3 or 4 years back (partly because of the whole 'no online connection at home' thing, and because of other things going on) coincidentally right around the time I started making digital compilations. I had always intended on sharing them on p2p and I was always curious as to whether anybody would've downloaded them and so I'm very grateful to 'Filmpac' for letting me know vicarously how the 'TV Characters Sing Just For You' was received on p2p.

I guess now that I think about it, music blogging is another way to tell how these would be received, but it seems to be a whole different animal somehow. I guess because it's much harder to download something on p2p because of limited bandwidth, queuing, availability, etc., you really have to want it in order to pick something. It's much easier on blogs to sample things even if you're not that interested in them, I suppose. Of course, you get the advantage of comments on a blog versus the limited IM'ing in p2p to get feedback on these things. But still it's something I was always curious about and I really appreciated 'Filmpac' for telling me that. I finally get that question answered (at least on the TV Characters compilation). And since that was the first compilation on the blog and it was before I had any premium accounts, I still have no idea how many people have ever downloaded that comp, so it was especially nice to find out how it was received on p2p. (As if I needed another reason to like 'Filmpac'.)

Well, for anybody who still cares after reading this, here's Volume 2. As always, I hope you enjoy it! (Now that I think about it, I try not to post music people will find excruciating, but you never know.)

Track List:

01 - Rowan & Martin, Judy Carne, Arte Johnson, Ruth Buzzi, Jo Anne Worley, Goldie Hawn, Henry Gibson, Gary Owens & Larry Hovis - Cuckoo Laugh-in World (1968) - [from the TV series, 'Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In' (1968-1973)]
02 - Patrick Macnee & Honor Blackman - Kinky Boots (1964) - [actors from the TV series, 'The Avengers' (1961-1969)]
03 - Barbara Feldon - 99 - [from the TV series, 'Get Smart' (1965-1970)]
04 - Edd Byrnes - You're The Top (1959) - [from the TV series, '77 Sunset Strip' (1958-1964)]
05 - Jackie Gleason - You're a Dan-dan-dandy - [from the TV series, 'The Jackie Gleason Show' (1952-1959)]
06 - Billy Crystal - You Look Marvelous - [from the TV series, 'Saturday Night Live' (1975-Present)]
07 - Mr. T - The One And Only Mr. T (1984) - [actor from the TV series, 'The A-Team' (1983-1987)]
08 - Larry Hovis, Richard Dawson, Ivan Dixon, & Robert Clary - This Is The Army Mr. Jones (1966) - [from the TV series, 'Hogan's Heroes' (1965-1971)]
09 - Ken Curtis - Dodge City - [from the TV series, 'Gunsmoke' (1955-1975)]
10 - Joe E. Ross - Ooh! Ooh! (1963) - [actor from the TV series, 'Car 54, Where Are You?' (1961-1963) & 'The Phil Silvers Show' (1955-1959)]
11 - Steve Allen - How's Your Sister (1964) - [from the TV series, 'The Steve Allen Show' (1962-1964, 1968-1972, etc.)]
12 - Ted Knight - Hi Guys - [from the TV series, 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show' (1970-1977)]
13 - Jim Nabors - Gomer Seys Hey! (1965) - [from the TV series, 'Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.' (1964-1970)]
14 - Catherine Bach - Down Home American Girl (1981) - [from the TV series, 'The Dukes of Hazzard' (1979-1985)]
15 - Donna Douglas, Nancy Kulp, & Cast - Lady Lessons - [from the TV series, 'The Beverly Hillbillies' (1962-1971)]
16 - Cher (with Beavis & Butthead (Mike Judge)) - I Got You Babe (1993) - [from the TV series, 'Beavis & Butthead' (1993-1997)]
17 - Rick Moranis & Dave Thomas with Geddy Lee - Take Off - [from the TV series, 'SCTV' (1976-1981)]
18 - Michael McKean & David L. Lander - Squiggy's Wedding Day (1979) - [from the TV series, 'Laverne & Shirley' (1976-1983)]
19 - Bill Mumy - Sloop John B. '96 (1996) - [actor from the TV series, 'Lost In Space' (1965-1968)]
20 - Leonard Nimoy - A Visit To A Sad Planet (1968) - [actor from the TV series, 'Star Trek' (1966-1969)]
21 - William Shatner - Rocket Man (1978) - [actor from the TV series, 'Star Trek' (1966-1969)]
22 - Adam West - Batman & Robin (1976) - [from the TV series, 'Batman' (1966-1968)]
23 - Frank Gorshin - The Riddler - [from the TV series, 'Batman' (1966-1968)]
24 - Burt Ward with Frank Zappa - Boy Wonder, I Love You (1966) - [from the TV series, 'Batman' (1966-1968)]
25 - David Selby & Nancy Barrett - I Wanna Dance With You (1969) - [from the TV series, 'Dark Shadows' (1966-1971)]
26 - Renzo Cesana - (All Of A Sudden) My Heart Sings - [from the TV series, 'The Continental' (1952-1953)]
27 - Carroll O'Connor & Jean Stapleton - Two Sleepy People (1973) - [from the TV series, 'All In The Family' (1971-1979)]

pw = youdont

TV Characters Sing Just For You, Vol. 2 (Rapidshare)

TV Characters Sing Just For You, Vol. 2 (Megaupload)

around 101 MB

Notes on the compilation:

#1-#4: Some kooky cool cuckoo 60's tunes

#2-#3: Spy gals!

#4: Is that 'nervous number' he's singing about, '99'?

#4-#6: You're fantastic! (or at least you look that way)

#4-#7: People who are just too good to be true.

#6: When I first saw Billy Crystal do this character on Saturday Night Live, I thought 'Is he parodying Fernando Lamas on the Tonight Show?' because I remember seeing Fernando Lamas saying these phrases to Johnny Carson. But it seemed to be such an obscure reference, I was never sure until I saw Billy Crystal later explaining the origin of the character and it turned out that that was what he was parodying! I think that's why I enjoy it because it captures Mr. Lamas so perfectly without being a direct impersonation.

#7-#8: Mr. T or Mr. Jones? I just can't tell them apart. Well, they're both in the military (and paramilitary). If it weren't for the mohawk it would be impossible to tell.

#7-#10: Serving their nation and their towns in uniformed service (well, sure technically some of them didn't wear much of a uniform, but you get the idea).

#9-#10: The most suave and sophisticated lawmen you're ever likely to find.

#10-#13: Catchphrase songs.

#10: Here's a catchphrase that Joe E. Ross used on both 'The Phil Silvers Show' and 'Car 54, Where Are You?' Two for the price of one!
#11: Here's a song filled with catchphrases Steve Allen used on his show. How do you spell, 'Schmock, schmock', Clyde?

#11-#13: Greetings and salutations!

#13-#15: Some down-home singers.

#14-#16: Female issues? (The search for the right girl continues.....)

#14: 'I wonder what she'll say?'.....Well, Boss Hogg, just like Gomer, she says 'Hey!'

#16-#18: Well, do I really need to say what these 3 tracks have in common? (besides duos & dialogue breaks.......okay, they're all Ivy League scholars)

#16-#19: Rock excursions.

#19-#21: Sad and regretful space songs.

#21-#22: From Rocket Man to Batman....self-important self-mockery? You be the judge.

#24: 'I hope you know this is a girl writing!' I sure hope so too for your sake, Boy Wonder!

#26: Renzo Cesana played the suave 'Continental' on 50's television and has been so brilliantly parodied by Christopher Walken on Saturday Night Live. If I'm not mistaken, Renzo was also a familiar sight in various movies as the archetypal Italian character with the wandering eye. An actual wandering eye, that is. It seemed to me that one of his eyes was cross-eyed unless I'm confusing him with another actor. He seemed to appear in a ton of movies and TV shows.

This is a great comp! I love it! And, for the record, I bring up your blog and read through your comments as I'm listening. It makes both the reading and the listening more enjoyable. Thanks!
Hey nomwl1 -

I'm not sure exactly where to post this, but is there any way you could re-upload the Neal Hefti Odd Couple score? I keep getting some kind of formatting error message, and now that I know that the album is out there it's killing me!

I love your blog - I'm new to online soundtrack collecting.

Hi First Moon!

Thanks so much for saying it! And I love hearing that about the reading - that's exactly what I was hoping someone would do! You're tops! (Okay, I'll stop. I'm probably making you sick right now!) :))


Hi Jason!

If you're still having trouble or if you haven't already gotten it, I'll be happy to re-up 'The Odd Couple', but let me know if it's a problem with downloading or unzipping first. Thanks! :))
LOVE this COMP!!! Great fun here - any chance you could direct me to Vol. 1?

Whoops - screen reader missed them the first few times - found the other comps.

Thanks for all your great posts

Hi -- Love volume 1 of this, but for some reason, when I DL vols 2 or 3, they download fine, seem to extract fine, but I can't play the song files. They show up as being 0MB, which is obviously wrong. Is it something I'm doing? Also, your "Seldom-Heard Lyrics" Comp is GREAT. Would love a volume 2, even if it's smaller (is there a vocal version of Mission Impossible? One's heard rumors) Thanks!!! Chris
... and if I had any sense in my head i would have left an emaill addy yesterday:
Hey nomwl1

Merry Xmas

Great Blog, the Weird Science soundtrack was radical and I love
the one with the stars singing for you.

But I had nothing but trouble trying to get hold of that Nightmare on Elm Street soundtrack.

Could You Please, please re-upload it, so I can try again.

If you can, thanks in advance and have a happy new year
(and keep up the good work)
I can't believe the links are still good a year later. Many thanks for all your hard work. I stumbled on your blog looking for Renzo Cesana and found your comp. It is excellent. Thanks again.
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