Thursday, July 10, 2008

Secret Agent on SomaFM: Better Know a Blogroll Link, Part 1

There haven't been any new entries in this neck of the Interwoods for a while because I've been busy with comics scriptwriting, and last week, I was going to post an update about a new episode of A Fistful of Soundtracks: The Series that I was this close to writing and recording (it'll involve the "Roar" theme from Cloverfield, monster movie scores and the work of the late monster movie effects whiz Stan Winston), but my new preamp seems to be broken, so I'm saving up to get another preamp, which means I have to delay the episode.

Also, there are weeks when I run out of topics to blog about, like last week and this week, when the only topic I can think of discussing is the links on my blogroll. So to keep this blog staying fresh, here's the first installment of "Better Know a Blogroll Link."

This SomaFM station has given you a number and taken away your name.My favorite Internet radio station, the SomaFM channel Secret Agent, bills itself as "the soundtrack for your stylish, mysterious, dangerous life. For spies and PIs too!" Like A Fistful of Soundtracks, Secret Agent streams selections from film and TV scores, but its focus is on cues from '60s spy flicks and shows from both America and Britain, giallos, poliziottos and '70s Eurotrash softcore porn.

The station's playlist also includes out-of-print tracks ("I've Got My Spies on You" by the Pills), instrumental hip-hop ("Stem/Long Stem" by DJ Shadow), vintage library music cues (Neil Richardson's "The Riviera Affair," the theme from WOR-TV's "4 O'Clock Movie," as well as Ocean's Thirteen's opening studio logo music) and more recent Burn Notice-esque tunes with a stylish or dangerous vibe (the kickass Skeewiff remix of Bitter:Sweet's "Dirty Laundry," which I want to pony up some cheese for if I ever make an action show or flick and I need some great lesser-known tunes on the soundtrack).

To make this groovetastic playlist even more enjoyable, Secret Agent intersperses with its tunes soundbites from all the pre-Daniel Craig 007 movies ("That gun. Looks more fitting for a woman." "Do you know much about guns, Mr. Bond?" "No. I know a little about women.").

'Oh Max, I love you no matter how often your height fluctuates throughout the show!'My favorite Secret Agent track of the moment is "99," a 1966 novelty song performed slightly off-key but endearingly by the original 99 herself, Barbara Feldon. I never get tired of hearing "99," even though Secret Agent has put the track into heavy rotation lately because of the Steve Carell/Anne Hathaway movie version of Get Smart (the original series was one of my favorite shows when I was a kid back in the '80s).

I log on to Secret Agent whenever I want to block from my ears any outside noise, particularly a loud summertime cricket, which I recently had the pleasure of killing with a barbell, and nearby car stereo bass. My condo is a cool place to live, but it's located right beside a busy overpass, which isn't exactly as helpful as the music from Secret Agent whenever I have to concentrate on writing.

Several AFOS listeners who are illustrators, graphic artists or cartoonists have told me they listen to my station for inspiration, whereas my station of choice whenever I need inspiration is Secret Agent. I write dialogue to the sounds of Secret Agent in my thick Sennheiser headphones. I go to bed to the sounds of Secret Agent. I murder noisy crickets to the sounds of Secret Agent.

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