Wednesday, March 10, 2010

One of my favorite AFOS e-mails: "Film music is fun and vital"

If I weren't so broke, I'd hire a model chick to recreate this LP cover for me on camera so that I could turn the image into a logo for AFOS.
Here's an excerpt from a listener e-mail I was lucky to hold onto before my PC died last year. From August 18, 2005, Vincent Bernard, who sometimes posts comments here and says he prefers A Fistful of Soundtracks over Sirius XM's Cinemagic channel, explained to me why he can't stand most film and TV score music DJs and was spot-on about them:
... all those other film music DJs are the most unhip, unfunny bastards I've ever had the misfortune to hear. They make film music out to be some kind of once-removed relative of classical music, which it isn't! Film music is fun and vital, and not beholden to the rules of classical which is one of the reasons I love it. You make it even more fun with your commentary, giving us a little well-researched history and your opinions of new as well as older music. You've introduced me to CDs full of new music. Artists I've never heard of like Yoko Kanno (I now own all the Bepop albums because of you) Riz Ortolani, Gert Wilden, Jerry van Rooyen (all from your "Sleazy Listening" ep.) You've even rekindled my interest in some of the old masters like Herrmann, Barry, Morricone and Schifrin.
Adrian Younge's recent Black Dynamite score, which I've been praising--and streaming--constantly, would probably never get any airplay on the channels or programs that Vincent finds irritating because it's not classical music. The Black Dynamite score, my favorite score from last year, is film music at its most fun and vital.

Robert Emmett is a great example of a DJ who champions film music without taking it so damn seriously (another example: the Wax Poetics magazine folks, who put together an incredible film music-themed issue at around the time their record label division released the two Black Dynamite soundtrack albums). Emmett hosts The Norman Bates Memorial Soundtrack Show (Saturdays 9am-noon on KFJC or at the Los Altos Hills station's spot on the iTunes Radio dial, under Eclectic) and was once one of several guest programmers whom I enlisted to assemble special "Movie Music Mixtape Month" playlists for the college radio incarnation of AFOS. The playlist he submitted to me was as eclectic as his Norman Bates playlists. It ranged from The Misfits to Intinti Ramayanam. Norman Bates, a program I first tuned into when I was in high school, is a must-listen--even though it's often sprinkled with Broadway show tunes, which aren't my cup of tea (the only musicals I can stand are either satirical ones like South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut or musicals that come out of Bollywood).

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