Saturday, August 30, 2008

Rocket Jockey Soundtrack

Really shouldn't be doing this now. Should be packing to get out of the soon-to-be-Atlantis I call home.

But anyway, Rocket Jockey is one of my favorite video games. While the sense of humor was a little fresher when I was 14, it remains unlike anything I've ever played. But as much as I like them, this isn't a video game blog so I'll put you in the good hands of Home of the Underdogs where you can download it.

But what that download is missing is the soundtrack. Actually, the days of my youth were missing it too because I couldn't get it to work. I read on a forum somewhere that the soundtrack was done by Dick Dale and immediately dug for my CD, looked at the back and thought "oh god" and to my surprise it played magnificently. I mean, having already loved this game and finding out that a musician I loved did the soundtrack... it was like finding out Natalie Portman was your next door neighbor or something.

From the little I know about this soundtrack, Dick Dale is backed by The Ultras... or Alpha 60. Maybe some songs are by the Ultras or Alpha 60s. I don't know. It is good though, sorta late Dick Dale (even another version of Nitrus on here) with a different recording quality that works really well. And surf fans should check out the game too: there's certainly a hot rod sort of thing going on in the aesthetic that works well with the music.

The tracklisting for the mp3s isn't my own, just taken from CDDB. Link attached in comments

Thanks to Brian from Surfguitar101 for scoring this info

Hi Brian,

just listened back to Rocket Jockey. Here is my recollection.

The Ultras were hired by the music director of the project (forgot his name - I don't have the packaging box handy).

He had his own surf group (I don't know the name of the group or if it even had a name. I think it was basically just him and a friend).

The Ultras contributed 6 tracks all together.

3 were previously recorded by the Ultras and licensed by Rocket Science. (2 of these were from Surf Pop Sludge)

The other 3 tracks were recorded by the Ultras for the occasion at a recording session Rocket Science set up.

In my track listings I have excluded the original track 1 which was all the video encoding for the game.

Track 7 (1:25) Surrounded By Assassins - an Ultras original we had previously recorded but not released.

Track 8 (2:43) was written by the music director and performed and recorded for the occasion by The Ultras. It may be called "Vashton"

Track 9 (2:32) (don’t know the title) - was also written by the music director and performed and recorded for the occasion by The Ultras.

Track 10 (2:52) Magic Wand – from Surf-Pop-Sludge

Track 11 (4:14) Death Tube - from Surf-Pop-Sludge

Track 12 (4:41) UltraMan - an Ultras original performed and recorded for the occasion by The Ultras. (never recorded or released anywhere else)

Tracks 3, 4, 5, 6 all sound like Dick Dale to me - at least a couple of those were previously released by him, maybe all – I don’t know.

I believe Tracks 1, 2, and 13-20 are all the music director’s band.

Some other notes – Rocket Science went out of business not long after Rocket jockey was released.

The Ultras opened a bunch of shows for Dick Dale in the 90’s – at the Phoenix Theater in Petaluma, at Slim’s in San Francisco, in San Jose, and elsewhere. Dick Dale was particularly amazing at the Phoenix Theater.

The Ultras (actually just me on guitar and Trey Sabatelli on drums) collaborated with Morey Goldstein (keyboards, sax, producer) on another video game soundtrack from 1995 called Jet Ski. I don’t think it ever got released.

Hope this clears up some of the confusion.

Eric Lenchner

P.S. The Ultras never jammed or recorded with Dick Dale, though we did submit Magic Wand and Death Tube to him through our mutual producer, Scott Mathews. My guess is that Dick never listened to the songs.

Friday, August 29, 2008

How to Speak Hip

This whole thing is great but in particular you should tune in to "Building your vocabulary" around 2:30 when he starts to talk about "things". I identify with this

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Bo Diddley - Surfin' With Bo Diddley

Here's another album I haven't been able to find online nor on CD

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Straight up, this is a cash-in on the surf craze, not a normal Bo Diddley album. In fact, Bo is only given credit in about four songs (check the E. McDaniels on the back cover), some of which are covers. At least I think those are the best songs on here. Once you get past the fact that Checker was totally trying to trick you and didn't even put the effort into making a fun description on the back cover, it's a pretty competent surf album and I've definitely heard worse re-released by Sundazed (and I think Sundazed is great). Certainly not a waste of time, and a worthy listen if for no other reason than to experience a lost artifact from Bo's legacy.

This is my own vinyl rip from a less than pristine copy, so beware.

edit: Link to a nicer rip in the comments, October 11th

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Death Race Decision

OK I saw it. I was right about what I thought it was going to be, and actually kind of wrong about it sucking. It was a fun movie with great stunts, and there was plenty of gratuitious violence in it to kind of keep it in line with the original. But it was also missing a lot. The other drivers are all essentially different stereotypes of what a thug from each race would look like. That's it though, it's entirely looks and entirely tame. Play up the stereotypes until they're ridiculous, have the characters throw hissy fits, give us something absurd!

I don't really want to make a habit of movie reviews so I won't give you more of one than you just got, but I'd suggest this: forget it's called Death Race. Remember the live action Mario Brothers movie that was (somewhat) dark and gritty. They did the same thing to Mario Kart!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

I hate Blogger

I spent so much time making a nice huge post and it didn't save my changes despite clicking the little save now button. If you're ever thinking about this blog nonsense, try something else.

I'm going to give you some previews and bric-a-brac to feel like I did SOMETHING today.

First: Home of the Groove is the best blog around for educating yourself about New Orleans r&b. They just posted a cool thing about later Ernie K-Doe\

Second: a cool article that has to do with what I was working on

Third: on the backburner I've got two surf vinyl rips that I've been working on. As far as I can tell, you can't find them anywhere else. Stay tuned


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Steps - Krontjong Warni Warni

It was seriously hot outside today so some chilling out is in order. For some reason I didn't grab a snowball, but I'd suggest you get one and chill out to this album

Pay attention to the comments, they're just as important as the post. I can't remember what corner of the internet I first found this album in, but it's like nothing I've heard before or since. Closest I can think of is Eleki played at at half speed. It's got sort of a Santo and Johnny vibe to it maybe.

The largest record collection in the world

The Archive from Sean Dunne on Vimeo.

and here's his website

Like anybody I'd love to crawl around in there for days, and I'd pee my pants if I got to own it, but he needs to chill out with his doomsday scenario. Though vinyl is getting popular again, I think he's right about worrying about a lost history. I've realized after countless flea market runs finding records with no mention on the internet that I'm a very very small minority in my interest for this stuff, especially for somebody of my generation. The raw collection of music out there tells a history of time and music that you can't get in the books. Knowing that, I do shop for 45s with a small interest in music preservation on top of my own musical interest. 

But sorry dude, I can see why your collection is going unbought. You'd be giving away a huge chunk of your money (and judging from him, it's an investment that likely won't repay itself) and most of your life for another man's pursuit. It's a bummer that this story doesn't have a happy ending, but when he says "NOBODY CARES" he needs to shut up. I say the same shit about some of my musical interests and I know when I say it that I'm being an ass. You've made a huge accomplishment here, be proud! Give it to the library of congress and be proud that you did so!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Death Race Disparity

Many folks don't turn on the TV much these days so I feel it's demonstrating.

There's a Death Race remake coming out this Friday. It's starring Jasan Statham, who I guess is about as B-Movie as it gets these days but why, why would you slaughter my sacred cow? Why would you hand it to Paul W.S. Anderson, who has already slaughtered Alien and Predator in one fell swoop? Who keeps giving this guy a budget?

Now behold the Roger Corman classic. Apparently this remake was originally backed by Corman but had to go through multiple rewrites until it became what it is now.

The question is who wanted this? Anybody that's seen death race and likes it enough for a remake would obviously be disappointed by this new version, why keep the name?

Also see 

Note in the remake, the earth does not appear to be standing still, rather EXPLODING. The original was about a space ambassador warning that we would be destroyed IF we continued to use nuclear weapons. No explosions! Just tensions! The slow sci-fi movie has been dead for ages now, but does it have to be a disaster movie? From checking out the wikipedia, the director absolutely loves The Day The Earth Stood Still and sought to modernize it with a more relevant message to today (because nuclear weapons are no longer a threat or something). So the new message is "mankind has been found to be a danger.... AGAINST ITSELF AND NATURE." How long did it take to come up with that because surely it's never been used in any other sci-fi movie, let alone any that Keanu has been in

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I swear I had something I wanted to post today

but until I remember it (don't play if you can't look at boobs)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Saturday Night Dilemma

A few weeks have gone by with few shows that I absolutely HAD to go see, but this coming Saturday is loaded with options... and nobody wants that. ONE option is ideal.

The real problem here: All three Louisiana surf bands (that I know of), two shows, roughly the same time.

The Unnaturals, The Bills, Cemetery Surfers

Apparently this is a one year anniversary for both The Bills and Unnaturals with The Cemetery Surfers thrown in as well. Somehow I haven't heard The Unnaturals yet, but I caught The Bills at Banks St. Bar earlier this summer and they're very tight and managed to turn my friend on to surf.

I hadn't heard of the Cemetery Surfers until now, but their myspace lists half their dates on sci-fi and fantasy conventions, which is causing a lot of inner turmoil right here. Part of me goes FUCKING SWEET and part of me thinks, well, what normal people think. I guess it's like this: ask yourself "Death Race 2000 or Firefly?". The Rock & Roll Hoo-Ha What What is firmly in the Death Race camp. The camp camp.

Oh and if you check out their myspaces they have about three different posters for this show. That amount of effort probably dcould have been better used making one good one

VERSUS Spring Break Shark Attack and a bunch of other bands

The rest of the bands at this show are decidedly not Rock&Roll enough for this blog, but I saw SBSA with Sasquatch and the Sickabillies last year and was thrilled. Really great unique sound and they pull it off with tons of energy. I'd love to see how they pull it off with another year of practice, but I don't think they need it.

And since I weighed in on the other's shows fliers, I don't want to use the word outclassed but I guess this show "outdoes" them.


If you've already seen all four of these bands (RRHHWW loves you), there's Clockwork Elvis at Kingpin Bar (what where?). I haven't seen them either but it's the 31st ELVIS DAY OF ELVIS WEEK. Whether you see it or not, live with throughts of the King.

While we're talking about fliers

Will you just look at this?

If you click on the picture you'll see that Lost Acapulco's got a lot of hot promo material, but I love this thing. I love them! I love Mexican surf! To any of the bands mentioned here or not mentioned, this stuff makes me want to go forth and make a concert poster. I've done this stuff before and I think they were pretty badass (not this badass). I volunteer if you want me.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Dick Dale - Wild Hot Rod Wails

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Dick Dale's best albums (Surfer's Choice for example) have been reissued and can be easily found not only at savvy record stores but Border's and other large chains. But I found this album in a flea market in Connecticut and I've had a hard time finding much info on it at all.

The Dickster here isn't supported by his Del-tones but by Bo Troy and his Hot Rods. Some good instrumentals here and vocal tracks but most importantly LOUD ROARING ENGINES are heard throughout (which is why the album sounds so quiet otherwise). According to the back of the album "It is a 'gas'". 

link in comments

For the insomniacs: I'm on the radio tonight

3AM to 6AM Central time tune into WTUL 91.5 ( and I'll spin rock & roll at the least appropriate time of day. I have nothing planned in particular but always expect lots of surf and I'll probably crawl through the 7" collection again

Thursday, August 7, 2008


I don't see the point in post-concert wrap-ups but I had no idea what I was going to see last night. I don't think they were even on the Hi-Ho's schedule and I didn't know the name of the band until I saw it on a poster before I entered.

Before Lovehog themselves played they backed up Jessica Griffith, apparently from Nashville, who had a great soulful Blues voice that had me impressed and made for a real great atmosphere. She's got a myspace here

I'd probably write more about her if I hadn't been so surprised by Lovehog, who were local. While I'm not the hugest fan of their name it's a pretty good description of their sound: country/blues slide guitar influenced Mudhoney sludge along the lines of Bantam Rooster, 20 Miles or the Black Keys. I love those sort of bands and can honestly say that they are at least as good as any of them. Each member of the 3-piece stood out on their own musically and complimented each other well.

Unfortunately their Myspace isn't a great demonstration of how good they sounded live, but they're about to start recording their new album.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Doctor A Go-Go - Hot Girlie Action

As far as I can tell this album is out of print and I can't find much info about it, but I was pretty excited to find a really good New Orleans surf band.  Historically all I know is that this has Jay of New Orleans garage band The Royal Pendletons on it, musically it's not reverb-laden surf as much as instrumental (mostly) garage rock with plenty of organ. Not a bad track on it

The internet hasn't given me cover art, reviews or nuthin', so if you remember anything about the band I'd love to hear it.

Link in the comments

Monday, August 4, 2008

But if you don't live in New Orleans here's something

I can't believe this wasn't my first post.

Satchmo Summerfest wrap-up

Satchmo Summerfest on Sunday (couldn't make Saturday) was an embodiment of everything that makes New Orleans great. Incredible music: Sunday's lineup didn't have the big names Saturday had, but there was always something great on. Don't like one band? Just walk around the corner and you'll find one that'll do just fine. Despite full-on August heat, there was plenty of dancing and especially plenty of old people dancing (always great). Black, white, young, old, abled and disabled all out there enjoying themselves with nothing but good feelings going around. And best of all, it was free! The honest, good kind of free, a great event for the sake of an event. Non-touristy, not too crowded... I knew what to expect since I'd been last year but I forgot just how great it was. I honestly have no complaints.

a few more pictures here, here, here, here, here and here