Friday, August 21, 2009

Weekend Listomania (Special Where the Hell is My Jet Pack? Edition)

Well, it's Friday and you know what that means. Yes, my Oriental boinkstress Technicolor Consultant Fah Lo Suee and I are off to Massachusetts, where we hope to confront Congressman Barney Frank about why he wants to send all his gay Jewish relatives to Obama's FEMA death camps.

Well, not really, but I want to see if I can get a date with that little pixie-ish chick who was asking him about that stuff at the townhall meeting this week. Wotta cutie!!!

So posting by moi will more than likely be sporadic for a little while.

But in the meantime, here's another little project for us all:

Most Memorable Post-Elvis Song or Record Referencing Some Form of Science or Technology in the Title or Lyrics!!!

No arbitrary rules this time, you're welcome very much.

Seriously -- no arbitrary rules. The thing is fricking self-explanatory. And in case I've done a list like this one already, I'm sorry if I couldn't find it in the archives, but the fact is I'm senile AND tech illiterate.


And my totally top of my heard Top Six is:

6. Roy Wood -- Miss Clarke and the Computer

A brilliant conceit -- a computer falls in love with its programmer -- rendered as a perfect short story masquerading as a song. I hate to bring up a word like "art" this early in our discussion, but it's really unavoidable.

5. The Kinks -- Last of the Steam Powered Trains

One of my favorite songs from the Village Green album, and not just because it's so obviously blues-based (stolen from "Smokestack Lightning") and thus, ironically, so un Village Green-y in the pastoral English sense. I'd never seen this clip before, BTW, but it's got to be one of the very last things of its kind featuring the Kinks original lineup.

4. NRBQ -- Rocket # 9

A live version of the Sun Ra tune originally covered on the Q's very first (1969) album. Hawkwind probably kicked themselves they didn't get the idea first.

3. The Smashing Pumpkins -- Heavy Metal Machine

Proving once again that no matter what the Listomania theme du jour, we can always find a way to sneak Billy Corgan's pretentious cueball noggin into the mix.

2. The Dictators -- Young Fast Scientific

Okay, this one's a reach, but what the heck, it totally rocks.

And the numero uno she-blinded-me-with-science tune, I can prove it with cold mathematical logic, obviously is --

1. The Shadows of Knight -- Light Bulb Blues

I seem to recall this as the b-side to "Gloria," although my brief Google search has been unavailing on that issue. It's one of their best Yardbirds rip-offs in any case.

Alrighty then -- what would your choices be?

[Shameless Blogwhore: My parallel Cinema Listomania -- theme: Most Memorable Big Screen Period Piece Set in the Second Half of the 20th Century -- is now up over at Box Office. As always, if you could find it in your heart to go over there and leave some sort of snarky comment about my hopeless inadequacy as a film critic, I'd be your best friend for life. Thanks!]


Libby Spencer said...

Oh good, I'm first and can grab the easy ones off the top of the head.

Rocket Man

Space Cowboy

Midnight Train to Georgia

And that Hey Mr. Spaceman song.

I'm sure you smart people can remember who did them. I can't at this hour of the morning. Think the first one was Elton John.

MBowen said...

Early yet, but a couple pop into my mind:

Guided By Voices - "Gold Star For Robot Boy"

Barcelona - "I Have The Password To Your Shell Account"

Gummo said...

Leaving on a Jet Plane - PP&M

Metal Machine Music - Lou!

Welcome to the Machine - Pink Floyd

Hanging on the Telephone - Blondie

Electricity - Talking Heads

Radio Radio - Elvis C.

T.V. Eye - The Stooges

'92 Subaru - FOW

Machine Gun - Hendrix

Shotgun -- Junior Wells

Gummo said...

Obviously, I'm defining "technology" rather broadly....

: - >

steve simels said...

Gummo said...
Obviously, I'm defining "technology" rather broadly....

If by broadly you mean confusing Junior Walker and Junior Wells on "Shotgun," I'd have to agree.

NYMary said...

The Vapors - Silver Machines

Guided By Voices -- I Am a Scientist

Shoes -- The Tube

Gary Numan -- Cars

dcBill said...

Are y'all blinded to Dolby?

The Phantom Creep said...

Jet Airliner!

Steve Miller!!!!!!!!!!!

The dreaded....

Anonymous said...

"Pocket Calculator" - Kraftwerk
"Electric Guitar" - Talking Heads
"Nuclear War" - Sun Ra
"Radio Sweetheart" - EC
"TV Party" - Black Flag
"Are Friends Electric?" -Gary Numan
"Computer Blue" - Prince

BTW - That Shadows of Knight record has like, the greatest liner notes ever! "The Shadows of Knight are all high school graduates." Rock on! - bill buckner

David said...

"Ladytron"--Roxy Music
"Deeper Understanding" -- Kate Bush ("I turn to my computer like a friend")
"The Scientist Writes a Letter"--Tom Verlaine
"I Dream of Wires" --Robert Palmer
"Tesla Girls" -- OMD
"Techknowledgy" -- Utah Saints w. Iggy Pop
And Steve, no "Machines" by Lothar & the HandPeople?

Gummo said...

If by broadly you mean confusing Junior Walker and Junior Wells on "Shotgun," I'd have to agree.

That's okay, yesterday I confused Bob Clearmountain and Andy Wallace....

And stop taking pictures of me with your youtubes!!

steve simels said...

David said...
And Steve, no "Machines" by Lothar & the HandPeople?

I figured two weeks in a row might be a bit much...

TMink said...

Almost anything by Kraftwerk.


Wendy said...

"Video Killed the Radio Star" - Buggles

"Celluloid Heroes" - Kinks

"Eight Miles High" - Byrds. Oblique reference, I admit ... no actual technology mentioned.

"Money For Nothing" - Dire Straits

"Back in the USSR" - Beatles

"You Can't Catch Me" - Chuck Berry. Okay, maybe it's not post-Elvis, but i don't care. With lyrics like this, it deserves an honorable mention:

I bought a brand-new air-mobile
It custom-made, 'twas a Flight De Ville
With a pow'ful motor and some hideaway wings
Push in on the button and you can hear her sing

Anonymous said...


cthulhu said...

Couple of obligatory Who / Pete Townshend ones (all I have time for this morning):

Relay, one of the songs from the aborted "Lifehouse" project that was not included on "Who's Next": "they all get carried on the relay" is a reference to the proto-Internet that Townshend envisioned. Probably about as funky as the Who ever got; the song does work up a groove.

Greyhound Girl, an incredibly lovely song from Lifehouse that to my knowledge was never recorded by the full Who; another reference to the "experience suits" that Townshend dreamed up for Lifehouse. Pete played this one live in La Jolla in 2001 on a 12-string guitar.

Goin's Mobile, the Who, from Who's Next - "make the toast and tea, play the tape machine when I'm mobile"

cthulhu said...

Correction: the lyric from Goin' Mobile is reversed, should be "play the tape machine, make the toast and tea when I'm mobile".

Anonymous said...

"Joan was quizzical studied pataphysical
Science in the home.
Late nights all alone with a test tube."

Anonymous said...

Coin Operated Boy by the Dresden Dolls

Dave Lifton said...

Hey, Steve. Were you referencing this band in the title of this post?

I'm indifferent to their music, but I love the name.

Noam Sane said...

Future, from Todd Rundgren's Liars album (unjustly overlooked, it continues to bug me, great record) references the flying cars we should all have by now, but unfortunately, not jetpacks. "I remember...the world of tomorrow..."

And Donald Fagen's solo stuff is loaded with interesting scientific bits; like the steam-powered ten-cylinder car of the future, the Kamakiriad (with optional hydroponic garden). "I.G.Y" predicted "90 minutes from New York to Paris" - undersea by rail...and "a just machine to make big decisions, programmed by fellows with compassion and vision". Imagine how that would have worked out. Hint: President Gore!

LuckyTiger said...

Simon/Garfunkel -- Kodachrome

The Flaming Lips -- Yoshimi/Pink Robots

Yes -- Starship Trooper

Bob Pollard -- Artificial Light (or more obvious, I Am A Scientist)

Kinks -- Neon Moon (or Party Line, or Mountain Woman, or...)

Gary Numan or Robert Palmer -- I Dream of Wires

Five Americans -- Western Union

Dave said...

The first song that popped into my mind is "Wonderful World" ("Don't know much about...")

This Beat Is Technotronic:

If the above entry isn't inspired enough for this tough crowd, I'm sure we can all get behind "50 Ways to Love Your Lever"

Noam Sane said...

I've been corrected; the Fagen car was a Kamakiri, the journey taken was a Kamakiriad.

Simels regrets.

ps - heartwarming to see NRBQ in the list this week. Where have you gone, Joe Spaminato?

Alex said...

"Jet Pack" by Jill Sobule

"Mayor of Simpleton" by XTC ("the home computer has me on the run...")

"Reconstruction Site" by the Weakerthans ("... buy me a shiny new machine that runs on lies and gasoline...")

MBowen said...

A few more from the collection:

Balloon Farm - "A Question of Temperature"

Belle & Sebastian - "Electronic Renaissance"

Big Audio Dynamite - "E=MC2"

Blue Öyster Cult - "E.T.I. (Extra Terrestrial Intelligence)"

Blur - "Music Is My Radar"

Kate Bush - "Experiment IV" *

Cranes - "Particles & Waves"

The dB's - "Amplifier"

Fountains of Wayne - "Radiation Vibe"

Hawkwind - "Quark, Strangeness & Charm"

Hefner - "Alan Bean"

The Ashley Hutchings Big Beat Combo - "Twang Me Down My Old Mohair Space-Suit"

Rickie Lee Jones - "Satellite"

Tommy Keene - "Astronomy"

The Loud Family - "Sodium Laureth Sulfate"

Neutral Milk Hotel - "In The Aeroplane Over The Sea"

The Only Ones - "Another Girl, Another Planet"

Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark - "Tesla Girls"

Charlie Parker - "Anthropology"

Charlie Parker - "Ornithology"

Billy Lee Riley - "Flying Saucers Rock & Roll" (R.I.P.)

The Replacements - "Answering Machine"

Richard & Linda Thompson - "Jet Plane In A Rocking Chair"

Timbuk 3 = "Sample The Dog"

John Fowler said...

The Satellite Set:

Elvis C. - "Satellite" from Spike

Lou Reed - "Satellite of Love" from Transformer

XTC - "Another Satellite" from Skylarking

Thanks to MBowen, wow, what a list!

cthulhu said...

Also Aimee Mann's Satellite from her "Bachelor No. 2" disc.

Some Warren Zevon: pretty much all of the "Transverse City" disc, especially Run Straight Down with the memorable line "except the robots at the dynamo." And the title track's got some science cred too: "down among the dancing quanta / everything exists at once / up above in Transverse City / every weekend lasts for months..."

Alex said...

Another one I just thought of: "Why Does the Sun Shine? (The Sun is a Mass of Incandescent Gas)" as covered (and made into a rave-up) by They Might Be Giants.

Marsupail said...

Sparks - Talent is an Asset (it's about Einstein, for chrissakes!)


Who Am Us Anyway? said...

Curious shopper: How far will this intergalactic laxative get me?

Donovan: From here to Mars.

steve simels said...

Answering Machine by the Replacements.

I can't believe I didn't think of that...