Monday, April 14, 2008

Radio Free Hipster Ep. 42: The Fightin’ 501st

For a long time I told people I wasn’t a Star Wars fan, or, more specifically, that I wasn’t a Star Wars fan anymore. That’s not to say I was ever a card-carrying Star Wars hater, of which there are more than a few, but I was fairly vocal about my stance on the new direction the franchise began to take around the time of the Special Editions: it just wasn’t for me.

Years later, I’ve made my peace with Lucas. (Yeah, I’m sure he’s relieved!) I’ve learned to treat the saga like I treat any other epic geek property that has seen its share of less-then-stellar plot twists, iterations, or re-imaginings.

This episode of Radio Free Hipster is, in part, about me comings to grips with the harsh reality of the Star Wars of my youth versus the Star Wars that my kids will grow up with. Sure, I like mine better, but that’s just human nature. Midi-chlorians or no, The Force is strong within us all.

But more specifically, this ep. is a celebration of what I consider to be some of the coolest things about Star Wars and Star Wars fandom; it’s about the creativity that fans have shown through music.

Download Radio Free Hipster Ep. 42: The Fightin’ 501st [hosting provided by Antisocial] Size: 47.8 MB Running Time: 52:15

Show Notes:

Intro: Baddd Spellah – “Radio Free Hipster Theme (feat. Beefy)
Spellah’s midi-chlorian level is off the scale, and I believe Beefy to be the Chosen One.

Track 1: Party Ben – “Galvanize the Empire
This is one of those songs I found, loved, listened to for weeks, all but forgot about, and then was reintroduced to by a friend. Thanks to Denika for reminding me about this one!

Z’s 1st interlude: “You can’t help but amass a staggering collection of tracks about Star Wars.”
Nerdy music isn’t all about Star Wars. A lot of it is about Star Wars. Shit, most of it is about Star Wars. But not all.

Track 2: Dual Core – “A New Hope”
Three words: Sand People Choir.

Track 3: Down Underdogs – “Nerf Herders (Empire Mix)
The Down Underdogs are what I consider to be an often overlooked jewel of nerdcore hip-hop. The Ranger and Co. remind me of the lesson I learned from Pinky and Diabolik: there’s some fierce hip-hop coming out of Australia.

Track 4: Rebel Force Band – “A Respirator for Darth Vader”
Blame this one on Church. Totally his idea.

Track 5: “Blue Harvest” clip / MC Frontalot – “ Yellow Lasers
There’s a lot of talk about excretions in this part of the show. I’m probably not nearly as ashamed of that fact as I should be.

Track 6: unknown - “Star Wars Mix”
Again, some folks say this is Aphex Twin - and it may well be - but I am unconvinced.

Track 7: Star Wars: The Musical - “Let’s Blow This Thing
This is the kind of track that folks will either love or hate. Its polarizing nature made it a great candidate for inclusion.

Z’s 2nd interlude: “The epitome of fandom.”
I don’t personally know anyone involved the 501st, in my local Garrison or otherwise, but I really like what they do. That is why I titled this episode in their honor.

Track 8: Anarchy Steering Committee – “I Wanna Be a Stormtrooper”
The ASC is no more, but tracks like this endure. comedy + geekery = teh genius

Track 9: Gluecifer – “Obi Damned Kenobi”
A lot of my friends are into the whole Scandinavian hard rock revival thing, a movement with acts like Gluecifer and The Hellacopters at the forefront. Me? Not so much, although I do appreciate the opportunity to inject a little non-nerdy music into the mix.

Track 10: Weird Al – “Yoda”
This episode only had room for “Yoda” or “The Saga Begins.” I believe I made the right choice.

Track 11: Caravan Ray - “Natalie Portman”
In a set dedicated to classic characters, I elected to include a song about an actress from the new trilogy. Consider it a gesture. Check out Ray at He'll make ya smile.

Track 12: “Blue Harvest” clip / Superbus – “Han Solo”

While trolling for songs for this ep., I came across several mentions to this track. I assumed it was by the other Superbus, but a quick listen let me know that I was sorely mistaken.

Z’s final interlude: “Noticeably absent thus far.”
Tell the truth: you were all waiting on “Fett’s Vette!”

Track 13: mc chris – “Fett’s Vette (Glenn Case Imperial Remix)” / “Star Wars According to a 3 Year Old Girl” clip
While Baddd Spellah’s is undoubtedly the definitive mix of this song, I have a soft spot for Glenn’s interpretation.

In a modern world, one devoid of myth and supernatural whimsy, epic tales of good versus evil and the weight of personal choice play an important role. In fact, I think that’s part of the appeal of things like the Star Wars saga.

Luke is our Hercules. Han is our Beowulf. Yoda is our John Henry.

But most importantly, C-3PO is the shiny guy. And the shiny guy always worries.


ADeadHeart said...

Being the mash up FANATIC that I am...I wonder if you've heard these?

DJ Tripp - Without Me (Vader Mix)
(It has Eminem...don't hate me, I love him)

2 Skinnee J's - Irresistible Force

(If you don't have them, let me know and I will send them on. I've a few other Star Wars related things in this mess of music I think...not a fan myself of the films but ahhh the mixes that have come from the movies!)

Z. said...

I know the Tripp track you’re talking about – though I don’t think it’s in my collection – but the 2SJ song is new to me. I’ll have to try and dig that one up. Thanks, ADH!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for including us! Special mention has to go to MLFG for that remix.

I'll be listening to this whole EP later today.

Anonymous said...

EP being short for episode. No idea why I wrote it like that. It's 7:14am!

Anonymous said...

"Let's Blow This Thing" is my very favorite Star Wars musical track.

Also, I'd never heard Glenn's Fett's Vette remix (and I own at least four), but I very much like it!

Z. said...

No problem, Ranger. Always nice to give some love to the boys from Oz. And get some sleep, man! ;)

I’m glad someone other than me felt that SW:TM track, monpetitpetaq! Yeah, Glenn’s mix is a long-time fave of mine.

WildgOphers said...

I have gotten addicted to this podcast over the last couple of weeks.


Z. said...

Ah, WildgOphers, you say the nicest things! :)

Darth Sarcasm said...

Great podcast. I liked the Rebel Force Band track, so I downloaded the whole album. The track you played is great 70's funk, the rest of the album has a very ELO vibe going on. I love finding these rare SW tunes from the films early days. Gets me all nostalgic, sniff.