I’ve been into Boards Of Canada before anybody, man. Or at least before anybody I knew. Well, okay, I knew a couple of people. Among the millions I didn’t. Some of whom might have been into Boards Of Canada before me. I said, SOME. Having established my street cred, I’m a fan. And the viral release campaign for their latest, “Tomorrow’s Harvest,” is one of the best I’ve ever seen, a rare feat in this age of niche and corporate muzak. I knew things were getting weird when a Nerd Grrl passed by me outside my favorite cafe in Seattle, Bauhaus Books/Coffee (speaking of harvesting, their block is to be razed for a garage and boutiques) actually carrying a glossy pre-release copy of the new BOC LP. I could feel the cultural fabric of hipster space/time split asunder under the urban Northwest sky. What better atmosphere for “Tomorrow’s Harvest,” a sonic tonic for the dystopic world — or as the best description I’ve yet read: ”A soundtrack to a cold-war Italian exploitation horror film.”
Happy Birthday to not only the Drive-In Theater (born this day in 1933, Camden, New Jersey) but to the woman who would act as a spacey muse to those giant screens across America under the stars. I’ve written more extensively about Cheryl “Rainbeaux” Smith in my essay on LEMORA, A CHILD’S TALE OF THE SUPERNATURAL (1973):
Smith was a product of the free-wheelin’ 1970′s, allegedly gaining her nickname from the famed Rainbow Club on the Sunset Strip. She became a mainstay, usually unclothed, in Jack Hill’s charming THE SWINGING CHEERLEADERS and its unrelated sequel REVENGE OF THE CHEERLEADERS (pregnant to boot but touchingly included in the hijinks because the director wanted her in there. He knew.). She also appeared in the best women-in-prison film, Jonathan Demme’s CAGED HEAT and many other cult movies. Sadly, she had a major sub-plot in Walter Hill’s THE DRIVER that was later cut. Rainbeaux Smith had a troubled history and for more insight, here’s Chris Barbour’s wonderful account of his years knowing her, and perhaps the most moving tribute comes from our own Marc Edward Hueck, whose journey from fan to pallbearer at her funeral is essential reading. Quentin Tarantino aptly called her “a hippie Marilyn Monroe” and that’s about right.
And she has been my own muse, as I even named my lead character after her in my script 18 WHEEL BUTTERFLY. So I’d like to think she’s watching down on us dreamy cine-misfits, her soft distant smile a beacon to anybody who ever saw her glow on the small or big screen…
A haiku-like tone seems to be emerging here at Technicolor Dreams: life, death, life, death, life…so let’s cheer the existence of the late Japanese composer who created some of the most memorable themes in film history. His slow massive GOJIRA score is legendary and as necessary to the monster as John Barry’s music is to James Bond. The Toho sci-fantasy genre would be almost unthinkable without his soundtracks. To savor his artistry, enjoy this “Symphonic Fantasia,” a montage of familiar music from a host of 1960′s Toho kaiju epics. Kampai!
The monster maven of the Phillipines heads to that drive-in screen in the sky…
Aka Bob Dylan. Here he is with Mr. Johnny Cash performing “The Girl From The North Country” from his fantastic 1969 LP “Nashville Skyline” — depending on my mood this is my favorite Dylan song and album. Keep on singing Mr. Tambourine Man….
Where to start. Or end. The greatest pop keyboard melodist of the 60′s has broken on through to the other side. Whilst Jim Morrison steals the thunder, it was Manzarek’s cool lilting keys that pushed me through the doors of perception….