Monday, December 31, 2012


There is an music CD I bought strictly due to the fact that I was hearing it played so much on my office radio. I cannot remember what station I was listening to at the time (early 1999), but it must have been one of those top-40 stations; or whatever they are called.

I had my own little office back then, and I was often wrapped up in whatever work that I was inspired to do... to justify the extra rent that I had forced myself to pay. The radio was almost always on.

Admittedly I was enjoying the songs. I was well aware of Shania Twain, and repetition of her album Come on Over was paying off. The initial flurry of sales had subsided to that point, I'm sure, but now the slow-movers were the next victims.

I bought Come on Over -- second hand, yes, but I put my money down.

The super-selling album (of many millions of units) was pretty middle-of-the-road to my musically astute ears. The songs were nice in an inoffensive way; and, to me at least, they seemed to be aimed squarely at women. (And the woman in me.)

Last week I had to do some maintenance here at home; I popped in the Come on Over album. (It had not been touched by my hands in years, except to pack away in boxes during moves.) Nice songs to work to. As a matter of fact, what struck me is how uniform the songs are, for the most part. Two of the tunes seemed to blend together; I had not realized one song ended and another had started.

Blandness tends to sell a lot of units/copies. A broad appeal, not straying too much from the center line. Doesn't mean it's not good, but there is some truth to that notion.

Yes, I do like Come on Over. And I'm sure I won't wait another ten years to give it another listen.


Decided this afternoon to review some video files that I had downloaded from Youtube, when I rediscovered a documentary titled Mr. Thunderbird - The Gerry Anderson Story. With the passing last week of Mr. Anderson, this fifty-minute program now holds even more importance and interest.

Here is Part 1...

Sunday, December 30, 2012


I know this goes against the grain, the popular opinion, but my favourite Thunderbirds vehicle is not "Thunderbird 2", as much as I like that machine. My personal fave, and has been since I was a wee-one, is "Thunderbird 1". Manned by Scott Tracy, this wonderful flying machine has an English Electric look.

Back in 1993, when Thunderbirds toys were reissued by Matchbox, I picked up both TB1 and TB2.

Hmm... the more I look at Thunderbird 1, the more it looks as though it was manufactured by Mikoyan-Gurevich ("MiG") or Sukhoi. Is it possible that International Rescue bought Soviet equipment?

(The RCAF should seriously consider buying from Mikoyan or Sukhoi -- now part of United Aircraft Corporation. Forget Lockheed Martin and the F-35 "Fleabag".)


I admit that stereotypical right-wingers interest -- okay, fascinate -- me. I'm continually amused and bemused at the hate and vitriol spewed from that group. Last week I decided to interview the man-on-the-street; in this case, a friend of mine...

Why are right-wingers so angry all the time? And what's with all the name-calling and venomous insults?

They just feel like they're being picked on all the time.

Maybe that's because they're easy to pick on....

Saturday, December 29, 2012


I love statistics. Decided to overview 'discrete hits' on my blog -- from the past week, month; and 'all time'.

Blogspot started indexing/counting stats about two and a half years ago. (Unfortunately, postings done before that implementation, started at ground level in the numbers department.)


1)  Jack Layton and Olivia Chow - Starship Crewmates (April 20, 2011)
 = 3276

2)  Motown “Jackson 5” Greatest Hits (June 26, 2009)
 = 2069

3)  Disturbing Magic Roundabout Theme (April 18, 2010)
 = 1917

4)  Right-Wing Newspaper Comment Boards (Nov 6, 2011)
 = 485

5)  NHL Rink Size Matters (April 28, 2008)
 = 457

6)  R-7 - Superfine Industrial Design (May 14, 2011)
 = 434

7)  Six Million Dollar Man Coming to DVD (April 21, 2010)
 = 357

8)  N1 Rocketa - U.S.S.R. Moon Shot (May 14, 2011)
 = 315

9)  Posting Number 1000 (+1) (June 29, 2011)
 = 166

10)  CN Tower’s Edge Walk Already (June 2, 2011)
 = 146


1)  Space: 2099? (Feb 18, 2012)
 = 70

2)  Motown “Jackson 5” Greatest Hits (June 26, 2009)
 = 69

3)  R-7 - Superfine Industrial Design (May 14, 2011)
 = 33

4)  NHL Rink Size Matters (April 28, 2008)
 = 25

5)  Star Trek Music Box - Art & Sound (Dec 1, 2012)
 = 23

6)  Jack Layton and Olivia Chow - Starship Crewmates (April 20, 2011)
 = 22

7)  Best of Barry - ‘ 32” Star Trek U.S.S. Enterprise Model Kit for 2012 ' - Original Posting: June 21, 2011 (Sept 11, 2012)
 = 17

8)  Sergei Korolev - Russian Rocket Man (May 14, 2011)
 = 14

9)  Right-Wing Newspaper Comment Boards (Nov 6, 2011)
 = 13

10)  N1 Rocketa - U.S.S.R. Moon Shot (May 14, 2011)
 = 12


1)  Space: 2099? (Feb 18, 2012)
 = 31

2)  Motown “Jackson 5” Greatest Hits (June 26, 2009)
 = 14

3)  Star Trek Music Flyby (Dec 24, 2012)
 = 9

4)  Gerry Anderson Dies (Dec 27, 2012)
 = 9

5)  R-7 - Superfine Industrial Design (May 14, 2011)
 = 8

6)  Best of Barry - ‘ 32” Star Trek U.S.S. Enterprise Model Kit for 2012 ' - Original Posting: June 21, 2011 (Sept 11, 2012)
 = 7

7)  Star Trek Music Box - Art & Sound (Dec 1, 2012)
 = 6

8)  N1 Rocketa - U.S.S.R. Moon Shot (May 14, 2011)
 = 4

9)  Terry Gilliam on Star Wars (Aug 21, 2010)
 = 4

10)  Sergei Korolev - Russian Rocket Man (May 14, 2011)
 = 4

Note: When I posted a 'Best of Barry' for Space: 2099?, I effectively split the count. When you add them up, the number comes to 154 (90 + 64). By that measure, Space: 2009? would be in tenth position for the "All Time" count. Impressive considering I posted that entry just this past February.

The biggest month for my blog, in the hits department? August of 2010, with 1,999 hits.

Thursday, December 27, 2012


When I read the news yesterday that Thunderbirds creator Gerry Anderson had died, I was not surprised. I'd been thinking lately that he was getting on a bit, and it seems cosmically fashionable to have people of note pass on. Just in the last few days, Jack Klugman and Charles Durning have died.

In the last few months I have knocked off several episodes from Anderson shows, such as UFO, Captain Scarlet, and Space: 1999. My 'best of' Thunderbirds DVD is going to get a spin. (Along with UFO, Thunderbirds is the "best of" GA's television programs.)

After hearing about Gerry Anderson's passing, I immediately started drafting a story; to be titled, "Gerry Anderson - Childhood Star". I should have 'er up in the next day or so.

My friend Greg emailed me asking if I had heard. In tribute, we are both going to watch the Space: 1999 episode, "The Testament of Arkadia" (one of the best stories from that series). "Tonight, at eleven."

Obituary from Sky NEWS...

Monday, December 24, 2012


I titled this posting, "Star Trek Music Flyby", because the new La-La Land Records release of the complete music from the original Star Trek series is going to do just that... "fly by"; due to the hard, cold fact that I simply cannot afford the hefty (though not unreasonable) $224 price tag.

Disappointing, I do admit, that this Trekker cannot afford such an extensive set of superb dramatic music -- especially 17.3 hours worth.

Some last details; interesting, for those who care, links regarding the magic music box:

WQXR, a classical music station in New York City, recently aired an hour-long program on the music of the original Star Trek and the 15-CD release...

The Wall Street Journal published a story on the music of the world's greatest space show...

I am returning to Sol-3, soon. Soon: Notes on film critic/writer Mark Kermode's book, The Good, The Bad and the Multiplex - What's Wrong With Modern Movies. Also: Speaking of music, I recently spun my Shania Twain and Charlotte Church CDs; it's been a few years since I've listened to them, and I'll have some impressions to impart.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


Here are more samples from the Star Trek music CD set from La-La Land Records...

... includes interviews with producers Lukas Kendall and Jeff Bond.

* Alexander Courage's score for "The Cage" is a standout which set the bar very high; but the cue, "Monster Illusion", is a highlight.

* Fred Steiner wrote music to make the viewer take a potentially goofy episode ("Who Mourns for Adonais?"), seriously. This score makes a lot of fans absolutely giddy... me being one of them. The composer's score for "The Corbomite Maneuver" is loaded with exotic, propulsive tension -- and very catchy.

* Speaking of "catchy": The versatile Gerald Fried wrote with his sentimental pen for "The Paradise Syndrome".  Silky-smooth melodies for a Captain's Holiday, of sorts.

* Joseph Mullendore scored just one episode for Trek, that being "The Conscience of the King", but he left a mark: mainly, a gem of a love theme. Which reminds me...

... the (original series) Star Trek composers were obviously, and continually, inspired to do their best stuff. The format of the show certainly helped, but there was something else going on. It's hard to put into words. The music ran the gamut from bombastic to sentimental; bursting with melody; light/bright, and dark; often exotic and out-worldly.

If I were trained in musicology, I would definitely take some time to study these scores, and their relationship to a great television series. Perhaps they are so essential, a vital part of that series' DNA, that it would be foolish to try and imagine Star Trek hitting such stellar heights without those scores. The right television series and composers. A textbook example of just how important music is to the motion picture experience. Required reading at the Academy....

Saturday, December 1, 2012


Trust me -- the 'closet' Trekker -- to find this:  Artwork and music samples from the upcoming release -- by La-La Land Records -- of 'original series' Star Trek music...

* Alexander Courage was the daddy of this show's terrific, vivid music -- including the brilliant theme; and the author of several benchmark scores of great dramatic fervour. He continued his touch with the third season episode, "The Enterprise Incident". Listen to the cue "Abberated Captain" and you know something's goin' down, even without picture: With the climactic punctuating brass and timpani you think/know, "oh sh__!" Sweet.

* Gerald Fried is one cool 'jazz' daddy. (No doubt his hipster buddies were in the orchestra: on some scores, Larry Bunker on drums!)

* George Duning wrote some of the loveliest love tunes this side of Talos IV.

* Sol Kaplan wrote scores for "The Enemy Within" (during my teen years, my fave ep) and "The Doomsday Machine". No further comment needed.

* Fred Steiner's cue, "Battle Music" (from "Elaan of Troyius"), should be renamed, "SOLD!!!" Wonderful!