Cello Wars

06-Dec-11 2:11 PM by
Filed under Humor, Star Wars; Comments Off on Cello Wars

Star Wars and John Williams' soundtrack for same have inspired many lyrical masterpieces that pay homage to the original while creating their own unique variation and atmosphere. The format and style has ranged from the faithful Star Wars: In Concert tour to a corny Star Wars: The Musical the interpretive Dancing with the Stars.

Adding to that eclectic body of work and currently topping the YouTube charts is what's sure to be an instant classic. Please enjoy Cello Wars:

And yes, that's the same guy on both sides of the duel. In the YouTube video description, artists The Piano Guys detail the investment in this production: "70 days later, more than 7,000 frames, 72 audio tracks, 24 hours of filming through the night in front of a green screen, the most props and costumes we've ever used, several broken bows and strings, and over 1,000 hours of editing and rendering". I'd say it was worth the effort!

You can download the MP3 version for free, though it features only 75% of the above video's soundtrack. Snagging this file (which has no ID3 tags) requires engaging in a viral marketing campaign by sharing a link via Facebook page or Twitter; far less obnoxious is subscribing to their YouTube channel — a pretty low price for such a quality product.

May the strings be with you!

(Hat tip to Jessica Kreutter)

After These Messages: Chiptuning the Eighties

03-Dec-10 10:33 AM by
Filed under Potpourri, Television; Comments Off on After These Messages: Chiptuning the Eighties

I'm a fan of chiptune music — the use of retrocomputing hardware to synthesize original or remixed songs — and have written about its use within both video games and the Apple II community. It doesn't seem like a topic that would have a natural intersection with Showbits, though. But Doctor Octoroc has proven me wrong.

This musician and artist has previously created 8-bit versions of Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, Twilight, and Jersey Shore, rending these overwrought performances into interactive adventures modeled after role-playing games of yesteryear. But his latest reimagining is solely an aural experience. The music album After These Messages is a tour-de-force of nostalgia for any fan of the Eighties, as it features nearly three dozen melodies from the era's sitcoms, cartoons, game shows, and commercials.

After These Messages

Here's the full album listing:

  1. The A-Team
  2. Thundercats
  3. My Secret Identity
  4. Diff'rent Strokes
  5. Toys "R" Us
  6. M.A.S.K.
  7. Gummibears
  8. He-Man
  9. Heathcliff!
  10. Jeopardy
  11. Doublemint Gum
  1. The Fresh Prince
  2. Beverly Hills 90210
  3. Saved by the Bell
  4. Sledge Hammer
  5. Night Court
  6. Big Red Gum
  7. The Price is Right
  8. Transformers
  9. Law & Order
  10. Hawaii Five-O
  11. Magnum, P.I.
  1. Juicy Fruit Gum
  2. Alvin and the Chipmunks
  3. G.I. Joe
  4. ALF
  5. MacGyver
  6. Sprite
  7. Fraggle Rock
  8. Cheers
  9. Tales from the Crypt
  10. Airwolf
  11. After These Messages…

Although Doctor Octoroc's previous album, 8-Bit Jesus (a timely purchase for the holiday season), is available from iTunes, After These Messages is a direct purchase from the artist himself. The price? You name it! Just make a donation to his PayPal account, and all the above songs are yours.

Although the album is less than 36 minutes long, the number of tracks prompted me to consider it no less a full-fledged effort. I bought it for $10, as I would any iTunes album, and am digging these creative interpretations of some of my favorite shows. The only issue I have is that there's no dead air or fade-out at the end of each track. If you're playing the tracks sequentially, the playlist goes from one song to the next without break, making for one long song instead of 33 shorter ones.

Here's a sample, starting with The A-Team:

Share your thoughts on this album below! Or if Doc Ock missed your favorite show or decade, let me know where you think he should focus his attention next.

Kiss a Wookie for George

14-May-09 5:55 PM by
Filed under Star Wars; Comments Off on Kiss a Wookie for George

Happy birthday, George Lucas! (And just a week after Star Wars Day, too!)

Whether or not you approve of his coda to the Star Wars movie series (the tenth anniversary of Episode I's release being this coming Tuesday, May 19th), Mr. Lucas is still the man who introduced us all to a galaxy far, far away, leaving an undeniable impact on pop culture and the imaginations of millions.

In tribute, I offer this a cappella rendition of Star Wars lyrics, set to the various tunes of John Williams:

It's worth noting that the above video is not a live performance, but is actually a lip-sync of a song by a quartet called Moosebutter. I'm not sure why this one-man version was the one that became popular, but to his credit, he never claimed the song as his own, giving full attribution to Moosebutter.

Beyond Star Wars, other singers have also proven their versatility in playing multiple roles. For more such fun, turn your attention to Beaker and one Zelda video game fan.