Tag Archives: space
Prologue to the Moon
In a neatly, candy-coated, nutshell, here, in Time Life’s own words, lives the bullet-pointed eccentricities from disc one of To the Moon:
The first message from man on the moon… The moon in legend and the science… The beginning of rocketry… Tsiolkovsky… Goddard… Oberth… Goddard’s first launch… The American Rocket Society… Dorn Berger’s experiments in Germany… World War II and the V-2s.
Side 2 (which, for apparent broadcast reasons, is NOT on the same LP…):
World War II ends… U.S. seizes remaining V-2s and the German Rocket team surrenders to the Americans… H-bombs for the U.S. and the U.S.S.R…. The war in Korea… U.S. space program lags… Sputniks stun the world… The humiliation of Vanguard I and the success of Explorer I.
If that doesn’t tickle your curiosity’s fancy, then I don’t know what will!
Also: HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DAD! MAY THE MOONS AND THE STARS FOREVER SHINE UPON YOUR LIGHTED MEMORY!
To the Moon (at a One Disc Glance)
“The dramatic story of man’s boldest venture told in the voice of those whose achieved it.” No, this is not a six record set, documenting the Snuggie, instead, it’s a rather profound, in-depth excursion into the global happenings of this magnificent achievement, man’s first stroll on the moon.
Only one record in, and the wave of entertaining, yet historical, back-story is proving to be well worth the $10 purchase price. As a sucker for the history, as much as the content, To the Moon will ultimately prove to be a bygone treasure of interstellar proportions… and comes HIGHLY recommended.
Originally found on page 750A of the December 1969 issue of National Geographic, this Sounds of the Space Age from Sputnik to Lunar Landing was a recently acquired gem that was quite cheaply excavated (for a whopping $0.45) at a mega-thrift shop in the valley… you know the one, the giant-sized dumping ground of other people’s filth currently occupying the old Circuit City building? There it is. Of course you remember. How could you not? (I’m going absolutely nowhere with this, so I’ll stop the blood flow now.)
This nifty little flexi-disc features historical broadcast snippets surrounding the now light-years away, Space Race, and is narrated by Col. Frank Borman, USAF Astronaut. No fuddy-duddy shenanigans going on with this little marker of historical significance.
I could string together some extraterrestrial hoopla about why the record looks the way it does in the above picture, but the truth is, it’s been overcast all day here and I was forced to use my camera’s flash. That, and I rather dig the rings-of-Saturn-like groove highlights. Sometimes accidents yield unexpected results, and sometimes laziness eclipses the whole lot and one is forced to make do with what one’s got.
Did He Just Say “Supersonic Honeymoon?”
I’m a sucker for vintage space and/or rocket-themed cover art, and you can imagine (it’s okay, I give you permission) my excitement when the spaced-out, black hole of vintage music behind the interstellar cover art is actually magnetic and borderline whimsically enchanting.
I’m on the hunt for another copy of Destination Moon, as the bottom left corner has a bit of Moon juice spilled on it (as you can plainly see). This album was released in 1958, so I’m going with the (by no means made up) story that the Ames Brothers ACTUALLY traveled to the moon to record AND press this album, but in their hurried attempts to jettison back to Earth to disperse their space-rock discovery amongst the lemming-like Earth creatures, they accidentally spilled a large amount of Moon juice on a few boxes containing Destination Moon, packed and ready for worldwide distribution. Yeah, that’s it…
Late 50s Jazz Pop with a theme that’s… I’m sorry; I have to… out of this world. I don’t own anything else by the Ames Brothers, but my intergalactic curiosity for more, good-time, secretly wholesome, space-themed 50s music will undoubtedly point me to the direction of the orbiting cluster of space debris called, the Ames Brothers.
Earth Girls Are Easy
Earth Girls Are Easy… they are? Then I must have been doing something TERRIBLY wrong. Dictionary.com (together with Thesaurus.com), is my serendipitous cheat sheet (for writing anything from a grocery list to a drunken text message), and it defines easy as: not hard or difficult; requiring no great labor or effect. I haven’t found this to be exactly the case in my Earthly experience, but Vestron Pictures made a movie about it, so it must be true, right? I mean, it stars Jim Carrey, Damon Wayans, Jeff Goldblum and Geena Davis, so they were clearly rather serious about getting this message across.
Remember Geena Davis? What ever happened to Geena Davis? Apart from recently catching for Kit and the Rockford Peaches (on my living room television), I haven’t seen much from the once energetic and glowingly-entertaining actress. From all of us here at The Prudent Groove (raises coffee mug), here’s hoping Genna Davis found her intergalactic love and has set up her romantic shop on some bright, colorfully-dressed, comedian-filled asteroid, somewhere on the outskirts of Neptune, or wherever these Earth-girl-ravishing aliens tend to reside these days.
2001: A Space Odyssey
There exists a finite number of films that match the vast, mind-numbing greatness that surrounds 2001: A Space Odyssey… and that finite number is zero. No other film captures the imagination, the theology, the spectacular visual effects, and the brilliant forward thinking quiet like 2001, and the soundtrack that accompanies this visual adventure, albeit a collection of classics, is nothing short of essential listening material for any, and every fan of the medium.
Released in 1968, the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack to 2001: A Spacy Odyssey captures that eerie sense of uncertainty and foreboding doom that is seemingly inevitable for the lineage of mankind. Long, drawn-out landscapes (track three’s Lux Aeterna), dispense agitated spasms of echoed ambiguity, almost as if a spaceship, or a lifeless body, were floating within the vast unknown that is outer space. The first half of the album, before The Blue Danube kicks in, is very grim and despairing, which is exactly the subtextual emotion needed for the beginnings of the inevitable end. The journey into the soul is not a day at the beach.
Much like the opening track, Also Sprach Zarathustra, Johann Strauss’ The Blue Danube is, and forever will be unified with 2001: A Space Odyssey. Both songs have been used in a barrage of other films and commercials, but I couldn’t name a single one of them. If the visual wonders of this film are the planet, then its music is the planet’s gravitational pull. Forever will they be linked, and forever will they rely on each other to exist.
Like the stars of a constellation traveling light-years to reach our retinas, 2001: A Space Odyssey will forever live as the greatest romantic achievement in cinematic history, and it is supported, in large part, by its shining light… its penetrating and hermetic music.
Not unlike the open and infinite vacuum of the vast intergalactic void, this music is much, much bigger than we are, and it needs to be ingested into our pores and delivered from our radiating conscious so that we can experience, and through that, understand the meaning behind man’s true potential.