I can name that Trekkie tune in two notes!

We’re almost there, boys and girls….

(Click to Biggie Size the Heck Out of This)

Tomorrow, December 4th, is the day La-La Land Records will release what many folks consider to be (one of) the Holy Grail(s) of film and television music, the Star Trek: The Original Series Soundtrack Collection. Every note ever composed and recorded for the series, including scores that ended up never being used, will be included in the set. Fifteen CDs divided into subsets for each of the show’s three seasons, totalling 636 tracks of music with a combined running time of more than seventeen hours. The set is slated to go on sale at the La-La Land website at 1pm Pacific Time, as a special collector’s edition limited to 6,000 copies.

Make that 5,999.

Oh, yes. I will have this. $225 price tag? Already secured permission from The Boss The Accountant The Woman I Love With All My Heart and Other Body Parts to purchase a copy.

Variety has a piece not just about the set, but also a special unveiling/celebration event being held tonight at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood. There will be a discussion with Star Trek musical historian Jeff Bond, science fiction author David Gerrold (who wrote “The Trouble With Tribbles”), and composer Gerald Fried, who composed several of the series’ most memorable episodes. Fried is the only surviving member of the handful of musicians who composed music for the series, and he’s scheduled to perform a special arrangement of music from several episodes he wrote. Two of the show’s iconic episodes, “Amok Time” and “Mirror, Mirror,” also will be screened.

Variety.com: Complete ‘Star Trek’ music set warps in

As you might imagine, I’m rather excited about getting my grubby paws on this set. I absolutely love film and television music, not just for my own entertainment but also to set the mood and provide inspiration for my writing. My personal collection is fairly decent, but has been growing in recent years thanks to the increase in the release of expanded/complete scores from older films.

In addition to this monster set being released tomorrow, La-La Land also is releasing a complete score for 1987’s The Untouchables. It’s another one I’ll be going after, but though they might dangle that before me as a distraction, it will in no way sway my eyes or attention from The Prize.

If you’re going after one of these sets tomorrow, I wish you luck…just don’t get in my way. 😉

Star Trek Generations – expanded soundtrack on the way!

How in the name of Jupiter’s taint did I miss this when it was reported earlier this week?

StarTrek.com: Expanded Generations Soundtrack Set Out Oct. 29th

Yep, that’s right: another expanded/complete Star Trek film soundtrack is a’coming, and this time it’s Dennis McCarthy’s score for 1994’s Star Trek Generations, the seventh movie in the series and the one which officially passed the cinematic baton from the cast of the original Star Trek to that of its first live-action offspring, Star Trek: The Next Generation.

The new 2-disc release from GNP Crescendo Records will feature the complete score, as well as a remastering of the shortened version released in 1994. Also included will be new liner notes by the ever-dependable Star Trek music historian Jeff Bond along with Lukas Kendall, and you can even check out an extended set of notes and a track-by-track commentary as a free PDF file from the GNP Crescendo website.

The set is already available for pre-order, and will be released on October 29th, with a limit of 10,000 units. According to the site, it will only be sold in physical CD format. Check it out by clicking on the cover art:

I remember thinking the film’s music was one of the high-points, very different from the material Jerry Goldsmith and James Horner or even Cliff Eidelman had provided for earlier installments. It’s very moody in places, in keeping with one of the movie’s central storylines. In particular, I always liked the “Generations Overture” which plays over the end credits, especially in how it winds up the film’s central theme and ties it off with a rousing rendition of Alexander Courage’s iconic eight-note fanfare from the original series. Compared to the soundtracks from some of the other films, McCarthy’s work on Star Trek Generations, for whatever the heck my opinion’s worth, is a tad underrated.

So, yeah…I’ve already pre-ordered my copy. By my count, that leaves Insurrection and Nemesis as the only remaining Star Trek films not to have expanded/complete soundtrack releases. Here’s hoping GNP Crescendo is already working on Insurrection‘s, and Varese Sarabande is considering a similar effort for Nemesis.

“Attention all voters of the Solar Federation…”

WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT?

Was it really all that long ago that I babbled incessantly about the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s continual, inexplicable snubbing of the Holy Trio of Progressive Rock, and not admitting them into the pantheon of greats?

Lo and behold, look at what news was released to the great unwashed masses on this day!

Rolling Stone: Rush, Public Enemy, Deep Purple Nominated for Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Finally. FINALLY! It now can be shouted from the mountaintops: Rush, fourteen years after first becoming eligible, has received its first nomination for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Way to be on the ball, there, Cleveland.

While fans have always been in a froth over this slight–real or perceived–the band itself has usually taken the high road whenever discussion turns to the Hall and their notable absence from it. In typical fashion, they released a short statement in response to news of their nomination, and you can almost see their tongues held firmly in cheeks:


“We are honored to be among the nominees for this year’s Rock ‘N Roll Hall of Fame. We are especially thrilled for the many, many dedicated RUSH fans to whom this nomination is so very important.” – Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, Neil Peart


Translation: “That’s mighty nice of you to think of us, HoF. Meanwhile, we’re a little busy right now, being out on tour and all, as we promote our recently released 19th studio album. Be a mate and leave the gift basket over there by the door, won’t you? If you need us, we’ll be hangin’ with our Boss Fans. Peace out, dawg.”

(Oh, and not for nothing, but that new album? Clockwork Angels? KICK. ASS.)

Anyway, the nomination is done, but the voting’s still underway. This year also marks the first time that regular Joes and Janes like you and me get “a voice,” in that they’ll count up all the votes logged through the website and append a final tally to the back of someone else’s ballot, or something. Okay, not really. The top 5 vote-getters from the list of nominees will be a “fans ballot,” which will carry the same weight as each of the other 600+ ballots being distributed to the regular distro list of voters.

If you want to know more, go here and cast your vote! As I write this, Rush is leading the list, followed by Deep Purple, Heart, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, and Albert King to round out the top 5.

So…you know…GO. VOTE.

It’s what By-Tor and the Snow Dog would do.

La-La Land Records to release complete Star Trek original series soundtrack collection!

OH SWEET MOTHER OF BEETHOVEN GIVING MOZART A LAP DANCE! THE MUSIC GODS HAVE SMILED UPON US!

:: Ahem. ::

Okay, so maybe it’s not that big a deal, but if you’re a Trekkie and/or a fan of film and TV music, then this might well be the Holy Grail of television music.

The short version is that La-La Land Records, who’s been responsible for some of the better film and TV scores released in recent years–including a few top-shelf releases for various Star Trek films as well as their recent “Big Damned Box Set” of music from Ron Jones’ work for various latter-day Star Trek series–have announced what is perhaps their most ambitious project to date: Star Trek: The Original Series Soundtrack Collection.

(And the blogger pauses a moment to collect himself.)

I’ve had various releases of music from assorted episodes for years, going back to vinyl for things like the scores from the two pilot episodes, “The Cage” and “Where No Man Has Gone Before.” I listen to that stuff constantly, particularly when I’m writing Star Trek and most definitely when I’m writing anything set during the era of the original series. To me, the music scored for the original show is at the top of the heap when it comes to using adjectives like “iconic” and “timeless.” People who don’t even like Star Trek recognize the theme, or at least those opening eight notes, and how many times has that fight music from “Amok Time” been used in some other film or TV show?

I’ve long hoped that someone would produce a definitive, archive-quality edition of all the music from the series, so I suppose it goes without saying that I’m getting this set. This will be a limited-edition release, and probably in the $150-$200+ range. La-La Land is currently trying to get an idea of the potential demand, so if you’re at all interested, then join the mailing list they’ve set up just for this box set: Star Trek: The Original Series Soundtrack Collection Mailing List

(NOTE: Subscribing to the mailing list does not commit you to buying anything, nor is it acting as a pre-order guarantee. It’s an info portal, and a way for La-La Land to maybe gauge interest.)

Here’s La-La Land’s press release:


For Immediate Release

August 8, 2012
COMING SOON FROM LA-LA LAND RECORDS
STAR TREK®: THE ORIGINAL SERIES SOUNDTRACK COLLECTION

Burbank, CA — La-La Land Records proudly announces its forthcoming release of STAR TREK: THE ORIGINAL SERIES SOUNDTRACK COLLECTION, a limited edition 15-CD box set, showcasing all episode scores as heard in all three original seasons of the landmark sci-fi television series STAR TREK (1966-1969). This special collection of ground-breaking, iconic music, from one of television’s most acclaimed and beloved series, has been newly remastered from studio elements and features hours of stellar material previously unreleased in any format.

Original series composers Alexander Courage, George Duning, Jerry Fielding, Gerald Fried, Sol Kaplan, Samuel Matlovsky, Joseph Mullendore and Fred Steiner are all represented in this deluxe collection, their historic work meticulously assembled, restored and remastered to ensure the finest presentation and sound quality possible. A 100-Page CD Booklet, featuring exclusive, in-depth liner notes from film music writer and STAR TREK historian Jeff Bond, complements this attractive set, which is housed in a hardcover slipcase.

The collection is expected to be released in late fall 2012. It will be a limited pressing, but the total number of units to be manufactured has yet to be determined. You can help the label decide how many units will ultimately be pressed by visiting http://www.lalalandrecords.com now and signing up for the STAR TREK: THE ORIGINAL SERIES SOUNDTRACK COLLECTION MAILING LIST.

STAR TREK: THE ORIGINAL SERIES SOUNDTRACK COLLECTION is licensed by CBS Consumer Products and produced in cooperation with GNP Crescendo Records, the longtime home of pioneering classic STAR TREK television and film soundtracks. GNP Crescendo’s Neil Norman has allowed for episode scores previously and exclusively released by Crescendo to be newly expanded and remastered for this box set, in order to make the collection as comprehensive as possible.

This release marks the kind of authoritative collection of original Trek series music that fans have desired for decades. “For 45 years, those like me who love this music could only dream about having it all,” remarks album producer Lukas Kendall. “This is the major, historical piece of sci-fi music, television music and pop culture music that we have always wanted to release in a definitive form for the collector.”

“A majority of the music featured in this set has never been released,” adds Executive Album Producer and La-La Land Records President MV Gerhard. “Of that unreleased music, there is a fairly large percentage that no one has ever heard because it was written and recorded for the show, but never featured in the episodes.” Regarding some of these previously unreleased tracks, Album Music Editor Neil S. Bulk comments, “No original music from season three, apart from the main title, has ever been released. It’s really distinct and definitely STAR TREK… It’s what people have always wanted.”

“The original show was very theatrical,” says Trek historian and liner notes writer Jeff Bond. “So the music reflected that. It was huge and very expressive and thematic. And that makes it very exciting to listen to apart from the show.”

The original Trek series scores team with action, adventure and drama, but they are also infused with deep emotion and the greatness of the human spirit. Such characteristics have kept these richly orchestrated tracks vital and relevant decades beyond their original recording. “Trek was always about the human condition,” remarks Co-Executive Album Producer and La-La Land Records VP, Matt Verboys. “And the scores have that in it and I think that’s what has made both the show and its music timeless.”

For more about STAR TREK: THE ORIGINAL SERIES SOUNDTRACK COLLECTION, visit http://www.lalalandrecords.com now and join the STAR TREK: THE ORIGINAL SERIES SOUNDTRACK MAILING LIST to receive important forthcoming information and announcements regarding the release, such as the official release date, the number of units pressed, pricing and much more!

® & © 2012 CBS Studios Inc. STAR TREK and related marks are trademarks of CBS Studios Inc. All Rights Reserved.


So, yeah: I’m “+1,” here. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go wipe up my drool.

Clockwork Angels are out and about!

Today is the day!

Of course, the Aussies have already had it a few days, but nobody I know from Down Under wanted to share, so “Pffffft.”

The other big disappointment–for the time being, at least–is the lack of a Kansas City date for a stop on the already-announced tour. St. Louis is the closest venue, in September, but even that requires some logistical hoop-jumping to make happen. The band has announced tour dates that take them to next June, so the soonest we are likely to see them here is late summer or fall 2013.

Grr. Argh.

For now, I’ll have to console myself by playing the shit out of this new album.

FINALLY! The complete Star Trek: The Motion Picture soundtrack.

Better late than never, eh?

Yeah, it only took 33 years and three tries, but on June 5th, Trekkies finally will have (one of) their prayers answered, when La La Land Records releases a mammoth, three-CD set comprising all of the music–including unused and mostly unreleased material–composed by the late, incomparable Jerry Goldsmith for 1979’s Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

Can I get an “Amen?”

I bought my first copy of the soundtrack in 1979, on vinyl (and, indeed, I still have it stored away somewhere, little insert poster and all). It was a very truncated release, owing mostly to the storage limitations of those old LPs. I eventually acquired cassette and CD versions (along with the other Trek films) as years passed. When a longer–but not complete–edition of the soundtrack was released in 1999 to celebrate the film’s 20th anniversary, Kevin hooked me up with a copy. I’ll have to keep that one, it seems, as it also contains a CD version of 1976’s Inside Star Trek album. Say what you will about the film itself, but the music for ST:TMP remains among my favorites across the Trek spectrum. I can listen to it any time I’m writing, but particularly when I’m writing…you know…Trek.

News of this forthcoming release was broken yesterday by TrekMovie.com, which today was followed up with more info about the track listings as well as come behind the scenes video about the soundtrack’s remastering. Also, the original TrekMovie article offers info about a pretty cool-sounding “launch event” to be held in Hollywood on June 4th. For those of us who can’t make this little shin-dig, allow me to rub salt in that wound as I present the announced slate of activities:

  • A landmark live panel discussion & presentation event, including exclusive video and audio clips, a live “Blaster Beam” demonstration and more!
  • CD soundtrack signing (Get your copy of the soundtrack at the event, for a special price, before it’s official release on June 5th!)
  • TMP props and costume display.
  • A screening of Star Trek: The Motion Picture – The Director’s Edition (DVD source)
  • Film music writer and author of The Music of Star Trek Jeff Bond hosts a 90 minute panel discussion/presentation event that examines one of legendary composer Jerry Goldsmith’s most iconic and esteemed works

With this new edition of the soundtrack, all six Star Trek films featuring the original cast now have complete soundtrack releases, along with those for Star Trek: First Contact and the 2009 Star Trek. All we need now is the three remaining Next Generation film scores, and we’ll be set.

Well, a complete, official release of all the music scored for the original Star Trek series wouldn’t go unnoticed or unappreciated, now that I think about it. And since I’m here, I’ll throw out a new call for a release of Oliver Nelson’s music for The Six Million Dollar Man. I mean, since we’re wish-listing here, and all that.

So, my fellow Trekkie music nerds: mark your calendars for June 5th!

While I was out…

…all this happened:

During this past weekend’s Starfest convention, Kevin and I were interviewed by the Girls of Geek, during which we discussed our writing partnership as well as our past, current and future writing projects. You can read all about that right here. Thanks very much to Michelle for the pimpin’!

Elsewhere, Rush, the mightiest band to still not be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (screw those Pezheads), has released a new single from their forthcoming album, Clockwork Angels. The new song is called “Headlong Flight,” and you can check out the official “lyric video” right here: Watch me.

Awwww yeah.

Rush also announced their tour schedule to pimp the new album, which likely comprises the “first leg.” I say that, because I note the glaring absence of a Kansas City date on the schedule, and I know that the Holy Trinity would not diss me so. However, there’s a St. Louis date in September, and a Las Vegas date that has caught my eye.

And one other bit of Rush news which might’ve escaped your attention: SF novelist Kevin J. Anderson, working with Neil Peart, will be writing a novel based on the album’s storyline. It’s due out in September, set to coincide with the start of the aforementioned tour.

Moving to the world of stuff relating to the recently-concluded Star Trek: Vanguard novel series, my pals over at The Chronic Rift have released a special “roundtable” episode, featuring myself, Kevin Dilmore, and series creators Marco Palmieri and David Mack. We answer questions put to us by fans of the series, and basically spend an hour or so congratulating ourselves on being masters of our domain. Or, you know…whatever. In all seriousness, it was a fun chat; the next best thing to the four of us sitting around in a bar, as we recall our favorite moments and other highlights of this story that’s occupied so much of our time over the past eight years or so. Wanna listen? Well, then go here: The Chronic Rift: Spotlight – Star Trek: Vanguard Roundtable Interview.

During my absence and total lack of bloggery, I missed Monday’s annual observance of International Pixel-stained Technopeasant Day. Therefore, I belatedly offer up links to a couple of stories that I’ve made available for free reading:

  • Deadbeats,” which I wrote last October as my annual Halloween story
  • Enemy Unknown!” This is a personal favorite of mine; something Kevin and I did for a role-playing game which never came to fruition.

I’m happy to see other folks were keeping busy with the important things while I was away goofing off.

More catching up later….

Rush: Workin’ them Clockwork Angels, baby.

:: Ahem. ::

“Attention all planets of the Solar Federation: Assume control of this, yo.”

Comin’ at ya, June 12th.

Two of the tracks from the new album, “Caravan” and “BU2B,” were introduced during the band’s “Time Machine Tour” in 2010/2011. A new track currently is scheduled for radio debut on April 19th. Rumors abound that a new concert tour also will be announced, including some pretty cool theories that the boys might play their 1982 album Signals in its entirety in honor of its 30th anniversary. They did something similar during the “Time Machine Tour,” playing all of Moving Pictures, so it’s certainly not a suggestion out of left field.

Read more, including a complete track listing and a preview “trailer,” here: Billboard.com: Rush’s ‘Clockwork Angels’ Hits June 12

Well, I know we’ll be hitting whichever show(s) are closest to us. That’s a given, right?

Movie soundtracks: Apparently, there’s a method to the madness.

This story over on io9.com is a few days old, but I only just read about it yesterday. Are you a fan of the music from big-budget movies such as that composed by John Williams, Jerry Goldsmith, James Horner, Hans Zimmer and so on? Well, it seems that there’s a reason you might be attracted to such music in film after film:

io9.com: Bear McCreary reveals the physics behind your favorite science fiction theme tunes

Well, I’ll be.

Those of you who read my blatherings here with any regularity know that I love film scores. I have the music from many, many movies in my rather extensive collection and, yeah, a lot of it is by folks like Williams, Horner, Goldsmith, and so on. The Star Trek series, the Star Wars films, the Indiana Jones movies, Black Hawk Down, Gladiator, Alien, The Right Stuff, are all there, sure, as are ones you might not expect, like The American President or The Shawshank Redemption. I have a pretty eclectic selection from which to choose, which comes in handy if I’m looking for something to set the mood while I’m writing. For example, if I’m working on a Star Trek story set during the era of the original series, music from the show provides the ideal backdrop. For heavy action sequences, I might turn to one of the Star Wars films, or Predator or even some of Bear McCreary’s own music from the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica. When writing a story for the Space Horrors anthology a couple of years ago, I leaned on moodier pieces from Jerry Goldsmith’s scores from Outland and the first Alien film.

Though it’s easy to recognize familiar patterns and from score to score, I never really picked up on the notion of there being a set of basic intervals which seem to be “money” for someone composing such music. I guess you can chalk that up to me having almost no musical talent or aptitude of my own; the only thing I play is the radio.

So, for those of you who *are* music hounds, and have the ear to pick up on such things, what are your thoughts on this? Any favorite film scores? Maybe I’ll even get lucky, and somebody will mention something I don’t have.

No “Ask Dayton” this week? So what do you do now?

That’s right, Nick and Terry from the Sunday G&T Show got busy this past week, and so there was no question sent my way for the “Ask Dayton” segment of their program. While things will be back to what passes for “normal” with the next show so far as this little diversion is concerned, I’m still left with this void in my life where “Ask Dayton” should’ve been.

Piling on to that? A slice of evil as delivered to my eyes and ears by friend H.E. Ellis. She titled it “Things You Can’t Unsee,” but I’m content to call it an act of aggression against the entire human race.

What is it? Celine Dion, singing a cover version of AC/DC’s “You Shook Me All Night Long.” That alone is cause for eternal damnation, but she even went so far as to flip all the gender references. That’s right, unlike when Shania Twain did her own version of this song, now we can’t even envision the potentially hot lesbian scenario her singing the original lyrics might have evoked.

God. Damn it.

(Note: That I’m terribly attracted to Celine Dion in the first place, but there’s a principle to be upheld here, for crying out loud. Recognize.)

So, now that I’ve been traumatized, I figure the least I can do is spread the contagion. Look for yourself, but don’t say I didn’t warn you….

Almost makes you want to listen to Nickelback. Almost…but not quite.