SciFi SongFest, Songs 269-270

Two songs riffing on a line from Walt Whitman by way of Ray Bradbury. Here’s a two-minute summary of the Twilight Zone episode that’s based on the Bradbury story (spoilers, obviously):

As you’ll see (or hear), the songs don’t really have anything to do with the story (although one of them does feature an android):

269. Irene Cara and the cast of Fame, “I Sing the Body Electric” (1980):

270. Rush, “Body Electric” (1984):

SciFi SongFest, Songs 267-268

Two songs about particle physics:

267. They Might Be Giants, “Particle Man” (1990):

268. Man or Astro-Man?, “Antimatter Man” (2013):

SciFi SongFest, Songs 265-266

In this extra-long two-parter, a spaceship travels through a black hole and meets the spirits of Apollo and Dionysus. (The fact that the song calls for a balance of the two spirits, rather than a subordination of the latter to the former, shows that even at this early date Neil Peart’s mind was not completely in captivity to Rand.)

The spaceship’s name, Rocinante, is derived from that of Don Quixote’s horse; both would later serve as inspiration for the name of the quixotic protagonists’ spaceship in The Expanse:

265. Rush, “Cygnus X-1, Book I: The Voyage” (1977):

266. Rush, “Cygnus X-1, Book II: Hemispheres” (1978):

Left and right hemispheres of the brain, get it?

Of course this doesn’t get either the mythology (Dionysus isn’t the god of love) or the neurophysiology quite right, but whatever.

Some online versions of “Hemispheres” have one audio track missing, but this one seems ok:

Hemispheres was one of the first rock albums I ever bought (because I’d heard it had something to do with Nietzsche and Ayn Rand). (The very first was Billy Joel’s Glass Houses.) (I’m not counting David Matthews’ Dune as a rock album.)

Flipping the Bird

Earlier this week, DC Universe posted a poll asking viewers to vote on whether or not Jason Todd should survive his “50 story plunge” at the end of the previous episode of Titans. With a nod to the famous 1988 poll in which readers voted to kill off the character’s comic-book incarnation, the text read “This isn’t the first time that Jason’s fate was left to the whims of others” – which made it sound as though DC would actually allow the poll results to determine the outcome (though many commenters have been skeptical).

Well, once today’s new episode went online and the poll closed, a new message appeared on the poll page: “Check out the latest episode of DC Universe’s ‘Titans’ to see if your speculating was correct – did Jason Todd survive his fall?” (emphasis added).

In other word – you thought you were making a difference with your vote? Ha ha, you were just speculating about an already-determined outcome.

The original 1988 poll, which actually did determine the outcome (though the results were reportedly skewed by one reader making hundreds of calls).

SciFi SongFest, Songs 262-264

Two songs that share a title, plus a third song whose title is not unakin. Whether either of the first two songs is inspired by the comic book character of the same name is unclear.

262. Kinks, “Plastic Man” (1969):

263. Katrina and the Waves, “Plastic Man” (1984):

264. Kate Bush, “Rubberband Girl” (1993):

Another version:

SciFi SongFest, Songs 260-261

One song definitely, and another song arguably, based on the science fiction works of Frank Herbert (Dune and “Gambling Device,” respectively):

260. Iron Maiden, “To Tame a Land” (1983):

(Also: back in 1977, a David Matthews released a Dune-themed concept album, which I picked up at the time, having just read the novel shortly before my 13th birthday; it has no lyrics, so it doesn’t really fit into this SongFest, but you can listen to it here. It’s not my conception of what Dune-themed music should sound like; but then, neither is Iron Maiden – or Toto.)

261. Eagles, “Hotel California” (1976):

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