My Mixtape Monday – August 17, 2015

First Name: Matt
Twitter: @althistories
Sex: Male
Age: 38

Occupation: Proprietor and Chief Archivist at AlternateHistories.com

Mixtape Name: Moon Moods

Side A
1) The Jetsons Theme by Hoyt Curtin
2) Flying Saucer Rock & Roll by Billy Lee Riley
3) Telstar by The Tornados
4) Venus by Jimmie Haskell and his Orchestra
5) The Martian Hop by The Ran-Dells
6) Moon Moods by Les Baxter

Side B
7) Nightmare by Artie Shaw
8) Theme from Eegah by Arch Hall Jr.
9) Mystery Science Theater 3000 Love Them by Man Or Astroman?
10) My Love’s A Monster by Clea Bradford
11) Monkey Vs. Robot by James Kochalka Superstar
12) Zombie Dance by The Cramps

Liner Notes: Since I run Alternate Histories, where I take old maps & prints, then add in monsters, robots, & zombies, I thought it would be fun to make a mixtape that showcases some of those very same sci-fi creatures through my favorite Monster-A-Go-Go type songs. Listen with me…IF YOU DARE!!!

Side A focuses on space-travel-themed music, a big idea during the 1950s and 60s. We start with a masterpiece of space age pop, the theme song to the Jetsons, which would later inspire Danny Elfman’s “Simpsons” theme song. Next is a great Rockabilly nugget from the alien-movie-obsessed 1950s, recorded at Sun Studios (the place where Elvis, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Howlin’ Wolf were all discovered).

Telstar was the name of one of the first communications satellites, and the British Tornados took this instrumental to the top of the charts in 1962. Venus by Jimmie Haskell is a great piece of space-age instrumental, complete with sound effects. I love the nonsense of The Martian Hop as it combines the sci-fi song with a novelty song to come up with a bizarre piece of pop doo wop. And finishing Side A is another piece of gorgeous Space Age Pop, Les Baxter’s Moon Moods.

Side B is more of a free-for-all, focusing on various monsters & creatures. We start off with Artie Shaw’s minor-key big band classic Nightmare setting the scene. Then we take a turn into the camp with Arch Hall Jr’s theme to the wonderfully bad monster movie Eegah. Then thematically we switch to Man or Astroman?’s surf-rock cover of the Mystery Science Theater 3000 theme song, still my favorite TV show.

I couldn’t do a mix without including my favorite sixties soul music, so here’s Clea Bradford with the aptly-titled My Love’s a Monster. I thought about putting on Blue Oyster Cult’s Godzilla but that seemed too on the nose so I went with a rarity, comic book artist and performer James Kochalka Superstar’s Monkey vs. Robot. And finally we close it out with the punk rock/horror stylings of The Cramps’ Zombie Dance.

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