Sunday, May 04, 2008

May the Fourth

Here we go again, folks... Happy Star Wars Day! I pretty much used up all my Star Wars covers last year, but here's what I scrounged up this time 'round. John Williams, here's to you. Looking forward to hearing the ol' Indy theme in the theatres once more.

Symphony X - Star Wars Suite
Symphony X is a prog rock band where progressive equals "more guitars". Here's their interpretation of the Star Wars theme with over 15 guitar tracks... since 13 or 14 was surely not enough. However, it just can't compete with the sheer gusto of Anchorhead whose "darth metal" Shredisode IV still awaits its inevitable sequels.

David Matthews - Star Wars
David Matthews - Princess Leia's Theme
A funk keyboardist who was James Brown's bandleader starting in the 1970's, David Matthews released his jazz-fusion-sci-fi-disco concept album Dune the same year Star Wars hit theatres. Side A: original compositions based on Frank Herbert's sci-fi classic Dune. Side B: covers of these two Star Wars tracks, David Bowie's Space Oddity, and the theme from Silent Running(?!), the 1972 Douglas Trumbull film.

Evil Genius Orchestra - The Throne Room
The Evil Genius Orchestra has a whole album of Star Wars lounge covers called Cocktails in the Cantina, which tackles more than just the usual Star Wars themes. Where else can you hear a cover of Lando's Palace or Ben Kenobi's Death/Tie Fighter Attack?

Spekkosaurus - Star Wars vs. House of the Rising Sun
A piano arrangement that cleverly mashes up two familiar melodies.

Richard Cheese - Darth Vader's Theme
Darth Vader's Theme AKA The Imperial March, covered by Richard Cheese and his crew with the usual panache. Fans take note, he'll be retiring after his 2008/09 set of tour dates. You may not have realized this but Richard Cheese is none other than Mark Jonathan Davis-- uh, not to be confused by Mark David Chapman... as I just mistyped in google. And just who is Mark Jonathan Davis? Well, he's the evil genius behind Star Wars Cantina from back in the day-- definitely NOT to be confused with Weird Al, as is often the case.

Mark Jonathan Davis - Star Wars Cantina [parody of Barry Manilow's Copacabana]
Mark Jonathan Davis & The X-Swing Fighters - The Phantom Medley [parody of too many songs to mention]
Pre-Cheese, MJD also did a medley just before The Phantom Menace was released and all of our hopes were dashed.

Josh Perschbacher - Duel of the Fates
The key theme from The Phantom Menace as rearranged for the organ by Joshua Perschbacher. It's definitely missing the epic O Fortuna-like chanting in an ancient tree language, but kudos for even covering it. If you dig it, he also covers the Imperial March and Cantina Band, available on iTunes, CD Baby, and elsewhere.

Patton Oswalt - At Midnight I Will Kill George Lucas with a Shovel
I don't listen to too many comedy albums, let alone multiple times. But this bit by Patton Oswalt just kills me every time, perfectly summing up everyone's general dissatisfaction about the prequels. Warning: not safe for the kiddies.

Some other links:

  • Check out WFMU to hear The Bordens, a family band from Dryden, Ontario, cover the main Star Wars theme.
  • See and hear a remarkable cover of the Cantina Band on a "Chapman stick", a wacky bass/guitar-in-one instrument thing I've never even heard of.
  • Amie Street has Meco's Star Wars album FREE (as of this writing)... US only though.
  • found this completely random video when I typed "Leia's Theme" in google. Starts off as some generic youtube house party video, then... well, just watch. (warning: some language)

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