io9 has come up with a surprisingly good list of 100 science-fiction-themed songs. The comments are actually pretty great, with a lot more songs. There's rap, heavy metal, folk, polka, you name it. Still missing: more coverage of songs in languages other than English. [more inside]
She sat zazen, concentrating on not concentrating, until it was time to prepare for the appointment. Sitting seemed to produce the usual serenity, put everything in perspective. Her hand did not tremble as she applied her make-up; tranquil features looked back at her from the mirror. She was mildly surprised, in fact, at just how calm she was, until she got out of the hotel elevator at the garage level and the mugger made his play. She killed him instead of disabling him. Which was obviously not a measured, balanced action--the official fuss and paperwork could make her late. Annoyed at herself, she stuffed the corpse under a shiny new Westinghouse roadable whose owner she knew to be in Luna, and continued on to her own car. This would have to be squared later, and it would cost. No help for it--she fought to regain at least the semblance of tranquillity as her car emerged from the garage and turned north. Nothing must interfere with this meeting, or with her role in it. "Melancholy Elephants," an enthralling, Hugo Award-winning short story by Spider Robinson about a disciplined operative, a powerful senator, and a crucial mission to preserve humanity's most precious resource. (some spoilers inside) [more inside]
Each morning at 9am for the next two weeks, (Mefi's Own) scifi and fantasy author John Scalzi will be chatting with musician Jonathan Coulton about one of his science fiction songs -- a different song each morning, -- in a daily podcast over at Tor.com called Journey to Planet JoCo. Series index. On May 29th, they'll be premiering a brand new, previously unheard Coulton song.
"The more David Lowery read of Joy's novel, the more upset he became. Lowery could no longer ignore the fact that the book's main character bore his name, played in his bands and lived his damned life. It was him. And it was most definitely not him." Boy Island is a fictionalized account of Cracker's first tour, written by a fictitious character. [more inside]
"For a genre known for depicting obscure creatures, new concepts of civilization, and future predictions for humanity, sci-fi sure has a hard time being about more than white people." Multi-disciplinary artist Adriel Luis' list of "10 fantasmic films, books, and records to transport you to the unreal—while still letting you keep it real."
Great Rock and Roll Pauses (permalink) is a short story from Jennifer Egan's collection of linked stories A Visit from the Goon Squad. A 76-page series of PowerPoint slides, it's told by a 12-year-old girl who documents her autistic brother's collecting of Clearmountain pauses, the moments in rock and roll songs when the music dramatically stops and then restarts, which are named after famed music producer Bob Clearmountain. The songs mentioned in the story include: Foxy Lady - Jimi Hendrix; Please Play This Song on the Radio - NOFX; Good Times, Bad Times - Led Zeppelin; Bernadette - The Four Tops; Young Americans - David Bowie; Mighty Sword - The Frames; Supervixen - Garbage; Long Train Runnin’ - The Doobie Brothers; The Time of the Season - The Zombies; Faith - George Michael, Closing Time - Semisonic; Roxanne - The Police; Rearrange Beds - An Horse. More examples can be found in this previous MeFi post and a number of other excellent sites. [more inside]
Christopher Bird at Mighty God King has written some corkers in the past - from his ejection from Livejournal owing to his review of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows to his frequent conversations with Flapjacks and Photoshopping of Final Fantasy Covers (previously). He's really outdone himself this time, with Scenes From An Alternate Universe Where The Beatles Accepted Lorne Michaels’ Generous Offer. Read it, and, quite possibly, weep. Bonus points to the first person who constructs a Primer-level explanation of what happened.
Don't believe the hype Debunking the so-called genius of Prince, The Sopranos and 'Blade Runner'. Amusingly harsh yet convincing cases all round. Can I add 'Goodfellas' to the list? Never has so much been written about a film so lacking. I prefered 'Casino'.
The steam-powered drum machine - an astonishing extract from the journal of Charles Franklin, the founder of the London Museum of Techno. Written in 1894, Franklin describes a steam-powered drum machine and what may have been the world's first rave. "Driven by the thunderous rhythms of Hoovenaars tremendous "drum machine" the crowd - academics and dockers, architects and cobblers - were whipped into a frenzy, dancing and screaming like savages until sunrise, when the Machine finally ground to a halt with a suffering hiss."
What DOESN'T this guy do? He writes novels, screenplays, and old school radio dramas. In his spare time he records sci-fi inspired avant-garde electronica, trippy ambient stuff, and produces albums for other bands. He meshes spoken word and noise-pop , and with his old band, the unapologetic New Romantics Oo Oo Wa, produced an absolute wanker masterpiece, and ended up getting signed by the same guy who gave the Smashing Pumpkins their first record deal. Of late, he just turned up on Electric Lash: A Tribute to The Church. Creative genius, or too damned much Starbucks?
The Rocklopedia Fakebandica is an exhaustive compendium of non-existent musical acts from television and film. Need to know the complete lineup of Evar Orbus and His Galactic Jizz-Wailers? It's here (via Grouse!).