Episode #76: Unusual Sounds with David Hollander

unusual sounds header.png

Sorry for the delay, kids. A long weekend of snow, freelance deadlines, and making tamales pushed this episode back a couple of days. I'm also recording this after pulling every muscle in my right side, so expect some weirdness due to pain meds.

That said, I'm excited about this episode. I spoke last month with author David Hollander, about Unusual Sounds: The Hidden History of Library Music, the book released last May by Anthology Editions. In my review for Starburst Magazine, I described the book thusly:

"David Hollander has crafted a book which appeals to the reader interested in history, music, or visual arts. Most readers will approach it, thinking they know nothing of what the author is discussing, only to be amazed at just how much of the music discussed within the cover of Unusual Sounds is familiar to them."

We had a great chat about the book, its companion album from Anthology Recordings, and Hollander's history with library music.


Keith Mansfield, "Funky Fanfare" (Unusual Sounds)

D. Patucchi, "La Dimostrazione" (Unusual Sounds)

The Syd Dale Orchestra, "The Hell Raisers" (Something Weird Greatest Hits)

Keith Mansfield, "Teenage Villain" (KPM 1043: Beat Incidental)

Stringtronics, "Tropicola" (Unusual Sounds)

Episode #24, The Good The Tough & The Deadly

For those who enjoyed David J Moore's first massive, textbook-sized tome (World Gone Wild: A Survivor’s Guide to Post-Apocalyptic Movies), his latest -- The Good, the Tough & The Deadly: Action Movies & Stars 1960s-Present -- is even bigger, better, and badder. In addition to interviews with action stars and directors, he teamed up with the likes of Vern, Mike “McBeardo” McPadden, and Destroy All Movies’ Zack Carlson to write reviews. It's a fantastic bit of reading and a very necessary addition to your reference library. We spoke with Moore via Skype about the book, as well as the majesty of his favorite action soundtrack -- 1987's Over the Top.


Alan Silvestri, "The Delta Force" (Delta Force OST)
Vince DiCola, "Training Montage" (Rocky IV OST)
James Horner, "Commando Main Title" (Commando OST)
Kenny Loggins, "Meet Me Halfway" (Over the Top OST)
Sammy Hagar, "Winner Takes It All" (Over the Top OST)
Paul Hertzog, "Advanced Training" (Kickboxer OST)

Episode #23, Scored to Death with J Blake Fichera

On this episode, we speak with J Blake Fichera, musician and author of the new book, Scored to Death: Conversations with Some of Horror's Greatest Composers, out now from Silman James.

In Scored to Death, the author spoke with 14 different composers of music for horror films. Be it the greats like Harry Manfredini, John Carpenter, and members of Goblin, or newcomers like Jeff Grace and Joseph Bishara, Fichera asks great questions and gets inside the creative processes of these amazing musicians. Scored to Death is the sort of book which appeals to newcomers to film score fandom, as well as deep-digging heads.

There's a chance at the end of the podcast to win a copy of Fichera's book, too!


Harry Manfredini, "House Main Titles" (House OST)
Goblin, "Profundo Rosso" (Deep Red OST)
John Carpenter, "Vortex" (Lost Themes)
Claudio Simonetti, "Demon" (Demons OST)
Bernard Herrmann, "Psycho" (Psycho OST)
Josepha Bishara, "The Conjuring" (The Conjuring OST)
Fabio Frizzi, "Suoni dissonanti" (City of the Living Dead OST)
Jeff Grace, "Original Inhabitants" (House of the Devil OST)

Episode #22, Life Moves Pretty Fast with Hadley Freeman

On this episode, we speak with Hadley Freeman, writer for the Guardian newspaper in the UK, and author of the new book, Life Moves Pretty Fast: The Lessons We Learned From Eighties Movies (And Why We Don't Learn Them From Movies Any More), which is out now from Simon & Schuster.

On its cover, Freeman's book looks like a frothy summer read, full of goofy observations on fun movies, but once you're into the first chapter, you realize that Freeman has actually noticed that what we learned from '80s movies was way more consequential than you might think. We spoke with the author via Skype from her home in London. It got a little glitchy at times, but we've cleaned it up pretty well, and the conversation was an absolute delight.


Yello, "Oh Yeah" (Stella)
Patrick Swayze, "She's Like the Wind" (Dirty Dancing OST)
Flesh for Lulu, "I Go Crazy" (Long Live the New Flesh)
Harold Faltermeyer, "Axel F" (Beverly Hills Cop OST)
Deniece Williams, "Let's Hear It for the Boy" (Footloose OST)
Starship, "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now" (No Protection)
The English Beat, "March of the Swivel Heads" (Special Beat Service)

Podcast #3, The Music of Counterculture Cinema with Mat Bartkowiak

Mathew J. Bartkowiak and Yuya Kiuchi's recent book from McFarland, The Music of Counterculture Cinema: A Critical Study of 1960s and 1970s Soundtracks, is an excellent read which does a thorough job of looking at myriad films from the era. While the authors examine cultural touchstones like the concert films Monterey Pop or Woodstock, the two also take looks at some less obvious choices like Roger Corman’s Gas-s-s-s or Barbarella.

We spoke by phone with one of the authors, Mat Bartkowiak, about the process of writing The Music of Counterculture Cinema, as well as his thoughts on the state of film soundtracks today.

Episode music:

Monkees, "Porpoise Song"
Jimi Hendrix Experience, "Killing Floor" (live)
Country Joe & the Fish, "Feel Like I'm Fixin' to Die Rag" (live)
The Beatles, "A Hard Day's Night"
Harry McClintock, "Big Rock Candy Mountain"
Rolling Stones, "Gimme Shelter"