The Yodel that Ate Celluloid:By Bart Plantenga
Yodeling as Secret Weapon Tim Burton’s over-the-top 1996 film Mars Attacks, about menacing Martians conquering a globe of naïve earthlings, features the yodel as the vocal equivalent of a secret PsyOps weapon that ultimately saves the earth from Martian domination. At a climactic instant, the headphones of an eccentric old lady who’s always listening to her favorite yodeler, Slim Whitman, suddenly slip off her head, exposing the Martians to Whitman’s histrionic yodeling-crooning: "When I’m calling you-oo-oo…" Yodeling’s high notes shatter the Martians’ helmets and their heads explode in great bursts of green cerebral goo.
The Essex GreenBy Dann Baker
The Long Goodbye Merge Records I never knew exactly who the Essex Green were. I think for a while I had them confused with Ladybug Transistor (with whom they shared members). I knew they lived in a big house in Kensington (Brooklyn) and recorded in the basementor was that Ladybug Transistor? And this guy I know played with them on occasionor was it with Ladybug Transistor? Since they were affiliated with the Elephant Six label, I assumed they purveyed a lite, melodic brand of neo-psych-pop not readily distinguishable from Of Montreal, Elf Power, or Apples in Stereo.
Beth Gibbons & Rustin ManBy Todd Simmons
Out of Season Sanctuary Records On the evocative album Out Of Season, the first sound one hears is a rising gust of wind. Those familiar with Beth Gibbonss work with Bristols trip-hop pioneers Portishead wont interpret this as a gentle, summer breeze but rather as an ominous sign of things to come.