Original Format: cassette
What’s “happening” here is that the aliens are landing, or revealing themselves, or whatever. 26 years later, it hasn’t happened yet. I remain hopeful that I’ll live to see it, but I’m not holding my breath.
It’s Happening Danny DeVito
This is a clip from an episode of Taxi that I looped and gradually slowed down using I forget what software. It’s pretty crude, but I was quite proud of myself at the time.
This Is My Happening John LaZar
This is from the immortal Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, which of course means that it was written by none other than Roger Ebert. Some people just have a way with words.
Interstellar Overdrive (excerpt) Pink Floyd
“‘Interstellar Overdrive’ originated when early Pink Floyd manager Peter Jenner was trying to hum a song he could not remember the name of (most commonly identified as Love’s cover of ‘My Little Red Book’). Guitarist and vocalist Syd Barrett followed Jenner’s humming with his guitar and used it as the basis for the principal melody of ‘Interstellar Overdrive.’” —Wikipedia
2000 Light Years from Home Rolling Stones
A few years ago the Stones released an official video for this song. It’s pretty groovy. I have to subtract a few points, though, for repeatedly misspelling “desert” as “dessert.” This is not a song about pudding, morons.
Planet of Sound Pixies
Likewise, the Pixies put out an official video for this just last year. It’s not the worst thing they’ve done lately.
Third Stone from the Sun The Jimi Hendrix Experience
On a box set I bought a while back there’s a great “working version” of this where you hear Jimi and Chas Chandler improvising a bunch goofy dialogue, only some of which was used in the final mix. Sadly this is currently nowhere to be found online (the Hendrix estate is adamant and capricious about its copyrights), but you can hear most of it here.
The Man in the Moon Imperial Drag
The Kind from Up There? Gregory Walcott & Mona McKinnon
Even out of context, this dialogue from Plan 9 from Outer Space exudes that special Ed Wood Badness. We miss you, Ed.
It’s a Real UFO
This wasn’t the first time I used a sound bite from the delightfully awful 1977 movie Starship Invasions, nor was it the last.
They Ain’t Green Dwight Yoakam
This is from a 1994 TV movie called Roswell. More about Roswell in a minute.
Starman David Bowie
It’s thoughtful of the Starman not to want to blow our minds, but given the current state of the world, I hardly think that’s worth worrying about. Come on, Starman, do it. We need you.
Planet Queen T. Rex
“One more 10 out of 10 song on a 10 out of 10 album. T. Rex, taste it.” —YouTube commenter Thomas Huth
Lost Planet The Thunderbolts
This is one of many productions of the late great Joe Meek. If you don’t know about Joe, I suggest you go edumacate yourself.
Motorway to Roswell Pixies
I had never heard of the Roswell Incident before this song came out. Afterward I read quite a bit about it and found the evidence pretty convincing. I mean, what do I know? But…
Satellite of Love Lou Reed
Apparently the spaceship that Mystery Science Theater 3000 takes place in is called the “Satellite of Love.” I never knew that before today. It looks something like this:
Traffic Is Quite Luminous
Normally I’d go to the trouble of looking up the names of the actors who appeared in this scene from Close Encounters, but I’m feeling lazy today. They did a hell of a job, though.
Ed Wood strikes again.
Just Like Nothing on Earth The Stranglers
Apparently a lot of people didn’t care for the Stranglers’ sci-fi concept album The Gospel According to the Meninblack. It sold poorly and the critics were hostile. I personally love it and think it’s their best record. Go figure.
Here on Earth Love and Rockets
I’m moderately excited about going to see Bauhaus next month. One minor annoyance is that, by definition, all the members of Love and Rockets will be in the building that night, but they will not play any of their songs. Maybe someday.
Up from the Skies/EXP The Jimi Hendrix Experience
“‘I wanna know about the new mother earth/ I wanna hear and see everything,’ announced Jimi Hendrix on ‘Up From the Skies,’ the mission statement of Axis: Bold As Love, his second album with his band the Experience. Hendrix’s delicate touch on the wah-wah pedal (a recent invention in 1968) glides and teases airily, drawing the ear into an album that wanted to take you higher, past gravity or limits of any kind. The late bassist Noel Redding kept the album on some sort of earthly axis, while drummer Mitch Mitchell was no less a renegade than Hendrix when it came to expressionistic frenzy.” —Parke Puterbaugh, Rolling Stone