Just because we seem to be constantly listening to music and hitting up concerts here at West Coast Sound doesn't mean that we aren't also reading comic books or taking nights off to re-watch Star Wars Episodes IV-VI. So, when our interests collide, be it in song or on the small screen, we get a little excited. Below are a few of our favorite pop culture mash-ups.
Star Trek + Britpop = William Shatner “Common People”
If William Shatner had never been Captain Kirk, he might have never hosted the 1978 Science Fiction Film Awards, may have never performed “Rocket Man.” And if that had never happened, then he might not have collaborated with Ben Folds and Joe Jackson on this cover of the Britpop anthem “Common People.” At the very least, no one would have made a Kirk and Spock “slashup” video to accompany it. (Don't worry, it's totally SFW.)
French House + Anime = Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem
Daft Punk Mania officially began when the band released Discovery in 2001 and followed it two years later with the album's film incarnation. Interstella 5555 was produced by Toei Animation (Dragon Ball, One Piece and many others) with Leiji Matsumoto (Space Battleship Yamamoto) at the helm and manages to be one of the best music films and most beautiful animes of the decade.
Comic books + Star Wars + Music = The Venture Bros.
The Venture Bros. may have begun its life as a parody of Johnny Quest, The Hardy Boys and Scooby-Doo, but in four seasons, it's gone far beyond that. Between Hank's fascination with Batman, many a reference to Star Wars and supervillains that include David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Klaus Nomi and Brian Eno, it's the ultimate cross-genre geekfest. Read more about writers Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer influences in our interview.
Comics+ Fantasy + Progressive Rock = Coheed and Cambria
Part of what makes Coheed and Cambria such an interesting band is that you can enjoy them on so many levels. There's music that, on its own, is a nice, not-too-retro take on prog rock. Then there is The Amory Wars, frontman Claudio Sanchez's comic book series and the fantasy saga upon which the lyrics are based. Take the music at face value or spend hours pouring through lyrics and comics to catch up on the story. Sanchez recently launched a new comic series, Kill Audio.
Metal + Animation= Metalocalypse/Dethklok
I saw Dethklok at the Hollywood Palladium a while back and one of the coolest things about the evening was meeting people who were introduced to the band, and in some cases got into metal, because of Metalocalypse. It's a strange and interesting sort of synergy when animation fans can pick up on new music or find out about older sounds because of something and vice versa.
Giant robots + Party Rock = Andrew W.K. Gundam Rock
If you've been to an Andrew W.K. show, then you know that the singer/pianist has a pretty intense fanbase of his own, one that's willing to headbang and “party hard” even when he's performing with a chamber quartet. Combine this with the giant robot classic Gundam and you have his Japan-only release Gundam Rock. Read more about Gundam Rock in our interview with Andrew W.K.
Sci-fi + Anime + Music = Eureka Seven
Eureka Seven has a lot going for it, an intriguing story, cool character designs and lots of giant robots. But if you're the sort of person who loves to catch obscure music references in TV and movies, then that's the cherry on top of this series. Every episode is named after a song, many of them dance tracks (Jeff Mills! Plastikman! Soul II Soul!) and music references pepper anime, such as lead character Renton's father, Adroc Thurston (Beastie Boys + Sonic Youth).
Star Trek + Synthpop = S.P.O.C.K.
Swedish synthpop band S.P.O.C.K.'s is an acronym, but that seems to be a technicality. Star Trek is at the root of this band's lyrics. Sample song titles include “Mr. Spock's Brain,” “Never Trust a Klingon,” and “Dr. McCoy” and their 1993 debut is titled Five Year Mission. But it's not just Spock and the gang that influences this band, they've also been known to sing about Star Wars and E.T.
Steampunk + Monty Python + Synthpop = Unextraordinary Gentlemen “Goodbye Eighteen-Seventies”
Unextraordinary Gentlemen are a trio of synthpop-friendly musicians with a taste for Monty Python and steampunk-styled science fiction. All of this comes together in their parody of the Yaz classic “Goodbye Seventies,” appropriately titled “Goodbye Eighteen-Seventies.” The version above was performed at Radio Room in San Diego last year for a steampunk-themed Comic-Con afterparty. Read more about the band's influences in our interview.