Monday, November 29, 2010

Howard the Duck: The Soundtrack

I always thought the fake songs by the fake band in Howard the Duck (one of the great terrible movies) were pretty good. Turns out they were written by pop-meister Thomas Dolby, better known as Dolby, of "She Blinded Me With Science." No wonder I like them. I'm thinking specifically of "Hunger City" (which I always heard as "Hunka City" as a kid, but that would be Memphis, not Cleve-Land) and "Don't Turn Away," not the mega-dorky theme song. The below aren't videos, unfortch, but you can listen to the tracks.

"Don't Turn Away" has a moment that reminds me of "Wishing Well" by Terence Trent D'Arby, a very '80s sound that strikes me as somehow sour or maybe tangy. It's generally only unusual sensations that trigger my synaesthesia. What is that sound? Lots of flats?

I didn't remember TTD dancing so much like Michael Jackson.

In other news: I took a Vitamin B pill after lunch, which involved sweet potatoes, and it turned my urine NEON yellow. Apparently that's what happens when you ingest more vitamin B than your system can handle.


  1. By interesting coincidence, I took a vitamin B pill yesterday evening, and (after a moderate interval) observed the same neon yellow effect.

    After reading your blogpost here, I Googled "vitamin urine yellow" (I'd intended to say "vitamin b" but accidentally left out the b), and came up with several hits on medical/nutritional websites that said the specific culprit is likely riboflavin, also know as B2.

    It's apparently what you said -- the body eliminating the excess it doesn't need. B vitamins are water soluble -- if you drink some extra water after taking the B vitamin pill, it may help with getting rid of whatever amount is excess.

  2. Thomas Dolby, "better known as Dolby"? To whom? I used to watch MTV back in the days when the network actually played music videos. As far as I know, Thomas Dolby was never referred to as anything but Thomas Dolby.

    Are you sure you weren't thinking of Moby?

  3. My memory is that everyone referred to him as Dolby. Could be my imagination, but I'm definitely not thinking of Moby. What? That's not even the same decade.

  4. Totally understandable. I still have this false memory that when I was two, everybody referred to Elvis Presley as just "Elvis."

  5. If you wrote a blog post that referred to "Elvis Presley, better known as Elvis," I wouldn't blink an eye.

    FYI "Dolby" was his childhood nickname because he was always playing with keyboards or stereo equipment or whatever. His real name is, I believe, Thomas Robertson. Or something equally mundane. I thought I remembered him using the straight stage name "Dolby" until the company complained.

  6. Yeah. I already Wikipedia'd him just to make sure that he was never better known as just Dolby.

    And if I wrote a blog post that referred to "Elvis Presley, better known as Elvis," wouldn't you wonder why I made such a ridiculously unnecessary clarification and, therefore, blink the proverbial eye?

  7. I was watching the special features on the Some Kind of Wonderful dvd and Lea Thompson talks about how she eventually took the role. When they first asked her, she said, um, no thanks. I don't think this is the kind of movie the lead actress in a little movie called Back to the Future would slum around in. A few weeks later, Howard the Duck came out, and was...reviewed, and she was holed up in her house wondering how she got from A to Z so quickly. Eric Stoltz rode his bike up to her house in the Hollywood Hills to get her to read the SKOW script, which had been through rewrites. She felt very differently, by then. I don't think the rewrites made as much of a difference as everyone involved would probably like to think. Lea Thompson is amazing in SKOW. But I watched it the whole time thinking, wow, what would she have done to make herself seem stupid enough to fit into the context of a movie like Howard the Duck?

  8. It's hard to imagine being in a place where Howard the Duck seemed like a good idea but SKOW did not.

    I think it's interesting that Pretty in Pink and SKOW are basically the same movie, except with the "proper" ending, i.e., the unpopular guy (girl) gets the girl (guy). I never really liked PiP that much, maybe because Andrew McCarthy sucks in comparison to Eric Stoltz as a lead. Or his character, anyway, is just sort of pointless. The Steff character, however, I freaking LOVE.

  9. Yeah I know, right? She seems to have a sense of humor about it, which is a relief. I really love her performance in SKOW. It's really touching and melancholy. They're all so good in it. Did you know originally they had Duckie end up with Ringwald in PIP? They reshot it based on horrible previews. So SKOW is an inversion a lot of ways. I like that they're very similar. They're like dream states of each other. Like the two sections of Mulholland Drive. Everything gets reconfigured.