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Category: "Miscellaneous"

A Bob Rivers Christmas

 By Paul Rudoff on Dec. 22, 2017 at 12:00 PM , Categories: Miscellaneous , Tags:
Unusual Holiday Songs

This will be the last Unusual Holiday Song post I plan to write, as I've grown tired of the feature and I think it's run its course. I figured I'd go out with a bang by writing about FOUR songs - the most I ever offered in one post.

Bob Rivers is an American rock and roll radio on-air personality in the Pacific Northwest, as well as a prolific producer and songwriter of parody songs, most famous for his Christmas song parodies. In the 1980s, Bob spent almost 6 years at WAAF in Worcester, Massachusetts (in the Boston market), as part of the successful "Bob and Zip" morning show with Peter "Zip" Zipfel. In 1988, Rivers released Twisted Christmas, which was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America. The album was filled with humorous Christmas songs and parodies. My favorites are "We Wish You Weren't Living With Us" (track 3), "Wreck The Malls" (track 4), and "The Restroom Door Said, 'Gentlemen'" (track 8).

Rivers released a second album of humorous holiday-themed music in 1993 entitled I Am Santa Claus (the title track was a parody of Black Sabbath's song "Iron Man"). Track 12 on this album is a spoken-word "The Wizard of Oz" Christmas spoof entitled "The Magical Kingdom Of Claus".

Bob later released three other Christmas-themed albums: More Twisted Christmas (1997); Chipmunks Roasting On an Open Fire (2000); and White Trash Christmas (2002). Bob Rivers' last regular radio program, "The Bob Rivers Show with Bob, Spike and Joe", was broadcast on Seattle oldies station KJR-FM until August 8, 2014, ending a 25-year run in the Seattle market.

For the complete list of Spook Central's holiday song posts from years past, click here. Thanks to Matthew Jordan for making the "Unusual Holiday Songs" title banner that appears at the top of this post.
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I Know What We're Gonna Do This Christmas

 By Paul Rudoff on Dec. 12, 2017 at 12:00 PM , Categories: Miscellaneous , Tags:
Unusual Holiday Songs

In 2007, Dan Povenmire and Jeff "Swampy" Marsh, former writers of "Rocko's Modern Life", created a little animated show for Disney called "Phineas & Ferb". The show is about two little stepbrothers named Phineas and Ferb - what, you thought they were gonna be named Phil and Bob?!? - who live every day of their Summer vacation to its fullest. Through sophisticated computer technology, and a box of crayons, they manage to create every type of wild thing imaginable to have fun each day, all while their sister, Candace, tries in vain to prove to their mother that they're up to such crazy shenanigans. Meanwhile, their pet platypus, named Perry, is really a secret agent, who spends nearly every day away on secret missions against the (not so) evil Dr. Doofenshmirtz - who really should hire a lawyer and sue the agency Perry works for (OWCA) since they seem to be breaking a lot of laws by keeping tabs on every little thing he does in the guise of "stopping him from doing evil things". Is OWCA a branch of the U.S. government?!?

Music plays a big part in the series, and personally, I think the original songs they use on the show are some of the best I've heard on TV since Animaniacs. Disney, of course, made sure that the fan's desire for the music did not go unfulfilled, and that their coffers did not go unfilled. They've released several albums full of Phineas & Ferb music. The first half of the 2010 album Phineas & Ferb: Holiday Favorites contains songs from the "Phineas & Ferb Christmas Vacation" episode, while the second half is all new songs recorded exclusively for the album. While this isn't my favorite Phineas & Ferb album, and I'm very disappointed that there isn't even one Hanukkah song on it - the Isabella Garcia-Shapiro character is, as you could tell from her name, Jewish - I do think that it's a great album, overall. Much better than other cartoon series holiday albums I've heard.

My two most favorite songs from the album are "The Twelve Days Of Christmas" (performed by the cast) and "Perry Saves Christmas" (performed by Major Monogram & Carl the Intern, the two people who give Perry his missions). "Twelve Days" is the traditional song you all know and love, except that each item is tailored to what each character wants, and not the usual list of items. Dr. Doofenshmirtz changes his want on every verse.

1st Day - Phineas: A jet-powered rocket ski.
2nd Day - Candace: Two busted brothers.
3rd Day - Isabella: A sash full of patches.
4th Day - Jeremy: A silver guitar.
5th Day - Dr. Doofenshmirtz: The entire Tri-State Area / A large portion of the Tri-State Area / Two of the three states that comprise the Tri-State Area / One single state / Five golden rings / Promotion to colonel / [feels put on the spot for "one thing that I want from this mythic all-powerful gift giver who only comes once a year"] / Some almond brittle.
6th Day - Baljeet: A kiss from a girl.
7th Day - Buford: More nerds to bully.
8th Day - Major Monogram: Promotion to colonel.
9th Day - Perry: (chatters)
10th Day - Carl: A job that pays me money.
11th Day - Vanessa: My own set of wheels.
12th Day - Ferb: (spoken) One line of dialogue.

"Perry Saves Christmas" is a rewritten version of "Frosty The Snowman", with Major Monogram singing about how Perry saves Christmas from Dr. Doofenshmirtz while Carl the Intern provides occasional commentary. It's listed in the album notes as "Frosty The Snowman (Recorded as "Perry Saves Christmas")", which apparently makes that its official title. I'm guessing that there's a legal issue involved here, just like how Weird Al Yankovic was legally required to title one of his parodies, "Money for Nothing/Beverly Hillbillies*", complete with backslash AND asterisk (source: "UHF" DVD Audio Commentary at 0:35:15).

MP3s of both songs are available below, and the lyrics for "Perry" are available on page 2. The album features the singing talents of Vincent Martella (as Phineas), Ashley Tisdale (as Candace), Alyson Stoner (as Isabella), Mitchel Musso (as Jeremy), Olivia Olson (as Vanessa), Bobby Gaylor (as Buford), Maulik Pancholy (as Baljeet), Dan Povenmire (as Dr. Doofenshmirtz), Jeff "Swampy" Marsh (as Major Monogram), Tyler Mann (as Carl the Intern), Thomas Sangster (as Ferb), Jaret Reddick, Laura Dickinson, Danny Jacob, Aaron Daniel Jacob, Jeff Gunn, Vangie Gunn, and Robbie Wyckoff.

For the complete list of Spook Central's holiday song posts from years past, click here. Thanks to Matthew Jordan for making the "Unusual Holiday Songs" title banner that appears at the top of this post.

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Spook Central Halloween Treat - Unusual Ghostbusters Songs, Volume 1

 By Paul Rudoff on Oct. 31, 2017 at 12:00 PM , Categories: Miscellaneous, Music , Tags:
Halloween Treats

This year's Halloween Treat will be a musical feature, showcasing ten unusual or unique (or just plain weird) Ghostbusters songs. Some songs will be good, some will be bad, some will in the middle, and some will be "so bad they're good". There is no criteria for quality here. Just what I find "interesting". No songs will be taken from any official Ghostbusters albums. I'll call this "Volume 1" because there will likely be more in a future Halloween Treat post.

Bob Baldwin - On Our Own (1990) - A smooth jazz near-instrumental cover of the Bobby Brown hit. From the album Rejoice. Check out the CD Single Artwork.

Peter Breiner - Ghostbusters (1991) - An orchestral version of Ghostbusters performed with Peter on the piano. From the album Peter Breiner & His Symphonic Pop Orchestra - Unchained Melody.

The Broadway Kids - Ghostbusters (1997) - It's as if the Junior Ghostbusters sang the song, only WAY better and with sound effects. Definitely a great rendition and kinda adorable. From the album The Broadway Kids - At The Movies (alt url). Performed by Ariel Harris Osumenya, Christopher Mark Petrizzo, Erin Rakow, Pierce Cravens, Amy Braverman, Travis Jordan Greisler, Ashley Pettet, Nicholas Gould, Christy Carlson Romano (later to star in Even Stevens & Kim Possible), Michael Zeidman, Jack Ingram, and Eden Reigel (later to star in The Young and the Restless); with "Broadway Guests" Ashley Tisdale (later to star in High School Musical & Suite Life of Zack and Cody), Kelly Mady, Jackie Angelescu, Brandon Ngai, Kristen Pettet, Jacy DeFillipo, Laurissa Auble, Renee Braithwaite, Kai Braithwaite, Olivia Oguma, Chris Truesdale, Alexis Kalehoff, Craig Lawlor, Alex Strange, and Kenji Miyata. CD liner notes (exactly as is written in the CD booklet, spelling and grammatical errors intact): "In addition to the opening and closing credits, Ray Parker, Jr.'s Oscar nominated song GHOSTBUSTERS covers a long and amusing montage. We see the exploits of Dr. Peter Venkman (Bill Murray), Dr. Raymond Stantz (Dan Ackroyd), and Dr. Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis) as they battle a sudden outbreak of ghouls and goblins. The tune is just one of the reasons that this Ivan Reitman's 1984 film was such a smash."

Unknown - Ghostbusters (1998) - Without a doubt, this is the second worst rendition of Ghostbusters ever commercially released. From the album My Favorite Lullabies: To Sir With Love. Yes, you read that right. Ghostbusters is on a CD entitled "My Favorite Lullabies" even though it is clearly NOT a lullaby. Heck, eleven of the twelve songs on the CD are not lullabies: 01. To Sir With Love, 02. Wouldn't It Be Lovely, 03. Who's Afraid Of The Big Bad Wolf?, 04. The Ballad Of Davy Crockett, 05. Shake Your Paw, 06. Do The Bartman, 07. Ninja Rap, 08. Batdance, 09. Here Comes Garfield, 10. Ghostbusters, 11. A Spoonful Of Sugar, 12. Rock A Bye Baby.

The Hit Crew - Ghostbusters (2003) - Absolutely horrible. It should come as no surprise that it's from the album Drew's Famous: Kids Halloween Movie Themes, which is one of those lame party CDs that come out every year around Halloween time.

Bowling For Soup - Ghostbusters (2005) - A rockin' cover from the Just Like Heaven soundtrack album. Mp3 provided by Demon Lord Etna.

Mistah F.A.B. - Ghost Ride It (2007) - This controversial rap from the album Yellow Bus Rydah (later Crack Baby Anthem) samples "Ghostbusters" The Director's Cut music video (alt url) features an Ecto-1 replica and Slimer drawn on the back of a jacket. It's also in the TV Version. Check out some Behind The Scenes information. For more information, check out Proton Charging. Columbia Pictures threatened legal action against Mistah F.A.B. for the use of the Ghostbusters car and logo in the music video, and the song samples. I don't know what the outcome of the matter was. More info on it can be found here and here.

Dave Thomas - EctoMix (Ghostbusters Remix) (2008) - A super-cool fan remix of Ghostbusters dialog samples backed with a syncopated beat. Be sure to watch the music video (alt url).

Jon Herchert - Ghostbusters (2011) - A decent cover, though nothing remarkable. From the album Monster Mash: Party Songs For Kids.

J-Mi - Scared On His Own (Who's He Gonna Call) (2014) - An awesome mash-up of "Ghostbusters", "On Our Own", and movie samples over Bruce Arntson and Kirby Shelstad's theme to Ernest Scared Stupid (1991). Be sure to watch the movie's cool opening title sequence, then buy it on Blu-ray and DVD (and triple and quadruple feature DVDs).

For more Ghostbusters covers, check out Proton Charging.

For the complete list of Spook Central's Halloween Treat posts from years past, click here. Thanks to Miss Kate for the "Halloween Treat" title banner that appears at the top of this post.
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The Ghostbusters 'n' Wrestling Connection

 By Paul Rudoff on Oct. 10, 2017 at 11:30 PM , Categories: Miscellaneous
The Ghostbusters 'n' Wrestling Connection
(Thanks to Matthew Jordan for making this look so nice)

(This is an updated and revised version of an article originally published on September 28, 2012)

Ghostly Greetings to all of my fellow 'Crappers coming to Spook Central via the link in my Someone Bought This - Bootleg WWE Coloring Books article on Wrestlecrap. I thought I'd take the occasion to write a lengthy article about all of the Ghostbusters connections there are in the wacky world of wrestling and vice-versa.

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A Not-So-Rosie Christmas

 By Paul Rudoff on Dec. 24, 2016 at 12:00 PM , Categories: Miscellaneous , Tags:
Unusual Holiday Songs

One of the perks of being rich and famous is that you get to torture the public with vanity projects showing off your (lack of) talent, simply because you have the funds and means to do such stupid things. It's even worse when you con the public into paying for you to "play" with your friends. Such was the case with Rosie O'Donnell. After years of doing stand-up and crappy movies (Exit to Eden, Car 54 Where Are You?, Another Stakeout) and failed sitcoms (I'll always remember the long-forgotten 1992 FOX series "Stand by Your Man" - Melissa Gilbert and Sam McMurray deserved better), someone, somewhere, thought to give Rosie a daytime talk show in 1996. For what ever reason, it became REALLY popular - and it generated Rosie merchandise. I remember there being not one, but TWO, dolls crafted in her image: a cartoonish talking plushie (with a freakin' HUGE forehead!), and a more realistic legitimate "Friend of Barbie" doll. If Rosie could get two dolls, why the heck has there never been a Rita Rudner doll?!?


Anyway, Rosie got rich and popular, so she decided that she wanted to put out a Christmas album, teaming her up with some of the famous (and more talented) people she idolized; like Celine Dion and Cher. A Rosie Christmas was released to a brainwashed public in 1999, at the height of her popularity. To be fair, she did give the proceeds to charity (as far as I know), but that doesn't mean that the album should exist in the first place. Rosie was very popular with children, and some of the songs on the album were performed with then-popular cartoon characters. It's two of these tracks that are the subject of this post.

The sixth track is Elmo from Sesame Street (voiced by Kevin Clash) and Rosie performing "Do You Hear What I Hear?" A minute into the song she fumbles the line "your turn" and they left it in! When Rosie is the best singer in a duet, you know you have a problem. Kevin Clash is so much better as Spinter in the 1990s live-action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movies, and as Baby Sincliair in Dinosaurs, but Elmo's the only role that's payed his bills. Good for him, but bad for the sanity of children everywhere.

The eleventh track is Angelica Pickles from Rugrats (voiced by Cheryl Chase) and Rosie performing "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus". Who thought it was a good idea to back the vocals with big band Dixieland jazz music? This song, which is supposed to be sung from a little kid's perspective (which Angelica is), would have worked SO much better with the original's music track - and with just Angelica singing. Why is it that the Rugrats can't get a decent instrumental backing for their songs?

In spite of being some of the worst music you'll ever hear, and being a total vanity project, A Rosie Christmas must have sold well, because a year later there was a follow-up: Another Rosie Christmas. Well, either it sold well, or Rosie was just so rich and vain that she said, "Screw them, I'm doing a second one just because I can." I don't know, and I don't care.

For the complete list of Spook Central's holiday song posts from years past, click here. Thanks to Matthew Jordan for making the "Unusual Holiday Songs" title banner that appears at the top of this post.
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Established August 1996

In Loving Memory of Joel Richard Rudoff (July 28, 1944 - January 20, 2014)

In Loving Memory of Linda Joyce Rudoff (July 12, 1948 - November 29, 2015)

Doreen Mulman (May 22, 1961 - March 14, 2014)


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