Sunday, August 19, 2007

Synesthetic Appreciation of Electric Light Orchestra

While most posts here concentrate on one or two of my obsessions — words, video games, maybe possibly words-in-video games — some rare posts mash my interests together and into some kind of wonderful lumpy pudding of interest.

This is that pudding, people.

A blog I've been reading for some time now, Scrubbles, posted on video accompaniment to the music of Electric Light Orchestra. (For the record, that's two points right off the bat: ELO and music videos.) Not that songs as vibrant as Electric Light Orchestra's need to add a visual element or anything, but two ELO songs have been famously paired with animated sequences. They're fun.

Above, you see the Don Bluth segment from Xanadu. During the song, "Don't Walk Away," Michael Beck and Olivia Newton-John's characters transform into fish and birds styled in the signature look of the same cartoon studio that gave us The Secret of NIMH. After, they transform back into boring humans and you end up waiting for them to stop talking and start singing again. In all, the animated segment makes about as much sense as the rest of the movie. To my peers, it may be most familiar as a cultural reference from the Futurama episode with the holophoner, in which Fry and Leela become otters in a romantic fantasy sequence.

But back to ELO. The Scrubbles post goes on to give a heads-up for a second, even better clip.

The bunny girl riding the flying sword? Not a clue. Not a fucking clue. And while I don't know my Japanese animation all that well, I noticed that she is clearly kicking ass alongside the likes of Star Wars and Transformers characters. And Superman, for some reason. According to Scrubbles, the clip — which features ELO's "Twilight" and apparently does so without the band's permission — was part of the opening ceremonies of Daicon IV, a 1983 sci-fi convention held in Osaka. To me, this combination of sight and sound so perfectly represents what I picture in my head when I listen to ELO that it's scary.

So let's see. That's bygone pop music, music videos, inexplicable Japanese culture, appropriation of pop culture icons into places they don't really belong, bad movies, Don Bluth, Adult Swim, otters, and anthropomorphosized bunny women. You can't much more up my alley than this.

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