gullbuy music review

Songs from Midnight Matinee & More Songs from Midnight Matinee


audio collages by John Schnall




Songs from Midnight Matinee More Songs from Midnight Matinee I have a treat for you, no tricks. Two CDs filled with lofi audio collages put together by WFMU DJ John Schnall. John Schnall has been hosting Midnight Matinee for years. He takes dialog from movies and ties it to music snippets. His technique is rough - dialogs repeat many times in a single song - but if you grab as of the pieces individually (and are familiar with the movie the dialog is from) I guarantee you will enjoy listening.

The first CD has excerpts from Alien Autopsy, Fact of Fiction? (about Roswell), the first Hellraiser movie (based on Clive Barker's story The Hellbound Heart), Gene Wilder in Young Frankenstein, Jeffrey Combs in ReAnimator, Hamlet, the Christian marionette show of a boy and his dog 'Davey and Goliath,' Naked Lunch, Terminator, 91/2 weeks, The Ten Commandments, The Manchurian Candidate, the Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello film Beach Blanket Bingo (combined with the Philip Glass piece 'Einstein on the Beach'), and A Touch of Class.

Most of the collages repeat an excited phrase to the point where some people will get headaches, but as I said, taken individually they can be great spice for a radio show.

The second CD has the same modus operandi. This time the movies are To Kill A Mockingbird (combined with the song 'Tequila'), the 70s TV show Quincy, the Vincent Price movie The Abominable Dr. Phibes, The Shining, the marionette full length movie with Phyllis Diller 'Mad Mad Monster Party,' Consenting Adults, the Woody Allen film Broadway Danny Rose, Claude Raines in The Invisible Man, Cabaret, The Ren and Stimpy show, A Clockwork Orange, the Arnold Schwartzenegger film Hercules in Bayonne, The Last Picture Show, and I Was A Teenage Werewolf.

I am sure that several of these films caused each of you to want to hear the track based on the flick. In fact, many of the films are the basis for more than one track, so you can choose which set of snippets most appeals to you.

The overall feel for the CDs are very Halloween styled. There are lots of screams, intense people emoting, and tragedy or outrageous situations depicted. This is NOT easy listening.

For those of you who like offbeat stuff conceived and executed by someone who obviously believes in what he is doing, these collages are worth seeking out. The first was put together in 2000, the second in 2001. In 1995 John Schnall released an independent video Death Laughs Among Us. The video collected 8 short films (total time 40 minutes) which John made. Recently John was part of a 9/11 art show in NYC.

---Carl, October 22, 2002