‘Fantastic Planet’ brings trippy alien vistas to Cinefamily

Long before there was “Pink Floyd The Wall” or “Koyaanisqatsi,” there was “Fantastic Planet” — a trippy, animated French sci-fi feature film from the early ’70s, rounded out with spacey, psychedelic music that assured its status as cult classic and stoner staple.

For the uninitiated, the distant planet of Ygam is a surreal place where tiny, abducted humans (the Om race) run wild, scampering across the vast, muted plains and prickly wooded areas like vermin. Others are collared and kept as pets by the indigenous Draag race, enormous, blue-skinned humanoids with fire-red eyes.  The film is as remembered for its lush, hand-drawn images as it is for the airy, orchestral score by Alain Goraguer.

On Tuesday, animation historian Jerry Beck will host a rare “performance screening” of  the film at Cinefamily’s Animation Tuesdays. The series, held monthly at the Silent Movie Theatre, features premieres, retrospectives and QAs with special guests. For the “Fantastic Planet” event,  the band Jesus Makes the Shotgun Sound will perform a live revision of the original score and actors will be on-hand to voice the dialogue along with the animation.

“We did it a month ago and it was so successful and popular that we’re doing it again,” says Beck. “It’s quite a theatrical event.”

French experimental animators Roland Topor and René Laloux toiled over the production of “Fantastic Planet” – which is based on a 1957 novel by Stefan Wul – for five years at a Czech animation studio.

“Fantastic Planet”

The themes of oppressive establishment, identity and little-man anxiety are not-so-subtle statements about the Soviet occupation of Czechoslovakia. Roger Corman brought the film, which won the special jury prize at the Cannes Film Festival in 1973, to the U.S. and had it dubbed into English.

Beck is particularly fond of the film’s simplistic, painterly images.  “It doesn’t look like any other animated film in this — or its own – era,” he says. “The hand-drawn aspect really lends something to the alien nature of the film.  It gives it this organic feel that a computer-generated film just doesn’t have.”

– Deborah Vankin

Twitter.com/@debvankin

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Fink ployd – high hopes (pink floyd cover)

Fink ployd - high hopes (pink floyd cover)

Projeto Fink Ployd (Pink Floyd tribute project from Brazil): *High Hopes Live at Teatro Municipal de São Leopoldo São Leopoldo, RS. November 1st, 2008 Fink Ployd was: Gustavo Moreira – Drums, Vocals Hisham Muhammad – Keyboards, Guitars, Vocals Jean Schmith – Guitars, Lap Steel, Vocals Luciano ‘Skizo’ Ulrich – Bass Roberto Coutinho – Keyboards, Samplers Tiago Barolho – Guitar, Vocals Sílvio Moser and Chico Pereira – Lights, Videos, Sound Mixer.

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Roger waters: the wall live 2010 @ mexico city (the happiest days of our lives)

Roger waters: the wall live 2010 @ mexico city (the happiest days of our lives)

Set One: The Happiest Days of Our Lives. Sunday 19th, 2010…

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The deafheads’ cover of pink floyd’s fearless (meddle)

The deafheads\' cover of pink floyd\'s fearless (meddle)

Charles McFarland, strained vocals and guitar Rob McKenzie, drums Scarlett McKenzie, transcendental bass…

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The show must go on – pink floyd – (the wall).flv

The show must go on - pink floyd - (the wall).flv

The Show Must Go On – Pink Floyd …………………………… Robert Tischner

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Pink Floyd Laser Spectacular kicks off 25th anniversary at Center Stage

For the AJC

Not quite two months after Roger Waters brought “The Wall” tour to town, Pink Floyd fans get another treat as the Pink Floyd Laser Spectacular returns to Atlanta. Celebrating its 25th anniversary, the show moves from its normal location of the Fox Theatre for two shows at the more intimate Center Stage. Each show will feature lasers and lighting choreographed to “The Dark Side of the Moon,” as well as a second act of other Floyd hits. Show creator/producer Steve Monsitere discusses the show’s evolution and why Atlanta is the first city on the 25th anniversary tour.

Q: The Atlanta shows will be the kickoff of your 25th anniversary. Why do you tend to start your tours in Atlanta, especially for your anniversary?

A: We’ve always done very well in Atlanta. It’s one of the top five markets we do and for a long time it was probably the top market. We were succeeding in certain markets at certain times of the year, so, as they say, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Atlanta’s always been really good for us in January. It’s a big city that offers a lot of entertainment options and in January, a lot of big shows don’t tour. So we don’t have a lot of competition and there’s a lot of promotional activity. Frankly, I think that after the Christmas holidays, people are anxious to get away from their families and get out.

Q: How has the show evolved over the past 25 years?

A: In the beginning, it was very crude, what you could do with lasers. It really stayed stagnant like that until the late ‘90s, when software just really started to speed up. In the past [few] years, solid-state lasers have become cheap enough to use on tours. The difference with the lasers is that in the old days, you had to carry transformers and pieces of equipment that were thousands of pounds and the size of a work desk. It took water to cool the lasers, high-powered electricity to power them and it took up half the truck just for a few lasers. Now we get better, brighter lasers out of something the size of a suitcase. Computer technology has really driven everything smaller and everything is sharper and crisper. About six or seven years ago we started using a German-based video editing software system that allows us to do high definition on three giant screens. Generally speaking, the same sort of advances that consumers experience in their everyday lives, we’re experiencing the same sort of advances with production equipment.

Q: How would you say seeing this show compares to actually seeing Pink Floyd?

A: What we do with the music is completely different from what Roger Waters, Pink Floyd or any band that’s covering Pink Floyd would do. We interpret the songs, sometimes literally, the way the band meant them to be interpreted. But some of the stuff from “The Dark Side of the Moon” lends itself to lots of different visual interpretations, so we get to be creative visually.

Pink Floyd Laser Spectacular

8 p.m. and midnight. Jan. 8. $35.

Center Stage

1374 West Peachtree St.

Atlanta, Ga. 30309

404-885-1365

www.centerstage-atlanta.com

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Free Tab of the Day: Pink Floyd “Comfortably Numb”

“Comfortably Numb” – Pink Floyd

Free Official TAB of the Day

Click the link below to get the TAB: The first 10 readers each day get the TAB for free and everyone else gets a 50% discount until midnight after the freebies run out, then it’s 15% off after that.

Remember, the first ten downloads are free so act fast before they’re all gone.

Archive – Want to see other TAB’s of the day? Click here to access the TOD archive.

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Overview: What Makes This Song Great

  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Genre: Classic Rock
  • Guitar TAB: Available Here

Pink Floyd Comfortably Numb

Pink Floyd Comfortably Numb

Often referred to as Roger Waters’ first solo album, The Wall has become known as the iconic Pink Floyd album, though the rest of the band barely contributed to the writing and arranging of the album. There were three notable exceptions to these circumstances, with the most famous being “Comfortably Numb,” which was co-written between Waters and David Gilmour, with the guitarist handling the musical side and the bassist contributing lyrics. The song is also one of only two songs on the double-album that stands alone, in that it doesn’t fade in from or out to the next song.

For guitarists, “Comfortably Numb” has long been a source of two important steps in their learning process, tackling a Bm chord and digging into a fun, yet not too complex guitar solo. As any guitarist will testify, the Bm chord is usually the first major voicing hurdle that we all tackle at some point during the initial 6 months or so after picking up the instrument. While there are other songs out there that use Bm, “Comfortably Numb” uses it throughout its entirety and doesn’t contain any other barre chords, allowing you to work on this tricky, yet often used voicing without worrying about any other barre chords tripping you up along the way.

Of course the final guitar solo on this track is fairly challenging, the opening lead break that occurs just after 2 minutes into the song is a manageable line that works as a great introduction to soloing for guitarists who are ready to take that step in their playing. Not only is it easy to play, but it’s full of the melodic tricks, bends, slides etc. that made Gilmour’s playing famous. Check it out, you won’t be disappointed.

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Video Clip

Get the officially licensed TAB for “Comfortably Numb” Guitar TAB Available Here

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Tab Sample Page

Get the officially licensed TAB for “Comfortably Numb” Guitar TAB Available Here

Pink Floyd Comfortably Numb Tab

Pink Floyd Comfortably Numb Tab

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Don’t forget to visit United We Tab to download this chart today!

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Marvin Gaye/Pink Floyd Collaboration?

If someone told you that two of the biggest musical icons of the 20th century had collaborated on an album that was never released and has never been mentioned in the big history book of popular music, what would you think? Sketchy, right? What if you read the same thing on the Internet? Needless to say, the skepticism increases manifold. So is the case with some recent murmurings on the Web about a “long lost” collaboration between Marvin Gaye and Pink Floyd.

Here’s the story that first appeared a few weeks ago and has led to some (mostly doubting) conversation online. An alleged intern from a label in England called Harvest Heritage Records started a blog to talk about his experience at the label, a sub-imprint under the Harvest Records umbrella, which had signings in the ’70s like Deep Purple, ELO, Kevin Ayers and, yes, Pink Floyd (and later Wire, Duran Duran and Iron Maiden). The blogger (Joseph Stein) writes that a few months ago he was going through storage and came across a rare collaborative album by Gaye and Pink Floyd. Stein writes that Gaye and the band met in London and the Soul singer joined Floyd onstage at Earl’s Court, performing a “mash-up” featuring “Let’s Get it On” sung over “Shine on You Crazy Diamond.” The artists reconvened later to record more songs in the same vein and planned to put the results out as an album. But Gaye and his label, Motown, were butting heads at the time and the legendary Detroit label refused to give clearance for the use of Gaye’s songs. Some records (complete with album art) were allegedly pressed, but the music never saw the light of day.

With the passion for detail of collectors and flat-out music fanatics, it seems unlikely something like this could ever have happened without someone spilling at least a bean somewhere along the line. And now with the Internet, one would think there would at least be some sort of mention about the in-concert collaboration. (I suppose the band members and key figures could have kept this quiet for mystery’s sake, but a concertgoer, a lackey in the label’s shipping department or someone from the pressing plant would seem to have no vested interest in keeping it a secret.) Still, the concept of the collaboration isn’t unfathomable — both entities were creative and exploratory (and fairly nutty) artists.

Some other Web sites (like this one) have mentioned the news and response has been skeptical. But the Web has enhanced our culture’s skepticism and cynicism about everything and also created a breeding ground for people who love to talk about things they don’t know anything about, so I approach the dismissal with the same grain of salt I approach the initial story.

Yesterday, the former intern’s site posted a YouTube link to a snippet of one of the tracks purported to be from the project (the original “Let’s Get It On”/”Crazy Diamond” blending), promising more music over the next few weeks. Not that it’s “proof,” but the audio sounds, if not unquestionably authentic, at least like it could be.

It’s either the No. 1 greatest story of Rock and Soul music never told or a clever backstory to introduce a pretty sweet mash-up project by a pretty gifted masher. Regardless of the validity, it should be a great listen. Visit the blog here (and listen to the first leak below) to check everything out for yourself. What say you? Hoax or a miraculous archival discover?

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A Weekend in Santa Cruz

Forget what you heard about Santa Cruz being the city that sleeps. Yes, this sunny coastal town still has its countercultural wackiness. You can still watch surfers shred waves, ride a seaside roller coaster on the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and hear a street musician sing Pink Floyd’s “Goodbye Cruel World.” But Santa Cruz has been stirred by the tech boom in nearby Silicon Valley.

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Pink Floyd Laser Spectacular kicks off 25th anniversary at Center Stage

For the AJC

Not quite two months after Roger Waters brought “The Wall” tour to town, Pink Floyd fans get another treat as the Pink Floyd Laser Spectacular returns to Atlanta. Celebrating its 25th anniversary, the show moves from its normal location of the Fox Theatre for two shows at the more intimate Center Stage. Each show will feature lasers and lighting choreographed to “The Dark Side of the Moon,” as well as a second act of other Floyd hits. Show creator/producer Steve Monsitere discusses the show’s evolution and why Atlanta is the first city on the 25th anniversary tour.

Q: The Atlanta shows will be the kickoff of your 25th anniversary. Why do you tend to start your tours in Atlanta, especially for your anniversary?

A: We’ve always done very well in Atlanta. It’s one of the top five markets we do and for a long time it was probably the top market. We were succeeding in certain markets at certain times of the year, so, as they say, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Atlanta’s always been really good for us in January. It’s a big city that offers a lot of entertainment options and in January, a lot of big shows don’t tour. So we don’t have a lot of competition and there’s a lot of promotional activity. Frankly, I think that after the Christmas holidays, people are anxious to get away from their families and get out.

Q: How has the show evolved over the past 25 years?

A: In the beginning, it was very crude, what you could do with lasers. It really stayed stagnant like that until the late ‘90s, when software just really started to speed up. In the past [few] years, solid-state lasers have become cheap enough to use on tours. The difference with the lasers is that in the old days, you had to carry transformers and pieces of equipment that were thousands of pounds and the size of a work desk. It took water to cool the lasers, high-powered electricity to power them and it took up half the truck just for a few lasers. Now we get better, brighter lasers out of something the size of a suitcase. Computer technology has really driven everything smaller and everything is sharper and crisper. About six or seven years ago we started using a German-based video editing software system that allows us to do high definition on three giant screens. Generally speaking, the same sort of advances that consumers experience in their everyday lives, we’re experiencing the same sort of advances with production equipment.

Q: How would you say seeing this show compares to actually seeing Pink Floyd?

A: What we do with the music is completely different from what Roger Waters, Pink Floyd or any band that’s covering Pink Floyd would do. We interpret the songs, sometimes literally, the way the band meant them to be interpreted. But some of the stuff from “The Dark Side of the Moon” lends itself to lots of different visual interpretations, so we get to be creative visually.

Pink Floyd Laser Spectacular

8 p.m. and midnight. Jan. 8. $35.

Center Stage

1374 West Peachtree St.

Atlanta, Ga. 30309

404-885-1365

www.centerstage-atlanta.com

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