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Audio Archaeology: Space Ghost's Musical Guests

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Here at Consequence of Sound, we like to pay attention to musical guests on late night talk shows. Also, the Gorillaz are pretty popular right now, and they’re cartoons, kind of. You might also remember the excellent DANGERDOOM, in which the notorious sometime-performer DOOM and one of the biggest producers going Danger Mouse put together a great album featuring members of Adult Swim‘s cartoon comedy block. But both the cartoon-musician relationship and our love of the musical guest have deeper roots, namely in the guise of Space Ghost Coast to Coast.

From the sci-fi-tastic opening theme to the incidental, segue-ing instrumental spatters, it was clear that music was key to the Ghost Planet. That theme and those licks, written by avant-jazz guitarist Sonny Sharrock (with Lance Carter on drums, Alfrieda Gerald providing vocals, and Eddie Horst on bass), provided a constant off-beat presence to the already off-beat show. Another big part of that key would have to be Zorak and the Original Way-Outs. The cartoon house band didn’t much move, but they kind of rocked (thanks to Sharrock and co.). Late seasons included an outro by space rockers Man or Astro-Man?



Space Ghost generally didn’t understand musicians… or much of anything. So, when Alice Cooper came on the show, it was a surprise he wasn’t a girl (“I was actually born with eye make-up on,” he offers). R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe argues that Monster is a concept album about “a layman’s….dissertation…on the black hole phenomenon” and that he hates the song “Shiny Happy People”. In one of the weirder and simultaneously best interviews of the series, David Byrne explains that he would like “to be cute and blonde” before laughing maniacally and fast-forwarding himself. An awkward interview with G’nR guitarist Slash leads to the new nickname “Citizen Longhair.”

Audio Archaeology is a presentation of Media Potluck and Consequence of Sound.

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