Friday, December 12, 2008

Bailterspace - "Retro" From the Album Wammo

Bailterspace Wammo CD cover

I found the science fiction theme to the Bellini tune and entry so enjoyable to play with that I think I wanna play with it for another half week.

'Cause that title is Retro as in "retro-rockets," and not retro, "of or designating the style of an earlier time."

Bailterspace's Wikipedia page notes in the band "[a] fascination with the interplay of technology and humanity (often played out in metaphors of space travel)," and it's right up front in "Retro."

The first lines are
The rockets have landed
The spacemen are stranded
Not where they wanna be

Where's that taking you?

You know, maybe the 'style of an earlier time' thing does come into it a little bit. Because the flavor of the sci-fi in "Retro" is markedly different from that in "The Best Song On a Starship." While Bellini's song alludes to (and reminded me of) a science fiction that had literary aspirations, Bailterspace's tune is rooted firmly in time before science fiction thought it could aspire to anything.

I visualize the brightly colored covers of the pulp magazines of the '30's and '40's when I hear "Retro." I see the visions of a future that never actually got here, or now never will.

The rockets have landedPerhaps you noticed about fifteen years ago, the Walt Disney World people finally admitted that their Tomorrowland attraction had pretty much gotten everything wrong. They removed the "Mission to Mars" and "Star Jets" attractions, and they redid and rebuilt and repainted everything to match the perspective of an imagineer who lived during the '30's and '40's. When, not incidentally, the pulp magazines were at their height.

I just found out that they've actually given a name to the aesthetic that the Disney folks and all the others who have taken their inspiration from the classic pulp sci-fi mags have been striving for. They call it "Retro-futurism."


Despite it's bright pulphouse colors, Bailterspace's tune is still somewhat downbeat. The spacemen are stranded, after all, and twice we must submit to Alister Parker's anarchic, slashing, violent guitar solos (and who knows what they must be symbolic of). But this is still a brighter future than the one we're currently enduring.

I'd take it in a second if given the chance, but I'm not gonna get it. I'm stuck in this world of jihadists and AIDS and recession and the fucking Iraq War, when what Poul Anderson and Vincent Di Fate and Gerard K O'Neill had promised me was jet packs and space stations and flights to the Moon twice daily.

Good thing I've got this wonderful piece of atmospheric noise pop to keep me distracted.

Bailterspace - Wammo - 6 - Retro.mp3

This file was removed January 23, 2009. If you're still way interested in coming up with a copy of this--and really can't figure out where you might get one--drop me an email and I'm sure I'll be able to figure something out for you.

File under: Rocket roll

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