During my current run at radio station WHCL (my old college station, which is hosting alumni for the summer in pre-recorded content), I’ve noticed that there are several different timeslots on the schedule that are listed as “Robot’s Choice.”
See, there isn’t always enough talent to handle all the timeslots, and that goes for students who aren’t interested in hosting a 2:00 A.M. radio show, or for students who are still cramming for their midterms to handle a morning broadcast. So the station has some sort of simulcast deal with a random music generator of sorts. I guess it’s the college version of Pandora.
But it made me think. What kind of music would robots want to sing about? Songs about electronics, about computers, all of that?
And here’s what I came up with.
BENT BOLT AND THE NUTS
The Mechanical Man
This novelty track was actually recorded by musician Teddy Randazzo, who wrote several 1960’s pop hits – including “Going Out of My Head” for Little Anthony and the Imperials, “Hurt So Bad” (later covered by Linda Ronstadt) and “It’s Gonna Take a Miracle” (you’ve heard the Deneice Williams version, haven’t you?)
An Australian one-hit wonder, this group took their name from a newspaper comic strip, and their song is apparently a plaintive ode to the problems of real-life and online dating. In 1985.
STEPHEN MOORE (as Marvin the Paranoid Android)
Marvin, I Love You
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy will never get old. Not the books, not the radio show, not the TV series, not the movie… and you have to love Marvin, an entity so morose that he makes Eeyore seem manic by comparison.
PHIL OAKEY with GIORGIO MORODER
Together in Electric Dreams
This song, the theme song for a forgettable movie called Electric Dreams, is much better than the film it came from. And why the hell isn’t Phil Oakey and Human League NOT in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame yet? Come on, people…
Computer Love (2009 Remaster)
Yes, I could have played the 1970’s electronica version, I really could have, but this remix (and subsequent remaster) from their disc The Mix is totally superior to the original entity. Sorry, that’s just me.
I believe this is the first group whose backstory claims to be involving time travel and parallel universes and stuff. Sounds like a concept a computer would have created. Great song, but I’m not totally sure we need the backstory.
Land of Hunger
Not much is known about the Earons. Their writing credits and band lineup are represented by two-digit numbers. Again, this must have been coughed up by a computer during a reboot session, methinks.
Don’t argue with me. Wendy Carlos’ atmospheric use of synthesizer and orchestra made this film an audiophonic, surreal masterpiece. Oh yeah, and the cutting-edge special effects as well. And the storyline. And WHY THE HELL CAN’T WE HAVE A TRON III MOVIE?!?!?!?
All right, back to unplugging, tuning in, turning on and blending in… on another edition of K-Chuck Radio!