Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Why It Works: Flying Without Wings

At first, "Flying Without Wings" seems like an odd fit for Pokemon 2000, but if you look at it from the right perspective, it actually works quite well:


Need more Westlife? We discussed a live version of Flying Without Wings during a recent livestream:

Friday, May 03, 2019

Poke Press Digest Podcast: Episode 25-"The Power of Us" music

In this single-segment episode, Anne from Pikapi Podcast helps me discuss the music of the 21st Pokemon movie, "The Power of Us". We compare the Japanese song "Breath" to the English version's "The Power Of Us", and wind up talking about some of the musical paths not taken with this film. If you want to know what we thought of the movie itself, be sure to listen to the bonus segment after the outro:



Links:
Pikapi Podcast
Charity Goodin Interview
Twitter Moment
INXS Discussion

Sunday, April 07, 2019

A Pokemon Perspective on "The Boy Band Con"

The new YouTube original "The Boy Band Con" doesn't mention Pokemon once, but it turns out Lou Pearlman has connections to each of the first three movies via his acts. Was I able to learn anything of interest?

Monday, April 01, 2019

Why it Works? "This Time" By INXS

Happy April Fools' Day! Today we'll be discussing a song that has absolutely no relationship to Pokemon whatsoever. This 1985 release still manages to have some relevancy to the franchise. If only there had been a Pokemon movie in '85/'86:


Transcript:

“This Time” by Australian rock group INXS has zilch to do with Pokémon, though I suppose you never know what they’ll do next with Detective Pikachu. In any case, the song was originally released in 1985 on the “Listen Like Thieves” album, and would eventually become a single and music video for the band. While the lyrics seem to be referencing a bickering couple, there are some elements that parallel the dynamics of the original traveling group of the Pokémon anime. Ash, Misty, and Brock often have differences that seem irreconcilable, leading to a lot of arguing. As far as wasting time…they’re good at that too, repeatedly getting lost, taking unplanned detours, and being easily distracted in general. Anyway, if you’d like to explore this April Fools’ Day joke further, believe it or not, I had a discussion with Anne from Pikapi Podcast about this very song, and she had some thoughts of her own, so look for a card for that video. Thanks.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Why it Works: Makin' My Way

"Makin' My Way (Any Way That I Can)" had an interesting journey to become a Pokémon song. This Dianne Warren-penned song actually appeared in several places before winding up on the Pokémon: The First Movie soundtrack in 1999. While I don't know exactly how it got there, it does have some interesting parallels to the games:


Transcript:





"Makin' My Way (Any Way That I Can)" has a longer history than you might be aware of. It doesn't go super-far back, but the earliest version I've found is by Wynonna Judd, on the soundtrack to the 1996 Whoopi Goldberg business comedy "The Associate". The song would then show up on a Marcia Hines album in 1999, which was soon followed by the Billie Piper version you're probably familiar with. Each of these features a different arrangement, but the more electronic instrumentation in Piper's rendition is probably what made it the choice for the Pokémon soundtrack. As for the lyrical content of the song, the theme of strength overcoming adversity results in an experience that I think would have fit in very well on 2.B.A. Master. What’s most interesting, however, is the way phrases that were originally intended as metaphors become literal when applied to Pokémon. The source material is a game, in which you cross rivers and climb mountains. If you really want to stretch it, there’s also a reference to "strength"-not bad for a song that was probably written before the games were even out in Japan. In any event, feel free to check out those other versions (there's at least one more that I didn't mention), and let us know what you think. Thanks.

Saturday, March 09, 2019

Poke Press Digest Podcast: Episode 24-Keldeo Movie Music/Anime Milwaukee 2019

For the first segment (1:03-4:04), I interview the winner of a Super Smash Bros. Ultimate tournament from this year’s Anime Milwaukee. We talk about the game itself, and why he chose Ganondorf for the event. If you'd like to know more about what I did at the convention, look for a link to a recap video in the episode description.

The second segment (4:13-48:40) is a discussion of the music of the 15th Pokemon movie, "Kyurem Vs. The Sword of Justice". Anne from Pikapi Podcast helps me compare "Memories" by Rola to "It's All Inside Of You" by Jess Turner. Both performers have some interesting career trajectories, so it's a fun conversation. As usual, we also talk about the opening themes and score, and read a comment or two.



Links:

Segment 1:

Anime Milwaukee 2019 Recap

*A press pass was provided for this event.

Segment 2:

Pikapi Podcast
Jess Turner Interview

Sunday, February 24, 2019

The music of "The Power of Us" with Pikapi Podcast

Another Pokemon movie has come out, and as usual Anne and I are here to share our thoughts. This time, however, we recorded it live:


Discussing the music of "The Power of Us" was a lot of fun, and we hope you'll join us next time when we discuss the music of "Genesect and the Legend Awakened" in about a month. If you're wondering where our previous discussion of "Kyurem Vs. the Sword of Justice" is, it'll be coming to the channel soon, but you can listen to it on Anne's Patreon.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Poke Press Digest Podcast: Episode 23-Pokemon Cries/Wizard World Madison

In the first segment (0:51-10:53), I interview "Dots" from the YouTube channel "Retro Game Mechanics Explained." We talk about how he started his channel, and a recent video he did about the cries of Pokemon from generation 1. "Dots" also explains the sound generation application he created as part of his research.

The second segment (11:59-21:41) has some interviews from the recent Wizard World Comic Con event in Madison. You'll hear from Pokemon YouTuber RealBreakingNate, as well as Jerry Milani, the PR rep for the Wizard World organization.


Links:

Segment 1:
Retro Game Mechanics Explained Channel
Pokemon Cry Generator

Why it Works: We're A Miracle:
First Movie music discussion

Segment 2:
RealBreakingNate's Channel
Wizard World* Website

*A press pass was provided for this event.

Tuesday, February 05, 2019

Why It Works: We're A Miracle

Christina Aguilera's "We're A Miracle" has some obvious things going for it in regard to Pokemon: The First Movie, but some of the reasons this pre-existing song fits so well are a bit more obscure:


“We’re A Miracle” wasn’t written or re-written to work with Pokémon: The First Movie-and, if for some reason you don’t believe me on that, I do have an e-mail from one of the folks behind the song. In any event, despite its unrelated origins, it seems to do a great job matching up with the film-but why is that? There’s the obvious stuff, like references to a storm and tears early in the piece, and some later lyrics that provide a good summary of the relationship between Ash and Pikachu. However, there’s another possible explanation-“We’re A Miracle” definitely features some of Christina’s more aggressive vocal qualities. Normally this gives her songs a sensual vibe, but here it has the benefit of making her sound a bit more like, well, you know. Anyway, if you’d like to hear a more in-depth analysis of this song, as well as its Japanese equivalent, “Together With The Wind”, a few years ago I recorded a discussion with Anne from Pikapi Podcast.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

What happened to the hosts of "WTPT: Pokemon Radio"?

Spoiler Alert: Jowy and KC are still alive and kicking, but they have undertaken some new endeavors, particularly in the last few years:



Running from 2007 to 2010, WTPT, also known as “The Pallet Tribune” was one of the dominant Pokémon podcasts of that era. Helmed by Jowy Romano and Keith “K.C.” Smith, the Brooklyn-based show covered various aspects of the franchise, as well as whatever was happening in the world of Pokémon at the time. It also brought in a number of guests, including myself, along the way. Despite its success, however, the show would come to an abrupt end in 2010 for several reasons, notably a conflict with K.C.’s employer. There were a few tidbits and a spinoff that came afterwards, but that was more or less the end of WTPT.

Nearly a decade later, you may be wondering-what happened to those guys? Well, they actually both run new podcasts that are active to this day. K.C. co-hosts “The SwitchCast”, a Nintendo Switch-focused show that covers the system and its games, and Jowy has started “Level 5 Radio”, which discusses Pokémon Go in the New York City area-and has a rather familiar-looking logo. If you’re interested in either, there are links in the video description. If you just want to relive some classic WTPT memories, Jowy was nice enough to let me upload some of the old episodes to my channel.

Some of the information in this article came from the Bulbapedia article for WTPT.