Monday, October 21, 2013

Beyond the Music of Phantasm

Given all of the crap on the radio today, I thought it would be nice to take a moment and review the released work of Phantasm's musically-gifted cast members. Although we know Michael Baldwin to be a talented whistler/singer/musician and Angus Scrimm has been known to write and carry a tune, it's Reggie Bannister, Bill Thornbury and Kathy Lester that have released albums of their work.

Continue reading for a rundown of cast member musical releases.

Fool's Paradise by Reggie "B" and the Jizz Wailin' Y'a' Doggies - (purchase here) Reggie comes out of the gate swinging in his debut album, which features the Phantasm-influenced "Have You Seen It?" from Phantasm: Oblivion. Reggie's music has a great sounding folk-rock feel to it, which makes it an easy listen from start to finish. As an added bonus, the physical edition of the album comes with hilarious liner notes by Angus Scrimm. Favorite track (besides the obvious): "Oh, No, Not Again!"

Naked Truth by the Reggie Bannister Band - (purchase here) Reggie's follow-up album teams him with bassist Paul Miser and drummer Mike Scarfo, both of whom are extremely good at their craft and know their way around the horror genre. Naked Truth continues the folk/rock feel of Fool's Paradise, with a dash of country thrown in for good measure. The physical album comes with a bonus DVD with music video content. Favorite track: "In the City."

Torn Little Page by Bill Thornbury - (purchase here) A great mixture of folk, country and gospel, Bill Thornbury's latest album blends original praise lyrics with the fantastic acoustic guitar he's always been known for. I've heard that even those without strong faith convictions can enjoy this album if not only for Bill's smooth voice and guitar. I can't find this one available on CD anymore, but Bill has been known to bring copies to his convention appearances and the digital tracks are available for purchase. Favorite track: "I Turn My Eyes."

Five Loaves, Two Fishes by Bill Thornbury & Loyd Clifft - (purchase here) I actually haven't heard this album, but after being out of print for several years, I now see that the tracks are available in digital form for purchase. It appears to be a worship album in the same tradition of Torn Little Page, only released several years prior to it.

Le Kat Album Sampler by Le Kat - This several track sampler album was made available by Kathy Lester (aka Le Kat) at convention appearances in 2008 and 2009 before her debut album was completed. I'm not aware of it still being available anywhere for purchase, save for eBay.

Lady in Lavender Single by Le Kat - Sure to be every phan's favorite track from the album, this tune is written from the point of view of Lester's most famous character with very clever lyrics ("My sole amigo is my alter-ego/And as far as we know, he's rather Tall.") Like the sampler, Kathy is still known to bring copies of this single to her convention appearances. The cover art features her looking as sizzling as ever in a lavender dress and holding a silver sphere.

Boudior Rouge by Le Kat - (purchase here) The full album teased in the previous two releases turns out to be one fantastic collection of sultry jazz that I can best describe as deliciously fun. Backed by a terrific band, Kathy disappears into her Le Kat persona through songs that run the range from sexy to cheeky to soulful. Although inspired by music from decades many years past, there's a timeless quality to what Kathy brings to these songs, even when covering a Cole Porter standard ("Young and Beautiful.") Favorite track (besides the obvious): "Blue Man."

So the only question that remains is... Michael Baldwin and Angus Scrimm, where are your albums?

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