Thursday, June 2, 2011


I'll just go ahead and get this out of the way: this post is not about food. At all. I try hard to keep this space as much about food as possible and not fill it with random thoughts and ramblings, but I must make an exception. I just must share this with you. (Prepare yourself for links galore!)

About a week ago I was scrolling through my Facebook news feed and came upon a friend's post of a video of an Alice in Wonderland mash-up-type video. Intrigued, I clicked on over to YouTube and proceeded to spend the next two hours completely entranced by the undeniably catchy music of Nick Bertke, or Pogo. Bertke is a master of taking short sound clips from movies and television shows (and sometimes just everyday life), mixing them, adding beats, sine waves, and a whole bunch of stuff that I can't exactly wrap my head around, and composing them into a final product that is part electronica, part instrumental, and altogether completely addicting. (And it's entirely possible that, since his first video was posted three years ago and he's touring in North America, everyone already knows about this guy, and I'm extremely late to jump on the bandwagon, but in the case that you haven't....) Take a listen:
See what I mean? I find myself unintentionally bobbing my head and mouthing the nonsensical "lyrics" to the tracks throughout the day. Embarassing? Sure. But I can't get enough of this guy's music. True talent here.

Ironically enough, most of the movies Bertke uses - Disney classics like Mary Poppins or Snow White or 90's throwbacks like The Little Princess or Hook - are movies that I really, really dislike. (That probably makes me a bad child of the 90's, but it's the truth.) For example, as much as I enjoy "Expialidocious," I absolutely despise Mary Poppins, or the slowest and most drawn-out Disney movie ever. I recently suffered through watched this movie and for some reason I remember it ending after Mary Poppins, Dick Van Dyke, and the children jump into the painting. Imagine my disbelief when I realize that that's only about the halfway point! Not even knowing where "tuppence a bag" (fast forward a minute) actually came from made up for the dullness of the rest of the movie.
Another example: Hook. You might think that the fantasy and nostalgia of this Disney-inspired movie would be a winning combination to a child. You'd be wholly wrong. Note to Steven Spielberg: do not include in a family movie that children will see a part in which Captain Hook forces a sorry pirate (actually played by  Glenn Close - always thought "he" looked a little feminine but whoa!) into a tiny trunk and then stuffs it with scorpions. Nightmares, people, nightmares. The Boo Box still sends shivers up my spine. Still, I love Pogo's "Bangarang."
Similarly, you may think that The Little Princess would be a fantastic movie for a little girl to watch. It's a kid movie for sure. Well, not for this kid. Along with The Secret Garden (creepy), I found The Little Princess emotionally scarring as a girl. Since the main character's name was Sara (important to note: without the "h"), I for some reason felt that my fate was intrinsically linked to hers. I felt like, after I watched this movie, I would be banished to the attic, hunted down by the police, and verbally and physically abused by an evil Miss Minchin clone. No matter that the movie actually has a happy ending; getting there was just too painful. But "Whisperlude" is one of my favorite Pogo mixes.
Of course, now I've gone on and rambled random thoughts on the fragility of my childhood emotions, and I hope you're still reading. Don't let your childhood (or current) prejudices keep you from giving these mixes a listen. From Up to Toy Story to Harry Potter to Dexter to The King and I, Bertke does it all, and he does it flawlessly. You can download the mixes here.

In fact, given my recent obsession with all of these mixes, I almost feel like I should go back and give some of these movies a second chance, what with my new-found appreciation for the wealth of unique sounds they provide. Almost.


  1. a new soundtrack for the summer! I like the harry potter you linked and snow white's wishery. (and same as you, I can't really get my head around how it's made!)

  2. this is pretty cool-i can see where you could really get sucked into watching these. i have to confess though i LOVE mary poppins.

  3. these are incredibly fun! thank you so much for sharing! i love the hook-stache beat :)

  4. I recently had to watch Mary Poppins on "family movie night" with my husband (who loves musicals) and my two kids, and I was bored out of my skull. Like you, I could not believe how long it went on! I don't think I ever watched it as a child. And your Little Princess fears amuse me because I loved that book so much as a kid I read it over and over, but refused to see the movie when it came out in case it ruined the book for me. And now, having said all that, I will go check out the music.