Sheer Joy Of Noise

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The Pink Panther on Venus: a Horror Tale

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Pink Panther on Venus
(click to listen)

When your creative work lies dormant, it sometimes takes a holiday to get the juices flowing again. And Halloween is arguably one of the juiciest holidays available. So, welcome back to the Sheer Joy of Noise. Mwawah ha ha ha ha….

“The Pink Panther’s Visit To Venus” is one part alien conspiracy, two parts ghost story, and in some ways a coming-of-age tale in which a young feline tries vainly to reconnect with his roots. We learn that the celebrated Pink Panther is in fact from another planet, the Prodigal Son of a dead race of beings. But a journey to his doomed planet reveals a spooky haunted house. The terrors that lie within will test the limits of both panther and human alike…

This master work was recorded in the vicinity of 1983, right around the time of The Ghost of Mr. T, in fact. The similarities are obvious, of course. Both are Halloweeny, dealing with ghosts and spooky rainstorms. (Both of them feature sound effects from the classic Disney album “Chilling Thrilling Sounds of the Haunted House”) It is the differences that are notable, though. The Ghost of Mr. T seems on the surface a bit more silly and abrupt, yet it simultaneously addresses vengeance and corporate greed.  Conversely, Pinky’s trip to Venus seems deadly serious.  The listener immediately discerns a defensiveness on the part of Pinky, whose trip seems outwardly rather than inwardly motivated; he seems desperate to prove that he is not an actual panther but a mutated Venusian who inadvertently wandered into a pigment mine.  The combined effects of a messy, junk-filled spaceship and unfortunate encounters with spooky portraits, angry dogs and ghosts result in a spectacular failure that is received with indifference, even relief, by the protagonist.

The shrewd listener will note that this recording is supposed to be accompanied by an illustrated storybook. While I recall getting about two pages into this, I never finished it. I invite you to “read along” in an imaginary storybook, with eyes closed. But stay close to the door, in case you get scared and have to bolt.

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Written by normscott

October 26th, 2012 at 2:18 pm

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