Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Don't Stop Believin'

Photo by Jeffery Sims Photography
Now and again I like to drop an in-joke in to the music. It's fun to provide music that sounds like just normal background music, but has a little gift for one or two people in the know. Even if the only one in the know is me :)

Last year during the Youth Theatresports festival, there was a team called The Journey. I like to find appropriate theme music for teams, so secret agent teams get secret agent music, teams that used a rap for their intro get rap, and so on. We had a team last year called "The One", and they got the Matrix music. Whenever a team comes on stage ready for their next game, it's great when you can the background music is themed appropriately. So with this team The Journey, I thought I'd rip off some music by Journey.

It's funny how the music scene is different around the world. I've lived in the US and Australia, so I've learned music from both places, but there are plenty of singers or groups that are popular in one place, but not the other. Journey is a bit like that; living in the US in the very early 80's you couldn't escape them, but they were never really big here in Australia.

So I decided to give this team a Journey song as their theme music, Don't Stop Believin'. That song is from 1981; it is massive in the US, and according to Wikipedia it is "the most downloaded song from the 20th century in the iTunes Music Store." Still, not really popular here. (A straw poll at work found one person who knew it. And he's American. The poll did rely on my singing voice so perhaps it wasn't set up for success.)

The song opens with a really catchy rock piano riff, so it was fun for me to play. Because Journey wasn't huge here in Australia, there's no chance of anyone getting it so I had my own little in-joke. Tee hee.

Then, during one of the intros, 5 teenage boys in the front row start singing along with it! Freak me out.

After the show, I went over to ask how a bunch of 15-year-old teenagers from Australia in 2008 knew a 17-year-old American power-ballad-rock song like that. The kids explained that they had a skateboarding DVD with the song, and they loved the song so much they hunted around for more Journey music and became fans. Go figure.


Dan said...

It always brings me such delight when I hear 'LeStrange's Theme' in a different style lilting from the back fo the room.

Kris said...

Heh, Dan's comment needs some explanation. In our professional short-form shows, I have themes for many of the actors. Sometimes they're themes based on characters the actors have played (eg LeStrange's theme for Dan), or songs appropriate for the person in some way (Roger Ramjet for the fabulous Roger Beames, Follow The Yellow Brick Road for Mr Andy Foreman). Or just another in-joke (like Come Sail Away for Mike Skillz, or Elvis Ate My Baby for Miss Kiesten McCauley, an in-joke I will get around to explaining on Musical Hotspot someday...)

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