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 9, 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

Monday, March 4, 2019

Analyzing the music of the Pokemon trailers

This was a big week for Pokemon trailers, with ones for upcoming movies and upcoming games. We'll be talking about the music used in these and see what we can learn:


Monday, February 25, 2019

Poke Press @ Anime Milwaukee 2019

Anime Milwaukee was held last weekend, and I was able to get some footage out of the event. First, I had a chance to interview Yokon, the winner of the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate tournament. He used Gannondorf to climb his way to the top, and provides some insight into the character:


I also recorded a recap of the event, which you can see here:


A press pass was provided for this event.


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 5, 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.