There’s Something Inside Your Head

Offline for the rest of the day. Leaving you with a song I’m finding oddly evocative recently. See you later.

16 Comments on “There’s Something Inside Your Head”

  1. Oingo Boingo I do know – and that kicked ass. I think it’s a little bit of pandering to the lcd – but they are so cool, they could sing about plastic wrap and it would be hip.

  2. changterhune – Before you hear lies from Chang Terhune himself, we thought we’d tell you the truth: without us, his old action figures, he’d be nowhere. He loved science fiction from way back and began reading it at an early age, but it was through us that he acted it all out. That’s what led to the writing. He watched a lot of science fiction shows like Star Trek, U.F.O, and movies, too. But we were always there to do his bidding. And it’s like they say: you always forget about the little people on your way up. Oh, the 70’s and early 80’s with him were good times! He’d use these blocks and make all the crazy buildings for us to be in his stories. I gotta say the kid’s imagination was pretty damn fertile. Oh, he had friends, but they just weren’t into it like him. He was like the Lance Armstrong of action figures. And of science fiction. At first, when he began writing in the eighth grade, we didn’t mind. He still made time for us. And we knew that when he was holding us in his sweaty little hands and he got that far off look in his eye, he’d come back to burying us in the back yard or - god forbid! – blowing us up with firecrackers. But it was worth it for a part in one of those stories. We loved him for it. He kept us around even when we were minus a leg or two - or even a head. In that mind of his, he found a use for all of us. Then he discovered girls. October, 1986. It was like the end of the world. One day we’re standing in the middle of this building block creation he’d pretended was some marble city on a planet near Alpha Centauri and the next we were stuck in a box in the closet. Not even a “See ya later!” Nope, it was into the closet, then we heard some high-pitched girly-giggles then silence. We didn’t see him for years. We got word about him once in a while. Heard he took up writing, but it was crap like “The Breakfast Club” only with better music. We couldn’t believe it. Not Charlie. What happened to those aliens with heads he’d sculpted out of wax? Spaceships? Those complex plots? All gone. For what? You guessed it: Girls. Emotions. “Serious fiction.” I tell you, it was like hearing Elvis had left the building. During our two decade exile in the closet, we heard other things about him. He went to college. He wrote a lot, but not much he really liked. We knew it even then. It was like he didn’t dare write science fiction. Some of us had lost hope and just lay there. Others kept vigil, hoping for a day we didn’t dare speak about. Then we heard he’d stopped writing in 1996. Did he come to reclaim us? No. He took up music for ten years or so. He took up yoga. Once in a while, he’d visit us in the closet. But it was half-hearted. His mind was elsewhere. Then one day, he really did come back for us. One second we’re in the dark and the next thing we know we’re in a car headed for Massachusetts. Suddenly we got a whole shelf to ourselves out in broad daylight! Then he bought a bunch of others form some planet called Ebay. He’d just sit and stare at us with that old look. But why were we suddenly back in the picture? He had a wife now, who didn’t mind that he played with us. So what had happened? Turns out he’d never forgotten about those stories. He’d been thinking about all of us and the stories he’d made up and then remembered he’d been a writer once. From the shelf we could see him typing away. Before long he’s got a whole novel together! Then he’s working on another one. Word is there are two more in the planning stages! Some short stories, too! It’s good to see him using his imagination again. Its good to know he never abandoned us. He returned to his true love of science fiction. We hear the stories are pretty good. Someday we’ll get one of the cats to score us a copy of the manuscript. Man, it’s good to be out of the damn closet! --- I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me
    Chang, puppy wrangler!

    Love Oingo Boingo.

    “…but why should I care?”

  3. OK, this is blowing me away! I’ve heard of OB before (of course I know who Danny Elfman is) but I never knew they were this dynamic live. Is this from the Farewell album I just found on Amazon? I want it. I’m probably going to get one of the best ofs as well. Which should I get?

  4. Clearly, Scalzi is trying to get us to write in Oingo Boingo for a life-time achievement Hugo Award. I won’t stand for it! Be prepared for a scalding blog entry.

  5. Love Boingo!

    And I was also wondering when the “Attack Scalzi Week” is officially over…I have to get my entry in on time!

  6. Andy:

    If you haven’t heard of Oingo Boingo before, you’re in for a treat. Personally I recommend the Boingo Alive 2CD set (recorded live, but not in concert, if that makes any sense). Also, you may be interested in So-Lo, Elman’s 1984 solo album.

  7. In spite of being way way older than most of their audience, I actually went to at least three live Oingo Boingo concerts, more than any other group/performer. But I liked their original name better. Nothing rings like Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo.

  8. Neil Clarke – Stirling, NJ – Neil Clarke is the editor of the Hugo Award-winning magazine, Clarkesworld. He currently lives in NJ with his wife and two children.
    Neil Clarke

    It’s such a pity that they called it quits. Great music and amazing live performers. I compare all concerts to theirs and so far they haven’t been beat.

  9. Danny Elfman has said he’s developed some hearing deterioration and doesn’t want to risk exposing his ears to further damage through more loud concerts. Given what he does for a living now, this seems totally reasonable.

    That said, I’m glad I got to see them live back in the day. Twice!

  10. Off topic, but thanks for the link on Whateverettes to the Dwayne Day article (Never give a monkey your car keys). It was great.

  11. (looks at Whateverettes for the first time in several weeks)

    Oh! That’s where that traffic came from.

    Little disappointed that I got to be the undefined follow-on to “he’s an idiot” and “he’s a prescriptivist”, though. Oh well. I already got boastful about getting two whole entire new comments over there, so I’m in no position to gripe.

    Wait, what? Oingo Boingo? Um, er, yeah. It was nice, I guess. What was the question?

  12. andy: The Farewell Concert is pretty much the only live video out there— we own it, and I can say definitively that the audio on this has been highly compressed. IOW, it’s much better on the DVD or the CDs of the concert.

    This is a favorite Halloween watch of mine. Sort of a cross between a concert and a cult revival. With songs that fall into my mental category “demented clown music.” And the extras are pretty hilarious— decades’-old bits from The Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo, and stuff like that.

    I second the recommendation of Boingo Alive. Must have been a pain to set up all the mics in the studio at once, but the songs are more dynamic than their original studio takes (when you can find them— some of the Farewell Concert songs are ones I haven’t found anywhere else.)

  13. JJS @11

    Dwayne’s a precious thing to the world. Moreso that he sometimes transcends his space-policy-space-history wonkishness into larger observations.

    I just realized that I’ve known him for 20 years online. Ack, I feel old.

    Those of us from Proxima Centauri will prevail, however. Those Reticulans can never get their saucers started after they give the Monkeys their keys.

    Reticulan Folly of decades long past exposed, next on Geraldo

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