What does that song mean?

Anders Runestad – Author and Music Blogger

Posted Jul 25th 2023, 15:41 by Penguin Pete

It’s not often enough that I share some of my favorite music reading. Being a blogger myself (history will romanticize the era of early-21st-century blog author, mark me words, mateys!) - it seems nonsensical to devote a whole post to another blogger. If you wanted to read that other person, you’d just go there instead, right? Bloggers blogging about other bloggers gets old fast.

BUT, I’m sure you voracious culture fans are tickled pink when I introduce you to places like WFMU, Ubuweb, Tantacrul, 366WeirdMovies, and other places off the usual culture vulture circuit. You can always check TMZ to find out all about the latest Taylor Swift scandalous dress story – (crowd of outraged gasps) – but come here to find the Internet Algonquin Round Table. Right fans?

Trust me, this will make sense after I explain it/. Have I ever let you down before? Except for those other times?

How I Cosmic Discoed Back Into the Shire

That’s a bit too much ado, but I’m sharing a music blogger today I just discovered this week. The reason I just crossed his path is that he’ll be the guest on this week’s Pod366 Weird Movies podcast, and I know that because I’m going to be co-hosting it, because that’s another one of my gigs. Here I am last week co-hosting (mostly being a bobbing head) when we had indie film director

Sujewa Ekanayake to discuss his feature Cosmic Disco Detective Rene: The Secret Society for Slow Romance 2 (and that still isn’t the full title).

Now, that’s a movie podcast and this is a music blog, so what’s the connection? Anders Runestad is an author (four books deep plus short stories and whatnot), who has written the Rondo-nominated nonfiction account of the filming of Robot Monster (1953) - namely I Cannot, Yet I Must: The True Story of the Best Bad Monster Movie of All Time Robot Monster.

So that’s the movie connection. Now what about the music connection? At Anders Runestad’s personal site blog (“Runestad Writes”), I discovered with squees of glee, he has an extensive music tag going back a few years. And this is the part where things get a little eerie, because we’ve blogged some of the same topics over the years without apparently being aware of each other.

So now, back to the shire…

Anders Runestad and Thoughts on Hobbit Rock

He actually has a five-parter on the subject of Hobbit Rock.

* - Part 1 – it seems to be vaguely Celtic. Featuring video of Thin Lizzy’s Gary Moore doing a stompy example.

* - Part 2 – it plays a lot at Renaissance Fairs (hey I go to those all the time in full wizard gear!). Featured video by some band named Renaissance which seems to have succumbed to link rot.

* - Part 3 – comparing Hobbit Rock to post-punk. Featuring Scottish band Scars.

* - Part 4 – more Scottish influence. It’s the Big Country song, run for your lives!

* - Part 5 – and in conclusion, Leonard Nimoy’s “Ballad of Bilbo Baggins”

Wait, what? You mean that very same song I devoted an entire blog post to a couple years back? Yes, in fact, I traced Nimoy’s Bilbo Baggins video (much linked on the Internet by now) to the Malibu U TV show in that one.

What are the odds? Now of course, I tend to take the narrower definition of Hobbit Rock as songs about the Lord of the Rings series, but I’m aware some also classify anything you’re likely to hear at a Renaissance Fair as “Hobbit Rock” and I can see where they’re coming from. There’s also the designation “wizard rock” or “acid rock” for bands with a penchant for playing sci-fi / fantasy themes.

Runestad himself writes at some point that he has played sax, so he has a claim to experience in the field. There’s much more to his music blogging, as he hops from one band video to another without too much direction, also covering more music thoughts in tags like Classic Alternative Rock, Guitar, and Great Performances.

So yeah, another music blogger! Go check out his links after you’re done here. I haven’t even covered Runestad’s novels, which he refers to as “Maize Noir” – i.e. Midwest crime/detective fiction – and there’s that frission again, since I live in Iowa. Runestad is one of those multimedia talents with a fascinating array of interests, so check the Pod366 ep when it drops at the end of this week (I pledge my return to provide a direct link then).

Wait… Robot Monster?

Well, like I say, it’s the weird movie site, where we hold David Lynch as the bar; you must be this weird or weirder to get onto the list of 366 Weirdest Movies ever made.

Robot Monster is a cult sci-fi / fantasy that was made on a backyard budget with ad-hoc props, and is today regarded as one fo the worst movies alongside cult legends like Plan Nine From Outer Space. No less than Stephen King paid it tribute in his nonfiction horror media history Danse Macabre.

So, that’s where the prevailing winds of culture have wafted me this week. I never know where I’m going but I keep being happy to get there.



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