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(Review) Dr Horrible and Megan Gogerty

16th July 2008 (23:54)

Dr Horrible and Megan Gogerty ...clearly a marriage made in Heaven. Or somewhere.

Well, like millions of people all over the world I've been struggling to watch Dr Horrible's Sing-along Blog. Actually, the first time I tried it, at lunchtime yesterday at work, it worked perfectly. Tried again at home later, and the site was down. So was Whedonesque. And Felicia Day just posted on her blog that "Horrible has melted the internet, haha." Finally today the site's back up, but refused to actually play the video - until I disabled my firewall, clicked play then immediately re-enabled the firewall. I just hope millions of viruses and spyware apps didn't infect my computer during that window of opportunity.

Now I'm just annoyed that the iTunes download is currently only for sale to US and Canadian viewers. I'm hoping this is fixed soon...

Because in the meantime, the opening song of Megan Gogerty's new tribute album I Miss Buffy is particularly ironic: 

Joss is the boss, buy all his products!

I'd love to, if only he'd let me...

"Tribute album"? you might be asking. "What tribute album?" Well, a while ago Gogerty recorded the song 'I Miss Buffy the Vampire Slayer', and now she's released an entire album. Which I bought, and have been listening to a lot because I couldn't access the Dr Horrible site. And, er, also because it's good. So here's a full review of it.


To be honest I wouldn't say I'd necessarily buy it if it wasn't Buffy-related, because the music isn't that wonderful. But the humour in the lyrics is very, very funny. The album also has some amusing parodies of different musical styles - at least I assume it does... not being an expert I can't actually identify most of them. :-)

The first song, Joss Is The Boss (Give Him Your Money), is short and poppy and shows that Gogerty has her finger on the pulse of why so many women are fans of the show:

Joss is the boss,
Buy all his products!
He's not afraid to show
James Marsters' buttocks.

Which is a courtesy
For those of us who can't
See them any other way.
Hey hey.

On the other hand, she's clearly also aware of the deeper fan critiques of the show, such as the fact that almost every character's father turns out to be either useless, evil or both. Hence the next song, which is done in a sort of reggae style, I think (see, I told you I was useless at this), is called Daddy Issues (Giles Giles Giles).

Third up is the song that's also available as a free download single from her website (link is above) - Kinda Wish D'Hoffryn Was My Boyfriend. It's fast-paced and poppy and cute and funny.

Yeah, I know: he's a demon.
He doesn't care for men's tomfoolery.
But think: his best friends are women,
Plus he likes to give away jewellery!

In a total contrast of musical styles, Lipstick Wiccans is a heavy rock style number complete with feedback-laden guitar solo. Really the exact opposite of the sort of music I imagine Tara and Willow listening to, in fact...

Lipstick wiccans, they have scruples.
Sometimes they have scary black pupils.


Only problem with this song is that some of the lyrics are quite hard to decipher. And I think the phrase 'Wiccan until graduation' near the end might be considered controversial in some circles. :-)

What can we say about the fifth song, The Legend of Mr Gordo? Only that it's deeply, deeply silly; the portentous ballad-type delivery complete with a deep-voiced male backing singer whispering "Mr Gordo!" after each line of the chorus only makes it funnier.

Imagine being embraced by the Slayer,
But never knowing the touch of a sow.
That's life's cruel fate for Mr Gordo.

However, Gogerty is clearly under the impression that Mr Gordo died in the ruin of Sunnydale; she's obviously never read the stories in which he escapes, or is rescued, or teams up with Amy and Warren, or indeed is lying right there on the floor of Buffy's bedroom in Scotland in 8.12 while his Girl and Satsu are bonking...

I Think My Roommate Is A Demon With A Soul is one of my favourites musically, and I can sympathise with the singer's line here:

I know the signs because I've seen the show so many times

Interestingly, a later song on the album is called I Didn't Write A Song About Angel, so clearly, the demon with a soul she's singing about here must be Spike. Even though some of the clues to her roommate's real nature - "She's got an irrational fear of gypsies" and "she broods, she acts all riddled with guilt" - do seem to suggest the other vampire with a soul...

Song number seven, Sunnydale Saturday Night, is probably my least favourite - it's not bad as such, there's just not much I want to say about it. It's done as a 50s-style rock and roll number, with a trumpet solo and everything, and it has a one-line reference to Vampire Willow... there, now I've said something about it. :-)

Lots of Xander To Love will doubtless be a favourite for Xander fans, even if it's actually a sly reference to Nick Brendon putting on weight (I don't know if it is or not, to be honest...) But the song is definitely sympathetic to him. Musically, I wasn't particularly impressed with it, though.

When evil attacks, he's got snacks,
Plus lots of Xander to love.

Ninth comes the song that inspired the whole thing, I Miss Buffy T.V.S. (which is how it's actually titled on the album.) The original recording, which is probably still out there free on the Internet, was Gogerty singing to an acoustic guitar. This new version has electric guitars and a better sound quality, but to be honest I preferred the original - the vocals had a lot more emotion behind them, especially in the bit where Gogerty gives us her reaction to her friend Alexis not liking the show:

And frankly, I don't understand
how it's possible
I'm still friends with her.

Other favourite bits from the song include the wonderfully pseudointellectual:

I want metaphorical mythology
Coupled with ontological authenticity.
I really don't think that's too much to ask of a show.

If any of my flist want to take a stab at explaining how 'Buffy' showed ontological authenticity, please feel free. :-)

Also:

And I'm this close to reading fanfiction,
But writing this song is pathetic enough.

Hmph. :-)

You know, I'm strongly tempted to create a vid of this song. Which I suppose would be a tribute to a tribute? The only problem would be my lack of vid source of Alias, The O.C., and Scooby Doo, though I could use still images. That might work. [/thinking aloud]

And the final song on the album is I Didn't Write A Song About Angel. Of course, just as in the classic fable of the atheist who went around saying "I don't believe in God" all the time, then on dying found himself in heaven, because his whole life had been spent thinking about God... Gogerty writes a song about not writing a song about Angel, which turns out to be a song about Angel. Or something like that...

Although it's also a song about all the other characters she didn't write about, too. And it's really, really funny. So I'm going to push Fair Use in a review to the limit, and just give you all the lyrics to the song. Also, do you get the impression Gogerty is well aware of shipping wars, given her defensiveness in this song? ;-)

I didn't write a song about Angel,
Because it doesn't do much for me.
Don't hate me.
I didn't write a song about Clem,
Because how can you write a three-minute song about Clem?
I didn't write a song about Faith,
Even though I love Faith - she's cooler than Buffy.
Don't hate me.
I didn't write a song about Dawn.
Face it - you're kinda glad I didn't write a song about Dawn.

But I love them all.
I love them all.
I love them all.
Some more than others.
I love them, I love them all.

I didn't write a song about Angel,
Even though the square root of Angel equals five plus Riley.
I didn't write a song about Riley,
I don't have much to say about him.
I didn't write a song about Cordelia,
But I mentioned her in passing so that's okay.
I didn't write a song about Spike,
But I name-checked James Marsters at the beginning of the album.

'Cause I love them all.
I love them all.
I love them all.
Some more than others.
I love them, I love them all.

I didn't write a song about the Mayor,
Even though I love the Mayor - he's my favourite villain.
I didn't write a song about Joyce,
Even though the episode she died in, it was my favourite.
I didn't write a song about Andrew,
Or Jonathan or Warren or any of them.
I didn't write a song about 'Firefly',
Because this CD's about 'Buffy', it's not about 'Firefly'.

But I love them all.
I love them all.
I love them all.
Some more than others.
I love them, I love them all.
I love them all. (x3)
Some more than others.
Yeah, I love them, I love them all.

I didn't write a song about Angel,
But I'm glad David Boreanaz has a career.
I didn't write a song about Angel,
I really should give that show another try.
I didn't write a song about Angel,
I hear the episode with the puppets is funny.

I didn't write a song about Angel,
Even though I like Angel, I'm not saying that I hate Angel.
I didn't write a song about Angel,
Thank you for noticing.
I didn't write a song about Angel,
I'm confident that you and I can move past this.

I didn't write a song about Angel,
Hey look, I just wrote a song about Angel...

So there it is. Buy it - it's only about £6.50 for the mp3 download. :-)
.

Comments

Posted by: Beer Good (beer_good_foamy)
Posted at: 17th July 2008 00:25 (UTC)

Joss is the boss, buy all his products!

I'd love to, if only he'd let me...


They say the DVD will have lots of tasty extras. Apparently they've written a musical commentary track. I'm happy to wait until then to put money in Joss' pockets.

And I'm going to have to give that Megan Gogerty album a listen. I loved the original version of "I Miss BTVS", but I'll have to see what I think of the full-length version...

I definitely want to see that tribute song tribute vid though. :-)

Posted by: Two legs good, four legs okay (nothorse)
Posted at: 17th July 2008 00:41 (UTC)
centaur!dawn

The way things are set up, I'm sure the DVD will be Region 1 only and other parts of the world will get it somewhen in 2011.

I was clicking on the iTunes link five minutes into the episode and would have loved to spend my money.

Ah well. If Joss doesn't want my money, there's always this swedish website...

I've had the original Megan Gogerty song for a while now, and I'l probably include it on my next compilation of offbeat and weird music, but I'm not at all sure I want more of it. The lyrics might be nice, but if I spend money for music, I'd rather have music, and the D'Hoffryn song didn't do anything for me. But then I'm not much of a filk fan (except live around a campfire with sufficient inebriation).

Posted by: Beer Good (beer_good_foamy)
Posted at: 17th July 2008 00:48 (UTC)

The way things are set up, I'm sure the DVD will be Region 1 only and other parts of the world will get it somewhen in 2011.

Which is why I have a region-free DVD player. :-) And broadband.

I've had the original Megan Gogerty song for a while now, and I'l probably include it on my next compilation of offbeat and weird music, but I'm not at all sure I want more of it.

That's pretty much my initial reaction too... about 2 weeks ago I sat in the mud at a rock festival together with some fellow Buffy fans and played that track over and over again, so if there are more songs of that caliber on the album I'll probably end up buying it. But that one song just seemed so... honest, written for its own sake rather than as part of a bigger concept. A whole album's worth of the same thing sounds a bit contrived. But we'll see.

Posted by: Two legs good, four legs okay (nothorse)
Posted at: 17th July 2008 01:01 (UTC)

Which is why I have a region-free DVD player. :-) And broadband.

Yeah, that's always an option. But the point is, I'd really like to give this money to encourage more of it. And I can't because Joss didn't go far enough in changing the channels. Trent Reznor made it pretty easy to buy for a decent price from wherever you were, and so I gladly bought the CD. (That the music was great didn't hurt either, of course)

Joss just didn't want to bother; or couldn't, who knows. The way the website crashed and burned, i guess the net-fu is weak with the mutant enemy.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 17th July 2008 11:52 (UTC)

From what I gather, the fact that Dr Horrible was North America only came as a horrible (heh) shock to Joss & co, and they spent until midnight trying to sort things out so everyone could watch. So lack of tech knowledge and forethought rather than deliberate malice.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 17th July 2008 11:50 (UTC)

I suppose the album is more of the same in a way, but think of it this way: instead of playing 'I Miss Buffy TVS' ten times you can play the entire album once, for the same effect. :-)

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: 6th September 2008 16:00 (UTC)

Can I just say, this is true, my friend and I made a vid of I miss B.T.V.S (original) on youtube and my friend sent Megan Gogerty the link and she loved it, then a few months later told us the video we made inspired her to make the album. We did videos of some of the other songs too. Pretty cool huh?

vid we made:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xl_jAdKfb-4

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 7th September 2008 10:13 (UTC)

Definitely cool. And I remember seeing that YouTube video ages ago... that was you? :-)

Posted by: fix me, motherfucker! i'm standing right here. (immortality)
Posted at: 17th July 2008 01:03 (UTC)
[btvs] b/s | what can never be

I didn't write a song about Dawn.
Face it - you're kinda glad I didn't write a song about Dawn.


Best lyrics.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 17th July 2008 11:54 (UTC)

Can you imagine if she had written a song about Dawn? The chorus would have to be "Get out! Get OUT! GET OUT!!"
:-)

Posted by: mr_waterproof (mr_waterproof)
Posted at: 17th July 2008 10:22 (UTC)

I must have +5 internet connection or something because I managed to see both installments of Dr Horrible so far via the official site without a glitch. I am annoyed that it can only be downloaded from Itunes in North America though.

Dr Horrible seems pretty good so far. The character of Dr Horrible does remind me a lot of the Geek Trio in Buffy Season 6. I think the songs deserve another listen anyway. I'm looking forward to the sung DVD commentary

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 17th July 2008 11:56 (UTC)

I was able to see the second episode today on the first attempt - except that the firewall problem still happened, and I had to disable it again. I assume that the Hulu streaming software uses a non-standard port or something like that.

And at times today I was actually thinking Dr Horrible was Andrew Wells, they looked so similar (in profile view)...

Posted by: Chani φ (frenchani)
Posted at: 17th July 2008 10:28 (UTC)

There's fan fiction and fan art, and fan music. The fact she's selling those songs, it kinda annoys me...

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 17th July 2008 12:01 (UTC)

Really? The way I look at it, she's a professional songwriter (apparently), she does this for a living rather than as a hobby, so why not ask for money? It's not as if she hasn't made available at least 20% of the songs on the album as legitimate free downloads.

As a comparison, if someone made resin miniatures of the 'Buffy' cast, for example, and took them along to a convention and took a stand in the dealers' room, would you object to them asking money for those too?

Posted by: Chani φ (frenchani)
Posted at: 17th July 2008 15:06 (UTC)

Yes. The "I miss Buffy" song was funny but I just don't like the idea of some fannish joke being turned into a business thing (btw I couldn't get any free downloads maybe it was a temporary thing?). I wonedr how her career is going on...

I guess I wouldn't be at ease about someone selling resin miniatures of the "Buffy" cast at a convention either.

I am not too hot on merchandising anyway.

Could be a very French knee-jerk or could be me just me. Can you tell I am not a free trade person?

Sometimes I think that I am not made for this capitalist world. Anya and I wouldn't have gotten along very well...

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 17th July 2008 16:59 (UTC)

Sometimes I think that I am not made for this capitalist world

So maybe Joss should have given Megan Gogerty a landed estate, and in return she would swear fealty and agree to spend 40 days per year recording songs for fans to download free, and also provide free songs when Joss's eldest son was knighted and his eldest daughter was married?

;-)

Posted by: joe_sweden (joe_sweden)
Posted at: 17th July 2008 10:52 (UTC)

If any of my flist want to take a stab at explaining how 'Buffy' showed ontological authenticity, please feel free. :-)

I’ll go one better. I give you the ontological argument for the existence of Buffy (in real life, not just on telly):
1. Buffy is, by definition, a being greater than anything that can be imagined.

2. Existence both in reality and in imagination is greater than existence solely in one's imagination.

3. Therefore, Buffy must exist in reality: if She did not, She would not be a being greater than anything that can be imagined.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 17th July 2008 12:04 (UTC)

Hmm. I think there's a fault in your logic there, can't quite put my finger on it... ;-)

Thanks!

Posted by: joe_sweden (joe_sweden)
Posted at: 17th July 2008 12:39 (UTC)

No, I think you'll find there's no fault in my logic. My logic is not like earth logic. It is superior.

Posted by: Chani φ (frenchani)
Posted at: 17th July 2008 15:08 (UTC)

Now I'm waiting for someone to publish a "Buffy and sophisms" book...

Posted by: Beer Good (beer_good_foamy)
Posted at: 17th July 2008 12:06 (UTC)
Herb - The Dork Avenger

Also, here's Pascal's proof of the existence of vampires:

You can choose to believe in vampires or not. If you believe in them and they're real, you can take precautions to protect yourself from them. If you believe in them and they're not real, you'll have lost nothing. If you don't believen in them and they're real, they will eat you.

Hence, you should believe in vampires to be on the safe side. :-)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 17th July 2008 12:18 (UTC)

Pascal's Wager fills me with irrational anger. :-)

And in your case - what happens if vampires don't exist, but what does is a species of demon which is horribly enraged by crosses and holy water, and the smell of garlic sends them into a feeding frenzy? Huh? What then??
:-)

Posted by: Beer Good (beer_good_foamy)
Posted at: 17th July 2008 12:23 (UTC)

That would mean that the Watcher's Handbook isn't literally true, and that's unthinkable since it claims to be literally true.

Besides, the existence of garlic is just a theory.

Posted by: joe_sweden (joe_sweden)
Posted at: 17th July 2008 12:40 (UTC)

Then, everybody dies. It'll be a whole big thing.

Posted by: joe_sweden (joe_sweden)
Posted at: 17th July 2008 12:40 (UTC)

Sensible, when you think about it. Though I'm more scared of vampires than God, so a better bet re the Undead than the Eternal.

Posted by: Beer Good (beer_good_foamy)
Posted at: 17th July 2008 14:20 (UTC)

Well, a case could be made that Jesus was a vampire... you gain eternal life if you drink his blood, he can be killed with a cross, he rose from the dead after a few days... plus, I swear I once saw a painting of him walking on the water where he didn't have a reflection.

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