The Solaris Bug Situation

Guest article by Brent Murphy. Follow some of the links in the article to grab some free MP3s

Back in high school I was with a bunch of guys and we decided to see if the rumors were true: if indeed you watch The Wizard Of Oz with the sound off and listen to Dark Side Of The Moon, will there be a symmetry?

We figured weed would help in our scientific explorations.

It did.

And yes, there is.

Well, fast forward to 2006 and a friend of a friend gives me a CD-R of one of my favorite band’s not-yet-released new albums (actually it’s one of the solo projects of my favorite band: The Speakers; the solo project is Brian Miller’s "The Lightning Bug Situation.") Anyway, I liked it. It’s definitely better than the first Lightning Bug Situation, which I thought was kind of disappointing especially considering it followed on the heels of one of my favorite all time albums, The Speakers’s "Yeats Is Greats."

Solaris BugSo. The new album is good. I really like it actually. But there’s something weird about it. A couple of weeks previously I had rented this one movie I thought was really excellent; so excellent that I had actually watched it twice: the 1972 original Russian version of Solaris. It’s a great movie, pretty tripped-out, very moving, and a very beautiful and visual movie. Anyway, while I was listening to the new Lightning Bug Situation it kept reminding me of Solaris. The lyric "outside with your blue jacket on/green trees and the sea" appears during the very beginning of the album, and in the movie, the first scene has the main character outside, wearing a blue jacket! Later, the album references driving in black and white just as the movie changes to scenes of one of the people driving … all now shot in black and white! And a lot of the scenes seem to change with the songs too.

I could go on and on but I’ll spare you. Suffice to say there are a lot of symmetries. Could it be we have another Dark Side Of The Rainbow? Albeit one with a very obscure movie and an even more obscure band?

So I decided to be like my old high school self, rent Solaris again, play it, turn down the sound, play The Lightning Bug Situation, and smoke tons of weed. Well, it took a couple of tries (actually about a half an hour; no, not the weed, the movie and CD symmetry). The whole process was pretty fun actually, like breaking a secret code. And, well, ladies and gentlemen, I broke the code.

Lo and behold, if you play Solaris with the sound off and simultaneously play The Lightning Bug Situation at just the right time, it’s like an alternative soundtrack. Just like Wizard of Oz and Dark Side of the Moon.

The next day I emailed The Speakers to tell them something like, "Hey! I got you guys! You thought nobody would find out but I did!" And it took them a couple of days to respond, but when they did they actually … denied it! Can you believe that? There’s NO WAY that they don’t go together! NO WAY! I mean, Brian was really nice about it (a friend of mine is friends with him because he knows Peter’s (the other Speaker) girlfriend’s sister) but he even said that he’d never even see that version of Solaris. He actually said something like, "You mean that George Clooney movie?"

Anyway. He can deny it till the cows come home, I say it’s true. And I’m not quite sure why Brian’s not exploiting this particular angle to get people to buy his (really quite good) CD, so I decided to do it for him.

Here’s how you have "The Solaris Bug Situation" experience:

  • Buy The Lightning Bug Situation’s new album. This might be really hard because you can’t. But Brian assures me you will be able to soon. Well, soon-ish. Maybe by June ’07 he says. You can send him a message to encourage him to not be lazy, sitting around watching movies all day. Here’s his MySpace page.
  • Okay. Cue up The Lightning Bug Situation by pressing play, then press back (the button with the two arrows to the left) and pause, so it’s at the very beginning of the album and reads 0.00.
  • Press play on the 1972 Solaris DVD. Wait for the black and white lion’s third roar (joke). Actually wait for the appearance of the first Russian name in the opening credits, then press play on the CD player.
  • Turn down the sound on your T.V. There’s no correlation between the movie’s sound and the CD. The Lightning Bug Situation will be the movie’s soundtrack.
  • Enjoy!

It may take you a couple of tries.

You know you have it right if song 2 starts EXACTLY when the first scene of the movie begins. If you have any questions you can email me. My address is on my own MySpace page.

Author: Mark

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