As my second post to this blog can attest, Alice in Wonderland has been a huge influence on the Girls Underground concept. For that and many other personal reasons, I am a huge Alice fan – I collect related knick-knacks and books and movies, and even celebrate an Alice-themed holiday each May. So it should come as no surprise that I am eagerly anticipating the newest Alice movie by Tim Burton (who I also love dearly), and am even planning to go to the midnight showing next Thursday night when it opens (which will make for a very tired Kate the next day at work, but it’ll be worth it). In celebration of this impending addition to the vast catalogue of Alice movies, I will be making a series of Alice-themed posts here over the next 7 days (7, of course, is the age Alice was in the book). There is so much good, and weird, Alice stuff out there, it will be hard to choose what to feature…
Today, to build on my previous post about songs related to Girls Underground, let’s start with music.
Most everyone knows about “White Rabbit” by Jefferson Airplane, which incites you to “feed your head” (even though the dormouse never said that) and includes a ton of Alice references. (The link goes to a neat video someone made for the song on YouTube. And how about another one, remixed as a techno version. Or another.) A classic of the 60’s acid-trip culture. [On a related tangent, my mother always tells me stories of the time period when she lived in New York City in the late 60’s and there was some performance art troupe that did an Alice show with a lot of trippy features, and she followed them around the city to various shows. She even has some book about it, which I should try to scan in and post someday.]
While many people are familiar with the Disney movie (in fact, an alarming amount of Americans seem to think of Alice in Wonderland solely in terms of this movie, and don’t even know it was originally a book!), few know of the wonderful song written for the Cheshire Cat, “I’m Odd,” which ended up getting cut.
There are also several songs that are only peripherally, if at all, related to Alice, but which have music videos with an Alice theme. These include “Sunshine” by Aerosmith, “What You Waiting For” by Gwen Stefani, “You Know Me” by Robbie Williams, and of course “Don’t Come Around Here No More” by Tom Petty. Possibly my favorite these days is “Labyrinth” by the German band Oomph, which really captures the creepy, dark side of Alice. “Alice in Wonder Underground” by Buck Tick may or may not fit here, unfortunately I don’t speak Japanese so I’m not sure.
Now on to some of my personal favorites, songs with strong Alice imagery in the lyrics.
“Alice” by Sisters of Mercy – “Alice pressed against the wall / So she can see the door / In case the laughing strangers crawl and / Crush the petals on the floor”
“Through the Looking Glass” by Symphony X – a bizarre metal epic in three parts
“Looking Glass” by Hypnogaja – “So go ask Alice / Why the hatter is mad / She’ll turn when you see her / And laugh and laugh”
“Off With Your Head” by Mz Ann Thropik – “And the Cheshire cat with his evil grin / And the Mad Hatter with his cups of tea / No size matters to the caterpillar”
And my absolute obsession for the past couple weeks: “The Streets Fell Into My Window” by The Red Paintings – it begins and ends with a voiceover from the story itself (slightly modified) in a deliciously evil sort of way, and the middle of the song isn’t directly Alice related but is just so haunting I can’t get it out of my mind
As you can see by the Wikipedia article, there are many, many more of these, and I’m sure that will only continue now that the Burton movie will draw in a new generation of Alice fanatics.