A Live Movie Soundtrack Experience

Performance Art

Thu, Aug 12

A MUSICAL NIGHT AT THE MOVIES WITH POPCORN features a five-piece group of extremely talented, professional, veteran musicians performing an array of popular hit songs from blockbuster Hollywood movies LIVE. * Performance highlights include shots of the “dancing groundhog” from CADDYSHACK while Popcorn plays “I’m Alright” and Tom Cruise trying to keep pace with a fighter jet on his motorcycle while the jet blazes down the runway for take off in TOP GUN.

  • Leader Don Baskin wrote and performed “Little Girl,” a 1960s proto-punk hit for the Syndicate Of Sound.
  • All senses are utilized during show — even the sense of smell is satiated, as the distinctive aroma of hot-buttered popcorn circulates throughout the venue while movie clips are broadcast and the band plays on.

By David Moye

Popcorn has been officially around for less than a year, but the idea has been in leader Don Baskin’s head for years.

Here’s the concept: Popcorn plays songs from movies right in sync with the original scenes which are projected overhead. So you have the gopher from “Caddyshack” twisting in time to “I’m Alright” by Kenny Loggins and you have Rocky pounding steaks while the band plays “Living In America.”

If that sounds like a blast and a way to remember what we loved about those songs and those movies, well, that’s the idea.

“Movies are a big part of people’s lives,” Baskin said. “It’s kind of a “Where were you when this movie came out” experience. Seeing the movies and hearing the songs live has a Proustian effect.”

It’s pretty cool that Baskin can reference the great French novel “Remembrance of Things Past,” especially considering he is a punk rock pioneer.

Back in the mid-60s, Baskin led the Syndicate of Sound, a San Jose rock group that hit the top 10 with “Little Girl,” a proto-punk record full of the sneer that made careers for guys like Johnny Rotten and Joey Ramone.

“’Little Girl’ was written in about 20 minutes,” Baskin said. “The chords are easy, but the strumming pattern requires a certain physical ability. It took about five or six takes to do it right. Then I realized I couldn’t do it melodically, so I did it as an attitude.”

Although the average rock band might sense a Dylan influence to Baskin’s singing on “Little Girl,” he says that Bobby D. had no effect on the song.

“I was just singing it as a snot-nosed kid,” he laughed, adding that it was NOT based on a real-life experience. “Of course, that type of oratory singing popped up after that.”

Baskin may have had one big hit, but he’s not a one-note Charlie. His musical career includes stints as the official backup band at Gilley’s Night Club in Houston around the time of “Urban Cowboy.”

However, Popcorn may be the culmination of a 45-year musical career.

Because the band’s performance is timed down to the second in order to correspond to the movie scenes, Baskin says his talent is put to the biggest test of his life.

“This stretches and challenges my abilities like never before,” he said. “The fact that no one else has tried to do it is exciting. This has taken a lot of work, but it’s a labor of love.”

The August 12 performance at Anthology is the official world debut, but Baskin did do a test run in Mammoth around New Year’s Eve.

“That helped us decide what worked and what didn’t, but the Anthology show is the big one for us,” he said.

Along with the movie scenes and the live band, Baskin hopes to evoke the memories by having the smell of buttered popcorn permeate the club, either with the real thing and fans sending the odor from the stage to the audience.

The five members of Popcorn are multi-instrumentalists – Baskin himself sings and plays guitar, flute and sax and his wife sings and plays violin. More important to him is the fact that they are friends.

“These are all people I’ve played with for 10, 20, 30 years,” Baskin said. “I expect this show to tour so it helps when you’ve been friends for years with your band mates.”


“is not just a band. It is a multi-sensory assault on listener’s senses” – tabletop-pro.com

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