Thursday, December 29, 2011
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Monday, December 26, 2011
Sunday, December 25, 2011
When someone thought The Little Rascals needed a yuletide turd of a special!
One bad special deserves another!
This one wasn't that bad I thought (though a pal I know would think otherwise since he worked on it)...
And who could forget this classic annual event in the annuls of television...
Fifteen years back, the only way to ever see this was if you knew someone with a nth-gen copy thereof which will still look like crap on your end, or a 15 meg Quicktime file you'd have to wait a good half-hour or more to download on a slow modem connection, but it was worth ever second!
It's a shame I grew up in a different town not picked for an unsuspecting yet overblown classic as this movie.
And because Cleveland history intrigues me at the moment...
Too bad it's not enough to save Higbee's.
Here's what they forget!
And now for something completely different...
I don't have anything else, wait, here's something...
Hope you had a Merry Christmas and looking forward to another dreaded year.
Wait, I forgot him!
Friday, December 23, 2011
Work is very...slow... today, so I'm watching documentaries and I want to share this one with you. It's an hour long and worth your time.
The BBC Radiophonic Workshop, one of the sound effects units of the BBC, was created in 1958 to produce effects and new music for radio, and was closed in March 1998, although much of its traditional work had already been outsourced by 1995. It was based in the BBC's Maida Vale Studios in Delaware Road, London, growing outwards from the then-legendary Room 13. The innovative music and techniques used by the Workshop made it one of the most significant influences on electronic music today.And I would argue that is just the straight up truth. Bill Bailey got it wrong; it's not that the BBC News theme sounds like an apocalyptic rave, it's that rave music sounded like the BBC News (He was right about the 60s Belgian Jazz, however).
It's a fascinating story that helped shape an entire generation of sound.
Oh man, look at that squeezebox go! What a great instrument.
I will admit now, I am a sucker for squeezebox. You put a piano keyboard on some bellows and I am THERE.
It's only one of the reasons I don't shop there.
That is so French it hurts.
OH YEAH. There was this group that used to play the accordion....
Back to Nortec Collective. NEVER ACT THIS WAY AT A WEDDING.
Honestly, I could spend a lot of time with Nortec Collective, because they respect the squeezebox.
Thursday, December 22, 2011
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
You should go and check out Grickle.com RIGHT NOW. We'll still be here. It's cool.
Happy holidays for this year.
This is how I usually feel during the season.
Although, after a bit, I wonder how many ways the audio from the first parts of 2001 can be used.
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Well, Hanukkah is starting tonight and I'm NOT going to be playing a bunch of songs about matzoh. Yet. I think. Matzoh is kind of a thing.
But I am going to tell you about a wonderful wonderful movie that's coming out:
And the Amsterdam Klezmer Band is doing the soundtrack! I admit I squee'd when I saw this. I loved this book (although it looks like the film is going to draw heavily from the second in the series). Yes, there are Jews who aren't Ashkenazi and there was a thriving population in Algiers. If you like history and well thought-out religious arguments, you'll love it. And all starring a cat who first used his power of speech to tell a lie. ("I did NOT eat that parrot.")
Check it out: Tintin's dog.
Monday, December 19, 2011
Sunday, December 18, 2011
It's not cigar-box, but they are guitars.
This one comes courtesy the Right Reverend Bishop Seraphim (Sigrist) of Sendai. As he puts it:
...the great ancient hymn "Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence" entwined
with O Come O Come Emmanuel from the Christian band Frost From Ashes. This hymn
is used liturgically in the east at the offertory and in the west in John Mason
Neale's work as a hymn. This will not be suitable for liturgical use to be sure
and will not be everyone's cup of tea. Be ready for the drum attack after the
opening...and for the singers. if sing is the word. It is certainly seriously
These may be more appropriate.
Saturday, December 17, 2011
Long ago, I was looking for a section from the Beatles' movie "HELP!" (specifically this scene), and I found everything but what I was looking for. This, sadly, is how I find some of the more wonderful or fantastic things I've uncovered over the years (as well as some of the weirdest).
Hairy Larry up there is a good guitarist and I thought this was an interesting arrangement of the tune. I can't tell if he's smiling.
Here are some other arrangements of carols, played on cigar-box guitars. More tomorrow.
Friday, December 16, 2011
Thursday, December 15, 2011
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
The Salvation Army is currently out with all their kettles and bells. If you're the kind of person who sends them a certain amount of money in the mail, they send a CD as a little "thank you". The CD is pretty slick. "We Three Kings" is just delightful. Both "I Wonder as I Wander" and "Away in a Manger" have a very Studio Ghibli sound to them.
Monday, December 12, 2011
Sunday, December 11, 2011
OK, here's the deal: don't do this. It's a really great way to get infected with all kinds of nasty things.
Also, it's kinda gross. Also, I doubt any of you are in the sheep-raising business, so there's really no need for you to go using your teeth to castrate anything, unless you're just one of those people who likes to do sick and sickness-inducing things.
So, what could possibly be so awful that I put it behind a cut while this is visible? And what could this possibly have to do with Christmas?
Reindeer, my friends. Reindeer are all about Christmas. You see, male reindeer loose their antlers in winter. HOWEVER, female reindeer (or castrated males) keep theirs. You'll notice all your pictures of Santa and his sleigh feature reindeer with antlers.
Don't think about it too much.
Saturday, December 10, 2011
I saw this film in the theaters and they had the volume way too high. Still, fun movie.
There's a colony on Mars that looks a lot like an abandoned grain silo, and it's starting to break down. Everything is looking grim until the alien shows up (who keeps his spaceship in his mouth--I am NOT making this up) and lets everyone believe in miracles again.
The movie is campy and fun and has some wonderfully stiff performances by people who aren't actors and some scene-chewing by people who are. Adam Goldberg has a defiantly NSFW dream and Fred Armisen sings creepy songs.
It's a romp. Here's a song that kinda sums it all up.
Friday, December 09, 2011
Thursday, December 08, 2011
Wednesday, December 07, 2011
If you have some time, here's a list of the 27 worst nativity sets. The above shown is my favorite, but I'm sure there will be many others to come.
Although, with some of these, it's hard to tell if they actually meant to make a nativity scene or if it's some sculptural Bulwer-Lytton contest.
Tuesday, December 06, 2011
Monday, December 05, 2011
Well, no, ABBA isn't very Christmasy. They are from Sweden, however, so you can imagine snow and ice and all that great stuff.
And, under the cut, is something that should give you the shivers.
It's Erasure covering ABBA.
Oh lord. They are covering it.
It is covered.
This is your only warning. Danno found a tape full of Erasure covering ABBA videos. He's converted it to DVD. I know he's going to show some of it eventually.
RUN! RUN WHILE YOU STILL CAN!
(Also, you now have that song in your head. Congratulations.)
Sunday, December 04, 2011
"The Little Boy that Santa Claus Forgot" is a 1937 song written by Michael Carr, Tommie Connor and Jimmy Leach; most notably performed by Vera Lynn. Other people who have recorded it include Johnny Adams, Billy Mackenzie, Elsie Carlisle, Nat King Cole, Natalie Cole, Billy Cotton, John Farnham, and Alex Harvey.
What a sad song! How appropriate for war-time.
In the street he envied all those lucky boys
Then wandered home to last year's broken toys
I'm so sorry for that laddie
He hasn't got a daddy
The little boy that Santa Claus forgot
I guess that's why they used it at the beginning of Pink Floyd's "The Wall".
Here's a way you can help military families in need. Winter is on us and it's going to be a cold one.
Saturday, December 03, 2011
I had some kind of plan to do the same Christmas count-down as last year, and I'm starting late. Derp.
Here is a musical version of "A Christmas Carol" called "Scrooge". What I like most about this production is the opening credits by Ronald Searle and Alec Guinness as Marley.
There's also a great sequence near the end when Scrooge goes to hell. Nightmarish stuff.
Anyway, here's the whole movie, songs and all, in ten-minutes bits. I'm sure you've heard some of these tunes before and never knew where they came from.
Friday, December 02, 2011
When it wasn't getting out of one thing and into another, Tintin was not spared the potential for product endorsement and promotional considerations as we see over the years in the following ads!
Is there be any end in sight..?
So, please watch at your discretion!
|art by Mike Kazaleh|
Thursday, November 24, 2011
First, since I bothered sharing a previous special featuring this insipid forest critters, here's another go with Rusty & Buttons in "The Turkey Caper"...
Next, something from Hanna-Barbera involving a squirrel and two kids of opposite group as they get lost in "The Thanksgiving That Almost Wasn't"...
Following that, Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang reenact pilgrimish children as they set come ashore in the New World in the "This Is America, Charlie Brown" installment, "The Mayflower Voyagers" (you were expecting that 'other' special?)...
Next, a fat cat and his master seek romance 'n food in "Garfield's Thanksgiving"..
Yet more to go, up next a pioneering family moves to a planet unacceptable of their differences and customs, see how it all turns out in "Intergalactic Thanksgiving"...
Next up, Johnny Hart's famous comic strip comes to live in "B.C.'s First Thanksgiving"...
And because some people just don't get it, here's a special where Bugs Bunny, a diet physician consults several patients of their eating habits in "Bugs Bunny's Thanksgiving Diet"...
And because I have nothing else to say, here you go!
Screw all that war-time rationing! This is America and we need BUTTER. We won the war, and we're going to celebrate with BUTTER.
Good luck finding any cheesecloth at your local grocery store. It's not going to be right next to the BUTTER.
Thank god we've got all that foil to hold the BUTTER.
Oh, forget the butter. let's just eat.
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
I showed this classic Tex Avery cartoon at Yulecon in an attempt to add a bit of Thanksgiving before diving in to some X-mas clips. I had fondly remembered Jerky Turkey from seeing it over and over and over again in my formative years. Which only goes to prove that memory is deceptive.
First gag...I don't remember this. And I don't think I would've gotten this as a kid.
Wha? What the heck is that? "C?" What does "C" even mean?
Oh, right. This is a cartoon from 1945. World War II gags. Ha!
Yeah, I don't remember any of these gags.
I think I remember this, but I didn't get it.
Ah. Gasoline rationing gag. Right.
Oh, hey, I get it. I don't remember this gag, but at least I get it.
They must be waiting in line for Thanksgiving dinner.
Hollywood and Vine? I don't recall that gag. Did they edit these out when they were rebroadcast?
Cigarette rationing. Whoa.
Another Draft gag. I really don't remember any of these.
Literary gag. Subtle.
....and I don't remember this either. I could do this for the whole cartoon. It's filled with dozens of WWII gags that didn't make an impression on me as a kid. Gags that don't make any sense to me even now. Within two generations most of the sight gags in this cartoon have lost all meaning. It must seem completely incoherent to the current generation.
Look at the size of that wishbone...
Thanks to Chris S. for sharing his copy of Jerky Turkey
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Saturday, November 19, 2011
James Leavings, who runs Yulecon, is a lovely man who treats the people who work with him very well. He managed to secure the last double for Dan and myself, which saved us a middle-of-the-night drive.
We were on after Repo! The Genetic Opera and they let out thirty minutes before we went on. They did hang around in the room for a bit, but nothing that really caused any trouble in the long run. Everyone was very well behaved and polite and we had a lot of help from the Yulecon staff and that always helps.
I'd say the only problem we had this time around was Dan's laptop worked correctly and it screwed with all the workarounds we've been doing.
Yulecon is still going on and if you're in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, you should come check it out. They're doing a full schedule of cosplay on Saturday and there's lots of gaming going on. Everyone we've talked to has been very nice; I have nothing to bitch about, so it's a short post.
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Settle in for some timeless, learning fun!
JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL (1978)
MIDNIGHT MADNESS (1980)
Featuring Michael J. Fox
LIKELY STORIES: SCHOOL, GIRLS AND YOU! (1983)
Featuring Paul Reubens in a un-Pee-Wee role!
BONUS: Paula Abdul in her first embarrassing film role!
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Monday, November 14, 2011
While discussing it with Dan, we both got stuck talking about two particular groups of misfits--the Munsters and the Addams Family--and what they may or may not have represented.
This got kinda weird and academic.
The Munsters just want to fit in. They don't see themselves as unusual in any way (Marylin's "unattractiveness" being a running gag), and anyone who isn't like them is seen as a "poor dear", but they're genuinely nice people. They go to work and their kid goes to school, they play baseball, and they get involved with their community.
They also talk about the "old country". The Munsters are working-class (Herman builds coffins) and trying to build a better life for their son, Eddie.
However, they are still unusual. They will never be accepted by their community, no matter how hard they try to acclimate. They will never be fully integrated into American society, but they will make every effort to do so.
Still, as outsiders, as immigrants to this country, they want the American Dream for their kid. They're a subversion of the "Leave it to Beaver" family trope in this regard. They're kind, outgoing, and welcoming, but will always be "that monster family" on the block.
I can't argue this is an analog for the civil rights movement, but it hints at it in ways. For the sake of the argument, we can call the Munsters the "Martin Luther King Jr." version of monster rights. They don't want to stand out and should be judged on the content of the character and not the color of their skin (which was green, by the way).
The Addams family has no illusions about fitting in. None. They might have been weird, but that made them better than you. So there.
The Addams' were not working-class, but very wealthy. Gomez had made a killing on the stock-market (perhaps due to his ability to perform complicated calculations in his head) and frequent episodes involved someone trying to rip them off. Normalcy was pitied and mocked.
The Addams family wasn't nice the way the Munsters were, but they didn't need to. They didn't want anything from society, as they had everything they wanted. Hell, the kids were even home-schooled.
When they got involved in the local community, they made no effort to fit in. Going back to the Civil Rights analog, we could say these were more assertive, in-your-face, and in control of their culture.
What I think is kinda funny about both families is they lived in mansions. The Addams' had a manservant (Lurch); but, oddly enough, it was Herman Munster who had a title and breeding (5th Earl of Shroudshire). Dan and I both assume it was more title than property. Maybe Herman was a remittance man. He did fight in WW2.
When we were first discussing it, we thought The Addams Family came after The Munsters, as a response to the need to conform. It turns out they ran concurrently, so that blows that theory.
But what is interesting is both shows came out during a period of great change in the U.S.. Besides the Civil Rights movement, there was also the Woman's Rights movement, and the counter-culture (i.e.: hippies) was more in the public eye. I don't know if monsters are an easier way of tackling sticky subjects like the current political climate, but let me show you one last thing:
Make of that what you will.
Wednesday, November 09, 2011
Tuesday, November 08, 2011
Monday, November 07, 2011
"20 Hz observes a geo-magnetic storm occurring in the Earth's upper atmosphere. Working with data collected from the CARISMA radio array and interpreted as audio, we hear tweeting and rumbles caused by incoming solar wind, captured at the frequency of 20 Hertz. Generated directly by the sound, tangible and sculptural forms emerge suggestive of scientific visualisations."
In other words: let it load, put on your headphones, turn off the lights, and watch it full-screen.
Saturday, November 05, 2011
I remember, as a kid in the 90s, I used to go to these International Tournee of Animation shows, and they were all great.
They were strange an upsetting films.
They had a lot to say.
And I don't mind saying, many left me uneasy.
They weren't all horrible, mind you.
But most of them were pretty scary.
Wednesday, November 02, 2011
Tuesday, November 01, 2011
Monday, October 31, 2011
WARNING: The above video may either induce a seizure or activate the mind-controlling micro-chip in your Halloween mask. I'm pretty sure the seizure would be worse.
You can actually buy those masks. There was a tie-in with the producers. I'm sure someone is selling them for more than they're worth.
Masks should never cost too much.
Well, some masks cost more than others. I suggest watching all 4 parts, as it's an excellent tale. Normally, masks are meant to hide who we are, not show the truth inside.
The truth is, the iconic mask from Donnie Darko is just Frank's Halloween costume. Who knows why he chose an evil rabbit, but there it is. I'm also disappointed that Donnie's girlfriend fell asleep before the movie started, but I'm sure that's a plot-point. It's nice of Frank to whisper to keep from waking her.
What's great here is the history of the Mike mask.
Hockey mask, not that exciting. It's not the mask itself, but how it's used that makes a masked killer entertaining. Both Michael and Jason are your strong, silent types, so the mask doesn't have to be that big a deal.
And for those of you playing at home, Kevin Bacon.
Ghostface isn't the quiet type. I can't watch any of these without thinking of Scary Movie. To be honest, I haven't watched either all the way through. I'm sure they can't be that much alike.
OK, let me tell you a little about this movie. It's a strong premise that starts off very well, has likable characters (except the female lead), and some great writing. That's the movie you start with; it's not the same movie by the end.
Leslie is an ebullient, outgoing, and affable slasher-in-training. He's having fun and you have fun watching him as he goes through the steps necessary to create a typical slasher flick. He's got a wonderful mentor (now retired) who talks about how "the industry" changed. The mentor has a wonderful wife who, from what we gather, is a "survivor girl" herself (named Jamie, oddly enough). Robert Englund plays Leslie's "Ahab", does a wonderful Donald Plesance impersonation, and is named after the cook in The Shining.
It's not a great film because of where it decides to go, but it is fun. I'd suggest watching it and trying to figure out all the little Easter-eggs in the flick.
The title "Behind The Mask" has been used numerous times before. For a comedy, even.
I'm going to leave everyone with this, as it's a fun mask story.
There's a sequel, The Scream of the Haunted Mask. I know because I finished recording an audio-book of that not too long ago for a group that does books for the blind. I need to find out if there's already a recording on file for the first book, just so I can record that as well.
So, now that you've seen all that...what was your mask going to be tonight?
Sunday, October 30, 2011
Godless Commies! Anyone could be one!
As a study of How People Thought in the 50s, this is a great fable. The two main characters are divorcees (scandal!). It's a huge allegory for how anyone could be an America-hating commie, so we have to stay on guard at all time.
Replacing our loved ones (Capgras syndrome) isn't all these doppelgangers can do. They also appeal to our fear of losing our own identities (syndrome of subjective doubles). We're afraid of losing our lives, just in a different sense.
No, it's not a ghost story, but it is a very scary film. Strangely enough, though you could never tell by watching it, the twins are played by actual twins. They never appear in the same shot, which might lead you to believe otherwise.
This time, the fear is of industrialization. Computers were just starting to take over our lives at this time, and there was a dehumanizing process at work. It really did feel like that!
Again, the fear of loss of identity. And DAMN that I can't get a copy of this in the States! I remember when I first saw it as a kid and how terrifying it was, that someone could...possess someone else like that.
The clones themselves are actual sweethearts once they find out what the deal is. I say sweethearts; I mean vengeful harpies. It's great.
Actually, this reminds me of a story about a guy who actually did manage to clone himself (very illegal), but there was something wrong with the tank or something, because the clone had a terrible case of Tourette's. Of course, the clone looked just like the guy, so people were coming after him for the foul language "he" had used around them. Eventually, the guy was so fed up, he pushed the clone off a bridge.
He was arrested later for making an obscene clone fall.
Oh no! One of my favorite films has been replaced with a terrible flick filled with explosions! NOT EVEN OUR MOVIES ARE SAFE!
So, they don't even have to be from outer-space to be scary.
They don't even have to be twins. That's just creepy.
Sadly, there was an American version, so it's almost like Hollywood is the Single White Female to every movie out there that's any good.
How many of them are there? THEY'RE ALREADY HERE!!!!!
Saturday, October 29, 2011
Remember what I said about Charles Laughton earlier this week? Well, there he is; very symmetrical and looking very Captain Bligh with that whip.
I always had a plan to perform my own experiments: to create half-human\half-philosopher creatures. THE ISLAND OF DR. THOREAU! Some lives are worth more unexamined!
Creature from the Black Lagoon was filmed and originally released in 3-D, and was one of the first Universal films filmed in 3-D (the first was It Came from Outer Space, which was released a year before). It is considered a classic of the 1950s, and generated two sequels, Revenge of the Creature and The Creature Walks Among Us.
Also, this happened. Marlyn Monroe was right. It "just wanted to be loved".
To be fair, that's Lon Chaney Junior.
I'd like to think that Andre was not actually the victim of homicide, but "death by misadventure". I also like how this trailer lets to listen to what's in store, which kinda makes it creepier.
This was seriously one of the dumbest movies I've ever watched. I might never forgive SyFy for this mess. It seems to be a common fear: men who become beasts. Kinda helps when the man in question is so beastly.
They aren't always frightening, however.
Meanwhile, women are always scary. This is either justification of the "boy's club" vibe a lot of fandom sends off, or a result of it. I'm thinking it's a combination of the two that results in stories like this.
Hey, the worst that can happen is she'll say no, right?
Although really, if she was all that liberated, she'd be "Cat Womyn".
Friday, October 28, 2011
The Anime Hell Show
The Bride of Horror Hell
Another collection of classic horror movies ripped from VHS!
Movie trailers in this episode:
- The Beyond
- Basket Case
- Scared to Death
- Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman
- The Exorcist III
- The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane
- Prom Night
- Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things
- Evil Dead
- It Conquered the World
- The Shining
File Size: 175 MB
Download from: http://www.megaupload.com/?d=TBXPQ3LO
You have to start with King Kong. It's the classic "giant animal" tale and has been included in the Library of Congress. The Nazi's banned it, so it has to be good.
A box-office smash (RKO's first success), it's the one everyone tried to imitate. Observe:
Wikipedia sez: "Buoyed by the enormous success of King Kong in 1933 and its profitable theatrical reissues in 1938, 1942, and 1946, RKO had great hopes for Mighty Joe Young. Upon its release in 1949, the film was honored with an Academy Award for Special Effects (a category that did not exist in 1933 for King Kong)."
Don't think it would stop there. The genre just kept growing.
If a giant gorilla is scary, then would could be more terrifying than Them! ?
Nuke it from orbit; that's the only way to be...oh. That's how they got big?
Look out, Canada!
Look out, Mexico!
Look out, England!
Look out, Jap....eh. You guys are used to it.
Ah, big silly monkey. You should not be in Japan. That's where Godzilla lives.
SEE WHAT I MEAN?
The monster is actually a giant snail. And it doesn't challenge the world as much as the Salton Sea and my lunch. Snails are just all...ugh...that's just gross. The worst part of this flick is the instruction video that shows close-ups of real snails eating. I gag just thinking about it.
Although Hans Conred puts in a nice performance here. He's like a proto-Quincy.
I'd say it was the giant bats or giant rats or the giant winged lion that made me include this, but I just wanted you to see this insane thing.
OK, giant rats. They're still scary. Good Halloween costume, if you're of a mind to.
If you go back and watch The Matrix (the first one--the good one), and check out the scene at the Oracle's apartment, this is the movie the kids are watching in the living room.
The Twin Towers? TOO SOON, MOVIE. TOO SOON.
Here's a culturally insensitive cartoon to make it all better.