Thursday, December 18, 2008

merry freakin' Christmas

Tho' not much in a blogging mode, I thought in the space between "bah" and "humbug" I'd mention:

On Stax o' Wax, Lee Liberace tickles the ivories and otherwise says happy holidays to y'all.

On Brief Window, ye olde yuletide cathode OD awaits at BeTaMaXMaS! Garfield, John Cougar Mellencamp and Sir Gary Coleman conjoin in the molten goo of '80s holiday TV to say "Wha' chu caroling 'bout, Willis?"

Meanwhile on FABULON, Wiccans with a thing for gelatin and formica can forego any crappy gift ideas and give instead The Housewives Tarot.

Cheapskates, tire-kickers and window shoppers will enjoy the HT's fun, festive Flash demonstration.

Beats the living solstice out of a Chia Gaia or, um, Samhain . . .

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

cheery-colored funk

Heck, I forget where I read about Pathway To Unknown Worlds, but expect to experience lost time and the like.

Esp. as it points you toward The Old, Weird America, a blog exploring the music of the Anthology of American Folk Music. Or to a cool collection of pre World War II Japanese music recordings.

Meanwhile, Deviant Synth grooves on Eric Archer's altered Seeburg Select-A-Rhythm.

And Synthtopia enlists The Human Aftertaste [bevare bevare: savage muso-humorists that'll make you laugh or hurl or both] to make a point about the almost total uncoolness of males playing keytar.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

pinned down

Even when it wasn't cool to wear one's heart on a sleeve, such as these [from the likes of Rough Trade Records] could be worn on the lapels of a thrift store jacket.

Folks used to call them influences.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

vanishing point

A few dispatches from Afton Mountain, an old tourist stop near Skyline Drive:

Recent images of the abandoned HoJo's.

Earlier images of the abandoned Skyline Parkway Motel (now demolished) and the HoJo's.

And oh, yeah, even more recent images.

(Kind of an uberkayness thing as well, so simu-posting there . . .)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

rockin' in the park

Thanks to mugsford, here's a clip of the Cashmere Jungle Lords playing one of my favorite tunes of theirs, "Not the Hurtin' Kind".

Friday, November 21, 2008

an orbit tracing inner space

Thom Ayers, who has brightened the interweb with the wit and invention of FABULON, is getting back to his music.

Along with his earlier collaboration, Arcanta, Ayers is now performing on his own. His song currently in rotation, The Only Lament, is reportedly a "work-in-progress", but it already travels the dramatic arc that only a human voice can carry.

singing out of doors

Now that New England autumn is slipping away into cold bare trees, the troubadour duo that is Aunt Mimi arrives just in time with a YouTube channel & not one but two new videos.

And ever popular is their first video.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

ain't nobody's fool

Good ol' Dolly back in the days of the Porter Wagoner Show. Courtesy bwr15.

Wandered across this video after viewing this item at PCL LinkDump.

And if Ms. Pardon ain't bringin' enough 'tude for you, here's a Diana moment from FABULON.

Friday, October 31, 2008

assaulted, a-peppered and a-roasted

Here's a bit of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (courtesy spazchop), a TV movie circa 1980 starring Jeff Goldblum as Ichabod Crane, Meg Foster as Katrina Van Tassel, the very cool Laura Campbell as the self-possessed Thelma, and John Sylvester White as the exceedingly loopy Fritz Vanderhoof.

Indeed, the best thing about this adaptation is the cast of off-kilter characters. Worth catching the other segments.

Here's a later one featuring Thelma and Katrina joining forces and a visitation by the late Winthrop Palmer ("They killed me, you fool . . ." @ 8:12):

Thursday, October 30, 2008

from Bjork to Karlheinz to Daphne

Synthtopia posts about a Bjork article on Stockhausen.

Following that up I run across cool pics of British music pioneer Daphne Oram.

And from there go on to find this fascinating page about her early wartime years at the BBC.

Monday, October 27, 2008

weasel urine for the people?

Huh . . .*

Oh, I was just thinking of mentioning the poet James Tate when Poem of the Week obliged by posting one of his poems.

While locked inside a Barnes & Noble earlier this month, I had time to wander and saw two recent books by poets I'd seen read way back in my long ago student days.

One is The Ghost Soldiers by the aforementioned Mr. Tate. Great book full of nutty/spooky/beautiful prose poems. Contemporary fables, if you will, or won't. (*Perhaps not--see page 29).

Two is The Great Enigma: New Collected Poems by the poet Tomas Tranströmer. Also worth your glance--here's some online T. to prime the pump.

Much like International Talk Like A Pirate Day (which I leave to Alan Tudyk and other experts, but all the same . . ), I hope there is some worldwide observance/emulation/whatever of these two writers.

These books should help us prepare.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

star wipe constellation

Purist wags will no doubt wonder if PiL ever used so many star wipes in a video. Who can say . . .

Would like to see a vid for "Sister Europe", but this seemingly post-reunion clip of "Pretty In Pink" will work.

Friday, October 24, 2008

inner city sanctums & lone prairies

Pruned posts about Articles of Faith, a series of photos Dave Jordano took of small storefront churches in Chicago.

Also worth viewing are Jordano's other photo series like Prairieland
(one favorite image here and another) and Chanute Air Force Base.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

if I were a Partridge, and you were a lady

Brandland USA the website posts about NBC plans to revive the Partridge Family.

Good fan-minded suggestions there as to family dynamics, who should pimp whom.

My only ideas so far: have Danny Bonaduce play the new Reuben Kincaid.

Or perhaps have him play the grown Danny Partridge who will now function as the beleaguered agent to a younger, even wilier Partridge. Get Shirley Jones as Grandma P. and go all multigenerational.

Meanwhile, aside from the small auxiliary concerns like what kind of music would a 21st century Partridge play, the producers should give care to what hip guest stars they can enlist to give the P. Fam. some street cred while only slightly subverting their family-friendly premise.

If Richard Pryor guested in the old series (view epi here), who might do it now?

Friday, October 17, 2008

the gnarly Civil War

File under "puppy dog tails":

Saw this on PCL LinkDump, a set of Topps Civil War cards.

No close perusal on my part, but the card titles alone ("The Angry Man", "Bridge of Doom", "Charging the Bullets") are amazing, much less the actual illustrations.

See y'all at the Antietam ComicCon . . .

Monday, October 6, 2008

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

past the point of comprehension and good sense

A friend and a friend of the friend mentioned 2 cool blogs that will prob. break my brain. Yours as well, perhaps.

Being a recovering thrift store record shopper, I really liked this particular blog and this particular entry of 3 young ladies (or simulacra thereof) ready to serve. I'm set free to find a new illusion . . .

As for #2, I'll just say Paco Camino.

Oh, and adventure . . .

And, um, cheap cassettes (which I remember well).

Saturday, September 27, 2008

the devil and Richard Hell

. . . are meeting death at not just any crossroad, but Au carrefore étrange.

Oh, yeah, devil, Richard Hell. Richard Hell, the devil.

(Not a commentary, just clever shorthand/idle pointing. Back to napping now . . .)

Friday, September 26, 2008

reading or just read

The Velvet Underground and Nico by Joe Harvard

Fun 'cause of Joe Harvard's interjections about his wild teen years in East Boston or chatting with Jonathan Richman. Interesting 'cause there always seems to be another story or another point of view on the Velvets, Warhol and all that.

Sudden Music and Why Birds Sing, both by David Rothenberg

Sudden Music is fun 'cause of the folk stories the author uses. Interesting because I don't know if I agree with his eco-aesthetics, but who wants to read a xerox of one's own notions.

Why Birds Sing is fun & interesting because Rothenberg goes at birdsong with science and poetics.

Both books (or at least the editions I borrowed from the library) have CDs of Rothenberg's music which I haven't truly listened to yet. Entirely an indication of my unwillingness to load a CD player (even greater than my hesitation to crack a book).

Back to napping . . .

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

where trouble goes angels follow

(Courtesy 8270laneman.)

While more of a fan of The Trouble With Angels (Hayley Mills, Rosalind Russell and so forth and so on), I like the theme song to Where Angels Go, Trouble Follows.

Likewise, I caught the start of Modesty Blaise which I hadn't seen since watching it as a kid on late night TV. Unfortunately I saw no video clip of the opening credits, but that theme's great too.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


As unterkayness continues to mention the same favorite blogs over and again, the fave blog & whatnot roster in the right hand column has been expanded.

And unterkayness takes a long nap to dream, reflect and otherwise do nothing for a while.

In the interim, the expanded list of usual suspects will serve you well.

the results are in

Poll One asked . . .

dogs & cats: at odds or in cohoots?

100% chose "Yes. Wait, what was the question."

Now we know for certain.

Poll Two asked . . .

do you believe in polls?

100% of those responding chose "I believe in wizards."

Had I voted, I would've chosen "Crickets know my name." But the people have spoken.

And the crickets will surely bide their time.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Friday, August 29, 2008

Jed on Testors glue

PCL LinkDump's post about a model car site includes a cool pic of the Beverly Hillbillies truck kit. Wee doggies . . .

More thumbs than patience, I'm glad to just look at the stuff.

poll cat

In the interest of arbitrarily fiddling with various widgets, unterkayness (for now) features a poll.

It may summarily disappear. Or be replaced by another.

The current one is set to run for 2 years--carefully weigh your decision.

more congrats

Two more fun cool blogs win the Arte Y Pico award, Deadlicious with Au Carrefour Etrange riding along in the sidecar.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


I'm Learning To Share! wins the Arte Y Pico Award. No surprise there or in ILTS! conferring the same to the also often-mentioned FABULON.

Never having been to Bedazzled! (another A. Y P. conferree), dropped by there to find jukebox themed MP3s and a uke-powered cover of Wire's "Outdoor Miner" (wonder if they do "The 15th" or "Ex Lion Tamer"?).

Fun stuff indeed.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

fearful symmetry and alternate MTV

FABULON finds the region where sad, scary and funny combine.

Deadlicious presents a few masked avengers who may yet fix this (or any other morbidly precocious) situation.

PCL LinkDump returns to a time before "paper or plastic".

And hears the sounds of New Orleans.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

ain't nobody gonna make me stop

PCL LinkDump snapcracklepops, talks Turkey, does the wearing of the green. And joins Elvis Costello in awed appreciation of the one & only Wanda Jackson.

Frankly, I dunno if the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is cool enough for her, but they can give it a shot.

On FABULON, Carrie gets the nod.

Monday, August 18, 2008

the TV! the TV!

To make public my cathode addiction (and follow up on an old post), I present you with the YouTube playlist of writers, performers & other creative folk who've been interviewed for the Archive of American Television.

The listing runs alphabetically by first name. So Angela Lansbury comes just before Ann B. Davis and Dennis Weaver is well before Sherman Hemsley.

Wait, let me namedrop a few more . . . Composers Quincy Jones, Jerry Goldsmith and Earle Hagen. Folks like James Garner, James Arness, Shirley Jones, Mike Douglas, Leonard Nimoy (and yes, Wm. Shatner and Geo. Takai), Betty White and Pat Morita. And comics galore: George Carlin, Phyllis Diller, Jerry Lewis and Harvey Korman (Jonathan Winters I mentioned previously).

Thing is, these interviews cover entire careers and last for several half-hour segments.

But if the fall season is a bust, then nerdy nostalgia shall prevail.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

200 dollars a day plus expenses

Many recent, um, spare hours have gone to a DVD marathon of The Rockford Files, seasons 4 & 5.

So imagine my surprise when, in search of the Rule of Three (as alluded to on the Simpsons), I find this article by Stephen J. Cannell on three act structure.

Dunno if any good scripts are rising from the wake, but I'm almost out of good (old) TV to watch. Writers get busy.

for love of Colonel Sanders

On PCL LinkDump, baikinange presents a KFC commercial for every occasion.

And on Roadside Architecture, agilitynut scopes out a weathervane Colonel Sanders.

Observing the rule of three: That Mall's Sick and That Store's Dead! discovers a giant KFC bucket.

Monday, August 11, 2008

you're damn right

Things'll majorly suck without Isaac Hayes around . . .

I'm Learning To Share! and PCL LinkDump know this.

And being from the left side of the big pond, I could dig the comments & memories left at the BBC's story. Esp. the first one ("'It's wet, but it's wild.'").

And this interview Isaac Hayes gave to the Onion AV club back in '06.

Meanwhile, Black Moses looks on. From a stage in Watts. From a black velvet simulacrum.

Feeling the weight of a full bag of cotton, he's only gonna switch to a new one. And wonder why we aren't keeping up.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

again with the looking

agilitynut's Roadside Architecture is on the road again. Def. check out her new photos from the highway on the blog and Flickr.

looking back, in and anyway you can

That Mall's Sick And That Store's Dead! (aka Sickmalls) posts photos of a Bennigan's and a Steak & Ale. Evidently, I'm not alone in wearing a black armband for Butters.

Not being much of a theme restaurant goer, I find my interest is more about how these places become landmarks in current and (later on) remembered space. These two are on the outskirts of what was Coliseum Mall, Hampton VA.

Meanwhile, PCL LinkDump is high on the LSD with Cary Grant and Esther Williams tapping the subconscious with el 'cid. (What, no word of Groucho?)

All that and Hammer time, too.

And The Boat Lullabies presents Who We Were: A Snapshot History of America.

Also ran across USO Clubs in World War II, full of cool picture postcard images.

Friday, August 1, 2008

put the metal to the pedals

Synthtopia posts about the transcription/live performance of Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music. Includes video clip of the performance with Lou sitting in.

Both Sickmalls and BrandlandUSA post re the closing of Bennigan's and Steak & Ale restaurant chains. No comment on this from Butters.

FABULON has Fun With Flowers, a host of flower constructions that deftly conjoin the words "pretty" and "trippy".

I'm Learning To Share!
tosses out a florid bouquet of covers from '60s men's magazines.

Pruned meditates on dinosaur skeletons semi-installed and under wraps.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

brighter than light

Synthtopia posts about the newly released Optigan DVD-R that uses the original master tapes to create hi-fi versions of the beloved (but somewhat muffled sounding) loops on the Optigan discs.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

new deputy mare to the old bad horse

One would expect a sad comeuppance after subjecting a visiting friend to the DVD entirity of Firefly. But said friend has kindly sent word to my far off cave of Joss Whedon's new interweb mini-opera of mythopoetic tragi-silliness, Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog.

And horrible is exactly what it ain't.

Surely you know this by now, but in case your cave is even more secluded than mine, I humbly pass the word along. (I guess its free online distribution is about to end . . . UPDATE: yes, as of 21 July there is no more free Dr. H.--now only available via iTunes. Part of a master plan that sees eventual DVD release for us ancient ones of the Luddite clan.)

And blather on how cool it is that Neal Patrick Harris, Nathan Fillion and Felicia Day bring forth this shining bit of funny to coax one from the ledge. Fellow Whedonverse fans will spot David Fury and Marti Noxon in there singing it once more with feeling.

As I'd just finished going through all five seasons of Angel (geeky, yes I am), Dr. Horrible was most welcome indeed. (And I hope it will drum up bidness for the forthcoming series, Dollhouse.)

And having now shilled so totally for the good doctor bad, I've re-earned my designation from another old friend: Joss Whedon's bitch. (Personalized t-shirt in the pipeline?)

Meanwhile in other fiction, I lent the merest of words to FABULON's recent Your Caption Here post. Many others added their own wicked spin to a great superbomba pic of teenage lassitude. My caption has won me an exploding tiara. Or a Arcanta CD. Or the trunk key from a '48 Hudson.

Who knows, who cares . . . I won. I won.


Monday, July 14, 2008

marianne & anna et al

As if you don't already go to these other blogs, strap your bad self in for a pop culture ride:

Funky Junk Trunk
& Fabulon harmonically converge on the corner of Boulevard Anna Karina and Marianne Faithfull Avenue.

deadlicious and Au carrefour étrange have been cookin' up a mess of coolness: biker stuff (Paris gangs and Carnival!) and juvenile delinquent book covers (deadlicious and A.c.é.).

The Boat Lullabies has some great new slides, in the colors of yore that folks all adore.

And PCL LinkDump is all about radiation.

Monday, July 7, 2008

fuzzy picture of a cool concertina

Cutting through a considerable blurriness, this and the voice behind it.

(Semi-simulcast on uberkayness)

production: the last ten days

The status here is still mostly napping. And may be for a while.

But I was cranky (after some good cop/bad cop action of a sort one might take too much to heart). And was momentarily saved via belly laughs by the film post-production parody posted on The Music of Sound.

Seek ye also the birthday commemoration of Len Lye.

Friday, July 4, 2008

born on the fourth

unterkayness yet slumbers, yawns, turns over in bed, and talks in its sleep:

hmmm, it's the fourth . . . go visit the spirit of 17.76 and this bicentennial minute is brought to you by

yeah, yeah, over at uberkayness

and no fireworks, but plenty of lighter fluid and paper

sure, you're welcome

um, turn out the light

Thursday, June 19, 2008


Entering sleep mode, with just a few items 'fore snoozing . . .

I'm Learning To Share!
posts a Ferrante and Teicher 78 from their prepared piano days. Yes, prepared piano--"Beezwhacks" is an especial example.

Poem of the Week
posts the poem "Grief Calls Us to the Things of This World".

Anyone arriving bored & confused might time trip back a year to unterkayness' first month of posts. Too many to deal with? Maybe try the second one.

No doubt more groovin' stuff out there awaits, but lids grow heavy, torpor sets in, and autopilot takes over as suspended animation slows things down.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

in advance of the broken brain

Even as the heat retreats, thoughts have been too far pushed away. Indeed, thought in general has taken a siesta. And so may this blog.

Meantime, FABULON gives Nancy Sinatra due consideration.

The Dresden Dolls once again land on Venice Beach . . .

And freely work through a flux of time, mood and persona:

And back in the 80s, pop angularity is made manifest by The Go-Betweens (courtesy bennyshambles):

Here Siouxsie and The Banshees will take us out (courtesy 3m3c3p3ka):

Thursday, June 5, 2008

tra la la, diy and absence

BrandlandUSA waxes nostalgic about the Banana Splits. And if you too were once a banana (or a dastard), you can reup here.

Synthtopia posts a bit of the DIY or DIE video, brought to you by the same fellow behind $30 Film School and Baby Opaque.

The Boat Lullabies posts a few images from a new Square America series, On the Beauty of Absence. Cool old photo album pages with some photos still there and others gone.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

make the brass shimmy & shake

The Music of Sound, having brought folks some cool sounds from Bali, may bring yet more of the same from a Gong Factory. Cool articles linked there.

Deviant Synth posts about inventor/electronic media experimentalist Eric Archer. Indeed, Archer has all kinds of cool audio & visual stuff going on like the Money Synthesizer, the Wasabi Photopickup, and my "hell, yeah!" favorite, the Electric Gongs.

Seems like struck or shook, metal's gotta sing . . .

at noon too soon to swoon in June

Now is the time on unterkayness when we repost yet more fun/obscure/geeky music videos from back in June '07.

Like the above vid of Glenn Branca establishing a indelicate equilibrium with a Telecaster (original post).

Or the one below featuring Pauline Oliveros as one of the Timeless Pulse Trio (original post):

Here yrs truly hand models the latest in repurposed kitchen appliances (original post):

Totally wired for sound (original post):

Aunt Mimi on road and off (original post):

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

smiling are the dead

Were I some famous type person and I were to wake up dead some morning, you could forgo the Viking funeral and just toss my ashes in a swamp.

That is, providing I'm Learning To Share! did a post on my life & times.

Like this one on the departed Bo Diddley (which features the music tech geekalicious image of Bo in possession of a WEM tape delay).

Or this one on Harvey Korman ("that's Headley . . .").

Beyond the prospect of joining James Doohan (a moment of silence, please . . .) or being shot into orbit by the likes of Jonathan Winters, the famous dead may yet hope to reach escape velocity & return to FABULON.

Meanwhile, looking over the cast of Blazing Saddles on Wikipedia, I noticed at least two long departed celebrities of note, Madeline Kahn and Cleavon Little. [Also, mention of the extant Rodney Allen Rippy.]

Who can begin to say enough good things about Madeline Kahn?

And I hope someday to see some new (and funny) genre parody in which a intransigent crowd unwilling to help will be lead on by the words: You'd do it for Cleavon Little.

And the crowd will say in hushed and reverential tones: Cleavon Little . . .

Monday, June 2, 2008

Friday, May 30, 2008

playing the house, spring ahead

With a repurposed pump organ, David Byrne is turning the huge Battery Maritime Building in NYC into an instrument for visitors to play.

My brother kindly emailed me about the cool writeup in today's New York Times. It includes a nice video with near & far views of the instrument, including closeups of solenoid-driven strikers and the keyboard being played.

And there's a post on BoingBoing that has a nice exterior picture of the building. UPDATE: Synthtopia posts interesting video of the installation.

Byrne's installation brings to mind The Great Stalacpipe Organ of Luray Caverns. As well as artist Tim Hawkinson's Uberorgan which I was lucky to see at the MASS MoCa several years back.

Also along the lines of funky clunkyness, The Music of Sound has a vid of a musician/composer/sound designer's fun with a contact mike and a bowed metal spring.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

estimated speed

PCL LinkDump sends out the happy vibes of The Super Preachers. Also this vid of Mongoloid.

Meanwhile, Laurie Anderson brings things coast to coast and up to speed with Mach 20 (thanks to k8fan):

Saturday, May 24, 2008

yet another moon in June

As unterkayness has malingered for well nigh unto a year, here are a few timely resuscitations from June '07 . . .

The dulcet tones of Miz Jolene Sugarbaker on the Onmichord:

The lovely & talented Deni Bonet with some anonymous muso (more links & yammering here):

One of several live videos of the Loved Ones:

The one & only Wilko Johnson:

The not so quiet storm that is DNA:

One of two videos for the Shaggs' "My Pal Foot Foot":

Friday, May 23, 2008

striking bowls, bending water

The Music of Sound has posted a great vid of Tomoko Miyata playing tuned water bowls. Very recommended.

heterodyning on the fly

Perhaps you've left your theremin in your other jacket. It happens to everyone some lost weekend or another--no need for it to be the day the Earth stood still.

Synthtopia posts a vid on how to make one the MacGyver way with three AM radios.

Now your audience will be spellbound.

mix it up

One of this week's reasons to be cheerful on I'm Learning To Share! is this fine Muxtape posting, Swedish feminist songs.

Indeed, as it sounds overall like a cool missing link 'tween Sandy Denny and The Raincoats, I'm feeling cheerful too (even tho' comprehension of the lyrics would likely complicate my impression).

in a land without Netflix

Funky Junk Trunk has not one but two cool foreign pop siren vids well beyond my ken. For less DX transmissions there's Nichelle Nichols as Uhura on the cover of Ebony and Charles Nelson Reilly in a world gone bananas. Meanwhile twins get all James Rosenquist on Coke.

On an adjacent frequency, FABULON is calling all go-go records. And giving to the young and forgetful the full meaning of "broadcast" with a long & ever shifting Beatles medley featuring Cher, Tina Turner, Kate Smith and (if I'm not hallucinating) Tim Conway. Before cable and the death of the last pterodactyls, this was it.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

a world at play

I'm Learning To Share! takes us into the fun world of Kimono My House where Anime toys and florid depictions of Randolph Scott and Apollo 11 abide.

plays exorobotic havoc on the prairie.

Catherine Carter squares off while son of the forest John Borowicz bends paint and carbon to ironic form.

On FABULON, June Allyson dances while attempting to guide her partner from the primrose path.

The Boat Lullabies
posts the papers & pics of seemingly unlikely knights-errant who sought both to rule the macadam and serve other motorists.

gives us a 1959 version of how dreadful leisure could be.

posts about the wigged out sampler toy, Sound Candy.

Juan Matos Capote is having his own more serious speaker fun with his piece Gold & Noise, now showing at Dak'Art 08 in Dakar, Senegal.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

pruned and multiplied

Pruned just posted some interesting links, including a Subtopia post on the Green Belt created along the former East/West German border.

And if I understand correctly, Au carrefour étrange has a new sister blog, french book covers.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

from JPL to the LSD

I found the sad news on The World Of Kane about the recent death of actor John Phillip Law.

From there I wandered to the Wikipedia entry on Skidoo, an "acid comedy" Law starred in. And found among the external links an intriguing article of Paul Krassner's, "My Acid Trip with Groucho".

Drawing from his encounters with folks like Groucho Marx and Squeeky Fromme, Krassner has plenty to say.

spring and springlike things

Spring is warming things up.

Concrete Beat demonstrates the further thawing of the NYC subway with vids of Baby Soda, quite a trad jazz ensemble of accordion, washboard percussion, trumpet, upright bass and acoustic guitar.

If you view such talent with the dolorous question "Gee, how can I ever play that well?", Failed Muso has found the answer in a suite of fantabulous fixer-upper modules. The Make Sound Like (MSL) unit, with the special feature of making one's music sound more or less like the Beatles, seems an absolute boon to the cause of pop band (non-)emulation.

Excuse me while I set mine to "Eno" and pump through 26 years of music. And look forward to some boutique offshoots like the Jad Fairinator or the Moe Tuckerizer.

On a more visual front, Noise Is Information posts a cool stop action animation vid.

And Au carrefore étrange makes its own sweet way to May '68.

Friday, May 16, 2008

It's About Time

I remember this show from when I was a preschool TV addict. Esp. Imogene Coca and Joe E. "Ooh! Ooh!" Ross.

phase three

Yes, these are sized down versions of three videos from a recent post. Shrunk to more easily fit together on a screen. Placed together to be played together all at once in a somewhat Steve Reich-ian fashion.

[Of course, the Standard Disclaimer applies: don't blame me if anything or anybody blows up. While trying to play three videos at once, your computer may crash or whatnot. Don't do this unless you're okay with that possibility from the outset. And if you're using someone else's computer, ask them first--or forget about it.]

On mine (an oldish iMac with a DSL connection), the images tend to shutter and the sounds will cutout & pop now and then. (Cool, huh?)

The middle video is only a minute long, but you can restart it. And the others can be stopped now and then for effect. The play/pause button won't start & stop on a dime, but some kind of control is there.

Have fun . . .

phasing in

I remember back 20-odd years ago reading a description of Steve Reich's Pendulum Music posted in a display case in Old Cabell Hall, the university Music Dept. building.

An art-damage post-punk garage pop troglodyte of sorts, I liked microphonic feedback (and still do). Dangling mikes swooping past amplifiers and creating yelps of feedback sounded like the coolest idea ever. And when I read how it all ended when the mikes had come to rest--by pulling the plug on the amplifiers--I knew I could trust this classical composer guy. When those mikes were at full screech, no one would want to get close enough to flick an off switch.

The above vid was just posted a week ago (thanks to angband621). And it's great, going the whole distance YouTube's 10 min. limit will allow. While I miss the plug-pulling coup de grace, with the gnarly reflections in that glass-walled room, a fade out may've been best for those closeby.

Here's a brief vid of another Pendulum Music performance (thanks to LiminalTube) done as part of Minimal at Liminal:

And here's an audiovisual version, Video Pendulum, done with two video cameras swinging over monitors (thanks to videoagogogo):

phased out & looping

Synthtopia posts about a cool speaker feedback array. Each of the five differently sized speakers are paired with a piezoelectric contact mike. An on/off switch and volume knob control each pair.

Anyhow, Synthtopia explains it well, talks about the gizmo's creator and has two performance videos, which I like playing (more or less) simultaneously.

Speaking of more or less simultaneously, Synthtopia also posted this video of one pianist playing Steve Reich's Piano Phase on two pianos.

And along similar lines of synchonization & feedback loops, a vid about porn Foley artists, which is either entirely for laughs or these Foley guys dabble in comedy as well.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

a world of photos & such

FABULON goes wild with Ann-Margret while giving the nod to likes of Anne Baxter, Donna Reed and Geraldine. Along with celebs known far & wide, there's a cool post re fashion photographer Lillian Bassman.

Being entirely ignorant of Bassman's work, I did a Google search which pulled up a few more of her photos (I particularly dig #2 & #14 from the Crack Series) but no Wikipedia entry . . .

Meanwhile, The Boat Lullabies has posted a sampling of photos from Square America's new series, On the Limits of Memory.

And Swapatorium has some cool buttons, international erasers and such.

coming and going

I'm Learning To Share put up a great post on the recently deceased artist Robert Rauschenberg. Includes a link to the New York Times obit. As Rauschenberg said of Josef Albers, one will likely be saying of Rauschenberg: "Years later . . I'm still learning what he taught me."

Singer Eddy Arnold who sang "Make The World Go Away" also died recently. The London Times has a nice obit.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

enduring and not so much

FABULON goes crazy on the voice and presence of Ann Wilson of Heart with two cool performance videos, one from back in the day and one recent. To the Wilson sisters and all that sail with them: Barracuda, indeed.

Having gone through a lot of old family stuff lately, I can appreciate Swapatorium's post of a cool old IBM ribbon box as well as the backstory.

With the many photos of funky retail items recently posted on uberkayness, I have to mention BrandlandUSA's latest post, When Will Richmond Bring Back Miller & Rhoads? M&R and its rival Thalheimer's were once the big stores in downtown Richmond long time ago.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

everybody wiki wiki

An entry on Noise Is Information turned me onto this essay by Clay Shirky, "Gin, Television, and Social Surplus". Shirky has a book out, Here Comes Everybody. No, haven't read it, but the essay is cool.

All "looking for the mouse" aside, the first time I heard the word "wiki" was when spoken by Kono (played by Zulu) on Hawaii Five-0.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

the flotsam that jets 'em

Before unterkayness goes into suspended animation:

uberkayness has yet more of various odd arcane stuff being posted.

Swapatorium has two great items up, Deltashine and Miss Fluffy.

has two cool clips, Music to Watch the Girls Go By and Drop That Name ("Lassie!").

On Generator.x, this clip bent my brain in a good way. It brought to mind an image seen here on The Woodring Monitor.

And while no doubt biased, I have to mention the painterly mad science of this.

Nodding off now, preparing for deep space . . .

Saturday, April 12, 2008

step on through?

Who knows how long such portals can last before they close again, but here's one to a fave old Night Gallery episode, The Painted Mirror. Starring Zsa Zsa Gabor, Arthur O'Connell and Rosemary DeCamp.

the once & future Captain

In anticipation of a second childhood, thought I'd revisit the first via Captain Kangaroo. Had totally forgotten the little doors within the door and the big key ring. (Thanks to musicom67.)

There's even more of the early Captain here and a clip from Tom Terrific (thanks to shippingeverywhere).

Under the auspices of CatThatHasNoName, who also has clips up of Bunny Rabbit and Dancing Bear, here's a color vid of The Town Clown on percussion:

No sign of the shaggy haired sock puppet chanteuse, Miss Frog. Maybe sometime down the line . . .

Meanwhile, Bob Keeshan (aka the good Captain) can be sighted in a grand picture of CBS luminaries from 1978. Said photo is deservedly given a place of honor in FABULON and Deadlicious.

But, hey--no Miss Frog there either. Network politics for damn sure.

Friday, April 11, 2008

all about Saki

Saki, the writer known parenthetically as H. H. Munro, delivered his short stories quickly. Often in five printed pages or fewer. His work, being in the public domain, can be read online. Wikipedia lists several places to go.

If a book is preferred, check the local bookmobile for the Modern Library edition which is almost as compact as one of Saki's stories. It includes a biography by his sister which is not as brief as his stories but does start very promisingly:

My earliest recollection of Hector, my younger brother, was in the nursery at home, where, with my elder brother, Charlie, we had been left alone. Hector seized the long-handled hearth brush, plunged it into the fire, and chased Charlie and me round the table, shouting, "I'm God! I'm going to destroy the world!"

If those are Munro's first remembered words, his last ones were: "Put that damned cigarette out!" [supposedly said before his being dispatched by a German sniper in World War I]

In between are the stories he wrote as Saki. Darkly ironic ones like "The Interlopers" and "The Easter Egg" and funny ironic ones like "Shock Tactics" and "The Schartz-Metterklume Method".

Anyhow, when doing not doing something useful or necessary (like watching episodes of Kung Fu or Hawaii Five-0 on DVD), I'm reading these.

They go by fast.