Sunday, October 31, 2010

late night tv: Werewolves of London.

Warren Zevon with a live piano version of "Werewolves of London". Note
the reference to Joe Strummer who's in the background. Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

late night: When Novachord & Theremin meet!

The Hammond Novachord is considered to be the world's first commercial polyphonic synthesizer. Only 1069 examples were built over a period stretching from 1939 to 1942. It is one of the rare few electronic products released by Hammond that was not intended to emulate the sound of an organ.

Leon Theremin patented the famous Theremin in 1928. The instrument is controlled without contact from the player. The controlling section usually consists of two metal antennas which sense the position of the player's hands and control oscillators for frequency with one hand, and amplitude (volume) with the other.

What happens when these two vintage instruments from a different age come together for a duet? D. A. Wilson and Thomas Grillo recently gave it a try! None, or very few have done it before. The result is a very modern, futuristic, space sounding music! Quite haunting and beautiful at the same time...

late night: Space Age Fashion

"Space fever" invaded the fashion world in the first decade of space exploration. Designers such as Paco Rabane, André Courrèges, Pierre Cardin took inspiration from space suits, trying to imagine how we'd be dressed today... Needless to say, they were pretty far out!

Minimalist, futuristic, geometric & androgynous, is what qualifies best Space Age fashion. They seemed to "build" their dresses rather than designing them. The materials usually included plastic, metal & paper.

Lots of footage of Space age fashion can be found on youtube thanks to user "cosmocorps2000". He always manages to perfectly suit the images with the music. In the video below, is a glance at André Courrèges fashion back in 1968. Music is by Keith Droste "When you come around" (1970). Enjoy the trip!

Friday, October 29, 2010

late night: The world's very first pop star.

It is generally accepted that Al Bowlly, also
known as "The Big Swoon", was the world's
very first pop star: his "modern singing style",
good looks and charisma made him the very
first singer to ever become internationally
popular. Before him, singers often remained
anonymous while band-leaders were  the
stars of the show.

Bowlly's success started in the early 1930's
when he landed a record contract with the
Ray Noble Orchestra, recording over 500
songs between 1930 and 1934. One of
those tunes happens to be his incredible
rendition of "Midnight, the stars and you",
a song you might be familiar with as it was
featured in Stanley Kubrik's "The Shining".

Thanks to popular demand, Al was the very first singer to have a solo spot on
BBC Radio. He had records under his own name and was constantly mobbed
by women for autographs and pictures but by 1937 he had developed a wart
in his throat that would scar his voice forever.

He,however, kept performing until 1941 where he recorded his last song: a duet
with Jimmy Messene called "When that man is dead and gone" a tune that mocked
Hitler. Ironically, 2 weeks after his last recording, on April 17th 1941, Al Bowlly
was killed by a parachute mine dropped by the Luftwaffe that exploded next to his
home in London during the Blitz.

note: you can hear that singers weren't particularly the main attraction
back in those times as the vocal parts only kick-in halfway through.

Monday, October 25, 2010

late night: Sony Walkman is dead...

More than 30 years after the first Walkman was
commercialized, Sony announced that they will
no longer be making new portable cassette players
for the Japanese market.
Since the launch in 1979 the company has sold
over 220 million units worldwide. The cassette
Walkman created by Nobutoshi Kihara is now
officially dead in Japan although Sony says they
will keep making some for emerging markets
and countries where the demand is still high enough.

late night tv: The Cool Ruler leaves us...

Gregory Isaacs, the famous reggae singer has died of cancer this Monday morning
at his London home. The smooth voiced singer only reached a world wide audience
in 1982 when he signed to Island Records and released "Night Nurse". He had later
hits such a "Rumours" and released his last album in 2008 after more than 40 years
as a recording artist.
The Cool Ruler died at age 59 of lung cancer.

late night tv: transparent head fish.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

on this day ... in 1917: Love Field opens.

Dallas Love Field opened as an army flying field on this day in 1917. However, it wasn't until 1927 that the field was open to civilian use becoming Dallas's primary airport until 1974 when DFW started operating.

On November 22, 1963 John F. Kennedy landed at Love Field and after his assassination Lyndon B Johnson was sworn in as the 36th president aboard Air Force One on the tarmac of the Dallas airport.

Here is a pretty nice video of a landing at Love Field by night. It's eight minutes long so I hope you have some time to kill .

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

late night tv: Dr. John - Such a Night.

Dr.John solo performance from 1981 for SCTV (Second City Television).
Fits perfectly with this awkward evening... such a night.

Monday, October 18, 2010

late night tv: maggie simpson learns a new word.

This is a screenshot from last week's Simpsons episode "MoneyBart",(season 22,
episode 03). As you can see, Maggie's learning some pretty interesting vocabulary.

video of the day: iPhone in space.

After months of research and preparation, a father and son from New York
teamed up to send an iPhone to space. Their project "the Brooklyn Space Program"
consisted of a take-out container holding an HD camera and an iPhone (used as a
tracking device thanks to gps coordinates) attached to a heavy duty latex balloon.
The mission : film the blackness of space and retrieve the container after the
balloon bursts and falls back to earth. A difficult task considering the high winds,
freezing temperatures, high speeds and the possibility of it landing in the water.
Check out the result in this video.

Drum group at Cherokee powwow.

Raw power in this video shot at a Cherokee powwow in North Carolina.

late night tv: Hoagy Carmichael

Famous for writing "Stardust", "Georgia on my mind", "the nearness of you", "heart and soul", and "rockin' chair", Hoagy Carmichael has to be considered as one of the most talented composers in the first half of the 20th century.

In this first video, Hoagy portrays "Cricket", the piano player, in the screen adaptation of Hemingway's "To Have and Have not". In this scene, he plays "Hong Kong blues" which he co-wrote with Stanley Adams.

"Sleepy time gal" wasn't written by Hoagy, but has to be one of the best interpretations of this song... Nice & mellow, perfect way to end this weekend!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

on this day ... in 1961: Hit The Road Jack

Between October 9th and October 22nd of 1961 Ray Charles was at number one
on the Billboard Hot 100 with "Hit The Road Jack".

Few know that the song was written and recorded by Louisiana born Percy Mayfield
in 1960 as an a capella demo. The original recording of that demo can be heard here:

Since the Ray Charles version, the song has been covered by many artists including
The Animals, Big Youth, Buster Pointdexter and French artist Richard Anthony.
A brilliant "answer song" called "Come On Back Jack" was recorded by Nina Simone
for the Colpix Label. Check her version out:

Friday, October 15, 2010

video of the day: Big Jump, Big Audience.

Amazing video shot last weekend in Michigan showing a man from the
101st Airborne Division parachuting himself on to the football field.

image of the day: Empire State of Mind

Great photo of the Empire State Building with the Hudson river in the background.
Click on it for a full size view.Photo of the day from National Geographic

Thursday, October 14, 2010

on this day ... in 1888: Roundhay Garden Scene

Roundahay Garden Scene is a short film directed by inventor Louis Le Prince.
It was filmed on this day, October 14th 1888 and is the earliest surviving
motion picture. It is composed of 20 frames filmed at 12 frames per second for
a total duration of just under 2 seconds. If you watch carefully you will see that
one of the actors is actually walking backwards.
note: this is the short looped version

late night tv: Kentucky Derby 2009

Watch the amazing comeback of "Mine That Bird" at the 2009 edition of the
Kentucky Derby. The first video is the race and the second is a birds eyes
view of his incredible run.

back after these messages: Suntory Whiskey

video of the day: Video mapping in Prague.

Check out this special celebration for the 600th birthday of Prague's
astronomical clock (Orloj), located on the southern wall of old town
city hall in old town square.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Tom Waits & Preservation Hall release 78 rpm.

Tom Waits teamed up with the Preservation
Hall Jazz band in 2009 to record a tune for
the P.H benefit album that came out last
February. The song in question was a cover of
Danny Barker's "Tootie Ma Is a Big Fine Thing".
It now seems they took things a step further by
announcing the limited edition release of a 78
rpm of the tune due on November 19th.

The 78 rpm which will feature "Corrine Died on the Battlefield"  on the b-side will be 
limited to 504 copies with all proceeds going to the Preservation Hall Junior Jazz & 
Heritage Brass Band. Did you toss out your 78 rpm player? No worry, they're also 
putting out their very own 78 rpm player (only 100 copies) as part of the deluxe
donation package. If you want to get a hold of these items: either be at Preservation
Hall at 10 a.m (cent) on November 19th or get it off the internet on November 20th 

late night tv: the piano has been drinking

Tom Waits live on Fernwood Tonight back in 1977.

image of the day: Soyuz TMA-01M launch

Here is a photo of the Soyuz rocket that was launched from the Baikonur
Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan last friday on a mission towards the
International Space Station. Looks like a scene from a sci-fi flick...
Click on pic to view full size. photo from Nasa website

late night tv: In a Coma with Memoryhouse.

Later than late night ... more like insomnia knocking at the door...

back after these messages: Buick 1984.

artist of the day: Jason Freeny

Jason Freeny first gained notice when he joined MTV's Special Events department
as a freelance designer. His biggest contributions to the channel are the custom
trophies he made for the "Rock'n'Jock" series and the "TRL Awards".
Soon he began gaining notoriety through his personal artwork which, in time,
evolved into a surreal universe which you can find in these photos of sculptures
he's made. more of Jason Freeny at the Moistproduction website.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

video of the day: Oscar Brown Jr. Animated

It's time to groove with the high priest of hip: here's a rare animation film
of Oscar Brown Jr's hit "But I was Cool". Can you dig it?

late night tv: Louis Jordan short biography

There ain't nothing like the sound and humor of Louis Jordan and his Tympany
Five. Sit back and relax as we travel through time on the dark end of the street.

Monday, October 11, 2010

image of the day: Valley of the Whales.

This image was taken in the Egyptian desert of Wadi Hitan which was once an
ocean. Read more about this at National Geographic.
Photo by Richard Barnes

song of the day: Solomon Burke - Over & over

The great Solomon Burke passed away in Amsterdam this weekend at age 70.
Rest in Peace sir.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

song of the day: Sonji Clay - Here I am ...

... Here I stay, a nice "comfy by the fireplace" soul song by the once
wife of Muhammad Ali, Sonji Clay. Sit back, relax and enjoy.

all-time favorites: Ocean's 11 (1960)

Sammy Davis Jr singing "Ee O Eleven" as the credits start rolling ... great song,
great scene, great movie !

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Monday, October 4, 2010

commercial of the day: Pan Am 1958

This brings us back to the old days when the term "customer service" still
had a meaning... Those days seem long gone now.

image of the day: Peter Callesen papercuts.

Check out these great paper works from Peter Callesen. He uses just paper and glue.
You'll find much more on display at his website

video of the day: Milky Way time-lapse

Here's an awesome time-lapse video of the Milky Way filmed by Justin Majeczky
on Lake Tahoe. Be sure to watch it in full screen and in HD.