Monday, January 26, 2009

Let's Groove Tonight

It's such a great feeling when the pieces start falling into place and knowledge warms you, even if it can take away some of the mystery. Let me tell you about it. In the past couple of years I've become interested and mesmerized by the early computer graphics used in commercial visuals from the 70s into the 80s. I'm particularly fond of this era in the combinations of opticals, models and cg, and the warmth that tends to eminate from this technique. It's no secret that I am a child of this era, and a child who was warmed and nurtured by this neon arcade asthetic, and it still gets me today. It's not just nostalgia, because a couple of my recent favorites are music videos from the era that I don't recall seeing as a kid, but whose artistry zings me. These would be "Let's Groove" by Earth Wind and Fire and various Yellow Magic Orchestra vids. The pieces fall into place as I find out this evening that the cg effects for those promos as well of lots of other faves were created by Ron Hays.
And on fucking youtube I find a demo reel of his stuff.
It's amazing.

Crystalsculpture3 has uploaded a ton of amazing early cg vids on his youtube account, including part II of this Ron Hayes demo. I implore you to check it out.

"Stevie, You Rodent!"

I never had a computer growing up. I fantasized heavily about having one from the time that I saw the segment on Sesame Street with the school kids and the Commodore Pet (I think), along with lots of stuff like this:

So I'm about 5 or 6 in 83/84 and now there is a character on practically every single cartoon or television show that is using a computer. By this time I'm already starting to feel like an outsider, so i consider being the token computer nerd as a way of fitting in. It seemed like an empowering path, with the smart kids solving all the crimes in cartoons and such. By this time I'm much more obsessed by video games in arcades and on the Atari 2600, and the ability of computers to play games is not lost on me. I start to gain limited access to the Commodore 64 in my friend Tina's house by 85. It's in her father's den and he was a pipe smoker, so now every time I smell pipe tobacco I think of her often unsuccessful attempts to boot up "Pogo Joe." "Pogo Joe" is a pretty good expansion on the Q-bert "tile touching hop" kind of game play and is worth checking out via emulation. I'm both fascinated and intimidated by the difficulty of interacting with the machine. Around this time, we are subjected to some Apple II's at grade school, primarily for using LOGO. You may recall LOGO as the tedious design program where a user gives commands to a small triangle/turtle, which leaves a white line trail. Using computers in this way solidified the idea that I did not want to use computers unless it was for playing video games. But my contact with computers (outside of "Oregon Trail") stopped for a bunch of years, not by choice, just cuz I didn't know any home computer enthusiasts.
The games only attitude towards computers lasted a number of years, until seeing this commercial in 89:

This little commercial was the impetus for me heavily fantasizing about having a computer to work on my great creative endeavors and meet some girls. Of course I had no great creative endeavors to work on, but I was convinced that once I had a video camera and a computer, those impulses would flow endlessly. By the time I enter High School, I'm using MacPaint in the Library, doing lots of cartooning, and nonsense flyers. I had also played Maniac Mansion and been on Prodigy at my friend's Dad's apartment. Because of my exposure to these programs, along with the games reviewed in "Video Games and Computer Entertainment," my desire for a computer ramped up. VG&CE was the best videogame magazine of the late 80s-early 90s era, and it definitely does not get the props it deserves. And I can't find any back issues anywhere! AGG. Anyhow, I did get a video camera when I was 15. That was awesome. My family didn't get a Home Computer until 97 or 98. I never got to play any of those LucasArts games from the classic era. Maybe I'll get to "Loom" someday.

Friday, January 23, 2009


More Ritts Puppets

Snuffy, the talking fire engine

Someone please post the full version of Chow Daddy!!!! I don't have a copy! AGG!

More Ritts. Anyone have the "Don't forget to count your change!" one?

PSA's from WLVI in the 80s pt. 1

I watch these with regularity on tape, or on youtube, but I figure I'll post them all here in one place so y'alls can immerse yourself. This may bring you back or help you understand why I am the way I is.

Farmer Brown (this version aired in Chicago, boston got the version with the goose that isn't on youtube)

The Ritts Puppets


Okay, this is something I thought I'd never see; five minutes of behind the scenes footage from the Star Wars anti-smoking psa from 1981...well, I guess I should put that up as well, in case for some weird reason it isn't burned into your brain.

And here's the silent behind the scenes footage. The poster is the grandkid of the producer of the PSA's, who appears in the orange vest.

I never saw this as a kid, but it's a favorite of mine now, in this youtubey world we live.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

NuMetal at work

If I get to my job and there are still people here, they often have the fucking NuMetal station on the Syrius radio thing. Being subjected to this shit for more than a few minutes really fucks with my brain and makes me hate life. That's not that surprising, what is however is the scenarios that my mind conjures during the fucking ballads. Yes, numetal ballads make me think of US soldiers in Iraq seeing their recently birthed children for the first time, and their happy reuniting with their lovers and children. It gives me a queasy and bad feeling. Then when it goes right back to "hard and heavy" on the next song, I imagine those same soldiers (always men) blowing up shit in Iraq while listening to this crap. It just hurts me to think that this horrible music has been everywhere for a decade and for many, probably is the soundtrack to their war and family. When will it stop?

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Rogue Male- First Visit

This is a by-the-numbers Motorhead rip-off from 85. The only real stand outs on the album are it's opener "Crazy Motorcycle" which sounds just like "Ace of Spades" but is called "Crazy Motorcycle" and that makes it awesome. The next song is the killer: "All Over You." This ridiculous heavy jam features the lyrics: "you make me feel like I don't know what to do/I'm gonna shoot my load all" And that's the chorus; need I say more?
But most importantly I bring you this entry to feature it's LP cover, which is one of the best ever. Ever. Illustration by Peter Guoynas.
Released on Elektra.
Sorry my scan is cropped. I wasn't ready to do it in two parts and put them together.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Oh my lord, I miss the Fu Shnickens

I cannot believe I didn't watch Arsenio every night as a kid. I think I just didn't know this kind of shit went down.
I wish this was better quality so I could really peep that fucking shirt/sweater that C.L. is wearing.
Lordy, Lordy, Lordy.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Best Perfs of 08

I've been working hard on making stuff for the art show I have at HBML on the 9th. My first ever solo art show. I'm working hard and not even procrastinating. Last night was NYE and we DJ'd and it was fun and I never make resolutions and I feel shitty that the crappy beer is so expensive at the bar. But I had a grand ol' time. Every year invites whoever to send in their Best of Performances and they get listed. I wasn't gonna do one this year (I don't think I did last year) but I read what was up there already and remembered so many fine times, and one in particular that I had to shout about, and thusly I will list for them and for you...
1.Harvey Milk at O'Brien's. I suckily missed the first 15 minutes, but they could have played all night and I would have been in heaven.
2.Steamrollers, second set at Casual Academy...I felt like I was watching the E Street Band in 73, but instead of Ashbury, they were repping the North Shore Rt. 1
3.Corsano/Flaherty/McPhee at the Montague Book Mill. Truly ecstatic, dangerous peace.
4.Black Pus at Media Play. The neighbors got pretty mad.
5.Go To the Chateau dress rehearsal. This was a play in and around a car, I didn't get to see the real thing even though the director is my wife.
6.Nonhorse, Manuel/Mick Quantius/guy from Maniac's Dream/Grey Skull at Helbaard.
7.Cassis Cornuta at Scheldapen
8.Western Mass INC
9.Noise Nomads,Bunny Brains @Stone for Adam N.
10.Jake Meginsky @ Hampshire

okay. mo' writing later I hopes.