Friday, May 29, 2009

Psychedelic Levis Jeans Ad from Early 1970s

The only thing harder to believe than the fact that American tv once showed commercials this weird is the fact that American tv allowed an ad to air that is based explicitly on the idea of evolution!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Trash Aesthetic

I have added some new photographs Matthew has recently posted on his facebook page.

My old college friend, Matt, is currently in Barrow, Alaska teaching circus camp (he is a professional clown). Not only is Barrow the northern-most town in the United Sates, it is also home to some of the best public folk art I've had the pleasure of seeing. The following pictures are of dumpsters from Barrow painted with decorative images and public service admonitions for what I assume is the primarily Iñupiaq population.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The prog comes on little cat feet

Much to the embarrassment and consternation of my punk rock wife, I have been on a prog rock kick the last few years. There's just something so appealing to me about it. It's the combination of pretension, sincerity, cluelessness, amazing musical chops, incredible arrangements, and a general "kitchen sink" mentality that does it for me. The lack of self-conscious irony is refreshing. Plus I love epics. I love big sloppy stories. Prog Rock appeals to my inherent lack of subtlety.

Anyway, Bill Bailey (he of the great British comedy series starring Simon Pegg Spaced), recently hosted a top ten countdown show that names the greatest prog rock bands of all time. There is some great stuff here. Plus, some of Bill Bailey's comments are priceless.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Let's Burn One

Sound artist Brian Joseph Davis created this collection of banned albums that have been burned then played.

Here's a link to his site where you can find many other works and experiments by him.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

You Won't Believe This!

I know I'm a little late on posting this. I've been busy procrastinating. I did want to comment, however, on the joy I felt when our President tipped his hat to us "non-believers" during his inaugural speech. I certainly don't feel like a put down minority or anything like that, but it's nice to have you leader acknowledge your presence.

Here's an op ed piece on the NY Times political blog about it.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Who's a good girl?

Here's a link to an early performance of one of Tammy Wynette's first big hits, "Your Good Girl's Gonna Go Bad" from 1967.

Wait for the chorus and the incredibly awkward yet endearing appearance of the backup singer.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

10 out of 11 Doctors...

Yet another Doc Who post.

I just posted this over at Denton Rock City in response to a question regarding how I felt about the choice of Matt Smith as the 11th Doctor.


There's definitely some Peter Davidson + David Tennant action going on.">
Here's an interview .

You know I had reservations about both choices for the last two Doctors and they were unfounded. I think this guy looks the part, I just wonder why they cast a similar type right after Tennant. I heard rumors that they were gonna cast the bad guy from Serenity, and think that that would have been a good idea. The pattern has always been to cast opposite from the last Doctor.

1 - grumpy old man
2 - hobo/clown
3 - dashing man of action
4 - eccentric hippy type w/bouts of melancholy
5 - sensitive young man
6 - slightly sinister and deranged
7 - clownish manipulator
8 - Byronesque Romatic
9 - no-nonsense working-class street type
10 - cool school teacher-dandy
11 - ? not sure how they're gonna play him yet

I think this guy could be good, but maybe after another guy's run who could really distance the series from the strong presence of David Tennant. Anyway, with Stephen Moffett at the helm, I have faith that the next series will be solid and my reservations will be proven wrong.

I think way too much about this stuff.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Doctor Mew

Doctor Who... cats? by ~TardisCat on deviantART

I know! I know! Not another Doc Who post. I'm sorry, but I couldn't resist. It is rare to find a work of art where two great nerd obsessions come together in such a perfect and beautiful way. So for those of you who love both cats and that renegade Time Lord from Gallifrey - here is your dream come true.

Thank you TardisCat. Thank you.

Monday, December 29, 2008


I was recently cleaning out an old back-up hard drive and stumbled across this picture. I have no idea where I found this image but I'm so glad I kept it. It is beautiful.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Cats Off!

A Maryland couple have rescued more than 3000 cats over the last 10 years. What started as an isolated rescue turned into a full-time job for Bob and Katherine Rude.

CNN reports:
A few years later, they bought a ranch house in Harwood and converted it into a shelter. Eventually, Bob and Katherine left their government jobs to work at the shelter full time. They now work seven days a week, morning through night, caring for their cats and dogs...

...The Rudes originally planned on keeping the shelter on one floor, and living in the rest of the house. But they quickly found that many of the cats required full-time care, so they expanded the shelter throughout their home.

..."For the evening meal, we go through about 25 cans of cat food. For the whole day, we go through about 40-50. ...We go through about 100 pounds of dry food a week for the cats, [and] 10,000 pounds of cat litter a year," Bob said...

Even buying in bulk hasn't helped the Rudes escape the financial woes that have begun to plague most business owners. Katherine says that so far, they have been able to support themselves but are concerned about rising costs and falling donations.

In the spirit of this story here is a link to my local humane society and to the national organization. Donate if you can.

Pamela Colman Smith

Pamela Colman Smith 1878-1951
Pamela Colman Smith may not be a name familiar to most, but her illustrations are arguably some of the most viewed and influential images of the past 100 years. She also was one of the century's great characters who was little noticed in her own time, although the company she kept included such heavyweights as Alfred Stieglitz, W.B. Yeats, and the famous occult group The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.

Colman Smith was born in England to a white American father and a black Jamaican mother. When her mother died when Smith was only 10, her father sent her to travel with an acting troupe with which she lived until 15. She later attended the Pratt institute and became a professional illustrator, and was represented by the famed photographer and art agent, Alfred Stieglitz.

Colman Smith was not only an artist, but a larger than life figure. An independent woman of eccentric dress and company, she lived part of her life alone in an apartment in London when such a lifestyle would have been considered outrageous even for a man. Colman Smith was involved heavily in researching the occult and associated herself with some of the major players in the nascent esoterica movements that what would later mutate into the New Age movements of the mid to late 20th century. Colman Smith died in relative obscurity in her 70s, but her work as one of the 20th century's great illustrators has grown considerably over the years.

Although Colman Smith was a published illustrator and writer, she is most famous for her design of the Rider Waite Smith tarot deck, first published 1909. Colman Smith was commissioned by fellow Golden Dawn Member Arthur Edward Waite to illustrate his new revised edition of the standard Tarot deck. Her illustrations would prove highly influential and serve as the iconographic standard for many subsequent versions of Waite's deck.

Although her work adopts the sinuous line of Aubrey Beardsley and combines it with the flat, vivid color of Caldecott, it is her efficient, economical line that really sets her apart from her contemporaries. There is a strong influence of early German woodcuts and Japanese Ukiyo-e prints that create a bold and strong quality to her work. It is this quality - simple and sure, yet sensual and vibrant - that helps make her images so iconic.

h2g2 biography
Gallery of Images

Monday, December 22, 2008

"Comme" All Ye Faithful

Just in time for the Christmas season Bedazzled has a great Scopiotone of the song "Les Rois Mages" ("The Wise Kings") from 1971 by the French artist Sheila. I swear that this song and "video" were lifted directly from my head because they contain some of my favorite things ever: French chanteuses, Medieval imagery, choruses with hand clap break-downs punctuated by percussive Neil Diamondesque acoustic guitar strums, Mod fashion, refracting lenses, the list goes on.

I have reprinted the lyrics below the video. The song is basically about how the singer will follow this guy like the three wise men followed the star to Bethlehem and Christopher Columbus followed the sun to the Americas. I love how the song has reduced key events of history and religion to a metaphor about relationships (and this is a few years before ABBA's "Waterloo" which did something very similar).

Comme les Rois Mages en Galilée
Suivaient des yeux l'étoile du Berger
Je te suivrai, où tu iras j'irai
Fidèle comme une ombre jusqu'à destination

Comme les Rois Mages en Galilée
Suivaient des yeux l'étoile du Berger
Comme Christophe Colomb et ses trois caravelles
Ont suivi le soleil avec obstination

Plaise au ciel que j'ouvre mes fenêtres
Le matin au bord d'un étang bleu
Plaise au ciel que rien ne nous arrête
Dans ce monde aventureux

Comme les Rois Mages en Galilée
Suivaient confiants l'étoile du Berger
Mon Amérique, ma lumière biblique
Ma vérité cosmique, c'est de vivre avec toi

Plaise au ciel que s'ouvrent les nuages
L'éclaircie dévoile le chemin
Plaise au ciel qu'au terme du voyage
Son triomphe soit le mien

Comme les Rois Mages en Galilée
Suivaient confiants l'étoile du Berger
Comme Christophe Colomb et ses trois caravelles
Ont suivi le soleil avec obstination

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

More Who Nerdiness

I am currently on Christmas break from teaching and am spending my first week off doing preety much nothing but stuff I enjoy. I've been watching tv, reading non-school related material, and making stuff. I'm currently working on a new album cover for my band, a Franeknstein's monster statue for Rhonda, and today I worked on two pieces of Doctor Who related fan art. The first is a watercolor of all 10 Doctors that will take me a while. The other is a little pop art inspired banner I threw together for fun.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Here Comes the Groomer

My friend Jenn Gooch alerted me to the incredible talents of Sandy Hartness of Sandy Paws Pet Grooming Shop in Yucca Valley, CA. Her work speaks for itself.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


I've been a Doctor Who since the mid-80s when KERA in Dallas began airing the Tom Baker episodes on Saturday nights. They eventually aired the the 3rd, 5th, 6th and 7th Doctors, but did not air the early 60s episodes, at least through the early 90s. Despite my huge fandom of DW, I've only seen a handful of early episodes over the years via video, although I did read every single Target novelization while still in high school.

Anyway, my plan is to slog through every single DW episode from "An Unearthly Chld" through the end of the Sylvest McCoy era via the magic of Netflix. I was watching the first disc of the Early Years set (includes the first 3 serials) and stumbled upon a series of skits that aired in 199 on the BBC in conjunction with "Doctor Who Night" (am I dreaming?). They were created by some of the guys responsible for Little Brittain, and are quite funny. The skit below is probably the best, and probably my favorite Doctor Who parody period.

The Pitch of Fear

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Slam Drunk

I know of no one who loves a sad song as much as I do. I'm not talking about the kinds of songs that make you feel a little wistful and melancholy. I'm talking about songs that make you double over with the sudden shock that life is nothing but horrible, inescapable suffering and the only recourse is to collapse, snot-faced and trembling in a wet, squirming mockery of the fetal position writhing on the floor. This is probably why two of my favorite kinds of music are classic country and Irish ballads. I must admit that there is also an over-the-top bathetic quality to many of these songs that I find appealing. Although I see how people could see that this approach could be ironic, it isn't. I love music that has shed all the cloaks of public decency and goes straight for the jugular vein, in terms of trying to pry emotion from its listener.

With that being said, here's a link and the lyrics to the Ferlin Husky classic "Drunken Driver." It is nowhere near as creepy or gloriously ridiculous as Dolly Parton's "Me and Andy," but it just as worthy of hearing.

"Drunk Driver"
Friends there's somethin' been hauntin' me and I just got to tell you bout it
I saw an accident one day that would chill the heart of any man
And teach them not to drink a drop while the steering wheel's in their hand
This awfull accident occurred on the 20th day of May
And caused two dear little children to be sleeping beneath the clay
These two little kids walked side by side along the state highway
Their poor old mother she had died and their daddy had run away
As these two little kids walked arm in arm how sad their hearts did feel
When around the curb came a speeding car with a drunk man at the wheel
The drunk man saw the two little kids and he hollered a drunken sound
Get out of the road you little fools and the car it brought them down
The bumper struck the little girl taking her life away
While the little boy in a puddle of blood in the ditch lying there did lay
The drunk man staggered from his car to see the damage that he had done
And he let out a yell you could hear for miles when he recognized his dying son
Such mourning from a drunken man I've never heard before
While kneeling at the running board he prayed to heavens door
Saying oh God please forgive me for this awful crime I've done
And his attention then was called away by the words of his dying son
And he said daddy why did you do this to us how come you run us to the ground
It was you and mommy we was talking about when the car it brought us down
And I was just telling little sister that I knew we'd see you again someday
But daddy why did it have to be like this why did it have to be this way
Why daddy why

Saturday, December 06, 2008

I Should Coco

Here is the latest addition to our little animal family. Her name is Coco and she is a Denton animal shelter rescue. She's a min-pin and chihuahua mix. She's about 7. She's a grumpy, eccentric old lady. Although she is up in years, she had never been fixed. She also had heart worms and really bad teeth. We spent almost $500 on her before we even got to take her home. She was worth it.

I love her very much. The cats aren't so sure.

My wife, Rhonda, took these amazing pictures.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Sweet, sweet memories of mama boiling corn

I grew up watching Hee-Haw and late night K-Tell commercials. This SNL skit from 2004 reminds me of both of those beloved memories. Watch for the song "Ain't Nothin' Cuter." It is God.

Doctor Uke

The Doctor Who theme play on ukelele. The two great tastes that taste great together.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Book Review: Little, Big - John Crowley

Little, Big (Trade Paperback) Little, Big by John Crowley

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
LB is lush, beautiful, and strange. It is one of those books, also, that sent me scurrying for other sources to help make sense of what I am reading. The language is poetic, but not dense. The characters are memorable, but like the book, a little removed and detached. I found myself reading this book from a distance, as opposed to feeling involved and part of the story. Which again is also apt, because the book is ultimately about a Tale and one lone family whose responsibility it is to spin it by acting out an ages old set of circumstances set forth by outside forces. The Story which this family enacts is theirs alone and sets them apart, literally it seems, from the rest of the world. Despite the aloofness of the novel, however, I found LB to be rewarding and rich. It is not a casual read, but thick with allusions to other tales, fables, and myths. John Crowley does not simply do this to flex his highly developed literary muscles, but the very nature of his Tale depends upon the existence of these other established ones.

View all my reviews.