July 7, 2017
July 3, 2017
I just stumbled upon this cartoon short from 1935, Sunshine Makers. It's interesting; they make liquid sunshine out of sun light converted to electricity and then liquefied. Then they put it in milk bottles. The shadows of the characters just as the sunshine is going into the bottles is pretty amazing.
Then we see the other people - night people who are only happy when they're sad. A war breaks out. It reminded me of Walt Disney's Silly Symphony Music Land. They both kind of have the same premise, which is also strange because they were released the very same year!
But where Music Land ends in a beautiful merging of two kingdoms and two ideas, Sunshine Makers ends with one culture imposing its beliefs on another, against their will. It's actually a little hard to watch as a sunshine maker holds a night person down and forcefully pours the liquid sunshine down the night person's throat. The sunshine makers are so sure that their ways are right and the night people's ways are wrong they don't hesitate for a moment to bomb them and eradicate their way of life.
I know a lot of old cartoons are problematic but this one just struck me as especially relevant right now.
This parade is actually from 1986, so the super8 film probably makes it look a lot cooler than it actually was. But also.... people were still using super 8 in 1986?! And what an injustice that Maleficent isn't in this parade.
June 22, 2017
I always like watching this kinda stuff. Pretty music any Disney thing 1985 and earlier is interesting to me. I've never really considered myself like... a Disney nut or anything. I think it maybe has something to do with spending some formative years there. I never went to the same school for more than a year growing up and then I started working at Disney right out of high school. So, it was sort of like college for me, except I stayed for nine years. Watching videos like this is always interesting to see what character costumes haven't changed for over thirty years, and which one's I've been in. I presume this blog is far enough underground I can say that!
June 14, 2017
June 2, 2017
I recently watched this documentary, The Fabulous Ice Age, about the golden age of the Icecapades. It was terrific! I highly recommend it. Trailer bellow:
A long time ago (when I was eight years old) my parents surprised me one day by taking me to see Disney's Beauty and the Beast on Ice (What!! - there were no words). So today I had the bright idea to look up if there was ever a Sleeping Beauty (my all time fav Disney movie) ice show. What I found was a snippet from a larger (recent) show that had a Sleeping Beauty segment.
But just imagine, if you will (as I am doing!), if they had a Sleeping Beauty ice show at the same time the film was released - 1959. That is my dream for the day. Wouldn't that be something? Is anyone still with me? Look, maybe the BBC Radiophonic workshop provided the sound effects for this imaginary ice show? How about that?
May 31, 2017
This was one of my favorite movies as a kid. I had no idea back then how psychedelic it was! I just found this great trailer with some kids speaking the truth:
You can watch the entire movie here in it's original CinemaScope presentation:
How many people come to my blog and watch a full feature length film? Tell us in the comments!
Posted by J. at 9:13 PM
May 29, 2017
With every little change made to Epcot it becomes less and less itself and more and more a giant gift shop. Frozen replacing the Norway ride was a huge leap away from the right. I've known for some time that Horizons must have been the ultimate Epcot attraction but watching this video really shows just how much has been lost over the years.
May 16, 2017
I used to have this "radio show", it was imaginary though, I just put the episodes on the internet. I was always finding old, interesting records at the thrift store down the road from my house and I decided to use them to make a show. The whole thing is just so ridiculous, looking back I can't understand what possessed me to do this. I guess I didn't have much going on in my life at the time - just doing puppet shows at Disney World. And I can't believe this is now over ten years old.
It is fun and interesting to look, or rather, listen to these episodes. They're sort of like a time capsule of my life at that time. I was living in an alternate universe for a few years. I ended up making about fifteen episodes, which you can find all of somewhere on soundcloud. And then a little while later (maybe 2011?) I sort of revived it with a sequel program called Points in Times - which was equally escapist driven.
I guess the whole thing is sort of a predecessor to my current work The Creatures of Yes.
Here is the first episode, if you're interested:
Posted by J. at 7:23 PM
May 12, 2017
May 10, 2017
May 6, 2017
A couple years ago I made a post about some Bibles from the '70s:
I didn't really write anything in that post, but when I was a kid we had all these bibles at my church. For some reason, I thought they were really cool. They probably reminded me of the sort of design you'd see on PBS - stuff that was made in the '70s but still airing when I was a little kid.
Anyway, I just came across this article in the Advocate:
And right there in the photo, Phyllis Frye is holding one of those bibles! I don't know why she is. And I don't really know why I'm so excited about it, but there it is. A strange little connection.
April 24, 2017
Some guy in the '70s built this Paia system but he really wanted a Moog system, so, he made it look like a Moog.... kind of like a miniature Moog. I think it looks really great! He has it listed on ebay right now.
"I always wanted a Moog 3C so I remade all the front panels to look like the moog with 1/8" alum panels, 1/4" jacks and KnobsI always wanted a Moog 3C so I remade all the front panels to look like the moog with 1/8" alum panels, 1/4" jacks and Knobs"
March 11, 2017
I feel like all these old Moog records are just so goofy it's hard to get into them - sometimes the goofiness actually hits the perfect note and the song is just wonderful, like with Rick Powell's Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town:
But I think that's pretty rare, and I digress! Usually, when I find an old Moog record the first thing I try to do is find the "pretty song". There isn't always a ballad but there's usually one song that's a bit more wistful than the others, if not still a little ridiculous sounding. On Perry and Kingsley's Kaleidoscopic Vibrations that song is Carousel of the Planets:
The melody of that whistle-y sound reminds me of Once Upon a December from Anastasia. It starts out just the same but then goes in a different direction. I know it seems a little over the top now but when I saw Anastasia in the theater when I was thirteen it felt like a big deal. It's still pretty amazing to me that Don Bluth (Disney's Robin Hood, An American Tail, The Land Before Time) finally made a hit Princess movie - and it really is a Don Bluth Princess movie, so much grittier than Disney's offerings in the Princess Department.
What am I talking about! Have I lost the plot? Stay tuned to see what happens next!
February 22, 2017
Tonight we had a stargazing moon picnic in the mountains of Colorado - brightest stars I've seen in years. Brought a little Roland Jupiter-08 with a solar panel powering it (we all took a turn playing it) and clear jello with blue berries mixed in. I saw one very prominent shooting star. I think I may have seen others, but they were so faint I don't know if I imagined them.
We had red filtered flashlights so not to ruin our sensitive night vision.
Wish Peter could have been there too.
Wish Peter could have been there too.
February 10, 2017
I have to admit, I've never really been into this style of puppetry. It just never quite clicked with me. Today I discovered Bruce Schwartz and it hit me hard! In this piece, he did on the Muppet Show (accompanied by Cleo Laine), a man, or... seemingly gender neutral person, is lamenting their recently departed lover. It's just heartbreaking and by far the most sophisticated thing I've ever seen on this program.
These days puppetry is a huge part of my life and work. I usually hate puppetry - I hate the way the culture around it has developed, I hate the meaningless discussions and the big personalities. I hate how hardly any real emotion is transmitted. But when I see videos like this, it reminds me of my earliest experiences with the art form and how enchanted I was, and why I'm still chasing that thing today.
Thank you, Bruce Scwartz.