Streaming now, the first episode of the new vintage music/ vintage animation show Sublime Exotics! It's trippy. It's worldly. It's cooli-ooli-o! Here.

September 18, 2014

50th Anniversary Newswatch Linkfest

The sixties was such a fertile time for pop culture, especially after The Beatles landed in America. I think we had all better prepare ourselves for an unprecedented flurry of 50th anniversary celebrations. Why, I wouldn't be surprised if the upcoming onslaught of 50th anniversaries ushered in a full scale sixties revival, although the thought of Sarah Palin wearing go-go boots makes me a little ill.

Debuting on television exactly five decades ago this week, Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea is a show I need to stare at more often, especially after reading Joe Torcivia's glowing tribute to the show on his blog, The Issue at Hand. Be patient with me, Joe. I'm still slogging my way through Fireball XL5.

Over at Yowp, Yowp raps about Hanna-Barbera's Jonny Quest in a well-researched piece that includes some reviews written about the show when it was all shiny and new, fifty years ago. Is Jonny Quest the best action cartoon series ever made? Name me one better. 

Not to be outdone, Terence Towles Canote at A Shroud of Thoughts offers up an interesting history of Bewitched, still nose-wigglin' it's way into hearts after all these years. 

I'll leave you with a Donna Loren performance of the theme from Goldfinger, which just turned fifty, from a 1965 telecast of Shindig!, which premiered, yup, you guessed it, this week in 1964.

David Harper Nails What's Wrong With Superhero Comics Today

23 of DC's December comics will have variant covers drawn by Darwyn Cooke.
David Harper has recently posted an excellent article at Multiversity Comics in which he asserts, rightly so, that the superhero comics industry could do a lot worse than follow the example set by Darwyn Cooke's "DC:The New Frontier" to reinvigorate the genre and bring back some of the fun and optimism. He most eloquently points out that superheroes rarely even smile anymore. 

From the article:

When you look at “DC: The New Frontier” and Cooke’s variant covers that are coming down the path, it’s hard not to describe them with phrases like “nostalgic blasts” and “delightfully Silver Age.” That’s fair, as that’s what they are. They represent another time, and they do it well. But when I look at them, it’s hard not to recognize that the spirit and heart he captures in his work is something comics truly miss. In an era where social media and 24/7 news networks and in-your-face blogs are pursuing the horrors of the world to greater depths than ever before, a little bit of hope and optimism from the greatest heroes in comics feels more needed and welcome than ever.

Thanks to Arlen Schumer for the link.

Bette Davis Speaks At The 1969 San Francisco Film Festival

Here is an audio recording of Bette Davis speaking and answering questions at The 1969 San Francisco Film Festival. She seems more relaxed here than in some other interviews I've watched or heard. In particular, her frequent laughter is disarmingly joyful. Holding court in a room full of film buffs, she tactfully addresses her feud with Joan Crawford and laments passing on the role of Scarlett O'Hara in Gone With The Wind, among other interesting topics.

Tales From Earth-C #1: A Bo Bunny Story By Sheldon Mayer

To celebrate the impending release of Showcase Presents: Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew!, here is a story set on Earth-C, the home of DC Comics' funny animal characters (at least before Crisis On Infinite Earths fouled up the original Multiverse).

This is a Bo Bunny story from Peter Porkchops #50 (June-July 1957) featuring the work of genius Sheldon Mayer.

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When Comics Were Fun #1: Superman Does The Dishes

The Man of Steel shows off his dish drying technique, from Superman #57 (March-April 1949). 

September 17, 2014

Hanna-Barbera's Abbott and Costello Cartoon Show - "Booty Bounty"

This rare Hanna-Barbera cartoon series originally ran in syndication from September 9, 1967 to June 1, 1968. It's mostly notable for the fact that Bud Abbott provided his voice talents. Stan Irwin, a nightclub manager who had been a friend of the pair, did the voice of Lou, who had passed away in 1959.

In this in-depth interview, Kliph Nesteroff asked Stan about his work on the show:

Stan Irwin: A friend of mine brought the idea up and he was going to produce it. He knew that I could do [the voice of] Costello and brought me along. I would fly in from Vegas, drive and pick up Bud Abbott, go to the recording studio, and drive him back to his house and fly back to Vegas. Bud lisped a lot. A lot. We had to do a lot of retakes. He lived in a house that was smaller than his former bar. He was on a downward slope and the end was near. He needed the cartoon gig and they tolerated him because it was him even though it was retake after retake after retake.

In this episode, Bud and Lou try to bag a bounty by capturing a mountain lion named Sawtooth.

September 15, 2014

Sublime Exotics #1

Having some extra time on my hands while I earn the funds to complete my home music studio, I decided to channel my creative energies into compiling and editing a show that mixes vintage, sometimes obscure, music with vintage, sometimes obscure, animation.

At times the music and animation seem to be working in concert to tell a story. At other times, the animation serves merely as eye candy to accompany the music.

I'd like to dedicate this program to all artists everywhere. Your lives and works are testimony to the unlimited potential of mankind to create, rather than to destroy.

This installment features music by Spirit, Traffic, Sherbet, Leon Russell & Marc Benno, Daddy Cool, Mark Fry, and Starcastle, as well as award-winning animation by Andrey Khryanovsky, Ivan Ivanov-Vano, Paula MacDougall, Josef Misik, Wang Shuchen, Gerry Paquette and Ishu Patel.


Opening Title: Animation from The Glass Harmonica (1968), directed by
    Andrey Khryanovsky.

Segment One Music: "Love Has Found A Way/Why Can't I Be Free?" by Spirit, from the album 12 Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus (1970).

Segment One Animation: Extract from The Butterfly (1972), directed by
    Andrey Khryanovsky.

Segment Two Music: "Hidden Treasure" by Traffic, from the album The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys (1971)

Segment Two Animation: Extract from Seasons (1969), directed by Ivan

Segment Three Music: "Silvery Moon" by Sherbet, from the album            Slipstream (1974).   

Segment Three Animation: Extract from 1974 (2000), directed by Paula    MacDougall.

Segment Four Music: "Icicle Star Tree" by Leon Russell & Marc Benno,  from the album Look Inside The Asylum Choir (1968).

Segment Four Animation: Extract from Kermesse Fantastique (1951), directed by Josef Misik.

Segment Five Music: "Eagle Rock" by Daddy Cool, from the album Daddy Who? Daddy Cool (1971).

Segment Five Animation: Extract from Crossing Monkey Mountain (1958), directed by Wang Shuchen.

Segment Six Music: "Song For Wilde" by Mark Fry, from the album Dreaming With Alice (1972).

Segment Six Animation: Extract from Oh Sean (1982), directed by Gerry Paquette.

Segment Seven Music: "Elliptical Seasons" by Starcastle, from the album
Starcastle (1976).

Segment Seven Animation: Extract from Afterlife (1978), directed by Ishu Patel.


August 30, 2014

George Benson's "Giblet Gravy"

Going through a box of unsorted vinyl yesterday, I was pleased to find George Benson's 1968 Verve LP Giblet Gravy. This tune, the title track, starts out sounding like a funky take-off on Mancini's "Baby Elephant Walk," but stick around for some bona fide virtuosity!

Blast Off, Eh Wot!

As far as unsold tv pilots goes, The Solarnauts, from 1967, is engaging enough to make me wish it had gone to series. There is a definite Gerry Anderson vibe going on here, and, if you like bongos, you're going to love the musical score. Okay, it's definitely not Star Trek. It is, however, rare British sci-fi from the Age of Groovy, and really, isn't that enough? Did I mention the bongos?