Cabinessence is the official soundtrack of Easily Mused, Spotify playlists chock full of infectious and stimulating tunes from many places and times. It's outsider music, hidden gems, buried treasures, and hits you remember! And it's absolutely free, a labor of love from a lifelong music lover. Simply go to the Cabinessence page on Facebook, click "like" and you're all set! Stay attuned...

September 24, 2014

True Fact Comics #2: The World's First Military Sub



From Star Spangled Comics #107 (Aug 1950) comes the thrilling true tale of The Turtle, the first submarine used in combat. GCBD lists the penciller as Curt Swan and credits John Fischetti with inks.








Addams Family Mysteries

Percy Helton (as Uncle Fester) Sneaks Up on John Astin (as Gomez)

Recently, Life Magazine presented an article showing various actors and actresses trying out for roles in The Addams Family in 1964. Many people who care about such things have been trying to identify these performers. I collated all the info I could find on this matter and sent an e-mail to Mark Evanier, and he posted the bulk of it on his blog, News From ME.

Thankfully, he caught my mistake (D'oh!) of naming Percy Helton as a possible candidate for the role of Lurch. That would certainly be a non-starter, although, as you can see from the photo above, he just might have cut the muster as dear old Uncle Fester.




September 20, 2014

True Fact Comics #1: The Story Of Casey Jones



Comics are like human brains, so little of their potential is utilized. I have learned so much about subjects such as history and science just by reading comics that I could never, for one moment, take seriously the lunkheads that dismiss the medium as throwaway entertainment fit only for children and adults with arrested development. Comics can make learning fun, and that's a very good thing, because learning should be fun. Right?

Here is a biography of train engineer Casey Jones from Real Fact Comics #19. (March-April 1949). GCBD lists the artist as Howard Sherman, he of Doctor Fate fame.







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Take An Audio Tour Through A Sixties-Era Amusement Park




Though I was born in 1973, I state with no hesitation that the sixties is my favorite decade. Although there was a great deal of strife in America during that tumultuous decade, it was also an era alive with possibilities, boundless culural creativity and a desire for genuine positive change.

Artifacts from that period seem to contain a particular magic and here's a neat, maybe even groovy, one: sounds from Santa Monica's Pacific Ocean Park, an amusement park that opened in 1958 and closed in 1967.

Dig it!

Thanks to Domenic Priore for the link. By the way, Domenic and Christopher Merritt wrote a wonderful photo-filled book about Pacific Ocean Park which contains a foreword from Brian Wilson.

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 our living rooms 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.

Enjoy!







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
  Ivanov-Vano

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.