Never made it more than about three minutes whenever I try to watch the infamous holiday special. This looks promising, though!
Guys who can play – pretending they can’t – while dressed as monsters is fucking genius.
The Mummies are an American garage punk band formed in San Bruno, California, in 1988. Exhibiting a defiantly raw and lo-fi sound, dubbed “budget rock”, the Mummies’ rebellious attitude and distinctive performance costumes exerted a major influence on garage punk and garage rock revival acts later in the decade, as well as in the 1990s. Their recorded output was intentionally completed with poor, cheap equipment, including their first and only studio album Never Been Caught, which was released after the group’s initial break-up. Since then, the Mummies have engaged in several positively-received reunion concerts and tours, including appearances in Europe and the US sporadically through to recent years. The band is currently working on a movie.
It’s positively ubiquitous! According to Gizmodo …
The sound effect that’s been heard in countless movies and TV shows over the decades technically has two birthdays. As a sound itself, it originally debuted in the 1951 film Distant Drums from singer-songwriter Sheb Wooley. But it was officially given its name with the minor character of Private Wilhelm in The Charge at Feather River, a western that came out July 11, 1953. In that movie, Wilhelm (played by actor Ralph Brooks) screams after being shot in the thigh with an arrow, which would come to define its use: in all of its appearances in future media, it would be used when someone got shot, blasted back by an explosion, or fell from a high distance.
Recently, CBS News did a story on the Wilhelm Scream, and the outlet revealed that it managed to find a tape with the first recording session Wooley did for the scream. CalArts researcher Craig Smith explained to CBS that he found the tape among many from the archives of the University of Southern California’s film school that were close to being trashed.
I like most of Wes Anderson’s films. They are quirky for sure, and not for everyone. I like his color palette, and symmetry. The script is usually pretty odd, but sometimes funny. This new one has another ensemble cast, but based on this trailer, I think it might be a miss. That being said, I don’t think any of his trailers make the films look great…
Any of you bastards fans of Wes Anderson?
I watched Tár this week. The featured musical pieces include Mahler’s Symphony No. 5 and Elgar’s Cello Concerto in E Minor (above). The subtleties are lost on my underdeveloped musical perceiving apparatus, but I rather enjoyed the passages from Elgar.
Also, and independently, I learned that the lyric from “A Quick One While He’s Away” is not
cello cello cello cello cello cello cello
jerrald jerrald jerrald jerrald jerrald jerrald jerrald
Steve Vai will attempt to set the Guinness World Record for the World’s Largest Online Guitar Lesson!
I’m sort of a theme & variations junkie. From Bach to Coltrane, they show just what a musician can do when taking a single melody and running with it. A while back I posted Bach’s Goldberg Variations, which didn’t really improvise the main melody but came up with new ones while repeating the bass line. Subsequent composers usually varied the melody by elaborating on bits of it, like in this Beethoven set. This set came about after the musician and (more importantly) publisher, Anton Diabelli, sent a waltz melody to the leading German composers of the time and requested each of them to write a variation on it. Beethoven thought the melody was garbage and ignored it at first. One story has him changing his mind when he learned that other respected composers (Czerny and Hummel, a sometimes rival) were doing it. Or maybe he decided that the melody was pliable enough to accomplish something. Most likely Diabelli simply offered Beethoven money to compose multiple variations; he knew they’d sell. Beethoven wrote 33 variations. Like Coltrane working a show tune, these 33 get pretty far out there, way ahead of their time. There’s everything from mockery of the melody (“this melody is shit”) to transcendance (“look what I can do with even a shitty melody”) and, well, who knows what to call it. There have been plenty of great theme and variation works since, but none have put a melody through the wringer quite like this.
Beethoven was a master of improvisation; he wrote other such sets, but also worked variations into his symphonies, piano sonatas, string quartets, etc. If you want a shorter example, try the second (and final) movement of his piano sonata #32, his last, where he twists a hymn-like melody all over the place before landing in long, brutal, and otherworldly trills that would cripple a normal hand. The second movement starts at 9:00 if you don’t want to hear the first.
I know it’s probably verging on blasphemy for some when I say I’m really digging Giles Martin’s new stereo mix of Revolver. Thinking very seriously of grabbing it on vinyl.
Gone but not forgotten!
This video is only concerned with the artists who contributed to Mad in it’s first two decades – even if some of them carried on for longer. I’ve got nothing against those who came later but I’m selfishly only dealing with the ones who inspired and influenced me as I grew up. They taught me more than 4 years of college ever did. Apparently in the early Kurtzman comic years Mad was printed in colour, although all the examples I found were black and white only, and according to a particularly grumpy viewer Dave Berg didn’t die until 2002. Mea culpa.