Tag Archives: 1960s

The Catch-22

Would you like to be a cartoonist like me?

You can’t. Sorry. Not even if you paid me to train you. It won’t happen.

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Filed under Comix Classic & Current, Faint Signals, Site Stuff

Dead Kennedys

Real political subversion will be hidden from you by the media. When do you see a current celebrity interacting with rioters, or a mob of angry protesters? Never? There you go.

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Filed under Bad Influences, Comix Classic & Current, Faint Signals, Thousand Listen Club

The Pink Panther Problem

In the 1970s, children’s television was heavily occupied by a presence that’s nearly forgotten today; an artifact from the opening credits of a slapstick detective franchise, called the Pink Panther.

Like Bugs Bunny, the Pink Panther was a former smoker. Many cartoon animals smoked in the 20th century.

If you were a kid in the 1980s, the sight of that character reminded you of a piece of Henry Mancini’s distinctive score. This is the Pink Panther Problem.

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Filed under Animation Analysis, Bad Influences, Faint Signals, Saturday Movie Matinee, Thousand Listen Club

Rocketry Club

From BIUL II.

Kidding and perversity aside, we used to have “rocketry club” at school. Well, I didn’t; it was all done away with by the time I reached seventh grade. Kids could care less about the excitement of space and walking on the moon now.

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Filed under Comix Classic & Current, Faint Signals, Nostalgic Obsessions, Robot Toy Fetish, Saturday Movie Matinee

Charles Addams

In the 1960s, there were two unusual homesteads on television. One was monstrous, the other creepy and spooky. Both had excellent opening titles music.

Both had lovely type treatments and title cards, too.

Lovely type treatments and title cards, too.

The Munsters was easy to comprehend, for the most part; it was a show about a family of classic movie monsters (hence the pun). Father Herman was the great Fred Gwynne dolled up as a friendly Frankenstein’s monster; wife Lily and Grandpa were vampires. Son Eddie (Butch Patrick) was the wolf-boy, with a prominent widow’s-peak that ensured I would be humiliatingly likened to him, and daughter Marilyn was the freak, with no monstrous qualities whatsoever. They all lived in a spooky mansion on 1313 Mockingbird Lane. Who knew or cared about the genetics involved in such a lineage? Continue reading

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Filed under Comix Classic & Current, Faint Signals, Magazine Rack, Nostalgic Obsessions

Pure Evel

I don’t know why people are sad about the Great Deathwave of 2016. It’s a remarkable opportunity to make a stranger’s life all about yourself.

Muhammad Ali, The Greatest, 1942-2016. A multifarious and complex personality that's tough to categorize, not a prop for your opinions.

Muhammad Ali, The Greatest, 1942-2016. A multifarious and complex personality that’s tough to categorize (especially for a pugilist), not a prop for your opinions.

When a celebrity dies, you now own them. You can take the life’s work of someone you never encountered and reduce it to a personal inspiration. You can interpret their efforts as empowerment for your own agendas. Oh, and you can cherry-pick the qualities of their persona that you agree with, and ignore everything else. A corpse will never call your bluff. Continue reading

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Filed under Bad Influences, Faint Signals, Idiot's Delight, Nostalgic Obsessions, Saturday Movie Matinee, Worst Of All

Lao Che

Lao Che (1885-19??) was a Chinese crime lord, who made several attempts on the life of archaeologist Indiana Jones in the 1930s.

Lao Che (c.), with sons Kao Kan (l.) and Chen (r.)

Lao Che (c.), with sons Chen (l., Chua Kah Joo) and Kao Kan (r., Ric Young)

Lao’s nightclub, the Club Obi-Wan, was a front, and the headquarters of his criminal empire. The Manchurian government hired Lao to secure an urn holding the cremains of the first Manchu emperor, which had been stolen by thieves in 1903. Jones brought the urn to Club Obi-Wan, trading it with Lao for a huge diamond, but Lao double-crossed Jones by poisoning his drink. Thus begins a thrilling action sequence as pandemonium and balloons overtake the club, while Jones flails to recover the antidote Lao had taunted him with. Continue reading

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Filed under Bad Influences, Faint Signals, Late To The Party, Movies You Missed, Nostalgic Obsessions, Saturday Movie Matinee, Unfairly Maligned

The Ur-Sample

Sampling in hip-hop is important because it can send you backward in time, when it’s done well. It’s crate-digging shared on wax. The best samples offer a window into the mind of the producer, and a peek at the most obscure records in their vault. Since legally all sources must be credited, you can check the liners and draw up a shopping list. The torch of the turntable is carried on.

And oftentimes, forgotten geniuses of the past get their due.

There’s an unspoken rule in hip-hop culture; it’s based in appropriation, so it’s all about forging something fresh out of a juxtaposition of elements.  A sample is looped over a beat by a DJ, before the MC begins to rap. The right samples are crucial; they provide the hook of tonal immortality.

ursample1
The handsome gent in the photo above is David McCallumHe is the most widely-heard yet unknown dude in rap music.

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Filed under Comix Classic & Current, Faint Signals, Nostalgic Obsessions, Thousand Listen Club

Here’s Your Problem

It’s 2016, and I can tell you’re not ready. The last twelve months really added wear and tear. You’ll have to do more than make resolutions you won’t keep, if you’re gonna roll through another year. I’m here to help, though. I’ve taken a good look under your hood, and I think I see the issue. It’s not a problem yet per se, but it could seriously affect your performance in the coming days.

HaynesBIUL

Let me break it down for you.

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Filed under Idiot's Delight, Late To The Party, Nostalgic Obsessions, Robot Toy Fetish, Saturday Movie Matinee, Uncategorized, Worst Of All

Heart of Beef

It’s a modern fallacy that the oeuvre of Don Van Vliet, more commonly known to the world as Captain Beefheart, is impenetrable. As with many worthwhile pursuits, the point of introduction is crucial. Most people who bristle at Beefheart simply haven’t been ushered in the right direction.

Captain Beefheart and Frank Zappa were high school buddies with a shared love of R&B, in particular Howlin’ Wolf, whom Don loved to imitate. Don had a girlfriend named Laurie, whom his pervy uncle would sexually harass by flashing her as she walked past the bathroom; he would squeeze the end of his schlong and muse “ah, look at that. Looks like a big, fine beef heart.” Thus, a legend was born.

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Filed under Faint Signals, Late To The Party, Nostalgic Obsessions, Thousand Listen Club, Zappalogy