November 12, 2011

Faster, ping pong balls! Ping! Ping!

So maybe you've caught some recent iPhone commercials and wondered, "Is that Philip Glass? Surely Glass wouldn't do an Apple commercial, would he?" Well, not yet (although he did appear at the Manhattan Apple Store a while back). That piece you hear in the commercials, which sounds a lot like Truman Sleeps, but faster and tinklier, is by Keith Keniff. But if you want to hear Truman Sleeps covered a little faster and and a lot tinklier, you have to go to Carlo Castellano, a guy with a studio, a glockenspiel, and lots and lots of ping pong balls.
posted by maudlin at 10:15 PM PST - 34 comments

Ah, the 70's...

R2-D2 thinks he has whooping cough, a cantina alien gets too drunk to drive, and C3-P0 explains why smoking is bad for you.
posted by GavinR at 6:15 PM PST - 38 comments

The Black Damp

On the morning of November 13, 1909 there were around 500 men and boys working in the St. Paul mine in Cherry, IL. It would be more than six months before the last body was recovered. [more inside]
posted by timsteil at 4:47 PM PST - 22 comments

Broken windows and empty hallways

Leonard Nimoy covers Randy Newman's I Think It's Gonna Rain Today
posted by boygeorge at 4:12 PM PST - 30 comments

50 Words For Snow

After exploring the rapture of a summer's night on 2005's Aerial, Kate Bush will be releasing a new album of original winter-themed material on November 21st. (Her previous album from earlier this year, Director's Cut, was revamped versions of older material. Previously) The new album, 50 Words For Snow, has been getting glowing advance reviews. While we await its release, we can content ourselves with the first single from the album, Wild Man. Or if you prefer, the shorter radio edit version (with lyrics). Also, The Quietus interviewed her about the new album.
posted by hippybear at 3:46 PM PST - 18 comments

My worst one was right on the money.

Chapter One. He adored New York City. He idolized it all out of proportion - er, no, make that: he - he romanticized it all out of proportion. To him, no matter what the season was, this was still a town that existed in black and white and pulsated to the great tunes of George Gershwin ... New York was his town, and it always would be.
posted by Apropos of Something at 3:38 PM PST - 20 comments

"The Fat Just Walks Away"

Obese monkeys lose weight by new drug that kills off fat cells. Adipotide is the newest weapon in the war on obesity. Unlike other weight-loss drugs that try to suppress appetite, boost one's metabolism, or block the absorption of fat, Adipotide blocks the blood supply that feeds fatty tissue. Studies show monkeys lost 11% of their body weight after 4 weeks of treatment.
posted by 2manyusernames at 3:10 PM PST - 114 comments

The whole matter began, so far as I am concerned, with the historic and unprecedented Vermont floods...

Whisperer in darkness ...in miniature! - Props from the movie in their new Vermont home from website of Stephen R. Bissette, which also features a gallery of his Swamp Thing art and posts on the Main Street Museum "Floodraiser" including pictures of some auctioned props (1, 2). Previous Whisperings.
posted by Artw at 1:51 PM PST - 4 comments

Daft Punk manqué + DeLorean

With only about as much effort as manufacturing one’s own Great Pyramid of Giza, Atlanta prop-builder Harrison Krix designs and constructs his own Daft Punk–style helmet, complete with 320 red LEDs along the visor and twin cooling fans. (Delightful time-lapse making-of video [YouTube]. Design process: Part 1Part 2Part 3.) Now, what are you supposed to do with a prop like that? Pop it on and pose next to a DeLorean, obviously.
posted by joeclark at 1:16 PM PST - 17 comments

Outsource yourself!

Looking for work? Come to India!
posted by Tom-B at 11:32 AM PST - 26 comments

Auerbach! Lacan! Jameson! Fish!

I don’t believe in dissing books I used to love, and I always suspect the moral judgment of people who sneer at the taste of the reader they used to be: “I know thee not, old book.” Six writers talk what's on their shelves.
posted by villanelles at dawn at 11:23 AM PST - 72 comments

Troy

Sinéad O'Connor performing "Troy" at the Dominion Theatre, London, June 3, 1988
posted by xod at 10:54 AM PST - 46 comments

Washington's Blog on Unemployment

Today I am sharing with you an article arguing that unemployment rates during the Great Depression were overstated, that current unemployment rates are understated and that the two sets of data considered in combination indicate that we are are firmly in Depression-era levels of unemployment.
posted by jason's_planet at 8:30 AM PST - 78 comments

Dawn Powell

For decades Dawn Powell was always just on the verge of ceasing to be a cult and becoming a major religion. But despite the work of such dedicated cultists as Edmund Wilson and Matthew Josephson, John Dos Passos and Ernest Hemingway, Dawn Powell never became the popular writer that she ought to have been. In those days, with a bit of luck, a good writer eventually attracted voluntary readers and became popular. Today, of course, "popular" means bad writing that is widely read while good writing is that which is taught to involuntary readers. Powell failed on both counts. She needs no interpretation and in her lifetime she should have been as widely read as, say, Hemingway or the early Fitzgerald or the mid O'Hara or even the late, far too late, Katherine Anne Porter. But Powell was that unthinkable monster, a witty woman who felt no obligation to make a single, much less a final, down payment on Love or The Family; she saw life with a bright Petronian neutrality, and every host at life's feast was a potential Trimalchio to be sent up. - Gore Vidal
posted by Trurl at 7:52 AM PST - 38 comments

Marathon Boy

Running a marathon is a particularly arduous task, even for the most able-bodied athlete. But for a four-year old to run a marathon is extraordinary. Especially a four-year old Indian boy who, at the age of two, was sold by his mother to a street peddler for 800 rupees. Meet Budhia, a prodigious runner and product of the slums, who is taken in and raised by a relentless trainer named Biranchi Das. After Das pushes Budhia to run a 42-mile race (which he completes), governmental agencies intervene and attempt to remove the boy from the custody of Das. Local protests erupt, a man is murdered, and Budhia returns to the care of his mother. This is the story told by the documentary Marathon Boy. // trailer // review // interview with filmmaker
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 7:12 AM PST - 18 comments

Judy. It’s Judy Garland. Judy.

The Boy Who Became Judy Garland. [NYTimes]
posted by Fizz at 5:37 AM PST - 17 comments

The talking pedal steel of Pete Drake

Years before Peter Frampton stuck a tube in his mouth and asked the world, through his guitar, "do you, YOU, feel like I do?" there was a fellow who wanted to make his pedal steel guitar talk. And talk it did. Welcome to the wondrously weird musical universe of Pete Drake: Welcome To My World, Blue Velvet, Am I That Easy To Forget, Only You, Roses Are Red... and here you can see Pete in action, with his whole crew of slightly scary looking players and singers, performing Forever. And, hey, just for good measure, let's check ol' Pete's sound without that crazy tube in his mouth, shall we? A snazzy little number called Panhandle Rag, or this (partial) driving waltz, The Spook. But wait! There's more! It's entirely likely that you've heard Pete already! You just didn't know it was he providing that gorgeous, slippery accompaniment for Bob Dylan on Lay Lady Lay. Thank you, Pete!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:30 AM PST - 39 comments

Gnarls Barkley, Live

Gnarls Barkley live, Basement Studio: Crazy. Gnarls live, Abbey Road: Who's Gonna Save My Soul, Smiley Faces, Gone Daddy Gone, Surprise.
posted by maxwelton at 4:23 AM PST - 21 comments

Sound In A Vacuum

Christine Sun Kim is a performance artist working in the realm of sound. She makes beautiful messes. She's also deaf. Todd Selby is a photographer. He's made a film about her. [more inside]
posted by artof.mulata at 3:51 AM PST - 12 comments