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flapjax at midnite (2)

The dark powers

In the last few weeks, extensive evidence has emerged that Japanese show business is saturated with the yakuza’s influence. Police records and sources, along with testimony from current and former yakuza members, have revealed that many powerful Japanese talent agencies and production companies are not simply fronts for the yakuza—they are the yakuza.

Yakuza Goes Hollywood – Jake Adelstein reports on recent attempts to remove the yakuza from the entertainment industry
posted by timshel on Dec 14, 2013 - 18 comments

The Treniers

Do you know The Treniers? Back in the 40s and 50s, they straddled the lines between jump blues, swing, early rock'n'roll, jazz dance, hep jive and comedy. They were a whole hella fun, and they happened to be the backing band for what must be the best dance performance Jerry Lewis ever gave the world. That particular clip, BTW, from a Dean Martin/Jerry Lewis "Colgate Comedy Hour" in 1954, is purported to be the first rock'n'roll performance on national television, and it may well have been.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Mar 28, 2012 - 14 comments

Bozo the Clown dead at 83

With a big red shoe, Bozo has kicked the bucket. Larry Harmon, AKA Bozo the clown, gone to heavenly syndication.
posted by longsleeves on Jul 3, 2008 - 69 comments

Nostalg-afire Explosion

Searching for animatronics that'll take you out and do you right? Long beyond their glory days, renowned Showbiz Pizza house band, The Rock-afire Explosion, is attempting a comeback. Not that they haven't tried before, but this reunion is driven on multiple fronts: the refocussed creator Aaron Fletcher, the head (and tail) of Creative Engineering; accomplished custom performances by Chris Thrash (previously on Metafilter) and his fellow fan programmer/collectors; and a cameo in the technicolor orgy of an MGMT music video. (Noticed on the fittingly titled Gorilla vs. Bear.) [more inside]
posted by pokermonk on Jun 7, 2008 - 27 comments

Do you really care about the starving children of Africa.

Development porn and Humanitarian badges. A moment of Truth
posted by Student of Man on Feb 27, 2008 - 56 comments

Stringbean. And his banjo. And those pants.

For lovers of old-time, mountain banjo styles and songs, Roscoe Holcomb and Dock Boggs are revered figures. To many, however, plucker and singer David Akeman remains uncelebrated or unknown, even by his stage name of Stringbean. Is it because he was for a time actually famous as a country music showbiz staple, and therefore lacks folk cred? Or maybe the purists just can't get with those low-hanging pants the man was known for, his original hillbilly homeboy styling? Or was it cause on any given tune his left hand would likely be off the neck of the banjo more than on it? Whatever the reason, it's time folks took a new look at Stringbean. After all, the lines between folk and commercial styles have always been blurry in American music. Let's hear it for Stringbeeeeeeeaaan! [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite on Oct 17, 2007 - 15 comments

Step Right Up

Circus History, with photos, logos, show routes, and more. See also Circus World, Circus Web, and Princeton's Circus Poster Archive.
posted by Miko on Aug 28, 2007 - 14 comments

just another nice little hobby---everybody needs a hobby, right?

It seems that this gentleman bought a set of musical robots from the defunct Showbiz Pizza restaurant chain. This gent has been reprogramming the robots to sing recent hit songs, rather than the '60s Motown hits they sang originally. He then takes video of these performances, and posts it on YouTube. I guarantee this version of Evanescence's "Lithium" will haunt your dreams (or, perhaps, make you hurl).
posted by metasonix on Aug 2, 2007 - 59 comments

Hey Ralphie, boy!

Art Carney...dead @ 85. My favorite Ed Norton quote: "One hand washes the other... And both hands wash the face."
posted by thrakintosh on Nov 11, 2003 - 16 comments

Tawny Kitaen News

The good news is that Tawny Kitaen, star of "The Perils Of Gwendoline in the Land of the Yik Yak" looks like she's about to become single. The Bad news is she may have a problem.
posted by swell on Apr 18, 2002 - 12 comments

Oh how the mighty have fallen. He went from this to this. There's nothing like watching the "downward spiral" segment of an E! True Hollyword Story unfold before your very eyes. Any other favorite falls from grace?
posted by lawtalkinguy on Jan 17, 2002 - 77 comments

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