Get Your Shades On, This is Cool
January 14, 2011 5:06 PM   Subscribe

In 1967, Ken Nordine (previ-ously) did a themed album of his "Word Jazz" titled "Colors" that consisted of over 30 short poems/riffs about specific colors. Recently, cuts from that album have become popular soundtracks for exercises in animation... A lot of them use the currently-trendy "kinetic typography" - Black Beige Blue Brown (with a Brown Owl) Brown Green Mauve Magenta while others use paper cut-outs - Amber Azure Cerise Coral (starts at 1:00) Crimson Fuschia Green (again) Lavender Magenta (again) Maroon (a rhyming Cartoon) Mauve (again) Orange Russet. Plus three versions of Yellow, with J.R. 'Bob' Dobbs, with a character resembling PacMan and with blobby cut-outs and a cut-off ending. Finally Flesh, but without animation.
posted by oneswellfoop (14 comments total) 32 users marked this as a favorite
My introduction to Ken Nordine was the Video Toaster demo videos and those great dated Levis commercials. Whatta voice.
posted by infinitewindow at 5:09 PM on January 14, 2011 [4 favorites]

Reminds me of the Spectrum Song, which has been variously animated.
posted by Faze at 5:38 PM on January 14, 2011

What's the use of puce?
posted by octobersurprise at 7:57 PM on January 14, 2011

Way cooler than I ever expected. Also that first Levis ad was great.
posted by Ad hominem at 8:12 PM on January 14, 2011

Wow. MetaFilter reminds me from time to time about Word Jazz, and I'm always glad for the reminder. I look forward to digging through these videos. I miss his show appearing on NPR.
posted by hippybear at 8:15 PM on January 14, 2011

Personal anecdote: During my short radio career in the '70s, I got to meet most of my idols (Dr. Dememto, Gary Owens...) but not Ken Nordine, even though at one time I was answering the phones on a talk show on a station that used his voice on its station IDs. But he never came around to the station in L.A. (he did all his recording at his home base in Chicago) and I could never get the Program Director to send him a script that used the name "Wendell". Sigh.
posted by oneswellfoop at 8:47 PM on January 14, 2011

Thank you, thank you, thank You! I heard a couple tracks from the Colors album some years back, and didn't catch the artist or album. I've been searching ever since for those two bits of information.
posted by calamari kid at 10:06 PM on January 14, 2011

I had heard a few of these growing up, but Ken Nordine's contributions to the fantastic Hal Wilner 'Stay Awake' Disney tribute are the things that have been popping up in my dreams for a very long time now...
posted by pupdog at 10:12 PM on January 14, 2011 [2 favorites]

That second linked Levi's ad (where they're taking the logo for a walk) introduced me to Ken Nordine when I was a kid.

35(ish) years later, that ad and Ken Nordine are both still awesome.
posted by Lazlo at 11:55 PM on January 14, 2011

Ken Nordine's "Yellow" contains nearly everything I like about Ken Nordine. His voice manages to wink with inside jokes and shared understanding.
posted by Jezebella at 8:39 AM on January 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

i love ken nordine. years ago i was in a band that nearly collaborated with him. it didn't happen, but to think that was even a possibility gives me a wee glow. he'll be 91 this year. bless him.
posted by peterkins at 10:21 AM on January 15, 2011

but Ken Nordine's contributions to the fantastic Hal Wilner 'Stay Awake' Disney tribute

Stay Awake also has Tom Waits' incredible version of "Heigh Ho" among others, but Ken Nordine's stuff completely kicked my ass. He is a national treasure as far as I'm concerned, and I am so glad to have had it growing up.

Damn it all... damn everything... but the circus.
posted by Spatch at 9:01 PM on January 15, 2011

Docu on Nordine here.
posted by dobbs at 12:40 PM on February 6, 2011

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