Archive for August, 2007

Dolly Dolly Dolly

Wednesday, August 29th, 2007

What with three manga book cover designs due on the same day, the workload ran so heavy today that I’ll likely be dreaming of saucer-eyed warrior women wearing thigh high leather boots tonight. One thing that made the day go by a little faster was listening to Andrew Dupuy’s fun audio essay on Dolly Parton’s “crossover” period of 1977-80 at Discover A World Of Sounds. I have a particular sweet spot for this critically reviled yet sweet-as-honey time in Dolly’s career — so thank you very much, Andrew!

Extinct Attractions Club

Monday, August 27th, 2007

MSN catches a contributor in a nostalgic mood: 10 Things I Miss About Disneyland. A good article, although I think a lot of this second-hand nostalgia tends to gloss over the fact that some of those old rides may have not been all that. Sure, the Monsanto House of the Future looks way cool in photographs, but when I queried my mom (who visited D’land for the first time in the mid-’60s), she said it didn’t make much of an impression on her. I can remember doing Mission to Mars in 1987, being underwhelmed by an outdated and dull experience. Times change and they can’t keep it a museum.

That said, I truly hate how the current Disneyland is becoming less about the low-key and educational and more about the blatant selling of crap. I’m still pissed about them making the treehouse into a Tarzan shill, and Jack Sparrow invading the pirate ride and Tom Sawyer Island seems wrong. Something like Adventure Thru Inner Space could make you learn about molecules and have a good ‘ol campy time — why can’t they recapture that sort of magic any more?

Indestructibles 4: Revenge of the Girls

Saturday, August 25th, 2007
Promises, Promises

Last year I wrote about the “indestructibles”, my arbitrarily-chosen word for songs that hold up well to multiple interpretations by different artists, and now’s a good time to revisit that idea. Looking through my iTunes collection, I’ve listed the songs recorded by at least three different performers below (the ones that weren’t covered in the earlier post, anyhow). At this point it’s getting to be a lot of groovy/fun ’60s songs which wouldn’t be considered standards by any stretch, but there are some interesting nuggets to be found. “Oh No Not My Baby”, for example, was done at least four times in three different decades, but each singer has her own unique take on the tune. Some of these are purely coincidental: goofy music expert Phil X. Milstein recently sent me a bunch of “Hurting Each Others” which predate the Carpenters’ hit, and the presence of three renditions of the obscure ballad “Look at Me” seems like a complete fluke. If anyone has their own “indestructibles” to share, post ‘em here. I’d love to see them! (artwork from the original program for Broadway musical Promises, Promises, c.1968)

Anyone Who Had A Heart — Cilla Black, Dionne Warwick, Dusty Springfield, Linda Ronstadt
Both Sides Now — Harpers Bizarre, Doris Day, Skeeter Davis
Boys — The Shirelles, The Beatles, Jeannie & The Big Guys
California My Way — The Committee, The Fifth Dimension, The Gimmicks
California Nights — Lesley Gore, The Four King Cousins, Wes Montgomery
Call Me — The Foundations, Petula Clark, Chris Montez
The Drifter — Harpers Bizarre, Rita Calypso, Roger Nichols & The Small Circle of Friends
For Once In My Life — Barbara McNair, Jean DuShon, Spiral Starecase
Happy Heart — Andy Williams, Petula Clark, Freda Payne
Heart — Joey Loren, The 2 of Clubs, Petula Clark
Hurting Each Other — The Carpenters, The Guess Who, Jimmy Clanton, Ruby & The Romantics, Ruth Lewis
I Can’t Give Back The Love I Feel For You — Diana Ross, Dusty Springfield, Syreeta Wright
Look At Me — Davy Jones, Bergen White, Rita Calypso
My Boyfriend’s Back — The Angels, The Chiffons, The Paper Dolls
Oh No Not My Baby — Maxine Brown, Aretha Franklin, Dusty Springfield, Linda Ronstadt
One Tin Soldier — Coven, The Original Caste, Skeeter Davis
Paradise — The Ronettes, The Shangri-Las, Bette Midler
Popcorn — Gershon Kingsley, Hot Butter, The Fairfax High School Marimba Band
Silver Threads and Golden Needles — The Springfields, Skeeter Davis, The Cowsills
Sunglasses — Skeeter Davis, Tracey Ullman, Sandy Posey
What Am I Gonna Do With You — Lesley Gore, The Inspirations, Skeeter Davis
Yesterday — Dionne Warwick, The Doodletown Pipers, The Toys
You Are My Sunshine — Aretha Franklin, Dee Dee Sharp, The Free Design

Housing Developments

Friday, August 24th, 2007

Funny stuff: the Phoenix New Times‘ Robrt L. Pela begins a new column, Surreal Estate, with a piece on the new faux-Italian apartment complex bordering the busy I-17 freeway. This reminds me of when I went apartment hunting back in 1994. Looking for places in the East Valley (Tempe/Chandler/Mesa), I used the Arizona Republic listings as a guide. Bad decision. Back then they used to run a weekly writeup on a local apartment complex — and week after week it was always some snooty high-end place in Scottsdale or Paradise Valley being profiled. Even worse was the fact that the profiles had the feel of superficial, relentlessly upbeat puffery (which describes just about everything the Republic publishes). Anyway, I’m looking forward to reading about whatever Pela can come up with for his column.

Related: Derrick Bostrom’s vintage Phoenix postcard collection.

Big Fat Link Log 2

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2007

smiley bookLooking back, it’s been a year since I posted My Big Fat Link Log with the intent of an annual refresh — so it’s high time to do an update. So in case you were wondering what I waste my precious daytime hours on while I should be working, here you go. Surprisingly I got rid of a few, but isn’t it always the case that there are a constant stream of ever-interesting reads to take their place? Bulleted weblogs are either a) new or b) unaccountably missing from last year’s log.

1947project | • 2719 Hyperion | A Joshua Tree In Every Pot | • A List Of Things Thrown Five Minutes Ago | A Sampler of Things | ASIFA-Hollywood Animation Archive Project Blog | A.V. Club Blogs | Awful Plastic Surgery | • Back of the Cereal Box | Bibi’s Box | The Blackwing Diaries | Bill Crider’s Pop Culture Magazine | Boing Boing | Bob Sassone | Book Covers Blog | Bonnie Blog | Booksteve’s Library | Bostworld | Bradlands Must See HTTP:// | • Brand New | • Branded in the ’80s | Cardhouse | Cartoon Brew | Cartoon Modern | • Coudal Partners | Crack Skull Bob | davekehr.com | • Davelandblog | Delicado | Design Observer | • Designing Magazines | The Disney Blog | Disney History | Drawn! | Drew’s Blog-O-Rama | Dynagirl | • Ephemera | Eye of the Goof | • Fanboy.com | Fimoculous | FLOG! | Folded Space | Friday Fishwrap | Fun All Around | • Gatotchy’s Blog | Ghost In The Machine | • GlenMullaly.com – The BLOG!!! | gmtPlus9 | greg.org | Hacking NetFlix | • History of the Button | Hit or Miss | • The Hits Just Keep on Comin’ | i like | In Black And White | Irregular Orbit | Jinjur | Just Ask Christopher | Kottke.org | • Lady Bunny Blog (NSFW) | Lileks The Bleat | Little Yellow Different | Lots of Co. | • Malls of America | • Martin Klasch | Mimi Smartypants | Mr. Irresponsible’s Bad Advice | • mod*mom | • My Name Is Earl Kress | • Neato Coolville | News From Me | News of the Dead | NewsDesigner.com | The Other Andrew | Other Stream | • Passport to Dreams Old & New | Patrick’s Journal | PCL LinkDump | Pop Culture Gadabout | Pop Culture Junk Mail | Posterwire | Quiddity | RaShOmoN | ReadyMade Blog | Re-Imagineering | Robot Action Boy | Robot Johnny | Ryan Arrowsmith | Self-Styled Siren | • Smallist | Snarky Malarkey | Something Old, Nothing New | Sore Eyes |• Swapatorium | things magazine | • This Justin | Thrilling Days of Yesteryear | Tim Lucas Video WatchBlog | The Tin Man | Tiny Pineapple | Today’s Inspiration | Tom the Dog’s You Know What I Like? | • Turbanhead.com | • TV Guidance | Ultrasparky | UnBeige | Veer: The Skinny | Vince Keenan | Ward-O-Matic | waxy.org | Web Goddess | • WFMU’s Beware of the Blog | What Do I Know | • x-entertainment.com

White on White Books

Sunday, August 19th, 2007

We love our cat Eero. Even so, she’s fond of getting into places she shouldn’t be — like the five foot high shelf in our living room. To deter her I got a little book holder and filled it full of books with white, off-white and beige jackets to take up most of the shelf space. Arranging books by color is something that’s taken hold in recent years and there’s even a Flickr group devoted to the subject. Eero will still probably find a way to squeeze herself up there, but at least it’ll look pretty with a white kitty next to a bunch of white books.

White Books