Monday, March 31, 2003
Vietnam War protest posters from the U.S., Cuba and Vietnam. This gives me lots of ideas for the peace poster competition over at brushstroke tv.
Yummy book design links - a sorta weblog on recent, eye-catching covers and an interview with Chip Kidd (via Kottke).
I'm having problems with Blogger - changes to the page template get recorded, but don't show up on my site. Anybody know how to remedy this, before I take it to Blogger's non-existent tech support?
Sunday, March 30, 2003
I decided to do a weblog entry about what shows have a "Season Pass" on my TiVo, the ones that get recorded every time they're on. I know it's silly and trite, but just thank your lucky stars it's not the Friday Five! Since I don't like to get tied down to watching something every week, there are only three:
Mystery Science Theater 3000
Of course MST3K is one of my faves, but only recently I started watching it regularly. I missed a huge chunk of it due to the 1994-97 period when I was cableless. Consistently good with several laugh out loud moments (describing It Lives by Night's brunette leading lady as "Mary Tyler Less", for example). The funniest MST3Ks involve movies that came out more than 20 years ago. My only complaint is that SciFi is repeating only the final three seasons. Open up the vaults, people!
Time and network: 7:30 a.m. Saturdays, the SciFi Channel. Skippable parts: opening credits, segments with Pearl in them.
I taped the pilot episode and ended up staying for the rest. Maybe it's just nostalgia, but this sitcom actually holds up pretty well. Tom Hanks and Peter Scolari have a great rapport and though Donna Dixon can't act, she's the prototypical frosted lipped wet dream early '80s babe here. It was always a tad disappointing how they abandoned the main premise early on, having the guys mostly hanging around at this apartment for women dressed as themselves and not in drag. The show truly jumped the shark when Kip and Henry revealed their secret. What was the point after that?
Time and network: 4 and 4:30 a.m. Saturdays, WTBS. Skippable parts: opening credits - although I always make sure to watch to the end for what might be the cheesiest end credits music ever made.
CBS News Sunday Morning
As a kid, I used to chide my parents for watching this. It was all corny and slow paced and folksy host Charles Kuralt was annoying. Twenty years on, with a different Charles as host (the bowtied Osgood), it's basically the same show. And I'm addicted. Probably because I crave non-patronizing TV news that doesn't shout at me, and this is the only place to find it - sanitary undergarment ads and all. Cultural stories are always lively and interesting. Their war coverage deserves a mention for being informative, objective and free of unnecessary jingoisms. Plus, every show closes with a restful nature vignette. Gotta love that.
Time and network: 7 a.m. Sundays, CBS. Skippable parts: Bob Schaeffer announcing what's coming up on "Face the Nation", point/counterpoint segments, Bill Geist's cutesy reports on basketball playing donkeys and the like.
Friday, March 28, 2003
Back from vacation. If there's one thing I learned after this past week, it's this: Omaha in March is just like Phoenix in December, but with more trees. We'll be putting together a little page documenting our travels soon. In the meantime, here's some scraps I came across:
- Christopher sent along this ebay auction of a rare souvenir lighter from Disneyland. Drool. I'll bet Cory from Boing Boing would love this.
- OSX Tiki Icons (via the Exotica Mailing List) - nifty!
- A couple of months ago, I was delighted to find that Jonno brought back his cute dead guy of the week photos. They're hot, they're sexy, they're dead. Louis Lingg, anarchist, sure was a hottie.
- Michael Moore defends his Oscars speech. Interesting to note he used basically the same spiel at the Independent Spirit Awards the day before, with nary a peep.
Tuesday, March 25, 2003
Hello. I'm not back from Nebraska yet, but our hotel in Omaha has interrnet access via the television set, so I'm posting from there. To get an idea of where we were today, click here and go to the webcam link. Pics to come soon!
Friday, March 21, 2003
Gone on vacation, visiting my grandma in Nebraska. Posting will resume on the 27th or 28th. See ya!
A. O. Scott did an intriguing piece on movie trailers in today's NY Times. Despite how most of today's trailers indulge in way too much plot and not enough subtlety, I can't fault them for sheer effectiveness. There are, however, a few things that need to go away forever:
1. Overused pop songs - "Bad to the Bone", "I Feel Good", that annoying techno song used at basketball games, anything by Enya.
2. Inappropriate use of pop songs (say, Third Eye Blind in a Winnie the Pooh movie).
3. In a comedy trailer, the sound of a needle dragged across a record followed by silence.
4. Pretentious screens of white type on a black background, fading in and out.
5. Omnipresent Narrator Guy. He's been around for decades. He needs to retire.
An interesting little read: typographer Dennis Ortiz-Lopez shares memories of designing the Lennon memorial issue of 'Rolling Stone'. (via ToT)
Thursday, March 20, 2003
I was thrilled to find that Otis at 365 Days posted some commercials from a swinging '60s ad campaign by Pan Am airlines -- mostly because the album they came from is a treasured part of my record collection. 'GO' is built around a catchy jingle urging you to take Pan Am because the world out there is too a-go-go exciting to stay at your boring home or job. The 'A' side is all ads and the 'B' side is a long, rather groovy instrumental suite of the theme played in various styles, along with versions by Steve Allen and Sammy Davis, Jr. Without a doubt my greatest thrift store record find ever.
Wednesday, March 19, 2003
Mark Evanier's ever-expanding TV Tickets pages have been up for a week, but I'm just now starting to get through them. As if the vintage graphics weren't enough, Evanier supplies a lot of fascinating background info on each one. Well worth looking into. The other neat thing I saw today is that retro fixtures maker Rejuvenation is moving into the '50s with a line of Atomic Age Lighting. Way cool!
I believe there's a war going on somewhere, too.
Tuesday, March 18, 2003
Wanna know what floats my boat? Weird old foreign cola commercials. That's what floats my boat. (via travelers diagram)
Short L.A. Times article on the making of The Day the Earth Stood Still. (via Quiddity) Oddly enough, I still haven't seen this. The dvd is waiting in our Netflix queue.
Monday, March 17, 2003
Now more than ever - peace posters, copyright free and downloadable.
It's something that you're not supposed to really notice but you do anyway. Wrigley's recently redesigned the packaging on three of their most established products: Juicy Fruit, Spearmint and Doublemint (the company has some cool pages here, here and here that show the history of each gum's package design). I can understand why. The previous designs were the penny loafers of the impulse buy racks: simple, functional, unhip, old mannish. It was only a matter of time before Wrigley's saw these old warhorses as rotary phones in a cellular world. Their new looks are eye-catching, but alas they seem too fussy for such a small format item as chewing gum. It's heartening to know that they decided to have some continuity between the old and new designs, however, with one glaring exception: Juicy Fruit uses one of those "cute" fonts that will undoubtedly look dated in ten years. The three gums used to look like subtly varied clones of each other. Now Doublemint and Spearmint are the parents and Juicy Fruit is the bratty kid.
Sunday, March 16, 2003
Far Out Sixties, my latest mix CD, is here. Turn on, baby, and let me know if anyone wants a trade. In a similar vein - check out the posters at Psychedelic Art in Vancouver B.C. (via GMTPlus9 who also just posted the far-out theme from Faster, Pussycat Kill Kill!).
On a whim, I decided to TiVo the documentary Under the Covers off PBS. It dealt with the making of some famous rock album covers and looked sorta interesting. I was hoping to get a little insight into the design process here, but mostly it was just photographer Henry Diltz babbling on about how wonderful the Doors and the Eagles were. In other words, boring, nostalgic pandering of the crassest sort - the kind of stuff you'd expect from the PBS Pledge Drive From Hell.
In desperation for something good, I turned to the Trio network's special Easy Riders Raging Bulls, about the freewheeling atmosphere in early '70s Hollywood. Vive la difference! Of course the BBC made it with likely a much bigger budget than the PBS one, but still. Highly recommended, seek it out (Trio is repeating it often this month). For such a broad subject matter, this show has a crystal clear narrative thrust that moves you right along with the excitement. Most of the big directors it covers were MIA for interviewing, but that was made up for with the sheer quantity of others who were also right in there. I especially enjoyed the intricately edited sequences where they'd show movie posters with moving elements and things. Very creative.
Saturday, March 15, 2003
Hi, I'm back. Everybody's already linked to these stomach churning Weight Watchers cards from 1974, for good reason. I want to know what went into the naming of Inspiration Soup. The only thing it inspires is my gag reflex.
In case you missed TeeVee's editorial on AOL's lame-o, TiVo-like video recorder ... here it is.
"Leaping" by Sue Fink (a.k.a. "Here Come the Lesbians"), cute little anthem found via Turbanhead. It sounds a bit like a cross between "Dance 10, Looks 3" and Thrilling, Chilling Sounds of the Haunted House.
Wednesday, March 12, 2003
Howdy. I'm still here, still busy. In my absence Christopher decided to contribute something to this page. Enjoy! - M.
Matt's been working these really long hours this week which does not make either of us happy; so, in light of how many people rely on him to come up with wondrous and interesting items for his weblog, and how he won't have time to do that this week, I have stepped up to the plate and volunteered to be a guest blogger (today at least).
Here are a few interesting things I thought I would share:
12 March 2003 is the 75th anniversary of the
collapse of the St. Francisquito Dam built by William Mulholland - the water engineer who is most solely responsible for bringing water to the parched arid desert that was Los Angeles in the early 20th century. It was then and remains one of the worst disasters of civil engineering. The really sad part is that it collapsed due to a defect impossible to detect with technology of the time; and ruined the career of the man most responsible for improving (or, I suppose, destroying) the landscape of southern California. Mulholland never built another dam after that; and died in ignominy, accepting total fault for the disaster. [Of course, a fictionalization of Mulholland's efforts to bring water to Los Angeles is the basis of the movie "Chinatown."]
Further proof as if any were needed, of the potential hazards of attending public events.
I am not much of a blog reader, but if I read a blog regularly,
it would be this one. -- although I also enjoy visiting
Sunday, March 09, 2003
Scrubbles is taking a break this week. Too much going on at my real job to think about the weblog. I'll be back in a week for a short time, then gone off again for a vacation in hip East Nebraska. I leave you with the happy band pictured above, found in an antique store. Back is marked "HAWKEYE CO./1351 N. Fair Oaks Ave./Pasadena Calif." They look like a rockin' combo.
Things gathered from the usual suspects: a treasury of macrame owls [boing boing]; 1940s dresses and patterns [thingsmagazine.net]; Cindy Sherman interview [travelers diagram]; neato desktops at Nerfect [excitement machine].
Saturday, March 08, 2003
Who is this woman? Twenty francs to you if you guessed one of the people in Renoir's Luncheon of the Boating Party. My parents bought me and Christopher tickets this exhibit, El Greco to Picasso, where it's showing. The four of us went to the Phoenix Art Museum to see it last Thursday night. It always surprises me how much more vivid and colorful famous paintings are when you actually see them in person. Cezanne, for instance, always seemed boring to me in books and such. What's the big deal, it's just fruit on a table (phhht). In person? Breathtaking. There were some Van Goghs there that had the same effect. Those rough brushstrokes are mesmerizing. The Renoir is twice a big as I imagined it. I was expecially fascinated by this woman drinking from a glass. She just has this dreamy, enigmatic look on her face, staring off in the distance, a world away from the tipsy lushes cavorting around her. Delightful as the Renoir was, Paul Klee's Picture Album was my favorite, so whimsical and inventive. Christopher was delighted to find one of his faves, Franz Marc's Deer in the Forest I, in the exhibit. A fun evening.
P.S. The Phillips collection has a neat page that delves into the history of Lucheon of the Boating Party. No wonder that guy in 'Amelie' liked it so much.
Thursday, March 06, 2003
Photos of toilets at The Morning News.
Wednesday, March 05, 2003
Vintage Food Fun Topher's Breakfast Cereal Character Guide (via the charming Speckled Paint) is cool despite having terrible MIDI files on every page. Very informative, but it still raises more questions than it answers -- such as "How many cereal-deprived Rainbow Brite fans were needed to justify Rainbow Brite Cereal?" or "Why did Cookie Crunch succeed when Crazy Cow failed?" Interesting how the Cocoa Crispies mascot went from a monkey to an elephant to Snagglepuss to a caveman to an elephant to Snap, Crackle and Pop until going back to a monkey again.
And then there's 50 Years of Swanson TV Dinner Ads (via Reenhead) mostly dating from the aluminum tray era. Yum.
Tuesday, March 04, 2003
New edition of Professor Barnhardt's Journal is up - theme is "My Favorite Films". These top tens sparked off plenty of ideas for films to rent. I contributed my own list (on this page) as well. To save my own sanity, I limited the choices to comedies and musicals, then listed them in alphabetical order. The results may not be among the hallowed classics, but all of them are the kind of breezy entertainments that I would happily drop everything and sit down and watch - anytime.
Speaking of movies, we watched Iris a couple of nights ago. Fantastic, with memorable perfomances from the four leads. I was prepared for it to be sad, but the emotional impact of the ending caught me off guard - I cried and cried (and, believe me, this rarely ever happens). I tend to distance myself from movies and TV, but because my grandfather is afflicted with Alzheimer's, this particular movie held a lot of resonance. Seeing it helped me understand better what my grandmother is going through. I wouldn't wish that on anyone.
We also saw Blues In The Night (1941) tonight. Christopher found it hokey, but I says nuts to him. It's a nifty little Warner Bros. melodrama with snappy, overlapping dialogue and some eye-popping montages. The combination of gritty dramatics and musical numbers was said to have inspired Scorcese in making 'New York, New York'. I'd enjoy it for the cast alone: Jack Carson, loveable shmuck. Richard Whorf, heel with a heart of gold. Betty Field, nasal dame in a sparkly dress. Billy Halop, sexy hunky juvenille. Elia Kazan, weaselly good guy. I could've done without goody-goody Priscilla Lane, but that's okay. It even had my fave Joyce Compton in a bit part, playing (according to the imdb) "Blonde Dancing With Drunk". Within the first ten minutes, she was outta there.
Massive page of scans from the 4AD catalog. Lovely designs created for the Cocteau Twins, This Mortal Coil, Dead Can Dance, The Pixies, Lush, etc., etc.
Monday, March 03, 2003
Scrubbles reader Terry informed me that WFMU, the most innovative (and fun) radio station in America, started its annual pledge drive. Stop over there, listen and give. Just look at the kind of neat swag you get for doing so.
I had a bunch of links ready, but my work computer crashed. Instead I'll
direct you to The Excitement
Machine, where Kim unveiled a spiffy new design. Dorky, in a good way!
Above image is from this ebay auction of the personal address book of swanky, dead movie producer Ross Hunter. Thanks, C.
Sunday, March 02, 2003
The New York Times Magazine has a short piece and slideshow on the chi-chi California enclave Trousdale - "There are two styles to the houses -- 60's mod and Hawaiian pavilion. But it all looks like a David Hockney painting come to life in lava rock." The article also mentions that the groovy mansion from Peter Sellers/Blake Edwards' movie The Party appears modeled after certain Trousdale estates. I simply must visit there!