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For those of you who may not be familiar with Drew's work, he was the creator of WFMU's semi-grotesque mascot, the Old Codger, contributed illustrations for our Crackpots & Visionaries cards, and designed a WFMU t-shirt and bumper sticker. Drew and his brother Josh Alan once guest-hosted for Kaz on WFMU in the 1980s, as well.
Dave the Spazz calls Drew "one of the funniest stipple cartoonists of the '80's and '90's is now one of the funniest illustrators of the 21st century. His work is as hypnotizing as Basil Wolverton's at his best. Drew Friedman is the Albrecht Dürer of liver spots."
My "Awesome Internet Images" folder has been filling up lately thanks to these sites.
Designer Logan Walters loves him some Wu Tang, but hates him some Wu Tang album cover art. And so he dipped into the history of Blue Note and is working on remaking all the Wu Tang albums in that legendary style. (Via Animal New York)
The University of Nebraska library offers up an online archive of government produced comic books. This includes everyone from Charlie Brown to Captain America to Wonder Woman and Superman pitching various public service announcements. But it's the lesser known projects that really grabbed my interest: WISHES & RAINBOWS, a trippy kids story from the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston; THE STORY OF BANKS, in which a group of hippie teens learn how to use a bank; the EC style drug scare comics HOOKED and TEEN-AGE BOOBY TRAP; and the truly lame superheroes SPROCKET MAN (he rides a ten-speed and carries a giant gear shift) and RAY CYCLE: RECYCLING SUPERHERO (he's from Connecticut). (via Slog)
If you like to make fun of your childhood self for loving
computers, Star Wars, and all things nerdy, you can put your own
photos up for all to see on Dork Yearbook.
More embarrassing than an airing of your kiddie laundry is the world of Awkward Family Photos. Take a break from Mother's Day and see what some truly uncomfortable family situations are like via the site that kicks the Olan Mills love up a notch.
The best one of all is NSFW, and therefore, after the jump....
1 Tamar - My little locked groove contains all the music I'll ever need.
2 Getachew Merkurya & The Ex, Alemayehu Eshete and Mahmoud Ahmed with Either/Orchestra, Extra Golden - Damrosch Park August 20 - Great music, great crowd, great day, great weather, great energy, great caesar's ghost!, great job, Brian, Liz, Scott, Irene, Diane, Tony, Ken and everybody who made it work so well.
3 Et Cetera Et Cetera (Long Hair)/Joakim Skogsberg Jola Rota (Tiliqua)/Ishikawa Akira & Count Buffalo Uganda – Afurikan Rokku no Yoake (Tiliqua) - Three amazing records take their great leap forward
and land gracefully.
4 Cecil Taylor/Tony Oxley - Village Vanguard July 17 - If No. 2 had not occured, this would have been the best performance I saw this year. In my mind second is often an honor.
5 Haris Eisenstadt Guewel (Clean Feed), Pandelis Karayorgis/Nate McBride/Curt Newton Betwixt (Hatology), Mary Halvorson Dragon's Head (Firehouse 12) - Yes, I am cheating a little here but these three are difficult to separate in my mind, since I like each one more each time I listen. There is some very tasty jazz being released currently.
6 HexLove / Faulouah Free Jazz From Slavery LP (Weird Forest) - "fun lil' mindfook, innit?"
7 A Power Greater Than Itself - George Lewis - This book offers tips on how an organization, in this case the AACM, can retain its dignity and its purpose from conception through the succession measured in various increments known as people, time, community. If both people and time meet the organization's definition of “good” then the combination should beget successful relationships/community. Success being a term best measured on an evolutionary scale; toss the "are" in revolution and live the "will be". Relationship/community provides the key to “will be”; success suffers the loss of "will".
8 ICP Orchestra - Abrons Art Center September 6 - Go see them. Their new CD Live at the Bimhuis on the ICP label also belongs on this list.
9 Huutajat - PS 1 September 14 - There are several current performers/groups I do not think I will get the chance to see live for any number of reasons but on Sunday, September 14, 2008, my favorite large chorus of shouting men took over the courtyard at PS 1, thereby eliminating one from the list I'd most like to see dwindle to nothing (hint to booking agents: Pascal Comelade would eliminate another). If I was a church, they would be my choir.
10 What It Is - Lynda Barry (Drawn and Quarterly) - Possession of creativity with intent to distribute: an oblique strategy of encouragement and therapy.
Fans of the excellent COMETBUS fanzine series will want to check out Billy Jam's show this afternoon at 3pm. Cometbus creator/writer Aaron Cometbus will be dropping by for a chat with BJ the DJ, who says,
"Veteran punk rock drummer & author Aaron Cometbus has been gaining notoriety since the early 1980's when his pioneering East Bay punk band Crimpshrine arrived on the scene. Around the same time he launched the now legendary, long-running Cometbus series, at first a rough, stapled, handwritten Xeroxed punk fanzine -now a soft cover book format that is available only at small independent bookstores and music stores and which the author insists on selling cheaply - only a few dollars per copy. Before he exits the New York area next week to head west for the winter, the artist will stop by WFMU...."
I hate the New York Times, (aka the Big Grey Pack o' Lies) so when some guy tried to hand me a free copy of a “special edition” last Tuesday, I almost refused to take it. Usually the free ones are sponsored copies, with a big ad wrapping the outside. But this one just had a headline that said, “Iraq War Ends.” So I took it, and walked away reading it, and every story was about how Condoleezza Rice was apologizing for lying about the weapons of mass destruction, and President Bush had been indicted for high treason. The whole thing was a brilliant, 14-page parody. I turned around and went back. “Who are you guys?” I asked.
“We’re the New York Times Special Edition,” one guy said. Well, I knew they weren’t from the real NYTimes because even though they spelled Condoleezza wrong, the rest of the writing was really good. Then some guys with a video camera stopped me and asked what I thought of the paper, and I told them how fantastic I thought it was. It wasn’t until a few hours later that it occurred to me that I didn’t know who the video guys were either.
Today I finally got around to trolling Youtube for footage of me holding the Special Edition, and I didn’t find any, but I did find a pretty funny video called “Killing Time with Bronwyn C.” by Listener Devtrash. I watched a bunch of Listener Devtrash’s videos and really liked them, and not just because of the Bronwyn C. one.
Listeners still send me notices about their upcoming events and shows, although all I can do is pass them on to the station’s “Upcoming” list or tell you about some of them here. Listener Bill K. let me in on the Kim Deitch retrospective at the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art (MoCCA), and Sluggo and I went to see it on Saturday. (It costs $5 and is there until Dec. 5.) We’re old fans of Kim’s and it was nice to see work from various points in his career all on display in one place. But the real revelation, for us, was “Dial M for Monster,” the silent monster movie he and his brother and friends made when they were kids. Mummies! Aliens! Vampires! Giant rubber lizards! The H-bomb! It was pretty great.
Then, as long as we were having Art Day, we stopped by Spencer Brownstone Gallery on Wooster Street to see the new Tessa Farmer show. Farmer’s sculptural installations, made up of dead things and crap she’s found lying around, hover on the rusty tin-can edge of kitsch. We were looking at the skeleton of a Whippet dog with a dried-out wasp nest inside it and an upside-down roadkill frog sticking out of a hole in the side of its skull. “Like a turducken!” Sluggo said. But then there are all the insects, and the itty-bitty skeleton “fairies” made of bladderwort fiber and termite wings, incredibly tiny, and some with horse-skull heads. In 2007 Farmer had a residency at the Natural History Museum in London, and the best of her work is like the specimen’s revenge. At least it makes you look, and think. We liked it a lot, and I recommend you see it if you get the chance. The show will be up until December 13.
Thanks for reading my blogpost this time, and may God bless.
This off the AP Wire last night:
"A 28-year-old man who attempted to pay for his bar tab with gum wrappers was arrested after a scuffle with a police officer on Tuesday night, authorities said. A bartender told police the man was playing pool with an open bottle of beer and spilled some of it on the table. She said he first tried to pay his $32 tab with a credit card, which was declined.
When police arrived and ordered the man to pay his tab, they reported that he began counting out gum wrappers as if they were cash."
Now, anyone who isn't a drunken idiot can tell you: gum wrappers ain't worth squat.
When I first read this story, I thought that he might have tried to pay with Bazooka Joe comics, in which gum is also wrapped. The comics could also be argued to possess a monetary value, as they are redeemable for valuable prizes such as x-ray spectacles and gold-plated insignia rings. This, of course, led me to the question: How many Bazooka Joe comics would it take to pay a $32 bar tab?
Let's do the math, shall we?
.40 = 195 comics
32/.04 = 80
80 x 195 = 15,600 comics would cover a $32 bar tab
These numbers have obviously not been adjusted for inflation, and time constraints prevent me from further calculations. I am leaving it up to you, the Beware of the Blog-reading mathemagician, to help me figure out this weighty problem.
With WFMU's annual CD & Record Fair revving up for this weekend, I thought now would be a nice time to dust off this brilliant strip by Jim Ryan, which originally appeared on the back cover of the station's 1996 Catalog of Curiosities:
Thanks to my buddy Tim for snapping a pic of the bar sign. We're going through some pretty dire times here in the USA, and I'm certain that $1 beers, free BBQ, and marathon happy hours are much appreciated by anyone who took a good look at their most recent ConEd bill.
But I just can't help but feel sorry for poor Ian MacKaye, a principled man who has been up to his neck in Minor Threatxploitation. Over the last few years, Nike knocked off a piece of MT art, and a not-so-hot hot sauce almost used the label design below (they had the decency to ask MacKaye and company first). More recently, a goateed Sir Ben Kingsley was filmed copping MacKaye's style. At least the bar above is showing the Redskins game...
UPDATE: Thanks to Jim for alerting us all to the tattoo pic.
Since the early 80s, Massimo Giacon has been at the center of an Italian cartoon renaissance, producing cartoons, illustrations and designs for Italian magazines such as "Frigidaire", "Alter", "Dolce Vita", "Cyborg" and "Nova Express". I originally came across the work of Giacon when I was trying to find information on the 80s dada/synth/noise group Spirocheta Pergoli, of which he is the founding member. I was glad to find an inventive artist whose playful but grotesque visual work is a perfect companion to his strange and ridiculous music.
Unfortunately, Giacon doesn't have a proper website, but you can view some work at his MySpace page, which also includes musical projects from the last ten years. Images from his 2001 solo show Philosophers in the Pop Planet can be viewed here.
I had posted the Spirocheta Pergoli EP on Cake & Polka Parade a couple years ago but here they are again if you missed them.
Spirocheta Pergoli - Fuzzi Bugsi Tumpa il Bongo
a1 - Merendine | a2 - Pistole Giocattolo | b1 - Pianto di un Coniglio a Molla | b2 - Fuzzi Bugsi
Artist Jim Flora probably never listened to WFMU. He was a fan of Bix and bebop (i.e., foot-tapping jazz) and the Budapest String Quartet, none of which garners heavy rotation on our "free-form" airwaves. Yet Flora unknowingly contributed to WFMU's visual identity several times in recent years. His cartoonish figures have appeared on a station t-shirt, hoodie, bumper sticker, and Marathon mailer, as well as an oversized canvas banner displayed hither and yon.
Flora wasn't aware of these adaptations of his work because he passed away ten years ago today at age 84.
The images were used by WFMU designers thru arrangement with the Flora family, with whom I've worked for several years archiving and cataloging the artist's vast (and largely uncirculated) fine art collection. Flora's 1955 Mambo For Cats LP cover (re-purposed at left by co-archivist Barbara Economon) is one of his most iconic illustrations. Flora's hyperactive gremlins frolicked across dozens of quirky album covers for Columbia in the 1940s and RCA Victor in the 1950s. Today his work adorns new CDs.
Public Collectors, an archive project led by Chicago artist Marc Fischer, consists of informal agreements where collectors allow the contents of their collection to be published and permit those who are curious to directly experience the objects in person.
In addition to hosting collection inventories, Public Collectors also includes digital archives of out-of-print publications, relics of the pre-internet music underground and random ephemera such as a collection of "do not disturb" signs.
Some highlights of the digital archive include:
A self-published collection of stories and illustrations by Michael Gira that was only available on the Swans' 1997 tour.
A collection of children's graffiti from antique sources
Transcripts and audio documentation of conversations with a developmentally disabled man about music, split LPs and Super Nanny.
Issue #19 of French artist Bruno Richard's Elles Sont De Sortie- an insane, beautiful and obscene art magazine published in the early 80s with Pascal Doury. In addition to Richard's early work, Public Collectors also includes a show catalog from an exhibit curated by Marc Fischer that documented nine years of mail correspondence between Richard and Fischer.
All publications are provided as high quality PDFs suitable for printing. I did not provide the direct links because I want you to pretend like its old times and dig around a bit.
Anybody associated with comedy in any capacity naturally acknowledges the profound breadth, influence, ability and genius of George Carlin. His has been a long and varied career, and with any artist whose work spans multiple decades, eventually people forget what that person's career was like at the start if they knew about it at all.
George Carlin was originally a member of the comedy team Burns and Carlin with the very funny Jack Burns. When the two split up, Burns persued acting and would replace Don Knotts on The Andy Griffith Show as Mayberry's new deputy. Burns eventually found success in the seventies with Avery Schreiber in the comedy team Burns and Schreiber, and was also the primary director of The Muppet Show. He also attacked Andy Kaufman on that famous episode of Fridays. Carlin, of course, followed a solo path that took a fascinating few years to come to fruition.
After splitting with the world of comedy teams Carlin struggled to find his voice as a solo performer. He was an impressionist for several years and a very, very good one. To this day there are no other mimics who have mastered a Mort Sahl or Lenny Bruce that I know of. Both of Carlin's vocal impressions of the two comedians whose footsteps he follows in are bang on. Listen to Carlin's impersonation of Mort Sahl off the only comedy LP of Burns and Carlin (pictured) here. There has recently been a sudden influx of early George Carlin stuff on YouTube and that's what I'm sharing today.
George Carlin as mystery guest on What's My Line (1969)
Jimmy Durante introduces George Carlin on The Hollywood Palace (1966)
George Carlin on The Merv Griffin Show (1965)
George Carlin on the obscure game show The Game Game (1969)
George Carlin on Playboy After Dark (1970)
George Carlin on The Mike Douglas Show (1972)
George Carlin's acting debut: That Girl (1966)
George Carlin with The Doors and The Committee on The Smothers Brothers (1968)
George Carlin and Flip Wilson on Johnny Carson (1971)
Another Carlin appearance on Carson (1972)
And a great new "classic Carlin" YouTube channel here.
Before I get to the meat of this post, I just wanted to encourage everyone in the New York area to head on down to my favorite eatery, Restaurant Florent in the meatpacking district. I previously wrote about the joys of this 24 hour French bistro, and am sad to report that they are now being forced to close. Yes, it is all about rising rents, a real slap in the face to this lively diner which was responsible for making the area a destination point in the first place. However, owner Florent Morellet is still keeping the atmosphere fun by celebrating the stages of loss: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance. By all means, hurry down and try the haricots verts before the end of June, when this revered institution will be gone for good.
First up, thanks to Austin comic artist Ethan Persoff for sending me this ultra rare 1934 Tijuana Bible that just so happens to have repercussions today. Like most antiquities, it is decidedly NOT SAFE FOR WORK, and it may inspire you to have some very dirty thoughts during the upcoming Republican Convention.
For some equally disturbing videos featuring Andy Rooney and Spanish children's programming, join me after the jump.
Last week's auctions reinforced my relatively good opinion of humankind in general. People stepped up to the auction block. Not so we could auction them - although that could be an interesting marathon stunt - but so they could shell out dollars in exchange for exciting merchandise. I don't know if there was any altruism in their actions - did they realize they were helping support free-form radio?
Here's what I do know: this week I closed my eyes and thrust my fist into the "Wendy" to-be-auctioned box and pulled forth three more treasures.
You wanna see what I turned up? Go here. Or keep reading. Or both.
First, we have something to read while you are listening to the radio, even if you listen to the radio on the internet. But please do not read this while you are driving. Wait 'til you get home, or to the rest area.
Underworld: Cruel & Unusual Comics, the very first volume, by WFMU alum Kaz (Anyone remember The Nightmare Lounge? I credit it with partially ruining my teenaged mind. Thank you, guys, and I mean that in all sincerity.) You may also recognize Kaz's work from such places as the Nickelodeon and Cartoon Networks, or from The Arizona Republic newspaper.
Underworld gives me nostalgia for the NYC of my yout'. Both are/were filled with rotund animals, knives, broken stuff, and cigarettes. Well, maybe I'm imagining the rotund animals on NYC's streets of yore.
This week we got another fiiiine 78 rpm rekkid, on the MGM label, with the original protective sleeve. It's Mister Hank Williams performing "Calling You" b/w "When God Comes And Gathers His Jewels."
I must say, the
vinyl wax is in bee-yoo-tee-ful condition. Check out the pic, taken by the multi-talented Megan Murphy. And if you ever wanted to know what my hands look like, there ya go.
This is a good time of year to listen to Mister Hank Williams. You can open the doors on your Victrola to really crank it up, and open your windows so all your neighbors can hear you yodeling along. Sexy!
No, not in person. Sorry. But the next best thing. Shirtless Isaac Hayes peeking out from behind the Advent-calendar-style doors on the front of this great live double-LP, Shirtless Isaac Hayes Live At The Sahara Tahoe.
Isaac Hayes, shirtless, performs some of his own compositions, as well as a few Motown covers, and some choice Bacharach/David songs. And he does this all without the aid of a shirt. Unbelievable!
I bet you thought our supply of splendid stuff to auction on eBay had dried up. How else to explain the prolonged absence of recorded rarities, autographed artifacts and other useless items offered up by us to separate you from your ill-earned cash?
No, there are still plenty of treasures in the box that sits on top of the filing cabinet that rests in the penthouse of WFMU's luxuriously appointed headquarters. The box that has a label that says "Wendy" on it. Yup, lots of stuff in that box.
But for the better part of the year, there was no Wendy.
Well, yes there was. I didn't cease to exist; I just lived too far away from Jersey City to coax those items onto eBay.
Now I'm back.
So are you all excited about the free concert coming up on July 4th? You know, the one that's part of WFMU's Free Concert Music Series? The one with Sonic Youth and The Feelies? (If you have no idea what I'm
talking writing about, go here.)
If you need a little extra encouragement on the excitement-o-meter, may I suggest this.
Yes, it's "Crazy Rhythms" by The Feelies. On glorious vinyl. With the original inner sleeve. And it's in beautiful condition.
If you are the highest bidder, and you don't lollygag on paying us, you'll get the LP with plenty of time to play it over and over and over while practicing all your dance moves in the privacy of your own home so you will only look slightly like a dork at the show on July 4th.
2. Speaking of dorks, if you were one of those comic book dorks back in the 80s...
But wait, they call them "Graphic Novels" now, and only the very cool kids are into the ones not starring superheroes.
If you were one of those ahead-of-your-time Graphic Novel readers back in the 80s, Love & Rockets does not equal that poppy, glammish result of when Bauhaus met the wrecking ball.
No, Love & Rockets equals Los Bros Hernandez.
This isn't one of those collections. This is the actual first issue, with a business card from some guy at Fantagraphics stapled to the front cover. There's only one staple holding the card there so you can easily remove it.
3. From the Arcane Audiophile Department, we offer an actual 78 rpm record, this one by the Mr. King of the Swingers, Louis Prima.
Side A is "Marguerita" and the other side is "Bridget O'Brien."
Both the wax and the labels are in lovely condition, perfect for playing, framing, or just nailing right into the wall.
Crank up those old Victrolas and let the dance party begin. Hey, if the oil crisis really becomes a crisis on these shores, you might be the only one in your block, building or neighborhood to have some semblance of a stereo.
The smart bidder will snatch it up before the Ol' Codger figures out how to turn on a computer and beats you to it.
So that's it for this week's eBay offerings. Support freeform radio! Support WFMU!
While Dr. Seuss may have quietly but most assuredly extolled the virtues of LSD, some kids' authors are being a little less subtle when it comes to the Sweet Leaf. Follow the pictoral excerpts from the new publication It's Just A Plant and get involved in your kids' choices. Bryce thinks maybe this kid has already made her choice. However, I think what really should be outlawed is taking your kid bike riding wearing Sgt. Pepper garb, but who am I to judge. (Thanks for link, Tom Lax.)
(NSFW) The Groovy Age of Horror is a blog devoted to bizarre horror paperbacks, comics and movies. For the past year the curators have been posting scans of Italian Fumetti (comics), starting with the wild and weird series Terror Blu. The stories are a sick and hilarious mix of gynecological and genital terror told within ludicrous sci-fi storylines The stuff is not for the faint of heart but I'm sure your ghoulish curiosity will get the better of you as you scratch your head wondering how anyone concocted such a carnival of carnage.
As if the daily Marmaduke Explained wasn't enough postmodernism for your morning coffee, now another cartoon animal icon seems to be getting tamper treatment with
unusual frequency these days. First I saw this take on Garfield which actually casts him as a real cat
(top, via Cynical C Blog).
offered Exhibit B (bottom) in which he is wiped from the strip completely. In full disclosure though, this is just another excuse to post a link to Meatus Murder's "El Garfield" (MP3), possibly the only time you'll ever hear Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds song altered to cast a spotlight on an overweight lasagna-eating feline. Though with Blixa Bargeld's culinary talents, there may indeed be many more of those kinds of songs in their catalogue.