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Sight

This is an excellent short video about the next step in apps. Totally worth a few minutes of your time.

Even more impressively, it’s the graduation project by film makers Eran May-raz and Daniel Lazo from Bezaleal Academy of the Arts.

Just watch. It’s good and cleverly poignant.

 
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Posted by on August 7, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Cold Fairyland

I’ve been researching bands that use a cello and a bass guitar at the same time, since the band for the Steampunk Opera performance in Nov may in fact have some cello in it. I debated whether, if that’s the case, to do away with bass guitar and let the cello handle what would have been the bass guitarist’s duties.

I’m still contemplating but i am leaning away from it. I believe i prefer bass guitar handling the in the pocket groove making with the drummer, and the cello adding another range and type of musicality above that. In any case, to help with my thought process i’ve looked for some bands that utilize both bass guitar and cello which led me to this wonderful Chinese proggish band Cold Fairyland.

The name Cold Fairyland is taken from the Chinese translation of the internationally famous book by Haruki Murakami which in English is translated as “Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World”. You’ve read it perhaps? If not, take my advice. Go read it. It’s awesome.

 
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Posted by on August 3, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Hilum

Welcome to the weirdest, creepiest marionette video you will see all day. For most of you who don’t seek this stuff out (what DO you do with your days?) this will probably be the top creepy marionette thing of your week, even your month.

This is made by Les Antliclastes, a puppet theater company in Allier France. They have this to say about their short little film:

“Hilum is a micro comic-tragedy based on the cycles of the washing machine. A mixed batch of nursery rhymes, cartoon images, partial objects and other references to childhood locution are thrown into the spin cycle with the aim of airing the fairy tale’s dirty laundry.

Hilum takes place in the basement laundry room of a second-rate Natural History Museum. The cellarage is populated by a host of dubiously adorable urchins who have, for some reason or other, been cut off from the rest of the kingdom of curiosities that has remained ordered upstairs. Orphaned and liberated from their hosts, the prenatal rascals amuse themselves as most children would do at this age. Washer-women attend to their opus of bleaching laundry, despite the frequent shenanigans of the children.What starts off as mere women’s work and child’s play eventually becomes impossible. In the cubic crucible- whites mix with colours, wools are washed with warm water, the cat is chucked into the heavy duty rinse… and playtime quickly becomes a downright theatre of cruelty.”

They are currently at work on a puppet opera. I would love to do a puppet opera. If you ever want to do one, email me.

Hilum:

 
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Posted by on August 2, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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The Most Amusing Steampunk Video You Will See Today.

Why would someone make this? Who knows, why does anyone make anything?  Wtf? Hell if i know, but if you are sitting at your computer at this moment, crying out “I DEMAND 7 MINUTES OF AMUSEMENT! WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU VASSALS THAT YOU CANNOT PROVIDE ME WITH 7 MINUTES OF AMUSEMENT?!” then fear not. This video is here to satiate your need.

Who made it? My skills at cutting and pasting are once again here to insure you do not die of curiosity:

“A short film from Media Design School based on the sci-fi world of Dr Grordbort created by writer and artist Greg Broadmore from Weta Workshop.

The live action/CGI film was created by 11 students over 22 weeks under the direction of 3D animation program leader James Cunningham.”

Without further ado your 7 minutes of amusement. After that you’re on your own.

 
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Posted by on March 27, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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A Trip To The Moon, With Music By Air

In 1902, the very first science fiction film was made, A Trip To The Moon.

It was made in France, written and directed by Georges Melies with help from his brother Gaston. Being science fiction it is also therefore the first film to ever employ the concept of “special effects.” That’s right, this film not only invented the sci-fi film, but also invented special effects.

George Melies

It’s short, running about 15 minutes all told and was a huge hit in its day. It inspired countless film makers afterwards. The director however,went bankrupt despite the film’s huge success. One reason for this is that he lost the American market. How?

Remember our last post about the victrola and how the phonograph was invented by Thomas Edison? Well, Thomas Edison had his film technicians secretly make copies of Melies’ film and then distributed it all across America where it was a huge hit. Did Edison pay Melies, who actually made the film? No. Not a penny.

What a dick. We’ll into the Edison/Tesla drama some other day, but… man, Edison was truly a genius if ever there was one, but damn that guy was a dick. Anyway, like any great artist, Melies never stopped and he continued to make visionary and influential fantastical films. He is credited not only with beginning the art of science fiction film making, but of the horror movie also, with his 1896 three minute film The Haunted Castle. He even opened an office in New York to see that his films could be distributed without being pirated. All this a hundred years ago. And you think that anything ever changes.

Naturally, with A Trip To The Moon, movie making was in its infancy. The idea of editing hadn’t even been thought of yet. All film makers had to draw on was stage techniques. But Melies was one of the first to look far beyond theater and treat film narrative as a whole new universe. He was the first filmmaker to use multiple exposures, time lapse photography, dissolves and hand painted colour.

A Trip To The Moon used hand painted colour, however all copies were lost until in 1993, when in a barn in Barcelona a copy was found after 70 years. Despite being in a state of almost total decomposition, a 10 year, frame by frame restoration project managed to save it. On May 11, 2011, 109 years after its original release, a newly restored version was aired at the 2011 Cannes Film festival with a soundtrack written especially for it by the band Air.

You like Air, right? I mean, who doesn’t like Air? Is it even possible to not like Air? Okay, maybe you like heavy metal and Air’s not your favorite thing, but you still kinda LIKE them, right?

Anyway, without further ado, i present to you A Trip To The Moon, with music by Air. I really recommend it. It’s 15 minutes and honestly is surprisingly watchable and immensely fun.

 
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Posted by on March 19, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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The Question

So clearly we’re on a silhouette animation kick here. Let’s stay on this just a hair longer.

After yesterday’s example of Lotte Reiniger pioneering the style in the west, let’s see how it looks today.

I offer this up as a jaw droppingly well done example. Visually, it’s utterly incredible. The story is simple, the point is how it’s told.

Direction, Illustration, and Animation by Jesse Bond.

 
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Posted by on January 14, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Eye Of The Storm

Let’s see…. wordy, wordy… time for some visual oriented posts.

Y’all have seen this, right? I meant to post this MONTHS ago but you know how it is. The endless prostitutes, hyperspace excursions, blasphemous experiments, bodies to bury…

So here. Have some awesomeness in the form of the band Lovett (not to be confused with the great Lyle Lovett. Different guy.) and their awesome steampunk video for their song Eye Of The Storm:

 
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Posted by on January 9, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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The Invention Of Love

Quite beautifully rendered shadow play-esque animation. Obviously inspired by Jasper Morello.

Happy New Year everybody.

 
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Posted by on December 31, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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The 10 Best Falsetto Songs

Let’s have some fun with this. Yes, lists. Based of course on my personal preferences, although the last 3 at the end are not only my favorites but also illustrate exactly what i’m going for with the new track. However, instead of just a list of 3, which i could and should have done, let’s do an entire top 10.

We’ll start with a song that is actually one of the best of the list. It’s number 10 not because it’s the 10th least best, but because it is SO good it deserves to open the mix:

10. Israel Kamakawiwo’ole: Somewhere Over The Rainbow

Who gives a crap about the original? Some do, i don’t. At all. But when Mr. Kamakawiwo’ole does it…. O. M G. Who can actually sit through and not just…. melt. Cry, stare wistfully out the window… this is one of the greatest falsetto recordings ever. It takes a song i feel nothing for and makes me ACHE… ache.

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9. Curtis Mayfield: ANYTHING, but we’ll pick Pusherman

A group of friends and i used to have an ongoing drinking conversation. You sit at a bar and someone throws out a name, usually musician but it grew to include other mediums. Everyone at the table then shouts out “soul” or “no soul”. occasionally a good drunken debate will occur.

Curtis Mayfield IS soul.  He doesn’t HAVE soul… he bloody well IS soul.

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8. Beck: Debra

I LOVE this song. LOVE it. It is SO much fun. And it’s quite funny and wonderfully silly. Beck rules.

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7. The Lion Sleeps Tonight

You HAVE to include this song. You just have to. It’s hands down the most famous falsetto songs in popular music and it deserves it. Who doesn’t love this tune? What kind of shmuck you gotta be to not love this?

Although made famous in 1961 by the Tokens it was first written and recorded in 1939 by Solomon Linda and The Evening Birds, a south african group. (for an interesting comparison, their original can be heard here.

We’re going to play The Nylon’s live performance of it. This song is best when done as acapella doo wop as possible.

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6. Scissor Sisters: Don’t Feel Like Dancing

I could have gone with several Scissor Sister’s tracks. They are super fun, super awesome, super catchy, and their retro feel means that we can give a nod to the disco groups from the 70s who used heaps of falsetto (the Bee Gees are the most well known). But the fact is i’d rather listen to Scissor Sisters than old 70s disco (although give me a bunch of alcohol and what not in a club and i’ll dance to old 70s disco just fine) so here they are:

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5. Prince: Kiss

Kiss is one of the most iconic falsetto songs out there. Finding a Prince video to use is near impossible as Prince is obsessed with not having anything of his on YouTube. However, a TV appearance of this song is already out in the public domain, so here it is:

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4. Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons: Walk Like A Man

With the Big 3 approaching this last slot would have gone to a number of singers and bands (like Miko or Sparks), except it is simply a crime against humanity to have a conversation about great falsetto songs and not mention the group that defined the entire concept for decades: The Four Seasons. Frankie Valli’s falsetto is unparalleled, truly. They reigned over 50s doo-wop and with all the other falsettos trying to compete for his title, Frankie leaves them all in the dust.

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The Big 3.

Now we get serious. This is what i’ve been talking about. Falsetto used to achieve an otherworldly-ness. Beyond gender, beyond the base, beyond animal and material…. transcendent:

3. Sigur Ros. EVERYTHING. But we’ll go with Svefn-G-Englar.

Sigur Ros is one of the my all time favorite bands. The beauty of their music is beyond words.

This award winning video by the band and film maker Agust Jacobsson features a troupe of people with Down’s Syndrome performing to the song.

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2. Bon Iver: Stacks.

I don’t know if i can listen to this song without crying. i don’t know if i’ve ever attempted to. I’m not about to start now. It’s that beautiful. It stops me dead in my tracks and brings me to my knees.

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1. Jeff Buckley: Corpus Christi Carol

I mean… Jeff Buckley. Do i need to say anything more?

 
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Posted by on November 21, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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That’s Me Trying

I do not have time to make a blog post today. Emails are still coming in with opinions about the other sampler so it’ll be several days before i post the final verdict. I have a lot to say about my thoughts about Priscilla but today is my first day back in the studio in over a week and i have a deadline on The Silver Key project (which would be tomorrow) so like i said… ain’t got no time for nothing.

So, today we are going to post the most random thing EVER. What does it have to do with anything? Nothing. It is so random, 10,000 monkeys typing for 10,000 years would STILL never come up with this. But my buddy Matthew of The Matthew Show posted this on his Daily Song Study and i’m like… in love with this. I’m utterly in love with this song. By William effin’ SHATner no less. I know, right?

But seriously, this is kind of awesome.

 
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Posted by on October 18, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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