Saturday, December 11, 2010

Arrivaderci, Moody.

Not many of the original old cats left these days. Moody was a good one. A sweet, funny, humble, talented man. He passed on Thursday aged 85, in San Diego. Nice replay of a 90s Fresh Air interview with Moody here. There I go, there I go, there I go, there I go...

Nice NPR remembrance here.

“I used to look at the saxophones every day, I'd just look at ’em, you know. And when I first got my first saxophone, I put it in bed by me and just used to sleep with it, man. Just looking at it.”

Moody’s passing made me remember what a big old hole John Birks Gillespie left in the world.

Little piece of Moody’s NY Times obit (entirety here):

“Defying the stereotype of the modern jazz musician as austere and humorless (and following the example of Gillespie, whom he considered his musical mentor and with whom he worked on and off for almost half a century), Mr. Moody told silly jokes, peppered his repertory with unlikely numbers like “Beer Barrel Polka” and the theme from “The Flintstones,” and often sang. His singing voice was unpolished but enthusiastic — and very distinctive, partly because he spoke and sang with a noticeable lisp, a result of having been born partly deaf.”

If you want to check out the man’s music, I’d recommend “Moody’s Mood for Blues” (Prestige OJC) a compilation of two 50s Prestige records, or “At the Jazz Workshop” (GRP) a 1998 reissue of the 1961 album “Cookin’ the Blues” plus some unreleased bits.

(Ithink the photo of Moody below is by my friend Chuck Stewart, but it wasn’t credited where I found it)

Monday, November 29, 2010

4th Amendment UNDERPANTS (?!?!?!).

What needs to be said? Funny stuff, serious matter. Thanks to Jeff Frazier for sharing. There’s something here about speaking out (and also making a buck) that’s America to the core.

Check the site here.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Transnormal Skiperoo.

In the music-I’ve-been-meaning-to-check-out department. Jim White. Vaguely remember his album “Wrong-eyed Jesus” from years back. Seems like it also became a documentary film theme with the same name.

Have just given this one a cursory listen, but it seems like good stuff.

One of my new favorite record covers. Love the school-notebook doodling style lettering and the simple, silly, oblique simplicity of the whole thing. Looks like it could have been found in a dumpster out behind a 1-Hour photo-finishing place and transformed into a thing of odd, unpretentious beauty. And I definitely mean that as a compliment.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Apple’s Sexy Design

Hasn’t always been so sexy. Witness the proto-MAC, the Apple One. Yep that’s plywood. 8KB of RAM and a processing speed between 1 and 2 Mhz!! (What was the snail on the turtle’s back overheard saying?...Wheee!) The cheapest digital watch in the world could probably kick this thing’s ass in computing power.

Christie’s has one up for auction now and it’s estimated to go for up to a quarter of a mil. Does Jobs need the dough? Couldn’t they just GIVE the damn thing to the Smithsonian? They originally fetched $666.66

(The MAC of the Beast?)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

He enjoys commit murder. He lives in clarinet.

This is Okusan.
He has slim body.
He doesn’t have teeth.
He likes throw banana.
He enjoys commit murder.
He likes a microwave oven.
He lives in clarinet.
He joins life insurance.
He likes salt.

I have a sweet friend currently living in Japan. She sends me this sort of funny business on the interwebs.

(From an exercise with Japanese middle-school(?) kids who had to invent a monster and write things about it in English. Non-native speakers are a pretty easy target for laughs, and to be fair, my Japanese likely wouldn’t be any better. But it’s still funny. And weirdly poetic.)

The link to the original Facebook post is here, but I’m not sure if you have to be on Facebook to be able to view it.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

What Freedom means.

I don’t think this is what the Founders had in mind.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Werner Herzog reads Curious George.

O.K. I don’t want to lead anyone on here. This is a goof. But a GLORIOUS goof. It is NOT, in fact Werner Herzog.

See this full post here.

“Even though he has a big brain and opposable thumbs, he has to know that he will always be seen as inferior by his human counterparts...”

Friday, January 15, 2010

Herb and Dorothy.

Technically, and I guess, aesthetically—although bits of it are incredibly beautiful—I think this is a fairly squirrelly, haphazard documentary.

See the film’s website here. Available through Netflix. (I checked, and it’s available at the NPL, for you Nashvillians)

On the whole however, it’s a rather remarkable document about passion and art...and passion AS art. This fairly innocuous seeming New York couple—the Vogels—he a postal service employee, she a librarian, put together a phenomenal collection of thousands (!?!?) of pieces of modern American art. In New York fashion, most of the pieces are small enough for a person to carry home walking or in a cab. Their rent-controlled apartment grew to be nearly bursting at the seams with it all.

They’ve quietly, almost unwillingly garnered quite a lot of press over the years, and the story of where their collection is to ultimately reside is an interesting (and still unfolding) one.

Some of the art they have collected, I could personally take or leave, but it is undeniably important in the arc of the development of later 20th century American art. If you care about art...or collecting...or people, this is a great little film.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Things we like: Funny baby pictures.

My friend Rob had this as his profile picture on Facebook. Just something he found on the web somewhere. I think this baby is amazing. I’m sure that somebody propped him (or her) up on his arm a lá author dust-jacket photos, but he looks like he’s pontificating “Weeellll... don’t get me started...” If I knew these people I would beg for a wallet-sized copy of this pic and put in on my fridge.