10th September 2008

All The Way To Banana Splitsville!

I recently discovered a few cool things.

1. There’s a Hard Rock theme park.

2. In said theme park is a section called Banana Splitsville.

Sadly there’s not much info or photos of it on the web yet, but apparently the Splits themselves perform there several times a day. Can anyone help me out?

Banana Splitsvile

3. The Ben & Jerry’s Banana Split ice cream changed their logo to something that does not infringe on the Splits. Hopefully photos will be coming soon. (thanks Humu for the tip!).

And perhaps a little less cool:

4. The Banana Splits have updated their website, and recorded new videos and songs, which are on sale on iTunes, if you’re so inclined!. Sadly, they sound nothing like their old selves.

Check out JYC’s other Banana Splits posts:

Ben & Jerry’s Steals Banana Split’s Logo
Rare Banana Splits Stuff

posted in Animation, Crafts, Midcentury, Music, Television | 1 Comment

12th July 2008

Great Big Beautiful Wonderful Incredible Super Spectacular Day

Mad Super Special Mystery Record

Before I traded in my National Geographics for Playboys Hustlers, I was a consistent reader of MAD. What I really loved was the occasional flexi-disc records they’d include in their Super Specials. And the holy grail of all flexi-discs was The MAD Mystery Record. The record played “Super Spectacular Day”, a story in song that described the most absolute best day you could ever be having — until — the record randomly branched into one of eight different disastrous random endings.

It’s still clever even as an adult, but as a kid I was simply fascinated by it. How could a record have different endings? How did the record choose which one to play? I played the record over and over to hear them all and to study how it worked. Finally my Dad explained it to me: while normal records have one spiral groove per side, the MAD disc had multiple grooves spiraled together in parallel. All of the grooves had music that started off with the same beginning, so the branching appeared to happen mid-way through. But in reality it was the initial drop of the needle that determined what ending played.

Super Spectacular Day is a classic example of MAD’s corny humor. And of course, someone has put all eight tracks on Youtube so you can enjoy it for free (Cheap!). The actual playback of the song starts about 30 seconds in.

Here’s the Lyrics, courtesy of barrygoldberg.net, rearranged to match the order of the Youtube video:

It’s a great big, beautiful, wonderful, incredible, super-spectacular day
And your heart is humming with good times coming
And you got that happy feeling things are going your way
All the bells are ringing and a little bird’s singing while he sits on your windowsill
Singing yessiree, I can surely see, it will plainly be, most definitely
A super-spectacular day!


‘Round quarter to five your relations arrive
And you greet cousin Beth with terrible breath
And a fat British guy who destroys your hi-fi
And your great uncle Fred who gets drunk in your bed
And your third cousin Dick who is metally sick
And his creepy friend Joe and six more you don’t know
And you’re sure there and then as you’re shafted again…

‘Round seven at night you go out for a bite
The streets are aglow from a large UFO
A creature comes out with two heads and a snout
It talks like a frog and throws up on your dog
It thinks you are great and wants you for its mate
You’re sealed in a case and go flying in space
And you silently say as the Earth fades away…

You walk out the door of a dry cleaning store
And you’re grabbed by surprise by three mafia guys
Who mistakenly think that you’re Hymie the Fink
They break your right arm and do bodily harm
And you’re writhing in pain and you try to explain
That your name is Jerome and you’re on your way home
And you let out a sigh as you’re left there to die…

A quarter past eight you pick up your blind date
And you really go ape for her fabulous shape
Of the girls that you’ve met she’s the classiest yet
And she’s pretty and bright and it’s love at first sight
And it’s really a shame she’s not feeling the same
‘Cuz she thinks you’re a shmuck and she says “lots of luck”
And you sob in despair as she gives you the air…

You’re called down in class and you feel like an ass
‘Cuz you don’t have a clue and you know that it’s due
To those classes you skipped and you’re fly is unzipped
And your acne has spread to the back of your head
And some jerk spreads the word that you’re some kind of nerd
And you fight in the hall and punch through a wall
And there isn’t a doubt as they’re flunking you out…

You develop a twitch and a horrible itch
And you’re covered with spots and you’re getting the trots
And you’re feet start to swell and it’s easy to tell
From this hideous wheeze that some awful disease
So you call an M.D. and he says “don’t ask me”
If it gets any worse you can speak to my nurse
And you manage to say as you wither away…

Your sister pours glue in her hair and blames you
And your neighbor says that you’re abusing her cat
And you just left the john with the water turned on
And the house gets all wet and your mother’s upset
And you’d die if you knew what your dad’s gonna do
And your python gets loose and you know it’s no use
And you cry there in fear and it’s now very clear…

You go out for a spin and your sunroof caves in
And the steering wheel shakes so you slam on the brakes
And the gears get all stuck as you sideswipe a truck
And you run out of gas while you’re trying to pass
And you’re stalled on the tracks and you try to relax
But the train’s coming through and it’s heading for you
And you have a quick flash as you brace for the crash….

… that it’s not such a super-spectacular day!

posted in Music | 14 Comments

8th July 2008

Hong Kong It’s a Small World Pop-Music Video

There’s something appealingly deceptive about this commercial for Hong Kong Disneyland’s “It’s a Small World” ride. It completely misrepresents the ride as being a high-energy, madcap adventure through the “happiest world on Earth.” Still, I enjoy it.

[via The Disney Blog]

posted in Disney, Music | Comments Off

19th April 2008

Hipster Cat Playing the Theremin

You just know this cat has been trying to get a DJ night at the lounge down the street:

Uploaded to YouTube by blancbonn

Also, his vinyl collection is extensive, and far more esoteric than yours.

[via Trott]

posted in Music | 2 Comments

4th April 2008

Last Night a Korean Drummer Saved My Life

I challenge you to find a more adorable drummer…

Uploaded to YouTube by LastxLight

Be sure to keep watching to the end, he really brings it home.

[via Trott]

posted in Music | Comments Off

17th March 2008

Happy St. Patrick’s Day 2008

I guess it was today? Or yesterday? Or was it Saturday? I’m kinda confused. Here’s some St Patricky goodness of many flavors for y’all to enjoy.

Darby O’Gill meets King Brian — it really warms up when Darby plays the Fox Chase at 4:50

Also check out Darby O’Gill’s Wishing Song

Leprechauns Christmas Gold … Not really for St. Patrick’s Day but every holiday needs dome Rankin/bass.

Also, who wouldn’t love the Swedish Chef, Animal, and Beaker singing Danny Boy? [Tip o' the cap goes to Humu!]

Now I’m off for my traditional Irish meal of Irish O’Garlic sausages and a Shamrock Shake

posted in Disney, Music, Rankin/Bass | Comments Off

12th February 2008

Digital Accordion

Just when you thought accordions couldn’t get any nerdier:

Digital Accordion

This would be perfect for Kraftwerk to do a cover of Lady Of Spain

The Amazing Ultra-Light V-Accordion

The FR-2 V-Accordion offers the incredible digital advantages of Roland’s Physical Behavior Modeling technology, providing true tone and characteristics of the world’s best accordions, but they are significantly lighter than previous models. Perfect for students, stage keyboard players, and traveling musicians.

* Piano-type keyboard
* PBM (Physical Behavior Modeling) enables the true tone and expressive characteristics of the world’s finest accordions
* Additional sounds onboard, including piano, organ and strings
* Eight user programs for instant storage andrecall of your favorite settings
* Lightweight for young students and travelingperformers
* Pad function for triggering percussion sounds and rhythms
* Song function for “minus one” play-along fun
* Battery powered for convenience and portability

Check it out on Roland’s Website.

[via Engadget]

posted in Music, Tech | Comments Off

5th February 2008

Nick Pitera sings a duet with himself

Every moment red letter.

posted in Disney, Music | Comments Off

22nd December 2007

Audium: A Theatre Of Sound-Sculptured Space


I was having dinner with a friend of mine two weeks ago, and she asked me what kind of music I listen to. In reality I listen to a lot of stuff — too diverse to lump into a single category — but for a few years now I’ve jokingly used the term Electro-Acoustic Soundscapes of the 70s. (My friend Martin coined that phrase after unsuccessfully searching through my iPod for 80s music). She had no clue what kind of music I was talking about and she pressed on, so I half-seriously elaborated with “You know, electronic boops and beeps, like outer-space stuff” even though I mostly don’t listen to that; it’s just a small sliver of my collection. And then the conversation moved on.

Little did I know that the 30 seconds I spent rattling off that term would pay me back so heartily. The next week she invited me out to a bar in San Francisco and warned me not to be late. After a quick drink, we walked down the street a few blocks until we came to an old looking wood-paneled building.

Opening the door revealed a museum-esque interior with a ticket booth, stationed by a very distinguished looking older woman. We purchased two tickets at $15 each, and we’re handed two programs labeled Audium: A Theatre In Sound-Sculptured Space. At this point my friend tells me that she remembered me talking about electronic beeps and whooshes from the previous week, found out about this place just by blind luck, and took me here sight-unseen because she thought it might “have some of that kind of beeping stuff in it”. Little did she know how right she was.

We stepped into a very serious looking room filled with sound-related sculptures as well as an array of speakers playing ambient noise: gentle water gurgling, hummingbirds zipping from one side of the room to the other. But this was just the lobby. Clearly this place was built in the 70s, and it looked like not much had changed. And after a bit of waiting around, the ambient noises got louder and the lights in the lobby grew dim, at the same time a spotlight appeared on a wood-paneled hexagonal door, where an gray-haired gentleman appeared.

He informed us and the other two dozen-or-so people in the lobby that we were about to enter the Audium, where we would be treated to a 139 speaker audio-performance-in-the-round dealing with “space and time travel”.

And it was going to be completely in the dark. For an hour.

And then we went inside. The theater itself looks as if the designers were going for 2001: A Space Odyssey but instead ended up with a set from Dr. Who. It was exactly what I was hoping for. The theater is arranged in a circle, with speakers all over the place … hanging from the ceiling, built into the walls, and under grates on the floor.


The real kicker, however, was when the lights dimmed out to complete blackness and the experience started. The soundtrack was straight out of the 1970s and didn’t sound like it had ever been updated (although I found out later that it had). But this was not music. Electronic beeps and boops were everywhere, “flying” through air, along with droning Wagnerian-style synth power chords, abruptly shifting to lo-fi organic recordings of nature, before popping back to beeps. Despite the 139 speakers in use, most of it sounded like it was just coming out of the four big speakers in each corner. It was largely rhythmless, and had no apparent story arc or narrative that was discernible from just listening. And the fidelity matched the decor. This was cliche 70s sci-fi art-school-project-on-drugs sound effects with a dash of the Space Mountain queue soundtrack thrown in. And it just kept going and going.

Half way through the performance there was a 5 minute (lighted) intermission and half the audience left, never to return. At this point I turned to my friend and asked her if she had it in her to listen to the second half, because she had no clue going into this what she was in for, isn’t into electronic music, and even I was kinda worn out by it. But she was gung-ho for soldiering through the second half … which ended up feeling like it was twice as long as the first half.

After the show was over, I was in shock. An hour in the dark listening to 1970s sound effects will do that to you. A zillion questions raced through my mind. Why have I never heard of this place? How did my friend find it? How has it not changed since the 70s? Why were they still getting crowds? I desperately wanted to talk to the gray haired guy, who turns out is the founder and sound designer, but I was worried he was going to chew my already-tired ear off with space and time travel theories.

The entire night was a completely surreal experience. If you’re into the mid century space-age movement at all, you need to go check the Audium out before it closes or gets remodeled. Even though I didn’t “get” what the soundtrack was about, and I thought it was a little long to sit through, I absolutely loved it and now I want to take all my friends. It’s definitely worth doing once for the sheer novelty effect even if you’re not into electronic music. But you better go soon … it really feels like it could close its doors for good any second.

Check out the Audium‘s website.

Audium 8 is performed every Friday and Saturday at 8:30pm. Price $15
Arrive by 8 pm since part of the fun is the lobby.
Please double-check before showing up, I really get the feeling this can change at any time.

1616 Bush St. (@ Franklin), San Francisco
Information: (415) 771-1616

*For the record, the 1970s electronic music I prefer is actual music, with percussion, melody, and harmony. The Audium had none of that. And yes, I did apologize to my friend for fibbing a little about my musical tastes.

posted in Midcentury, Music, Space Age, Tech | 1 Comment

17th October 2007

Apple’s ’80s Corporate Kool-Aid

“We Are Apple,” uploaded by adiblasi

So, I broke down and bought an iPhone (about 20 minutes after the price drop was announced) — my first purchase of an Apple product. I didn’t even have an iPod, that’s how out if it I’ve been. Of course, now I’ve drunk the Apple Kool-Aid, and I think this phone is the greatest thing since, I dunno, the Newton. It’s fab (especially now that we’ll get some legit third-party apps soon). But this video is fabber.

Make it Happen
Make it Happen

This has been kicking around in low-quality form for awhile, but this version was uploaded to YouTube by someone who was at the video’s original mid-’80s presentation, and he had a high-quality copy. He says:

[W]hen I saw this ‘live’ at the Mac introduction, we, as Apple Dealers, all LAUGHED OUR ASSES OFF at time marker 02:47 – when the guy carried a 60 pound LISA computer under his arm like it was a laptop!

What I really want to know is — where did this wooden sign wind up? I hope it’s still up in someone’s cube in Cupertino.

posted in Music, Tech | 2 Comments