I was searching for unfamiliar 1930's Hawaiian music when I happened across this on youtube. It has some nice songs, and is a fascinating document of Hawaiian culture in the post-colonial, pre-statehood era. It's also pretty funny.
Coax your son or daughter into your vintage 1970's Kiddie Kartoon Theater, nail a sheet of plywood over the doorway, wrap the whole thing in sound insulation, then insert this week's videotronic film cartridge into the projector: "The Doughnuts" from 1963, which I'm watching for the first time since I was seven.
It was Summer of 1986, between my junior and senior years of high school. I'd just enlisted in the army, on a one-year deferment, because it seemed there was nothing in my future: Reagan was president. Mutual nuclear annihilation with Russia was still on the table, and often discussed as if it were imminent. I'd never had a real girlfriend. I was failing most of my classes. I was bicycling several miles every day to work at a hot dog stand at the zoo. "Highway to the Danger Zone" was always on the radio. And this fucking movie was in theaters:
This Hammer classic was once available on DVD at the Best Buy electronics chain, but customers complained when they discovered that the G-rated disc contained nudity. It was quickly recalled, and said disc is unavailable for online rental, and sells for over $100 on amazon.
But you can see it here in good enough quality to enjoy the tremendous landscapes, animation, cinematography and cave-babes. Don't worry about the Spanish overdub; that's only the narration in first minute or so. The language the characters are speaking is nonexistent, like in that Ringo Starr movie.
Just the scenes with General Kala, every drag queen's dream girl, from the greatest film of all time. So say I.
On a related note… did you know that I made a Flash Gordon tribute symphony? It came out really well. I'm pretty sure it's the best thing I've ever recorded, within my modest abilities. You can hear it and even download it for free. Please do not hesitate to do so, if you wish…
I’m painting pictures of things I know about, and things I’ve felt, that the world just hasn’t had the chance to feel... I’m painting pictures of another plane of existence, you might say, of something that’s so far away that it seems to be nonexistent. I’m painting pictures of that, but it is a world of happiness which people have been looking for or say they wanted, but they haven’t been able to achieve it.
I picked up Sun Ra's somewhat hard-to-find Strange Strings session on CD, originally recorded in 1966, at Amoeba Records in Hollywood. I'd heard of it, but not any of the music within. I just knew it was legendary among his dozens of records.
Of all the Sun Ra material I've heard, the mid-60's output is best; experimental, but still rooted in some fundamentals of musical structure. I especially recommend The Heliocentric Worlds of Sun Ra Volume One (1965) as a starting point for his music.
Even for Sun Ra, Strange Strings is challenging, and allegedly the most "out" the Arkestra has gone. Cheap third world stringed instruments (Ukuleles, Mandolins, Kotos, Koras, Chinese Lutes) were purchased from a shop in New York and passed out to the band, all inexperienced in playing these sorts of things. Sun Ra orchestrated by doing little more than pointing at performers, requiring them to make something out of almost nothing. He called it "a study in ignorance".
Somehow, it works for me. I played the album from beginning to end while sculpting, and it was quite a thrill. Difficult, yes. It's abrasive and dissonant, but charged with inspiration and urgency.
By the same guy who directed "Starcrash", so you know it's among the best cinema entertainment you can find. Currently on Netflix Streaming.
Incredibly, Alcucarda is available uncut on youtube. This will not last, so get it while you can. If you're unfamiliar with this surreal Mexi-trocity by Juan Lopez Moctezuma (who collaborated with Alejandro Jodorowsky on his first two films), I'll crib this description from wikipedia:
Alucarda is notorious for its extreme subject matter and themes, which includes that of Satanism, murder, demonic possession, exorcism, orgies, and lesbianism, among other things, within a religious setting. All of these things made the film controversial, especially for the time it was made. Because of its extreme violence, scenes of sacrilege, and perversely defiled religious imagery, it has gained notoriety among fans of the horror genre. Michael Weldon of the Psychotronic Video Guide said the film was "The strongest, most imaginative, and visual witch movie since Ken Russell's The Devils."
The display will illustrate the complexity of the film's production methods and will include the "id monster" concept art, miniatures used in the movie including the United Planets Cruiser C-57D flying saucer and Krell ventilator shaft miniature, a hand blaster, and one of the film's most memorable characters: Robby the Robot. The exhibit will also include the original recording equipment used by Louis and Bebe Barron in creating the film's all-electronic musical score.
More abut the exhibit here. Related blog post here.