Monday, January 31, 2011


From Manpower bulletin, put out by the U.S. Department of Labor.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Our Mother's House

A while ago my friend from Unmann-Wittering Blog sent me 3 DVD-Rs worth of rare British TV shows and movies, none of which I had ever heard of. This movie, Our Mother's House, was on one of them, and my wife and I watched it the other night. WOW. Seances, wool scarves and blankets, a plucky eldest child, Pamela Franklin channeling the dead on a creepy rocking chair -- everything you want. Amazing color palette on this thing, lovely grey and brown macs and leather schoolbags. And "Violet Hook" is a good name for a band. Directed by the same guy who did The Innocents. Thanks, Mr. Wittering!

Friday, January 28, 2011

One World

Well I'm back in the sleepy west of the woody east after my trip to the city. It was so fun getting to meet WFMU's Trouble, the coolest Art Teacher on the radio. One thing we talked about was how received music distinctions (psych, folk, indie, etc.) end up putting people in boxes and keep them from listening to new stuff. I was thinking about that the next day, when I found this amazing Nigerian record by a band called One World. I defy anyone to listen to this record and not feel your life has improved somehow. I'm not even going to describe it -- just listen to it and instantly feel the grin spreading across your face. Notice that the "V" in victory is two fingers in a peace sign.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Well here I am, not quite sure what to say. It's been a rough week. I hope everybody is bearing up OK. Take care of each other, folks. Give your loved ones an extra squeeze this weekend. And whatever your musical bag is, put on your favorite band and think about what they mean to you. I know I have lately.

The timing of this is a bit weird (plans were made a month or so ago), but I'm going to be a guest on a radio show this Tuesday, playing and talking about some favorite tunes. The show is personal WFMU favorite This is The Modern World with Trouble, airing Tuesday 9-12 AM New York time. I think I'm going to be there around 10ish. WFMU does a great job archiving their shows, so you can catch the broadcast later if you miss it the first time around. Tune in and join us through the airwaves for some music therapy and easy one-pot recipes.

Friday, January 14, 2011


I'm completely heartbroken over here. We love you, Trish, and will miss you always.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Mikre Isha

Mikre Isha (A Woman's Case), 1969. Israeli new wave. Music by Israeli garage/psych band The Churchills. The soundtrack was issued on vinyl but only included the "rock" songs. Here are the cool atmospherics they left out.

Saturday, January 8, 2011


Just a heads up about two films soon to be released on DVD. BFI/Flipside continues to unearth subterranean British treasures that I wonder how I never knew about, like the already released Bronco Bullfrog and Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush. Joseph Despin and William Dumaresq's Duffer promises to be quite a disturbing picture, but my ears pricked up when I heard that Delia Derbyshire was in charge of the sound design. And Barney Platts-Mills's Private Road just looks like pure confection. What's great about these Flipside releases is that they tend to include supplementary short films of great interest themselves. Mulberry Bush includes Gordon Ruttan's documentary Stevenage, a propaganda piece for Britain's "new towns," and Private Road includes David Tringham's 1974 film The Last Chapter, starring Denholm Elliot as a writer unnerved by a younger fan played by Susan Penhaligon. Read more here and here.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Radical Software

Images from Radical Software magazine. Discovered on the amazing Routine Investigations.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Small Is Beautiful

Do you remember watching wobbly 16mm science films about cell division and seeds sprouting in time lapse? It usually meant there was a sub, or that the teacher was going through some personal stuff and didn't want to try anymore. Now I realize that I learned a lot from those screenings -- how to remove a tapeworm using a pencil, for starters. And the music for these documentaries was crucial to establishing the mitochondria's point of view. Here's a library/production record devoted to the miniature wonders of the natural world: photosynthesis, ant colonies, osmosis, etc. Lovely soft focus pastoral electronics on the KPM imprint by Sam Sklair.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A Girl's Own Story

Early Jane Campion short. Watch here. Filmed in 1984 but seems much earlier. Can't explain it but there is kind of a Jonathan Miller/Alice in Wonderland vibe here. Cat/kitten fans will want to see this one.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Ralph Lundsten

Here are some clips of Ralph Lundsten playing weird electronic music for Swedish kids. The first clip is from a TV show which I think is called OM. Amazing bloops, bleeps, and dance moves. Really cool sweaters as well. The outro song with the credits rolling is !!! The show is split up into 3 parts -- make sure to check out part 1 and 2. The other clip below is from a different Swedish children's show called "Kika-digga-ding." It features Lundsten noodling around on his synthesizer and a tripped out dance sequence starting about 3:30 into the clip. Happy New Year!