I experienced a mini-blackout of my own this past weekend, when on Friday evening my email and web page packed up. It was too late to call my provider, so I had to do so Saturday morning. I discovered that I hadn’t renewed www.tedmills.com. But why hadn’t I been informed? Apparently, my provider had been sending me emails, but at my old domain address. Baka. The mistake was rectified, but I had to wait nearly 24 hours to use email again. Difference: I seem to have been dropped from several mailing lists, I guess because the mailbot kept getting bounced back mails. Crapola.
A Wild West version of “The Taming of the Shrew” has been so popular in recent years (I counted at least five nationwide on a quick Internet search) that it’s nearly deserving of its own sub-genre.
For those who love the play’s rowdy, rough-and-tumble attitude but are a bit queasy over its sexual politics, the lawlessness of the frontier offers a broad canvas and several ideological escape routes. Dress up Katherine as Annie Oakley and you’re already halfway toward a character. And the transitory nature of the West makes all outcomes liable to change without notice, unlike the established Padua of Shakespeare’s original.
No, no, no. Wrong, wrong, wrong. On the other hand, I have a feeling that many advance orders are being filled right now by legions of student filmmakers. I just hope Commander Bunnypants winds up taking his orders from an anatomically correct Ken doll.
Elite Force Aviator: George W. Bush
A simple idea really: a series of still photos from the same location, shot in a minimal time frame, stitched together randomly by Flash. What results is a unnerving display of time eating itself, people’s facial and body language coming unstuck from its original meaning and gaining new ones. More, please. (update: there is more.)
Stop Motion Studies – Series 2
From the web site:
All imagery was shot in London, England between October 12 and October 15, 2002. The camera used was a Canon PowerShot A40 — a consumer grade still camera capable of taking roughly 64 low-resolution images per minute. The photos were then brought into Flash MX to be programmatically sequenced and formatted for the Web. There has been no cropping or retouching applied to the images.
By way of Boing Boing
CBS/Columbia CK 38660
Men at Work stand as the first band I ever saw live, back when I was a wee lad in 1982. They played the Santa Barbara County Bowl with Mental As Anything opening (how’s that for an ’80s flashback?). It’s probably where I smelled pot the first time. It was certainly my first tour T-shirt (longsleeve baseball-style, as was the fashion). And Cargo has been in my collection since it came out. But I hadn’t listened to it for a long time until I got the CD (and not the remastered version, which I’m still looking for).
Far from being Police-copyists and a dated embarrassment, I think the album still holds up well. This was the early ’80s, so the drums are not Gotterdamerung-volume. Apart from a few twee synth sounds here and there, the band is tight (they’re like a poppy King Crimson on “I Like To,”? an otherwise throwaway song that turns into an angular jam). Best of all is Colin Hay’s lyrics and general songwriting. Yes, he wrote a song about a Vegemite sandwich, but most of this album is sunshine-dappled angst. I think there’s a total of one song that could be considered a love song”””Blue For You”?””and that ends with intimations of suicide (“I could take a big jump!”?). But mostly there’s this: “Blood on the pillow on my bed / Explains the pain that’s in my head.”? (“High Wire”?). Or songs about nuclear war (“It’s a Mistake”?), angst-fueled insomnia (“Overkill”? a great song that was always too dark to have been a single), directionlessness (“No Restrictions”?), or post-breakup depression (the also fabulous and justifiably long “No Sign of Yesterday”?). Great guitars solos on all these, and I’m not a guitar solo guy. They’re minimal but refined.
The other thing I enjoyed: the air between the instruments. There’s been so much muddy production recently that the sound of this album suddenly stood out as enjoyably crisp. I never followed Men at Work after the core group split (and “Two Hearts”? is just a jumble of sequenced noise), but I’d like to believe Colin Hay is still writing some good tunes. (Decide for yourself.)
I’m a bit of a Python fan, but I didn’t know how much of their stuff was and has been censored over the years. This stuff doesn’t reappear on the DVDs or anywhere. In fact, nobody would know about this if people didn’t hunt through archives and find treasures like the following. Monty Python Episode 24 – The Missing Bits details the “tasteless” parts cut out of this episode. Gee, what could have offended the BBC?