Archive for the ‘video’ Category

Ping Pong Ball Trick Shots

Tuesday, September 20th, 2016

Not usually my thing, but this one is pretty amusing.

Shoegazer Sunday: Thrushes’ “Salt and Stone”

Sunday, September 18th, 2016

Been a while since I featured Thrushes for the Sunday Dose of Shoegaze, so here they are with “Salt and Stone” and a video that seems to borrow more than a little from Kill Bill Volume 2.

Shoegazer Sunday: Vet Trip’s “Finland”

Sunday, September 11th, 2016

Hey look, it’s another Austin shoegaze band! Vet Trip is a four-piece that sounds a little bit like Thrushes by way of Seasurfer.

Six Degrees of Marty Feldman

Saturday, September 10th, 2016

Probably because I was searching for various clips following Gene Wilder’s death, this video about Marty Feldman’s life came up on YouTube. I thought I’d see a few minutes of it and actually ended up watching the whole thing.

Here in the U.S. Feldman is probably know mainly for appearing in Young Frankenstein, but in the UK he was revered as a radio and TV comic writing and performing genius who held his own working with many of the people who would later form Monty Python. Indeed, Feldman co-wrote the famous “Four Yorkshiremen” skit Python would later adopt as their own, and when Python first went on the air, Feldman was staring in his own Marty show on the BBC.

It’s worth a watch.

Gene Wilder RIP

Monday, August 29th, 2016

Gene Wilder has died at age 83 of Alzheimer’s.

He was one of his generation’s great comic actors, with a natural gift for underplaying a straight man and perfect deadpan delivery, and was in some of the greatest comedies of the 1970s.

Blazing Saddles, of course:

Young Frankenstein:

And who can forget the freaky boat ride from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory:

And here’s an animated overview of his life in his own words:

Shoegazer Sunday: Lazy Legs’ “Crush”

Sunday, August 21st, 2016

Lazy legs is a Chicago-based trio that just released Visiondeath, their debut album. And here’s “Crush.” Because: Doggies!

(Hat tip: Primal Music Blog.)

Library Addition: 1 of 13 Copies of Michael Swanwick’s Universe Box

Monday, August 15th, 2016

This is a case of not only what you know, but who you know and when you know it.

I know Michael Swanwick and I’m a Dragonstairs Press regular, carrying their chapbooks through Lame Excuse Books. For a while now I’ve heard both Michael and his wife/Dragonstairs proprietor Marianne Porter talk about the Universe Box project, which was not only going to be an ultra-limited edition book, but also a weirdo art assemblage/fetish object.

They finally announced the details on August 3: at precisely noon EDT (11 AM CDT) on Saturday, August 6, 2016, they would be offering up 10 Universe Boxes (out of a total run of 13) on a first come, first serve basis on the Dragonstairs website. Which is how I came to be sitting at my computer, hitting the refresh button on the Dragonstair Press page, until the purchase button finally appeared right after the appointed time. I was evidently the first person to snag one, and all 10 copies sold out in three and a half minutes.

Here’s the Dragonstair description:

Universe Boxes is a collaborative project by Michael Swanwick and Marianne Porter. The boxes were assembled over several years by Porter, and the novelette was written by Swanwick.

The project has four distinct elements:

The Box

Each box is an actual cigar box, lined with astronomical charts and photomoechanicals of paleontological art. (Please note: the boxes have been carefully cleaned, bicarbonate of soda-ed, aired out, and Febreezed, but they originally held real tobacco.)

The exterior of each box has a Dragonstairs Press return address sticker and appropriate rubber-stamp-canceled postage for the item to go through the mail. (Out of concern for the contents, the Universe Boxes will be padded and shipped in larger boxes.) When each is sold, an address sticker with its purchaser’s name and address will be added. The whole will then be tied up with string.

The Contents

A variety of objects have been included in each. Every box has a hand-bound signed copy of Universe Box by Michael Swanwick and a vaccine created by Marianne Porter (more on these below).

Contents of one box, identified as Coma Bernices/Pleistocene include:

glass beads
vacuum tube
red gem coral Corallium sp.
sectioned geode
postal reply coupon
vintage German glass taxidermy eyes
winged pin
calling cards

Plus, of course, the vaccine and book. Some of the above items are common to all boxes but most are not. The contents of each box are unique to it.

Packing material consists of early drafts of the included story, run through a shredder.

The Story

Universe Box is a previously-unpublished 10,500 word fantasy dealing with cosmic powers, giraffe wranglers, the purpose of existence, and the most boring young man in all the universe. Physically, it is a stab-bound book with decorative paper covers, roughly six inches by four inches, issued in an edition of thirteen plus one printer’s proof. The books are all autographed by Michael Swanwick and a contents list is autographed by both the author and the publisher.

The Vaccine

One vaccine is included per box. These are individual works of art by Marianne Porter, consisting of a glass serum bottle (2 cm x 4.5 cm) filled with specifics “against what ails you.” The bottle is sealed with a rubber stopper and topped with a crimped aluminum cap. It can be opened, but once opened cannot be resealed. The contents of each vaccine are unique to it. The one included in Coma Bernices/Pleistocene, for example, contains human hair, an agate bead, and wire.

The vaccines are part of a larger series, none of which have previously been made available for purchase.

And here’s my listing for it:

Swanwick, Michael and Marianne Porter. Universe Box. Dragonstairs Press, 2016. First edition “hardback” (oblong stiff stab-bound/side-sewn boards, no spine binding, with bead), a Fine copy, sans dust jacket, as issued, in a Fine decorated traycase (i.e., an old cigar box) with several art assemblage pieces included, one of only 13 copies (of which only 10 were available for sale), of which this particular copy (the first one sold) is labeled “Draco/Recent.” Art objects included in the particular box include:

  • A bottled “vaccine” consisting of opossum teeth.
  • A shark tooth
  • A vacuum tube
  • A thin slice of mica, encased between two pieces of blue construction paper in a small black velvet pouch
  • Vintage German glass taxidermy eyes
  • A piece of red gem coral Corallium
  • A jade button
  • A postal reply coupon, originally from Germany
  • Five beads (three orange, two pink) bound together with an orange string
  • 7 calling cards, tied with a gray string, encased in another black velvet pouch.
  • An inventory sheet for the box signed by both Swanwick and Porter.
  • Packing material made from shredded early drafts of the story.
  • Other things listed on the sheet are pasted to the inside surfaces of the box.

    Universe Box Outside

    Outside of the box, address blurred out. Since the box came with the purchaser’s name and addressed affixed to the box with a label, I guess future librarians will officially refer to this as the “Codex Person” copy…


    Universe Box opened.


    With the content spread out to photograph.


    A closer look at the objects included.


    With the included cards spread out.


    Everything again, with cards spread out.

    Universe Box Book

    The book itself.


    Inside the book.

    And here’s Swanwick himself with an unboxing video:

    Hana Maria covering Nine Inch Nails “Closer”

    Wednesday, August 10th, 2016

    In order to provide a break from the relentless book cataloging, here’s a fun acoustic cover of Nine Inch Nail’s Closer by Hana Maria (who seems to record under the name Hana Piranha). Song is NSFW, just like the original.

    Shoegazer Sunday: Cranes’ “Jewel”

    Sunday, July 10th, 2016

    I would have thought I put up Cranes’ “Jewel” long ago in my Shoegazer Sunday series, but I do not appear to have done so, so here are two versions: a music video version that seems a bit flashier, and the more-stripped down album version.

    Shoegazer Sunday: The Fauns’ “Road Meets the Sky”

    Sunday, July 3rd, 2016

    For your Sunday dose of Shoegaze, here’s The Fauns’ “Road Meets the Sky,” accompanied by the lightcycle race scene from Tron, a combination that, for some strange reason, works really well together…