If I were in Asheville, NC the weekend of October 28-30, I would totally go to Moogfest. In addition to Brian Eno, it’s a veritable feast of Prog Rock goodness, including Tangerine Dream, M83, and half of King Crimson in the form of the Adrian Belew Power Trio.
Since M83 may be unfamiliar to many readers, here’s them doing “We Own the Sky:”
(Still in a brownout, Internet up for nowdown again. Who knows how long it will last…)
I think today is going to be a Peter Gabriel Day here on Futuramen.
In my youth every day was Peter Gabriel day. The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway and Peter Gabriel III were the soundtrack of my youth in late high school and early college. I had pretty much every song Gabriel ever recorded, including such non-album rarities as “Curtains,” “Soft Dog,” and “No More Apartheid.” Not to mention a fair number of bootlegs.
<Onion-On-Belt Rant Mode On>
In my day, you couldn’t just download bootlegs from the Internet. You actually had to buy them on these round slabs of petroleum byproducts called “records.” And you couldn’t even find them in most record stores. You had to find them in the back room, or record conventions, or even more obscure venues. I remember that there used to be someplace in Austin, down on (I think) 12th Street, that was a used clothing store, except they had a small section where there were like four bins of nothing but bootlegs. And you paid more than regular price for them, only to get them home and find out half the time that the quality sucked.
Good times, good times.
<Onion-On-Belt Rant Mode Off>
Anyway, while looking for something else, I stumbled across two different videos of a completely unreleased Peter Gabriel song called “Why Don’t We.”
I would happily toss some money Peter Gabriel’s way if he would put a clean recorded version up on iTunes.
I plan to post a lot more Peter Gabriel discoveries today, power and Internet permitting…
Back in my ill-spent youth, before we had any video games other than Pong, I watched a lot of TV. Along with the classics (I Love Lucy, Star Trek), I watched a good bit of the same primetime fare everyone else watched back in the days of three broadcast networks and no cable. In particular, I would watch pretty much any prime time science fiction show in the 1970s, no matter how bad. Some, like Kolchak: The Night Stalker, hold up much better than I would expect them to.
Anyway, I thought I’d do this post on The Fantastic Journey not because it was good, but because once every six months or so I found myself discussing the TV shows of the 1970s and being unable to recall the name of the show. It could also be seen as some sort of weird precursor to Lost, but with a smaller cast and a refreshing lack of tedious flashbacks. So this page is more or less something for people to find on the Internet searching for the same half-remembered plot elements just so they can prove to their friends that no, they didn’t imagine it. (Keywords: The Fantastic Journey, island, Bermuda Triangle, zone, portal, TV show, 1970s, bad, suck)
The setup, as I remember it, was some modern Americans (including an annoying kid, which was the style at the time) being marooned on an uncharted island somewhere in the Bermuda Triangle, and every week they’d go through some sort of zone or barrier that would transport them to another time period where they ran into pirates, aliens, future civilizations, or any other thing 70s TV writers on deadline could think of to keep them in cocaine for another month. According to this far more informative writeup on the show, they were stranded there by some weird green cloud enveloping their boat. And it went downhill from there.
Here’s the opening credits, which I seem to have mercifully forgotten:
Wow, that cheesy disco synth theme is everything that was wrong with music in the 1970s rolled into one excruciatingly painful package. I’m sure that right now, it’s being played on an infinite loop to torments the souls of the damned at Hell’s own disco.
And here’s the opening of one episode, which makes it seem even worse than I remember:
Roddy McDowell adds that touch of class to remind you that, yes, he was in an awful lot of horrid crap. (See also: Laserblast.)
That’s pretty bad. Thanks you sir, may I have another?
What that scene really needs is the Monty Python knight to limp up and whack Mongol Riddle Guy upside the head with a rubber chicken. There also seemed to be a contractual requirement for several minutes of running in every show. (Cheap! Pointless! Eats up screen time!) And nothing says “It’s the future!” like green unitards and shiny, asymmetrical skirts.
And there’s plenty more where that came from on YouTube, for those with an unquenchable thirst for cheesy 70s science fiction TV shows. But everything about the show gives you the distinct impression people involved knew it was doomed and were only in it for the paycheck.
So Dwight and I were discussing possible venues for the next Saturday Dining Conspiracy. Having been burned in the past by places that closed before we got there, we always try to call ahead to make sure they’re open. Today showed at least one obstacle standing between several Austin Restaurateurs and profit: their inability to competently answer a phone call.
First a call to a place called Flamin’ Grill & Kebob House (which I had a coupon for) in Round Rock: “Hello?” answers the voice at the other in a dead monotone. No “Flamin’ Grill and Kebob House, how can I help you?” Not even “Flaimin Grill.” So I ask if this is, in fact, “Flamin’ Grill & Kebob House.” “Yes,” he answered in a voice that clearly implied I was imposing on his time, and that he would prefer to be anywhere else at that moment rather than answering a restaurant’s phone. With that kind of attitude toward the business, we crossed them off the list.
Next up: Ilse’s Kitchen, a German Restaurant out in Spicewood. The phone rings ten times (despite it being within the specified business hours), then something like a fax machine pics up, evidently waiting for you to start a fax; no message, no beep, nothing.
Third try: Your Mom’s Burger Bar. Calling the number listed on their website (474-MOMS) brings up a message saying that “this NXP semiconductor number is no longer in service.”.
Look, I know that telephones are musty old 20th century technology, but is it too much to ask that: A.) The phone number on your own website is correct, and that B.) You answer it when it rings in a (at the minimum) polite manner? Is that just too much to ask of you?
Here’s an interesting breakdown of the average “adjusted” age (i.e., one that gives more weight to starters than backups, etc.) of every team in the NFL. The Texans, with an average age of 25.9 years, were the youngest team in the league. (The New England Patriots, at an average age of 28.7 years, were the oldest.) Breaking it down further, the Texans defense, at at an average age of 25.3, were the youngest defense in the league. (The Pittsburgh Steelers, at an average age of 29.2 years, just edged out the Denver Broncos (28.9) as the oldest defense.) On Offense, the Texans were the fifth youngest team, with an average age of 26.5, just slightly older than Philadelphia, Miami (both 26.1), Tampa Bay (26.2) and St. Louis (26.4). (The Patriots offense, at an average age of 29.7, more than a year older than runner-up Minnesota (28.6, probably due to a hefty assist from the Favre Factor) were the clear winners of the the NFL’s Get Off My Lawn Trophy.)
What does all this mean? Probably not a whole lot. But all other things being equal, it’s better to be young than old, and the Texans should (presumably) have a bit more headroom for getting better.