Friday, October 5, 2007

Reasons To Be Cheerful: week of 10/05/07

I'm back home from my whirlwind week back in the bay area, and just starting to get caught up with myself, and caught up on sleep.

(It was garbage night a couple of nights back... I sat down for a moment while I was emptying wastebaskets and woke up much later clutching a bag of garbage to my chest like it was a teddybear.)

Had an absolutely stellar time, visited friends and family, hit some favorite restaurants that serve proper food not available in these parts, refueled some old and valuable connections to people, breathed proper coastal air and rested my eyes on proper coastal colors and textures.

I was there for the sad but festive closing of Village Music, I visited old haunts in SF and the East Bay, I had more fun than should be allowed guest-deejaying a slot on KALX, I sat around a campfire into the wee hours in Woodacre, laughing and chatting with rediscovered old friends, before drifting off to sleep under the full moon with a distant chorus of coyotes.

Beautiful. And thank heavens I don't have to keep up such a pace all the time. I don't think my heart could stand it.

And so, onto some other cheer-inducing nuggets encountered this past week:

1. Speaking of old haunts, I recently thumbed through a copy of a beautiful new hardback book documenting the look of Daly City, California's historic Westlake neighborhood - - 'Little Boxes: The Architecture of a Classic Midcentury Suburb'.

Though famously reviled in the early-sixties song by Malvina Reynolds, the near-indestructible houses still convey an 'elegance of economy' that holds its own unique charm.

If that charm is wrapped up in a view of the American Dream that never materialized, perhaps it makes them all the more compelling...?

2. Hawaiian ukelele master Jake Shimabukuro performs George Harrison's 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps', a clip available at
Midnight Ukelele Disco.

For more info, follow link to Jake's official website.

(Thanks to Mike Burma for the link!)





3. Among my childhood TV memories is the Canadian cartoon series Rocket Robin Hood.

I think that even back in the late sixties I knew that there was something a little wonky about the less-than-state-of-the-art animation, but the show was still a favorite.

Here's a link to a YouTube clip of the
Rocket Robin Hood opening theme song...

Now, via TVShowsOnDVD.com comes word that the complete series is to be released on DVD coming up on October 23rd. The 52 episodes will be released in new digital transfers on two box sets from Warner Home Video of Canada.
Whether it will be made available to US retailers remains to be seen.

I'll be curious to see how the show compares to my memories of it (I don't expect it to be a favorable comparison), but I'm more interested in witnessing the path the series took during it's three seasons on the air.

It seems the first season was light-hearted and jolly enough, regaling the sci-fi adventures of
Robin Hood's future descendant and his space-faring Merry Men.
Sometime during the second season however, animation director Ralph Bakshi (pre-'Fritz The Cat' & 'Wizards') joined the production, and the stories turned decidedly more dark and psychedelic.

Here (below) are two more YouTube links, assembling the parts of a particularly acid-tinged third season mind-f**k episode - - Far-freakin'-out, man...

Dementia Five (Part 1)
Dementia Five (Part 2)

(UPDATE, 11/15/07: Drat! A notice at TVShowsOnDVD.com says the RRH releases are now cancelled. Hopefully this will turn out to merely mean delayed or in some other sort of limbo for a time...)

4. Finally, topping the list at The MishMash.com's 'Sick and Wrong' Halloween costumes, it's The Poopie Shorts.
(click for link)

"Two-layer butt allows (included theatrical liquid) 'diarrhea' to flow without a mess!"

(Via BoingBoing.)

Halloween somehow manages to be a cheerful occasion, but sometimes only just barely, y'know?

The marketing is way beyond out-of-control, and it seems to be getting less and less fun to participate in the holiday.

At least Christmas is still innocent...

1 comment:

Skipper Bartlett said...

Rocket Robinhood...woah...flashback. Speaking of great Canadian tv, have you ever seen or heard of the Hilarious House Of Frightenstein? Thats my childhood right there, that is. Check out www.frightenstein.com

Freshly-stirred links