Friday, December 7, 2007

Reasons To Be Cheerful: week of 12/07/07

Some recent and random Boat-Floaters...

1. This past week, while preparing another Raymond Scott posting, I was very pleased to discover word of a new Scott CD release that sounds promising.

'Ectoplasm' presents music that Scott recorded with his SECOND quintet in 1948 - '49.

I'm not familiar with this period of his music, so I'm very curious.
What I gather is that the arrangements are similar to his original six-piece 'quintette', but the content is more experimental for the time - - a little further 'out'.


Icing on the cake is cover art revived from an old Jim Flora illustration.

The only part that's not immediately clear to me is whether or not this new CD is available already, or slotted for release in early '08. Reports vary.

Either way, I'm keeping an eye out...

- Read more at the Basta Music site, and at the Jim Flora Blog.

2. Speaking of names that have been dropped around these parts both recently and perennially, this week's LA Weekly cover story mentions several of them throughout the course of a good read.

Follow the link to:
'Are You Not DEVO? You are Mutato - - How Mark Mothersbaugh, an Agent of De-Evolution, wormed his way into America’s subconscious'

⬆ DEVO's Mark Mothersbaugh in the basement of West Hollywood's Mutato Muzika building, posing in front of Raymond Scott’s Electronium.

(Thanks to Big Dave for the heads up)

(Speaking of outré and avant-garde artists working within a capitalist machine, see also today's posting on Gary Panter's Rozz-Tox Manifesto.)

3. Apparently it's been lurking around the web for several years, but the two different posts I saw this past week linking to 'revealing evidence of Mickey Mouse's Suicide Attempts of 1930' came as news to me.

The gist of this odd story is that soon after the daily Mickey Mouse newspaper comic strip began, one idea that was passed from Walt Disney to the strip's artist and writer Floyd Gottfredson became the basis of one its first story arcs.

Mickey, despondent over being jilted by Minnie, decides to end it all.

For several days his suicide attempts would fail, with 'comedic' results. Eventually, Mickey sees squirrels frolicking and decides life is worth living. Thankfully, sometimes the choice is that easy.

That Comic Book Resources link above displays a few examples from that storyline, and like many other web postings it cites an archive at Barnacle Press (a WONDERFUL vintage comic strip site) to see more of the sequence.

Maybe I'm dense and just not finding it, but it's looking to me like that Mickey stuff is no longer at the Barnacle Press site.
(Please correct me if I'm wrong.)

I did find a nice Floyd Gottfredson Tribute Page which includes that sequence among other interesting Mouse-capades.

Specifically, try here, but as of this writing it's looking like you'll have better luck clicking here.

See also:
- Wade Sampson's fascinating and VERY detailed article discussing this strange occurrence, as posted in 2006 at MousePlanet.

...also a note of passing this week...

4. News just recently arrived from Berlin that composer and electronic music pioneer
Karlheinz Stockhausen died earlier this week at age 79.

Similar to what I said last week in writing of the recent departure of Evel Knievel, Stockhausen made the 20th century a more interesting place.

I'd like to think that the two of them could be having an interesting conversation in the afterlife...

See also:
- - The Karlheinz Stockhausen Official Website
- A Stockhausen obituary at NPR.

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