Who's on first, Whats on second

Posted by Whitmore, March 3, 2009 07:43pm | Post a Comment

On this date, March 3rd, fifty years ago, comedian Lou Costello, best known as the plump bumbling half of the comedy team of Abbott and Costello, died of a heart attack. Reportedly his last words were "That was the best ice-cream soda I ever tasted," as he was finishing a strawberry cream soda.

Bud Abbott and Lou Costello made over 40 films together in a 20 year career. Their signature comedy sketch Who's on First? was voted by Time in 1999 as the single greatest comedy routine of the 20th century. Who's on First? first appeared on radio in March 1938, after Abbott and Costello joined the cast of the The Kate Smith Hour. Two years later, with minor alterations, Abbott and Costello reprised the sketch in their Hollywood film debut, One Night in the Tropics starring Allan Jones, Nancy Allen and Bob Cummings.  
It was so successful, so famous that the bit appeared in several of their films. Audiences never seemed to tire of its ridiculous rapid-fire word play. In 1944 Abbott and Costello had the comedy sketch copyrighted.
The piece starts with Bud Abbott talking about the crazy nicknames of baseball ballplayers and Costello wants to know more about the local team and needless to say, who is playing each position.
Oh yeah, who's on first ... naturally.
The concept is as simple as that.
Unfortunately each of the ballplayers nicknames can also be interpreted as a non-responsive answer to Costello's endless questioning. Nearly 70 years later this bit is still absolutely brilliant. And absolutely absurd. Here's two versions.

Euro Chick Rebellion: Part II

Posted by Smiles Davis, March 3, 2009 02:38pm | Post a Comment

Music aficionados are just as hyped as I am about the return of Ms. Dynamite. She unofficially released her first single since her 2005 album release, Judgment Days. "Bad Gyal" was dropped on BBC radio where adoring fans recorded and reloaded the whole minute and some change teaser up on the Internet for everyone to ravage. The track was produced by garage don "Sticky Booo!" Stickey. It sounds as if M.I.A and some serious dancehall riddim married and had a lyrical baby, a true bundle of joy.

Salaam “The Chameleon” Remi
--pronounced "ray me"-- produced Ms. Dynamite's phenomenal debut album, A Little Deeper, which reached number 10 on the UK charts back in ‘03. How does one sum up Remi in anything less than a novel? He's worked with veterans like Santana and Nas as well as newbies Jazmine Sullivan and Chrisette Michelle. Mr. Remi was the mastermind behind that track for the Fugees no one could seem to get off the tip of their tongue: "Fu-Gee-La." Amy Winehouse's platinum selling debut album, Frank, had his name written all over it, not only as a producer, but as a song-writer as well. His pops was a music man himself. Van Gibbs found a nice cozy spot arranging, producing, leading bands, and playing guitar for artists like Harry Belafonte and Gloria Gaynor. As my Uncle Jerry would say in his fast talking, dirty Southern accent, "That's sum good blood right thar."

Ms. Dynamite has yet to release word on when the new album is set to drop or exactly who else is working on the production side, but rumor has it there is a larger two-step grime influence than her previous works. The hard core grime scene in the UK is somewhat similar to the Miami Bass scene here in the states. It disappeared from the radar for some time, but back in the 80's and the 90's it was often referred to as "booty music" or "dirty rap," with Luke and 2 Live Crew as the poster boys. We've recently seen the emergence of Miami Bass in mainstream success thanks to artists like Diplo, who fuses it together with his southern roots, trip hop and reggae dub. Grime or no grime, I'm excited about Ms. Dynamite's return to the spotlight. Apparently, Lily Allen is too. The rebellious youngster with a tutu said it brought her tears of utter happiness to hear about the impending return Ms. Dynamite. Lady Sovereign, my next subject, is equally excited. She can attest to knowing a little something about that grime scene I mentioned, especially because she reps as the only white female rapper to emerge into the spotlight from the tight knit circle.
Lady Sovereign was signed to Def Jam back in 2005 by Jay-Z after he made her drop acapella freestyle for him. She was the first white female MC ever signed to the label. Her debut album, Public Warning, dropped in October of '06 and introduced her to international recognition. The video for the song "Love Me or Hate Me" reached #1 on the US (and original) version of MTV's Total Request Live, making her the first British artist to ever do so. The 5 ft 1, pint-size Londoner with a fiercely independent creative spirit says she's never been your average rapper. If I had to describe her sound, I'd say Lady Sovereign is like Missy Elliot on pop rocks and hot tamales: rebelliously witty, sporty spiced, and relentlessly unattached to the social standards of femininity and sexuality. Her new album, Jigsaw, drops in the US on April 7th and April 13th in the UK on her very own label Miget Records. Her hit new single "So Human" samples what I believe is The Cure's 1985 smash "Close to Me" from The Head on The Door album. The first single from Jigsaw, "I Got You Dancing" dropped late last year with a fun packed video which happily marries a Crayola box out of School House Rock with urban street life. Just had to post. Till next time... chew the corners off.

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Posted by Billyjam, March 3, 2009 08:30am | Post a Comment
daedelusFor many, many years now Tuesdays have been the music industry's standard day of the week to release new records and CDs. And today, Tuesday March 3rd, is when brand new Los Angeles music label FoF Music is dropping its inaugural release, Friends of Friends Vol. 1 featuring Daedelus and fellow LA electronic act, duo Jogger. But similarities with the traditional music industry business model end there for this modern, post-Internet age, self-described "T-shirt label," whose catalog will be all digital file only releases.
"The Internet in many ways has been “the great equalizer” for both artists and music fans, giving us all new opportunities to release, buy and receive music," writes creator of this new indie label Leeor Brown on FoF's website. The concept for FoF Music, which stands for Friends of Friends Music, he writes, is to invite an artist "to join the FoF family by signing on to do a split EP; they in turn invite another musician or group to complete the split release and commission a designer to create the EP’s artwork on a limited edition T-Shirt which will include a download card (100% seed paper card-- Included will be the release, exclusive remixes and special content: ie videos, mixes etc)."

Today's premiere release, Friends of Friends Vol. 1, is a digital only six song shared "EP" with three songs each from number one "friend" Daedelus (born Alfred Darlington) and his friend Jogger. Alfred also invited friends Amir Yaghmai (who he attended high school with) and Jonathan Larroquette, both of whom are active live band members of his side project The Long Lost with his wife Laura, to also contribute to the new project. Additionally he invited the husband and wife art duo Kozyndan to do the cover art/t-shirt design for the release.

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(In which we celebrate the birth of B.S.)

Posted by Job O Brother, March 2, 2009 04:31pm | Post a Comment
"Say sma┼żák!"
Composer Bedřich Smetana

As all of you are undoubtedly already aware, today would have been the 185 birthday of Czech composer, Bedřich Smetana (pronounced Bedřich Smetana), had he not succumbed to a tenacious and ultimately fatal case of death.

I always love to hear how you, my faithful readers, celebrate Smetana’s Birthday, whether it be the traditional donning of feather headdresses and consumption of chocolate 'n' gunpowder cakes, or playing the challenging 8-mile Egg Toss, or simply drawing x’s all over your skin in blue ink while cowering in a corner, gnashing your teeth and rubbing sores with the delicious, homemade watermelon hard candies.
In my family, we’ve replaced the expensive and messy tradition of drowning kittens in butterscotch with the more humane practice of snowing in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. This is not only kinder to animals, but ensures water-levels for the State of California remain drought-proof.

cook border


Making snow is not as hard as it sounds. Here’s what you will need:

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!

Posted by Whitmore, March 2, 2009 01:25pm | Post a Comment

Dr Seuss
Do you know what this morn brings?
For one thing on this day you were born,
So let’s sing
Ting a ling a song we’ll bring
So toot a flute
Go blow a horn
Let’s celebrate this great date in 1904.
Today sir
Is Monday for sure
Take a look
In my calendar book.
On page three you can see
The month to be is March I believe
And the day,
It says number two,
But not the number two like pooh,
Number two
Like a smooth loop into a curly cue.
The day between one and three,
A second before the third,
Two before four and three before five …
Just a try to solve
What’s enough and where's the stuff
And answer all the whys.
Anyway, let me say to you today good sir
Happy birthday in the grandest way
And to make sure of that
Here’s a party hat
A special one, elaborately done
That’s more than just wacky fun,
Designed and refined by critters you made
Who came alive on the page,
Books for kids age one to one hundred twenty three
With names that begin and end from A to Z
And stories even the man on the moon likes to read.
We’ll croon to you a zany tune,
We’ll sing to you a from a crazy balloon
Painted blue and red with yellow thread,
With a sunny bow that glows
Where ever it goes.
We’ll teach a baboon to cook a cake,
We’ll find a dancing prancing loon
To shimmy and shake.
Oh but Dr. Seuss let me sigh
It’s so sad and all too bad  
You’re not alive, still today
We will cheer loud and clear
Happy birthday, you're a hundred and five.
So take a look at all your books
and the words that shook us snooks
I still sneak a peak at least once a week,
Catching up with old friends of mine,
From time to time I take a seat
Kick up my feet,
Retreat into your boxes and foxes
And what a fish does
And how to talk to a Cat in the Hat
And a Zither Zather Zuzz.
I used to read to my son for fun,
And now he likes to read alone
On his own
Till the book is done,
It’s a funny twirling whirling
World you shared with us.
Thus and such from me and him
And a zillion,
Kajillion others too
Again and again from us to you
Thank you, Dr. Seuss
Thank you thank you
So very very much.

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