Amoeblog

January 12, 2010

Posted by phil blankenship, January 13, 2010 12:23am | Post a Comment
Up In The Air movie ticket stub

Art Clokey 1921 - 2010

Posted by Whitmore, January 12, 2010 08:31am | Post a Comment
Art Clokey
Art Clokey
, the animator who created Gumby and Davey and Goliath, both coming into being by way of stop motion clay animation, died this last weekend at his home in Los Osos, California. He was 88.
 
Fashioned from a little green slab of clay, Gumby made his television debut in 1956 on The Howdy Doody Show. The following year The Gumby Show premiered. Along with his constant pony pal and sidekick Pokey, together they rambled though what could best be described as a series of gentle but weird LSD trips. Their colorful adventures against a toy strewn landscape often included Gumby's pestering nemseses, The Blockheads. (According to his son, Clokey did try LSD once, but under medical supervision and years after he created Gumby. I like to think he tripped with Cary Grant and Steve Allen.)Gumby and Pokey
 
Though the initial show was short-lived, Gumby enjoyed a comeback in 1961 running through 1968, then again in the 1980s and once again in the 1995 feature film, Gumby: The Movie, also directed by Art Clokey. Eventually 233 episodes were produced. Davey and Goliath, which ran in the 1960’s and 70’s, had over 300 episodes underwritten by the Lutheran Church of America.
 
Born as Arthur Charles Farrington in Detroit on Oct. 12, 1921, he lived with his father after his parents divorced. But at age nine Art’s father was killed in an automobile accident and instead of rejoining his mother, he was placed in an orphanage near Hollywood. Art was adopted sometime later by Joseph Waddell Clokey, an established composer and music professor at Pomona College in Claremont.
 
Art Clokey earned a bachelor’s degree from Miami University in Ohio and later attended Hartford Seminary in Connecticut, intent on becoming an Episcopal priest. He left soon after and entered the University of Southern California, where he studied film with Slavko Vorkapich, a pioneer in modern montage techniques. In 1955, Clokey made a student film, Gumbasia, with animated clay shapes gyrating to a jazz score. The film was the inspiration for the later television series. (The film is included on the DVD Gumby Essentials, released in 2007 by Classic Media.)
 
In 2006 Art Clokey was the subject of a documentary film, Gumby Dharma.
 
Art Clokey’s first marriage, to Ruth Parkander ended in divorce. His second wife, Gloria, died in 1998. He is survived by his son, Joe, a stepdaughter, Holly Harman, and three grandchildren. Another daughter, Ann, died in 1974.

Webster's New World Word of the Year for 2009

Posted by Whitmore, January 11, 2010 09:40pm | Post a Comment
Dictionaries are as competitive as any cross-town sports rivalry. I suspect there are fewer incidents of stealing mascots, but the urge to kick your opponent’s ass from one goalpost to the other is eternal. The Word of the Year is a nasty, ego driven business. It’s ruthless. Not quite a bloodsport -- less cockfighting, fewer carcasses -- but intense none the less. Anyway, Part One is here and Part Two is there. Now, Part three -Webster's New World Dictionaries 2009 Word of the Year- Webster’s New World® College Dictionary Word of the Year for 2009 is actually a phrase, but somehow the word gods allowed its selection.
 
Drum roll please!
 
The Word of the Year is: Distracted Driving.
 
So to get into the word-groove of Webster’s New World’s 2009 pick, I’m writing this in traffic as I drive. Drove right by one motorcycle cop already, he never saw my magic thumbs in action. Oh oh!... close call, almost side-swiped the 181 bus on Hollywood Blvd ... OK, now I’m at a red light ... anyway -- I’m blogging this on my Blackberry driving to Amoeba for yet another day in the Lair of the 45’s ... left down Vine Ave, I see the chess playing guy is back in front of the Montalban Theater ... right on Sunset, maybe, one of these days ... some people take their sweet ass time crossing the street. Wow, one of LA’s finest just gave me a dirty look but kept on going ... now I’m pulling into the parking garage ... Damnit! Dropped the phone under my seat for a second, its not easy making that sharp right turn  ... anyway ... word of the year ... actually just a minute, just remembered -- CrackBerry, a mocking term for 'addictive' BlackBerry use was Webster's Word of the Year back in 2006 ... anyway, almost finished here ... looking for parkin ... Oops! not good ...
 
Distracted Driving is defined as another consequence of what many are guilty of, using digital devices on the go and not paying attention to what they need to be paying attention too, like driving and where they are going and whether or not other people driving might be heading for that same exact, finite location simultaneously. The term is said to be entering the lexicon of lawyers and barristers around the world. Webster calls distracted driving a "sign of the times" and a natural corollary of our ongoing love affair with all things digital and mobile, slick and shiny. The New Oxford American Dictionary also had a word for a similar condition -- intexticated: “distraction caused by texting on a cellphone while driving a vehicle.” Webster likes to point out that distracted driving is actually a crime in many places around the world, but here in the good ol’ U.S. of A., I believe it’s only a national state of mind.
 
Runners-ups for 2009 Word of the Year at Webster’s New World were:
 
cloud computing: Computer operations in which documents and data are created, edited, and stored remotely on servers and accessed by the user via an Internet connection (this term is so well established that it will likely be added to the annual update of the College Dictionary in 2010).
 
wallet biopsy: Applies mostly to health care and the means of investigating before medical service is provided, of a patient’s ability to pay, enabling the health care provider to decide whether free or discounted medical care is appropriate; a term fueled in part by the debate on national health care reform.
 
By the way, the 2008 Webster’s New World Word of the Year was -- overshare (verb), “divulging excessive personal information, as in a blog or broadcast interview, prompting reactions ranging from alarmed discomfort to approval.”

Swans Are NOT Dead

Posted by Aaron Detroit, January 11, 2010 05:20pm | Post a Comment

According to the group's official Myspace page, Swans are back! Michael Gira --who has most recently performed as Angels of Light-- has announced a reconfigured lineup for the group, as well as plans for an LP (their first in 14 years) via Gira's Young God imprint and a new tour.  Strangely, no mention is made of longtime Swans member/colloborator Jarboe.

From the Swans Myspace Blog:

principal players on the swans album are (and there will be many special guests):

Michael Gira / gtr / voice / mendicant friar act  (original swans)

Norman Westberg – Guitar (original swans)

Christophj Hahn – Guitar (mid period swans and most angels)

Phil Puleo – Drums, percussion, dulcimer etc etc  (final swans tour and most angels)

Chris Pravdica – Bass and gadgets (flux information sciences / services/ gunga din)

Thor Harris, Drums, percussion, vibes, dulcimer, curios,  etc etc... (angels, now also with shearwater)

Angels Of Light is temporarily on hold while gira pursues his “new” project...

Exciting and excellent news! Let's celebrate with video!!:

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Sixx's Most Unholy 'Sister Devil'

Posted by Aaron Detroit, January 11, 2010 03:30pm | Post a Comment
Von, Sixx, Sister Devil Art
Recently highlighted in Black Light District’s 2009 year-end lists, Sixx’s Sister Devil is a starkly excellent yet nearly-forgotten Deathrock recording from 1991 by the members of San Francisco cult (and largely considered America’s first) Black Metal band, Von. After the release of their Satanic Blood demo, the members of Von started Sixx as a side project. While decidedly taking a turn towards Deathrock, the group recorded 8 tracks as Sixx that retained the lo-fi bleakness and Satanic bent of Von’s now infamous and highly influential demo recordings. Sister Devil has threads of early Sisters of Mercy, Bauhaus, Samhain, early Xmal Deutschland, and The Cure. The LP likely would have been an immediately celebrated record had it been properly distributed and promoted on its initial release in ’91; however, the band only ever released a handful of cassette demo copies. The album -- now featuring brand-spanking-new mastering by James Plotkin (Khanate/Khlyst) -- was finally and properly issued on CD and LP this past November thanks to Von/ Sixx’s very own Goat and NWN! Productions and though it took 18 years to properly release, it will now likely be rightly considered a Deathrock classic.

Stand-out track “Black Ride” sounds like it could be an early demo for the Sisters’ First Last and Always LP had Andrew Eldritch been more of the goat-sacrificing ilk, while Von, Sixx, Black Metal“On The Dead” is Only Theatre of Pain-era Christian Death meets Peter Murphy on some-sort of pill-popping bender. The lo-fi atmosphere and an almost tentative approach to the songs are complimented and tied together by creepy spoken interludes by frontman Goat (taken from his 1993 zine -- a facsimile of which can be obtained in the special “die-hard” edition of the LP) that sound like ‘found’ recordings of a killer’s last confession.

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