February 29, 2008

A PIZZA TEEN! Douche Bag Double-Feature Starring Guitar Center Employee Of The Month, Johnny DeMarco

Prior to taping, Johnny was wearing a LIGHT blue shirt, but...well...you know: scalp juice, man.

Essential Albums: The Church "Starfish" 1988

This is easily one of my favorite 3 albums, one I could play for a week on repeat. It's the sound of cold, late afternoons during the winter weekends of my last year of High School, broke, tired and stressed because I've got a ton of homework, but I've foolishly squandered my time driving around to record stores. Favorite tracks? "Lost" and "Hotel Womb."

February 28, 2008

Retrotech: The Vako Orchestron

Consider this a prequel to the Fairlight CMI post. The Orchestron was a competitor to the Mellotron in the mid-seventies, and a professional remodeling of the Mattel Optigon, a preexisting cheaply built toy. It used actual recordings of instruments and voices put onto continuous loops on celluloid discs (similar to "locked grooves" on record albums), and played them back using optical sound (the same as in a movie projector). In theory, it should have been an improvement over the Mellotron; that instrument used lengths of audio tape that timed out after seven seconds, so you couldn't sustain a note indefinitely as you could with the Orchestron. However, the bandwidth on these things were awful. The sound was thin, scratchy, and muddy. The smallest bit of dust on the celluloid would result in pops and clicks. Only 50 Orchestrons were made, and sold at $2,250 retail. I picked one up for $60 at a flea market in Oakland in 1996, having no idea what it was. It included four Orchestron discs and a couple Optigon discs. My bandmate reconditioned it for me, I kept it in my studio for a couple years but never recorded with it, then we sold it for $300 and split the profit. It's an incredibly cool gizmo, but who needs a trashy sounding 100-pound laminated particleboard box sitting around the house? While Kraftwerk were touring America on the 1975 Autobahn tour, they purchased an Orchestron and used it extensively in their next three albums (especially Radioactivity, their finest effort). Here's a guy demoing the instrument and playing some respective parts from those tunes.

Mister Rogers Absurdity

I've been on a quest to score a solid album of music performed by Johnny Costa, the jazz pianist who defined the sound of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. I checked around for some videos as well, and in doing so, I stumbled across this weird creation. Don't get me wrong. Fred Rogers is, I believe, one of the only entertainers whose efforts were genuinely deserving of a national holiday. He sincerely cared about children in way which most of us find difficult to trust as authentic for any number of reasons. He seemed too good to be true, and therefore, he became an easy, unfortunate target for endless parodies. The video below gets very close to crossing over into the realm of mean-spiritedness, but it never quite gets there for me. It's just weird enough, slow enough, and quiet enough to be enjoyably absurd. Kembrew McLeod, the video's creator, says the following: "Mister Rogers released a number of records in the 1960s and 1970s that contained weird segments that I sampled and collaged, mixing in drums, noises and a bass line from a band named Bedhead. I didn't rearrange Mister Rogers' sentences, so many of the things that sound out of context are also messed up in context ('you can never go down the drain,' for instance)."

February 27, 2008

PIZZA TEEN! Readers Poll Results

QUESTION: Favorite token black guy?

  • Isaac, The Bartender 44%
  • Lamar Latrell 44%
  • Lando 11%
  • Colin Powell 0%
  • Garrett Morris 0%
  • Rochester 0%
  • Sammy Davis, Jr. 0%
Be sure to vote in the current poll!

Mother's Little Darlings: Part II

February 26, 2008

February 25, 2008

A PIZZA TEEN! Douche Bag Double-Feature Starring Jean-Michel Jarre

I wasn't content merely relegating these videos to the comments of Stexe's Fairlight post. I'm a fan of his albums Oxygene, Equinoxe, and Zoolook, but Jean-Michel Jarre's videos and promotional films are some of the grossest examples of so-pretentious-I-feel-the-need-to-kick-him-in-the-balls visuals ever generated. In both of the videos below, Jarre has all of the charm of The Shining's Danny Torrance while in his terror-induced emotional coma. A comment on youtube compared the first video to a shampoo advertisement, and I happen to agree. If you mute the sound and just concentrate of the visuals, the laugh factor goes WAY up. No one twirls his own knob like Jean-Michel, har dee har har. BONUS! Here he is in 1990 playing the "laserharp" for the amusement of the all-powerful Master Control Program, live from the top deck of Zark's command ship. This unusual musical device is fueled by pure, unchecked ego.

RetroTech: The Fairlight CMI

The Fairlight was introduced in 1980 as the first true sampling keyboard. The first two models used a cool light pen, but they often broke so a graphics tablet was used in subsequent keyboards. They were expensive - $25,000 for the earliest models, sometimes over $100,000 for later ones. Components alone cost the manufacturers almost as much as the sticker price. Despite this, they didn't even have 16-bit sound (CD quality) until the mid-80's. Around this time, Ensoniq introduced the Mirage for $2000 (I bought mine used in 1990 for $400) signaling the end of Fairlight. Peter Gabriel was among the first two people to get his hands on it (the other being Stevie Wonder, the Rasta-Toad). This informative clip shows him collecting samples for his brilliant fourth album. and for an example of how you shouldn't overuse a gimmick, here's an enjoyable piece of detritus from Jean Michel Jarre. Lance introduced me to this, and it can best be described as "Fairlight rape": By my estimation, a used, functioning Fairlight sells for about 3% of its original price. Never buy digital equipment as an investment, folks.

Beautiful Mutants: A Devo Collection

February 23, 2008

February 22, 2008

BREAKING NEWS! More Americans Are Giving Up Golf! Hooray!

I was very pleased by this New York Times article discussing the demise golf. It offers a glimmer of hope, kind of like someone announcing that they may have discovered a cure for evil itself. Here are some good, out of context quotes which bring a smile to my face:

  • "We have to change our mentality."
  • "The problem was not a game of golf. It was the game of golf itself."
  • "...The ship is sinking."
  • "A two-year campaign by the foundation to bring new players into the game...'hasn’t shown much in the way of results.'"
  • "...If we don’t repackage our facilities to a more family orientation, we’re dead.”
Good riddance! Twain said golf was a good walk spoiled. I've golfed three times in my life, and the only thing I enjoyed about it was driving the white clown car. Add a turret on top, allowing me to squirt steaming liquid shit from afar at a CEO, and I'll get a club membership. The only version of the game which amuses me is the one which requires me to hit the ball past a mechanical indian's tomahawk. Professor Carlin really expresses my sentiment best:

February 21, 2008

M.C. Escher Creates And Prints "Snakes"

I hope we can all finally agree that Escher's stuff is great. He's one of those guys like Norman Rockwell who was dismissed for decades by art world insiders as merely a popular graphic artist or illustrator. Escher's stuff is a pleasure to look at, and that's perhaps the finest quality an artist can aspire to. Here he is at work creating and printing "Snakes" in 1969. This was his final print. He died in 1972. The video has no sound. Click to zoom.

February 20, 2008

The Do-It-Yourself Harold And Maude Soundtrack

It doesn't appear likely that a soundtrack for Harold and Maude and will ever be released, so if you want one, you have to create your own. Well, don't bother, because I've done all the legwork. The tracks are presented below in the same order in which they occur in the film. If you really want to complete the soundtrack, you will want to add Johann Strauß's "The Blue Danube" and Tchaikovsky's "Piano Concerto #1," although I have been unable to nail down which exact performances of those two selections appear in the film.

February 19, 2008

PIZZA TEEN! Readers Poll Results

QUESTION: Favorite Superhero Team-Up?

  • Sub-Mariner / Georgia O'Keefe 44%
  • Iron Man / Vivian Vance 22%
  • The Incredible Hulk / The NAACP 22%
  • Wolverine / E. Gary Gygax 11%
  • Punisher / Jack Ruby 0%
  • Teen Titans / Sam Donaldson 0%
Be sure to vote in the current poll!

Three Commercials that Horrified Me as a Kid

5 years old - It's Alive 7 years old - Suspiria 9 years old - Magic

A PIZZA TEEN! Undeniably Interesting, Non-Ironic Double-Feature

First up, my favorite section from the 1988 Francis Bacon documentary, Francis Bacon. As of the of this post, the entire documentary can be seen here. And second, here's a classic Dave Brubeck performance from 1961. There are many other clips of the quartet's performances of "Take Five" from that time which are, if you consider the WHOLE performance, arguably superior (this one, for example), but Joe Morello's drum solo is the single greatest argument for posting the one below instead. Separated at birth: An Officer And A Gentleman co-star David Keith and Dave Brubeck?

February 18, 2008

Insert Your Own Joke Here

From the "shooting fish in a barrel" department, here's a real page from a real coloring book published by the archdiocese of new york. Besides reminding me of this, it also makes me suspect it was done in the church's self interest; liability protection to keep massive payouts like this from happening in the future. I'm just glad we have angels around to warn kids how to protect themselves from priests. No one else seems to be doing the job. (click to enlarge)

February 17, 2008

F'd Puppet of the Week 2/17/08

A belated Valentine's Day message of pain, sadness and angst played out through the subtle chin jerks of a ventriloquist dummy in a shabby wig. I love you all...

A VERY Happy Stevie Wonder Beats On The Drums

I sure wish the beings from another world would return THIS Stevie Wonder to Earth and take their substitute back to planet Rasta-Toad.

February 16, 2008

A Visual Metaphor For My Experiences With The Banking Industry

A Visual Metaphor For All Of My Relationships With Women

Siskel & Ebert Review Conan The Destroyer

I'd like to recreate this review word for word, shot for shot, and enter the finished product into a film festival. It's so goddamn absurd. Ebert's comment at the 2:53 mark really seals the deal for me and transforms the clip into a perfect example of post-modern comedy. Ah, yes, the good old days, when entire pivotal battle sequences were spoiled in the course of a review. If Ebert had a glow-in-the-dark hard-on for Conan The Destoyer, surely he must have erected a permanent golden shrine in his underwear upon viewing The Barbarians, a worse film which is a billion times more entertaining, set in an equally generic universe and starring the barely intelligible drooling meat-trolls, "The Barbarian Brothers."

A Kids In The Hall Double-Feature

February 13, 2008


Rejected Star Wars Crap

Given the glut of merchandise produced over the years, it's incredibly difficult for me to imagine that Lucasfilm's licensing agents have actually rejected potential expansions of revenue in the past. The folks over at Action Figure Insider have posted a gallery of rejected crap. My favorite of the lot would certainly have to be the product shown in this post. Can you imagine how impressed your girlfriend's parents would be with you, meeting them for the fist time dressed in this novelty? I especially like how, in the illustration, it appears that the kid is nude from the waist down. Good thinking! No one will see his secret glow-in-the-dark boner as he races through the squalor of his foster home recreating the exciting violence of the Battle of Hoth. View the entire gallery here.

Benevolence and Vengeance

Garloo, your faithful servant: King Zor, the toy that wants to kill you:

PIZZA TEEN! Readers Poll Results

QUESTION: Which of the following is your all-time favorite foot ailment?

  • Fungus 50%
  • Hammer Toes 50%
  • Arthritis 0%
  • Bunions 0%
  • Corns 0%
  • Foot Stink 0%
  • Ingrown Toenails 0%
  • Warts 0%
Be sure to vote in the current poll!

February 12, 2008

February 11, 2008




A PIZZA TEEN! Cheap & Easy Post

February 10, 2008

F'd Puppet of the Week 2/10/08

I lost my job, I have no money, I'm depressed, my significant other is trying to kick me out of my house, I've had the flu for over a week, and yesterday my car broke down. And I still managed to find a puppet which encapsulates how I feel right now. He doesn't have a name, so let's think one up, how bout' - "Mr. Shitty".

February 08, 2008

A PIZZA TEEN! Collection: Electronic Cinema

Continuing with this week's trend of showcasing machine-generated music...

February 06, 2008

A PIZZA TEEN! Collection: Bisexual Prom Night

Four Times The Fun: Laughing Midget

Hit the "play" buttons in sequence. If you can get the rhythm just right, it's very, very satisfying. The videos may need to buffer first for maximum enjoyment.

PIZZA TEEN! Readers Poll Results

QUESTION: I'm placing an order. What do you want on your pizza? Choose 3 toppings.

  • Aquafresh Toothpaste 50%
  • Big League Chew 50%
  • Meow Mix 50%
  • Gold Bond Medicated Foot Powder 37%
  • Horse Apples 25%
  • Personal Lubricant 25%
  • Weasel Chunks 25%
  • Shredded Leather Moccasins 12%
  • D-Con 0%
  • Raisins 0%
Be sure to vote in the current poll!

Unraveling The Ancient Secrets of Kaboom!

February 04, 2008

RetroTech: Tomorrowland

The food is overpriced and awful. You're packed shoulder-to-shoulder with obese republican tourists from godforsaken lands. Admission is $60. Fascist iconography and enforced mediocrity surround you. And worst of all. the entirety of the original tomorrowland (including their most inspired ride, adventure through inner space) has been replaced with movie tie-in attractions. And yet, disneyland is still worth visiting. pirates of the caribbean is by far the best standing ride, but the tiki room is also operating, as well as the jungle cruise and haunted mansion, all in their original states from back when disney was innovative. Best to arrive early, visit four or five attractions, and get the hell out before the ennui sets in.

A Double-Dose Of 1980s Television Lameness

The catalyst for this post was Umberto's last f'd puppet. If I recall correctly, the following were both presented at primetime Saturday nights. I'm so glad that I was young & dumb enough to find them entertaining because the television choices at that time were few, and for educated adults, it must have been pure hell. EXAMPLE #1 "Hey, Jermaine, you really should consider this offer to appear on The Facts of Life. The show is a spin-off of Diff'rent Strokes and is number one on NBC. It'll be great for your career." What the HELL does "Tootie" have on her head? A sculpted chunk of charcoal?! Is she rockin' the "Death Star Squad Commander" look? EXAMPLE #2 "Hey, Whitney, you really should consider this offer to appear on Silver Spoons. The show is a spin-off of Diff'rent Strokes and is number one on NBC. It'll be great for your career."

February 03, 2008

Project For Aspiring Filmmakers: Faux 3-D!

One of these days, I'm going to make a stupid little film shot in plain old 2-D, but I will present it as if it had been shot for 3-D, sprinkling plenty of cheap "look! 3-D!" gags throughout. Take this boring Three Stooges film, for example...

F'd Puppet of the Week 2/3/08

I must have spent an hour scouring all my resources trying to find a funny or interesting item relating to football so I could tie into the Superbowl today, but I couldn't find anything. So here's a picture of Lisa Whelchel a.k.a. "Blair" from "Facts of Life" performing a routine with a ventriloquist dummy.

February 02, 2008

A Gallery of Comic Ads

Just got back from a garage sale and picked up some comic books circa 1969-1976 from Gold Key, a poverty-row company which turned out the worst comics but always had the best ads, which is specifically why I bought them. Here's a few scans. The first two show how drug culture has by now filtered its way down to kids: posters with names like "Trip-Eze" and "Flower Love", patches proclaiming "keep on truckin'", "woodstock", and "black is beautiful". And check out the company name: Gandalf Products. Far Out. Regarding the third ad; I sent away for that. The "footlocker" was printed cardboard and doubled as the shipping container. The pieces were two-dimensional cutouts in toxic-smelling styrene, and I probably don't have to tell you that the artillery and aircraft weren't quite to scale with the figures; in fact, they were much smaller. It would have been prudent to save them just for laffs, but instead I torched the whole set with "kiddie napalm" (model cement). Click to enlarge.

February 01, 2008

6 Boneheads Attempt to Impersonate The Jim Gillette Scream

Jim Gillette is best known for his hair. Next, he is known for fronting the glam metal band Nitro. I highly recommend that you view this video for a quick primer. Now, Jim and Jim's constricted balls shall demonstrate his trademark multi-octave scream. And now, six boneheads will attempt to recreate the marvelous stupidity. Make that five boneheads-- the fifth guy is pretty damn entertaining and arguably better than Gillette himself.