Month: September 2011

Pop Culture Capsule: The Evolution of the Beatles

Pop Culture Capsule: The Evolution of the Beatles

Capsules, Featured Posts, History
You've probably seen the neat infograph depicting the evolution of the Beatles, as told by their hair. If not, here it is: (credit for this goes to DeviantArt user mozzarellapoppy) But I thought it might be equally as neat to take a look at the growth of the Fab Four with actual photographs. So here we go! 1960 In Hamburg, Germany, 1960. The band had just dropped the name The Silver Beatles. (left to right: Pete Best, George Harrison, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Stuart Sutcliffe) 1961 Performing in the famous Cavern Club, 1961. Dig the leather! (left to right: Harrison, McCartney, Best, Lennon) 1962 The classic lineup is now complete. Sorry Pete Best. (left to right: McCartney, Ringo Starr, Lennon, Harrison) 1963 The band was so tight at point, they e
Retrotisements — The 1949 Ford

Retrotisements — The 1949 Ford

Advertising, Retrotisements
I've never been a big car guy. Sure, I love to go to car shows and look at all the chrome, fins, and white walls, but I couldn't tell you the difference between a flathead V8 and a glass of V8 if my life depended on it. But I do know this much -- I love the 1949 Ford full-size car and have for years. When it was introduced it gave Ford the shot in the arm they so desperately needed, and that freshness of design is still evident more than 60 years later. One of these days I'm going to own a '49 Ford, but until then I'll just have to gaze lovingly at these classic advertisements. (To see other car lineup advertisement galleries, click here. Got a request for other years and makes? Let me know in the Comments section.) (more…)
Kitchen Kabaret, the show that has the whole town cooking!

Kitchen Kabaret, the show that has the whole town cooking!

History
I used to visit my grandfather in Florida every summer when I was a kid. One of the first years I went was not long after Disney's EPCOT Center opened in October 1982. I remember being fairly disappointed with EPCOT, which seemed like a bunch of boring stuff only adults would be interested in. At the top of my "lame" list had to be Spaceship Earth (aka the Giant Metal Golf Ball). I didn't give a rat's ass about patting myself on the back for humanity's achievements, I just thought escalators were more exciting to ride. Elsewhere, I remember there being way too much talking and way too many boring films to make it a very good theme park experience. I did think Figment was pretty neat, and brought home a stuffed toy in his horned, purple image. One thing that resonated with me immediat
Album cover of the week: Candygram for Mowo!

Album cover of the week: Candygram for Mowo!

Album Cover of the Week, Music
I knew nothing about Adam Dorn, aka Mocean Worker (pronounced Motion Worker) before last week, but one glance at the cover for his latest album -- Candygram for Mowo! -- was enough to make me want to check him out. It's been a long time since I decided to listen to an album just because of its cover, but this did the trick. Luckily for me, Candygram for Mowo! is actually a good album. Some of the songs evoke the Big Band/Swing era nicely, just like the repurposed photo on the cover. Witness the outstanding lead track, "Shooby Shooby Do Yah!" (linked below) and "Hoot and Hollah." "Shooby Shooby Do Yah!" | MOCEAN WORKER by Calabro Music Media
Listening booth — Kiss, “Escape From The Island”

Listening booth — Kiss, “Escape From The Island”

Listening Booth, Music
Legend has it that before the album that became Music From "The Elder" turned into Kiss's half-baked attempt to imitate Genesis, it was supposed to be a straightforward hard rock LP. But then producer Bob Ezrin (fueled by massive amounts of cocaine) and Gene Simmons (fueled by massive amounts of ego) thought that what Kiss fans really wanted was a concept album with a threadbare "plot" and lots of orchestra. Oops! We'll never know if Music From "The Elder" would have sold more in 1981 had it contained more songs like Ace Frehley's kickass instrumental blast "Escape From the Island," but it sure would've been less reviled. And fans might have gotten more than one album out of the fairly potent Simmons/Stanley/Frehley/Carr lineup. Related articles 10 things you probably didn't kn...
Facebook and the social contract

Facebook and the social contract

Internet
It's hard for me to get worked up into a nice lather over the most recent renovations to Facebook, aka The Site You Just Can't Quit. For one, my main interaction with it these days is through TweetDeck, which very nicely strips away all the irrelevant layout and advertising to show me just the status updates, ma'am. And for another, ever since I quit playing games like Farmville and Mafia Wars cold turkey -- both more addictive than heroin or crystal meth I'm told -- I really have little reason to go to the site proper anymore. While it's been interesting to observe the backlash against the latest Facelift, I've developed a greater interest in the predictable backlash against the backlash. People who have taken to the internets to complain about Facebook are derided as lacking persp...
Airplane thoughts

Airplane thoughts

Blogstuff
I've always wondered why airport bookstores always seem to have a larger-than-normal display section devoted to self help books and guides to becoming a better business-human. Do people flying on planes have a greater need for affirmation or for tips on impressing their boss and climbing the corporate ladder? And then it occurred to me last night as I flew home to New Jersey from Texas -- at 35,000 feet, anything seems possible. When your gravity-assisted tether to terra firma is temporarily snapped, it really does seem like you have the power to change your personal or professional life for the better, and all you have to do is put that simple five-step plan into action! I'm sure there are countless thousands of us who've stepped off an airplane full of ideas and plans to finally ma...
Listening booth — Gabe Dixon, “Even the Rain” Live at Room 5

Listening booth — Gabe Dixon, “Even the Rain” Live at Room 5

Listening Booth, Music
Since its release, Gabe Dixon’s solo debut album One Spark has been receiving positive reviews from fans and critics alike.  The Nashville-based piano man recently performed his catchy single, “My Favorite,” on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, and he received two notable picks in USA Today.  Elysa Gardner of USA Today said of his track “Even the Rain:” “(A) twinkling, chiming gem, a slice of love in stormy weather featuring (Alison) Krauss’ unmistakably radiant vocal harmonies.” Dixon explained to US Magazine that he and co-writer Tia Sillers (who wrote Lee Ann Womack's hit "I Hope You Dance") "wanted to capture that exact moment when two people are falling in love," and that after performing in the past with Alison and her band Union Station, he was thrilled when she agreed to sing on the song.  Tho
Commercials I love — Bugs Ruin Everything (Western)

Commercials I love — Bugs Ruin Everything (Western)

Advertising
These ads have been out for awhile but I'm suddenly noticing them more and more on TV. They're part of a series for Western Pest Services called "Bugs Ruin Everything," and while they're clearly inspired by some similar commercials by Orkin, they take a much more in-your-face approach. Witness my two favorites: Trash-talking bee interrupts a tender basketball moment A randy mouse ruins snuggle time with a feather And speaking of Orkin, here's my favorite spot of theirs. Quoth the roach, "Are we... dipping skinny?"