Thursday, July 22, 2010

Van Halen (June 20th, 2009)

What can I say. I really love this band. These pictures makes being in Van Halen, a ten times platinum band of the 1980's, look like a hoot. Who the hell knows what was going on when these got taken. Who even knows if these guys remeber? All that matters is that they where fricken' rocking it. 

All the guys in this band are virtuosos, but for the purposes of this blog I will focus in on one member. 'Diamond Dave' aka David Lee Roth is an amazing vocalist and can pretty much wear what ever he wants. DLR left his mark on the 1980's being one of the main exponents of 'wearing a snappy jacket contrasted against a sheer wall of chest hair'. He of course was continuing the great work in that area, pioneered by KISS front man Paul Stanley. Daves' work with Van Halen is amazing, and although I rate the band over all, Van Halen lost a little bit of bare chested magic when Dave left the band to record 'crazy form the heat'. Sammy Hagar took the vocalist job with Van Halen upon Dave leaving, and his vocal work on 5150 is a credit to him. But DLR is, in my opinion, an example of a very raw and powerful vocalist fronting a band in their prime. 

To me this band at their height was an explosive commodity, that went over the top in every sense. These four guys existed in a cocoon of rock awesomeness, perhaps oblivious to a normal life where people don't write song lyrics in Limo's on the way to the studio at 3 in the morning and create obscene guitar collections. They did this so we could look back, revel in their stories and experience an simply say - AHAAA YEEAAAH!  

Giant Otters (June 20th, 2009)

This is not photoshoped, you are looking at two South American Giant Otters. They are hands down my favorite animal. These awsome creatures usually reside running rivers or tributaries from rivers (like the Amazon River) that have been cut off and become lakes. Your average giant otter (Pteronura brasiliensis) is an anmazing physical specimen. The following is an extract from Wikipedia realting the physcial characteristics of this animal;

Males are between 1.5 and 1.8 meters (4.9–5.9 feet) in length and females between 1.5 and 1.7 m (4.9–5.6 ft). The animal's well-muscled tail can account for as much as 69 centimeters (27 in) of total body length. Early reports of skins and living animals suggested exceptionally large males of up to 2.4 m (7.9 ft); intensive hunting likely reduced the occurrence of such massive specimens. Weights are between 32 and 45.3 kilograms (70–100 pounds) for males and 22 and 26 kg (48–57 lbs) for females.

Otters are cute. You think of cute creatures, and and an otter will generaly make most people's top ten. But when does this member of the Mustelidae family stop being adorable? Anything close to or over a meter crosses that line. When seeing one of these Large animals thoughts of 'wow, that is just so like people' would quickly turn to 'wow , I hope it doesn't like to eat people'.

The thought of a 2.4 meter Otter is just mind blowing. Imagine if an old school seven foot Giant Otter (who had become deranged by accidentally eating a toadstool) turned up in 'Wind in the Willows' looking for a spot of 'elevensies' at Ratties house instead of the erstwhile Mole? The storming of toad hall would have involved alot of body bags and a fresh coat of paint to hide the carnage. No need to find some triffle in your larder toady, our overgrown friend is snacking on the dead and bloodeid weasles in the mass grave by we dug out by the promentry. 

Anything small, furry and intelligent is cute. If it lives in a jungle, is over a meter and can give a Jaguar a run for it's money it is something to leave alone and be in awe of. 

Bat Cave (October 18th, 2009 )

Danny Granger, a rising NBA basketball star, hails from the american stae of New Mexico. He is also a big fan of superheroes and a knowledge of engineering. So what does an up and comming baller with multi million at his disposal do for kicks...BUILD A BAT CAVE!! the folowing is an paragraph relating the lairs construction.

Depending on how you look at it, the biggest (or most interesting) news to come out of Pacers camp this off-season were the updated design plans pertaining to Danny Granger’s “bat cave” which he is in the process of creating for himself out in New Mexico. Due to state laws, the underground tunnel entrance had to be scratched (tragic), but the inclusion of rotating car platforms and a moat still seem to be a part of the what will be the final project (victory dance).


Words fail me. What fan of comics hasn't etertained this idea? If you have the means save the world. If you have the will build a Bat Cave.  

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Zephyrs (June 21st, 2009)

Two images seemingly unrelated? The American National Basketball Assaociation (NBA) player Caron Butler in what is in my opinion a damn snappy retro style uniform (commemorating the original 1963 - 64 team) and a beautiful peice of 20th century locomotion. There is a link which luckiliy enough bisects my sphere of absurd interests. Let me explain.

First off, the NBA player is from a team called the Washington Wizards (one of the worst names ever). The franchise has a long history, beging in the 1961 - 62 season as the Chicago Packers. The following year they changed their name to the Chicago Zephyrs (one of the best names ever). Sadly an undeniably cool look and original name was nipped in the bud when the team moved to Baltimore, Maryland becoming the Bullets. The team moved to Landover, becoming the Capital Bullets. The next season they moved to Washington. The Washingtom Bullets won an improbable championship for the first time in 36 years in the 1977 - 78 season. In 1995 the bullets became the Wizards, and teams have continued to not run in fear from that team ever since.

Replacing a pair of steam engines in the early 1930's, the Pioneer Zephyr is most well known for the 'dawn-to-dusk dash' it undertook in 1934. It left the city of Denver packed full of celebrities of the day and arrrived safely in the city of Chicago 13 hours 5 minutes later, at an average speed of 77 mph (124 km/h). This was, at the time, a ground breaking feat for or Locamotive vehicle of it's kind.
Two fairly intersting but little known facets of modern American history, but linked by what? The Pioneer Zephyr made it's last run march 20th,1960. The Packers changed their name to the Zephyrs in the 1963 - 64 season. It is not an improbable link that the team renamed themselves after the the then recently decomishioned diesel Train. Probably because it was on everyones lips at the time, it had definite links to the city of Chicago and because of all the great and powerful metaphors a machine like that creates when veiwed in the context of embodying a sporting team. 

Or it may just be I wasted my time and the two things are not related at all. But what matters is that I bothered to make the specious link.

Kate Bush (july 28, 2009)

Creating this article of writing about Kate Bush was inevitable. As much as I risk have stones hurled at me via the internet, I will go on record to say I am a fan and dodge the damn rocks.

If you you were a kid in the late 70's and early to mid 80's, then you should have some recolection of  Kate's genius, artistry, vocal talent and predigious musical ability for a young woman who had her major break around the time when she was finishing high school. As much as I believe Kate Bush is a musical virtuoso of her time, she is also guilty of taking her self and her image way, way too seriously. 

I mean look at the photo (above), It's just sand Kate.

Then there is her dancing. Kate Bush has been guilty of some of the confounding coreography and a questionably eccentric outfits at her height. I could write a whole lot of stuff about this, but it is best to see the majesty of 'WUTHERING HEIGHTS'.

Now, as whacky as that film clip is, I can't fault the song or the musical integrity. Essentially, this sums up how I feel about Miss Bush as an artist. Once again I could go on, but a great song says more than I ever could. This song 'MAN WITH THE CHILD IN HIS EYES'  should give you some idea of what I am trying to say. A woman signing impecibly and playing a piano brilliantly, utterly live with no backing track. Please ignore Kate's 'mini me' dancing on the end of the grand piano.

Kate Bush was a flat out wonder child to do what she did st such a tender age, but the art of it all, the layers of conceptual prancing overshadow can at times her genuine and ufetted ability to make a beautiful song. 

Keytars (initially posted July 9, 2009)

The Keytar.

An instrument for keyboard players that felt a great urge to rock out, experinced a breif ubiquity in the mid to late 1980's. 

Along with the Electric Drumkit, Electric Saxaphone and some other perfectly good 'cyborged' muscial instruments - they create the epitome of 'intrumental kitch' from my favourite decade. The photo above may seem dated and a tad ridiculous, but to a discerning eye it is obvious that this is a great example of a thorough and prepared musician. I have broken down the facets of this image for the lamen and the for greater good, in the following points;

  • Labeling your instrument - How embarrasing would it be for you to be riffing at lightspeed to 1,000,000 fans - and no one knows what the hell you are playing? To avert this tragic instance label your unstrument with the word 'KEYTAR', preferably in a qausi-futuristic font.
  • Protecting your hands - Historically, a Keytar riff can be so awesome that the virtuoso's hands and arms can catch on fire or be melted by angry and nameless gods. Fingerless gloved, especailly those with a piano key motiff, should surfice against extreme heat and divine wrath.
  • Allowing air flow and movement - Any 80's or 90's style vest (worn without a shirt of course) allow the player unrestricted movement for extreme moves while granting your body the precious oxygen it needs to perform musical acts that laugh in the face of physical laws while mocking angry and namless gods who wish to remove our hands.
  • Sunglasses - It is more of a question, when given the great power and responsibility of the Keytar - how can you not wear sun glasses?
  • Long flowing hair -  Like the Unicorn or the Pegusus, a mane of hair grants the individual and intagible greatness. It can also distract angry and nameless gods from destroying our hands, because unlike hair, limbs only grow back most of the time.