Fleischer Studios (1932)

Minnie the Moocher is a  1932 Betty Boop cartoon produced by Fleischer Studios and released by Paramount Pictures.

Happy Halloween!

What better way to kick off this Halloween than with the Betty Boop classic Minnie the Moocher. Enjoy!

The cartoon opens with a live action sequence of Cab Calloway and his orchestra performing an instrumental rendition of the song St. James Infirmary. Then Betty Boop gets into a fight with her strict, Yiddish speaking, Jewish parents, and as a result, runs away from home with her boyfriend Bimbo, and sings excerpts of the Harry Von Tilzer song They Always Pick on Me and the song Mean to Me.

Betty and Bimbo end up in a cave with a walrus, who has Cab Calloway’s voice, and sings Minnie the Moocher and dances to the melancholy song. Calloway is joined in the performance by various ghosts, goblins, skeletons, and other frightening things. Betty and Bimbo are subjected to skeletons drinking at a bar, ghost prisoners sitting in electric chairs, and a cat with empty eye-sockets feeding her equally empty-eyed kittens. Betty and Bimbo both change their minds about running away and rush back home with every ghost right behind them. Betty makes it safely back to her home and hides under the blankets of her bed. As she shakes in terror, the note she earlier wrote to her parents tears, leaving “Home Sweet Home” on it. The film ends with Calloway performing the instrumental Vine Street Blues.

History of Fleischer Studios

Fleischer Studios was an American corporation which originated as an animation studio located at 1600 Broadway, New York City, New York. It was founded in 1921 as Inkwell Studios by brothers Ma Fleischer and Dave Fleischer who ran the pioneering company from its inception until Paramount Pictures, the studio’s parent company and the distributor of its films, acquired ownership. In its prime, Fleischer Studios was a premier producer of animated cartoons for theaters, with Walt Disney Productions becoming its chief competitor in the 1930s.

Fleischer Studios is notable for Koko the Clown, Betty Boop, Bimbo, Popeye the Sailor, and Superman. Unlike other studios, whose characters were anthropomorphic animals, the Fleischers’ most successful characters were humans (With the exception of Bimbo in the 1930s.). The cartoons of the Fleischer Studio were very different from the Disney product, both in concept and in execution. As a result, the Fleischer cartoons were rough rather than refined, commercial rather than consciously artistic. But in their unique way, their artistry was expressed through a culmination of the arts and sciences. This approach focused on surrealism, dark humor, adult psychological elements, and sexuality, and the environments were grittier and urban, often set in squalid surroundings, reflecting the Depression as well as German Expressionism.

The Fleischer Studio was built on Max Fleischer’s novelty film series, Out of the Inkwell (1919-1927). The “novelty” was based largely on the results of the rotoscope, invented by Fleischer to produce realistic animation. The first Out of the Inkwell films were produced through The Bray Studio, and featured Fleischer’s first character, “The Clown,” which became known as Ko-Ko the Clown in 1924.

In 1921, The Bray Studio ran afoul with legal issues, having contracted for more films than it could deliver to its distributor, The Goldwyn Company. The Fleischer Brothers left and began their own studio with Dave as Director and Production Supervisor, and Max as Producer. In 1924, Veteran Animator, Dick Huemer came to The Inkwell Studio and redesigned “The Clown” for more efficient animation. Huemer’s new design and experience as an Animator moved them away from their dependency on The Rotoscope for fluid animation. In addition to defining the clown, Huemer established the Fleischer style with its distinctive thick and thin ink lines. In addition, Huemer created Ko-Ko’s companion, Fitz the Dog, who would evolve into Bimbo in 1930.

Throughout the 1920s, Fleischer was one of the leading producers of animation with clever moments and numerous innovations including the “Rotograph”, an early “Aerial Image” photographic process for compositing animation with live action backgrounds. Other innovations included Ko-Ko Song Car-Tunes and sing-along shorts featuring the famous bouncing ball, a precursor to Karaoke.

L.A. Witch (2020)

Play With Fire out August 21, 2020, on Suicide Squeeze

Animation and motion design by Bradley Hale. Artwork by Future Shock.

LA garage punk trio L.A.Witch have shared their new single I Wanna Lose.

The three-piece band will release their new album Play With Fire on August 21st, and it finds the band draping their guitar pop distortion in waves of reverb.

Play With Fire is a suggestion to make things happen, Don’t fear mistakes or the future. Take a chance. Say and do what you really feel, even if nobody agrees with your ideas. These are feelings that have stopped me in the past. I want to inspire others to be freethinkers even if it causes a little burn.”

-Sade Sanchez

The new single I Wanna Lose is online now, and it’s about letting everything burn down, if only to find a forward path.

A song about sucking up punches. It’s a potent, biting single. Sade continues:

I Wanna Lose is about feeling free and feeling stronger because you’ve lost everything and now you’ve got everything to win. It’s about being a punching bag in a martyr-like way, and losing a fight to move on.”

Bradley Hale animates the video for ‘I Wanna Lose’ – tune in now.

L.A. Witch is a garage-rock trio formed in Los Angeles, California in 2011. Founded by L.A. natives Sade Sanchez and Irita Pai, the band’s sound has been described as a “mix of forlorn psych folk, lethargic lo-fi blues, and boozy garage rock drones steeped in moody, drugged-out surf reverb.” The group’s influences include Black Sabbath, The Brian Jonestown Massacre, and seminal L.A. punk rock bands X and the Gun Club.

Asked to come up with a name, the band chose its current name after discovering its first choice, Witch, was taken. Drummer Ellie English replaced original drummer Crystal Nava after the latter left for New York City and didn’t return.

Igorrr (2020)

Very Noise is track 3 from the album Spirituality and Distortion from Igorrr, released on March 27th, 2020 on Metal Blade Records.

Unchain your brain!

Spirituality & Distortion is the newest addition to Igorrr’s musical madness, released on Metal Blade Records. Gautier Serre once again bring his music to another impressive level, with a complex but catchy album.

Bob Clampett (1943)

A Corny Concerto is a 1943 Warner Bros. Merrie Melodies directed by Bob Clampett. The short was released on September 25, 1943, and stars Bugs Bunny, Porky Pig, Elmer Fudd and Daffy Duck. They perform a parody of Disney’s Silly Symphony cartoon series and specifically his 1940 feature Fantasia. The film uses two of Johann Strauss’ best known waltzes, “Tales from the Vienna Woods” and “The Blue Danube”.

Fantasia was marketed to highbrow music fans; the Looney Tunes staff responded by violating the ivory tower of classical music and concert hall culture. A Corny Concerto parodies Fantasia’s Silly Symphonies-derived balletic approach to storytelling. Elmer Fudd stands in for Deems Taylor, and in an anti-highbrow gag, his starched shirtfront keeps erupting from his shirt to hit him on the face.

Rudolf Ising (1931)

Piggy takes his girlfriend, Fluffy, to a jazz concert.

You Don’t Know What You’re Doin’! is a 1931 Warner Bros. Merrie Melodies cartoon short directed by Rudolf Ising. The short was released on October 21, 1931, and stars Piggy, one of the series’ early recurring characters. First released on October 21, 1931, the film is perhaps one of the most amusing and effective of the cartoons from the studio’s earliest years.

The musical soundtrack was done by the then-nationally famous Abe Lyman Orchestra, which adds a happy energy throughout the cartoon. The eccentric virtuoso trombone playing of Orlando “Slim” Martin is prominently featured. Martin played not only music but also some rather bizarre effects on his horn. His trombone solo representing the drunken automobile is especially memorable. The Schlesinger Studio had their sound effects department construct mechanical devices to roughly reproduce some of Martin’s sounds, which became standard cartoon sound effects.

Jon Batiste (2021)

I decided to post this video just for the simple fact that Jon Batiste is one of the most animated characters I can think of. That, and we could all use a little FREEDOM!

Check out Jon Batiste on his website at https://www.jonbatiste.com/

New Orleans musician Jon Batiste just released his new song FREEDOM, and his video makes the streets of New Orleans sing.

Batiste, clad in a pink suit, gets New Orleans community members on their feet, singing and dancing throughout Treme, the Seventh Ward, City Park and under the Claiborne Expressway.

The St. Augustine Marching 100 were also prominently featured, which is where Batiste went to school.

Batiste’s music company tweeted the link to the music video Friday, calling it a “tribute to New Orleans.”

Batiste describes the song FREEDOM as “like an old movie,” comparing the likeness of the video’s movements to James Brown and Elvis.

“If you think about movies back in the day, you wouldn’t show a black man with a white woman, or you wouldn’t show a black relationship, or you wouldn’t show a woman in a certain role. That is our sexuality and how people are represented. That’s what people like James Brown, or when we saw Elvis with the twist in the hips, did. They were unlocking something in people that they were trying to hold in. These people became beacons of freedom, and you look at the way they move and the way that they express who they are onstage. That becomes the way that you want to be in life.”

Jon Batiste

When I move my body just like this
I don’t know why
But I feel like freedom (Freedom)
I hear a song that takes me back
And I let go with so much freedom (Freedom)
Free to live (how I wanna live)
I’m gon get (what i’m gonna get)
‘Cause it’s my freedom (Freedom)

I love how you talk
You speaking my language
The way that you walk
You can’t contain it
Is it the shoes
Jumped up, kangaroo
We’re overdue for a little more prancing

Now it’s your time
(It’s your right)
You can shine
(It’s alright)
If you do
I’ma do too

When I move my body just like this
I don’t know why
But I feel like freedom (Freedom)
I hear a song that takes me back
And I let go
With so much freedom (Freedom)
Free to live (How I wanna live)
I’m gon get (What I’m gonna get)
‘Cause it’s my freedom (Freedom)

The reason we get down, is to get back up
If someones around, Go on let them look
You can’t stand still
This ain’t no drill
More than cheap thrills, (Feels like money money money)

Now it’s your time
(It’s your right)
You can shine
(It’s alright)
If you do
I’ma do too

‘Cause when I look up to the stars (Stars)
I know exactly who we are (Ooh)
‘Cause then I see you shinin’
You shinin’
You shinin’ oh!

Free to be!
(Everybody come on) (Freedom!)
(Everybody come ‘round)
(Everybody come on)
(Everybody hit the floor)
Come on now!

I’m stuck to the dance floor
With the, with the whole tape
With the, with the, with the whole tape
(Let me see you wobble)
I’m stuck to the dance floor
With the, with the whole tape
With the, with the, with the whole tape
(Let me see you shake)
Give you just what you ask forgivin’ you the whole shake
I’ma give you the whole shake
(Let me see you wobble)
I’m stuck to the dance floor
With the, with the whole tape
With the, with the, with the whole tape
(Can you make it break?)

I say yeah (Yeah)
Oh yeah (Oh yeah)
(Let me see you wobble)
‘Cause, you do
I’ma do too

When I move my body just like this
I don’t know why
But I feel like freedom (Freedom)
I hear a song that takes me back
And I let go
With so much freedom (Freedom)
Free to live (How I wanna live)
I’m gon get (What I’m gonna get)
‘Cause it’s my freedom (Freedom)

FREEDOM is one of the songs on Jon Batiste’s new album We Are.

Fleischer Studios (1930)

Screen Songs are animated cartoons featuring the famous “bouncing ball” produced by Max Fleischer and distributed by Paramount Pictures between 1929 and 1938. The cartoons are sing-alongs featuring popular song hits of the day along with the ethnic stereotypes and humor typical of the era in which they were produced. In the 1930s, the series began to feature current popular musical guest stars such as Cab Calloway, Rudy Vallee and Ethel Merman. In the 1950s, the series was syndicated to television by UM&M/National Telefilm Associates.

The Prisoner’s Song was one of the top-selling songs of the 1920’s, and of the 20th century. Sheet music sales was the typical way to gauge music sales in the 1920’s, and this song sold over 1 million copies. The song was copyrighted and recorded in 1924 by Vernon Dalhart, who had heard the song from his cousin, who had heard it from his brother – a former prisoner. The authorship of the song has been a major controversy, and one story claims that the songs lyrics had been discovered on the walls of a Georgia cellblock. A Prisoner’s Song was the first country music song to sell over a million records. In 1930, the song was the plot basis for a Screen Songs short film, featuring a bouncing teardrop in the place of the Fleischer’s famous Bouncing Ball. The teardrop bounces over the song’s lyrics for almost an entire three minutes. The Prisoner’s Song also appears briefly in scenes from several other Fleischer Studio’s films.

Danny Elfman & Trent Reznor (2021)

Danny Elfman has enlisted Trent Reznor for a remixed version of True, a track off Big Mess, Elfman’s first solo album in 37 years.

“This is the first duet/collaboration I’ve ever done in my life, so to do it with Trent was a real surprise and a treat. He’s always been a big inspiration to me, not to mention he has one of my all-time favorite singing voices.”

– Danny Elfman

Reznor adds industrial flourishes, distortion, and vocals throughout the remix.

The True video also receives a remix of sorts, with the collaboration accompanied by an Aron Johnson-directed visual that combines archived footage from the original Sarah Sitkin-helmed video along with brand new 3D modeling.

Following a string of singles — Happy, Sorry, Love in the Time of Covid, and Kick Me. — in 2020, Elfman released Big Mess in June. The album, recorded during the Covid pandemic, also features a reworking of Insects, originally recorded by Elfman’s band Oingo Boingo in 1982.

“Once I began writing, it was like opening a Pandora’s box and I found I couldn’t stop. None of it was planned. I had no idea how many songs I would write but from the start, it quickly became a two-sided project with heavily contrasting and even conflicting tones.”

– Danny Elfman

Written by Daniel Kreps of Rolling Stone Magazine

Nicole Atkins (2014)

Animated by Ilinca Höpfner, internationally renowned animator who has worked with Nick Cave and Grinderman.

“Nicole Atkins is done playing it safe.”

Rolling Stone

“It really evokes Nicole Atkins’ spirit. She is one of those people who is so inventive in everything she does.”

NPR Music

In each song she creates, Nicole Atkins reveals her incredible power to transport listeners to a much more charmed time and space. On her new album Italian Ice, the New Jersey-bred singer/songwriter conjures the romance and danger and wild magic of a place especially close to her heart: the Jersey Shore in all its scrappy beauty. Inspired by the boardwalk’s many curiosities—the crumbling Victorian mansions, the lurid and legendary funhouse, the Asbury Park rock-and-roll scene she played a key part in reviving—Atkins ultimately transforms her never ending fascination into a wonderland of her own making. 

“When you’re on the boardwalk there’s a feeling that anything can happen, and that’s the feeling I tried to create with this record,” Atkins says. “I wanted to give people something they can put on and buy into a fantasy that gets them excited about what might happen in their own lives.”

Read more about Nicole Atkins on her website at: https://www.nicoleatkins.com/

King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard (2021)

Written and Directed by Ivan Dixon. Produced and animated at Studio Showoff https://www.studioshowoff.com

Amby: Percussion

Cavs: Drums

Joey: Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Vocals, Synthesiser, Keyboards

Stu: Bass Guitar, Synthesiser

Recorded by King Gizzard in the year 3021

Mixed by Stu Mackenzie

Mastered by Joe Carra

Just on the down low, I’m feeling pretty low.
Some days I feel fine.
Others
 I don’t know.
I got a sensory road block.
I’m in a binary mind lock.
So I’m dancing in lockstep to music that I can’t hear.

Failing farmer; toxic crop.
Two white hearts to shake shit up.
Pay someone to taste, to smell and punch through the dry wall inside my skull.
Interior people.
A lens flare in my subconscious.
The gap of death, I no longer fear.
The Interior People.

I keep thinking someone.
Is standing beside me.
But when I turn to grab ‘em.
They jump back inside of me.
They tell me to do things.
And so does the radio.
And learn from the satellite.
That orbits my shadow.
Instigate the paradigm.
Play the game and drink the wine.
Communicate with the afterglow that radiates between the wall.

Failing farmer; toxic crop.
Two white hearts to shake shit up.
Pay someone to taste, to smell and punch through the dry wall inside my skull.

Interior people.
A lens flare in my subconscious.
The gap of death, I no longer fear.
The Interior People.

Foo Fighters (2021)

Foo Fighters have released a trippy animated music video for their song Chasing Birds, from the band’s latest album Medicine at Midnight.

The visual builds off of the song’s first lyric (“Chasing birds to get high/My head is in the clouds”) by depicting Dave Grohl and the rest of the Foos going on a long, strange trip in the desert. After having some fun with the colorful, psychedelic imagery around them, Foo Fighters find themselves entrapped in a dark, spooky cavern — the video’s version of hell as mentioned in the song. What will help the band release themselves from their mental prison? The power of music, of course.

Foo Fighters released Medicine at Midnight in February, after the album was delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. That same month, the band performed a cover of the Bee Gees’ You Should Be Dancing on BBC Radio 2 Sofa Session after Grohl was inspired by the recent Bee Gees documentary. They also performed another Gibb brothers’ classic, Andy Gibb’s Shadow Dancing, during the Rock-N-Relief livestream in March.

– by Claire Shaffer of Rolling Stone Magazine

Animation Director: Emlyn Davies

Animation Co-Director: Josh Hicks

Lead Character Artist: Eder Carfagnini

Character Artists: Mark Proctor, Francis Ogunyanwo

3D Artists: Emlyn Davies, Colin Wood, Rhodri Teifi, Zach F Evans, Josh Hicks, Mark Proctor, Craig Rothwell, Phil Highfield

FX Artists: Colin Wood, Zach F Evans

Lighting: Emlyn Davies, Colin Wood, Rhodri Teifi, Zach F Evans

Lead 3D Animator: Alan Towndrow

3D Animators: Alex Watson, Mervenur Ulcan, Joanna Adamska, BeĂĄta Ujj, Jesiel Almeida, Brian Martinez, Sebastian Pfeifer

Rigging: Alan Towndrow, Gene Magtoto, Dan Dan Kang

Texture Artists: Colin Wood, Rhodri Teifi, Zach F Evans

Character Concepts: Josh Hicks, Guillaume Poitel

Storyboards: Josh Hicks, Mark Proctor

Compositing: Rhodri Teifi, Zach F Evans, Sebastian Pfeifer

Editing: Josh Hicks

Mcbaise featuring Kamggarn (2021)

Taken from Mcbaise’s latest album TUBES

Written and performed by mcbess

Animated by mcbess

Mixed & recorded by Alexis Muffat-Meridol

Mastered by Alex Gopher

Guest guitar solo by Kamggarn

Graded by Andy at Black Kite Studios

Mcbaise lives between London and Auribeau sur siagne and has been described as “probably the best thing to ever come out of Cannes”. he spends most of his time eating pan bagna on the beach. His style is a kind of smooth yachty rock.

Visit Mcbaise at https://mcbaise.com/

Wilfred Jackson (1935)

Music Land is a Silly Symphony that debuted on October 5, 1935.

The lore of ancient fable has no equal to the jolly Land of Jazz,
Which lay within a wild, discordant sea, across the way from long-hair Land of Symphony.
Yet here you’ll find no mere Shakespearian sequel (though true folly still it has):
Our star-cross’d lovers bravely face adversity, and true love turns cacophony to harmony!

In an attempt to bridge the gap between classical music and jazz, the short features music from Beethoven’s Eroica and Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries, as well as various popular classical, jazz, and miscellaneous tunes. The film contains no actual speech, but has the characters instead communicate with musical tones, with each ‘speaking’ through use of the sound of the particular instrument upon which they are based.

Type O Negative (2003)

Happy Pride Month!

Angry Inch is a song by Type O Negative, included on the sixth album Life Is Killing Me, released in 2003. It is the cover of the off-Broadway musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch. It is a punkish song reminiscent of I Like Goils or Kill All the White People. This song tributes to the Broadway play about a botched sex-change operation.

This song was written by Stephen Trask, who wrote music for Hedwig and the Angry Inch.

The official song Angry Inch from the movie Hedwig & the Angry Inch composed by Stephen Trask and performed by John Cameron Mitchell.

Felix Da Housecat (2003)

Happy Pride Month!

Money, Success, Fame, Glamour is a song performed by musical artist Felix da Housecat for the movie Party Monster starring Macaulay Culkin and Seth Green.

Felix da Housecat is an American DJ and record producer, mostly known for house music and electro. Felix is regarded as a member of the second wave of Chicago house and has produced an eclectic mix of sound since, from resolute acid and techno warrior to avant-garde nu-skool electro-disco.

Party Monster is a 2003 American biographical drama film directed by Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato, and starring Macaulay Culkin as the drug-addled “king of the Club Kids”. The film tells the story of the rise and fall of the infamous New York City party promoter Michael Alig.

The Club Kids were a group of young New York City dance club personalities popularized by Michael Alig, James St. James, Julie Jewels, DJ Keoki, and Ernie Glam in the late 1980s, and throughout the 1990s would grow to include Amanda Lepore, Waltpaper, Christopher Comp, It Twins, Jennytalia, Desi Monster, Keda, Kabuki Starshine, and Richie Rich.