Garfunkel & Oates (2014)

Happy Pride Month!

The adorable duo Garfunkel and Oates recently released Rainbow Connections, a same-sex marriage anthem that comes at a perfect time in light of the Supreme Court’s decision to not hear gay marriage appeals from five states.

The heartwarming track tells opponents of marriage equality that “you’ve lost the fight” and “love might be a privilege but marriage is a right.”

The video for Rainbow Connections also makes use of puppets in order to illustrate the words of Garfunkel and Oates. Check out the video above.

Los Yesterdays (2021)

I was just a puppet on your string, until you cut me down.

Los Yesterdays is a “Souldies” project featuring Gabe Rowland, Vic Benavides, Gabe Roth, and Tommy Brenneck.

Founded by producer/drummer, Gabriel Rowland and singer/songwriter, Victor Benavides in Pasadena, CA in 2017, Los Yesterdays wanted to create music that recalled their childhood days as young chicanos. “Souldies” is how they describe their contemporary take on the deep soul tracks they modeled their sound after. R & B greats such as Little Anthony, Gene Chandler, and James & Bobby Purify to name a few. After writing and recording a few tracks, the songs eventually ended up in the hands of acclaimed producer/guitarist, Tom Brenneck who was working with the late Charles Bradley amongst other projects. Tommy was a fan of the songs but finding out Los Yesterdays were only a duo, he decided to see if his friend Gabe Roth would be interested in starting a project. Roth, being best known as producer/bass player/bandleader for the late Sharon Jones, as well as the co-founder of Daptone Records. After a few barbecues and meetings with Roth and Tommy, they decided to have a jam session and, in the summer of 2018, a band was formed. And so, we give you, Los Yesterdays

David Cronenberg (1991)

Naked Lunch is a 1991 science fiction drama film co-written and directed by David Cronenberg and starring Peter Weller, Judy Davis, Ian Holm, and Roy Scheider. It is an adaptation of William S. Burroughs’ 1959 novel of the same name.

“Nothing is true; everything is permitted.” Welcome to Interzone, the hellish playground of William Burroughs’ ‘Naked Lunch’. Along with Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg, Burroughs was among the central figures of the Beat generation. Over a frenzied decade bridging the 1950s and ’60s they were instrumental in reshaping America’s cultural landscape, tearing up their elders’ starchy doctrine and blazing the trail for the counterculture that followed. As dynamic, brilliant young things they seemingly make for ideal cinematic subjects, but only one film managed to capture something of the essence of its author and the Beat generation at large: David Cronenberg’s Naked Lunch.

A key idea of the Beat generation was to treat the most authentic, uncensored human thoughts and desires as art. In a buttoned-up society, they challenged social norms via their insatiable appetite for sex, drugs and confessional intimacy. ‘Naked Lunch’ was banned for years in the US and even taken to court for its perceived obscenity, while Ginsberg’s ‘Howl’ suffered a similar fate. Both eventually won their respective trials, ultimately helping to liberate American publishing. Liberalisation was, in many ways, what the Beat generation was all about: from strait-jacketed literature, from sexual repression, from lock-step social conformity.

The problem with films about the Beat generation is that so few are genuinely transgressive. But Naked Lunch is a different beast altogether. As is protagonist Bill Lee’s typewriter – it’s an insect that groans with pleasure as he works it, crowing for him to rim its pulsing sphincter with drugs. Bill Lee is really Burroughs, and Cronenberg’s film is about his becoming a writer – his relationship with his typewriter. Rather than attempting to adapt the book in a literal sense, Cronenberg treated Burroughs’ schizoid prose as a secondary source. He gave it structure, but it remains essentially a bizarre work.

To read more of this article by Tom Graham follow the link: https://lwlies.com/articles/naked-lunch-david-cronenberg-william-burroughs/

Jim Henson (1969)

Here’s the original Muppet performance of Mah Nà Mah Nà, composed by Piero Umiliani.
The song was first written for use in the Italian film Sweden: Heaven and Hell.

Mah Nà Mah Nà is a popular song by Italian composer Piero Umiliani. It originally appeared in the Italian film Sweden: Heaven and Hell. It was a minor radio hit in the U.S. and in Britain, but became better known internationally for its use by The Muppets and on The Benny Hill Show.

“Mah Nà Mah Nà” first gained popularity in English-speaking countries from its use in a recurring blackout sketch for the 1969-70 season of The Red Skelton Show first airing in October 1969.

Sesame Street producer Joan Ganz Cooney heard the track on the radio and decided it would be a perfect addition to the show. It was first performed by Jim Henson, Frank Oz, and Loretta Long on the fourteenth episode of the show, broadcast on November 27, 1969. The following Sunday, Henson and His Muppets performed the song on The Ed Sullivan Show. Seven years later the song was part of the premiere episode of The Muppet Show in 1976.

Starting in 1971, The Benny Hill Show implemented Mah Nà Mah Nà as part of a comic background music medley that would run during their often filmed slapstick sketches. The medley became a Benny Hill Show tradition for the rest of its run.

Do do do do do de do do do do do do do do do
Mah Nà Mah Nà
Do doo be-do-do
Mah Nà Mah Nà
Do do-do do
Mah Nà Mah Nà
Do doo de-do-do de-do-do de-do-do de-do-do-doodle do do do-doo do!

Do do do do do de do do do do do do do do do
Mah Nà Mah Nà
Do doo be-do-do
Mah Nà Mah Nà
Do do-do do
Mah Nà Mah Nà
Do doo de-do-do de-do-do de-do-do de-do-do-doodle do do do-doo do!

Do do do do do de do do do do do do do do do
Mah Nà Mah Nà
Do doo be-do-do
Mah Nà Mah Nà
Do do-do do
Mah Nà Mah Nà
Do doo de-do-do de-do-do de-do-do de-do-do-doodle do do do-doo do!

Do do do do do de do do do do do do do do do
Mah Nà Mah Nà
Do doo be-do-do
Mah Nà Mah Nà
Do do-do do
Mah Nà Mah Nà
Do doo de-do-do de-do-do de-do-do de-do-do-doodle do do do-doo do!!!

In Memory of

David Bowie & Jim Henson (1986)

I really should have posted this yesterday and the Jim Henson documentary today. Nonetheless, in honor of David Bowie’s birthday yesterday and to follow up with the Jim Henson documentary here is a tasty tidbit from the legendary Labyrinth. Please enjoy.

Labyrinth is a 1986 musical fantasy film directed by Jim Henson, with George Lucas as executive producer, based upon conceptual designs by Brian Froud. It revolves around 16-year-old Sarah’s quest to reach the center of an enormous otherworldly maze to rescue her infant brother Toby, whom Sarah wished away to Jareth, the Goblin King. Most of the film’s significant characters, apart from Bowie and Connelly, are played by puppets produced by Jim Henson’s Creature Shop.

Judy Kinberg (1994)

The World of Jim Henson is an episode of the PBS series Great Performances produced in 1994.

I’ve been away for quite some time due to an increase of production at work. I am pleased to say that now that Christmas is finally over things have gotten back to normal and I can return to life as usual (Well, my usual anyway). I hope this fun and interesting documentary makes up for my lost time. Thanks for watching.

This documentary includes interviews with Frank Oz, Jane Henson, Jerry Juhl, Brian Henson, Jon Stone, Harry Belafonte, Francis Ford Coppola, Ted Koppel, Maurice Sendak, and others.

Topics discussed in this documentary include Sam and Friends, some of Jim Henson’s other early works, Sesame Street, The Muppet Show and Muppet movies, Fraggle Rock, and Jim Henson’s Creature Shop.

Tim Burton (2005)

Inspired by Walt Disney’s and Ub Iwerks’ Silly Symphonies animated short The Skeleton Dance,
Tim Burton pays homage to the frolicking skeletons of swing in this fun little diddy, Remains of the Day.

Remains of the Day

Danny Elfman (2005)

Hey!
Give me a listen, you corpses of cheer.
Least less of you who still got an ear,
I’ll tell ‘ya a story, make your skeleton cry,
of our own judiciously lovely corpse bride.
Die, die we all pass away, but don’t wear a frown ‘cuz it’s really okay.
You might try n’ hide, and you might try n’ pray,
but we all end up the remains of the day.

Die die die yeah yeah, die die die.

Well! Our girl is a beauty known for miles around.
A mysterious stranger came into town.
He was plenty good lookin’ but down on his cash,
and our poor little baby she fell hard and fast,
when her daddy said no, she just couldn’t cope,
so our lovers came up with a plan to elope.

Die, die we all pass away, but don’t wear a frown ‘cuz it’s really okay.
You might try n’ hide, and you might try n’ pray,
but we all end up the remains of the day.

Die die die yeah yeah,
die die die yeah yeah
die die die yeah yeah
die die die yeah yeah

Yeah, so they conjured up a plan to meet late at night,
they told not a soul kept the whole thing tight.
Now her mother’s wedding dress fit like a glove,
you don’t need much when you’re really in love.
Except for a few things or so I’m told,
like the family jewels and a satchel of gold.
Then next to the graveyard by the old oak tree,
on a dark foggy night at a quarter to three,
she was ready to go, but where was he?

(And then?) She waited
(And then?) There in the shadows, was it a man?
(And then?) Her little heart beat sooo loud!
(And THEN?) And then baby, everything went black.

Now when she opened her eyes, she was dead as dust, her jewels were missin’ and her heart was bust, so she made a vow lyin’ under that tree
that she’d wait for her true love to come set her free.
Always waitin’ for someone to ask for her hand, when outta the blue comes this groovy young man, who vows forever, to be by her side, and that’s the story of our own, corpse bride

Die, die we all pass away, but don’t wear a frown ‘cuz it’s really okay.
You might try n’ hide, and you might try n’ pray,
but we all end up the remains of the day.

Brian Henson (1996)

Stuck at home during the Coronavirus pandemic? The Muppets know how you feel. Forget your troubles with this Muppet sing along Cabin Fever from the movie Muppet Treasure Island.

Muppet Treasure Island is a 1996 American musical adventure comedy film directed by Brian Henson, produced by Jim Henson Productions, and distributed by Walt Disney Pictures. It is the fifth feature film to star the Muppets and is based on the novel Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson.