Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred Jackson, Hamilton Luske & Jack Kinney (1948)

Melody Time is a 1948 American live-action/animated musical film produced by Walt Disney. The tenth Disney animated feature film, it was released to theatres by RKO Radio Pictures on May 27, 1948. Made up of seven segments set to popular music and folk music, the film is, like Make Mine Music before it, the popular music version of Fantasia. Melody Time, while not meeting the artistic accomplishments of Fantasia, was mildly successful. It is the fifth Disney package film following Saludos Amigos, The Three Caballeros, Make Mine Music, and Fun and Fancy Free.

“In the grand tradition of Disney’s greatest musical classics, such as Fantasia, Melody Time features seven classic stories, each enhanced with high-spirited music and unforgettable characters. A feast for the eyes and ears full of wit and charm. A delightful Disney classic with something for everyone”.

Walt Disney

Melody Time is considered to be the last anthology feature made by the Walt Disney Animation Studios. These package features were little-known short-film compilations that Disney produced and released as feature films during World War II. They were financially and artistically lightweight productions meant to bring in profits to allow the studio to return to fairy tale single-narrative feature form, an endeavour which they successfully completed two years later with Cinderella. While the shorts contrast in length, form, and style, a common thread throughout is that each is accompanied by songs from musicians and vocalists of the ’40s. This sets it apart from the similarly structured Fantasia, whose segments were set to classical music instead. As opposed to Fun and Fancy Free, whose story was bound to the tales of Bongo and Jack and the Beanstalk, in this film Walt Disney has let his animators and his color magicians have free rein.

Rose Pelswick, in a 1948 review for The News-Sentinel, described the film as an ‘adventure into the intriguing make-believe world peopled by Walt Disney’s Cartoon characters”. It also explains that “with the off-screen voice of Buddy Clark doing the introductions, the episodes include fantasy, folklore, South American rhythms, poetry, and slapstick”. A 1948 review by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette described it as a “mixture of fantasy, abstraction, parable, music, color, and movement”.

Once Upon a Wintertime

This segment features Frances Langford singing the title song about two romantic young lovers on a winter day in December, during the late 19th century. The couple are Jenny and Joe (unlike most Disney cartoons, Jenny and Joe lack spoken dialogue). Joe shows off on the ice for Jenny, and near-tragedy and a timely rescue ensues. This is intertwined with a similar rabbit couple.

Bumble Boogie

This segment presents a surrealistic battle for a solitary bumblebee as he tries to ward off a visual and musical frenzy. The music, courtesy of Freddy Martin and His Orchestra (with Jack Fina playing the piano), is a swing-jazz variation of Rimsky-Korsakov’s Flight of the Bumblebee, which was one of the many pieces considered for inclusion in Fantasia.

The Legend of Johnny Appleseed

A retelling of the story of John Chapman, who spent most of his life roaming the Midwestern United States (mainly Ohio and Indiana) in the pioneer days, and planting apple trees, thus earning his famous nickname. He also spread Christianity. Dennis Day narrates (as an “old settler who knew Johnny well”) and provides the voices of both Johnny and his guardian angel.

Little Toot

The story of Little Toot by Hardie Gramatky, in which the title protagonist, a small tugboat in New York City, wanted to be just like his father Big Toot, but could not seem to stay out of trouble. The Andrews Sisters provide vocals.

Trees

A recitation of the 1913 poem Trees by Joyce Kilmer, featuring music by Oscar Rasbach and performed by Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians. The lyrical setting accompanies animation of bucolic scenes seen through the changing of the seasons. To preserve the look of the original story sketches, layout artist Ken O’Connor came up with the idea of using frosted cels and rendering the pastel images right onto the cel. Before being photographed each cel was laminated in clear lacquer to protect the pastel. The result was a look that had never been seen in animation before.

Blame it on the Samba

Donald Duck and José Carioca meet the Aracuan Bird, who introduces them to the pleasures of the samba. The accompanying music is the 1914 polka Apanhei-te, Cavaquinho by Ernesto Nazareth, fitted with English lyrics. The Dinning Sisters provide vocals while organist Ethel Smith appears in a live-action role.

Pecos Bill

The finale follows about Texas’ famous hero Pecos Bill. Raised by coyotes, he became the biggest and best cowboy that ever lived. He out hissed the Rattlesnake. And learned about all of the animals. It also features his horse Widowmaker, who’s been saved by the vultures that try to eat him. He brought the rain from California to save Texas from the drought. But when he woke up from the river, he heard a cow mooing. There was the band of evil rustlers stealing the herd of cattle. But they didn’t know the herd they stole was Bill’s. So he lassoed them and knocked out all of their teeth one by one. The Rustlers were now finally reformed and started to sing, “Yippee-I-Yay!” Then, Bill and Widowmaker traveled through the desert. He got a stick and then he dug the rio grande. And it recounts the ill-fated romance between Bill and a beautiful cowgirl named Slue Foot Sue, with whom he fell in love at first sight until a jealous Widowmaker made Sue to get literally stranded at the Moon at their wedding day. This retelling features Roy Rogers, Bob Nolan, the former’s horse Trigger, and the Sons of the Pioneers telling the story to Bobby Driscoll and Luana Patten in a live-action frame story.

David Bowie with Trent Reznor (1997)

Tired of the midterms yet?

I’m Afraid of Americans is a satire on American corporitisation, homogenization, aggressiveness and mass culture. Bowie explained the background to the song:

“I was traveling in Java when [its] first McDonald’s went up: it was like, ‘for fuck’s sake!'”

David Bowie

A successful and much darker remix with Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails placed number 66 on the US charts and the music video featuring the remix was nominated for Best Male Video in the 1998 MTV Video Music Awards.

“The face of America that we have to put up with is the MacDonald’s/Disney/Coke face. This really homogenous, bland cultural invasion that sweeps over us – which is unfortunate, because the aspects of America that are really magical to us are the things it seems to reject, like black music or the Beat poets.”

David Bowie

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!

Hobo Moon Cartoons aims to preserve the beloved Halloween classics of yesteryear for future generations to 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.

Kirsten Dunst, McG & Takashi Murakami (2010)

Takashi Murakami may be the most interesting, vital pop artist since Andy Warhol. Perhaps best known for his work with Kanye West. His latest project is for an exhibition called “Pop Art: Life in the Material World” for the Tate Modern in London.

As part of the project, Murakami has created one of the more unhinged mash-ups the Internet has ever seen. The video below was directed by McG and features art direction care of Murakami. It stars “Spider-Man” and “Marie Antoinette” star Kirsten Dunst, who is dressed up as some sort of Japanese Anime superhero (not unlike Sailor Moon) and frolicks around the geek-heavy Akihabara section of Tokyo. All the while, she’s singing along to the Vapors’ “Turning Japanese,” a one-hit wonder from 1980 that actually has little to do with Asian culture and everything to do with masturbation.

It’s a totally bizarre but utterly lovable combination of things, including confused Tokyoites, splashy colors, manic camera moves and Dunst’s strange performance as the magical blue-haired sprite. If nothing else, it will give the Vapors’ tune a bit of a reprieve, as it’s one of the most infectious (and subversive) one-hit wonders of the ’80s (or any decade, quite frankly).

Turning Japanese is a song by English band the Vapors, from their 1980 album New Clear Days. It was an international hit, becoming the band’s most well-known song. The song prominently features an Oriental riff played on guitar.

The one man who can say for certain what Turning Japanese is about is the man who wrote the song, David Fenton. He had the melody, he said, but he needed lyrics. Then in the middle of the night, he woke up and…

“I had that ‘turning Japanese’ line, so I wrote it down and fell asleep again. It could have been anything! It could have ended up as Turning Portuguese.”

David Fenton

The song has nothing to do with Asians or facial expressions. And it certainly has nothing to do with “self-love.” Fenton said, “It was weird when people started saying it was about masturbation. I can’t claim that one!”

As for what “Turning Japanese” is about, Fenton says it’s simply a love song about a relationship that ended. All he was left with was a photograph of his beloved, and an empty feeling.

FIDLAR (2015)

Director/Camera/Editor: Ryan Baxley

Production Coordinator/Wardrobe: Alice Baxley

Set Designer: Zoe Zag

Set Construction: Brandon Schwartzel

Production Assistant: Alex Garcia

Filmed at Curryland Studio

A massive special thanks to all our friends who came out to help paint, cut, glue, drill, tape, and staple: Greg Bolyard, Micki Caruso, Casey Curry, Cayla McCrae, Brian McGinnis, Ali Nogueiras, Danny Nogueiras, Brian Rodriguez, Chris Stewart, and Matt Zuk

Los Angeles punk band FIDLAR gave a quick history of MTV’s greatest hits in the eclectic, fun clip for their single 40oz. On Repeat, which parodies Eminem, Soundgarden, Jamiroquai, Oasis, and more.

Spanning the Eighties, Nineties, and early Aughts, the video finds the band creating DIY versions of memorable videos. From Sugar Ray’s “Fly” to Britney Spears’ “…Baby One More Time,” the selection is diverse and full of surprises, including Missy Elliott’s iconic visuals for “The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)” and George Michael’s “Faith.”

“In the late 90s and early 2000s, music videos were such a huge deal. We decided that instead of making one overly slick music video, we would nod to 15 of our favorite music videos that we grew up with. Everyone in the band threw in their ideas.”

Zac Carper

Brittany Spanos of Rolling Stone Magazine

Jerry Garcia (1977)

UNLOCKED! Enjoy The Grateful Dead Movie while there’s still time.

The Grateful Dead Movie, released in 1977 and directed by Jerry Garcia, is a film that captures live performances from rock band the Grateful Dead during an October 1974 five-night run at Winterland in San Francisco. These concerts marked the beginning of a hiatus, with the October 20, 1974 show billed as “The Last One”. The band would return to touring in 1976. The film features the “Wall of Sound” concert sound system that the Dead used for all of 1974. The movie also portrays the burgeoning Deadhead scene.

To document the Grateful Dead experience, the film showcases the fans more than was usual in a concert movie at the time. They are shown enjoying the show, discussing the music and the band, and what it was like to be a Deadhead in the mid-1970s. The film also includes interviews with members of the Dead and vintage footage from their colorful history and early days in the band. The film opens with a uniquely Grateful Dead animated sequence, featuring the “Uncle Sam skeleton”. The psychedelic animation was created by Gary Gutierrez, using techniques that he developed specifically for the project. Stanley Mouse did the title art.

Weird Al Yankovic (2011)

Weird Al’s parody of Nothin’ On You by B.o.B. featuring Bruno Mars

Weird Al is an American singer, musician, and actor who is known for humorous songs that make light of pop culture and often parody specific songs by contemporary musical acts.

Bob Marley & The Wailers (1980)

“The road of life is rocky; And you may stumble too. So while you point your fingers, someone else is judging you”

Bob Marley

Bob Marley & The Wailers Could You Be Loved official music video. Inspired by Cedella Marley and all that she’s doing for women’s soccer in the Caribbean + Latin America through her Football is Freedom initiative. Stay positive & keep going 💚

Animation and direction by Vanja Vikalo LINNCH

Vanja Vikalo LINNCH is a multidisciplinary artist residing in Belgrade. Calling himself primarily an illustrator and an animator, Linnch creates characters and settings with surprising internal logic, playing with different visual forms. A unique entirety of his expression comes through each project he’s working on, both personal and commercial. Clients and artists include Bob Marley, 2 Chainz, YE (Kanye West), Ty Dolla $ign, FKA Twigs, Jadakiss, Trouble, Quavo, Who See, UNICEF, Coca-Cola, Samsung, Vice, Tuborg, Vip Mobile, and many more. Linnch’s work doesn’t stray from commentary and activism, they’re bold and they have a commanding presence, usually communicating with the audience through humor and skepticism. Talk will be revolving around career defining projects and stories behind them, but also his path from illustrator and muralist to animator/animation director.

Lily Allen & Olivia Rodrigo (2022)

Olivia Rodrigo performs Fuck You (feat. Lily Allen) at Glastonbury 2022.

As American musicians took the stage at Glastonbury 2022, many used their stage time to criticize the United States supreme court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. Olivia Rodrigo surprised her audience by bringing out artist Lily Allen for a special duet of Allen’s song Fuck You while addressing the devastating news. During her speech before introducing Allen, Rodrigo dedicated the song to the five members of the supreme court.

“I wanted to dedicate this next song to the five members of the supreme court who have showed us that at the end of the day, they truly don’t give a shit about freedom. This song goes out to the justices samuel alito, clarence thomas, neil gorsuch, amy coney barrett, and brett kavanaugh. We hate you!”

Olivia Rodrigo
Olivia Rodrigo at Glastonbury ’22

Look inside, look inside your tiny mind
Then look a bit harder
‘Cause we’re so uninspired, so sick and tired
Of all the hatred you harbour
So you say it’s not okay to be gay
Well, I think you’re just evil
You’re just some racist who can’t tie my laces
Your point of view is medieval

Fuck you! fuck you very, very much
‘Cause we hate what you do
And we hate your whole crew
So please, don’t stay in touch
Fuck you! fuck you very, very much
‘Cause your words don’t translate
And it’s getting quite late
So please, don’t stay in touch

Do you get, do you get a little kick out of being small minded?
You want to be like your father, it’s approval you’re after
Well, that’s not how you find it
Do you, do you really enjoy living a life that’s so hateful?
‘Cause there’s a hole where your soul should be
You’re losing control of it
And it’s really distasteful

Fuck you! fuck you very, very much
‘Cause we hate what you do
And we hate your whole crew
So please, don’t stay in touch
Fuck you! fuck you very, very much
‘Cause your words don’t translate
And it’s getting quite late
So please, don’t stay in touch

You say you think we need to go to war
Well, you’re already in one
‘Cause it’s people like you that need to get slew
No one wants your opinion

Lily Allen at Glastonbury ’22

Fuck you! fuck you very, very much
‘Cause we hate what you do
And we hate your whole crew
So please, don’t stay in touch
Fuck you! fuck you very, very much
‘Cause your words don’t translate
And it’s getting quite late
So please, don’t stay in touch

FUCK YOU!

Patrick Smith (1985)

“There’s a way we talk and it includes profanity. We never figured we’d be arrested for it.”

– Mike D

Interview by Rocci Fisch for ABC News Radio 1985, Washington, D.C. Cassette Tape

More Beasties: http://blankonblank.org/interviews/be…

Executive Producer: David Gerlach

Animator: Patrick Smith

Beastie Boys were an American rap group from New York City, formed in 1981. The group was composed of Michael “Mike D” Diamond, Adam “MCA” Yauch, and Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz. Beastie Boys were formed out of members of experimental hardcore punk band the Young Aborigines in 1978, with Diamond as vocalist, Jeremy Shatan on bass guitar, John Berry on guitar, and Kate Schellenbach on drums. When Shatan left in 1981, Yauch replaced him on bass and the band changed their name to Beastie Boys. Berry left shortly thereafter and was replaced by Horovitz.

Vitist https://beastieboys.com/ for more Beastie Boys!

James Brown & Betty Jean Newsome (1966)

Animated music video by James Brown performing It’s A Man’s Man’s Man’s World

Directed by Xavier Fauthoux

The world may be run and operated by men, but without women, none of it would be possible.

It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World is a song written by James Brown and Betty Jean Newsome. Brown recorded it on February 16, 1966, in a New York City studio and released it as a single later that year. It reached No. 1 on the Billboard R&B chart and No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100. Its title is a word play on the 1963 comedy film It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.

The song is written in the key of E-flat minor. The lyrics attribute all the works of modern civilization to the efforts of men, but claim that it all would “mean nothing without a woman or a girl”. Brown’s co-writer and onetime girlfriend, Betty Jean Newsome, wrote the lyrics based on her own observations of the relations between the sexes. Newsome claimed in later years that Brown did not write any part of the song, and she argued in court that he sometimes forgot to pay her royalties.

Animation Department

Marion Brunettoanimator
Thomas Buroncharacter designer
Martial CoulonCompositing
Matthieu Fouchieranimator
Liza Lussiezcharacter designer
Milan Starcevicanimator
Alexandre Tissotconcept art

RUFFMERCY & The Chemical Brothers (2021)

“The Darkness That You Fear is a hopeful piece of music. When we found the combination of the different voices worked set to the flow of the music it made us feel optimistic, like it was something we wanted to share.”

Tom Rowlands of The Chemical Brothers

The video is directed by @Ruffmercy “When I first heard the song I immediately connected with the theme and the overall positive vibe. New government rules for relaxing lockdown had been announced and combined with the sun shining, it left me feeling positive about the forthcoming summer. It also triggered a strong sense of nostalgia that led to me going back to look for visual inspiration from the period in time when I first discovered The Chemical Brothers in the mid ’90’s. The video combines archive rave footage from the mid to late 90’s with hand painted Super 8 film textures and hand drawn animation. I love using colour to create chaos and evoke emotions and this was the perfect project to do that.”

Director: RUFFMERCY @ruffmercy
Production Company: @myaccompliceldn
Executive Producer: Jamie Clark
Producer: Richard Grewe @richardgrewe
Editor: Charlie Reddie @ Stitch @stitchediting
Picture Researcher: Susi Paz
Commissioner: Ailsa Robertson
Directors Rep: Alexa Haywood @freeagentuk
Additional Animation: Patch D. Keyes @patch_d_keyes
Shouts outs to Little Kev and @kinolibrary

Vocal samples: Caroline Ellis on The Bugaloos’ “The Senses Of Our World” (1970) & John Ellison on “I’ll Be Loving You” by Soul Brothers Six (1967)

Bob Dylan (2021)

Happy 81st Birthday, Bobby!

In celebration of Bob Dylan’s birthday, born on this day in 1941, I present to you Shadow Kingdom, a 2021 concert film featuring American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan. Directed by Israeli-American filmmaker Alma Har’el, it was shot on a soundstage in Santa Monica, California over seven days in early 2021 while Dylan was sidelined from his Never Ending Tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The film features Dylan and a group of masked musicians performing 13 songs from the first half of Dylan’s career in an intimate club-like setting.

Shadow Kingdom showcases Bob Dylan in an intimate setting as he performs songs from his extensive body of work, created especially for this event. It marked his first concert performance since December 2019, and first performance since his universally acclaimed album Rough and Rowdy Ways. The earliest composition in the set list was “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue” from the 1965 album Bringing It All Back Home and the most recent composition was “What Was It You Wanted” from 1989’s Oh Mercy. In addition to Dylan, who plays guitar and harmonica and sings, most of the song arrangements consist of two additional guitars, a bass and an accordion. The performance of “Forever Young” also features a dolceola.

TRACKS:

When I Paint My Masterpiece

Most Likely You Go Your Way and I’ll Go Mine

Queen Jane Approximately

I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight

Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues

Tombstone Blues

To Be Alone with You

What Was it You Wanted

Forever Young

Pledging My Time

The Wicked Messenger

Watching the River Flow

It’s All Over Now Baby Blue

MUSICIANS:

Alex Burke

Buck Meek

Shahzad Ismaily

Janie Cowan

Joshua Crumbly

Max Fleischer (1931)

A young dog calls on Betty but fraternity hazers kidnap him. Rudy Vallée sings the title tune along with the Bouncing Ball.

Betty Co-ed is a character that appears in the 1931 Screen Song Betty Co-Ed. She has a perfectly round head instead of Betty’s oval-shaped one, and rubber-hose arms and legs. Betty Co-ed is a flapper girl who is loved by every college boy. The character is based on the song by the same name which was written by J. Paul Fogarty and Rudy Vallée. Rudy Vallée & His Connecticut Yankees debuted the song in 1930.

The Weeknd (2020)

Official music video for The Weeknd Snowchild

I enjoyed this and I think you will too!

Known for his sonic versatility and dark lyricism, The Weeknd’s music explores escapism, romance, and melancholia, and is often inspired by personal experiences.

Check out The Weeknd’s album After Hours at http://theweeknd.co/AH-dlxVD

Directed by Arthell Isom

Produced by Arthell Isom and Kevin Kloecker

Production Company: D’ART Shtajio @dartshtajio

Technical Director: Henry Thurlow

Animation Director: Ryoko Oka

Character Designer: Rejean Dubois

Video Commissioner: Kate Miller

Special Thanks to David d’Heilly and Kevin Marciano

Lou Reed (1983)

In honor of Lou Reed on his birthday, born on this day in 1942, I present to you My Name is Mok, sung by Lou Reed in the Canadian animated film Rock & Rule.

My Name is Mok is a song performed for Mok by Lou Reed. The song is abridged in the film and has never had a wide official release, but copies of the complete song are circulating in fandom.

Lou Reed was an American musician, singer, songwriter, and poet. He was the guitarist, singer, and principal songwriter for the rock band the Velvet Underground and had a solo career that spanned five decades. The Velvet Underground was not a commercial success during its existence, but became regarded as one of the most influential bands in the history of underground and alternative rock music. Reed’s distinctive deadpan voice, poetic and transgressive lyrics, and experimental guitar playing were trademarks throughout his long career. After leaving the band in 1970, Reed released twenty solo studio albums.

Rock & Rule is a 1983 Canadian animated musical science fantasy film featuring the voices of Don Francks, Greg Salata and Susan Roman. It was produced and directed by Michael Hirsh, Patrick Loubert, and Clive A. Smith with John Halfpenny, Patrick Loubert, and Peter Sauder at the helm of its screenplay.

Nina Simone (1976)

Watch Nina Simone perform a medley of Stars and Feelings live at the Montreux Jazz Festival, 1976

In honor of Nina Simone’s birthday, born on this day in 1933, I present to you Nina Simone!

Nina Simone was one of the great female vocalists of the 20th Century. She was equally at home singing jazz, blues, soul, gospel or pure pop. Hugely prolific throughout the fifties, sixties and seventies, she recorded only rarely in her later career, but remained a major live performer until well into the nineties when, becoming increasingly frail, she retired to France where she died in 2003 at the age of 70.

Nina Simone made four appearances at the Montreux Festival between 1968 and 1990. This clip features a segment of the performance from 1976 as the main feature.

Nina Simone was one of the most extraordinary artists of the twentieth century, an icon of American music. She was the consummate musical storyteller, a griot as she would come to learn, who used her remarkable talent to create a legacy of liberation, empowerment, passion, and love through a magnificent body of works. She earned the moniker ‘High Priestess of Soul’ for she could weave a spell so seductive and hypnotic that the listener lost track of time and space as they became absorbed in the moment. She was who the world would come to know as Nina Simone.

When Nina Simone died on April 21, 2003, she left a timeless treasure trove of musical magic spanning over four decades from her first hit, the 1959 Top 10 classic “I Loves You Porgy,” to “A Single Woman,” the title cut from her one and only 1993 Elektra album. While thirty-three years separate those recordings, the element of honest emotion is the glue that binds the two together – it is that approach to every piece of work that became Nina’s uncompromising musical trademark.

By the end of her life, Nina was enjoying an unprecedented degree of recognition. Her music was enjoyed by the masses due to the CD revolution, discovery on the Internet, and exposure through movies and television. Nina had sold over one million CDs in the last decade of her life, making her a global catalog best-seller.

Happy Birthday, Nina Simone!

Nina Simone (1958)

In honor of Nina Simone’s birthday, born on this day in 1933, I present to you Nina Simone!

My Baby Just Cares for Me is a jazz standard written by Walter Donaldson with lyrics by Gus Kahn. Written for the film version of the musical comedy Whoopee! (1930), the song became a signature tune for Eddie Cantor who sang it in the movie. A stylized version of the song by Nina Simone, recorded in 1957, was a top 10 hit in the United Kingdom after it was used in a 1987 perfume commercial and resulted in a renaissance for Simone.

Nina Simone, was an American singer, songwriter, musician, arranger, and civil rights activist. Her music spanned styles including classical, jazz, blues, folk, R&B, gospel and pop.

The sixth of eight children born to a poor family in Tryon, North Carolina, Simone initially aspired to be a concert pianist. With the help of a few supporters in her hometown, she enrolled in the Juilliard School of Music in New York City. She then applied for a scholarship to study at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where she was denied admission despite a well received audition, which she attributed to racism. In 2003, just days before her death, the Institute awarded her an honorary degree.

To make a living, Simone started playing piano at a nightclub in Atlantic City. She changed her name to “Nina Simone” to disguise herself from family members, having chosen to play “the devil’s music” or so-called “cocktail piano”. She was told in the nightclub that she would have to sing to her own accompaniment, which effectively launched her career as a jazz vocalist. She went on to record more than 40 albums between 1958 and 1974, making her debut with Little Girl Blue. She had a hit single in the United States in 1958 with “I Loves You, Porgy”. Her musical style fused gospel and pop with classical music, in particular Johann Sebastian Bach, and accompanied expressive, jazz-like singing in her contralto voice.

Happy Birthday, Nina Simone!

Nina Simone & Lilian Terry (1968)

“I feel more alive now than I ever have in my life. I have a chance to live, as I’ve dreamed.”

Nina Simone

Lilian Terry had a national radio show in Italy–everyone from Ray Charles to Duke Ellington appeared on her show–and there was one person she always wanted to interview: Nina Simone. But Lilian had heard Nina didn’t enjoy speaking with white people. Thankfully Lillian had a confidant in Max Roach, the legendary jazz drummer, who introduced Lilian to Nina at the Newport Festival in 1968. “Lilian Terry comes from Egypt, ” Roach said. This was true; Lilian was born in Cairo to a father from Malta and a mother from Italy. With that simple introduction, Nina waved Lillian over. Soon they were talking about nefertitti and the pharoahs. Nina even told Lilian she thought she’d been in Egypt in a previous life. A few days later Lilian went to Nina’s house in Mt. Vernon, New York. They sat by the pool, the tape recorder was turned on, and the conversation continued.

Executive Producer: David Gerlach

Animator: Patrick Smith

Audio Producer: Amy Drozdowska

Colorist: Jennifer Yoo

Nina Simone (1982)

Animation brings Color Is a Beautiful Thing to life, off of Nina Simone’s rediscovered album Fodder On My Wings

In honor of Nina Simone’s birthday, born on this day in 1933, I present to you Nina Simone!

Fodder on My Wings is an album by singer/pianist/songwriter Nina Simone. It is part of her later works, and can be regarded alongside Baltimore (1978) as one of her better achievements of that period. It is, however, a rather obscure album and not widely distributed. The album is one of Simone’s most introspective and personal works, with songs about her father’s death and her stay in Liberia, Trinidad, and Switzerland.

Nina Simone, was an American singer, songwriter, musician, arranger, and civil rights activist. Her music spanned styles including classical, jazz, blues, folk, R&B, gospel and pop.

The sixth of eight children born to a poor family in Tryon, North Carolina, Simone initially aspired to be a concert pianist. With the help of a few supporters in her hometown, she enrolled in the Juilliard School of Music in New York City. She then applied for a scholarship to study at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where she was denied admission despite a well received audition, which she attributed to racism. In 2003, just days before her death, the Institute awarded her an honorary degree.

To make a living, Simone started playing piano at a nightclub in Atlantic City. She changed her name to “Nina Simone” to disguise herself from family members, having chosen to play “the devil’s music” or so-called “cocktail piano”. She was told in the nightclub that she would have to sing to her own accompaniment, which effectively launched her career as a jazz vocalist. She went on to record more than 40 albums between 1958 and 1974, making her debut with Little Girl Blue. She had a hit single in the United States in 1958 with “I Loves You, Porgy”. Her musical style fused gospel and pop with classical music, in particular Johann Sebastian Bach, and accompanied expressive, jazz-like singing in her contralto voice.

Animated video directed by Sharon Liu and Aaron Lampert.

Animated by Nicolette van Gendt & Duncan Gist.

Happy Birthday, Nina Simone!

Nina Simone (1965)

Watch the visualizer for Rudimental’s Remix of “Take Care Of Business” by Nina Simone from the album Feeling Good: Her Greatest & Remixes (2022)

In honor of Nina Simone’s birthday, born on this day in 1933, I present to you Nina Simone!

Nina Simone, was an American singer, songwriter, musician, arranger, and civil rights activist. Her music spanned styles including classical, jazz, blues, folk, R&B, gospel and pop.

The sixth of eight children born to a poor family in Tryon, North Carolina, Simone initially aspired to be a concert pianist. With the help of a few supporters in her hometown, she enrolled in the Juilliard School of Music in New York City. She then applied for a scholarship to study at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where she was denied admission despite a well received audition, which she attributed to racism. In 2003, just days before her death, the Institute awarded her an honorary degree.

To make a living, Simone started playing piano at a nightclub in Atlantic City. She changed her name to “Nina Simone” to disguise herself from family members, having chosen to play “the devil’s music” or so-called “cocktail piano”. She was told in the nightclub that she would have to sing to her own accompaniment, which effectively launched her career as a jazz vocalist. She went on to record more than 40 albums between 1958 and 1974, making her debut with Little Girl Blue. She had a hit single in the United States in 1958 with “I Loves You, Porgy”. Her musical style fused gospel and pop with classical music, in particular Johann Sebastian Bach, and accompanied expressive, jazz-like singing in her contralto voice.

Animated video directed by Sharon Liu and Aaron Lampert (2022).

Happy Birthday, Nina Simone!

Emma Swift (2020)

From Emma’s “Blonde on the Tracks” album, released August 2020 by Tiny Ghost Records.

In honor of Bob Dylan’s 1966 song One of Us Must Know, released 56 years ago today, I present to you Emma Swift’s beautiful rendition of the song. Enjoy.

Art direction, concept, graphic design: Yvonne Moxham

Animation: Alex Dar

“Her high, clear voice highlights each syllable, letting you hear the words form, one seemingly following inevitably from the other, until they feel handed down, fragments of old songs now speaking to each other.”

Greil Marcus, LA Review of Books

One of Us Must Know is an emotional confession of mis-connects and apologies from Bob Dylan to a young woman he regrets having mistreated.

Emma Swift is an Australian singer-songwriter. Before becoming a musician, she was a radio broadcaster, hosting Americana music show In the Pines on FBi Radio and Revelator on Double J at Australian Broadcasting Corporation in Sydney, Australia.

William Hanna & Joseph Barbera (1946)

Solid Serenade is a 1946 one-reel animated cartoon and is the 26th Tom and Jerry short, produced in Technicolor and released to theatres on August 31, 1946 by Metro-Goldwyn Mayer. It was produced by Fred Quimby, directed by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, and the musical supervision was by Scott Bradley. Ed Barge, Michael Lah, and Kenneth Muse animated it. Excerpts of this cartoon are seen in three other Tom and Jerry shorts: Jerry’s Diary, Smitten Kitten, and Smarty Cat, the latter instance with altered audio and an added scene of Tom whistling.

Animation historian Michael Barrier wrote that Tom’s appearance stabilized by the time of Solid Serenade, giving him a more streamlined and less inconsistent look. Jerry, whose appearance was already economical, only became cuter, according to Barrier. Describing music director Scott Bradley’s work, academic Daniel Ira Goldmark called Solid Serenade “an excellent overview of Bradley’s techniques”, as it uses both popular songs and an original score.

Is You Is or Is You Ain’t My Baby is a 1944 Louis Jordan song, released as the B-side of a single with “G.I. Jive”. “Is You Is or Is You Ain’t My Baby” reached #1 on the US folk/country charts. The song appeared in the Tom and Jerry cartoon Solid Serenade and sung by Ira Woods as Tom Cat on the bass.

Louis Thomas Jordan was an American saxophonist, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and bandleader who was popular from the late 1930s to the early 1950s. Known as “The King of the Jukebox”, he earned his highest profile towards the end of the swing era. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as an “early influence” in 1987.

Bob Marley & the Wailers (1977)

Happy Birthday, Bob Marley!

In the spirit of Bob Marley’s birthday, which, yes, is today, I wanted to share this animated music video with you to help inspire some Bob Marley energy throughout the universe. Peace.

Three Little Birds is a song by Bob Marley and the Wailers. It is the fourth track on side two of their 1977 album Exodus and was released as a single in 1980. The song reached the Top 20 in the UK, peaking at number 17. It is one of Bob Marley’s most popular songs. The song has been covered by numerous other artists. The song is often thought to be named “Don’t Worry About a Thing” or “Every Little Thing is Gonna Be Alright”, because of the prominent and repeated use of these phrases in the chorus.

Troy Little & Nick Cross (2009)

Based on the graphic novel series by Troy Little, this pilot special features the misadventures of the Canadian cuddle-core punk rock girl band, Angora Napkin, comprised of bubbly Beatrice, bookish Molly, and mute Mallory.

Three young women meet the world head-on in a bubblegum pop explosion of harsh reality. Spinning off from the Eisner nominated graphic novel, this animated pilot was created for Teletoon as part of their Pilot Project initiative.

Created and directed by Troy Little & Nick Cross.

For more information on this and other films by Nick Cross, visit: http://nickcrossanimation.com

Al Brodax & Sylban Buck (1965)

I never knew this cartoon even existed. It’s pretty bad, but still kinda fun to watch.

The Beatles is a Saturday morning animated television series featuring representations of the popular English rock band of the same name. It was originally broadcast from 1965 to 1969 on ABC in the USA. The series debuted on 25 September 1965 and new episodes ended on 21 October 1967. Each episode is named after a Beatles song and based on its lyrics. The series was a historical milestone as the first weekly television series to feature animated versions of real, living people.

Watch the Sesame Street Muppets play a Tiny Desk Concert.

The news has stopped! Count von Count and the NPR kids count us down: 5 … 4 … 3 … 2 … 1!

And there they are at the Tiny Desk: Big Bird, Bert and Ernie, Rosita, Abby Cadabby and Cookie Monster, all singing about a sunny day and how everything is A-OK. The Sesame Street crew, including Elmo, Grover and other surprise guests, visited NPR’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., to celebrate Sesame Street’s 50 years of teaching the world its A-B-Cs, its 1-2-3s, how to be kind and how to be proud, all while spreading love and joy. Sesame Street has won more major awards than any other group to play the Tiny Desk, including 11 Grammys and 192 Emmys. There was a lot of love as the cast of Sesame Street got to meet NPR hosts and newscasters, who in turn got to geek out meeting their favorite Muppets and the creators behind the felt and fur. These folks include Matt Vogel, Sesame Street’s puppet captain and performer, and music director Bill Sherman.

I even got to sing with Grover. And I’ll also say, on a personal note, that this may well have been the hardest-working, most dedicated group of performers I’ve ever worked with. I’m so proud of these Muppets and so happy to celebrate all that they’ve meant to the world for these 50 years.

MUSICIANS — Leslie Carrara-Rudolph: Abby Cadabby, Penguin; Ryan Dillon: Elmo; Eric Jacobson: Bert, Grover, Oscar the Grouch; Peter Linz: Ernie, Herry Monster; Carmen Osbahr: Rosita; David Rudman: Cookie Monster; Matt Vogel: Big Bird, Count von Count, Mr. Johnson; John Deley: keys; Rob Jost: bass; Michael Croiter: drums

Ralph Bakshi (1986)

In 1985, Ralph Bakshi received a phone call from The Rolling Stones’ manager, Tony King, who told Bakshi that the band had recorded a cover of Bob & Earl’s “Harlem Shuffle”, and wanted Bakshi to direct the music video. He was told that the live-action shoot needed to be completed within one day (January 28, 1986) for it to be shown at the Grammy Awards.

Production designer Wolf Kroeger was forced to drastically compact his sets, and animation director and designer John Kricfalusi had to push his team, including Lynne Naylor, Jim Smith and Bob Jaques, to complete the animation within a few weeks.

The band’s arrival at the set was delayed by a snowstorm and several takes were ruined when the cameras crossed paths. Bakshi was forced to pay the union wages out of his own fees, and the continuity between Kricfalusi’s animation and the live-action footage did not match; however, the video was completed on time.

Neil Young & Crazy Horse (2021)

Director: DHLovelife

Producer: Gary Ward

Animation: @patriclekid – Micah Nelson

Production Company: Lost Planet

In the last decade or two, you generally know what’s coming when you hit play on a new Neil Young record. You know there will be a few sweet love-struck hymns that sound as if they’re being played in dusty Old West saloons or around campfires. You anticipate the songs that wax nostalgic about his childhood, and the ones that rage against the destructiveness and stupidity of mankind and the impact on the planet. You await those moments when he turns the volume knob up and makes his guitar sound like it’s sandblasting paint off an old shed

All those elements are in play in Barn, but the crucial difference is the presence of a reconstituted version of Crazy Horse, with recurring Young sideman Nils Lofgren replacing the retired Frank “Poncho” Sampedro. Young first reconvened his on-again, dismissed-again band for 2010’s underwhelming Colorado, but maybe they all just needed time to warm up. On Barn, cut in just a few days at a log-cabin structure in Colorado, the thunderous and ornery side of Young and the Horse revs up again, and sonically, at least, it’s akin to running into an old friend you haven’t seen face to face since the pre-pandemic days.

Read the remainder of the Rolling Stone article written by David Browne here: https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-album-reviews/neil-young-and-crazy-horse-more-barn-1266713/

Ozzy Osbourne & Lemmy Kilmister (2021)

Ozzy Osbourne and late Motörhead frontman Lemmy Kilmister beat back an alien invasion with the power of rock and roll, and a little bit of dark magic, in the new animated video for their mash-up duet, Hellraiser. The clip was directed by Mark Szumski and Gina Niespodziani. 

“I’m so glad we were able to honor my dear friend Lemmy with this duet and now the video. We immortalized him with a clip of the two of us being together, hanging out and getting into some trouble as we so often did.”

Ozzy

To read the Rolling Stone article in its entirety, click here: https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/ozzy-osbourne-lemmy-kilmister-hellraiser-duet-1224656/

Tim Burton & Danny Elfman (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.

Happy Halloween!

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.