Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee has been my latest obsession. A few days ago, I watched the episode where Jerry Seinfeld interviewed Larry David in a 1952 Volkswagen Beetle. Seinfeld went to turn on the turn signal and this happened:
And I was shook. Personal little light arms! *muffled excited screaming*
I knew what it was for, but I wanted to know what it was called.
Turns out it's called a semaphore. I wish current cars had semaphores. Driving would would be way more exciting.
Thanks to a post on AV Club, that you can read here, I found the coolest video and idea. Instead of having a sign-off screen or test pattern at the end of the night, a Canadian TV station decided to show a program called "Night Walk." Night Walk showed views of Toronto in first person while jazz played in the background. An insomniac's dream.
Here's the description straight from the fan website:
An alternative to Global TV’s overnight test pattern on its’ over-the-air stations, the 60-minute Night Walk (with two 2-minute commercial breaks) was scheduled to begin airing at 4 a.m. ET on the morning of May 3, 1986 and the 60-minute Night Ride followed by the early morning of June 22, 1986. Both shows were filmed in one night, on May 2, 1986 between 10 p.m. and 1 a.m., in and around downtown Toronto using the relatively new Steadicam camera stabilizer. Night Moves, a 30 minute episode, was also filmed in one night, on October 5, 1986, and began airing before Night Ride and Night Walk beginning at 3 a.m. ET on the early morning of Dec. 7, 1986. The second 60 minute version of Night Walk, featuring the same soundtrack as the first episode and footage from the Night Moves shoot, made its first appearance by late May 1987. These four were the only episodes made, and they were replayed nightly until the summer of 1993. The shows are now considered early examples of “slow TV.”
Check out the "slow TV" goodness below.
I have no idea why, but I had a flashback to one of my favorite field trip locations: the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. Honestly, it's still one of my most favorite places on earth. Going there as a kid was an amazing experience.
There are three main things that I remembered in my flashback:
Number one: The special field trip lunch.
My mom would wake up earlier than usual to run to Wawa and pick up my lunch. You see, this lunch was not like my everyday packed lunch. This lunch was a special order. My order was as follows: one Shorti sized Italian hoagie, one small bag of original Lay's chips, one pack of Tastykake powdered sugar mini donuts, and one bottle of Wawa's fruit punch. The lunch of champions.
And how did I tell my lunch apart from everyone else's lunch you ask? My lunch was carefully packed into a Wawa plastic bag that had my name beautifully written on a Post-it that was stapled to the bag in the very front. Every single time. Thanks mom. *awkwardly winks at my mom*
Number two: The Franklin Institute Sci-Store.
The Sci Store is only one of the BEST museum gift shops in Philadelphia. I will always stand by this statement.
And the last and greatest part of my flashback: The IMAX Theater.
The funniest part is that I wouldn't be excited for the movie, I would be excited for the short before the movie. Could you imagine my excitement when I found it on YouTube? Check it out below. Ah, the memories.
You know how everyone has a movie that they can never get tired of? The original Karate Kid is one of those movies for me. If it's on and I'm not working, I'll stop everything that I'm doing to watch it like I've never seen it before.
It seems that I have a knack for finding cool behind the scenes stuff, so here I am again sharing the rehearsal footage from The Karate Kid. Straight from John G. Avildsen's YouTube account. He even answered some people's comments on the videos. Enjoy!
Those who know me well know that I love Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis's music. For those not familiar with the legendary R&B and pop songwriting and producing duo, think Control and Rhythm Nation era Janet Jackson, Heartbreak era New Edition, and the song "Human" by The Human League. Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis are behind them.
Not too long ago, I ran across a video of Donnie Simpson interviewing Jam and Lewis in their studio while they were working on the song "Fishnet" by Morris Day. Check out the behind the scenes video and the finished product below!
Figure it out yet? No? Well, here's the answer: Each of their logos were designed by the type designer Gerard Huerta. Here are a few examples of his legendary work:
I never knew about Gerald Huerta until I ran across his Instagram account, @gerardhuerta. Check out more of his work at http://www.gerardhuerta.com/. It's inspiring to see an artist make so many influential pieces.
Yet again, I find myself in the wormhole which is YouTube. This time, I started off watching a video of 8 year old Patti Austin singing the jazz standard "Jeepers Creepers." Check out the video below. Even as a kid she was a super talented singer.
Somehow, one Patti Austin video led to another and I found great in studio footage from the 1984 documentary, I Love Quincy. The footage shows Patti Austin and Quincy Jones goofing off while working on the song "It's Gonna Be Special" for the film Two of a Kind.
Two things struck me in particular during the in-studio video. The first thing was how ridiculously silly they were. Everyone in the studio kept joking and joking, one fit of laughter after the next. Everyone seemed comfortable with each other. The second thing was that after they composed themselves, they got right back to work like nothing happened. No one missed a beat. They went back to recording like the pros they are.
The whole video was a reminder to take my work seriously, but not too serious. It's always important to keep it light and to have fun, but it's also important to reel it in and to focus to get the job done.
With that said, back to work I go. I'll keep things in the Patti Austin and Quincy Jones vein, and I'll leave you with a video of their remake of the Chaz Jankel song, "Ai No Corrida." Funky stuff.
Last night, I was watching West Side Story with my mom. In the beginning of the movie, certain dance moves really put me in the mind of Michael Jackson, more specifically the Bad music video. So, knowing me, I double checked around the internet and I learned that MJ's "Bad" music video was in fact inspired by the "Cool" sequence in the movie and that the music video has many West Side Story nods.
Here's an example: Check out the Sharks' moves at 3:35 in the West Side Story Prologue and compare them to MJ and his gang's moves at 2:59 in the Bad music video. LOVE IT.
Seeing the two videos together ultimately led me down the YouTube wormhole (insert awkward laugh emoji) and I found another video that had split screen clips of Michael Jackson dancing compared to some of his influences, like James Brown and Fred Astaire. While watching the video, I realized that I have never thought of Michael Jackson as being influenced by anyone. I've only thought of him as a consummate artist. Michael Jackson has always been amazingly talented, skilled and disciplined... but he got his skills from somewhere.
This realization made me think of a quote from one of my favorite books, "Steal Like An Artist" by Austin Kleon. The quote is as follows: "You are, in fact, a mashup of what you choose to let into your life. You are the sum of your influences."
As an artist, I'm continuously learning that it's up to me find good art, listen to good music, and read books that are interesting to me. Good things in, good things out. The combination of all the things that I take in somehow makes my art my art. And you know what? I find that to be pretty freeing.