July 31, 2009
RIP: Heinz Edelmann
Here at PopCult we were saddened to learn of the passing last week of Heinz Edelmann, the Czech artist best known as the designer of the classic animated Beatles movie, “The Yellow Submarine.” Edelmann died in Stuttgart, Germany of heart and kidney disease. He was 75.
As a hugely successful advertising and editorial illustrator in post-war Europe, Edelmann developed a distinct graphic style that influenced a generation of artists around the world. In the 1960s he was experimenting with a stylized, neo-Art Nouveau manner, which caught the eye of Al Brodax, producer of a successful animated Beatles television cartoon series for children. He chose Edelmann to be the chief designer of the feature-length animated film, “Yellow Submarine,” built around the classic 1966 song by The Beatles.
Since we presented the very cool movie, “Sita Sings The Blues” yesterday in PopCult. I decided that we’d kick off our week with a digitally-assaulted photograph of Valerie Meiss, from The Hellblinki Sextet, also singing the blues. Actually, Valerie wasn’t really singing the blues, but that’s the title of this piece, because there’s so much blue in it. The photo was taken last Wednesday at The Empty Glass, and if you missed Hellblinki, you should go kick yourself. Seriously. We’ll wait here.
You can see pictures of me goofing around with the whole band in last Friday’s PopCulteer. Click the image to see a larger version, and visit Hellblinki’s website so you can go buy their music. It kicks five known types of ass.
Okay. I feel experimental again today, so let’s try something special. If this works, when you click the “read more” link, you will get to see, embedded at the end of this post in ten parts, “Sita Sings The Blues,” a new 80-minute original animated feature by Nina Paley, the creator of the animated cameraless modernist epic, “Pandorama,” as well as the comic strips, “Fluff,” “The Hots,” and “Nina’s Adventures.“Sita is a goddess separated from her beloved Lord and husband Rama. Nina is an animator whose husband moves to India, then dumps her by email. Three hilarious shadow puppets narrate both ancient tragedy and modern comedy in this beautifully animated interpretation of the Indian epic Ramayana. Set to the 1920’s jazz vocals of Annette Hanshaw, Sita Sings the Blues earns its tagline as “the Greatest Break-Up Story Ever Told.”
During the production of “Sita Sings The Blues,” Paley, frustrated over the hassles of clearing music rights for the film, became active in the Free Culture Movement. You can read all about it at her website. Continue reading
July 24, 2009
“The Shadowman” Wow!
I just got back from the first performance of the new CYAC show, “The Shadowman.” This is a straight dramatic play, written and directed by Dan Kehde, and it’s one of the most striking pieces of live drama that I’ve seen. I honestly can’t remember ever being moved as much by a live theater performance. The story is compelling, but at times it’s like a punch to the gut.
“The Shadowman” tells the story of Jeremiah Fleetwood, an ex-con, just released after serving fifteen years for the rape of a 12-year-old girl. Jeremiah has found work in a porn shop/peep show in the town where he grew up, and committed his crime. In the course of the play, he encounters old friends and his victim. It becomes clear as the story unfolds that there is much more to the situation than it appears. The whole town is harboring secrets that come as a series of revelations during the play.
Radio Free Charleston’s 76th episode, “Peace Sign Shirt,” is ONLINE NOW! This episode features two long songs, punctuated by a Plant Ro Duction Mini Movie, and a couple of important announcements.
Our music is by Option 22 and Suburban Graffiti, and each song clocks in at around the seven-minute mark, so we kept everything else to a minimum this time around.
Host segments were shot Tuesday at lunchtime high atop the Municipal Parking Building on Washington Street.
This week’s artistic wake-up boot to the head is a digitally assaulted photograph of a scene at The Levee, taken right before the final “Live At The Levee” performance of the summer. We had a great time listening to Comparsa and The Soul Doctors, and as a memento, I took this picture and digitized all over it. I was going to call it “levee Tatin’,” but thought better of it. Click to enlarge, and look for RFC 76 on Wednesday, with Option 22 and Suburban Graffiti.
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This week we’re going to take a trip back in time…..all the way back to the early 1990s. We’re presenting some of the classics of grunge music, that noisy, punky, metal-ly reinvigorating sonic blast from Seattle. Of course, it would be sort of pointless to just re-post the original performances, so tonight we’re going to learn what these songs were really about. Above you see the real meaning of Pearl Jam’s “Yellow Ledbetter.” After the jump you can find out the real meaning of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and Peral Jam’s “Evenflow.” As a non-grudge bonus, I’m posting a lyrical re-intrepetation of “Oh Fortuna,” from Carl Orff’s “Carmina Burana” for no other reason than it cracked me up.
July 17, 2009
Cool Comic Of The Week: Poetry In Comics
Desperado Comics has collected the complete run, three stories in all, of Brian Bolland’s comic series “The Actress And The Bishop,” and the world is better for it.
Bolland is veteran British comic book artist, best known for illustrating “Batman: The Killing Joke” (written by the legendary Alan Moore), and the ground-breaking maxi-series “Camelot 3000.” He’s spent most of his career as a cover artist, applying his meticulous pen to such characters as Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Judge Dredd and The Invisibles, among others.
This week’s (sort of late) artistic kick-start is a digitally-assaulted photograph that revisits one of our favorite urban green spaces, Davis Park, in Charleston. The photo is actually a couple of years old, but the digital assaulting was just done moments before this copy is being written. It’s a view of the West Side of the park, so you don’t get to see the statue of Sammy Davis Jr. riding a horse. You may file this under “Sinus medication influenced art,” if that’s the sort of thing you like to do. Click it to enlarge the image, and be sure to go back and read last Friday’s PopCulteer.
Sunday Evening Videos return with a music video interpretation of Mika’s song,”Toy Boy,” by Pretty Monkey Studio, a “bunch of students from Berlin who love videogames and animation.” To see the video, you have to follow the “read more” link, so that we don’t fry the Gazzblog layout. You can check out their website here. Also on the other side of the jump you can see their custom videos for songs from The Killers and Slumdog Millionaire.