Thought Bubble – Joe Dea’s YouTube Channel

Image representing YouTube as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

Joe Dea was a music video director back before that was actually a job description. I don’t think I ever met him but I knew him tangentially through my VERY brief volunteer work at the late 70s/early 80s groundbreaking television newsmagazine/video production company VideoWest. Founded by Fabrice Florin (whom dad knew somehow) and staffed by a bunch of people who went on to work for MTV. Joe Dea made some of the best comedy sketches and also some of the best music videos. Joe Dea has a YouTube channel, now, and a lot of the old VideoWest segments are posted there. (I don’t know why this show is not better documented, overall.) What I do recall about the show is that each week had a theme like “sex” or “death” or “politics“. The show was also very aware of the video art scene. I think they would broadcast documentation from the then-still-active Ant Farm, for example.

And, Joe, if you read this, I would love to see “Beach Blanket Armageddon” again, if it still exists.


Flashback Film – Head (1968)

The Monkees Poster

Image by Photon™ via Flickr

What I like so much about The Monkee’s Head is how it is largely a parody of their own show. It has amazing songs (“The Porpoise Song” especially) a cameo by Frank Zappa and what seems like the gags that were too weird or political to go on the air.

Flashback Film – Performance (1970)

Midweek Music!

Performance, with Mick Jagger and James Fox, is a very strange movie with very amazing score.


Memo From Turner. I feel like the entire sensibility of The Sopranos is lifted from this music sequence. No wait, that sensibility is lifted from Goodfellas. Or even Mean Streets. Maybe Scorsese saw this. I dunno. I think this must be the origin of the Rolling Stones + gangsters trope. Even though this is not the Rolling Stones, proper.

When I see James Fox in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, in the Veruca Salt song, I think of Performance. And for me, the songs are slightly talking to each other.

Memory Object – Dot Cat

Dot Cat

Originally uploaded by Logo Girl

Meet Buzz. The lady I got Buzz from (Buzz was a girl) named her Mooncat. Since Buzz Aldren was my favorite astronaut, and since Mooncat seemed too dippy, it seemed fitting. I edited this in Photoshop years later.

Icon of the Day – Genre of the Day – Rock Opera

Rock Opera

What do rock operas have in common? Well, whether it is Nora Walker rolling in baked beans as her son becomes Jesus, Pink watching endless reruns as he becomes Hitler, or  Swan (the Devil incarnate), running the cheesiest record label offices ever seen as he plots to buy souls, we can find a pattern: in rock opera, the most profound hopes and fears of our culture intersect with the crassest, most consumer-driven product. In fact, perhaps they are the (gasp) SAME?

So, yes, a flying hamburger.

Memory Object – The Muppet Musicians of Bremen (1972) (TV)

A bronze statue depicting the Bremen Town Musi...

Image via Wikipedia

Tales from Muppetland: The Muppet Musicians of Bremen

I saw this when I was – what? eight? It had a big impact on me. I found the music haunting, the story gripping and the villians terrifying. Been looking for it for years as I don’t think it ever showed a second time.

Bremen, Germany is very proud of this old fairy tale. The Muppet version takes place in Bremen, Louisiana (I am trying to figure out if this is a real place – anyone?) and is filled with New Orleans style jazz. Jim Henson was from neighboring Mississippi and I have a feeling this project must have been dear to his heart.

Flashback Film – A Great Day in Harlem (1994)

JAZZ: "A Great Day In Harlem" Brownstone

Image by Professor Bop via Flickr

A Great Day in Harlem (1994).

A Great Day in Harlem takes a look at the amazing photograph by Art Kane.

(Pictured to the right is not the photograph. But it is the brownstone. I think.)

A fascinating documentary film about the one day all the jazz musicians in New York City got up early on a Sunday morning to have their picture taken.

Woman of the Day – Marian McPartland

Marian McPartland interviews Ramsey Lewis on h...

Image via Wikipedia

Marian_McPartland is a jazz pianist, composer and writer. She hosts a wonderful show called Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz on National Public Radio. I have not heard her show for some time. I am happy to say it is still going strong. Wikipedia states ” It is the longest-running cultural program on NPR as well as being the longest-running jazz program ever produced on public radio.” Her interview style is a delight, as the interviews often become jazz duets with her interviewees. McPartland is a young 92. Please check out her NPR show if you have not heard it before.

Oh, and she is in the Great Day in Harlem photograph – look to the statuesque lady in the front row (standing) with the halter dress.

Behind ‘A Great Day In Harlem’: Jean Bach On Piano Jazz : NPR

Cover of "A Great Day in Harlem"

Cover of A Great Day in Harlem

Behind ‘A Great Day In Harlem’: Jean Bach On Piano Jazz : NPR.

Icon of the Day – Genre of the Day – Musical

Midweek Music!


This is so illustrative, it is hardly an icon anymore. I guess it reminds me of early 20th century branding graphics. Oh well, still like it.

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