|A comic strip about the current influx of New Beer Halls. Currently appearing in the latest issue of Ale Street News.|
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Friday, March 26, 2010
Friday, July 17, 2009
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
This comic strip is about my other website, The Beer Alert Page, which provides a quick rundown on draft selections at bars that are in the NYC area. There is a particularly busy thriving beer bars scene happening in my immediate neighborhood, the Northern Brooklyn area of Greenpoint/Williamsburg. Anyway, here is a quick run down on the site.
Sunday, October 7, 2007
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Monday, September 10, 2007
One of the odder Bob Dylan covers. This is by Pete Drake and His Talking Steel Guitar. Drake was a very popular session musician in Nashville in the 50's and sixties. He developed a "voice tube" which he used on this recording. Sounds a bit like Hal from 2001 is singing Dylan. This is from the CD For Pete's Sake from King, which is still available.
I want to put more music up on this blog sometime, but I have to find a good place to store the files.
Saturday, September 8, 2007
This post is part of the First Annual 2007 Slapstick Blog-a-thon organized by Film of the Year.
About a year ago Looser Than Loose released their “Ham, The Lost Magic of Lloyd Hamilton” DVD set. I purchased it as soon as it came out, and at the time, I posted a review on Alt.Movies.Silent and later on at silentcomedians.com.. With the Slapstick Blog-a-Thon weekend going on, I figured it was time to post it here, something I had been planning to do for quite some time anyway. And this time I can add some screen captures.
Now as to the films themselves...well, Ham and Bud is still far from my favorite comedy team. Often the ideas behind the shorts are funny, often in a very sick way (The SAUSAGE FACTORY and PHONE CANNIBAL especially) but they do not seem especially well done, and Hamilton had not really found an interesting character. It was nice to see enough of them together that I had some kind of feel for the films but if this was all Hamilton had made we wouldn’t have much reason to remember him today. Aside from the two mentioned above, I also liked LOVE MAGNET, which was very absurd...an inventor creates a magnet which makes Women chase after the possessor. Ham and Bud each get one, and there is a chase seen where women from all over chase after the two of them. It almost seems like a precursor for the climax of SEVEN CHANCES.
The discs 2 and 3 as mentioned contain solo starring shorts. Disc 2 contains 3 complete 2 reelers, JONAH JONES, CAREFUL PLEASE and NOBODY’S BUSINESS. It also contains the first reel of an incomplete short NOTHING MATTERS, and a bonus Ham and Bud short. The 2 reelers are very funny, with a unique sense of humor and personality. I especially like the early scenes of Hamilton as a bill collector in CAREFUL PLEASE and the wonderful NOBODY”S BUSINESS, which begins with a very funny gag with Hamilton unknowingly walking around with a clothes rack attached to his coat (later borrowed by Dick Van Dyke for his silent comedy tribute, THE COMIC) and the spectacular lunch wagon/roller coaster scene which raps up the film. There is also as an extra the first reel of a short called NOTHING MATTERS, which ends abruptly just about the time Anita Garvin appears, unfortunately. Also as an extra is another Ham & Bud short.
Disk 3 includes the 2 reel surviving version of the feature film HIS DARKER SELF, which frankly is not very good. Then there is another superb short, CRUSHED, which has some wonderful scenes on a subway. After this there is MOVE ALONG, which is a great short as mentioned before, but unfortunately they did not have access to a good print, or even a bad one, and had to use a video source, so the picture quality is pretty low. There are extras of another, short fragment, HOOKED, and another Ham & Bud short.
Disk 4 includes talkie shorts. Hamilton is funny, and his voice is fine, but the storylines and gags are for the most part pretty weak, though there is some nice double exposure trick photography in DON”T BE NERVOUS. Also a Hollywood on Parade short featuring Hamilton as an extra, and another Ham and Bud Short.
Disk 5 is all extras....including 2 complete Ham and Bud shorts, the fragment of another, fragments of 2 solo starting shorts and a press sheet, a glass slide show and a photo gallery of Ham’s films. There is also an audio recording of the Lloyd Hamilton them played by Ben Model. Anyway, summing up the whole thing is a very nice package. There remains some highly-regarded solo shorts that still have to be issued (THE VAGRANT, A TWILIGHT BABY, GOOD MORNING) so we can hope there will be more DVDs later on. Also, hopefully Grapevine may see put to reissue the Hamilton shorts they had in VHS on better DVD copies.
At any rate, it is great to see the amazing quantity of silent materials that have beencoming out from different companies the last few years: Kino, Image/David Shepard, Lobster, Milestone, Laughsmith, ReelClassicDVD, Unknown Video, Sunrise) and now it’s a pleasure to add Looser Than Loose to the list. I never would’ve imagined 4 or 5 years ago that I would have multi-disc DVD sets of Charley Bowers, Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle, and Lloyd Hamilton!
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
More on Milt Gross. The link below takes you directly to the great ASIFA-Hollywood Animation Archive. They have a complete copy of a wonderful booklet that Milt Gross did for the New York World's Fair in 1939. This is the cover, but to enjoy the full tour guide, click here. To check the main site, click on our links.
Sunday, September 2, 2007
This weird animated film, starring Billy Bletcher, has been listed in various resources as having a date of 1928, 1934, and 1948. I have no idea which is right, but it is so weird it is timeless! I got this link from the Liketelevision website. The player is a little wacky.
LikeTelevision Embed Movies and TV Shows
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Sunday, August 26, 2007
Friday, August 24, 2007
It is always interesting to me how you can make use of some of the latest technology to access older media and technology. I love to watch DVDs of silent movies...in fact, there are more silent films in circulation now then there were when I was first interested in them 30 years or so ago. And with a DVD you get a nice soundtrack and if appropriate, color tints for no extra cost, unlike film prints from back then.
Another new way of accessing old Americana that I've just been getting into recent is Pandora.com, the free Radio station (or should I say stations) from the Music Genome Project. You type in a artist or a song you like, and the huge database of music, categorized in many different ways, is searched for songs that would make a good match as a streaming radio station. After this, you can add additional songs or artists as guidelines (they are called "seeds") and you also can give a thumbs up to especially appropriate song choices and thumbs down to songs that don't belong on that station. In addition, once you've created a few stations, you can instead of giving a simple thumbs down to a song, redirect it by saying, no it belongs on this other station.
A few hours of obsessive categorization in this manner, and you have all sorts of idiosyncratic stations to listen to. Today, as noted below, I have been listening boogie-woogie piano all day, yesterday I was listening to some country blues, some jazz guitar, and various old, weird, pre-blues musics. There are links at right to the stations I have set up so far, in about 4 or 5 days. You can listen to them without signing up, if you want to create your own stations, you have to sign up, but there is no charge.
I am finding it well worth while and am really enjoying listening to it. There are some styles of music I'd like to find more of, but the database is growing (over half a million songs so far), so I am hopeful it can continue. And if your taste in music is not as antiquarian and obscure as mine, I'm guessing you will have better luck finding stuff you like.
For what it's worth, this is an endorsement!