Thursday, November 29, 2012

Somnabulists Alarm logo

Well You're 3 Times 7 Baby and You Know Just What To Do...

I watched the season finale of the show Treme last night and I've had Professor Longhair's song Tipitina pumping through my brain all day.

Apparently the Library of Congress selects 25 recordings a year and declares them national treasures and in 2010 they picked Tipitina to grace the list.  The soothsayers over at the Library of Congress said the song is the,  "signature distillation of the musical ideas and personality" of Professor Longhair.  Couldn't agree more.

I love how the song takes a little while to get rolling, kind of like it is casting around looking for the right hook to take, but when it finds it, it rolls hard.


Pinball Art

Artist Sam Van Dorn creates posters from the trajectories of the pinball's movements.

Check out the rest.   

Friday, November 23, 2012

Hey Hey Woody Guthrie

Woody Guthrie's influence on Bob Dylan really cannot be understated.  This is a pretty good example of Dylan paying a tribute to someone who was clearly one of his heros.

This first song is a ballad written by Woody about the Italian Hall Massacre.  On Christmas Eve 1913 in the Calumet, Michigan Italian Hall, more than 500 striking miners and their families had gathered to celebrate the holiday on the second floor, at some point in the party someone yelled "Fire" causing a stampede to the only narrow stairway that led outside.  Death and destruction ensued.  Of the 73 people who died, 59 were children and most galling of all; there was no fire.  It is believed that the person who yelled fire was an ally of mine management who's intent was to disrupt the party.  Woody Tells it better than I can.

And the tribute to Woody, and one of my favorite Dylan songs.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

More thoughts on Hostess (or why are the unions stealing my childhood?)

Back when I was in high school I was on the swim team and occasionally we would have to practice over our spring break.  When we would, we would practice in the mornings as opposed to the afternoons like we did when school was in session.  After practice we would go by the nearby deli and get "The Breakfast of champions" which was orange flavored Gatorade and Suzy Q's.  They're kind of like chocolate Twinkies but probably with more sugar.  Sadly, they never had baseball cards in them when I would get them.  I guess that must have gone out of style about the same time Reggie Jackson stopped playing for the Yankees.  You suckers up in Boston were probably hoping for the "Dewey" Evens cahds.


Now...this whole Twinkies thing is probably going to be the touchstone of this new political era.  I'm kind of surprised that Scott Walker, the Kock Bros. and Fat Rush Limbo haven't jumped on this to make political hay while the sun is shining. You know, those damn pinko bakers unions are holding your childhood memories hostage demanding that their workers be given some sort of power against big business.  We're America...they can have my Twinkies when they pry them from my cold dead hands.  When will they send in the Pinkertons to reclaim your right to eat junk and to rescue Twinkie "The Kid" from those greedy bakery worker unions?

Meanwhile.  What does it mean when even Forbes Magazine says that Hostess's downfall is a failure of management? And what is going to happen to the Twinkie Defense?

Oh...and Funny Bones...Both Funny and Boney.

A Bienial Tradition... ruined?

So. Hostess went under but I wasn't worried because even as a child a creme filled sponge didn't appeal to me and besides they don't make Funny Bones. Only Drake's makes Funny Bones, so my biannual tradition actually finding and then indulging in a single packet of Funny Bones is safe for now... right?...

...An overheard whisper last Saturday...

...A google search Sunday morning...



Hostess owned Drakes!!! But where am I going to get my 5g of Saturated fat in a single, glorious, fake peanut butter filled, snaking? This cannot be...

Now I know what you're saying. Canada still has their Hostess factories running and can't wait to add these manufactured snacks to their chief American exports (alongside comedians, hockey players, apologies, and Bryan Adams). And yes according to rumors Mexico is willing to take up the slack in the can-survive-a-nuclear-holocaust-cakes department. But let's be serious. Nobody besides me really ate Funny Bones and I only had them but once every two years. Twinkies, Ding Dongs and Wonderbread will continue to thrive. My Funny Bones are screwed.

Luckily in researching this article I came across this gem...

Did Ingmar Bergman direct this? I am pretty creeped out here and I made it all the way through Hour of the Wolf. My craving for confection is fleeing out the window, I think I'll be OK.

P.S. Funny Bones are neither Funny nor Bones... Discuss.

The Bus Came by and I Got On

For those interested in the more cultural angle of LSD use, I'd suggest the book, "The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test" chronicling writer Tom Wolfe's (of the "Right Stuff" and "Bonfire of the Vanities" fame) time spent with Ken Kesey (of "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" fame) and his Merry Pranksters as they traversed the country in their day-glo, wound for sound, International Harvester Bus named FURTHER...norming out some freaks for sure.  I haven't read it since 1994, but I'm sure it holds up.
international harvester bus

The video above is supposedly from one of the "Acid Tests" sponsored, if you will, by Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters.  Aside from the Grateful Dead, the dude about half way through the video with a huge cigarette (?) was Jack Kerouac's "On the Road" traveling companion and steadfast driver of "FURTHER," Neal Cassady...Stay tuned for the "On the Road" movie later this year (mgt. not sure how I feel about the movie, I smell failure...but since it stars k-stew, I know some people who are going to get behind it.)

A quick trip down memories lane...

Pardon the pun...

On April 19, 1943 (celebrated as bicycle day by some), Albert Hoffman ingested LSD and after feeling strange and dizzy he decided to have his friend take him home.  They left via bicycle. 

Albert Hoffman writes about this experience in his book “MyProblem Child: Reflections on sacred drugs, mysticism and science.” 

A few other books on LSD: 
Storming Heaven” by Jay Stevens is one of the better histories of LSD in the United States. 

For a History of LSD use and research across the pond, check out “Albion Dreaming” by Andy Roberts.  (For the record, I just got this book and am only several chapters deep, but it is pretty well written and researched.)
Also currently reading “Acid dreams; the complete social history of LSD: The CIA, the Sixties and Beyond.”  by Martin A Lee and Bruce Shlain, which covers the interesting history of that the CIA had with LSD (codenamed: MKULTRA). 

From Time magazine: 
“…the MK-ULTRA program, which ran from 1953 to 1964, SF Weekly fully exposes the bizarre world of the CIA’s unethical drug tests.  The utterly-unbelievable-but-true story involved using hookers to lure in unwitting johns for undisclosed testing, narcotics agents who slipped drugs into drinks, and a U.S. marshal who held up a San Francisco bar not knowing he was high on acid.”

Read more: "The Legacy of the CIA's Secret LSD Experiments on Americans" by Maia Szalavitz 

Friday, November 16, 2012

On This Date

1936 - lysergic acid diethylamide 25 was synthesized by chemist Albert Hoffman at the Sandoz laboratories in Switzerland.  This is just a SMALL sample of what life after acid looks and sounds like...


Superman (1941)

A quick cartoon break from 

Recently Inspired pt. 2

Some of the videos found on the Focus Forward Film Competition are pretty amazing.  I am amazed that some of these ideas have to beg for funding.  I'm a bit skeptical that the competition is run by GE.  Pretty awesome stuff though.  Here are a few of my favorites (have not watched them all yet): 

Build yourself. | Tristan Copley Smith from Focus Forward Films on Vimeo.

Black Girls Code | Shanice Johnson from Focus Forward Films on Vimeo.

"Energy Waste" Recycling | Eugene Dyachkov & Ilya Belov from Focus Forward Films on Vimeo.

A Glacier in the Desert | Marco Della Coletta & Zoe D'Amaro from Focus Forward Films on Vimeo.

Recently inspired?

The Rolling Jubilee

"Rolling Jubilee is a Strike Debt project that buys debt for pennies on the dollar, but instead of collecting it, abolishes it. Together we can liberate debtors at random through a campaign of mutual support, good will, and collective refusal. Debt resistance is just the beginning. Join us as we imagine and create a new world based on the common good, not Wall Street profits."

At this point they have raised about 300,000 dollars, which they can use to buy about 6 million dollars worth of debt, which they are going to just forgive.  


Huffington Post Article
What is a jubilee?
Jubilee comes from many faith traditions including Judaism, Christianity and Islam. A jubilee is an event in which all debts are cancelled and all those in bondage are set free. It worked in Biblical times and it can still work today. For example, a kind of jubilee happened in Iceland after the 2008 economic crisis: instead of bailing out their banks, Iceland canceled a percentage of mortgage debt. What these examples show is that debts are just a promise which can - and should - be renegotiated or cancelled when the circumstances warrant. Strike Debt believes that now is the time for a jubilee for the 99%.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Sunday, November 11, 2012

an old school comercial break

And now a brief message from our sponsers. A collection of old toy commercials.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Movie Topic: "My Favorite...I Don't Know What"

It's not a guilty pleasure because I genuinely think it's good. It's not underrated because, my opinion not withstanding, I recognize it's not the greatest movie ever. But Volunteers (1985) somehow holds an undefined place in my heart.

It was a sit down and watch with the family movie when I was younger and I just watched it last week with my wife for the first time in years and still enjoy it. It stars a pre-"Big"/post-"Splash" Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson, John Candy and Gedde Watanabe (aka the Donger) who are all being closely watched by the Commies, the Black Marketeer and the CIA as they attempt to build a bridge in southeast asia... hilariousness ensues.

Tom Hanks recently did an interview on the Nerdist podcast that clocked in at over an hour where he talked about damn near every movie he ever made except for this one. Why is this so?

I release this movie unto you fine gentlemen. Is it a well kept secret or appropriately lost in the annals of movie history?

I offer you up this brief clip to either differ you away or get you to watch.

Died On This Date

John Milton - 

 Paradise Lost

“So shall the world go on,
To good malignant, to bad men benign,
Under her own weight groaning.”  Paradise Lost

Norman Rockwell - 

During World War I, he tried to enlist into the U.S. Navy but was refused entry because, at 6 feet (1.83 m) tall and 140 pounds (64 kg), he was eight pounds underweight. To compensate, he spent one night gorging himself on bananas, liquids and doughnuts, and weighed enough to enlist the next day. However, he was given the role of a military artist and did not see any action during his tour of duty.

Norman Rockwell.jpgnorman rockwell painting

James Booker -

Booker was the son and grandson of Baptist ministers, both of whom played the piano. He spent most of his childhood on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, where his father pastored a church. Booker received a saxophone as a gift from his mother, but he demonstrated a stronger interest in the keyboard. He first played organ in his father's churches.
After returning to New Orleans in his early adolescence, Booker attended the Xavier Academy Preparatory School. He learned some elements of his keyboard style from Tuts Washington and Edward Frank.[1] Booker was highly skilled in classical music and played Bach and Chopin, among other composers. He also mastered and memorized solos by Erroll Garner, and Liberace. His thorough background in piano literature may have enabled his original and virtuosic interpretations of jazz and other popular music. These performances combined elements of stride, blues, gospel and Latin piano styles...he enrolled as an undergraduate in Southern University's music department. In 1960, Booker's "Gonzo" reached number 43 on the U.S. Billboard chart, and number 3 on the R&B chart. This was followed by some moderately successful singles. In the 1960s, he turned to drugs, and in 1970 served a brief sentence in Angola Prison for possession.

On This Date

1519 - Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortes entered the Aztec city of Tenochtitlan.

1923 - 600 SA surrounded the beer hall and a machine gun was set up in the auditorium. Hitler and his associates walked through a beer hall in Munich. He fired a shot into the ceiling and shouted,"The national revolution has broken out! The hall is filled with six hundred men. Nobody is allowed to leave." He then said the Bavarian government was deposed and declared the formation of a new government
1936 - Now, instead of conquering foreign indigenous peoples, the Spanish were fighting among themselves.  20,000 Francoist soldiers attempted to take Madrid, but were rebuffed.  Although not able to get into the city itself, they were able to lay siege on Madrid for three years, beginning on November 8th.


1971 - Led Zeppelin releases "Led Zeppelin IV"

Are You a Part of the Bewildered Heard?

Documentary on our Ethos

"Our Ethos is all that we currently hold to be true. It is what we act upon. It governs our manners, our business and our politics."

Howard Zinn

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Died On This Date

I Feel Like Steve McQueen, The Former Movie Star...


In 1947, McQueen joined the United States Marine Corps and was quickly promoted to Private First Class and assigned to an armored unit.[6] Initially, he reverted to his prior rebelliousness, and as a result was demoted to private seven times. He went AWOL (absent without leave) by failing to return after a weekend pass had expired. He instead stayed away with a girlfriend for two weeks, until the shore patrol caught him. He resisted arrest and as a result spent 41 days in the brig.[6] After this, McQueen resolved to focus his energies on self-improvement and embraced the Marines' discipline. He saved the lives of five other Marines during an Arctic exercise, pulling them from a tank before it broke through ice into the sea.[6] He was also assigned to an honor guard responsible for guarding then-U.S. President Harry Truman's yacht.[6] McQueen served until 1950 when he was honorably discharged.

Here in "The Great Escape" as "The Cooler King"

Here in Bullit as Lieutenant Frank Bullit                

And a play off of 'a different kind of miles'

Strange that Peter Weller was brought up in that article (  I watched this interview with him yesterday on

A Different Kind of Miles

Someone posted in Ferrari Chat that Miles Davis had fallen asleep at the wheel and stuffed his Lambo. I was there and responded.
There was a bit more to it than that. He didn't fall asleep at the wheel. He tried to make a right angle turn at 60 mph from the left lane of the West side Highway to the 125 ST exit across three lanes of traffic. He didn't make it. He hit the WPA Stone exit ramp and the Lime Green Miura came apart like Brazilian plywood in the rain. I pulled over and ran back to his car. He was wearing leather pants and the bones of both of his legs were sticking through the pants. He was bleeding badly.
He looked at me and said: " Is my car ****ed up?" I told him the car was gone. He said: " I got to take a look." I told him both legs were broken and he wasn't going anywhere. I ripped up a shirt I found on the floor and told him to hold the cloth over the bleeding with pressure as it was getting bad but not arterial. There were two large plastic bags filled with white powder on the floor and one had broken open. The interior was dusted. I grabbed the bags and ran to the sewer and chucked them. He screamed: "What the **** you doing????" I used rain water to wipe down the car as best as I could.
The cops arrived. One of them asked me who I was. I told them just one of the guys he cut off. He looked at Miles and at me and told me to split.
Years later I was directing "Shakedown" with Peter Weller. Weller liked Miles's music and I told him that story. One night he went to hear Miles. He went back stage where Miles recognized him. "Hey Robo" Peter told him the story and asked if it was true.
Miles got real quiet and said: " I always wondered who that White Mother ****er was. You thank him for me and tell him to come by anytime."
Miles was in the hospital for a long time and didn't play for almost a year. He did make hours of basement tapes which he gave to Sal. One day maybe we'll release them but they're pretty raw...

This story originally appeared on the P4/5 Competizione Facebook page on June 20th, 2012 and was republished with permission.


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

A Different Kind of Blue- Miles Davis

A different kind of blue

Miles Davis

Found this sweet telegram floating about the internet...

“Miles just called and said that he wants this album to be titled:
“Bitches Brew”
Please advise.”

Close up of image:


...So, I figured I would do a whole post-like thing around it.

 “In honor of the 40th anniversary of the original release of Bitches Brew, Miles Davis' 1970 paradigm-shifting landmark fusion breakthrough, we've created our own Bitches Brew -- a bold, dark beer that's a fusion of three threads of imperial stout and one thread of honey beer with gesho root. It's a gustatory analog to Miles' masterpiece.”

Part 1 of 3

Part 2 of 3

Part 3 of 3

Not sure who this is or who sculpted it, but I dig it.

Smack my priest up.

Unexpected ring tone from a Greek Orthodox Priest.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Don't you remember? - and more variations on a theme

'Pope Burning' aka 'Bonfire Day' on the Fifth of November:.

John Lennon references the Fifth of November at the end of his song 'Remember', and then ends the song with an explosion::

Don't you remember? - More variations on the theme

Anonymous marks the fifth of November with protests and cyber attacks...


"A worldwide day of protests and cyber attacks against governments, banks and security firms has been launched by Hacker collective Anonymous to mark Guy Fawkes Day. Hundreds of people marched in London, while another rally hit Washington, DC."

Don't you remember? - Variations on a theme

A little bit of the History behind the British celebrations of the Fifth of November.

The more recent pop culture references (from the Time Warner movie, V for Vendetta):

Which has lead to the mask being the symbol of the hacker group Anonymous ( and also with the occupy wall street protests (

And I will finish this very long post with a link to a brief article concerning the art side of the mask...

Don't You Remember?

Remember, remember the Fifth of November,
The Gunpowder Treason and Plot,
I know of no reason
Why the Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot.
Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes, t'was his intent
To blow up the King and Parli'ment.
Three-score barrels of powder below
To prove old England's overthrow;
By God's providence he was catch'd
With a dark lantern and burning match.
Holla boys, Holla boys, let the bells ring.
Holloa boys, holloa boys, God save the King!
And what should we do with him? Burn him!


Sunday, November 4, 2012

Mathilda, I Cried And Cried For You

Cookie and the Cupcakes may just be the greatest name for a band ever.  This song pretty much slays it too.  Only hit #47 on the Billboard charts in 1959 though.

Died On This Date

Buddy Bolden -

was an African-American cornetist and is regarded by contemporaries as a key figure in the development of a  style of ragtime music, which later came to be known as jazz
He was known as King Bolden, and his band was a top draw in New Orleans from about 1900 until 1907, when he was incapacitated by schizophrenia. He left no known surviving recordings, but he was known for his very loud sound and constant improvisation. (wikipedia)

The great Jelly Roll Morton playing "Buddy Bolden's Blues" aka "Funky Butt"

Denton True "Cy" Young -

On September 23, 1993, a statue dedicated to him was unveiled by Northeastern University on the site of the Red Sox's original stadium, the Huntington Avenue Grounds. It was there that Young had pitched the first game of the 1903 World Series, as well as the first perfect game in the modern era of baseball. A home plate-shaped plaque next to the statue reads:

 "On October 1, 1903 the first modern World Series between the American League champion Boston Pilgrims (later known as the Red Sox) and the National League champion Pittsburgh Pirates was played on this site. General admission tickets were fifty cents. The Pilgrims, led by twenty-eight game winner Cy Young, trailed the series three games to one but then swept four consecutive victories to win the championship five games to three."