Saturday, 29 December 2007
Thursday, 20 December 2007
Yes, most people I speak to say that this is too much like the music of Yann Tiersen, but that does not negate quality of musicianship or reason for exploration in a similar vein. There's room enough for everybody in Musicland. Saying that,this is a weirdly loose video with only one personality coming through in the band. It makes the me wonder how long they might last before it all starts to sound the same. Nothing new hear in the compositions. I'm patient though.
Posted by Mike Bass at 01:38
Friday, 23 November 2007
'The band features the dueling harmonicas of front-man Wade Schuman and his sparring partner Randy Weinstein, funky tuba powerhouse Joseph Daley, guitarists Michael Gomez and Pete Smith, trumpeter Pam Fleming and drummer Rich Huntley. HAZMAT holds down a smoldering groove behind Schuman’s raspy, bluesy voice and passionately energetic stage presence. (Schuman is one of the most dynamic performers on the New York scene). Their playful blend of genres also extends to their use of instrumentation, including the sheng (the ancient Chinese mouth organ), the unique and odd claviola, and sometimes the cimbalom (the Romanian hammered dulcimer). While they play mostly originals, their cover versions are choice and eclectic, including songs by Slim Gaillard, Jimmy Rogers, Jaybird Coleman, and Irving Berlin.'
Very much influenced by blues harp players like Sonny Boy Williamson, James Cotton and Junior Wells....just an amazing bit of playing.
Friday, 16 November 2007
Raymond Scott and his original music was the nucleus of many a Carl Stalling score for the Warner Brother Shorts during golden age of the classically animated cinematic short. (Bugs Bunny,Porky and Daffy would never have stretched so ridiculously without it.)
This video is a very surreal piece of history; Forget the white guys tap dancing as American Indians and the height of insult to the true American Indian at the time, it's a product of it's Davey Crockett lovin' time. Watching it now is baffling and funny. It also makes me think Raymond's music was under-rated. There is so much more visual potential to discover/utilize with this frantic polka-like music than the Warner toons could have ever realized or afford to produce at the time.
It remains, for some dedicated animator to hit every beat in Raymond's fantastic soundscape of a repetoire and show the world just what a maestro he was.
Monday, 22 October 2007
Monday, 8 October 2007
These three scenes from BBC Northern Irelands Animated series 'On The Air', were part of an animation test I did to show my skills to director Joel Simon at Flickerpix. Had I not other commitments to attend, Joel would have given me the job. I post them here to give them a new home and as a kind of web folio.
Tuesday, 25 September 2007
Wednesday, 5 September 2007
Tuesday, 28 August 2007
Monday, 27 August 2007
Monday, 20 August 2007
Sunday, 5 August 2007
What Passed for TV in the 1970's
Posted by Mike Bass at 16:52
Thursday, 26 July 2007
What follows is an article posted a couple of hours ago on Yahoo. It must be a slow news day:
[NEW YORK (AFP) - He is a two-year-old cat and looks innocent enough. But at the nursing home where he lives in the US state of Rhode Island, Oscar has developed a reputation as an angel of death.
Since being adopted as a kitten by staff at the advanced dementia unit of Providence's Steere House Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Oscar has revealed a rather morbid tendency to pick which patient is going to die next.
According to David Dosa, a geriatrician at Rhode Island Hospital in Providence, Oscar makes regular rounds, looking in on patients and giving them a quick sniff, before either moving on or settling down for a cuddle.
So accurate have his predictions been, that as soon as the white and tabby harbinger of death curls up with one of the patients, staff immediately start summoning family and clergy to the soon-to-be deathbed.
"No one dies on the third floor unless Oscar pays a visit and stays awhile," Dosa wrote in the New England Journal of Medicine.
"His mere presence at the bedside is viewed by physicians and nursing home staff as an almost absolute indicator of impending death, allowing staff members to adequately notify families," he added.
"Thus far, he has presided over the deaths of more than 25 residents."
Dosa did not offer any explanation for Oscar's uncanny powers of prognostication, which patients were not yet believed to have spotted.]
Now I ask myself, what rodent riddled hospital is this that allows a cat to roam it's bacteria encrusted halls? Could it be, I'm just pulling a feather from the sky here when I say, that this cat might just be The Grim Reaper itself? Sure it has a sense of when a patient isn't going to finish his last meal, it's a CAT! It wants the un-touched plate of food! Also, could it not be within the relms of possibility that it carries a plethora of bio hazardous germs on it's merry way from one person's plate to another? Of course grandma is going to feed the kitty the bland gray morsel of pemmican the hospital brashly called low-fat chicken. Just look at the size of this cat. It's a horrendous size! It might be capable of all sorts of lung collapsing foul play as it bats at the intravenous tubes. I've never heard such a ridiculously tall tale being passed off as headline news!
No matter how you look at it, the cat will always get the cream...'cause they're the devil in disguise!
...Aw, isn't he cute!
Wednesday, 25 July 2007
Is this really how Jesus would look the most comfortable on my dashboard? With all the bouncing and bobbing he'd look like he was waiting for you to pass him a ball or throw him a peanut in the shell. He could hold your sunglasses for a while....well, as long as you didn't hit a bump and set him 'a bobbin', risking a swear word or two..."Oh B'jeezez!"
Tuesday, 24 July 2007
Some names of the faces seen in this trailer I don't even know, but I do know who Harry Nilsson was and how great his music was. I'd really like to see this film when It reaches a screen near me. if you are remotely curious, check out the other clips and film on YouTube. It's a pitty he didn't have as many people praising him in his life time, but he was a little busy throwing it all away (along with his great voice)on drugs and booze like many others of his generation. He left a great wealth of work behind though.
Posted by Mike Bass at 21:19
Tewkesbury is the hardest hit place in England with a forecast of more rain very day this week. No fresh water and no electricity in some places. The elderly and infirm are suffering the worst and are being air lifted to safety.
Monday, 23 July 2007
[Speaking after a helicopter visit to the area, Brown linked the floods to climate change and pledged 200 million pounds (298 million euros, 411 million dollars) extra funding, plus a review to address future issues.
"Like every advanced industrialised country, we are coming to terms with the issues surrounding climate change," he said.
Britain was grappling with "19th century structures" and its drainage system would also have to be looked at, he added.
Environment Secretary Hilary Benn said that up to 10,000 homes have been or could still be flooded and warned that the emergency was "not yet over".]
Look! The Prime Minister isn't getting wet. Or was he wet already.
So, there wasn't a plan then. The words of the top scientists weren't enough. Nothing like another review to sort out the problem. Maybe by the time the review is done, Mr. Brown's Environment Secretary and the Environment will have dried up. -Angry Potato
My daughter drew this one day as we sketched at the kitchen table. I have no idea why Christ is tied at the neck. It's labeled with his name too just in case there was the slightest doubt it wasn't who you thought it was.
Sunday, 22 July 2007
Thursday, 19 July 2007
I trace my partial hearing loss in my left ear to the way I was facing the stage back in 1982 when The Who played the CNE Stadium in Toronto. I'm not complaining. It's just that I also had toilet paper stuffed in my ears at the time and it was still very very loud. When I first saw this cartoon, I looked for the toilet paper in Horton's ears. Of course, it wouldn't look as funny with a roll of t-p in each of his ears. Thanks for the picture Boyo.
Wednesday, 18 July 2007
I like what I've heard so far from this eminent release. Very funky indeeeeeed.
Paste these URLs into your browser.
Original News Item follows as stated:
[ASUNCION (AFP) - Paraguay is hoping a small herb that is not trafficked, addictive, or even fattening, could prove to be the real deal that the food industry has been waiting for.
Stevia -- Latin name stevia rebaudiana bertoni -- has been used for centuries by the Guarani native people to sweeten their drinks, being 300 times sweeter than sugar with none of the calories.
The market for stevia has grown in Argentina, Brazil and Ecuador in South America, as well as in China Japan and South Korea, but the US Food and Drug Administration has termed stevia an "unsafe food additive," while the European Union allows its sale only as a food supplement or in cosmetics.
"World demand is enormous," Gonzalez said. "But the sugar lobby wants to stop the importation of this natural, safe, revolutionary product."
Studies at the medical school at the University of Asuncion found stevia had a long list of beneficial properties, being an anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and an anti-bacterial agent useful in the battle against diabetes, high blood pressure and tooth decay.
But it is finding it hard to shake off fears over carcinogens which have dogged its sister, chemically manufactured sweeteners, saccharine and aspartame.
In 10 years, plantations of stevia, which is native to northwest Paraguay, have grown from 350 to 1,500 hectares (865 to 3,700 acres).
Officials hope to increase that 10-fold over the next five years through cloning, which is more effective than planting the seeds.
However, the largest producer of stevia is not Paraguay, but China, which has 20,000 hectares (50,000 acres) under cultivation.
Paraguay's stevia pioneer, the company Emporio Guarani, grows the plant and extracts the sweetener in its plant in Luque, 10 kilometers (six miles) outside Asuncion, and is not worried by China's influence on the market.
"The land of the stevia is right here," said manager Maria Teresa Aguilera, whose phone has not stopped ringing with calls from companies around the globe, following Coca-Cola's announcement.
"Thanks to our climate, we can raise three crops while China grows one," she said.
Besides its claims to safety, stevia has another advantage over aspartame: it is stable to 200 degrees C (390 degrees F) so it can be baked.
A kilogram (2.2 pounds) of stevia crystals, extracted from 12 kilograms (26 pounds) of leaf, is worth 40 to 100 dollars, depending on its purity.
Knowing that Paraguay, half of whose six million inhabitants live in poverty, may be sitting on a gold mine, authorities are now launching a bid to win international recognition as the stevia plant's country of origin.]
So, will this be the start of a global market for Paraguay and pull them out of poverty?
Not if the Cola people can buy up all the land it needs there...Hmm...
Could this eventually parallel the struggle that has gripped the Brazilian rain forest and all it's inhabitants?
-Food For Thought
The art on Hans Bacher's site is a visual treat and there's many fine pieces to view. A Link reference and quote from the Cartoon Brew blog: Art director Hans Bacher (Mulan) has started up an incredible new blog called Animation Treasures. He’s doing the painstaking job of recreating pan backgrounds from classic animated films currently on dvd (mostly Disney ones) to offer a sense of what the original backgrounds looked like before the characters were composited on top. There’s lots of insightful notes to go along with each image. Truly a terrific educational resource that everybody [interested in film composition etc.]should take advantage of.
Find it here: animation-treasures.blogspot.com
Hans hasn't removed every character from some of the screen grabs as scale of the characters is important in the composition of the shots of the Giant's castle. While viewing the art think of the action that is to take place on the artwork and how those areas need to be clear of distracting details and conflicting lines.
Dedini was a Disney artist in the 1940's and contributed a regular strip and images to Playboy in the 60's. He has a great way of saying so much with very few lines. Using a warm sensual pallet for his Playboy images his brushwork was equally as subtle. See more at the Asifa Hollywood Animation Archive.
Tuesday, 17 July 2007
Neko Case has sold a corset she wore in her famous photo shoot with Washington-based photog Victoria Renard on eBay. The corset photo in question was for the Sympathy For The Record Industry calendar photo shoot. Good er,... naughty girl...er, I don't care what she does really, as long as she keeps on singing and recording beautiful music that people still want to pay for. I know I do. She's very easy on the eyes too.
Monday, 16 July 2007
Wil Finn's: Letter from Ward Kimbal-1973:
Any University or Institution of higher learning worth it's 'second mortgage' sized tuition should read this before allowing young artist to follow a button pushing path into the world of animated film. It's robbery, in many ways other than fiscal, to allow a low calibre of gradute for an industry with higher standards. A crisis is brewing in many ways for the grassroots of traditional animation, but talented people will always prevail over the unfortunate ones that can not be 'Jack of all trades". - MB
Posted by Mike Bass at 19:45
Sunday, 15 July 2007
I've just visited this site for the first time today.
You could spend hours of your day reading and viewing all things related to animation art and the people behind the pencils.
Click the The ASIFA-Hollywood Animation Archive Email Newsletter for Hot Link >
Tuesday, 10 July 2007
50 Years since What's Opera Doc was screened for the first time. Chuck Jones' masterpiece holds up rather well. This is the only cartoon I can remember my father laughing uncontrolably at. "Kill the Wabbit" still gets most people laughing or at least smiling with a few extra Jones-like curly-ques in the cheeks.
Mel Blanc is also in fine form, singing in character, adding Bugs' humorous Bronx brogue to crown this operetta's place in film history.
Read the Toronto Star article:
Posted by Mike Bass at 14:05
This one is for Willy...getting carded at your age!
Posted by Mike Bass at 00:42
Sunday, 8 July 2007
Tuesday, 3 July 2007
The Curser Bee. Created at a larger size to maintain detail not many people will care to stop and see. More people should be like a bee and stop and smell the flowers. I bought a crate load of honey this spring in preparation for the hyke in prices following the discovery of empty hives and dead or dieing bees due to a mysterious bee disease that had attacked them over the winter. There were reports of disapeared bees and half pollulated hives. I love honey and think it is one of many gifts Nature gives that we often take for granted. Bee's have such sort lives yet such an important roll in the natural flow of life. A hero of the insect and plant world. The image shows the bee without wings as they animate on another level.
This is the Potato Plant part of the site where links to other sites of interest would appear once the user passed the bubble bee curser over the animated flower buds. The flower would open with a spray of polen and a logo or image from the incoming site would pop up.
Saturday, 23 June 2007
As I seem to be moving in reverse, back from the starting point, I thought I might post the first ever sketch where I imagined what site would look like and how it would function to clarify.
A dark below ground potato world with potato related links and a bright above ground potato plant with links to related outside links.
Thursday, 21 June 2007
Maybe if I changed the background colour it would help AP stand out a bit. I intentionally tried to limit the colour pallet to 4 colours to keep printing costs down...it didn't happen, I used more, with gradiants, plus 4 gray tones...so, it's expensive!
The shirts colour would be integral to it's success.... So much fussing!
Tomorrow, the site plan.
Wednesday, 20 June 2007
Tuesday, 19 June 2007
The angry eye sees ALL! Except the light of day. Created as a link image to a part of the angry-potato site that would hold news and information related to the themes of the day. Most of the themes would be about things to get angry about that take place in the regular news media.
This was the last effort. I kept the TV eyes more worried and less angry than the original sketch. The Potato had to be the angriest in the picture. The sketch was then scanned and imported into Freehand. (I miss freehand Mr. Adobe) If you'd like to own one of these T-Shirts, say so in a comment. They may be availible if enough people want one. I know I'd like one.
First step, the concept sketch. The idea on paper. A potato, angry about being a couch potato, standing on a pile of remote controls. Take action over complacency! Don't watch, take part. Both messages to myself than to anyone in particular.