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Forget the ‘Monster Mash’ the ‘Dracula Cha-Cha’ is where it’s at!
10.10.2017
10:39 am
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A colorized image of Bela Lugosi as “Dracula” by artist Micah Carey.
 
Well, it’s that time of year again when most of us turn our attention to all things Halloween, including yours truly. So, to get you in the spirit of the season, let’s learn a little bit about an Italian cat by the name of Bruno Martino. The jazz composer, piano player, and crooner who gave us the musical gift that is the “Dracula Cha-Cha” (also known as the “Dracula Cha-Cha-Cha”).

For most of his career, Martino played the nightclub circuit in Europe and wrote music for other performers. His 1960 song “Estate” would bring him his greatest success and was covered by the likes of jazz trumpeter Chet Baker and Shirley Horn. Though for my money Martino’s jam about the Prince of Darkness and everybody’s favorite blood-sucker Dracula, the “Dracula Cha-Cha” is Mr. Martino’s crowning achievement. Martino wrote the bouncy number along with Bruno Brighetti, and it is quite the earworm. The song is said to have inspired the bonkers 1998 novel by author Kim Newman, Dracula Cha-Cha-Cha (the third book of Newman’s “Anno Dracula” series) which reveals a wild reality where Dracula was never killed by Dr. Van Helsing. The groovy tune has also been covered by a long list of other musicians including experimental Australian band The Tango Saloon with the fucking glorious vocals of Mike Patton on their 2008 album appropriately titled Transylvania.

I’ve included images of various album covers for Martino’s “Dracula Cha-Cha” as well as his original 1960 version of the song. I’ve also posted The Tango Saloon/Mike Patton version below because it rules and let’s face it, Patton is God. Dig it, ghouls.
 

 

 
Much more after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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10.10.2017
10:39 am
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Tattoo tights: Have beautiful decorated legs without getting tattoos
10.10.2017
10:02 am
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If you’ve always wanted to sport an elaborate tattoo on your leg but don’t want to commit to one (or several), Etsy shop Tattoo Socks has the perfect no fuss solution: Sheer or colored, handmade tights with beautiful prints on ‘em that look a lot like tattoos. I dig them.

I picked the ones I liked, but there are so many more to choose from on Tattoo Socks. I also noticed they’re currently having a sale until October 25th. Right now the majority of the tights are selling for $24.07. Not too shabby. They might make a good addition to your Halloween costume or even your regular wardrobe.


 

 

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Tara McGinley
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10.10.2017
10:02 am
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‘All I See Are Monsters’: Amusing Polaroids of imaginary creatures in everyday surroundings
10.10.2017
09:14 am
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‘Can we eat it?’
 
We all know monsters are everywhere, don’t we? It’s not just at Halloween that monsters like to creep out from under the bed, or crawl up from the depths of that dark, dank cellar, to scare the bejesus out of people. Monsters are everywhere—but we just have to know where to look.

Artist, illustrator, and purveyor of fine goods, Martin Grubb likes to imagine monsters are all around us too. So much so, it inspired Mr. Grubb to create All I See Are Monsters, a series of fabulous Polaroid photographs of just what some of these imaginary beasts might just look like and what they might be up to.

Grubb creates his pictures at his home in Glasgow. He starts off by photographing himself with whatever props he has to hand. “I then use Photoshop,” Grubb tells Dangerous Minds, “to add monsters with the idea that monsters are all around us but go mostly unseen.”

Some of these creatures are far closer than we may like to think.

“Some people have monsters inside,” says Grubb, “these monsters can be destructive or a hindrance but maybe some can be of comfort.”

Apart from creating works of monstrous beauty, Grubb also runs an independent art boutique and gallery supporting local and worldwide artists, illustrators, and jewelry-makers called The Shop of Interest. If this tickles your fancy (and why wouldn’t it?), then you can see more of the talented Mr. Grubb’s work at Grubby Arts or visit his boutique gallery here.
 
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‘Bandmates.’
 
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‘Why can’t I be Batman?’
 
More Grubby monsters, after the jump…

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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10.10.2017
09:14 am
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The story behind the infamous ‘Just You’ song from ‘Twin Peaks’
10.09.2017
11:58 am
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David Lynch has always had an ear for an arresting tune—indeed, they feature in just about all of his most appreciated works—think of “In Heaven (Lady in the Radiator Song)” in Eraserhead, “Blue Velvet” and “In Dreams” in Blue Velvet, the Spanish version of Roy Orbison’s “Crying” in Mulholland Drive, and so on.

Angelo Badalamenti has been Lynch’s music collaborator ever since Blue Velvet. His brilliant, moody theme music for Twin Peaks catapulted him into public recognition, although it was actually Lynch himself who composed one of the most controversial musical pieces in the director’s oeuvre, ironically the one bit of music that may have made some fans curse Badalamenti—I refer to the creepy, doomy music heard in the lengthy “Pink Room” scene in Fire Walk With Me (which was unfortunately rendered well-nigh incomprehensible because the music drowned out the dialogue).

Those who stuck with the TV series through its second season were rewarded with one of the show’s most indelible and controversial moments in the second episode (titled “Coma”) when James Hurley (James Marshall) and two young women he’s involved with, Donna Hayward (Lara Flynn Boyle) and Maddy Ferguson (Sheryl Lee, who also played the iconic Laura Palmer), convene in the Haywards’ living room to “work on” a new song. The song is purest 1957, right down to the downright peculiar falsetto work by James, and sparks fly when during the song, Donna notices the intensity of the interactions between Maddy and James and leaves the room. (Have you learned nothing, Donna? Never yield the field of battle to your opponent!)

This scene has probably resulted in more derision than any other scene in Twin Peaks—although a lot of Twin Peaks fans really dig it. It’s so artificial and over-the-top that it’s impossible to take at face value. But give Lynch credit—only he could come up with a scene as magnificently static and “off” and yet so wonderfully resonant. The sickly saccharine quality of the song matched to the all-too-real drama the characters are experiencing…. it’s so Lynchian it hurts.

How did the scene come about? Remarkably, it was the product of a hasty songwriting session on the set that took place quite shortly before shooting the scene. As James Marshall explained at the Twin Peaks Festival in 2013, “I play guitar a lot and I used to bring my guitar to the set. ... David Lynch heard about it and said, ‘Would you be comfortable doing a song on the show?’”

So Marshall and Badalamenti and Lynch met on the set of the Hayward home, where the scene would eventually be shot, to compose a Fifties pastiche on the fly, presumably while a million other things are going on around them. Here’s a loose transcription of Marshall’s account (some verbal filler removed, tightened in places):
 

The day rolls around and I go up to the set like he asked me to, Angelo’s standing there—it was the Hayward house because there was an upright piano in it, so we got to use the piano to write. So he goes, “What is the vibe that you want to do?” And I said, “Well, the vibe of the whole series is timeless? But it—we don’t want to go Fifties, but almost a little Fifties sort of feel? When I think of Fifties, we could do a doowop kind of feel, but make it falsetto doowop but almost Beatles falsetto doowop, we’re not going to “sha na na” or whatever, make it something etheric [prob. “ethereal”]. They go, “What song?” and Angelo starts messing around on the keyboards. I go, “No, not fast, let’s go slow.” All three of us have this banter back and forth of how the song should go. Angelo said name a song because David was stuck. ... So I go, “When I think of Fifties I think of ‘Only You.’” ... that real romantic, over-the-top, shredding keyboards almost to distortion. Bowie’s good at that, old Bowie stuff. Right? So I go, “It can’t be that, but that vibe.” And Angelo goes, “Got it!”

 
You should click on the video below and hear Marshall’s account for yourself, it’s very engaging (and starts around the 4:45 mark).

One of the more unexpected aspects of Twin Peaks: The Return was the prominence of the Renault family’s Roadhouse. In the final section of most of the new episodes (of which there were 18), the action would move to the tavern venue where (in completely random fashion, honestly) a remarkable array of prominent musical performers would appear and do a song, including such stalwarts as Rebekah Del Rio, Au Revoir Simone, Sharon Van Etten, and (most surprising of all) Nine Inch Nails.
 

Twin Peaks (Music From the Limited Event Series)
 
Just as the viewers had gotten used to all manner of musical stars improbably trekking all the way to southern Washington state for a special intimate gig, episode 13 surprised the Twin Peaks faithful by getting James Hurley/Marshall and two backup singers on the stage for a special rendition of Twin Peaks’ most cloyingly controversial song: “Just You.” You can hear it below.

One of the more glittering vinyl offerings this year is the 2LP soundtrack for Twin Peaks: The Return, which contains all of the songs played at the Roadhouse during the 2017 episodes, also known as “Season 3.”
 

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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10.09.2017
11:58 am
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Wonderfully clever ‘Sexy Halloween Costume Packaging’ Halloween costume
10.09.2017
10:25 am
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This costume idea is not the newest, but I don’t give a hoot, it still cracks me up.

Last year someone going by “thekruger” on Instagram put together this highly clever costume, which is ... the packaging of a “sexy” Halloween costume, which obviously involves thigh-high stockings because you know it’s not possible for a woman to don a Halloween costume without catering to the male gaze somehow.

The packaging is a perfect reproduction of whatever you’d find at your local Halloween shop (in Manhattan people rely on Ricky’s). Bonus points for using the ridiculous parody “Sexy Potato” costume packaging in the art of the costume.

I even like the title of their Tumblr, which is “What Is This I Don’t Even.”

Bravo!
 

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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10.09.2017
10:25 am
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That time when Ozzy Osbourne licked peanut butter off of Annette Funicello’s finger, 1989
10.09.2017
09:54 am
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One of the most famous Mouseketeers ever, Annette Funicello offering Ozzy Osbourne some Skippy peanut butter.
 
As documented in the 1992 book by super-groovy groupie Pamela Des Barres Take Another Little Piece of My Heart: A Groupie Grows Up, Des Barres brought the unlikely coupling of Ozzy Osbourne and Annette Funicello together for an interview and photoshoot in 1989. The wild concept for the bizarre meeting was the idea of publisher and entrepreneur Quay Hayes—a friend of Des Barres who was getting ready to launch Twist Magazine. Sadly, the magazine never saw the light of day, though the images from the photo session did as well as a few juicy tidbits from the interview between Ozz and Annette.

According to Des Barres, the two traded questions during which Funicello drilled Ozzy on his drug use and issues with addiction—something most rock journalists steered clear of back in the day. In what was perhaps a way to throw Funicello off of her game, Ozzy countered by asking the then 47-year-old former Mouseketeer if her beloved Walt Disney had really been frozen which made Funicello cry. Interestingly, a year later Funicello would defend Ozzy’s misunderstood 1980 classic “Suicide Solution” in an interview with her beach-blanket buddy, Frankie Avalon saying that the song didn’t advocate suicide but was instead trying to convey situations or “conditions” under which a teenager might take their own lives.

The other weird thing I dug up about Ozzy and Annette’s get-together are the claims of a man who says he’s Funicello’s son. J.P. Moss (also known as Jason Paul Moss) wrote the 2105 book Beyond Magic Gates: An Unauthorized Biography of Annette Funicello which details his allegation that he was abducted in 1970 from the hospital after Funicello gave birth to him, and it’s a typo-riddled read, I’ll just say that much. As it relates to this post, Moss uploaded a video on YouTube where he tries to debunk Funicello and Ozzy’s meeting calling it a “conspiracy.” The “conspiracy” in question involved the Mafia and Sharon Osbourne’s father, the infamous Don Arden. Moss says that Funicello deliberately lied about the timeframe about meeting Ozzy in her own 1995 autobiography, A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes: My Story because Don Arden told her to. I’ve posted Moss’ video below as well as a few photos that support the fact that Ozzy and Annette were in the same room together at the same time and that Annette’s favorite peanut butter, Skippy, was involved.
 

Funicello and a shirtless Ozzy Osbourne.
 

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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10.09.2017
09:54 am
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High Anxiety: The surreal & disturbingly dreamlike paintings of George Tooker
10.09.2017
12:44 am
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‘Children and Spastics’ (1946).
 
Looking at George Tooker’s painting “Subway” (1950), with its central figure of a woman (possibly pregnant) walking among the clean, cold, and slightly dehumanizing landscape of an underground station with its suspicious looking men in trench coats and hats, reminded me of the opening lines to Dante’s Inferno:

Midway upon the journey of our life
I found myself within a forest dark,
For the straightforward pathway had been lost.

Ah me! how hard a thing it is to say
What was this forest savage, rough, and stern,
Which in the very thought renews the fear.

So bitter is it, death is little more;
But of the good to treat, which there I found,
Speak will I of the other things I saw there.

I cannot well repeat how there I entered,
So full was I of slumber at the moment
In which I had abandoned the true way.

The words seemed to fit. Mainly because of the feelings Tooker’s painting engenders. It’s hardly an original thought to say we’ve all felt, at some point, lost, alone, or alienated from our environment—our actions curtailed by extraneous forces or expectations. But it’s one that is still, nevertheless, true.

The idea that Tooker’s work connects in some immediate, non-verbal way with its audience has led critics to align him with Surrealism, Magical Realism, Social Realism, and even Photorealism. Tooker was never happy with any of these descriptions as they limited, pigeon-holed, and gave a glib answer to a far more complex question. Tooker described himself as a figurative painter who considered paintings as “an attempt to come to terms with life.” Where there are “as many solutions as there are human beings.”

Born in 1920, Tooker came from a middle-class Brooklyn family. In the 1930s, his parents relocated the family to Bellport, NY, where Tooker spent part of youth wandering around the exhibits at the local art museums getting hip to the work of Renaissance and Dutch artists. To ensure he had a good qualification, he studied English at Harvard. He then enlisted in the Marine Corps during the Second World War but was discharged on health grounds. With a degree to fall back on and no expectations to fight in the war, Tooker returned to Brooklyn where he chased his primary ambition to become an artist. He enrolled at the Art Students League of New York and mixed and met with the various teachers and contemporaries who were to shape his thinking about art and help develop his style as an artist. Chief among these were Paul Cadmus (who was briefly Tooker’s lover) and Jared French (who was Cadmus’s lover). These artists were figurative painters who had adopted the Renaissance technique of using tempera —a fast-drying painting medium utilizing colored pigment and egg yolk or a similar binder. Tooker similarly painted in tempera. But unlike Cadmus and French, whose work has a homo-erotic subtext, Tooker painted an impression of the world that was as emotionally powerful and as vivid as dreams.

I am after painting reality impressed on the mind so hard that it returns as a dream, but I am not after painting dreams as such, or fantasy.

In his early painting Children and Spastics (1946), a group of children intimidates three gay men in an alien and austere landscape. The men adopt poses as the children assault them with broomsticks and verbal abuse. Their response is defensive, ironic, and one that is expected by society (their tormentors). This painting set a style through which Tooker depicted the world as alienating and oppressive yet sometimes often comforting to the figures who inhabited it (Supermarket, Bathers, Waiting Room).

In the early 1950s, Tooker and all the other figurative artists were eclipsed by the arrival of Abstract Expressionism which critics claimed better reflected the angst of the atomic age. Unfazed by the fickle tastes of critics and art markets, Tooker continued painting his succinct critiques of modern life, producing some of his most powerful work (Highway, Government Bureau, Lunch, Landscape with Figures, and Ward) in the succeeding years.

Tooker’s artwork defies easy categorization. In a way, his paintings tell a history of modern America, its hopes, fears, and moral complexities, from 1950 onwards. This content has a timeless quality and an immediacy that keeps it as relevant today as when first painted.
 
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‘Dance’ (1946).
 
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‘Subway’ (1950).
 
See more of Tooker’s compelling work, after the jump…
 

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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10.09.2017
12:44 am
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Breathtaking comix panels inspired by Nick Cave’s first novel
10.06.2017
04:10 pm
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But Now by God, it ROARS!
 
You might remember the name Tom Neely for his whimsical tribute to punk rock’s most famous gay couple, Glenn Danzig and Henry Rollins. Neely’s Glenn and Henry Forever, which came out in 2010, received a positive notice from Rollins (“if I were to find that anything less than hilarious, then I am in the wrong business”) but from Danzig, not so much (“I didn’t think it was very funny ... it was a very crappy, opportunistic book”).

In Pasadena during all of September, there was an intriguing exhibition that documented, quite unusually, the failure of an artistic project. Birds of Death presented the art that Neely had generated for a comix adaptation of Nick Cave’s first novel And the Ass Saw the Angel. Unfortunately, after being approached to undertake the work (and after Neely had spent considerable time and effort creating images for the graphic novel), he discovered that the rights to Cave’s novel had not been “properly secured,” which meant that Neely would not be able to produce an authorized adaptation of And the Ass Saw the Angel after all.

Bummer! As the notes to the show explain, the bleak and haunting series of images “allows an abstract interpretation” of not just Cave’s book but also “Neely’s disappointment in the circumstances surrounding the project.”

Published in 1989—right on the heels of Tender PreyAnd the Ass Saw the Angel was (and is) as Cave-ian as they come, as you can see yourself from the images. The book covers bleak and doomy life of Euchrid Eucrow, the self-styled “Monarch of Doghead” in Australia’s (fictional, I think) Ukulore Valley. The book sounds a bit overcooked—one review called it a “messianic, overheated tirade” (the review was not actually negative) while another referenced the “clotted, gutsy prose which ranges from poetic to rabid”—and Cave actually cut a lot of the purple prose for a 20th-anniversary edition that came out in 2009.

According to the gallery website, some of the images are still available for purchase.
 

One Full Quarter
 
Much more after the jump….......
 

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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10.06.2017
04:10 pm
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That time David Bowie met Roger Moore & then met him again & again & again & again & again & again
10.06.2017
09:56 am
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As someone who discovered James Bond films and David Bowie right around the same time, I found the following anecdote, supplied by Dylan Jones during the press launch of his new Bowie bio, David Bowie: A Life, mighty amusing.

Jones told a reporter for the Telegraph:

“[Screenwriter and novelist Hanif] Kureishi told me this story, that when David Bowie moved to Switzerland at the end of the Seventies to escape tax and drug dealers, he didn’t know anybody there. He was in this huge house on the outskirts of Geneva - he knew nobody.

“One day, about half-past five in the afternoon, there’s a knock on the door, and there he was: ‘Hello, David.’ Roger Moore comes in, and they had a cup of tea. He stays for drinks, and then dinner, and tells lots of stories about the James Bond films. They had a fantastic time - a brilliant night.”

“But then, the next day, at 5.30… Knock, knock, it’s Roger Moore. He invites himself in again, and sits down: ‘Yeah, I’ll have a gin and tonic, David.’ He tells the same stories - but they’re slightly less entertaining the second time around.

“After two weeks [of Moore turning up] at 5.25pm - literally every day - David Bowie could be found underneath the kitchen table pretending not to be in.”

Bowie turned down the role of the villainous Max Zorin in Moore’s final outing as 007 in A View to a Kill.

Now we know why!

It was announced this week that from March 2 through July 15, 2018, the Brooklyn Museum will mark the final stop of the Bowie exhibit that was organized by the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. More than 300 objects from the singer’s life, including 60 stage costumes and set designs from his 1974 “Diamond Dogs” tour will be on display.

Order David Bowie: A Life from Amazon.

HT to Steven Daly of Brooklyn, NY

Posted by Richard Metzger
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10.06.2017
09:56 am
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Vincent Price narrates a musical journey to the amazing year 2000
10.06.2017
09:14 am
Topics:
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Magazine ad for the 1962 World’s Fair
 
The June 23, 1962 issue of Billboard reported that Capitol would be distributing “the Seattle World’s Fair official album,” The World of Century Twenty First. I wonder if the designation of Alexander Laszlo’s “Musical Panorama” as the official LP of Expo 62 hurt the sales of the other World of Tomorrow releases, like Attilio Mineo conducting Man in Space with Sounds or Vincent Lopez’s Music out of Century 21. At least, did it annoy their managers? Did someone get a phone call?

Laszlo was a composer of TV and movie music whose credits included Night of the Blood Beast (1958) and Beast from Haunted Cave (1959). The record sounds like the future as imagined by a 1962 TV orchestra joined by a mad scientist on synthesizer and theremin; in fact, it’s the State Symphony of Hamburg (a/k/a the Hamburg Symphony Orchestra)  and some unnamed “electronic devices” Laszlo used to make what he called “Electrosonic Music.” 
 

 
Vincent Price narrates, reading the parts of both the wise tour conductor and his passenger, a bewildered 20th century sap who stands in for you, the listener. The Monorail hurtles into the future (Price doesn’t say exactly when, but the Popular Science feature about the exhibit was titled “What’ll It Be Like in 2000 A.D.?”), stopping at tomorrow’s modular, movable house, with its electroluminescent lighting, tax-preparing “computer robot,” and mysterious home electronics:

We still have broadcasting, but no sets anymore. Receivers? Yes, like this little matchbox in my hand. Speakers for our high-fidelity stereo broadcasting are just two tiny pellets sized like a pill. They may be placed in curtains or in draperies. The television screens are part of architecture and interior furnishings. See this painting? It converts into a television screen when you wish.

[...]

We are very, very proud of our phone system that is televised. Notice, first: every baby born in the century 21 receives a birthday gift of his own phone number. This is his for life. No similar number will exist for any earth-born individual. Whether you remain at home, where messages can come by TV phone, or traveling, receiving calls over your own radio wristphone, the call will always be transmitted on your private, individual number, by simply speaking the number into the phone.

Vincent-1 and Vincent-2 hop in the car for a demonstration of the new scientific system that controls the weather outdoors. The auto of the future has no need of a “gasoline motor” or wheels; its anti-gravity air jets are powered by atomic energy beamed from radio transmitters. As we learn on the track “Atom For Humanity,” all the cheap, abundant energy buzzing through the air is a product of nuclear fusion. Science has also discovered how to produce fresh water from the ocean, where we grow “unlimited tons of nourishing foods at low prices,” and rockets are flying all over the place:

Both time and space are telescoped into an awe-inspiring whole. Rocket travel to distant places on the earth and moon has become a daily business. Global mail service is done mainly by rockets. The countdown has become a part of daily life.

Oh, and war has been abolished, along with hate.

More after the jump…

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Posted by Oliver Hall
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10.06.2017
09:14 am
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