Head Medicine Weekly
sights and sounds for your eyeballs and earholes!
a new installment of Head Medicine Weekly every Friday.
Rod Serling on The Mike Wallace Interview
Rod Serling cut his path through the early days of television, constantly pushing against the antiseptic corporate sponsorship and censorship that dominated the era. when Serling sat down with Mike Wallace in 1959, The Twilight Zone was still being born and had not yet aired. Serling was already very famous and highly respected as a writer by that time, and he was in demand for lucrative writing gigs in almost every media, but he was in the process of destroying his predictable future wealth and security by taking a chance on his self funded Twilight Zone. he demanded complete creative control from his sponsors and got it.
there's an interesting moment here at the 10:00 mark, where Serling says that he will not be exploring any controversial themes on the show, and instead will focus on science fiction and fanstasy escapism. "I don't wanna have to battle sponsors and agencies," said Serling. "I don't wanna have to push for something that I want and have to settle for second best. I don't wanna have to compromise all the time, which in essence is what the television writer does if he wants to put on controversial themes." of course, this was not true, and was meant more to throw the bloodhounds of the censors off of his trail. Serling would smash all kinds of boundaries speaking out about racism, war, and many other issues of the day (and today), but veiled behind low-brow sci-fi. he knew advertisers could not understand metaphor, and got away with it all.
this fascinating interview has Serling speaking about his pre-Twilight Zone career, maintaining the balance between commerce and art, and the future of the still-young television medium.
the animation of Chad VanGaalen
Chad VanGaalen is easily one of the more restless creators out there today, churning out a never ending variety of art and music and animation, among other endeavors, from his home in Calgary. his animation is some of the finest and most mesmerizing eye candy you can find. this is a world where the work of Jim Woodring and Moebius somehow meet, full of bizarre alien cartoon creatures and undulating metamorphosis. most of his videos have been for his own music, which he performs and produces himself, but he has recently branched out to interpreting other musicians work as well. last november, VanGaalen's 17-minute animated film Tarboz debuted at the GIRAF animation festival, which he wrote, animated, scored, and voiced. "It's kind of like a combination of Bob and Doug MacKenzie meets Stanley Kubrick." hmmmmm... i don't think anyone else in the entire universe can envision that other than VanGaalen, so i'm hoping that it can surface for the rest of us to see soon. here is a sample of his work:
and if you enjoy VanGaalen's music, HERE is a cool peek into how his head works in the studio
by Basil Wolverton, Wally Wood, and Norm Saunders
Decades before the Garbage Pail Kids, there was the hugely successful Ugly Stickers. in 1965, Topps commissioned cartooning legend Basil Wolverton to create the series, but financial and copyright problems emerged after the first 12 cards were designed. Norm Saunders, of Mars Attacks! fame, was offered the job and continued working until Wally Wood called him up. Wood, one of the best comic artists from the era, was also going to be designing some cards, but he urged Saunders to join him in a strike until Wolverton's contractual demands were met. Eventually the dispute was settled, Wolverton received his money and the copyrights for his creations but he was removed from the project while Wood and Saunders finished the set. in all, 44 images were created, with 4 different versions of each with different names. two years later, after the success of the first Ugly series, another series, Make Your Own Name, was created. Wood and Saunders teamed up once again, along with an unnamed third artist who died during the project. (it's worth noting that The Uglies were so successful that a series of rubber Uglies were created, based on the card designs, and sold in gumball machines across the country. see them all HERE)
here is a selection of images from the original Ugly Stickers series, as well as the Make Your Own Name creatures. scans are from bubblegumcards.org and uglymonstickers.blogspot.com.
both the Ugly Stickers and Make Your Own Name series are featured on the Norm Saunders website, with proper artist credits for each.
Daniel Lanois and Rocco De Luca
"The Resonant Frequency of Love"
there are few sounds as beautiful and calming as Daniel Lanois' pedal steel guitar playing. the pedal steel was the first instrument he began playing as a child, and has been used throughout his career, first showing up on Brian Eno's Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtracks album, and continuing into his most recent work. Lanois is an undisputed master of the instrument. "The Resonant Frequency of Love" is a new track with his recent collaborator, Rocco Deluca.
odds n ends