Friday, December 26, 2008

a little music please

Thank goodness, folks are finally getting into how cool Pandora is. Created by musician wonks, Pandora is an internet radio station that learns what kinda music you like. Here's a little sample of Pandora at work.

I recently downloaded a little music, so I put together a playlist of mp3 files via amazon. I checked out their new service offering drm free mp3 downloads and it was easy, and yes Virginia, you really did get drm free mp3 files, which were easy to upload to your iPod if you wanted to you. Anyway, here's some music for you.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Videos

Our post from last year on Christmas movies and tv specials can be found here. Let's not forget, Christmas Comes but Once a Year or a bunch of other Christmas cartoons. Just check out the top 10 picks Christmas list. And by all means, a very Merry Christmas and our best wishes for you and your friends and family.

Friday, December 12, 2008

New Stuff to Watch

Got a few new episodes of The Office to check out. Not sure if I have a favorite yet. All good. In the music section, we added a few Terry Garland videos and should also have a new Everlast music video for you later today (Here it is). For movies - check out John Carpenter's The Thing or a delightfully bizarre film, Coffee and Cigarettes. Got more on the way too. Busy busy busy.

Friday, December 5, 2008

NOTLD Released 40 Years Ago

On December 5, 1968 - The Night of The Living Dead was released in theaters. The Night of The Living Dead was the work of director George Romero, Duane Jones who starred as Ben, Judith O'Dea as Barbra, Keith Wayne as Tom, and Karl Hardman as Harry Cooper. The low budget classic did pretty well in the theaters and remains a terrific film 40 years later. You can watch the Zombie classic, Night of the Living Dead for free, or better still - we offer a high quality DVD iso download for just $10. Easy as pie to make your own DVD.

Enjoy a brewski today - 75 years ago, on December 5, 1933 Prohibition ended. Wow, it is hard to think of a time when it was illegal to have a beer or a glass of wine or, oh my - a vodka tonic, a cosmo or a a little Sambuca in your expresso. But I think it really happened. And it ended 75 years ago today. To honor this event - here's a few links related to the subject of alcohol. Beer, Wine, Alcohol, drunk, drinking, moonshine, or moon shine. Staff picks - Aunt Bea's Medicine Man - the episode where Aunt Bea gets tiddly, a little lit, tipsy, etc etc. Also - Granny's Spring Tonic, where Granny makes her first spring batch of hooch from the still at the cement pond. Plus - Drinking & Eating PSA, too weird to explain... and the Terry Garland song, The Bible and Jim Beam. Cheers, prohibition ended today 75 years ago - December 5, 1933.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

We would like to wish each and every one of you a Happy Thanksgiving. We hope that you take some time out from the celebration to reflect on all your countless blessings. Think about the big stuff, and the little things. Be thankful. And you will find happiness comes with gratitude.

LikeTelevision has lots of fun stuff to watch with a Thanksgiving theme. Check out a few holiday classics with Granny and Jed. Turkey Day is really funny. For more must see LikeTelevision, watch this wonderful Tex Avery cartoon, Jerky Turkey. If you want more, just search for Thanksgiving.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Skydiving 2.0 & Terry Garland

You might remember from last year, when I jumped out of a plane and went skydiving for the first time. Well, the place where I jumped gives you the chance to get 50% off your next jump if you get another dive ticket the day you jump. BUT - you have to use it within a year. Well, I had about 10 days left until my jump ticket was null and void, so of course - I had to jump again. Here you go - Skydiving, version 2.0. In case you were wondering - I got another 50% off deal, so I have a little less than a year to jump again. ver. 3.0.

Tomorrow, Terry Garland will be swinging by the studio on Sunday morning to do a quick video shoot before heading down the road again. You might remember Terry from last year, or oh my - from 10 years ago too. We'll post the new stuff as soon as we can.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Free The Air Waves - We Won!

In August we discussed an opportunity for the "people" - it looked like a ton of bandwidth was going to be freed up with the change to digital tv broadcasts. And a group led by google asked if the government would allow this bandwidth to be used by the public. Kind of like open source bandwidth.
(see the original story).

Anyway - the issue was voted on November 4th, 2008 - and guess what people, we won! WOW! I can't believe this happened, because this bandwidth has the potential to offer amazing services to the masses. One day, I could imagine a world with free, super high bandwidth wi-fi, everywhere. Just stick your uplink into a USB on your laptop. Ding. Check out google founder Larry Page's comments on the google blog.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

New Music & Ten Years After

Over the next few weeks, we will be entertaining some interesting musical guests at the studio. The Pink Spiders are coming to Charlotte on Wed. November 12 to play at the Alley Cat on College St. Just another stop in a long tour all over the place. We're looking forward to meeting the Pink Spiders for the first time. Check out their new video Gimme Chemicals, from their latest CD, Sweat it Out on Geffen Records.

And after that, on Nov. 23, slide guitar, blues wizard Terry Garland is dropping in. Tens years ago - tomorrow, November 9, 1998, Terry Garland played some wicked slide guitar for us live in the studio. This was the first time I met him, though I had heard some of his music on CD. What a thrill! And now, 10 years later, again COOL! Is life fun or what?

Monday, November 3, 2008

Moby Dick & Wuthering Heights

There are a lot of decent film adaptations of literary works at LikeTelevision, such as To Kill A Mockingbird, A Farewell to Arms, The Most Dangerous Game, An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge, The Scarlet Pimpernel and Cyrano de Bergerac - to name but i few. I hope to add a search phrase widget to work with the database to assist in pulling out this information. More on this in another post.

And here's a few more movie adaptation of great books - first, Herman Melville's Moby Dick starring Gregory Peck as Captain Ahab.

Another terrific gem is Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights starring Laurence Olivier, Merle Oberon, and David Niven.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Recommended Halloween Reading: Comics!

Happy Halloween, folks! In continuing with our Halloween-themed celebration -- a "spooktacular," if you will -- of all great scary stuff, I thought it might be interesting to talk about some excellent horror comic books. That's right, comic books. While comics generally have a for-kids-only, superheroes-in-tights stigma, the medium actually has a long history of producing terrific horror stories. Thusly, here are a few personal favorites that are sure to deliver thrills and chills.

The EC Archives: Shock Suspenstories
EC Comics, a comic book publisher from the 40s and 50s, produced a slew of innovative horror comics -- notable, aside from how frightening they are, for introducing new techniques in art, narrative, and overall chance-taking -- before being all but shut down thanks to some very irrational fears about the effects of comics on kids. Thanks to the EC Archives series of hardcover collected reprints, these long out-of-print tales are being rediscovered. EC created several stellar titles, including Tales From the Crypt and Weird Science, which aside from providing scares, also worked as smart morality plays on racism, anti-Semitism, and more. Shock Suspenstories was no different, as this omnibus is filled with excellent horror, crime, and war stories that will scare you and make you think. But don't take my word for it; EC fan Steven Spielberg wrote the foreword to this wonderful collection. An essential piece of comic book history.

The Goon: Volume 1 - Nothin' But Misery
The Goon, a story about a hulking, emotionally scarred gangster with a heart of gold -- created, written and drawn by Eric Powell -- is one of the best comics on the market today. A mash-up of horror, crime, and comedy, The Goon contains everything cool: zombies, werewolves, 30s gangsters and tough guys, vampires, mad scientists, killer robots, and more. Powell is a supremely gifted storyteller when it comes to his writing, as he deftly jumps from the heart-wrenching to the gut-busting, and he pulls it off with aplomb. But his art is also startlingly unique, combining pencils, watercolors, and deep inks with a kinetic energy that recalls Jack Kirby. It's best to start here at the beginning, and see how Powell slowly builds The Goon's world, characters, and tone. Before you know it, you're amazed. Highly recommended.

Torso: A True Crime Graphic Novel
Brian Michael Bendis is probably comics' biggest writer these days, as he has written just about every major series that Marvel Comics publishes, including Ultimate Spider-Man, New Avengers, and the current mega-event, Secret Invasion. But I think his best work remains Torso, a black-and-white graphic novel based on the true story of the Cleveland Torso Murderer serial killer. Disturbing and dark, this comic is like a great crime novel, with a true can't-put-it-down quality.

The Walking Dead: Volume 1 - Days Gone Bye
Zombie comics have been around forever, but none have really had as great an impact as Robert Kirkman's The Walking Dead. Created and written by Kirkman, and presented in awesome black-and-white, The Walking Dead recalls George Romero's excellent zombie films, with a balanced focus on zombies and smart story. Telling the story of a cop named Rick, his family and others they've met along the way in trying to survive a zombie outbreak, the real brilliance of The Walking Dead lies not so much in its scare-factor of a catastrophe, but rather, in its questioning of how far are we willing to sacrifice our morals and ideals in the face of that catastrophe? No character is safe in this sprawling epic (which makes it all the more fun), and if you start here with volume one, you'll be hooked.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Dudley Moore & Peter Cook

A little Halloween fun for all - check out this 1960s classic, Bedazzled starring Dudley Moore as a cook at a greasy spoon, and Peter Cook as Satan. Plus, Rachel Welch, who stars as one of the deadly sins, Lust.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Free Horror Movie Classics

Let's turn it up a bit, shall we? A Top 10 list, NO! We'll go one better, 200% better in the top 10 horror movie calculations. - yes, a Top 5 list, in this case, The Best 5 Silent Horror Movies. Not only do we provide a list, we also have the entire films to watch online for free. Let them drum roll begin, or better still how about an a J.S. Bach Toccata and Fugue in D minor. Okay, here goes.

5) Hunchback of Notre Dame(1923). The Victor Hugo classic was released in 1923 and starred Lon Chaney as Quasimodo. Plus, a killer preview by LikeTelevision's own, Frank Random.

4) Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde(1920). Based on another classic literary work, in this case Robert Louis Stevenson's story called The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Plus - this could be John Barrymore's greatest performance. Really amazing acting, a must for all wanna be thesbians.

3) Nosferatu(1922) - Okay folks, this 1922 F.W. Murnau film is really creepy. Based on Bram Stoker's epic novel Dracula, Max Schrek is amazingly frightening as the Vampire Nosferatu. In a fit of insanity, Frank Random worked like a maniac to put a new soundtrack on it. Have fun.

2) The Phantom of the Opera (1925). Lon Chaney is brilliant in his role as the music genius named Erik, who gets disfigured and becomes the Phantom of the Opera.

1) The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari(1921) starring Werner Krauss as Dr. Caligari. Nothing is more frightening than one's mind - wondering what is real and fantasy, and wandering between the lines of sanity and madness. The Mother of all horror films - Check out Das Cabinet Des Dr. Caligari. Or watch Frank Random's preview for a taste.

Monday, October 27, 2008

LikeTelevision's ScreamFest 2008

As if the political season and the financial markets aren't scary enough... it is once again time for the LikeTelevision Streaming Screaming Halloween, also known as ScreamFest, now in it's ninth year!!! We have been adding lots of fun stuff in the Horror department and hope to include another classic later this week, though lately we have been swamped with real world horrors - like the phone just won't stop ringing. I am really getting annoyed by all the solicitations and Robo calls, and remembered this gem from ages past, that is so deeply hidden, i could barely find it. But thanks to google... it can now be resurrected. Basically, a clever fella created a loop, and when he got a sales type call, he'd put them on hold, and then send them to a recording. Check it out... a telemarketer's worst nightmare. You know, i feel sorry for the guy, imagining him just trying to make a living, pictures of his kids on the desk... and then he gets tricked into the looped recording.

But let's get back to stuff that is entertaining scary. Here's a top 10 list of you favorite horror titles on the site. If you are more selective, just search for Vampires, or Witches. Another great title is Frank Random's bizarre soundtrack for the original Dracula film, Nosferatu.

We'll be offering more halloween themed video content all week... so come back to the blog and check out LikeTelevision at it's creepiest, where movie quotes like - have a little fire scarecrow... can only be doused with Holy Water.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Recommended Halloween Viewing: John Carpenter's "The Thing"

Hey everyone. Firstly, introductions. You're probably wondering who I am and what I'm doing here (and rightfully so). My name's Dan; in a nutshell, I'm your average dude from New York who grew up in the 80s, and thus has a (unhealthy) love for all things pop culture. As such, I'll be contributing posts every now and then concerning movies, television and the like. Thanks very much to the fine folks of Like Television for giving me a podium from which to speak, and allowing me to make something of my otherwise useless geek knowledge. Since Halloween is coming, I figured now would be a good time to talk about my favorite horror flick and kind-of forgotten gem: John Carpenter's The Thing.

(editor's note 11/25/08. You can now watch The Thing at our site.)

The Thing (1982) is technically a remake of 1951's The Thing From Another World. I say "technically" because it actually shares very little with the original film -- especially when it comes to creature design and gore -- and is more faithful to the 1938 short story "Who Goes There?" by John W. Campbell, Jr. that the '50s flick is based on. Without giving away too many details about the plot, the long-short of it is that a grotesque, deadly alien makes its way to a remote research outpost in Antarctica. The alien, however, can take the form of anything with which it comes into contact, from humans to animals, and the outpost's crew of scientists (led by a very beardy Kurt Russell) slowly begin to grow paranoid, tense, and downright distrustful of each other, as one or more of them could be the alien in hiding.

In many ways, The Thing is very reminiscent of Ridley Scott's seminal Alien, except I think it's actually better. Sure, both films have a similar premise: a ragtag crew in an isolated environment face off against a seemingly indestructible creature. But whereas Alien got its scares by a tall dude in a costume creeping in the shadows, Carpenter puts the danger right out in the open. This thing could be anywhere; it could be anyone; it could strike at any moment. The movie isn't even that dark -- whereas Alien and most horror films use the dark and space to build tension and fear, Carpenter's film is set in the middle of a bright, white, icy nothingness. True, The Thing's alien is frightening to see (we'll get to that in a minute), but Carpenter doesn't rely on it to make his movie work. No, Carpenter uses his alien's shapeshifting ability to create a sense of danger and impending doom that gives the film its power. The characters don't trust each other, they're in a vast snow-covered wasteland, and there is no escape. That's where the real scares of The Thing come from. That being said, when seen in its true form, the creature itself is pretty damn scary.

There's no perfect way to articulate what the monster looks like here, because it (brilliantly) does not have a singular form. Once revealed and forced out of hiding behind a human or animal facade, this alien is not a guy in a monster suit, nor is it a weightless, soulless piece of CGI animation. Rather, it is an amorphous being that can grow to the size of a room, or can detach itself, limb from limb, to make an escape. Tentacles flail, teeth gnarl from different places all over its body, and its size changes. And it's thanks to Rob Bottin, the special effects master whose work in The Thing is nothing short of genius; particularly amazing is "the head-spider" scene, which I won't spoil by discussing any further. If any film could show that good puppetry and makeup can trump modern CGI any day of the week, it's The Thing. There's a horrifying, tangible quality to the monster in The Thing and the way all the characters interact with it, which is largely due to the fact that it looks so good and is actually there. If this had been a CGI-fest, the movie would be much less effective. (Thankfully, Carpenter has not followed George Lucas's atrocious "Star Wars Special Edition" route and added awful digital effects to this or any of his films.)

To my mind, The Thing is John Carpenter's last truly great film. I love They Live and Big Trouble in Little China, but in both of those, Carpenter seems to just be trying a little too hard, whether with the action or the humor. In The Thing, everything really works: the tone, the effects, the dialogue, and the acting (Kurt Russell, as usual, is fantastic). I can't recommend it enough. A great film that only gets better, and for me, it's the best work of a master filmmaker.

(For those of you who have seen and enjoyed The Thing, I'd also recommend checking out Dark Horse Comics' The Thing From Another World comics. They take place right after the end of The Thing, and are surprisingly true to the spirit of the film. Apparently, Carpenter himself loved them. The comics are currently out-of-print, but they can usually be found on ebay for decent prices.)

Clips from Big Trouble in Little China

Thought you folks might enjoy a few clips from Big Trouble.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Brad Spivey Gets Older

Today marks the birthday of the one and only Brad Spivey - noted html author, actor and star wars freak. I am not sure how old he is, but I do know... he is old enough to know a few things, and has in fact proven more than once, that he is indeed capable in his server query language works of global importance. Who is Brad Spivey, well sit down partner, and check out this page - Urinal Screen, showcasing his skills as one of the first internet thesbians. If you want more Spivey, check out Zim Zum - he is interviewed by Dodge Benson in episode six. But what Spivey is best known for... well, he's the techno maestro who build the database and backend that holds all those videos on the LikeTelevision web site. So, on behalf of the 30 million plus campers who enjoy the site - Happy Birthday dude!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Coming Soon - ScreamFest 2008

That's right ladies and gentlemen, it is that time of the year again - October, time for the annual LikeTelevision ScreamFest. And how much fun, we launch the 2008 ScreamFest on Bela Lugosi's 124th birthday. (Béla Ferenc Dezsõ Blaskó, a.k.a. Bela Lugosi was born October 20, 1884 in Romania.) So by all means - check out a few Bela Lugosi movies today if you like. My favorite is called White Zombie, made in 1932 - this is the mother of all Zombie movies... in fact, this 1932 movie is the first zombie movie ever. It happened so long ago - that the black people in the film are afraid of their own shadows... ahhhhhh, and filled with all kinds of fearful voodoo mojo silliness. BOO!... ahhhhhhhh. Eyes opened VERY wide. ahhhhhhh. Anyway... the irony of where we are today, with a black well educated gentleman running for president offers quite a sharp contrast to Hollywood's embarrassing racial stereotype portrayal from 1932. Nuff said. I am treading too close to politics.. and well, Screw politics... personally, I abhor all this passionate yammering he said, they said, you lied, quasimodo died... whatever. Thank God for baseball and the world series. You see, politicians, like most of us, are all wise till they open their mouths. But i digress... Popeye for President. I am with the Spinach Party. Come to think of it, politics could be the scariest part of this halloween season. Enjoy the ScreamFest - we'll be posting new stuff, so check back at the blog for updates.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

St. Teresa of Avila

October 15th, St. Teresa of Avila's feast day, where thousands, perhaps even millions of people pause to remember this wonderful woman. She lived in the 16th century, and during her life as a Carmelite nun, she was so in love with God, she received mystical experiences. When she was deep in prayer, tales of her ability to levitate and even fly continue to this day. And oh my, she was a very funny woman, with a mountain of spunk. Her comment here is a good example -
About the injunction of the Apostle Paul that women should keep silent in church? Don't go by one text only.
Another story involves her falling in a puddle and getting her bright white nun formal outfit covered in mud. She scolded God,
if that's the way you treat your friends, no wonder you have so few of them.
St Teresa of Avila is also the subject of some amazing works of art. There's a mountain of major works of art featuring her, but let me point you to two of the best. First Peter Paul Rubens painting, Teresa of Avila. The painting features an older St. Teresa with a book and a feather pen in her hand. The feather pen references her writings, including an autobiography that she was forced to pen by her church authorities. As such, St. Teresa was compelled to write down and share her mystical experiences, just do it Tess. And wow, what experiences she had. Her three best books are must reading if you have an interest in spiritual mysticism. Check out The Interior Castle, The Way of Perfection and Teresa of Avila, autobiography.

Which brings us to the other amazing piece of art about St. Teresa of Avila. Gianlorenzo Bernini's masterpiece - The Ecstasy of St. Teresa of Avila. Bernini draws upon the writings in her autobiography to use as inspiration for his sculpture in marble.
Beside me on the left appeared an angel in bodily form . . . He was not tall but short, and very beautiful; and his face was so aflame that he appeared to be one of the highest ranks of angels, who seem to be all on fire . . . In his hands I saw a great golden spear, and at the iron tip there appeared to be a point of fire. This he plunged into my heart several times so that it penetrated my entrails. When he pulled it out I felt that he took them with it, and left me utterly consumed by the great love of God. The pain was so severe that it made me utter several moans. The sweetness caused by this intense pain is so extreme that one can not possibly wish it to cease, nor is one's soul content with anything but God. This is not a physical but a spiritual pain, though the body has some share in it -- even a considerable share.[from Teresa of Avila, Autobiography, Chapter 29]
This amazing sculpture, (~ sculpt-sure?) can be viewed at Santa Maria della Vittoria, in Rome, Italy. When viewed after reflecting on her writing, & reading the words that inspired Bernini to create this massive work (11 1/2 feet high) in stone makes a powerful work even stronger. The face Bernini gives St. Teresa in this work just oozes profound joy, rapture, both sensual and spiritual, and in a word - Ecstasy.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Time to Jump, again

Well it's October again, and that means it is once that time of year when I plan to jump out of an airplane. Last year in October, i sky jumped for the very first time. And yes, certainly I suspect it will be even more fun than it was last year. It goes down on Sunday morning at around 11:11 am. After going to seven o'clock mass of course.

Dressed to Kill Basil & Angie

The first version of Dressed to Kill starred Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes and Nigel Bruce as his trustworthy friend, Dr. Watson. They are searching for clues in enigmatic music boxes in order to find some missing currency plates. It would undermine the financial structure if these plates got out. In 1980, Brian DePalma came out with a new movie called Dressed to Kill, starring Michael Caine and Angie Dickinson. This is a very scary movie. You have been warned.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Biwa Diddy

Strange times indeed. We still have a few more tweaks before we launch the 9th annual Screamfest, but we thought we would give you something to whet your whistle. With all the recent financial turmoil, we thought we should get a little perspective, of how hard life can be for some. For instance, at the beginning scene of Hoichi the Earless, we are thrust into an ancient sea battle of Japanese clans. One gets anihilated... not graphic or anything, but sad all the same. If you go to the Hoichi page, scroll down and look closely - you will see a hidden link to a master stroke of genius from Frank Random. Yes folks, that's a crazy mixed up mix of Jose and Hoichi, soing some street biwa diddy. Hoichi the Earless is part of a 4 part film, called Kwaidan, which roughly translates as Weird Tales.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Politics, Old School

While today's annoying rancor might seem somehow new or different, a quick look at some older political films, tv and media clips give a slightly different picture. Why, ye olde school politics was just as nasty and dirty as it is today. I mean, who knew? For example, if you think the media messing in politics is something new, check out Frank Capra's Meet John Doe, starring Gary Cooper and Barbara Stanwyck. The corrupt newspaper creates a folk hero named John Doe, and in a flash - the political parties are both looking to use this guy for their own ends. A great story and let's hope our current limbo in the divided we fall hole we find ourselves in.... ends up like a happy Frank Capra movie. Hey, one can hope. Another classic tale, Angel on My Shoulder with Paul Muni, not only has some shady political stooges - why it even has the general of the Axis of Evil, Satan himself trying to inject himself onto the political landscape. Claude Rains does a terrific job at playing Lucifer, though i doubt he is as diabolical as he would be if they ever redid this film. It is a great movie and totally worth the time and effort. Co-stars Anne Baxter too.

And if all the political yelling gets too loud, please check out presidential graft at its finest in Popeye for President. It seems the race is tied, with only one vote left - Olive Oyl. Watch Bluto and Popeye promise her everything under the sun to win her vote. Why they'd even sell out the country it seems. And sure, Popeye is running on the Spinach Party ticket, so that would make him the green candidate.

Plus, there's a lot of clips related to historical politics - with such notable characters as Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Churchill, and Hindenburg to name but a few. Just search for politic and see what comes up. (a bunch of them are also for politically incorrect... like Amos and Andy, but most are related to the world of political intrigue. Happy viewing, and don't forget to vote. Unless you are voting for the other guy.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Paul Newman Dies

Paul Newman died today, September 27,2008 at the age of 83 after a battle with cancer. He was born on January 26, 1925 in Shaker Heights, Ohio. He was known for a great combination of being handsome, with steely blue eyes - and for being a great actor who starred in countless different roles and interesting characters. He was certainly one of the best actors in Hollywood for decades.

To honor Paul Newman's life and all he added to the history of film, tv and theater, we suggest you check out Bang the Drum Slowly, with a terrific Paul Newman live tv performance as Henry Wiggin, an ace major league pitcher. It also stars Albert Salmi as catcher Bruce Pearson and George Peppard as Piney Woods. We really liked this sad baseball story and the acting and live element made it exciting to watch.

Here's a few more short video clips that either feature Paul Newman, or have his name mentioned in the text description.

My hat's off to Paul Newman. I had a great deal of admiration for him, not only as a good actor, but also for his efforts to be a good man. He was quiet about it too. Which was refreshing and gracious of Mr. Newman. May God bless you and keep you safe.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Charlotte is gas free

Today, Charlotte NC is a real mess. For some reason, i suspect a lot has to do with the recent hurricane hitting Texas, we have a very limited supply of gas. The trouble started brewing last night, when supplies were already low, and a TV station put out the word, advising folks who have a half tank, to NOT fill up. And they broadcast a list of who was still selling gas. So here we are on Thursday, and a little problem turned into a bigger one, and we have gas lines and are only allowed to buy $20 worth of gas. Premium, Plus or regular - you get what you can. It took me over an hour to finally get to my spot in line where i finally was allowed to put in $20. (and my gas light was on - yikes). Remember ye olde 1970s. OPEN, & the oil embargo? I do, seemed just like yesterday, and today was a re-run.

And with all the recent financial turmoil, we get to see who loses their cool when times get tough. Perhpas Frank Random's re-mix of Duck and Cover (called Duck and Die) will give folks the incentive to pick up a little more trash around the homestead.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Oprah at the EMMYs

At the EMMYs last night, Oprah began the ceremony by saying, "Nothing connects us quite like television." Wow. Cool Oprah, I never knew you were such a big fan of the site. We're honored and wish you the best. Don't believe me? Check out the LA Times or the New York Times. I agree Oprah -

Nothing connects us quite like television.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Hockey Moms and Patriotic Taxes

IN 1997, we created a silly character called Antoine DuFleur, who was the enforcer on a pro hockey team. The enforcer is the guy who is a dirty player who creams the other teams best players, often with cheap shots, like cross-checking or an errant elbow. Anyway, over the course of Antoine's career, he was slammed so many times by the opposing team, he kind of lost his head. And started becoming very effeminate, and was later called the Paisley checker, for his outrageous outfits. And it got worse, when he retired, he became the Poet Laureate of the NHL - a position he felt was sanctioned by the commissioner, but in fact was a creation of his own mushy brain. Anyway... we thought he might actually be one of the first - Hockey Moms... so somehow, this made the clip timely. Check it out - it is really really weird, and pretty dang funny too. Go Antoine DuFleur - with a reading of his amazing poem, Goosey Goosey.

Also of interest, is some background of my family's history. A long time ago (January 1954), my grandfather, Babba and his company, Stearns Magnetic was sued by the commissioner of the I.R.S. It seems he and his dad, the only shareholders of the small Wisconsin manufacturing company, had a special dividend that spun off a patent he had to the shareholders. They valued the dividend fairly, and paid the tax on the gain. BUT... it seems, due to the war, this proved to be a very shrewd move, and allowed him and his father to keep a lot more money after taxes, than if he had done nothing. Oddly enough at the time, it was deemed that it was patriotic to pay more taxes, and this was basically the argument of the IRS (and Joe Biden too I guess). That my Grandfather and his dad should be paying more in taxes, and that the special dividend, though perfectly legal and above board, resulted in a lower tax bill - and this was just wrong. Here's the case at the 7th District court (i think it went to the 10th district court ultimately). In any event, the outcome of the case changed the tax mentality of the people, and in many ways, helped to create the tax advisor industry, which seeks to structure your affairs in a way to minimize taxation. (like deducting your mortgage for instance). The outcome basically stated - it is not a crime to structure your financial affairs in a way that reduces your tax burden, as long as you us legal ways to reduce your tax bill. Thanks Babba! By the way, he also shared with me, that if he had lost, he would have been wiped out, and in fact spent a ton of money to attorneys to win the case.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Peter Sellers Birthday

Happy Birthday to Peter Sellers! Born today in England, on Setember 8, 1925 (Richard Henry Sellers), Cheers to Peter Sellers. He was one of the greats - a terrific actor who was also funny. and lovable, in the way Buster Keaton was lovable. Check out a Peter Sellers movie or short film today if you like. One of my favorites. Happy Birthday Peter Sellers.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Kenji, Not Benji

While some clever folks are aware of Akira Kurosawa, (even barenaked ladies for that matter **), one of Japan's greatest film directors, and some might even be aware of Hiroshi Inagaki, or maybe even Masaki Kobayashi, not many folks in the western world have a clue about Kenji Mizoguchi is, so let's try and fix that. Yesterday - August 24, is the anniversary of his death. He died in 1956, back when Chevy made the coolest cars on the planet, not the Japanese. Sorry for the twisted irony, let's get back on topic. Kenji came from very humble beginnings. OK, he was really poor, unlike some most of his peers, he really had to work like a dog to even get a chance to make a film. I admire that kind of tenacity and the understanding and love of the poor is beautifully on display in a terrific Mizoguchi film called Ugetsu. Or as it is sometimes called, Ugetsu - the Tales of a Pale and Mysterious Moon after the Rain. Now what the origami does that mean? I am not going to try and unravel all the sublime pretense of Japanese flower arrangement, you Ikebana furniture Feng Shui - just do me a favor and watch the movie Ugetsu. It is really cool and it is worth your time.

** Barenaked Ladies, Week Song - Like Kurosawa I make mad films Okay I dont make films...

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Seems Like Old Times

Well, just 40 years ago today - August 20, 1968 - the Soviet Union invaded Czechoslovakia to do what it could to squelch democracy. Wow, seems like old times huh, with the recent activities in Georgia. Oddly enough, Stalin was from Georgia, but I am not sure he was a fan of the Braves, since they were in Milwaukee at the time (or was it Boston... hmmm). In any event, check out this old newreel of the 1968 invasion, and cheer for the people's response - which was to tell them to get the heck outta Prague. Time for a Pilsner Urquell.

We hope to update the database shortly to include one of our favorite movies - Night of the Hunter starring Robert Mitchum and Shelley Winters. Till then, you can watch it on the blog below. Like his role in Cape Fear, Robert Mitchum can be really really creepy. Don't you think? Check it out.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Free the Air Waves

Today we ran across a site called, sponsored by google, that was trying to do something that will perhaps be impossible, but hey - it is worth a shot anyway. Why impossible? Well in case you grew up in the dark - the corporate powers that be... control the world. Yes - money does make the world go round, and it goes around with a little cha-ching as it crosses zero. Big Dog will be fed, and we will pay our little monthly stipend to keep big dog happy. In this case, the big dog is all the big ISPs, telcos and cable companies selling you internet service. And Google of course has a self interest in all this, but oh my - they are up front about it. A nice change. Thank you. The air waves in question are known as white space - which are the broadcast bands between stations on an analog TV. You know - imagine you have no cable and are using an antennae (been there, done that). In Charlotte NC, there's a channel 3, and a channel 9 for instance. And no channel between 3 and 9... just the fuzz. Google is trying to have the US Gov't free up the white space so people can get free broadband, which is especially needed in the rural places not served by big dog. Also, you get a cool video with a girl named Minnie who does her best to explain it all to us non propeller heads. So if we end up getting broadband for free - can we thank Minnie the Moocher?

The whole situation reminded me of the great Nicola Tesla, who created the little convenience that brings electricity into our homes and businesses, called alternating current, or AC if you like. Edison, which all kids think is the big cheese was a slacker compared to Tesla, who was seen as pretty whacko in his day, but over time his work has had profound effects on modern society. Anyway - Tesla sold his AC idea to Westinghouse, which beat out Edison's DC (direct current) and the modern electrical grid soon became a reality. But too bad for Tesla, the market crash decimated Westinghouse, who told Tesla they couldn't pay his royalties. And what did Nicola do? He gave us AC anyway and died nearly penniless. So next time you turn on and power up... give Mr. Tesla a nod of thanks.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Max Kolby - August 14

Max Kolbe died on August 14, 1941. Max lived a very good life, but he is remembered mostly for the heroic nature of how he died. He was a Catholic priest sent to Auschwitz by the Nazis for trying to secretly hide several thousand Jews. Being a Catholic priest was reason enough to get sent to the camps - so Max's "crime" was even more severe. A Catholic priest trying to harbor Jews made him a huge target. A double whammy as far as the Nazis were concerned.

A prisoner had escaped from his cell block and so, someone had to be punished. A prisoner was randomly chosen to die by starvation for this transgression. Max said - take me instead. Unlike the man who was selected, Max had no family. His story is quite remarkable and by all means, learn more about Maximilian Kolbe.

In honor of Max Kolbe, we recommend two movies. First - Escape from Sobibor starring Alan Arkin and Rutger Hauer. Sobibor was a concentration camp in Poland and unfortunately, not enough people have ever heard of what transpired there. It is an amazing movie about one of the greatest prisoner escapes in WWII. Just watch it. It's an A+ film of a heroic story, just like Max Kolbe's life. Second - we suggest Roberto Rossellini's Open City, which is another powerful World War II story, this time set in Rome. In this movie, Aldo Fabrizi plays a heroic Catholic priest. It also stars Anna Magnani.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Bedazzled, Part Two

A while back, we provided a short commentary on the film Bedazzled, starring Dudley Moore, Peter Cook, and Raquel Welch but felt it was worth providing a little information on this movie because it is quite entertaining, and also a film most folks have never seen. In 1966, Raquel Welch became very famous from the success in the cult classic, One Million Years BC, and she was also terrific in Fantastic Voyage, (where they shrink some people to inject them into a body to perform a delicate operation on an important diplomat. That films also stars Stephen Boyd, Donald Pleasance, and Edmond O'Brien, but i digress). Anyway in 1967, she played one of the seven deadly sins, (yep, Lust :~), and well, she was built for this role.

I have always been a HUGE fan of British humor, and Bedazzled is just dripping irony and biting sarcastic social commentary. While it is very funny and light, it is also very thought provoking, especially the part where Peter Cook, as Satan explains that he is doing God's will, by being Satan, since God needs a devil to tempt people so they can have the tests in life that build character.

Bedazzled was directed by the legendary Stanley Donen, whose credits include Charade, The Pajama Game, Singing in the Rain, and Royal Wedding. Donen also direct Indiscreet (Ingrid Bergman, Cary Grant) and Funny Face (Audrey Hepburn, Fred Astaire). So what are you waiting for? Go check out Bedazzled and see for yourself if it a great movie. I think it is.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

We're Talking Baseball

In the unlikely event that tonight's MLB All-Star game is a blowout or just boring, check out some of these highly entertaining baseball video clips in the LikeTelevision library. My personal favorites include the Jackie Robinson Story, Bang the Drum Slowly, starring Paul Newman, and The Clampetts Meet the Dodgers, where Jethro Bodine gets a tryout with Leo Durocher of the Los Angeles Dodgers. And for all of you New York Yankees fans, check out this vintage video clip, The Lou Gehrig Story, which includes the Iron Horse's legendary farewell speech to all the Yankee fans at Yankee Stadium. ("I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the Earth...")

Monday, July 7, 2008

Metropolis, Ready for Download

We took a break last week from our job of preparing the studio for a new musical offering. (We hope to be doing some live video shoots of some promising bands on the "chitlin circuit", which goes from Atlanta to Washington, DC). And for your downloading pleasure, we re-encoded a Fritz Lang classic titled Metropolis. This 1927 silent is listed as one of the best movies of all-time by most movie pundits. On IMDB, it is listed as #74 for instance, and carries a respectable 8.4 rating. The movie is all about the scary new technology of the early 1900s, and how electricity and factory automation were going to ruin the world. It is techno-phobia at its finest, and is an interesting film when looked at from today's current hysteria, global warming. (When i was a kid, it was going to get really cold after a nuclear winter. And now we are slated to burn in hell as we get warmer). In any event, the lesson seems to be that all the gloom and doom dire predictions are rarely all they are cracked up to be. Yes, I understand we all should lower our carbon footprint, and i enjoy riding a motorcycle, so I like to think I am doing my part to save on the precious gas droplets, by getting close to 55 miles per gallon. But I digress - check out Metropolis and if you are a member, or want the movie a la carte, go download it. The new MPEG files look great!

If you need more Metropolis related videos, check out Superman as he finds some bad guys at the Metropolis munitions plant.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

July Fourth Videos

We hope everyone has a terrific long weekend for the July 4th holiday and we hope that all your burgers are grilled to perfection. Here's a few videos obtusely related to the July 4th holiday. Let's start with some fireworks - a cool cartoon called Patriotic Popeye. Popeye's nephews Peepeye, Poopeye, Pipeye, and Pupeye get their hands on some fireworks and have a bang up time setting them off. If you some eerie sci-fi drama is more your thing, we'd suggest this episode of One Step Beyond, with George Washington on a cold Night in December. If you prefer comedy, watch this Andy Griffith Show episode, Andy Comes to America.

One final July 4th gem, check out Kate Smith debut a new song titled God Bless America on a national radio broadcast in the 1940s during WWII.

Monday, June 23, 2008

George Carlin Remembered

I regret to say that George Carlin, one of the funniest guys EVER - died of heart problems at the age of 1971. Carlin was an early maverick of comedy, in the same vein as a Lenny Bruce, or a Bill Hicks, George Carlin could be very funny, while at the same time being able to "hit that nerve" that made you feel a bit uncomfortable. We have an early example from the Johnny Carson Show, where he did the role of the Hippy Dippy Weatherman, who was a very mellow hippy character who just happened to be a meteorologist. For you youngsters, during the time this clip was made, everyone was VERY worries about getting blown up by the Atomic Bomb, dropped by the Russians. (The 60's equivalent of global terror, Al Qaeda style). And an ICBM ... was an Inter-continental Ballistic Missile. Here's the clip - Carlin is a very young guy in the clip, no beard, why he almost looks like he voted for Barry Goldwater and Eisenhower.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Hockey & Twisted Humor

Here's a few video clips related to hockey humor - Dr. Barre, Hockey Team Dentist, Antoine DuFleur, the poet laureate of the NHL, and The Penalty Box, a description of the rules of hockey from a skewed point of view and Zamboning with Dave, a silly short on cleaning the ice with an Olympia ice scraper. Frank Random makes a guest appearance as a Viking mascot, and Skooter makes his 1999 internet debut as Antoine DuFleur.

Plus - more a hockey commercial with a famous dog. woof woof!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Starry-Eyed Intern

Yep, the deranged knuckleheads at LikeTelevision decided to give a kid a chance, so we decided to get ourselves an intern. Nope, it wasn't a magnanimous philanthropic quest, in fact we were inspired by all the work done for free on behalf the presidential candidates, we thought to ourselves - we should get in on this, and found ourselves a joyous rube ready to work for next to nothing. Better still, he was willing to even clean our bathrooms, even the dreaded - Men's BR! (Now that's saying something - since we did some live recording for the band MegaTurd, all of us who actually work here have used the Ladies bathroom ever since, and they recorded here in 1999). But Mr. Brian, aka the Brian that Wouldn't Die, ventured out into many places no man has dwelled before. Right now we have him doing some painting in the studio - we gave him some basic instructions - we want this 100% black wall to be about 60-70% white, not for any prejudicial gerrymandering of course, we just wanted the wall to reflect more light. And so, to honor his hard work and verve, here's a few pix of our new eager beaver, Brian.

Friday, June 13, 2008

St. Anthony - June 13th

Saint Anthony of Padua was a very interesting man and his feast day is June 13th. His birth name was Fernando Martins de Bulhao, and he was born in Lisbon, Portugal in 1195. He died a young man of 36 on June 13, 1231 st the Poor Clare Convent on his way back to Padua, Italy. Originally in the order of St. Augustine, he switched to being a Franciscan during a time when many Franciscan monks were being martyred in Morocco. He met St. Francis of Assisi, who was his boss at the time. Learn more, here, here and here, As you probably know, St Anthony is best known as the patron saint of lost articles. You pray to Saint Anthony to help find your lost keys, a camera, lost jewels, lost symphonies, or whatever.
St. Anthony, St. Anthony
Please come down
Something is lost
And can't be found

Also cool, Hieronymus Bosch was a big fan of Saint Anthony, and made a lot of scary paintings, like this one, called The Temptation of St. Anthony, which is part of a three panel altar work of art called a triptych.

Today is also Friday the 13th - there's a funny Popeye cartoon on the subject, and some spooky superstitious videos, like The Addam's Family, Day of Wrath, Dario Argento's Suspiria, or Horror Hotel to name a few fun horror movies. There's a massive collection of scary movies to choose from, have fun.

But nothing is more scary than a dysfunctional family, right? Check out the first few episodes of a terrific TV show from a few years ago, Arrested Development. If you're new, start with the Pilot episode, Top Banana, Bringing Up Buster, and Key Decisions to watch the first four episodes in order. Lots of cheeky fun, if you're funny bone is a little twisted like mine seems to be.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Elia Kazan's Boomerang

Elia Kazan was one of Hollywood's greatest directors and also known as a bit a rat for giving out names in front of the House Un-American Activities Committee. One of the names he mentioned was John Garfield, whose career took a dive after the hearings. Oddly enough, Garfield stars in a movie called They Made Me a Criminal.

But enough of the dark side, there's a ton to admire about Elia Kazan, including s2 amazing Marlon Brando movies - On the Waterfront and A Streetcar Named Desire. But a few years before that, He made this gem about political corruption, money and the legal system titled Boomerang. It stars Dana Andrews, Lee J. Cobb, and Jane Wyatt. Also look closely for the writer Arthur Miller (Death of a Salesman, The Crucible) who appears in the line-up of suspects for a few seconds. He was also married to Marilyn Monroe, after Marilyn and Jolting Joe DiMaggio broke up.

If drama doesn't do it for you, try some comedy. Check out a new arrival from The Addams Family called Lurch's Grand Romance, where Lurch (Ted Cassidy) falls in love with Morticia's old school chum, Tina Trivia. Morticia, played by Carolyn Jones speaks a lot of French in this episode.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

First Hot Air Balloon Ride

While there were a few hot air balloon rides before June 4, 1783, when the Montgolfier Brothers did their first public demonstration - most ended in disaster with very short flight times. And so, the Montgolfier Brothers are usually credited with the first successful hot air balloon ride. (for more background info, try wikipedia).

So to celebrate the event, let us recommend some choice videos. First, watch Conquest of the Air, a very dry humored British film on the history of flight, starring Sir Laurence Olivier, as Vincent Lunardi one of the early pioneers of hot air balloon flight.

Another highly recommended title is Buster Keaton in Balloonatic.

Our final hot air balloon related video is of The Double Eagle, piloted by Ben Abruzzo, Max Anderson and Larry Newman. On August 19, 1978 - they were the first to take a hot air balloon ride across the Atlantic Ocean.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Bedazzled Dudley Moore, Raquel Welch

If you liked the remake in 2000, you'll love the original 1967 film, Bedazzled starring Dudley Moore, Raquel Welch and Peter Cook. Directed by Stanley Donen, the film is dripping with British irony and sarcasm. Check out Bedazzled.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Alfred Hitchcock TV Classic

After seven successful years on American Television with Alfred Hitchcock Presents, the format changed and went from 1/2 hour episodes to a full hour, and a new name - The Alfred Hitchcock Hour. And the pilot episode of this new TV series was excellent. A Piece of the Action, released in 1962 - starred Gig Young and a 25 year young actor named Robert Redford. A professional gambler wants to do all he can to keep his younger brother from repeating the same mistakes. Lots of twists and turns to the story. Plus, Raymond Bailey (aka Mr. Drysdale) plays a poker player who gets caught cheating. Watch A Piece of the Action.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Dukakian Tank Test

While the old standby litmus test for choosing your guy (who would you have a beer with?) is still a good one, I thought I'd add another factor in making the decision. The Dukakian Tank Test. Now I know there will be only one Democrat left once Al Gore counts the votes in Florida, but the tank test was more fun with three choices. And off we go, with Tiger Joe.

1) Barack Obama 2) John McCain and 3) Hilary Clinton.

wow - tough, tough call. I think I'm going with the Spinach Party.