It’s Johnny’s Birthday

9 10 2010

Today is John Lennon’s birthday. He would have been 70 years old today. I wanted to tack this on to yesterday’s post given this song, “It’s Johnny’s Birthday” was a part of George Harrison’s 3 disc LP All Things Must Pass but then decided it was best served as it’s own dish. It’s a very simple tune that clocks in under a minute long. Based on Bill Marten and Phil Coulter’s song “Congratulations”, Harrison’s tune was just a little tribute to his friend on his birthday. Enjoy…

Happy B-Day Johnny!

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Randy Watson & Sexual Chocolate

21 09 2010

This clip from the 1988 Eddie Murphy comedy Coming To America cracks me up every single time. The whole movie is hilarious but this is by far the best moment. It seems that the all the really good scenes  in this movie have Eddie and co-star Arsenio Hall playing multiple characters. This was actually the first of many movies where Murphy would take on multiple parts. If you haven’t seen it, it’s a must.  His soul-singer extraordinaire Randy Watson is amazing. Caution: You may find yourself watching this over and over again.

Reverend Brown’s introduction is the funniest part. So without further ado, here he is… Jackson Heights own… Randy Watson! PS– The song is Whitney Houston’s “The Greatest Love Of All”. A little side note about this song: it was actually performed by George Benson first but made famous by Houston. Enjoy the whole clip…

References:

More info on Coming to America

Coming To America on IMDB

More info on Eddie Murphy

More info on Arsenio Hall

More info on John Landis

More info on Whitney Houston

More info on “The Greatest Love Of All”





What’s Hot DJ Roomba?!?!

24 06 2010

While unpacking some random items from a box that showed up yesterday, I uncovered our Roomba. Yes, that robotic maid that vacuums your floor. It’s basically the new millenniums answer to Rosie from the Jetsons cartoons. I packed the little guy up months ago and nearly forgot about him. While he was in storage there was a hilarious Parks & Recreation (NBC) episode that featured the lovable robot. Aziz Ansari’s character, Tom Haverford, is moving and enlisted the rest of the crew to help him. At one point, they stumble across his “DJ Roomba” and are a bit curious as to what it is. I thought it was hysterical then and now that I just got my friend back, I was recently reminded of it. Check out the video below to see the short clip I’m talking about.

BTW – Yes, the Roomba does really work. He’s a noisy little bugger though. I see why it’s a good idea to strap an iPod to it. It’s a must for keeping the place free of pet hair… my dog Blu is a shedding machine.

References:

DJRoomba.com

iRobot Roomba Site

EW Recap of the episode: RIP DJ Roomba

More info on NBC’s Parks & Recreation

More info on Aziz Ansari





Taiwan’s Whitney Houston

20 05 2010

This video has been circulating around the web a lot as of this week. I figured it would be a disservice to GG fans worldwide if I didn’t make it available here. If you have not seen it, you will be shocked at how this kid sounds. This is not just one of those Susan Boyle situations, where you’re surprised at how talented they are. It’s not his talent, per se, it’s more of how well he imitates Whitney Houston. This kid is like the Jonesy from those Police Academy movies. At one point, I was not watching the video and just had the audio playing in the background… it’s damn near impossible to tell the difference at certain points. I have very little interest in learning more about this young fella so background info is sparse. But as for commentary, look at this kids outfit. I love the tux with the red bowtie and white gloves… what a look. And as far as his stage presence goes, not bad for an unknown 5 ft nothing, 12 year old Asian boy trying to impersonate a middle aged, 6 ft black woman. Well done, buddy…

PS- If this is the Taiwanese version of American Idol or Britain’s Got Talent, why does the keyboard sound so cheap and crappy?  I’ve heard toy pianos sound less cheesy. This one makes the EP from the opening theme of Law & Order sound exceptional.

PPS- The kid’s name is Lin Yu Chun and this show is called Super Star Avenue. I wish him all the best.





The Deep End: Huge Horn or Puny Player?

4 05 2010

Recently, I have been curiously looking into some very enormous and, consequently, bizarre instruments. Although I have never explicitly stated so on GG, if you read between the lines you may have inferred that The GG is in fact a bass player. So, as someone who fancies the low end I wanted to research some of the other instruments capable of producing that bottom register. You would be surprised (and delighted) by how many weird and unusual instruments are designed to produce such incredibly low tones… I’m talking REALLY deep.

Instruments are often referred to in terms of their pitch or register. Think of an orchestra or chorus: soprano, alto, tenor, baritone, bass, etc. Well, these monstrosities are so low that they have their own deep end designations, known as: contrabass & subcontrabass. It’s pretty straightforward, contrabass being one octave lower than bass. While subcontrabass takes it a notch further, tuned an octave lower than contrabass. The best part about these crazy instruments is that they are all huge in order to naturally be able to produce tones so low. Ok, ok… the best part may actually be their ability to create fart-like sounds that makes the kid in all of us chuckle.

The first and perhaps my favorite is the contrabass saxophone…

This is a duet for contrabassoon, the bassoon’s larger cousin. These dudes are great…

This is the lovable contrabass tuba. Perfect for fight songs…

Here is another duet. This time, the contrabass trombone. There is actually a subcontrabass trombone that requires a double slide but videos are scarce and, frankly, not nearly as enjoyable as this one.

Now we’re really going low. This one is the subcontrabass flute. It may be the strangest because the flute family is usually reserved for the high voices in most ensembles. Needless to say, this is very rare (and odd).

This is a subcontrabass recorder. Yes, like the recorder you used to play “Mary Had A Little Lamb” on when you were in kindergarten… except this in so big it requires 20’of headroom to play.

Believe it or not there are actually a few more… like this  HUGE subcontrabass tuba. But, I think I’ll leave it there.  As fart-tastic as it is, you clearly get the point.

Now, there are legitimately large instruments that need to be designed that way in order to obtain their low range and than there are just big f’ing instruments. You know what I’m talking about, the ridiculous, obnoxious things made by guys who either really love the spectacle of it or just want to break some sort of Guinness record. Either way it’s a circus act, clowns and all. Here are just a few…

Ok. So, there are always exceptions. This is actually pretty cool. It’s a giant science project that enables humans to go inside a huge made-to-scale guitar to see and hear how the acoustics work.

Ref:

CNN story on rare historic contrabass sax

Indie piece on rare historic contrabass trombone





Voodoo Child | The Hendrix Hoax

26 04 2010

Back in the mid to late 90’s a cunning but disturbed musician perpetrated a wild hoax that  involved music legend Jimi Hendrix. This man’s name was Billy Yeager, a struggling artist from Hollywood, FL who, despite a bit of talent and a ton of effort, could never make it in the music industry.  Yeager was a multi-instrumentalist who was primarily a guitarist. He constantly wrote music and gigged around town. He even had numerous interactions and minor friendships with some big time players like Bruce Hornsby, Jaco Pastorius, Tommy Bolin and Pat Metheny but even that wasn’t enough for him to finally get that big break. After receiving countless rejection letters from labels his frustration got the best of him and he came up with this elaborate fraud that has now made him famous… well, somewhat. Yeager created this story that Jimi Hendrix had a long lost son named Jimmy Story. Story was supposedly the result of one of Hendrix’s drug induced romps with a South Florida girl named Sunshine Story while touring in Miami. Yeager took on this persona of Jimmy Story by spending almost a year falsifying documents and creating fake music and photos to help corroborate the news he was going to break to the world. With that, the Hendrix hoax was in motion. It’s an amazing tale of a desperate man doing desperate things. Take a look at the video below to see how he “became” Jimmy Story.

I love how he says it was the Dustin Hoffman movie Tootsie that really inspired him… simply amazing. I just want to know who actually believed this guy. C’mon! Are they serious?

As if that is not enough, what is really wild about this is actually the Billy Yeager story behind it. What is only touched upon here is that Yeager had been documenting his life on film for 20+ years. Whether he knew it or not, he was collecting footage that would eventually become a mild hit in the independent film world called Jimmy’s Story. The film is about Yeager striving for success and falling short only to devise and execute a silly scam that fooled the world. I have yet to see the film but in the bits and pieces I have sampled, it looks like a sad tale of man desperately grasping for fame.


Billy Yeager is a shameless self-promoter so you can get a good glimpse of who this whacko really is by visiting his site. It’s like an online scrap book of all the odd things he’s ever done in music, cinema and life. Not only does it explain how he accomplished the hoax, it also depicts how weird and unusual the man behind it really is and what he is capable of with full artistic license. Yikes!

If you are curious and have some time, go ahead and poke around at www.billyyeager.com. I recommend you at least visit the “Music” and “Film” sections as they are very enlightening.  Oh, and there is this little piece on Yeager’s principles that is an absolute must: CLICK HERE TO READ “HUMILITY”.





Death Metal Barnyard

21 04 2010

I few months ago, a friend sent me this video of the now wildly famous “Death Metal Rooster”. Never being a fan of death metal (or any metal for that matter), I was rather put off by the title but after watching the video it was evident that this rooster has some real talent. As one might assume, now that this up and coming Gallus domesticus has found fame and fortune there are tons of other animals coming out of the woodwork to show him up… and it’s not just the birds either!

And for those that can’t perform, there’s always the mosh pit. If you ever wondered what 130+ cats look like at a heavy metal concert, this is probably as close you may ever get to finding out.

Apparently the Farmer wants in on this too as he has submitted his audition video for consideration… CLICK HERE TO VIEW IT








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