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.



iRobot Roomba Site

EW Recap of the episode: RIP DJ Roomba

More info on NBC’s Parks & Recreation

More info on Aziz Ansari

RIP Gary Coleman

28 05 2010

This may be a little off the traditional music theme but Gary Coleman passed away today at age 42. Coleman was hospitalized this week after falling and hitting his head at his home in Utah.  After slipping in and out of consciousness for the last two days, he was found dead this afternoon. Gary was best known as Arnold Jackson from TV’s Different Strokes. Although he had a bit of a resurgence in recent years, it is the wise cracking young Arnold that people will remember him for. As a tribute, below are two videos…. both of which are quite fitting. One is a a montage of Gary’s trademark line “What you talkin’ ’bout Willis?” and the other is the famous Different Strokes theme song… it’s a classic.


22 04 2010

Whoa! I just found this video of Sly & The Family Stone (the original band) performing live on the short-lived TV show Music Scene circa 1969. This is some true Sly at the peak of it all. This performance is essentially a medley of some of their hits including “Everyday People”, “Dance To The Music”, “Hot Fun In The Summertime”, “Don’t Call Me N(word), Whitey” and “Gotta Take You Higher”.  Now, as far as medley’s go I am typically not a fan. As a purist, I enjoy the full cut of the song as it was intended to be, but I have yet to see live footage of Sly that is this good. This is legit, not that past-his-prime,  burnt out stuff that has recently surfaced. For someone that wasn’t around in ’69, I actually get the sense that this is what the “Music Scene” was actually like… hence the name of the show.

Despite loving this video, of all those songs the only one I really listen to by choice would be “Hot Fun In The Summertime”. The others I appreciate and enjoy but they are not at the top of my Sly queue. Two songs that always seem to jump out as my favorites are “If You Want Me To Stay” and “Family Affair”. They are from his later years and all but, man, do they sound great… pure slow burning Sly soul funk. To check them out follow the links below:

If You Want Me To Stay

Family Affair

Reference Links:

More info on Sly Stone

More info on The Family Stone

More info on Music Scene

Previous GG posts:

Sly At His Slyiest

Purchase Online:

Sly & The Family Stone on iTunes

Buy The Essential Sly & The Family Stone

Hump Day

24 02 2010

Just another hump day… Digital Underground style. This video is from The Arsenio Show (circa 1990). Pretty amazing. Shock G aka “Humpty Hump” does a great live Humpty Dance. As you probably know Tupac launched his career by way of this group. Just take a look at the guy in red, it’s a 19 year old Shakur getting his humpty on.

Shock G was always so recognizable because of his trademark nose piece. Seems like a ridiculous look but it totally worked for Groucho Marx.

Humpty Hump


If you are a Digital Underground fan you would most certainly enjoy this cameo in a bad Dan Akroyd movie from ’91 called Nothing But Trouble… so bad it’s good (maybe).

Guilty Pleasures

19 02 2010

We all have them and I am no exception. A good friend recently asked what mine are. It was part of a discussion about the stress of putting your iPod on shuffle while with others and hoping that one of those guilty pleasures doesn’t somehow pop up and embarrass you, which always seems to happen. Here are a few of my guilty pleasures but I’m not that embarrassed by them so I don’t know if they really count. But, they are certainly not tunes I want the guy next to me on the subway overhearing from my headphones although they’re really nice to squeeze into playlists here and there… they seem to go really well with the rest of the ‘so bad it’s good’ yacht rock in my library. I hear this stuff is coming back so maybe I’m actually on the fore of something big here.

This is Hall & Oates’ “Rich Girl”. I once worked with a guy who famously said, “Daryl Hall is the greatest blonde-haired, blue-eyed soul singer of his time”. Despite not being able to come up with another to challenge that, I would hardly give the guy that much credit. Nevertheless, they do have some really great songs… and this is perhaps their best. Either this or “I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do)”. It’s too close to call.

I just want to add that Hall’s outfit in this is hysterical. It’s way Don Johnson in Miami Vice.

Here’s Michael McDonald’s “I Keep Forgettin”. Now this one is more commonly appreciated because it was the sample used for Warren G’s “Regulate” circa 1994. Sure McDonald is hard to take seriously but it’s a pretty good song. There is a newer live version available but I actually prefer this early 80’s disaster of a music video.

Bowie should never be a guilty pleasure but I tend to lump “Ashes to Ashes” in there. Unfortunately, Mr. Bowie has blocked the embedding of the official video (yes, every single one on the web) so this is just the song with the album cover. It’s from Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps) ca. 1980.

This is both guilty pleasure and Soundtrack classic. Huey Lewis & the News’ 1985 hit from Back to the Future, “Back in Time”. Embarrassing and amazing all at the same.

This does not fit the soft rock trend going on here but it still qualifies for the guilty pleasure category. Weezer doing “Undone (The Sweater Song) back in 1994 on The John Stewart Show. That’s right, not the Daily Show… this was that long ago. Look how young they are…

Dirty Mac

3 02 2010

This is a really cool video of John Lennon’s super group, Dirty Mac, playing “Yer Blues”. They only performed together twice, this being the first time. John assembled the group for a 1968 Rolling Stones TV special called The Rolling Stones Rock & Roll Circus. This was the first time John had played publicly without the other Beatles. What makes it interesting is who else is in the band. It includes Eric Clapton on guitar, Mitch Mitchell at the drums, Keith Richards on bass and, of course, Lennon singing and playing rhythm guitar. The setup with Mick is a little goofy, note John’s stage name: Winston Leg-Thigh, but it’s a great video. They continue on to do a long blues tune with Yoko called “Whole Lotta Yoko” and then never officially played together again. One might say Yoko had a hand in breaking up this band too.

Fairlight CMI

18 01 2010

Since I’m on the topic of Herbie Hancock, check out this video of Herbie and Quincy Jones playing around with a really old synthesizer, the Fairlight CMI. I first saw Herbie messing around with this thing on Sesame Street… waaaay back when. All I could remember was that it was really weird for children’s programming. I just found that same video on the web and upon watching again I pretty much came to the same conclusion (20+ years later). The CMI first came out in 1979 for like $25,000 and it basically became the sound of the 80’s. Peter Gabriel and Stevie Wonder bought the first 2 that rolled off the production line… which makes sense. You’ve definitely heard it before in many, many 80’s classics.

Note the light pen/stylus thingy. For some strange reason, it kind of reminds me of that weird pen, Mortimer Ichabod,  from Bill Cosby’s Picture Pages (Nickelodeon circa 1990-ish) . I don’t know, it must be the overt digitalness and/or the fact that it’s seems totally ridiculous because it’s supposed to be so ahead of it’s time and yet seems so dated. Little did they know the stylus would become completely obsolete in the new millennium. Look at us… just using our fingers to interact with these crazy gadgets.

There are numerous videos of this thing for reference, like Keith Emerson of ELP on The Today Show – 1983. This is actually a REALLY good one. It’s crazy to see their mentality about digital music in the early 80’s. You need to hear some of the questions this reporter poses. It borders on fear mongering. In 2010 it really sounds absurd.

There are also many more just like or very similar to that one but, I certainly  don’t want to post them all here so follow the links below back to YouTube if you are curious. I’m even linking Mortimer the Pen too. How could I not?

Other Video Links:

Mortimer Ichabod (Picture Pages Pen)

Fairlight Factory Tour -1984

Peter Gabriel shows you how he made some of his worst music on the CMI

Really odd UK news show, This Week, features the CMI. Old + odd… usually a recipe for a pretty decent video.

Additional Background References:

Wiki – Fairlight CMI

GH Services

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