Cartoon media franchise of Warner Bros.
Shellac Stack No. 292 bathes in the sunshine with John Firman's Ochestra and bends down with Ben Selvin's Orchestra. Mel Blanc conjures up one of his most popular “Looney Tunes” voices, and Annisteen Allen nearly blows her top! We also hear from Leopold Godowsky, Ceelle Burke, Happy Felton, Ted Lewis, Alice Leslie, Les Paul, and … Continue reading »
Joseph S. Kahn talks with Jason Barnard about achieving harmony in your SERP results! From award-winning pop band to top-ranker for Looney Tunes, Joseph S. Kahn finds himself in new search engine ranking tactics and builds harmonics in digital teams every day. Among Joseph S. Kahn's many accomplishments, he was named "Leader of the Year" for John Maxwell's company Maximum Impact in 2003 practicing employee harmonics to make it into Fortune's Top 500 Fastest Growing Companies. Now Joseph S. Kahn is using his newly acquired SEO skills to create harmonic roadmaps for ranking at the top of Google. Achieving harmony in the SERP that sings to your audience and Google, how cool is that? Hum jamming is a brilliant way to get started and get the ideas flowing, and Joseph S. Khan's approach in all of these areas whether in the SERP or music is definitely incredible. Joseph reveals what he means by harmony in the SERP, as well as some great tips for SEO and how he managed to remove irrelevant results from Hum Jam's Brand SERP using techniques which he learned from the groovy Jason Barnard, The Brand SERP Guy. As always, the show ends with passing the baton… which Joseph enthusiastically does for Carly J. Cais, who will be the lovely guest next week. What you'll learn from Joseph S. Kahn 00:00 Joseph S. Khan and Jason Barnard01:03 Joseph S. Khan's Theory on Why Many SEOs are Musicians05:14 Hum JAM's Brand SERP in Atlanta05:42 Hum JAM's Brand SERP in the UK05:58 Kalicube Knowledge Panel and Brand SERP Support Group07:29 Knowledge Panel Done for Jason Hennessey by Kalicube07:39 Knowledge Panel Checklist 08:19 What Does Harmony in the SERP Mean?10:38 The Importance of Citations in the SERP10:52 Joseph S. Khan's Brand SERP Chord12:56 AIDA Method for Music and the SERP13:20 Hum JAM's Approach to Humming Up Ideas14:38 SEO Tips from Joseph S. Khan19:04 Transposition Ideas for SEO21:30 Domain Tips from Jason Barnard 22:15 How Long Did it Take Hum JAM to Remove Irrelevant Result on it's Brand SERP?23:22 Doing Competitive Research27:40 How to Use Joseph Khan's Harmony Approach to SEO as a Beginner 32:05 Passing the Baton: Joseph S. Khan to Carly J. Cais This episode was recorded live on video November 15th 2022 Recorded live at Kalicube Tuesdays (Digital Marketing Livestream Event Series). Watch the video now >>
Join us as we take in the sounds of Warner Brothers trying to get the Looney Tunes to sing The Beatles, Elvis, and eventually Looney Music!
For this VIP PPPatreon the guys tackle the dramatic upswing in BBLs and cosmetic surgery as well as Aries Spears and Tiffany Haddish being sued for crafting the strangest "comedy" skit in recent memory. Big laughs and big entertainment. JOIN US TODAY AT SCULPTURE COURTYARD 1714 HANCOCK ST FOR "EAGLES WATCH LIVE" AS THE 8-1 EAGLES TAKE ON THE INDIANAPOLIS COLTS!! TICKETS AVAILBLE NOW AT HTTPS://EAGLESWATCHLIVE.COM AND YES YOU CAN PAY AT THE DOOR!! DOORS OPEN AT 11AM FOR PREGAME TAILGATE. As always for more exclusive content and resources subscribe to us on Patreon and follow us on social media. Click the links below: •6th Anniversary Show Tickets: https://trpe6.eventbrite.com •Eagles Watch Live Hosted by TRPE - Sunday Nov. 20th: https://eagleswatchlive.com •Patreon (15% OFF ALL NEW YEARLY MEMBERSHIPS): https://patreon.com/officialtrpe •New Merch Available NOW: https://www.teepublic.com/user/trpe?ref_id=12031 •YouTube: https://youtube.com/TheRealestPodcastEver •Twitter: https://twitter.com/officialtrpe •Insta: https://instagram.com/officialtrpe •FB: https://facebook.com/TheRealestPodcastEver
Noah discusses Daredevil: Born Again leaks, Drake's involvement in a Looney Tunes revival, Ryan Gosling's new look in The Fall Guy (2023), and reviews The Menu, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, White Lotus Season 2 episodes 1-3, Enola Holmes 2, and more!
This Episode is Brought To you by HAINES KNIVES Find your new favorite knife at HainesKnives.com/mancast or follow on social media @birdforge Testicular Fortitude means having deep seated masculine courage and strength. Balls. Guts. Manlihood. Testicular Fortitude on the Manlihood ManCast is where we take a look at men who have beat the odds, men whose courage has left a lasting legacy. Do you have testicular fortitude? Do you want to embrace your life of courage? Join our elite group of powerhouse men who are changing the world. Manlihood.com/brotherhood For More From Josh Hatcher at Manlihood.com http://manlihood.com http://joshhatcher.com In World War II, paratroopers would yell “Geronimo!” as they jumped out airplanes into battle. Growing up on Looney Tunes, I heard the shouting of that name many times over the years, and associated it with bravery and courage. But who was Geronimo? By all accounts in his day, he would have been seen as an outlaw. A rogue Apache on the run from the US Government. But his story is one of a man with an unquenchable fire to fight for freedom for his people. He was born in 1829 in what would eventually become Arizona. His actual name, Goyahkla, means “one who yawns.” He lived among the Chiricahua tribe of Apaches, and as he came of age, his people were at war with the Mexicans in the South and the US government to the North, as well as a constant war with the Comanche and Navajo. In 1851, a group of Mexican soldiers led by Colonel Jose Maria Carrasco attacked his family camp while he was away, killing his wife, his mother, and his three children. As was custom, he burned his family's belongings and headed into the forest to grieve. Goyahkla said he heard a voice in the wilderness that told him, “No bullet will ever hurt you. I will guide your arrows.” Imbued with courage from this prophecy, He declared his own war, and stalked and killed the soldiers that murdered his family. Historians aren't sure where the name Geronimo appeared. It could be a mispronouncing of his name, or could be associated with the sound of Mexican soldiers crying out to Saint Jerome as they were being killed by the vengeful warrior - but somehow, the name Geronimo stuck in the cultural consciousness. --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/manlihood/message
On today's #TheRalphReport : The man behind the MUSIC of the LOONEY TUNES! Euphemisms for SEX all through history! And, happy 247th birthday to the U.S. MARINE CORPS! SUBSCRIBE: www.patreon.com/theralphreport
Nifty's is a marketplace, but they aren't what you'd typically expect. Shanon Kelley describes the reasoning behind the creation of Nifty's and discusses the fact that she believes that the NFT space needs mass adoption. Having a lower price point, if not free, NFTs helps consumers to easily start their collection and to ramp up mass adoption.Shanon Kelley has been the Chief Commercial Officer at Nifty's for quite some time. She has experience in omni-media including print, digital, video and experiential. She is visiting us at From the Blockchain at an exciting time as Nifty's prepares their Game of Thrones dropIn this episode, Shanon discusses new digital ways of showing off collectibles, how to best work with existing IPs, AI integration, and Twitter and NFT Design. Later, she dives into the Looney Tunes collection, explains “Rig”, and fills us in on Nifty's Game of Thrones drop. Be sure to tune in!Resources To learn more about Fame Lady Squad and our NFT project, visit our website. Have a question, comment, or guest suggestion? Fill out this form Follow Fame Lady Squad on Discord Follow Ashley “Bored Becky” on Twitter Follow Danielle “NFTIgnition” on Twitter Follow Cara "LadyC" on Twitter Learn more about Nifty's Follow Shanon on Twitter
About ChetanChetan Venkatesh is a technology startup veteran focused on distributed data, edge computing, and software products for enterprises and developers. He has 20 years of experience in building primary data storage, databases, and data replication products. Chetan holds a dozen patents in the area of distributed computing and data storage.Chetan is the CEO and Co-Founder of Macrometa – a Global Data Network featuring a Global Data Mesh, Edge Compute, and In-Region Data Protection. Macrometa helps enterprise developers build real-time apps and APIs in minutes – not months.Links Referenced: Macrometa: https://www.macrometa.com Macrometa Developer Week: https://www.macrometa.com/developer-week TranscriptAnnouncer: Hello, and welcome to Screaming in the Cloud with your host, Chief Cloud Economist at The Duckbill Group, Corey Quinn. This weekly show features conversations with people doing interesting work in the world of cloud, thoughtful commentary on the state of the technical world, and ridiculous titles for which Corey refuses to apologize. This is Screaming in the Cloud.Corey: Forget everything you know about SSH and try Tailscale. Imagine if you didn't need to manage PKI or rotate SSH keys every time someone leaves. That'd be pretty sweet, wouldn't it? With Tailscale SSH, you can do exactly that. Tailscale gives each server and user device a node key to connect to its VPN, and it uses the same node key to authorize and authenticate SSH.Basically you're SSHing the same way you manage access to your app. What's the benefit here? Built in key rotation permissions is code connectivity between any two devices, reduce latency and there's a lot more, but there's a time limit here. You can also ask users to reauthenticate for that extra bit of security. Sounds expensive?Nope, I wish it were. tail scales. Completely free for personal use on up to 20 devices. To learn more, visit snark.cloud/tailscale. Again, that's snark.cloud/tailscaleCorey: Managing shards. Maintenance windows. Overprovisioning. ElastiCache bills. I know, I know. It's a spooky season and you're already shaking. It's time for caching to be simpler. Momento Serverless Cache lets you forget the backend to focus on good code and great user experiences. With true autoscaling and a pay-per-use pricing model, it makes caching easy. No matter your cloud provider, get going for free at gomomento.co/screaming That's GO M-O-M-E-N-T-O dot co slash screamingCorey: Welcome to Screaming in the Cloud. I'm Corey Quinn. Today, this promoted guest episode is brought to us basically so I can ask a question that has been eating at me for a little while. That question is, what is the edge? Because I have a lot of cynical sarcastic answers to it, but that doesn't really help understanding. My guest today is Chetan Venkatesh, CEO and co-founder at Macrometa. Chetan, thank you for joining me.Chetan: It's my pleasure, Corey. You're one of my heroes. I think I've told you this before, so I am absolutely delighted to be here.Corey: Well, thank you. We all need people to sit on the curb and clap as we go by and feel like giant frauds in the process. So let's start with the easy question that sets up the rest of it. Namely, what is Macrometa, and what puts you in a position to be able to speak at all, let alone authoritatively, on what the edge might be?Chetan: I'll answer the second part of your question first, which is, you know, what gives me the authority to even talk about this? Well, for one, I've been trying to solve the same problem for 20 years now, which is build distributed systems that work really fast and can answer questions about data in milliseconds. And my journey's sort of been like the spiral staircase journey, you know, I keep going around in circles, but the view just keeps getting better every time I do one of these things. So I'm on my fourth startup doing distributed data infrastructure, and this time really focused on trying to provide a platform that's the antithesis of the cloud. It's kind of like taking the cloud and flipping it on its head because instead of having a single region application where all your stuff runs in one place, on us-west-1 or us-east-1, what if your apps could run everywhere, like, they could run in hundreds and hundreds of cities around the world, much closer to where your users and devices and most importantly, where interesting things in the real world are happening?And so we started Macrometa about five years back to build a new kind of distributed cloud—let's call the edge—that kind of looks like a CDN, a Content Delivery Network, but really brings very sophisticated platform-level primitives for developers to build applications in a distributed way around primitives for compute, primitives for data, but also some very interesting things that you just can't do in the cloud anymore. So that's Macrometa. And we're doing something with edge computing, which is a big buzzword these days, but I'm sure you'll ask me about that.Corey: It seems to be. Generally speaking, when I look around and companies are talking about edge, it feels almost like it is a redefining of what they already do to use a term that is currently trending and deep in the hype world.Chetan: Yeah. You know, I think humans just being biologically social beings just tend to be herd-like, and so when we see a new trend, we like to slap it on everything we have. We did that 15 years back with cloud, if you remember, you know? Everybody was very busy trying to stick the cloud label on everything that was on-prem. Edge is sort of having that edge-washing moment right now.But I define edge very specifically is very different from the cloud. You know, where the cloud is defined by centralization, i.e., you've got a giant hyperscale data center somewhere far, far away, where typically electricity, real estate, and those things are reasonably cheap, i.e., not in urban centers, where those things tend to be expensive.You know, you have platforms where you run things at scale, it's sort of a your mess for less business in the cloud and somebody else manages that for you. The edge is actually defined by location. And there are three types of edges. The first edge is the CDN edge, which is historically where we've been trying to make things faster with the internet and make the internet scale. So Akamai came about, about 20 years back and created this thing called the CDN that allowed the web to scale. And that was the first killer app for edge, actually. So that's the first location that defines the edge where a lot of the peering happens between different network providers and the on-ramp around the cloud happens.The second edge is the telecom edge. That's actually right next to you in terms of, you know, the logical network topology because every time you do something on your computer, it goes through that telecom layer. And now we have the ability to actually run web services, applications, data, directly from that telecom layer.And then the third edge is—sort of, people have been familiar with this for 30 years. The third edge is your device, just your mobile phone. It's your internet gateway and, you know, things that you carry around in your pocket or sit on your desk, where you have some compute power, but it's very restricted and it only deals with things that are interesting or important to you as a person, not in a broad range. So those are sort of the three things. And it's not the cloud. And these three things are now becoming important as a place for you to build and run enterprise apps.Corey: Something that I think is often overlooked here—and this is sort of a natural consequence of the cloud's own success and the joy that we live in a system that we do where companies are required to always grow and expand and find new markets—historically, for example, when I went to AWS re:Invent, which is a cloud service carnival in the desert that no one in the right mind should ever want to attend but somehow we keep doing, it used to be that, oh, these announcements are generally all aligned with people like me, where I have specific problems and they look a lot like what they're talking about on stage. And now they're talking about things that, from that perspective, seem like Looney Tunes. Like, I'm trying to build Twitter for Pets or something close to it, and I don't understand why there's so much talk about things like industrial IoT and, “Machine learning,” quote-unquote, and other things that just do not seem to align with. I'm trying to build a web service, like it says on the name of a company; what gives?And part of that, I think, is that it's difficult to remember, for most of us—especially me—that what they're coming out with is not your shopping list. Every service is for someone, not every service is for everyone, so figuring out what it is that they're talking about and what those workloads look like, is something that I think is getting lost in translation. And in our defense—collective defense—Amazon is not the best at telling stories to realize that, oh, this is not me they're talking to; I'm going to opt out of this particular thing. You figure it out by getting it wrong first. Does that align with how you see the market going?Chetan: I think so. You know, I think of Amazon Web Services, or even Google, or Azure as sort of Costco and, you know, Sam's Wholesale Club or whatever, right? They cater to a very broad audience and they sell a lot of stuff in bulk and cheap. And you know, so it's sort of a lowest common denominator type of a model. And so emerging applications, and especially emerging needs that enterprises have, don't necessarily get solved in the cloud. You've got to go and build up yourself on sort of the crude primitives that they provide.So okay, go use your bare basic EC2, your S3, and build your own edgy, or whatever, you know, cutting edge thing you want to build over there. And if enough people are doing it, I'm sure Amazon and Google start to pay interest and you know, develop something that makes it easier. So you know, I agree with you, they're not the best at this sort of a thing. The edge is phenomenon also that's orthogonally, and diametrically opposite to the architecture of the cloud and the economics of the cloud.And we do centralization in the cloud in a big way. Everything is in one place; we make giant piles of data in one database or data warehouse slice and dice it, and almost all our computer science is great at doing things in a centralized way. But when you take data and chop it into 50 copies and keep it in 50 different places on Earth, and you have this thing called the internet or the wide area network in the middle, trying to keep all those copies in sync is a nightmare. So you start to deal with some very basic computer science problems like distributed state and how do you build applications that have a consistent view of that distributed state? So you know, there have been attempts to solve these problems for 15, 18 years, but none of those attempts have really cracked the intersection of three things: a way for programmers to do this in a way that doesn't blow their heads with complexity, a way to do this cheaply and effectively enough where you can build real-world applications that serve billions of users concurrently at a cost point that actually is economical and make sense, and third, a way to do this with adequate levels of performance where you don't die waiting for the spinning wheel on your screen to go away.So these are the three problems with edge. And as I said, you know, me and my team, we've been focused on this for a very long while. And me and my co-founder have come from this world and we created a platform very uniquely designed to solve these three problems, the problems of complexity for programmers to build in a distributed environment like this where data sits in hundreds of places around the world and you need a consistent view of that data, being able to operate and modify and replicate that data with consistency guarantees, and then a third one, being able to do that, at high levels of performance, which translates to what we call ultra-low latency, which is human perception. The threshold of human perception, visually, is about 70 milliseconds. Our finest athletes, the best Esports players are about 70 to 80 milliseconds in their twitch, in their ability to twitch when something happens on the screen. The average human is about 100 to 110 milliseconds.So in a second, we can maybe do seven things at rapid rates. You know, that's how fast our brain can process it. Anything that falls below 100 milliseconds—especially if it falls into 50 to 70 milliseconds—appears instantaneous to the human mind and we experience it as magic. And so where edge computing and where my platform comes in is that it literally puts data and applications within 50 milliseconds of 90% of humans and devices on Earth and allows now a whole new set of applications where latency and location and the ability to control those things with really fine-grained capability matters. And we can talk a little more about what those apps are in a bit.Corey: And I think that's probably an interesting place to dive into at the moment because whenever we talk about the idea of new ways of building things that are aimed at decentralization, first, people at this point automatically have a bit of an aversion to, “Wait, are you talking about some of the Web3 nonsense?” It's one of those look around the poker table and see if you can spot the sucker, and if you can't, it's you. Because there are interesting aspects to that entire market, let's be clear, but it also seems to be occluded by so much of the grift and nonsense and spam and the rest that, again, sort of characterize the early internet as well. The idea though, of decentralizing out of the cloud is deeply compelling just to anyone who's really ever had to deal with the egress charges, or even the data transfer charges inside of one of the cloud providers. The counterpoint is it feels that historically, you either get to pay the tax and go all-in on a cloud provider and get all the higher-level niceties, or otherwise, you wind up deciding you're going to have to more or less go back to physical data centers, give or take, and other than the very baseline primitives that you get to work with of VMs and block storage and maybe a load balancer, you're building it all yourself from scratch. It seems like you're positioning this as setting up for a third option. I'd be very interested to hear it.Chetan: Yeah. And a quick comment on decentralization: good; not so sure about the Web3 pieces around it. We tend to talk about computer science and not the ideology of distributing data. There are political reasons, there are ideological reasons around data and sovereignty and individual human rights, and things like that. There are people far smarter than me who should explain that.I fall personally into the Nicholas Weaver school of skepticism about Web3 and blockchain and those types of things. And for readers who are not familiar with Nicholas Weaver, please go online. He teaches at UC Berkeley is just one of the finest minds of our time. And I think he's broken down some very good reasons why we should be skeptical about, sort of, Web3 and, you know, things like that. Anyway, that's a digression.Coming back to what we're talking about, yes, it is a new paradigm, but that's the challenge, which is I don't want to introduce a new paradigm. I want to provide a continuum. So what we've built is a platform that looks and feels very much like Lambdas, and a poly-model database. I hate the word multi. It's a pretty dumb word, so I've started to substitute ‘multi' with ‘poly' everywhere, wherever I can find it.So it's not multi-cloud; it's poly-cloud. And it's not multi-model; it's poly-model. Because what we want is a world where developers have the ability to use the best paradigm for solving problems. And it turns out when we build applications that deal with data, data doesn't just come in one form, it comes in many different forms, it's polymorphic, and so you need a data platform, that's also, you know, polyglot and poly-model to be able to handle that. So that's one part of the problem, which is, you know, we're trying to provide a platform that provides continuity by looking like a key-value store like Redis. It looks like a document database—Corey: Or the best database in the world Route 53 TXT records. But please, keep going.Chetan: Well, we've got that too, so [laugh] you know? And then we've got a streaming graph engine built into it that kind of looks and behaves like a graph database, like Neo4j, for example. And, you know, it's got columnar capabilities as well. So it's sort of a really interesting data platform that is not open-source; it's proprietary because it's designed to solve these problems of being able to distribute data, put it in hundreds of locations, keep it all in sync, but it looks like a conventional NoSQL database. And it speaks PostgreSQL, so if you know PostgreSQL, you can program it, you know, pretty easily.What it's also doing is taking away the responsibility for engineers and developers to understand how to deal with very arcane problems like conflict resolution in data. I made a change in Mumbai; you made a change in Tokyo; who wins? Our systems in the cloud—you know, DynamoDB, and things like that—they have very crude answers for this something called last writer wins. We've done a lot of work to build a protocol that brings you ACID-like consistency in these types of problems and makes it easy to reason with state change when you've got an application that's potentially running in 100 locations and each of those places is modifying the same record, for example.And then the second part of it is it's a converged platform. So it doesn't just provide data; it provides a compute layer that's deeply integrated directly with the data layer itself. So think of it as Lambdas running, like, stored procedures inside the database. That's really what it is. We've built a very, very specialized compute engine that exposes containers in functions as stored procedures directly on the database.And so they run inside the context of the database and so you can build apps in Python, Go, your favorite language; it compiles down into a [unintelligible 00:15:02] kernel that actually runs inside the database among all these different polyglot interfaces that we have. And the third thing that we do is we provide an ability for you to have very fine-grained control on your data. Because today, data's become a political tool; it's become something that nation-states care a lot about.Corey: Oh, do they ever.Chetan: Exactly. And [unintelligible 00:15:24] regulated. So here's the problem. You're an enterprise architect and your application is going to be consumed in 15 countries, there are 13 different frameworks to deal with. What do you do? Well, you spin up 13 different versions, one for each country, and you know, build 13 different teams, and have 13 zero-day attacks and all that kind of craziness, right?Well, data protection is actually one of the most important parts of the edge because, with something like Macrometa, you can build an app once, and we'll provide all the necessary localization for any region processing, data protection with things like tokenization of data so you can exfiltrate data securely without violating potentially PII sensitive data exfiltration laws within countries, things like that, i.e. It's solving some really hard problems by providing an opinionated platform that does these three things. And I'll summarize it as thus, Corey, we can kind of dig into each piece. Our platform is called the Global Data Network. It's not a global database; it's a global data network. It looks like a frickin database, but it's actually a global network available in 175 cities around the world.Corey: The challenge, of course, is where does the data actually live at rest, and—this is why people care about—well, they're two reasons people care about that; one is the data residency locality stuff, which has always, honestly for me, felt a little bit like a bit of a cloud provider shakedown. Yeah, build a data center here or you don't get any of the business of anything that falls under our regulation. The other is, what is the egress cost of that look like? Because yeah, I can build a whole multicenter data store on top of AWS, for example, but minimum, we're talking two cents, a gigabyte of transfer, even with inside of a region in some cases, and many times that externally.Chetan: Yeah, that's the real shakedown: the egress costs [laugh] more than the other example that you talked about over there. But it's a reality of how cloud pricing works and things like that. What we have built is a network that is completely independent of the cloud providers. We're built on top of five different service providers. Some of them are cloud providers, some of them are telecom providers, some of them are CDNs.And so we're building our global data network on top of routes and capacity provided by transfer providers who have different economics than the cloud providers do. So our cost for egress falls somewhere between two and five cents, for example, depending on which edge locations, which countries, and things that you're going to use over there. We've got a pretty generous egress fee where, you know, for certain thresholds, there's no egress charge at all, but over certain thresholds, we start to charge between two to five cents. But even if you were to take it at the higher end of that spectrum, five cents per gigabyte for transfer, the amount of value our platform brings in architecture and reduction in complexity and the ability to build apps that are frankly, mind-boggling—one of my customers is a SaaS company in marketing that uses us to inject offers while people are on their website, you know, browsing. Literally, you hit their website, you do a few things, and then boom, there's a customized offer for them.In banking that's used, for example, you know, you're making your minimum payments on your credit card, but you have a good payment history and you've got a decent credit score, well, let's give you an offer to give you a short-term loan, for example. So those types of new applications, you know, are really at this intersection where you need low latency, you need in-region processing, and you also need to comply with data regulation. So when you building a high-value revenue-generating app like that egress cost, even at five cents, right, tends to be very, very cheap, and the smallest part of you know, the complexity of building them.Corey: One of the things that I think we see a lot of is that the tone of this industry is set by the big players, and they have done a reasonable job, by and large, of making anything that isn't running in their blessed environments, let me be direct, sound kind of shitty, where it's like, “Oh, do you want to be smart and run things in AWS?”—or GCP? Or Azure, I guess—“Or do you want to be foolish and try and build it yourself out of popsicle sticks and twine?” And, yeah, on some level, if I'm trying to treat everything like it's AWS and run a crappy analog version of DynamoDB, for example, I'm not going to have a great experience, but if I also start from a perspective of not using things that are higher up the stack offerings, that experience starts to look a lot more reasonable as we start expanding out. But it still does present to a lot of us as well, we're just going to run things in VM somewhere and treat them just like we did back in 2005. What's changed in that perspective?Chetan: Yeah, you know, I can't talk for others but for us, we provide a high-level Platform-as-a-Service, and that platform, the global data network, has three pieces to it. First piece is—and none of this will translate into anything that AWS or GCP has because this is the edge, Corey, is completely different, right? So the global data network that we have is composed of three technology components. The first one is something that we call the global data mesh. And this is Pub/Sub and event processing on steroids. We have the ability to connect data sources across all kinds of boundaries; you've got some data in Germany and you've got some data in New York. How do you put these things together and get them streaming so that you can start to do interesting things with correlating this data, for example?And you might have to get across not just physical boundaries, like, they're sitting in different systems in different data centers; they might be logical boundaries, like, hey, I need to collaborate with data from my supply chain partner and we need to be able to do something that's dynamic in real-time, you know, to solve a business problem. So the global data mesh is a way to very quickly connect data wherever it might be in legacy systems, in flat files, in streaming databases, in data warehouses, what have you—you know, we have 500-plus types of connectors—but most importantly, it's not just getting the data streaming, it's then turning it into an API and making that data fungible. Because the minute you put an API on it and it's become fungible now that data is actually got a lot of value. And so the data mesh is a way to very quickly connect things up and put an API on it. And that API can now be consumed by front-ends, it can be consumed by other microservices, things like that.Which brings me to the second piece, which is edge compute. So we've built a compute runtime that is Docker compatible, so it runs containers, it's also Lambda compatible, so it runs functions. Let me rephrase that; it's not Lambda-compatible, it's Lambda-like. So no, you can't take your Lambda and dump it on us and it won't just work. You have to do some things to make it work on us.Corey: But so many of those things are so deeply integrated to the ecosystem that they're operating within, and—Chetan: Yeah.Corey: That, on the one hand, is presented by cloud providers as, “Oh, yes. This shows how wonderful these things are.” In practice, talk to customers. “Yeah, we're using it as spackle between the different cloud services that don't talk to one another despite being made by the same company.”Chetan: [laugh] right.Corey: It's fun.Chetan: Yeah. So the second edge compute piece, which allows you now to build microservices that are stateful, i.e., they have data that they interact with locally, and schedule them along with the data on our network of 175 regions around the world. So you can build distributed applications now.Now, your microservice back-end for your banking application or for your HR SaaS application or e-commerce application is not running in us-east-1 and Virginia; it's running literally in 15, 18, 25 cities where your end-users are, potentially. And to take an industrial IoT case, for example, you might be ingesting data from the electricity grid in 15, 18 different cities around the world; you can do all of that locally now. So that's what the edge functions does, it flips the cloud model around because instead of sending data to where the compute is in the cloud, you're actually bringing compute to where the data is originating, or the data is being consumed, such as through a mobile app. So that's the second piece.And the third piece is global data protection, which is hey, now I've got a distributed infrastructure; how do I comply with all the different privacy and regulatory frameworks that are out there? How do I keep data secure in each region? How do I potentially share data between regions in such a way that, you know, I don't break the model of compliance globally and create a billion-dollar headache for my CIO and CEO and CFO, you know? So that's the third piece of capabilities that this provides.All of this is presented as a set of serverless APIs. So you simply plug these APIs into your existing applications. Some of your applications work great in the cloud. Maybe there are just parts of that app that should be on our edge. And that's usually where most customers start; they take a single web service or two that's not doing so great in the cloud because it's too far away; it has data sensitivity, location sensitivity, time sensitivity, and so they use us as a way to just deal with that on the edge.And there are other applications where it's completely what I call edge native, i.e., no dependancy on the cloud comes and runs completely distributed across our network and consumes primarily the edges infrastructure, and just maybe send some data back on the cloud for long-term storage or long-term analytics.Corey: And ingest does remain free. The long-term analytics, of course, means that once that data is there, good luck convincing a customer to move it because that gets really expensive.Chetan: Exactly, exactly. It's a speciation—as I like to say—of the cloud, into a fast tier where interactions happen, i.e., the edge. So systems of record are still in the cloud; we still have our transactional systems over there, our databases, data warehouses.And those are great for historical types of data, as you just mentioned, but for things that are operational in nature, that are interactive in nature, where you really need to deal with them because they're time-sensitive, they're depleting value in seconds or milliseconds, they're location sensitive, there's a lot of noise in the data and you need to get to just those bits of data that actually matter, throw the rest away, for example—which is what you do with a lot of telemetry in cybersecurity, for example, right—those are all the things that require a new kind of a platform, not a system of record, a system of interaction, and that's what the global data network is, the GDN. And these three primitives, the data mesh, Edge compute, and data protection, are the way that our APIs are shaped to help our enterprise customers solve these problems. So put it another way, imagine ten years from now what DynamoDB and global tables with a really fast Lambda and Kinesis with actually Event Processing built directly into Kinesis might be like. That's Macrometa today, available in 175 cities.Corey: This episode is brought to us in part by our friends at Datadog. Datadog is a SaaS monitoring and security platform that enables full-stack observability for modern infrastructure and applications at every scale. Datadog enables teams to see everything: dashboarding, alerting, application performance monitoring, infrastructure monitoring, UX monitoring, security monitoring, dog logos, and log management, in one tightly integrated platform. With 600-plus out-of-the-box integrations with technologies including all major cloud providers, databases, and web servers, Datadog allows you to aggregate all your data into one platform for seamless correlation, allowing teams to troubleshoot and collaborate together in one place, preventing downtime and enhancing performance and reliability. Get started with a free 14-day trial by visiting datadoghq.com/screaminginthecloud, and get a free t-shirt after installing the agent.Corey: I think it's also worth pointing out that it's easy for me to fall into a trap that I wonder if some of our listeners do as well, which is, I live in, basically, downtown San Francisco. I have gigabit internet connectivity here, to the point where when it goes out, it is suspicious and more a little bit frightening because my ISP—Sonic.net—is amazing and deserves every bit of praise that you never hear any ISP ever get. But when I travel, it's a very different experience. When I go to oh, I don't know, the conference center at re:Invent last year and find that the internet is patchy at best, or downtown San Francisco on Verizon today, I discover that the internet is almost non-existent, and suddenly applications that I had grown accustomed to just working suddenly didn't.And there's a lot more people who live far away from these data center regions and tier one backbones directly to same than don't. So I think that there's a lot of mistaken ideas around exactly what the lower bandwidth experience of the internet is today. And that is something that feels inadvertently classist if that make sense. Are these geographically bigoted?Chetan: Yeah. No, I think those two points are very well articulated. I wish I could articulate it that well. But yes, if you can afford 5G, some of those things get better. But again, 5G is not everywhere yet. It will be, but 5G can in many ways democratize at least one part of it, which is provide an overlap network at the edge, where if you left home and you switched networks, on to a wireless, you can still get the same quality of service that you used to getting from Sonic, for example. So I think it can solve some of those things in the future. But the second part of it—what did you call it? What bigoted?Corey: Geographically bigoted. And again, that's maybe a bit of a strong term, but it's easy to forget that you can't get around the speed of light. I would say that the most poignant example of that I had was when I was—in the before times—giving a keynote in Australia. So ah, I know what I'll do, I'll spin up an EC2 instance for development purposes—because that's how I do my development—in Australia. And then I would just pay my provider for cellular access for my iPad and that was great.And I found the internet was slow as molasses for everything I did. Like, how do people even live here? Well, turns out that my provider would backhaul traffic to the United States. So to log into my session, I would wind up having to connect with a local provider, backhaul to the US, then connect back out from there to Australia across the entire Pacific Ocean, talk to the server, get the response, would follow that return path. It's yeah, turns out that doing laps around the world is not the most efficient way of transferring any data whatsoever, let alone in sizable amounts.Chetan: And that's why we decided to call our platform the global data network, Corey. In fact, it's really built inside of sort of a very simple reason is that we have our own network underneath all of this and we stop this whole ping-pong effect of data going around and help create deterministic guarantees around latency, around location, around performance. We're trying to democratize latency and these types of problems in a way that programmers shouldn't have to worry about all this stuff. You write your code, you push publish, it runs on a network, and it all gets there with a guarantee that 95% of all your requests will happen within 50 milliseconds round-trip time, from any device, you know, in these population centers around the world.So yeah, it's a big deal. It's sort of one of our je ne sais quoi pieces in our mission and charter, which is to just democratize latency and access, and sort of get away from this geographical nonsense of, you know, how networks work and it will dynamically switch topology and just make everything slow, you know, very non-deterministic way.Corey: One last topic that I want to ask you about—because I near certain given your position, you will have an opinion on this—what's your take on, I guess, the carbon footprint of clouds these days? Because a lot of people been talking about it; there has been a lot of noise made about, justifiably so. I'm curious to get your take.Chetan: Yeah, you know, it feels like we're in the '30s and the '40s of the carbon movement when it comes to clouds today, right? Maybe there's some early awareness of the problem, but you know, frankly, there's very little we can do than just sort of put a wet finger in the air, compute some carbon offset and plant some trees. I think these are good building blocks; they're not necessarily the best ways to solve this problem, ultimately. But one of the things I care deeply about and you know, my company cares a lot about is helping make developers more aware off what kind of carbon footprint their code tangibly has on the environment. And so we've started two things inside the company. We've started a foundation that we call the Carbon Conscious Computing Consortium—the four C's. We're going to announce that publicly next year, we're going to invite folks to come and join us and be a part of it.The second thing that we're doing is we're building a completely open-source, carbon-conscious computing platform that is built on real data that we're collecting about, to start with, how Macrometa's platform emits carbon in response to different types of things you build on it. So for example, you wrote a query that hits our database and queries, you know, I don't know, 20 billion objects inside of our database. It'll tell you exactly how many micrograms or how many milligrams of carbon—it's an estimate; not exactly. I got to learn to throttle myself down. It's an estimate, you know, you can't really measure these things exactly because the cost of carbon is different in different places, you know, there are different technologies, et cetera.Gives you a good decent estimate, something that reliably tells you, “Hey, you know that query that you have over there, that piece of SQL? That's probably going to do this much of micrograms of carbon at this scale.” You know, if this query was called a million times every hour, this is how much it costs. A million times a day, this is how much it costs and things like that. But the most important thing that I feel passionate about is that when we give developers visibility, they do good things.I mean, when we give them good debugging tools, the code gets better, the code gets faster, the code gets more efficient. And Corey, you're in the business of helping people save money, when we give them good visibility into how much their code costs to run, they make the code more efficient. So we're doing the same thing with carbon, we know there's a cost to run your code, whether it's a function, a container, a query, what have you, every operation has a carbon cost. And we're on a mission to measure that and provide accurate tooling directly in our platform so that along with your debug lines, right, where you've got all these print statements that are spitting up stuff about what's happening there, we can also print out, you know, what did it cost in carbon.And you can set budgets. You can basically say, “Hey, I want my application to consume this much of carbon.” And down the road, we'll have AI and ML models that will help us optimize your code to be able to fit within those carbon budgets. For example. I'm not a big fan of planting—you know, I love planting trees, but don't get me wrong, we live in California and those trees get burned down.And I was reading this heartbreaking story about how we returned back into the atmosphere a giant amount of carbon because the forest reserve that had been planted, you know, that was capturing carbon, you know, essentially got burned down in a forest fire. So, you know, we're trying to just basically say, let's try and reduce the amount of carbon, you know, that we can potentially create by having better tooling.Corey: That would be amazing, and I think it also requires something that I guess acts almost as an exchange where there's a centralized voice that can make sure that, well, one, the provider is being honest, and two, being able to ensure you're doing an apples-to-apples comparison and not just discounting a whole lot of negative externalities. Because, yes, we're talking about carbon released into the environment. Okay, great. What about water effects from what's happening with your data centers are located? That can have significant climate impact as well. It's about trying to avoid the picking and choosing. It's hard, hard problem, but I'm unconvinced that there's anything more critical in the entire ecosystem right now to worry about.Chetan: So as a startup, we care very deeply about starting with the carbon part. And I agree, Corey, it's a multi-dimensional problem; there's lots of tentacles. The hydrocarbon industry goes very deeply into all parts of our lives. I'm a startup, what do I know? I can't solve all of those things, but I wanted to start with the philosophy that if we provide developers with the right tooling, they'll have the right incentives then to write better code. And as we open-source more of what we learn and, you know, our tooling, others will do the same. And I think in ten years, we might have better answers. But someone's got to start somewhere, and this is where we'd like to start.Corey: I really want to thank you for taking as much time as you have for going through what you're up to and how you view the world. If people want to learn more, where's the best place to find you?Chetan: Yes, so two things on that front. Go to www.macrometa.com—M-A-C-R-O-M-E-T-A dot com—and that's our website. And you can come and experience the full power of the platform. We've got a playground where you can come, open an account and build anything you want for free, and you can try and learn. You just can't run it in production because we've got a giant network, as I said, of 175 cities around the world. But there are tiers available for you to purchase and build and run apps. Like I think about 80 different customers, some of the biggest ones in the world, some of the biggest telecom customers, retail, E-Tail customers, [unintelligible 00:34:28] tiny startups are building some interesting things on.And the second thing I want to talk about is November 7th through 11th of 2022, just a couple of weeks—or maybe by the time this recording comes out, a week from now—is developer week at Macrometa. And we're going to be announcing some really interesting new capabilities, some new features like real-time complex event processing with low, ultra-low latency, data connectors, a search feature that allows you to build search directly on top of your applications without needing to spin up a giant Elastic Cloud Search cluster, or providing search locally and regionally so that, you know, you can have search running in 25 cities that are instant to search rather than sending all your search requests back in one location. There's all kinds of very cool things happening over there.And we're also announcing a partnership with the original, the OG of the edge, one of the largest, most impressive, interesting CDN players that has become a partner for us as well. And then we're also announcing some very interesting experimental work where you as a developer can build apps directly on the 5G telecom cloud as well. And then you'll hear from some interesting companies that are building apps that are edge-native, that are impossible to build in the cloud because they take advantage of these three things that we talked about: geography, latency, and data protection in some very, very powerful ways. So you'll hear actual customer case studies from real customers in the flesh, not anonymous BS, no marchitecture. It's a week-long of technical talk by developers, for developers. And so, you know, come and join the fun and let's learn all about the edge together, and let's go build something together that's impossible to do today.Corey: And we will, of course, put links to that in the [show notes 00:36:06]. Thank you so much for being so generous with your time. I appreciate it.Chetan: My pleasure, Corey. Like I said, you're one of my heroes. I've always loved your work. The Snark-as-a-Service is a trillion-dollar market cap company. If you're ever interested in taking that public, I know some investors that I'd happily put you in touch with. But—Corey: Sadly, so many of those investors lack senses of humor.Chetan: [laugh]. That is true. That is true [laugh].Corey: [laugh]. [sigh].Chetan: Well, thank you. Thanks again for having me.Corey: Thank you. Chetan Venkatesh, CEO and co-founder at Macrometa. I'm Cloud Economist Corey Quinn and this is Screaming in the Cloud. If you've enjoyed this podcast, please leave a five-star review on your podcast platform of choice, whereas if you've hated this podcast, please leave a five-star review on your podcast platform of choice, along with an angry and insulting comment about why we should build everything on the cloud provider that you work for and then the attempt to challenge Chetan for the title of Edgelord.Corey: If your AWS bill keeps rising and your blood pressure is doing the same, then you need The Duckbill Group. We help companies fix their AWS bill by making it smaller and less horrifying. The Duckbill Group works for you, not AWS. We tailor recommendations to your business and we get to the point. Visit duckbillgroup.com to get started.Announcer: This has been a HumblePod production. Stay humble.
A note from Talking Taiwan host Felicia Lin: In this episode of Talking Taiwan, we share the second half of my interview with illustrator and cartoonist Guy Gilchrist, picking up after part one in episode 207. In the second half of my interview with Guy, he talked about how Dr. Seuss has been an influence in his life. Guy also talked about how he had to deal with chronic pain and back surgery. These days Guy can be seen on social media and at Comicons around the country doing what he loves most drawing cartoon character live for his fans. Guy is best known as the cartoonist of Jim Henson and The Muppets. He's also had his hand in notable cartoons such as The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Looney Tunes, Tom & Jerry, Tiny Toons, Pink Panther, and Disney, among others. He was declared a national treasure by former First Lady, Nancy Reagan and his artwork has been enshrined in the Smithsonian. Since one thing we can't do on this podcast is to show the magic of Guy's cartooning, we decided to host a LIVE online event where you can meet Guy this Saturday, November 5th at 6:30pm EST. At the event you'll have a chance to see him drawing live. Guy will also show you how to draw cartoon characters yourself. The best part of all this is that Guy has generously offered to donate all of the drawings he does that night and you can enter to win them by simply making a donation of $25 or more to Talking Taiwan's GoFundMe page: http://gofundme.com/building-talking-taiwans-legacy If you'd like to attend the event just Register at: https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZ0qcuippj0oGNFuyKrRnUTpoPMCFSBcWEqP#/registration This episode of Talking Taiwan has been sponsored by NATWA, the North America Taiwanese Women's Association. NATWA was founded in 1988, and its mission is: to evoke a sense of self-esteem and enhance women's dignity, to oppose gender discrimination and promote gender equality, to fully develop women's potential and encourage their participation in public affairs, to contribute to the advancement of human rights and democratic development in Taiwan, to reach out and work with women's organizations worldwide to promote peace for all. To learn more about NATWA visit their website: www.natwa.com Here's a little preview of what we talked about in this podcast episode: How hearing Dr. Seuss speak when Guy was in grade school left a lasting impression on him How Guy went from being a bad student to realizing that he could actually do something with his talents How Guy wrote to Dr. Seuss when he was struggling to get a children's book published Guy's encouragement not to give up on your dreams especially if you are in the arts How Guy's children's book about the character Mudpie had been rejected by a dozen publishers The story of how Dr. Seuss' first book I Saw It On Mulberry Street got published Guy's Mudpie character and the book series he's created about Mudpie How Guy has dealt with arm and back issues, and chronic pain How Guy first had back surgery at the age of 29 and has gotten cortisone shots to deal with pain for years How Guy started having trouble walking about six years ago Guy's recovery from the back surgery he had about six years ago after his muscles atrophied from not being active for a year How Guy now deals with pain Guy's advice to love ourselves and take care of ourselves first Guy's music and songwriting Related Links: To view all related links for this article, click link below: https://talkingtaiwan.com/guy-gilchrist-on-dealing-with-setbacks-and-how-dr-seuss-influenced-his-life-ep-211/
On this week's podcast, I'm honored to host Julie and Tim Cahill, the creative team behind Carrotblanca (1995) as well as writers on multiple landmark Looney Tunes projects within the Looniverse! Julie is also the very first female to write on a WB produced project with these characters! Join me as we dive deep into the rabbit hole and travel through their lurid careers; no left turns in Albuquerque here! CARROTBLANCA CONCEPT ART: CARROTBLANCA NEWSPAPER CLIPPING: TWEETY as USMARTE BABY LOONEY TUNES CONCEPT ART! HIT OR MISSUS (Unproduced Looney Tunes Movie) TOM AND JERRY CONCEPT ART FOR THE KARATE GUARD Looney Tunes Projects Discussed: Carrotblanca (1995) Dir. Douglas McCarthy; Written by Tim & Julie Cahill - Parody of Carrotblanca! Tweety's High Flying Adventure (2000) Written by Tim & Julie Cahill and Tom Miinton. TV Shows Discussed: Sylvester and Tweety Mysteries Hysteria Baby Looney Tunes My Gym Partner's a Monkey FOLLOW THE GUESTS: TIM CAHILL - instagram: TIM_CAHILL_TOO JULIE CAHILL - instagram: JMCCAH FOLLOW and SUBSCRIBE TO THE PODCAST: @ThisMeansPod. Rate, Subscribe & Like on iTunes, Spotify and more! Instagram: @THIS MEANS PODCAST
This week on the Tether Radio podcast, Daniel, Larry, & Alli talk in depth about the evolution of internet culture, the worst Hydro Homie news in recent memory, a Looney Tunes type of shootout in (of course) Florida, the best way to reattach a body part, a short king taking an L, and maybe the worst allergy we can think of. You know you wanna hit that subscribe button to… #StayTethered #HailTether #TetherRadio
This week's episode rates one out of five ghosts on the spookiness scale. It's not too spooky unless the thought of being ENTOMBED IN STONE creeps you out! Which it might, if you are a frog. Further reading: A Tenacious Pterodactyl Further watching: "One Froggy Evening" A frog supposedly found mummified in a stone: The Texas horned lizard kind of looks like a pointy toad with a tail: Show transcript: Welcome to Strange Animals Podcast. I'm your host, Kate Shaw. We're getting really close to Halloween and our 300th episode, and it's going to be a spooky one! This week, though, I rate this episode as one ghost out of five on our spookiness scale, meaning it's not very spooky at all...unless you're a frog! Most of us know this story. A worker helping to demolish a building finds a mysterious box hidden in the building's cornerstone. He opens the box and discovers a living frog—a frog that can sing and dance! But only when no one else is looking! That's the classic Looney Tunes cartoon “One Froggy Evening,” and while it's really funny, it's also based on many stories about frogs, toads, and other animals supposedly discovered entombed but alive, or only recently dead, in clay, bricks, tree trunks, coal, and even rocks. For example, in 1782, the American politician and naturalist Benjamin Franklin was living in France, and while he was there he heard about some workmen in a quarry who had found some living toads encased in stone. I'll quote from Franklin's writing: “At Passy, near Paris, April 6th, 1782, being with M. de Chaumont, viewing his quarry, he mentioned to me, that the workmen had found a living toad shut up in the stone. On questioning one of them, he told us, they had found four in different cells which had no communication; that they were very lively and active when set at liberty; that there was in each cell some loose, soft, yellowish earth, which appeared to be very moist. We asked, if he could show us the parts of the stone that formed the cells. He said, No; for they were thrown among the rest of what was dug out, and he knew not where to find them. We asked, if there appeared any opening by which the animal could enter. He said, No. […] We asked, if he could show us the toads. He said, he had thrown two of them up on a higher part of the quarry, but knew not what became of the others. “He then came up to the place where he had thrown the two, and, finding them, he took them by the foot, and threw them up to us, upon the ground where we stood. One of them was quite dead, and appeared very lean; the other was plump and still living. The part of the rock where they were found, is at least fifteen feet below its surface, and is a kind of limestone. A part of it is filled with ancient seashells, and other marine substances. If these animals have remained in this confinement since the formation of the rock, they are probably some thousands of years old.” Since limestone generally takes about a million years to form, and requires considerable pressure and lots of chemical reactions to do so, we can be certain that the toads were not in the limestone for all that long. But limestone is porous, and the mention of damp yellow earth inside the capsules of stone suggests that there were significant fissures in the stones where the toads were found. Limestone dissolves in water, although it takes a long time. That's how caves form. Maybe over many years, tiny cracks and holes had formed in the limestone, large enough for some well developed tadpoles or young toads to end up in the holes, maybe during a rainstorm or flood. Then again, the whole thing might have been a mistake. The toads might not have actually been inside the stones, only nearby when the stones were broken open. The workers might have thought they were inside. Or it might just have been a hoax made up by a bored quarry worker. Stories of animals found encased in stone or other impossible conditions ...
Hello, listener-friend! It's me, Marc Hershon, executive producer and every-other-weekly co-host of Succotash, the Comedy Soundcast Soundcast. You're here for episode 326 and so am I, where we have special guest Dana Carvey returning and we're going to talk about his new soundcast that's just about to drop…but more on that in a moment. In case you missed last week's Epi325 of the show, hosted by my unparalleled every-OTHER-weekly co-host Tyson Saner, it was an fantastical half-hour that included a triple shot sampling of soundcasts — in a show entitled “They Can't All Be Comedy" — from the likes of Word In Your Ear, Going Deep, and Bubble. And see, that first one on the list – Word In Your Ear – that's a music-oriented soundcast. Because, although we tout ourselves as “THE Comedy Soundcast Soundcast”, sometimes we let ourselves stray from the format because that's what we do. If that pisses you off, you can go listen to…oh, that's right. There is no other Comedy Soundcast Soundcast. So enjoy! As I was saying, my special guest this week is none other that Dana Carvey. You know him from his year on NBC's Saturday Night Live, the short-lived-but-amazing The Dana Carvey Show, Garth from Wayne's World, The Master of Disguise, comedy specials, and from here – Succotash – where's he's been a recurring special guest since we first started in 2011. Heck, he was our very first guest back in Episode THREE. In our chat I say that he last visited us a couple of years ago but, in reality, it was just back in February of this year. And now he's back! And for a special reason. Last time he was on he was talking about the soundcast he'd started with fellow SNL alumnus David Spade called Fly On The Wall. Where they interview guests who were either part of the SNL cast or crew, or else were hosts, or musical guests. It's been doing REALLY well and they're not only going to do another season of those shows but there might even be a spin-off companion show to that. But, not satisfied with slicing off that corner of SoundcastLand, Dana is working with his sons, Dex and Tom, and their friend Julian, to create a scripted comedy soundcast. It's called The Weird Place, and it's a Looney Tunes tweak of a kind of Twilight Zone concept and it's going to be dropping very soon. On Halloween day, to be exact. We talk all about it. So here's what I'm going to set the table. First, we'll play a little one-minute teaser that they've done for the show. Then I'll play an ad from our fake sponsor, Henderson's Pants and their Deathly HalloWear. And then we'll go right into my chat with Dana. Sound good? Let's go… If you'd like to follow Dana on his socials, he's @DanaCarvey on Twitter and @TheDanaCarvey on Instagram. Remember to catch our action next week for Episode 327 and your erstwhile host Tyson Saner, right here in this very same feed. In the meantime, if you find yourself struggling to get free of the swamp reeds, the mud and the skeeters while drowning in the fetid waters of Lake Okeechobee in Florida, a giant gator coming at you with jaws agape, and somebody whizzes by on one of those swamp boats with the big fans on the back shouting, “Have you heard anything good lately?!”, won't you please pass the Succotash? — Marc Hershon
Join us as we take in the globe-trotting adventure...of two continents....as we look at 2015's 'Looney Tunes: Rabbits Run'
Not all things are scary on Halloween. This week we Enjoy Stuff that's spooky, but not too spooky...or is it. Join Jovial Jay and Shua, if you dare! (Go ahead and dare, you'll be fine) Is Halloween too scary for you? Never fear, because we have some movies that will get you in the mood and not give you nightmares. Enjoy some not-too-spooky movies with Jovial Jay and Shua. News Taika Waititi's Time Bandits is progressing and now has some big stars Missing the delivery of your Holiday Toy Catalog? The Amazon Holiday Kids Gift Book has arrived! Director Danny Boyle is going to be directing a dance adaptation of ‘The Matrix' Pop-Tarts Gets Ready for the Holidays With New holiday flavors A Chicago family made a 'Stranger Things' Halloween spooktacular and it is awesome! Make sure you check out our TeePublic store to get ready for the holidays and all the latest fashion trends What we're Enjoying Jay got in the mood for this episode by watching the sequel to Hocus Pocus on Disney+. It was fun, so stay tuned. Shua has been looking for some wacky things to listen to. Or should we say ‘looney' things to listen to. He put on a playlist of Looney Tunes classic music on Spotify that reminded him of some of the classic cartoons. Sci-Fi Saturdays/MCU Location Scout 31 Days of Horror continues! Here is the list of this week's articles: Elizabeth Harvest (2018) Hush (2016) Malignant (2021) The Babadook (2014) Critters (1986) Nosferatu (1922) Frenzy (1972) Check back in to RetroZap every day this month to see what creepy movie Jay will give us next. And don't forget his articles on MCULocationScout.com for some great, interactive maps of filming locations. Enjoy Movies! What do you do when you're a Halloween-loving parent, but your kids are just too young to expose them to The Shining, Friday the 13th, or It? You start ‘em off light! There are all kinds of fun Halloween movies to get your kids addicted to the thrill of the scare, but won't cost you thousands of dollars of therapy later on. (Well, at least not from these movies. Anything else you do to screw them up is on you) This week we look at some of the memorable, Halloween movies that are not too scary and how to Enjoy them. Family Friendly Shows from Our Youth -The Halloween That Almost Wasn't (1979) -Halloween with the New Addams Family (1977) -The Paul Lynde Halloween Special (1976) -Elvira's Halloween Special (1986) Family Friendly for littler kids -Hocus Pocus 1,2 (1993 and 2022) -Casper (1995) -Coco (2017) A little older kids -Addams Family (1991) -Ghostbusters (1984) -Beetlejuice (1988) Those crazy teens -Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) -Little Shop of Horrors (1986) -Army of Darkness (1992) -The Burbs (1989) Other TV Specials -Simpsons Treehouse of Horror specials -Toy Story of Terror on Disney+ -Garfield's Halloween Adventure -Pac-Man Halloween Special That's the list we came up with. And we know there are tons more. What other movies do you like that aren't too spooky? Do you prefer these or are you more into gore? First person that emails me with the subject line, “I'm no scaredy cat” will get a special mention on the show. Let us know. Come talk to us in the Discord channel or send us an email to EnjoyStuff@RetroZap.com
The guests who have travelled the furthest to be in studio and two of our absolute faves, Tom Walker and Demi Lardner (comedians, bigsofttitty.png) join the show all the way from Sydney, Australia to discuss how one of Tom's biggest fans just couldn't handle the fact he got COVID and had to cancel some comedy shows. We have no trouble handling the tough topics on this week's episode though, as we get into some heavy stuff like slot car racing message boards, losing our virginity, witches on Tumblr, cane toad purses, and we go down another Rule 34 rabbit hole that leads to discussion of Goofy's history and we find a truly insane (and hilarious) Looney Tunes drawing. If you want more insane (and hilarious) content, head on over to patreon.com/blockedparty, where $5/month gets you access to THREE bonus episodes every single month. Last week, we put out another very special in-studio episode as the YKS Boys, Jesse and db, joined us all the way from Nashville for a fun hangout. Later this month there will also be a special "Jesse Goes to the Store...in Canada" video bonus episode that you won't wanna miss. Plus we've got higher tiers for more bonuses, merch and live show discounts, a great Discord, and more! Tom Walker and Demi Lardner are comedians whose podcast, "bigsofttitty.png" is available wherever you get your pods. Demi streams on Twitch at twitch.tv/demilardner and can be followed on social media at @DemiLardner. Tom also streams on Twitch at twitch.tv/tomwalker and can be followed on social media at @tomwalkerisgood. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jacob and Drew from the year 2020 review the Looney Tunes short Chow Hound! Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/TheCelCast Twitch - https://www.twitch.tv/thecelcastgaming YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQcGNpWEc5qP7oKkxPWQEsw Twitter - https://twitter.com/cast_cel Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/thecelcast/ Apple Podcasts - https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/id1452118040 Google Play - https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cHM6Ly90aGVjZWxjYXN0LnBvZGJlYW4uY29tL2ZlZWQueG1s Stitcher - https://www.stitcher.com/show/the-cel-cast Spotify - https://open.spotify.com/show/4ETrW9WhJ44uLhr4bU03uK This Podcast is apart of Pop Americana, For more great shows like this one visit https://popamericana.wixsite.com/popamericana and This Podcast is apart of the Culture Box, For more great shows like this one visit https://culturebox.media
It's October.. so that means it's RAGE-O-WEEN! This year we're doing RAGE-O-WEEN: Toon-Tober! That means we're covering spooky Saturday morning cartoon types! So to kick it off.. We got LOONEY! Pork Pig has a HAUNTING NIGHTMARE! Goobz and Toby break down this nightmare.. but is the game the true nightmare?They discuss the history, story, game play, fun facts and rate this game on a 1-10 scale at the end then let you know if the game is still worth playing!Join our Discord group!https://discord.gg/84T8khT Support the show and order a t-shirt! https://www.teepublic.com/user/secretlevels Join our Patreon!https://www.patreon.com/badsecretmediaFollow Secret Levels on all social media! Twitter: https://twitter.com/secretlevelspod Instagram: https://instagram.com/secretlevelspod Facebook Group Page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/285925218891464/MORE INFO:https://www.badsecretmedia.comGoobz's other podcast! The DeRailers Podcast Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheDeRailers Toby's other podcast! Secret Transmission Podcast Twitter: https://twitter.com/secrettranspod ----------------------------------------------------------- Intro and segment music: https://gregoriofranco.bandcamp.com/musicRage Meter Song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kuBO6aDLM_4 Super Mario Brothers - Bluegrass Style: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bsrVEbpvU2U Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/badsecretmedia)Support the show
Happy Spooky Season Folks! Welcome to your best source of news surrounding the beloved Looney Tunes! In this podcast you'll find an abundance of horrors! Starting off with Looney Movie News Layoffs and a possible cancellation! THE HORROR! THE HORROR! On this week's podcast, I'm joined by the talented host of Getting Strange with Steffany Strange, TV personality on CW's Spirit Squad, Host of Something Scary and tiktok personality Steffany Strange! We give our opinions on the latest Halloween Special on HboMax and dive deep into the psychology of dark comedy! The Bugs Bunny Hall-O-Skreem Spooktacula is NOW on HBOMAX and it's jam packed with horrific laughs in the face of death! What did we think of the return of Witch Hazel to this retro-reboot? Were we horrified when Bugs met the Mummy? Is anyone digging the Graves in Graveyard Goofs more than me? You'll find out when you listen to this episode! This episode is also available in video form on Youtube (Youtube.com/ThisMeansPodcast) and if you subscribe to the Patreon you'll get even quicker access to the show and more Looney treats! https://www.patreon.com/thismeanspodcast Looney Tunes News: Bye Bye Bunny - Latest News Regarding the Layoffs The Day the Earth Blew UP - The Wrap released a special look inside the film's production to garner up interest! CHECK IT OUT HERE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yyvFwhOdmL4 The Merry-Go-Round Breakdown: Graveyard Goofs - (2022) Dir. Ryan Kramer Hex Appeal - (2022) Dir. David Gemmill Inn For Trouble - (2022) Dir. David Gemmill Mummy Dummy - (2021) Dir. David Gemmill Shorts Recommended: Boo! Appetweet - (2020) Kenny Pittenger Big League Beast (2020) Kenny Pittenger Postalgeist - (2021) David Gemmill Transylvania 6-5000 - (1963) Dir. Chuck Jones & Maurice Nobel. Broomstick Bunny (1956) - Chuck Jones Claws for Alarm (1954) - Chuck Jones Witch Hazel is BACK! Candi Milo does an impeccable job at stepping into this role made popular by June Foray and does it with panache! I am very much looking forward to this character having many more appearances. Porky and Sylvester! I'm ecstatic to say that the Porky/Sylvester pairing still works beautifully and one of the things I wanted to point out to fans is that when Sylvester is Porky's pet cat, he doesn't speak. This adds to the tension of the horror surrounding their adventures. We recommend this special to old and new fans of Looney Tunes alike, but while we're glad we are being challenged with this comedic content, it won't be for everyone. Let us know what you think in the comments! What was your favorite short? FOLLOW THE GUEST: Steffany Strange Instagram: Steffany_Strange Twitter: steffanystrange FOLLOW and SUBSCRIBE TO THE PODCAST: @ThisMeansPod. Rate, Subscribe & Like on iTunes, Spotify and more! Instagram: @THIS MEANS PODCAST
On this episode: Bruce Willis Avatar on the way, Michael Caine will never retire, and our hottest take ever. PLUS The people's joker… really this time! Eggers's Nosferatu.. really this time! And Blonde was right-wing propaganda all alongIn news: Bruce Willis, deep fake, aphasia, Deep Cake, Fall, Tupac, Coachella, force ghost Tupac, James Dean, Marlon Brando, Flawless, Clint Eastwood, John Hamm, Cary grant, Humphrey Bogart, Michael Shannon, Peter Lorrie, Peter O'Toole, Raul Julia, Florence Pugh, The Island, Dual, Riley Stearns, Never Let Me Go, Heath Ledger, Brittney Murphy, Paul Walker, Ryan Dunn, Looney Tunes, Dame Judy Dench, Michael Caine, Medieval, Petr Jakl, Bryan Cranston, The Untouchables, Kevin Hart, Dean Koontz, Bed Vegan, Molly's Game, listener mail, Joel Shinneman, The World's End, Mean Girls, October 3rd, 3 year anniversary, The Ring, Sinister, circus peanuts, Lucky Charms, Cheerios, The People's Joker, Vera Drew, Matt Damon, Jimmy Kimmel, TIFF, The Munsters, Dragula, White Zombie, Labyrinth, haunted house at the dump, Trash Horror, The Devil's Rejects, House of 1000 Corpses, Star Wars, Sheri Moon, Robert Eggers, Nosferatu, Bill Skarsgard, Lily Rose Depp, Willem Dafoe, Max Schreck, Harry Styles, F.W. Murnau, Werner Herzog, The Lighthouse, Andrew Dominik, Blonde, Ana De Armas, Marilyn Monroe, Planned Parenthood, The Assassination of Jesse James, Don't Worry Darling, Gary Oldman, Jamie Foxx, Ray Charleshttp://www.MCFCpodcast.com-Email us at MCFCpodcast@gmail.com -Leave us a voicemail (209) 730-6010-Get some merch:https://middle-class-film-class.creator-spring.com/-Sponsor - N/AJoseph Navarro Pete Abeytaand Tyler Noe Streaming Picks:Beavis and Butthead do the Universe - Paramount+Survival of the Dead - Roku, Plex, PlutoTV, RedboxVan Helsing - HuluThe Munsters - NetflixPhantom Thread - NetflixThe Wolf of Snow Hollow - Amazon Prime
This week, Swanson, Kiorein and Stairmaster watch the film Space Jam: A New Legacy as Lebron James slams and jams with the Looney Tunes and tries to rescue his son. We discuss Terrance-ology, the constant shilling of WB IP and try to figure out what the "Space" is in this particular Space Jam. ★ Support this podcast ★
A note from Talking Taiwan host Felicia Lin: I first learned about illustrator and cartoonist Guy Gilchrist, when I interviewed Dr. Karen Tsai (in episode 120) about how she spearheaded the creation of Monster Dance, a children's book created to help children deal with and understand the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Guy is best known as the cartoonist of Jim Henson's Muppets comic strip that was printed worldwide in 660-plus newspapers daily in 80 different languages. Guy spoke with me about his humble beginnings, and how he made his childhood dreams of becoming a cartoonist a reality. Guy has had a lead role on the creative team for the Muppet Babies, Jim Henson's Fraggle Rock, and other Henson creations. Throughout the years, Guy has also had his hand in notable cartoons such as The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Looney Tunes, Tom & Jerry, Tiny Toons, The Pink Panther, and Disney, among others. Since we can't showcase or share all of Guy's talents on the podcast, we are excited to announce that on November 5th, we'll be hosting a live online event where you can meet Guy and see him draw your favorite cartoon characters live. Guy has agreed do a special live online event to help raise some money for Talking Taiwan on November 5th. To get invited to this special event to meet Guy online just make a donation to Talking Taiwan's GoFundMe campaign: http://gofundme.com/building-talking-taiwans-legacy. We'll be sharing more information about the fun things planned for this event in the upcoming weeks. This episode of Talking Taiwan has been sponsored by NATWA, the North America Taiwanese Women's Association. NATWA was founded in 1988, and its mission is: to evoke a sense of self-esteem and enhance women's dignity, to oppose gender discrimination and promote gender equality, to fully develop women's potential and encourage their participation in public affairs, to contribute to the advancement of human rights and democratic development in Taiwan, to reach out and work with women's organizations worldwide to promote peace for all. To learn more about NATWA visit their website: www.natwa.com Here's a little preview of what we talked about in this podcast episode: How Guy got involved with the children's book Monster Dance How Guy met Dr. Karen Tsai who spearheaded the creation of Monster Dance Dr. Karen Tsai's nonprofit organization Donate PPE How Guy helped Donate PPE's efforts by drawing comic book characters with masks for kids and to thank frontline health care workers How they went from the idea to create a coloring book to a children's book Madeleine Editions, the publisher they worked with to create the children's book Monster Dance The Walt Disney quote that inspired Guy to put out the book in record time How the team working on the book worked via Zoom and from locations all around the world and Eva Lou the founder of Madeleine Editions How the book got done in record time during the pandemic Guy's childhood and how his mother nurtured his artistic talent Since childhood Guy always imagined that he'd be a famous cartoonist How Guy did not have a television when he grew up, so he often watched television in an appliance store near the diner where his mother worked How he was inspired by watching cartoonist Walter Lantz draw Woody Woodpecker on television Why at the age of 10 Guy sent in his artwork to Walter Lantz How as a kid Guy imagined that he'd get to Los Angeles or New York to find work The first time Guy went to a Comic Convention, now known as ComiCon The letter that Walter Lantz sent in response to Guy How at age 16 Guy landed his first job drawing for a Disney coloring book How Guy became the cartoonist who drew the Muppets comic strip, which debuted in September 1981 The first time that Guy met Jim Henson, creator of The Muppets How the Muppets comic strip was the only one to appear daily in 80 different languages around the world because Jim Henson wanted the Muppets How Guy ended up being a guest of honor at the Whitehouse, declared a national treasure and having his work enshrined in the Smithsonian Which Muppet Guy identifies with the most Guy's advice for illustrators who are struggling with their career or creativity Related Links: https://talkingtaiwan.com/guy-gilchrist-cartoonist-for-the-muppets-talks-about-how-to-achieve-your-dreams-ep-207/
Candi Milo is the busiest actress in voiceovers today. Among her numerous accomplishments, she was honored to take the mantle of the voice of Granny in all Warner Brothers Animation projects after the passing of the legendary voice talent, June Foray. For example, you heard Candi as Granny in Space Jam 2: A New Legacy with LeBron James, and also in various Looney Tunes cartoons. She's well-known for voicing Dexter in Dexter's Laboratory, The Flea in Mucha Lucha, Coco and Cheese in Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, and literally thousands of other well-known characters. She may well be the voice of your childhood. She also happens to be an Annie Award nominee. Not only has Candi performed voiceover work in countless film and TV projects, you may have seen in her any number of on-camera commercials. On stage, she starred with Jennifer Holliday in the first touring production of Dreamgirls, directed by none other than the renowned, Michael Bennett. Candi has published a dark comedy memoir, Surviving the Odd, which offers a glimpse into her wildly inappropriate childhood as seen through the eyes of a 7-year-old who unravels the story of how her once prominent-but-now-fading comedian/singer father, Tony, left show business in 1968 to open one of the first board and care homes in California – Milo Arms – to care for and shelter developmentally disabled and emotionally disturbed adults. I've read Surviving the Odd, and I can tell you it's a beautifully written, intense and harrowing tale, but told with incredible heart and a lot of funny stuff, too. We'll be hearing more about Surviving the Odd shortly. Candi has performed as a singer, stand-up comic, and starred in her one-person nightclub show across the country. She also gives inspirational talks about her unusual childhood and how it informed her life as an actor, mother, and passionate advocate for people dealing with mental illness and homelessness. Much like her father, Candi also gives voice to the homeless because too many people pretend not to see them on the street.For the record, Candi has lent her extraordinary voice talent to a few scripts that Steve has written – including playing Zadavia in the Warner Bros. cartoon, Loonatics Unleashed.
As you'll hear by all the paper-shuffling Josh does starting a few minutes in, when he's searching for the origins of MME (aka morphine milligram equivalents), he comes up with 'a whole lot of nothing,' just as he says. Really noisy nothing! And those chirping tweety birds you're hearing in the background? Are they those clouds of Looney Tunes 'circling birdies' that twitter above cartoon characters who've been bonked in the head? This stuff IS bonkers, after all.
This Hour: Andy King, Executive Director of The Dream Center joins us! Audio from The ‘Today Show' regarding babies in the womb; Good Story Bad Story with Will! Hand Drawn photos left by a father for his kids lunchboxes. Parents are sneaking their kids into Disney in this Looney Tunes isk way!See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
This Hour: Andy King, Executive Director of The Dream Center joins us! Audio from The ‘Today Show' regarding babies in the womb; Good Story Bad Story with Will! Hand Drawn photos left by a father for his kids lunchboxes. Parents are sneaking their kids into Disney in this Looney Tunes isk way!See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
On this episode: Mission Impossible 8: Sheep Nation, Scientific proof of the scariest movie of all time, and HBO productions go tobacco-free. PLUS Depp v Heard docu-series already on the way, a brand new show segment, and The People's Joker. In news:Sacramento weather and wildfires, Freaks, Mission Impossible 8, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows, Twilight, Looney Tunes, Black Sheep, Jonah Hill, Tim Heidecker, Tommy Boy, David Spade, Mission Impossible Dead Reckoning, Christopher McQuarrie, Peter Jackson, Philip Seymour Hoffman. Tom Cruise. Xenu, Sinister, Ethan Hawke, Cats, Return to Oz, Irreversible, The Exorcist, September 11th, Paranormal Activity, Hereditary, Jeepers Creepers, Ernest Scared Stupid, Large Marge, The Taking of Deborah Logan, Insidious, The Conjuring, Leigh Whannell, James Wan, C. Robert Cargill, It Follows, The Babadook, The Descent, The Visit, The Ring A quiet Place, Nightmare on elk Street, Halloween, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, 29 days Later, Hugs, It, Scream, The Grudge, The Witch, The Blair Witch Project, Alien, The Thing, Poltergeist, Annabelle, Friday the 13th, the Orphanage, Dark Skies, Slipknot, Cory Taylor, HBO Max, Warner Brothers, Warren Beatty, CVS, smoking, Johnny Depp, Amber Heard, Hot Take, Sarah Lohman, The People vs OJ Simpson, David Fincher, Jesse Eisenberg, Justin Timberlake, Trent Reznor, Armie Hammer, inception dreams, Briauna, They/Them, Taking One For The Team, Kevin Bacon, Wes Craven, Neve Campbell, Olly, Anna Chlumsky, True Blood, Skyfall, The Aviator, Rango, Sweeney Todd, Gladiator, The Last Samurai, Sleepaway Camp, Wrong Turn, The Quarry, http://www.MCFCpodcast.com-Email us at MCFCpodcast@gmail.com -Leave us a voicemail (209) 730-6010-Get some merch:https://middle-class-film-class.creator-spring.com/-Sponsor - Cheapseats Reviews - https://cheapseatreviews.libsyn.com/Joseph Navarro Pete Abeytaand Tyler Noe Streaming Picks:Morbius - NetflixAn American Werewolf in London - Prime, AMC+End of The Road - NetflixI Came By - NetflixThe Clambake IncidentYour Comedy Tertiary Sports and slice of life in Clam Harbor MaineListen on: Apple Podcasts Spotify
Join us as take a look at Looney Tunes shorts that take place in the THIRD Dimension! Marc looks at the original Looney crew's attempt at a 3-D short with 'Lumber Jack Rabbit' Jordan looks at the 2010's attempt with a 3-D Sylvester and Tweety short in 'I Tawt I Saw A Putty Tat' And we both look at the 3-D antics of Daffy and Elmer in 'Daffy's Rhapsody'
Sean tries to rack up as many points as he can mowing down pedestrians in the Death Race 2000 (1975), a satiric, dystopian futuristic racing movie produced by Roger Corman and directed by Paul Bartel (so you can be sure Mary Woronov is in the cast). Sylvester Stallone also co-stars as a team of racers who try to beat top scorer Frankenstein (David Carradine) in a trans-continental death race. Listen as we careen off the road into sidebars about bare-assed acting scenes, propaganda clones, Looney Tunes, and the practicality of "wetting it down" down on this week's exciting episode! Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Hello Folks! Welcome to your best source of news surrounding the beloved Looney Tunes! For this episode, I'm Joelle Monique Returns to try and convince me yet again, that The Looney Tunes Show is excellent, while we look into current events surrounding WBD (Warner Bros/Discovery) and who Tina Russo and subsequently Melissa Duck are! Do you know? Who will purchase this series? Batman: Caped Crusader is an animated reimagining of the Batman mythology by way of Batman: The Animated Series‘ own Bruce Timm, with J.J. Abrams, Matt Reeves and Ed Brubaker also serving as EPs. Reeves of course directed The Batman, the big screen's most recent live-action take on the Dark Knight (now played by Robert Pattinson), while Abrams — in addition to of course numerous Star Trek and Star Wars projects, plus TV's Lost and Alias — is an EP on HBO Max's still-in-development Justice League Dark series. FILMS Discussed: The Scarlett Pimpernel (1934) - Dir. Harold Young Looney Tunes Shorts Discussed: The Scarlett Pumpernickle - (1950) Melissa Duck - Voiced by Bea Benaderet Double Date - (Looney Tunes Show) (2011) Dir. Jeff Siergey Daffy Duck Esq. - (Looney Tunes Show) (2013) Tina Russo Voiced by Jennifer Esposito/Annie Mumalo Frank Russo - Voiced by the late Dennis Farina What's your favorite Tina Russo Moment? Write yours in the comments and don't forget to subscribe! FOLLOW THE GUEST: Joelle Monique Twitter: Joelle Monique Comic-Con Meta Pod: Podcast FOLLOW and SUBSCRIBE TO THE PODCAST: @ThisMeansPod. Rate, Subscribe & Like on iTunes, Spotify and more! Instagram: @THIS MEANS PODCAST That's NOT All Folks!
Fred Allen is a name unfamiliar to most people today, but for two decades his radio show set the standard for the best of American humor. His comedy and satirical influence can be seen in everything from Looney Tunes to Saturday Night Live. Robert L. Mills, comedy writer for Bob Hope, has crafted a "new" Fred Allen show for Project Audion which successfully recalls the time Allen had the #1 program on the airwaves (in the late 1940s). We'll visit "Allen's Alley" with Senator Claghorn, Mrs. Nussbaum, and others; take on "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre" in a movie parody, and welcome guest stars Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy, thanks to a coast-to-coast cast of sterling vocal talent which includes: FRED ALLEN: John Bell, AL MOODY / CASSIDY / BANDITO: Pete Lutz, TX PORTLAND / MRS. NUSSBAUM: Julie Hoverson, WA KENNY DELMAR: Ken Jeffries, CA CLAGHORN / GRIZZY: Harry Middlebrooks, CA EDGAR BERGEN: Robert L. Mills., CA CHARLIE MCCARTHY: Scott McKinley, NJ with Direction & Production by Larry Groebe, TX
Suspense! Intrigue! Subterfuge! Stealing pies from windowsills! That's right, the boys are here to discuss the Kurt Russell Disney Irish spy adventure flick Guns in the Heather...or The Secret of Boyne Castle...or Spy Busters. This time around they talk about Disney live action remakes, The Looney Tunes, Cathal Goulding, Marxism in Ireland, spies, the Iron Curtain, mop fighting, Sherlock Holmes abilities, cowpushers, IMDB tags, and the advent of toys.
Episode one hundred and fifty-three of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at “Heroes and Villains” by the Beach Boys, and the collapse of the Smile album. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a sixteen-minute bonus episode available, on "I Had Too Much to Dream Last Night" by the Electric Prunes. Tilt Araiza has assisted invaluably by doing a first-pass edit, and will hopefully be doing so from now on. Check out Tilt's irregular podcasts at http://www.podnose.com/jaffa-cakes-for-proust and http://sitcomclub.com/ Resources There is no Mixcloud this week, because there were too many Beach Boys songs in the episode. I used many resources for this episode. As well as the books I referred to in all the Beach Boys episodes, listed below, I used Domenic Priore's book Smile: The Story of Brian Wilson's Lost Masterpiece and Richard Henderson's 33 1/3 book on Van Dyke Parks' Song Cycle. Stephen McParland has published many, many books on the California surf and hot-rod music scenes, including several on both the Beach Boys and Gary Usher. His books can be found at https://payhip.com/CMusicBooks Andrew Doe's Bellagio 10452 site is an invaluable resource. Jon Stebbins' The Beach Boys FAQ is a good balance between accuracy and readability. And Philip Lambert's Inside the Music of Brian Wilson is an excellent, though sadly out of print, musicological analysis of Wilson's music from 1962 through 67. Catch a Wave: The Rise, Fall, and Redemption of the Beach Boys' Brian Wilson by Peter Ames Carlin is the best biography of Wilson. I have also referred to Brian Wilson's autobiography, I Am Brian Wilson, and to Mike Love's, Good Vibrations: My Life as a Beach Boy. As a good starting point for the Beach Boys' music in general, I would recommend this budget-priced three-CD set, which has a surprisingly good selection of their material on it, including the single version of “Heroes and Villains”. The box set The Smile Sessions contains an attempt to create a finished album from the unfinished sessions, plus several CDs of outtakes and session material. Transcript [Opening -- "intro to the album" studio chatter into "Our Prayer"] Before I start, I'd just like to note that this episode contains some discussion of mental illness, including historical negative attitudes towards it, so you may want to check the transcript or skip this one if that might be upsetting. In November and December 1966, the filmmaker David Oppenheim and the conductor and composer Leonard Bernstein collaborated on a TV film called "Inside Pop: The Rock Revolution". The film was an early attempt at some of the kinds of things this podcast is doing, looking at how music and social events interact and evolve, though it was dealing with its present rather than the past. The film tried to cast as wide a net as possible in its fifty-one minutes. It looked at two bands from Manchester -- the Hollies and Herman's Hermits -- and how the people identified as their leaders, "Herman" (or Peter Noone) and Graham Nash, differed on the issue of preventing war: [Excerpt: Inside Pop, the Rock Revolution] And it made a star of East Coast teenage singer-songwriter Janis Ian with her song about interracial relationships, "Society's Child": [Excerpt: Janis Ian, "Society's Child"] And Bernstein spends a significant time, as one would expect, analysing the music of the Beatles and to a lesser extent the Stones, though they don't appear in the show. Bernstein does a lot to legitimise the music just by taking it seriously as a subject for analysis, at a time when most wouldn't: [Excerpt: Leonard Bernstein talking about "She Said She Said"] You can't see it, obviously, but in the clip that's from, as the Beatles recording is playing, Bernstein is conducting along with the music, as he would a symphony orchestra, showing where the beats are falling. But of course, given that this was filmed in the last two months of 1966, the vast majority of the episode is taken up with musicians from the centre of the music world at that time, LA. The film starts with Bernstein interviewing Tandyn Almer, a jazz-influenced songwriter who had recently written the big hit "Along Comes Mary" for The Association: [Excerpt: Inside Pop: The Rock Revolution] It featured interviews with Roger McGuinn, and with the protestors at the Sunset Strip riots which were happening contemporaneously with the filming: [Excerpt: Inside Pop: The Rock Revolution] Along with Frank Zappa's rather acerbic assessment of the potential of the youth revolutionaries: [Excerpt: Inside Pop: The Rock Revolution] And ended (other than a brief post-commercial performance over the credits by the Hollies) with a performance by Tim Buckley, whose debut album, as we heard in the last episode, had featured Van Dyke Parks and future members of the Mothers of Invention and Buffalo Springfield: [Excerpt: Inside Pop: The Rock Revolution] But for many people the highlight of the film was the performance that came right before Buckley's, film of Brian Wilson playing a new song from the album he was working on. One thing I should note -- many sources say that the voiceover here is Bernstein. My understanding is that Bernstein wrote and narrated the parts of the film he was himself in, and Oppenheim did all the other voiceover writing and narration, but that Oppenheim's voice is similar enough to Bernstein's that people got confused about this: [Excerpt: Inside Pop: The Rock Revolution] That particular piece of footage was filmed in December 1966, but it wasn't broadcast until April the twenty-fifth, 1967, an eternity in mid-sixties popular music. When it was broadcast, that album still hadn't come out. Precisely one week later, the Beach Boys' publicist Derek Taylor announced that it never would: [Excerpt: Brian Wilson, "Surf's Up"] One name who has showed up in a handful of episodes recently, but who we've not talked that much about, is Van Dyke Parks. And in a story with many, many, remarkable figures, Van Dyke Parks may be one of the most remarkable of all. Long before he did anything that impinges on the story of rock music, Parks had lived the kind of life that would be considered unbelievable were it to be told as fiction. Parks came from a family that mixed musical skill, political progressiveness, and achievement. His mother was a scholar of Hebrew, while his father was a neurologist, the first doctor to admit Black patients to a white Southern hospital, and had paid his way through college leading a dance band. Parks' father was also, according to the 33 1/3 book on Song Cycle, a member of "John Philip Sousa's Sixty Silver Trumpets", but literally every reference I can find to Sousa leading a band of that name goes back to that book, so I've no idea what he was actually a member of, but we can presume he was a reasonable musician. Young Van Dyke started playing the clarinet at four, and was also a singer from a very early age, as well as playing several other instruments. He went to the American Boychoir School in Princeton, to study singing, and while there he sang with Toscaninni, Thomas Beecham, and other immensely important conductors of the era. He also had a very special accompanist for one Christmas carolling session. The choir school was based in Princeton, and one of the doors he knocked on while carolling was that of Princeton's most famous resident, Albert Einstein, who heard the young boy singing "Silent Night", and came out with his violin and played along. Young Van Dyke was only interested in music, but he was also paying the bills for his music tuition himself -- he had a job. He was a TV star. From the age of ten, he started getting roles in TV shows -- he played the youngest son in the 1953 sitcom Bonino, about an opera singer, which flopped because it aired opposite the extremely popular Jackie Gleason Show. He would later also appear in that show, as one of several child actors who played the character of Little Tommy Manicotti, and he made a number of other TV appearances, as well as having a small role in Grace Kelly's last film, The Swan, with Alec Guinness and Louis Jourdain. But he never liked acting, and just did it to pay for his education. He gave it up when he moved on to the Carnegie Institute, where he majored in composition and performance. But then in his second year, his big brother Carson asked him to drop out and move to California. Carson Parks had been part of the folk scene in California for a few years at this point. He and a friend had formed a duo called the Steeltown Two, but then both of them had joined the folk group the Easy Riders, a group led by Terry Gilkyson. Before Carson Parks joined, the Easy Riders had had a big hit with their version of "Marianne", a calypso originally by the great calypsonian Roaring Lion: [Excerpt: The Easy Riders, "Marianne"] They hadn't had many other hits, but their songs became hits for other people -- Gilkyson wrote several big hits for Frankie Laine, and the Easy Riders were the backing vocalists on Dean Martin's recording of a song they wrote, "Memories are Made of This": [Excerpt: Dean Martin and the Easy Riders, "Memories are Made of This"] Carson Parks hadn't been in the group at that point -- he only joined after they'd stopped having success -- and eventually the group had split up. He wanted to revive his old duo, the Steeltown Two, and persuaded his family to let his little brother Van Dyke drop out of university and move to California to be the other half of the duo. He wanted Van Dyke to play guitar, while he played banjo. Van Dyke had never actually played guitar before, but as Carson Parks later said "in 90 days, he knew more than most folks know after many years!" Van Dyke moved into an apartment adjoining his brother's, owned by Norm Botnick, who had until recently been the principal viola player in a film studio orchestra, before the film studios all simultaneously dumped their in-house orchestras in the late fifties, so was a more understanding landlord than most when it came to the lifestyles of musicians. Botnick's sons, Doug and Bruce, later went into sound engineering -- we've already encountered Bruce Botnick in the episode on the Doors, and he will be coming up again in the future. The new Steeltown Two didn't make any records, but they developed a bit of a following in the coffeehouses, and they also got a fair bit of session work, mostly through Terry Gilkyson, who was by that point writing songs for Disney and would hire them to play on sessions for his songs. And it was Gilkyson who both brought Van Dyke Parks the worst news of his life to that point, and in doing so also had him make his first major mark on music. Gilkyson was the one who informed Van Dyke that another of his brothers, Benjamin Riley Parks, had died in what was apparently a car accident. I say it was apparently an accident because Benjamin Riley Parks was at the time working for the US State Department, and there is apparently also some evidence that he was assassinated in a Cold War plot. Gilkyson also knew that neither Van Dyke nor Carson Parks had much money, so in order to help them afford black suits and plane tickets to and from the funeral, Gilkyson hired Van Dyke to write the arrangement for a song he had written for an upcoming Disney film: [Excerpt: Jungle Book soundtrack, "The Bare Necessities"] The Steeltown Two continued performing, and soon became known as the Steeltown Three, with the addition of a singer named Pat Peyton. The Steeltown Three recorded two singles, "Rock Mountain", under that group name: [Excerpt: The Steeltown Three, "Rock Mountain"] And a version of "San Francisco Bay" under the name The South Coasters, which I've been unable to track down. Then the three of them, with the help of Terry Gilkyson, formed a larger group in the style of the New Christy Minstrels -- the Greenwood County Singers. Indeed, Carson Parks would later claim that Gilkyson had had the idea first -- that he'd mentioned that he'd wanted to put together a group like that to Randy Sparks, and Sparks had taken the idea and done it first. The Greenwood County Singers had two minor hot one hundred hits, only one of them while Van Dyke was in the band -- "The New 'Frankie and Johnny' Song", a rewrite by Bob Gibson and Shel Silverstein of the old traditional song "Frankie and Johnny": [Excerpt: The Greenwood County Singers, "The New Frankie and Johnny Song"] They also recorded several albums together, which gave Van Dyke the opportunity to practice his arrangement skills, as on this version of "Vera Cruz" which he arranged: [Excerpt: The Greenwood County Singers, "Vera Cruz"] Some time before their last album, in 1965, Van Dyke left the Greenwood County Singers, and was replaced by Rick Jarrard, who we'll also be hearing more about in future episodes. After that album, the group split up, but Carson Parks would go on to write two big hits in the next few years. The first and biggest was a song he originally wrote for a side project. His future wife Gaile Foote was also a Greenwood County Singer, and the two of them thought they might become folk's answer to Sonny and Cher or Nino Tempo and April Stevens: [Excerpt: Carson and Gaile, "Somethin' Stupid"] That obviously became a standard after it was covered by Frank and Nancy Sinatra. Carson Parks also wrote "Cab Driver", which in 1968 became the last top thirty hit for the Mills Brothers, the 1930s vocal group we talked about way way back in episode six: [Excerpt: The Mills Brothers, "Cab Driver"] Meanwhile Van Dyke Parks was becoming part of the Sunset Strip rock and roll world. Now, until we get to 1967, Parks has something of a tangled timeline. He worked with almost every band around LA in a short period, often working with multiple people simultaneously, and nobody was very interested in keeping detailed notes. So I'm going to tell this as a linear story, but be aware it's very much not -- things I say in five minutes might happen after, or in the same week as, things I say in half an hour. At some point in either 1965 or 1966 he joined the Mothers of Invention for a brief while. Nobody is entirely sure when this was, and whether it was before or after their first album. Some say it was in late 1965, others in August 1966, and even the kind of fans who put together detailed timelines are none the wiser, because no recordings have so far surfaced of Parks with the band. Either is plausible, and the Mothers went through a variety of keyboard players at this time -- Zappa had turned to his jazz friend Don Preston, but found Preston was too much of a jazzer and told him to come back when he could play "Louie Louie" convincingly, asked Mac Rebennack to be in the band but sacked him pretty much straight away for drug use, and eventually turned to Preston again once Preston had learned to rock and roll. Some time in that period, Van Dyke Parks was a Mother, playing electric harpsichord. He may even have had more than one stint in the group -- Zappa said "Van Dyke Parks played electric harpsichord in and out." It seems likely, though, that it was in summer of 1966, because in an interview published in Teen Beat Magazine in December 66, but presumably conducted a few months prior, Zappa was asked to describe the band members in one word each and replied: "Ray—Mahogany Roy—Asbestos Jim—Mucilage Del—Acetate Van Dyke—Pinocchio Billy—Boom I don't know about the rest of the group—I don't even know about these guys." Sources differ as to why Parks didn't remain in the band -- Parks has said that he quit after a short time because he didn't like being shouted at, while Zappa said "Van Dyke was not a reliable player. He didn't make it to rehearsal on time and things like that." Both may be true of course, though I've not heard anyone else ever criticise Parks for his reliability. But then also Zappa had much more disciplinarian standards than most rock band leaders. It's possibly either through Zappa that he met Tom Wilson, or through Tom Wilson that he met Frank Zappa, but either way Parks, like the Mothers of Invention, was signed to MGM records in 1966, where he released two solo singles co-produced by Wilson and an otherwise obscure figure named Tim Alvorado. The first was "Number Nine", which we heard last week, backed with "Do What You Wanta": [Excerpt: Van Dyke Parks, "Do What You Wanta"] At least one source I've read says that the lyrics to "Do What You Wanta" were written not by Parks but by his friend Danny Hutton, but it's credited as a Parks solo composition on the label. It was after that that the Van Dyke Parks band -- or as they were sometimes billed, just The Van Dyke Parks formed, as we discussed last episode, based around Parks, Steve Stills, and Steve Young, and they performed a handful of shows with bass player Bobby Rae and drummer Walt Sparman, playing a mix of original material, primarily Parks' songs, and covers of things like "Dancing in the Street". The one contemporaneous review of a live show I've seen talks about the girls in the audience screaming and how "When rhythm guitarist Steve Stillman imitated the Barry McGuire emotional scene, they almost went wiggy". But The Van Dyke Parks soon split up, and Parks the individual recorded his second single, "Come to the Sunshine": [Excerpt: Van Dyke Parks, "Come to the Sunshine"] Around the time he left the Greenwood County Singers, Van Dyke Parks also met Brian Wilson for the first time, when David Crosby took him up to Wilson's house to hear an acetate of the as-yet-unreleased track "Sloop John B". Parks was impressed by Wilson's arrangement techniques, and in particular the way he was orchestrating instrumental combinations that you couldn't do with a standard live room setup, that required overdubbing and close-micing. He said later "The first stuff I heard indicated this kind of curiosity for the recording experience, and when I went up to see him in '65 I don't even think he had the voices on yet, but I heard that long rotational breathing, that long flute ostinato at the beginning... I knew this man was a great musician." [Excerpt: The Beach Boys, "Sloop John B (instrumental)"] In most of 1966, though, Parks was making his living as a session keyboard player and arranger, and much of the work he was getting was through Lenny Waronker. Waronker was a second-generation music industry professional. His father, Si Waronker, had been a violinist in the Twentieth Century Fox studio orchestra before founding Liberty Records (the label which indirectly led to him becoming immortalised in children's entertainment, when Liberty Records star David Seville named his Chipmunk characters after three Liberty executives, with Simon being Si Waronker's full forename). The first release on Liberty Records had been a version of "The Girl Upstairs", an instrumental piece from the Fox film The Seven-Year Itch. The original recording of that track, for the film, had been done by the Twentieth Century Fox Orchestra, written and conducted by Alfred Newman, the musical director for Fox: [Excerpt: Alfred Newman, "The Girl Upstairs"] Liberty's soundalike version was conducted by Newman's brother Lionel, a pianist at the studio who later became Fox's musical director for TV, just as his brother was for film, but who also wrote many film scores himself. Another Newman brother, Emil, was also a film composer, but the fourth brother, Irving, had gone into medicine instead. However, Irving's son Randy wanted to follow in the family business, and he and Lenny Waronker, who was similarly following his own father by working for Liberty Records' publishing subsidiary Metric Music, had been very close friends ever since High School. Waronker got Newman signed to Metric Music, where he wrote "They Tell Me It's Summer" for the Fleetwoods: [Excerpt: The Fleetwoods, "They Tell Me It's Summer"] Newman also wrote and recorded a single of his own in 1962, co-produced by Pat Boone: [Excerpt: Randy Newman, "Golden Gridiron Boy"] Before deciding he wasn't going to make it as a singer and had better just be a professional songwriter. But by 1966 Waronker had moved on from Metric to Warner Brothers, and become a junior A&R man. And he was put in charge of developing the artists that Warners had acquired when they had bought up a small label, Autumn Records. Autumn Records was a San Francisco-based label whose main producer, Sly Stone, had now moved on to other things after producing the hit record "Laugh Laugh" for the Beau Brummels: [Excerpt: The Beau Brummels, "Laugh Laugh"] The Beau Brummels had had another hit after that and were the main reason that Warners had bought the label, but their star was fading a little. Stone had also been mentoring several other groups, including the Tikis and the Mojo Men, who all had potential. Waronker gathered around himself a sort of brains trust of musicians who he trusted as songwriters, arrangers, and pianists -- Randy Newman, the session pianist Leon Russell, and Van Dyke Parks. Their job was to revitalise the career of the Beau Brummels, and to make both the Tikis and the Mojo Men into successes. The tactic they chose was, in Waronker's words, “Go in with a good song and weird it out.” The first good song they tried weirding out was in late 1966, when Leon Russell came up with a clarinet-led arrangement of Paul Simon's "59th Street Bridge Song (Feeling Groovy)" for the Tikis, who performed it but who thought that their existing fanbase wouldn't accept something so different, so it was put out under another name, suggested by Parks, Harpers Bizarre: [Excerpt: Harpers Bizarre, "Feeling Groovy"] Waronker said of Parks and Newman “They weren't old school guys. They were modern characters but they had old school values regarding certain records that needed to be made, certain artists who needed to be heard regardless. So there was still that going on. The fact that ‘Feeling Groovy' was a number 10 hit nationwide and ‘Sit Down, I Think I Love You' made the Top 30 on Western regional radio, that gave us credibility within the company. One hit will do wonders, two allows you to take chances.” We heard "Sit Down, I Think I Love You" last episode -- that's the song by Parks' old friend Stephen Stills that Parks arranged for the Mojo Men: [Excerpt: The Mojo Men, "Sit Down, I Think I Love You"] During 1966 Parks also played on Tim Buckley's first album, as we also heard last episode: [Excerpt: Tim Buckley, "Aren't You the Girl?"] And he also bumped into Brian Wilson on occasion, as they were working a lot in the same studios and had mutual friends like Loren Daro and Danny Hutton, and he suggested the cello part on "Good Vibrations". Parks also played keyboards on "5D" by the Byrds: [Excerpt: The Byrds, "5D (Fifth Dimension)"] And on the Spirit of '67 album for Paul Revere and the Raiders, produced by the Byrds' old producer Terry Melcher. Parks played keyboards on much of the album, including the top five hit "Good Thing": [Excerpt: Paul Revere and the Raiders, "Good Thing"] But while all this was going on, Parks was also working on what would become the work for which he was best known. As I've said, he'd met Brian Wilson on a few occasions, but it wasn't until summer 1966 that the two were formally introduced by Terry Melcher, who knew that Wilson needed a new songwriting collaborator, now Tony Asher's sabbatical from his advertising job was coming to an end, and that Wilson wanted someone who could do work that was a bit more abstract than the emotional material that he had been writing with Asher. Melcher invited both of them to a party at his house on Cielo Drive -- a house which would a few years later become notorious -- which was also attended by many of the young Hollywood set of the time. Nobody can remember exactly who was at the party, but Parks thinks it was people like Jack Nicholson and Peter and Jane Fonda. Parks and Wilson hit it off, with Wilson saying later "He seemed like a really articulate guy, like he could write some good lyrics". Parks on the other hand was delighted to find that Wilson "liked Les Paul, Spike Jones, all of these sounds that I liked, and he was doing it in a proactive way." Brian suggested Parks write the finished lyrics for "Good Vibrations", which was still being recorded at this time, and still only had Tony Asher's dummy lyrics, but Parks was uninterested. He said that it would be best if he and Brian collaborate together on something new from scratch, and Brian agreed. The first time Parks came to visit Brian at Brian's home, other than the visit accompanying Crosby the year before, he was riding a motorbike -- he couldn't afford a car -- and forgot to bring his driver's license with him. He was stopped by a police officer who thought he looked too poor to be in the area, but Parks persuaded the police officer that if he came to the door, Brian Wilson would vouch for him. Brian got Van Dyke out of any trouble because the cop's sister was a Beach Boys fan, so he autographed an album for her. Brian and Van Dyke talked for a while. Brian asked if Van Dyke needed anything to help his work go smoothly, and Van Dyke said he needed a car. Brian asked what kind. Van Dyke said that Volvos were supposed to be pretty safe. Brian asked how much they cost. Van Dyke said he thought they were about five thousand dollars. Brian called up his office and told them to get a cheque delivered to Van Dyke for five thousand dollars the next day, instantly earning Van Dyke's loyalty. After that, they got on with work. To start with, Brian played Van Dyke a melody he'd been working on, a melody based on a descending scale starting on the fourth: [Plays "Heroes and Villains" melody] Parks told Wilson that the melody reminded him vaguely of Marty Robbins' country hit "El Paso" from 1959, a song about a gunfighter, a cantina, and a dancing woman: [Excerpt: Marty Robbins, "El Paso"] Wilson said that he had been thinking along the same lines, a sort of old west story, and thought maybe it should be called "Heroes and Villains". Parks started writing, matching syllables to Wilson's pre-conceived melody -- "I've been in this town so long that back in the city I've been taken for lost and gone and unknown for a long, long time" [Excerpt: Brian Wilson and Van Dyke Parks, "Heroes and Villains demo"] As Parks put it "The engine had started. It was very much ad hoc. Seat of the pants. Extemporaneous values were enforced. Not too much precommitment to ideas. Or, if so, equally pursuing propinquity." Slowly, over the next several months, while the five other Beach Boys were touring, Brian and Van Dyke refined their ideas about what the album they were writing, initially called Dumb Angel but soon retitled Smile, should be. For Van Dyke Parks it was an attempt to make music about America and American mythology. He was disgusted, as a patriot, with the Anglophilia that had swept the music industry since the arrival of the Beatles in America two and a half years earlier, particularly since that had happened so soon after the deaths both of President Kennedy and of Parks' own brother who was working for the government at the time he died. So for him, the album was about America, about Plymouth Rock, the Old West, California, and Hawaii. It would be a generally positive version of the country's myth, though it would of course also acknowledge the bloodshed on which the country had been built: [Excerpt: The Beach Boys, "Bicycle Rider" section] As he put it later "I was dead set on centering my life on the patriotic ideal. I was a son of the American revolution, and there was blood on the tracks. Recent blood, and it was still drying. The whole record seemed like a real effort toward figuring out what Manifest Destiny was all about. We'd come as far as we could, as far as Horace Greeley told us to go. And so we looked back and tried to make sense of that great odyssey." Brian had some other ideas -- he had been studying the I Ching, and Subud, and he wanted to do something about the four classical elements, and something religious -- his ideas were generally rather unfocused at the time, and he had far more ideas than he knew what to usefully do with. But he was also happy with the idea of a piece about America, which fit in with his own interest in "Rhapsody in Blue", a piece that was about America in much the same way. "Rhapsody in Blue" was an inspiration for Brian primarily in how it weaved together variations on themes. And there are two themes that between them Brian was finding endless variations on. The first theme was a shuffling between two chords a fourth away from each other. [demonstrates G to C on guitar] Where these chords are both major, that's the sequence for "Fire": [Excerpt: The Beach Boys, "Mrs. O'Leary's Cow/Fire"] For the "Who ran the Iron Horse?" section of "Cabin Essence": [Excerpt: The Beach Boys, "Cabinessence"] For "Vegetables": [Excerpt: The Beach Boys, "Vegetables"] And more. Sometimes this would be the minor supertonic and dominant seventh of the key, so in C that would be Dm to G7: [Plays Dm to G7 fingerpicked] That's the "bicycle rider" chorus we heard earlier, which was part of a song known as "Roll Plymouth Rock" or "Do You Like Worms": [Excerpt: The Beach Boys, "Bicycle Rider"] But which later became a chorus for "Heroes and Villains": [Excerpt: The Beach Boys, "Heroes and Villains"] But that same sequence is also the beginning of "Wind Chimes": [Excerpt: The Beach Boys, "Wind Chimes"] The "wahalla loo lay" section of "Roll Plymouth Rock": [Excerpt: The Beach Boys, "Roll Plymouth Rock"] And others, but most interestingly, the minor-key rearrangement of "You Are My Sunshine" as "You Were My Sunshine": [Excerpt: The Beach Boys, "You Were My Sunshine"] I say that's most interesting, because that provides a link to another of the major themes which Brian was wringing every drop out of, a phrase known as "How Dry I Am", because of its use under those words in an Irving Berlin song, which was a popular barbershop quartet song but is now best known as a signifier of drunkenness in Looney Tunes cartoons: [Excerpt: Daffy Duck singing "How Dry I Am" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ap4MMn7LpzA ] The phrase is a common one in early twentieth century music, especially folk and country, as it's made up of notes in the pentatonic scale -- it's the fifth, first, second, and third of the scale, in that order: [demonstrates "How Dry I Am"] And so it's in the melody to "This Land is Your Land", for example, a song which is very much in the same spirit of progressive Americana in which Van Dyke Parks was thinking: [Excerpt: Woody Guthrie, "This Land is Your Land"] It's also the start of the original melody of "You Are My Sunshine": [Excerpt: Jimmie Davis, "You Are My Sunshine" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yYvgNEU4Am8] Brian rearranged that melody when he stuck it into a minor key, so it's no longer "How Dry I Am" in the Beach Boys version, but if you play the "How Dry I Am" notes in a different rhythm, you get this: [Plays "He Gives Speeches" melody] Which is the start of the melody to "He Gives Speeches": [Excerpt: The Beach Boys, "He Gives Speeches"] Play those notes backwards, you get: [Plays "He Gives Speeches" melody backwards] Do that and add onto the end a passing sixth and then the tonic, and then you get: [Plays that] Which is the vocal *countermelody* in "He Gives Speeches": [Excerpt: The Beach Boys, "He Gives Speeches"] And also turns up in some versions of "Heroes and Villains": [Excerpt: The Beach Boys, "Heroes and Villains (alternate version)"] And so on. Smile was an intricate web of themes and variations, and it incorporated motifs from many sources, both the great American songbook and the R&B of Brian's youth spent listening to Johnny Otis' radio show. There were bits of "Gee" by the Crows, of "Twelfth Street Rag", and of course, given that this was Brian Wilson, bits of Phil Spector. The backing track to the verse of "Heroes and Villains": [Excerpt: The Beach Boys, "Heroes and Villains"] Owed more than a little to a version of "Save the Last Dance For Me" that Spector had produced for Ike and Tina Turner: [Excerpt: Ike and Tina Turner, "Save the Last Dance For Me"] While one version of the song “Wonderful” contained a rather out-of-place homage to Etta James and “The Wallflower”: [Excerpt: “Wonderful (Rock With Me Henry)”] As the recording continued, it became more and more obvious that the combination of these themes and variations was becoming a little too much for Brian. Many of the songs he was working on were made up of individual modules that he was planning to splice together the way he had with "Good Vibrations", and some modules were getting moved between tracks, as he tried to structure the songs in the edit. He'd managed it with "Good Vibrations", but this was an entire album, not just a single, and it was becoming more and more difficult. David Anderle, who was heading up the record label the group were looking at starting, would talk about Brian playing him acetates with sections edited together one way, and thinking it was perfect, and obviously the correct way to put them together, the only possible way, and then hearing the same sections edited together in a different way, and thinking *that* was perfect, and obviously the correct way to put them together. But while a lot of the album was modular, there were also several complete songs with beginnings, middles, ends, and structures, even if they were in several movements. And those songs showed that if Brian could just get the other stuff right, the album could be very, very, special. There was "Heroes and Villains" itself, of course, which kept changing its structure but was still based around the same basic melody and story that Brian and Van Dyke had come up with on their first day working together. There was also "Wonderful", a beautiful, allusive, song about innocence lost and regained: [Excerpt: The Beach Boys, "Wonderful"] And there was CabinEssence, a song which referenced yet another classic song, this time "Home on the Range", to tell a story of idyllic rural life and of the industrialisation which came with westward expansion: [Excerpt: The Beach Boys, "CabinEssence"] The arrangement for that song inspired Van Dyke Parks to make a very astute assessment of Brian Wilson. He said later "He knew that he had to adhere to the counter-culture, and I knew that I had to. I think that he was about as estranged from it as I was.... At the same time, he didn't want to lose that kind of gauche sensibility that he had. He was doing stuff that nobody would dream of doing. You would never, for example, use one string on a banjo when you had five; it just wasn't done. But when I asked him to bring a banjo in, that's what he did. This old-style plectrum thing. One string. That's gauche." Both Parks and Wilson were both drawn to and alienated from the counterculture, but in very different ways, and their different ways of relating to the counterculture created the creative tension that makes the Smile project so interesting. Parks is fundamentally a New Deal Liberal, and was excited by the progresssive nature of the counterculture, but also rather worried about its tendency to throw the baby out with the bathwater, and to ignore the old in pursuit of the new. He was an erudite, cultured, sophisticated man who thought that there was value to be found in the works and attitudes of the past, even as one must look to the future. He was influenced by the beat poets and the avant garde art of the time, but also said of his folk music period "A harpist would bring his harp with him and he would play and recite a story which had been passed down the generations. This particular legacy continued through Arthurian legend, and then through the Middle Ages, and even into the nineteenth century. With all these songs, half of the story was the lyrics, and the folk songs were very interesting. They were tremendously thought-driven songs; there was nothing confusing about that. Even when the Kingston Trio came out -- and Brian has already admitted his debt to the Kingston Trio -- 'Tom Dooley', the story of a murder most foul 'MTA' an urban nightmare -- all of this thought-driven music was perfectly acceptable. It was more than a teenage romantic crisis." Brian Wilson, on the other hand, was anything *but* sophisticated. He is a simple man in the best sense of the term -- he likes what he likes, doesn't like what he doesn't like, and has no pretensions whatsoever about it. He is, at heart, a middle-class middle-American brought up in suburbia, with a taste for steaks and hamburgers, broad physical comedy, baseball, and easy listening music. Where Van Dyke Parks was talking about "thought-driven music", Wilson's music, while thoughtful, has always been driven by feelings first and foremost. Where Parks is influenced by Romantic composers like Gottschalk but is fundamentally a craftsman, a traditionalist, a mason adding his work to a cathedral whose construction started before his birth and will continue after his death, Wilson's music has none of the stylistic hallmarks of Romantic music, but in its inspiration it is absolutely Romantic -- it is the immediate emotional expression of the individual, completely unfiltered. When writing his own lyrics in later years Wilson would come up with everything from almost haiku-like lyrics like "I'm a leaf on a windy day/pretty soon I'll be blown away/How long with the wind blow?/Until I die" to "He sits behind his microphone/Johnny Carson/He speaks in such a manly tone/Johnny Carson", depending on whether at the time his prime concern was existential meaninglessness or what was on the TV. Wilson found the new counterculture exciting, but was also very aware he didn't fit in. He was developing a new group of friends, the hippest of the hip in LA counterculture circles -- the singer Danny Hutton, Mark Volman of the Turtles, the writers Michael Vosse and Jules Siegel, scenester and record executive David Anderle -- but there was always the underlying implication that at least some of these people regarded him as, to use an ableist term but one which they would probably have used, an idiot savant. That they thought of him, as his former collaborator Tony Asher would later uncharitably put it, as "a genius musician but an amateur human being". So for example when Siegel brought the great postmodern novelist Thomas Pynchon to visit Brian, both men largely sat in silence, unable to speak to each other; Pynchon because he tended to be a reactive person in conversation and would wait for the other person to initiate topics of discussion, Brian because he was so intimidated by Pynchon's reputation as a great East Coast intellectual that he was largely silent for fear of making a fool of himself. It was this gaucheness, as Parks eventually put it, and Parks' understanding that this was actually a quality to be cherished and the key to Wilson's art, that eventually gave the title to the most ambitious of the complete songs the duo were working on. They had most of the song -- a song about the power of music, the concept of enlightenment, and the rise and fall of civilisations: [Excerpt: The Beach Boys, "Surf's Up"] But Parks hadn't yet quite finished the lyric. The Beach Boys had been off on tour for much of Brian and Van Dyke's collaboration, and had just got back from their first real tour of the UK, where Pet Sounds had been a smash hit, rather than the middling success it had been in the US, and "Good Vibrations" had just become their first number one single. Brian and Van Dyke played the song for Brian's brother Dennis, the Beach Boys' drummer, and the band member most in tune with Brian's musical ambitions at this time. Dennis started crying, and started talking about how the British audiences had loved their music, but had laughed at their on-stage striped-shirt uniforms. Parks couldn't tell if he was crying because of the beauty of the unfinished song, the humiliation he had suffered in Britain, or both. Dennis then asked what the name of the song was, and as Parks later put it "Although it was the most gauche factor, and although maybe Brian thought it was the most dispensable thing, I thought it was very important to continue to use the name and keep the elephant in the room -- to keep the surfing image but to sensitise it to new opportunities. One of these would be an eco-consciousness; it would be speaking about the greening of the Earth, aboriginal people, how we had treated the Indians, taking on those things and putting them into the thoughts that come with the music. That was a solution to the relevance of the group, and I wanted the group to be relevant." Van Dyke had decided on a title: "Surf's Up": [Excerpt: The Beach Boys, "Surf's Up"] As the group were now back from their tour, the focus for recording shifted from the instrumental sessions to vocal ones. Parks had often attended the instrumental sessions, as he was an accomplished musician and arranger himself, and would play on the sessions, but also wanted to learn from what Brian was doing -- he's stated later that some of his use of tuned percussion in the decades since, for example, has come from watching Brian's work. But while he was also a good singer, he was not a singer in the same style as the Beach Boys, and they certainly didn't need his presence at those sessions, so he continued to work on his lyrics, and to do his arrangement and session work for other artists, while they worked in the studio. He was also, though, starting to distance himself from Brian for other reasons. At the start of the summer, Brian's eccentricity and whimsy had seemed harmless -- indeed, the kind of thing he was doing, such as putting his piano in a sandbox so he could feel the sand with his feet while he wrote, seems very much on a par with Maureen Cleave's descriptions of John Lennon in the same period. They were two newly-rich, easily bored, young men with low attention spans and high intelligence who could become deeply depressed when understimulated and so would get new ideas into their heads, spend money on their new fads, and then quickly discard them. But as the summer wore on into autumn and winter, Brian's behaviour became more bizarre, and to Parks' eyes more distasteful. We now know that Brian was suffering a period of increasing mental ill-health, something that was probably not helped by the copious intake of cannabis and amphetamines he was using to spur his creativity, but at the time most people around him didn't realise this, and general knowledge of mental illness was even less than it is today. Brian was starting to do things like insist on holding business meetings in his swimming pool, partly because people wouldn't be able to spy on him, and partly because he thought people would be more honest if they were in the water. There were also events like the recording session where Wilson paid for several session musicians, not to play their instruments, but to be recorded while they sat in a pitch-black room and played the party game Lifeboat with Jules Siegel and several of Wilson's friends, most of whom were stoned and not really understanding what they were doing, while they got angrier and more frustrated. Alan Jardine -- who unlike the Wilson brothers, and even Mike Love to an extent, never indulged in illegal drugs -- has talked about not understanding why, in some vocal sessions, Brian would make the group crawl on their hands and knees while making noises like animals: [Excerpt: The Beach Boys, "Heroes and Villains Part 3 (Animals)"] As Parks delicately put it "I sensed all that was destructive, so I withdrew from those related social encounters." What this meant though was that he was unaware that not all the Beach Boys took the same attitude of complete support for the work he and Brian had been doing that Dennis Wilson -- the only other group member he'd met at this point -- took. In particular, Mike Love was not a fan of Parks' lyrics. As he said later "I called it acid alliteration. The [lyrics are] far out. But do they relate like 'Surfin' USA,' like 'Fun Fun Fun,' like 'California Girls,' like 'I Get Around'? Perhaps not! So that's the distinction. See, I'm into success. These words equal successful hit records; those words don't" Now, Love has taken a lot of heat for this over the years, and on an artistic level that's completely understandable. Parks' lyrics were, to my mind at least, the best the Beach Boys ever had -- thoughtful, intelligent, moving, at times profound, often funny, often beautiful. But, while I profoundly disagree with Love, I have a certain amount of sympathy for his position. From Love's perspective, first and foremost, this is his source of income. He was the only one of the Beach Boys to ever have had a day job -- he'd worked at his father's sheet metal company -- and didn't particularly relish the idea of going back to manual labour if the rock star gig dried up. It wasn't that he was *opposed* to art, of course -- he'd written the lyrics to "Good Vibrations", possibly the most arty rock single released to that point, hadn't he? -- but that had been *commercial* art. It had sold. Was this stuff going to sell? Was he still going to be able to feed his wife and kids? Also, up until a few months earlier he had been Brian's principal songwriting collaborator. He was *still* the most commercially successful collaborator Brian had had. From his perspective, this was a partnership, and it was being turned into a dictatorship without him having been consulted. Before, it had been "Mike, can you write some lyrics for this song about cars?", now it was "Mike, you're going to sing these lyrics about a crow uncovering a cornfield". And not only that, but Mike had not met Brian's new collaborator, but knew he was hanging round with Brian's new druggie friends. And Brian was behaving increasingly weirdly, which Mike put down to the influence of the drugs and these new friends. It can't have helped that at the same time the group's publicist, Derek Taylor, was heavily pushing the line "Brian Wilson is a genius". This was causing Brian some distress -- he didn't think of himself as a genius, and he saw the label as a burden, something it was impossible to live up to -- but was also causing friction in the group, as it seemed that their contributions were being dismissed. Again, I don't agree with Mike's position on any of this, but it is understandable. It's also the case that Mike Love is, by nature, a very assertive and gregarious person, while Brian Wilson, for all that he took control in the studio, is incredibly conflict-avoidant and sensitive. From what I know of the two men's personalities, and from things they've said, and from the session recordings that have leaked over the years, it seems entirely likely that Love will have seen himself as having reasonable criticisms, and putting them to Brian clearly with a bit of teasing to take the sting out of them; while Brian will have seen Love as mercilessly attacking and ridiculing the work that meant so much to him in a cruel and hurtful manner, and that neither will have understood at the time that that was how the other was seeing things. Love's criticisms intensified. Not of everything -- he's several times expressed admiration for "Heroes and Villains" and "Wonderful" -- but in general he was not a fan of Parks' lyrics. And his criticisms seemed to start to affect Brian. It's difficult to say what Brian thinks about Parks' lyrics, because he has a habit in interviews of saying what he thinks the interviewer wants to hear, and the whole subject of Smile became a touchy one for him for a long time, so in some interviews he has talked about how dazzlingly brilliant they are, while at other times he's seemed to agree with Love, saying they were "Van Dyke Parks lyrics", not "Beach Boys lyrics". He may well sincerely think both at the same time, or have thought both at different times. This came to a head with a session for the tag of "Cabinessence": [Excerpt: The Beach Boys, "Cabinessence"] Love insisted on having the line "over and over the crow flies uncover the cornfield" explained to him, and Brian eventually decided to call Van Dyke Parks and have him come to the studio. Up to this point, Parks had no idea that there was anything controversial, so when Brian phoned him up and very casually said that Mike had a few questions about the lyrics, could he come down to the studio? He went without a second thought. He later said "The only person I had had any interchange with before that was Dennis, who had responded very favorably to 'Heroes and Villains' and 'Surf's Up'. Based on that, I gathered that the work would be approved. But then, with no warning whatsoever, I got that phone call from Brian. And that's when the whole house of cards came tumbling down." Parks got to the studio, where he was confronted by an angry Mike Love, insisting he explain the lyrics. Now, as will be, I hope, clear from everything I've said, Parks and Love are very, very, *very* different people. Having met both men -- albeit only in formal fan-meeting situations where they're presenting their public face -- I actually find both men very likeable, but in very different ways. Love is gregarious, a charmer, the kind of man who would make a good salesman and who people use terms like "alpha male" about. He's tall, and has a casual confidence that can easily read as arrogance, and a straightforward sense of humour that can sometimes veer into the cruel. Parks, on the other hand, is small, meticulously well-mannered and well-spoken, has a high, precise, speaking voice which probably reads as effeminate to the kind of people who use terms like "alpha male", and the kind of devastating intelligence and Southern US attention to propriety which means that if he *wanted* to say something cruel about someone, the victim would believe themselves to have been complimented until a horrific realisation two days after the event. In every way, from their politics to their attitudes to art versus commerce to their mannerisms to their appearance, Mike Love and Van Dyke Parks are utterly different people, and were never going to mix well. And Brian Wilson, who was supposed to be the collaborator for both of them, was not mediating between them, not even expressing an opinion -- his own mental problems had reached the stage where he simply couldn't deal with the conflict. Parks felt ambushed and hurt, Love felt angry, especially when Parks could not explain the literal meaning of his lyrics. Eventually Parks just said "I have no excuse, sir", and left. Parks later said "That's when I lost interest. Because basically I was taught not to be where I wasn't wanted, and I could feel I wasn't wanted. It was like I had someone else's job, which was abhorrent to me, because I don't even want my own job. It was sad, so I decided to get away quick." Parks continued collaborating with Wilson, and continued attending instrumental sessions, but it was all wheelspinning -- no significant progress was made on any songs after that point, in early December. It was becoming clear that the album wasn't going to be ready for its planned Christmas release, and it was pushed back to January, but Brian's mental health was becoming worse and worse. One example that's often cited as giving an insight into Brian's mental state at the time is his reaction to going to the cinema to see John Frankenheimer's classic science fiction horror film Seconds. Brian came in late, and the way the story is always told, when he was sat down the screen was black and a voice said from the darkness, "Hello Mr. Wilson". That moment does not seem to correspond with anything in the actual film, but he probably came in around the twenty-four minute mark, where the main character walks down a corridor, filmed in a distorted, hallucinatory manner, to be greeted: [Excerpt: Seconds, 24:00] But as Brian watched the film, primed by this, he became distressed by a number of apparent similarities to his life. The main character was going through death and rebirth, just as he felt he was. Right after the moment I just excerpted, Mr. Wilson is shown a film, and of course Brian was himself watching a film. The character goes to the beach in California, just like Brian. The character has a breakdown on a plane, just like Brian, and has to take pills to cope, and the breakdown happens right after this: [Excerpt: Seconds, from about 44:22] A studio in California? Just like where Brian spent his working days? That kind of weird coincidence can be affecting enough in a work of art when one is relatively mentally stable, but Brian was not at all stable. By this point he was profoundly paranoid -- and he may have had good reason to be. Some of Brian's friends from this time period have insisted that Brian's semi-estranged abusive father and former manager, Murry, was having private detectives watch him and his brothers to find evidence that they were using drugs. If you're in the early stages of a severe mental illness *and* you're self-medicating with illegal drugs, *and* people are actually spying on you, then that kind of coincidence becomes a lot more distressing. Brian became convinced that the film was the work of mind gangsters, probably in the pay of Phil Spector, who were trying to drive him mad and were using telepathy to spy on him. He started to bar people who had until recently been his friends from coming to sessions -- he decided that Jules Siegel's girlfriend was a witch and so Siegel was no longer welcome -- and what had been a creative process in the studio degenerated into noodling and second-guessing himself. He also, with January having come and the album still not delivered, started doing side projects, some of which, like his production of tracks for photographer Jasper Daily, seem evidence either of his bizarre sense of humour, or of his detachment from reality, or both: [Excerpt: Jasper Daily, "Teeter Totter Love"] As 1967 drew on, things got worse and worse. Brian was by this point concentrating on just one or two tracks, but endlessly reworking elements of them. He became convinced that the track "Fire" had caused some actual fires to break out in LA, and needed to be scrapped. The January deadline came and went with no sign of the album. To add to that, the group discovered that they were owed vast amounts of unpaid royalties by Capitol records, and legal action started which meant that even were the record to be finished it might become a pawn in the legal wrangling. Parks eventually became exasperated by Brian -- he said later "I was victimised by Brian Wilson's buffoonery" -- and he quit the project altogether in February after a row with Brian. He returned a couple of weeks later out of a sense of loyalty, but quit again in April. By April, he'd been working enough with Lenny Waronker that Waronker offered him a contract with Warner Brothers as a solo artist -- partly because Warners wanted some insight into Brian Wilson's techniques as a hit-making producer. To start with, Parks released a single, to dip a toe in the water, under the pseudonym "George Washington Brown". It was a largely-instrumental cover version of Donovan's song "Colours", which Parks chose because after seeing the film Don't Look Back, a documentary of Bob Dylan's 1965 British tour, he felt saddened at the way Dylan had treated Donovan: [Excerpt: George Washington Brown, "Donovan's Colours"] That was not a hit, but it got enough positive coverage, including an ecstatic review from Richard Goldstein in the Village Voice, that Parks was given carte blanche to create the album he wanted to create, with one of the largest budgets of any album released to that date. The result was a masterpiece, and very similar to the vision of Smile that Parks had had -- an album of clever, thoroughly American music which had more to do with Charles Ives than the British Invasion: [Excerpt: Van Dyke Parks, "The All Golden"] But Parks realised the album, titled Song Cycle, was doomed to failure when at a playback session, the head of Warner Brothers records said "Song Cycle? So where are the songs?" According to Parks, the album was only released because Jac Holzman of Elektra Records was also there, and took out his chequebook and said he'd release the album if Warners wouldn't, but it had little push, apart from some rather experimental magazine adverts which were, if anything, counterproductive. But Waronker recognised Parks' talent, and had even written into Parks' contract that Parks would be employed as a session player at scale on every session Waronker produced -- something that didn't actually happen, because Parks didn't insist on it, but which did mean Parks had a certain amount of job security. Over the next couple of years Parks and Waronker co-produced the first albums by two of their colleagues from Waronker's brains trust, with Parks arranging -- Randy Newman: [Excerpt: Randy Newman, "I Think It's Going to Rain Today"] And Ry Cooder: [Excerpt: Ry Cooder, "One Meat Ball"] Waronker would refer to himself, Parks, Cooder, and Newman as "the arts and crafts division" of Warners, and while these initial records weren't very successful, all of them would go on to bigger things. Parks would be a pioneer of music video, heading up Warners' music video department in the early seventies, and would also have a staggeringly varied career over the years, doing everything from teaming up again with the Beach Boys to play accordion on "Kokomo" to doing the string arrangements on Joanna Newsom's album Ys, collaborating with everyone from U2 to Skrillex, discovering Rufus Wainwright, and even acting again, appearing in Twin Peaks. He also continued to make massively inventive solo albums, releasing roughly one every decade, each unique and yet all bearing the hallmarks of his idiosyncratic style. As you can imagine, he is very likely to come up again in future episodes, though we're leaving him for now. Meanwhile, the Beach Boys were floundering, and still had no album -- and now Parks was no longer working with Brian, the whole idea of Smile was scrapped. The priority was now to get a single done, and so work started on a new, finished, version of "Heroes and Villains", structured in a fairly conventional manner using elements of the Smile recordings. The group were suffering from numerous interlocking problems at this point, and everyone was stressed -- they were suing their record label, Dennis' wife had filed for divorce, Brian was having mental health problems, and Carl had been arrested for draft dodging -- though he was later able to mount a successful defence that he was a conscientious objector. Also, at some point around this time, Bruce Johnston seems to have temporarily quit the group, though this was never announced -- he doesn't seem to have been at any sessions from late May or early June through mid-September, and didn't attend the two shows they performed in that time. They were meant to have performed three shows, but even though Brian was on the board of the Monterey Pop Festival, they pulled out at the last minute, saying that they needed to deal with getting the new single finished and with Carl's draft problems. Some or all of these other issues almost certainly fed into that, but the end result was that the Beach Boys were seen to have admitted defeat, to have handed the crown of relevance off to the San Francisco groups. And even if Smile had been released, there were other releases stealing its thunder. If it had come out in December it would have been massively ahead of its time, but after the Beatles released Sgt Pepper it would have seemed like it was a cheap copy -- though Parks has always said he believes the Beatles heard some of the Smile tapes and copied elements of the recordings, though I don't hear much similarity myself. But I do hear a strong similarity in "My World Fell Down" by Sagittarius, which came out in June, and which was largely made by erstwhile collaborators of Brian -- Gary Usher produced, Glen Campbell sang lead, and Bruce Johnston sang backing vocals: [Excerpt: Sagittarius, "My World Fell Down"] Brian was very concerned after hearing that that someone *had* heard the Smile tapes, and one can understand why. When "Heroes and Villains" finally came out, it was a great single, but only made number twelve in the charts. It was fantastic, but out of step with the times, and nothing could have lived up to the hype that had built up around it: [Excerpt: The Beach Boys, "Heroes and Villains"] Instead of Smile, the group released an album called Smiley Smile, recorded in a couple of months in Brian's home studio, with no studio musicians and no involvement from Bruce, other than the previously released singles, and with the production credited to "the Beach Boys" rather than Brian. Smiley Smile has been unfairly dismissed over the years, but it's actually an album that was ahead of its time. It's a collection of stripped down versions of Smile songs and new fragments using some of the same motifs, recorded with minimal instrumentation. Some of it is on a par with the Smile material it's based on: [Excerpt: The Beach Boys, "Wonderful"] Some is, to my ears, far more beautiful than the Smile versions: [Excerpt: The Beach Boys, "Wind Chimes"] And some has a fun goofiness which relates back to one of Brian's discarded ideas for Smile, that it be a humour album: [Excerpt: The Beach Boys, "She's Going Bald"] The album was a commercial flop, by far the least successful thing the group had released to that point in the US, not even making the top forty when it came out in September, though it made the top ten in the UK, but interestingly it *wasn't* a critical flop, at least at first. While the scrapping of Smile had been mentioned, it still wasn't widely known, and so for example Richard Goldstein, the journalist whose glowing review of "Donovan's Colours" in the Village Voice had secured Van Dyke Parks the opportunity to make Song Cycle, gave it a review in the New York Times which is written as if Goldstein at least believes it *is* the album that had been promised all along, and he speaks of it very perceptively -- and here I'm going to quote quite extensively, because the narrative about this album has always been that it was panned from the start and made the group a laughing stock: "Smiley Smile hardly reads like a rock cantata. But there are moments in songs such as 'With Me Tonight' and 'Wonderful' that soar like sacred music. Even the songs that seem irrelevant to a rock-hymn are infused with stained-glass melodies. Wilson is a sound sculptor and his songs are all harmonious litanies to the gentle holiness of love — post-Christian, perhaps but still believing. 'Wind Chimes', the most important piece on the album, is a fine example of Brian Wilson's organic pop structure. It contains three movements. First, Wilson sets a lyric and melodic mood ("In the late afternoon, you're hung up on wind chimes"). Then he introduces a totally different scene, utilizing passages of pure, wordless harmony. His two-and-a-half minute hymn ends with a third movement in which the voices join together in an exquisite round, singing the words, "Whisperin' winds set my wind chimes a-tinklin'." The voices fade out slowly, like the bittersweet afternoon in question. The technique of montage is an important aspect of Wilson's rock cantata, since the entire album tends to flow as a single composition. Songs like 'Heroes and Villains', are fragmented by speeding up or slowing down their verses and refrains. The effect is like viewing the song through a spinning prism. Sometimes, as in 'Fall Breaks and Back to Winter' (subtitled "W. Woodpecker Symphony"), the music is tiered into contrapuntal variations on a sliver of melody. The listener is thrown into a vast musical machine of countless working gears, each spinning in its own orbit." That's a discussion of the album that I hear when I listen to Smiley Smile, and the group seem to have been artistically happy with it, at least at first. They travelled to Hawaii to record a live album (with Brian, as Bruce was still out of the picture), taking the Baldwin organ that Brian used all over Smiley Smile with them, and performed rearranged versions of their old hits in the Smiley Smile style. When the recordings proved unusable, they recreated them in the studio, with Bruce returning to the group, where he would remain, with the intention of overdubbing audience noise and releasing a faked live album: [Excerpt: The Beach Boys, "California Girls [Lei'd studio version]"] The idea of the live album, to be called Lei'd in Hawaii, was scrapped, but that's not the kind of radical reimagining of your sound that you do if you think you've made an artistic failure. Indeed, the group's next albu