Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

On this day in 2019

June 16, 2019

At least seven occasions of significance to me today: three fixed to the date June 16th, plus four movable occasions that happen to take place on this Sunday this year. There will be a section in the middle with seriously raunchy material from gay porn that some will want to avoid; I’ll provide a warning when this stuff is imminent.

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Follow-up: things that make the world go ’round

June 12, 2019

My 6/6 posting “What makes the world go ’round?” looked at the catchphrase, or saying, Love makes the world go ’round, with
comments from the American Dialect Society’s lexicographers John Baker and Peter Reitan tracing the expression, with love as the subject, in several variant forms (including It’s love that makes the world go ’round and ‘Tis love that makes the world go ’round), back to an old song in English (early 19th century at least), and that from an older song in French. Now Peter Reitan has unearthed a late 18th-century playful variation on the formula, in which it’s drink, not love, that makes the world go ’round.

Meanwhile, in the modern world, playful variations have abounded, to the point where it’s reasonable to posit a snowclone X Makes the World, conveying ‘X is very important’.

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The Mememobile

June 10, 2019

Today’s Wayno/Piraro collab on a meta-Bizarro strip:


(#1) (If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 4 in this strip — see this Page.)

Cartoon memes for sale: Grim Reaper, Desert Island, Psychiatrist. All old acquaintances on this blog (see the Page on Comic conventions).

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What makes the world go round?

June 6, 2019

Today’s Zippy starts with Zippy and Griffy at Universal Studios Hollywood, reflecting on what is worthwhile in our lives:

(#1)

Griffy inventories some of his passions, in high culture and popular culture (including sports and food):

Beethoven, Alice Neel, Miles Davis, Tiger Woods, Ernie Bushmiller (the Nancy cartoonist), tuna melt

And Zippy, being a cartoon character,  follows with a catalogue of his own cartoon favorites:

Gerald McBoing Boing, Baby Huey, Yosemite Sam, Popeye the Sailor Man

Lots of stuff in these lists, but most of it is either in the cultural commons or treated in previous postings on this blog. The standout exception is the uncompromising portrait painter Alice Neel. She will lead us to a number of her subjects: the art critics Gregory Battcock and David Bourdon; the Greenwich Village eccentric Joe Gould; and the poet Frank O’Hara. It will end in naked men and some flagrant mansex, but I’ll warn you when this material looms.

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Follow-up: BOOIESUZYKQHHHH

June 2, 2019

From the annals of Cartoonland spelling bees, in my 5/31 posting “Ultimate spelling bee”, this Bob Eckstein cartoon:


(#1) The contestant offers BOOIESUZYKQHHHH as the spelling for the given pronunciation /búwisúzikyú/ (or something very close to that)

In creating this cartoon (hastily — if you’re doing a bunch of cartoons a day, you don’t have a lot of time for reflection), Eckstein pulled some pronounceable nonsense out of his head as the contest word. The result is an expression with recognizable parts, two of which, /súzi + kyú/ form a familiar name — Susie Q — while the other, /búwi/, might be heard as any of several names, but in Eckstein’s mind was just two nonsense syllables that bubbled up in the heat of the moment.

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On the dog food watch

May 29, 2019

The 5/27 Wayno-Piraro Bizarro strip, set in the Land of Dogs:


(#1) (If you wonder about the secret symbol in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there’s just one in this strip — see this Page.)

A dog food with Quibbles in its name is of course not going to agree with you, in one sense of agree with. So you can understand the cartoon, and see that the pun on agree with in it makes it amusing — and still miss the extra joke that Wayno and Piraro threw in for you.

The cartoon would have been funny if the dog food had been named just Quibbles. But Quibbles and Fits is a lot funnier, because it’s another pun, on the name of the (actual) dog food Kibbles and Bits. But of course you have to know about this particular commercial product to get that joke.

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Why is he calling her his thesaurus?

May 28, 2019

Today’s morning name was the Italian phrase il mio tesoro, and there’s no mystery where it came from: on my overnight iTunes, the 1959 Carlo Maria Guilini recording of Don Giovanni had reached Luigi Alva singing “Il Mio Tesoro” just as I woke. What was odd was that my still sleep-addled brain was puzzling over why Don Ottavio was calling Donna Anna his thesaurus.

Attribute it to an overactive mental-association apparatus connecting It. il tesoro ‘treasure’ (but also ‘darling, honey, dear’) to Engl. thesaurus referring to a specialized type of dictionary (derived ultimately from Greek). In this case, one reproducing a historical connection between It. tesoro ‘darling’ and It. tesoreria ‘thesaurus’, which are, etymologically, second cousins, more or less.

After this, on to the aria, with performances by Alva, Araiza, and Domingo.

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Follow-up: John Rechy

May 26, 2019

Yesterday’s posting “High 5 from a bison”, all about number(s), ended with some exposition of John Rechy’s 1967 novel Numbers, about a male hustler collecting lots of tricks — numbers of numbers — on the streets and in the parks of Los Angeles. Now two follow-ups: Soft Cell’s (“Tainted Love”) musical tribute to the novel, and notes on Rechy’s life and career, still going at 88.

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What a piece of work is Miss Lucille

May 22, 2019

The 4/25 One Big Happy features Miss Lucille:

(#1)

Ah, a piece of work.

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Stravinsky’s 1970 Firebird and the Ghoulliard Quartet

May 20, 2019

Music, cartoons, and language play, plus Slavic folklore, Seiji Ozawa and his expressive hair, pony cars, symphony trumpeters, NPR, and Frankenstein’s monster. It starts with this wonderful cartoon by Jeffrey Curnow from the NPR site (hat tip to Virginia Transue):

(#1)

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