Sunday, April 30, 2006

american 195x

what happens when you give a guy with too much time on his hands some really cool widescreen videos to hack and a program to make a bit of really neat sounds?

sometimes these things kinda build themselves. this wasn't one of 'em. '195x' took a few months of meticulous bumpin' and grindin', shuckin' and a'groovin', and cutting and pasting, with a few sleepless nites tossed in to get it into a presentable state.

i wanted to try somthing new with this one, to write the song to fit the video. usually it's the other way around, just chop and move viddy bits to an established soundtrack. this time i built a rough viddy using a few widescreen technicolor wonders of film by the handy organization found in the internet archives measured to a simple drum pattern. from there it was only a matter of making the music fit the rough draft video, then tweaking the video itself to make it tight. sounds easy, eh? pretty much, but just so damn time consuming. it's a shame i don't get paid to do this anymore... then again, i'd probably be working on something really banal like weddings, bar mitzvas and births. tho not monetarily rewarding, for now, this just so much more fun. and all the money in the world can't replace the feeling of creating just for the feel of it.

the (jam) handy organization produced a slew of educational and product films from the 30's thru the 60's. some of the projects done for chevrolet during the 50's are the slickest, most stylish examples of advertising ever made. feature-like films such as 'american look' from 1958 document the explosion of gadgets and how design plays a major role in the way we ,as a consumer, comsume. it is a visually stunning look at america during the late 50's and tho it is narrated, it really just great eye candy. this is what the prelinger archives has to say about 'american look';

A "tribute to the American stylist," American Look shows families at leisure, children dressed in cowboy and cowgirl outfits watching television, a father shooting home movies of his picnicking family, Fifties-modern home interiors graced by formally dressed models, furniture (including designs by Herman Miller), kitchens and kitchen equipment, packaging (including designs by Donald Deskey), appliances, textiles, offices and office furniture, office machines, industrial machines, lawn mowers and sprinklers, domestic and institutional architecture, people at leisure and enjoying recreation, children playing baseball, a mother and child in a transparent rowboat being observed by the snorkeling father, automobile styling and design and the work of the design staff of the new General Motors Technical Center at Warren, Michigan. The story behind the design of the 1959 Chevrolet Impala is shown, with dramatized moments in the design and modeling process.
The film lumps industrial, interior and product design efforts together as "styling," and characterizes them as responses by industry to insistent consumer demands for the most modern products and environment. During the last third of this twenty-eight-minute film, it becomes clear that it was produced to celebrate modern design as exemplified in the "look" of the 1959 Chevrolets, the year that tailfins stretched to their greatest extent. Since, in that year, many General Motors models shared similar mechanical components, the film promotes the many alternative design options available to car buyers, stating that "America's greatest freedom [is] the freedom of individual choice." This visually dazzling and technically excellent film presents a great variety of clean and antiseptic late Fifties products and environments, and those interested in design history would do well to listen closely to its narration.

so, the bulk of '195x' comes from 'look', but there are bits of other 'handy' films as well. the scenes in these films of vast highway systems and city scenarios blended with people using the latest technology paint a moving picture of america after world war II, spreading out to the 'burbs and utilizing it's newfound strength as consumers. i tried to convey that optimistic feeling that we had then, and that is shown in these 'handy' films. kinda like a portrait of 50's americana done to a mutant, contemporary, sub-urban soundtrack.

of course this has nothing to do with the world as we know it today, sad to say...

if ya want the tune (in all it's late 50's stereophonic glory) here it is...

'american 195x' (mp3 - stream)

and new pop ditty, quite new, quite wordless and lookin' for some words, (if ya got any ideas, i am open for offers):

'waiting for the revolution' (mp3 - stream)


Blogger sleepybomb said...

the bitch is, no one that has downloaded these songs has left a note. and there's been at least a 100 since this damn thing went up. where's the gratitude? such is my thankless life i guess ...

8:25 PM CDT  

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