15 May 2007

Robot Heads

Alright, so this is how this is gonna go: I'll take a couple months off, thinking about writing this 'n' that, getting ideas for different directions in which to take the blogging endeavor, forgetting most of the details about anything creative I've done, and then I'll make a half-assed effort to document it all one night when I have a few hours home alone. Agreed? So, it's end of June. At least I won't have gone an entire calendar month without posting. I wrote the following sometime mid-May (apparently the 15th -- I didn't realize it would get published with the original draft date up top -- now I have to add another post before June is through!), already moaning about how unlikely I am to stay on top of this blog. However, I didn't have photos to post, so I let it go fallow. But nevermind -- enjoy some old news!:

Okay, right off the bat (right off the blat?) I can see the two main problems this blog will present. First, of course, is the challenge to do something creative every week (or so); second, and perhaps more formidable, is the challenge to document it and report it here... but enough whining. Get bizzow!

The past week's been a hectic one. We had the last three nights of The Good Doctor's run, with the wrap party Saturday night, then a Total Annihilation gig on Sunday afternoon at 12 Galaxies, for the Mission Creek Music Fest. TA has another gig coming up this Saturday morning at the MakerFaire, at the San Mateo Fairgrounds. I think we got that gig through Jesse's connections with the BoingBoing crowd, who overlap with the Make magazine crowd, who are behind the fair. All of which leads me to the past week's creative project: cardboard robot helmets for us to wear at the MakerFaire show.

I followed a BoingBoing link to a Scopitone by Les 5 Gentlemen, "Cara-Lin". It warranted a link, I guess, due to what was described as the "Stendhal syndrome-like" dancing of the nightclub crowd in the video. The song wasn't all that interesting, but it did rock (actually, watching it again now, it's got some pretty interesting playing on it), and the atmosphere of the club reminded me of the video for The New Pornographers' "The Laws Have Changed", a fave of mine (which, watching again now to research the link, is a fucking blast). Also, the whole Scopitone phenomenon was kinda intriguing. Apparently these things were like video jukeboxes back in the '60s. So, I flipped through a few of the videos on the site's archive, looking for other scorchers and came across The Tornados' "Robot". Now, here again, the song ain't all that, but the video is absolutely goofy. The guys in the band are milling about in the woods, with robot helmets on, playing their instruments and making out with some girls. Then they take the helmets off, presumably to make out more efficiently -- it turns out they're just regular guys! -- and shortly thereafter, the cops come wandering by and chase them all off with some canine back-up. So, anyway, the robot head thing was intriguing, what with TA's robotic MySpace tag line from Mr. Demon's "Rock and Roll on a Friday" lyrics, and the robotic headline from TA's own BoingBoing link last year. I showed the boys the Scopitone, got them into the idea, and tried to convince Eddy to start making some helmets. He, however, insisted he didn't know how, so I stepped in to fashion them myself. Here's some pictures. I gave Eddy the first two I made, for Pete and himself, and unfortunately forgot to photograph them in their raw un-foiled state. Then, of course I forgot to photograph any of them in their earliest stages. Here's some preliminary sketches...

...And that's as far as that post got. I didn't have the preliminary sketches photographed yet, so nothing happened 'til today. Now, I've got photos of the MakerFaire gig, and plenty more to talk about, but it's getting late. I'll post this and address the rest later, so I can jam up my post count!


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