spider-man

Listen to over an hour of background music from the 1967 Spider-Man Animated Series

The music from the 1967 Spider-Man animated series is jazzy and catchy. Unfortunately the music has never been released in a format that would allow us to enjoy it completely. I often wondered what it would be like to capture the music from a series that never did a soundtrack, but I don’t have to wonder any longer. YouTube user, 11db11, went through the entire run of the series and attempted to capture the audio in its complete form, removing voice and sound effect when possible. This labor of love, which I imagine took a good amount of time, is over and hour-long and an addicting listen.

The music is credited to Jazz legend Ray Ellis. Ellis, who passed away in 2008 was a record producer, arranger and conductor. He is probably most famous among “serious” music fans for doing the orchestration for Billie Holiday’s Lady in Satin (1958). That is all well and good, but I became an unknowing fan because of his work with Filmation.

Working under the pseudonym of Yvette Blais (his wife’s name) and George Blais, he and Norm Prescott composed most of the background music for cartoon studio Filmation from 1968 to 1982. Ark II, Space Academy, and Jason of Star Command owe their very original musical styling to this brilliant maker of music. So if you need something new (that is old) to enjoy, why not give the video above a listen. It is not a soundtrack release, but it is probably the closest we will ever get.

spider-man

startrek_25th

Star Trek at 25

The Star Trek franchise celebrates its 50th birthday in 2016 which is an incredible achievement when you consider how embedded within pop culture the brand is. I’d wager that most people have a good knowledge of the characters, the ships, the races and even a little of the shows’ phrases rattling around in their brains.

I’m sure that there will be “50 years” posters, a TV special or two, hell, you can probably pick up a souvenir mug or plate too! But, what I really want is to celebrate like its 1991, when Trek was a youngish show at a “mere” 25 years old, and wouldn’t you know, Youtube can help with that:

Better yet, join Shatner and Nimoy as they deliver the Viewers Choice Top 10 classic series episodes. This aired as part of a marathon along with the 25th anniversary documentary above:

And the flourish at the end of the party must surely be the commercials from the 1992 VHS for “Star Trek: 25th Anniversary Special” which serves as another reminder of just how much the Trek universe has changed in the last 25 years – back then The Next Generation was only a toddler, and there were only 5 feature films available to own! Weird how The Animated Series is missing in action…

The videos above are all brilliant to watch, but it is this poster by Henry Lehn, created in 1991, that inspired me to write this post.

henry_lehn_startrek_25th

You can find more of Mr Lehn’s work at this website: http://lehnphoto.com

I can’t finish this article without touching upon the sad death of Anton Yelchin, the actor who played Pavel Chekov in the most recent Star Trek films. I thought he was terrific as Chekov, and even better in Odd Thomas. I’m sure he will be missed by a great many people, and I’m pleased that Star Trek Beyond is expected to honour his memory.

RIP Anton Yelchin, 1989-2016.

Mega Visions

Sega Fans Should Check Out Mega Visions Magazine!

You might have heard the big news that Sega’s iconic mascot for the Genesis, Sonic the Hedgehog, turned a whopping 25-years-old today! That is correct, it was 25 years ago on June 23, 1991 that everyone’s favorite high-speed hedgehog made his debut with…well…Sonic the Hedgehog!

[Via] Sonic the Hedgehog

That is some exciting news and plenty of reason to celebrate to say the least but there is another SEGA related bit of news to rejoice. A group of members from the SEGA Nerds have started a Kickstarter campaign to help them bring an interactive digital magazine to life with Mega Visions!

As you can see from that video there are quite a few nifty features planned for Mega Visions. From the Kickstarter Page:
“We’re still finalizing our sections and features we’ll have in Mega Visions. In fact, much of that will depend on the feedback we receive from you, but here are some of the great features you can expect to see:
Cover story: Every issue will feature an incredibly well-researched cover story that can range from a particular SEGA game, series or industry icon.
Retrospective: Along with our cover story, you’ll see a retrospective that delves deep into the history of a particular SEGA game or series.
Reviews and Previews: No magazine is complete without reviewing the latest and greatest games, and we plan to review each and every new release from SEGA and Atlus, as well as bringing you early previews of your most anticipated games!
Retro Reviews: We love the classics, and we’ll feature a special section specifically devoted to reviews of classic SEGA titles from the SG-1000 all the way to the Dreamcast and beyond!
The Water Cooler: This section is where we’ll deliver all the news, rumors and other interesting tidbits that you might have missed elsewhere.
Mega Visions Spotlight: We love featuring all the great talent in the SEGA community, and this feature allows us to showcase a different person each issue. You can expect to see awesome collectors, cosplayers, musicians, artists and more in this section.
Mailbag and Art Section: We want to ensure you have a voice in each issue, so we’ll devote several pages to answering your questions about just about anything, and we’ll also showcase some of the great SEGA art produced by the SEGA community.
Face-Off: There are times when the Mega Visions staff doesn’t agree, and the Face-Off is where we debate about a particular SEGA, Atlus or general gaming issue.
In the Arcades: SEGA’s history is rooted deep in the arcades, and we plan to take a trip back in time to showcase our favorite arcade games from the past.”

Being a digital magazine obviously means Mega Visions will also be digitally delivered by way of a custom app that readers can find on iOS, Android, and Kindle app stores. Hop on over to the Mega Visions Kickstarter page to not just Meet the Team behind the magazine but see what types of rewards you can obtain for becoming a supporter.

Mega Visions Does

Just remember when you visit the page to…Say it…Say it…SEGA!

ms-dos-5-upgrade-advert

This is how you sell an MS-DOS Upgrade

The MS-DOS 5 Promo Video with its memorable visuals and music stylings is pretty close to perfect as advertising. Now you might laugh at the notion, but consider this one important fact. It is decades later and we are still talking about it. Now it might not be in the same league as advertising classics like, “Where’s the beef?” or “I’d like to buy the world a Coke”, but in my opinion this is still impressive.

This video was posted online a while ago, but last night I was up late watching it and really thinking about how to best describe the music. The best I could do was that it sounds like the music that results when you explain to a person who knows how to make music what “rap” music is, but they have never really heard it before. The results are these terribly clunky and overly literal rhymes that do not flow from well and are not catchy at all. Despite listening it repeatedly, I still cannot remember a full lyric, but instead I walk away with a general impression of what was said over the duration of the promo.

Now I am not saying that modern advertising should attempt to mimic this bit of history, but I sort of am. Why bother with the same old stale ads that we see again and again, when you could create an amateurish mashup of pop culture like an advertising mad scientist and have it stand the test of time? Think about it.

Crowd - The Invisible Moustache of Raoul Dufy

Toon In: The Invisible Moustache Of Raoul Dufy (1955)

Welcome back friends to a new installment of Toon In, that point in a week where we stop and take a moment to share with you a theatrical short or cartoon worthy of your precious viewing time.

This week we have a 1955 short, directed by the legendary illustrator Aurelius Battaglia for the UPA studio entitled The Invisible Moustache of Raoul Dufy. A story that focuses on the life of the equally legendary French painter Raoul Dufy and how that life was changed when he refused to give up his desire to bring the World his personal vision through his painting. That and his “invisible” moustache.

The Invisible Moustache of Raoul Dufy

This short was nominated for a 1957 BAFTA award for best Best Animated Film. There is shockingly little information on the short beyond the music was composed by Alexander Laszlo and written by Sidney Peterson. I can certainly tell you however the narrator for this nearly ten minute short is Hans Conried (Rocky and Bullwinkle, The Hobbit) who knew a thing or two about voice over work for animated fare.

So come and Toon In as we learn of The Invisible Moustache of Raoul Dufy!

[Via] Evergreen Animations

knight-rider-burnin-key-car

Knight Rider Burnin’ Key Cars were Fearsome and Unmerciful

The Burnin’ Key Car concept was pretty simple. You get a small toy car and a key. Put the key in the small car. Give it a squeeze. Watch it go. If you loved toy cars in the eighties, you probably crossed paths with one and if you had a wide enough kitchen floor, or some other room without carpeting, you had a great time. If you had a fully carpeted home? Not so much. I cannot remember which of the Burnin’ Key Cars I had, they have long since disappeared from my life and my memory, but I know it was not the Knight Rider version, because with a toy car this fearsome, you never forget. Allow this commercial to explain.

No way I saw this mind-blowing as a kid. It looks like the type of commercial that was put together by people who had never seen Knight Rider, but imagined an end product that was so much more intense than the real thing. With words like Fearsome, awesome and unmerciful mixed with a sort of real version of the Knight Rider theme. It makes you wonder, what small child could resist this sleek black toy car? It also makes it obvious that I never saw this bit of advertising. If I had, I would own this Key Car.

If you take just one thing from this commercial though, let it be this…

Screenshot (146)