Welcome to the home of the post-post modern artist, writer, and video maker the Obscure.
Wipe your shoes, clear your mind, and play nice with the other children.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Things are Looking UPdate

After cutting myself off from the world for a couple weeks, I finally have a couple things to announce. First, remember my talk about the Demon Bluesman? I'll post the first chapter "Fresh-Picked Jack-o-Lanterns" on Monday April 9th.
Chapter 1 Cover Page

This is my attempt at self-publishing a free novella and I want to see how well it goes, so please support/share if you like it. Although, if you don't like violent, vulgar, dark-humored horror stories about an egotistical misanthrope, then maybe you should pass it up and send it to your sick-minded friends.

Second, I'll be premiering a new show on my Blip page called Bubblegum Hookah. It stars yours truly and my dealer Coral Snake McGee, who looks exactly like me except with a hat. It's along the lines of a sketch show with continuing story lines and focuses on what goes on backstage here at Memory Lane. The channel will remain bi-weekly but with alternating shows from here on out: Memory Lane and Bubblegum Hookah. And of course the occasional special.

So... how soon before this all dissolves into Porn?

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Vintage CG Week

Hey all you pixel-crossed lovers, it's Vintage CG week on ye ol' Tumblr. In celebration of Episode 22 "The Mind's Eye Infection,"throughout the week I will be posting CGI clips, images, and GIFs from the days of yore. Check out Bubblegum Hookah.

ML: The Mind's Eye Infection

New video is up on the old Blip Channel. This time around, we're taking a mystical journey through time as we discover "The Mind's Eye" in a 10 minute episode I call The Mind's Eye Infection.

A little background info: "The Mind's Eye" is a thirty minute film made of computer animated segments pulled from commercials, presentations, and demo reels and edited to electronic music. Kind of like Fantasia for CGI. Remember, this was the early 90s, so CGI was a big deal and a burgeoning art form. Though not technically a kid's film, I do remember this thing from my childhood because I was fascinated with the art form. And I've discovered that I wasn't alone in my admiration. So take a look at my twenty second episode of Memory Lane and see for yourself.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Old New Technology

I love finding ancient commercials and news reports for outdated technology. It really makes you understand how consumer electronics are just like tissue paper: you use one up and then buy another. Here are a few examples. First up, a news report from KRON San Francisco about newspapers... ON YOUR COMPUTER! I particularly like how one of the interviewees is credited as "owns a home computer." Wow, he might even own a transportable telephone!

Speaking of transportable telephone, from 1989, we get this Centel advertisement. I think. Actually, this could have very easily been a commercial for boats or Jeeps or viagra. But there, in every third shot, we get glimpses of the revolutionary brick we'd come to know as a cell phone. Check out the end of the commercial when the Jeep parks on the dock. I'm thinking there are takes where the driver didn't stop in time. Perhaps this was the third Jeep they went through... and the second actor.

And finally (so that I'm not surfing Youtube all day) let's return to a time when remote controls were new devices. From 1961, enjoy this video promoting the remote control. Just watch the first 20 seconds. At first, I thought the remote control was that weird Christmas ornament. And for a while, I thought that the watering pot beside the TV was a hookah. That'd be some living room.
Jesus Christ! If the remotes were still that big, we'd never lose them!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The New Reviewtopians

So remember that site that I contribute to? The one you should watch nightly? Seriously, are you going to watch some crappy evening news or Leno being awkward, or are you going to watch some legitimate comedy/reviews? Check out Reviewtopia for all your Internet video needs. For now, let me introduce you to some of the newest contributors.

First up, Blockbuster Chick who specializes in those big-time, zillion-dollar films we all love to hate... or hate to hate. Or just hate. One thing I've noticed is that I don't particularly think too hard about these big-budget bombs, but I really ought to or else I'll be doomed as a filmmaker to repeat the mistakes of the past. BBChick also proves my theory that Brits are just inherently funny.

Next, Some Jerk with a Camera who spends his eternity at the Happiest Place on Earth... which doesn't include "It's a Small World."Some people are content enough reviewing Disney properties, but the Jerk will review the actual Disney property from Disney property. By this point, I think he's actually a Disney attraction. I saw him pinpointed on the map. Also, was that Weird Al Yankovic? Twice?

Third in line... me. Watch me.

Then, from the planet Dracula (I think I missed that astronomy class) it's Count Jackula who will introduce you to the best and worst of sci-fi and horror. Watching him, I am reminded of those old late-nite horror movie hosts on those local TV stations except... intentionally funny. The Count has got some movies for you including Death Bed, the Bed that Eats... I'm not sleeping tonight... literally.

And finally, we've got the guru of horror: Horror Guru. He talks about Ponies... sorry, I'm reading the wrong page... let's see... ah yes, horror films. With the powers of Metallica and Black Sabbath literally behind him, Guru brings you the bestworst in horror. The messier, the better.

So remember to check out these new-comers and support their shows. Particularly that third person on the list. It's my objective opinion that you should support him the most. Do it.

Monday, March 19, 2012


Lately, I have become infatuated with a brilliant and highly overlooked artist: @Horse_ebooks. This person of unknown age, gender, origin, or political biases writes plays via twitter. I have compiled the dialogue and brought to life a play as @Horse_ebooks envisioned  it. Sit back and enjoy "And the Graceful Arc of the Milky Way."

Special appearances by an unpaid actor and a couple Jack Russell terriers.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Circle, Circle, Pi, Pi...

If all my twitter comrades are to be believed, today is International Pi Day (March Fourteenth or 3-14). Sure, we could use this as excuse to eat a pie or write the full numeric sequence in sidewalk chalk, or we could sit back and reflect on the importance of circles. Although, personally I'd rather just eat a fucking pie, but being a man of letters, I think it best (and therefore I am best) that we remember the way most of us were introduced to the circle: Sesame Street. Here are some clips from the veteran variety show that paved the way to that shape with no corners and infinite sides.

First up, an animated sequence circa 1975 with music by Philip Glass. It's a beautiful piece without dialogue that demonstrates the unhealthiness of modern life distant from nature... oh wait, I'm thinking of Koyaanaisqatsi... this is just a bunch of circles.

Next, we've got this fast-paced, high energy segment that really seems like something off Liquid Television. This youtube uploader has the best word to describe it: snazzy.

Here's one of my favorites: the Bridge keeper, one of the strangest reoccurring characters from these animated shorts. You really got to wonder about this guy's life. What does he do out there? What is he guarding? What is his favorite color? Oh well, here he is forcing a guy to eat circles.

And finally, a short scene depicting the balance of good and evil in our world. Yes, these shorts are that deep...

Now all rise for the circle anthem.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Pick of the Now: Darublues

"Tomorrow's Gift" Album Cover
Ever wonder where a lot of that strange, stoner music I sample on Memory Lane comes from? What, do you think I've got a garage full of out-of-print vinyls that I can reference on a whim? ... I wish. Instead, I go to one of my favorite Youtube channels: DARUBLUES.

Mr. Darublues is a 41 year old music collector from Indonesia who considers himself a prog/psychedelic/blues 70s freak. This is a great channel to discover/rediscover strange and beautiful prog-rock spawned of the drug era. Many of these are bands I didn't even know existed, and who the band members probably don't even remember existed. I usually give people a hard time for creating an entire Youtube channel based on copyrighted music and acting like it's something special, but for something like this, I'll make an exception since it really puts a spotlight on music that no for-profit radio station would bother with. But as Darublues points out, it's a music sharing channel. "Go buy the album" he says. Well, I've bought several songs that I discovered here, thus proving that a little online piracy actually creates revenue.

Take a look at some of the songs featured on Memory Lane:
You're Life Will Burn by Zior
Prayin' to Satan by Tomorrow's Gift
Swaying Fire by Pazop
and coming soon...
Sloth - Open Up Your Eyes by Plus

Remember, my comrades, to decimate mediocrity!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Memory Lane: Enter the Discovery Zone

Go figure, it's the first blog entry about a new upload. Today's subject: the Discovery Zone. When I asked around about DZ, the only response I got was ZOMG I LURV DZ! (This ain't English. This ain't even Spanish.) It seems like that fun center hits a certain soft spot in peoples' hearts. So why don't you watch as I destroy it? ENTER THE DISCOVERY ZONE.

This episode is a bit different. Namely that it's actually my guest appearance on the NTR program "This American Loaf" hosted by... not Ira Glass. For some reason he seems a bit annoyed with my retrospective. It's like these things have to have plots or points or something.

And don't forget to visit the new source for Memory Lane, Reviewtopia.net

Friday, March 9, 2012

An Hour Worth of "My Sharona"

This just came across my radar. Bradford Cox of buzzbands Deerhunter and Atlas Sound was performing in Minneapolis as part of his solo tour when a drunken asshole brimming with ego began heckling him and requested Cox play the beige pop-standard "My Sharona." Rather than get petty, the performer gave the heckler exactly what he asked for. He played "My Sharona." For one hour. One hour of that damn Knack song. Fucking brilliant. Unfortunately, this created a big rumor war on the Blogosphere (stop me if that word is out of date) as many people didn't really understand his absurdist joke or his need to upset the status quo. Why can't he perform an hour long version of "My Sharona?" Why can't he perform Chopsticks? Why can't he play the bagpipes or a preserved lizard?

It's upsetting how audiences today are so narrow-minded. Even amongst the Reviewer audience, I witness a hatred of anything that breaks the old formula. In Cox's case, the audience went there to hear HIM perform. If you wanted to hear Atlas Sound songs as they were on the album... than buy the damn album! When did this country get taken over by a bunch of small-brained, fearful, unadventurous Troglodytes? Fortunately, Cox explains his performance on Pitchfork. Read the article HERE.

And then go sodomize mediocrity.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Watch Those Audio Levels

A lot of you folks out there work with video editing software, so I'm going to use my expertise to offer some advise.

You may put a lot of stress on video and visual appearance, but be warned that the far more important aspect of your project is the audio. Most of us can forgive substandard lighting, bad framing, or a blank set, but bad audio will make your audience run away and never return. When I started making videos (re-cut home movies), I didn't realize this until I finished my first project. The video was quite fine, but I couldn't watch it because the audio popped and shifted dramatically.

If you use a nonlinear editing software, you can modulate the volume by adjusting the rubber band on the waveform. I'm not going to go into specifics because this method changes between every interface, so I'd be writing pages and pages. But for the most part, most audio layers look like this:
The pink lines represent the volume. The dots are the keyframes you set to control the decibels. (I have no clue why the person who made this picture used so many!)

No matter what you do, make sure all your audio is consistent. You can check this by watching your audio levels: raise and lower the clips as necessary. Oh, how often I am watching a video with quiet audio that uses loud media clips that blast my eardrums. Don't forget to lower any audio that comes in hot. Most clips off Youtube tend to be over-modulated.

Finally, if you are using audio from multiple sources (say, from two different cameras) you can smooth out any audio pops by adding an audio transition. This may seem like a small detail, but it goes a long way in creating a better pace to your sequence.

I hope this helps and gives you some ideas. I look forward to HEARING you filmmakers.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Pick of the Now: Network Awesome

"So what is this," you ask, "some kind of Channel Awesome affiliate?" Not in the slightest.

Network Awesome is a site dedicated to finding the best hipster-tainment Youtube has to offer. Since its inception, I have been addicted to Youtube but have had the prevailing problem that there's so much content to plow through. Often times, I find myself stuck watching terrible attempts at viral videos or pathetic re-cuts of sub-standard quality. Network Awesome does the searching for you and, according to their site, attempts to redefine how we watch broadcast television.

Everyday, the sites moderators put together a series (often a hour in length) centering around a theme like art, music, experimental film, or even just movie trailers appropriately titled "Trailer Trash." Don't expect to find a fat kid lip-synching to Rihanna, or videos of cats doing cute things, these videos appeal to that part of your brain that actually yearns to watch Fellini interviews, listen to avant-garde Belgian music, and witness the early David Lynch short films. If you get tired of auto-tuned news segments or singing celestial feline pop-tarts, check out Network Awesome at networkawesome.com for a series of awesome.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Fascinatingly Dull Youtube Channels

We always share the weirdest, wackiest, and most outrageous things on Youtube, but what about the opposite? Let's look at some boring channels that are beautiful in their dullness, like a gray, unscented, cardboard flower in a rose garden.

Boasting 4 whole subscribers, the actual National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's youtube channel brings you outdated radar reports from around the country, each about 4 seconds in length. You know, I was looking for the weather report for Melbourne, FL on 8-6-2011, and now I've found it! Just sit back, press the play-all button, and enjoy 6 and a half hours of green and blue (and sometimes yellow!) pixels combing across plain white maps. Sadly, there hasn't been any activity since August of 2011, but at least you can catch up on the backlog until they come out with new episodes.

Remember the old Prevue Guide channel? This uploader does. With only 11 videos, this playlist captures the spirit of the Prevue Guide from 1990 to 1997. They even have the HILARIOUS Prevue Guide rebooting sequences! It's like watching the grape-stomping lady falling on the dramatic prairie dog. Viewers agree. The channel has had 18,000 views! Get on this Prevue Guide trend.

And now the king of futile exercises, a channel devoted to tiny toy food. With no narration, music, or human faces, RRCherrypie brings you 90 videos of fingers carefully mixing, chopping, and spreading the tiny ingredients. Apparently, toy food is a thing in Japan. And none of it is edible. It's like someone said "I like arts-and-crafts and I also like cooking. I'd like to do both at the same time. And still not have a consumable product."To her credit, CherryPie is very good at what she does... I'm assuming. I really have no clue what to compare her to. But if you want to relax and make yourself hungry, then join the 95,000 subscribers who watch CherryPie and her dextrous fingers.
Oh, I just did some snooping around and we actually do get to see CherryPie's face when she constructs herself a pair of cat ears. Adorkable!

And now for something naughty. We enter the sexy, sexy lair of gas pedal pumping. While I have absolutely no interest in gas pedaling (is that the phrase?), I can't deny other people their preferences. However, if you are not immediately aroused by these videos, then you are watching several minutes of a guy pressing a gas pedal and probably bored/confused. There are hundreds... dozens of these channels on Youtube, so naturally I chose the one with the grossest name.

Honorable mention:
While Canzona features other videos on his channel, one thousand of these uploads are part of the "I am sitting in a video room" series. (Don't you all have video rooms?) Our hero filmed himself talking into a webcam seen here:
Then he downloaded it and reuploaded it a thousand times until the quality diminished into this:

What I've posted are the only two relevant videos in the series. The other 998 between these are... well... useless but Canzona posted them for all to see. The experiment itself is quite intriguing in showing how video quality suffers through aggregators like Youtube, but now there 998 more pointless videos filling the system. Thanks.

So let us celebrate the dullness of our world: the color gray, the scent of plaster, the sound of a test pattern. Go to your window and shout out to the world a triumphant "Meh..."

I know there are more dull sites out there, so if you find one, post below.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Pick of the Now: Allegro Non Troppo

A lot of people have been complaining about the Lorax this weekend. Now what made them think that a Dr. Seuss movie post-Seuss would be any good? Rather than waste time on a mediocre animated feature, I'll put my energy into revealing this overlooked film from Italy called Allegro Non Troppo.
As the poster here says, the film, directed by Bruno Bozetto, is a parody of Fantasia in that it contains animated sequences set to music. But rather than attain high art like the Disney classic, Allegro goes more low-brow, humorous, and cynical (aside from the tear-jerker Valse Triste sequence). Between each animated piece are these hilarious skits about the production of the pieces pertaining to the brutal conductor, the orchestra of old ladies, the enslaved animator, and a random gorilla. The film really captures the spirit of filmmaking in the 70s: a lot more zany and free-form than any other decade. If nothing else, find the Ravel's Bolero sequence on Youtube. It is absolutely brilliant and marvelous to watch. For now, here is the trailer for the DVD release.

The "director" (not the film's actual director) at the beginning explains that he's never heard of this "Pisney" or "Bisney" guy who claims to have done this concept first.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Disney's Florida Adventure

Last night, "Beamland" premiered on Reviewtopia alongside another video from Some Jerk with a Camera (that's his name, not my judgement) about Disney's California Adventure, which you can watch right here. Excellent episode, I must say. I now have respect for construction walls.

Anyways, I started wondering when Florida will get their own redundant theme park: Disney's Florida Adventure. What would that entail? Here are some highlights:

- A miniaturized replica of the famous Florida landmark... um...
- In South Beach Land, get lost in a drunken crowd as you search for a restaurant that doesn't have a three hour waiting line.
- In I-95 land, ride the test track and try to survive the people going 100 mph and not using their turn signal.
- Just like in DCA, there's also a giant spinning orange except this one is covered in canker.
- Visit the southern most point and feel ripped off that there's still a whole mile of beach behind it.
- Alligators where there shouldn't be alligators.
- A Bug's Life Agricultural Center educates you on modern slavery in Immokalee.
- More alligators.
- Visit Daytona Beach Land and get run over by the people riding the test track.
- A miniaturized version of St. Augustine, the country's oldest city. Replica dimensions: 5 x 10 inches.
- Holy crap, more alligators!
- D-list celebrities star in a movie about Clay County called "The State's Shame."
- Slide down the creepy slope that is Governor Rick Scott's head.
- And finally, end your trip by settling down at one of the lounges in Palm Beach Land and die.

Suffice it to say, I won't be going to that park. I'll save my money and go to Busch Gardens.

The Obscure, Now on Reviewtopia

Update for you: I'm now on Reviewtopia, a site for comedy, nerdery, and of course reviews. Take a look, won't you? First up is Memory Lane Episode 20: Beamland.

Friday, March 2, 2012

"Memory Lane" Commercial

I put together a promo to urge people to watch "Memory Lane." The Old Spice guy was unavailable so I had to settle for what is essentially a clip show. If you like, please share.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Pick of the Now: iamamiwhoami

Need your Swedish fix for the week? Have you seen the amazement that is iamamiwhoami? At first listen, this mysterious youtube project seems like a series of normal (yet still fantastic) experimental euro-pop songs, but the videos, for me, are what make it. Ranging from hugely organic to excessively minimalistic, the videos are beautiful, provocative, and oh so Scandinavian. They began appearing two years ago without explanation or even a known identity of those involved. Since then, we've discovered the singer to be songstress Jonna Lee. I really love the whole cryptic atmosphere this series has created. It leaves you wondering and waiting to learn more. Here's the newest (as of this writing) video "Drops" to give you an idea.

Kids, this is how you go viral!

P.S. Big announcement tomorrow.