Gahan Wilson on The Sound of Young America

One of my favourite cartoonists is the macabre Gahan Wilson. I enjoy his work so much I shelled out for a copy of his collected Playboy cartoons.

Here, on national public radio in the US, Wilson talks to Jesse Thorne about his craft, Halloween, and other topics.

More on the show’s page for the interview: Gahan Wilson on The Sound of Young America

For those unfamiliar with Wilson’s work, he has a gallery of samples on his website, but they really should be seen in print to be appreciated.


Take Back the Voicemail

Artist Rosylyn Rhee saved two voicemails she received from a man she had dinner with one night.

Then an idea occurred to me that I should make dance songs out of them.

I gave the voicemails to different artist friends to see if they could help out. These busy busy folks are crazy talented. I’m just tickled by their immense creativity and diversity of art. Thank you.

And Ladies: Take back the night!

Read the full story, listen to the original voicemails, and the music created from them, at The Wifebeater Project.

(via Shawn Feeney)

Prisencolinensinainciusol – OLL RAIGTH!

I did a post about this on another blog a while back (no link, as I’m closing it up soon). The video I posted then was a compilation of two different performances of the same song. Now, I’m happy to report, I’ve found separate videos of each, embedded below.

The singer/songwriter is Adriano Celentano. From what I’m able to glean, he seems to be an Italian version of a cross between Leonard Cohen and Steve Martin. (Open to corrections from any of my Italian readers who know better – please comment!)

The song’s title, “Prisencolinensinainciusol”, is a nonsense phrase, as are all the lyrics. I understand the intent is to imitate the sound of American pop singers, perhaps Elvis Presley, whom Celentano admires. A number of YouTube posts have posted comic translations, some funnier than others.

But back to the original. Here’s Celentano lip-syncing with energetic lead dancer Raffaella Carrà and a very large dance ensemble in a very large set:

And here’s a later performance on some Italian variety show, with the premise of a language class as a preamble. (Unfortunately, the clip cuts off at the end. There may be a more complete version out there, but no luck finding it.)

There’s one other performance with a much longer “schoolroom sketch” setup that appears to have an all-star Italian cast. Not knowing who the celebs are, and being unable to understand little of the humour, it’s not as interesting for me. (Italian speakers/pop culture experts welcome to elucidate in the comments!)

There was a burst of interest in this song back when I did the original post. I found it via Neatorama but it was posted and reposted on a number of other sites. The spike in attention did not go unnoticed by the Italian media – in fact, it sounds like they called up Celentano himself to comment! (Again, if anyone can translate…)

Why go to all this trouble? I don’t know. I guess I got a little obsessed with it. The song is extremely catchy, and I found it drifting in and out of my waking thoughts for days after I’d viewed it. Proves that you don’t necessarily have to understand something in order to enjoy it. Which I do, immensely.