Christmas Music

Ever since 1999 I have been seeking out lost, forgotten, and unusual Holiday music and sharing it all with my friends.

Below is a list of links to all the past playlist. Stream them, share them, enjoy them.

2013 X-Mas – chill

2012 X-Mas – ERMAHGERD CRUSHMUSH

2011 X-Mas – The Song from Outer Space

2010 X-Mas – More Sleighbell

2009 X-Mas – Instant Snowflakes

2008 X-Mas Dec-A-Log

2007 X-Mas – NOG?

2006 X-Mas – X-Mas Freakout

2005 X-Mas – Spirit of the Season

2004 X-Mas – Bah Rump A Pum Pum Humbug

2003 X-Mas – Holiday Clearance

 2002 X-Mas – Bring Me The Head of the Grinch Who Stole Christmas

 2001 X-mas 60mg

2000 X-Mas – Naughty – ADULT LANGUAGE — NOT FOR KIDS!

1999 X-Mas – Journey Into the 21st Century

The Song from Outer Space

This is something that I found.  Eventually.

On December 16, 1965, while in orbit above planet Earth, the crew of Gemini 6 added another milestone to their already historic mission.

Astronauts Wally Schirra and Thomas Stafford reported sighting an object, a satellite, in a “polar orbit…traveling North to South.”

“Stand by, he’s trying to signal something,” reported Schirra.

The next thing heard at Mission Control was a rendition of Jingle Bells performed by the astronauts using instruments which they had smuggled onboard.

The story is well known. The harmonica and string of bells are now housed at The Smithsonian, and the incident is believed to be the first time human beings ever played music in outer space.

But no recording of the song has ever been made available. Until now.

I’ve been looking all over the Internet for this recording for more than a year with no success. So I started asking for help.

KUOW reporter Phyllis Fletcher pointed me toward NASA’s Media Resource Center in Houston Texas.

After digging around their Web site and calling the phone tree at Johnson Space Center, I eventually reached Librarian Jody Russell. Her contacts in the Audio Department pointed me to the online archive for the entire Gemini 6 and 7 joint mission.

They narrowed it down to 8 audio files for me, which covered about 33 hours of the mission. They also provided me with links to mission transcripts that I could use as reference to find the song.

The message from NASA ended with “…it’s in there somewhere.”

And it was.

Enjoy!

The Saga of Rex – Another Comic You Really Should Be Reading

REX_red_600wtdThe Saga of Rex by Michel Gagné is one of the most enjoyable things I have read in a long time.  But to say I read it seems like a misstatement, since the story is told almost entirely with pictures, not words.

And what amazing pictures.  Gagné is a wonderful artist and the worlds he opens up for the reader are stunning, enticing, and charming.

My words certainly can’t improve on the work he as done, so I have included some sample pages from the story.

Hoping to expand the world of Rex, Gagné is working on turning the story into an animated feature.  Below you’ll find some video of the project so far.  You can learn more about Rex and the other works of Gagné over on his Web site.

All images are property of Michel Gagné

Artist Spotlight: James Hance

The-House-At-Chew-Corner-Thumb-500x500

Hance’s WOOKIE THE CHEW blends the works of AA Milne and G Lucas.

The term “mash-up” has become pretty common vernacular in recent years.

The technology available to even casual users is sophisticated enough to make it relatively easy to amalgamate disparate things to produce a new and unique creation.

abeGhostbuster

Pilfered from Shopped Sci-Fi

Such as  this delightful depiction of Abe Lincoln as a Ghostbuster. He ain’t afraid a no ghosts, nor no secessionists.

Or this improbably wonderful blending of Nine Inch Nail’s “Head Like a Hole” with last summer’s ubiquitous pop hit “Call Me Maybe.”

Shouldn’t work, totes does.

But these accomplishments pale in comparison to the efforts of James Hance, a fine artist who’s remarkable skills with paint and brush raise the level of mash-up to, well, to an artform!

Not only does Hance meet the mash-up criteria by mixing Doctor Who with the Iron Giant, or Star Wars with Hitchcock, but he also does a remarkable job of honoring and recreating the styles of classic artist like Picasso, Munch, and Rockwell.

Humorous, heartwarming, deftly executed – his talent and playfulness are in deed a marvel to behold.

Prints of all of these wonderful images, and many more, are available for a mere $15.

Truth in a Masquerade

This gallery contains 9 photos.

These are some things that I made. Some time near the end of the 20th Century, I was involved in a production of The Scottish Play (Google it, kids.  Self-education is very rewarding!)  Some how some member of the production had gotten their hands on bags and bags of scrap leather.  Don’t ask me how. […]

booooTunes – Tricks, Treats, and Scary Beats

Hello fiends,

I’m not usually one to go in for themey-themey posts.  But, as this is the eve, of the eve, of All Hallow’s Eve (or there abouts)  I thought you might enjoy a little music of the season… Of the Witch!

I’ve compiled for your amusement thirty tracks of audio treats for you to enjoy at your late October office party, coven convocation, or lodge meeting.

And before you ask, NO – Monster Mash is NOT included.  We here at Buzzlab Industries are a LITTLE tired of Monster Mash being the go-to song for Halloween.  Time for some fresh blood.

THUNDER/LIGHTING!
Mu-hu-hu-wa-ha-ha!

Obligatory seasonal clip art

Obligatory seasonal clip art

I put this playlist together using a wonderful online service called Grooveshark.

There are quite a few music services out there, but for me Grooveshark is the clear winner.

First of all, it is free to use.  Search for songs and artist, play them all you like.  Doesn’t cost you a dime.  And if you want to save playlist and share them with friends, all you have to do is create a user account, which is also free.  If you already have a Twitter or Google log-in, you can join using one of those.

And Grooveshark makes it extremely easy to share songs or playlists on a wide variety of social media platforms, and as an embeddable player on a Web page. Ta-Da!

So dive in, look around, and if you come up with any cool playlist of your own, let me know.

And for all you hardcore Halloweeners out there who can’t live without it, here – have yourself some Monster Mash.

Artist Spotlight: Paul Michael

JakeRingYou’ve probably already seen the handiwork of Paul Michael.

His jewelry has made him Internet Famous!

The first piece I remember seeing online was an engagement ring he was commissioned to make that looks like Jake from Adventure Time.  That. Is. Terrific!

His recent follow-up was a highly detailed depiction of Han Solo, frozen in Carbonite and small enough to fit on your finger.

underdogRingMichael is an imaginative designer, and has many clever designs over on his Facebook page. My favorites are a colorful Captain America inspired band, and a fanciful but spot-on mock-up of Underdog’s Super Energy Pill concealing finger dangler.

The Han Solo ring is now available on Michael’s Etsy site, along with several other Star Wars themed pieces.

hanSoloRing


All photos property of Paul Michael

I got your subscription box, right here!

So have you set yourself up with a subscription box yet?  All the kids are doin’ it!  Its the Jam of the Month Club but Internetified.

The process is pretty simple.

You find a service which appeals to you, and for a fee (usually in the $15 – $30 per month range) you will receive regular deliveries of goodies which are likely to be to your liking.

May 2013 Booty Bin

For ME!??!!!

It’s like having someone’s Pinterest board come to life in your mailbox.

Or like getting a CARE package from a nutty relative, who in return only demands money.

There are a lot of options available, ranging on topics from health and beauty to food and fitness to crafts and kids.

For example…

A subscription to Japan Candy will set you back less than $25 a month and you’ll get a random assortment of imported treats twice a month.  Their site does advise that the packaging is all in Japanese.  So if you have food allergies, either proceed with caution or take a crash course in kanji.

Lazy Busy parents might consider a subscription to Co-Ed Supply for their student away from home.  Each box contains healthy snacks, hygiene products and entertainment in the form of music and games (betting those are in the form of downloads.)  Nothing says “We miss you, honey” like a granola bar and some tampons mailed by a stranger!

One outfit will send you black socks – three pairs, three times a year, $90. Just. Socks.  I’m sure they are great socks, but $90!?!  That’s like, my sock budget for a decade.

For all the geeks in da’ house there are several options geared toward you.

Loot Crate is aimed at Geeks and Gamers.  Their basic plan is around $20 per month.  They show past crates on their site, and it looks like pretty fun stuff.  Each month one lucky member wins their Mega Crate filled with top-shelf bonus items.

Booty Bin is also aimed at us nerds.  Their starting price is closer to $30 a month, and they seem to include a few more items than the Loot Crate folks.  And I do like their piratical theme.

NerdBlock logoNerdblock rounds out the competition for your discretionary funds.  They start at $19 per month, and distinguish themselves from the competition by including a t-shirt in your size with every month’s shipment.  That’s a great perk!  Of course, Nerdblock is affiliated with ShirtPunch, so if you like the designs they put out, this may be the service for you.

I have also seen more rarefied subscription services which offer “curated” subscriptions.  This lets you know that Someone Important has hand selected these Very Fine items for you.  Ashton Kutcher curates one.  So does Justin Timberlake.  I’m guessing that a lot of celebs will follow suit.

The folks at Quarterly Co have turned curated subscriptions into a cottage industry.  They have DOZENS of options available, curated by authors, artists, designers, and musicians.  They feature such Web luminaries and culture-shapers as Jason Kottke, Bill Nye, Nina Garcia, Pharrell Williams, Mark Frauenfelder and Veronica Belmont.

If you would like to do some more exploring on this topic, you can find a lot of subscription boxes listed over at the similarly named SubscriptionBoxes.com and FindSubscriptionBoxes.com.

DISCLAIMER: This post is for informational purposes only.  I have not tried any of these services yet, and I’m not saying you should. If you do try any of them, come back and let me know what you think.  Not every surprise is a good one, your personal satisfaction may vary.  Having stuff is nice, but only YOU can make you happy. Namaste, y’all.