Thursday, January 31, 2008

Web Hosting Services

I'm pretty happy with my web hosting service, OLM. They are cheap and in the nearly 10 years I've been with them they've seldom gone down for maintenence or any other issue. They might not be for everyone, so if you have a website and are looking for a web hosting choice check out Web Hosting, a directory of web hosting services. They have a variety of ways to find the perfect web hosting service for your website.

Falco: Verdammt, Wir Leben Noch! Biopic Coming Next Month (in Austria....)

I studied German in highschool and college back in the mid-to-late 80's, so it was only natural that i had some interest in Falco. Yes, "Rock Me Amadeus" and "Vienna Calling" were hits, but I actually went beyond that - at one time I had all of his albums and a few of his 12" singles (had to get those for the remixes). Sadly, he died in an auto accident nearly 10 years ago, however, in Austria they are releasing a film about him next month. Hopefully there'll be a version with subtitles through Netflix at some point.

Snoop Dogg - Sensual Seduction

Old news, I know, but I heard this song earlier today and it reminded me how awesome this video is. I've never been a big fan of Snoop's music, although he has always seemed pretty cool. Here he's rockin' the talkbox and keytar - doesn't get much better than that!

Sleeveface Sequel - Extending Album Artwork

A few days ago I wrote about the Sleeveface scene - well, it looks like there's another group of Photoshop enthusiasts who have kinda ran with the same concept, coming up with fun and interesting images that extend the scenery of album covers. It's pretty much the same as Sleeveface, but there's 32+ pages of images - a great way to kill an afternoon.

The Great Garloo - Early 60's Remote Control Monster

I have to admit, 45 years later this toy still looks cool. The face makes me a little uneasy - it's a monster, yes, but it also kinda looks like a baby too me. Even though it's on a wire, it think it'd be fun (well, my kids would think it'd be fun) to move it around and pick up stuff.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Cool Site For Retro Game Fans

If you dig old school video games like Space Invaders, Frogger, Astroids and Tetris, you gotta check out the games at They're done in flash and you can play them full screen or in a window. Just don't play Tic-Tac-Toe against the computer - you might think you can beat the computer, but no matter how many times you try you can't. I shouldn't admit this, but I tried about 20 times.....sad.....

Fail Blog - It's Lolcats For 2008!

I have to admit, lolcats didn't do much for me (for some reason I found the lolrus to be funnier). Now that the whole "lol-" thing has become passe', it's time for the Fail Blog to get it's 15 minutes. Check it out here.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

New Poll To See What Should Be Added To This Blog

I have just added a poll on the right hand side (scroll about half way down) to see what people want to see more of here. Surf music? Pop Culture? Gadgets? This will help me decide the kinds of things I will post in the future (operative word is "help" - I'll still post whatever I want, but the poll results will give me some direction). In the olden days of the internet it was hard to set up a quick and easy poll - I tried and it ended up being a mess. However, I found one online that was quick and easy to use - Easy-Poll (with a name like that you'd hope it'd be easy!). Using it you can set up
myspace surveys, Blogger polls, or use them anywhere that you can include html code. Given the fact that so few people comment here I'm not expecting huge poll numbers, but you never know....

Death Drinks A Mai Tai T-Shirt at Woot!

Woot! is a cool site that features one or more products for sale each day at a low, low price - usually it's a gadget of some sort. However, today they have a cool shirt that combines a couple of my interests - tikis and hot rods. This beauty is only $10 - get it now here.

MTV Time Warp - 3 Hours Worth!

I just stumbled across a Belgian website that has 3 hours of MTV, recorded back in 1983. It comes complete with Mark Goodman, commercials and Night Ranger - can't believe it's been 25 years!

The 50th Anniversary of Lego

I have to admit, with two boys, we spend a lot of time building things with Lego. Last night we were building garages for Hot Wheels cars. It's the 50 year anniversary of the company and a bunch of websites are doing articles about it. Boing Boing has a video (shown here) that shows one of their editors building the Millennium Falcon, the largest Lego set to date. My kids like Star Wars and have a few of the sets, like the X-wing and the small version of the Star Destroyer, but even they say this set is way too big (it's also $500, more than I want to spend on a Lego set). This set has over 5,000 tiny gray and black pieces and apparently it took this guy a few days to put it together.

Friday, January 25, 2008

David Lee Roth - Runnin' With The Devil Acappella

This is absolutely hillarious - Chunklet posted an MP3 of David Lee Roth singin' "Runnin' With The Devil" with all of the instrumentation stripped away. Sounds like he's having a blast singing this song - he does some crazy stuff that gets buried in the final mix. I haven't A - B'ed it with the studio recording - my first thought was that this must have been from a live recording - it's so wild n' crazy. However, I think it's actually the studio recording. You have to read their comments about this (27 so far) - here's one:

"I say Yes".

"Welcome to Hollywood!"

Sleeveface Flickr Pool

There's a whole Flickr photo pool dedicated to the "Sleeveface" scene - holding an album cover carefully in front of your head to make it look like you are the model used in the photo. The effect is sometimes cool and sometimes creepy.

Bloody Omaha - Making Of WW2 Beach Invasion Scene

This cool clip shows how 3 graphic designers created a whole WW2 beach invasion scene using just the three of them as "actors", green screens and computers.

Czech Sci-Fi Film From 1963

Boing Boing posted a link to this YouTube clip earlier today - it's an amazing Czech sci-fi film from 1963 called Ikarie XB-1. I'd love to watch the full movie, but I don't think it's readily available here in the US, but you can get it (Pal version only) from a mail order company called Xploited Cinema.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Increased Number Of Blog Posts / Smorty.Com

I've been working on increasing the frequency of my blog posts - in the past it's been a few each month, but now I'm trying to post about 5-7 times per week. The inspiration behind much of what I'm doing here is Rip Thrillby's Atomoculture mailing list, which dealt with surf rock, 50's/60's stuff and pop culture. I'm really just doing it for fun, but if a little money comes in from it that'll help me out with the label and magazine. There are a bunch of sponsor links on the right-hand side of this page that bring in a little money (if you buy anything from iTunes, Amazon, Netflix or CCMusic it'd be great if you use these links!). However, I'm also looking into the idea of including paid reviews here. One of the simplest, and best sites, I've found so far is - when it comes to blog advertising (as an advertiser and as a blogger), it seems to be the quickest to get started with. Their website is clear and easy to navigate - it really only takes a few minutes to get started. I signed up yesterday and I already have a list of things to review. However, I promise to only review things that make sense within the context of this website. I know the concept of "paid reviews" might have negative connotations, but this particular site allows you to be truthful with your reviews, and everything should be seamless if I pick things to review that truly belong here.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Toga Kings Are The Louie Of The Week!

My old band, The Toga Kings, were named "Louie Of The Week" this week by The Louie Report (the official Louie Louie website), for our version of "Louie Louie" recorded at our September 2006 reunion show. Here's what they had to say:

"Last week, I announced a new feature called the “LOUIE of the Week” award. We had the Cafe Blues Band, a fun band from Russia, take the first honors for what should be a regular feature. This week, we’ll acknowledge the Toga Kings, a fun band from Bellingham, Washington.

You can hear their version of LOUIE LOUIE by visiting their MySpace page. Even though their official webpage is on the Double Crown Records page, even though there’s no plans for any actual recordings. Your best bet is find out where they’re playing, and experience them live!"

Japanese Power Breakfast - Coffee & Cigs Packaged Together

My old pal Rip Thrillby would have appreciated this - in Japan you can get 2 packs of Marlboros and canned coffee packaged together. Perfect (if you smoke) after a night of drinkin' scotch and gettin' way too little sleep. Read more about it in the Times Online.

Statue Of Liberty - Symbol Of Destruction In Sci-Fi Flicks/Books

I have noticed the use of the Statue Of Liberty as a symbol of destruction in many places, probably for the first time in the first Planet Of The Apes film. Who can forget Charlton Heston at the end, yelling at the top of his lungs, "You maniacs! You blew it up! D*mn you! D*mn you all to hell!" Recently a destroyed Statue Of Liberty has been used in the new monster movie Cloverfield (which I hope to see this weekend). Well, somebody has taken it upon themselves to gather a whole set of images of the Statue of Liberty from magazines, films and books - it's quite amazing to see them all in one place!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Metal Label Releasing A Surf Rock Comp...Look's Scary!

I read this on the Rock n' Roll Report website - the headline got my hopes up, but if you read further, it's looks pretty darn scary....

Unsigned Bands Wanted for Surf Rock CD Compilation

January 16th, 2008

For Immediate Release:

“On the heels of the “Skater Rock Vol. 1/2″ and “Strip Club Rock” CD Comps, both due in stores March 25th, Versailles Records has announced plans for “Surf Rock Vol. 1/2.’ The album will feature material from current/former members of Ozzy Osbourne Band, Aerosmith, Rough Cutt, Ratt, Alice Cooper Band, Exodus, Warrant, L.A. Guns, Slash’s Snakepit, Exodus, Lillian Axe, Dangerous Toys, Poison, Pretty Boy Floyd, Dad’s Porno Mag, WASP, and others.

In addition to the aforementioned material, the label is seeking original song submissions from up-and-coming, signed and unsigned millennium rock and metal bands. Each participating band will receive a photo and bio in the CD booklet, as well as promos. Interested groups should e-mail inquiries to

UC Berkeley Marching Band Performs Videogame Themes

During halftime at last years Cal vs. Washington State football game, the Cal marching band performed a medley of videogame themes, and moved in formations that emulated the games. Pretty geeky stuff, but kinda cool too.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Emy Jackson and the Smashmen - Crying in a Storm

I recently discovered a cool new music blog called Garage Hangover, which as you'd imagine, deals with vintage garage rock. Of interest to you surf fans is a post they just wrote about Emy Jackson and the Smashmen. Apparently Emy Jackson was a singer that did ballady, mellow pop songs, in English and Japanese. However, for the single they throw the spotlight on, she is backed by the Smashmen, who deliver some cool, reverby surf guitar and a solid beat. They have one of the two songs on the 7" available for download on their website - check it out!

Friday, January 18, 2008

You Suck At Photoshop - 1, 2 & 3

This series will definitely make any of you graphic designers chuckle - I'm not one myself, but I found these vids to be pretty funny and educational.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Raquel Welch Doin' A Napoleon Dynamite Dance In A Space Suit

This sequence comes from a 1970 TV Special called Raquel! - this is going to the top of my Netflix queue.

Take a trip down memory lane with a pair of pop-culture icons as actress Raquel Welch welcomes singer Tom Jones to her splashy 1970 television special. Filmed around the world in exotic locations from Paris to Mexico, the show features guest appearances by legendary performers Bob Hope and John Wayne. More than just a pretty face, the multitalented Welch also sings, swings and jokes with the best of them!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Slot Car Track That Lowers From The Ceiling

This is an amazing slot car track that lowers from the ceiling at the push of a button! The video below shows some of the techniques used to build it. Surprisingly, he says it cost about a grand to build - after watching the video I'm sure many of you will want to start making your own.

The Disintegrator - Intense Rubber Band Launcher

This video goes on about 5 minutes too long and has some craptastic music, but this ultra-intense rubber band launcher looks pretty lethal. I have to say though, I could probably only handle stringing the 200+ rubber bands on once or twice before the whole thing got old.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Vampira - Vampira Show & Plan 9 From Outer Space - RIP

A few days ago Vampira (aka Maila Nurmi), host of her own TV show in the 50's and actress in films like Plan 9 From Outer Space, passed away at the age of 86.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Thunderbirds 40th Anniversary Collector's Edition Megaset

My kids and I have a few Thunderbirds DVD's, and they dig 'em quite a bit (as do I). I might have to spring for this one - it has the complete series, and the bonus features look interesting:

The Brains Behind Thunderbirds; The Making of Thunderbirds; Pop-Up Episode Pit of Peril ; Gerry Speaks - An Inside Look at Anderson s 7 Favorite Series --A&E Home Video

You can get this on sale at Amazon by clicking here.

Friday, January 11, 2008

The Ventures - In The Vaults Volume 4 CD

I only have the first volume in this series, but this one looks pretty tasty, with alternate versions of "Journey To The Stars", "Delicado" and "Bumble Bee Twist" - reviews I've seen so far are overwhelmingly positive, so I might have to lay out some green for this one (oh, I wish Ace would add me to their promo mailing list).

People Ages 1 Through 100 Playing A Drum

A simple concept, but surprisingly interesting - this is a short clip of folks in the UK, ages 1 through 100, playing a drum. A variety of thoughts went through my head as I watched this, most of all the fact that people just a few years older than myself really don't rock.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

New Arthur Lyman 2-on-1 CD's Available

I was just poking around the Collector's Choice Music website and noticed that they have added a bunch of Arthur Lyman CD's, each with two albums, and to my knowledge, previously unreleased on CD. Martin Denny and Les Bater are probably the most well known exotica artists, by Arthur Lyman (who got his start as a member of Martin Denny's band), is just as good, in my opinion and he really forged a sound that was all his own.

Hallmark Guitars

When the Kilaueas toured the US back in 2006, Ralf played Hallmark guitars exclusively. When the band came to Bellingham they stayed with us and Ralf kept his gold sparkly Hallmark Swept-Wing inside our house. My two kids, who had little-to-no interest in music at that time were fascinated by it - we have a banged up old acoustic that we take turns strumming every once in a while (it's usually out of tune), but man, that gold beauty was a work of art. My kids are a couple of years older now, and I'm itchin' to play electric guitar again (I played a bit in college, although bass and keys were my main instruments), so I've got my eye on one of these. Given the fact that I was never a good 6 string player, maybe I should just go with a Swept-Wing bass.....decisions, decisions.......

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Hungry? How 'bout a deep-fried cellphone?

I've heard of deep-fried Twinkies and Mars bars, but cellphones?

Monday, January 07, 2008

Conan O' Brien Performs "Blue Moon Of Kentucky"

Here are a couple of YouTube clips from the Conan O'Brien show - the first one is him singing and playing guitar, performing "Blue Moon Of Kentucky". The second shows him roaming the halls of his studio with a guitar and strap-on amp, riffing away on "Smoke On The Water", "Purple Haze", "Creep" and "Sabotage" (the latter two while other workers are playing Rock Band). Shows why he's the funniest late night TV host, and not a bad musician at the same time (who knew?)

Friday, January 04, 2008

Man Builds Bowling Alley In Garage

This is something I'd love to have - a bowling alley in my garage! Check out the pics and video here.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

The Galactically Hot Women of Star Trek (Original Series)

On Flickr there's a photo group that contains just about all of the women that appeared on Star Trek: The Original Series. Lots of eye candy to be found here!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Holiday Neckbeard

So the holidays are over and it's time to shave off your Holiday Neckbeard. Never heard of a Holiday Neckbeard? Well, go to this site, read the rules and check out their gallery, and get started on your 2008 Holiday Neckbeard!

Man In Space TV Toy Commercial

Holy cow, this looks like an amazing toy! There was nothing this cool (that I can remember, at least) in the 70's when I was a kid. Check out the commercial here.

Mattel had a different, but similar, toy called Major Matt Mason: Man In Space - it looks pretty cool too!

New York Paper Airplane Flight

This YouTube video shows a 55 second paper airplane flight, launched from a 300 foot tall apartment building in New York City. This is the kinda thing my kids would love to do, but seems like it'd be somewhat dangerous for the people on the ground.