Friday, July 31, 2009

Tiny Tim, Ukulele Hero

Last weekend and the week before, everyone was all excited because Spongebob had his 10th anniversary. I absolutely love Spongebob, always have. As we were watching an the episode where the anchovies attack the Krusty Krab last Saturday, The Boy told me about how he researched the song they used. That's how I fell in love with Tiny Tim.[Videos in the full post]

Tiny Tim is just my kind of delightfully weird. This is a man with a huge schnoz that plays a ukulele. Need I say more?

Actually, yes, I do. There's a lot to Tiny Tim. Born to a Lebanese father and Jewish mother in 1932, his real name was Herbert Khaury. He loved popular music from the 1890s through the 1930s from a really young age, adapting tunes for his trademark ukulele. He didn't start performing until the early 50s. By the 60s, things really took off for Tiny Tim: he had a cult following in Greenwich Village, was a guest on The Laugh-In plenty of times, and even went on Johnny Carson. And now, the videos!

One of his biggest songs, Tiptoe Through the Tulips:

The most famous "Living in the Sunlight" performance:

Spongebob and Tiny Tim, together at last:

It's hard to tell if Tiny Tim was born too late or at just the right time. His singing style is definitely old, even in the context of the 60s. It references Tin Pan Alley. When he sings in his high voice, he reminds me of this old, crackling recording I heard of one of the last castrati. At the sane time, his hair is long and his clothes are weird: right at home in the 60s. Most importantly, I think, there's no way around the fact that there's something queer about Tiny Tim. Queer in the sense of the nose, the hideous jackets, the bouncing eyebrows but also in the sexual sense. His hair and his high, high voice are very feminine (he didn't always sing that way, but that's what he's most famous for). He used all the gestures of a dandy, though in interviews he wasn't nearly as flamboyant. Small wonder that he reportedly got his start in a lesbian bar. I'd venture to say that his queerness, though, was a sign of the times as well. With gay bars being raided with startling regularity, people had to think about homosexuality. It's interesting to think about Tiny Tim making his way into the mainstream of 1960s American culture. Sadly, Tiny Tim died of a heart attack in 1996 at a ukulele festival.

Honestly, you have to be a little queer--weird, not gay--to do this kind of performance. And he was just the guy to pull it off.

[photo from]

Seinfeld Returns!

I can't believe it: the cast of 'Seinfeld[ is reuniting after 11 years! They'll be doing a five-episode series with Larry David on 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' (I didn't even know 'Curb' was still on TV, but there you have it). The episodes will be about the cast reuniting, and apparently, there's a real-life Seinfeld reunion in the works!

I watch the original episode almost every day when I get home from work, and I love them. Admittedly, I jumped on the Seinfeld bandwagon really late, mostly because my parents never allowed me to watch TV during the school week, fearing I wouldn't focus on my homework. Plus, what 9-year old fully understands the shenanigans of Jerry, Kramer, Elaine, and especially George?

Now is a great time to look back on the best the cast had to offer. Tell me, what's your favorite episode of 'Seinfeld'?

Read the full story here.

Monday, July 27, 2009

All a Twitter + Mad Men Yourself

Busy day at work, so I don't have a real post for you. In the mean time, leave me your Twitter URL so I can see what you're up to, in 140 characters or less.

On another note, I got turned on to this nifty little time waster, thanks to Tabitha of The PairaBirds. Her Twitter had a link to Mad Men Yourself, where you can create your very own Mad Men-style avatar. Here's mine:

Cute, right? I've never seen Mad Men because it just never occurs to me to direct my remote over to AMC, but I may cave and get the past seasons on DVD from Blockbuster. Make your own Madison Avenue mini-me. Cheers!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Very First Award!

Great news...Pop-o-matic Deluxe just got its first blog award! Many thanks to GoRetroGirl over at GoRetro, a lovely site in its own right. Here it is, my badge of honor:

This award means a lot to me because lately I've been really discouraged. I don't get many readers and I was beginning to think no one was listening or cared. But she thinks my blog is a good read. That's a great thing to hear when you're trying to be a writer in your grown-up life. Thanks again!

The Classics on YouTube

I may be late on this, but it warrants a post anyway. YouTube has a special section of Classic TV channels!

All the old favorites, from The Three Stooges to Bewitched. This channel even has some of the less obvious shows, some of which I've never seen. I can't believe it took me so long to find it! Now, when I'm in my wee little dorm room with no cable, I can still catch some of Lucy's shenanigans. Take a look for yourself!

[photo via tmg strategies]

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Retrofit: I Need Your Help!!

Mama needs a new pair of shoes!

Ladies, this is a cry for help. I'm looking for a pair of black and white spectator pumps. Kind of like the ones on the right. But not actually like those. [More after the jump]

I want spectator pumps without any sort of strap and either an almond toe or a round toe. No stilettos, please; as sexy as they are, you can only really walk in them for an hour. On a good day. I don't want to pay too much more than $50 for them. Being a college student is an expensive way of being broke. I know these shoes are out there, in the far corners of the Interweb. I just need the help of people who are better and sniffing out the best vintage and vintage-inspired finds for good prices.

[photo from Babygirl Boutique]

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Twilight Zone Returns

This is kind of ironic, since I just watched The Twilight Zone on the Sci-Fi Channel last week. I saw a later episode, but I think the ones from the 50s were supposed to be much better. Either way, Leo "Eternally 12 Years Old" DiCaprio likes the show enough that he's teamed up with Warner Bros. to bring The Twilight Zone to theaters.

The last time anyone made a Twilight Zone movie was in 1983, and from what I understand, it was terrible. We'll just have to wait and see. But The Twilight Zone? That's the last movie I would expect Leo to get involved in.

[via Flavorwire]

Vintage Video Games

Nerds, rejoice! If you happen to be in New York, you'll have a chance to play old-school arcade games to your heart's content. The Museum of the Moving Image has brought back its video games exhibit called Interaction with the Screen.

You can play 14 video games in their original arcade form. One dollar gets you four tokens [just like at Chuck E. Cheese's]. The Museum's hours--10 to 3--are kind of annoying, but I'm going to try to get out there this weekend. My school field trips would've been a lot more interesting if we could play video games. Click here for a full listing on their website.

[photo from Museum of the Moving Image]

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Retrofit: Shabby Apple

I'm spending my summer working at a big magazine company [best not to name them], and my job is basically shopping online all day and putting what I find into spreadsheets. So many spreadsheets! What makes it all worthwhile [other than my *paycheck*] is every once in a while, I find something amazing that I wantwantwant for myself. I present: Shabby Apple

Shabby Apple is chock full of charming that are inspired by the fashions of the 40s, 50s, and 60s. It's vintage without the musty smell and funny sizing. Most of their dresses are named with classic looks or New York streets in mind. While most of their stuff is a little out of the poor-college-student price range, I think it's well worth it to pinch my pennies so I can snag one of their adorable pieces on sale. Click here for more from Shabby Apple.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Next Karate Kid

Hollywood continues to churn out big budget crap it's already done before. Coming summer 2010: The Karate Kid.

But it's kind of different. You see, in this new version is called The Kung Fu Kid and takes place in Beijing. So now, it's like a totally new movie right?

It breaks my heart that Will Smith and his family are involved in this craptastic project. He's executive producing AND starring as the father (artistic stretch, right?), and his son, the one from The Pursuit of Happyness, is reprising Ralph Macchio's role as Daniel-san. Also set to appear are Taraji P. Henson as the kid's mother and Jackie Chan (!) as Mr. Myagi. Obvious choice and...embarrassing. I see this going horribly wrong. Why can't Hollywood leave well enough alone? The original Karate Kid is just the sort of campy fun we love the 80s for. But at least Jackie Chan is working again.


Kung Fu Kid on IMDB

Monday, July 13, 2009

Drew Barrymore on my block, pt. 2

I posted that Drew Barrymore was shooting a movie in my neighborhood, but thanks to MediaBistro, I know more about it.

In Going the Distance,Drew Barrymore plays an older than average newspaper intern. Jason Long plays the love interest and Jason Sudeikis and Christina Appelgate are also in it. They're shooting at the Associated Press all week. Not sure when it's supposed to come out, but I'll keep you guys posted.

Drew Barrymore on my block

I don't do celebrity stalking, but I couldn't help it: this morning, I posted on my Twitter that Drew Barrymore is shooting a movie across the street from my apartment at Pratt Institute.

I came out and there were all these trucks and a craft services table under a tent. I was going to keep going, 'cause, you know, the New York is to not be interested in a film crew on your street, but a man sitting in a chair said it was a Drew Barrymore movie. Just as she said that, she walked through the gates, and I nearly got trampled by 6 paparazzi. The sign that tells residents where they can't park said the movie's called Going the Distance. I haven't really enjoyed anything with Drew Barrymore since Charlie's Angels, but I may watch it just to see the scenery and say, "hey! I know that sculpture."

Friday, July 10, 2009

Hot, Wet, Vintage Summer

Last week, Vanity Fair wrote a cool article. There's a woman in New York that hand-makes bikinis from vintage t-shirts and they're amazing! Take a look:

Of course the Prince one is my favorite but I can't find it anywhere on her site. Doesn't matter. On what I'm getting from my internship, I can't afford a $150-bikini. But still the concept is cool. I wish, I wish, I wish I could get a foxy Purple Rain bikini.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Ron Weasley Has Swine Flu

Poor Ron. It's not bad enough that he plays second fiddle to Harry; now he has swine flu! Rupert Grint's doctors say he's recovering nicely from his mild case of the swine and is no longer contagious but still, that really sucks. Feel better, Rupert!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Spirit of 54

I was clicking through after reading a depressing story about the future of journalism, when I found an older article about the triumphant return of disco. The article says disco has reappeared because the usual club sounds in Europe got stale but I'd like to argue disco never went away.

Gay clubs are more visible in most major cities and *black* music is more mainstream than ever, but the spirit of disco hasn't really changed. The drama, the color, the crazy, the excess is all still there. Yes, the drugs are a little different, and gone are Studio 54 and The Garage, but there are still the people that make sure they don't get home til 7 a.m. on Sunday morning, makeup gone, American Apparel lame a little less shiny, but wasn't it worth it. Disco is a lifestyle, more than anything. Lady Gaga doesn't rely on lush strings and wah-wahs like her foremothers the original disco queens, but her ridiculous outfits, her incredibly danceable music, and her exploration of sex is right at home in the spirit of the 70s. Hercules and Love Affair keep the strings and bass lines of yesteryear, but push their sound further. Disco shifts, it borrows from rock, pop, hip-hop and whatever else but it's never died, and probably won't.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Disco Inferno, Desktop Edition

The weather in New York still hasn't decided what it wants to do. I swear it was sunny 5 minutes ago, but now the clouds have come back. Am I depressed? Heck no! I have cool music to listen to.The 'Saturday Night Fever' soundtrack always cheers me up.Actually, it's really hard not to dance in my seat while I imagine myself in a ruffly dress dancing with John Travolta circa 1977. Or, you know, that guy I've been dating for a year and half. Video after the jump. Tell me, what do you listen to at work?