‘How to Speak Hip’ - Mercury Records 1959

Via wikipedia How to Speak Hip was a comedy album by Del Close and John Brent, released by Mercury Records in 1959. The album presents itself as a didactic tool to be used by the listener to learn the secret language of the 'hipster'. As a parody of language-learning tools, the album presents a course in 'hip'. Basic concepts such as "cool" and "uncool" are taught, as well as vocabulary building ("dig", "dig it", "dig yourself, baby", "dig the chick", "dig the cat", "What a drag!"). Social notes are presented as for many language courses, and later in the album, the teacher (Close) is taken on field trips into the secret life of the hipster (Brent). However, the hipster rebels against participating in the teaching tool, leading to a humorously compromised teaching style.

The album itself was illustrated throughout. The woodcuts used as illustrations on the LP were stolen from Del's Chicago apartment in the 1980s.

Brian Wilson can be heard fondly mentioning this album in the box set The Pet Sounds Sessions during the highlights of the recording sessions of the album on "Hang on to your Ego" take 2 on Pet Sounds; a full working title for the album's track "Let's Go Away For Awhile" was "Let's Go Away For Awhile (And Then We'll Have World Peace)," the parenthetical being an allusion to the album.

Listen to the album > http://audio.skeyelab.com/howtospeakhip/

Le Travailleur (The Worker)

Via Château-vacant > http://vimeo.com/user3432785

Animation movie realized in Strasbourg in a first time, and then during a seven months residence taking place in a disused building of the Morvan hospital in Brest and at last in a farm shed of Kéraliou.
Decors are installations at human size, no miniaturised, of which each element was handmade.Characters are articulated wooden dummies also at human size and handmade.
The theme music is an original composition by Hamza Touré.  This movie received the first prize of animation movie at the Strasboug festival "Filmer en Alsace" in 2008, and nominated at the Berlin festival Illustrative in 2009

R.I.P Captain Beefheart 1941–2010

via wikipedia Don Van Vliet born Donald Glen Vliet January 15, 1941 – December 17, 2010 was an American musician and visual artist best known by the stage name Captain Beefheart. His musical work was conducted with a rotating ensemble of musicians he called The Magic Band, active between 1965 and 1982, with whom he recorded 12 studio albums. Noted for his powerful singing voice with its wide range, Van Vliet also played the harmonica, saxophone and numerous other wind instruments. His music blended rock, blues and psychedelia with free jazz, avant-garde and contemporary experimental composition. An iconoclastic mix of complex instrumentation, atonal melodies, and often humorously surreal lyrics, it was crafted through dictatorial control over his musicians and creative vision.

During his teen years in Lancaster, California, Van Vliet acquired an eclectic musical taste and formed "a mutually useful but volatile" friendship with Frank Zappa, with whom he sporadically competed and collaborated. He began performing with his Captain Beefheart persona in 1964 and joined the original Magic Band in 1965. The group drew acclaim with their first album in 1967 on Buddah Records, Safe As Milk. After being dropped by two consecutive record labels, they signed to Frank Zappa's newly formed Straight Records. Zappa as producer granted Beefheart the unrestrained artistic freedom to release 1969's Trout Mask Replica, ranked fifty-eighth in Rolling Stone magazine's 2003 list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. Having not been paid for a European tour, and worn out from years of Beefheart's abusive behavior, the entire "Magic Band" left him in 1974. A brief and critically panned flirtation with more conventional rock music resulted in two albums he later disowned. Beefheart then formed a new Magic Band with a group of younger musicians and regained contemporary approval through three final albums: Shiny Beast (Bat Chain Puller) (1978), Doc at the Radar Station (1980) and Ice Cream for Crow (1982).

Van Vliet has been described as "one of modern music's true innovators" with "a singular body of work virtually unrivalled in its daring and fluid creativity".  Although he achieved little commercial or mainstream critical success, he sustained a cult following as a "highly significant" and "incalculable" influence on an array of New Wave, punk,post-punk, experimental and alternative rock musicians.  Known for his enigmatic personality and relationship with the public, Van Vliet made few public appearances after his retirement from music (and from his Beefheart persona) in 1982 to pursue a career in art, an interest that originated in his childhood talent for sculpture. His expressionist paintings and drawings demand high prices, and have been exhibited in several countries.  Van Vliet died in 2010, after many years suffering from multiple sclerosis.

Eric Fraser (1902 - 1983)

Images taken from the book Eric Fraser designer and illustrator: http://amzn.to/eYM8rM 

from wikipedia: Eric George Fraser (June 11, 1902 – November 15, 1983) was one of the foremost British illustrators and graphic artists of his time, famous in the public mind for his regular contributions to the Radio Times, and as the creator in 1931 of 'Mr Therm' in adverts for the Gas, Light and Coke Company.