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Video Night (1)

On Friday night, while O was out seeing the latest Harry Potter movie, I decided to catch up on some DVDs in the “to watch” pile, which grows despite cutting down to just one disc in the Netflix queue (O has the other three slots), and trying not to buy DVDs in general. Part of this pile is just DVD extras from music CDs that I buy, like the Ramones box set or the Project Blowed tenth anniversary CD, which feature live clips and videos (mostly from Aceyalone), which I watched first.

There's also this Henry Jacobs CD+DVD package put out by Important that I hadn't watched yet. Jacobs is known, in the modest way that cult figures are known at all, for his prankster-flavored forays into radio and audio collage, or musique concrete, or whatever what he does can be classified. While it's possible to find his work on Smithsonian Folkways or Locust Music, this release appears on Important because the connection with Jack Dangers from Meat Beat Manifesto, who has also release some music under his own name on that label. About five years, a friend of Jacks' moved into a house nearby in Mill Valley, California, discovered a set of tapes and 45s there, and called Jack up about them; Jack had already been collecting Jacobs' work, but this find gave him a reason to contact the man directly. These tapes are the source of the CD part of the release.

The DVD collects the three episodes of The Fine Art Of Goofing Off a colloborative effort about just that, which aired in KQED in San Francisco in 1972 and was nearly lost. This fun, freewheeling exploration of leisure, work, and in between charms with craft that's both definitely handmade and yet painstaking in its own way. It's so confident of itself because/despite of its own weirdness. It hard to beleive that something like this could appear on public television. Nobody's going to air The Fine Art Of Goofing Off during a pledge drive in 2005 !


There are audio and video samples at Important and a program at NPR.

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