Birthplace of the blues

The Mississippi Blues Commission presents the story of Dockery Farms, the ‘birthplace of the blues’. Narrated by B.B. King the film examines how the community at a plantation founded in 1895 become a magnet for blues musicians like Willie Brown, Son House & Charlie Patton.

The film is just one in series featuring monumental places and people from Mississippi in the history of some of America’s finest music.


A Chairy Tale: A Short Film from 1957 with music by Ravi Shankar

Present by the Nation Film Board of Canada: A Chairy Tale

In this Oscar-nominated short film, a chair, animated by Evelyn Lambart, refuses to be sat upon, forcing a young man to perform a sort of dance with the chair. The musical accompaniment is by Ravi Shankar and Chatur Lal. This virtuoso film is the result of a collaboration between Norman McLaren and Claude Jutra. Directed by Claude Jutra & Norman McLaren – 1957

George Carlin: Live from the Capitol Theatre

A rare archival performance from the patron saint of The Ironicle, George Carlin. George was more than a comedian too many, and like Mark Twain before him, to some, he was just a clown. We know better though here at The Ironicle. We can’t say “shit”, “piss”, “fuck”, “cunt” “cocksucker”, “mother-fucker” or “tits” without feeling his holy spirit smiling down on us. Of course, he’s not actually smiling down on us cuz he’s dead. So it goes. Dead people don’t smile, babies are pure, and you still can’t say “fuck” on tv.  So, now that’s thats out of my system please enjoy this amazing performance from April 13th, 1979 (which also happened to be Friday the 13th).

‘Unusual Occupations’, a video series from 1937-1949

Framepool has compiled some archival footage of a video series entitled “Unusual Occupations” that presents “ordinary, everyday people who chose ‘the path less taken’ in pursuit of extraordinary odd jobs, crazy careers and hysterical hobbies.” The video series was originally produced by, “Jerry Fairbanks Studios and released by Paramount Pictures from 1937 through 1949,” according to Framepool.

Rubber Face – Unusual Occupations 1937 from Framepool on Vimeo.

Some are, indeed, rather odd. Cue the above video with Alan O’Brien, the ‘rubber faced’ man of Pasadena. Other videos in the series, function more as artifacts of the era’s pop cultural conditions. The video featuring female air-force pilots and model casting has a voicing that seems campy and stereotypically offensive, in current dialogue.

Women Airforce Service Pilots 1943 from Framepool on Vimeo.

All-in-all, the series is enjoyable and a bit surreal in its vivid account of people lives and careers in a different economic realty than today.

A Tattoo Artist 1937 – Rare Color Footage from Framepool on Vimeo.

Model Casting 1937 from Framepool on Vimeo.

Stockings for Hollywood Stars 1937 – Rare Color Footage from Framepool on Vimeo.