My Untold #ParanormalActivity With A Singing Banana-Finally Released!

My only encounter with a singing banana was one I got from Safeway. I just learned that Safeway is going to be purchased by some other bigger-than-Safeway company, probably owned by the Koch Brothers & Comcast. My singing banana, once safely home, told me that it was a hybrid, and that it sang like Vera Lynn. It also told me, that if I knew what was good for me, I’d better not go around making any silly Vera Lynn jokes.

My banana, then broke into a beautiful Sound-a-like Very Lynn song. I can’t say it was lip synching as the banana, hybrid or no, had no lips to synch. So, after the concert, the only sinking left was for my teeth to end the #ParanormalActivity, and to keep my word about not making any Vera Lynn jokes.

I think the Koch Brothers are so depressing, that it was an easy promise to keep to my lovely hybrid singer. So, a fond farewell, to my Vera Lynn singing sensation.

Vera Lynn, Proper & Prior To #ParanormalActivites of a Transformational Nature

For a brief, but better understanding of her role in Western History:

Dedicated to those who stood up to the forces of evil, while others fiddled almost to the point of extinction…

And Dame Vera Lynn, still living @ 97–no wonder Petula Clark keeps up her busy schedule–what a role model for any performing artist! Utterly amazing!

MUPPETS “MOST WANTED” Original Standee & Newly Updated

The newest addition to my active vocabulary is ‘standee.’ In the film world standees (pluralform) are the generally oversized, free-standing photographic (and sometimes accessory-laden) promotional items that serve to advertise films @ the multiplex theatres. AMC 1000 Van Ness Avenue in San Francisco is one such venue. I imagine that some film festivals of newly released “A List” motion pictures have them. Some of them may be filtered down to some repertory houses that might have room for them.

By the grace of a horror film–so January 2014 of me-Paranormal Activities: The Marked Ones, I have become enchanted with them. I see these items as having potential for collectors, those with the green stuff & the space, and those of us who have a particular interest in one or two items. Other possibilities for re-use could include schools, kindergartens-even the opposite end of the age spectrum, assisted living facilities, might be good repositories for some items. It would be a valid re-use, and provide a charming, if somewhat temporary second home for some of them. It would be nice to see the studios engage in some planning that would prolong the shelf-life of these items. Tossing them into the dumpster is just another symptom of American waste.

The Original “Standee” for the upcoming Muppets Film MOST WANTED

This is the original version of the Disney Muppets film standee for Most Wanted.  Here you can see the image of the ever brilliant Tina Fey.

This is the original version of the Disney Muppets film standee for Most Wanted. Here, you can see the image of the ever-brilliant Tina Fey.

At the very least, the theatre chains could at least keep them up whilst the films are still showing. It seems to brutal of the managers to toss this art-form into the dumpster in such a premature fashion.

After slight editing, there may be two characters you may have seen before?

Alas, Tina Fey was headed out by Her Imperial Highness, The Princess Melita Bonaparte.  Also, Captain Spaulding makes an appearance.  Beneath him lurks Princess Melita's Twin Brother, Prince Roland Bonaparte II.   They got their heads together @ 1000 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco.  Keeping your head off my shoulders allowed me to photograph these.  Usually, it's due to the 'kindness of strangers.'

Alas, Tina Fey was headed out by Her Imperial Highness, The Princess Melita Bonaparte. Also, Captain Spaulding makes an appearance. Beneath him lurks Princess Melita’s Twin Brother, Prince Roland Bonaparte II. They got their heads together @ 1000 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco. Keeping your head off my shoulders allowed me to photograph these. Usually, it’s due to the ‘kindness of strangers.’


The Muppets have been around for a very long time & have engaged some of the most talented humans of their era.

Happy Saint Valentine’s Day-Petula Clark/Charles Chaplin

Putting the Saint back in Valentine's Day with a bowtie!

Putting the Saint back in Valentine’s Day with a bowtie!

Today, dedicated to love, one of the world’s finest singers sings a love song with elegance & conviction, making it one of her finest recordings.

C’est ma chanson

Pourquoi mon cœur est-il aussi léger ?
Pourquoi les étoiles sont-elles aussi brillantes ?
Pourquoi le ciel est-il aussi bleu
Depuis l’instant où je t’ai rencontré ?

Les fleurs sourissent avec éclat,
Sourissent pour notre plaisir,
Sourissent si tendrement
Pour le monde, toi et moi

Je sais pourquoi le monde sourit,
Sourit si tendrement
C’est toujours la même vieille histoire,
Pour l’éternité

Mon amour, c’est ma chanson
Voici une chanson, une sérénade pour toi
Le monde ne peut avoir tort
Si dans ce monde, il y a toi
Je me fiche de ce que le monde pourrait bien dire
Sans ton amour, le jour n’existe pas
Alors mon amour, c’est ma chanson
Voici une chanson, une sérénade pour toi

Link to the source:

Roses, too, can make this Song yours, for Saint Valentine’s Day!

 Beautiful roses help put the Saint back in Valentine's Day for all of us.

Beautiful roses help put the Saint back in Valentine’s Day for all of us.

When NOIR is War, Noir is Hell-Post World War II Japan Noir Film Festival 2014

This is the year of Noir International. Eddie Muller, the producer & curator of this increasingly successful genre film festival, featured two films from Post World War II Japan. Both of them were directed by the legendary Akira Kurosawa. There was no clean-up, no tidying of the Post War mess, no candy-coating. The background of black marketing, dysfunctional public heath issues, and lack of basic supplies to support ordinary day-to-day functions are reflected in a pool of stagnant water that becomes a constant & silent reference point in the film DRUNKEN ANGEL.

Eddie Muller, writer, film curator, producer, lecturer, visionary, the man who put Noir on the map, and now has taken the concept to higher levels each year since the Noir Festival started 12 years ago.  January 2014

Eddie Muller, writer, film curator, producer, lecturer, visionary: the man who put Noir on the preservationists/restorationist map, and now has taken the concept to higher & international levels each year since the Noir Festival started 12 years ago. Castro Theatre, San Francisco, January 2014

Takashi Shimura plays an alcoholic physician, who needs to abide by the ancient Western proverb of “Physician heal thyself.” His bedside manner is as atrocious as the background in which he must do his best to patch together the broken people of his broken country. Despite his appearance & mannerisms, he is the Angel of Life, trying to bring life to those who are pretty, but in worse physical & emotional condition than he is. Toshiro Mifune, is caught up in a chaotic world of crime & avarice, soon to be doomed by his inability to follow doctors orders & treat his tuberculosis appropriately. Instead, he drinks, smokes, and slugs his way through an underground culture in order to ‘save face’ and prove his worth. It was a struggle from which he could not emerge victorious–and we see the loss of potential, the potential that Japan so much-needed, go to waste, as he throws his life way in the sludge that had, at that time, become the world of a defeated nation.

YOU TUBE DOUBLE OF DRUNKEN ANGEL:Film 1948 & Song by Lucinda Williams from Car Wheels On A Gravel Road 1998

Stray Dog, 1949-also directed by Akira Kurosawa & Starring Toshiro Mifune.

This film is more closely associated with & influenced by the American Noir experience. The emphasis is less upon the Post War infrastructure, and more upon a rookie cop who has had his gun pickpocketed while on public transit. In that respect, those from New York & San Francisco can more easily relate to the overcrowded conditions & the ‘cell mates’ with which we must endure in close quarters on a daily basis. In keeping with Noir, the rookie cop goes on a search for the person who lifted his heater, only to unintentionally go deeper & deeper into an underground cesspool of crime, vice, passion, and vengeance. The gun in question has recently begged re-examination of the issue/question of do guns kill people or do people use guns to kill people? It’s clear that our love affair with Noir embraces guns, but do we want guns to embrace us? (Remember: “It’s a bitter, little world.”)!
Let’s ask the National Rifle Association to embrace Columbine & ask the perennial question: “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?”

Depart from the Film & Listen to Petula Clark, then continue…

YOU TUBE MONTAGE FROM STRAY DOG-edited for horror mode-1949

Dusty Springfield–Just thinking about her…(1939-1999) Too soon gone.

When I first remember hearing Dusty Springfield, I had no idea that she was not an American. It does not matter in the long haul, but she, more than many others, in the “British Invasion” Era, sounded more like what we grew up with–sort of more American than many Americans, the way we jokingly say more English than the Queen. I miss her. Her legacy is still with & within us, in recordings, You Tube, and the like. But, she is gone, and was taken far too soon.

I gathered a few of these, put them together, just as a way of having a sort of visit with her. I am glad she made it in this country & the interviews, a bit lengthy, perhaps, offer tribute to her from her peers in the music world. It doesn’t get better than that.


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Interview from Peers About Dusty Springfield: B.J. Thomas & Petula Clark

The Sad Goodbye


This unique & joyful window was designed by Franc Robles.

14 February 2013–give your heart & you will put the Saint back in Valentine’s Day. Petula Clark’s recording of Happy Heart still moves the heart after all these years. May your day provide you with abundant reasons for having a Happy Heart! Photograph of the store window taken in San Francisco @ Cliff’s Hardware & Variety Store.

About Petula Clark

Petula Clark

Photograph of British singer, Petula Clark, taken in the mid-1960s.


An Evaluation of the Web 2.0 Aspects of the Official Petula Clark Website

By: Thomas Outt CNIT129 – Official Site, discography, filmography, theatre, photos, concert information and the home of the International Petula Clark Society.

As it says in the beginning of the this “Official” website for Petula Clark, “This site chronicles the career of Petula Clark, CBE.” It does so via several methods that we have studied that are consistent with the methodogies we have learned about in the Web 2.0 class.

To begin with, I located it on the Internet, using google as my search engine, simply by keying in the name of the singer, Petula Clark. Stricly speaking, you do not have to be concerned with upper & lower case letters when doing this type of search. Once you have done this, the site opens to the public & provides users who are not members of her International Fan Club an opportunity to register online by providing a user name, email address, and once your password is accepted, the protocol of this Websited invites fan club members to share in special information that is not available to non-members. In this process, you will observe that there are You Tube videos, and other information such as the Wikipedia biography that are not in the official website.

The site is indexed with several specialty keys for narrowing searches within the actual website, itself, for specific types of information that allow club members to keep current with the singer’s concert touring schedule. If I may digress, at 80 years of age, she is still able to sing in full voice & continues to entertain fans, both old & new throughout much of the world. Being fluent in French (via her husband who was born there), her career has been international in scope since the 1950s. She has also recorded in German, Italian, Dutch, and Spanish.

In Petula Clark’s website, you will find it starts with a voicethread type of personal introduction spoken by Petula, herself. From there you will see the “Home” page, IPCS News (an acroynim for the International Petula Clark Society), Site Index, Career (this is a detailed history of her work, starting as a 9-year-old singer, during WWII, entertaining British troops as a way to lift their morale), Fan Resources, Members Only, Site Search, Contact Info, and Charities.

Most of these are self-explantory. Contact information, is usually understood to mean that is is the method used by concert backers to contact her managers, to book her for a concert at a given location. & time. Her career continues to be a sort of family business with her husband, Claude Wolff, operating the international end of things from their offices in Geneva, Switzerland. They have been married since 1961, but you will find that information under Career as well. So, there is some overlap in information.

Here is a sample from the actual site about how she got her start in radio:

“A radio star is born. . .

Huddled in London’s underground Criterion Theatre, the sounds of World War II reverberating above them, Petula and her father had come to the “It’s All Yours” radio show intending to record a message for an uncle stationed in North Africa. Before the show went on the air, an air raid siren sounded and the producer asked if anyone would like to sing a song, tell a joke or recite a poem, anything to calm the atmosphere. Nine*-year old Petula Clark (*age depending on source) raised her hand. She announced that she’d like to do Nellie Wallace, but was persuaded to sing a song instead since her father didn’t think an impersonation of the raucous comedienne was quite appropriate. Confiding that she could also do Vera Lynn, Sophie Tucker and Jimmy Durante, little Petula was led to the microphone. In order to reach it, she was placed on a box. The room hushed as she began to sing a very plaintive rendition of “Mighty Lak a Rose.” Just like in the movies, the orchestra joined in and by the time she had finished, the audience was spellbound and the musicians rose en mass to applaud her.
Later, when the show went on the air, Petula was asked to sing for the broadcast and when letters by the hundreds (begging to hear more from the little girl whose “voice was crystal clear and sounded as sweet as chapel bells on a Sunday morning in England”) began to pour into the BBC, a new star was born. For the duration of the war, Petula would make hundreds of radio appearances. By war’s end, she had become quite an established star.”

The website is full of minutely detailed historical information about these early radio appearances, and has many photographs of her during various stages of her life. The photographs are arranged chronologically, to convey the sense of her history & longevity as a performing artist.

As as matter of taste & no doubt family preference, there are very few photographs of a personal family nature posted on the site, as she makes every effort to keep her personal life & public life separated.

The business reasons to operate this site are farily conventional, to keep fans informed of her proposed concert tours, and to sell merchandise, DVDS of films and CDs of her recordings. The site does not provide “free listening,” videos. leaving that specialty to You Tube.

As with many websites of entertainers who are still professionally active, this site is a mixture of source material for archival information (concert & other performance history) and a living document, fully intended to continue to generate business for her till such time as she may decide to retire from concert singing.

Of note, is the section that enumerates the enormous amount of charity work that she has done in a career that now spans 7 decades.

A a viewer, you may follow her Wesite via a number of options such as Facebook, Twitter, & many others. I hope that you will enjoy this site & learn about the career of someone who simply was good at what she did, never making tabloid headlines with lurid tales of an excessive life style & has given unstintingly of herself for others in her charity work & still finds the time & energy to meet & greet fans after a concert, making them feel, if only for a moment, part of her life.

[Petula Clark]

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