Sunday, April 19, 2015

The World Was Young

My friend and former ADVENTURE TIME coworker Emily Quinn made this portrait of Marceline. I tweeted it, but couldn't think of the proper name for the technique employed. Maria Bustillos helpfully tweeted back at me: "it is called pyrography, remember you could buy those kits of it when the world was young." And just minutes later my friend Judge of Chicago independently confirmed via tweet: pyrography. Somehow Maria's tweet reminded me of something you could order off the back of comic books when I was a boy: a shrunken head kit. A curious child was encouraged to make grotesque heads out of apples! At first I didn't even tweet to Maria that Vincent Price was on the box, though that's the way I remembered it, because it could't possibly have been that perfect. BUT IT WAS. Maria Bustillos, by the way, wrote a good, long article about ADVENTURE TIME, which I'm sure I've "linked" to you before, but just in case, here it is. You'll hate yourself if you don't "click."
And now, unless I'm crazy, I am recalling that there was (is) a song called something like "Ah, the Apple Trees! (When the World Was Young)" which brings everything together, but that can't possibly be a real title, can it? Pretty melodramatic! But then of course you remember what Bellini - dead at 34! - said: "Carve into your head in adamantine letters: OPERA MUST MAKE PEOPLE WEEP, FEEL HORRIFIED, DIE THROUGH SINGING." Speaking of which! Yesterday was Record Store Day and we played some records. We played a record Jimmy gave us a long time ago, back when he lived in town. It's called NIGHTINGALES AND CANARIES, and to oversimplify, it has some songs sung by immigrant women in New York in the 40s and 50s and songs recorded by women in Istanbul in the 30s. The first couple of numbers are sung by Virginia Magidou, which is, as the liner notes say, probably a pseudonym used because of the "disreputable, underworld style of some of her songs." One song she sings goes
(and the liner notes apologize because it's actually in "Greek slang that can't be precisely translated"): "I was born a tough chick, I'll die a tough chick... I like the tough life, and if I'm lucky I'll be rich./ In this lying world, I'll live even tougher... I would like to have a man who feels, a tough guy, or gangster./ To be the love of crazy guys who are a little troublesome... This false world, I just want to party in it."