Saturday, January 30, 2010

Favorite Flickr Find...say that five times fast!

During my hunt for design inspiration, I always peruse the Flickr pages. Recently, I came across these incredible bedroom shots of Flickr user Jeck in the box.  The set is appropriately entitled Making The Bed.  Her bedroom is full of fun vintage finds and bursts of color. I am now totally obsessed with finding my own vintage bedding.  Love all the kitsch & vintage linens, and perhaps am just a wee bit jealous of all of her lovely finds. If I had such a colorful bedroom, I would never leave the room! Check out all the different sheets, pillowcases and looks she creates. Simply divine!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Favorite Music

Last year a friend gave me a copy of some music and said to me "you have to listen to this guy, his music is wonderful and you will love it."  She was so right.  Ben Sollee has to be one of the most refreshing and interesting artists I've heard in years.  There is some very solid song writing, lovely melodies and incredibly well-written lyrics that tell a story. His cello playing is lovely and haunting as is his singing voice.  Ben has a background in classical music and he brings a fresh and upbeat style of music all his own.  Take a listen and I'm sure you will agree.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Clockwork Orange...or Bust!

Lately, I've been obsessed with the set design from the film "A Clockwork Orange".  While researching info on many of the items used in the film, I came across this beauty.... wasn't in the film, but pays homage to it.  I love how they capture the love Alex had for Beethoven's music in this bust.  The image above was found on m.bibelot's Flickr page.  The vinyl Ludwig Van bust is by Frank Kozik.  They were released in various colors and were also available in bronze, silver and gold.  This limited edition bust has basically sold out everywhere! *sigh* I really had my eye on that electric orange one.  Perhaps one of these days I'll be able to snatch one up somewhere.  It always makes me mad when I find out about stuff too late!  Bah!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Disco Stupid

Last week I reviewed Disco in cinema, this week its Disco Stupid...the absurdities of the disco era.  Back in the 70s disco music ruled the airwaves.  As a kid, I loved it...hell, I still do!  There were some great songs and performers of the era...but as with everything...there is the good, the bad and the ugly.  I suppose this will be about the bad and the ugly side of the disco craze.  Disco music was really great, until every performer had to put out a disco album, no matter what style of music they usually sang.

One of the oddest releases of the disco era has to be the Ethel Merman Disco Album.  "I've got Rythym, I've Got...disco?"  Seriously?!!  Even the cover art is super cheesy, and for some reason it has developed a weird cult following, probably because it is jaw-droppingly bad/weird/unbelievable/horrifying (take your pick!).  The rumor is that Ethel hated the disco craze, so her vocals were recorded beforehand and the thumping disco beat was added later. What boggles my mind is that she would agree to do this at all, especially since she loathes the genre.  She belts out eight of her biggest show tunes on this recording....guess Everything Is Coming Up Disco!

Next up is Rick Dees and his aptly named Cast of Idiots.  This gem came out in 1976, and appealed to my little brother (who didn't know any better at the time).  He bought the 45 record and proceeded to annoy the hell out of me with its constant playing.  I was almost tempted to break it on a few occasions, but sadly, the record is still around.  I had it for a number of years, then passed it onto my sister who's kids like to play with our old 45's .  The duck voice is incredibly annoying...think nails on a chalkboard.  I've never listened to the whole album, but I'm sure that it can't be any worse than the duck.  In the film "So Wrong They're Right" about 8 tracks and the people who collect them, there is one segment where this guy talks about how he scored a Disco Duck 8track tape.  The odd thing was, the guy didn't even like the song, but he had to have the tape...I guess because its so bad, you have to have it to remind yourself that it actually happened.

...and what would the disco craze be without having something for kiddies.  Sesame Street, the beloved children's show came up with a concept album called Sesame Street Fever.  Instead of John Travolta, we see Grover.  The Bee Gees are replaced by Burt, Ernie and Cookie Monster.  It is an adorable homage to the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack and even Robin Gibb appears on one of the tracks.  Ok...this isn't bad or ugly, but it is kind of weird, so I included it on the list.

Now for the older folks we have Arthur Saturday Night Fiedler?  Here we go again with another parody album!  Leader of the Boston Pops, Arthur always tried to get with the hip generation, so I guess this was his way of being more current, rather than appealing to grandma and grandpa.  The cover of the album alone, with him in a disco suit getting ready to boogie down, is just too much!  Put on your boogie shoes cause Arthur is groovin'!

Barry Manilow was king of the airwaves for most of the 70s with hits such as Mandy, Weekend in New England, I Write The Songs, and my favorite hit of his, Ready To Take a Chance Again, that song was in the movie Foul Play with Goldie Hawn and Chevy Chase.  The song played during the scene where Goldie is driving her VW bug down the Pacific Coast Highway, hair blowing in the wind, picking up a cute hitchiker, and I would think to, I wanna be her!  Ok, off topic...back to Barry.  Since disco music was so popular, Barry thought he would try his hand at it, and now we are blessed with Copacabana.  I have to admit, it is quite a catchy tune, but the radio airplay was maddening, and to this day I still cringe a little when I hear it playing.

Monday, January 18, 2010


Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase.
-Martin Luther King, Jr.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Mork from Ork??

I've always loved Ork posters and I've been waiting for them to come out with one for Philadelphia. Well the wait is over! The Philadelphia Ork Poster is here! I can't wait to order mine! They offer posters in the classic black and white and also in Street Gray and Blue. The screen prints are offered in Eagle-esque (someone at Ork knows we love our Eagles) and in Ratified Green. I'm leaning towards the screen print in Ratified Green. You can order them here.

Ratified Green
Eagle-esque and Street Gray and Blue

Friday, January 15, 2010

I'm Blown Away!

Living room, originally uploaded by suzy8track.
Today I was featured on Apartment absolute favorite design blog! I'm so thrilled! Apparently they found me on Flickr. It's totally awesome..I'm beaming over here! Anyway, the pictures are a couple years old and I've made some changes since those pictures were taken, but I'm so happy to be featured! Read all about it here! The only thing thats missing is my 8track collection in the photos, so I included a picture above. Thanks Apartment Therapy!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Wake Up Everybody

I'm saddened to hear that legendary singer Teddy Pendergrass has died. He was only 59 years old. He had a unique singing voice that could sound soft and tender one minute and loud and powerful the next. He started out as a drummer, but was then asked to become the lead singer with Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes. He sang such hits as Wake Up Everybody, If You Don't Know Me By Now, and Bad Luck. In 1982 he suffered a spinal cord injury in a bad car accident, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down. This setback did not dampen his spirit, and he continued to perform. In honor of Teddy I will play some 8 Tracks of him with Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes.  Here is some video of his greatest performances. Enjoy! RIP Teddy.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Disco Movies

Here is my list of the good, the bad and the ugly Disco era films. Most of these films feature a prominent disco soundtrack, so put on your boogie shoes for trip down memory lane.....

This movie was released in 1980, when the disco craze had pretty much fizzled out. This movie doesn't have much of a plot, but here goes: A model (Valerie Perrine) decides to have a party to help her roomate/aspiring composer(Steve Guttenberg) get a career started and she invites all of her wacky friends from Greenwich Village and the hijinks begin! Not much more going on here folks. This film stars Valerie Perrine, Bruce Jenner (What the hell is he doing in this movie? He's no actor, and he proves it here.), Steve Guttenberg, Paul Sand, Leigh Taylor-Young and ...The Village People! With a stellar cast such as this it's amazing this thing didn't win any awards. Steve Guttenberg looks ridiculous in his white polyester pants and roller skates (while watching him skate around like a lunatic, I kept wondering what drugs he was on, better yet, what drugs were the idiots who decided to make this movie on!) But best of all, it was directed by, none other than Nancy Walker (Is that right? THE Nancy Walker from RHODA?!!Let me know if I'm wrong on this one folks). Basically this is probably the worst of all the disco movies.

This movie,which was releasted in 1976, is comprised of a bunch of soap opera style, comical vignettes. A mildly funny movie, but certainly not hilarious. With so much comic talent involved in this film, you would think it should have been funnier and better than it actually is. This film stars Franklin Ajaye, Sully Boyer, Richard Brestoff, George Carlin, Richard Pryor, Melanie Mayron, Ivan Dixon and Antonio Fargas.

A rich girl leaves home and winds up helping her friends stop an evil businessman from closing the local roller rink. Very cheesy, with a goofy finale involving a roller boogie contest, in which the rich girl competes. In the end our herioine must choose between a career as a classical musician or a roller boogie queen, and for some stupid reason, she has a difficult time wrestling with her decision! Only her love interest in the film has any sense! Did I stress the CHEESINESS of this film? Made in 1979, it stars Linda Blair, Jim Bray, Beverly Garland, Roger Perry, James VanPatten, Kimberly Beck, Mark Goddard, Stoney Jackson and Sean McClory.

It doesn't get any better than this! This is the Holy Grail of disco movies. Released in 1977, at the height of disco's popularity, it's a coming of age tale that takes place in New York. Young Tony Manero is bored with his life in Brooklyn, but on Saturday night, he's king on the dance floor. With the help of Stephanie, his more sophisticated dance partner, he realizes his dream of becoming a professional dancer. A believable slice of life in the 70's. I highly recommend this film to anyone who likes disco. Lots of great music from the Bee Gees, Yvonne Elliman and much, much more. A true classic.

This 1978 movie is about a local disco that attracts a huge crowd into it's doors. The film follows several people during the course of one night at the disco. There's the standard married couple on their anniversary, who decide to check out the club and have some fun, but, wouldn't you know it, things get out of hand. Then there's the underage girls, who are dressed to kill, who go out to the disco to try to meet some guys and find out that they are in over their heads (It's almost like an ABC afterschool special). Then there is the girl with a song in her heart who tries to woo the DJ into playing her song so that she can become a singing sensation (Which she does!). This movie is silly, but I thought it was fun to watch. Granted, this is not Oscar material, but it is just good, clean, silly fun. This one stars: Valerie Landsburg, Teri Nunn, Chick Vennera, Jeff Goldblum, Donna Summer and Debra Winger. It features Donna Summer singing her hit "Last Dance".

A stellar cast in a re-telling of the Wizard of OZ which transplants Dorothy into a fantasy version of New York City. Lots of fun with excellent musical numbers and lavish costumes and sets. This 1978 film stars: Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Nipsey Russell, Richard Pryor, Mabel King, Thelma Carpenter and Lena Horne. I thought Ross was a bit too old to be playing the young innocent Dorothy in the film, but I guess I need to remember one is a fantasy film.

Another disco film released in 1980, when supposedly, disco was dead. This one is about a muse who decends to earth to help two men open up a roller disco. It's about as hokey as it sounds. This one stars Olivia Newton-John, Michael Beck, Gene Kelly (why would he do this film?) and Sandahl Bergman. The best part of the movie is the music, which of course is by Olivia Newton-John, and some songs by Electric Light Orchestra as well. It's unfortunate that Gene Kelly made this film. He looks completely ridiculous roller skating around in his tuxedo! This film is unintentionally hilarious at times.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Design Inspiration: A Clockwork Orange

I first saw Stanley Kubric's A Clockwork Orange when I was 15. Even though I was shocked by the violence in the film, what really got my attention was the wonderfully bawdy and colorful set designs. Based on the 1962 novel by Anthony Burgess, it was filmed in 1971 and set in the not too distant future. Its always interesting to see what is considered futuristic design when looking at films from the past. Much of the films decore is sexually explicit...especially in the cat lady/yoga instructor's home. It must have been the filmmakers thought that in the future, people would be more open to sexual, how wrong they were! Seems like like people are more uptight than ever about sex nowadays....but I digress...back to the movie sets. Here are some inspirational photos from the film that have really inspired me in my decorating scheme....although I will admit...there are no penis statues to be found in my home. I managed to find a very interesting website which discusses what happened to many of the items and artwork used in the film.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Feeling nostalgic for the 70s?

Here's a nice little nostalgia trip. Enjoy not only the orange shag, wood paneling, fondue pot, pet rock, etc., but also a Weltron discussing the comeback of the 8-track tape
"You know, I'm planning a comeback of my own. Everyone's gonna be screaming my name. 8-track! Go 8-track!" Hilarious!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

New beginnings

The month January seems to indicate, for many, a clean slate or a fresh start. My goal this month is to get organized...I know, I've probably heard this all before, but this year I'm determined to do it. I've even wrote down a checklist for each room in my home by breaking down what needs to be done into smaller tasks so it won't be so daunting for me to tackle. My hope is that I'll become more motivated with each small accomplishment.
For the past week I've been hard at work getting my clutter down to a minimum. So far I've tacked my hall closet and my bedroom closet. Just hoping that I'll remember where everything is, once I finish my organizing wizardry. The ultimate goal is having a place for everything, be able to access it easily, and to De-Clutter! I don't know why, but de-cluttering my home has to be the hardest thing for me. I tend to put sentimental value on things.
Below are some photos to get me inspired.

Love the organization of this closet! If I had this much space, I'd have that many shoes too!

This lovely pink sewing area is adorable, organized and very functional

Absolutely adore that vintage card catalog. Makes me wish I had the space for one in my kitchen. Would be perfect for my recipe cards and kitchen gadgets. Also loving the pink window and the chandelier.

This craft area is super cute and very neat. Love the shots of pink.