« October 2009 | Main | August 2009 »


From Dusty till Dawn

Entry 1599 posted in: The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit

When JenS, who may well have been the person who introduced Ig to Syd Barrett, told the Church that they both went to a Dusty Springfield party the Reverend was absolutely certain that he had found a solid path to unravel more about Ig’s past.

The Church found it relevant to investigate if there really had been an Ig – Dusty – Ready Steady Go! connection somewhere and if some witnesses still remember her...

The latest post at The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit contains testimonies from:
Douggie Reece, bass player (and singer) of Dusty's 60's band The Echoes and
Vicki Wickham, friend, manager and author of Springfield's biography.


ArianeB 6.0

Entry 1604 posted in: a. ArianeB

NEW: THE ARIANEB WALKTHROUGHS have now got their own domain:

Ariane 6.0 It was already known for some time at the Shark’s Lagoon community that the online version of ArianeB (or Virtually Date Ariane or Ariane Barnes or Ariane Brodie) was slowly, but Shirley, changing. Ariane’s bathroom had been reshaped and there was now an extra, albeit rather disappointing, shower scene that could be triggered (you could rub her back, but the graphics didn't have the sublime quality we were used to have).

I was preparing a new post to tell the news to the many ArianeB lovers that visit this site when the official blog beat me and announced, yesterday, that a new version is finished and can be downloaded at the usual place.

It seems that more has been changed than simple interior decorating. The blog mentions that the code for the nightclub, home store, and lake have been changed, fixed and /or expanded. For the complete details I invite you to read Ariane’s post for yourself.

As usual (and because I haven't found the time yet to actually play the new version) I put here some stats just for the fact that I love these. Version 6.0 has grown with 16 htm-pages to 1198 code files (and 5.017.600 bytes) in the datingssimulator folder. The images folder has grown with 28 new images to 1170 files (and 74.518.528 bytes).

Not a big change I hear you say but more of importance are the files that have been recoded: 113 files have been altered between the 27th of June and the 4th of September of this year. 165 images (out of 1170) have been added, changed or re-rendered, 9 images of version 5.8 are no longer there (most of them are the old shower scenes that have been replaced and renamed).

Browsing through the new images I found some new situations, that will hopefully be explained further when I finish the walkthroughs for the new version:

The lake-trip has now got an acrobatics-scene, we knew already from Ariane’s adventures in the park that she is quite sportive. At the lake she can be tempted to do some handstands. There is also room for the good old pastime called stone skipping at the waterside. And last, but not least, also at the lake, there are a few new boat scenes, with Ariane behind the steering wheel (or whatever you call that thing on a boat).

Intriguing, to say the least, are images of 2 TV-stands, 6 colourful toasters and 7 bathmats, this probably predicts that you can go on a shopping trip with her as well.

The backrub scene I started this post with seems to have disappeared altogether. Good riddance, although if I had saved the pictures, if would have had an ArianeB exclusive outtake now. I'm still hoping though that the shower backrub scene (and some extras, perhaps) will one day appear in the game. Something for 6.1?

Update: the latest walkthroughs for the ArianeB 6.21 game can be found at: The ArianeB 6.21 walkthroughs: All in one 


Thingamablog 1.5

Entry 1605 posted in: 1. General Mish Mash

Thingamablog logo Those that peek behind the green door of this blog may have noticed that it has been conceived with blogging software called Thingamablog. I have consecrated a few posts to the program before but these all date from quite a while ago.

The reason is simple, the last update from the application dates of December the 2nd, 2007 and since then nothing happened. I am not in the business of upgrading for the sake of upgrading like all these other programmers, if anyone can explain me the difference between - for instance - Adobe Reader 5 and 10, please do, and I don’t mean the fact that the workload and the physical volume of the software has doubled in size. I always sardonically laugh when people at work tell me that we urgently need Office 2007 because the 2000 version is too old. These are the same people who ask me on a weekly base: Can you refresh my memory how to multiply two cells in Excel? I always have got the same answer ready for them: same formula as in Excel 95 (and Excel for DOS, if one still remembers)!

But Thingamablog version 1.1B6 was still a work in progress with a few dozen of fans (and thousands of users). The forum was active and demands were made, not always silly ones, to add features that the bigger blogging communities (and software) already offered.

Updates were quirky to say the least: V1.05 dated from November 2005, December 2006 saw V1.06 and a year later, November 2007 V1.1B5. But the yearly upgrades clockwork system failed in 2008. When also the forum disappeared everybody thought that Thingamablog was dead.

Until now. My machine that goes ping when important messages arrive did ping. The message read:

Thingamablog 1.5: A Call For Testers and Translators!
Thingamablog is back from the dead with a new release (version 1.5) right around the corner. The forums will be back soon as well. Everything is moving to a new, more flexible, web host at thingamablog.com which should provide for some interesting stuff in the future.

New features in (the beta version of) TAMB are the use of keywords, descriptions, 'extra fields' and labels on each post and intimi will be glad to see that new tags have been added. Here is a quick rundown of the new tags (they need to be included on the page templates in order to be published):

<Entries category="">
<Entries id="">
<Entries label="sticky">

The question is if TAMB will be able to regain some confidence. Lots of (possible) users have switched over to Wordpress or other blogging solutions, but I’ll think I’ll stay faithful to my old love for a while.

If you liked this post - you might be interested in these as well:
Thingamablog 2.0 Announced 
Thingamablog 2.0 on its way 
Thingamablog Update 1.0.6 
Thingamablog Add-On Of The Year 
Thingamablog 1.1b 


Flesh & Drones

Entry 1606 posted in: 7. Star Trek - The Original Sucker

Movie Poster Does anyone remember Signs, the 2002 movie by M. Night Shyamalan? Hundreds of aliens play peek-a-boo with the world population, tension rises to Fahrenheit 451 and in the end it all comes down to the fact that these aliens urgently needed lunch and mistook ZZ9 plural Z Alpha for the restaurant at the end of the universe. What a stupid lot of alien buggers they were weren’t they? Lucky for me there still is badmovies.org that is a constant source of inspiration. Their review of Sins Of The Fleshapoids made me watch the movie and it must have been the most miserable 47 minutes of my life. But that, of course, is what Bad Movies is all about.

A review that won’t be found on Bad Movies is the 1977 sci-fi classic Invasion of the Love Drones. Aliens want to conquer Earth and their attempt is far more intelligent than the green lizards strategy in Signs.

The Plot (contains spoilers)

It is 8:02 AM. George Reevis (Eric Edwards) gets out of bed and goes to the bathroom to have a morning pee. His girlfriend Joann (Joann Dudd), wearing a cute nightgown, listens to the news on the radio clock and hears how an unidentified space ship has been signalled outside the Earth’s atmosphere. She quips about the little green men who want to conquer our planet but George can’t reply as on that particular moment he is beamed over to the alien ship. Just before he is transported we get a view of his frankfurter, giving the scene that extra realistic feel that he is being abducted at his most vulnerable.

The alien ship is manned (?) by a talking computer, nothing spectacular so far as this is standard alien spaceship equipment, and two scarcely clad woman who seem to have stepped out an audition for the musical Hair. The two woman are not real, but holographic (actually holomatter) simulations. They move and dance a bit, not always in unison, and invite the puzzled man to join their fertility dance. At the six minutes mark any reviewer can witness that the seduction scene is getting serious and that the females know a mouthful of human lovemaking. It doesn’t take too long before George is turned into a love drone whose task it will be to conquer Earth. Probably this involves some nano-robot technology, as his voice suddenly turns metallic, but the exact conversion process isn’t clearly shown. Although the aliens have an advanced technology that includes a holodeck and a teleportation device they have never mastered the technology to make a computer, nor a love drone, speak with a normal voice., what is quite weird.

After his initiation George returns to Earth, walks out of the bathroom as if nothing had happened and makes morning love to his girlfriend, who also turns into a drone. Although it seems improbable at first that a single man can conquer an entire planet, the plan is mathematically simple and brilliant.

Hover mouse over pink dots
to change picture.
If not visible,
blame Internet Explorer
and download Firefox.

Exponential Growth

There is an old fable about the invention of the game of chess. It tells how the creator of the game refuses a treasure for his invention but asks the king to put one grain of wheat on the first chessboard square, two on the second, four on the third, doubling the amount of grains on each of the 64 squares. The process is called exponential growth and finally amounts to 18,446,744,073,709,551,615 grains (or 461,168,602,000 tons, if one may trust Wikipedia).

When the two love drones meet up with other humans they will double the alien population to 4. Four will become 8. Eight will become 16, and so on. With each round of lovemaking the alien infiltration doubles and a simple calculation proves that the human race, 4.230 billion people in 1977, can theoretically be eradicated in only 33 rounds.

But as always these aliens make a crucial mistake and when George volunteers to join a sex clinic experiment the professor, who listens to the cute name of Dr. Deborah Femme (Viveca Ash), finds out about the invasion, mainly because these love drones talk way too loud (and too metallic) about their plans when reaching a climax.

Area 69

Dr. Femme does the American patriotic act of informing the FBI and is immediately believed when she tells FBI director Willard that human beings turn into space creatures while procreating. Unfortunately the first secret agent falls into the hands, and other body parts, of a recent convert. The same fate awaits a second secret agent, female this time, at a club where aliens practice the ancient game of chess. Deborah Femme realises she is the only one who can stop the aliens and this culminates in a scene of truly Shakespearian drama.

But already the aliens are spreading all over the world and newsreaders warn us that England, France, Germany and India have succumbed to the pandemic. An attempt to destroy the alien ship with a nuclear missile fails and when Dr. Deborah meets a horny sun glassed weirdo with the wrong shirt the future of the Earth seems doomed. Nothing and no one seems able to stop the planned planetary orgasm resulting in the same effect as when all Chinese would jump up and down at the same time. But while bare breasted women are dancing on incredibly weird seventies disco music Dr. Femme’s assistant Andrea (Babe Blonde) devises a cunning plan. She injects herself with a killer virus while citing Hamlet’s soliloquy:

To be, or not to be: that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them?

And its about time, because agent provocateur George Reevis has been beamed back to the mother ship, not only to report to the Hair rejects but to fecundate the frightening Alien Queen (Yolanda Savalas), who looks a bit like offspring between Grace Jones and Fritz Lang’s Maschinenmensch.

It seems that all drones feel and act like bees in a beehive and when the parasite inside Dr. Femme attacks Andrea (who is now carrying the lethal virus) all drones on Earth abandon their human hosts who, with the exception of some sore limbs, appear not to have been damaged too much. The alien space ship retreats, Earth is saved and if the aliens have learned one thing it is never too underestimate a blonde babe (although she will probably die a horrible death once the disease kicks in).

The movie

Maybe you didn’t realize this until now but Invasion of the Love Drones is an adult movie with quite some explicit scenes (although most of these are inserts). It tried to cash in on the porn chic trend of that era when ‘normal’ movie theatres in the USA started to show X-rated films to the ‘normal’ public. Some followers of the genre believed that the boundaries between X and R would disappear and that mainstream pictures would include hardcore scenes, but despite some notable exceptions this never happened. While adult movies in the Seventies had a budget, a story and some (not always successful) acting this seems to have disappeared altogether in the 21st century.

The end credits of adult movies are always a good laugh. The Hair rebuffs are played by actors Jenny Erotica and Sara Goodbody and another actress listens to the name Greater Garbo. The Queen of the Love Drones is listed under the pseudonym Eve Felatio but the original movie poster changed that into Eve Latio for obvious reasons. One of the production assistants is the mysterious Marga Rita.

The (spoken) sound of the movie is not good; probably there was no time or money for overdubs in a studio, so it is no wonder that most steamy scenes only contain a musical background (another theory goes that there was a 3 years gap between filming and editing). The music credits however are interesting…

Music Effects The soundtrack

The musical score can be divided in two parts: some modernistic pieces that have been heavily influenced by the 2001 soundtrack from György Ligeti and cheesy love scene, rock and disco tunes that are typical for all B-movies of that era.

Mike Michaels & Richard Lavsky

Richard Lavsky can look at a career of creating and producing original music, sound design, dialogue, underscores and voice-overs for TV commercials, programs, promos, theatrical films, and industrials. As a winner of 15 Clios, 3 Cannes Film Festival Lions, Hollywood International Broadcasting, and many other awards, he has worked for every major advertising agency, creating music and sound design for clients such as: IBM, Nissan, Pepsi, Purina Cat Chow, Nabisco’s Oreo Cookies, MasterCard, NY Lotto, Reebok, and many others…

But back in the Seventies he was director of Music House and Mike Michaels was his music and sound effect editor (he composed some tunes for Dennison’s chili and Pearl’s beer commercials as well).

Music House was a company that produced (and Lavskymusic still produces) tunes for anyone who waives with a fistful of dollars, but Doris ‘Sorrel’ Hays comes from an entirely different musical spectrum.

Doris Hays

Hays studied piano in Chattanooga and Munich and won first prize at the Gaudeamus Competition for Interpreters of New Music in Rotterdam in 1971 that lifted off her international career as a performer of contemporary classical music. In 1972 she premiered a composition called Hands and Lights that included a piano, photocell activated switches and flashlights.

Sorrel Hays, she removed the Doris from her name in 1985, has written music for films and is herself a filmmaker, but her website fails to mention the soundtrack for Love Drones for one reason or another. However her discography and videography mention several works where electronic and classical instruments do interact.

On the liner notes for her album Dreaming The World Hays wrote:

My first tape combination was in 1971, of chopped-up words. Those were years of traveling around the U.S. and Europe with a Buchla keyboard synthesizer, patch cords and tone and envelope generators in a Samsonite case. I performed concerts with sound from transducer mikes on audience throats and Barcus-Berry transducers on the piano soundboard processed through the Buchla synth and mixed with tape. (…)
I like machines. The temptation to (try to) control the world of perception is beguiling. In the end it is also isolating, when aural language becomes too distant from the cultural context. Designing aural structures within a computer is similar to plotting your house plan in three dimensions on the computer screen. Computer music software is a wonderful tool. I use it to track down the mind's misty imaginings and to give substance to the details of my dreams.

In 2007 Hays worked on an opera titled Our Giraffe. The libretto was written by Charles Flowers, author and coauthor of 75 books, two operas and a cantata, as well as numerous songs, articles, reviews, columns and broadcast pieces. He revealed in a rather hard to find interview:

Composer Sorrel Hays and I have known each other almost since sandbox days in Chattanooga, Tennessee. She has created a full and various career as performer and composer in Europe and here in the States. For more than four decades we have occasionally and idly chatted about doing an opera together some day.
(We did work together on a film called Invasion of the Love Drones, but never mind.)

The (additional) Dialogue

I wrote Charles Flowers and asked if he could remember something about the movie in question. To my bewilderment he answered almost instantly:

As they say, I'm gobsmacked! As you might imagine, I have often dined out on tales of that film, but I thought it was lost to history. And very quickly thereafter, of course, that particular genre of soft porn distributed by a well-known Italian organization was swept away by the home video revolution.
An assistant Professor of English at the University of Rochester [NY] back then, I was down in Manhattan in an expensive East Side sublet for the summer months, sinking into penury. Jerry, the director/producer, was a close friend of Sandy [Anthony E.] Weymouth, one of my Harvard roommates back in the early 60s and then a budding primal scream therapist in the city.
And so, whatever the credits say, Jerry, a wealthy South American heir, hired me to create "additional dialogue" for the film (not one word of which I recall) and asked if I knew a composer.
Indeed. I had known Doris Hays since high school days in Chattanooga, TN. She was Miss Central at our most detested rival but married the band captain at City HS. As it happened that marriage was relatively brief and she was living on the upper West Side composing and performing. My recollection is that she composed overnight 10 or 12 straightforward melodies on her Moog. In other words, what seem to be disco/rock pieces are her work, I believe.

The Soundtrack (update)

In an article from August 2010 Psychotic Cinema revealed that:

...the mellow music played during the alien couple sex scenes on the spaceship is taken from a 1972 library music album by Stringtronics called Mindbender and the track is called Dawn Mists. It also appears on the compilation Barry 7's Connectors (a 2001 compilation, note by FA).

Actually the Mind Bender - Stringtronics album was a 1972 French compilation with tracks from Barry Forgie, Anthony Mawer, Nino Nardini and Roger Roger. Original copies of the album reach prices up till 900$, but thanks to the lounge-revival of the past decade the album has been re-issued in 2004 by Vadim Music.

The Dawn Mists track was originally composed by Barry Forgie, who now directs the BBC Big Band. The Love Drones version however is an electronically enhanced version of this track and mixes Barrie Forge's version with additional electronic effects, sounds and drones from Doris Hays or the Music House.

If you liked this post - you might be interested in this one as well: European Frontal 


iPod Random Generator September 2009

Entry 1607 posted in: 9. I, Pod

September. I'm sitting on a commuter train writing this post. Sirius from The Alan Parsons Project on the iPod. Life could be much worse.

Also in 2009 my iPod will be in autoplay mode and that for the second consecutive year. Situatie, Doe Maar (Dutch reggae band from the Eighties) followed by I Want More, Faithless. Spoken about a strange combination.

The results from past year, apart from the song ratings, have been reset on the database. Journeyman - Iron Maiden.

Every month a graph will be published here, the playlist of the month will appear on my MySpace blog and the overview of the year will be glued on my MySpace entrance page. Nothing to be excited about. Sleeping Tiger & The Gods Unknown, The Orb.

For those who still want to know the how and what and where and when I give you this old link: Random Blueß aka sucking for statistics 

If you want to know how the graph looked like last month: iPod Random Generator August 2009