We’re bringing back the Friday Factory Tune for the second to last Friday of 2011. With Christmas only two days away this week’s tune is a live performance of Santa Claus is Coming to Town by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.
On this day 120 years ago, the first movie — depending on how you define “movie” — was shown to a delegation from National Federation of Women’s Clubs in one of Thomas Edison’s workshops. As a Library of Congress article relates, the women viewed the prototype for the Kinetoscope.
The device was both a camera and a peep-hole viewer, and the film used was 18mm wide. According to David Robinson who describes the Kinetoscope in his book, From Peep Show to Palace: The Birth of American Film, the film “ran horizontally between two spools, at continuous speed. A rapidly moving shutter gave intermittent exposures when the apparatus was used as a camera, and intermittent glimpses of the positive print when it was used as a viewer–when the spectator looked through the same aperture that housed the camera lens.”
William K.L. Dickson starred in the 3-second movie clip of him passing a hat in front of himself. The filming took place at the Photographic Building at Thomas Edison’s Black Maria studio in West Orange, N.J.
In honor of that historic moment, our Friday Factory Tune this week is The Kinks performing “Celluloid Heroes,” one of their last great songs before the band gave way to the lucrative bombast of “Low Budget.”
Randy’s Newman’s “Lousiana 1927” is the go-to song to commemorate Mississippi River flooding, and a great song it is. But it seems like there should be just as evocative music for the upstream communities afflicted by the river’s destructive power.
Via EconStories, “Fight of the Century, Keynes vs. Hayek Round Two.”
In “Fight of the Century”, Keynes and Hayek weigh in on these central questions. Do we need more government spending or less? What’s the evidence that government spending promotes prosperity in troubled times? Can war or natural disasters paradoxically be good for an economy in a slump? Should more spending come from the top down or from the bottom up? What are the ultimate sources of prosperity?
Keynes and Hayek never agreed on the answers to these questions and they still don’t. Let’s listen to the greats. See Keynes and Hayek throwing down in “Fight of the Century”!
Jay Timmons, president and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers, addresses the spring meeting of the Metal Treating Institute today in Naples, Fla. The MTI’s webpage is: www.heattreatonline.com
Well, then, of course the Friday Factory Tune must be “Heat Treatment” by Graham Parker and the Rumor, a performance from the “Squeezing Out Sparks” tour.
Parker, who now lives in upstate New York, embarks on occasional solo tours. He’s at Jammin’ Java at the end of April. Saw him at the Black Cat a few years ago with a band touring behind “Don’t Tell Columbus.” Very, very good album. Still lively, not quite so ticked off as in the old days, and that’s OK.
Watt was the bassist in the great Minutemen and later with Firehose, a fun band we saw in Fargo in the mid ’90s. In the last couple of years, he’s been touring with The Stooges. (Here’s a 1980 performance by The Minutemen, and the Firehose single, “Walking the Cow.”) The Minutemen embraced a low-tech, man-of-the-street, dare we say “blue collar’ approach toward performing and touring. Indeed, the documentary about The Minutemen is called “We Jam Econo.”
There’s a fine line between anthemic and boring, and Band of Horses dances along it in this performance from Later with Jools Holland.
Industrial processes are not mentioned, although the lyrics do refer to a snack machine. Anyway, pleasant enough song by one of those beard bands, and, it’s called “Factory.” That’s good enough for Friday Factory Tune.