To help myself remember how I felt about various things that I finished
Tuesday, May 19, 2015
Spike Jones Plays the Charleston for Dancing
I bought this, I don't know, a couple decades ago? I forget where? But I never really sat down and listened to all the songs. Pictured here is the EP version, but what I have is a box set of 3 45's (okay, actually there is a 4th Spike Jones 45 in there, too, but I don't think it is supposed to be) that are all variations on the Charleston and Charleston related songs. So, first, they are great -- crisp, funny, interesting Spike Jones recordings, that are, indeed, good for dancing, and work great on my stack-o-matic. But second... what kind of weird time tunnel did this thing fall through? The RCA Victor 45's sound REALLY good -- crisper and better than a lot of my 45's from the 80's. They seem to have been recorded in 1954... which makes sense technologically, and also is in accordance with what I know about the history of Spike Jones... but... the Charleston was from the 1920s. Why in the world would Spike decide to record a collection of Charleston songs 30 years after the fad was over? Did it have some kind of early 50's comeback? Wikipedia seems to know nothing about that. I'm going to stick with my Time Tunnel hypothesis. I believe this was the last recording of Spike Jones, and he used it, along with some chewing gum, to travel back in time to the 1920's, so he could start his career over. I continue to believe that he and his band now(?) travel in a 30 year time loop, achieving a strange immortality. Go on, prove me wrong. Hey, what happens if I chew gum when I listen to this...?
Jesse Schell has taught Game Design and led research projects at Carnegie Mellon’s Entertainment Technology Center (www.etc.cmu.edu) since 2002. Jesse is also the CEO of Pittsburgh’s largest videogame studio, Schell Games (www.schellgames.com), the author of The Art of Game Design: a book of lenses (www.artofgamedesign.com), and the former chairman of the International Game Developers Association (www.igda.org). In 2004, he was named one of the world’s Top 100 Young Innovators by Technology Review, MIT’s magazine of innovation.
Before coming to Carnegie Mellon, he was the Creative Director of the Disney Virtual Reality Studio, where he spent seven years as designer, programmer and manager on several projects for Disney theme parks and Disney Online. Before that, he was a software engineer at IBM and Bell Communications Research, and a writer, director, performer, juggler, comedian, and circus artist for both Freihofer's Mime Circus and the Juggler's Guild. You can email him at jesse(at)schellgames.com.