Monday, July 21, 2014

The Chicago Neon Tour Continues w/ A Side Trip

The Chicago neon tour rolled through the near western suburbs last week. On a most pleasant evening we make stops in Hillside and Elmhurst. Our lens also made a detour to New York City that included a trip back in time. Here is the itinerary.

Q’s Pizza, Hillside:
Q's Pizzeria is an old school Italian eatery located somewhat off the beaten path in Hillside Il. This hidden gem has been satisfying appetites for more than a half century. You can find it on Butterfield Rd. just west of Wolf. I was glad to see this vintage sign still functioning on our recent trip out shoot it. Although I was sorry the insert sign just below “pizza” was gone. It said "Dinner" and underneath "Wine Draft Beer”.

The York Theater, Elmhurst:

The York Theater in downtown Elmhurst was built in 1924 opening on Labor Day of that year. It was designed by noted theatre architect Elmer Behrns and featuring a Spanish motif. In 1938 the theater underwent a major remodeling switching to it's current art deco look. The sign is not the original but still looks mighty nice. On the second floor you will find the museum and archives of the Theatre Historical Society of America.

The York is now part of a local chain of theaters called Classic Cinema's. You can find out more about them and the York by following the link above.

New York City

Some short clips of various vintage New York City neon signs. We have the Bonds / International Casino building with it's Wrigley Gum animated neon sign classic. Also from Times Square the Planters Peanut sign both these clips are from the 1930's. The Porgy & Bess sign dates from the 1940's. Finally the Newport / New York sign is from the 1980's.

The soundscape was constructed from elements downloaded from Their attributions are below.
inspiration-xc   Stand clear of the closing doors please3
MindsiMedia is my Chicago based Internet broadcasting service that has been up since 2007. We began as a web site to house some of my neon sign photographs. I think that the neon sign is one of mankind's most beautiful creations.

We have more neon videos and photos for your viewing enjoyment. On ChiTownView "The Chicago Neon Tour" playlist can be found here.
We also have a gallery of neon photography at this link..
And we have lots of neon photos posted on our Flickr photostream.
Produced for ChiTownView by MindsiMedia. Visit our web portal at

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Strippers Delight, Vintage Stag Films; Blaze Star, Bettie Page, Irving Klaw & More

MindsiMedia has been on You Tube for seven years and have had dozens of stations. Most of which are now defunkt. Among our collection we had our “sinema” SilkSpot which started as a project for a nightclub that didn't work out. The channel featured vintage skin flicks short clips of burlesque dancers, strippers and other women taking (most) of their clothes off. Sex gets peoples interest so even though the nightclub deal didn't work out the station has proved too popular to just kill. It was up for about three years before being terminated for repeated community standard violations.

On our web portal we have started  the “Too Hot For You Tube” page featuring many of the clips from this departed station. You will find that page here

 Relight My Fire

First we have  this clip of  burlesque queen Blaze Star. I didnt really like the soundtrack  so went to the InternetArchive to see find that would work better. There I came across the music of the Per Olund Band & MCVulcano and I found two songs that worked just fine. Then I had a little more music than video so what started out a vouyeristic view of Ms. Starrs bedtime routine turns into something more. The clip is long at seven minutes but those that don't stay for the last three minutes will be missing a climax that includes real atomic fireworks.
The Blaze Starr video is available here;
The music includes two tracks from Chaos - Per Olund Band & MCVulcano
The Pain Is Mine & Your Pain Is Mine
The Bomb blast from the FreeSoundProject by IFartInUrGeneralDirection (

Striphikers? 1940's Burlesque Film

Two comely young ladies are out for an afternoons ride out in the country when their car breaks down. They try to flag down a passing car at first by conventional methods. When that doesn't work they begin to peel off layers. STILL to no good effect.
Finally as the one wearing black removes her bra she manages to pull over a motorist. Only problem is it's a cop!
The soundtrack for this one I produced myself under the name Captain Zero & the Radioactive Lovers.

There's Bettie Page, Irving Klaw & more. So don’t forget to visit “Too Hot For YouTube” on the MindsiMedia web portal.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

ChiTownViews A New Series of Historic Chicago Postcards

ChiTownView is my YouTube station that offers little slices of Chicago history. ChiTownViews is the name of a new series of postcards that show and tell about events and people from the windy city’s colorful past. We have recently released the first collection of images on MindsiMedia which is our Zazzle store. The first group includes;

The Carter Harrison’s who were Chicago’s 1st father & son mayoral dynasties

See what Chicago looked like before the great fire on a previous blog post.
All that and more are found at MindsiMedia on Zazzle. Where in the next couple of months we will be expanding and offering hundreds of new items.

MindsiMedia is based in the Chicago area besides the new postcards and the afore mentioned YouTube video station. Our Flickr photostream and Shopify store 20th Century Retro are also places of interest to fans of the city on the shores of Lake Michigan. The best place to explore all that MindsiMedia has to offer is our web portal, stop by now.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Eisenhower & Patton Visit The Nazi Death Camps

I came across this film about the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps by the US at the end of the second world war. It was at once repulsive and fascinating an inyour face look at the ultimate horror. It is a view of the mechanized slaughter and the subsquent disposal of large numbers of innocent people. We see the large scale response as the American Army takes on the task of rescuing these people. Included is a clip of generals Eisenhower, Bradley and what looks like Patton along with others touring one of the camps. It is one of the most riveting hours of history that you will see. For more on this part of the story check out this post.

Anyway here it is an important film but not for those who are offended by the showing of graphic images. If you are DON'T WATCH!

Here is a breakdown of what's on the film.

 R.1: Army Lt. Col. George C. Stevens, Navy Lt. E. Ray Kellogg and U.S. Chief of Counsel Robert H. Jackson read exhibited affidavits which attest to authenticity of scenes in film. Map of Europe shows locations of concentration camps in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czechoslovokia, Danzing, Denmark, France, Germany, Isle of Jersey, Latvia, Netherlands, Poland and Yugoslavia. At Leipsig Concentration Camp, there are piles of dead bodies, and many living Russian, Czechoslovakian, Polish and French prisoners. At Penig Concentration Camp, Hungarian women and others display wounds. Doctors treat patients and U.S. Red Cross workers move them to German Air Force hospital where their former captors are forced to care for them.
R.2: At Ohrdruf Concentration Camp, inspection team composed of Allied military leaders, members of U.S. Congress and local townspeople tours camp. Among them are Generals Dwight David Eisenhower, Supreme Headquaters Allied Expeditionary Forces commander; Omar Nelson Bradley; and George S. Patton. General Eisenhower speaks with Congressmen. They see bodies heaped on grill at crematorium and Polish, Czechoslovakian, Russian, Belgian, German Jews and German political prisoners. Col. Heyden Sears, Combat Command A, 4th Armored Division commander, forces local townspeople to tour camp. U.S. officers arrive at Hadamar Concentration Camp, where Polish, Russian and German political and religious dissidents were murdered. Maj. Herman Boelke of U.S. War Crimes Investigation Team (WCIT) examines survivors. Bodies are exhumed from mass graves for examination, identification and burial. Four-man panel interviews facility director Dr. Waldman and chief male nurse Karl Wille.
R.3:At Breendonck Concentration Camp, Belgium, methods of torture are demonstrated. At Harlan Concentration Camp near Hannover, U.S. Red Cross aides Polish survivors. Allied troops and able-bodied survivors bury dead. At Arnstadt Concentration Camp, German villagers are forced to exhume Polish and Russian bodies from mass graves.
R.4: At Nordhausen Concentration Camp, there are piles of bodies. Troops treat, feed and remove survivors who are mainly Polish, Russian and French. At Mauthausen Concentration Camp, Navy Lt. Jack H. Taylor stands with fellow survivors and describes his capture, imprisonment and conditions at Mauthausen. Volunteers bathe victims.
R.5: At Buchenwald Concentration Camp, Army trucks arrive with aid for survivors. Piles of dead, mutilated and emaciated bodies. Some survivors among dead. Huge ovens and piles of bone ash on floor of crematorium. Civilians from nearby Weimar are forced to tour camp. They see exhibits of lampshades made of human skin, and two shrunken heads. R.6: British commander of Royal Artillery describes conditions at Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp. German Army Schutzstaffel (SS) troops are forced to bury dead and aid survivors. Woman doctor, former prisoner, describes conditions in female section of camp. Belson commander Kramer is taken into custody. German guards bury dead. Bulldozer pushes piles of bodies into mass graves.

Monday, July 7, 2014

The Black Panther’s, Vintage Sights & Sounds

The Black Panther Party was a 1960’s black militant group that enjoyed a meteoric rise and a fast flameout in the later stages of that decade. I recently came across a couple of vintage video clips about them that pricked my interest so I did a little research. While they still exist as a social advocacy organization it was their start as a group known for trying to secure their right to bear arms that put them in the crosshairs of the highest levels of government.
It was October of 1966 when Bobby Seale and Huey Newton began the Black Panther Party as a community self help organization. In addition to programs like feeding children they also advocated for armed community patrols to “shadow” local police interactions with community residents. At that time in California it was legal to carry loaded rifles and shotguns as long as you didn’t point them at someone.

Naturally this was very distressing to the powers that be and a bill was introduced to prohibit the public from being armed in public. This sets the stage for the first protest against gun control laws. So on May 2 ,1967 while Ronald Reagan was outside hosting some eighth graders at the state capitol building inside the legislature was debating a bill to change the law. All of a sudden on to the scene comes more than three dozen armed Black Panthers. Bobby Seale reads a statement and then when the group tries to enter the spectators area they are arrested.

The Panther’s grabbed the attention of the national media for the first time. The bill passed and the Panthers got notice from more than the media as youths began to flock to their cause. They also were under intense scrutiny from law enforcement officals nationwide. There followed a series of gun battles that resulted with both police & Panther deaths. In 1969 the full force of the F.B.I. was unleashed on the militants as J. Edgar Hoover made the Panthers the primary focus of his COINTELPRO program. This was a domestic counter insurgency program designed to "neutralize" what the FBI called "black nationalist hate groups" and other dissident groups.

Local police forces aggressively pursued the group wherever it operated. Meanwhile the party was infiltrated by federal agents to sew dissension. These operations were both successful by the early 70’s many members were dead or incarcerated while the remaining party members dissolved into factions warring among themselves. By the early 1980’s the group had for the most part disappeared.
This second video features more vintage footage, the original ten point plan and some recent interviews with surviving members. Including White Panther Party leader and one time manager of the MC5 John Sinclair.

On a side note the Panthers also had an R&B band to help them spread the word.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

100+ Years of Film Animation from the Pioneers to the Nowadays

MindsiMedia Home is a YouTube station that features short, quirky, avant garde, surrealist and or underground films. Sometimes all in one film. I like making these kinds of videos and have become interested in their history. So MiMH is going to be my gathering place for these kinds of productions. This past week we have added four new clips to our libraries.
Two are our original productions;

Black & Blue Ac One Picture / One Minute Video Animation
This one is the first in a series of one minute video animations made from one photograph. Here's the story of its twenty plus year transformation. Back in the late 1980's and early 90's there were these little metal shiny discs that had designs etched in them. You spun them and they made colorful patterns. I took a series of Polaroid SX-70 photos of them spinning. I put them in storage for twenty years or so until 2005/6 when I brought them out and made some scans. Over the years I have done editing with Gimp on some of them and have posted some of these photos in our Photo Noir gallery on our web portal.

Recently I've been watching some early animation films by Georg Miles and Emile Cohl. We have posted some of these videos on our MindsiMediaHome YouTube station.

Anyway inspired by these early efforts I started animating some of my pictures to create short music videos. "Black and Blue" is our first finished one and it is made up of one single picture multiplied, regenerated and animated.
The music is provided by Captain Zero and the Radioactive Lovers who have returned to making music after a thirty year hiatus.

Seeing Beyond, a Collage Video, 1980's Juxtapose Art

This video is of a piece of collage art I created in the 1980's. I seeing beyond I juxtaposed images from different sources to create a larger picture that urges the viewer to probe beneath the surface of everyday life.
Originally the piece was housed in a heavy mirrored glass frame that really added to the overall effect. The soundtrack I added myself when I created the video.

The other two new uploads are by Emile Cohl and among the earliest animated films;

Hashers Delirium, Early (1910) Animated Drug Abuse Film, New Sdtk.

This short film by Emile Cohl is an early animation classic. Hasher's Delirium is also the first film to explore the psyche of an inebriated person. In primitive fashion of we explore the thoughts of a man as he sits and consumes a variety of intoxicating beverages. These are not the besotted musings of a happy drunk but an absurdist nightmare of dark and unsettling images.
Emile Cohl was born 1/4/1857 as Émile Eugène Jean Louis Courtet and was a renowned caricaturist and member of artistic movements like the Hydropathes and Incoherents. He was in his 50's when he became known as the father of the animated cartoon. Because of this film and his earlier one "Fantasmagorie" which is considered the first fully animated movie. Cohl went on to make over 200 short films between 1908 and 1921and was known as the Oldest Parisian until his death shortly after his 81st birthday in January of 1938.

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The music is "terror ambience" by Burning-Mir

The Automatic Moving Company (1909) 

Also by Emil Cohl is one of the most technically accomplished early stop-action films. Reminiscent of the magical inventiveness of George Melies and the Lumiere brothers, the film is less than five minutes long. It shows a horseless, motor less moving wagon taking in the contents of a furnished house. These contents are well trained as they are able to load and unload themselves. As if ghostly hands were guiding them.

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