Hello Dear Readers! No messing around today, let’s get right to our topics, which are ...
• Oh Brother! • Shopping, Dickens, & D23
• Steampunk — Oh How I Love Steampunk
• Dia De Los Muertos In The Cemetery • Treats In The Streets
• Northern Halloween-ish Goodness
When the film Oh Brother Where Art Thou? first came out, I couldn’t stop listening to the music, even though it wasn’t the type of music I usually listen to. It’s hard to fathom that it’s been a decade already since that film hit the big screens. To commemorate the anniversary, the Soggy Bottom Boys reunited to make a new video:
For the first time since their notable O Brother, Where Art Thou? appearance, the fictional Soggy Bottom Boys reunite with original cast member Tim Blake Nelson joined by the scene stealing yodeler Pat Enright (guitar), Alan O'Bryant (banjo), and Mike Compton (mandolin), all from the Grammy Award-winning Nashville Bluegrass Band, for a video shoot at the Tennessee State Prison for the song "In The Jailhouse Now" from the original motion picture soundtrack.
Earlier this year, 10th Anniversary of the film was celebrated with an expanded two-CD set, O Brother, Where Art Thou? – Deluxe Edition, with original producer T Bone Burnett personally involved in all aspects of this release.
The album features a 14-track bonus disc. Twelve of these newly-released songs were recorded during original sessions for the film, most of which went unheard on-screen. This release marks the first time these tracks have been made available in any format.
Now, let’s talk about D23 for a moment. The gang there has a couple of upcoming events worth mentioning that members will surely want to put on their calendars:
D23 will be once again hosting Disney & Dickens for D23 members, and since it was so popular last year, there are two nights scheduled for this year:
Hot cider, classic holiday Disney animation, a sumptuous dinner at one of Walt’s favorite restaurants, and a chance to see one of the most exclusive spots at the Walt Disney Studios… There’s simply no better way for a Disney fan to kick off this holiday season than with D23's Disney & Dickens! The event begins at the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank where members check in and then get to visit the Walt Disney Archives and do a little holiday shopping for D23-exclusive merchandise. Then, it’s on to Legends Plaza for hot cider, seasonal treats, and festive holiday songs.
Legends Plaza at the Disney Studios.
After that, it’s off for a tour of the original Animation Building before settling into Walt’s own intimate screening room—a location rarely seen by the general public, where members will get to see some classic holiday animated shorts, including 1933's The Night Before Christmas, the beloved 1949 Donald Duck short Toy Tinkers, and The Muppet Christmas Carol. Following that truly special experience, members will head over to the Tam O’Shanter for a holiday feast. ”The Tam,” as it is fondly called by those at Disney, was a favorite restaurant for Walt Disney and his animators, and was often referred to as the Studio Commissary when Walt’s fledgling Hyperion Studio was located nearby.
Disney & Dickens will be offered on December 5, 2011 and December 6, 2011 (the event will be held twice; Members may only purchase tickets for one date). Tickets for Disney & Dickens become available on Monday, October 24, 2011 at 10 a.m. PST. The cost is $175.00 per person. For more information, visit this link.
The other D23 event I want to tell you about is a shopping opportunity:
On November 12th, 2011, from 8:00 AM to 2:00 PM, D23 Members and their guests can enjoy a day of shopping at Mickey’s of Glendale, Walt Disney Imagineering’s (WDI) famed employee store. Mickey’s of Glendale will be releasing new WDI-exclusive pins and a new D23-exclusive Sorcerer Hat Pin. D23 Members will be able bring one guest along with them to the store.
Mickey’s of Glendale is located on the WDI campus at 1401 Flower Street in Glendale, CA 91201. Entry to the store is available through the security gate off of the 1401 Flower visitor parking lot. For more information, visit this link.
I’ve mentioned Muzeo on these pages before. In the past this dandy little museum has had exhibits featuring such varied subjects as Napoleon (a fantastic exhibit I truly loved), frogs, and chocolate. Muzeo’s newly opened exhibit looks intriguing, has a Disney connection, and is one I definitely cannot wait to go see — and thanks go to reader Carl for bringing it to my attention:
Steampunk: History Beyond Imagination: "Steampunk" is considered by many to be a growing modern reaction to man’s conquering of scientific boundaries. As technology and science took us beneath the sea, to the Earth’s interior and even to the moon, humanity began to wonder if its reach had, indeed, exceeded his grasp. Writers, artists and craftsmen began to entertain the notion of what life would have been like had circumstances pushed these innovations just a little bit further. We might have had computers before gas combustion engines, the Internet before the microchip, or warships in the air before the Wright Brothers ever flew. This spawned a whole new sub-genre of science fiction - Steampunk. With this new sub-genre came a whole fresh aesthetic...a Neo-Victorian examination of clothing, gadgets, art, music and literature.
Steampunk: History Beyond Imagination offers a world where the future shakes hands with the past, and where humanity’s innovative nature inspires future generations to do the impossible. Premiering at MUZEO, the exhibition is a fantastic and factual account of how the 19th Century’s inventive thinkers and writers launched mankind into the 20th Century – and beyond. The exhibit features biographical information and artifacts from the Victorian era’s greatest visionary writers, and the scientific giants they inspired. Writers like H.G.Wells, Jules Verne, and Edgar Allan Poe pushed the limits of scientific thought with their fiction and paved the way for inventors and thinkers like Nikola Tesla, Ada Lovelace, Sigmund Freud and even Albert Einstein. These authors’ works have been transformed into iconic films featuring imagery that has inspired the genre. You'll see artwork, photos and props from some of these films – including replicas of The Nautilus from “20,000 Leagues Under The Sea” (1954) and a full size Time Machine from the 1960 film of the same name (art above).
The Nautlis and the Time Machine, now how cool is that? Alongside the Steampunk: History Beyond Imagination, Muzeo also offers a related exhibit that sounds equally interesting:
The Queen’s Gallery: Step into the magic and splendor of The Queen's Gallery, a remarkable exhibition of art from the Victorian era. Making its world premiere at MUZEO, the exhibition includes more than 400 pieces, which collectively weave together a story of artistic and literary triumphs and social and political upheaval. Paintings, walking sticks, weapons, personal objects of art, and rare books create a cultural landmark exhibition from the private collection of Dr. Howard and Linda Knohl, two passionate and highly respected collectors from Southern California.
Steampunk: History Beyond Imagination and The Queen’s Gallery run now through January 8th, 2012 at Muzeo, which is located just north of Disneyland at 241 S. Anaheim Blvd., in Anaheim, CA. The museum is open Wednesday through Sunday from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Admission for adults is $13.00 and $9.00 for children. For more information, visit this link.
What would an October Pressing Matters column be without a mention of Halloween. Nothing, I tell you. So here we go to Halloweentown …
I once was out at wandering the grounds of Hollywood Forever Cemetery when they were setting up things for Dia de Los Muertos and it looked beautiful. Well, it’s that time of year again and the cemetery is getting ready for another celebration of the dearly departed:
Experience the 12th Annual Dia de Los Muertos celebration on October 22nd, 2011, at Hollywood Forever, Los Angeles’ oldest memorial park, as we observe the day with altar settings, a procession, incense, food, rituals from cultures around the world, and a diversity of world renowned artists. Children will enjoy and learn more about this tradition with storytelling, the making of the altars, face painting, dancing, and even playing African marimbas which will be among the activities early birds will get to enjoy. Other festivites include:
"The Lake of Meditation and Rituals" featuring Zen Chanting, Meditative Ragas from India, a Mayan ceremony, "The Awakening of the Souls," and Aztec Rituals;
"The Ancestral Procession beginning at 2:45 p.m. and presenting distinctive roots of the Mayan world with "Transition of the Souls," a rare, never before seen ritual that will literally welcome the soul of Mayan God Chac Mool to enjoy the food, the music, and to simply reconcile with the living;
"Contests awarding a $3,000 prize for the “Best Altar” and a $500 prize for the “Most Original Calavera” attire;
"Art Exhibition at the Cathedral Mausoleum featuring artists that will display their magnificent artwork throughout the corridors where the legendary Rudolph Valentino is entombed;
“El Fandango en Su Esplendor” featuring musicians from different parts of Mexico presenting Son Jarocho, Huapango and Sones Veracruzanos.
General Admission is $10.00 per person, children 6 years & under are admitted free. The event takes place on October 22nd, 2011 from 12:00 noon to 12:00 midnight, at Hollywood Forever Cemetery — 6000 Santa Monica Blvd., in Los Angeles, CA. For more information, visit this link.
The next Halloween event is one that’s near and dear to my heart as for years, I helped hand out candy to all the kiddies trick-or-treating and let me tell you, it was great fun.
Just east of Disneyland in Old Towne Orange on the Thursday before Halloween, the streets are closed to traffic and merry tricksters take over, going from store to store in search of candy. It’s a good-old-fashioned Halloween celebration that’s free and super festive. And … it’s fun to watch all the kiddies running around town in their costumes (it’s been my experience that there’s a whole lot of Disney-themed tricksters too):
On Thursday, October 27th from 4-7pm, the Circle of Old Towne Orange will be covered with trick or treaters! The Treats in the Streets Autumn Festival is back again with fun activities planned for the entire family to enjoy! There will be games, trick or treating, a costume parade, and entertainment for everyone who attends! There will also be delicious food and treats available for a small charge from local non-profit groups. Parents are asked to leave masks and pets at home.
Trick Or Treat In The Streets takes place in the Old Towne Orange Plaza area located at the intersection of Glassell and Chapman in Orange, CA. For more information, visit this link.
Since most Halloween events we mention here are in and around the Disneyland area, I thought it’d be nice to wind up today’s column with a list (kindly provided by reader Gullywhumper) of Halloween events for all you Northern California Disney fans:
Now in its 20th year, Pirates of Emerson Haunted Theme Park, is an event that Gullywhumper tells me, is really great. In addition to six themed haunted attractions (Pirates of Emerson, Mental Maze, Wicked Wild West, Haunted Hags, Lockdown, and Doll Hostel), you can also experience Bumpkin Patch, Carnevil, Boneball, a corn maze, a “misfortune” teller, and more.
Except for October 24th, Pirates of Emerson will be open nightly, now through October 31st (hours vary). General Admission is $20.00. Pirates of Emerson is located at the Alameda County Fairgrounds at the corner of Bernal & Valley Ave., in Pleasanton, CA. For more information, visit this link.
Other Haunt attractions of note in Northern California include:
For a more comprehensive list of Northern Califorina Halloween events, visit this link.
And that’ll wrap it up for today. If you want to know what I’m up to, you need to follow Pressing Matters on Twitter. You never know what you’ll find there — food, museums, shopping, Disneyland, Halloween! Follow along as I search for the all the latest Pressing Matters & tweet about what I find:
If you'd like to submit something to be considered for the column, please send it to both Sue and Al at the following email addresses: [email protected] and [email protected] with the words "Pressing Matters" in the subject line. Due to our already extensive email loads we won't be able to acknowledge each submission, but those under consideration may get a note from us asking for more details. Representatives from the items chosen are invited to answer questions from readers at the forum linked at the end of each column.
FTC-Mandated Disclosure: As of December 2009, bloggers are required by the Federal Trade Commission to disclose payments and freebies. Sue Kruse and Al Lutz did not receive any payments, free items, or free services from any of the parties discussed in this article. They pay for their own admission to theme parks and their associated events, unless otherwise explicitly noted.