And that’s just the first few sites we’ll site. We’ll also get old-fashioned with St. John’s performer Joe Belly, see how Lexus has been sponsoring finely crafted web series (including a funny bunch with a former Friends star) and tempt the jazz gods with a low-fi digital tribute to Miles Davis.The Annotated Jack
A few weeks ago, this documentary by Chris Brookes aired on the local airwaves, in installments on CBC Radio’s On The Go as well as on the weekly Performance Hour. It’s not the story of not just one but two Jacks: the Jack of folklore, who learns the wisdom that lies in listening to a crazy-talking cat, and one Jack Wells, a retired fisherman who lives near Brookes in the Battery section of St. John’s. This link takes you to the Irish public broadcast RTE, which aired the documentary in December. It’s well worth the time.
Save Jack’s Twine Store
Coincidental to the production of the radio piece, the fishing premises that the Wells family used for years were battered by a recent storm surge. This page was set up by his friends and supporters, to raise enough money to repair the twine store and a nearby wharf. This page lists several ways anyone can get involved to restore an iconic corner of St. John’s. Battery Radio
Chris Brookes has worked on many other terrific documentaries over the years, and you can find out plenty about his work – and stream or buy a lot of it – right here. I’ve had the pleasure of working with Chris in the past, and can vouch for the fact he approaches his subjects in unusual ways, with spectacular results. Elsewhere this week
Joe Belly’s Nickles and Dimes
St. John’s singer Phil Goodland’s Joe Belly persona recently released this video, for the title track of his album Nickles and Dimes. It’s shot on Super-8, which gives it a retro feel that can’t be matched with editing effects.
The L stands for Lexus, and before Toyota had other things to worry about – gas pedals, recalls, and such – it was able to do things like launch a website featuring high-quality films featuring musicians (Jon Anderson of Yes, Ray Manzarek of the Doors) and quite a bit of original work. My favourite? Lisa Kudrow’s appearances in a series of short films called Web Therapy, in which her character counsels one sad sack after another. All told, L Studio is an unusual way to take the Lexus branding to its choice demographic – well-heeled boomers, I imagine.
We all know that the planets make laps around the sun at different intervals … but how different? This page will show you how, and make you think about the enormity of things for a moment. Kind of Bloop
Miles Davis’s Kind of Blue has a revered status in jazz, more than 50 years after its release. Kind of Bloop is subtitled “an 8-bit tribute” to Kind of Blue, and it made me laugh. You’ll hear old-school synthesized sounds, mimicking the album’s tracks. (You’ll have to buy it for $5 to hear the whole thing.) It’s kind of like Nintendo meets bebop. United States quiz
Would you be able to identify Kentucky or South Dakota, simply by looking at a drawing of their borders? That’s the gambit of this quiz, which rewards those who paid very close attention in geography class. John Gushue is a writer in St. John's, and works with CBC News. John is on Twitter right here.