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Maximum Lute Jams? Hear your fave punk and metal classics like never before!
12:40 pm


Dawn Culbertson

Lutes aren’t rock n’ roll, everybody knows that. Lutes are the stuff of medieval folkies. Lutes are for the Incredible String Band or Gentle Giant, not Black Sabbath or Van Halen. At least, that’s what I used to think… and then I heard Dawn Culbertson.

A reclusive but active member of Baltimore’s folk, baroque, and classical scenes for decades, Culbertson was a composer, performer, and radio personality, who hosted an overnight classical music program on John Hopkins University’s radio station for over a decade. She played bass in an avant-garde big band and played lute on the weekends at local restaurants in Baltimore. In 2004, at the still-tender age of 53, she died of a heart attack. She was twirling the night away at a waltz event at the time. If you’re gonna go at 53, you might as well go out dancing.

While she will be surely be fondly remembered in her native Baltimore for her tireless work promoting folk and classical music, to the rest of us, she will remain the undisputed master of what she liked to call “punk lute.” Shortly before she died, Culbertson began performing covers of popular punk and metal songs on her instrument. They are collected on a long out of print and highly sought-after 2011 cassette release, Return of the Evil Pappy Twin. “The Evil Pappy Twin” was her punk lute alter-ego. We all have one. Accompanied by her plaintive, unwavering vocals—a kind of bored monotone drone that really is punk-as-fuck—these magical covers breathe new life into crusty old nuggets by DEVO, Van Halen, The Ramones, Black Sabbath, the Stooges, Sex Pistols and more, turning them into doomy outsider ballads from the outer edges of sanity.

I honestly like most of her covers way better than the originals!

Check out Culbertson’s desolate take on “Iron Man” below, and listen to the rest of Return of the Evil Pappy Twin here (I can’t embed it).

Further proof that punk is a state of mind, not a costume.

Posted by Ken McIntyre | Leave a comment
Radiohead’s Thom Yorke in 1993: Bowie and Queen’s ‘Under Pressure’ is ‘the perfect pop song’
12:08 pm


David Bowie
Thom Yorke

One of the more startling musical transformations in our era was the one that Radiohead pulled off between their 1993 debut album Pablo Honey and their 1995 follow-up The Bends.

It wasn’t just Thom Yorke’s blond locks that cause quite a few critics to liken Pablo Honey to watered-down Nirvana. Pablo Honey got generally lukewarm-to-good reviews at the time—3 stars out of 5 from Rolling Stone, which is the same rating it currently receives at (it must be admitted that Stephen Thomas Erlewine’s brief review is far more charitable than that rating suggests). And Radiohead’s later successes haven’t shielded the album from vitriol. At Pitchfork, notoriously one of Radiohead’s most unshakable defenders, Scott Plagenhoef gave it a piddling 5.4 out of 10 as late as 2009.

Even that tepid Rolling Stone review ended with the words “Radiohead warrant watching,” but if you had said in 1993 that in less than a decade, Radiohead would be doing arenas with a highly worshipful following and the most ironclad critical reputation in all of rock music, that possibility would have seemed remote indeed. The Bends and OK Computer in 1997 were the astounding one-two punch that few saw coming and set Radiohead up to be the top rock band of the 2000s.

So when I come across a piece of Radiohead press from 1993, I’m inclined to pay attention. I was at the Library and Archives of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland recently, thumbing through a stack of old copies of Ray Gun magazine from the 1990s, something you can only do at a place like that. One of the 1993 issues had a little piece on Radiohead that was inexplicably formatted in an actually readable typeface (rare for that magazine). Here it is (if you click on it, the image will get quite large):

The last bit of the piece reports Yorke’s feelings on whether Radiohead qualifies as “pop” thus:

“Yesss,” he says slowly. “My definition of pop is tapping into something…. my ideal pop song is one that says something people want to hear lyrically and that grabs them by the neck musically. And one that has some sort of depth that moves it beyond a happy tune that you whistle at work. Songs like ‘Under Pressure,’ something that makes you want to fall down on your knees. That to me is the perfect pop song.”

More after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Creepy short video exposes the very unsexy way sex dolls are made (NSFW)
11:55 am



Super Deluxe had a chance to go behind-the-scenes at the RealDoll factory, located in San Marcos, California, and show you how the dolls are really made. There’s nothing, and I mean nothing sexy about the manufacturing of these dolls. In fact, it’s downright creepy. Almost in a Dexter kind of way. The soundtrack to the video doesn’t help either with its creepiness level.

The video, obviously, is NSFW even though it’s only latex body parts. You’ve been warned.


Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Mutants and Grotesque Monsters: The Soviet Artist who rebelled against the fall of Communism
11:27 am


Geliy Korzhev

‘The Butcher’ (1990).
Not every Russian citizen was pleased to see the end of Communism in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics during the 1980s and 1990s. Some, like the artist Geliy Korzhev (1925-2012) thought the changes wrought by perestoika were a betrayal of all the lives sacrificed in order to bring true equality to the Russian people. Korzhev thought the great socialist revolution had hardly started before it was being betrayed and abandoned by the politicians who had lived so well from it, while others had paid the price.

Korzhev was a hardline Communist who never gave up his political beliefs. In the 1980s, he began painting grotesque and surreal paintings of this new world of Russian capitalism he and his fellow Soviets were being forced to embrace.

Geliy Mikhailovich Korzhev-Chuvelev studied at Moscow State Art School from 1939-44, where he excelled at drawing and painting and went on to become one of the greatest artists of the approved style of Socialist Realism. According to the Museum of Russian Art:

[Korzhev] is recognized by contemporary Russian art historians as one of the most influential painters of the second half of the 20th century; his work has influenced the style and subjects of two generations of post-WWII Russian artists.

Korzhev’s painting developed from the basic propagandist needs of Socialist Realism into a more personal and highly artistic style. His work ranged from the traditional Soviet style to a more Impressionistic studies. Then in later life he progressed towards a highly surreal and almost Bosch-like approach with a series of allegorical works. These attacked the political corruption and folly of the new Russia. They depicted weird parasitic creatures devouring the flesh of citizens and bizarre monsters celebrating their worst excesses. His paintings were disturbing, thought-provoking and radical in their revolt against the new capitalist politics of the time.

Korzhev made his first mutant paintings in the 1970s when he felt the Soviet leaders were ceding their belief in Communism. This was confirmed with the arrival of Mikhail Gorbachev the great reformer who started the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Throughout the eighties, Korzhev worked in “silent opposition to the new Russian leadership.”

Unwavering in his views, in the late 1990s the artist refused a state award bestowed upon him by the government of the new Russian Federation.

In a note explaining his decision, Korzhev wrote of his motives:

“I was born in the Soviet Union and sincerely believed in the ideas and ideals of the time. Today, they are considered a historical mistake. Now Russia has a social system directly opposite to the one under which I, as an artist, was brought up. The acceptance of a state award would be equal to a confession of my hypocrisy throughout my artistic career. I request that you consider my refusal with due understanding.”

It is said that Korzhev “did not seek to openly criticize the political or social system of contemporary Russia” but from his paintings during this time it is difficult not to see how the political loss of faith in the Soviet state did not affect his work.

In 2001, he said:

“For those who are running the country I have, as Saint-Exupery put it, a deep dislike. Those circles that are currently flourishing and are now at the forefront hold no interest for me. As an artist, I see absolutely no point in studying that part of society. The people who do not fit into this pattern, however - now they are of interest. The ‘superfluous’ men, the outsiders - today, they are many. Rejected, ejected from normal life, unwanted in the current climate… I am interested in their fate, in their inner struggle. As far as I am concerned, they are the real, worthy heroes for the artist.”

Among his last works were a hammer and sickle and portraits of the new Russian Adam and Eva.
‘Real’ (1998).
‘The Butcher #1’ (1990).
‘Mutants’ (1973).
More of Korzhev’s weird paintings, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Ultra stylish lobby cards from the fashionable world of 1960s British cinema
10:44 am


British Cinema
lobby cards

Enjoy this stellar collection of rare lobby cards that once graced movie theaters all over West Germany. Included in this collection are films from late ‘60s British cinema: comedic spy-fi Modesty Blaise (1966) starring Monica Vitti and Dirk Bogarde, The Spy with a Cold Nose (1966) starring Daliah Lavi, spy comedy film Casino Royale (1967) starring David Niven, Peter Sellers, and Woody Allen, Fathom (1967) starring Raquel Welch, Privilege (1967) starring Manfred Mann’s Paul Jones, The Day the Fish Came Out (1967) starring Candice Bergen, The Jokers (1967) starring Michael Crawford and Oliver Reed, Diamonds for Breakfast (1968) starring Marcello Mastroianni and Rita Tushingham, Duffy (1968) starring James Coburn, spy thriller Hammerhead (1968), swinging sex romp Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush (1968), Oskar Werner drama Interlude (1968), Sebastian (1968) starring Dirk Bogarde and Susannah York, crime film The Strange Affair (1968) starring Michael York, space western Moon Zero Two (1969), and Two Gentlemen Sharing (1969) starring Judy Geeson.

Modesty Blaise (1966)

Modesty Blaise (1966)

Modesty Blaise (1966)

The Spy with a Cold Nose (1966)

The Spy with a Cold Nose (1966)
More after the jump…

Posted by Doug Jones | Leave a comment
Score this cool ‘Shining’-themed skirt while it’s dirt cheap
07:33 am


Stanley Kubrick
The Shining

There’s this intriguing skirt that’s a perfect item for the woman who loves The Shining, Stanley Kubrick’s endlessly compelling 1979 Stephen King adaptation, but doesn’t always want to be too obvious about it. I noticed it at a bar yesterday when I witnessed one woman pay another a sartorial compliment for wearing it. The wearer instantly mentioned that it depicts part of the helicopter shot from the opening sequence of The Shining.

This got my attention, so I inquired further. As fans of the movie will remember, the opening sequence is a lengthy series of shots of a fantastic natural landscape, most of it a bird’s-eye view of a car driving on a road. But the car isn’t in the very first shot; the very first shot was executed over a body of water, a landscape shot taken at Saint Mary Lake in Glacier National Park, Montana. 

Here’s a basic shot of the skirt:

Here’s a closer look:

Here’s a picture of the very first shot of The Shining:

It sure as heckfire seems like the same place from the same angle. You can even see a slight irregularity on the base of the mountain on the right side of the picture, it’s the same in both pictures. They’ve fucked with the colors a bit and given the setting much more of a radioactive neon feel, but it’s the same place. 

More after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Greatest hits: Here’s why the Ohio Players owned the album cover game back in the 1970s
06:56 pm


Pat Evans
Junie Williams
Ohio Players

Model Pat Evans on the cover of the 1972 Ohio Players album, ‘Pain.’ Photograph by the late Joel Brodsky.

Though it appears at this point we are all collectively reviewing a daily damage report of sorts when it comes to the news, I have more for you to digest today. Though I’m not comparing the heartbreaking losses in the music community in 2016 to the ones we’ve had thus far in this still young year, I have to tell you 2017 hasn’t been all that kind when it comes to the departure of more of our heroes to the great beyond. Case in point is that late last month we lost Walter “Junie” Morrison. The almighty “Funky Worm,” Morrison was an instrumental part of the success of the Ohio Players and long-time Funkadelic, Parliament, P-Funk All-Stars, and George Clinton collaborator. He was only 62.

If it came down to living out the rest of my days listening to music only produced during the 1970s, it would be a sweet, finger-licking piece of cake. Growing up in Boston my folks had a record player and a nice stash of records that they kept in a built-in cabinet in the wall. I would spend a lot of time going through the albums just to look at them, opening up gatefolds and reading liner notes and lyrics. I especially remember being way too big of a fan of the original soundtrack to Star Wars by John Williams and The London Symphony Orchestra which I played over and over again until my folks got tired of that endless loop and started buying other records for me. My love of vinyl (especially vintage vinyl), was instilled in me very early on. So after Junie passed, I started looking back into the OP catalog and became obsessed with the images that graced the group’s early records, most of which feature the enigmatic, instantly recognizable model Pat Evans.

Walter “Junie” Morrison and model Pat Evans.
Evans appeared on several OP album covers in empowering, thought-provoking photographs, many of which were taken by Joel Brodsky. The most famous, but by far not the most controversial being the cover and gatefold of the 1972 album Pain on which Evans’ appears in a leather studded bikini, Rob Halford-style spiked armbands, defiantly clutching a cat o’ nine tails in her hand. And if you think that sounds like a good time, you should see the inside of the gatefold. Damn. Here are a few words from the late Mr. Morrison on the photos, which were his concept and working with the impossibly perfect Evans back in the day from an interview he gave in 2015:

I think the idea of Pain as it was conceived by me in that particular instant, was taken a bit out of context by others with different life experiences. To me, it had to do with a love affair gone wrong, something that most teenaged people can attest to from time to time. My limited experience was translated by New York photographer Joel Brodsky into something a young man from the early ‘70s Midwest would never have imagined. Pat’s incredible presence was carried forth through the remaining Westbound/Ohio Players offerings and to some extent, to their Mercury albums, as well.

Evans would make several more appearances on albums for the Ohio Players including the 1974 album Climax, their last one on Detroit record label Westbound. The gatefold image, again shot by Brodsky, shows Evans appearing to stick a knife in the back of the lucky/unfortunate guy on top of her. The image was chosen by Westbound as a dig at the band who dumped the label and went on to sign with Mercury Records. A year later their first album with Mercury would produce what most consider their most risqué cover for the album Honey. And instead of Evans and Brodsky, it featured Playboy magazine’s Miss October of 1974, Ester Cordet shot by Richard Fegley who photographed, ahem, 69 centerfolds during his 30-year tenure with the magazine.

I’ve included a pretty steamy selection of album covers from the Ohio Players catalog, and every single one of ‘em is NSFW.

The gatefold image inside of ‘Pain.’

Pat Evans and friends in the gatefold image for the 1973 album ‘Ecstasy.’
More after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
When a bunch of punks paid tribute to Johnny Cash at a low point in his career
12:28 pm


Johnny Cash
The Fall
Pete Shelley
The Mekons

Last night I saw a concert by Billy Bragg, whose socialistic music and entire socialistic steez has taken on new ultra-relevance in an era in which Donald Trump is the President of the United States of America. Bragg was suitably fired up, and you can be sure he whipped the audience at Cleveland’s Music Box Supper Club into a righteous frenzy before the night was out.

Opening was the venerable Jon Langford of the Mekons, and he told an amusing story from the stage involving Johnny Cash. The starting point was the ‘Til Things Are Brighter project, which Langford and former Fall member and later BBC deejay Marc Riley spearheaded as a way to pay homage to Cash. This was the late 1980s—seven years after Cash was nearly killed by an ostrich in 1981—and Cash’s stock was at a relative nadir. As Langford explained, Cash was a bit dejected because it looked for all the world like his productive career was over and he had little to look forward to beyond a lengthy dotage and an inevitable slide to obscurity.

The roster of musicians is rather eye-popping. The album opens with Michelle Shocked, whose breakthrough album Short Sharp Shocked came out the same year, doing “One Piece At A Time.” Pete Shelley of the Buzzcocks covered “Straight A’s In Love” while Cabaret Voltaire‘s Steven Mallinder took on “I Walk the Line.” The Triffids’ David McComb gave “Country Boy” his best while Langford’s Mekons and Riley played “Folsom Prison Blues” and “Wanted Man,” respectively.

All thirteen backing tracks were recorded by Langford and Riley and their house band in one day at RikRak Studio in Leeds, and the vocal tracks were picked up as various opportunities arose over the next several weeks. As the Guardian’s Graeme Thomson wrote in 2011,

Langford recalls that Marc Almond, the one “proper” pop star taking part, came in and “told me I’d cut “Man in Black” in the wrong key. He had a horrible fit in the studio. Sally [Timms, from the Mekons] talked him down and coaxed this fantastic performance out of him, but I think he was a bit nervous. It was maybe a bit odd for him to be doing Johnny Cash songs.”

Odd perhaps, but Timms did some good work there—Almond’s vocal track is arguably the best thing on the album.

One of Langford and Riley’s clever ideas was to have Mary Mary, the (male) singer of the Grebo band Gaye Bykers on Acid execute a cover of Cash’s classic song “A Boy Named Sue.” They were concerned that Cash might not be enthusiastic being covered by anybody associated with a band of that name, but not a bit of it, he was totally open to it and found the idea entirely amusing.

Keep reading after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
The Teen Angel zine lovingly documented Chicano culture for decades
11:51 am


Teen Angel

From 1977 to 2000, one of the strongest voices in the zine community was an artist and writer going by the name “Teen Angel.” Several years of working at a magazine called Lowrider delving into the details of Latino car culture convinced him that there was a market for a zine catering to broader issues in the Chicano community, which inspired him to start a zine with a name based on his pseudonym—Teen Angels.

Teen Angel sought to expand the Lowrider concept into areas like fashion, art, and politics, and adopted a thoroughly unpretentious style with strong ties to Chicano prison art and tattoo design. Any young person seeking to find an identity in the Varrio was inevitably going to gravitate towards Teen Angels magazine. Chain stores, finding its offerings vulgar and limited in appeal, refused to carry the title, so Teen Angels was forced to find space in the places regular people actually congregated—in liquor stores and bodegas. Teen Angels gave young Chicanos an way to connect to other Chicanos using a catch-as-catch-can variety of strategies, including poems, doodles, photos, art, and a forum for pen pals.

Designer Christian Acker believes that the name of the magazine is “a reference to the 1950s doo-wop and early rock ‘n’ roll song by Mark Dinning. There is a very heavy retro fifties influence in the entire culture of Southern California. And the way cholos dress and the hot rods and music are still very heavily influenced by that fifties, sixties early youth culture.”  He adds, “It seemed to give a medium and a voice to people who may not have had a way to get their art, poems, and writings out to an audience. It no doubt also gave inspiration to countless kids within that lifestyle to express themselves in these ways, or provide a model that was acceptable.”

Teen Angel went on to create over 200 issues, which today fetch high prices among collectors (especially tattoo artists).  In 2005 a passionate fan of the publication named David De Baca stumbled upon some of Teen Angel’s art at an art fair, and realized, after spotting a signature on some of the art, that Teen Angel’s real name was actually Dave Holland—somewhat surprisingly, not himself a Chicano! De Baca and Holland struck up a friendship, but unfortunately Holland passed away in 2015.

This weekend, there will be a special exhibition focusing on the prolific output of Teen Angel, which will be held at the LA Art Book Fair at the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA. Kill Your Idols will also be publishing a limited edition book on Teen Angels magazine (500 copies).


Tattoo typography

Much more after the jump…....

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
That time Lemmy recorded a single with the (not so) ‘squeaky clean’ Nolan Sisters

The Young & Moody Band were an R&B group formed around the talents of Bob Young and Micky Moody. Young was a musician and regular collaborator with Status Quo, co-writing with Franco Rossi some of the band’s best-known hits like “Caroline,” “Paper Plane” and “Down Down.” Moody was guitarist with Whitesnake. The pair met while Quo and Whitesnake were on tour and decided one late evening to form their own sideline band together. They settled on the catchy and easy to remember name of Young & Moody and duly recorded their first album which they released in 1977. Though decent enough this self-titled debut didn’t bring home much bacon. But there was enough interest from friends and fellow musicians for Young & Moody to develop into the unlikeliest of “supergroups.”

In late 1980, Motörhead appeared on the BBC chart music show Top of the Pops. At that point in their career, Motörhead seemed to almost have booked a residency on this renowned pop show as they seemed to be on it so frequently—and were certainly one of the reasons for watching it. The thing about TOTP was its utterly baffling mix of hip, cult or heavy metal bands and rap artists with odious light entertainment trash. The likes of “The Birdie Song” or Renée and Renato could be heard warbling on the same show as say, Siouxsie and the Banshees or PiL. Watching TOTP was often self-inflicted harm, like pigging out on a box of candies just to find your one favorite soft center—to paraphrase Forrest Gump. 

The night Motörhead were on the show, a popular light entertainment act was topping the bill—The Nolans.

Now you have probably never heard of The Nolans or The Nolan Sisters as they once were known, but this quintet of fresh-faced sisters was Ireland’s most famous export next to probably Guinness or St. Paddy’s Day, at least until U2 made the big time. The Nolans looked like they’d spent the whole of their childhood singing in front the bedroom mirror with a hairbrush in hand. They were the female Osmonds or the Irish Jackson Five. They were good girls. They were wholesome. They were squeaky clean.

The Nolans started out playing pubs and clubs in the north of England. They were real troupers. In 1974, they debuted on It’s Cliff Richard—the born-again Christian pop star who was once hailed as England’s Elvis.

In 1975, the Nolans supported Frank Sinatra on his European tour. From then on the saccharine sisters never seemed to be off TV singing about “Scarlet Ribbons” or whatever. Then came a record deal and their breakthrough single “I’m in the Mood for Dancing” which catapulted the girls into global fame. Well, fame everywhere save for America.
Lemmy and the Nolans—a match made in…. (photo Rama.)
When Lemmy met the Nolans he only had only one thing on his mind as he told Q magazine in 2010:

“No (there was no fling), but it wasn’t for the want of trying. They are awesome chicks. People forget those girls were onstage with Frank Sinatra at the age of 12. They’ve seen most things twice.

“We were on Top of the Pops at the same time as them and our manager was trying to chat up Linda: the one with the bouffant hair and the nice boobs. He dropped his lighter and bent down to pick it up. Linda said to him, ‘While you’re down there, why don’t you give me a…’ It blew him away. We didn’t expect that from a Nolan sister. None of us did.

“We were supposed to be the smelliest, loudest motherf**kers in the building but we more than met our match. We were in awe. You couldn’t mess with the Nolan sisters.”

Now this is how one of the sisters, Colleen Nolan recounted meeting Lemmy in an article from 2015:

Lemmy was the nicest, most intelligent, philosophical person you could ever meet - he’ll probably be turning in his grave now I’ve said that. Though, I was terrified when I met him for the first time in 1981. I was a Nolan sister and he was this scary-looking heavy metal guitarist. He was in The Young and the Moody band and The Nolans recorded the single, “Don’t Do That,” with them.

I remember how much he loved women and big boobs . He was certainly fascinated with mine. He used to say: “Great t*ts!” but he was never being lecherous, he was just saying: “Be proud of yourself.” It wasn’t creepy, Lemmy actually made me feel good about being a woman.

He did once ask me out for a drink though. I said: “Seriously, I could NOT take you home and introduce you to my mum - she’d have a heart attack!” But he found out that The Nolans weren’t that innocent either. When we did Top of the Pops he bent over to pick something up in front of us and Linda said: “While you’re down there…”

The look of shock on his face was priceless.

He thought he’d have to watch his behavior in front of the Von Trapps and there was Maria von Trapp being so crude. From that point on he realized we were ordinary people and we got along great.

Music from Lemmy and The Nolans, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
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