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Happy Birthday Kim Fowley: The Lord of Garbage turns 75 today!
07.21.2014
03:10 pm

Topics:
Music
Pop Culture

Tags:
Kim Fowley

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The most incredible mind in the history of rock n’ roll turns three quarters of a century today! Truly the greatest living treasure/encyclopedia of pop culture, and creator of it is still sharp as a tack! Here’s a run down of who Mr. Fowley is, taken from my liner notes from the new Kim Fowley compilation (Volume Four!) Technicolor Grease: Lost Treasures from the Vaults 1959-1969, Vol. 4 on Norton Records

As impossible as it may seem, the last living Rock N Roll computer is alive, in our midst and featured on this LP. The thought that one man’s every waking hour from the very first days of Rock N Roll to right this minute as you read this have been entrenched & dedicated to the original concept of the Outrageous teenage rampage, a finger in every pie musical & otherwise, is mind numbing. Mr. Fowley has a perfect grasp of every type of music & has produced/instigated/created it all. From rocking’ instrumentals, surf music, soul (real soul, yeah), real greasy rhythm & blues, rockabilly, tuff teen garage, all the stuff we dig including inventing the art of making insane anti-records aimed at failing, for his own amusement.

But wait! He didn’t ever stop. He was the star of the 1st Mothers LP (“Help I’m A Rock”) and on into demented psychedelia, Glitter Rock, Punk & more. He has had his finger in the big gold pies too. And the music we hate, much to his credit. Turn around & there’s Kim writing a Kiss song, or something with Nirvana! Yup. Kim techno music haha yes, even that. The guy never sleeps & has a grasp on it all.

NO ONE has gone all the way except Kim. And he retains unreal factoid minutiae. He will ramble off on any obscure Rock N Roll singer at length and always tell you something you don’t know. Ask him the same question twice? You will get a whole new set of answers. Fact check ‘em (if even possible) and it all checks out. I don’t know if he’s human & i’m not sure if Mr. Fowley was the original alien dumped on this planet to steer us whenever lost back in the WRONG direction. It’s all in that big Frankenstein head of his. And in that big Frankenstein heart that he hid so well for so long. But I have seen it folks! It is real.

Approaching 75, he has slowed down a little but will never stop. As we have spent our lives searching & researching Kim has been inventing & reinventing, always making trouble. It’s all one thing to him, one continuous movement, one mission. Even if we want to stop it at 1966, he will never understand what that means. It stops when Kim stops. When he stops much will halt & NOTHING will ever be the same.  Kim Fowley has all the answers. Here are 16 of them.

 

 
The first three volumes (One Man’s Garbage, Another Man’s Gold and King of the Creeps) are a perfect primer of the inside and WAY outside of rock ‘n’ roll from the very beginning, as I said, the man has done it all. Norton Records book division Kicks Books has put out what is literally, to these eyes, the best rock n’ roll autobiography I’ve ever read in my life! Lord of Garbage (which also comes with its own signature Garbage perfume, as all Kicks books do) is part one of a multi-volume autobiography, and goes from 1939-1969 and is more shocking, more interesting, informative and insane than anything I’ve ever read. And it’s not even into the 1970’s yet! The last volume has been instructed to come out just after his death. If that day ever comes.
 
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Though he has been battling cancer recently, he has, as he done before, kicked its ass. He has also been making underground films that you can see on YouTube (including Black Room Doom, Dollboy: The Movie, Satan Of Silverlake, The Golden Road To Nowhere, Frankenstein Goes Surfing, Trailer Park’s On Fire and Jukebox California). Kim was portrayed by actor Michael Shannon in the 2010 film The Runaways. Also check out his radio show on Sirius radio.

Our Animal Man never stops and never will! Please join us in celebrating the man that has more energy than three 25 year olds! Kim Fowley, happy 75th!
 

 

 

 
Below, the author wishes the Animal Man a happy 71st birthday:

 

Posted by Howie Pyro | Leave a comment
The next to last waltz: The Band live in Asbury Park, NJ, 1976
07.21.2014
01:45 pm

Topics:
Music

Tags:
The Band


 
When The Band were taped in concert at Asbury Park’s Casino Arena on July 20, 1976—thirty eight years ago yesterday to be exact—plans were already afoot for their final appearance that fall in San Francisco that would be filmed for Martin Scorsese’s documentary, The Last Waltz. Knowing that this show would be among their final onstage outings together as a band, The Band are in fine form here, the energy is high and, as always, the musicianship is as good as it gets.

Recently, I posted about the full “Last Waltz” concert as it was recorded via Winterlands house video feed which is fascinating on so many levels, but not the least of which is hearing The Band without all of the studio fussing and overdubs that Robbie Robertson is famous (infamous?) for. Here, as with that (truly incredible) “Alternate Last Waltz” video, what we have is The Band, a group fabled for their near-telepathic communication as musicians as they actually sounded in the raw… damned good! (And unlike in The Last Waltz, you get to see the other band members besides Robbie Robertson. At least you can see the top of Garth Hudson’s head from time to time!)

The version of “The W.S. Walcott Medicine Show” at 1:12:00 is a must listen—it might be my top favorite song by The Band—and the final encore of “Life Is A Carnival” that follows it is a thing of great beauty also.

Until or unless a full show from The Band taped after this one turns up, I guess you could call this one the “next to last waltz.”
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Be a fly on the wall when Bob Dylan and Bette Midler went into the studio together, 1975
07.21.2014
11:06 am

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Bob Dylan
Bette Midler


 
Bob Dylan and Bette Midler recorded together in October 1975 duetting on a cover of “Buckets of Rain” for her Songs for the New Depression album. Dylan apparently also wanted Midler to be a part of his Rolling Thunder Revue. Six years ago, a 27-minute long fly on the wall recording from this session started making the rounds on bootleg sites as part of Bob Dylan New York Sessions 1974-1975.

The original bootlegger says:

“It opens with some upgrades of the original Blood On The Tracks sessions from September 1974, and progresses chronologically through some early Desire sessions, winding up to the main event: almost half an hour of never-heard October 1975 session outtakes of the recording of Bette Midler’s cover of “Buckets Of Rain” with Dylan, which would show up on her Songs For The New Depression album the following January.”

At one point Midler demures saying, “I can’t sing ‘I ain’t no monkey,’” but Dylan gently coaxes her into it.  Moogy Klingman backs them on piano and at one point Dylan sings a full-throated version of Smokey Robinson & The Miracles “You Really Got A Hold On Me” with and Midler. The Divine Miss M also dishes on Paul Simon, who she says refuses to speak to her.

“This’ll show him!”

Midler cattily refers to Patti Smith as well, saying “At least I can sing in tune!” What exactly she is referring to here is not spelled out, but in an interview with Barry Miles, Smith tells the story of Midler throwing a beer in her face at a Dylan-related private event in New York around this time. Maybe she saw Patti as competition for Dylan’s affections? (Midler later revealed that she got to “first base” with Dylan in his Cadillac, so perhaps that’s what the remark and the beer incident was all about?)
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Cardiac Wallpaper
07.21.2014
10:49 am

Topics:
Design

Tags:
Wallpaper
Anatomy


 
From the same people who brought you the fantastic Day of the Dead Sugar Skull wallpaper a few years back, comes a new design titled “Cardiac Wallpaper” which features intertwining anatomical human hearts. I dig this. Each roll is “screen printed by hand, reinforcing the exceptional quality.”

I honestly wish this came in more colors, but sadly it appears the only color option so far is red (I guess that does make sense, tho).

Each roll will set you back around $300. I’d advise hiring a professional to hang and paste this if you’re going to spend that kind of money on wallpaper. I mean, you really couldn’t afford any fuck-ups with this…

You can order it at the Street Anatomy Store.

Technical Information:

  • Roll size: 10m x 52cm (32.8 ft x 1.7 ft)
  • Pattern repeat: 53 cm
  • Hand screen printed in the UK


 

 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
‘Listen Mulder, what you can’t question is the SCIENCE!’: Dana Scully REALLY likes science
07.21.2014
09:48 am

Topics:
Amusing
Television

Tags:
Dana Scully
The X-Files


 
Here’s a montage of The X-Files’ Dana Scully defending science to the bitter end to an aloof Agent Fox Mulder. YouTuber Ryan English—and maker of this video—points out:

“She never gave up, even when the aliens put a chip in her neck.”

What X-Files fan hasn’t shouted at their TV set “SCULLY, YOU’VE PERSONALLY SEEN FREAKING ALIENS!” With that in mind, I appreciated the punchline.

 
via Waxy

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Chuck Berry and Little Richard headline the London Rock & Roll Show 1972

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The London Rock and Roll Show was the first major pop concert to be held at Wembley Stadium, the sports arena later famed for LiveAid and the Freddie Mercury tribute concert.

Headlining the show that day on August 5, 1972 were the undisputed Kings of Rock ‘n’ Roll Chuck Berry and Little Richard. These gods were ably supported by Bo Diddley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Screaming Lord Sutch and Billy Fury. Some of the booked acts couldn’t make the concert due to visa issues, but those who did turn up delivered a blistering set of rock ‘n’ roll classics. The whole event was filmed by Peter Clifton, who later directed Led Zeppelin’s The Song Remains the Same, and given a brief cinema release. The performances are interspersed by an interview with Mick Jagger who gives his thoughts about the show—something he claims could never have happened a decade before—and watch out for a young Malcolm McLaren selling T-shirts at his Let It Rock stall.
 

 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
‘IN EVENT OF MOON DISASTER’: The speech Nixon would have given if lunar landing had failed
07.21.2014
07:53 am

Topics:
History

Tags:
NASA
Richard Nixon
Apollo 11


 
Prior to the July 20, 1969 Apollo 11 lunar landing, one of President Richard Nixon’s speechwriters, William Safire, who later became a long-standing political columnist, wrote a speech for Nixon to give in case the mission failed and the astronauts were stranded on the Moon. “In Event of Moon Disaster” was originally sent as a memo, dated July 18, 1969, to Nixon’s chief of staff H.R. Haldeman and is yet another argument against the moon landing being a hoax:

IN EVENT OF MOON DISASTER:

Fate has ordained that the men who went to the moon to explore in peace will stay on the moon to rest in peace.

These brave men, Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin, know that there is no hope for their recovery. But they also know that there is hope for mankind in their sacrifice.

These two men are laying down their lives in mankind’s most noble goal: the search for truth and understanding.

They will be mourned by their families and friends; they will be mourned by the nation; they will be mourned by the people of the world; they will be mourned by a Mother Earth that dared send two of her sons into the unknown.

In their exploration, they stirred the people of the world to feel as one; in their sacrifice, they bind more tightly the brotherhood of man.

In ancient days, men looked at the stars and saw their heroes in the constellations. In modern times, we do much the same, but our heroes are epic men of flesh and blood.

Others will follow, and surely find their way home. Man’s search will not be denied. But these men were the first, and they will remain the foremost in our hearts.

For every human being who looks up at the moon in the nights to come will know that there is some corner of another world that is forever mankind.


PRIOR TO THE PRESIDENT’S STATEMENT:

The President should telephone each of the widows-to-be.


AFTER THE PRESIDENT’S STATEMENT, AT THE POINT WHEN NASA ENDS COMMUNICATIONS WITH THE MEN:

A clergyman should adopt the same procedure as a burial at sea, commending their souls to “the deepest of the deep,” concluding with the Lord’s Prayer.

 
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NASA’s 45th anniversary of moon landing original resource reel:

Posted by Kimberly J. Bright | Leave a comment
‘Sugar Cookies’: The Discreet Charm of the Swinging, Decadent Bourgeoisie
07.21.2014
07:15 am

Topics:
Movies

Tags:
Mary Woronov
Lynn Lowry
Troma
Ondine

Vintage Poster for Sugar Cookies
 
There are few things more dangerous than someone who is rich, gorgeous and bored. New kicks get harder and harder to find, especially when you are someone like art/sex film director Max Pavell (George Shannon) in Theodore Gershuny’s underground-meets-overground psychosexual drama, 1973’s Sugar Cookies.

Opening with Max talking to an unseen reporter about the tragic demise of his superstar actress, Alta (Lynn Lowry), the film switches to a flashback revealing some of the truth behind the young (and damaged) beauty’s death. Waking her out of a more than likely drug induced nap, he starts to seduce her, which quickly turns into a head trip involving a loaded revolver, strange perfume and the handsome but soul-eroded Max pulling the trigger in such a way to make it look like a suicide. The film cuts back to Max talking on the news, his handsome and reptilian image now on multiple screens.
 
Max Pavell on the TV News
 
After the TV sleaze interlude, the film cuts to Camilla (Mary Woronov), bathing in one of the best fedoras ever. She saunters into Max’s living room and starts doing some topless stretching and leg exercises. He walks in and the best part is the near-bored look on her face. She knows she’s majestic and is the true alpha in the room. They do end up having sex, all set to the very sensual audio and inter-cut scenes of Alta’s autopsy report. Are we having fun yet?

There’s a weird subplot involving Max’s estranged wife, the fabulous Teutonic bitch-goddess Helene (Monique van Vooren) and her chubby, supremely awkward negligee enthusiast brother Gus (Daniel Sador). The way she hisses such bon mots like, “I will slit your throat!” at Max is heart-warming.
 
Julie is groomed by Camille
 
Meanwhile, Camille confers with her charismatically acerbic friend Roderick (the inimitable Ondine) about conducting auditions to find Max’s next big actress. (Something Roderick refers to as a “cunt hunt.” Did I mention he was acerbic?) After a genuinely funny audition montage, the last girl walks in. Julie (also Lynn Lowry) is an elfin looking beauty whose eagerness for an acting role is matched only by her lack of experience. Which is summed up with her sole credit of playing Anya in Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard, which Julie honestly describes her work in as perfectly terrible. Camille takes a liking to Julie and begins to groom her. The two women bond, first over seemingly benign activities, like shopping, tennis and swimming. But things soon grow more and more co-dependent, with Julie becoming increasingly more submissive to the innately domineering Camille. Is the moody Amazonian grooming Julie to be the next Alta or to be Alta, complete with the tragic ending?
 
Things get weird in Sugar Cookies
 
Sugar Cookies is from a very rarefied period of time where the underground and overground were cross-pollinating. With Warhol Factory stars like Woronov and Ondine, not to mention future Flesh for Frankenstein co-star Monique van Vooren, it has instant art cred. But that said, this is really more than just a cult film curio. Underneath its polished, arty veneer are some mighty strong cynical threads about not just the bourgeoisie but also the dangers of making stars of out of people who are damaged goods right from the starting gate.

Cast-wise, Woronov and Lynn Lowry, two wholly unique and wonderful actresses who would go on to be deigned cult film queens, truly run the show. Woronov is all slinky, sinister grace as Camille, making an interesting mix with the ethereal and fragile Alta/Julie. It’s a bit mind-blowing to realize that Sugar Cookies was Lowry’s first major role. (She had previously appeared as a mute cult member in the incredible horror film, I Drink Your Blood in 1971.) She manages to pull off the two similar but different personalities of her dual roles with conviction, leaving you truly worried for poor, possibly ill-fated Julie.
 
Camille in Max's Pad
 
The rest of the cast, especially Shannon, Vooren and Ondine, are wonderful but are not given enough to do. Shannon, who would go on to shine in Fernando Arrabal’s heart-building and heart-breaking I Will Walk Like a Crazy Horse later that year, is good as the handsome but morally sooted director. Monique von Vooren, who was also a cabaret singer that could boast of having a pre-fame Christopher Walken as one of her backup dancers, is all icy hot anger and blonde glamor as Helene. Her fabulous bitchiness is only matched by the brilliant Ondine, one of my personal favorites from the Factory years. These three are all charismatics and while the film is really terrific, it would have been sweet to have more of them within it. On top of that, you also get to see early sexploitation and adult film legend Jennifer Welles as Max’s aggressive, honey-haired secretary. 

The casting credits are not the only weirdly impressive ones for the film. In addition to a young Oliver Stone (!) as the associate producer, there’s also Mr. Troma Films himself, Lloyd Kaufman sharing both writing credits with director Gershuny, as well as an executive producer credit. Before Vinegar Syndrome spiffed this film up with a lovely Blu-Ray release, Troma had actually released it years before. Other than the fact that there is nudity and Lloyd Kaufman attached to it, Sugar Cookies does not play out at all like a Troma film. If anything, it’s right next to films like Rufus Butler Seder’s criminally underrated Screamplay (which co-starred underground film titan George Kuchar) and Dario Argento’s last truly great film, The Stendhal Syndrome, which are both brilliant and are about as Troma-like as Gil Scott-Heron’s “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised”

One of the coolest coups that Gershuny and Kaufman pulled was landing electronic music great Gershon Kingsley for the appropriately trippy soundtrack. Kingsley, best known for the composition “Popcorn,” was a Moog pioneer and one of those composers, like fellow genius-peers Mort Garson, Wendy Carlos and his musical partner, Jean-Jacques Perrey, whose body of work is just begging for more examination.

Sugar Cookies is a dark, strange gem that is as compelling as its mighty cast. If you love any and/or all of the main actresses and actors or just want to see something different from a point in time where the cinematic lines were thinner and ultimately, more interesting, definitely give this one a go.
 

Posted by Heather Drain | Leave a comment
Sherlock Holmes recreated as police composite sketch
07.21.2014
06:04 am

Topics:
Art
Books

Tags:
Sherlock Holmes

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We all have a different image of Sherlock Holmes usually associated with the actor we first saw playing the great detective. For some it will be Bendedict Cumberbatch with his petulant manner and curly question-marked hair; or the intense white-faced Jeremy Brett and his quivering flared nostrils; or Peter Cushing forever toying with a prop; or better still the pipe-clenching good sportsmanship of Basil Rathbone, who was my celluloid introduction to Sherlock Holmes in the 1970s.

Of course, these are all variations on a theme and we have to go those timeless tales by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, in particular the first full novel of Holmesian adventure A Study in Scarlet to find a description of the man himself:

His very person and appearance were such as to strike the attention of the most casual observer. In height he was rather over six feet, and so excessively lean that he seemed to be considerably taller. His eyes were sharp and piercing, save during those intervals of torpor to which I have alluded; and his thin, hawk-like nose gave his whole expression an air of alertness and decision. His chin, too, had the prominence and squareness which mark the man of determination.

But how would Holmes look if we were to make a modern composite police sketch based on this description?

Well, this is exactly what Brian Joseph Davis has done over at his The Composites web page, where he uses police sketch software to create composite portraits of famous literary figures.
 
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His Sherlock Holmes has a hint of Midge Ure from Ultravox circa early eighties mixed with thin lips of William S. Burroughs.
 
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Here you’ll also find Emma Bovary from Madame Bovary, Rochester from Jane Eyre, and Keith Talent from Martin Amis’ Money, who looks uncannily like the comic Jimmy Clitheroe.
 
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Even Humbert Humbert from Lolita (who looks a little like Alan Arkin meets an aging David Byrne).
 
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And Daisy Buchanan from The Great Gatsby—though she lacks the fatal beauty of the character in the book.

I guess that’s my problem with these images—they all begin to look the same after a while, and the uniformity of design makes them drab, lifeless, like formulae for a human equation. Anyway, here’s Peter Cushing to breathe some life into Sherlock Holmes in this BBC production of A Study in Scarlet.
 

 
H/T Nerdcore

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
‘Ska and punk and Duran Duran’: Fantastic student-made documentary on mid-80s high school fashion
07.21.2014
05:32 am

Topics:
Fashion

Tags:
1980s


 
Maybe it’s the congeniality of the kids, or maybe it’s the inspired use of the riff from “She Bop,” but this high school documentary, dated either ‘84 or ‘85, is possibly the only reflection on fashion I could describe as “adorable.” This is not to patronize the subjects, who display the kind of plucky fortitude necessary to survive the crude politics of high school. The problems they face may jog your memory: an emphasis on conspicuous consumption annoys a girl who can’t or won’t drop the cash for expensive threads, a sweet brace-faced girl and her best friend are harassed by jocks for their punk aesthetics, and (of course) a boy gets called a “fag.”

It’s all very cliché high school stuff, but it’s also very real (and very recognizable), though school is obviously only half the battle for a teenage fashion pioneer. When asked about their parents’ opinions on their children’s sartorial choices, students reported a range of responses, from support to “disgust.” Overall, the teens seem pretty confident and self-assured, and they don’t really appear all that obsessed with the “outsider” clothing they’re sporting. When asked to give advice to their peers, one reassures teens of a world beyond their small town, and another simply recommends a lot of punk shows.

You hear that? The kids were all right.
 

 
Via Network Awesome

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
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