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Amusing ‘Punk!’ pinball machine from the early 1980s hints at certain bands to avoid paying them
03.27.2017
10:21 am

Topics:
Games
Music
Punk

Tags:
punk
pinball


 
I’ve never liked arcade video games much, but I’ve always been really into pinball machines. So much so that in the last few years I’ve joined a local pinball league (great fun!) and visited a few pinball conventions. I’ve even driven way out of my way to visit specific coffee shops and pizzerias just because some model I hadn’t played before was available to use.

So over the weekend I come across an amazing image of a “Punk!” pinball machine from D. Gottlieb & Company, universally known as “Gottlieb,” that dates from the year 1982. I’ve never even seen an image of this game before, much less played it. Every DM reader is aware of the cross-pollination involved between punk and new wave, there’s a lot to be said on that subject, and yet….. there’s something off about this game.

It’s amusing to see how some of the major punk acts are “implied” in a non-licensed way by having scrawled graffiti with certain letters blocked out so that nobody could really say which band starting with “S-I-O” is being referenced.

So you can spot Siouxsie Sioux being invoked on the right-hand side; at the bottom you have “AD BO” which is surely the Dead Boys. At the top you’ve got the Ramones and the Jam and the Clash being signaled. Interesting to see Joy Division tucked away up there as well. On the backglass, behind the guitarist’s left leg, you have what appears to be the word “DAMNED” partially blocked, all the more enticing to a teen demographic because it involves a curse word.

But wait—what’s that on the left-hand side there? “PECH—M—”? How did Depeche Mode get involved with this?? They are definitely not punk!

Remember, 1981 was the high point of the synth-pop movement, with Soft Cell, Ultravox, and OMD all in their prime. This machine may say “Punk!” on it but it mainly has me thinking of Square Pegs and Valley Girl.

On this Pinside forum there’s a lively discussion about the game—not surprisingly, Punk! is a very difficult game to find from a collector’s perspective. One observer comments that “it is among the most difficult and nearly impossible pins to aquire.” Fewer than 1,000 were made, and even though the gameplay does not look all that interesting, it’s such a great item to have around that people who have it probably seldom let it go. 

Price estimates run around $800, which is a fairly ordinary price for a machine of this type. Given its rarity, if the gameplay were actually engaging the sky would be the limit here!
 

 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Horror-film worthy sculptures of the human body that are just dying to meet you
03.27.2017
09:57 am

Topics:
Art
Unorthodox

Tags:
sculpture
Francesco Albano


A sculpture by Italian artist Francesco Albano.
 
The work of Italian artist and sculptor Francesco Albano have been highly praised since he got his start nearly two decades ago. And now Turkish director Cansin Sağesen has made a short film about the artist and his grotesquely beautiful sculptures.

In the short, Albano reveals that his father, who was also a sculptor, taught him his craft and that his work is driven by a “childhood urgency.” Albano considers his art to be a form of creative play—much like it would be for a child experimenting with tactile toys like Play-Doh. His sculptures look as if someone has let the air out of a human body like a balloon—which then transforms them into hideous blobs of gelatinous flesh with protruding bones, teeth, and genitalia.

According to Albano, his work is meant to express the idea of how merely existing in modern society can be physically crippling and often destructive leading to the full-on collapse of the human structure, physically and mentally. Once you get that, you’ll see Albano’s work in an entirely new light as perspective breeds a deeper understanding of such things that at first appear to exist for their shock value alone. That said, the images that follow are very much NSFW.
 

“On the Eve” 2013.
 

 

“Lump 2” 2012.
 
More after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
‘Yes Sir, I Can Boogie!’: The fantastic 70s K-Pop disco funk of Bunny Girls


The cover of the 1978 album by South Korean duo Bunny Girls.
 
The obscure South Korean girl group that went by both Bunny Girl and Bunny Girls were around for over a decade, and the music they put out under both monikers is full of funky disco-synth goodness.

If my research is correct, Bunny Girls put out their first album Yes Sir, I Can Boogie in 1978 at the height of the disco craze in the U.S. and continued to release a few albums and singles throughout the end of the 1980s. So obscure are the adorable duo that despite my efforts to dig up much more on them In English, I came up pretty empty handed—except for the four tracks posted below—one which includes South Korean psych-guitar god, Shin Joong Hyun. Though one of the songs as well as the title of their debut album share the exact same title as the disco smash by Spanish duo Baccara, it doesn’t appear to be a cover of Baccara’s 1977 single, “Yes Sir, I Can Boogie.” Flash forward to 1989 and we hear Bunny Girls sound as if they went back to 1985 for inspiration by way Oingo Boingo’s bouncy hit, “Dead Man’s Party.”

If any or all of this sounds good to you then you’re in for a treat because the music of the mysterious Bunny Girls is addictive ear candy that will leave you wanting to hear more. Which will sadly prove to be a difficult task though I’m sure some of our more intrepid disco fans will give it a shot. It’s also probably worth noting that Bunny Girls’ obscurity in the 70s was likely a result of the repressively dark political environment in South Korea thanks to the president and military general Park Chung-hee who lived to prevent musicians from making music during his time in office. In fact, after Bunny Girls’ fuzzy collaborator Shin Joong Hyun flatly refused to write a song for the strongman in 1972, he was blacklisted from the music industry in his homeland and his music was banned. A few years later Hyun got popped for marijuana possession and spent several years traveling between psychiatric hospitals as well as prison, where he was tortured. Which all proves at least one thing pretty clearly—if you were making pop music in South Korea in the 1970s, you were a goddam hero.

But enough of that—let’s get down to the sounds of the Bunny Girls, shall we? Yes, sir we can boogie, after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Glass night lights of David Lynch, John Waters, Robert Smith, Sonic Youth and many more!
03.27.2017
08:56 am

Topics:
Movies
Music
Pop Culture

Tags:
night light


David Lynch

I have a thing for night lights. Probably because they work. They make the dead of night less creepy and I never stub my toe in the dark. So I was pleasantly surprised to discover these handmade glass night lights by Etsy shop Hunky Dory Studio.

There are over 345 different night lights for sale on the Hunky Dory Studio Etsy page. I picked the ones I liked. If you don’t see anything you dig, I’m almost certain you’ll find something on their page. 

Each night light sells for $30.00.


Lou Reed
 

John Waters
 

Sonic Youth
 
More after the jump…

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
‘Acoustic KO’: Stooges classics stripped down by James Williamson and Radio Birdman’s Deniz Tek
03.27.2017
08:44 am

Topics:
Music

Tags:
James Williamson
Stooges
Radio Birdman
Deniz Tek


 
Though he achieved his greatest notoriety as the founder of Australia’s punk progenitors Radio Birdman, Deniz Tek is a Detroit kid—no surprise, as guttural guitar ferocity like his has the Rust Belt written all over it. Radio Birdman were shot through with Detroit influences, specifically via the Stooges—their name came from a misheard Iggy lyric, and their rehearsal space/clubhouse was dubbed the Funhouse.

In later post-Birdman years, Tek would play in bands with ex-Stooges, like New Race with Stooges guitarist Ron Asheton, and the short-lived (exactly two gigs) and underdocumented Dodge Main, whose live lineup featured the MC5’s Wayne Kramer, Stooges’ Scott Asheton, Sonic’s Rendezvous Band’s Scott Morgan, and The UP!’s Gary Rasmussen, with Jimmy Zero of the Dead Boys.
 

 
Now Tek is releasing a four-song E.P. with later Stooges guitarist James Williamson, titled Acoustic K.O. a play on the title of Iggy and the Stooges’ live album Metallic K.O.. It features four Williamson compositions—“Penetration” and “I Need Somebody” from Raw Power, and “Night Theme” and “No Sense of Crime” from the 1977 Pop/Williamson album Kill City. The acoustic transformations are startling and quite effective. Per Williamson:

The songs of Acoustic K.O. are pearls from my youth, which are almost equally familiar to Deniz Tek from his. In fact the same could be said for the others on this record, to varying degrees. The process of recording them acoustically enhanced their luster with new clarity from re-interpretation. We love how it turned out.

He ain’t wrong—“I Need Somebody” seems a natural for an acoustic treatment, and the new version with Tek maintains the original’s menacing stomp. A more substantial transformation occurs on “Penetration,” but the E.P.’s real stunners are “No Sense of Crime,” on which Tek duets with Annie Hardy of Giant Drag, and “Night Theme”; the original on Kill City it’s a noisy-ish guitar theme-and-reprise suite that straddles the LP’s two sides, but here it’s a lush instrumental featuring a full orchestra.

It’s DM’s pleasure today to premiere the stream of the entire release…listen after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
The Kids are not Alright: Keith Moon’s 1975 solo record that made Brian Wilson cry


A vintage print ad for Keith Moon’s 1975 solo record, ‘Two Sides of the Moon’ that I’m guessing the Mighty Boosh have seen?
 
Today’s post is an amusing historical account of what happened when a record company (in this case MCA) decided it was a good idea to give admitted tone deaf drummer Keith Moon $200 grand to make his very first (and last) solo album, Two Sides of the Moon, back in the mid-70s.

As the story goes Moon assembled a powerful gang of musical accomplices including Spencer Davis, surf-guitar master Dick Dale, Harry Nilsson, Ringo Starr and Joe Walsh among others to play on Two Sides. The album also included cover versions of songs written by members of The Beatles, Nilsson, as well a song penned by Moonie’s buddy Pete Townshend, the anthemic jam “The Kids are Alright.” How could this heady concoction be considered anything less than a total slam-dunk? Not just for Moon but also for The Who and their legions of fans? Well, if you know anything about Keith Moon then the answer to that question is quite simple: Keith Moon liked to party. A lot. And so did Keith Moon’s friends. A lot. And that pretty much sums up the record for the most part.

Many of the songs on the album really feel like a recording session held during happy hour—which I’m pretty sure most recording sessions that occurred during the 70s were. I mean Black Sabbath hoovered $75,000 up their noses recording Vol. 4 in 1972 so there’s that. At any rate, Moon’s musical happy hour was full of talented booze-swilling rock stars armed with microphones and instruments. Which while that sounds like guaranteed good times, it didn’t necessarily translate to Two Sides actually sounding good. It’s also important to note that Moon only slugged away on his famous kit for three of the album’s ten songs and much preferred to sing. A term that should be used somewhat loosely as it pertains to Keith’s vocals on Two Sides of the Moon. It is rumored that when Beach Boy Brian Wilson heard Moon’s cover of the song he wrote with LA DJ Roger Christian, “Don’t Worry Baby,” he burst into tears. Now that’s just plain sad.
 

The cheeky back cover of Keith Moon’s solo record, ‘Two Sides of the Moon.’
 
While it’s easy to tear down Moon’s Two Sides for many reasons, it is not without its endearing qualities. Such as Moon’s cover of “In My Life” the 1965 heart-string tugging Beatles’ song written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney. “Solid Gold” written by Nickey Barclay of Fanny is also a highlight as it includes the sparkly sounds of coveted backup vocalist Sherlie Matthews. I also can’t hate on Moon’s version of “The Kids Are Alright” even though it sounds like it was recorded in a garage by a bunch of high school-aged rockers who were gonna “make it” someday.

As you might imagine the story behind the record is full of rock ‘n’ roll folklore such as the rumor that David Bowie provided backing vocals on the album. (For the record, he probably didn’t and Bowie isn’t credited on Two Sides either.) In 2008, Moon’s solo swan song was again reissued by Castle to include an indulgent number of recordings, 51 in all, including hilarious outtakes like Mr. Moon blathering about Judy Garland and ranting that MCA Records needs to give him more money.

More Moon after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Mad nuns, torture, witchcraft, & Satan: Silent film ‘Häxan’ narrated by William S. Burroughs


A movie poster for the 1922 silent film, ‘Häxan: Witchcraft Through the Ages.’
 
Like many of you, I share an affinity for topics of interest that involve the guy who should have built your hotrod, Satan. Given the choice between Heaven or Hell, I just want to be where my friends are. And my post today is about as satanic as they come as it involves possessed nuns; witchcraft; grave robbery; cannibalism as well as the occasional human sacrifice. If that’s not dangerous enough for your mind, then consider the fact that the unmistakeable voice of William S. Burroughs narrates the subject of this post—the mind-fucky 1922 silent film Häxan: Witchcraft Through the Ages, a flick full of all the sacrilegious subjects I mentioned above and much much more!

Initially, Häxan is presented as a kind of historical document providing legitimate information about the origins of witchcraft and paganism. It is also widely considered to be one of the very first films to do so in such vivid detail. Director Benjamin Christensen—a former medical student—even cast himself as the devil as well as making a brief appearance as Jesus in the film. However, before Häxan could be officially released in Sweden, Swedish censors requested that Christensen omit several scenes including a rather shocking one involving a newborn baby covered in goo being held over a boiling cauldron. Many of the depictions of witchcraft in Häxan were apparently loosely based on the results of research conducted by prominent British anthropologist, Egyptologist and folklore historian, Margaret Alice Murray in her controversial 1921 book by The Witch-Cult in Western Europe: A Study in Anthropology. Subsequently, after its censored release and being summarily banned in several countries, the film was heralded by members of the surrealist movement—as noted in the 2011 book 100 Cult Films—who called the film a “masterpiece of subversion.” 

Christensen’s care in making Häxan look and feel realistic truly knew no bounds. To reinforce its authentic darkness and to help convey the appropriate mood that is required for demonic possession he sent one of his cameramen to take photographs of the bleak, cloud-filled skies of Norway that he used throughout the film as a backdrop. His actors are genuinely terrifying looking and appear to be deeply tormented. In other words, Häxan looks like an actual snapshot taken in Hell.
 

A disturbed nun surrounded by an equally disturbing array of torture devices from ‘Häxan: Witchcraft Through the Ages’

Adding another layer of satanic panic related to Häxan is a story attributed directly to Christensen himself regarding actress Maren Pedersen who played “Maria the weaver,” a witch in the film. According to Christensen, when he discovered Pedersen she purported to be a Red Cross nurse from Denmark—though when they met she was a street vendor selling flowers. While they were in the middle of filming Pederson allegedly confessed to Christensen that she believed that the devil was “real” and that she had “seen him sitting by her bedside.” So enthralled was he by Pederson’s diabolical revelation that the director decided to include it in the film’s storyline. Presumably, because the power of Satan compelled him to, of course.

More after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Early footage of Flipper live before they even had an album out
03.24.2017
12:35 pm

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Flipper


 
Flipper was one of the most important American bands of the early 1980s, as they were perhaps the first to realize that you could be punk as fuck and heavy as fuck at the same time. Punk had generally disdained riffage of the Sabbath-y variety (some would say musicianship tout court), and in fact, one of Flipper’s more enduring charms is ... well, I don’t even know what the fuck genre they do belong to. Allmusic says they’re “hardcore” but I’d opt for a term like drone punk or sludge rock before hardcore even occurred to me. But of course, they have elements of both and some other stuff too. They were a mighty influence on the Melvins, Kurt Cobain loved them—hell, Krist Novoselic joined the band in 2006—and you’d have to imagine that Gibby Haynes was intimately familiar with their catalogue.

I’ve been playing Generic Flipper a lot recently and you won’t be surprised to learn that in an absurd time such as ours, that album is simply the ideal soundtrack. Politically and spiritually speaking, we’re on a majorly baaaaaad trip, and that’s exactly what that album is, the ultimate bad trip—but catchy and rude and smart and riffy, all at the same time.

More after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Alice Cooper loses his head & Danny Elfman (with Oingo Boingo) loses his mind on ‘The Gong Show’


Alice Cooper, the late Chuck Barris, and a devilish Danny Elfman.
 
Like everyone else of a certain age, I spent time this week mourning the loss of Chuck Barris, the one-of-a-kind game show king and the host of often questionable “talent” competition The Gong Show. I was old enough during the show’s run in the late 70s to never want to miss Barris’ antics, as well as the never-ending parade of hopeful weirdos who flocked to the show. If you’re young enough to be unfamiliar with The Gong Show, the best case scenario was that your act didn’t get “gonged” before you were done. Worst case scenario you got frantically “gang-gonged” by all three judges, but still got to fly your freak flag high to much of America. The prize for not getting gonged and coming away with the highest collective score? $516.32.

As I was busy being nostalgic watching a few vintage clips from the show, I came across a couple worth sharing. One features Alice Cooper (who called Barris one of his “favorite people in the world”) serenading him with “Goin’ Out of My Head” while stuck in his trusty guillotine. The other is a wildly out-of-control performance by cinema maestro Danny Elfman back in his Oingo Boingo days who at the time were still called The Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo. Elfman and Oingo Boingo’s antics on stage were judged by none other than Gong Show regular Buddy Hackett, a solo Shari Lewis (Lambchop must have had the night off), and actor Bill Bixby of Incredible Hulk fame. Apparently, they loved what they saw as the Mystic Knights won the contest that episode.

Watch Alice Cooper and a young Danny Elfman on ‘The Gong Show’ after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Maps to the Stars: Beautiful astronomical drawings from the 19th century
03.24.2017
09:35 am

Topics:
Art
Science/Tech

Tags:
Étienne Léopold Trouvelot
astronomy

10greatcomet1881.jpg
The Great Comet of 1881.
 
Étienne Léopold Trouvelot was a French artist and astronomer who produced some 7,000 illustrations based on his astronomical observations during his lifetime.

Originally from Aisne, France, Trouvelot fled with his family to America after a coup d’état by Louis Napoleon in 1852. They settled in Medford, Massachusetts, where Trouvelot supported his family as an astronomer and artist. He produced detailed astronomical drawings. A selection of these illustrations was shown to Joseph Winlock, the director of Harvard College Observatory. Impressed by Trouvelot’s work, Winlock invited the Frenchman to join the Observatory staff in 1872. Trouvelot was also invited to spend a year working with U. S. Naval Observatory’s 26-inch refractor.

Trouvelot wrote some fifty scientific papers and is credited with discovering “veiled spots” on the Sun in 1875. He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1877

In 1881, fifteen of his famed pastel illustrations were collected together and published as The Trouvelot Astronomical Drawings.
 
0gypsymotrouv.jpg
Trouvelot introduced the Gypsy Moth to America.
 
Apart from his fine scientific work, Trouvelot is now remembered for his meddling as an amateur entomologist. In 1860, he accidentally introduced the Gypsy Moth to America. Trouvelot brought some Gypsy Moth egg masses out of Europe to his home in Medford. He had some strange idea of helping the declining number of silk-producing moths in the States. How he intended to do this is not quite clear. Unfortunately, some moths escaped. Trouvelot notified local authorities to the possible danger but nothing was done. Within a few years, colonies of the Gypsy Moth were causing havoc across large areas of the east coast. Attempts to eradicate this invasive pest failed. Today the Gypsy Moth costs over $800 million in damages every year.

Some of Trouvelot’s drawings are available to buy as posters—details here.
 
5novmeteors.jpg
The November Meteors, 1868.
 
2eclipsesun.jpg
Total Eclipse of the Sun, July 29th 1878.
 
See more of Touvelot’s beautiful astronomical illustrations, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
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