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There is an all-Jewish Skrewdriver cover band called ‘Jewdriver’
03.30.2015
02:39 pm

Topics:
Punk
Race

Tags:
nazis
Skrewdriver
Oi


 
Aside from actual Nazi skinheads (and those petulant, “ironic” listeners who fancy themselves “edgy”), Skrewdriver presents one of the more divisive ethical conundrums in punk. There are those who abstain entirely from their music, arguing that even their pre-Nazi album is tainted by an eventual embrace of fascism, there are fans who maintain that all non-Nazi material is fair game, and there is the camp who argues that—providing you’re not actually putting cash in Nazi pockets—no art should be off-limits. I tend to agree with the third philosophy, and while I don’t really listen to Skrewdriver anyway (and certainly wouldn’t crank it outside the privacy of my own home), I don’t see how critically listening to Nazi punk is any more an endorsement of Nazism than listening to Wagner is (though it’s a bit of a moot point anyway, since unlike Wagner, Nazi punk pretty much all sucks, and isn’t really worth listening to for anything other than educational purposes or curiosity).
 

 
But what if you’re really, really in the mood for the infectious meathead Oi! that only Skrewdriver provides, minus the revolting white nationalism? Enter Jewdriver, an all-Jewish Skrewdriver cover band—sort of. The brainchild of 90s Oakland punks, Skrewdriver was formed with the express purpose of ripping off Nazi licks while ridiculing Nazi dicks, with songs like “Hail the Jew Dawn"and “Our Blame is Goyim Glee”, the band mimics Skrewdriver’s sound really well. They’ve had a few line-ups over the years, but they keep popping up for the odd show—they even have a following in Germany (these days, the country tends toward a certain redemptive Judeophilia, embracing all things of “the Tribe”)! It can be hard to find their records, but you can hear their EP below.
 

 
As far as I’m concerned, Jewdriver is a win-win. First of all, you can’t really understand most of Skrewdriver’s lyrics anyway, so it’s not like you’re distracted by parody kitsch (thought the odd joke about circumcision does bring a smile to one’s face). Also, you can now listen to a reasonable facsimile of Skrewdriver in public! Most importantly though, the band probably really pisses off some Nazis, and isn’t that a valiant pursuit in its own right?
 

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Mind-bogglingly awesome sketches for Jodorowsky’s ‘Dune’—done in his own hand?


 
John Coulthart at his blog {feuilleton} has discovered an absolutely marvelous find that is currently on eBay. There is an auction that ends in a few days with the intriguing title “Alejandro Jodorowsky’s DUNE Script EARLY DRAFT? Giger ILLUSTRATED Original Art.”

Yes, that’s right. It appears to be a full script for Alejandro Jodorowsky‘s Dune, however, “It is NOT the ‘phone book size’ script as seen in the documentary ‘Jodorowsky’s Dune,’ but appears to be an earlier/shorter version. There are about 300 pages in total, including illustrations.” At present there have been 15 bids on the script, and the price is at $710.

For those who don’t know, in the 1970s there was a concerted effort to bring to the screen an adaptation of Frank Herbert’s sci-fi mega-bestseller Dune. In 1984, of course, an adaptation by David Lynch was released; while it’s a remarkable piece of work, that version is widely seen as a failure. In 2013 Frank Pavich’s movie Jodorowsky’s Dune documented the abortive first attempt to make the movie.

Here’s the cover of the script, as well as the title page:
 

 

 
Despite the title of the auction, the description indicates that the images “do NOT appear to be by Jean Giraud/Moebius, or Giger, but by an unknown artist.” Certainly at a glance they seem completely dissimilar from all of Giger‘s known output; I am a little less certain in the case of Moebius, but probably more dissimilar than similar. Coulthart convincingly suggests that the drawings are by Jodorowsky himself (interestingly, the eBay seller does not venture a guess), pointing to his 1967 comic Fabulas Panicas. Here’s Coulthart:
 

No artist is credited but the naive style rules out both Moebius and HR Giger (who arrived late to the project in any case). Best bet is either Jodorowsky himself—in 1967 he was writing and illustrating a comic strip, Fabulas Panicas—or Jodorowsky’s colleague from the Panic Movement days, Roland Topor. In the early 70s Topor was working with René Laloux on the animated SF film Fantastic Planet.

Many of the conceptions differ radically from the more graceful designs that Moebius produced later on. Also of note are details such as the anal entrance to the Emperor’s throne room, a Harkonnen orgy and an insemination scene viewed from inside Jessica’s vagina. By the time Giger joined the production team the instruction was not to create anything too erotic or adult since the film needed to reach a large audience.

 
Keep reading after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
A peek at Nick Cave’s latest: ‘The Sick Bag Song’
03.30.2015
10:35 am

Topics:
Books

Tags:
Nick Cave


 
Nick Cave gave a lengthy interview (sitting in an airplane parked on the tarmac) to John Doran in the latest episode of VICE Meets. Cave’s promoting his new book, The Sick Bag Song, an “road poem slash horror story” that was written on airplane sick bags during a 22 city North American tour, beginning in Nashville and ending in Montreal. (A literary device for a rock star’s book that seems almost Spinal Tap-esque as per Barney Hoskyns in the Guardian’s tepid review.) This is one of the longer Nick Cave interviews of recent vintage—quite a good one, too—and the topics include his dislike of the “dreaded” task of songwriting, if his wife scrutinizes his lyrics, and how much younger crowds showing up at their recent American shows has revitalized the Bad Seeds creatively.
 

 

 
The Sick Bag Song will be published by Canongate on April 8th and is only available online. There will be a signed limited edition of 220 (ten for each city) with customized, one of a kind “fully functional” sick bags in a box set with white vinyl records of Cave reading from the text (that version will set you back just $1,100). Three promotional readings for the book are being held, one at Grauman’s Egyptian Theatre in Los Angeles on April 8, another at the Florence Gould Theater in NYC on the 10th, and an already sold out date at London’s Porchester Hall on the 16th.
 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Gonzo from The Muppets sings Digital Underground’s ‘The Humpty Dance’
03.30.2015
09:08 am

Topics:
Amusing

Tags:
The Muppets
Gonzo
Digital Underground


 

I’m crazy. Allow me to amaze thee. They say I’m ugly, but it just don’t phase me.

Normally I hate this kind of shit, but this one works well because of all the clever editing. I mean Gonzo as Shock G is a perfect match, right?

The video is by YouTuber Milo the Cat.

 
via Laughing Squid

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Groovy vintage pics of The Who on the ski slopes
03.30.2015
08:41 am

Topics:
Music
Sports

Tags:
The Who
skiing


 
According to “WhiteFang,” who claims to have “the world’s largest collection of the Who records & CDs” and also has a good deal of other stuff, these amusing pictures of the Who on the ski slopes date from 1966, which figures just to look at them. The magazine that ran them is unknown, but “Naar de Wintersport” certainly suggests that it was Dutch.

Notice the playful typeface selection and the fun borders—I must say I admire the Dutch approach to teen fan magazines!
 

 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Cursed from Birth: Tragic note from the final days of William Burroughs Jr.
03.30.2015
07:48 am

Topics:
Books
Drugs

Tags:
William S. Burroughs
Billy Burroughs


 
William Seward Burroughs III—better known as Billy Burroughs or William Burroughs Jr.—had one of the more tragically doomed lives in literature. Despite being an excellent writer in his own right, Billy was more infamous for the horrific childhood bestowed upon him by his father, meticulously chronicled in the brutal book Cursed from Birth: The Short, Unhappy Life of William S. Burroughs, Jr.. You may have heard how Burroughs II shot his son’s mother to death in an insane, drunken “game” of “William Tell” when the child was only four—it didn’t get better after that.

Billy wrote:

“Had it been sublime to be born in time, hospital halls unknown, mother soon to be blown from the face of the earth, a bullet hole in her head, father pale, hand shaking as he lit the wad of cotton in the back of a little toy boat in a Mexico City fountain. The boat made crazy circles as the poplar trees trembled, and our separate fates lay sundered, he to opium and fame, bearing guilt and shame. And I, the shattered son of Naked Lunch, to golden beaches and promises of success.”

After a long stay with his grandparents, Billy went to live with his father in Morocco, who introduced him to pot at thirteen and failed to protect him from multiple rape attempts. Billy then returned home to his grandparents in Florida, and echoing the most traumatic incident of his life, shot his own friend in the neck at 15. Though the boy survived, Billy initially believed he’d killed him and ran away to hide. He suffered a nervous breakdown. From there it was a descent into the addictions that his father fostered. Poet John Giorno called him “the last beatnik,” a foreboding casual honorific for a man who considered himself “cursed.”
 

 
At one point late in Billy’s life, Michael Rectenwald—(poet, fiction writer and academic, who was at the time an apprentice to Allen Ginsburg at the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa Institute in Boulder, Colorado)—was placed in a sort of care-taking position for Billy—no easy task for a college student. Nonetheless, Rectenwald saw Billy’s devastating final days, and was the recipient of the heart-wrenching note below, left before Billy fled to Florida. He died of cirrhosis at age 33.

Just woke from my daily ____ ‘Time Out’ A slight spill of beer—and of course—no one here—I must tromp the gathering night (o god I wish I wish, I could have the wish I wish tonight) but I need the cabin—My voiced is laced with madness & my only mental funds have long been placed in security—God, I’m so alone—I splurged and bought a case of beer (redundant) & of course there’s no one here—The wish? I do so much want to be honorably nonexistent

 
Continues after the jump…

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Super 8 ‘digest’ versions of Frankenstein, Dracula & Wolfman movies, the home theatre of the 1960s

001frnwoldramum1.jpg
 
In the 1960s, Castle Films released a series of Super 8 “digest” versions of Universal horror classics such as Frankenstein, Dracula and The Wolfman. Each Castle digest only lasted around about four to ten minutes but each movie was carefully and expertly edited to keep the best of the action without losing out on too much of the storyline. They were the original “trash compactor” or supercut videos in a sense, distilling the “essence” of the films to the barest bones. I mean, who needs 9/10ths of most movies, anyway? Too much acting!

Castle Films started in 1924 distributing 16mm newsreels, documentaries, and sports films primarily to schools. The company was founded by Eugene W. Castle with an investment of $10,000. By 1936, the company started selling their films as home entertainment. By the late 1940s, Castle had obtained rights to produce “Soundies”—short one reelers of performances of three or four musical numbers. The company then moved from music to comedy, editing and producing highlight packages of Abbott and Costello, W. C. Fields and cartoons like Woody Woodpecker.
 
0frankdrawol1.jpg
 
The shift to Universal classic horror films started when Castle released a Super 8 digest of Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein. This digest film’s success led to the release of a whole back catalog of Universal movies featuring monsters ranging from Frankenstein to the Creature. Eugene Castle died in 1960, so never saw the great success Castle Super 8 digest films had during the 1960s and 1970s, when they were advertised in countless comic books, nostalgia magazines and, of course, the pages of Forrest J. Ackerman’s Famous Monsters of Filmland.
 

The Return of Frankenstein
 
Many more Castle Super 8 horror films with Karloff, Lugosi and Lon Chaney Jr. after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Bananarama covering the Sex Pistols might be the punkest thing ever
03.30.2015
05:37 am

Topics:
Music
Punk

Tags:
Sex Pistols
Bananarama


 
Bananarama, the ‘80s UK female pop vocal group, were famous for their hits “Venus,” “I Heard a Rumor,” “Really Saying Something,” and “Cruel Summer.” Fans of the band’s bouncy bubblegum pop, might be surprised to learn the group once recorded a (completely awesome) Sex Pistols cover on an obscure 1982 soundtrack.

Stylistically, they may have been world’s apart from the UK punk scene, but actually it’s where they got their start.  According to their Wikipedia entry:

The trio were ardent followers of the punk rock and post-punk music scene during the late 1970s and early 1980s and often performed impromptu sets or backing vocals at gigs for such bands as The Monochrome Set, Iggy Pop, The Jam, Department S and The Nipple Erectors.

Steve Jones and Paul Cook of the Sex Pistols helped Bananarama get their first record deal. In 1981 the members of Bananarama were living above Jones and Cook’s rehearsal room, and with their help, the group recorded their first demo “Aie a Mwana.” Further Sex Pistols connection came when Malcolm McLaren offered to manage them. McLaren’s proposal of sexually suggestive material did not fit with the group’s tomboyish image, and so Bananarama passed on McLaren’s management—probably a wise decision, as their later string of top ten UK hit singles would attest.
 
More after the jump…

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
‘You’re in a lot of shit’: Parents bust teen house party, 1988
03.28.2015
10:13 am

Topics:
Amusing

Tags:
parents
parties


 
Here’s a short, amusing video of teenagers rocking out to Roxette’s “The Look” whilst having a small house party in 1988. Everyone is having a good time that is until… the parental units come home and shut the whole thing down.

Mom uses the word “kiddo.” You know you’re in big trouble when your mother calls you “kiddo.”

 
via Gawker

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
‘The Hollow’: The inbred hillbilly hamlet where (literally) everyone’s related
03.28.2015
10:12 am

Topics:
Movies

Tags:
hillbillies


 
The Hollow is a 1975 documentary about the inbred hillbilly residents of an area of New York State in Saratoga County known informally as “Allentown” for reasons that soon become abundantly clear. It begins with the following text:

Early in the 19th Century two families, the Allens and Kathans, settled in the Southern Adirondack Mountains of New York State. By 1960’s their descendants had isolated themselves in a remote hollow high in the mountains. Below lay the great Sacandaga Valley. Its rich lands rapidly filled with farms, factories and mills.

By the end of the century, the Allens and the Kathans had intermarried: all the residents in the Hollow were related. Because of their isolation, misunderstandings developed between them and the outside world.

The economic disasters of the 1930s shut down the factories and mills. In 1932 the Sacandaga River was dammed, flooding the fertile valley below the Hollow. Forced from their homes, the valley residents sought employment elsewhere, but the Allens and Kathans chose to remain up in the mountains.

The Hollow has no narration, the filmmakers (George Nierenberg and Gary Wand) simply trained their cameras on various Allens and Kathans and let them talk about their lives. There’s no narrative as such, either, but the publication of a newspaper article about the hamlet causes much consternation among the residents of Allentown, who become distrustful, even paranoiac about the world outside of their close knit enclave of approximately 200 intermarried, blood relatives.

The Hollow is like an anthropological study of a miniscule slice of America that time has completely forgotten, and the residents of Allentown, seem to like it that way. Incredibly, it was’t until the mid-1980s, nearly a decade after this film was shot, that indoor plumbing came to Allentown, which is apparently roughly 1200 ft. long by 400 ft. wide and covered on three sides by dense forest, and it is said, a fence. Anecdotal evidence points to many Allentowners having red hair.

In the wake of the documentary and the exposure of their grim living conditions, social workers began making tentative inroads with the Allentowners, but the attention was initially rebuffed by distrustful residents.
 

 
From a 1993 New York Times article about Allentown:

Clifford Logan of the Saratoga County Economic Opportunity Council said his agency had weatherized 150 homes in the Allentown area since then. “Once you do something nice for somebody you’re accepted,” he said, adding that he believes residents of the Hollow are slowly becoming more comfortable with outsiders. “They’ve been a town with a gate, and they’re opening up.” No Welfare, Thank You

But Emily Smith, deputy commissioner for the County Social Services Department, said the number of public assistance cases in the entire Hollow was “probably not more than a couple of handfuls” and has not grown in 15 years.

“They still tend to be a very close-knit group and they take care of each other,” she said. “Their ways don’t change much. They’re happy and that’s their way of life. To you and me, our standards are much higher but they don’t have those high standards and they’re not striving to have them.”

James Bowen, the Saratoga County Sheriff, said his services are rarely requested. “We don’t get a lot of calls from Allentown,” he said. “They sort of police themselves.”

While a local fire department provides service for the area, he said, “If one of the Allens has a fire, one of the Allens next door will help put it out.”

I found this film entirely engrossing. From the remarkable opening shots of the legless old coot discussing how he’d been… er fruitful and multiplied, I couldn’t take my eyes off it. I don’t want to give the impression in any way that The Hollow is a hicksploitation movie—it’s not. There is no editorializing from the filmmakers whatsoever, the viewer has no idea what they might be thinking, which is one of the reasons The Hollow is such a strong film.

Here’s the trailer below. I can’t embed it here, but you can watch a sharp copy of the entire film at the FolkSteams website.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
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