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The Grateful Dead’s theme for the 1985 reboot of ‘The Twilight Zone’
09.15.2017
07:11 am
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“Man, I live in the Twilight Zone,” Jerry Garcia is reported to have said when the Grateful Dead got the offer to score the series reboot in 1985. The resulting soundtrack album, credited to the Dead and Merl Saunders, is a minor item in the group’s discography, including—along with such beloved anthems of the counterculture as “Can She Type?” and “The Misfortune Cookie: Suite”—Marius Constant’s original theme played in the style of “Space.”

Dead biographer Dennis McNally says Mickey Hart recorded some of the first season’s music in a hospital bed:

Very quickly, Mickey Hart took the lead for the Dead in the studio, and proved to have a gift for sound design. Just as they began, he went into the hospital for back surgery, and ordered that all the necessary equipment be set up in his room. At first Ram Rod vetoed this seeming insanity, but Mickey pleaded, “When I wake up, I want to go to work.” The Demerol he’d gotten for his surgery proved to be aesthetically stimulating, and he produced music for the first four episodes from bed.

You say the psychedelicized Twilight Zone theme (in the opening credits below) is not your “bag”? Friend, you’ll be begging for more Grateful Dead after you hear the nu-metal version the guy from Korn did for the series’ 2002 revival. It sucks ever so much!!!
 

Posted by Oliver Hall
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09.15.2017
07:11 am
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‘Is the Father Black Enough?’ Monkee Micky Dolenz stars in bizarre 1970s racial exploitation flick
09.14.2017
01:50 pm
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Poster for sale at Westgate Gallery
 
Micky Dolenz will always be known as a Monkee and not as a dramatic actor, but he did do some non-Monkee acting after the band broke up in the early 1970s. One of Dolenz’s legacies as an actor is certain high-profile roles he did not end up getting cast in. He famously auditioned for the role of Arthur Fonzarelli in Happy Days (Michael Nesmith did too). The only thing we can say for sure about that is that there is zero chance he would have been as successful in the role as Henry Winkler was. He also was considered for the Riddler in Batman Forever, a part that eventually went to Jim Carrey.

One of his early acting roles was his star turn in Night of the Strangler, an exploitation film that came out in 1972. Directed by Joy N. Houck Jr., it’s a pretty run-of-the-mill serial killer movie except for two things, the complete and total lack of any strangling whatsoever during the entire movie and the progressive (???) use of an interracial love affair as the driver of events. The movie begins with the hasty return of Denise to her native Louisiana from Vassar College, where she has fallen in love with an African-American fellow who has impregnated her and whom she intends to marry. (I had to work in a mention of Vassar, seeing as how the same institution unwisely furnished me with an undergraduate degree.) This news is taken rather differently by her brothers Vance (Dolenz) and imperious Dan, who throws around the N-word a lot and threatens to kill Denise and her betrothed. Before that can happen, though, her man is shot by a sniper and Denise is drowned in her bathtub…...
 

 
The taglines for the movie were “He Gets Them All!” and “Southern Revenge!” As happened with many B-movies in the 1970s, this movie was released under multiple titles. I guess it wasn’t common for movies to have quite this many titles, most of which play up the race thing and (thank goodness) don’t mention strangling, as in Dirty Dan’s Women and Is the Father Black Enough? and The Ace of Spades (really?).

As with many violent B-movies, there isn’t enough motivation for the series of killings, which are there mainly to draw audience and titillate viewers. In between the spurts of violence, you can barely glimpse a more interesting movie, but even that aspect is just sketched together. Dolenz’s training from the Monkees sitcom helped him, however. He’s not great or anything but he’s perfectly engaging as the more recessive of the two brothers.
 

 

Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Monkee see, Monkee doo: Micky Dolenz as a glam rocker
Jimi Hendrix Jamming With The Monkees: Micky Dolenz’s amazing photograph from 1967

Posted by Martin Schneider
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09.14.2017
01:50 pm
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Custom made action figures of Robert Smith, The Cramps, Eraserhead & more!
09.14.2017
09:35 am
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A nice shot of the custom Poison Ivy and Lux Interior figures by an artist known as “N TT” over at Figure Realm. YES!
 
There are times when I’m out and about on the Internet looking for new and exciting things to bring to all of our dedicated Dangerous Minds readers, and occasionally (or always) I come across something I wasn’t looking for in the first place. And that’s how I happily ended up finding a bunch of different DIY figures and dolls based on the gothy likeness of Robert Smith, the one and only vocalist for The Cure, as well as Poison Ivy and Lux Interior of The Cramps. According to the person behind theses figures, artist “N TT” over at Figure Realm, it was noted that the six-inch version of Lux was made out of an action figure of Vince Neil from Mötley Crüe. Way to make the world a better place by recycling, N TT. Well done.

If you keep up with me here at DM, you know I have a deep affinity for all things action figures and the like. So stumbling on these figures by N TT was kind of like winning the action figure lottery for me. Anyway, good-old N TT has created some pretty fantastic DIY dolls/figures such as Robert Smith, Ivy and Lux (with Mr. Interior wearing a pair of black heels no less) and Jack Nance in character from the 1977 film Eraserhead. And since I know you’re wondering, though it’s not entirely clear, it would appear that N TT occasionally sells the tricked out figures that are posted on this page at Figure Realm.
 

Custom Lux Interior and Poison Ivy figures. Nice.
 

 

This disturbing interpretation of The Cure’s Robert Smith is based on the video for “Lullaby” from 1989. YIKES!
 
Many more after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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09.14.2017
09:35 am
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1870 A Space Odyssey: Astoundingly prophetic illustrations for Jules Verne’s ‘Around the Moon’
09.14.2017
07:19 am
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Top fact: Jules Verne is the most translated French author ever.

Second slightly more impressive fact: Jules Verne is the second most translated author in the world, not too far behind Agatha Christie but ahead of William Shakespeare.

In the English-speaking world, Monsieur Verne may still have the reputation as a children’s author whose best-selling books have provided prime material for a lot of Hollywood movies but in truth, Jules Verne is the “Father of Science-Fiction.” Verne produced his best-known works like Journey to the Center of the Earth (1864), Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (1870), and Around the World in Eighty Days (1873), long before his nearest rival H.G. Wells ever considered putting pen to paper.

At school, Jules Verne was the type of author whose novels were doled out during reading class and awarded (if you were lucky) at prize givings for academic excellence. That kind of thing. There was something wholesome about Verne and to an extent, H.G. Wells. A real belief that reading these authors inspired the right kind of enquiring mind—one driven by an interest in understanding the world through scientific investigation. Which was kinda strange as our teachers were a bunch of Christian Brothers whose remit was to instill the fear of God, teach some useful education, and offer the requisite religious instruction to live a good Catholic life.

Well, I suppose one out of three isn’t bad for the effort.

This was when America was firing rockets at the Moon, something that made Verne seem prescient and relevant in a way figures like Nostradamus never do. I’d read From the Earth to the Moon and thought it interesting but slightly disappointing as (unlike say Wells’ The First Men in the Moon with its insectoid creatures the Selenites) the book was mainly concerned with the scientific practicalities facing the Baltimore Gun Club in their ambitions (and rivalries) to send a rocket to the Moon. I was far more impressed by the follow-up novel Around the Moon which continued the adventures of the first three astronauts—Impey Barbicane, Captain Nicholl, and Michel Ardan (along with their dog)—who were fired in a bullet-shaped rocket from a giant cannon—the Columbiad space gun—up into space.

Verne’s novels were highly entertaining and his ideas always seemed feasible. One book, Paris in the Twentieth Century, which was written in 1863 but not published until 1994 having languished in locked bronze safe for almost a century, described the very world in which we live today, as Oliver Tearle notes in his compendium The Secret Library:

[Paris in the Twentieth Century] had been written in 1863 but [was] set in the then far-off future world of 1960. It described a world in which people drive motorcars powered by internal combustion and travel to work in driverless trains. Their houses are lit by electric light. They use fax machines, telephones and computers, and live in skyscrapers furnished with elevators and television. The criminals are executed using the electric chair. Greek and Latin are no longer widely taught in schools, and the French language has been ‘corrupted’ by borrowings from English. People shop in huge department stores, and the streets are adorned with advertisements in electric lights. Money has become everyone’s god. The novel also describes a tall structure in Paris, an electric lighthouse that can be seen for miles around. This was in 1863; the Eiffel Tower would not be built until 1889.

Similarly, many of the ideas in Around the Moon are scientifically possible and uncannily descriptive of how an Apollo misison to the Moon would return to Earth—jet rockets for thrust and a landing in the sea. The artist Émile-Antoine Bayard was tasked with illustrating Verne’s novel and he produced a set of images which are rightly described as “arguably the very first to depict space travel on a scientific basis.”
 
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Take off with more incredible illustrations from Verne’s ‘Around the Moon,’ after the jump…
 

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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09.14.2017
07:19 am
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Space is in the Bass: Meet Constance Demby, High Priestess of Electronica
09.14.2017
06:45 am
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Constance Demby, “The Electronica High Priestess of Priestesses.”
 
A while back a friend of mine was telling me about a video he had seen of a woman who played music in her apartment using experimental musical equipment. My friend, an experienced and worldly musician, said that it looked as though she might have rigged her apartment with equipment that she had built herself. I was, of course, intrigued, but unfortunately, that’s where the trail of this very interesting sounding woman ended. Until last week that is. The woman in question is Constance Demby and, as it turns out, the “instrument” she was playing in the video was in fact something that she had created called a “Space Bass.” Demby’s massive Space Bass consists of ten-feet of mirrored stainless steel that can produce five octaves of sound via their attached steel and brass rods. According to Demby’s website, a person with the very groovy job title of “Sound Scientist” was able to surmise that the sound waves on the lowest notes of the instrument were approximately thirty feet long.

Born in Oakland, California, Demby’s musical talent was discovered early and by the age of twelve, she had already been studying classical piano for four years. After her family moved to the east coast, the now teenage Demby was personally responsible for creating a jazz ensemble at her high school. She would later enroll in college but would leave sometime in 1960 taking up residence in the bohemian mecca that is (well, was) Greenwich Village. Over the course of the next decade, Demby’s real experimentation with music would flourish. During her time in the Village, she would meet Robert Rutman—a notable and fantastically talented German-born musician who had a particular affinity for idiophones, which are instruments that generate music by way of vibration. Together Rutman and Demby would hold collaborative performances using their unique instruments which would eventually lead them to relocate together to Maine where they formed the completely excellent sounding Central Maine Power Music Company (CMPMC). After about six years of touring and playing live gigs with the various other musicians that were a part of the CMPMC, Demby and Rutman parted ways in the mid-70s.
 

Constance Demby behind the wall of sound that is her “Space Bass.”
 
Demby’s professional accomplishments are vast and include the completion of over a dozen studio albums, Grammy nominations, the creation of her record label, Sound Currents, as well as designing her sonic musical instruments. During her long career, she has been called the “undisputed founder of Symphonic Sacred Spacemusic” and the “Godmother of contemporary classical electronic music.” Demby has collaborated on musical scores with the Dalai Lama, Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, and George Lucas. And that’s where Demby’s “Space Bass” comes into higher prominence as Lucas has used the instrument to create atmospheric ruminations which were officially licensed for use in scores by Lucas Films.

More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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09.14.2017
06:45 am
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Goodbye, Pork Pie Hat: Watch Charles Mingus get evicted from his NYC studio, 1966
09.14.2017
06:45 am
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It is not always the case that financial rewards flow to the most creative pioneers in our society. Case in point: In 1966, jazz legend Charles Mingus got evicted from his apartment at 5 Great Jones Street due to nonpayment of rent. A young documentary filmmaker named Thomas Reichman had a crew on hand the night before Mingus had to vacate the premises, and he left with some astonishingly poignant footage of Mingus in a garrulous, charming, angry, self-pitying mode.

The footage was incorporated in an hour-long movie that was released two years later with the somewhat confusing title Mingus: Charlie Mingus 1968, which isn’t what I would call a movie that was shot in 1966. Whatever!

Anyway, Mingus: Charlie Mingus 1968 is quite fascinating. Mingus is fully aware that Reichman and his crew are there, of course, and he is in his most florid and theatrical mode. Early on Mingus delivers a lengthy impromptu “pledge of allegiance” that starts like this:
 

I pledge allegiance to the flag—the white flag. I pledge allegiance to the flag of America. When they say “black” or “negro,” it means you’re not an American. I pledge allegiance to your flag. Not that I have to, but just for the hell of it I pledge allegiance. I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America. The white flag, with no stripes, no stars. It is a prestige badge worn by a profitable minority.

 
Later on he sings the altered refrain of “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” with the line “sweet land of slavery.” He unloads his shotgun into a nearby expanse of plaster and asks his young daughter Kiki to tug on a noose made of trick theatrical rope that he has placed around his neck.

Continues after the jump…

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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09.14.2017
06:45 am
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New documentary about Jayne Mansfield and Anton LaVey from the makers of ‘Room 237,’ a DM exclusive!
09.14.2017
06:40 am
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The violent end Jayne Mansfield met in a cloud of insecticide has all the elements of a good story. Sex, violence, fame, blackmail, a Satanic curse, death by decapitation (well, severe haircut, anyway)—why, the LA Times obit reads like 12-year-old Glenn Danzig wrote it:

Jayne Mansfield Killed

Jayne Mansfield, blonde and buxom, almost a caricature of a sex symbol who lived in a glass bowl of publicity for 13 years as a Hollywood actress was decapitated last week in a grotesque car crash in a New Orleans swamp. She had been appearing at a night club in Biloxi, Miss. leaving there en route to New Orleans for a morning television appearance when the 2:30 a.m. collision occurred. Her car came around a curve at high speed and smashed into the trailer of a truck which had slowed on entering a cloud of white anti-mosquito mist. The trailer sheared off the top of the auto killing instantly the three adults in the front seat: Miss Mansfield, her friend, Samuel S. Brody, 40, a Los Angeles lawyer and their driver, Ronnie Harrison, 20, a student at the University of Mississippi. Three of her five children (in the back seat of the car) were injured but not seriously.

[...] Last year, her son Zoltan, 6, (while posing with her for a publicity stunt) was mauled by a lion and almost died when he developed meningitis. Several weeks ago, her daughter Jayne Marie, 16, left home complaining that she had been beaten by her mother’s boyfriend lawyer Brody. Miss Mansfield’s second husband was Mickey Hargitay, who flew to New Orleans after the accident to be with his children. On the French Riviera last week, Francoise Dorleac, 25-year-old French film actress, was also killed in a car crash. Her car skidded on a wet highway, struck a sign post and burst into flames.

The legend of Mansfield’s death is the subject of the latest documentary from P. David Ebersole and Todd Hughes, the creative powerhouse behind Room 237, Hit So Hard: The Life & Near Death Story of Patty Schemel, and the live-action Chick tract feature Hot Chicks. Ebersole and Hughes’ Mansfield 66/67: A True Story Based on Rumor and Hearsay focuses on the actress’s relationship with the Black Pope of the Church of Satan, Anton LaVey, and the tale that sorcery caused her fatal car crash. She is portrayed by “over fifty actors and dancers.”
 

 
Mansfield 66/67 appears, like Room 237, to be about a particular kind of 20th century folklore: “Paul is dead” cases of private obsessions, nourished by mass media, passing into folk belief. Conditions were favorable. Dead Jayne was in no position to refute any stories about her entirely sensationalized life, and LaVey was in no hurry to disclaim supernatural powers. Interviewed by Jack Fritscher in the 1972 book Popular Witchcraft, LaVey suggested his curse was responsible for the car crash, though he’d laid it not on Jayne but Sam Brody—the man the LA Times identified as Mansfield’s “friend”:

LAVEY: I know I have been rumored to have cursed Jayne Mansfield and caused her death in that car crash. Jayne Mansfield was a member of the Church of Satan. I have enough material to blow sky-high all those sanctimonious Hollywood journalists who claim she wasn’t. She was a priestess in the Church of Satan. I have documentation of this fact from her. There are many things I’ll not say for obvious reasons.

FRITSCHER: Say what you can.

LAVEY: Her lover [lawyer Sam Brody, also killed in the front seat of the car], who was a decidedly unsavory character, was the one who brought the curse upon himself. There was decidedly a curse, marked in the presence of other people. Jayne was warned constantly and periodically in no uncertain terms that she must avoid his company because great harm would befall him. It was a very sad sequence of events in which she was the victim of her own—as we mentioned earlier—inability to cope with her own success. Also the demonic self in her was crying out to be one thing, and her apparent self demanded that she be something else. She was beaten back and forth in this inner conflict between the apparent self and the demonic self. Sam Brody was blackmailing her.

FRITSCHER: About what?

LAVEY: He was blackmailing her. I have definite proof of this. She couldn’t get out of his clutches. She was a bit of a masochist herself. She brought about her own demise. But it wasn’t through what I had done to curse her. The curse, that she asked me to cast, was directed at him. And it was a very magnificent curse.

Watch the trailer after the jump…

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Posted by Oliver Hall
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09.14.2017
06:40 am
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Dancing with death: Vintage erotica featuring women cavorting with skeletons
09.13.2017
11:14 am
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It may seem a bit early for Halloween but if Selfridges think it wise to open their Christmas department in August then I see no reason why not to share some amusingly ghoulish pictures as prep for our favorite time of year—Allhallows Eve.

So, here for our enjoyment and possible edification are some intriguing pictures of women and skeletons. “What’s going on here?” you may ask. Well, quite a lot actually. These vintage photographs and postcards of women dancing and flirting with skeletons are more than mere momento mori or snapshots of ladies at carnivals having a jolly wheeze in the face of death—they are in some respects quite transgressive.

Some of these pictures were intended as, well, shall we say, “educational erotica” giving the viewer a frisson of arousal while at the same time battering them on the head with the salutary warning that the wrong kind of boner could lead to disease and death. Something those Decadent artists used to bang (ahem) on about in their paintings.

The association of sex and death was something that would not have gone amiss with most women, for although the percentage of mothers dying during childbirth fell dramatically in the 19th-century, there was still a staggering number of perinatal fatalities—500 to 1,000 per 100,000 births.

Then again, a few of these pictures seem to show happy young thanatophiles reveling in the thrill of cavorting with their skeleton chums. Lucky old them!

The last selection comes from a series of photographs taken by Joseph Hall of a vaudeville production called Death and the Lady from 1906, which was loosely based on a 17th-century English ballad.

What I take from all these rather fantastic pictures is that Death comes for us all, so it’s never too early to get your costume ready for Halloween…
 
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More of this skeleton crew, after the jump…
 

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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09.13.2017
11:14 am
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The Illuminati of rock and roll: Remembering Pat Fear, a real-life Robert Anton Wilson character
09.13.2017
11:06 am
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It was recently the birthday of one of my lifelong best friends, Bill Bartell (1961-2013)

Bill aka “Pat Fear” was a walking, talking anomaly, a living Robert Anton Wilson conspiracy theory, a wisecracking character out of a Firesign Theatre sketch, a Discordian trickster imp of the perverse. His credit card even said “The Illuminati” under his name (for real, I swear!). Bill also went by the names “Kixx”; “Sitting Bill”; “Pat ‘Slowhand’ Fear”; “Billy Jo Gun Rack,” etc., etc., and these are just the ones that he used on records! I can’t even imagine the secret pseudonyms he used “off stage.” I also can’t actually believe that he is not still alive. It seems like some kind of shitty cosmic joke. The world that doesn’t get to know Bill is a sad world.

Bill did so much for our culture, mostly by ridiculing it. He was a super mega ultra fan of so many disconnected things. He lived to tear down so many idols. His band White Flag was formed originally solely just to piss off Black Flag (one of his favorite bands). Bill pissed many people off, which was his life’s mission or so it seemed.
 
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He was just SO good at it!
 
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Bill’s side project, but really his life’s work as it was so open-ended was a grouping called Tater Totz. This project dealt with Bill’s obsessions. As it grew, many people from his obsessions wound up on Tater Totz records. Who? Man, so many! Always Redd Kross of course, but also members of the Runaways, Germs/Nirvana, Partridge Family, Sonic Youth, Lovedolls, Tesco Vee, El Vez, The Zeros, The Posies, Jimmy McNichol (!!??!!), Hole, Sator, Starz, Zeros, Melvins, Shonen Knife, Go-Go’s, Adolescents, Pandoras, Roman Coppola, Circle Jerks, Frightwig, Chemical People, Sin 34/Painted Willie, myself and just about everyone else who came into Bill’s orbit. The main focus of Tater Totz was Bill’s Yoko Ono obsession, followed closely by his interest in Os Mutantes, the Beatles, Blue Oyster Cult, even a mashup of John Lennon and Queen. Their greatest moment, in my opinion, was when they showed up at a Beatlefest convention and did all Yoko Ono songs, driving the Beatle nerds to violence and riot! They literally chased them out of the building and down the street like the villagers did to poor Frankenstein’s monster! Part of this is on YouTube and can be seen here on Dangerous Minds (link at bottom of this post). Bill, of course, immediately put it out as a double seven-inch bootleg EP called Live Hate at Beatlefest, one of the best titles ever, obviously.
 
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Bill Bartell also single-handedly turned the entire world onto Os Mutantes, a bizarre Brazilian band from the 60s whose first LP his sister, an exchange student there, brought back to him in the Sixties. Bill went around throughout the 80s with a Walkman with Os Mutantes on it and plopped the headphones on to everyone he met.

This is in fact, how I met him.
 
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He also did this to his buddy Kurt Cobain who, when he got famous, and toured in Brazil, went on the news and asked where Os Mutantes were, and said that his friend Bill who “has a mustache” told him about them. He then held up a drawing he did of Bill. This, from the then biggest rock star in the world! Os Mutantes, who had broken up for decades have publicly stated that their resurgence was totally due to Bill and they came from Brazil on their own dime to play at his memorial in LA.
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Howie Pyro
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09.13.2017
11:06 am
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‘Let’s sacrifice Toby’: Hilariously deviant retro t-shirt designs
09.13.2017
10:25 am
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An inspired retro t-shirt design by graphic artist, Steven Rhodes.
 
Steven Rhodes, a graphic designer who hails from Brisbane, Australia, is the excellent individual responsible for the hysterical retro-style t-shirts in this post. Loosely based on the popular series of exploitive riffs on Little Golden Activity Books that have made the rounds on the Internet, Rhodes has taken things one step beyond with his shirt designs by making up alternate scenarios involving young tykes experiencing their first knife fight or ritualistic cult sacrifice. Excellent.

Rhodes has loads of cool shirts in his shop including alternative takes on Twin Peaks, a few based on the films of Wes Anderson, and others which homage the awesome neon-lit 80s. For my money, and as the shirts will run you $20-$25 bucks a pop depending on the style, I have to give it up to Rhodes’ peculiar illustrations of kids doing things I wish I had done when I was their age. I’ve included a few of my favorite shirts from Rhodes’ collection below. To see the rest and to order one of your very own, click here. Screw you, Toby! Time to DIE!
 

 

 
More macabre mirth after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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09.13.2017
10:25 am
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