Steven Severin has always been cool as fuck. From when he first appeared on TV, looking edgy at the back of the infamous Bill Grundy interview that launched The Sex Pistols’ “filth and the fury” onto the nation, through Siouxsie and The Banshees, to his position now as one of our leading film composers. Just take a look at Mr. Severin in this interview for Music Box, from 1987, with his blonde crop and silk waistcoat, and compare him to the mullet haired interviewer, who looks like he’s come off the set of Miami Vice, or failed the audition for Conan the Barbarian, again. Mr. Severin has always been ahead of the pack, and that’s what makes him so interesting musically, creatively, intellectually, and in his sense of style.
In this brief, rare interview, Steven discusses how he first met Siouxsie (at a Roxy Music concert in 1975); why the band’s line-up has changed for the better; his thoughts on being the first band to tour Argentina since the Falklands war; why The Banshees recorded “Dear Prudence” in Stockholm; and how tax problems affected The Glove, his band with Robert Smith.
Steven Severin is touring with his superb score for Carl Dreyer’s Vampyr in May and June this year, details here, where you can also buy a copy of his Vampyr CD.
Unbelievable footage of a pod of dolphins (about 30 or so) deciding to bum rush a beach in Arraial do Cabo, Brazil, on March 5th, 2012. Fortunately, this has a happy ending, as the beachgoers and vacationers come to the pods’ rescue in absolute unison and with zero hesitation or fear to help the dolphins back into the ocean. Well done!
Justin Hawkins, Dan Hawkins , Frankie Poullain and Ed Graham with Brian May at the Hammersmith Apollo on November 2011.
Fellow Austinites, The Darkness will be at Stubb’s on May 25. This, for me, is a must-see show. Just when rock and roll seems to have been taken over by bands that are smaller than life and waaaay too serious, The Darkness returns to crush the twee brigade into fine dust.
“In layman terms this means that in order to induce death, a marijuana smoker would have to consume 20,000 to 40,000 times as much marijuana as is contained in one marijuana cigarette. NIDA-supplied marijuana cigarettes weigh approximately .9 grams. A smoker would theoretically have to consume nearly 1,500 pounds of marijuana within about fifteen minutes to induce a lethal response.”
Compare and contrast the damage that just two bottles of tequila would do to the human body (Been there, done that and won the booby prize of 4-day hangover...).
And while I’m on the topic, whereas you can see that it’s impossible for a human to OD on cannabis, the plant is HIGHLY toxic to dogs. That’s right, do not let your pooch near your stash. If you make pot brownies keep them out of your dog’s reach (Chocolate is also lethal to dogs. So are grapes and onions). If your dog eats cannabis, rush it to a pet hospital without hesitation.
Here’s a transcript of the idiotic robocall that the Santorum campaign tried to ding Mitt Romney with in Ohio prior to Super Tuesday:
“Hi, my name is Brian Camenker; I’m a Jew from Massachusetts. And this is Darcy Brandon; I’m a Christian from California. If you believe as we do that marriage and sexuality should only be between a man and a woman, please help us stop Mitt Romney. As Governor, Romney signed “Gay Youth Pride Day” declarations, promoted homosexuality in our elementary schools, and unconstitutionally ordered state officals to make Massachusetts America’s first same-sex marriage state. Romney supports open homosexuality in the military, the appointment of homosexual judges, and the ENDA law, making it illegal to fire a man who wears a dress and high heels to work, even if he’s your kid’s teacher. When you vote tomorrow, please vote for social sanity and Rick Santorum, not for homosexuality and Mitt Romney. Rick Santorum is the only candidate who can be trusted to uphold traditional marriage, a straight military, and the rights of American children to have both a mother and a father. This message paid for by JewsandChristiansTogether.org and not authorized by any candidate. To get the facts before you vote, visit Jews and Christians Together.org.” (You can listen to it at Gawker)
If I got a robo-call like that, I’d be fucking furious—I never will, I live in Los Angeles—but it almost becomes amusing when you look into the background of Brian Camenker, a longtime anti-gay activist in Massachusetts, as Sarah Posner did on Religious Dispatches.
Here’s how the “Jews and Christians Together” press release described Camenker’s views on Mitt Romney:
Brian Camenker, president of Mass Resistance and compiler of much of that Romney research and one of the robo-call voices said, “Mitt Romney would be the most liberal Republican ever nominated for the Presidency. Romney is so far left, he spoke against the right of the Boy Scouts to screen-out homosexuals. Mitt Romney proved during the January 8 Meet the Press debate that he’s still as far left on the gay agenda as always. He proudly announced, ‘a member of my cabinet was gay. I appointed people to the bench regardless of their sexual orientation.’ Asked when he last stood up and spoke out for increasing gay rights, Romney said ‘Right now.’”
At yesterday’s hearing of Joint Committee on Education, Brian Camenker of MassResistance in support of Bill S321—Parental Notification—spent his three minutes of allotted time to speak in support of this bill by claiming that homosexuals were not among the 6 million Jews, gypsies, Jehovah’s Witnesses and social outcasts killed by the Nazis in the Holocaust. Camenker went as far as to say that the whole “pink triangle” was made up in order to arrest Catholic priests.
And it gets worse, one of Camenker’s minions who testified twice agreed with Brian. In her testimony before the Joint Committee on Education, she said that it was the Nazis themselves who were the homosexuals and they gave pink triangles to and arrested only the “most flamboyant of their own people.”
Look, I think Mitt Romney absolutely sucks, but the idea that these appalling weirdos (and Rick Santorum) think they can get any traction with this kind of stuff is bloody preposterous, like Mr. Camenker himself, as seen in this hilarious Daily Show piece from 2008:
I had a good chuckle while visiting the site Zontar of Venus who recently posted various old posters and stills from the musical fantasy film The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. The movie was released in 1953 and was the only feature film written by Dr. Seuss.
To be honest, I tried watching it again a few years ago and couldn’t make it past the first 30 minutes. I remembered it being much more fantastical when I was a kid, I guess.
Whimsical segment from the seventies prime time TV program Real People featuring Klaus Nomi, Joey Arias and others (I also spotted a young John Sex and Kenny Scharf frugging away) dancing in the window of the Fiorucci boutique, which used to be across the street from Bloomingdales.
Here’s something for you folks with a taste for the bizarre: a video mix of Indonesian horror films and garage/psyche rock from Southeast Asia.
Look Back In Angkor featuring music by Srei Sothear, Sin Sisamouth, Prum Manh, Meas Samon, The Gang Of Harry Roesli, Aka, and lots of tracks by artists unknown that appeared on rare homemade audio cassettes.
[I’ve got the flu today, so I’m retooling an older post from 2010 with a different video while I go feel sorry for myself!]
In 2010, The Quietus blog ran a feature where they asked musical luminaries like Nick Cave, John Lydon, Iggy Pop, Mike Patton, Wayne Coyne and Ennio Morricone what their favorite Miles Davis album is. Unsurprisingly, asking these iconoclastic fellas, the majority of the nods go to Miles’ incredibly far out 70s album (from Bitches Brew to Dark Magus basically), the ones that most jazz fans, and even staunch Miles Davis fans used to absolutely hate, but that have been reconsidered critically in recent years as the public caught up to them
For me, I started to get into this “difficult” spot of the Miles Davis catalog about ten-twelve years ago. I already owned Bitches Brew and Get Up With It (which features a incredible sidelong elegy to Duke Ellington titled “He Loved Him Madly” improvised in the studio after Miles heard Ellington had died. The piece was cited by Brian Eno as the beginnings of ambient music) but it was A) getting a really good stereo system in 2002 and B) reading this amazing rant by Julian Cope about this period of Miles’ output that saw me really investigate the “horrible” racket Miles was making then. Wanting new music to listen to on my new toy, I bought Dark Magus first, Pangaea and Agharta in the space of three consecutive days. Once I started, I fell into a musical rabbit hole that I didn’t get out of for about a year or two later. I was not a very popular guy with the neighbors back then, I don’t think.
Not that I am saying anything here that hasn’t been expressed already in quarters like The Wire magazine, but if you ask me, the material that Miles Davis produced between 1970 and 1975 (when ill health and drug dependency forced him to retire for several years) is the absolute apex of his vast recorded output. Don’t get me wrong, I love Kind of Blue, In a Silent Way, Sketches of Spain, and many other earlier Miles Davis albums, but the ones I play loudest, most often and that I pay the most attention to, are the coke-out live albums, Dark Magus, Agharta, Pangaea. These albums are… fucking unique and that’s putting it mildly. There is nothing else to compare them to, even remotely, in the history of modern music (Maybe Can meets Fela Kuti?)
With up to three electric guitarists (Reggie Lucas, Pete Cosey and Dominique Gaumont), Miles on organ and electrified trumpet (run through a wah-wah pedal) and a rhythm section consisting of the insane, propulsive drumming of Al Foster, Mtume on percussion and the most amazing Michael Henderson on bass holding the whole thing together, holy shit, these performances are AGGRESSIVE. Julian Cope wrote about notion of continental plates shifting to get across the power of the Pangaea set (recorded live in Osaka, Japan in 1975 on the evening of the day that Aghartha was recorded) and I’d say that’s about right. Every instrument which isn’t soloing is placed in service of THE GROOVE—even the guitars can be seen as adding a percussive element to the overall wall of noise-funk effect.
At the proper volume, it can plow you down like a Mack truck. Interestingly, from the midst of this dank, swirling sonic maelstrom, every time one of the musicians steps forward for a solo, it reminds me of the odd noises and “squiggly” sounds that seem to come out of nowhere in certain Stockhausen or Xenakis compositions, cutting through the soupy din (At one point on Dark Magus, a primitive drum machine is pulled out and used like a machine gun!).
This 1973 performance from the Montreux Jazz Festival is a pretty scorching example of what Miles and his band (Davis’ sidemen here are Dave Liebman, Reggie Lucas, Pete Cosey, Michael Henderson, Al Foster, Mtume) was doing live at the time. It MUST be turned up loud for the proper effect: