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The Joy of Easy Listening
06.20.2011
11:25 am

Topics:
History
Music
Television

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A kind soul has posted the new BB4 documentary,The Joy of Easy Listening on YouTube. If this is from the same team who did the great Synth Britannia doc, it should be pretty good. Watch it quick before it evaporates:

In-depth documentary investigation into the story of a popular music that is often said to be made to be heard, but not listened to. The film looks at easy listening’s architects and practitioners, its dangers and delights, and the mark it has left on modern life.

From its emergence in the 50s to its heyday in the 60s, through its survival in the 70s and 80s and its revival in the 90s and beyond, the film traces the hidden history of a music that has reflected society every bit as much as pop and rock - just in a more relaxed way.

Invented at the dawn of rock ‘n’ roll, easy listening has shadowed pop music and the emerging teenage market since the mid-50s. It is a genre that equally soundtracks our modern age, but perhaps for a rather more ‘mature’ generation and therefore with its own distinct purpose and aesthetic.

Contributors include Richard Carpenter, Herb Alpert, Richard Clayderman, Engelbert Humperdinck, Jimmy Webb, Mike Flowers, James Last and others.

Here’s the first part, you can watch the rest on YouTube:
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Miles Davis talks about his art on Nile Rodgers’ ‘New Visions’
06.20.2011
09:35 am

Topics:
Art
Media
Music
Television

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The great Nile Rodgers has started uploading clips from his old TV show New Visions to his new YouTube account. This short clip gives a fascinating insight into the artwork made by Miles Davis, of which there is an example above, called “The Kiss”.

Here Miles talks candidly about the shapes and colours in his work and what they mean to him, in his wonderfully gravelly voice. It all seems very sexual. The only downside is that this video is agonisingly short - Nile, if you have the full length version of this episode then you HAVE to put it online for the whole world to see!
 

 
Bonus!
Another clip from New Visions, this time featuring guitarists John Lee Hooker, Carlos Santana, Robert Fripp and more:
 

 
Previously on DM:
Nile Rodgers: Walking On Planet C
Nile Rodgers dishes the dirt on Atlantic Records
Miles Davis Quintet skateboards
Miles Davis: Louis Malle’s ‘Elevator To The Gallows’ recording session

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
‘The Great Satan At Large’: The filthiest TV show of all time
06.20.2011
01:12 am

Topics:
Pop Culture
Punk
Television

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The Great Satan At Large was a public access TV show that lasted one unholy episode in 1990 before being canceled by the deeply offended and seriously freaked-out management of Tucson, Arizona’s channel 49. Faced with obscenity charges and the possibility of 40 years in prison, the show’s creator and diabolical host, Lou Perfidio (the Great Satan), fled Arizona with blood-hungry Feds and rabid Christian dogs nipping at his cloven hooves.

Airing at the family hour of 6:00 p.m. on a channel known for its Christian programming, The Great Satan At Large featured dinner-time filth for the whole Satan-worshiping family. While chroma-keyed videos of Adolf Hitler, under-age strippers, titty twisters and masturbating jesters intercut with celluloid transgressions by Richard Kern and Nick Zedd glistered in the background like freshly slung wads of pixilated cum, the chain-smoking, beer-swilling Perfidio assaulted the viewer with every vile thought his unfiltered id could extrude. He was Johnny Carson re-incarnated as G.G. Allin with a twisted pinch of Anton LaVey and a schmear of Al Goldstein.

When he wasn’t incarnating Satan, Perfidio was a Temple University graduate, self-proclaimed “Greatest Pinball Player of All Time,” a contributor to Vending Times magazine, sportswriter, and raging alcoholic. His former friend Jim Goad of ANSWER Me! magazine described Lou “as a fat, bearded, farting, filthy-mouthed, passionate punk rocker” who drank so much that “in his twenties, he had the body of a sixty-year-old.”  Despite being perpetually hammered, Perfidio could write and did so on his blog I Love Misery.

Lou died at the age of 43 in 2006 of MRSA, flesh-eating bacteria, pneumonia and high blood pressure - a hellish end for a man who would be God of darkness.

Is there cable TV in Hell?
 

 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Jason Silva’s Turning Into Gods
06.19.2011
08:07 pm

Topics:
Media
Pop Culture
Science/Tech

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Dangerous Minds pal and Singularity enthusiast Jason Silva—you might know him from Al Gore’s Current TV—is working on a documentary on the next stage of human evolution, aptly titled Turning Into Gods.  Alongside the concept trailer below, you’ll also find him waxing philosophical on the “Extended Mind Thesis” put forth by cognitive philosophers David Chalmers and Andy Clark, as well as having an “ecstatic dialogue” with Transcendent Man director Barry Ptolemy. 

Jason will be joining Dangerous Minds as a contributor, writing (and ranting) about the intersection of science and art.  Jason recently completed a pilot produced by Bill Maher for HBO. He has written for Vanity Fair, Fast Company, Huffington Post, Big Think, and will have an article in the October issue of Playboy magazine.  Follow Jason on Twitter here: @jason_silva
 

 

 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Richard Morris’ ‘Tyler: The Creator, or an Old Skool Sexist?’
06.19.2011
09:34 am

Topics:
Feminism
Hip-hop
Media
Politics
Queer

Tags:


 
Amid the ongoing internet brouhaha surrounding Tyler The Creator’s lyrical content, this article from the website Soundblab is the best I have read on the subject so far, and pretty accurately nails the problems I have with Tyler’s approach to writing about sex and abuse. Yeah, I get that he’s still a kid so hasn’t had a great deal of real life experience in these areas, but like so many of the other excuses brought up in this debate, that’s still pretty weak. Richard Morris writes:

Now, there are three arguments being put forward to explain, excuse and otherwise justify Tyler’s lyrical concerns. These arguments are the same ones which get put forward time and time again when hip hop artists produce dubious lyrics: he’s just reflecting his background; he just repeating what’s everywhere in hip hop culture; he’s playing with a persona. A moment’s reflection is all you need to work out that that last excuse can’t exist with the first two. Either Tyler is honestly reflecting where he comes from and the culture he’s surrounded by, or he’s concocted a character as satire or narrative aid. It can’t be both.

...

However, if you still want to buy into any or all of those arguments listed above, fine, but I have a question for you: where are all the songs by female artists about attacking and raping men? If that seems a ridiculous thing to ponder, ask yourself why. Why does it make sense for a man to rap about raping a woman but not the other way round? The answer, when you pick it apart, is probably that there would be no audience for those kind of songs. Similarly, there’s not much call for songs where gay artists have a go at straight people. No one would buy into that kind of stupid prejudice. Gay activists would condemn it as counter-productive.

Tyler, the Creator has identified an audience and, with the media’s help, he’s milking that for all it’s worth. That audience is primarily made up of white young men. A couple of weeks ago, Hamish MacBain took Tyler to task in the pages of NME, pointing out that Odd Future had bypassed the traditional hip hop audience, instead crossing over quickly to the kind of alternative music fans who read Pitchfork, the Guardian and, hey, Soundblab. It’s exactly these alternative, typically liberal-leaning fans who repeatedly let hip hop artists off the hook when it comes to misogynistic and homophobic lyrics.

For me the problem is not so much that these excuses are not applicable - it’s that twenty years after the release of Death Certificate we’re still having the exact same debate. We’ve not moved on. It’s disheartening to see that popular hip-hop has devolved into a negatized musical format whose primary function is to piss off suburban parents, and where shock tactics outweigh genuine insight. Much of the blame for this can be heaped on the feet of the media, but surely the music is just as much at fault too? Because to me Tyler’s lyrics do not feel in any way transgressive. Really, they don’t, they’re the same old thing I have heard countless times before. If you do think they are transgressive, then I would say you are part of a social group that has thankfully never been subject to the threat of rape or abuse. Tyler’s lyrics simply re-enforce the status quo, and as such they’re just boring.

Read all of Richard Morris’ excellent article here. Soundblab also has another article defending Tyler’s lyrical content, by James Bray, which you can read here.

 

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
Fantastic rendition of ‘Waterloo Sunset’ by Queenie Watts
06.19.2011
08:41 am

Topics:
History
Music
Television

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It doesn’t get more Lahndan Tahn than than this. Taken from a 1979 BBC TV Play For Today drama written by Barrie Keeffe and directed by RIchard Eyre, this clip sees Ray Davies’ mid-60s paean to young romance belted out on a rickety ole joanna by Queenie Watts. Watts was a well-loved Cockney performer who appeared in such classic British TV shows as Dad’s Army and Steptoe and Son. She and her husband Slim also ran the Rose and Crown pub in London’s East End, where they would perform with a band, entertaining a mixed crowd of locals, celebs and gangsters. Queenie’s take on The Kinks’ classic makes the connection between the swinging 60s and the city’s earlier music hall history, and it just drips Cockney charm. Cor blimey!
 

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
‘The Future is Theirs’: BOAC promotional film from 1950s
06.19.2011
05:44 am

Topics:
History

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image
 
The Future is Theirs is a promotional film made by British Overseas Airways Corporation (B.O.A.C.) in the 1950s to advertise the quality and standard of their services.

B.O.A.C. was the former British state airline from 1939-1946, and the long-haul British state airline from 1946-1974.

In 1971, following an act of parliament, B.O.A.C. was merged with British European Airways (B.E.A.) - Britain’s largest domestic airline 1946-1974 - to become British Airways. 

This fabulous film shows the various operations from the ground up, required to maintain B.O.A.C. flights across the world:

“What makes it possible to cross continents and oceans in the count of hours, straddle the world in an easy chair?

The answer is: people and planning.

Individual skills, integrity, and fore-thought that add up to the organization of a world airline.”

Where:

“Precision, power, reliability and comfort are the measure of an airline.”

Directed by John Spencer, with commentary read by the actor William Franklin (best known for his advertizsing work for “Sch…you know who”) and a lively and dramatic musical score, composed by Frank Cordell, a former World War II radio navigator, who flew missions with RAF Bomber Command, and was later involved with establishing London’s famed Institute of Contemporary Arts. Cordell also composed the film scores for Tony Hancock’s The Rebel, David McCallum’s Mosquito Squadron, Cromwell and Ring of Bright Water, amongst many others.

The Future is Theirs is a fascinating piece of advertising, which captures a world full of optimism and promise. Just like today, but with wings.
 

 
Relax and enjoy the rest of this in-flight presentation, after the jump…
 
With thanks to Una Gallacher
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
‘Ism Ism’: Manuel De Landa’s deviant art meets the New York Dolls
06.19.2011
02:46 am

Topics:
Advertorial
Art
Music
Pop Culture

Tags:


 
Once thought lost, but recently found and restored by Anthology Film Archives, artist/philosopher Manuel De Landa’s Super 8 Ism Ism captures his truly inspired collage mutations of New York City subway ads during the mid-to-late 70s. Slicing and dicing the perfect faces of models into deviant ghouls, Ism Ism turns the homogenate into the ripening rot of nightmares.

“Bad Girl” and “Subway Train” by the New York Dolls is the perfect soundtrack to De Landa’s animated subterranean monstrosities.
 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Eerie 1978 video for Suicide’s ‘Frankie Teardrop’
06.18.2011
11:26 pm

Topics:
Art
Pop Culture
Punk

Tags:


 
In 1978, the founders of D.I.Y. magazine Art-Rite, Edit deAk and Mike (Walter) Robinson, collaborated with video artist Paul Dougherty in creating this eerie film and video montage for Suicide’s “Frankie Teardrop” in which ordinary images are suffused with dread.

“Frankie Teardrop” is a homicidal Punk epic. It’s a working-class ballad about Frankie who’s working from nine to five and can’t survive. His solution is to kill off his family and then himself. But it’s not done in an angry way. It’s done in a frustrated way so the film implies this frustration.”  Edit deAk

Shards of New York in the 1970s flutter like the wings of dying birds.
 

 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Angry Doctor ruins UK Prime Minister’s hospital visit
06.18.2011
08:36 pm

Topics:
Amusing

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image
 
A senior orthopaedic surgeon upstaged the British PM David Cameron, his Deputy, Nick Clegg and Secretary of State for Health, Andrew Lansley, during their PR visit to Guy’s Hospital in London, earlier this week.

The doctor’s anger was caused by the camera crews and press photographers who had failed to follow hospital procedure by rolling up their sleeves during the visit.

The prime minister was quick to agree with the surgeon and told the crew he thought they should “disappear”. The hospital visit came on the day that changes to plans for the NHS were announced.

Cameron and Clegg look like two schoolboys caught up to no good behind the teacher’s back.
 

 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
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