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The K-Tel record selector
03:53 pm


Record selector

We totally had one of these. Always good when it threw the last few records out of the slots due to momentum once it got going. Good times.

Bonus 8 track selector after the jump…

Posted by Brad Laner | Leave a comment
Vladimir Putin - Action Comics
11:56 am


Vladimir Putin

Comrade Vladimir Putin has proven himself to be more than just Ruler of All Russia (surely Prime Minster? - Ed.) - a dab hand at judo, a master of swimming, an ace shot, a singer, and excellent at going topless in public. It is, therefore, no surprise that some wag (surely Right Wing Capitalist Lackey? - Ed.) has a comic strip, poking fun at VP and his idiosyncratic ways. The strip comes at an interesting time, as Putin, who has had the highest approval rating of any world leader, may stand for re-election as President in Russia’s 2012 elections.
Bonus strip and Putin sings video after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Foreskin restoration devices

Basic restoration kit.
The first cut is the deepest.

Want your foreskin back? Check out, a social networking site for men who wish to participate in a community devoted to foreskin restoration.

There are different methods of restoring your foreskin. One method is tugging. You can tug manually or you can use tape or a strap.

Tugging is not dangerous.  But, tuggers can often be their own worst enemy. I have heard of guys hurting themselves.  Usually, if there is an injury it is either because the person is tugging too hard (too much tension or tugging for too many hours at a time) or fell asleep while tugging and either slept through the pain or had a nocturnal erection. Fortunately, most injuries are only skin tears that will heal in a short time.  But, there is no reason to ever injure yourself. Just tug in moderation and avoid sleeping while tugging until you have the experience to do it properly, if you do it at all. If you tug properly and have normal skin, you will not get stretch marks! My first concern when I started was that I would get stretch marks. Never happened. In fact, it rarely happens to anyone. Stretch marks occur when there is too much tension for a long period of time. If you are tugging that hard, you will see other signs before you get to the point of having stretch marks. If you see your skin getting red, raw, or you are getting sore or feeling pain, STOP! You are tugging too hard.

Here’s a clip on tugging from three tugging experts, James Haughey, Roland Clark and Ron Low.

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
The Books’ ‘I Didn’t Know That’: A modern-day hymn of wonder

Since guitarist/vocalist Nick Zammuto and cellist Paul de Jong came together to make music in New York City as The Books in 1999, they’ve put together four albums worth of some of the most unique and emotive music you’ll ever hear.

These two work in the poetic collage/sample music realm inhabited by artists like People Like Us and Negativland. But they distinguish themselves via their live instrumentation and Zammuto’s vocals, which often follow and repeat the various voices sampled from advertising, self-help media and other sources, transforming them into modern-day chants.

Zammuto’s also a pro at accompanying The Books’ music with amazing video collage, like this one that he put together for “I Didn’t Know That” from their latest album, The Way Out.

Get: The Books - The Way Out [CD]
Get: The Books - The Way Out [album download]


Posted by Ron Nachmann | Leave a comment
‘Strange Powers’: Stephin Merritt’s magnetic field
01:20 am


Strange Powers
Stephin Merrit

Stephin Merritt is one of my favorite songwriters and they’ve made a movie about him. Stephin embodies a part of New York City I love.

‘Strange Powers’, which surveys Mr. Merritt’s career and captures his uneasy relationship with fame (he wants it, but doesn’t want to be seen wanting it), sometimes feels like a cross between a standard rock biography and ‘Grey Gardens’.

Read the NY Times review of Strange Powers here.

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
‘Never Mind The Bollocks, Here’s The Sex Pistols’ released in the UK on October 27, 1977
10:10 pm


The Sex Pistols
Never Mind The Bollocks

Never Mind The Bollocks, Here’s The Sex Pistols released in the U.K. on October, 27, 1977. An infamous day in rock and roll history.

Here’s some rarely seen footage of The Pistols performing in Holland. Nov. 12, 1977.


Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Aronofsky channels Argento in gothic thriller ‘The Black Swan’
08:31 pm


Dario Argento
Darren Aronofsky
The Black Swan

Set in the cultish world of ballet and revolving around a performance of Swan Lake, Darren Aronofksy’s The Black Swan may be the best Dario Argento movie that Argento didn’t direct. It’s a psychological horror/thriller that recalls the finest of the Italian giallo films. Or imagine The Red Shoes directed by Hitchcock at his most demented and you’ll get a sense of the spinetingling creepiness and ravishing visuals served up by Aronofky’s wonderfully warped cinematic mindfucker.

It’s rare for a film these days to actually be scary. Most contemporary horror flicks are repulsive rather than frightening, assaulting the viewer instead of seducing them. The Black Swan is jump-out-of-your-seat scary and it achieves its scares honestly, through evocative storytelling and crafty film making. In addition, it’s sexy as hell, full of gothic atmosphere and genuine eroticism - a fairytale for adults.

Natalie Portman, Barbara Hershey, Wynona Ryder and the perpetually intriguing Vincent Cassel deliver terrific performances. Matthew Libatique’s cinematography is inverts the technicolor opulence of The Red Shoes, the dread shoes. The art direction by David Stein ( Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) evokes the German expressionism of The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari.  

Aronofsky, who directed one of the worst films ever made, the loathsome Requiem For A Dream, has now redeemed himself with two extraordinary films in a row: The Black Swan and 2008’s The Wrestler.

I’m rather certain my Argento comparison will hold up to careful scrutiny. I need to see Swan again but on a first viewing many of Argento’s stylistic flourishes, both psychological and visual, permeate The Black Swan like a cloud of intoxicating opium smoke: surrealistic dreamscapes, the lethal eroticism of sharp-edged objects, a virginal heroine in the thrall of suppressed sexuality, setting the action in a theater, windows and mirrors as portals into the subconscious, mother love, lesbianism, Catholic guilt, secret societies, occultism, the id on fire, blood, blood, blood….The Black Swan would make a great companion to Suspiria and Opera.

At the end of tonight’s screening of The Black Swan at the Austin Film Festival the audience cheered loudly in a spontaneous eruption of delight. We all felt the kind of giddiness one feels after being manhandled by a master filmmaker. Aronofsy may not quite be a master yet, but he’s getting there.

The Black Swan opens in the US on December 3.

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Grateful Dead - Dark Star live in Veneta, Oregon 8-27-72

Is it controversial to post an over half hour version of Dark Star by the Dead here on the DM? I guess I’ll find out. The Dead have grown on me over time. Hated ‘em as a kid, perhaps you have to be a decrepit old hippy to “get” them. Whatever, they sound great to me now, maaaaan. Here’s some footage of them at their exploratory best that I was never before aware of that I found whilst stumbling around the series of tubes (as you do). Some delightfully acid-fried “you are there” scenes and some Gilliam-esque animated interludes as well as the crystal clear sound coming off the stage. Evidently this is from a film that was considered even too lysergic by the band themselves to bother completing.

Much more after the jump…

Posted by Brad Laner | Leave a comment
The Great Place the Ball Swindle

The story originally came to me via a friend, who had a friend, who had a film script – that’s how things happen, like ‘Chinese Whispers’, they start off as one thing and become something else. It was a good script, and would have made a fun wee movie, the kind Bill Forsyth or Charlie Gormley made about Glasgow in the 1980s, you can Google the type, Comfort and Joy meets Heavenly Pursuits, something like that.

I hocked it around but no takers, one to put down to experience. But I was still intrigued and thought there was maybe something more here, especially after the script’s writer, Carl MacDougall, told me the story was loosely based on real events. So, I’ll start with how it ended and then tell you how it began and where it all went wrong.

It should have been the best of times, but just weeks after 19-year-old, James McCreadie won £1500 on the Scottish Daily Express Place the Ball competition, three men, who claimed to be from the newspaper, turned up at his door and demanded he hand over £1300 of his winnings. If he didn’t pay up, then the men would put him in a concrete overcoat and dump him in the River Clyde.

Suddenly, it was the worst of times, and while most would have coughed up the money to avoid the fish, McCreadie had a problem - he didn’t have his winnings, he’d spent them on drinking, gambling, and a new £95 color TV for his gran. In fear for his life, the teenager went to the police - and this is how the cops uncovered biggest fraud in British newspaper history.

It began with Catherine McChord. At twenty-seven, she felt her life was over and could only dream of escaping the deprived housing estate in Baillieston, on the outskirts of Glasgow, where she lived with her husband, Eddie, a twenty-seven—year-old taxi driver. When the couple discovered, two years into their marriage, they could not have children, they decided to set their sights on the top, as Cathy later told the Glasgow Herald:

“I don’t really know why I became involved in this.  Maybe it would have been different if we could have had children. I don’t know.”

McChord worked as an office clerk at the Scottish Daily Express, where she earned £35 a week.  For Cathy, it seemed that her future life was all around her - older women who had worked at the same job in the same office, year-after-year, until they retired, received their handshake, and had nothing to show for it but a few happy thoughts and the faint memory of a fling at the Christmas party. That wasn’t for Cathy, she wanted a taste of the good things in life - holidays, a car, a new home.  That was the dream, and in 1973, the dream became a little closer when she was appointed Deputy Competitions Clerk, to the new Head of Competitions, Colin Hunter.

At thirty-six, Hunter was very similar to Cathy.  He’d spent a life working hard at a job as a middle management accountant, who knew his promotion to Head of Competitions, with a salary of £80 a week, was as high up as he would ever go. 

Like Cathy, Colin wanted more from life.  He hated living in Castlemilk.  He felt it wasn’t a safe place for his family to grow up in.  The sixties promise of a modern Glasgow was now a grey reality of bleak new towns, housing estates and high rises.  Hunter felt his best years were over and just wanted to give his wife, and especially his two children something of value, something that would change their lives for the better, and now here was that chance.

In the 1960s and 1970s Britain was addicted to a newspaper competition called Spot the Ball.  Each week, the Scottish Daily Express, amongst others, would publish a photograph from a soccer match and invite readers to guess the position of the ball, which has been removed from the picture.  In its day, the Scottish Daily Express’ Place the Ball was as popular as the National Lottery today. Unlike the lottery, individuals used mathematical theory, random algorithms, body language, lines of sight convergence, and a considerable amount of potluck to pin-point the exact position of the missing ball.

The Express offered a weekly cash prize of £1,500 – the equivalent of the average workers’ yearly wage.  This was later increased to £5,000 and then to £20,500 and £22,000 – the equivalent of a £1,000,000 win today.

Too great a temptation for Cathy, who realized, when it was rumoured the Scottish Daily Express was to close, and the staff made redundant, she had found a way to have those things she had always wanted.

On hearing her suggestion, Hunter turned a blind eye, but later claimed he joined the criminal cartel after he heard redundancy money was being offered at Express departments, and he and his colleagues hoped to collect as well. “But in March 1974, we were told we were being retained.  That was the final trigger for the involvement.”

It was a simple plan. Cathy and Hunter ran a syndicate, made up of Eddie McChord, and friends John Smith, Thomas Hutton, and Donald Williamson. These friends located a suitable winner – someone who needed a small sum of money.  Once the bogus winner was selected, a winning entry form would be submitted in their name, which then won the £15,000 Place the Ball prize.

The bogus winner kept £200 of their winnings, returning £1300. 

The £1300 was divided three-ways: £500 each to Cathy and Hunter; and £300 for the other members of the syndicate.

From March 1974, until April 1977, Cathy and Hunter fixed 67 Place the Ball competitions.  They also twice rigged two major jackpots of £20,500 and £22,000, collecting two-thirds of these winnings for themselves.

As Cathy and Hunter did the hardest part of the swindle, they took the lion’s share of the loot.

“I enjoy spending money I like good things, wine, food, travel.  And I love clothes, particularly trouser suits. I did make flights to London to buy clothes but not as people made out.

“Whenever I had money from the competitions, I would take it to two building societies.  I would put between £100 and £300 in one and about the same amount in the other.  I did this several times and never once let Eddie know.”

Amongst the first winners, was Cathy’s mother.  The syndicate believed they were modern day Robin Hoods, who gave money to those who needed it most.  Winners were found from all over Glasgow, as Eddie McChord used his taxi to find and vet suitable winners; whilst his friends, Smith, Hutton and Williamson sought winners from a network of bars and social clubs.

The inevitable tension began to affect Cathy, and she was hospitalized after a serious bout of asthma.

Even so, she continued with the fraud, as for all involved it meant a life of luxury, flash cars, foreign holidays, new houses, lavish furnishings, and expensive jewelry

Cathy bought a new taxi for her husband, a £3,500 car for herself, and made her dream move from Baillieston to an £18,000 house in the suburbs.  She also had £12,000 in a building society account.

Hunter bought a gold watch and bracelet, a new Volvo and was in the process of purchasing a bungalow when caught.  He had £18,000 in various building societies and £500 in his pocket when arrested.

It seemed the perfect scam, until 19-year-old, James McCreadie was chosen as one of the 67 bogus winners.  For the former Tory election agent and son of a bookmaker, blew the whistle on the scam.

McCreadie had originally needed money to pay a fine of £125 for Kirkintilloch Thistle Boys soccer team, an under-13 group that he helped to run.

McCreadie was told that he could keep £200 of his £1500 winnings, but when no one contacted him to collect the rest of the money, McCreadie withdrew a further £200, and bought his grandmother a £95 television.  He then withdrew a further £1,100, and spent the lot.

The turning point for ‘Greedy’ McCreadie came when he was visited by three heavies, who threatened to “Chuck him in the Clyde wearing a concrete overcoat.”

Cathy McChord was jailed for 3 years, along with her boss, Colin Hunter after both admitted defrauding Beaverbrook’s Newspapers Ltd. in Scotland of £143,500.

They also admitted a charge of attempting to defraud a further £1500 from the paper’s Place the Ball competition.

Eddie McChord admitted defrauding the Scottish Daily Express of £4,500.  He was fined £1,000 or 12 months in prison.

Mrs McChord’s mother admitted 2 charges involving £3,000. Presiding Judge Lord Johnston said her part was minor and admonished her.

John Smith was fined £12,000 and 12 months in prison for defrauding the firm of £131,000.  He did not ask time to pay and was taken to the cells.

Thomas Hutton admitted frauds involving £70,000, was fined £4,000 or 12 months in prison.

Donald Williamson was fined £250 or 6 months, when he admitted fraud of £16,500.

Eddie McChord, Hutton and Williamson were allowed time to pay.

After his conviction Hunter said:

“I want to make a fresh start in life when all this mess is over and I want to wipe the slate clean. I suppose I got between £1500 and £1700 of the total money, and I presume Cathy got the same.”

The police recovered only £4224 of the £143,500. £139,000 is still unaccounted for.

Together, Hunter and the McChords stole over £1million in today’s money from the Daily Express.

Sadly, this wasn’t the end of Cathy’s story, just like those misunderstood whispers that change into something different, her life took a dark, and more horrific turn, when in 1982, she was murdered by deranged killer Ian Scoular.
No suitable video for this…but here’s Archie Gemmill’s genius goal for Scotland against Holland in the 1978 World Cup


Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Soul Dracula: Disco vampire
12:58 pm

Pop Culture

Soul Dracula
Hot Blood

Pre-Halloween disco grooviness.

Hot Blood’s classic ‘Soul Dracula’ was released in 1975. Here’s a clip from French TV

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
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