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Those Damn Carpetbaggers!
11.21.2010
01:31 pm

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Amusing

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Our favorite masked bandits return. First cat burglary, now carpetbagging. I’m just waiting for serial killing.
 

 
Previously on Dangerous Minds

Those Damn Cat Burglars!


 
With thanks to Timothy Paxton
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Chris Burden’s incredible Metropolis 2 coming soon to LACMA
11.21.2010
10:43 am

Topics:
Art
Environment
Heroes
Thinkers

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Both my inner and outer six-year-old are squealing with glee over this absolutely flabbergasting new work by the ultimate Los Angeles artist, Chris Burden.
I can’t wait to see this in person.
 

 
Thanks, Nicole Panter !

Posted by Brad Laner | Leave a comment
Things You Don’t Need: Mr. Creosote Vomiting Doll
11.21.2010
09:58 am

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Advertorial

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It’s that time of year when department stores fill their shelves with all those things you do not need. Today I spied this on display in one well-known high street store, Monty Python’s Mr. Creosote Vomiting Figure. This allegedly “collectable toy” originally went on sale in 2004, and according to its advertising pitch:

This is the first item ever made based on the Monty Python movie, The Meaning of Life. Squeeze Mr. Creosote and he vomits! Let go, and the vomit slides sickeningly back into his mouth and down his throat. Splatter fans, this is a must-have!

“Splatter fans”? It must have been a splatter fan who wrote this 5 star review on Amazon.com:

I love this little thing!!! It’s extremely amusing! You might even say that it’s more amusing than a slinky…okay…maybe not…BUT STILL!!! It’s pretty awesome!!!

Personally, I’d opt for the Slinky, but I doubt that’d help the Pythons get even richer.  So, if the vomiting doll doesn’t appeal then perhaps you can be tempted with a box of Mr. Creosote’s Wafer Thin Mints
 

 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
‘Who Killed Nancy?’ crochet dolls
11.21.2010
09:54 am

Topics:
Art

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Totally twisted Sid and Nancy amigurmi by artist Croshame.

Croshame’s Antigurumi Gallery

Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Knitted Kraftwerk

(via TDW via Superpunch)

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Is Gretchen Carlson really as dumb as she seems?
11.21.2010
09:12 am

Topics:
Belief
Kooks
Media

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Does former Miss America and Fox News personality, Gretchen Carlson play dumb—deliberately—for the money? I have my suspicions. After all, it’s not exactly easy for a Stanford and Oxford-educated person—as Carlson is—to really get down on the level of Steve “The Dumbest Man on TV!” Doocey, one of her co-hosts on “Fox and Friends.” I mean Steve Doocey? That’s pretty fuckin’ stupid. (He’s the Jerry Hubbard of Fox News and that’s really saying something. He even makes Rick Sanchez seem… well, less stupid).

Then again, Rep. Michele Bachmann herself was one of Carlson’s nannies growing up. (It all makes a strange, sad sense now, doesn’t it?)

Here, Carlson talks to a young boy who has had a near death experience (NDE) under anesthesia, and his father. They’ve written a book called Heaven is For Real. The takeaway? God is a very big person and he can fit the whole world in his hands, Jesus has a dazzling smile and there are no old people in Heaven. Gretchen seems to like this quaint notion. It seems to give the 44-year-old former Miss America comfort that she’ll be all raptured up there in the clouds with Jesus and the rest of the Republicans at the peak of her physical beauty. (Note that the kid doesn’t seem to buy a single word of what he’s saying, even though his father does seem to believe it, or badly wants it to be true).

Is pretending to be stupid, when you’re (probably) not that stupid the least dignified thing someone can do, even for a big paycheck? Wearing an El Pollo Loco Chicken costume is at least an honest way to make a living. Porn seems less degrading in many respects…
 

 
Via Joe My God

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Incredible 1964 Beatles concert video, free on iTunes
11.20.2010
08:05 pm

Topics:
History
Music

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With all the Apple fanboy media attention paid this past week to the fact that the Beatles catalog was finally showing up on iTunes—like this is some kind of big deal to the man on the street—one nifty lil’ bit of news that most certainly was worth perking up for, got left out of a lot of the coverage: Until the end of the year, you can watch, for free on iTunes, the most amazing complete Beatles show you’ve ever seen. A show that was literally their first American concert, shot just two days after their Ed Sullivan TV debut, at the Washington Coliseum on February 11, 1964.

It’s amazing to see this. As the story is told, when they began to play, they had no idea what to expect. Recent concerts in Paris were played to unenthusiastic audiences. The between song banter assumes that the audience is not familiar with certain numbers, although this is seen to be demonstrably untrue, as the band, of course realize. And they are lovin’ it. The energy is palpable, and the entire set is one big 35-minute long adrenaline shot, as exciting to watch today as was then, but the added meta-historical layer of seeing the Beatles do an entire concert the very week they went from being up and comers to the most important musicians of the later half of the 20th century and beyond, is kinda cool, too.

The performance here is way better than the one captured in color at Shea Stadiumd a year later. That film was more about the insanity of Beatlemania than the music, anyway. Here, musically, they are tight as hell. This has been bootlegged forever, but never seen in good quality like this. Trust me, if you’re a Beatles fan, this will blow your mind… out in a car.

When you go to iTunes, you’ll be confronted with a box of Beatles related information. Click on “Play the Concert.” Do it. Do it now.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
The oddly alluring world of Hungarian rock band Bergendy
11.20.2010
06:04 pm

Topics:
Music
Pop Culture

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Here’s the first in a series of obscure (at least to me) international rock and roll videos that I’ll be sharing over the course of the next few months. I hope you enjoy them.

Hungarian band Bergendy formed in the late 1950’s as a jazz group and went through a bunch of personal and artistic changes through the 60’s and 70’s. When these two videos were made, the band, fronted by Demjen Ferenc (the man with the exploding hair-do), were playing a poppy mix of rock and latin-tinged funk with a some oompah and little bit of Queen thrown in. Bergendy and Ferenc are still recording and performing.

Nothing groundbreaking here, but the videos are an interesting window on Hungarian pop culture and the flesh-flecked shores of Lake Balaton.
 

 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Baby Doll Lounge: The sublime seediness of downtown New York City
11.20.2010
03:09 pm

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History
Sex

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Tessa Hughes-Freeland’s ‘Baby Doll’ is a tiny slice of cinema-verite from 1982 about the girls working the now defunct Baby Doll Lounge on Church and White St. in downtown Manhattan. It captures a moment before NYC got sanitized.

A lot of the dancers working at the Baby Doll were the girlfriends of rock musicians, so it was a bit of a punk hangout. A red velvet curtain separated the Baby Doll Lounge into two sections; bikini and topless. I knew more than one young rock and roller who fell in love with a stripper at the Baby Doll. “Let me take you away from all of this. Escape with me to my 4th floor walk-up on Ave. B. You deserve better than this.” But the girls had the power, they were making good money, better than most musicians.

My preferred strip joint was Billy’s Topless where students from the Fashion Institute of Technology were known to dance on their lunch break. Billy’s is gone. In its place stands a bagel joint.

From Tessa’s website:

Tessa Hughes-Freeland’s films have been shown in a variety of venues, from international museums to seedy bars. The subject matter of her films is confrontational, transgressive, provocative and poetic.  She works in a wide variety of mediums and formats. The personality of her work makes it hard to categorize.

 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Kev Harper the Talent Behind Scheme Comix
11.20.2010
02:27 pm

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Pop Culture

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Glasgow has a wealth of graphic artists who illustrate for Marvel or DC or their own imprints, like the Hope Street Studios or Kev Harper, the major talent behind Scheme Comix. The reason Glasgow has such an array of artistic talent, so the story goes, stems from the influx of American comics during the fifties, sixties and seventies, which were carried as ballast in the cargo ships that unloaded their goods along the docks of the River Clyde. The ballast was unpacked and then split into packages of comics sold across the city in kiosks and book stalls to eager kids.

For me, it Spiderman halfway-up a skyscraper fighting the Lizard, aka Dr Curt Connors (issue 76, fact fans) that turned me on to the power of graphic art. A few words can easily create a fictional world - ‘The cellar in the castle was dark and gauzed with cobwebs, the only light came from a flickering candelabra that limned the shape of a coffin, on the flagstone floor, its lid askew, and the white of old flesh glimmering inside.’  But to illustrate such a world takes time, dedication, patience and considerable talent. When I first bought these comics, I’d often skip the words just to pore over the fantastic illustrations, frame-by-frame, by the likes of Steve Ditko and John Romita Sr. The excitement and sheer bloody joy these artists inspired is akin to that achieved by Kev Harper with Scheme Comix.

Just a few years ago, when still a student at Glasgow’s College of Building and Printing, Kev Harper put out the first Scheme Comix:

My original idea was to do a ‘zine which was purely for the love of doing it so the first issue featured two strips, one by myself and the other by a classmate who I sort of pressured into contributing, I printed them up on a photo copier and then left them in pubs, record shops, comic shops basically anywhere they’d have the best chance of being picked up.

I’m lucky enough to know some very talented people so Scheme quickly became a show case for our comics & illustrations. My main strip at the time was Deadbeat74 which was a shameless attempt at trying to be the Glasgow Harvey Pekar and that’s how it carried on for I think it was 6 issues and then it just kind of got sidelined until this year when I decided to re work the idea and put out a new issue (numbered issue #1) as part of my degree in digital art.

Scheme Comic # 1 contained several different strips: Joe King, Future Detective which plants a Chandleresque P.I. in a sci-fi landscape, reviews have described Joe King as “excellent” and “an enjoyable pulpy read.”  Next up is, Space Kittens 1,2,3,4! follows the adventures of an all-female space crew, which has been parised for its “great artwork and witty lines.” While Dining with St Peter, is “a delightful” stand off between two beings with super powers and Break on Through: A Journey Beyond the 4th Dimension! has been described by Comic Bookbin as:

...a story with a fantastic twist that wouldn’t be out of place on The Outer limits or Armchair Theatre. Once again, Kev Harper gives us inspired visuals to feast on and T. Bye gives us a story to give us goose bumps.

The final tale, Tijuana Bible co. is the adventures of two drifters on the road. Scheme Comix takes the form of a traditional UK comic, with many different story lines; but it does in the style and with the ease of the very best US comic.

What are your influences?

I’ve always loved comics but recently the whole medium seems obsessed with being “dark” and ultra violent which in my opinion is a hangover from people trying to emulate Watchmen and The Dark Knight Returns for the last 20 years. For me unless it’s in books such as Hard Boiled or Preacher it’s just boring so with Scheme Comix I wanted to try and make it a Sci-Fi anthology that was fun like the early issues of 2000 AD used to be. So I started looking at things like the original Flash Gordon and Dick Tracy comics and trying to come up with ideas that would be adventurous and entertaining so out of that came the Joe King: Future Detective strip.

The biggest problem for me is that even though I can just about string a simple story together I’m in no way a writer but like I’ve already said luckily I know some very talented people so with some gentle persuasion I got the excellent Cramps inspired Tijuana Bible Co. by the equally excellent Sharon Irvine and Dining with St.Peter by David Walker, who came highly recommended to me and did not disappoint. Along side them I managed to get some top editorial work from Louise C. Davis (then Gordon) and some help from the guys at Root Creative, that’s when it all really came together

What sort of response has Scheme Comix had?

So far, touch wood we’ve had nothing but excellent feedback from all our reviews particularly from a personal point of view for the Space Kittens 1234 strip which was inspired by a Glasgow based punk band I used to go see (I have to shout out a big thank you to Penny and Shona for getting behind it) but I’m pleased most by the response from everyone who has bought a copy of Scheme Comix.

Kev has proven he is a major talent, who can draw with the best of them, and with such talent at the helm, Scheme Comix has a great future ahead.
 
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More from Kev Harper’s ‘Scheme Comix’ after the jump…
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Faux indie rock music in commercials: Killing us softly with their song
11.20.2010
09:52 am

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Advertorial
Amusing
Music

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A song of mine was used in a car commercial. At first, I refused to sell the rights to it. I hate when rock music pimps for big corporations. The ad agency who wanted to use the song told me, in so many words, that they’d create a sound-a-like version if I didn’t relent and let them use the tune. I relented. I made money. It’s the only real money I’ve ever made from my music. Do I feel unclean? No.

Despite what’s said in the ‘Music House’ video, it’s not illegal for an ad agency to create a song that sounds exactly like someone else’s. A slight change in structure is all it takes, a change most people wouldn’t even notice.

The Wojahn brothers, composers of TV jingles/music for Taco Bell, AT&T and Home Depot, made this video and I give them credit for satirizing with merciless honesty the bullshit within their own industry. Hipster commercials make me gag.
 

 
Here’s a perfect example of the faux indie band at its absolute skincrawling worst. They’re ripping off Moldy Peaches. The Freecreditscore.com Band rockin’ out:
 

 
One of the commercials that started it all after the jump…

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
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