Alphabetic (The A to Z of Birth), a fine animation, written and narrated by Jackie Wills, and illustrated in the style of Aubrley Beardsley by Mark Collington, James Merry, and Ali Taylor. Directed by Mark Collington for Project Poetry.
Joe Coleman’s 2010 portrait of Don Van Vliet, AKA Captain Beefheart, seems like an appropriate thing to post here on John Peel Day. You can get a better look at this detailed masterpiece in the artist’s monograph, Auto-Portrait, which accompanied last year’s Coleman show at the Dickinson Gallery in New York.
Acrylic on artist board and painted frame 24.25 x 21.5 inches. Larger online version here.
Below, seldom-seen clip of “When Big Joan Sets Up” from the local Detroit music show, Tubeworks. Recorded at WABX TV on January 15, 1971.
As mainstream radio in the UK gets steadily worse, as exposure opportunities for the genuinely interesting and different quickly disappear, and as lowest common denominator fodder like X Factor begins to limit the power of music in the popular imagination, he is missed now more than ever.
In the absence of one unifying national media platform it’s unlikely that we will ever see his like again, though I feel that through his influence, and the proliferation of music websites and blogs, we are all a bit Peelie now. Proof of the man’s legacy is that the anniversary of his passing has become an annual day of celebration, with gigs, radio shows, record fairs and even specific releases happening in his honor, every 25th of October. And this is a good thing, a very good thing.
So in memoriam, here’s a clip from a 2005 BBC program where various artists and radio djs posthumously rifle through his (typically eclectic) record box:
John Peel’s Record Box
After the jump, John Peel’s ‘Sound of the Suburbs’, Jimi Hendrix playing a Radio 1 jingle for Peel’s show in the late 60s, Peel on the assassination of JFK (which he reported on from Dallas for the Liverpool Echo), and an interview where Peel talks about the influence of punk, how its natural home is in the suburbs, and how scenes get co-opted by a jaded music press…
01. “A Question of Temperature” - Balloon Farm
02. “Emaretta” - Deep Purple
03. “I’ll Give You More” - Erik And The Smoke Ponies
04. “Primitive” - The Groupies
05. “Lucy” - Crabby Appleton
06. “Whatcha Gonna Do About It” - Evil
07. “Soul Shakin’ Psychedelic Sally” - The Hallmarks
08. “Where You Gonna Go” - Art Guy
09. “Better Man Than I” - Terry Knight And The Pack
10. “Suicidal Flowers” - Crystal Chandelier
11. “Somebody’s Girl” - Deepest Blue
12. “I Will Lose My Mind” - The Counts
13. “Questions” - Bang
14. “My Generation” - Human Beingz
15. “Optical Sound” - The Human Expression
16. “Strawberry Children” - The Hobbits
17. “Gates Of Eden” - Myddle Class
18. “Roll With It” - The Steve Miller Band
19. “It’s A Happening” - Magic Mushrooms
20. “Would You Believe” - Chris Morgan And The Togas
21. “Night Of Fear” - The Move
22. “Mr. Grey” - Stone Circus
23. St. James Infirmary” - The Graham Bond Organization
One solid hour of psychedelic stomp and grind, pulsating liquid lights and old skool strippers from the days when shedding your clothes was an art. Dedicated to the late great Lux Interior who would have been 65 years this past Friday.
Ace musician, producer, founding member of The Dictators and Dangerous Minds’ friend Andy Shernoff has a new Youtube video and it’s a winner.
Andy shared with DM the history and inspiration behind the making of Are You Ready To Rapture:
I grew up in New York City so the only people I knew who believed that Jesus was actually going to fly down from the sky were mentally ill preachers screaming their lungs out in what was then a very seedy Times Square. I had no idea how widespread this revenge fantasy called the Rapture was until a few years ago.
I had the phrase Jewish Zombie rolling through my brain and wanted to incorporate it into a song. I developed a fascination with Christian eschatology and researched it extensively. I wanted everything in the song to accurately represent what these knuckleheads believe. It took a few months and I probably wrote 25 verses until I had three with the right combination of drama, truth and sarcasm.
I felt the best way to communicate the song was with a cartoon. I met Brian Musikoff through a mutual friend and he was the only person considered after I saw his animation for a Patton Oswalt’s comedy routine, ‘Christmas Shoes’. I liked his visual style and felt he made a great bit even funnier.
Animation is very labor intensive so it took most of 2011 to finish it off. I busted Brian’s ass to get it done by October 21st the projected date of the Rapture and we posted it to YouTube on October 20th just in time to catch a little wave of Rapture publicity.
I find it terrifying that many Republican candidates for President not only believes that Jesus will return to earth in their lifetime, but that the ensuing destruction would be a good thing. They’re just so confident that they will be raptured while every person who has not let Jesus into their life will burn in the eternal flames of hell….. It is our patriotic duty as Americans to mock such irrationality.
By the way the song is available as a vinyl 45 from your favorite local record store with an unreleased Joey Ramone track as the B-side”
Are You Ready To Rapture manages to do two things really well at the same time: it makes a timely political statement and it’s a terrific rock song. That’s hard to pull off and we haven’t seen much of it since The Clash and The Sex Pistols. Andy Shernoff, as punk as he ever was, reminds us that the history of rock and roll is also the history of cultural change and subversion - a revolution you can dance to. Nicely done Shernoff!