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KISS: Their X-rated early days
07.23.2015
12:30 pm

Topics:
Art
Music
Sex

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Before KISS became a kid-friendly marketing machine with their own line of dolls and comic books aimed at the eight-to-sixteen demographic, the group maintained a darker, edgier, and more decidedly adult image. KISS, after all, came from the same sleazy New York scene as the Dolls and were demonstrably more musically aggro than most of their early ‘70s contemporaries—and let’s not forget the lyrical themes of alcohol abuse, prostitution, pedophilia, and anal sex

It was during these early years that KISS recorded their second album, Hotter Than Hell. Though it contains some of KISS’ best songs, the record suffered from notoriously muddy production. The cover artwork, while striking with its Japanese-inspired visuals, also suffers from a degree of print-muddiness in the photo images of the group. What ended up on the album sleeve barely hints at the debaucherous photo session that spawned those images. Some sources have described this shoot as having devolved into a full-on “orgy,” although Peter Criss’ ex-wife, Lydia, has played down those allegations.
 

 
Kiss Fan Site has reprinted some outtakes of the Hotter Then Hell photo session, along with quotes from the band members describing the wild shoot. One wonders how history would look back on KISS if they had kept with the Bacchanalian “sex and drugs and rock and roll” image implied in this shoot. Photographer Norman Seeff emerges as the character responsible for much of the insanity. Apparently everyone was wasted, except for life-long tea-totaller, Gene Simmons.

This is definitely not the kid stuff we saw a few years later with Marvel Comics and Hanna-Barbera TV movie productions. The mise-en-scène of furs and rugs and glitter and skulls and ropes and Coors cans with drunkenly splayed, mugging, groupie-groping band members is, if nothing else, a beautiful rock and roll mess.
 

 

Gene Simmons: We did a photo session with Norman Seeff in Los Angeles. Norman was a very bright but strange guy who believed that photo sessions should be this other thing. So he would create a climate and bring down everybody and anybody. Girls who would blow you, anything that would happen just to get a sense of something.

 

 

Peter Criss: It was a wild photo session for the back cover. I was sitting in the armchair there with this broad giving me head with this mask on. It was really fucking wild. Paul was in bed with a bunch of broads and me in a robe over this big knight’s table’s chair. The photographer [Seeff] got us all drunk. That was the idea. He got us all loaded. Everyone was drunk except Gene but Gene had to be drunk on the whole room being drunk. Even the models and the people in the room were drunk. No one was sober but Gene but he had to be intoxicated from just the intoxication of the whole vibe.

 

 

Paul Stanley: I don’t know if anybody can make out the back cover of the album but we were having this wild, wild party with tons of people in weird outfits. Ten minutes after that picture was taken I passed out. I cut my hand, I don’t know how I did it. It was pretty strange. I was so drunk that they locked me in a car and I couldn’t find my way out. Like any of the Fellini films, Satyricon, it was bizarre but it was really great too. It was a party unlike most others that I’ve been to. A lot of the pictures taken for the back cover have never seen the light of day because some people didn’t want to be incriminated by the pictures. Someone would go, “Oh, I can’t let so-and-so see me at that party.”

 

 

Norman Seeff: The Hotter Than Hell photo shoot was done at the Raleigh stages in Hollywood. The front and back cover were shot on the same day. I had just come back from Japan and met one of the great Japanese artists, Tadanori Yokoo. He was a combination of Timothy Leary, Andy Warhol, and Picasso. I think the way KISS were dressed and who they were suggested to me that Yokoo’s work would be an ideal direction for them. As we went further, I thought “Why not put the title in Japanese as well?” I called in a brilliant designer, John Van Hamersveld, to do the design. The album’s title dictated the party shot, the Satyricon fantasy concept for the back cover. My whole approach is forging a creative partnership with people, it’s very free-form. I made it clear that this is a stage for creative improvisation. KISS were doing a rock ‘n’ roll ballet for the shoot where each of the individuals were playing a part. It was incredibly exciting, they worked so well off of each other. They came in and they delivered.

 

 

Gene Simmons: That session was one of the few times that I’ve seen Paul drunk. He was blitzed. The only thing that was missing was Rod Serling going [imitates Serling’s voice] “Witness Paul Stanley entering the Twilight Zone.” There was a photo of him with a girl who had nothing on, sort of painted like Goldfinger with silver stuff. I don’t even think Paul was aware that there were forces of gravity. So he reached over and in one shot you sort of see him nuzzling with this chickie and the next second he’s over the bed. He’d fallen over. At the end of the photo session I had to carry him to the car and lock him in the back seat.

 

 

Ace Frehley: For one photo session we did for the Hotter Than Hell album, this doctor told me I could only put makeup on half of my face. So all the shots were profiles [laughs]. I got into a car accident. Something pissed me off. I got drunk one night and I kept driving around the Hollywood Hills. I kept going around the same block faster and faster [laughs] until I lost control and hit a telephone pole. I think I was just testing destiny. I got out of the car and I had cut my head. I walked back down to the hotel and I knocked on my road manager’s door and there’s blood running all down my face. He said, “Oh God, what happened to you?” I go, “I wrecked a car.” One of many [laughs], it was like the beginning of the saga.

 
More photos after the jump…

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
Vagina yarmulkes really exist
07.23.2015
12:05 pm

Topics:
Art
Belief
Unorthodox

Tags:


 
Etsy offers some truly fascinating options in the way of DIY religious paraphernalia; whether it’s chintzy Wiccan charms or chic, modern crucifixes, there are niche articles of worship for nearly every strain of spirituality. Then there is Etsy seller Zoe Jordan of Tel Aviv, Israel, whose store BeanSproutLadyJew offers handmade “Vagina Kippahs,” knitted yarmulkes of a graphically vulvar nature. Obviously, these little Semitic statement pieces are intended for the more liberal observer of Judaism.

These unique and meticulously handmade kippahs (kippot / ki-pot) are the perfect gift for the ladies in your life. Ideal for Bat Mitzvahs, Lesbian Weddings, Lady Rabbis, Feminists of the chosen variety, Midwives, Doulas and Renewalists. Also great for any-gendered and any-affiliated folks who appreciate a cheeky traditional-non-traditional way to acknowledge and REMEMBER WHERE YOU CAME FROM. It’s kind of like a high-five and a wink at your creator.

These kippot (למה? כי פות) are inspired by the fact that typically kippahs sit on the crown of the head, in the exact spot that (typically) the baby’s head first enters the world in birth. They are not intended to be irreverent but rather to embrace the wholeness and transcendent power of life.

Ok, ok, but what if you don’t see a vulva that resembles your own? Don’t worry, she takes custom orders!

Examples shown are from the birth set (of increasing dilation) but non-birth oriented kippahs are in the works as well. Kippahs can be custom-ordered and modified with regard to colour palette, anatomy, grooming particularities, size, and if you think of other variations, feel free to discuss with me.

Now I am all for more terrifying vaginal art, but doesn’t the more . . . dilated of the options defeat the purpose of the kippah, which is intended to cover the head in reverence to the creator? And far be it from me to question gynocentric interpretations of religious garb, but I just prefer my fashion—whether religious or secular—without an anus. But you go, Zoe Jordan; you have created a truly . . . unique product!
 

 

 

 

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Can ya dig it? Cabaret Voltaire’s insane version of Isaac Hayes’ ‘Theme from Shaft’
07.23.2015
09:13 am

Topics:
Amusing
Movies
Music

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By forming in 1973, Cabaret Voltaire managed the neat trick of embodying and codifying many of the aesthetic tropes, sounds, and strategies of post-punk before punk existed in the first place, serving as an indisputable influence on both the industrial noise and industrial dance scenes. A 1981 break with founding member Chris Watson saw the band turn away from difficult-but-rewarding noise to embrace New Wave accessibility. Remaining original members Stephen Mallinder and Richard Kirk continued to make excellent records through 1985, but by 1987’s Code the band had been far surpassed by its own imitators, and soon they’d be nakedly trying to retain relevance by glomming on to acid house. Watson went on to work as a recording engineer and make strange music with the wonderful Hafler Trio, a project that long remained as archly experimental and fascinating as CV were in the beginning.

But before Watson left, and while CV were still about utter disregard for pop norms, they recorded a warped and delirious version of Isaac Hayes’ theme song from the film Shaft. Session details aren’t easy to come by, but it was recorded sometime during the Voice of America/Red Mecca era, 1980/81ish. It wasn’t released until 1988s excellent Eight Crepuscule Tracks compilation, which collected early CV work recorded for the Les Disques du Crépuscule label (“Twilight Records,” roughly), a still-extant Belgian imprint once associated with Factory Benelux.
 

 
The song indulges in some cheeky humor not typically associated with the often rather grim early industrial scene. It’s almost entirely built on samples, looping the song’s distinctive guitar intro, horn, and flute themes for just about ever, and piling snatches of film dialogue atop that bed, forecasting by almost a decade the short-lived House fad for novelty tracks built on movie dialogue samples. The result is at once ominous and darkly comical.

The remake was later included on the 1991 album Moving Soundtracks Volume 1, a terrific Crépuscule compilation of film music covers made by its associated artists. It’s hard to come by; the easier-to-find 2008 reissue, disappointingly, does not include “Theme from Shaft.”
 

 
For your enjoyment, Isaac Hayes’ indelible original after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
GG Allin is seeking gainful employment: Read his actual resumé!
07.22.2015
03:26 pm

Topics:
Punk

Tags:


 
In 1989, GG Allin wrote to the Maximum RocknRoll fanzine and declared that he would commit suicide, live and onstage on Halloween night of that year. But when the date arrived, Allin—conveniently or otherwise—was safe… in prison. He continued to threaten a Halloween suicide every year after that, but he always ended up back in jail each time October 31st came around, before dying offstage of a drug overdose in 1993.

So it was through no fault of his own that the infamous scum rocker failed to off himself in front of a paying audience. And apparently few things pissed him off more than being accused of faking his suicide threat for publicity as can be seen in this extraordinarily strange video footage shot in Boston at what was apparently billed as a “reading.” A clip of this appears in the Hated documentary, but this is the entire thing, just under ten minutes in two parts below.

It begins with Allin ranting and raving about a local paper accusing him of “crying wolf” about his announced “in concert” harakiri. He’s not happy about this and burns the paper in protest. From what can be gathered from his huffing and puffing, GG Allin had not been booked to play a show in a Boston rock club for several years at this point. This also makes him very, very mad at everyone. In Boston. Someone has a laugh box in the audience which likewise infuriates him. He violently hits a woman and pulls her hair. He breaks beer bottles on his head. Throws chairs at people. Cuts his chest open with a beer can and bleeds.

And so forth and so on!

As unlikely as it may sound, for much of his life, GG Allin was actually employed. He held down a job. Not only was he gainfully employed, but if his resume is to be believed, he was employed long term. Remarkably, Allin held one job for three years, and another for five, something that doesn’t really square much with the popular image of the shit-stained performer: GG Allin was at least somewhat employable at one point.

This resumé, which was used to write a setlist on, is being auctioned off with some other GG Allin memorabilia at RR Auction in Boston on Thursday. You can read a larger version at their website.
 

 
After the jump the footage of the explosive Boston “reading” from 1989. He doesn’t read anything…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Dangerous Finds: Trump insult generator; God’s plan for Republicans; The 99% win BIG in New York
07.22.2015
03:11 pm

Topics:
Current Events

Tags:


 
The bigoted elephant in the room: Donald Trump’s popularity reveals racism of Republican base. (Al Jazeera America)

Tweaking one enzyme doubles a worm’s lifespan: It could work the same way in humans. (Popular Science)

“God’s plan”: These GOP candidates claim the Almighty wants them to run: You can’t say God doesn’t have a sense of humor! (Salon)

How Exactly Did Ant-Man Make Michael Douglas Look So Young? How did the film undo 25 years of time’s cruel work? Trent Claus of Lola VFX, the company that de-aged Douglas for Marvel, can tell you. (Vulture)

Ben Carson Says Prison Is So Comfy Some People Never Want to Leave: Yeah, think of it as an enforced indoor vacation with really bad food and psychopaths. What’s not to love? (Mother Jones)

GOP’s problem isn’t Donald Trump; it’s the voters: Trump might be a deeply clownish figure, immune to facts, evidence, and good taste — but he’s not stupid. He clearly understands, as many members of the Republican Party did before bashing immigrants became a political liability, the way to the heart of a rank-and-file Republican voter. (Boston Globe)

Youngest Killers Ever Convicted In America To Be Released From Prison: The brother and sister murderers are scheduled to be released from prison in early August after spending 16 years behind bars, according to reports. (Inquisitr)

Donald Trump Insult Generator: Perhaps no presidential candidate in history has wielded the put-down quite like Donald Trump. John McCain’s a “dummy.” John Kasich is “desperate.” Rick Perry “needs new glasses.” Karl Rove is “a total loser.” Now Trump can insult you or someone you know. (TIME)

New York Acts to Mandate a $15-Hour Wage in Fast Food: The increase would represent a raise of more than 70 percent for fast-food workers earning the state’s current minimum wage of $8.75 an hour. This is a big fucking deal. (New York Times)

Swing State Polls: Bernie Just As Strong As Hillary: Democrat Hillary Clinton is trailing some potential Republican opponents in three key swing states, according to a new poll from Quinnipiac, and doing about as well against the GOP as one of her rivals for the Democratic nomination, Bernie Sanders. Both Clinton and Sanders are losing to Walker, Rubio, and Bush in Colorado, Virginia and Iowa. (The Weekly Standard)

Rupert Murdoch Wants to Stop Donald Trump, But First He’s Got to Rein In Roger Ailes: The mounting problem Donald Trump poses to Republicans is also a mounting problem for the country’s most powerful conservative media mogul. (New York)

Below, Noel Coward performs an astonishing rendition of his “Mad Dogs and Englishmen” on American television in the mid-1950s:
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Finally, a robot to replace the Whitney Houston-sized hole in our hearts
07.22.2015
02:47 pm

Topics:
Music
Science/Tech

Tags:


 
Multi-talented musician, designer, and hacker Martin Backes from Germany has designed a robot to croon a pop ballad like a superstar from the ‘90s. As Backes writes,
 

“What do machines sing of?” is a fully automated machine, which endlessly sings number-one ballads from the 1990s. As the computer program performs these emotionally loaded songs, it attempts to apply the appropriate human sentiments. This behavior of the device seems to reflect a desire, on the part of the machine, to become sophisticated enough to have its very own personality.

 
In comments, Backes explained that the sounds were generated by digital signal processing, or DSP: “the sound is generated by the real time synthesis language called SuperCollider, same for the Visuals, so you have to write code. There`s almost no Audio FX or something like this, its basically a sine wave, the most artificial sound.” You can find out more about the device on Backes’ website.

The results are strangely impressive; even if the enunciation of the words isn’t always ideal, at least in the case of Whitney Houston’s version of “I Will Always Love You,” the computer does a good job of matching her vocal range and expression.

Unfortunately, the robot’s repertoire consists of only five songs:
 

Whitney Houston, “I Will Always Love You”
R. Kelly, “I Believe I Can Fly”
Toni Braxton, “Un-Break My Heart”
Bryan Adams, “Everything I Do, I Do It For You”
Celine Dion, “My Heart Will Go On”

 
Below, you can watch a demonstration video for “What do machines sing of?”:
 


 
via Das Kraftfuttermischwerk
 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Man drumming on plastic pipes wows crowd with Depeche Mode’s ‘Just Can’t Get Enough’ and ‘Popcorn’
07.22.2015
01:34 pm

Topics:
Amusing
Music

Tags:


 
Here’s a video of one-man-band street performer located in Buenos Aires, Argentina flawlessly playing his homemade didgeridoo meets plastic pipe drums kit for an unusual rendition of Depeche Mode’s classic “Just Can’t Get Enough.” And then he plays something that sounds like Hot Butter’s “Popcorn” meets Grieg’s “In the Hall of the Mountain King” meets “Swamp Thing” by The Grid???

This dude is deep.
 

 
via WFMU on Twitter

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Watch this meticulously edited ‘Star Trek’ fan video for William Shatner’s awesome Pulp cover
07.22.2015
01:08 pm

Topics:
Music
Television

Tags:


 
In 2004, Ben Folds produced William Shatner’s album Has Been which included a surprisingly great cover version of Pulp‘s hit song “Common People.” Folds enlisted ‘80s icon Joe Jackson to sing on the choruses of that cover. The Has Been album was surprisingly well received by critics, and many agreed that “Common People” was the “hit” on that record.
 

 
Pulp’s Jarvis Cocker even praised the cover version, stating, “I was very flattered by that because I was a massive Star Trek fan as a kid and so you know, Captain Kirk is singing my song! So that was amazing.”

A fan has created a video for Shatner’s “Common People” using clips from Star Trek: The Original Series.

What makes this edit truly incredible is the attention to detail in matching shots with the lyrical content, even nailing specific lines of the song to lines spoken by Kirk in the show. Check twenty-seven seconds in where “I want to live,” or forty-seven seconds in where “I’ll see what I can do” sync perfectly.  The amount of work that went into this is apparent and astounding.

You can’t say Trekkies aren’t a dedicated lot.

This is totally worth four minutes your time:
 

Previously on Dangerous Minds:
‘Common People’: Identity of slumming Greek socialite in Pulp song revealed at last?

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
This short 1976 Rolling Stones documentary captures the band at their most ‘Spinal Tap’
07.22.2015
01:06 pm

Topics:
Music

Tags:


“What’s wrong with being sexy?”

In a 1995 interview with Rolling Stone, Mick Jagger admitted that Their Satanic Majesties Request wasn’t a particularly good album. Interviewer Jann Wenner actually compared it to Spinal Tap, and perhaps unable to deny the resemblance to “Listen to the Flower People,” Jagger answered, “Really, I know.”

However the hippie-dippy experimentation of 60s Stones is in no way their most Spinal Tap era—that would be the mid-70s. In 1975 Jagger would ride a giant inflatable phallus onstage. In ‘76, they released Black and Blue with the very Smell the Glove-reminiscent advertisement you see above; the feminist group Women Against Violence Against Women protested until it was removed from the Sunset Boulevard billboard it adorned. The tour that promoted Black and Blue was a singularly debauched affair, complete with elaborate riders and highly specific luxury travel demands.

This 1976 mini-doc is a great record of the period, with footage of the band, crew and adoring fans. Highlights include a crew member trying to explain the inflatable pee-pee stage design; watching Mick and Bianca taking pulls off a champagne bottle celebrating their fifth wedding anniversary; a short Keith Richards makeup tutorial, and a surprisingly candid Charlie Watts reflecting on his ambivalence towards fame. There is a tension to the film. A fan made the Beatles/Stones comparison, despite the Beatles being long gone at this point, and the the interviewer actually questioned the band on a final album.

If he only knew…
 

 
Via Network Awesome

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
‘Soaked in Bleach’: New documentary examines the theory that Kurt Cobain was murdered
07.22.2015
10:35 am

Topics:
Movies
Music

Tags:

Soaked in Bleach
 
Nirvana fans worldwide were devastated, when on April 8th, 1994, Kurt Cobain was found dead. Adding to the distress, it was revealed he took his own life, dying from a self-inflicted shotgun wound. Over 20 years later, a new documentary, Soaked in Bleach, examines the possibility that Cobain’s shocking death wasn’t due to a suicide, but a homicide.

Largely told through information provided by private investigator Tom Grant, writer/producer/director Benjamin Statler takes another look at the case. Grant was hired by Cobain’s wife, Courtney Love, in April 1994, supposedly to find Kurt after he went missing following a stint in rehab. Almost immediately after taking the case, red flags started popping up, and Grant began recording all the conversations he had with Love and others. Statler airs selections from those audio recordings, along with interviews with Grant, various law enforcement experts, and friends of Cobain’s, taking the viewer down a path that is revelatory and often chilling. I was surprised to learn of all the myths we’ve taken as truth in regards to the crime scene, how much the media played a role in disseminating this misinformation, and just how badly the Seattle police department bungled the case. Statler also filmed several recreations, and while such a technique can often appear cheesy and cheap looking, here they are highly effective and stylistically pleasing.
 
Kurt Cobain, 1994
Kurt in 1994

So if Kurt Cobain was murdered, who did it and why? In Soaked in Bleach, all roads lead to Courtney Love. Kurt was planning to divorce her and was drafting a new will at that time of his death; the two had signed a prenuptial agreement and Courtney had a lot to lose financially if the couple divorced. She’s portrayed, often through recordings of her own voice, as being highly manipulative and contradictory. In the documentary, she’s all but accused of orchestrating Cobain’s murder, which will surely be a stretch for many, while others will find it impossible to deny the possibility after watching the film. It’s worth noting that Love has yet to file a defamation lawsuit against Statler, nor Grant, who’s been pursuing the case, publicizing his findings—and his interpretations of those findings—for decades. (including his appearance in Nick Broomfield’s Kurt & Courtney documentary of 1998). Her lawyers did send Statler cease and desist letters and recently threatened theatre owners set to screen Soaked in Bleach, but no further action was taken.
 
Kurt and Courtney
Kurt and Courtney

Though the documentary is one-sided, and Statler doesn’t offer conclusive proof of foul play, what’s presented does raise many questions. One indication that Kurt’s death may have been a homicide is the unusually large amount of heroin found in his bloodstream. In the below clip from Soaked in Bleach, the query is put forth that if Kurt did inject the quantity of heroin that’s been stated (the toxicology report is still sealed by law), how could have he possibly fired that shotgun?

Soaked in Bleach will be released on DVD on August 14th. Watch the trailer and pre-order the disc via MVD or Amazon.
 

Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Listen to ‘Montage of Heck,’ Kurt Cobain’s mind-blowing music montage—made years before his fame

Posted by Bart Bealmear | Leave a comment
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