Move over Chuck Close! Candice CMC creates art so good you could almost eat it. Well, not quite.
From the back of the room Candice’s large portraits of iconic cult figures from film, television, the arts and sciences look like bright, beautiful, Pointillistic paintings. Up close—they’re donuts.
Hundreds of photographs of tasty-looking donuts arranged by color, texture and tone—chocolate, vanilla, pink strawberry, blueberry, sugar glazed with sprinkles on the top. If they were real donuts instead of just photographs I s’ppose the big temptation would be to just eat ‘em all up.
Candice CMC is an artist, photographer and graphic designer—and her donut portraits are currently on show across Europe. However, if these pictures get your taste buds watering—you can order out as they are for sale.
I’ve been collecting Residents ephemera since I was in short pants, and I have an unfortunate tendency to start talking like The Simpsons’ Comic Book Guy if some poor soul mentions the band. But I’ve never seen this footage before.
Promoting their appearance at the 1983 New Music America festival in Washington, D.C.—their final performance of the Mole Show, a concert that’s come to be known as the “Uncle Sam Mole Show”—the Residents held a press conference on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, and it’s captured on this camcorder tape.
The Residents at Mount Rushmore, 1981
Given the camera’s proximity to the limo the Residents emerge from at the beginning, the video seems likely to have been shot by someone inside the band’s organization. The members of the group, or four people wearing their eyeball masks and tuxedos with miniature American flags sticking out of the breast pockets, file onto the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in silence, fiddling with their costumes, taking snapshots, and posing for photographers.
As someone who considers himself something of a music scholar, who has worked in record shops most of his life, and writes about music professionally, I’m ashamed to admit that I only learned, like, JUST NOW that Bon Scott was not the first singer of AC/DC. I mean, I’m not an obsessive mega-fan or anything when it comes to the band, but I do own every one of their “classic era” albums from High Voltage up to Blow Up Your Video—even some of the Australian alternates. I feel like that’s enough of a level of fan commitment to make my ignorance about AC/DC’s early years unforgivable. Well, you learn something new every day. Hopefully you, like me, are also learning something new today.
Anyway, check out this footage of AC/DC from 1974. Here you have glam-as-fuck lead vocalist Dave Evans fronting the band, as well as drums by ex-Master’s Apprentices member Colin Burgess and bass guitar by ex-Easybeats member George Young (older brother of band co-founders Malcolm and Angus Young).
The band sounds a bit like The Sweet here.
The song, “Can I Sit Next to You, Girl,” was later re-recorded with Bon Scott on vocals for their Australia-only album T.N.T., released in December 1975, and on the international version of High Voltage, released in May 1976. The edgier Bon Scott version happens to be one of my favorite AC/DC songs of all time and if you were someone I dated in the 90s, you probably got a mixtape from me with that track on it.
I was in a record store the other day when I noticed an LP I’d never seen before—a sealed copy of a 1977 album called William Shatner Live with a $25 asking price. We’ve all heard about Shatner’s sublime 1967 album The Transformed Man, of course, but this record was another animal altogether. For one thing, it’s “a talking album only,” to quote the disclaimer on Elvis Presley’s 1974 album Having Fun with Elvis on Stage.
One of the hilarious things about William Shatner Live is the back cover, which has some of the most over-the-top liner notes I’ve ever seen. Here it is:
The overwrought, hyperbolic text is credited to Sondra Marshak and Myrna Culbreath:
It is the first time the man has come out, alone to confront his legend.
And the legend has come out to confront him.
The audience, six years old and yet unborn when the ENTERPRISE flew—the rerun generation.
They came, college students—and college professors. Pre-schoolers—and Ph.D’s. Doctors, lawyers, scientists, engineers. Truck drivers, dockworkers, drill sergeants. Both sexes. All ages. Every shade of difference, every degree of diversity. Feeling no generation gap at all.
What is becoming increasingly clear is that the legendary Kirk is finding a place in the history of heroes which is unique, one-of-a-kind, unprecedented.
And the rerun generation is growing up never having known a world in which there was not at least one example of a hero who was profoundly open, willing to be real to himself and others.
On stage now the man who broke that trail a decade ago has gone on, WHERE-NO-MAN… The dramatic performance speaks of the flying, and is the flying. Shakespeare, Cyrano de Bergerac, Galileo on the need for the freedom of man’s mind. Some of the rerun generation may not understand the words fully. It doesn’t matter. Their eyes never leave his face.
He shifts from the dramatic performance. He loves to let the audience reach out to him with questions, with a love which would register on the Richter scale. Now he is fast, funny, light, loving, with anecdotes from the STAR TREK years and now.
Shatner has said, “They’re not the screamers. They’re the people who say ‘thank you.’ They remember something I did many years ago. I’ve grown from a boy to a man on television in front of everybody. And now here they are, turning out in torrential rains to say ‘thank you.’ And I am—moved to tears, many times.”
The response was so tremendous that there will be other tours, other albums. The man will go out to greet the legend again—and undoubtedly astonish it yet again.
Recorded at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, William Shatner Live recalls a time when Shatner’s status as a universally beloved icon of movies and TV was considerably more in doubt than it is today. The original Star Trek series had been cancelled eight years earlier, in 1969, and the 1970s were proving to be a bit rocky for Shatner. Star Trek: The Motion Picture was still two years off, and T. J. Hooker was fully five years into the future. The Priceline ads were two decades away.
Three years earlier, Shatner had appeared in Roger Corman’s Big Bad Mama, and while we’d all think it cool to have a Corman movie on our résumés, appearing in one is probably not a sign that one’s career is heading in the right direction unless it’s your film debut. In 1976 Mark Goodman wanted Shatner to host Family Feud—true story—and Shatner’s most notable acting credit of 1977, the same year William Shatner Live was released, was the tarantula horror movie Kingdom of the Spiders.
Given these facts, William Shatner Live comes to seem like nothing so much as an extended audition reel to send to Hollywood casting agents, as the former and future Captain James T. Kirk shows off his acting skills, reading monologues by the likes of H.G. Wells and Edmond de Rostand, as well as a less expected author: noted Marxist playwright Bertolt Brecht.
To hear Shatner essay the lofty and bracing registers of Brecht’s Life of Galileo is to ponder whether his signature declamatory style is a self-fashioned Verfremdungseffekt, or what we would call an alienation effect.
While the 17th-century scientist Galileo seems an odd choice for the originator of the space-traveling Kirk role, it makes a bit more sense when you realize that Galileo, as the astronomer par excellence, has reason to discuss the celestial bodies of outer space and the possibilities of the human mind. Indeed, it’s probably the most Roddenberry-ish thing Brecht ever wrote.
For those who want to read along, a similar (not identical) translation of the monologue can be found here.
“We want you to be nostalgic about the future again.”
Even I, a man so tight he wouldn’t buy a pair of shorts for a flea, broke down over the holiday weekend and purchased a $35 Roku streaming stick.
And what, you ask, prompted this uncharacteristic liberality? Some athletic contest to be broadcast on a Roku station, perhaps? A Fourth of July H.R. Pufnstuf marathon? Or was it one of those deals where we only had 24 hours to save the orphanage from the wrecking ball and the whole town came together to peddle stolen A/V gear, raising just enough money to foil the evil millionaire’s plans as the old clock tower struck twelve?
No, it was something far more wonderful: the OSI 74 network. Launched last Halloween, Outer Space International brings together all the late-night TV and VHS-collector weirdness that has been missing from my life since public access vanished and I indignantly cancelled my Time Warner subscription. “We’re channeling the great pioneers of UHF, home video, and early cable,” network host Mr. Lobo says in one of their bumpers, and not a moment too soon! As far as I know, OSI’s only rival in this territory is the resurrected Night Flight, also available on Roku for $2.99 a month. (OSI is currently free, and every show has a virtual “tip jar.”)
So far, I’ve only watched a tiny fraction of OSI’s goods. A glance at their schedule reveals a massive hoard of fun: episodes of Criswell Predicts, Friday night movies hosted by GWAR manager Sleazy P. Martini (Sleazy Pictures After Dark), a soap opera starring drag sensation Bunny Galore (Pantry Manor), a Saturday morning rock ‘n’ roll monster dance party (Ghoul A Go-Go), a conspiracy show (Paranoia Magazine Presents), the pilot for a new cartoon series (The Paranormal Idiot), Monster Creature Feature, Cult Movies TV, Monster Madhouse, Cinema Insomnia, Midnight Frights...
But if you want to know what really squeezed the $35 from my wallet, it’s the significant portion of OSI 74’s programming that’s dedicated to the video ministry of the Church of the SubGenius. In addition to classics like the recruitment video Arise, the network’s got deep SubGenius weirdness such as the entire 1984 devival at which J.R. “Bob” Dobbs was assassinated, a compilation of news and talk show appearances called As They See “Bob,” and a retrospective episode of the Dallas public access show The Hypnotic Eye. Perhaps the greatest treasure in the SubGenius collection is The Obvious (Sex and Violence), an absolutely insane one-hour megamix of tits and squibs from 1980s softcore, action, sci-fi, and horror movies that must be seen to be disbelieved. There’s also a weekly feature film chosen by the Church, the “Bulldada Movie of the Weak” [sic]. Recent offerings include Wojciech Has’ The Saragossa Manuscript and The Hourglass Sanatorium and Shaw Brothers’ The Super Inframan.
Some of OSI’s programming is up at Vimeo. If you have a Roku, the station is listed under “Streaming Channels”; alternatively, you can follow these instructions to add it to your home screen. Linked here is a 30-second, very NSFW clip from The Obvious (Sex and Violence)
Nicolas Roeg‘s heady 1976 movie The Man Who Fell to Earth is probably about as close to being a part of David Bowie‘s discography as a movie can possibly be. Biographically, Bowie was in the middle of an adventurous phase that would produce Station to Station and he was about to head for Berlin, where he would make Low and Heroes, he was thoroughly coked up and paranoid and more than dabbling in the occult, and the album art for Bowie’s Station to Station derived from his work on Roeg’s movie. Watching the movie is an essential rite of passage for any David Bowie fan.
How happy, then, to learn that the 40th anniversary of The Man Who Fell to Earth is slated to receive a spiffy new restored version and a theatrical release. The movie will return to theaters in digital 4K under the guidance of the movie’s cinematographer, Anthony Richmond.
In the movie, Bowie plays Thomas Jerome Newton, an extraterrestrial on a mission to bring Earth’s plentiful water back to his parched home planet—however, distracted by material concerns, he uses his planet’s advanced technology to become a dissolute millionaire.
The Man Who Fell to Earth has already been released as a Criterion edition DVD. A collector’s edition of the movie is due to be released on Blu-Ray and DVD and for download this autumn. The restoration had been in the works since late 2015, predating Bowie’s death this January. StudioCanal’s Vintage Classic line will be handling the home video release.
The Man Who Fell To Earth will commence a theatrical run on September 9 and be available to own on October 10. It should be fun to attend screenings with a crowd full of like-minded Bowie fans—a perfect occasion for pharmaceutical enhancement.
“Page Three” might not mean much to readers outside of the UK. It was a term used to describe the photographs of topless (sometimes naked) glamor models published on the third page of tabloid newspaper the Sun. It was first introduced by (who else?) Rupert Murdoch as a way to increase sales of his newly acquired but failing newspaper. The Sun was in decline having gone from the popular Daily Herald to a less successful rebrand as the Sun in 1964 before Murdoch bought it in 1968. Old Rupert thought sexy glamor models would bring more male readers to his paper. It did but Page Three wasn’t truly successful until editor Larry Lamb made them topless models. The Sun then started to sell by the millions. Lamb launched the first Page Three in November 1970. “I don’t think it’s immoral or indecent or anything,” said Rupert Murdoch later said of Page Three.
But show it to me in any other newspaper I own. Never in America, never in Australia. Never. Never. Never. It just would not be accepted.
Though it did increase sales and made several of the Page Three models rich and famous it was never quite fully accepted by everyone in the UK. Page Three was a source of great controversy and considerable feminist anger—leading to one famous campaign to have Page Three banned. Eventually the Sun agreed it was no longer suitable and the Page Three girls stopped appearing in the paper in 2015.
Glamor model and former Page Three girl Jilly Johnson on the cover of ‘Hot Hits Volume 19.’
Being a Page Three girl was like being a Playboy Bunny—it was a means to achieving a better career. Among those many women who became famous from appearing topless in the Sun were Samantha Fox (who went onto become a pop star and actress and infamously co-hosted the Brit Awards with Mick Fleetwood), Debee Ashby (who had a fling with Tony Curtis—“He wanted company. It wasn’t just my boobs…”), Geri Halliwell (aka Ginger Spice of the Spice Girls), Penny Irving (who became an actress in Are You Being Served? and House of Whipcord), Melinda Messenger (now a TV host and celebrity), Jayne Middlemiss (TV host) and Jordan (aka Katie Price who’s now a multimillionaire TV star, celebrity and author).
Glamor model and former Page Three girl Nina Carter on the cover of ‘Top of the Pops Volume 44.’
Nina Carter and Jilly Johnson were two of the early Page Three girls. Both were highly successful glamor models in their own right and were famous from their work on fashion shoots, magazines and album covers. Nina and Jilly were two of the best known glamor models working in Britain during the 1970s—both earning the nickname “The Body” long before Elle Macpherson—though they probably weren’t the first.
But wait—we’re not here to talk about Nina and Jilly’s long and successful modeling careers but rather about the time they formed a band in the late 1970s called Blonde on Blonde.
Blonde on Blonde ‘Whole Lotta Love.’
Blonde on Blonde was a short-lived pop band that made little headway in the UK but was a big hit in Japan. “We have Japanese men coming up to is and begging us to let them be our slaves!” Nina told the Evening Times in 1978. Nina and Jilly were serious about their pop career but as Nina explained at the time:
Unfortunately we are having difficulty persuading the music business in this country to do the same. People tend to dismiss us a gimmick.
Christian Poincheval is a charmingly eccentric Frenchman with an innovative new product that I cannot believe has not already been mass produced. Poincheval claims he has invented a pill that actually perfumes your flatulence to smell of roses, violets, chocolate, or ginger—there’s even a version for farty cats and dogs!
We were at table with friends after a copious meal when we nearly asphyxiated ourselves with our smelly farts. The gas wasn’t that great for our table neighbours. So something had to be done about this. You can disguise the sound of a fart but not the stench.
I can’t find a lot of credible reviews of Poincheval’s Pilule Pet (one reviewer claimed they reduced her gassyness so much that it was impossible to truly test for smell), and to be honest, his whole vibe doesn’t exactly scream “scientific innovator,” but for about $35 you can get some weird old French guy’s novelty fart pills—a value at twice the price—and that should frankly be seen as a bargain. (I just feel like he’s living the sort of life that deserves patronage.)
A recent profile of Poincheval confirmed his bohemian credentials; he moved to Paris as a teen, where he met his wife Évelyne, with whom he formed a fairly successful nine-piece “gypsy jazz” band that played all over France. Évelyne and Christian still play music sometimes, but the couple has mostly retired to a small town in rural France, where Christian creates whimsical sculptures and invents from his modest cottage. Poincheval is a bit of a French celebrity, first gaining attention for inventing a toilet paper with news articles printed on it. His projects are all sort of thematically irreverent and charmingly childish, and I think the fart pills (whether they work or not), fall into a sort of Duchampian absurdist tradition.
Below you can hear Poincheval sing the song he wrote for his fart pills!
Today—July 7th—marks the beginning of the first SydArthur Festival, a mental celebration (or “cerebration”) of Pink Floyd founder Syd Barrett (who died ten years ago today) and Love’s Arthur Lee (who died 28 days later). The SydArthur Festival—organized by Arch Drude Julian Cope, his wife Dorian Cope (proprietor of the On This Deity blog) and their daughter Avalon—takes place entirely in your mind, and aims to get you (yes you) to contemplate the lives, art and influence of not only Syd and Arthur, but also Percy Bysshe Shelley, Henry David Thoreau, Roky Erickson, Nico, Cluster’s Dieter Moebius, George Clinton, English poet Robert Graves, Carl Jung, Aldous Huxley, Vincent Van Gogh, 17th century apocalyptic anarchist Abiezer Coppe (who, I am guessing, must be a Cope ancestor?) Jerry Garcia, William S. Burroughs and more.
By dint of having died just one lunar month apart, Syd and Arthur have given us the rich opportunity to celebrate the summer henceforth and under the given name of the Buddha ‘Siddhartha’. Despite not being Buddhists ourselves, we’re nevertheless delighted to appropriate his name for rock’n’roll: For a great name it is. And ‘twas ever the truth that our divine artform takes, takes and takes whenever and wherever its voracious trip will best be served.
These 28 days are a grand opportunity to make a carnival time of this serendipitous cosmic accident. Accident? Do the heroes of Western culture move in any less mysterious manner than the gods of ancient times? Let’s take advantage of their overt poetry, of their celestial dance, and avail ourselves of the chance to build the first truly psychic and near-religious rock’n’roll festival. For this is – in the psychedelic spirit of its two major players – a mind-manifesting festival. No pricey tickets, no camping like sardines in some infernal swamp. For those of you who choose to engage in these proceedings, you may do so from your own homes, your favourite areas, but most specifically from within your own minds.
Between the pillars of Arthur and Syd lies a rich fertile land inhabited by a multitude of psychedelic events and of artists, authors and practitioners whose births and deaths fall conveniently within this 28-day period. These too are venerated. Miffed we are that not all of our heroes can be included. But hey, this be just the first such festival.
Let us put our minds together, deeply consider these people and events, and in doing so harness the energy of their seismic actions. Overall, during this moon tour let us consciously raise our Collective Consciousness.
A fun idea, I think you’ll agree, but especially when they put it that way. So if you will click on over to the SydArthur website, you can read today’s meditation on Syd Barrett and cerebrate his contributions. The Copes chose “Astronomy Domine” as the track they posted to represent maximum Sydness asking “Was psychedelic rock’n’roll ever more advanced than this?”
As I listened, I thought about that question, before ultimately coming to the conclusion that no, it never was.
Here’s my contribution to today’s festivities: Dig the sprawling freeform psychedelic jazz of Barrett’s 20-minute long shambolic—yet extremely cool—low-fi improvised jam (with Steve Peregrin Took from Tyrannosaurus Rex on congas) titled “Rhamadan.”
Prokofiev’s orchestral composition/children’s story Peter and the Wolf is familiar to everyone who had to take music appreciation as a schoolkid: briefly, a young boy named Peter and his animal friends are spending a day by his grandfather’s pond when a wolf attacks. Peter, with his ingenuity and some help from a bird, captures the wolf, beating a group of hunters to the prize, and the story ends with a parade as the wolf is carted off to a zoo. Every character has a distinct musical theme played on a different instrument, and Peter’s theme alone is surely one of the the most recognizable pieces of classical music from the 20th Century.
If you’re feeling like a quick-and-dirty head trip, by all means visit Peter and the Wolf’s Wikipedia page and hit ‘play’ on all the themes at once.
Another highly worthy Prokofiev head trip was released in 1975—an art rock Peter and the Wolf featuring a laundry list of British pysch, blues, and prog luminaries. The narrator was the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band’s Viv Stanshall, in a remarkably subdued performance. The various themes were performed by Manfred Mann, Chris Spedding, and Stephane Grappelli, among others. Already pretty cool right there, but the wolf was memorably performed by Brian Eno, and the hunters were played by a quartet of prog drummers—Jon Hiseman, Cozy Powell, Bill Bruford and Phil Collins.