follow us in feedly
‘Never-before-seen’ 1972 Miles Davis acetate from Columbia Recording Studios available on eBay
06:34 am


Miles Davis

Miles Davis
A strange and marvelous item popped up on eBay recently—as of Wednesday, June 11, the auction in question, posted by reputable eBay user carolinasoul, has four days and change to go. As of this writing, the price is at $315, for which you will receive “one jaw-droppingly special piece, a likely one-of-a-kind Miles Davis acetate.” According to the handwritten label, the material was recorded on December 28, 1972.

The two sides—you can’t even say “side A” and “side B” in a situation like this—are 14:40 and 5:40 in length. According to carolinasoul, “We’ve identified the 14:40 side as a take of the track that would eventually become ‘Billy Preston’ on Get Up With It.” Davis’ 1974 album was the trumpeter’s last studio album before his “retirement” in the mid-1970s.

The material on the 5:40 side has yet to be identified.
Miles Davis
Here are the snippets of material carolinasoul posted as a sample:
Excerpt #1 of the 14:40 side:

Excerpt #2 of the 14:40 side:

Excerpt #3 of the 14:40 side:

Excerpt #4 of the 14:40 side:

Excerpt #1 of the 5:40 side:

Excerpt #2 of the 5:40 side:

Miles Davis
This is one of those auctions where it’s hard to believe that “No questions or answers have been posted about this item.”
Miles Davis, “Billy Preston”:


Thanks to Lawrence Daniel Caswell!

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Before Kehinde Wiley, there was Barkley L. Hendricks: magnificent portraits of African-Americans
01:20 pm


Barkley L. Hendricks

Barkley T. Hendricks
“Lawdy Mama” (1969)

I learned of the existence of Barkley L. Hendricks just a few days ago, when a friend of mine posted “Lawdy Mama,” without attribution, on her Facebook page. Intrigued, I wrote a comment asking if it was ... Angela Davis painted in the manner of a 12th-century saint? I soon learned how wrong I was!

A recent Hendricks exhibition Duke University bore the title “Birth of the Cool,” and if any American painter can withstand such brazen comparison to Miles Davis, it’s probably Hendricks. (You can buy Trevor Schoonmaker’s catalog for the show here.)

I adore how individuated, forthright, and interesting all of his subjects are. I don’t know who these people were, of course, but they certainly seem lifted right off the streets of his native Philadelphia, costumery, attitude, and pride intact. From an artistic perspective, you can see traces of Frida Kahlo in the way the backgrounds and clothes complement the subjects (and the way that most of them are facing the viewer). There’s a whiff of Jasper Johns in the red-white-blue frame of “Icon for My Man Superman,” and maybe a little bit of Peter Grant in the use of color. But Hendricks’ clearest connection is as the inspiration to a current art world superstar, the incredible Kehinde Wiley. As the Village Voice once wrote in an assessment of Wiley, “And then there’s Barkley Hendricks—in fact, Wiley’s paintings are a kind of juiced-up redux of Hendricks, with similar centralized figures and an emphasis on pattern.”

Few artists would embody the 1970s slogan “Black is Beautiful” as thoroughly as Hendricks. Of course, not all of his subjects are African-American, but most of them are, and especially earlier in his career. If you Google his name you’ll find plenty of later works depicting people of other races.
Barkley T. Hendricks
“Icon for My Man Superman” (1969)
Barkley T. Hendricks
“Sir Charles, Alias Willie Harris” (1972)
Barkley T. Hendricks
“Dr. Kool” (1973)
Barkley T. Hendricks
“Bahsir (Robert Gowens)” (1975)
Barkley T. Hendricks
“Blood (Donald Formey)” (1975)
Barkley T. Hendricks
“Sweet Thang (Lynn Jenkins)” (1975-76)
Barkley T. Hendricks
“Steve” (1976)
Barkley T. Hendricks
“Misc. Tyrone (Tyrone Smith)” (1976)
Barkley T. Hendricks
“APB’s (Afro-Parisian Brothers)” (1978)
More fantastic images and a video on Hendricks—all after the jump….

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Eerie avant-garde noise duo The Garden drone into your brain with new video for ‘Crystal Clear’
12:19 pm


The Garden
Burger Records

The two have modeled for Saint Laurent. Because look at them.
Remember a post I did way back on eerie avant-garde two-piece, The Garden? Comprised of now-20-year-old identical twins Wyatt and Fletcher Shears, whom I likened to two “little twin baby Richard Hells?” Well they’re about to release three 7-inches through the wonderful folks at Burger Records, and they have a new music video out for “Crystal Clear.”

The Orange, California, pair’s debut album The Life and Times of a Paperclip came out less than a year ago, but their murky, spastic sounds immediately garnered attention from unexpected sources. Hedi Slimane, creative director for Saint Laurent (Yves Saint Laurent’s ready-to-wear line), hired the two to walk the runway in a Paris menswear show. Though they’re usually a little more thrift store than high fashion, they look like actual runway models. (Fletcher is also known for wearing women’s clothes and make-up, to lovely effect.)

They work a kind of deconstructed early goth sound, and the video is all abduction, abuse, and alienation. I suggest you start smoking now and lose yourself in the sort of arty ominousness that makes you wish you looked good in heavy eye-liner. It should be noted that The New York Times recently did a feature on Burger Records—let’s hope it’s the beginning of a new upswing in boutique labels pushing weird bands doing weird DIY shit. 

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Black Flag is for the children!
10:58 am


Black Flag
Greg Ginn
Mike Vallely

Increasingly notorious and tedious Black Flag honcho Greg Ginn may have found a redemptive moment to counter his ongoing quest to debase the name of his second greatest contribution to the world (the greatest being SST records, in case you actually had to ask). At the end of last week, the news began to spread that the band, now made up of Ginn and former pro skater Mike Vallely, will perform a “stripped-down” show of Black Flag songs—for kids.

The all-ages (duh) show is on Tuesday, June 17, at 6 pm, at Reggie’s in Chicago, and I really wish I could be there! Imagine relatively quiet, kid-friendly versions of “Rise Above,” “TV Party,” “Black Coffee,” “Police Story,” “Slip It In”… well, I guess probably not those last two. Who knows, maybe in bare-bones form, the piss-poor, Black-Flag-in-name-only dross from last year’s reunion abortion What the… might not totally suck.

Here’s some live footage of Black Flag when they mattered, a late Rollins-era performance from the Michigan cable program Back Porch Video.

What the… Ron Reyes out of reconstituted Black Flag

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
‘Damn good’ postcard portraits of ‘Twin Peaks’ characters
09:08 am


David Lynch
Twin Peaks
Mark Frost

Donna Hayward
I really love these restrained yet expressive portraits of some of the memorable characters from David Lynch’s landmark 1990-1991 ABC television series Twin Peaks. The artist is named Paul Willoughby; not being able to procure actual postcards from the town of Twin Peaks, Willoughby cleverly used as his “canvases” vintage postcards depicting the gorgeous, foresty vistas of the Pacific Northwest instead.

The postcard images call to mind a memorable bit of typically gee-whiz dialogue from the show:

FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper: Sheriff, what kind of fantastic trees have you got growing around here? Big, majestic.

Sheriff Harry S. Truman: Douglas firs.

FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper: [Marveling] Douglas firs…

Four of these images—the ones for Josie, Audrey, Donna, and the high school portrait of Laura Palmer—were part of an exhibition at Menier Gallery in Southwark, London, dedicated to Twin Peaks at the end of 2012. I highly recommend clicking around in the exhibition’s website; there’s a lot of fun stuff there for Twin Peaks obsessives.
Josie Packard
Audrey Horne
Dale Cooper
FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper
Shelly Johnson
Gordon Cole
Regional Bureau Chief Gordon Cole
Laura Palmer
Laura Palmer
Laura Palmer
via Biblioklept

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
‘Living in the Heart of the Beast’: Experimental Marxist prog-rock greats Henry Cow on Swiss TV 1976
08:01 am


Henry Cow

Henry Cow was one of the most distinctive (okay, difficult) of England’s ‘70s prog-rock groups. They are impossible to categorize and are totally an acquired taste, but once you “get” their music, you come to see how Henry Cow fills in several boxes of the “everything that can possibly be done with the popular music artform” grid all on their lonesome.

For about three years in the late ‘70s, I saw the same Henry Cow album, In Praise of Learning, sitting pricey and unsold in the “Imports” bin of a Musicland store in a St. Clairsville, Ohio shopping mall, where artists like X-Ray Spex, Renaissance, Suzi Quatro, New York Dolls, King Crimson, the Velvet Underground, Fairport Convention, The Damned, Tangerine Dream, Nektar, Klaus Schulze, John Cale, The Stooges, Gentle Giant, Magma, Gong, and The Sweet were all placed in the context of a catchall “foreign music”/out of print in America/expensive category. “Imports” covered a lot of musical territory, even bringing In Praise of Learning to a town where not one person cared.

There was a quote on the back, from the Scottish filmmaker who coined the term “documentary,” John Grierson: “Art is not a mirror – it is a hammer.” The lyrics seemed smart and mysterious, and I wanted to understand them.

One of the clerks there told me, “If you’re into groups like Genesis and Yes, Henry Cow is supposed to be like a weirder version of that.” I don’t think he’d ever heard them either—the record was still sealed—but that was sort of their reputation.

Despite the fact that I loathed both Yes and Genesis, it was that quote, “Art is not a mirror – it is a hammer” that eventually made me so curious about what was going on in the mysterious grooves of that record, that I finally succumbed and bought it. I think I paid $12 for it at a time when domestic LPs cost around $5.98 list.

I fucking hated it. The cool Marxist lyrics aside, it did nothing for me, but then again, I doubt that the band members of Henry Cow were sitting around in 1975 thinking “Hmmm, you know, how do make our unorthodox, experimental music appeal to a teenage dickhead living in rural West Virginia?”

It would take several years, in fact, before I ever listened to In Praise of Learning again, after those first few bewildered spins, and then I began to appreciate the sheer bloody-mindedness of what these musicians were trying to do. Eventually I got really obsessed by it, especially the song performed in the clip below.

It’s not an album I pull out often, but I do like it enough to buy it on CD. Would I ever, say, decide to listen to In Praise of Learning in the car? Well, no. If you ask me, the way to appreciate Henry Cow, if you are approaching this work for the first time, is to look at them as a group of Marxist poets creating together. It’s certainly musical, but there is an “extra-musical” component that I appreciate about In Praise of Learning, especially in the epic polemic, “Living in the Heart of the Beast,” with lyrics by Tim Hodgkinson:

Situation that rules your world (despite all you’ve said)
I would strike against it but the rule displaces…

There I burn in my own lights fuelled with flags torn out
of books, and histories of marching together…
United with heroes, we were the rage, the fire.
But I was given a different destiny - knotted in closer despair.
Calling to heroes do you have to speak that way all the time ?
Tales told by idiots in paperbacks; a play of forms
to spite my fabulous need to fight and live.

We exchange words, coins, movements - paralysed in loops
of care that we hoped could knot a world still.
Sere words, toothless, ruined now, bulldozed into brimming pits
- who has used them how? Grammar book that lies wasted :
conflux of voices rising to meet, and fall,
empty, divided, other…

Clutching at sleeves the wordless man exposes his failure :
smiling, he hurls a wine glass, describing his sadness twisted
into mere form : shattered in a glass, he’s changed…
How dare he seize the life before him and discompound it in
sulphurous confusion and give it to the air?
He’s rushing to find where there’s a word of liquid syntax
- signs let slip in a flash : “clothes of chaos are my rage !”
he shrieks in tatters, hunting the eye of his own storm.

We were born to serve you all our bloody lives
labouring tongues we give rise to soft lies :
disguised metaphors that keep us in a vast inverted silliness
twice edged with fear.
Twilight signs decompose us
High in offices we stared into the turning wheel of cities
dense and ravelled close yet separate : planned to kill all encoutner.
Intricate we saw your state at work its shapes
abstracted from all human intent. With our history’s fire
we shall harrow your signs.

Now is the time to begin to go forward - advance from despair,
the darkness of solitary men - who are chained in a market they
cannot control - in the name of a freedom that hangs like a pall
on our cities. And their towers of silence we shall destroy.

Now is the time to begin to determine directions, refuse to admit
the existence of destiny’s rule. We shall seize from all heroes and
merchants our labour, our lives, and our practice of history : this,
our choice, defines the truth of all that we do.

Seize on the words that oppose us with alien force; they’re enslaved
by the power of capital’s kings who reduce them to coinage and
hollow exchange in the struggle to hold us, they’re bitterly
outlasting… Time to sweep them down from power
- deeds renew words.

Dare to take sides in the fight for freedom that is common cause
let us All be as strong and as resolute. We’re in the midst of
a universe turning in turmoil; of classes and armies of thought
making war - their contradictions clash and echo through time.

Below, Henry Cow: Georgie Born – bass guitar, cello; Lindsay Cooper – bassoon, oboe, recorder, sopranino saxophone, piccolo, piano; Chris Cutler – drums; Fred Frith – guitar, violin, xylophone, piano, tubular bells; Tim Hodgkinson – organ, alto saxophone, clarinet; Dagmar Krause – voice—performing “Living in the Heart of the Beast” in Vevey, Switzerland for the Swiss TV program Kaleidospop on August 25, 1976. The entire 75-minute concert can be found on Henry Cow’s 40th Anniversary Box Set.

Stay with it. Some of you might not be able to take it, but if you can go with it, by the end it will make total sense. Fred Frith’s guitar solo in the latter half is utterly mind-blowing.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
The disappearing face of New York

During the eight years it took Jim and Karla Murray to photograph these New York storefronts, a third of them had closed down. According to the Murrays:

...the influx of big box retailers and chain stores pose a serious threat to these humble institutions, and neighborhood modernization and the anonymity it brings are replacing the unique appearance and character of what were once incredibly colourful streets.

Taken from their book The Disappearing Face of New York, these beautiful photographs of neon-lit, window-crammed, characterful storefronts document the cultural cost of the malls and online retailers that have taken business from small shopkeepers, in favor of the supposed “choice” offered by corporations. As the general Julius Agricola noted way, way back in the invasion of Britain circa 73 AD, when the invading armies brought bath houses, roads, and alike, the so-called advancement of civilisation can often disguise its inherent servitude.
More disappearing New York stores, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Ask Lemmy: Straight talk from metal’s ace life coach
06:25 am



If there were any doubt in your mind that Motörhead’s apparently indestructible singer/bassist Lemmy Kilmister is a total goddamn genius, I refer you to these two “Ask Lemmy” videos. They were produced for the program Hard N Heavy on the Canadian E1 network in 1994, and in them, the man who gave the world the lyric “They say music is the food of love/Let’s see if you’re hungry enough” offers some perfectly blunt, often hilarious, genuinely sage advice on matters of love, sex, and RACE RELATIONS.

I can add nothing further here. Just watch.


Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
Pulp: A Film About Life, Death and Supermarkets
11:41 pm


Jarvis Cocker

Greetings from the super fun Sheffield Doc/Fest!

After spending a delightful two days in Glasgow, where Tara and I met our friend and longtime DM ally Paul Gallagher in the flesh for the first time (and where we saw the Necropolis, the University of Glasgow and the beautiful West End district, plus ate some insanely good curries), we arrived in Sheffield shortly before the big hometown premiere of New Zealand-born director Florian Habicht’s Pulp: A Film About Life, Death and Supermarkets.

Habicht’s film is as much about the city of Sheffield as it is about the group it spawned. In the few hours before the screening began, I walked about the city center for a while to soak up, you know, the local atmosphere and found myself very charmed by the city and her residents. Young people out and about, laughing and having a good time, families with little children and plenty of old people milling around too (there are lots of older fellows, the type who wear wool caps and call you “guv’nor,” sitting on benches bullshitting all over Sheffield). The Kiwi filmmaker had parachuted into the city in a similar manner—he’d never been here before he started filming—but when he went around looking for local color (and finding it in spades!) he took along a film crew. The results, I thought, were magical, but I’ll get to why in a moment.

When the box office opened, there were probably a good 2,000 people milling around in front of Sheffield City Hall waiting to get in. You could tell that a situation was brewing whereby the whole town basically wanted to be involved. People from all walks of life were queuing up and there was—truly—a “special” feeling in the air. I was excited myself. I’ve been a huge Pulp fan for over twenty years, but sadly I was never in the same city as they were when they played America (which was almost never). When I got back to the hotel to collect my wife, I saw Jarvis Cocker and several of his family members in the lobby getting ready to walk over to the venue (where the band members greeted friends and fans alike on the steps outside City Hall).

Inside the venue, with both balconies packed to the gills, a palpable feeling of excitement was in the air. A huge neon PULP sign topped the screen. When the film started, everyone in that room seemed totally psyched. I know I was.

Pulp: A Film About Life, Death and Supermarkets did not disappoint. It’s not, strictly speaking, a “rockumentary.” It’s close to being one, but it expands on the form so much that the term becomes kind of meaningless to describe it. What it is is an affectionate portrait of a city and of a band that are that city’s favorite sons and daughter. Nominally “about” Pulp’s final hometown show, many of Sheffield’s quirkier denizens get as much screen time as the band. When the film ended, the locals in the movie were asked to stand up and take a bow, and nearly all of them had been sitting in the section we were sitting in. I felt that the film was a triumph—moving, funny, sweet, eccentric—and the reaction from the audience, well, it’s the kind of thing that makes you feel like you are smiling with your heart. Two people who I spoke with were moved to tears. How many rock docs can you say that about?

Well, you can say it about Pulp: A Film About Life, Death and Supermarkets, that’s for sure. There was a mediocre review of the film in The Guardian last week that complained about Habicht’s film that “you can’t help thinking he’s missed the point of Pulp. Their music denigrated the people [of Sheffield] as much as it celebrated them.”

BULLSHIT! Try telling this to anyone in the audience in Sheffield on Saturday night. Introducing “Common People” onstage in the film, Jarvis tells the hometown audience that although the song isn’t about Sheffield and doesn’t take place in Sheffield, it could only have been written by someone who is from Sheffield. I think it was The Guardian that missed the point. Entirely. Would that the reviewer had seen Terry, the newspaper seller who makes a few appearances in the film being treated like he was a celebrity at the afterparty, he might’ve had a different opinion.

PS: After writing this, but before posting it, I ran into director Florian Habicht in the hotel lobby, introduced myself and basically said everything to him in person that I have written above. 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Rik Mayall in ‘Don’t Fear Death,’ one of his final works
01:03 pm


Rik Mayall

You know how we’re all affected by certain celebrity deaths that shock and sadden, and knock the wind from you, making the world seem that little less exciting? Like the end of the summer holidays, or clearing up after that great party, when all the presents have been opened, the guests have all gone, the food and drink taken, and there’s only the clearing up and hangover to be faced. That’s kinda how I feel about Rik Mayall, who died today at the age of 56.

Some of you will say Elvis or Lennon or Cobain, or maybe Tupac or Winehouse or Hoffman, and of course I’ll agree, but they didn’t sink as deeply or sting as much as Mayall’s death did today. I thought him the funniest, most joyous and fearless comic I’d ever seen, and someone who was admirable because of that. He never stuck with the “a man walked into a bar” jokes,” or easy targets of politics that many of his contemporaries did, or even tried to win over the audience and pick on people for a cheap laugh, no. Rather, Mayall made himself the focus of the comedy, he was his own punchline, and as such was exuberant, joyful, yes often juvenile, and daft, but never, ever dull.

One of the last things Rik Mayall did for TV before his untimely death was to voice an animation for Channel 4 called Don’t Fear Death. Written and produced by Louis Hudson and Ian Ravenscroft, this three-minute animation explores the “benefits” of being dead, ironically suggesting that death “is your passport to complete and utter freedom. No pulse, no responsibilities. Carpe mortem – seize death.”

RIP Rik Mayall comedy genius 1958-2014.

Via Daily Telegraph, with thanks to Michael Gallagher

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Page 169 of 1726 ‹ First  < 167 168 169 170 171 >  Last ›