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‘Robot Monster,’ Lux Interior’s favorite B movie, a bad movie for bad people
07.30.2015
06:44 am

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Movies
Music

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“At what point on the graph do ‘must’ and ‘cannot’ meet?”
 
KDOC, the Orange County station that broadcast Wally George’s The Hot Seat, was also home to a wonderful show with even lower production values than Wally’s called Request Video. After school, I would rush to the TV to watch Request Video, hoping to catch another glimpse of the Ramones.

The Cramps paid a visit to Request Video before one of their early 90s shows at the Hollywood Palladium, and their wide-ranging discussion with host Gia DeSantis touched on many things that are still of vital importance to your life, such as the size of Lux’s pumps, the band’s makeup tips, and Lux and Ivy’s favorite B movies. While Ivy picked the classic Gun Crazy, Lux named this appalling 1953 movie about a robot from the moon who looks like a gorilla wearing a diver’s helmet. Its mission, to exterminate all human beings on Earth, doesn’t sound like such a bad idea after you’ve spent a few minutes with the cast.
 

 
Lux expanded on his love for Robot Monster in a 1995 interview with Phoenix New Times:

“I’m interested in Jungian archetypes, what it is that makes people want to see movies about flying saucers and alien invasions. I’m interested why someone would write a film like Robot Monster [a notoriously bad Fifties piece featuring a monster that was essentially a gorilla with a deep-sea-diving helmet for a head]. And why a lot of people would write films that have so much in common—Robot Monster, Plan 9 From Outer Space, you name it, all those old horror movies.

“I think it has something to do with the collective unconscious. I feel like watching these films to be just like dream interpretations. When I see an old horror movie, it really strikes a chord in me, and it’s because I’m connected to the same thing that the person who wrote the movie is connected to.”

Lux pauses briefly, then provides a summation: “I think the reason I do things is a lot like the same reason Johnny Rotten did what he did, or the same reason Marcel Duchamp did the things he did. We’re all connected together in one aspect of consciousness.”

 

Ro-Man’s hideout in Griffith Park
 
Screenwriter Wyott Ordung talks about working on Robot Monster in the book 3-D Revolution: The History of Modern Stereoscopic Cinema. Though he doesn’t shed much light on Lux’s concerns, he does relate that the movie’s reception nearly proved fatal for him and director Phil Tucker:

When I went to see the picture, I was sitting in the Hollywood Paramount [theater]. It’s funny now—it wasn’t funny then—and as I’m walking out of the theater the manager of the popcorn stand says “We should skin the writer alive.” [...] The next thing I know Phil Tucker tried to commit suicide. There was a picture of him in the Los Angeles Mirror on the front page. He was lying there clutching the cans of film. Was it because of the film? I think he wanted publicity. That’s what I think. Young genius thinks he made a great picture for $45,000. People are not going to the movie and so on and he ended up in Camarillo [State Mental Hospital].

Continues after the jump…

Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
Hear the Dead Kennedys as a five-piece with KEYBOARDS, play a Rolling Stones cover
07.30.2015
06:25 am

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Music
Punk

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I recently finished reading Michael Stewart Foley’s excellent 33 1/3 series book on the Dead Kennedys’ Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables album. 

Rather than merely analyzing recording minutae or picking apart lyrical content song-by-song, the book documents the socio-political climate of late ‘70s San Francisco, exploring the environment that existed which precipitated the need for a Dead Kennedys. It’s incidentally got me on a personal kick of revisiting a lot of DK music, particularly from that early, formative era—when Jello Biafra was writing songs instead of diatribes.

When I’m not wasting my time obsessively A/B-ing different pressings of Fresh Fruit to detect subtle differences in the mastering quality, I’m double checking to see what blessings the gods of the Internet have offered up as gap fillers in the Kennedys’ historical record. A few months ago I wrote here about an incredible 1982 live video from Vienna. Although the recording I’m presenting today is audio-only, it’s a far more interesting historical artifact than even that Vienna show (which totally blew me away). Today we’re going to listen to Terry Hammer’s recording of Dead Kennedys from Mabuhay Gardens in San Francisco from June 14, 1980.
 

Dead Kennedys played with Paul Roessler’s band, Bent, and the Subhumans from Canada.
 
Terry Hammer was an audio engineer during the heyday of first wave punk in San Francisco. He maintains a mind-blowing YouTube channel upon which he has graciously decided to share dozens of live recordings he engineered for Bay Area radio stations KALX, KTIM, KSAN, KSJO, KUSF, and KSFS. The channel features no less than five different (crucial) Dead Kennedys recordings—all worth investigating.

I’ve previously gushed all over Dangerous Minds about Hammer’s recordings of DEVO and Husker Du. The quality of this recording exists somewhere in between those two, preserving, with remarkable clarity, this point in the Kennedys’ history where they were feeling more comfortable in their arrangements and picking up the tempos (but before going full hardcore with the replacement of original drummer, “Ted,” with D.H. Peligro).

But what’s really, truly astounding about this recording is the inclusion of Paul Roessler on keyboard for the final five songs of the gig. At twenty-eight and a half minutes in, Jello sardonically introduces Roessler (brother of Black Flag’s Kira Roessler) as the “Remora of Rock and Roll.” Roessler was known up to that point for his work with the Screamers, Nervous Gender, Mommymen, Bent, and Silver Chalice. Bent had opened for Dead Kennedys on that night’s bill.

“Torture those keys,” directs Biafra, and Roessler does, with distorted organ sounds blaring even more raw, jagged and cutting than East Bay Ray’s bright surf-overdrive guitar damage. Roessler performs on “Stealing People’s Mail,” “Drug Me,” “Holiday in Cambodia,” “Too Drunk to Fuck,” and a cover of the Rolling Stones’ “The Last Time.”

The keys are particularly effective on “Too Drunk To Fuck,” changing the entire vibe of the song, giving it a campy horror sound, not far from the early death rock of bands like 45 Grave (whom Roessler was also a member of).

Roessler had previously worked with Dead Kennedys, in the studio, where he played keyboard tracks on “Drug Me” and “Stealing People’s Mail” for the Fresh Fruit LP. According to Alex Ogg’s book Dead Kennedys: Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables: The Early Years, “Stealing People’s Mail” was musically influenced by Roessler’s group the Screamers.

Continues after the jump…

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
Dangerous Finds: Bill Cosby mean to teen Janis Ian; Michael Moore doc; Christian snake handler dies
07.29.2015
01:51 pm

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Current Events

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Bernie Sanders Builds a People’s Army: Across the country, left-wing activists and veterans of the Occupy movement are organizing for Bernie Sanders—and think the Vermont socialist can topple Hillary. (The Daily Beast)

Does “Creative Destruction” Include the State?: Everyone lauds “creative destruction” when it shreds monopolies and disrupts private enterprise “business as usual.” This raises an obvious question few dare ask: does this inevitable process of creative destruction include the state? If not, why not? Aren’t the state and the central bank the ultimate monopolies begging to be disrupted for the benefit of all? If government is inefficient and unproductive, shouldn’t it be “creatively destroyed” in the same fashion as private enterprise? The obvious answer is yes. (Charles Hugh Smith/Of Two Minds)

Regular People Are Totally Useless When Trying to Use Handguns In Self-Defense: Sorry wannabe Jack Bauers, turns out you suck at saving the day. (AlterNet)

In the Age of Trump, Will Democrats Sell Out More, Or Less? The collapse of the GOP gives the Democrats an opportunity to abandon “lesser evilism” — but they probably won’t. (Matt Taibbi/Rolling Stone)

Mathematician says Kansas voting machines need to be audited: A Wichita State University mathematician said she has seen enough odd patterns in Kansas election results that she thinks it’s time to check the accuracy of some voting machines. Election officials are making it as difficult as possible for her to get the data she needs. (KMBC Kansas City)

Why Bernie Sanders Is The Millennials’ President: Are you feelin’ the Bern? Plenty of young people are. (The Odyssey)

Trump’s presence in first GOP debate makes prep challenging for candidates: Ya think? Trump is allegedly doing ZERO prep for the debate. Why should he? He’s quite adept at calling other people “losers” and that act plays very, very well to the Republican base. No point in messing with a successful formula. (Washington Post)

Heavy Social Media Use Linked With Mental Health Issues In Teens: More than two hours of use per day can spell trouble. (Huffington Post)

Michael Moore film to attack US government’s state of ‘infinite war’: Where to Invade Next was made in secret because of surveillance concerns. The film satirizes America’s ‘constant need to have an enemy to keep the military-industrial complex alive.’ (The Guardian)

The absolute worst advice we give to Americans struggling to pay rent: In urban centers around the country, rental prices are soaring. Cities like San Francisco, Seattle, and New York City routinely report double-digit increases that make it nearly impossible for residents to make ends meet. But moving someplace “cheaper” ain’t all it’s cracked up to be, either… (The Daily Dot)

Christian snake handler dies: Bye dummy! (The Raw Story)

The Great Paradox of the Democratic Presidential Race: There is no shortage of bold, liberal ideas from the candidates that have little chance of getting past Congress. While they compete over who can produce the ideas that most satisfy the party’s base, the proposals they are offering face a stark reality: Hardly any of them are likely to be approved by Congress, where Republicans have an almost iron-clad grip on the House of Representatives for the foreseeable future. (Bloomberg)

Janis Ian says Bill Cosby spread lesbian rumors about her as a teen, tried to blacklist her from TV: The singer/songwriter writes on Facebook that she met Cosby at a Smothers Brothers taping in the 1960s. As if you needed another reason to hate Bill Cosby, enjoy this performance by a young Janis Ian. What kind of asshole would go out of their way to be mean to this kid???

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Attention, smart people: Over 100,000 have RSVP’d for tonight’s Bernie Sanders mega-event


 

“There are no coincidences, but sometimes the pattern is more obvious.”—Neil Innes

Attention, smart people! There is a MAJOR POLITICAL EVENT that’s happening—TODAY July 29th, 2015—across this nation that you might not have heard about for Bernie Sanders. Tonight Sanders will be speaking via the Internet to over 100,000 heavily-motivated people meeting for the first time at 3,520 Bernie-related house parties and get-togethers in bars and restaurants and union halls and church basements, etcetera, etcetera, all across the United States.
 

 
Yes, over 100,000 people have found other like-minded people in their area via this map and RSVP’d to get informed and to volunteer for Sanders’ increasingly astonishing campaign. I live in Los Angeles where there are well over 100 such gatherings. I’m married, but I would assume that a lot of smart, good-looking people would attend such events. Aren’t you even curious? Of course you are. Why not search for your zip code and see what happens?

Has there ever been a larger, more dynamic and more INSTANTANEOUS grassroots movement in American history? If there has been one, they must’ve kept it a secret. Even the Tea party movement didn’t grow nearly as fast as this. And after today’s event, what happens next?

I can’t wait to find out.

The sky’s the limit, but the goal is the White House. This can happen, people.

Bernie Sanders for President: It’s time to take it to the next level, America. He can’t do it without YOU.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Behold the ‘Star Wars’ rice paddy
07.29.2015
10:54 am

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Movies

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A couple of British farmers named Bower and Chorley invented the crop circle as an easy and fun way to spawn a generation’s worth of crazy UFO conspiracy theories. In Japan they’re more showbiz about their version of this, which is to make elaborate tableaux in rice paddies, which are mostly green as opposed to the wheaty amber of crop designs. A small town called Inakadate in Aomori Prefecture in northern Japan has an annual event that attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors to see its rice paddy artworks. They’ve been doing it since 1993 with no sign of letting up.

The most common variety of rice plant grows in bright green stalks, but if you plant strains of different colors in carefully selected positions, you can make lines and shapes, a bit like these awesome examples of LEGO art—including Hunter S. Thompson! In this one you can see a rice paddy mosaic with Marilyn Monroe in her famous subway grate pose from The Seven-Year Itch. It only takes about a month from planting to final fruition, but they disappear pretty quickly too.
 

 
Last month Inakadate unveiled a Star Wars design, featuring C3PO and R2D2 as well as some sort of blobby planet-shaped droid I don’t recognize. (Yes, I’m old!

Here’s a fuller picture—“conceptual art for the final field” (click to see a larger version):
 

 

 
via RocketNews24
 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Kardashian human centipede shirt
07.29.2015
10:33 am

Topics:
Amusing
Fashion

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Kim Kardashian human centipede shirt
Kim Kardashian Human Centipede shirt
 
I honestly don’t know where to begin with this collection of shirts by Cleveland, OH company, Rage On!. Except that I agree with their motto as their strangely wonderful shirts truly are “pushing the limits” of fashion.

In addition to the demure image of everyone’s least favorite famewhore, Kim Kardashian getting a little human centipede action with what looks like her sisters (I’m ashamed to admit that I think that looks like Kim’s sister Khloe at the end of the centipede chain), there are a multitude of other bizarre yet cool shirts in Rage On’s! collection that I think you will dig eyeballing. The shirts are an all-over print so according to Rage On!, “people will be able to accurately double take your awesome shirt and confirm their jealousy of you!”

Some images are NSFW - which is code for “you are about to see some fantastic shit.” The shirts themselves will run you anywhere from $50 - $60 a pop.
 
Ice T, Ice Cube, Mr. T shirt
Ice T, Ice Cube, Mr. T in a tea pitcher shirt
 
More after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
OMG, there’s a Slim Goodbody-esque anatomical sleeping bag
07.29.2015
10:26 am

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Amusing
Television

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I only remember bits and pieces of Slim Goodbody AKA “the Superhero of Health” from my childhood. He had a TV show on PBS in 1980 called Inside Story but I don’t recall ever actually sitting through an entire episode. BUT I do remember pausing on his show for a few moments once just to gaze in wonderment at his his skin-tight anatomical suit and distinctive ‘fro. It’s a memory burned into my brain for some reason.

When I stumbled across this “anatomically correct” sleeping bag—or is this a “body bag” in this case—my mind went immediately to Mr. Slim Goodbody. What a perfect way to pay homage to this childhood “Superhero of Health”!

Now what’s really sad is I can’t find this sleeping available for purchase anywhere. I’m always led back to a Japanese site that gives me a “404” error. Maybe I just didn’t look hard enough?


 

 

 

 
Below, Slim Goodbody sings “The Digestion Song:

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
‘Hype!’: The 1996 documentary that captured grunge’s explosive rise (and immediate co-optation)
07.29.2015
08:46 am

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Movies
Music

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Vogue’s 1992 grunge feature, “Grunge & Glory,” becasue nothing says “grunge” like Naomi Campbell in Perry Ellis!
 
The “grunge speak” hoax of 1992 may be the greatest youth culture response to unwanted media hype in the history of “shut up, old man!” A reporter for The New York Times was working on a grunge story for its Style of the Times section—a little exposé on the scene’s hip, new slang. Trouble is, there really wasn’t such thing as a grunge slang, so when the Times contacted Sub Pop Records receptionist, she just made up a bunch of silly shit. The result was a comically ridiculous list of phony jargon titled “Lexicon of Grunge: Breaking the Code.” When Thomas Frank over at The Baffler pointed out that no one was calling anyone a “cob nobbler” or a “lamestain,” the Times was so miffed that they demanded Frank apologize before finally realizing they’d been had.

Like the grunge speak hoax, Hype! is a fascinating record of the grunge phenomenon, specifically because it’s about the tension between the scene and the media. The bands themselves tell the story (and I mean nearly all the bands—Mudhoney, Nirvana, Soundgarden, The Gits, The Melvins, Mono Men, Pearl Jam, 7 Year Bitch and a host of less famous acts), and though there is a genuine love for the Seattle scene and the community it produced, there is already a bitter awareness of grunge’s fate. Members of 7 Year Bitch point out the sexism of the coverage women in bands receive, Eddie Vedder expresses anguish over the immediate commercialization of the grunge phenomenon and the discomfort of living the shadow of Kurt Cobain looms large for many bands.

Far from the bitter, childish personas so often associated with angry young people and their guitars, the subjects of Hype! are thoughtful and clear-eyed, still professing a genuine love for the music and the organic nature of the scene, despite the obvious reality that Grunge has been thoroughly appropriated for mass consumption.
 

 
Via Network Awesome

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
‘Nightmare Feddy,’ ‘Anna Montana’ and other Chinese import toy knock-off fails
07.29.2015
08:21 am

Topics:
Amusing
Pop Culture

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Photo via i-mockery.com
 
Several years ago I first became aware of “Nightmare Feddy,” a Chinese bootleg doll of Freddy Krueger from the popular A Nightmare on Elm Street horror franchise, and I’ve been laughing about him ever since. I’m not sure what it is specifically about the name “Nightmare Feddy” that I find so funny, but its one of those things that pops into my head from time to time and I just kind of start laughing to myself over it. “Nightmare Feddy.” It’s just so stupid.
 

Photo via i-mockery.com
 
Apparently I’m not the only person obsessed with “Feddy.” I’m no toy collector, but I’ve wanted one of these Chinese failure figures for years now—I’ve kept my eyes peeled for one in the wild, to no avail. They turn up regularly on eBay,  usually priced between $40 to $80. Yeah, I want this dumb conversation piece, but not forty bucks worth.

But still, just look at this stupid thing. Look at its shoes!
 

Photo via i-mockery.com
 
“Nightmare Feddy” might be a scarce, improbable collector’s item, but a trip to your local Dollar Tree will undoubtedly reveal shelves upon shelves of strangely-titled knock-off toys which are good for similar ESL laughs.

Here’s a treasury of Chinese toy knock-off fails:
 

Feddy’s cousin: “Monster”
 

“Spook Chasers”
 

“Anna Montana”
 
More Chinese toy fails after the jump…

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
Cover versions: Debbie Harry stars in pulp romance novels based on Blondie songs
07.29.2015
07:08 am

Topics:
Art
Music
Punk

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Debbie Harry faux pulp novel
“Rip Her to Shreds” faux pulp romance novel cover. Title taken from a song found on Blondie’s eponymous 1976 debut album

These clever faux pulp romance novels featuring Debbie Harry by Atlanta-based pop artist, Zteven are pretty much the best things I’ve seen this week. And I see a lot of cool stuff on a daily basis.

Not only did Zteven manage to portray Harry as one of the coolest salacious sirens to ever grace the cover of a smutty, old school pulp romance novel, he also incorporated the lyrics of songs from Blondie’s catalog in the titles and descriptions. There are even a few sly nods to Blondie co-founder and guitarist Chris Stein, as well as songwriter and producer Mike Chapman who worked with the group on their breakthrough 1978 record, Parallel Lines as well as Eat to the Beat (1979), Autoamerican (1980) and The Hunter (1982). The set of four prints, framed, will run you $40.
 
One Way or Another faux pulp novel with Debbie Harry
“One Way or Another” faux pulp romance novel cover. Title taken from a song that appears on 1978’s Parallel Lines
 
More Blondie cover versions after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
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