This week someone sent me this really cool map of the United States, in which an imgur user has placed visual representations of horror films set in each state. It’s quite a piece of work:
Click on image for larger version.
I did some searching to learn more about this map and the work that went into it, when I accidentally stumbled across THIS even more detailed, meticulously researched, map which lists around 250 horror films for all 50 states (and Washington, D.C.).
The map represents where the stories take place in the movies, not where the actual filming locations were. Nowadays, most horror movies are filmed in California, but the setting could be totally different. For example, Halloween was filmed outside of Los Angeles but the movie is set in Illinois.
This is a true labor of love, and I actually learned about a couple of new movies when I checked out my own home state.
So peep both of these bloody good horror maps and let us know: What’s the scariest state?
A few days ago VICE ran an interesting interview with Chris Stein of Blondie on the subject of his close friendship with the masterful Swiss artist H.R. Giger. Stein was heavily involved with Debbie Harry’s first solo album, KooKoo, for which Giger supplied the incredibly memorable cover art, with Harry’s face seemingly punctured by several large acupuncture needles.
Stein was very fond of Giger, who died about a year ago, calling him “a really sweet guy.” Stein said that he owns a throne that Giger designed: “It’s one of a very few in the country. The seat cushion rotted completely at one point and he gave me a second seat cushion, which is starting to rot. It was made from foam rubber.”
The asymmetrical bio-mechanical body is hand carved in wood. It is adorned with carbon graphite, assorted biological materials and bronze castings.
The neck and six-fingered “peg-hand” comprise unidirectional carbon graphite fiber. A unique construction feature is the integral molding of the neck and fingerboard.
The Lieber Guitars page that highlights the instrument is a little vague on who actually designed this guitar. It would be enough for it to be “based on” the incredibly distinctive artworks of Giger, but if Giger had a hand in the design of the guitar itself, well, then that’s even better. Two consecutive sentences flesh out the details here: “After [Thomas] Lieber’s careful study of Giger’s artworks, the concept of using an Alien’s hand for the peg-head was realized and several body depictions were rendered.” Okay, so Lieber was on his own, it seems. But then we read on: “In an artistic meeting, Giger, Chris and Lieber hammered out the final modifications and details and the result is truly a work of art.” So it was mainly Lieber’s design but Giger definitely, according to the guitar maker, was involved in the process of creating this singular guitar.
We soon found we were banned in Los Angeles. Someone claiming to be Mick Fleetwood himself called KROQ and threatened them with a lawsuit if they played the song, then called Nigel at home with the same threat. All the major record stores in Los Angeles were threatened with no more big selling Big Mac albums if they sold our nasty little single. Ooh scary! What a threat. Who the hell bought Tusk anyway? It sucked the turds out of a dead bloated water buffalo’s anus. Some stores hid our records under the table like a bunch of pussies and some gave Fleetwood Mac the finger and still got their albums anyway. Then they decided to be less obvious and the doors to a number of the clubs in town closed to us mysteriously.
The record is now a sought-after collectable, and both the Rotters and Fleetwood Mac manage to play totally necessary reunion gigs to this day.
A generous and kind soul uploaded all 25 episodes of New Wave Theatre the incredible local TV show that extensively covered the Los Angeles punk scene. The show ran from January 1981 to March 1983, and was abruptly stopped in its tracks when its host, Peter Ivers, was found beaten to death in his apartment. Within a few months of its premiere, the crucial USA Network program that aired late at night on Fridays and Saturdays, Night Flight, provided a national showcase for the show.
The show was created and produced by David Jove, who also wrote the program with Billboard magazine editor Ed Ochs. Ivers’s murder is officially unsolved, but according to this page the prime suspect for the crime was Jove.
Ivers was a very interesting guy—among other things he wrote “In Heaven (The Lady in the Radiator Song),” which appears in David Lynch’s 1977 movie Eraserhead and many years later was covered by the Pixies. Among the bands that appeared on New Wave Theatre are the Angry Samoans, Dead Kennedys, 45 Grave, Fear and The Plugz, X, and Circle Jerks.
In Josh Frank’s book In Heaven Everything is Fine, Ken Yas, a friend of David Jove, memorably called New Wave Theatre “Ed Sullivan on acid meets American Idol on cocaine.”
Here’s the series in its entirety. Enjoy it before someone yanks it off of YouTube!
Superheroes capture our imagination because, for the most part, they are ordinary people who have been granted some particular power and must reconcile the responsibility of that power with the fact that, at heart, they are human beings with regular human faults and complexities.
Indonesian photographer Edy Hardjo has made it his mission to demonstrate this reconcilliation between superpower and ordinary human behavior. Hardjo’s work uses humor to show us that, in spite of their given better-than-human abilities, superheroes are just regular schmucks like the rest of us. Hardjo’s photographs give us an insight into the mundane worlds of The Avengers, Wolverine, Spiderman, Batman and other characters from the Marvel and DC universes.
Hardjo utilizes 1/6-scale figures and Photoshop to produce hilarious and sometimes risque insights into the the everyday life of a superhero.
In 1965, at a studio in Philadelphia, a most unusual novelty dance number was cut called “Peanut Duck.” The tune was shelved, but survived as an acetate. The record was discovered by a British DJ in the 1980s, who issued the track on a dubious release with misleading information. It’s now fifty years later, and the identities of all those who appeared on “Peanut Duck”—including the lead vocalist—is still a mystery. And boy, is this song bonkers!
When “Peanut Duck” was pressed in the mid-1980s, it was credited to a singer named Marsha Gee, though it was later revealed to be untrue (more below). It’s fairly obvious that it’s not the same Marsha Gee who released a song called “Baby, I Need You.”
“Peanut Duck” follows the template of novelty and fad dances like “The Loco-Motion” and “The Twist”—to a point. The unknown female vocalist does explain how to do the goofy dance, but doesn’t go into very much detail, and some of the lyrics are completely unintelligible. It’s also unclear as to what George Washington Carver’s favorite legume has to do with anything. The track really goes off the rails once it passes the 2:00 minute mark, with the singer free-forming it like you won’t believe.
In 2005, the song was said to have received its first authorized release when it was issued as a 45 on the Penniman label (with writer and publishing credits that don’t match the Joker version, but still attributed to Marsha Gee). That same year, Rhino included it on their boxed set, Girl Group Sounds: One Kiss Can Lead to Another. Here’s Rhino’s liner notes concerning the track in question:
At Virtue Sound Studio in Philadelphia, a mystery girl singer cut “Peanut Duck,” a feverish soul stomper that trailed the Loco-Motion, Mashed Potato, Twist trend. But the track was never released, and Marsha Gee was not the actual singer. The only proof of “Peanut Duck” lay in an acetate discovered by a British Northern Soul DJ who took the disc back to England and released it as a bootleg on Joker Records in the ‘80s. Not wanting his rival DJs to infringe upon his precious find, he christened the unknown singer Marsha Gee (who incidentally had a single out on Uptown Records in 1965). The true voice behind “Peanut Duck” has yet to be revealed. Anyone?
Though many of the photos appear to be candid snapshots, the images are textured with story. For example, Frida’s hand-painted “plaster bodice”—a cast she wore after one of her many surgeries—contains the hammer and sickle (a pretty explicit nod to her belief in revolutionary communism), but below that is a fetal image, a tragic reference to her failed attempt to have a child due to the bus accident in her youth that left her in constant pain. There are sweeter moments too. While her tumultuous relationship with her husband Diego Rivera produced some warm moments in front of the camera, it is with her many pets that you see Frida at her most gentle and caring.
Frida Wearing Plaster Corset, Which She Decorated With Hammer And Sickle (And Unborn Baby), Coyoacán, 1951
Once upon a time, masturbation was said to make you blind or lead to hairs growing on the palm of your hand, now it is claimed onanism will have serious consequences for men in the hereafter.
During a television interview in 2000, self-styled Muslim “televangelist” Mucahid Cihad Han told viewers that men who masturbate will find their hands pregnant in the afterlife. (What I wonder, happens to women’s hands?)
Han’s bizarre warning took place during a Q&A session with viewers when he was asked for advice by a viewer who “kept masturbating even though he was married.” Han initially looked puzzled by the question, but after the interviewer repeated the sticky question Han urged the man to “resist Satan’s temptations” and added:
“Moreover, one hadith states that those who have sexual intercourse with their hands will find their hands pregnant in the afterlife, complaining against them to God over its rights.
“If our viewer was single, I could recommend he marry, but what can I say now?”
Frankly, I’m at a loss.
When Han tweeted this interview to his 12,000 followers on Saturday, he “was mocked on Turkish social media,” according to Turkey’s Hurriyet Daily News.
İstimnâ (Mastürbasyon) Caiz mi?
''Elini nikahlayan mel'undur kıyamet günü eli hamile olarak gelir.''
In its report on the story, the paper queried Han’s interpretation:
“Istimna,” the Arabic term for masturbation that Han also referred to, is a controversial issue in Islam, as there have been varying opinions on its permissibility throughout history. The Quran has no clear reference to masturbation and the authenticity of many hadiths is questionable.
Despite Han’s assertive religious stance, only a limited number of Islamic interpretations categorize masturbation as “haram,” while most of others call it a “makruh” (disliked) act. Many of the mainstream Islamic interpretations even allow it in certain conditions, like if the act could be used to avoid the temptation of an extramarital affair.
Han, who has more than 12,000 followers on Twitter, was mocked on Turkish social media on May 25, after newspapers published his latest television “fatwa.”
“Are there any hand-gynaecologists in the afterlife? Is abortion allowed there?” one Twitter user asked, while mentioning Han’s Twitter user name.
“So you think that being pregnant is a God-given punishment?” another user asked.
We have the video of Mr. Han’s interview, but alas no subtitles and still no answer regarding women’s hands.
I don’t know about you, but I’m not ashamed to admit that I don’t think I’ve ever met a cookie I didn’t like. And thanks to punk rock cookie purveyor American Cookie Craft, I’ve now met cookies I love so much I don’t think I could ever consume them. Irony, thy name is Joey Ramone covered in sugary icing.
The Ramones cookie set
Both sets of these punk rock cookies are modeled after the cover art for each of the band’s eponymous debut records. In addition to the confectionery versions of Joey, Johnny, Dee Dee and Tommy, the Ramones set also comes with two extra cookies with the band’s name on it. I’m especially fond of the extra cookie that comes with the Dolls’ set that is beautifully decorated with their iconic pink lipstick logo. The cookies come in Vanilla Bean, Victorian Lavender or Chocolate, and may be customized to your liking. Keep in mind that the price of punk has gone up significantly since the 70’s. Both sets of six cookies will run you $24.99. They’ve also got other sweet treats that culture vultures will debate eating or displaying of the Grateful Dead, Frida Kahlo, Yellow Submarine, Young Frankenstein and Vlad the Impaler.