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Dangerous Finds: A peek inside Mr. Robot’s toolkit; Weaponized drones for cops; Republicans like pot
08.26.2015
07:34 am

Topics:
Current Events

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A peek inside Mr. Robot‘s Toolbox: The USA show concludes its powerful first season tonight. UPDATE: Mr. Robot‘s season finale will NOT air tonight after all, according to a statement of the show’s Facebook page: “The previously filmed season finale of Mr. Robot contains a graphic scene similar in nature to today’s tragic events in Virginia. Out of respect to the victims, their families and colleagues, and our viewers, we are postponing tonight’s episode. Our thoughts go out to all those affected during this difficult time.” The finale will air on Wednesday September 2. (Wired)

‘Dictator’ Jim Bob Duggar teaches his sons to repress their lust using THIS weird code word. This family is fucking nuts. (The Raw Story)

It’s not just Trump: Latinos should boycott the Republican party en masse: Donald Trump’s treatment of Univision’s Jorge Ramos is just the latest reason why Latino voters should unite to bring the party to its knees. (The Guardian)

GOP voters strongly favor marijuana reform, poll finds: See, Republicans are just like everybody else. Just stupider. (The Hill)

Schizophrenics have different throat bacteria: This could be helpful for new treatments, faster diagnoses, and figuring out what causes the disease in the first place. (PopSci)

The incredible animatronic sculptures of Thomas Kuntz: Fantastic animatronic mechanisms that recreate scenes from the best nightmares you’ve ever had. (bOING bOING)

Kansas seeks to block release of voting machine paper tapes: The top election official in Kansas has asked a Sedgwick County judge to block the release of voting machine tapes sought by a Wichita mathematician who is researching statistical anomalies favoring Republicans in counts coming from large precincts in the November 2014 general election. I wonder why? (KSN)

Why Fox News’ Defense Of Megyn Kelly Is Going To Backfire: Their viewers tend to be old, male and misogynist? (Talking Points Memo)

Slenderman Stabbing: If 12-year-olds Anissa Weier and Morgan Geyser knew that the Internet character they worshipped was a fantasy, why did they want to kill their friend for him? Fascinatingly strange article, a “must read.”(New York)

Why so many Christians blame pornography for other sins like adultery: Because of Jesus? Kirk Cameron? It’s a super convenient excuse? (Vox)

North Dakota First State to Legalize Armed Drones for Cops: Free to fire tasers, tear gas from air. What could possibly go wrong? (The Daily Beast)

Bobby Jindal: No, I’m Not An ‘Anchor Baby’: Just a fucking idiot. (Talking Points Memo)

“Fadeout Killer” video from the latest release from Slim Twig, Thank You for Stickin’ with Twig, one of my very favorite albums of 2015 so far. In the top two. This guy is the real deal:

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Listen to the great ‘lost’ psych-folk of Scott Fagan
08.26.2015
06:57 am

Topics:
Music

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The great obscure-but-influential figures of the rock era are pretty much the lifeblood of Dangerous Minds’ music coverage, but this one tilts way more towards the obscure than the influential. Scott Fagan is one of those amazing, unjustly lost figures in rock history—a man who made brilliant work that unaccountably disappeared, though it had every chance at widespread attention. He doesn’t even have a Wikipedia page.

Born to a New York saxophonist father and dancer mother in 1945, Fagan was raised by his mother in an arts colony in St. Thomas, and he often made for the mainland to join his father on tour. In the mid ‘60s he began gigging with rock bands, and on a trip to New York, Fagan landed a successful audition with the legendary songwriter Doc Pomus, with whom he’d write “I’m Gonna Cry Til My Tears Run Dry,” which would be performed by Linda Ronstadt, among others. Within a month, Fagan was signed to Columbia Records and writing with another legendary credit, Burt Burns. That didn’t last, but he’d soon enough be courted by Apple Records as their first non-Beatle artist (didn’t happen, obviously), and he’d end up with the Atlantic subsidiary ATCO, who in 1968 released his legendary lost solo debut, South Atlantic Blues.

South Atlantic Blues was an eccentric, genre jumping pop/psych/folk masterpiece that, much like Skip Spence’s now-revered Oar, sank like a cinderblock. It wound up being one of those albums that was basically worshiped by everyone who’d heard it, but “everyone who’d heard it” wasn’t a big enough number to register anywhere. Who knows why, and it’s not like that doesn’t happen ALL THE TIME; the dollar bins of the world still harbor undiscovered gems. But given Fagan’s connections to Pomus, Burns, and FREAKIN’ BEATLES, why this of all albums died is baffling. Not that an album this idiosyncratic was ever going to make a huge rock star out of anyone, but Fagan barely even has a cult. It compares more than favorably to Donovan or any of the genre’s other well-known touchstones, and Fagan’s distinctive singing voice lived in an unexpected intersection of Scott Walker and David Bowie. The LP did get a second chance at life—not as a musical release, but as an objet d’art. In 1969, the very, very famous pop artist Jasper Johns made a series of ink drawings and lithographs titled “Scott Fagan Record” which depicted side one of South Atlantic Blues. This incredible honor came too late to save the record from deletion—in fact, Johns found his copy in a cut-out bin. As the print is in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and MoMA, a drawing of the album has become easier to engage with as an artwork than the album itself.
 

 

 
Fagan’s life post-SAB remains fascinating. He penned a rock musical called Soon which was staged on Broadway in 1971. Despite an excellent critical reception and performances by Richard Gere, Barry Bostwick, Nell Carter, and Peter Allen, it closed after three performances, and its scathingly brutal portrayal of the music industry made a pariah of Fagan for a few years—his second LP wouldn’t come out until 1975, but Many Sunny Places (featuring two tracks from Soon) wouldn’t fare much better than his debut. The best description I’ve found of Soon was printed in a Shindig article:

…an ill-fated satirical Broadway rock musical, Soon, co-written with friend Joe Kookoolis and based on their grim experiences in The Biz, with all its hypocrisy and evil money-making machinations. The original cast featured Scott himself in the lead, and also a young Richard Gere, and rave reviews ensued, though various pressures then conspired and the play closed—or was closed—shortly after its launch. Little of the music was ever recorded (though, bizarrely, a muzak version of the title song ended up serenading Scott one night as his did his late-night supermarket shop!), and Kookoolis was so broken by the experience he never wrote again and died in Santa Monica in ‘78! Various fragments and live recordings of the show exist and what Fagan describes as its “90-minute long song story, intricately woven and lovingly constructed” may yet still see the light of day in some shape or form this side of never.

 

 
Another potential road out of obscurity came in 2000, when it was revealed that Fagan was the father of that near deity of super-literate depresso-rock, Magnetic Fields/Gothic Archies/Future Bible Heroes honcho Stephin Merritt. The two never met until 2013, and Fagan planned an LP of covers of his son’s songs, a project which was apparently kiboshed when its Kickstarter campaign fell painfully short, despite a contribution from Jasper Johns.

Fagan still lives and performs in the Virgin Islands, and after very nearly five decades, South Atlantic Blues is finally seeing its first ever reissue in November. The vinyl will be issued in a hand-numbered edition with a reproduction of the Johns litho as cover art, and the CD will include with extensive notes, photos, and a bonus disc of demos and singles. The issuing label, Saint Cecilia Knows, was kind enough to allow DM to share with you the remastered lead-off track, “In My Head.”
 

 
A clip, shot for Famous in NY, of Fagan discussing Soon awaits you, after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
Check out David Cronenberg’s 1967 anti-war comedy-horror student film, ‘From the Drain’
08.26.2015
06:41 am

Topics:
Movies

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It’s difficult to imagine a David Cronenberg film without the surreal violence and body horror, but this 1967 student film is unmistakably his work, even at just 14 minutes and a meager $500 budget. The lack of exposition leaves the exact nature of the characters’ motivation and plot rather vague, but there is a distinctly anti-war vibe, and an unexpected dark humor to the intense subject and ominous setting.

Two men sit and talk in a bathtub, totally clothed—both are presumed to be veterans of an unnamed war. One man is under the impression that they’re in the “Disabled War Veterans’ Recreation Center,” but the facility is clearly a mental institution. In true Cronenbergian resolution, a vine creeps up through the tub drain and strangles one of the men, while the other watches completely unaffected. Like I said, barrel-a-laughs!
 

 
Part 2 after the jump…

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Hypnotic video of a turntable playing disco music underwater
08.26.2015
06:27 am

Topics:
Art

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Submerged Turntables
A shot from the art installation “Submerged Turntables”
 
In an art installation in 2013 for SFMOMA, artist Evan Holm pulled off what most reasonable people would think impossible - getting a turntable to play a record while underwater.

To create “Submerged Turntables,” Holm used various artifacts in his installation that he found in nature like a large piece dead tree that loomed over the black pool of water the turntable was immersed in. This was to reinforce sadness in his message of decay and loss by the hands of our fellow humans (or a source unseen perhaps) when it comes to how we expertly and collectively destroy the world on a daily basis. Not only does the record miraculously spin, but you can also hear the recording - despite the fact that it’s revolving in some sort of dystopian bathtub. Here’s Holm backing that last bit up:

There will be a time when all tracings of human culture will dissolve back into the soil under the slow crush of the unfolding universe,” says Holm. “The pool, black and depthless, represents loss, represents mystery and represents the collective subconscious of the human race. By placing these records underneath the dark and obscure surface of the pool, I am enacting a small moment of remorse towards this loss.

In addition to hearing Donna Summer’s 1975 hit “Love to Love You Baby” playing away in the video embedded after the jump, I also included a short video of Holm (who might be some sort of awesome modern witch), setting up the installation and performing it in front of a crowd at the museum. Any true audiophile worth their wax will appreciate the trippy scenes that follow.

Continues after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Cradle yourself in retro-futurist comfort: Eero Aarnio’s Ball Chair
08.26.2015
06:15 am

Topics:
Design

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It’s what the 2060s looked like in the 1960s.

Ever since the Ball Chair (sometimes called the Globe Chair)  was first created in 1963 by Finnish designer Eero Aarnio, it’s been a standard set-design to indicate “high-tech” or “the future.”. It’s been used in such iconic works as The Prisoner television show and the 1996 Tim Burton film Mars Attacks!

Somehow, the spherical shape suggests a futuristic quality that can’t be matched by more conventional, angular furnishings. But according to Aarnio, he actually designed the chair for his own home:

The idea of the chair was very obvious. We had moved to our first home and I had started my free-lance career in 1962.

We had a home but no proper big chair, so I decided to make one, but some way a really new one. After some drawing I noticed that the shape of the chair had become so simple that it was merely a ball. I pinned the full scale drawing on the wall and sat in the chair to see how my head would move when sitting inside it. Being the taller one of us I sat in the chair and my wife drew the course of my head on the wall. This is how I determined the height of the chair. Since I aimed at a ball shape, the other lines were easy to draw, just remembering that the chair would have to fit through a doorway.

After this I made the first prototype myself using an inside mould, which has been made using the same principle as a glider fuselage or wing. I covered the plywood body mould with wet paper and laminated the surface with fiberglass, rubbed down the outside, removed the mould from inside, had it upholstered and added the leg. In the end I installed the red telephone on the inside wall of the chair. The naming part of the chair was easy, the BALL CHAIR was born.

Of course, anyone who knows the truth about this spherical, hollowed-out chair understands that it exists primarily as a backdrop for photographing models. Someone figured out long ago that a beautiful model sitting in a Ball Chair is a thing of future-mod perfection. Somehow, it just always seems to work. Here are a few examples of that retro-futurist perfection captured by the lens:
 

 

 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
What if your naked eye could see wifi signals?
08.25.2015
02:46 pm

Topics:
Science/Tech

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I was reading earlier this morning about these parents suing their child’s boarding school in Massachusetts over their use of supposedly too strong wi-fi signals which they say are harming his health, causing nausea and nosebleeds. The parents claim that their 12-year-old son suffers from Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity Syndrome, a condition which is aggravated by electromagnetic radiation, even batteries. It’s what Michael McKean’s character in Better Call Saul believes is troubling him and there is even an entire town that is a wifi dead zone in West Virginia that has become a destination for EHS sufferers. Is Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity Syndrome all in the head? Perhaps, but the jury is still out. Maybe some people are “allergic” to radiation. It’s not completely outside the realm of possibility.

In any case, anyone who is a hypochondriac (or paranoic) reading this is advised to stop now, because I don’t want to burden you with something new to fret about because Dutch artist Richard Vijgen has introduced a new app called “The Architecture of Radio” which utilizes various local data sources to visualize “hidden” communications networks in a specific location. “We are completely surrounded by an invisible system of data cables and radio signals from access points, cell towers and overhead satellites. Our digital lives depend on these very physical systems for communication, observation and navigation,” he says.

In order to show you cell phone signals, the Architecture of Radio app parses wireless tower locations via OpenCellID, a ground mind mapping of cell towers. It uses NASA and JPL’s Ephemeris software to zero in on the locations of in-orbit satellites. There are hidden signals all around us. We can’t see them, but they, in a manner of speaking, can “see” us.

For now the app with only work at a site-specific exhibit that will be on display at the ZKM Media Museum in Karlsruhe, Germany, from September 4th of this year all the way until next April. There are plans afoot to make the Architecture of Radio app available publicly later this year.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Dangerous Finds: Astronaut Pee Argument; Former KKK leader endorses Trump; Bernie is beating Hillary
08.25.2015
01:29 pm

Topics:
Current Events

Tags:


 
Bernie Sanders Surpasses Hillary Clinton In New Hampshire Poll: This is the second poll this month that shows him ahead of Clinton in the state. Beyond the margin of error. (Huffington Post)

What is a Red Sprite: Ghost? Alien? Carbonated beverage? (Popular Science)

Students protesting Alison Bechdel’s ‘Fun Home’: How clinging to “Christian moral beliefs” can end an education before it even begins: Duke University’s advance summer reading assignment is an award-winning graphic novel, not pornography. I reckon ‘Fun Home’ is the best thing that I read last year, it’s a truly amazing and moving piece of literature. These kids are fucking fucknuts and need to have their goody-two-shoes asses kicked. (Salon)

Nobody has been hurt by Trump more than Walker, who has seen his support drop nearly in half in the last month, to single digits: After his flat performance in the debate, he lost his longtime lead in Iowa. Maybe it’s because so many saw him for the very first time and wrote him off as a half-wit? I’m just sayin’. I mean, look at the guy. He’s the dictionary definition of “goober.” (Washington Post)

If Social Security Had Been In Private Accounts The Stock Market Drop Could Have Been A Disaster: Although Black Monday may have knocked a good deal of money out of people’s 401(k) retirement accounts, Social Security benefits remain by and large untouched by such fluctuations. Some Republicans, however, are interested in changing that. (Think Progress)

Former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke throws support behind Donald Trump: Duke, a self-described “racial realist” and notorious white nationalist, praised Trump during a wide-ranging tirade on his radio program, calling the surging real estate mogul a “good salesman” and “the best of the lot” of the large group of 2016 Republican presidential candidates. (NY Daily News)

Wall Street: We Have Too Much Stuff: What’s behind the turmoil on Wall Street? Fundamentally, we have too many resources, nobody wants them, and the people who are making them aren’t being paid enough. Clearly 21st century Capitalism isn’t the best way for societies to allocate resources. (The Daily Beast)

Donald Trump’s approval rating among Hispanic Americans is absolutely horrible: After Donald Trump suggested that all Mexican immigrants are rapists and criminals, he went on to insist that he “will win the Latino vote.” Well, Gallup’s survey results for the past month and a half are in, and Hispanic Americans have responded with a very clear “nope.” (Vox)

The Death of Friedrich Nietzsche: Julian Cope on the thorny problem of the German philosopher. (On This Deity)

This could change everything: Secretive California company advances towards unlimited fusion energy: Scientists using a machine the size of two city buses came one step closer to creating abundant, cheap, clean energy. (Raw Story)

Feeling the Bern with the youth vote: In an era of gridlock and systemic abuse, trust in the sanctity of the political process may be the most valuable gift a young voter can get. Bernie Sanders shows the kids what’s possible. (The New Yorker)

USA and Russia Can’t Even Agree on How to Handle Astronaut Pee: The International Space Station flies with two completely separate water systems. Drinking urine isn’t actually the main reason. (Bloomberg)

Pollster’s Legs Wobble After Fawning Donald Trump Focus Group: Republican pollster Frank Luntz asks media “You guys understand how significant this is? This is real. I’m having trouble processing it. Like, my legs are shaking. I want to put the Republican leadership behind this mirror and let them see. They need to wake up. They don’t realize how the grassroots have abandoned them,” Luntz continued. “Donald Trump is punishment to a Republican elite that wasn’t listening to their grassroots.” (TIME)

Below, Brian Eno performing “Seven Deadly Fins” on Dutch television, 1974:

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Only assholes don’t like The B-52s (Part 2)
08.25.2015
11:54 am

Topics:
Music

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As promised last month before my long vacation, here’s a second chunk of utterly delightful B-52s multi-media for your listening, viewing and frooging pleasure. This selection covers songs from their second album, 1980’s Wild Planet, which picks up right where their debut left off with more tales of parties going off the rails, trips to Venus, speed demons, “dirty back roads,” and private Idahos.

Part 1 of “Only Assholes Don’t Like the B-52s” is here.

“Private Idaho”—“Get out of the state, out of the state you’re in!”
 

 
More B-52s after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Orchestral version of Motörhead’s ‘Ace of Spades’ will blow your mind
08.25.2015
10:51 am

Topics:
Music

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Motörhead circa 1980
Motörhead, 1980
 
A super Motörhead fan by the name of Andy Rehfeldt came up with the positively brilliant idea to align Lemmy’s vocals from “Ace of Spades” with a full-on orchestra backing him up.

I know you may be skeptical but TRUST ME, this heavy metal mashup of sorts works on every level. A few headbanging gamers chimed in on the comments section of the video saying that the orchestra sounds similar to the music that accompanies various “boss battles” in the series of crossover action role-playing games, Kingdom Hearts. Which after some quick research, I do agree with. All Rehfeldt wants in return for his incredible contribution to all things Motörhead is for someone to buy him a beer or maybe donate a dollar via his PayPal so he can continue to “make music.” Seems like a small price to pay for such an epic take on one of the greatests two-plus minute jams of all time.

With a nod to the great Nigel Tufnel, turn this one up to eleven.
 

Orchestral version of “Ace of Spades”

Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Lemmy alone: Motorhead’s ‘Ace Of Spades’ vocals only

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
2015: The year the Internet decided it was over Banksy
08.25.2015
10:06 am

Topics:
Amusing
Art

Tags:


 
Anti-establishment artist Banksy has been taking a beating on the Interwebz this week after the launch of his latest installation, Dismaland.

Some of the most scathing (and hilarious) recent critiques of the artist have come from the Twitter account of writer Demi Adejuyigbe (@electrolemon). Previously responsible for what has been called “the best tweet of all time,” Adejuyigbe eviscerates Banksy’s M.O.

Banksy: Trite, predictable, obvious? This week the Internet seems to think so:



 

 

 
More Banksy critiques, after the jump…

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
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