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Bizarre ‘wrestling promo style’ TV ads for ‘80s radio stations featuring LA punkers, Fear
06:15 am


Lee Ving

One of the most antagonizingly offensive bands to come out of the early ‘80s US punk scene was Fear. Their legendary performances in Decline Of Western Civilization and on Saturday Night Live helped bring them up from the underground, giving them their fifteen minutes in the mainstream spotlight. Lead singer, Lee Ving, was able to parlay that fifteen minutes into a modest acting career, appearing in Get Crazy ,Streets of Fire, Dudes, Clue, and most famously in Flashdance.

Fear turned up in some strange places in the ‘80s—a time when punks on TV or in movies were generally fakey cartoon caricatures of the real thing. The crucial reference, Destroy All Movies!!! The Complete Guide to Punks on Film, is an excellent resource in studying the ridiculous “punxploitation” in ‘80s media. Fear racks up no less than fifteen entries in that tome.

Now, one could argue that Fear themselves had a bit of a cartoonish image to begin with, but it’s still rather bizarre that some ad agency thought it was a good idea to hire them to do this series of “pro-wrestling promo” style ads for a chain of radio stations. These were top 40 stations, so it’s unclear what audience the advertisers were trying to appeal to by putting Fear on TV. Especially for the time and context, these are simply weird.

More Fear after the jump…

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Nick Zinner with ass-kicking West African rockers Songhoy Blues—a DM premiere
05:51 am


Nick Zinner
Songhoy Blues

It’s extremely tempting to compare Songhoy Blues with Tinariwen. Both bands hail from Mali, and offer a GRIPPING Saharan blues that takes significant inspiration from Western rock music. Both bands also share, in their backstories, flights from political unrest and refugee experiences that had direct consequences for their bands’ formation. There are of course differences—Tinariwen are Tuareg nomads who favor hypnotic, reflective explorations to match the desert’s stark vistas. Songhoy Blues tend towards a more animated approach, being of the urbane Songhoy people, a once-prominent group now marginalized by Islamist militias who’ve imposed an incredibly strict reading of Sharia rule in parts of Mali back in 2012, a reading that includes a prohibition against playing music. There’s a history of enmity between the Tuareg and Songhoy, though perhaps the common enemy of an encroaching hardline theocracy might temper that conflict.

Guitarist Garba Touré is the son of Oumar Touré, a percussionist who played with the practically deified guitarist Ali Farka Touré. As a refugee in Bamako, Garba met musicians Aliou Touré and Oumar Touré. (No relation except where noted—Touré is an extremely common name. Think of it like how there were three unrelated guys coincidentally named “Taylor” in Duran Duran.) The three formed Songhoy Blues with drummer Nat Dembele, and while there have been plenty of African artists who’ve connected their traditional music with Western forms, few created such an immediate sensation. The band was featured prominently in They Will Have to Kill Us First, a documentary about the survival of Malian music after the Islamist takeover in the north of that long-troubled nation, and they’d soon enjoy the patronage of Blur’s Damon Albarn and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Nick Zinner, who performed on the song “Soubour” with them. He related that meeting to DM in an email exchange:

I first saw them while I was in Mali with the Africa Express project together with Damon Albarn and Brian Eno. We were all there to make a record in a week and were scouting different artists to collaborate with. We saw Songhoy Blues play and I was immediately struck by their insane guitar player and the fact that they had a proper lead singer, which I learned was quite rare in Mali. Basically, they were a fantastic and energetic band.

I had no idea what to expect when I first met them, and I’m sure the same goes for them, but we managed to record “Soubour” in about an hour. When I was first mixing it while we were all in Bamako it was cool to have all these musicians on the trip come up where I was working and say ” soooo… I hear you’ve got something”. I recorded Damon for the background vocals, and everyone started dancing to it when we had our first group playback night.

The language barrier wasn’t that big of an issue, I speak some French and Manjul, our engineer, also helped with translations when I went back to Bamako to produce the record. It’s really a cliche, but I believe it’s remarkably true how well we were all able to overcome any barriers with the music itself and communicate clearly both ways. Despite not being able to understand most of the words, the band would explain what the song was about and I was able to connect pretty deeply on an immediate emotional level with what they were doing. I think their music and melodies are so strong that those types of barriers are basically irrelevant.


“Soubour” damn near steals the show on the excellent 2013 Africa Express compilation Maison Des Jeunes, and it’s the first single from their album Music in Exile, which was co-produced by Zinner, and sees its US release next week. DM is pleased to debut the official video for ‘Soubour,’ which unsurprisingly features Zinner, who takes a back seat and lets the band kick some mighty ass.

A previous video for the song, after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
Vegas-style: GG Allin goes lounge
08:56 am


GG Allin

Here at Dangerous Minds, we recently wrote about the death metal version of Mary Poppins’ “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.”

Well, the genius behind that Internet gem, as well as the classic Rage Against the Machine refurbishing “Killing In The Name (Less Angry Version),”  the Bob Marley rework “Is This Love (Metal Version),” and a whole slew of other clever genre-swapping dubs, has recently taken on punk iconoclast, GG Allin, in what he is calling “Bite It You Scum (Radio Disney Version).”

GG Allin, the deceased shit-flinging “Rock and Roll Terrorist,” known for his transgressive live act, appears in this clip, which is taken from the excellent 1994 Todd Phillips documentary Hated: GG Allin and the Murder Junkies, with a newly-dubbed audio track of Internet-sensation Andy Rehfeldt performing the song in a lounge style.

According to Rehfeldt’s notes on the upload:

This video got me in a lot of trouble. I have strikes on both my other channels because I tried to post there. My good friend, Kim Watkins, blurred out GG’s pecker and poop here, and so far it has not been banned.

We imagine GG wouldn’t mind the Internet pissing all over his legacy like this—he seemed to really be into that sort of thing in his waking life.

So, if you’ve always wanted to see what would have happened if GG had taken his act to Vegas, now’s your chance before this one gets shut down by the You Tube police (or the Disney Corporation, for that matter).

Though the naughty bits have been blurred, we still imagine it’s not “work safe” for most office environments. Perhaps the most entertaining part of the whole thing is watching the censor blur try to follow Allin around the frame!

Here’s the once quite dangerous punk anthem, “Bite It, You Scum,” soiled by the Internet:

Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Mary Poppins goes all death metal: ‘A spoon full of glass helps the hate go down’

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
Ansel Adams’ photos of a Japanese internment camp are beautiful, yet disturbing
07:06 am


Japanese internment
Ansel Adams

Ryie Yoshizawa, center, teaching a class on dressmaking
The relocation and internment of 120,000 Japanese Americans during World War 2 is one of the more baffling atrocities committed by the U.S. government. Not only was it relatively recent, two thirds of the detainees were U.S. citizens, and this was all done on U.S. soil. In addition to the sheer Big Brother terror of such a massive abuse of human rights, internment wasn’t even dealt out consistently. The government did not, for example, feel the same impulse to throw actual American Nazis into a camp—maybe because they already had camps of their own? Or maybe it’s because Germans are generally white, and governments are historically more sympathetic to the populations that most physically resemble their ruling class? (Nahhhh…)

At any rate, some beautiful and strange records of detainment exist, including Ansel Adams’ beatific photographs of Manzanar War Relocation Center in California. Adams openly sympathized with the Japanese, including many of the photos in his ironically titled book, Born Free and Equal.The book had limited circulation, likely due to reactionary, racist wartime sentiment, but Adams held fast on his principles, saying:

The purpose of my work was to show how these people, suffering under a great injustice, and loss of property, businesses and professions, had overcome the sense of defeat and dispair [sic] by building for themselves a vital community in an arid (but magnificent) environment.

You’ll notice Manzanar had a lot of resources—the volunteers who helped build the camp were actually the first interned. At its most populous, it had 10,046 inhabitants, and it was a bustling, organized community—of sorts. Although Adams’ work focuses on how people at Manzanar seemed to thrive, the conditions were awful. Families were cramped into tiny “apartments” divided from larger buildings—the partitions between “rooms” didn’t reach the ceiling, so privacy was unthinkable. The latrine was coed, with no partitions between toilets or shower stalls. The rickety buildings did very little to protect detainees from scorching summers, freezing nights and winters, and the dry, violent winds that coated them in desert dust while they slept.



Painter C.T. Hibino.


Many of the detained were actually decorated members of the military, like Corporal Jimmy Shohara.
More after the jump…

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
‘Get ‘Em Off’: Vintage documentary on London’s striptease artists (Very NSFW)
06:43 am


Harold Baim
Hugh Scully

They’re naked and they dance—is a fair description of Get ‘Em Off a documentary that celebrates 100 years of striptease. How or why it’s 100 years of striptease is never quite fully explained, though there are references in the commentary to ancient Egyptian strippers, Parisian can-can dancers, the night they raided Minsky’s and some risque music hall acts form the early 1900s.

Made in 1976, the summer of the great heatwave that swept across Britain bringing drought, hosepipe bans and melting roads, Get ‘Em Off captures the slowly fading sleazy world of London’s strip clubs. Filmed mainly at Soho’s Nell Gwynne Club, the documentary strikes an awkward balance between laddish banter and documenting the performances by the strippers: Miss Anne, Miss Alby, Miss Chastity, Miss Cher, Miss Carmen, Miss Anna, Miss Linda, Miss Coursetta. we see these girls perform their routines in front of tinsel, drapes, under Kenneth Anger-style lighting.

“Strippers,” we are told, “have their own language.”

There’s a movement called ‘The Coffee Grinder’. You write the letter O with your axel, know what I mean?, whilst in the bump the hips spring forward, sometimes called bump and grind. There’s the ‘The Trailer’ which is the strut before the strip, that’s what we’ve been looking at up to now; we’ve seen three examples of it; then there’s the quiver and the shimmer and the we’re going to see the lot.

Many of these strip clubs became the venues for punks and New Romantics, starting a whole new world of club culture during the 1980s and early 1990s.
The commentary is performed by actor Kenneth Macleod and presenter Hugh Scully, best known for his work with the BBC on Nationwide and the Antiques Road Show. The inclusion of these two rather straight, respectable individuals (a bit like having the Muppets’ Statler and Waldorf in attendance) gives the film a nod of establishment approval. The pair continue:

They don’t believe in giving it to them all at once or too quickly; Strippers have motto’s like:
‘Make ‘em wait and
‘Don’t be too eager’
‘Give Hell’
‘Make them go dry at the mouth’
‘Freeze to marble in their seats’
‘Give them a create of blink in case they miss something’
‘Make them beg with their eyes and howl like wolves under a full moon’
After all, they have come here to have a good time. The tease is the thing; Men in a hurry shouldn’t go to strip clubs. For every customer who loses his cool and shouts ‘Get It Off!’ the stripper is ready with the answer “Can’t You See Anything Yet?’

What they do see is refreshingly absent of silicon, Botox, and vajazzle.
The full NSFW documentary ‘Get ‘Em Off,’ after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Sun City Girls’ Alan Bishop pays mind-bending tribute to Indonesian psych-rockers Koes Plus

Bands like Sun City Girls don’t come around often. Born in the Phoenix, AZ weirdo-punk scene that birthed the Meat Puppets and JFA, Sun City Girls distinguished themselves by being the weirdest. Cheekily naming themselves after a retirement community northwest of Phoenix, they explored long-form improv, tape manipulation, and world music, with lyrics steeped in esoterica and UFOlogy. They were a musically gifted, wonderfully tweaked, consciousness-expanding delight, and in about two and a half decades of existence, the prolific band produced dozens upon dozens of full-length releases. Just between 1986 and 1989 alone, they released about two dozen cassettes, none of which are gettable except for the first, the astonishing Midnight Cowboys From Ipanema—a hodgepodge of warped classic rock covers and short original song snippets recorded on a tape deck whose batteries were dying—which was reissued on CD in 1994. Other vital SCG albums include 1990’s definitive Torch of the Mystics (did I say “definitive” when I meant “essential?” OOPS), Dante’s Disneyland Inferno, 98.6 IS DEATH, and their surprisingly accessible swan song, Funeral Mariachi.

The band ended in 2007, with the cancer death of drummer Charles Gocher. I must veer off topic for a moment to relate a Gocher story: in 1992, when the Sun City Girls were on tour with another favorite band of mine from that period, Thinking Fellers Union Local 282, both bands crashed at my house after their show at Cleveland’s Euclid Tavern. My housemates and I had turned our attic into a makeshift noise lab, replete with iffy guitars, iffier amps, a couple of beat-ass horns, a reel-to-reel deck for loops, an ad-hoc scrap metal “drum kit,” and a four track cassette recorder. Gocher, who was celebrating his 40th birthday that day, if I remember correctly, was notably absent from the living room hangout that was going on until he poked his head out from the stairwell and said “Hey, I found the attic, you guys wanna play?” It was like 3:30 in the morning in a residential neighborhood, so there was NO WAY that could happen without police involvement. I truly wish it were otherwise; I’d love to be able to say I rocked with the Girls and the Fellers. But I respect and admire the shit out of a guy who, at 40, in the wee hours of the morning, in the comedown from a gig, is still raring to throw down some improv with his college-age hosts. More musicians should be like him, but they aren’t, so it’s understandable that in the wake of his loss, the remaining Sun City Girls, brothers Richard and Alan Bishop, declined to continue the band.
The music starts after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
‘Roar’: Cast and crew risked life and limb in the most dangerous movie ever made, 1981
05:36 am


Melanie Griffith
Tippi Hedren

Roar poster
Roar (1981) has been called “the most dangerous movie ever made.” How did it earn such a dubious distinction, you ask? Well, the cast and crew of the film worked with more than 130 wild animals—including panthers, tigers, lions, and elephants—that were allowed to roam free while the cameras rolled. The actors often appear to be genuinely terrified as these animals pursue them, knowing they could strike at any moment (and they often did). 70 people were injured during the making of the film.

Roar was the brainchild of Noel Marshall, one of the executive producers of The Exorcist, and his wife, actress Tippi Hedren, most famous for her lead role in Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds. Over a period that lasted more than a decade, Marshall and Hedren, along with Noel’s sons John and Jerry and Tippi’s daughter Melanie Griffith, lived with these animals, while simultaneously shooting Roar. The entire family starred in the film, which Noel wrote and directed.
Family photo
Roar has also been called the most expensive home movie ever made, costing $17 million. It tanked upon release, grossing just $2 million. Marshall, who died in 2010, would never direct another motion picture.
Noel and friend
Roar defies categorization. On the surface, it’s an action/adventure film, but there are also elements seemingly taken from horror movies, documentaries, and slapstick comedies. At times it feels like you’re watching a bizarro-world live-action Disney film! This movie is totally captivating, comical, suspenseful, and terrifying. In short, Roar is nuts.
Roar publicity photo
Alamo Drafthouse CEO/founder Tim League is a big fan of the film. In fact, he’s so passionate about Roar that he became an expert on its history and secured the rights to re-release it. A limited theatrical run in select cities begins April 17th, with Blu-ray/DVD/On Demand availability coming this summer.

I emailed Tim League a number of questions about this one-of-a-kind motion picture.

It took eleven years to make Roar—what took so long?:

Tim League: I like to think of Roar as a sort of Boyhood where the family expands beyond the mom, dad and children to include an adopted family of more than 130 lions, tigers, leopards, panthers and jaguars. Tippi Hedren and Noel Marshall first had the idea to shoot Roar back in 1971 when they were on safari and saw an abandoned house overrun with lions; they thought the concept of a family living in a house with lions would make an excellent premise for a film. Daktari had been wildly popular a few years prior, and they figured Roar would be a similar hit while upping the stakes. So, they immediately sought out world-renowned big cat experts to find out if such a thing could be done. These experts responded unanimously with words to the effect of, “You must be brainsick. Do NOT do this.” Undeterred, Marshall and Hedren set about the ten-year process of bringing big cats into their Hollywood home in small batches, one after another, to acclimate the animals to the family. The theory was that if they lived together with the lions from the time they were cubs, they would then escape injury when on set with these “familiars.” The other factors that caused delays with the production were two floods that wiped out the entire set, one raging forest fire, and times when the entire crew would quit after a particularly harrowing day. They also lost their financing halfway through the production and stopped to gather personal funds to get the film across the finish line. Most experts consider Roar to be the most disaster-plagued film in the history of Hollywood.
Forest fire
More with Tim League, plus an exclusive clip from ‘Roar,’ after the jump…

Posted by Bart Bealmear | Leave a comment
The best goddamned hair salon commercial you’re ever going to see
01:01 pm


jheri curl


Jarrell Charles is my name. Jheri curl is my fame.

What I wouldn’t give right now to have a time machine so I could hop on over to the 1980s and visit Jarrell’s hair salon in St. Louis. Seriously, just watch this commercial and tell me you wouldn’t want Jarrell as your hairstylist. You’d hire his ass in a heartbeat and know you it. His fantastical hair magic would have only cost you $27.50 + tip.

WHERE IS JARRELL NOW you may ask? I had a hard time trying to find him, but thanks to the Internet it appears he has a Facebook page and is currently living in North Las Vegas, Nevada.

via Boing Boing

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Alvinstitutionalized: Goof band Chipmunk-punks Suicidal Tendencies

Just so it’s clear, there really was a Chipmunk Punk, a 1980 project of Ross Bagdasarian, Jr., the namesake son of the Chipmunks’ creator. It was not particularly “punk”—it contained Alvin and the Chipmunks’ cover versions of songs by opposite-of-punk artists like Billy Joel, Tom Petty, Linda Ronstadt, Queen, and for some reason THREE SONGS by the Knack. The entirety of the LP’s New Wave representation was supplied by Blondie’s “Call Me”  and the Cars’ “Let’s Go.” It was stupid as hell, but I liked it. Because I was 10 years old. Bagdasarian followed the successful cash-in with Urban Chipmunk, a collection of squeaky-voiced pop country covers, and Chipmunk Rock, which at least had a version of “Whip It” going for it, but by then, I was like 12, and much too sophisticated for such juvenilia.

And again, so it’s clear, what follows was NOT actually on Chipmunk Punk, so if you go buying that album expecting to hear it, well, something’s possibly wrong with you anyway. California’s smartassy theatrical comedy band Radioactive Chicken Heads recorded an amusing-as-far-as-this-sort-of-thing-goes Chipmunkified version of Suicidal Tendencies’ definitive song, 1983’s “Institutionalized.” I’d hope it should go without saying that the possibility of this actually being a product of anyone officially connected with the evidently deathless Chipmunks franchise is a few leagues beneath unlikely. Whether it’s better or worse than Ice-T’s recent effort at updating the song is a debate I’ll leave to others.

The original, after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
Man, Myth & Magic: The evil encyclopedia sold in 1970s supermarkets
11:48 am

Pop Culture

Man, Myth & Magic

Everyone knows that the 1970s was a very “interesting” decade. An era of druggy, sexual excess that saw the “Me Generation” do their collective thing, no matter how far out that sort of behavior would have seemed just ten years earlier. But it wasn’t just that sex, drugs and rock and roll went mainstream in a big way in the 70s, the occult was so… well commonplace then that the likes of LOOK magazine would publish entire issues on the subject, with Anton LaVey as the cover boy. Even the normally staid women’s magazine McCall’s published a quite remarkable (and lengthy) round-up article on not merely “new agey” or culty belief systems, but the more “evil” side of things as well. TIME magazine had a 1972 cover story declaring “Satan Returns.” (First TIME was wondering aloud if God was dead, now this!)

But if you REALLY want to get across the point of just how far the occult craze penetrated American popular culture at the time, look no further than the Man, Myth & Magic publication. Originally sold as a newsstand magazine in the UK, Man, Myth & Magic: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Supernatural was reformatted by the publisher for the US market as 23 hardback volumes with a 24th being the very detailed and cross-referenced index. Exorcism. Indian snake charmers. Astrology. Voodoo. Weird ghostly voices appearing on tape recordings. Witchcraft. Cargo cults. Nostradamus. Alchemy. Hypnosis. Tarot. Demonology. Aleister Crowley. Norse gods. Buddhism. ESP. UFOs. Zombies. Paganism. Telekinesis. Drugs. Rituals. Stonehenge, etc. You get the idea. But as sensationalist (and DARK!) as the trappings of the publication generally were, the editorial was scholarly, even academic, and lavishly illustrated in full color.

But what most people don’t recall (but many will) is that Man, Myth & Magic was actually sold in drugstores and supermarkets. It was also heavily advertised on television with a commercial featuring the demonic face you see above, painted by Austin Osman Spare. Imagine that! (Actually you don’t have to imagine anything, the commercial’s embedded at the end of this post).

This… happened! Although I was far too young for it at the time, I can vividly recall a huge display in the cereal aisle (natch) for Man, Myth & Magic at the local Kroger in my hometown of Wheeling, WV. If it got as far as a podunk town Wheeling, with a very large in-store display to boot, that’s a pretty good indication of what sort of distribution they had for it. Note at the end of the TV commercial they mention that you can buy it at the Walgreens chain, indicating that Walgreens was probably underwriting part of the cost to air the spot.

This would, of course, NEVER happen today, but back then? Man, Myth & Magic was sold next to the Count Chocula!

Continues after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
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