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For $400 a night, you can rent this literal ‘Netflix & Chill’ room on Airbnb
02.08.2016
02:22 pm

Topics:
Movies
Science/Tech
Sex

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Someone clever on Airbnb is renting out what looks to be a pretty ordinary NYC apartment space in Manhattan’s West Village as a “Netflix and Chill” room. To quote their ad: “We bring the famous ‘Netflix & Chill meme’ to life and offer it as an IRL experience that people can rent for a night.” So they can binge watch. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

The fundamentals for a night of movies and sex are all present, including a laptop, an HD projector, a bed with cute Netflix bedspread and pillows, a “fully stocked” mini-fridge containing champagne and various other types of alcohol, and so on. There’s also a nice shower.
 

 
Remarkably, there’s no mention of prophylactics in the ad, which would at least have been self-aware considering that some of the earliest invocations of the phrase “Netflix and chill” (going back a whopping two years now) used visuals of condoms in order to get the cheeky point across.

Continues after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Heavy metal heroes Valentine’s Day cards
02.08.2016
09:25 am

Topics:
Design
Music
Pop Culture

Tags:


Glenn Danzig

I realize that I’m blogging about these cards just a week before Valentine’s Day. Perhaps I’m too late to the game on this one, but maybe they can be rushed delivered? Anyway, here they are in all their glory… heavy metal heroes Valentine’s Day cards! For those who, you know, don’t want to get all mushy-gushy on the holiday.

You get nine different metal heroes that come in a set of 27. The set of cards sell for $15.00. Get ‘em here.


 

Wendy O. Williams
 

King Diamond
 
More after the jump…
 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Meet the enigmatic Gimmer Nicholson, whose ill-fated 1968 album influenced Alex Chilton & Big Star
02.08.2016
08:54 am

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Music

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Christopher Idylls
 
Larry “Gimmer” Nicholson was a journeyman Memphis musician. In 1968, he recorded what would be his only solo album. Though it would be over a decade until it saw release, the recordings that make up Christopher Idylls proved to be incredibly influential on the work of a budding—and now beloved—Memphis group. This week, Light in the Attic Records will issue a new vinyl edition of Christopher Idylls, Nicholson’s stunning lone album.

Prior to the 1968 recordings that would result in Christopher Idylls, Gimmer Nicholson played guitar in various bands, including the New Beale Street Sheiks (with Jim Dickinson), and backed various performers, like Furry Lewis. Nicholson moved to San Francisco for a period, taping a demo. When he returned to Memphis, the songs that made up the demo would be re-recorded at Ardent Studios.

Terry Manning was behind the board for the Christopher Idylls sessions. Manning—now a renowned producer/engineer, having worked with dozens of legendary acts, including Otis Redding, Big Star, Ike & Tina Turner, and Led Zeppelin—signed on after hearing Nicholson’s demo, which he loved. For the studio recordings, Nicholson used a guitar effect that was then a relatively new approach. Terry Manning:

He plugged it into an amp, and, using a new delay pedal, he’d play along with himself. Gimmer was really fascinated by that. He loved new guitars, and a new piece of gear he hadn’t used before would spark creativity in his mind.

Gimmer would play a phrase, which would repeat itself, and he’d play the next phrase over that. This session was one of the first uses of the electronic repeat as part of the music.

The sessions went well, and Nicholson’s album was supposed to be Ardent Records’ debut LP release (the label had only put out 45s at that point), but Christopher Idylls was shelved.
 
Reel A
 
Nearly a half century has passed since the Gimmer Nicholson recordings for Ardent, and the reasons why the album wasn’t released have become muddled. Manning says it was because Nicholson didn’t like both the mixes and the album cover, refusing to let the label put it out. Ardent’s founder, John Fry, was asked about Christopher Idylls shortly before his death. Though he couldn’t remember why the record wasn’t released, he did provide reasons why the label might have passed on the Nicholson recordings.

Gimmer’s work didn’t lend itself to a single or 45, but it was a beautiful sounding album. He certainly had marvelous technique. But what do you do with an instrumental album? At that point in history, there weren’t too many people who would’ve wanted it. If they’d listened to it, they would’ve. Christopher Idylls is a wonderful piece of expression, and I’m sorry it didn’t get the attention it deserved.

Gimmer continued where he left off following the Christopher Idylls recordings, and was a fixture of the city’s music scene. He played around town and worked as a hired gun on a number of recording sessions, including Dickinson’s illustrious 1972 solo LP, Dixie Fried. Even among those close to him, Gimmer was seen as an enigmatic, private person. I found very few images of him online, and when I did, he was always wearing sunglasses.
 
Gimmer in the 70s
Gimmer Nicholson, far left, on stage during a Sid Selvidge gig, c. late 1970s. Alex Chilton is third from the left.

As for Ardent, they did eventually start releasing LPs, with an early full-length being Big Star’s #1 Record.
 
#1 Record
 
Big Star is one of the biggest cult bands ever, but in the early ‘70s they were a new unit, still developing their sound. Gimmer Nicholson’s recordings had made the rounds around town, and when listening to Christopher Idylls today, it’s readily apparent that Nicholson’s chiming guitar tracks were an influence on Big Star’s principals, Chris Bell and Alex Chilton. The similarly shimmering acoustic guitars heard on #1 Record numbers like “Watch the Sunrise” and “The Ballad of El Goodo” bear this out. Gimmer Nicholson’s gorgeous instrumental album had made an impact, regardless of its unreleased status.
 
Reel B
 
Terry Manning has always championed Christopher Idylls, and over the years attempted to stir up interest in the recordings. A story he has told regarding one such occasion corroborates the theory that at least one member of Big Star had head the Nicholson record. In April 1970, Jimmy Page was in Memphis for a Led Zeppelin gig, and after the show, Page and his girlfriend spent the evening hanging out at Manning’s apartment. Joined by Chris Bell, the four drank wine and listened to the Gimmer Nicholson album over and over again.
 
Christopher Idylls on Peabody Records
 
It would be over decade until Manning found an interested party, but finally did with Sid Selvidge. Selvidge, a Memphis musician and record label owner, released Christopher Idylls on his Peabody Records in 1981. Peabody was the same label that first issued Alex Chilton’s ramshackle classic, Like Flies On Sherbert, a couple of years prior.

Continues after the jump…

Posted by Bart Bealmear | Leave a comment
‘The Addams Family’—in spooky ooky color
02.08.2016
08:42 am

Topics:
Television

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A few years back there were a couple of color photos of The Addams Family
TV show set making the rounds on social media. The thing most folks were instantly struck by was how very pink the Addams’ living room was.
 

 

 
The show which ran for only two seasons, between 1964 and 1966, was shot in black-and-white, giving it a look very similar to the original black and white cartoon illustrations of Charles Addams’ which appeared in the New Yorker.

Images from the show are ingrained into our collective pop consciousness as black and white and shades of gray, reflective of the “mysterious and spooky” oddball characters. It’s always a bit surprising to see any color photos from the production—it almost seems wrong in a sense. Still, it’s cool to see these images as a different perspective on one of the most endearing and enduring television programs of all time.
 

 
See more of the Addams in lurid color after the jump…

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
New black tarantula spider species discovered near Folsom Prison is named after Johnny Cash
02.08.2016
08:39 am

Topics:
Amusing
Heroes
Music
Science/Tech

Tags:

Johnny Cash and Aphonopelma johnnycashi
Johnny Cash and his eight-legged namesake tarantula spider, Aphonopelma johnnycashi

Aphonopelma johnnycashi is a new species of black tarantula spider that was just discovered roaming the hills near Folsom State Prison. The lockdown, near Sacramento, CA, is where Johnny Cash performed two historic shows inside the walls of the still operational correctional facility in 1968, captured on the iconic album, At Folsom Prison.
 
Aphonopelma johnnycashi
Aphonopelma johnnycashi
 
According to Biologist Chris Hamilton of the Florida Museum of Natural History, Aphonopelma johnnycashi was one of fourteen new tarantula species that were discovered in and around western Sierra Nevada mountains. The males of the species are predominately black and while there is no word on how big Cash’s eight-legged namesake is, Hamilton (who also sports a Johnny Cash tattoo, because science), had this to say about the newest arachnid to be named after rock and roll royalty:

Then once we looked at the genomics and looked at some of the ecological constraints, we could see this species was pretty unique and independent from the others that it’s closely related to.

Which fittingly sounds very much much like the Man in Black himself.

After the jump,Johnny Cash sings “Folsom Prison Blues”...

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Serial ‘foot stomper’ on the loose in Austin, Texas
02.08.2016
08:12 am

Topics:
Crime

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Has anyone seen Dexter Fishpaw recently?

In news from KEYE TV in Austin, Texas, which sounds more like a scene from John Waters’ 1981 film Polyester, it appears that a serial “foot stomper” has been “aggressively” stomping on women’s feet all around Austin. As of this writing, the suspect remains at large.

According to various police reports filed by dozens of women, mostly in the South Austin area, the foot stomper has targeted female victims who were alone waiting for a bus (or in at least one case, on a bus), when the foot stomper (who uses a bicycle to make a quick getaway), goes into action. One victim, who wanted to remain anonymous detailed her bizarre encounter with this mean-ass, Texas foot stomper:

He started touching my foot with his foot and saying “footsie, footsie” and he got more and more aggressive and it startled me. I yelled at him to stop and he again started laughing and then he rode away on his bike.

Another woman told her tale to KEYE TV:

It happened to Kerry Kovacik around 4:30 one afternoon. She was catching the bus at Riverside and Congress when she says a man on a bicycle, stopped next to her and stomped hard on her foot.

“I immediately pushed him off of me and asked him what the F he was doing and he said this was normal for him and just casually rode off and then looked back and smiled,” says Kovacik.

A reddit thread details many of the attacks, and posts a photo of the alleged Austin foot stomper. I can’t imagine that it will be too long before this guy is caught by authorities.

Continues after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
David Bowie’s first-ever movie performance, in the creepy ‘The Image’ from 1967
02.08.2016
08:07 am

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Movies
Music

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In the February 26, 1966, edition of Melody Maker, David Bowie is quoted as saying, “I want to act. ... I’d like to do character parts. I think it takes a lot to become somebody else. It takes a lot of doing.” In hindsight we know that Bowie not only achieved his goal of acting in movies and on the stage, but ended up becoming one of the most distinctive presences you could include in a movie from the 1970s to the 2000s, from Just a Gigolo and Into the Night to Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence and The Prestige....

But it all had to start somewhere. Bowie’s ambitions started to be realized very quickly; already in 1967 he appeared in his first movie, a fourteen-minute short called The Image, written and directed by Michael Armstrong, who would later direct Mark of the Devil.

Michael Byrne, the other actor in the movie, apparently played Nazis all the time, most memorably in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, but to me he’ll always be the actor who played young Peter Guillam in the 1980 BBC version of Smiley’s People, replacing Michael Jayston, who had embodied the role in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.

According to Cinebeats (now defunct), The Image ran into some censorship issues:
 

The Image was shot in just three days and completed in 1967, but it didn’t have its official screen debut until 1969. Due to the violent content of the film it became one of the first shorts to receive an ‘X’ certificate from Britain’s notoriously restrictive film rating’s board.

 
The artsiness is a bit dated to be sure, but otherwise the movie reminds me of Edgar Allan Poe by way of The Twilight Zone, which isn’t a bad place to be.
 
Continues after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Beyond the Valley of the Lurid Exploitation Film Posters of the 50s, 60s & 70s
02.05.2016
04:16 pm

Topics:
Art
Drugs
Movies
Sex

Tags:


Night Tide

A Lovecraftian poster for an odd 1960s mermaid thriller starring Dennis Hopper with a freaky cameo appearance by Marjorie Cameron, the bohemian witch of Los Angeles.

This is a sampling from a private collection of rare, massive 40” x 60” posters that were printed on cardstock for drive-In movie theaters.  More posters and related merchandise are online at hautecampe.com (“Archeaologists of the Strange”).  All are for sale at auction until February 8, when the bidding closes.

Haute Campe offers a collection of original rare, vintage film posters from the 1940s-1970s originating mostly from drive-ins and grindhouse theaters. Most of the posters went through a single distributor called National Screen Service, hence the “property of N.S.S.” at the bottom of 99% of the movie posters printed in the 20th century!  While many posters were destroyed by the elements and others were pulled off the wall by collectors, a great many returned to the distributor’s archives and piled up for many many years. 

We were fortunate enough to be able to acquire a large part of the archives and the treasures were fantastic, including rarely-seen posters that were for small run promotions and exceedingly impossible to find sizes like the gorgeous and massive 40” x 60” silkscreens created for drive-in movie theaters.

This is a selection from the latter part of the alphabet. You can see A to N at an earlier post here.
 

Ordered to Love

An American distributor purchased a historical film and repackaged it as a Nazisploitation thrill; the fact that the movie was years old at this point was sold to the audience as the film having been “censored until now!”
 

Please, Not Now!

A towel-clad Brigitte Bardot stuns in this incredible 1961 Pop Art poster.
 

Rasputin the Mad Monk/The Reptile

A giant poster advertising a 1966 Hammer double-feature where theatergoers would get their own Rasputin beard!
 

Runaway Daughters
 
More after the jump…
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
‘Mind Parasites’: The William S. Burroughs / Buzzcocks connection
02.05.2016
12:34 pm

Topics:
Literature
Music
Punk

Tags:


 
A Burroughsian post for you all on the 102nd anniversary of William S. Burroughs’ birth…

“A Different Kind of Tension,” the antepenultimate song on the Buzzcocks’ album of the same name, can be hilarious or punishing, depending on the circumstances. Pete Shelley’s lyrics are a series of contradictory commands that alternate between your stereo speakers, coming faster and faster with each verse, and pretty soon, Shelley is simultaneously shouting “live” in your left ear and “die” in your right. On a lazy afternoon, it’s enough to make peach Cisco squirt from your nose, but in bumper-to-bumper traffic, you’re liable to start looking around for the Budd Dwyer exit.
 

 
Wikipedia claims that the song quotes William S. Burroughs, but that’s not quite right: it’s more a rewrite of Burroughs’ text than a quotation. Shelley, after all, is credited as the sole author of “A Different Kind of Tension,” whose lyrics are printed in parallel columns on the record’s three-color sleeve:

Wait here - Go there
Come in - Stay out
Be yourself - Be someone else
Obey the law - Break the law

Be ambitious - Be modest
Plan ahead - Be spontaneous
Decide for yourself - Listen to others
Save money - Spend money

Be good - Be evil
Be wise - Be foolish
Be safe - Be dangerous
Be satisfied - Be envious
Be honest - Be deceitful
Be faithful - Be perfidious
Be sane - Be mad
Be strong - Be weak
Be enigmatic - Be plain
Be aggressive - Be peaceful
Be brave - Be timid
Be humane - Be cruel
Be critical - Be appreciative
Be temperamental - Calm
Be sad - Be happy
Be normal - Be unusual

Stop - Go
Live - Die
Yes - No
Rebel - Submit
Right - Wrong
Sit down - Stand up
Create - Destroy
Accept - Reject
Talk - Silence
Speed up - Slow down
This way - That way
Right - Left
Present - Absent
Open - Closed
Entrance - Exit
Believe - Doubt

Truth - Lies
Escape - Meet
Love - Hate
Thank you - Flunk [actually “Fuck you”]
Clarify - Pollute
Simple - Complex
Nothing - Something
Stop - Go
Live - Die
Yes - No
Rebel - Submit
Right - Wrong
Sit down - Stand up
Create - Destroy
Accept - Reject
Talk - Silence


 

A 1969 review of The Mind Parasites by William “Borroughs” (larger)
 
The Buzzcocks had a thing for magazine reviews; they took their name from the last line of a review of the TV series Rock Follies (“Get a buzz, cock”), and, if memory serves, the phrase “a different kind of tension” itself comes from Jon Savage’s review of Love Bites in Sounds. For the sake of consistency, I’d like to think Shelley spotted Burroughs’ list of incompatible injunctions in the author’s 1969 review of Colin Wilson’s The Mind Parasites, which first ran in a New York underground newspaper called Rat and was reprinted that year in John Keel’s Anomaly. But Shelley is just as likely to have encountered Burroughs’ list in the CONTROL section of 1974’s The Job, or some other place Burroughs might have recontextualized these do’s and don’ts:

Stop. Go. Wait here. Go there. Come in. Stay out. Be a man. Be a woman. Be white. Be black. Live. Die. Yes. No. Do it now. Do it later. Be your real self. Be somebody else. Fight. Submit. Right. Wrong. Make a splendid impression. Make an awful impression. Sit down. Stand up. Take your hat off. Put your hat on. Create. Destroy. React. Ignore. Live now. Live in the past. Live in the future. Be ambitious. Be modest. Accept. Reject. Do more. Do less. Plan ahead. Be spontaneous. Decide for yourself. Listen to others. Talk. Be silent. Save money. Spend money. Speed up. Slow down. This way. That way. Right. Left. Present. Absent. Open. Closed. Up. Down. Enter. Exit. In. Out.

 

 
This isn’t quite “Choose life” from Trainspotting, if that’s what you’re thinking. Far from complaining about the modern world’s banality like Steve Martin’s Beat poet on Saturday Night Live (“Oh, Mr. Commuter! / Wash me not in your Mad Ave. paint-by-numbers soap…”), Burroughs was giving his readers detailed instructions in piercing the tedium of everyday life with “a technique for producing events and directing thought on a mass scale [that] is available to anyone with a portable tape recorder.” Burroughs goes on to explain in his Mind Parasites review how the “waking suggestion” technique of Dr. John Dent, whose apomorphine cure for heroin addiction he advocated, can be used for mind control:

These commands are constantly being imposed by the environment of modern life. If the suggestion tape contains the right phraseology, and listeners hear it in the right situation (while doing something else), they will be forced to obey the suggestion. It is like giving someone a sleeping pill, without his knowledge, and then suggesting sleep.

At the unconscious level, any contradictory suggestion produces a brief moment of disorientation, during which the suggestions take place. This is important to remember because this is something you can – in a pinch – employ yourself. (Con artists, spies, military strategists, and social climbers use such diversions to their advantage. Why can’t you?)

This moment of disorientation is not unknown to the human body, because contradictory suggestions are an integral function of human metabolism: “Sweat. Stop sweating. Salivate. Stop salivating. Pour adrenaline into the bloodstream. Counteract adrenaline with epinephrine.”

Since contradictory commands are enforced by the environment and the human body, contradictory commands are especially effective. All tape recording tricks are useful: speed up, slow down, overlay, run contradictory commands simultaneously, add superfluous “echo” recordings for large spaces, etc.

Continues after the jump…

Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
What the hell is this ad even trying to communicate?
02.05.2016
12:17 pm

Topics:
Advertorial

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Advertising is supposed to be a creative endeavor for creative people. People who are so creative that they’re actually called “Creatives” professionally. What they actually do isn’t merely described as creative (an adjective), creative is also used as a noun (as in the creative.) They’re creative folks, these Creatives who are creating this (supposedly) creative creative. Got it?

Or are these Creatives really creating such creative creative, after all? As anyone who has ever toiled away in the trenches of the creative field (raises hand, ashamed) can tell you, there is precious little actual creativity that goes on in the advertising industry. Why? Because of the Creatives. Their creative is seldom very creative. The dirty secret of today’s Madison Avenue—listen up, all you would-be Don Drapers—is that creating actually creative creative (on the part of the Creatives, I mean) is frowned upon by the people upstairs. Decisions need to be justified up a chain of command—and clever ideas get hammered into bland, terrible ideas as the creative moves along the assembly line of the corporate “creative process” (and yes, those are ironic quotation marks).

At the top of the Creatives salary range is usually someone so exasperatingly stupid and ridiculously out of touch that you just want to scream. This absurd corporate clown who wants the soundtrack to be “one of those great old Motown songs!” and thinks that this is an original idea or who wants to scrap something that’s already been shot and edited because “the Moon here looks too much like a 1970s-style moon.” It might be the actual Moon in the sky that this salary-justifying executive plonker is talking about, but this is the level of upper level Creative one tends to encounter in a career spent eating dirt, smiling and saying how good that yummy dirt tastes. You play it safe if you want to stay employed and keep sucking at the teat of the Capitalist system. It’s much easier that way, bucko. Wise up! It’s not your “art” and who the cares anyway if every bit of everything that was good gets squeezed out of the Motown catalog to successfully advertise Kellogg’s Raisin Bran?

This is why most advertising SUCKS. This is why most people simply tune ads out. Ad blockers? I don’t need no stinking ad blocker! I got me an ad blocker right here in my head, baby!

But where was I? Oh right…. Well, here’s another ad. But a very creative one. I think you’ll like it.

At the very end they tell you what the actual service or product is or does, but I don’t want to spoil the fun for you.

Idiots.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
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