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Jeff Buckley: A dream interrupted
01:56 pm


Jeff Buckley

It was May 30, 1997 and I was on my way home after closing the bar I managed in downtown Manhattan. I made my usual stop at Gem Spa to pick up the early morning editions of The New York Post and Daily News before heading to Veselka for a quick late night breakfast. Sitting in the restaurant and flipping through the Post I came upon something that crushed my heart - Jeff Buckley had died, drowned in the Wolf River in Memphis. I wept. He was 31.

Buckley showed tremendous promise and I thought he was going to be huge. His debut album Grace was a stunner—both epic and tender, huge and intimate. I had seen him in concert several times (St. Ann’s was otherworldly) and every performance was sublime. At Irving Plaza, my teenage daughter and my wife were totally smitten by his angelic good looks, heavenly voice and powerful presence—his appeal went beyond age, fashion or demographic. Buckley could channel Robert Plant and Edith Piaf all in one song. He really was an amazingly beautiful soul and tremendously gifted artist. In my rock and roll world he’s left a void that will certainly never be filled and I can only dream of what might have been. His musical output was small but what there is of it will endure and seduce generations to come. Buckley may have died but his art is immortal.

On this day, his date of birth, I share this BBC documentary with you and some fine live footage.

Jeff Buckley - Everybody Here Wants You was produced in 2002 and contains archival footage of Jeff performing live as well as interviews with family, friends and musicians that include Chrissie Hynde, Gary Lucas, Jimmy Page and Patti Smith.

Buckley live in Providence R.I., 1995:

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
93-year-old great grandmother smoking weed for the first time
12:24 pm



93-year-old “Silver Princess” and her son “Open Sky”—these are their code names, btw—record themselves smoking the good shit for the very first time. Since they both live in the state of Washington where weed is legal, grandma and her son are willing to try it at least once. Why not, right? Hilarity ensues as they videotape themselves toking up. Pure comedy.

I’m not entirely convinced this is grandma’s first time. She immediately knew the word for a spliff was a “joint” while her son struggled to find the appropriate word for it.

The whole thing is really amusing to watch and incredibly adorable, too.

Via reddit

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Hitler’s home movies, starring Mel Brooks (with a young David Letterman), 1978
10:37 am


Adolf Hitler
David Letterman
Mel Brooks

It’s well known that Mel Brooks has something of a Hitler obsession. His first directorial feature was The Producers, which centered around an irresistible ditty called “Springtime for Hitler.” In Blazing Saddles, set in the Wild West several decades before Hitler’s rise to power, Brooks managed to smuggle in the Nazis indirectly, via Lili von Shtupp, a Marlene Dietrich parody played by Madeline Kahn, as well as the Germanic baddies that show up to be part of Hedley Lamarr’s army of mercenaries. In 1983 Brooks remade the 1942 Ernst Lubitsch classic To Be or Not to Be, which revolved around actors pretending to be high-echelon Nazis, including a musical number in which Brooks’ Fredrick Bronski (dressed as Hitler) sings “A Little Peace,” a merry song of his own composition about invading every country in Europe.

The recent American Masters documentary on Brooks, Make A Noise, actually dedicates a section to Brooks’ recurring interest in Hitler and even bothers to ask Brooks if he can remember the first time he ever became aware of Hitler, a query Brooks describes as “crazy.”

David Letterman and Alan Oppenheimer as Dan Cochran and Miles Rathbourne
Brooks even played Hitler himself once, in a parody of 60 Minutes-style TV news magazines called Peeping Times, which ran on NBC on January 25, 1978. Four years before getting his own talk show on the same network, David Letterman played “Dan Cochran,” one of the show’s anchors. One of the segments purports to show recently unearthed footage of Hitler and Eva Braun in the mid-1930s. You can even hear Alan Oppenheimer’s Miles Rathbourne snort in voiceover, “He looks like Mel Brooks.” Naturally, Brooks plays Hitler for maximum silliness, dancing a little jig, getting spoon-fed by Eva like a small child, and complaining that the cameraman (Rudolf Hess) isn’t shooting the footage properly. Note that the fellow who cues up the footage is played by a young James Cromwell.

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Not quite coming soon: Movie posters for imaginary film sequels
08:34 am


film posters

‘Death: Diabolik’ by Robert Sammelin
It’s a game for long distance car journeys where you and a buddy sit and discuss those films you think would make good sequels. You know the kind of thing: American Psycho 2: The Race for the White House in which Patrick Bateman has the good fortune to become Republican Senator with ambitions to be the next President; or South by Southeast the follow up to Hitchcock’s North by Northwest, which begins on the same train with the top bunk honeymoon embrace between Mr. and Mrs. Thornhill, Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint.  Of course, some sequels are already out there as books, while others have characters or situations that suggest prequels waiting in the wings. All of which brings us to these rather cool posters for various imaginary sequels and prequels, all of which are available to buy.
One day I do hope this will happen, and that it will be as promising as Odessa Sawyer’s poster makes it look: ‘Pan’s Labyrinth: Fall of the Underworld.’

‘Buckaroo Banzai Against the World Crime League’ by Robert Sammelin
Simply, classy design: ‘The Rocketeer 2’ by Alex Griendling.
Looking slightly darker and more Frank Frazetta-like, Ashley Wood’s ‘Barbarella 2.’
More posters for imaginary sequels, after the jump….

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Tokyo youth rock Barbie and Ken head platform shoes
08:15 am


Barbie doll
Ken doll

Introduced in the space age, gee-whiz year of 1959, the staggeringly popular Barbie and Ken have inevitably become symbols of America’s plastic essence. Both lack genetalia of course, and Barbie, were she to be transformed into a life-sized woman, would have an impossible 39-18-33 figure and a size 3 shoe. The Barbie spell is so powerful that the term “Barbie Syndrome” has been used to describe a phenomenon wherein a woman “attempts to emulate the doll’s physical appearance, even though the doll has unattainable body proportions.”

Anyway, it’s the insidious influence of Barbie that makes these platform shoes with Barbie and Ken heads in the sole so obscurely satisfying, if a little creepy. They’ve been spotted in the fashionable Harajuku district in Tokyo—the “Icy Wedge,” as it is called, comes from footwear designer Jeffrey Campbell’s summer 2013 collection. “Creative cosplayers in Harajuku have embraced the shoes wholeheartedly,” according to RocketNews24. The listed price (visible in one of the pics) is 28,080 yen, or about $240 in U.S. dollars.

Decapitating poor defenseless little Barbie dolls might be taken as stemming from a misogynistic impulse, so it’s good to see that there are Ken shoes as well. Actually, Ken kind of resembles Bob Dobbs, don’t you think?


More after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
God (apparently) has big plans for the kooky Christian Monster Energy drink conspiracy theory lady!

She’s baaacckk. Already? Remember the Christian Monster Energy drink satanic conspiracy theory lady from last week? Well…improbably (or not so improbably) she’s back on our radar screens again.

This time Christine Weick was caught on video disrupting a Muslim prayer service being held at the National Cathedral on Friday, November 14th.

She told conservative Christian conspiracy theory website WorldNetDaily that God got her past security and that she hid in the bathroom praying over and over again before she realized that she had become “invisible.” When the Imam called for prayer Weick stood up and shouted:

“Jesus Christ died on that cross. He is the reason we are to worship only Him. Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior,” she said. “We have built …allowed you your mosques in this country. Why don’t you worship in your mosques and leave our churches alone? We are a country founded on Christian principles.”

She immediately heard voices in the crowd yelling for security.

One might suppose that Ms. Weick has been hearing voices for some time now.

She worried that she’d flub her carefully rehearsed lines and look like an idiot, but believes “it didn’t happen that way”—contrary to the videotaped evidence!

So this is not Weick’s first or even second brush with notoriety, it is (at least) her third—she got a Slushie thrown in her face in front of a news crew on Mother’s Day as she held a sign reading, “Thank your mom today for not being gay!”—we just didn’t know her name until now. In the sub-Drudge reader sector of wingnuts within wingnuts, Weick, who lives out of her car and has authored the book Explain This! A Verse by Verse Explanation of the Book of Revelation, is already being held up as a Christian martyr “hero” and not someone who needs to be fucking medicated, stat.

She claims that it was a “thumbs up” from a “strange” clapping woman along her 400 mile drive from Tennessee to the nation’s capitol that she took as a sign from God convincing her that she was doing the right thing. Weick’s husband apparently divorced her over her goofy beliefs. More from WND (where the comments are pure mental midget genius!):

“It was a situation in my life, how God yanked every anchor in my life over the last five years, just everything that would keep a normal woman, a normal mother, at home just got yanked out from under me,” she said. “I have a son and a daughter, and they disowned me. I took a stand against gay marriage and I lost them. That is my heartache. And it hurts me so much. And I wonder what they think now when they see me on the news.”

Weick said she doesn’t know what her next “assignment” will be, but she knows now she can tackle almost anything.

“I told the Lord last night, ‘OK, you can take me now,’ but I don’t know,” she said. “I think He may have other plans for me, per Jeremiah 29: 11.”

Oh Lord, please do not take her. Christine Weick is one of the very BEST Christians in America. Maybe THE best. What a fine example of a good Christian to point to (at?). Time will tell what plans God has for this zany lady, but all I can say is watch out Victoria Jackson, you’ve got fierce competition in the Christian dingbat department.

It also occurred to me that wacky William Tapley, who bills himself as the “co-prophet” of the End Times, has never really seemed to find his duet partner. What if it’s Christine? Let’s hope they’re both on Christian Mingle, right? They could make beautiful music together!

Via Christian Nightmares

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Wild at the Wheel: 1970’s driving safety film makes you want to get funky and drive with caution
06:01 am

Pop Culture


Wild at the Wheel
Part cautionary tale, part psychoanalysis of the 1970’s bored suburban teen, part strait-up fusiony funk throw-down, the film below, called Wild at the Wheel, fictionally explores the sad case of decidedly handsome, deceased 1970’s teen epitome Tom Robinson. Known by his friends as “Speedy” for reasons that become obvious, Tom’s silky, loosely buttoned western shirts and even silkier flowing golden locks earn him lots of chicks, but his hubristic need to constantly put the pedal to the metal proves to be his undoing.  After months of highway showboating and increasingly sporadic road theatrics, Tom finally rolls his beautiful, vintage forest green Mustang over a California cliff while trying to change the radio station. What could have caused this tragedy?

Wild at the Wheel is narrated by a local traffic investigator who’s taken an interest in the story partly because he happened to be Tom’s tight-shorted, side-burned softball coach before the tragic accident took place. This curly-haired funk detective’s got all kinds theories about what drove Tom over the edge, as it were. Was Tom compensating because he didn’t make first baseman at softball tryouts the other day? Was it Tom’s own aggressively driving father that set a poor example about masculinity and power? Or was it because Tom got turned down for that raise by his boss at the local drug store? All valid questions, but one thing we do know for sure from watching the film is that it clearly wasn’t Tom’s lack of tail that was causing him to drive like a maniac. He’s pretty much up to his eyeballs in smiling, feather-haired ladies throughout this whole thing.   

And then there’s the soundtrack. It just seriously makes you want rock out and form a Return to Forever cover band immediately. As one astute YouTube commenter mentions, the (at times) vaguely Goblin-esque soundtrack features a dirgey funk ballad called “Confunktion,” a smooth KPM stock recording by Dave Richmond that kind of kicks ass, leaving you confused about how to feel, especially since it shows up just as the paramedics are hauling off Tom’s bloody carcass. I was also able to identify another Dave Richmond track that appears later called Phase Out, also a piece of KPM stock recording and also ass-kicking. If there’s one unintentional takeaway from the film, it’s that awesomeness was in no short supply when it came to cheap, funky library scores in the 1970’s. 

Look, as Wild at the Wheel attempt to make clear, reckless driving is no laughing matter, especially when it involves hunky teens taken from us far too soon. On the other hand, this clip is pretty goddamned hilarious. Please refrain from watching it on your phone while driving!

Posted by Jason Schafer | Leave a comment
Outlaw Biker: The photography of Danny Lyon
02:33 pm


Danny Lyon

Clubhouse during the Columbus run. Dayton, Ohio (1966)
In Danny Lyon’s career as a photographer, he has documented civil rights activism in the south, Texas prisons, Colombian bordellos and more, but his most famous subjects are the outlaw bikers of the mid-1960s midwest. Lyon rode with The Chicago Outlaw Motorcycle Club himself and was able to capture incredibly intimate moments for his seminal collection, The Bikeriders. The shots are obviously gorgeous, but if you feel they look a little staged, you’re probably picking up on Lyon’s own infatuation and idealization of biker culture—the man was admittedly romantic in his portrayal.

During his biker years, Lyon actually maintained correspondence with Hunter S. Thompson, who was writing Hell’s Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga at the time. Lyon (an upper middle-class, privately educated Brooklyn Jew) recounts being told by Thompson (a Kentuckian and self-proclaimed “hillbilly” of troubled and impoverished youth) to wear a helmet—instructions Lyon never took. Unlike Thompson (who was later greatly disillusioned with biker culture), Lyon acknowledged that his work was “an attempt to record and glorify the life of the American bikerider,” and glorify it he did.

Corky and Funny Sonny. Chicago, Illinois (1965)

Joey and his girl. Chicago, Illinois (1965)

Big Barbara. Chicago, Illinois (1965)

Renegade’s funeral.Detroit, Michigan (1965)
More after the jump…

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Listen to Fugazi’s 11 original demo tracks, four days ahead of time
01:08 pm



This is the handbill for Fugazi’s first-ever show, at the Wilson Center, on 15th Street and Irving. “5 Dollars to Benefit Positive Force Compilation Records”—do you think they knew then how sick they’d get of hearing the phrase “five dollar show”?
The demos that the legendary DC punks Fugazi cut at Inner Ear Studio in January 1988 have led a fan-friendly, DIY existence as a tape distributed for free at shows, but with the exception of a single song, “In Defense of Humans,” which appeared on the State of the Union comp in 1989, they’ve never seen an official release. Inner Ear Studios got a bit of extra exposure last month when the D.C. episode of Sonic Highways came on HBO. Dave Grohl visited Don Zientara, owner of Inner Ear Studio, as well as Ian Mackaye of Fugazi and Dr. Know and Darryl Jenifer of Bad Brains.

That all changes on November 18, when Discord releases First Demo, but you can listen to them right this minute on Dischord’s Grooveshark account. (Actually, “Turn Off Your Guns” wasn’t included on the original cassette, but the rest of them all were.)

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Doctor Who’s Weeping Angel Christmas tree topper
11:22 am


Doctor Who
Weeping Angel

Okay, so I’m a bit late on this, sue me. But how late can I be since it’s not even Thanks-fucking-giving yet? Anyway, ThinkGeek is selling a Weeping Angel Christmas topper for yer tree this year for $19.99 + shipping.

You and your family simply CANNOT BLINK whilst admiring your tree.


Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
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