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Satan teens, blood, guts, LSD, murder and chaos: ‘Where Evil Dwells’ has it all but a plot
01.13.2017
12:42 pm

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Art
Movies

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01whereevil.jpg
 

“Ricky was of the devil. When he was on acid, he’d go back into the dark woods, up in Aztakea, and he would talk to the devil. He said the devil came into the form of a tree, which sprouted out of the ground and glowed. I tried to question him about it, but he said, “I don’t like to talk about it. People think I’m nuts.”

Ricky would take ten hits of mesc in a night. He would take three; ten minutes later he’d take another three; and two hours later he’d take four more. He’d figured it out in his mind how to take the most without ODing Ricky is the acid king. “

—Mark Fischer, friend of “Acid King” Long Island teen murderer Ricky Kasso, in Rolling Stone magazine.

What the fuck did I just watch? is often the response to Tommy Turner and David Wojnarowicz‘s cult 1985 no wave/transgressive film Where Evil Dwells. Not because some viewers of this splatterfest are uncool dickheads but because there is no real cohesive story or structure to Turner and Wojnarowicz’s film—and people really do prefer things like structure and stories. Just ask James Patterson. Our savvy public are none too appreciative of being buttonholed by a would-be weirdo rambling incontinently about conspiracy theories, Satan, murder and devil dolls—people get enough of that shit on the evening news.

Moreover, to give 28 minutes over to watching this is a considerable investment of time for something that may not be that good after all—especially true in a world that’s marked out in 140 characters or less. But wait, let’s not be too hasty or too cynical, for there’s a reason there is no real story to Where Evil Dwells. It is (apparently) because this is all that remains of a much longer intended feature length project which was lost in a fire. The only footage that survived was put together for the Downtown New York Film Festival in 1985, which makes Where Evil Dwells interesting for what it could have been. And it certainly does contain some very interesting things.
 

 
Where Evil Dwells was loosely based on the PCP-fuelled murder of young Gary Lauwers in Northport, New York, on June 16, 1984. His killer, 17-year-old hesher Ricky Kasso was painted by the press as an occult dabbling, drug-addled Satan freak, and not without good cause. In an attack that went on for longer than an hour, Kasso burned Lauwers, gouged out his eyes and stabbed him somewhere between 17 and 36 times. At some point during the attack, Kasso is said to have commanded Lauwers to “Say you love Satan,” but Lauwers is said to have replied, “I love my mother.”

After Kasso bragged about Lauwers’ murder to several of his friends, claiming the killing was a “human sacrifice” that Satan (via a black raven) had commanded him to carry out, even taking some of them to see the decomposing body, an anonymous tip was made to police. On July 7, two days after his arrest, Ricky Kasso committed suicide by hanging himself in his jail cell.

The Long Island Satan teen murder case was made famous nationally in a widely read 1984 Rolling Stone article (”Kids in the Dark” by David Breskin in the November 22 issue) and in the (nearly fictionalized) lurid “true” crime novel Say You Love Satan. Kasso—basically a troubled AC/DC loving idiot who became a very sucessful fuck-up—was almost made out to be the “new” Charles Manson by the likes of Sonic Youth, Big Audio Dynamite, the Electric Hellfire Club and the Dead Milkmen. Where Evil Dwells is not the only film or documentary to be made about Ricky Kasso, although it was the first.

More murder, LSD and Satan teens after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
‘Probes’: Chris Cutler’s podcast is a free course in contemporary music
01.13.2017
11:31 am

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Art
History
Music

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Chris Cutler in Toronto, 1987 (via some old pictures I took)
 
The English percussionist Chris Cutler has been a member of Henry Cow, Pere Ubu, and Art Bears, to name just a few of his bands. He played on the Residents’ Eskimo and Commercial Album, founded Recommended Records (now better known as ReR Megacorp), and pioneered the use of electrified drums.

Cutler is also a scholar and theoretician of music, and his podcast Probes considers the present state of the art in relation to two crises, one having to do with the collapse of tonality, the other with the mechanical reproduction of sound. If that makes it sound boring, understand that Probes really amounts to a free college course in music appreciation and history. Broadcast by Ràdio Web MACBA, the online radio station of the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art, Probes illustrates Cutler’s lucid analysis with excerpts of records from his wide-ranging collection. Each episode is accompanied by a transcript and another PDF with the episode’s playlist and, when relevant, bibliography. This month’s episode “traces the immense impact Indian instruments and aesthetics had on both thinking and playing, across all forms of western music from Messiaen and La Monte Young to John Coltrane and the Beatles.”

Here’s Cutler introducing the series at the beginning of the first episode:

If you had asked anyone in the eighteenth century what music was, you would have met with broad consensus; music came in three basic forms then – as it had for at least six hundred years: church music, art music, and what we now call folk music – all three of them pretty closely integrated, with many of the same melodies migrating back and forth between them.

If you asked the same question today you’d be met with a tortuous attempt at an abstract definition, which would still fail to contain the vast mass of activities – and the diverse aesthetics – now aimed at our ears. Indeed, claims for music today have expanded to include not only anything that you can hear, but kinds of silence too.

Should we take this to imply that a once integrated culture is slowly degenerating into a chaotic and unregulated marketplace? That would certainly be the political reading. But actually I think something more interesting is going on, something quite unusual. What we are living through is a paradigm change. We just can’t see it because life is too short and such events normally take centuries to work through.

But here’s the argument: for the last hundred and twenty years or so, music and musicians, at least in the industrialised world, have been struggling to come to terms with two catastrophic and destabilising upheavals. The first is the collapse of tonality, which principally affects formal composition and art music; the second the brute fact of sound recording – which has so far utterly transformed everything it has touched.

To find an historical precedent for this, we would need to go back at least 700 years – to the last time European music had to deal with the emergence of a new memory technology. Then it was writing; today it is sound recording.

Memory has this power because it stands at the root of all systems of conscious communication. Without memory, music could not be produced or reproduced, circulated or understood. And different forms of memory will engender different forms of music – that is the underlying thesis of this series.

Cutler on The Residents, after the jump…

Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
Here’s a dirty little song to play while you get that $13 tattoo today
01.13.2017
11:28 am

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Fashion
Music

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Many tattoo parlors across the country offer Friday the 13th specials, most often offering small flash art for $13. If you decide to visit your local tattoo shop today, be sure to play this classic slab of Americana from a 1950 78 rpm record on the Fortune label. The artist is Skeets McDonald (spelled “Skeet’s” on the label), and the song is “Tattooed Lady.” Next to The Who’s “Tattoo” (and Groucho Marx’s “Lydia the Tattooed Lady,” of course) it’s the most awesome song ever written about tattoos.
 

 
The tune details a man’s marriage to a woman who is tattooed with a map of the United States. The lyrics seem to indicate that the map is laid out pretty strangely—I’m not sure if there’s any way to imagine this being “geographically correct”:

Once I married a tattooed lady
Twas on a dark and windy day
And tattooed all around her body
Was a map of the good ol’ USA
And every night before I’d go to sleep
I’d jerk back the covers and I’d take a peek:
Upon her leg was Minnesota,
On her knee was Tennessee,
And tattooed on her back
Was good old Rack-em-Sack (Arkansas)
The place where I long to be.
And on her (wolf whistle) was West Virginia
Through those hills I just love to roam;
But when I saw the moonlight on her Mississippi
That’s when I recognized my home sweet home.

West Virginia likely seems to be the woman’s boobs or ass. One would assume she has Mississippi on her hoo-ha, but then again, maybe my mind’s just in the gutter. Wherever it is, clearly there’s some distortion going on with this particular map.

Listen after the jump…

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
Nope, these are NOT photographs they are OIL PAINTINGS
01.13.2017
10:22 am

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Art

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Isräel-based oil painter Yigal Ozeri paints better than my iPhone can take photos! Seriously, I’ve stared at this work for over an hour now and still can’t believe these are oil paintings. I know “hyperrealism” is an overused word in the blogosphere world, but holy shit if it’s not totally appropriate in this circumstance! His work is absolutely jaw-dropping.

I wouldn’t say his work is exactly “dangerous” per se (beautiful, angelic women in outdoor settings), but it’s a damned dangerous talent to be able to paint this way. To fool the human eye like this takes some serious skills and patience. I’d love to see Ozeri in action. Perhaps a nice time-lapse video of him creating one of his pieces.


 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
A totally sexist guide of ‘How to Succeed with Brunettes’ produced by the U.S. Navy in 1967
01.13.2017
08:56 am

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Amusing
History
Movies

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Marlene Dietrich, as ‘Bijou Blanche’ in a feminine version of a Navy officer’s uniform from the 1940 motion picture ‘Seven Sinners.’
 
Before you watch this sixteen-plus minute training video put out by the Navy in 1967, you’ll need a little background on this vintage piece of sexist “how to.”

How to Succeed with Brunettes’ is one of nearly 3000 training films produced by the U.S. Navy during the 1960s that range from topics such as “good hygiene” to how women enlisted in the military should “conduct” themselves around their male counterparts. It’s also said that the film was lampooned by the television news program 60 Minutes in its early days and that the show even presented the Navy with a “faux Oscar” for How to Succeed With Brunettes for being the most “unnecessary” and “fiscally wasteful” film on record for the time. For you see, back in 1966 it was tax dollars that covered the $64,000 tab for creating this cringe-worthy film.

More after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
A child’s murder ballad: Tanya Tucker sings ‘Blood Red and Goin’ Down’
01.12.2017
07:00 pm

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Music

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Tanya Tucker was kind of like the Britney Spears of country music in the 1970s, a teenage chart-topper who underwent a “sexy” image make-over as she got older (and who did her share of hard partying). Her massive hits like “Delta Dawn” and “What’s Your Mama’s Name” were fairly ubiquitous on jukeboxes, AM radio and TV at the time. Tucker’s voice was instantly recognizable from the first note and her formula followed nicely in the Tammy Wynette-trod footsteps of the narrative country tear-jerker, often with the something ominous lurking in the story-line. And the twist was that they were being sung by a kid.
 

“Innocent” young Tanya, aged 14.
 
Tucker’s 1973 hit record, “Blood Red and Goin’ Down,” tells the tale of a young girl who watches her distraught father gun down her cheating mother and her lover in a bar. “Southern Gothic” at its finest. It’s also something you might hear the likes of Nick Cave sing, but Tucker would have been all of fourteen years old when the song was recorded and about seventeen in the video clip below. Imagine watching a kid perform this song in 2017 on America’s Got Talent or something… Jeezus K. Reist. These days the social justice warrior types would be having conniption fits, but in the 1970s this was a #1 hit!

In the late 80s, I was visiting my parents in Wheeling, WV with my then girlfriend who, for whatever reasons, was really into Tanya Tucker. As fate would have it, Tucker was playing a concert at the famed Capitol Music Hall while we were in town and so we went. It was a fucking blast and a really good show (and honestly not the kind of thing I’d have gone to see on my own in a million years).
 

Tanya after her ‘sexy’ make-over, still not old enough to drink…
 
I can recall three things about it vividly. One, it was Tucker’s 30th birthday that night and a conga line of about a dozen goofy guys dropped red roses at her feet as she sang “Delta Dawn.”

Two, the concert was stopped twice while a commercial for “Country Time Lemonade” ran (the show was being broadcast live on the legendary country music station, WWVA’s “Jamboree USA” radio show, and Country Time Lemonade was the sponsor). Tucker and her band just walked offstage and a slide was shown as the ad was pumped over the PA system. When the commercial was over they came back onstage and started up again.

Third, nearly everyone in the audience save for us had cowbells. I swear.

Just a few hours ago it was announced that Tucker, now 58, is postponing tour dates after fracturing a vertebrae and injuring a rib during a fall while on tour.
 

“Blood Red and Goin’ Down,” 1975.
 
More vintage Tanya Tucker after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Extremely ‘Childish’ Donald Trump posters
01.12.2017
03:23 pm

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Activism
Art
Current Events
Politics
Punk
Stupid or Evil?

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GOP Info Poster

British cult artist/musician/poet/author and anti-authoritarian legend Billy Childish has just announced publication of a trio of specially commission poster prints commemorating “the occasion of Donald Trump being crassly maligned by the world’s press.”

The posters were created at the L-13 Light Industrial Workshop. Each measure 52.5 x 35 cm and are in stamped and numbered editions of 113 for £25.00 each. All posters come folded and in a deliberately distressed condition. The first orders will be dispatched on January 19th.

Mr. Childish is represented by L-13 in London, Neugerriemschneider in Berlin and Lehmann Maupin in New York.
 

Presidential Cunt Elect
 
More extremely Childish Trump posters after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Collectable Hieronymus Bosch figurines
01.12.2017
12:24 pm

Topics:
Art

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‘Tree Man’ By Hieronymus Bosch From ‘Garden of Earthly Delights’

I’m not a big knickknack person. I like to keep my home sparse in the “tiny objects” departament. But I must admit I really do dig these Hieronymus Bosch figurines. They’re kinda cool-looking in their own obviously weird way. I especially like the ones from Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights.

They’re also not too expensive. The figurines start at around $45, depending on quality, size and detail. I’ve posted a range of different figurines and where to purchase below each image if you’re interested.

‘Devil On Night Chair ‘by Hieronymus Bosch from ‘Garden of Earthly Delights’
 

‘Blue Flutist’ by Hieronymus Bosch
 

‘Bird With Letter’ from ‘Temptation of St Anthony’ by Hieronymus Bosch
 
More after the jump…

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Legendarily obnoxious Irish punks, The Outcasts: ‘The band you love to hate!’
01.12.2017
11:09 am

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Music
Punk

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Belfast, Ireland-based punks The Outcasts have a fair amount of mythology attached to their riotous time together.  The group formed in 1977 and after getting rejected by five different Belfast clubs their name took on a more personal meaning for the band and it stuck.

When they finally were able to land an actual live gig, fellow Irish punks Jake Burns, the vocalist for Stiff Little Fingers and guitarist Henry Cluney bore witness to the first few shows played by The Outcasts, which according to Greg Cowen as noted in the book Burning Britain: The History of UK Punk 1980–1984 were “disasters.” Cowan attributes the early lackluster impressions of the band to the fact that nobody in the Outcasts could actually play their instruments. There was also the issue that by time The Outcasts were getting ready to stumble through the third or so song in their set (which at the time consisted of covers of the Sex Pistols, The Damned and The Clash along with a few originals), also seemed to be some sort of signal for drummer Colin Cowan to trash his kit. It wouldn’t take long before The Outcasts would be routinely referred to as “The Band You Love to Hate” by local music journalists.

Despite their seeming inability to successfully play a gig that lasted more than a few minutes (which sounds pretty punk rock to me by the way), the band scored a coveted invitation to open for The Radiators From Space—a band championed by one of Ireland’s greatest musical exports—Phil Lynott of Thin Lizzy—and Johnny Thunders. Held at Jordanstown Polytechnic on October 21, 1977 The Outcasts stayed true to their disastrous live track record. Here’s more from Greg Cowan on how that went:

We got the gig because I had written a letter that was published in NME magazine berating English punk band for not playing Northern Ireland. Colin (Cowan) had filled plastic bags with fake blood, which he threw at students in the audience. And Martin (Colin’s brother and guitarist for the band) assaulted The Radiators because he caught members of the band changing their flared jeans into drainpipes (old-school code for “skinny jeans”) before going on stage.

Though I don’t usually advocate the use of violence, I’m pretty sure that if you show up to a punk show wearing flared trousers you’re probably at the wrong fucking gig. Later on the band would start crashing shows by notable groups and musicians like Elvis Costello when he played Ulster Hall in the boys’ hometown in 1978. The band allegedly stormed the stage, grabbed Elvis’ microphone and spit out the self-promotional phrase “We’re The Outcasts, buy our single!” Apparently there were a fair number of punk/football fans in attendance who enthusiastically supported the antics The Outcasts pulled on poor Declan and a short time later they were playing to thousands of fans in Dublin. This affinity for commandeering other band’s shows was continued by drummer Colin Cowan when he disrupted sets by both Graham Parker and the Rumor and The Boomtown Rats. But let’s be honest here—there is a line in the sand when it comes to this pre-Jackass guerrilla music marketing. Sure I give them a pass for making Bob Geldof even grumpier than usual, but you simply do not fuck with THE CLASH. Sadly The Outcasts’ must have missed school the day they taught “Joe Strummer 101” and they set out to crash the stage where the Clash—who they had just supported in Belfast—were playing another show. When they showed up, a group of pissed-off bouncers were waiting for them, and according to Cowen who were ready to beat their “fuck in.”
 
More of the Outcasts after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Groovy vintage ads for classic guitars
01.12.2017
09:02 am

Topics:
Advertising
Music

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Inspired by a recent post on reverb.com, I jumped down an Internet rabbit hole of vintage guitar ads. Naturally, there’s a ton of wonderful stuff to be found, and I was surprised, despite how niche a market these ads were trying to reach, at how little they differ in look and tone from any other ads of their times. ‘50s ads tended to be bland product shots surrounded by expository text, by the mid-‘60s ads started getting more creative, and ‘70s ads were often rainbow-hued blowouts executed by illustrators who owed their livelihoods to Milton Glaser. Which is basically to say that a lot of them could just as easily have been ads for cars or small appliances. Why this surprised me, I don’t know—they were crafted by the same agencies, using the same broad theories as to what worked, as all other ads. (And if those cultural transitions interest you, I cannot recommend Thomas Frank’s The Conquest of Cool

What follows is culled from countless online sources. I’ve tried to keep them roughly in chronological order, but not all of them were possible to date. Of particular interest—the Vox and Domino ads below boast the most out-there instrument designs, but due to their vintage they’re the most conservative ad designs, and Fender ads from the ‘70s were especially lysergic, in a study-hall kinda way.
 

Domino, early ‘60s
 

Vox, 1964
 
More vintage guitar ads after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
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