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‘Bowie, Bolan, dressing up & going out’: Boy George takes a personal trip through the 1970s
04.21.2017
09:31 am

Topics:
Music
Pop Culture

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September 1982: Hit rock ‘n’ roll singer Shakin’ Stevens can’t make his scheduled appearance on BBC chart show Top of the Pops. Panicked producers make the life-changing decision to fill the gap left by Shaky with an unknown pop group by the name of Culture Club. Minutes after the band’s debut television appearance on the show, phones start ringing at the BBC switchboard asking What the hell did we just watch?. Next day, newspapers run similar stories filled with offensive mock outrage questions: “Who is Boy George?” “Is he a boy or a girl?” Within weeks, Culture Club was number one and Boy George was the nation’s sweetheart.

But how did it come to this? Where did Boy George come from? What shaped the life of this brilliant, iconic “gender-bending” singer?

Well, these are some of the many questions answered by the lad himself as Boy George aka George O’Dowd takes the viewer on a very personal pop culture trip through the decade that shaped him—the 1970s.

The seventies are all too often dismissed by the more, shall we say, snobbish cultural critic as “the decade that fashion forgot,” ridiculed for its supposedly bad taste in fashion, politics, sex, music and hair. Yet for Boy George, the seventies was a “glorious decade…all about Bowie, Bolan, dressing up and going out.” The “last bonkers decade,” when the young teenage George discovered all these “amazing things… punk rock, electro music, fashion, all of that.”

Of course, there was the downside to all of this heady excitement: the political crisis, the three-day working weeks, the strikes, power cuts, mass unemployment, grim poverty, and racism. But George was too young to know much about any of this. He was too busy finding out about music and glamor and miming to Shirley Bassey in his parent’s front room. He was about to hit puberty. He felt different from the other kids and was looking for a sign that he was not alone in this gray suburban south London landscape.

Then came the sign he’d been hoping for: the day he saw David Bowie performing on Top of the Pops in 1972. That’s when George knew he wasn’t alone. The androgynous Bowie in his fire-red hair, make-up, and jumpsuit with his nail polished hand slung defiantly over Mick Ronson’s shoulder as they sang “Starman.” This was a sign that life could be extraordinary and was just an adventure to be gained.

Save Me from Suburbia is more than just Boy George telling his life story, it is an essential history of the events and pop culture that shaped a nation during ten heady years from skinheads and strikes to punk and Margaret Thatcher. George takes us on an utterly fascinating tour through the decade with a little help from his friends and accomplices like Rusty Egan, Princess Julia, Martin Degville (Sigue Sigue Sputnik), Andy Polaris (Animal Nightlife), and Caryn Franklin—and most revealingly his mother.
 
Watch Boy George’s revealing pop culture trip through the 1970s, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
‘And when he is come’: A treasury of unintentionally ‘dirty’ double-entendre gospel LP covers
04.21.2017
08:37 am

Topics:
Amusing
Music

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Last week Dangerous Minds brought you a gallery of the worst album covers ever created. It was a fine sampling, showcasing some of the best of the worst, but my own personal favorite genre of “bad album art” was under-represented. I’m talking about, of course, the private-press gospel record with double-entendre title.

Now, most of these records generally fall into two categories: titles about someone being touched and titles about someone coming, in one instance “quarts of love.”

Usually, the naïve graphics on the covers sell the unintentional jokes.

Below are some of my favorites. If I missed any, let me know in the comments!
 

 

 
Many more questionably-titled Christian album covers after the jump…

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
Jean Cocteau’s poem for Orson Welles
04.21.2017
08:16 am

Topics:
Art
Heroes
Literature
Movies

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Orson Welles by Jean Cocteau (from the frontispiece of André Bazin’s book on Welles)
 
Orson Welles and Jean Cocteau first met at a performance of “Voodoo Macbeth,” the all-black Shakespeare production Welles staged in New York in 1936 with funding from a New Deal program. They remained friends and encouraged one another’s rascality, according to Simon Callow’s account of the 1948 Venice Film Festival in One-Man Band, the third volume of his Welles biography:

He and the perenially provocative Jean Cocteau formed a sort of anti-festival clique, clubbing together to commit what Cocteau rather wonderfully called lèse-festival. [...] Together in Venice, the two men behaved like two very naughty boys. Welles shocked his hosts by ostentatiously walking out of the showing of Visconti’s uncompromisingly severe masterpiece, La Terra Trema.

 

Cocteau and Welles in Venice, 1948
 
Welles was a member of the Comité d’Honneur at Cocteau’s 1949 Festival du Film Maudit, at which both The Magnificent Ambersons and The Lady from Shanghai were screened. (Kenneth Anger’s Fireworks made its European debut there, too, and Artaud’s “Sorcery and Cinema” was first published in the festival catalog.) Cocteau contributed this sketch of his friend to the program for Welles’ The Blessed and the Damned, an evening of two one-act plays that opened in Paris in 1950:

Orson Welles is a giant with the face of a child, a tree filled with birds and shadows, a dog who has broken loose and gone to sleep in the flower bed. An active loafer, a wise madman, a solitary surrounded by humanity, a student who sleeps during the lesson. A strategy: pretending to be drunk to be simply left alone. Seemingly better than anyone else, he can use a nonchalant attitude of real strength, apparently drifting but guided by a half-opened eye. This attitude of an abandoned hulk, and that of a sleepy bear, protects him from the cold fever of the motion picture world. An attitude which made him move on, made him leave Hollywood, and carried him to other lands and other horizons.

Quoting some of the increasingly hysterical praise for Welles printed elsewhere in the program and then in the show’s reviews, Callow wonders: “At least Cocteau had the excuse of being an opium addict; what were these chaps on?”

Keep reading, after the jump…

Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
Iggy Bop? New music from the godfather of punk on his 70th birthday—with a jazz trio!
04.21.2017
07:39 am

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Music

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James “Iggy Pop” Osterberg is one of a handful of figures who need zero introduction to Dangerous Minds’ readers. Not just a godfather of punk rock in his capacity as vocalist for the Stooges, but a far greater champion and exponent of its aesthetic and ethos than fellow proto-punk figures like Reed, Tyner, and Bowie. His influence was and remains incalculable—TRY to imagine David Johansen, Nick Cave, Johnny Rotten, or Stiv Bators without elements of Iggy’s bratty, combative, and entirely unhinged stage persona to draw from. He’s settled into a marvelous and once-improbable-seeming afterlife as one of music’s great coolest-guy-ever figures, holding a similar status in rock ’n’ roll as Bill Murray does in the film world. But sorry not sorry, Iggy’s cooler.

The date of this posting is Pop’s 70th birthday (happy birthday, sir, and thanks for all the awesome shit), and even at this age, he continues to explore new territory. Today, it’s Dangerous Minds’ pleasure to premiere a new track featuring Pop singing with Jamie Saft, Steve Swallow, and Bobby Previte, the jazz trio behind 2014’s acclaimed album The New Standard, a title they used as a band name for a spell, but it didn’t stick. A traditional piano/bass/drums trio, Saft, Swallow and Previte have earned justified praise for straddling trad and transformative, jumping genres and modalities effortlessly while preserving the ineffably cool feeling of mid-century instrumental jazz, never becoming precious or NPRishly slick—Swallow’s bass playing is brawny and fiercely eclectic, and pianist Saft and drummer Previte are both former Zorn collaborators, so preciousness is likely not part of their vocabularies. Their forthcoming album Loneliness Road features Iggy Pop’s vocal contributions on three tracks, the title track, “Don’t Lose Yourself,” and “Everyday.” It’s the title track we’re sharing today.

Listen after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
Steven Spielberg predicts the psycho-delic future of today in 1971’s ‘Los Angeles: A.D. 2017’!
04.20.2017
12:08 pm

Topics:
Environment
Media
Movies
Television

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I had heard about this impossible-to-see episode of The Name of the Game—a cutting edge television show that ran for seventy-six 90-minute episodes from 1968 to 1971 on NBC—but until recently, I’d never seen it. The Name of the Game had the biggest budget of any show of its time and a very interesting concept. First of all each episode was, in effect, it’s own semi-standalone 90-minute movie. The series was one of the first of what was then known as a “wheel series.” A wheel series was mostly known as a time slot on TV that two or three different shows shared, alternating each week. With The Name of the Game‘s high concept though, this wheel was alternating between three different stars who were featured in their own episodes/movies. And what a high concept it was!

From Wikipedia:

The series was based on the 1966 television movie Fame Is the Name of the Game, which was directed by Stuart Rosenberg and stars Tony Franciosa. The Name of the Game rotated among three characters working at Howard Publications, a large magazine publishing company. Jeffrey “Jeff” Dillon (Franciosa), a crusading reporter with People magazine (before there was a real-life People magazine); Glenn Howard (Gene Barry, taking over for George Macready, who had originated the role in the earlier film), the sophisticated, well-connected publisher; and Daniel “Dan” Farrell (Robert Stack), the editor of Crime magazine. Serving as a common connection was then-newcomer Susan Saint James as Peggy Maxwell, the editorial assistant for each.

 
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Which brings us to one of the last episodes of the series, LA 2017 aka Los Angeles: AD 2017. This episode was the first long form directing assignment for 24-year-old Steven Spielberg. Written by well-known offbeat author Phillip Wylie (who wrote Gene Barry’s wild episode Love-In At Ground Zero in the first season). Wylie’s work is known to have inspired the characters of Superman, Doc Savage and even Flash Gordon (from his story that was later made into the film When Worlds Collide). In this episode, Glenn Howard is hunted down in a lethally polluted, frightening and sometimes hilarious Los Angeles of the future, where the fascist government is ruled by psychiatrists and the populace has been driven to live in underground bunkers to survive the pollution. Sounds about right, right? This was the sixteenth episode of the third season, and the cast included Barry Sullivan, Edmond O’Brien, and (in a brief cameo) Spielberg’s friend Joan Crawford.
 
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It starts out with a car crash while character Howard (Gene Barry) is seen driving through the mountains recording a memo to the President to do with an important pollution scandal story that will appear in his magazine, and ends up being a dream, which allowed the science-fiction plot to fit into the modern-day setting of the show, though in the final moments he is still contemplating what happened while driving back in his car (cue close-up shot of his tail pipes chugging out 1971 style car exhaust fumes). In the end, we see a stiff bird hanging in a tree… a close encounter of the (dead) bird kind indeed!
 
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Watching this 1971 pop culture prophecy in the actual Los Angeles of 2017 is a total mindblower. Some of it is insanely far-fetched and yet there are a few humdingers that really freak you out and make you think, the most well known being my favorite scene where we are taken into a truly “underground” club with a demented octogenarian acid rock band totally freaking out (or at least trying to):
 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Howie Pyro | Leave a comment
For when you have more dollars than sense: $2,145 designer purse resembles the blue IKEA bag
04.20.2017
12:01 pm

Topics:
Amusing
Fashion

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This is perhaps one of the dumbest ideas I’ve seen in a long time: A $2,145 Balenciaga handbag allegedly inspired by the blue IKEA bag. Is this for rich people to haul their dirty clothes to the laundromat in? ‘Cause that’s what I use my IKEA bags for. But then again, the wealthy probably don’t use laundromats. What was I thinking?

Anyway, the bag is on Barneys website with this description:

Balenciaga’s Arena extra-large shopper tote bag is constructed of blue wrinkled, glazed leather.

The real question is though: does it make that annoying crunchy sound? That’s how you get the full effect of an IKEA bag.

Here’s what IKEA has to say about the $2,145 designer bag:

We are deeply flattered that the Balenciaga tote bag resembles the ILEA iconic sustainable blue bag for 99 cents. Nothing beats the versatility of a great big blue bag!


 

 
via Today and Geekologie

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Dolly Parton performing a death metal version of ‘Jolene’
04.20.2017
09:09 am

Topics:
Amusing

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You’re either going to find this amusing for shits and giggles purposes or completely loathe it. Here’s Dolly Parton “singing” a death metal version of her classic ballad, “Jolene.”

The video is by Los Angeles-based musician and producer Andy Rehfeldt. He’s also responsible for the death metal version of Mary Poppins singing “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” that went viral a few years ago.

If you can’t get enough of these, you can see more of Andy’s work on his YouTube Channel.

 
via Laughing Squid

Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Attention ‘Slow Ass Jolene’ Dolly Parton uploader: Plunderphonics did that same thing 25 years ago!
That time in 1978 when Dolly Parton posed for Playboy with a super pervy-looking bunny
Dolly Parton talks about growing up poor, 1978

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Oh, you pretty thing! Polaroid portraits of Andy Warhol in drag
04.20.2017
09:07 am

Topics:
Art
Heroes
Pop Culture
Queer

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Andy Warhol in drag taken with a polaroid camera.

Back in 2013 auction house Christie’s sold off 62 of Andy Warhol’s Polaroid photos for the tidy sum of $978,125. Fifteen of the Polaroids were of objects such as shoes and Absolute Vodka. Another 37 of the shots in the group were portraits taken by Warhol that he would then use to create silkscreens of his famous friends and muses like Grace Jones or Jean-Michael Basquiat. In a fascinating (at least to me) analysis done by Exhibition Inquisition, it appears that Andy’s Polaroids of women sold for vastly less than their famous male counterparts—by an approximate margin of $7,000. Even in the art game, us girls can’t seem to get a fair shake. Who knew?

Exhibition Inquisition also broke down Warhol’s “top ten” selling Polaroid portraits which included some of the artist closest acquaintances like Debbie Harry and Dennis Hopper. Farrah Fawcett also made it into the top ten as well as former governator of California Arnold Schwarzenegger and Muhammad Ali.

Now let’s discuss the topic of this post—Warhol’s drag self-portraits which were taken in the early 80s. In this series, we see Warhol in full make-up and bombshell red lipstick wearing a variety of different wigs from a smart, short black bob to full-on, teased-up heavy metal hair and black eyeliner. Here’s more on the creative process that got Andy ready for his closeup as a girl from the Getty Museum’s website:

Andy Warhol enjoyed dressing for parties in drag, sometimes in dresses of his own design. He admired “the boys who spend their lives trying to be complete girls,” so in 1981 he and a photographic assistant, Christopher Makos, agreed to collaborate on a session portraying Warhol in drag. In many ways, they modeled the series on Man Ray’s 1920s work with the French artist Marcel Duchamp, in which the two artists created a female alter ego name Rrose Sélavy for Duchamp.

Warhol and Makos made a number of pictures, both black-and-white prints and color Polaroids, of their first attempt. For the second round of pictures, they hired a theater makeup person. This stage professional better understood the challenge of transforming a man’s face into that of a woman. After the makeup, Warhol tried on curled, straight, long, short, dark, and blonde wigs.

Warhol might not have been the most attractive fella (or dame) but he knew how to give great “face” and his drag self-portraits are absolutely mesmerizing. Curiously, they are not as covetable to collectors as one might think. Warhol’s selfies out-of-drag have sold for far greater sums that his drag portraits. And it seems that the most covetable Polaroid images of Andy are the ones that were taken of the pop culture icon in his famous “fright wig” (you know, this look) which have sold at auction for $50 grand apiece. I’ve included the drag Polaroids of Andy below for you to check out. Warhol’s Polaroids can be seen in the wonderful, well worth owning 2015 book, Andy Warhol: Polaroids.
 

 

 

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Small World: Artist’s miniature models have BIG political message
04.20.2017
08:42 am

Topics:
Art
Environment
Politics

Tags:

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Sometimes cliches are true. Strong medicine does often come in small bottles. We need only to look at the work of artist Isaac Cordal to apprecaite the truth of this adage. Cordal produces handcrafted minature cement scupltures which he then places in urban landscapes and photographs to make big and important statements.

His miniature sculptures—half-submerged in puddles, imprisoned in filing cabinets, or choking in dirt and rubble—critique modern life. Isaac describes his work as making “small interventions in the big city.” His figures depict the ruinous greed of corporations and politicians who devastate the world through their thoughtless actions. Cordal’s subject matter is climate change, the plight of refugees, and the destructive nature of capitalism.

Cordal’s artwork is powerful and eye-catching. He has exhibited these incredible tiny sculptures on sidewalks and public locations all across Europe. He’s like a movie director creating highly iconic and dramatic scenes which shock the passerby into questioning what it is they have just seen and thinking about how it reflects the world in which we all live. More of Isaac’s work can be seen here.

From such small acorns do mighty oaks grow.
 
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See more of Isaac Cordal’s minature marvels, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
‘100,000 tabs of acid’: Lemmy talks records, touring with Hendrix, and sex with a trans person
04.20.2017
08:25 am

Topics:
Drugs
Music
R.I.P.
Sex

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Back in 2000, Lemmy was the guest on Channel 4’s series All Back to Mine, an interview show based on Desert Island Discs. Usually, Sean Rowley, the host of the show, would visit musicians at home and listen to a few of their favorite records, but this episode was filmed at a bar table with a bottle of Jack Daniel’s.

Lemmy lists a few favorite records—“Good Golly, Miss Molly,” something by the Shadows he doesn’t name, “Hotel California”—in the course of this freewheeling conversation, which is not really about his favorite records and offers something for everyone. There’s material on being a Ted and hating Mods (“How can you be mean on a Vespa?”), the Hawkwind way of life (“We weren’t in a regular job, we weren’t paying our taxes regular, we weren’t like joining the Young Conservatives or whatever it is, y’know—we were just, like, gettin’ wrecked and playing music that we liked”), and megadosing with Jimi:

Lemmy: I was Jimi Hendrix’s roadie, what’d you expect? I mean, he’d come back from America with a hundred thousand tabs of acid, right?
Rowley: Who, Jimi had?
Lemmy: Yeah, and it wasn’t even illegal then. He brought it back in his suitcase. And he gave half of it ‘round the crew. I mean, that’s a lot of acid, you know.
Rowley: And you were part of the crew, at the time, then.
Lemmy: There was only two of us.

And then there’s the astonishing answer to Rowley’s question about having sex with a trans person, in which Lemmy frames gender reassignment surgery in terms of manly virtue…

More after the jump…

Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
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