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Hall & Oates shreds ‘Maneater’ to little tiny bits
09.24.2014
01:29 pm

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Hall and Oates

Hall and Oats Maneater Shreds
 
I’m sure many of you may have seen the various Shreds videos making the rounds where some awesome person with too much time on their hands and a bong full of the good stuff extracts the audio track from a video, then provides a new audio track to sync with the video. Shreds creators have taken down bands from Radiohead to The Who, with their calamitous interpretations of what a hit song might sound like if the entire band was having the worst gig of their life.

Of all of the Shreds out there (if you’ve got time to kill, see them all here , it’s Hall & Oates looking like The Replacements on a bad night that deserves the title, King of the Shreds.
 

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
They’re only movies: Moral panic, censorship & ‘video nasties’

Infamous Poster for the even more infamous
 
There are few things more offensive than the act of a group of holier-than-thou types trying to inflict their intensely rigid and often, properly uninformed, viewpoints on the masses. Every decade has some rich examples of this type of restrictive behavior, but the 1980’s were an especially fertile hotbed of moral majority types. In the United States, we had Tipper Gore and the PMRC attacking the music industry. In the United Kingdom, they had Mary Whitehouse and the DPP (Director of Public Prosecutions) and their attack on the “video nasties,” a list of horror films that were targeted for being especially violent and lurid enough to the extent of being socially harmful. The tight girdle-brigade of Tipper and Mary Whitehouse would have surely gotten along like gangbusters, but the latter’s actions, along with key members of British Parliament can still be felt to this day.

There have been a number of books and articles written about the “video nasties” and even an episode of The Young Ones using them as a key plot device. (Complete with The Damned playing “Nasty” no less!) So it was high time for someone to come along and make a documentary about this movement and thanks to director Jake West and Severin Films, we have all that and more.

Video Nasties: The Definitive Guide is one of the most aptly named sets to have come out in the past five years. Disc One features West’s documentary, Video Nasties: Moral Panic, Censorship & Video Tape. Originally released in 2010, West manages to fit in an amazing amount of commentary and information in its 72 minutes. There is a perfect mix of film writers, academics, filmmakers and former political and law enforcement members interviewed here, painting a thorough picture of a weird and sad time for film in the UK.
 

 
Director West, who also made the incredible and underrated Razor Blade Smile (1998), integrates a punk type energy and fun with the gravity of the subject matter. The film delves into the fact that, like any situation where censorship is put into action, the issue is far deeper than the works being targeted themselves. Elements like social unrest in a land riddled with high unemployment and the bloody specter of the Falkland Wars, not to mention the inherent classist attitudes of Whitehouse and her crew, are just some of the points bubbling under the surface of “obscene” movies. Censorship, in all of its ugly forms, is rarely about the actual contents themselves and more about assorted underlying problems that run way deeper than a movie with blood and breasts mixed in.

While there are a number of standouts interviewed here, including Stephen Thrower (Nightmare USA), Kim Newman, Dr. Beth Johnson and The Dark Side editor Allan Bryce, it is Professor Martin Barker who is the real star and moral core of the film. Barker, initially studying the horror comics uproar in the 1950’s (a censorship-fueled movement that was paralleled here in the United States around that time period) but soon noticed some striking similarities between the then burgeoning video nasties scare and what happened in the fifties. It was from there that he became one of the few but key voices to speak up critically against Whitehouse and her cronies, which included members of Scotland Yard and Parliament. (Not to mention some moral support from Prime Minister Thatcher herself.) There’s one clip shown of Barker on a chat show where an intensely rude Cardinal interrupts him to ask if he would show a one of “those” films to a little kid, to which Barker replies without a beat, “What a silly question!”
 

 
The films themselves, while briefly shown in clips and named in the documentary, get more of an in-depth analysis on discs two and three. Disc two features original trailers and commentary on the 39 films that were successfully prosecuted. Some of the titles on this list include Abel Ferrara’s second feature film Driller Killer, Ruggero Deodato’s Cannibal Holocaust, Wes Craven’s Last House on the Left, the bonkers Island of Death and Roger Ebert’s favorite, I Spit on Your Grave.

Disc three features the same great commentary/trailer combination, with the focus being on the 39 films that were initially banned but were later on acquitted and removed from the list. Some of those titles include Sam Raimi’s The Evil Dead, the ultra-obscure Elke Sommer film I Miss You Hugs & Kisses, Matt Cimber’s unhinged psychedelia The Witch Who Came From the Sea and Andrzej Zulawski’s art-house, psychological horror film Possession.
 
Gruesome Art for
 
The trailers alone are pretty fantastic but the commentary is very much the icing on the cake, including some particularly great insights from the aforementioned personalities, as well as writers like Brad Stevens (Abel Ferrara: The Moral Vision) and academics like Professor Patricia MacCormack. The quality of commentary can make or break a set like this but West did a bang up job selecting a group of people that are not just highly educated and experienced, but also quite fun to listen to. Anyone that is working on a film-related documentary in the future need to study this set and see how should it be done. There are few things more soul-crushing than seeing dry-as-ashes commentary on something as vibrant and fluid as art. In fact, if you’re a film lover by any definition, then do yourself a favor and pick up this set. 
 
Poster Art for
 
The vital importance of a set like this is summed up beautifully at the end of the documentary by Martin Barker himself:

“The most interesting thing is just how little historical memory we have. The next time there’s a panic we won’t remember just how stupid the last one was and how people get away with things. And that to me is the most important lesson about this campaign. The evangelical got away with murder. They got away with fraud. They got away with deceiving people. They now laugh it off. The fact that almost all of these films are now available uncut in the public domain, they don’t care. Because they move on, because what they want to do is to dominate the present and they don’t care about history. Critical voices have to care about history. We have to care about the way which things got controlled in the past, because that’s when the damage gets done. If you don’t keep that historical memory, we will allow them to do it again next time.”

 

Posted by Heather Drain | Leave a comment
Werner Herzog’s first film ‘Herakles’ is all about the beefcake
09.24.2014
11:27 am

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Movies

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Werner Herzog


 
For a movie with no dialogue and no plot, consisting largely of footage of male bodybuilders working out to a saxophone jazz soundtrack, Werner Herzog‘s first movie, a 9-minute short called Herakles (Hercules) made when he was just 19 years old in 1961 or 1962, is unexpectedly thoughtful. To finance the movie, Herzog took a job as a welder on the night shift while at university, something to think about when you complain that nobody is giving you any opportunities to move forward in your chosen career.

In Herakles, footage of men lifting barbells etc. is occasionally interrupted by stock footage, which always relates to a (pretty much illegible) caption that has just appeared. The captions all relate to the twelve labors of Hercules, while the stock footage “commentary” points to a modern-day equivalent that all the Schwarzeneggers in the world would do very little to change. So for instance, the question “Wird er sich der stymphalischen Vögel erwehren?” (Will he resist the Stymphalian birds?) is followed by footage of U.S. military planes flying in formation and dropping bombs on training targets. Likewise, after reading “Wird er die lernäische Schlange töten?” (Will he kill the Lernaean Hydra?) the viewer is treated to footage of a long line of stalled traffic on a highway. And so on. To construct metaphorical conceits out of generic footage of muscle-bound weightlifters…. this is pretty clever and interesting stuff.
 

 
To his credit, Herzog doesn’t think very much of his starting point. He had bigger fish to fry. In the book Herzog on Herzog, the director said, “My most immediate and radical lesson came from what was my first blunder, Herakles. It was a good thing to have made this little film first—rather than jump into something much more meaningful to me—because from that moment on I had a much better idea as to how I should go about my business. Learning from your mistakes is the only real way to learn.”

In the same book Herzog also said, “Looking back on Herakles today, I find the film rather stupid and pointless, though at the time it was an important test for me. It taught me about editing together very diverse material that would not normally sit comfortably as a whole. For the film I took stock footage of an accident at Le Mans where something like eighty people died after fragments of a car flew into the spectators’ stand, and inter-cut it with footage of bodybuilders, including Mr. Germany 1962. For me it was fascinating to edit material together that had such separate and individual lives. The film was some kind of an apprenticeship for me. I just felt it would be better to make a film than go to film school.”
 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Bizarre hipster ‘Twin Peaks’ menswear from Japan
09.24.2014
10:34 am

Topics:
Fashion
Television

Tags:
David Lynch
Twin Peaks
Mark Frost


 
Attention lovers of David Lynch and Mark Frost’s unforgettable TV sensation of 1990, Twin Peaks. I recently came across a completely puzzling line of long-johns-esque hipster menswear, the creations of some folks calling themselves Black Weirdos. The color palette of the garb interestingly avoids the pine green of the show’s opening credits, but is otherwise plausible. The model, identified as Kenny RM Rodriguez, sports a bushy beard, earlobe studs, and an insouciant demeanor, but the clothes give away the game more explicitly. Many of his tops say “Killer Bob” on them, and lots of the pieces have that zig-zag chevron thing that is reminiscent of the floor in the dream chamber where the midget talks backwards in Agent Cooper’s dreams. In one shot he’s reading a book about cherry pie, for goodness’ sake.

To be honest, it looks like it might be a gag. A trip to the mostly Japanese-language website (which exists as a “blogspot.jp” website) merely compounds the mystery. There are plentiful pics of the clothes, but few of the images lead to product pages where a purchase can be made; an exception is a single page featuring the knit cap (4,104 yen; about $37), the socks (6,264 yen; about $57), the plate (8,424 yen; about $77), and the cowichan sweater (85,320 yen; about $784). Those prices are either in error or are ironically meant. Clicking on the “Add to Basket” button spawns a mailto: link. So who the fuck knows. As much as I like those plates and would like a few for my own personal use, I don’t want to pay $77 for one. Having said that, I still think the clothes are kind of cool in a completely clueless way.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Here’s the famous dream sequence from episode 2 of Twin Peaks:
 

 
via Tombolare

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
David Byrne, Philip Glass and Allen Ginsberg on Arthur Russell


 
It’s cellist/composer Arthur Russell’s great triumph that his influence became so massively widespread, and his great tragedy that he never knew it. His AIDS-related death in 1992 happened before the world caught up with him, but his vision impacted genres as widespread as acid house, jazz, minimalism, ambient, folk, hip-hop, dub… this could go on, as a concise summation of Russell’s improbable career is just flat out impossible. DM’s Niall O’Conghaile did an insightful post on Russell about a year and a half ago, and frankly, I can’t touch it. If you want to know more, I strongly recommend you have a look at it. Now is fine, I’ll wait.

There’s a lot of GREAT personal and musical background on Russell here in this rarely seen video. It features his friends and collaborators David Byrne, Philip Glass, and Allen Ginsberg, and it was recorded in 1994 as a video press kit for the posthumous Another Thought, a collection of unreleased late-career recordings. Bonus: David Byrne’s heroic pony tail.
 

 
More after the jump…
 

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
Awesome Lucha Libre magazine covers from the 1970s
09.24.2014
09:38 am

Topics:
Amusing
Art
Sports

Tags:
wrestling
Lucha Libre


 
Admittedly, I don’t know that much about Lucha libre (meaning “free wrestling”) culture. But what I do know is the costumes, colorful masks and buff bodies make for some interesting eye candy. These vintage magazine covers and pages from a Lucha libre glossy, I believe, prove my point nicely.

They sure as hell beat American-style wrestling getups, anyway!


 

 

 
More after the jump…
 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Performance art? Drugs? Both?
09.24.2014
06:24 am

Topics:
Art
Drugs

Tags:
NYC


 
So the folks over at Bowery Boogie seem sure that these four anonymous citizens are partaking of hallucinogenic drugs, but I’m not totally convinced. In these trying times of flash mobs and Improv Everywhere, one cannot discount the possibility of a staged event. Or perhaps it’s just a misunderstanding?

One could argue that the stretching lady is just doing some early-Monday-morning calisthenics! And the lady staring at the pillar could simply be quietly reflecting. The person shaking the chains could be testing their structural integrity, and the guy humping the trash can…well… nevermind, they’re probably just all on drugs.
 

 
Via Bowery Boogie

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Win a signed Santana guitar from Sony Music Latin
09.24.2014
06:04 am

Topics:
Advertorial

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Carlos Santana


 
For five decades Carlos Santana has been considered one of the world’s greatest guitarists, possessing a distinctly clear tone that is as unique as a human voice. In recognition of National Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15-Oct. 15) Sony Music Latin is sponsoring a contest to win a signed guitar from the man himself.

Aspiring guitarists and fans alike, enter your email to win the signed guitar below and get signed up to receive news from top Latin artists as well.
 

 

Posted by Sponsored Post | Leave a comment
‘Fascist Groove Thang’: How the BBC banned Heaven 17 for ‘libeling’ Ronald Reagan
09.24.2014
05:57 am

Topics:
Music
Politics

Tags:
BBC
Ronald Reagan
Heaven 17


 
In 1981, the BBC banned Heaven 17’s debut sinlge “(We Don’t Need This) Fascist Groove Thang” on the grounds the song’s lyrics were possibly libelous to President Ronald Reagan.

The couplet that caused the Beeb’s legal eagles such wrinkled brows was contained in the song’s third verse:

Democrats are out of power
Across that great wide ocean
Reagan’s president elect
Fascist god in motion
Generals tell him what to do
Stop your good time dancing
Train their guns on me and you
Fascist thang advancing

Reagan’s president elect… A fascist god in motion?

Now, this may all sound like the kind of poetry exercise Rick from The Young Ones might have concocted in his overheated imagination—indeed try saying the lyrics in your best Rick the People’s Poet voice and you’ll see what I mean… Let’s not forget, this was the 1980s, when the drum machine was king and the fictitious “Rick” was far closer to how many on the Left actually behaved than most would care to admit.

Even the language of student rebellion had changed little since the late 1960s: everyone was a “fascist,” “the pigs” were in charge, “the man” had his finger on the a nuclear trigger and Armageddon was imminent. If you don’t believe me, just pick up any review, by say Angela Carter, from back then, and you’ll be hard pushed to get through more than a few paragraphs before the woe-is-me hand wringing fears of Baby Boomer nuclear annihilation is apparent.

“(We Don’t Need This) Fascist Groove Thang” was very much of its time, with the lyrics contain the expected tropes on racism, fascism, Adolf Hitler, nuclear war, cruise missiles and a call to “unlock that funky chain dance.”

And to a man the nation asked, “Why hadn’t we thought of this before? Unlocking our funky chain dance to stop nuclear war?”

Heaven 17 were formed after Martyn Ware and Ian Marsh split from the Human League and teamed-up with singer Glenn Gregory. Among the early songs they worked on together was “(We Don’t Need This) Fascist Groove Thang.” In an interview, Martyn Ware discussed how the song was written:

The lyrics of the song reference Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and President Ronald Reagan and include a wry joke about cruise missiles. Ware recalled to us how the track evolved into denunciations of the UK and US political leaders:

“We started out jamming together loads of these cut up titles and coming up with ridiculous lines for the song, like, ‘Heart USA. I feel your power.’ What the hell does that mean? I mean, really, what does it mean? We just thought it was a comedy song. I know people will read meaning into it.”

Ware continued:

“Then, as we got more into writing the lyrics, we thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be great to have some real world people in there?’ We were obsessed with Reagan coming into power and the specter of Margaret Thatcher coming into power and those were some very genuine concerns. The whole world was going to be blown to smithereens. It seems a little melodramatic now, but it was a genuine thing at the time if you remember. So we thought, ‘It’s time for action here. We’re all political people. It’s time to walk the walk.’ So as it evolved, the songwriting – it only took two days to write – it turned into this really bizarre hybrid of politics and dancing and comedy and black American soul influence.”

The BBC has always had a strange relationship with pop music. In 1969, they banned The Kinks’ song “Plastic Man” because it contained the word “bum,” (or “ass,” as you Americans know it). Just a few years later in 1972, they were happily piping out Lou Reed’s “Walk on the Wild Side” with its lines about “giving head” to the Beeb’s Radio 2 grey-haired Daily Mail-reading middle aged listeners.  Now, they were quaking that The Gipper might possibly, maybe, well you just never know, sue the ass off the Corporation for some rather juvenile political pop posturing? What would Rik have said?

The single made number 45 in the charts and was a favorite of clubs at the time. In 2010 (almost thirty years later), Heaven 17 performed the song live on BBC Radio 6—as Reagan had been dead for six years the Beeb probably felt safe from litigation.
 

‘(We Don’t Need This) Fascist Groove Thang’

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Sacrilicious! Our Barbie of Guadalupe meets Crucified Ken


 
The only two English words on the Facebook About page for Argentine art duo Pool & Marianela are “Lowbrow art.” Their portfolio is loaded with exquisitely detourned children’s toys, mostly Barbie and Ken dolls refashioned into Catholic icons. If you just rolled your eyes, I totally get why, but take a look at this stuff—this is no mad-at-daddy art student hack job. All the details in the garments and packaging are thoroughly considered and painstakingly well executed.
 

 

 
Unsurprisingly, the duo has sparked controversy in heavily Catholic Latin America. The works will be exhibited in Buenos Aires, starting on October 11, in a show called “Barbie, The Plastic Religion.” The pair are clearly quite keen to agitate—they’re also known for making inflatable punching bags of Argentine public figures.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Lastly, check out their St. George slaying a My Little Pony. I actually laughed aloud a little bit.
 

 
Via Latino Rebels

Previously on Dangerous Minds
Barbie doll created with average US woman’s measurements is repulsive hag
Skinhead Darby and Mohawk Ben:’ Hilariously ‘insider’ punk Barbie doll Parody from 1982

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
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