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Unintentionally hilarious anti-domestic violence music video means well and yet…
01:41 pm



Meet Darryl Snider AKA DaddyDaDa. He’s got a little ditty he wants to rap for ya’ll called “Treat All Women With Respect.” Now when I clicked play and started watching I immediately assumed that this was an Adult Swim piece for their Infomercials block. You know, where Too Many Cooks came from. But it’s not. It’s actually a real low-budget music video sincerely preaching against domestic violence. It just goes about its mission in a very, very odd manner.

While I applaud DaddyDaDa’s efforts and the video’s message, I really don’t think it’s going to have any effect at all in the fight against domestic violence. As in none. With its opening lyrics “One, two, three four, no more women on the floor” and that flute break (yep, there’s a flute break) this is just… WHAT IS THIS exactly?!

Heads up guys - I’m talking to you,
Life’s not easy – so what ya gonna do?
Step to the plate and be a man
Never hit a woman - or abuse a child
It’s just wrong - and illegal too
Someday it will catch up with you
Times have changed - domestic violence
Will no longer go down - and be silenced

The forced couplets are the least of it, though. Perhaps I’m being a tad harsh and this is actually pure genius?

via reddit

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Forty glorious minutes of seedy footage from Times Square in the early 1980s
11:51 am


Times Square
Charlie Ahearn

Everyone agrees that the changes that occurred in Times Square during the early 1990s were emblematic for the city, regardless of what you make of it. For tourists and the local suburbanites, cleaning up Times Square was a prerequisite to visit. For many Manhattanites, the signs portended a neutered, sterile city geared to the wealthy and lacking all noteworthy spark or grit. The best treatment of the changes in Times Square is most likely Samuel Delany’s 1999 meditation Times Square Red, Times Square Blue, a book that my friend Lawrence Daniel Caswell has urged me to read but I haven’t gotten around to yet. (Do check out Caswell’s account, told in comix format, of the meaning of Delany’s book as applied to Cleveland, courtesy of that city’s Scene alt-weekly a couple weeks ago.)

Those who are old enough will remember the enchantingly seedy—and dangerous—Time Square of the Mayor Koch years (ahem, that’s the 1980s in case you didn’t know). I barely caught the tail end of it, starting to hang out in Manhattan in a serious way in 1988, when I was a teenager. But college and travels abroad intervened, and by the time I came back for another look, it was 1995 and Times Square was very, very different. (The vast majority of the shuttering of the smut shops and sex cinemas took place in a matter of months—with movie marquees that had once advertised Cannibal Holocaust and Inside Seka turned over to artist Jenny Holzer for her brand of signature sloganeering. It was not a long drawn-out process.)

Doin’ Time in Times Square, which we found courtesy of Gothamist, is an artful montage of footage that movie director Charlie Ahearn took from his apartment building on 43rd Street. This footage was shot between 1981 and 1983, the exact period during which Ahearn was working on the groundbreaking hip-hop classic Wild Style featuring Fab Five Freddy, Lady Pink, the Rock Steady Crew, and so on. In between the surreptitiously recorded scenes of religious freaks, cops, and a handful of epic, er, disagreements of a physical nature, Ahearn throws in some moments from inside the apartment as his family members celebrate birthdays and the like. A godforsaken New Year’s Eve gets its due as well, no worries.

Doin’ Time in Times Square has been dubbed “the home video from hell” for a reason. It appeared at the New York Film Festival in 1992, and you can get it on DVD here.


Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Log Book: The man who kept a diary of every shit he took in 2014
10:22 am



Intrepid reddit user captainmercedes kept a diary of every poop he had during 2014. He noted down every bowel movement in his captain’s “log book”—at what time he had one, its size, consistency, duration and many other relevant details. The information was kept in accordance with the Bristol Stool Chart—an academic shit comparison guide which experts use to classify the quality of turds from “nuts” and “liquid” to something that resembles “a sausage or snake.”
Poo are you? Distribution of bowel movement on Bristol Stool Scale. It would appear the captain mainly fired “a number two torpedo.” There is evidence of some late night binges throughout the year.
A Week of Poo: This chart shows how many fudge brownies our poo expert baked per day. Thursday was the day our man preferred to “drop the kids off at the pool,” while Monday and Tuesday seemed to produce the least number of brown fishies.
Log Dropping Time: 10am in the morning was the optimum time for pebble-dashing the porcelain—though note the very occasional night shift.
Toilet Punishments per day: Or, how many many fudge bombs dropped—which appears to be one on average, though there was that time he fired off five in one day—now that’s impressive. Still, what about the ranking for incomplete turds? What qualifies them as less than one?
Distance from optimal corndog condition.—a kind of sliding scale…
What our chocolate fingered maestro will do with all this information I dunno, but I certainly won’t be holding on with bated breathed…. maybe just holding my breath.
Via reddit.

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Vintage photographs of an awesome Halloween party
09:41 am



I know, I know it’s only January, but these amusing photographs of a Halloween party taken in sometime 1960s were just too good to sit on for another nine months. There’s not a whole lot to say about them. They speak for themselves, don’t they?

Now as to the provenance, these photos were auctioned off on eBay back in 2009 and according to the seller, “All I know about them is they were taken in California by someone named Daibaus…”

Well a big THANK YOU is in order to Daibaus for capturing this wonderful moment in time.




More after the the jump…

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Watch ‘Mia and Roman,’ an insufferable 1968 mini-doc on the making of ‘Rosemary’s Baby’
09:10 am


Roman Polanski
Mia Farrow
Rosemary's Baby

My love for Rosemary’s Baby is a paradox I navigate deftly, considering how much I loathe both Mia Farrow and Roman Polanski as human beings. With Polanski, my complaints are predictable, but Farrow is a far less frequent object of scorn, so I’ll just say I find her support of Polanski hypocritical, her kid-collecting a tad excessive, and her acting often cloyingly twee. I’ve long suspected the canned ingenue thing is really just an extension of her own affected persona; the woman makes Godard’s female characters look like Sarah Conner. Still, I’d argue that Mia Farrow’s simpering sweetness and Roman Polanski’s predatory instincts are exactly what make Rosemary’s Baby work so well—who better to paint a nightmarish situation in which women are repeatedly victimized and never believed? The 1968 mini-documentary on the making of that masterpiece—Mia and Roman-pretty much confirms my instinctual distaste for both of them.

Polanski’s pretentious and macho, driving race cars and callously expounding on how Farrow was not his first choice for the lead—“I saw a more healthier, more stronger maybe a little more sexy girl in the beginning.” Farrow—just back from the infamous trip to India where she meditated with The Beatles—fawns breathily and paints her trailer with flower-power schmaltz. Even Polanski admits there is something contrived about her public face. Perhaps portending of her future child menagerie, Mia goes on about her extensive pet collection.

I think the worst part is the charts they both make—Mia for the crew, and Roman for Mia—that attempt to measure the “good behavior” of their subjects. I’m not sure exactly what made Mia Farrow think this was cute and not crazy diva bullshit (Obliviousness? Did she think her unintimidating haircut inoculated her from accusations of prima donna eccentricity?) and Polanski’s elaborate revision of her original design has the additional feel of a creepy paternalism. I cannot imagine working with two such insufferable people. I checked though—Rosemary’s Baby? Still an amazing movie.

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Beastie Boys compare ‘Paul’s Boutique’ to Beethoven’s Ninth, 1989
08:57 am


Beastie Boys

Over the weekend I was hanging out with a few friends (including DM’s own Ron Kretsch) playing Left Center Right and someone put on Check Your Head and then Paul’s Boutique. Those two albums hold up as well today as they ever did, I tell you.

Check Your Head is swell, but Paul’s Boutique is the masterpiece IMO. I went looking for some info about the album and found this great clip in which the Beastie Boys are being interviewed by a German-speaking crew—an off-camera voice says something about “die Fotos will er haben” (“he wants the photos”) after zooming in on MCA holding up two Polaroids; the first words out of any Beastie’s mouth is “Lederhosen.”

The setting is Los Angeles, the date September 1, 1989. The trio are in high horseshit mode, selling the interviews an elaborate picture of the role of “Paul” in the “neighborhood”: “He does a lot of stuff in the community, so we figured ... help him out, you know?” says Ad-Rock. Then MCA pipes up that “Adam used to go out with Janice—Janice, she’s the manager. Paul doesn’t even hang out at the place too much. He like—he’s maybe like the financier.” Of course, there never was any Paul’s Boutique, not on Manhattan’s Ludlow Street, where the album cover was shot, and not “in Brooklyn,” you can’t call 718-498-ten-something and “ask for Janice.” Paul’s Boutique exists only in your mind and mine. [Oooops. Turns out there once was a Paul’s Boutique in Brooklyn, at 758 Linden Blvd. We can only guess if Adam ever dated Janice, or if there ever was a Janice.]

When the interviewer innocuously inquires about “B-Boy Bouillabaisse,” the twelve-plus-minute “medley” at the end of the album, the gang improvs an elaborate comparison to Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy”—after all, Beethoven was deaf when he composed that, whereas the Beastie Boys are merely “stupid.” Ad-Rock pulls a Tufnel when he insists that Ludwig could have skipped the Ninth altogether and just composed the Tenth, while MCA riffs, “Just imagine if my man Beethoven had a fuckin’ sampler!” In no time flat they’re referencing Walter Murphy’s disco-tastic “A Fifth of Beethoven.”

I don’t think I can embed it, or else I would, but if you haven’t seen the marvelous “Paul’s Boutique: A Visual Companion,” you really need to check that out too, it’s a kind of album-length compilation designed to give every song on the album its own visual montage.

Here’s the interview.


Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Take guitar lessons from the Jesus Lizard’s Duane Denison
08:40 am


Jesus Lizard
Duane Denison

Though guitarist Duane Denison has been an effective player across genres, credibly pulling off jazz in the Denison/Kimball Trio, prog-metal in Tomahawk, industrial in Unsemble, and country with Hank Williams III, he’s still best known for the distinctively splattery guitar texture and warped riffs that heralded the songs of the Jesus Lizard and have influenced generations of post-hardcore bands. Given his longevity and versatility, he has the makings of a fine instructor, and in fact, you can get guitar lessons from him online. He’s been teaching online classes since last spring, and his next session, “The Art of the Riff,” starts tomorrow, January 22, 2015.

The Art of the Riff is a 3 session workshop exploring the nature of guitar “riffs”—riffs, defined as recurring patterns that act as structural material (as opposed to decorative “licks”) in rock songs. Illustrated with original examples of new material, songs in progress, etc. The student participants will be encouraged to contribute and play their own riffs in the 3rd session.

These are live classes that are taught from Duane’s studio in Nashville, Tennessee. Students attend over the Lessonface high performing video conference platform. Students can connect to the online platform using a tablet or computer with reliable internet. To actively participate students also need a webcam. The live sessions are recorded so that all enrolled students and auditors can review the class sessions following the live class. Class recordings will be available for viewing within 48 hours of the live class.

Private lessons with Denison are available as an add-on to enrollment in the live classes. Neither prior guitar experience nor the ability to read music are necessary. Here’s a sample lesson—an exploration of prepared guitar.

AAAAANNNNNNDDDDD here’s the hot stuff… Cool shirt, Mr. Yow.

Previously on Dangerous Minds
David Yow talks to Dangerous Minds about ‘The Jesus Lizard: Book’

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
The real reason the BBC wanted to keep George Orwell off the radio
07:27 am


George Orwell

When George Orwell died at the age of forty-six on January 21st 1950, he was considered by some of London’s fashionable literary critics as a marginal figure—“no good as a novelist”—who was best known for his essays rather than his fiction.

This quickly changed in the years after his death when his reputation and popularity as a writer grew exponentially. Over the past seven decades he has come to be considered one of the most influential English writers of the twentieth century.

This massive change in opinion was largely down to Orwell’s last two books Animal Farm first published in 1945, and Nineteen Eighty-Four published the year before he died. The importance of these two novels has enshrined Orwell’s surname, like Dickens, Kafka and more recently J. G. Ballard, into the English language as a descriptive term—“Orwellian”—for nightmarish political oppression, while many of his fictional ideas or terms contained within Nineteen Eighty-Four have become part of our everyday language—“Big Brother,” “Room 101,” “newspeak,” “doublethink,” “thoughtcrime” and so on.

Both of these books have become essential texts for radicals and conservatives in their individual campaigns against perceived invasive and totalitarian governments. After the Second World War Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four were considered damning critiques of Stalinist Russia, and their subject matter limned the growing paranoia between East and West during the Cold War. When Edward Snowden exposed the covert surveillance by US intelligence agencies on millions of Americans, copies of the book were sold by the thousands. Nineteen Eighty-Four‘s flexibility of interpretation has meant the book has been used to condemn almost everything from the rise of CCTV and wind farms, to the George W. Bush/Tony Blair war against “the axis of evil,” the rise of jihadist Islam, the spread of capitalist globalization, Vladimir Putin’s political “grand vision”, and (rather laughably) “Obamacare.” 

But it wasn’t the meaning of Orwell’s writing that caused the BBC to sniff condescendingly about their employee during the 1940s, rather it was his actual voice which was considered by Overseas Services Controller, JB Clark as “un-attractive” as this secret internal BBC memo reveals:

Controller (Overseas Services)      19th January, 1943

GEORGE ORWELL                                 STAFF PRIVATE

1. A.C. (OS) 2. E.S.D.

I listened rather carefully to one of George Orwell’s English talks in the Eastern Service on, I think, Saturday last. I found the talk itself interesting, and I am not critical of its content, but I was struck by the basic unsuitability of Orwell’s voice. I realise, of course, that his name is of some value in quite important Indian circles, but his voice struck me as both un-attractive and really unsuited to the microphone to such an extent that (a) it would not attract any listeners who were outside the circle of Orwell’s admirers as a writer and might even repel some of these, and (b) would make the talks themselves vulnerable at the hands of people who would have reason to see Orwell denied the microphone, or of those who felt critical of the B.B.C. for being so ignorant of the essential needs of the microphone and of the audience as to put on so wholly unsuitable a voice.

I am quite seriously worried about the situation and about the wisdom of our keeping Orwell personally on the air.

JBC/GMG (J.B. Clark)

The reason Old Etonian Orwell’s voice may not have sounded attractive was that he had been shot in the neck during the Spanish Civil War. However, Orwell got his own back on the BBC by naming Nineteen Eighty-Four‘s infamous torture room after “Room 101” in Broadcasting House, where he had to sit through long, tedious meetings about political vetting.
The only known footage of George Orwell (or Eric Blair as he was then) can be seen in this clip of him playing the “Wall Game” with fellow pupils at Eton—he’s fourth on the left and in the clip between a very young Melanie Griffiths and Grace Kelly.

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Iggy Pop reunites with director Alex Cox for ‘Bill, the Galactic Hero’
06:10 am


Iggy Pop
Alex Cox
Bill, the Galactic Hero

Good news for fans of the Repo Man soundtrack: Iggy Pop, who wrote and performed the song “Repo Man” (with help from Sex Pistol Steve Jones), has also contributed the theme song to Alex Cox’s latest movie.

Cox made the Kickstarter-funded Bill, the Galactic Hero with his film students at the University of Colorado Boulder, where the movie premiered last month. It’s adapted from the 1965 book of the same name, the first in a series by author Harry Harrison. The director describes Bill as “a classic anti-war science fiction novel” and a “counterblast to STAR$HIP TROOPERS.” I haven’t read the book, but Cox sure makes its prole’s-eye view of war sound timely:

It’s told not from the flight deck but from the engine room: or to be more exact, the fusebays, where ranks of expendable Fusetenders Sixth Class wait to replace burned-out fuses, or die.

You can hear about a minute of Iggy’s theme song in the movie’s latest trailer. Apparently, life has a lot in common with pizza.

Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
Gramovox: The Bluetooth gramophone for the douchey anachronistic hipster music fan in your life
03:35 pm



I tend to have a pretty unsentimental perspective on “media,” as opposed to art. Beyond preferring books to e-readers (mostly for the comfort of a spatial division of text), I find a lot of media nostalgia pretty hokey, vinyl-obsession included. Don’t get me wrong, I love my records, but the quality of my favorites have definitely deteriorated over time—those “warm” crackles and pops are fine by me, but they’re hardly integral to the song. If an album is good, it’s not “ruined” by a decent transfer to digital—although a lot of that obsession with “quality” is bullshit, too, and certain things, like old sci-fi movies, can look pretty ticky-tacky after hyper-clear Blu-ray transfer. As unsympathetic as I am to pining for giant and expensive music collections, I understand that people have their preferences for a myriad of reasons—different strokes and all that.

The Bluetooth gramophone however, is where I draw the line.

First of all, gramophones sound shitty. If you have ever heard one, it’s novel and it’s interesting, but they’re tinny, and the recording is buried under a soft static of white noise. That is why the technology has been improved upon since Edison. Second of all, no one in the target market for this thing legitimately nostalgic for the gramophone, and no one who DID actually grow up with one is thrilled they’re making a retrofitted comeback! If they’re even alive, it’s more likely they’re surprised you’d eschew technological and space-saving advances in favor of dumbshit retro aestheticism. You’ll notice in the product description, very little attempt is made to justify the design from an audiophile perspecticve:

The Gramovox Bluetooth Gramophone is a bold design with a vintage sound inspired by the 1920s horn speakers. Use any Bluetooth-enabled device to stream nostalgia and experience the vintage, organic sound of a gramophone. Utilizing the latest Bluetooth 4.0 technology, the Gramovox Bluetooth Gramovphone has a range of over 30 feet and battery life of 15 hours, meaning it can easily be controlled from across the room all day.

Is the novelty of a “vintage” sound really worth a product that was designed to look cool, rather than sound good? Or are people just so nostalgic nowadays that “vintage” automatically translates to “good”? Some vintage things sucked! Ever hear of… progress? So if you’re trying to sell this boondoggle of a speaker, you’d better do better than, “It looks like what your grandpappy had!” or “Make your music sound shitty!” Oh and their commercial! Dear god, the that fucking commercial!

I try so hard not to use the word “hipster,” since half the time it’s just code for a thinly-veiled homophobia sneered by some meathead in cargo pants who would have beat the shit out of Richard Hell back in the day for “dressing queer,” but man—this thing was funded on Kickstarter and goes for $400 at Urban Outfitters? If you want a beautiful historic object in your home, why not just buy an actual antique gramaphone?

I can’t possibly think of anything less cool than this thing! Hipster, heal thyself!

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
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