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‘Moe Gets Tied Up,’ Andy Warhol’s ultra-rare 1966 movie starring the Velvet Underground
06.25.2015
07:16 am

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Art
Movies
Music

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A very, very seldom-seen Andy Warhol movie, called Moe Gets Tied Up or, alternatively, Moe in Bondage, is up on YouTube, and it has had a scant 89 views as I type. While this Velvet Underground footage is not quite as much fun as A Symphony of Sound, Warhol’s must-see film of a VU and Nico rehearsal jam—mainly since there’s no music in this one—boy, it sure is seldom encountered. Shot in 1966, it predates their once-despised, now-lionized debut, The Velvet Underground & Nico.

The “Moe” of the title is the Velvets’ drummer, Maureen Tucker, whose bandmates have tied her to a chair and are now hanging around nibbling on sandwiches and pieces of fruit. It is sure to disappoint the pain fetishists among you. Look at it this way: if you’d never heard “Venus in Furs,” this film might give you the impression that the Velvets’ sex kicks consisted not so much of S&M as benign neglect.

Very little information is available about this movie because so few people have seen it, but the 32-minute version below seems to be missing a large chunk. A Velvet Underground filmography claims that the original is “a two-reel set for double screen projection” and notes the existence of “35-minute unofficial video copies,” one of which is likely the source of this vid. When MoMA screened Moe Gets Tied Up in 2008, the Village Voice reported that it “begins with Lou Reed and Sterling Morrison tying Moe Tucker, quite inexpertly, to a chair.” Since Tucker is already tied up at the start of the video below, and since the Voice review gives the movie’s length as one hour and six minutes, I’m going to bet that this is roughly the movie’s second half. (Incidentally, the review says nothing about double screen projection.) The Voice writer, who is mysteriously identified in the byline as “Village Voice Contributor,” also complains that almost none of the movie’s dialogue is audible, so don’t blame the buzzing soundtrack of this bootleg if you can’t make out what Sterling Morrison is mumbling about sandwiches. If you really need to know what people were talking about at the Factory, you can always read a.

Now if someone could please upload Velvet Underground Tarot Cards...
 

Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
Feminist psychodrama ‘Felt’ examines sexism, gender and violence
06.25.2015
06:35 am

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Art
Feminism
Movies

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When I was a university student there was a slogan chanted by the more militant feminists:

All men are rapists.

Their suggested solution to this problem was to “Cheese wire all sexist bastards.” (i.e. cut off all male genitals). It was a provocative response but revealed how many women perceived the world as a hostile place, experiencing sexism, chauvinism and oppression on a daily basis. Move on three decades and little appears to have changed. Today figures were released by the Crown Prosecution Service in the UK that show a record number of prosecutions in England and Wales for violence against women and girls. The figures include cases of rape, domestic violence and honor killing, while figures released by the University of Michigan show that more than 20% of female students experienced “some sort of nonconsensual sexual behavior in the past year,” with around 12% experiencing “nonconsensual sexual penetration.” It’s dispiriting reading to think for all the progressive politics, feminism and political correct agendas, little has really changed in the relationship between men and women.
 
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Amy Everson in opening sequence of ‘Felt.’
 
A new film Felt by documentary filmmaker Jason Banker and artist Amy Everson highlights the issue of endemic sexism and the extreme responses it can inspire. Felt is the story of a young woman Amy (Amy Everson) who is disconnected from the world and finds her everyday life is a “fucking nightmare.” She is (apparently) recovering from some kind of sexual trauma—what this may be is never made explicit—other than her character saying around halfway through the movie that women are brutalized by men and invalidated for not having a dick. To cope with the sexism and hostility she feels around her, Amy designs herself a “man suit”—think Buffalo Bill’s skinsuit, but this one’s made of nylon—in which she parades around her secret hideaway in a local wood—experiencing her new identity and having dreams of being a “superhero.” Her close female friends think something is wrong and try to help, but Amy believes she is just expressing herself—or exorcising her demons—as she thinks best.
 
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You kinda feel this ain’t gonna end well…
 
The men and women around Amy tend to be little more than caricatures: they’re either dumb or douchebags. An emo rambles on about roofies and rape; a Christian woman wants to pray for Amy; a friend’s abusive boyfriend, an engineer, demands respect for being, well, an engineer, a useful part of society and a man; the photographer objectifies women but is disgusted by their bodily functions (farting); and so on. We are dropped into this world without any back story—the man suit appears first appears around fifteen minutes in—or a real emotional connection with Amy and therefore Felt demands the audience bring a lot of understanding/sympathy for Amy and her experience of the world.
 
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If you go down to the woods today…
 
Felt has the feel of a hybrid, which in essence it is. Originally intended as a music video, the film developed into a documentary about Amy Everson and her art, which is inspired by her own sexual trauma, before becoming an improvised film. Being improvised means some of the actors appear to be merely reacting to Amy’s performance rather than presenting real characters.

Everson gives a very good performance, though at times it seemed as though I was watching Everson being Everson rather than Everson being “Amy,” and there is good support from the cast especially by the scene-stealing Roxanne Lauren Knouse. Jason Banker’s direction (and camerawork) is highly assured and very impressive—the opening montage of images is like a short art film. Overall, Felt is a feminist tale for today and has many good things to recommend it. You can judge for yourself as Felt goes on release from tomorrow details here.
 

 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Charleston, the Confederate flag, Amazon, Skrewdriver, The Dukes of Hazzard, and moving forward
06.25.2015
05:06 am

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Current Events
Race

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Pro-Confederate flag protester at a recent rally. Photo by Bickel.
 
As Dangerous Minds’ Senior Southern Affairs correspondent and a proud South Carolinian, I’d be remiss if I didn’t offer some commentary on the events that have transpired in my state since the tragic Emanuel A.M.E. Church shooting which took the lives of Cynthia Marie Graham Hurd, Susie Jackson, Ethel Lee Lance, Depayne Middleton-Doctor, Clementa C. Pinckney, Tywanza Sanders, Daniel Simmons, Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, and Myra Thompson.
 

 
This unfathomable event has shaken South Carolina to its core, but the fallout has been rather remarkable. A 21-year-old self-professed white supremacist brutally murdered nine innocent people in a church with the intention of starting—in his own words—a “race war.” The end result was far from what the young assassin intended. Black and white communities came together in mourning. A much-needed dialogue on racial relations came about, which had no choice but to FINALLY address the southern-fried elephant in the room: the continued flying of the Confederate battle flag on the South Carolina statehouse lawn.
 

 
The Confederate flag has been a bone of contention in South Carolina ever since it was put atop the statehouse flagpole in 1962 (as many believe, a reaction to and resistance of integration and the civil rights movement.) The debate over the flag has been ongoing with one side of professed “history buffs” declaring it part of their Southern heritage, and with another side of people who believe the flag is a symbol of white supremacy—a longing for sepia-toned antebellum days when blacks “knew their place” (as plantation slaves).

Undoubtedly for some, it does tie back to ancestors who lost their lives in a “state’s rights” battle against what they perceived to be an overreaching federal government, and for some others it simply represents collard greens and sweet tea, doing donuts in a mud-bog and the genteel Southern manner.

Still, there are many who recognize it as the flag of choice flown by the Ku Klux Klan and segregationists—a banner under which people of color have been systematically terrorized and lynched for decades. A reminder of a war fought for “state’s rights”—including the right to keep human beings as slaves.

The “stars and bars” has remained flying at the statehouse because the “it’s heritage, not hate” crowd have maintained a power dynamic in South Carolina politics, unwilling to concede that there are any racist connotations to the symbol and unwilling to accept that for a large segment of the the state’s population, that symbol makes them uncomfortable or downright fearful, because of an altogether different history and heritage (of hate).
 

Protester at a recent pro-Confederate flag event. Photo by Bickel.
 

Protesters at a recent pro-confederate flag event. Photo by Bickel.
 

Protester at a recent pro-Confederate flag event. Photo by Bickel.
 
The question has been asked for years,” If this flag isn’t racist, then why do racists LOVE this flag?” No one on the pro-flag side ever seems to have a great answer for that. A few years back I did a photo essay on a now-defunct landmark in Laurens, SC called “The Redneck Shop.”
 

The Redneck Shop. Laurens, SC. Photo by Bickel.
 
The Redneck Shop was run by John Howard, a Grand Dragon in the South Carolina KKK, and served as headquarters for the Aryan Nations World Congress, as well as campaign headquarters for John Bowles who ran for president as the neo-Nazi National Socialist Order of America party candidate. The back room was a meeting hall with a huge mural featuring the swastika next to a portrait of American Nazi, George Lincoln Rockwell. The front room was a shop carrying a full line of Nazi and Klan related paraphenalia and racist T shirts—but what was there more of than anything else? Confederate flags, EVERYWHERE. Anything you can imagine putting a Confederate flag on, they had it at The Redneck Shop. That visit left a lasting impression, and it became even more clear to me afterwords what that flag meant to white-supremacists. 
 

The Redneck Shop. Laurens, SC. Photo by Bickel.
 
Still, so many SC politicans seemed unconvinced—until that horrible, bloody event took place in Charleston last week. But, make no mistake—that tragedy in and of itself did not get the dialogue started on the meaning of the Confederate Flag as a symbol of white supremacy. It took the killer making the most specific statement possible in big bold capital letters, essentially saying “I AM A WHITE SUPREMACIST MURDERER AND BY THE WAY CHECK OUT THESE SELFIES:”
 

There’s no arguing the “brand” anymore.
 
Remarkably, it only took five days for major Republican players who previously were pro-flag, or unwilling to give an opinion one way or the other, to realize they had to distance themselves from that AND QUICK. On June 22nd, South Carolina governor Nikki Haley made the announcement that it was time for the flag to go and that she would be calling for a special legislative session to deal with the issue. For many of us who had attended decades of fruitless protests (and, uh, written bad punk songs about it) it was cause for long-awaited celebration. Finally the pro-flag people were willing to listen—and it only took nine people being murdered, and those murders being directly tied to the symbol of the Confederacy!  But still, maybe for the wrong reasons, the right thing was done. I remember thinking while watching Governor Haley’s press conference, “she just ended her career as a South Carolina politician, but began her career as a national politician.” Mark those words.
 

South Carolina Governor, Nikki Haley. Photo by Bickel.
 
What happened next was an interesting little “fuck you” to Dylann Roof and his masterplan: Walmart, Amazon, eBay and Sears all announced plans to remove the Confederate flag from their inventories. Roof brought the politicization of the flag right out into the spotlight and corporate America said “we don’t want our brands associated with THAT BRAND.” Now let’s be real, certainly these retailers are doing this because it’s a “trending” issue and they want free publicity and positive PR. One would imagine cost benefit analyses were in hand before making this call, but its a thought-provoking turn of events in response to the Charleston tragedy. As one of my friends remarked today, “If you are bending yourself into contortions trying to defend the Confederate flag as a symbol that has nothing to do with racism, congratulations- you are less progressive than Walmart.”

But all of this brought about another conversation. Many have called Walmart, Amazon, eBay, and Sears’ decision a form of “censorship.” While this is certainly in no way “censorship”—any business makes basic decisions over what they are going to stock or not stock, it’s the “market” at work—it may be worth examining the way in which corporations respond to changes in consumer values. This is all playing out very quickly. The main argument for bringing the flag down from the South Carolina statehouse was that it did not represent the entire constituency of the state, but corporations are not beholden to their customers in the same way—though there is an interest in protecting their brand. Going forward, how are decisions made as to what is OK and not OK to stock? Especially under the umbrella of companies like Amazon and eBay which act as aggregates for hundreds of thousands of third-party sellers. And as large as these companies are, do they even know what they are selling?
 

Amazon listing for white-power band, Skrewdriver.
 
Case in point, “rebel” flags are gone from Amazon’s listings, but are you in the market for some white-power skinhead rock? Look no further, Amazon has you covered! A simple search on the keyword “Skrewdriver” over at Amazon will pull up DOZENS of Nazi skinhead albums, both by Skrewdriver and by several other white-power Oi! groups. And let me save you a trip to the comments section by pointing out that, yes, you can buy Skrewdriver’s first album, the one they made “before they were racists.”

If Amazon is going to discontinue sales of the Confederate flag, should they also discontinue sale of Skrewdriver records? Or what about Nazi SS flags?  That would seem like a given, but HERE THEY ARE, GUYS:
 

 
Should you be able to buy Hail the New Dawn at the same place you buy your Huggies and ink cartridges? I don’t have this answer. Personally, yeah, I have issues with the Confederate flag and what it stands for. Certainly, I have issues with Skrewdriver’s lyrical content. Do I think these things should be “banned”? Certainly not, if by “banned” you mean the government passing laws against their existence. As John Oliver said on last Sunday’s edition of Last Week Tonight, “The Confederate flag is one of those symbols that should really only be seen on t-shirts, belt buckles and bumper stickers to help the rest of us identify the worst people in the world.” I don’t mind someone identifying with that symbol as it identifies them to the rest of us. I enjoy our First Amendment rights. They allow me to get away with a lot of shit here at Dangerous Minds. But what a company chooses to stock or not stock has nothing to do with Freedom of Speech—no one is saying you can’t obtain your flags or Skrewdriver albums, or copies of The Turner Diaries ($8.69 on Kindle, folks!) someplace else.

But the ever-present “slippery slope” questions get raised - who will make these decisions and where will lines be drawn? Should lines be drawn? Of course the answer is always going to be in the form of a question: “is this hurting our corporate image and therefore affecting our bottom line?” If it suddenly becomes a liability for Amazon to sell Skrewdriver records like it became a liability for them to sell Confederate flags, then they’ll stop.

But don’t worry, champions of liberty, this is not the end of free speech. There will always be an Interstate truck stop or flea market stall waiting to take up the sale of these items to increase their own bottom line—so long as the demand exists, which it, unfortunately, likely will.
 

Doge will rise again. Photo courtesy The J Train.
 
It’s fascinating how quickly these reactions to the Charleston shooting have played out, with the entire opposite of Dylann Roof’s intended effect. We’ve seen crucial and necessary conversations on racial disparity begin, we’ve seen action on the Confederate flag, and we’ve also seen some bizarre fallout. One change.org petition calls for SC to replace the Confederate flag with James Brown’s cape. Some of us will be giving up a little bit of our own “heritage” as ‘80s kid TV viewers with Warner Brothers announcing it will no longer license models of the Dukes of Hazzard muscle-car, The General Lee, due to the rooftop rebel flag. Shit, I can live with that. The main thing is, whether taking down the flag, or removing it from store shelves, or taking it off the Dukes of Hazzard car, or WHATEVER makes any difference or not in healing this country, at least we seem to be TRYING—at least we’re clumsily moving forward and not letting the Dylann Roofs of the world win.
 

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
Dangerous Finds: Millennials racist as parents; O’Reilly’s black friends; Nina Simone child abuser?
06.24.2015
03:45 pm

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Current Events

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Nina Simone child abuser? Daughter reveals singer’s shockingly violent temper in upcoming Netflix production. (Hollywood Reporter)

Northern California man exposes himself to woman just minutes after registering as a sex offender: Minutes later, he was, you guessed it, back behind bars. (The Raw Story)

Whole Foods Overcharging Customers for Pre-Packaged Foods, Department of Consumer Affairs Finds: Whole Food’s New York City stores have been overstating the weights of pre-packaged products — including meats, dairy and baked goods — resulting in customers being overcharged. (NBC News)

Many in nation tired of explaining things to idiots: Particularly when the things in question are so painfully obvious, a new poll indicates. According to the University of Minnesota’s Opinion Research Institute, while millions have been vexed for some time by their failure to explain incredibly basic information to dolts, that frustration has now reached a breaking point. (The New Yorker)

The ‘Next’ Seinfeld Has Already Been on TV for a Decade: It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia has more than lived up to the “no hugging, no learning” mantra since its debut in 2005. Plus crack addiction! (TIME)

Pill makes you forget to be addicted to drugs: Already prescribed for high blood pressure, but shown to help addicted rats. Because isradipine is already on the market, FDA approval of the drug to treat addiction could be fast-tracked. (Popular Science)

The Righteous Logic of the Neo-Confederate Watershed: This is probably the very best essay I’ve read yet about the backlash against the Confederate flag. (Talking Points Memo)

Here’s How Men Make 200 Million Sperm Every Day: It’s actually a 64 day process. Who knew? (Throb)

Bernie Sanders wants to talk about marijuana and looks to Colorado: Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders said he plans to make marijuana an issue in the 2016 presidential campaign. (Denver Post)

Bill O’Reilly freaks out when guest asks: ‘How many black friends do you have?’ “The world is being told by anti-American haters that we are a rank racist society, and that is a lie,” said Papa Bear. (The Raw Story)

Mother Rabbit Goes Berserk On Snake: An incredible video shows a mother rabbit relentlessly pursuing the snake who killed her babies. You’ve never seen a more badass rabbit, trust me. (The Dodo)

Millennials are just as racist as their parents: Research has found racially prejudiced attitudes to be surprisingly persistent among the youngest generation of white Americans. (Washington Post)

The South Shall Not Rise Again: The North has the money and the culture, but the South has defined the limits of our politics. That may finally and blessedly be ending. (The Daily Beast)

Bernie Sanders & Cornel West: The radical alliance that could change everything: As the democratic socialist from Vermont tries to do the impossible, the firebrand academic could help. (Salon)

Are you sad? Are you lonely? Do you wake up each morning waiting for the next big thing? Fear no more! Tim and Eric’s Zone Theory: 7 Easy Steps to Achieve a Perfect Life is a brand new, revolutionary life system that guarantees to improve you, and everything around you. Start your journey at zonetheory.net

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
NJ family abandons home after receiving terrifying letters from someone named ‘The Watcher’
06.24.2015
02:46 pm

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Current Events

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Wow, I really don’t know what to say about this one. Usually stories you hear like this are on the level of Daily Mail fodder or one of those Onion-esque websites where the story turns out to be total bullshit. THIS story, however, coming out of Westfield, NJ is very, very real and it’s truly creepy as hell.

A NJ family has abandoned their $1.3 million home after receiving terrifying letters from someone named “The Watcher.” Since moving in, the family has received numerous written letters from The Watcher claiming the home “has been the subject of my family for decades,” and “I have been put in charge of watching and waiting for its second coming.” Good gawd! I’d get the hell out of there, too!

The new owners have several children, and other letters asked, “Have they found out what’s in the walls yet?” and “I am pleased to know your names now, and the name of the young blood you have brought to me,” Castro reported.

The bone-chilling letters were enough to send the new family packing. The incident was so unnerving that Westfield Mayor Andy Skibitsky addressed the issue at a Town Council meeting Tuesday night.

The owners of the home are preparing to sue the previous owners claiming the old owners knew about The Watcher and didn’t disclose that information to them before buying the house.

If anyone has any information on The Watcher, you’re encouraged to contact the Westfield police.

 
via CBS Local New York and The Gothamist

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Little-known Lou Reed poem about ‘Janis, Jimi, and Me’ from 1971
06.24.2015
10:04 am

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Music

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In the July 4, 1971, issue of Crawdaddy there appears a most curious article authored by Lou Reed, recently of the Velvet Underground, on the subject of spectacle. This poem appeared during one of the most interesting phases for Reed, after his departure from Velvet Underground but before his trip to London to record his first solo album with Rick Wakeman and Steve Howe, among others. Months before that solo album appeared on the horizon and having recently worked in his father’s accounting firm, in the spring of 1971 Reed might well have thought of himself as a “former” rock musician and more of a poet, or a hybrid of the two.

As a rock and roll musician, Reed, in the prose section of this Crawdaddy contribution, understandably isolates “spectacle” as the terrain dominated by big, famous rock groups with large-scale, expensive stage shows, what was surely the state of the art in spectacle at that moment. Is there any envy in these words, or more like an avant-garde artist’s insistence on the values of a smaller coterie?
 

Prancing and dancing, mincing and twisting, jerking and bumping and grinding to the incessant pounding, to the beat of the drums, as they say, and back to the burlesque houses and g-strings and fingers inserted in orifices, drugs ingested so the audience won’t miss a thing, the air thick with pot, the belly dancer with the snake round her spine, the carnavore guitar, the mountainous amps, the display of POWER, electrical power interplaying with the sinewy vibrations of the many-tentacled audience, writhing in collective spasms for the moment, waiting for the moment it will happen, and all will explode in a giant frenzy of shriek, howl and whistle, stomp, boot, clap and coo.

 
From this slightly contemptuous portrayal of big expensive showbiz (so very Greenwich Village of him), Reed then transitions to the question of what is the version of that spectacle scaled down to the level of the individual, rather than the group, and concludes that the natural representative of spectacle is ... the town drunk. Reed argues that the aimless patter of the dipsomaniac harks back to the oral tradition as embodied by The Iliad, and from there to the ballad as “a fine method of enlightening others and boring some, a situation which can only be termed successful when the person involved has been bodily ejected from the pub, hence, made a spectacle of himself.”

Tongue lodged firmly in cheek, Reed tells of a “ballad I found written on the men’s room wall of the Houston St. subway station,” which he claims to have memorized and intoned at “the Third Avenue Blarney Stone,” an act that caused him to be ejected from the premises. The title of that ballad is “There Are Devils Outside That Door.” Then, confusingly, Reed then switches from that song to a second “tasteless morsel” called “Janis, Jimi, and Me” that he discovered a “14-year-old derelict” singing in Tompkins Square Park. Reed insists that it should be “recited in a nasal, twanging monotone, preferably with the sounds of sniffing and o.d.ing supplied by a friend.”

The article ends with that ballad, a long one, with thirty verses, most of them quatrains, a poem with what appears to be two titles (both titles would fit the material equally well), a poem to which Reed assigns two different provenances (subway graffiti & the teenage derelict). Reed was working overtime to obscure his authorship of this bitter little piece of versification.

But here’s the strangest aspect of this bit of poetry: I can’t find the merest reference to it on the Internet, and that includes any reference to the Crawdaddy prose section, which is entitled “Spectacle and the Single You.” By “Google” I am also referring to plenty of full-length books about Reed and VU, of course, although that investigation is necessarily incomplete. If anyone out there is aware of this Reed composition, they’re doing an excellent job of concealing it. I couldn’t find any of the titles associated with this article in conjunction with Reed, and I also couldn’t find several of the lyrics when entered into Google as a string.

The poem itself is written in an “old-timey” mode, something akin to an Irish drinking song or a pirate shanty, or both. The poem, if it means anything, is about the perils of the local wastrel taking his or her gift for spectacle on the road in search of a wider audience, i.e. rock superstardom. The poem is about a blacksmith who joins “a minstrel show” and betrays his beloved Rosie with “that harlot Red Mary.” Eventually the poem segues to the subject of Woodstock—the spectacle to end all spectacles—and ends as a kind of joyous death dirge, complete with gongs being chimed (BONG), for the untimely demise of Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix, who had died about a year before this poem saw publication.

What to make of it? Now, I’m completely ready to accept this as a Lou Reed composition. There’s only one detail that seems out of place, and that is the copyright credit after the poem, which reads, “Lyrics Reprinted with the Permission of Cowardly Lion Music.” Which is supposed to mean one of two things, that “Cowardly Lion Music” is a reference to Reed’s publishing company or that this song had appeared in a musical or something. Again, Google was no help.

It’s difficult for me to credit Lou Reed actually seeing Jimi and Janis with an un-jaundiced eye, but I wouldn’t have necessarily guessed that Reed would have written “Jesus” either, if all I knew about him was “Walk on the Wild Side” and “I’m Waiting for the Man.” The poem is in that old-timey register, which doesn’t seem all that Reed-ish, and its apparent valorization of Hendrix and Joplin is double-edged at a minimum.
 

Dear,
There is sanctity in my domain
that separates us from evil
If you cross the door no good will come
for outside there are devils.

I was a blacksmith years ago
I made the anvil ring
But since my Rosie up and died
niether of us sing.

My children went away long ago
to far and distant shores
leaving me to beg and steal
copper pennies from the whores.

Often when it rains out
I make a spot of tea
and concentrate on consequence
and how I left Rosie.

And seeing how you look so much
as she once did before
I thought that I would tell you
There are devils outside that door.

When I was but a smirky youth
I joined a minstrel show.
I covered my face with red paint
And told a joke or two.

I thought that I was quite the lad
but experience has shown
I was only made of wood while
castles require stone.

Rosie saw my failure, clown,
and loved me with it all.
A mother’s heart beat in her breast
as it does in women all.

So I opened up a smythe shop
and shoed the horses round
till sin came on silken heels
And took my Rosie down.

Her name was Mary, what a laugh
no Virgin Mary she.
Her perfume took my breath away
and liquor made me sing.

I did for her my minstrel prance
and even got a laugh.
But the joke was on me for that night of stealth
snuffed out my Rosie’s life.

My daughter, an apprentice seamstress,
was wandering through the snow
and hearing her dear father’s song did
peer through the window.

And Savage Grace please set me loose
the night that she did see
was her own father intimately intertwined
with that harlot Red Mary.

And I like drunken sailors do
the next morning had a head
and when I went unto my berth
I found my Rosie dead.

In her hand I found a note
Crushed to her still opened eyes.
In it she’d writ in letters big
“There are Devils Loose Outside”

So you see my dear
why I’ve brought you here
Please let an old man speak
For your eyes are clear
and you have no fear
and I am far too weak
to ask but only for one thing
and it will not take long,
let an old man spill his heart
out in a little song:

“Oh fairy maid and garden rose
I’ve loved you for a time
and if I send for Black McGhee we’ll
have a good old time.

“The waters flow and dancers strut
for camaraderie now
so let’s get off to the beerman’s pub
and laugh and drink and love.

“Oh I’m a friend of Black McGhee
and he’s a friend of me
and both of us have had our sport
of life without money.

“And though our wives be black as death
we’ll always have our times,
so here’s to sport and here’s to love
and here’s to my friend McGhee.”

So you see my girl it isn’t long
to have your portrait done
I do it with my eyes and words for
of paint I do have none

But my mind has of late come obsessed
all stories sound the same.
Rain to me seems winterish
and sunshine lays no claim.

McGhee is gond, my children too
and Rosie far too soon.
while age creeps round me like a withering vine
that makes me seem the prune.

So I hope that you will understand
when I say as but before,
be careful when you leave this room
there are Devils outside that Door.

* * *

I am no longer afraid of dying
I am no more afraid of death
for I know what does await me
when I take that final step.

I will go to Woodstock Heaven
and listen to the guitars there,
all the singers who are waiting
to serenade me in the sky.

Ohhh Janis, Jimi, and me
will dance among the moonbeams and the clouds,
and no one there will ever hassle us,
it’ll just be Janis (BONG) Jimi (BONG) and me.

I no longer listen to the radio,
my favorite music is no more,
all the musicians are in the Woodstock Choir
following the manic depressives law.

There is Frankie Lymon in his Golden robe
and Brian Jones is on the flute
and Baby Huey is softly playing
in a beautiful silver suit.

Oh I’m going to Woodstock Heaven
and dance among the moonbeams and the clouds.
And no one there will ever hassle us,
It’ll just be Janis (BONG) Jimi (BONG) and me.
BONG . . . . . .BONG . . . . .BONG

Janis, Jimi, And Me: Lyrics Reprinted with the Permission of Cowardly Lion Music) (BMI). C. 1971

 
Here’s the page from Crawdaddy; you can see a larger version by clicking on this image.
 

 
I found this issue of Crawdaddy at the Rock Hall’s Library and Archives, which is located at the Tommy LiPuma Center for Creative Arts on Cuyahoga Community College’s Metropolitan Campus in Cleveland, Ohio. It is free and open to the public. Visit their website for more information.

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Woman transforms her face into Frank Zappa, Iggy Pop, Keith Richards and more
06.24.2015
09:49 am

Topics:
Art
Music
Pop Culture

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Lucia Pittalis before transformation

As RuPaul once said, “You’re born naked and the rest is contour and shading.” And Italian portrait painter and artist Lucia Pittalis proves that point with these insane makeup transformations. Lucia uses her own face as a canvas and turns herself into these iconic characters that are simply fan-fucking-tastic. She nailed Keith Richards, IMO.

If you want to see more of her work, you can follow Lucia on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.


Frank Zappa
 


Iggy Pop
 

Bette Davis
 

Keith Richards
 
More after the jump…
 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Condom changes color if STIs are detected, might lead to some awkward conversations
06.24.2015
09:10 am

Topics:
Amusing
Sex

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As part of the TeenTech awards, an annual competition to reward the ingenuity of teenage inventors, a trio of students younger than 15 have developed a condom that changes color if a sexually transmitted infection is detected, in the name of reducing the spread of disease. The trio consists of 14-year-old Daanyaal Ali, 13-year-old Muaz Nawaz, and 14-year-old Chirag Shah, and they have named their intriguing creation the S.T. Eye, in a punning reference to STIs, or sexually transmitted infections.

According to the Daily Mail,
 

Called the S.T.EYE, the condom concept includes a layer impregnated with molecules that attach to the bacteria and viruses associated with the most common sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

These would then cause molecules incorporated in the condom rubber to fluoresce a certain colour in low light, according to the infection detected.

So the condom might glow green for chlamydia, yellow for herpes, purple in the presence of the human papillomavirus which causes genital warts, and blue for syphilis, explained the designers.

Although still a concept at the moment, the students hope it may be possible to turn their idea into a reality in the future.

 

 
Ali said, “We wanted to create something that makes detecting harmful STIs safer than ever before, so that people can take immediate action in the privacy of their own homes without the invasive procedures at the doctors. ... We’ve made sure we’re able to give peace of mind to users and make sure people can be even more responsible than ever before.”

Inherent in the product, should it ever come to pass, is that both partners might well learn of the existence of an STI after the act of sex, which would lead to a, er, highly charged conversation. Or consider this example, if one partner knows he has an STI but the other partner supplies the condom, the S.T. Eye would effectively catch one of them in a lie, which is one of the most awkward circumstances of all the condom could uncover. Eye-yi-yi!

UPDATE: Peter Yeh is calling shenanigans on the STI condoms.
 

 
via The Daily Dot
 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
The Demon Dog: Filming with James Ellroy in L.A., 1994
06.24.2015
07:21 am

Topics:
Books
Crime
Heroes

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James Ellroy sits reading Jack Webb’s The Badge in the Clark Gable-Carole Lombard suite of the Alexandria Hotel, downtown LA, in the Fall of 1994. I’m there as interviewer—asking him questions for a documentary on the “Demon Dog of American Literature” called White Jazz. A preliminary Q&A was filmed the day before at a motel off Hollywood where Ellroy gave his pitch (“Woof, woof! Hear the Demon Dog bark…”) and want to find out who’s the man behind this well-rehearsed front.

We talk books: Ellroy’s telling me how his father Lee gave him a copy of The Badge for his eleventh birthday—a book of true tales of LA crime and the LAPD, in amongst which was the “brutally, graphically sexually explicit” story of the unsolved murder of 22-year-old Elizabeth Short, which became known as the Black Dahlia killing.  Ellroy said this explicit ten-page tale had haunted him.

I thought it a strange book to give a kid who was used to reading the Hardy Boys and especially a child whose own mother, Geneva Hilliker, had been strangled with her own stockings and her body dumped in El Monte just a year before in 1958. So, I ask him: Didn’t he think this was a strange book to give a child? Ellroy stops. He says he doesn’t get the question. I think he’s stalling, but ask again. Still he doesn’t get the question—doesn’t seem to understand or want to understand or really want to answer the question.
 
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The Badge is part of Ellroy’s myth—a key to understanding what he wants to be known about himself as it deflects as much as it reveals. It’s the book that pointed his imagination towards writing crime fiction and was the source of his teenage obsessions where he merged the murder of his mother with that of the Black Dahlia—feeding his fantasy of saving Dahlia/Hilliker from person or persons unknown and setting the world to right. Setting the world to right is perhaps why some writers do write—the world they create is containable.
 
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Director Nicola Black, camera Jerry Kelly with James Ellroy, LA 1994.
 
The documentary White Jazz was produced and directed by Nicola Black. It came about after Black had filmed Ellroy (in cold damp Victorian prison cell off the banks of the River Clyde in Scotland) for a previous documentary on the world’s first private detective Allan Pinkerton—a drama-doc which starred Peter Capaldi. Made over one intense week with Ellroy in LA, October ‘94, White Jazz followed the Demon Dog around the sites of his childhood, his criminal youth, and sober years as a writer. The film then opens out to follow Ellroy’s personal investigation into the unsolved murder of his mother, with the help of ex-County Sheriff’s Department Detective Bill Stoner—a calm, lean, genial man, eyes twinkling, full mustache, whose quite demeanour belies the horrors he has seen—he helped solve the Cotton Club killing—picking-up a victim’s exploded, shattered teeth on a desolate hillside. Stoner takes Ellroy through Hilliker’s morgue file—the black and whites of crime scene, body, ligature marks, bruises, and autopsy report—before visiting her last known locations where seen and the suggesting possible suspects. Ellroy’s collaborative investigation with Stoner became his non-fiction book My Dark Places (1996).

This award-winning documentary is seldom seen online—though pirate copies can switch hands for mucho dinero—and it’s a moving, fascinating and revealing portrait of James Ellroy, in which he takes the viewer on a personal odyssey through his life, his work and his obsessions with the city of Los Angeles—his “smog-bound Fatherland.”

But time moves on, and Ellroy is currently selling his Hollywood Hills residence for $1.39m—if you want to take a peak at his monkish orderly abode check here. He also has a new book out LAPD ‘53, in which he illuminates 85 duotone photographs from the LAPD archive that are “representative of a day in the life of America’s most provocative police agency.”
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Watch ‘Cucumber Castle,’ the Bee Gees’ goofy 1970 TV movie
06.24.2015
07:15 am

Topics:
Amusing
Music
Television

Tags:


 

Once upon a time, a king lay dying. His loyal subjects were overcome with grief—and non-payment of wages.

So begins Cucumber Castle, a 1970 BBC film and an oddity in the Bee Gees’ oeuvre. Of course, if the Bee Gees are known for their involvement in a film, it’s Saturday Night Fever, the ‘70s disco movie that became so popular as to pose an existential threat to rock ‘n’ roll itself, but all the really good Bee Gees fans know about their original psychedelic period. If you need to be brought up to speed, this can be done briefly: the early Bee Gees’ four albums from 1967’s Bee Gees 1st to 1969’s masterpiece Odessa are indispensable psych-pop GEMS with which no fan of that era’s rock would be unfamiliar in a better world. I feel like having a home without Bee Gees 1st is as incomplete as having a home without a dog or cat. Sure, it can be done, but why would you want that?
 

 
After Odessa, the band experienced a falling-out. Vocalist Robin Gibb (RIP 2012) left the band for a brief period, leaving the group as a trio of his twin brother Maurice (RIP 2003), elder brother Barry, and drummer Colin Petersen, who himself would be soon out the door. The remaining band’s next endeavor was Cucumber Castle, an affably goofy, mildly Pythonesque musical film about a dying king (TW3 comic Frankie Howerd hamming it up through the damn roof) dividing his kingdom between his sons Frederick and Marmaduke (Barry and Maurice Gibb) into the Kingdom of Cucumber and the Kingdom of Jelly, over which spoils the brothers immediately proceed to quarrel. The Gibbs aren’t half bad comedic actors in a stilted, they’re-not-really-actors way, and the film includes appearances by Bind Faith, Spike Milligan, Vincent Price, and Lulu (who was married to Maurice at the time), with abundant uncredited cameos whom I won’t name, as it’s more fun to watch the hour-long special and do your own trainspotting. And of course there are shloads of musical numbers—though it should be mentioned here that I know of nobody who considers the Cucumber Castle LP essential.

The Brothers Gibb played host to Hit Parader’s Margaret Robin during Cucumber Castle‘s filming, and Barry offered this take, published in that mag’s April, 1970 issue.

The concept was of a Laugh-In type of show, but set roughly in Tudor England. The way that a lot of the sketches worked out was that the punch-line was in the sudden contrast between the Tudor times and a confrontation with the 20th Century.

We are very pleased with the results we have seen so far, but we know that the real art of making a comedy film is in the editing, and we are getting the best professional help that we can in that department.

It was when we began to really work on the story that we both realized that the outline of the story contained so many parables relating to reality. So it worked out that several of the sketches—for us, anyway—have a meaning above and beyond the obvious joke.

 

 
Previously on Dangerous Minds
‘Idea’: Incredible pop-psychedelic Bee Gees TV special, 1968

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
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