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Jack Kirby makes a fleeting cameo appearance on ‘The Incredible Hulk’ TV series, 1979
07.07.2013
04:06 pm
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For fans of Jack Kirby, here’s a fleeting glimpse of the great artist in an uncredited cameo appearance as a police sketch artist in this episode of TV series The Incredible Hulk, “No Escape” from 1979.

Kirby was co-creator, with Stan Lee of The Hulk, the angry, green (though originally gray) alter-ego to mild-mannered scientist Doctor Bruce Banner. The Incredible Hulk comic book made its first appearance in May 1962, and The Hulk was as much inspired by Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde as he was by the fears of genetic mutation from radioactive fallout.
 
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Via Scheme 9

Posted by Paul Gallagher
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07.07.2013
04:06 pm
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Give The Drummer Some: Drummers appreciate DEVO’s man machine Alan Meyers
07.07.2013
03:43 pm
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As a failed musician myself, drummers have always fascinated me. They are the engines that drive music. They provide the beat we humans have danced to since music began – likely well before we had language itself.

There are obviously extraordinary drummers in popular music history. Just off the top of my battered head with an attempt at offering some diversity: Gene Krupa, Keith Moon, Stephen Perkins, Louie Bellson, Topper Headon, “Bigfoot” Brailey, Moe Tucker, Max Roach, Jody Stephens, Carly Barrett, Jaki Liebezeit, Pete Thomas and Hugo Burnham (see below) are those who most immediately come to mind.

Their role, their significance in their respective bands was rarely, if ever, taken for granted by their fans. There was one pioneering drummer whose special skill was always the most overlooked in his singular band, DEVO. Rather than bloviate any further on the subject myself, I’ve invited a few experts to testify as to drummer Alan Meyer’s special genius….

“1978 was a delicious time…. for a musician just getting purchase on a real future….loving the old, adoring the new - sucking it all up. Then this thing - DEVO’s first album - hit us. Two big smacks to the head… Eno produced it, but we old “Ziggy Kids” (many, many of the first wave of UK “punks” were) had heard of them because David was lauding them already; PLUS, they had the balls to do “Satisfaction.” Hello?! Before Ziggy (and Slade and Roxy and Mott, etc., etc.), it had been The Stones. First response was “WTF?” Then it crept up and into my heart and brain and synapses. The video, the pictures, the clothes, the artwork, the fucking hats…. that DRUMMING. Damn. So you could be weird and still rock it, still nail the bedrock for the rest of the band. It wasn’t about rudiments and technique (...neither or which I ever had…), but about feel and exploration and risks. Thanks, Alan Meyers. You made it easier for me to find my way, my style. I just wish I could have said it to your face… while gripping your hand as hard and with as much drummer-love as I once did Bernard Purdie’s.

What a man, what a man, what a mighty fine man Alan Meyers was. And always will be. Thank you.”

—Hugo Burnham, Gang Of Four

“The best part about the early DEVO records was their careful balance between human and machine. It was Kraftwerkian. Alan was so robotic he crossed backed over into soul. It’s robot soul music. When DEVO went to the drum machines, the Fairlight CMI’s sequencers, it robbed their rhythms of that delicate balance.

Garvy J./Josh Hager – Edited/programmed drums on Devo’s most recent LP, Something For Everybody.

“Back in ‘78 and ‘79 The Ruts used to rehearse in a squat in New Cross in south London. Segs (Bassist) and I would rehearse and jam. We were most inspired by DEVO and their wonderful pumping jerky rhythms which helped us write our own tunes. Thank you, Mr. Meyers. May you rest in peace.”

—Dave Ruffy – Currently playing w/Ruts DC & Dexy’s Midnight Drummer (Also known for work with World Party, Sinead O’Connor and The Waterboys.

“He was perfect at what he did. Period.”

—Deborah Frost, Ex-Flaming Youth drummer

“Alan was quite an influence on me, even though I could never duplicate his speed or technique, he was absolutely incredible to listen to. Made Devo that much better.”

—Dave Lovering, Pixies

“The first time I saw Alan play was on my parents’ little B&W TV in the late 70’s when DEVO performed on Saturday Night Live. I was watching with my dad as that amazing “Satisfaction” beat began. Then those boys in their yellow jumpsuits stepped into the light with their deformed instruments and played in a way I had never heard. Me and my dad weren’t sure if it was a skit or not. It blew my child mind!!!! Bands like that and drummers like Alan were pioneers showing the rest of us what is possible outside the mainstream mind frame. De-evolution indeed!!! RIP and thank you, Alan”

—Matt Tecu/Drummer for hire extraordinaire.

So many of us had that same experience as Matt. The nation’s first glimpse of DEVO was one of those watershed moments of early SNL like Elvis Costello bailing out of “Less Than Zero” to rip into the then wildly controversial “Radio Radio” or The B-52’s with the hair and Fred plunking on the toy piano that NBC/Universal won’t allow to stream online. Instead check out this early clip of “Mongoloid” and “Gut Feeling” performed in 1977. Hardcore DEVO (with Alan Meyers on some, but not all of the tracks) has just been re-released by Superior Viaduct/Boogie Boy Records.
 

Posted by Bruce McDonald
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07.07.2013
03:43 pm
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Sexy and Scandalous Scrap Metal: Ron Boise’s Legendary Kamasutra Sculptures
07.06.2013
08:59 pm
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Ron Boise’s infamous Kama Sutra sculptures from the early 1960’s look almost quaint now. A series of eleven small (the tallest was a foot high) sculptures depicting sexual positions from the ancient Hindu text on sexual behavior, the Kama Sutra, were formed out of scrap sheet metal taken from wrecked cars. And that’s when the prudish shit storm began.

Boise grew up in Colorado and Montana, where he learned to weld from his father, before moving to California. In addition to being a self-taught sculptor, Boise was one of Ken Kesey’s Merry Pranksters and even used old tools, car parts, bucksaws and old scraps of metal to create the always-locked front gate on Kesey’s La Honda, California property, on the far side of the rickety bridge that spanned La Honda Creek.

Boise himself lived and traveled in an old telephone company service van which he painted wild psychedelic colors and modified to become a mobile studio and camper.

In 1964 Boise’s Kama Sutra series was shown at the two-year-old Vorpal Gallery in San Francisco, then located in the alley behind Vesuvio Cafe and a few steps from City Lights Bookstore. (Still open, it is now located in the San Francisco Civic Center at 444 Market Street.) Art professor Richard H. Grooms described the pieces:

His sculpture was extremely sensual and the rendering of flesh and texture of the sheet metal made you forget they were scraps of metal at all. He had a sensitive line in his work that made all the metal personages seem to have a personality all their own. They became like real people, but without the idea they were portraits.

The sight of fewer than a dozen small, charming depictions of a man and a woman engaged in various heterosexual activities was enough to completely freak out the upright citizens of San Francisco. San Francisco police raided the gallery, confiscated almost all of the sculptures, and arrested gallery owner Muldoon Elder for offering “lewd objects for sale.” An obscenity trial ensued, where expert art historians Walter Horn and Catherine Caldwell and philosopher Alan Watts testified in defense of Boise’s work. Watts’ statement was reprinted in The Evergreen Review in June 1965:

Ron Boise is a sculptor who is doing something which I call ‘pushing the line back’ – in the same way as great modern writers, such as Henry Miller, D.H. Lawrence and James Joyce have been pushing the line back in literature. We haven’t seen much of it in sculpture – or in painting…

Here we see an extraordinary example of getting away with murder but in a fantastically good way. But it’s not actually getting away with murder; it’s something much worse than that; it’s getting away with love…Very rarely, unless we are familiar with Hindu sculpture or Tibetan painting can we see anything like this done with superb mastery.

Elder was found not guilty.  He wrote in 2004:

Thank God the A.C.L.U. defended me at the two-week trial since in 1964 I hardly had a penny to my name to pay for a lawyer and I doubt if the public defender would have been as eloquent as Ephriam Margolin and Marshall Krause were in that courtroom. You’ll have to ask me about the trial sometime, it was a hoot.

During and after the trial, the Kama Sutra sculptures became a rallying point for the local counterculture. Calendars and postcards were sold featuring the sculptures. Hip Pocket Bookstore in Santa Cruz, California proudly displayed one of the original sculptures over the front door. Another sculpture was installed on the roof of the Anchor Steam Beer Factory in San Francisco in full view of the freeway until Fritz Maytag took over the company in 1965 and removed it.

Boise died of the blood disease hemochrotouisis in 1966. He was on his way to Mexico to celebrate a successful show in California, where he sold nearly all of his works. He had told friends that he did not expect to live a long life and wanted to fully enjoy what years he had allotted to him. In a 1968 Martlett magazine article Richard H. Grooms wondered what had happened to Boise’s unsold sculptures after his death. Photographs of the Kama Sutra sculptures that were to accompany Grooms’ article were censored by Martlett’s printers.

Excerpt from a documentary about Boise’s work.  It contains footage of him working on a sculpture shortly before his death in 1966.

Posted by Kimberly J. Bright
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07.06.2013
08:59 pm
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Moments of Being: Listen to the only surviving recording of Virginia Woolf
07.06.2013
06:32 pm
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“Words do not live in dictionaries, they live in the mind.”

Virginia Woolf discusses words, language and writing in this the only surviving recording of her voice.

Originally broadcast for a programme entitled Words Fail Me, by BBC Radio, on April 29th, 1937. Woolf’s almost regal pronunciation can be heard reading her essay on “Craftsmanship,” which was later published in The Death of the Moth and Other Essays (1942).

The transcript of this broadcast can be found here.
 

 
H/T Art Is Now

Posted by Paul Gallagher
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07.06.2013
06:32 pm
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Musical universes collide: When Charlie Parker flipped Igor Stravinsky the (Fire)Bird
07.06.2013
03:22 pm
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A friend of mine once told me how, when Igor Stravinsky happened to wander, purely by accident, into a Charlie Parker set in New York with some friends, he was so shocked by what he was hearing that, in the midst of Parker’s set, he rose to his feet, clapped a hand on his brow, bellowed “OH MY GOD,” and ran out the establishment.

Only dared double-check this charming vignette today, and found that, though the historical record might not be quite as picturesque as my friend’s account (and nowhere near so happenstance), it ain’t too shabby neither—yes, scotch reportedly flew when these two musical universes happily collided at Birdland in 1951. The following excerpt is by Alfred Appel and is from Jazz Modernism (I found it here):

Charlie Parker enthusiasts circa 1950 often declared him the jazz equivalent of Stravinsky and Bartok, and asserted that he’d absorbed their music, though skeptics countered that there was no evidence he was even familiar with it. Parker himself clarified the issue for me one night in the winter of 1951, at New York’s premier modern jazz club, Birdland, at Broadway and Fifty-second Street. It was Saturday night, Parker’s quintet was the featured attraction, and he was in his prime, it seemed. I had a good table near the front, on the left side of the bandstand, below the piano. The house was almost full, even before the opening set — Billy Taylor’s piano trio — except for the conspicuous empty table to my right, which bore a RESERVED sign, unusual for Birdland. After the pianist finished his forty-five-minute set, a party of four men and a woman settled in at the table, rather clamorously, three waiters swooping in quickly to take their orders as a ripple of whispers and exclamations ran through Birdland at the sight of one of the men, Igor Stravinsky. He was a celebrity, and an icon to jazz fans because he sanctified modern jazz by composing Ebony Concerto for Woody Herman and his Orchestra (1946) — a Covarrubias “Impossible Interview” come true.

As Parker’s quintet walked onto the bandstand, trumpeter Red Rodney recognized Stravinsky, front and almost center. Rodney leaned over and told Parker, who did not look at Stravinsky. Parker immediately called the first number for his band, and, forgoing the customary greeting to the crowd, was off like a shot. At the sound of the opening notes, played in unison by trumpet and alto, a chill went up and down the back of my neck. They were playing “KoKo,” which, because of its epochal breakneck tempo — over three hundred beats per minute on the metronome — Parker never assayed before his second set, when he was sufficiently warmed up. Parker’s phrases were flying as fluently as ever on this particular daunting “Koko.” At the beginning of his second chorus he interpolated the opening of Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite as though it had always been there, a perfect fit, and then sailed on with the rest of the number. Stravinsky roared with delight, pounding his glass on the table, the upward arc of the glass sending its liquor and ice cubes onto the people behind him, who threw up their hands or ducked. The hilarity of the audience didn’t distract Parker, who, playing with his eyes wide open and fixed on the middle distance, never once looked at Stravinsky. The loud applause at the conclusion of “Koko” stopped in mid-clap, so to speak, as Parker, again without a word, segued into his gentle version of “All the Things You Are.” Stravinsky was visibly moved. Did he know that Parker’s 1947 record of the song was issued under the title “Bird of Paradise?”

Sounds like quite a night! Here’s some fantastic Charlie Parker footage…
 

Posted by Thomas McGrath
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07.06.2013
03:22 pm
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Ska’s politically incorrect battle of the sexes: Prince Buster’s ‘10 Commandments’ (and the reply!)
07.06.2013
10:34 am
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75-year-old ska legend Prince Buster’s “Ten Commandments” has to be one of the most howlingly politically incorrect tunes ever recorded. It is also, somehow, sublimely charming, and the perfect accompaniment for the aggressive sunshine we are currently staggering about beneath.

In the all-too-true words of YouTube commenter “MitholX”

This song is so sexist. Wait…what the—
What’s happening to my foot? It’s…tapping AAARRGH THIS SONG IS TOO CATCHY!

Commandment Seven, for instance, declares that:

Thou shalt not shout my name in the streets
If I am walking with another woman
But wait intelligently until I come home
Then we can both have it out decently
For I am your man, a funny man
And detest a scandal in public places

Whereas Commandment Nine reveals some pretty dramatic double standards:

Thou shalt not commit adultery
For the world will not hold me guilty if I
Commit murder

Which looks horrible on paper, but which is almost guaranteed to make you smile on record. I can prove it:
 

 
How great was that?!?!? And happily, an equally delightful—no, no, an even more delightful—version, “Ten Commandments (of Woman to Man)”, was then recorded on top of the original by a certain Princess Buster in 1967. Posing (I presume) as the Prince’s new wife, the Princess offered many witty refashionings of Buster’s edicts, such as Commandment Six...

Though shalt not commit adultery
Because the world cannot hold me guilty
If, for spite, I date your best friend

Nice one, Princess!
 

 
Hearty thanks to “Princess” Rebecca M.

Posted by Thomas McGrath
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07.06.2013
10:34 am
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WTF?: Soccer referee beheaded by fans after killing player
07.06.2013
10:19 am
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There were unbelievably horrific scenes at an amateur soccer match in Maranhao, Brazil, on June 30th, when a referee was lynched, and his head put on a stake, after he killed a player during an argument.

Eurosport are reporting that the 20-year-old referee, Otavio Jordao da Silva fatally stabbed 30-year-old Josenir dos Santos Abreu, during an altercation on the soccer pitch.

Santos Abreu was believed to have remonstrated with da Silva over a refereeing decision. Santos Abreu then struck the referee before da Silva fatally stabbed the player.

Santos Arbeau was taken to hospital but died from his injuries.

Angered by the incident, spectators took a horrific revenge on referee da Silva. According to Eurosport:

‘..the referee was tied up, beaten, stoned and quartered. They then put his head on a stake and planted it in the middle of the pitch.

One man, Luiz Moraes de Souza, 27, has been arrested over the incident. He has admitted to assaulting the referee but denied killing the man. Police are searching for two more suspects.

They are currently viewing video footage of the incident filmed by a witness with a mobile phone.

In a statement, the regional delegate of Santa Ines, Valter Costa, who is looking after the case, said: “One crime never justifies another crime. Actions likes this do not collaborate with the legality of state law.”

The original news report (plus photographs of the scene and victims) published in the Brazilian press, can be found here.
 
Via Eurosport, with thanks to Scheme Comix

Posted by Paul Gallagher
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07.06.2013
10:19 am
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Happy Birthday Jean Cocteau
07.05.2013
07:25 pm
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Happy Birthday to Jean Cocteau—man of many (p)Arts: artist, novelist, poet, playwright, film-maker, and designer, born today in 1889.

Cocteau was firstly a poet, who described himself as a lie that always told the truth.

He was also a highly controversial figure—often criticized for being a mere dilettante; he was easily swayed in his political views (he thought Hitler a pacifist and once speculated about the Führer’s sex life); had an obsession with underage boys; and was addicted to opium.

Yet for all the questionable things Cocteau’s life is always redeemed by his Art.

Je suis Jean Cocteau is a short film that collects together moments from Cocteau’s films (Testament of Orpheus, Blood of a Poet, Beauty and the Beast, Orpheus, and Les Enfants Terrible) creating a showreel to his imagination.

“When I make a film, it is a sleep in which I am dreaming.”

Dreams that have inspired subsequent film-makers, writers and artists.

(And today is also my brother’s birthday, so Happy Birthday Michael!)
 

 
H/T Paraphilia Magazine

Posted by Paul Gallagher
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07.05.2013
07:25 pm
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Kid bands covering The Ramones’ ‘Blitzkrieg Bop’
07.05.2013
04:00 pm
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Illustration: John Pound
 
From the Dangerous Minds archives.

Hearing The Ramones’ debut album for the first time ranks right up their with getting my cherry popped, my first acid trip and watching my daughter’s birth. There are certain touchstones in one’s life that mark the point at which something switches on in your body chemistry that alters you forever. For me, these changes are generally induced by sex, drugs and/or rock and roll.

In the mid-70s I was living in the heart of John Denver country. The rock and roll scene in the Boulder/Denver area was dire. Hippie shit still ruled the airwaves and Deadheads in tye-dyed t-shirts and Jesus spats shuffled through the streets and parks on a perpetual Rocky Mountain high. I read Bukowski, listened to Lenny Kaye’s Nuggets compilation and leered through my window at the freaks contentedly loping along like those dumb multi-colored bears you see on Grateful Dead beer cozies. What were they so fucking happy about? Rock and roll was dead and I wasn’t feeling so good myself. Something had to change.

The change came with the arrival of The Ramones. The boys from Queens returned rock to its roots: short catchy tunes played fast with maximum energy. In 35 minutes they distilled the music I loved to its essence. I pulled out my dust-covered Telecaster with its rusting strings and started writing songs again. I was inspired and reminded that two or three chords is all it took to change the world or to at least make it a bit more inhabitable.

Close to four decades later and the band that many considered a joke when they came on the scene are finally recognized as rock and roll legends. Their music has only gotten better with age. The first three Ramones’ albums are indisputable classics and those of us who defended them and supported them have gotten the last laugh.

In 1976 had you told me that in 2011 The Ramones would be heroes to kids all across America, I would have loved the notion but thought it improbable. But that’s exactly where things are at. The Ramones rule America’s suburbs now more than ever. And it’s a beautiful thing.

One evening while doing Youtube research on The Ramones I came across several videos of kid bands covering “Blitzkrieg Bop.” As I continued to scroll through Youtube, the several became dozens and it was then I realized that the kid band/‘Blitzkrieg Bop” thing was a bona-fide phenomenon. In the time it takes to listen to a Ramones’ album, I discovered more than a hundred videos of teenybopper combos covering “Blitzkrieg.” The song is an anthem for children who are no bigger than the instruments they’re playing. And some of these pre-teen punks are as good as many of the bands I saw at CBGB on audition night.

I gathered some of the videos together for your listening pleasure. The only stipulations I made regarding which bands qualified for this little overview of Blitzkrieg mania are the groups had to appear to be under 16 years of age and had to actually be playing instruments. There are a couple of videos where the bands are augmented by a backing track or, in one case, an adult (Sami Yaffa from Hanoi Rocks). I made an exception for those because the kids performing are so damned good or so damned charming.

So here they are: the future Ramones of America. And some of the brothers are sisters! “Hey, ho, let’s go!”

It’s been over two years since I originally posted this piece on Dangerous Minds. Since then, there have been dozens (perhaps hundreds) of more videos of kids playing “Blitzkrieg Bop” uploaded to YouTube. It’s unstoppable!

 

 

 
More teeny Blitzkrieg boppers after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Marc Campbell
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07.05.2013
04:00 pm
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Mars Volta will rip your head open and replace your brain with a billion gleaming stars
07.05.2013
02:52 pm
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This is an absolutely epic performance by The Mars Volta in 2003 at the Lowlands Festival, Netherlands. It hits the ground running and ramps up to absolutely sublime levels of musicianship and emotion. Everybody is in superb form. Particularly notable is Jon Theodore’s genuinely staggering drumming which is nicely highlighted in this terrific mix. He’s the supple muscle and sinew that keeps the band from veering totally off into the stratosphere.

Riffage of the highest order. Loosey goosey with a jazz-like swing. Heavy, light and trippy. Led Zeppelin with more helium and fewer hooks.

Goddamn it Mars Volta, you are missed.
 

 

Posted by Marc Campbell
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07.05.2013
02:52 pm
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