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‘They’re smoking marijuana!’: Man in tizzy park rangers won’t arrest pot smokers
04.25.2013
11:36 am

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Amusing
Drugs

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Vertical Video Syndrome aside, the dude in this video is a total whiny baby. Kudos to the park rangers for ignoring this small-minded narc.

 
Via Boing Boing

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Breaking the Illusion: brilliant comic strip satire ‘The War On Magic’
04.25.2013
09:38 am

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Amusing
Current Events

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This biting, and brilliant, comic strip satire goes to show the inherent fallacy of any state-sanctioned “War On A Noun.”

It’s the work of the British musician and artist Darren Cullen, and you can find more of his output at the site Spelling Mistakes Cost Lives.

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
When punk still aced junk: Johnny Thunders and The Heartbreakers at Max’s Kansas City 1979
04.25.2013
05:54 am

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Drugs
Music
Punk

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There are special moments in one’s life that take on mythic qualities. Most of mine have involved sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll. One particularly mindfucking moment for me was the night I got shitfaced with Lester Bangs at The Village Gate while watching Johnny Thunders and The Heartbreakers and their opening act The Senders. Bangs and I agreed it was a mighty night and we celebrated it with reckless abandon, the kind of assault on my body that would probably kill me today. I learned to pace myself. Lester didn’t. He died a year or two later…

Phillipe Marcade, the frontman of The Senders, was a mad Frenchman who was drunk on Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters. And Thunders was firmly embraced but not strangled by the arms of Morpheus. That night at The Gate, the alchemy was like mystical napalm and we all went up in some kind of cosmic smoke. I will say here and now it was a great night of rock a’n’ roll and what I can remember of bullshitting with Bangs was pretty good too. In fact, it was splendid. Having a conversation with Lester Bangs was like trying to stand up in a row boat during a hurricane. The force coming off of Thunder’s guitar provided the ballast to keep me from capsizing.

So all of that is leading me up to prepare you for another fine moment in which The Heartbreakers roared heroically with Johnny’s knees only buckling occasionally under the blow of smack’s velvet blackjack. This footage of the band at Max’s Kansas City in 1979 captures some of the raw excitement of Johnny, Walter Lure (doing most of the heavy lifting), Jerry Nolan and Billy Rath grinding out their punk bliss with the kind of transcendent energy that only loud guitars and big ferocious beats can deliver. The audio is thin, but I can guarantee that being at this show was as breathtakingly intense as being crushed by a subway train. This is Johnny shortly before the dope turned him into a helpless headcase. Savor it.
 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Nick Cave, Marc Almond, Lydia Lunch & J. G. Thirlwell: The Immaculate Consumptive
04.24.2013
08:51 pm

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Amusing
Belief
Heroes

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A gathering by accident, design and hair-spray: The Immaculate Consumptive was an all too brief collaboration (3 days, 3 gigs) between Lydia Lunch (gtr. voc.), Nick Cave (pn. voc.), J. G. Thirlwell (aka Clint Ruin, Foetus) (drm., sax., voc.) and Marc Almond (voc.)

The 4 musicians met in London—Lunch had been filming Like Dawn To Dust, with Vivienne Dick; while Cave had been collaborating with Thirlwell (on the track “Wings Off Flies” for the debut Bad Seeds album From Her To Eternity), and both had worked with Almond, who was resting from Soft Cell, and working on Marc and The Mambas.

The party traveled to New York, where they were followed and interviewed by the N.M.E. Lunch had a Halloween event organized for October 30th and 31st—though The Immaculate Consumptive’s first gig was actually in Washington, on October 27th, where Thirlwell broke the piano, and ended with 2 nights later with Cave seemingly bored by the chaos of proceedings.

This is some of the archival material of those 3 gloriously chaotic days together. The cable access interviewer is Merle Ginsberg, known to many of you from her role as a judge on RuPaul’s Drag Race.
 

 

The Immaculate Consumptive - “Love Amongst The Ruined”
 

The Immaculate Consumptive - “Misery Loves Company”
 

 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
LEGO: The original patent for a ‘Toy Building Brick’, 1961
04.24.2013
06:51 pm

Topics:
Design
Pop Culture

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The original LEGO patent for a “Toy Building Brick” was filed by Godtfried Kirk Christiansen on July 28th, 1958, and registered October 24th, 1961, as Patent No. 3,005,282. O, what joy this simple diagram has inspired.
 
Via The Khool
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Live Evil: Psychic TV at Hammersmith Townhall, 1984
04.24.2013
05:27 pm

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Art
Music
Occult

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Em’s post about A Certain Ratio reminded me of the above show, a double-billed Psychic TV and ACR gig held at the Hammersmith Town in 1984. I was in attendance, age 18. I still have that flyer as well (note ticket price). In the days before the Internet, you had to truck on down to the Rough Trade Store to buy tickets for a show like this and that’s where I bought mine. I doubt even the biggest ticket sales offices in London were computerized back then.

This was an extremely intense show. I’ve been to some pretty crazy gigs (Einstürzende Neubauten trying to burn The Palladium down and Julian Cope slicing his stomach open onstage at the Hammersmith Palais for two notable examples from that same era), but this show was so insane that (not kidding here) had demons materialized on the stage—or something even weirder happened—I would not have been the least bit surprised.

Let me try to describe the atmosphere to you: First off, I don’t think I have ever, before or since, seen such a degenerate fucking crowd. A fair percentage of the punters looked mentally ill and an equal number looked criminally inclined or overtly sleazy. Diseased in both body and mind, or at least people who cultivated such qualities in the way they presented themselves to the world. I will never forget one lost soul, with her Thorazine-slacked features and one tit hanging out wandering around on her own. She had the blankest look that I have ever seen on a human face, a bottomless pit of psychotic misery in human form. I mean to tell you there were some right fucking weirdos there, and I’m someone who has made a career out of dealing with odd people. The single time I’ve ever been in a weirder scenario was a visit to NYC’s notorious Hellfire Club a few years later, but that’s another story…

There was a seriously dark vibe going on even before Psychic TV started due to the dozen or so television monitors flickering their spinning logo and candles lighting the stage. Then it started to ramp up. The imagery flashing across the monitors was intended to shock and shock it did. Much of it was footage from the First Transmissions and Cerith Wyn Evans’ (amazing) “Unclean” video (with Leigh Bowery), but there was some stuff that made even that level of an assault to the senses seem tame, like a gay S&M porn-style clip with Peter Christopherson having someone stretch his eyelids out as someone else jerked off and ejaculated right into his eyeball. Cheerful, eh?

When the band walked onstage—and this was when Psychic TV were coming off their evil masterpiece Dreams Less Sweet—the “spirits” that were swirling through the hall that night felt so malevolent that my friend and I both opted to back away from where we were standing at the front of the stage. The back of the hall just seemed “safer” in case something, well, something infernal happened.

It’s one of the best gigs I’ve ever seen. It completely blew me away. It was actually scary. Have you ever been to a scary concert? I recommend it!

But what of A Certain Ratio? Well… they came on second. It was utterly preposterous to think that anyone could have followed what Psychic TV had done. Most of the dazed and confused audience just got up and left and the ones who stayed on for ACR sat on the floor. I seem to recall that the house lights went up after PTV finished and just stayed up.

When I emailed Em to tell him that I’d seen ACR in London in 1984, and Em, consummate rock snob that he is, sniffed “1984 was also post-Simon Topping for ACR, a very different band.”

Yeah, but I saw Psychic TV, too, motherfucker!

Below, a 1984 Earsay report that shows you just a few fleeting moments from the Hammersmith Town Hall gig. You’ll note that they couldn’t show what was on the monitors and so placed their cameras accordingly. They even say so in the piece.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
‘Get thee behind me, Satan!’: A buttload of Bob Larson exorcism videos
04.24.2013
03:30 pm

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Belief

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WFMU tweeted this extensive YouTube archive of national comedic treasure Bob Larson performing his wackadoo exorcisms.

These folks need to be seeking the help of a professional doctor, and not a witch-doctor like Bob Larson.

Below, “Lillian”:

 
Meet “Drake”:

 

Here’s “Heather”:

 
Larson’s a total fraud, obviously, offering online demonic possession tests and fleecing the faithful fools that would flock to such a mockery of common sense, but Larson himself is often the target of hysterical lampooning, such as this marvelous moment from Marc Wootton’s brilliant, but little known Showtime series La La Land (Currently not even on DVD or NetFlix! What’s that all about?):

 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
The Diabolical Mind of MF DOOM: Riffing on ‘Figaro’
04.24.2013
03:15 pm

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Hip-hop
Music

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I’m unsure if MF DOOM is still stranded in London (he was apparently refused re-entry to the US last year, on account of visa troubles), but I’d like to think that he is. It’s good for the old town to have the world’s finest living rhymester in residence. And though last year’s Keys to the Kuffs may have been a relatively shoddy offering, DOOM sounded a million miles happier than the cranky recluse that penned (the admittedly vastly superior) Born Like This.  

Conceivably, DOOM’s physical proximity may also be helping some of his London listeners unriddle his writing, as if he were some Buddha emitting great waves of lucidity wherever he lowers his ample posterior. Personally, I find myself on such a critical roll that I’ve even been turning my attention to some of his more aggressively enigmatic couplets, and with some degree of satisfaction and even (arguably) success.

Take, for example, the following little monster from Madvillainy’s renowned “Figaro”:

“Everything that glitter ain’t fishscale/

Lemme think, don’t let her faint get Ishmael”

A lovely sounding line, to be sure, and one that initially impresses with its near-perfect symmetry – the first line is nine syllables, the second is ten, but we remove the eighth syllable of the latter (get) we are left with a sublimely pat example of syllable-for-syllable rhyming.

It was this parallelism, in fact, that led me to consider the first three syllables of the second line – Lemme think – as a kind of joke. As many emcees stress, all rhyme writing is improvised to a degree, it’s just that it’s done pen-in-hand rather than mic, and in an altogether more leisurely fashion.

Lemme think, then, seems to be an open rumination on the part of the emcee as to how he might rhyme the next six or seven syllables… only it’s disingenuous, a feint (as opposed to a faint), since Lem-me-think covertly corresponds with Eve-ry-thing. Dig? The faux-spontaneity belies design.                

And in this instance, that Lemme think aspires to be doubly misleading, since it not only obscures rhyme, it also obscures sense…

Let’s go back to the first line. As any good hip hop fan knows, “fishscale” denotes pure uncut cocaine. But while DOOM’s substitution of it for Shakespeare’s “gold” artistically evokes the glisten of fish skin, we are seemingly left with little more than an updated cliché bobbing meaninglessly on the surface of the verse.

The second line, however, seems to describe a precise occurrence – don’t let her faint. Could there be a connection, here, with that cocaine of questionable purity? It may very well not be proverbial, after all. Seduced by the allure of intoxication, a woman hoovers up a line and abruptly discovers herself in dire straits, a la Mia Wallace. Lemme think, then, becomes a rumination as to what to do about it – in this case, get Ishmael

Who, though, is Ishmael? Well, there are two that come to mind. There’s Ishmael of Moby Dick (an allusion arguably validated through its rhyme with “fishscale”), then there’s Ishmael from The Bible, Abraham’s son. Both are united through a native element – water: the latter Ishmael thoughtfully preserved from death by the angel Gabriel, who tapped the Zamzam well to slake his thirst.

Mia Wallace, of course, required an injection – or a shot – to return to the land of the living. An average glass of water could easily seem inadequate to the task. Holy water, though (as one would expect Gabriel to provide), would be a different matter.

And what kind of liquid might the famously tipsy DOOM deem “holy” – a whole different kind of shot….

“A shot of Jack, got her back…”

The tasty Mad Lib remix of “Figaro”:
 

Posted by Thomas McGrath | Leave a comment
1947 Cadillac tricked-out with hookah, shower and washing machine
04.24.2013
02:09 pm

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Amusing
Design

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Here’s Louie Mattar’s trick-out 1947 Cadillac which was featured in a LIFE article dated March, 1952. The car featured a hookah, shower, washing machine, kitchen sink, microphone and little weenie roaster in the back seat.

It took Louie more than 4 years to modify his pimpin’ Caddy and cost him around $14,000.

The hookah alone was worth it! Well done, Louie!

See more photos at LIFE.


 

 
Via Boing Boing

 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Under the Smogberry Trees: Dr. Demento Documentary on Kickstarter
04.24.2013
01:44 pm

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Movies
Music

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The advent of a site like Kickstarter has been a wonderful gift with some flaws. Wonderful because it has given folks the chance to get such viable things released and funded, like the previously lost work of cult filmmaker H.G. Lewis, not to mention a high definition release of the surreal Sominex horror film, Manos, The Hands of Fate. It can be flawed because there are some whose projects got kicked off of Kickstarter and not in a good way, including the HD restoration of The Opening of Misty Beethoven. (Though, the rubber still met the road on that project without Kickstarter, thankfully.)

However, that is not why I am here today. Instead, this is about an outfit called the Meep Morp Studio and their undertaking of a truly worthy project entitled Under the Smogberry Trees: The True Story of Dr. Demento. Anyone like myself who grew up listening to Dr. Demento’s radio show will instantly feel their heart swell knowing about this project. Championing “novelty” music and giving airplay to acts ranging from Spike Jones to Frank Zappa, not to mention the wholly underrated Barnes & Barnes (who warrant their own documentary), Dr. Demento was a breath of fresh air in a radio landscape often dominated by AOR, over-produced country and butt rock as far as the eye can see. Heck, we have the man to thank for basically helping jump start the career of Weird Al Yankovic.

Novelty music has always been the awkward redheaded stepchild of musical genres and often unfairly so, since it takes real talent to be boldly ridiculous, wonderfully weird and steadfastly true to a sound that has a snowball’s chance in Hell of making anyone a millionaire. Formerly a roadie for Spirit, Demento, also known as Barret Hansen, has done more for esoteric music in the past forty years than all the music historians combined. Given his contributions to radio and strange music, on top of featuring interviews with Art & Artie Barnes and Bill Frenzel aka Ogden Edsel (“Dead Puppies,” “Kinko the Clown”) among others, it would be a gift if this documentary gets fully funded.

Posted by Heather Drain | Leave a comment
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