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The Piper at the Gates of Dawn: Pink Floyd classic now 45 years old
08.05.2012
08:49 pm

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History
Music

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Pink Floyd’s debut 1967 long player, The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn, came out 45 years ago this week in the UK. A stereo mix of the album came out a month later and the American version of the album was released in October of that year. The US version had a different track listing that omitted “Flaming,” “Astronomy Domine” and “Bike,” if you can imagine such a travesty, while the “See Emily Play” single was added.

Piper was recorded off and on February through July of 1967 at Abbey Road Studios (while the Beatles recorded “Lovely Rita” in the studio next door) and featured mostly songs written by the group’s founder Syd Barrett. By the time the album came out, however, Barrett’s behavior had become increasingly erratic and David Gilmour was soon after brought in to augment the group. It was the sole Pink Floyd album to be recorded under Barrett’s musical leadership of the band.

Although today Piper is justly considered a classic, indispensable album, it was not a commonly encountered record until after Dark Side of the Moon became such a monster hit, in the US at least, and it was re-released as part of the A Nice Pair two-record set (which included Piper along with the restored tracks and A Saucerful of Secrets).

The startling lead off number on The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn is the tremendously tremendous “Astronomy Domine” as seen here in this wild clip from The Look of the Week BBC television series. Includes the hilariously contentious interview with classical music critic Hans Keller, who introduces the group with the faintest of feint praise. In fact he more or less tells the TV audience that what they are about to see is going to suck! Imagine how completely INSANE this would have seemed beamed into your home in 1967. Keller’s bewilderment at their music is a pretty clear indicator of how such a performance would have been regarded back then. Speaking of, notice how far ahead of his time human beat box Barrett is at the start of this clip:
 

 
After the jump, more early Pink Floyd performances and videos with Syd Barrett…
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Frankie Boyle vs. Chris Brown
08.05.2012
07:23 pm

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Amusing
Music

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Controversial, Scottish comedian Frankie Boyle ripped the piss out of rapper Chris Brown, in a brief exchange on twitter.

Brown tweeted:

Serious tweet: I THink SKATEBOARDING AND BREAKDANCING should be an Olympic sport.

To which Boyle responded:

@chrisbrown Or intergender boxing, you’d be in with a chance of a medal there mate.

Round one to the Scotsman, though I wonder if Boyle’s tweet was in part inspired by his own recent questionable and offensive comments?
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
A film about Graham Simpson, co-founder and original bass guitarist for Roxy Music
08.05.2012
04:30 pm

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Movies
Music

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Here’s a short but very compeling “artistic profile” on Graham Simpson, the original bassist and co-founder of Roxy Music.

After the release of the band’s debut album in 1972, Simpson left Roxy Music to deal with his depression (“mental fatigue”), which eventually led to a trip to India to study Sufism. Though he had not closed the door on a return to Roxy Music, he never did approach the band about future collaborations.

The last words Bryan (Ferry) said to me where “get well and come back” but I never did. I ran out of imagination but Bryan never did”

Bryan Ferry on Simpson:

He was one of the most interesting people I ever worked with. He was crucial to my development as a musician, and in those early years he was a pillar of strength and inspiration. He was a great character…think Jack Kerouac and ‘On The Road’.  I liked Graham, and Roxy Music would never have happened without him”

It is somewhat shocking that Simpson’s contribution to the genesis of Roxy Music is as little known as it is. Perhaps, his own behavior was the cause. He seemed unsuited to the glare of the spotlight and apparently made every effort to avoid fame. But this doesn’t excuse history from giving credit where credit is due. In Jonathan Rigby’s well-regarded book on Roxy Music, “Both Ends Burning,” Simpson is hardly mentioned and among the book’s many photographs of Roxy Music in its infancy, there’s not a single shot of Simpson. A recent documentary on Roxy Music that we featured here on Dangerous Minds made no mention of Simpson at all.

Filmed by Simpson’s neighbor and film maker Sara Cook, this video is a teaser for a planned feature-length documentary on Simpson called Nothing But The Magnificent.

I, for one, am keeping my fingers crossed that Ms. Cook will be able to complete Nothing But The Magnificent. Graham Simpson’s life seems quite fascinating and as a founder of one of the great rock bands of all time his story is far more than just an historical footnote.

Graham Simpson died this past April at the age of 68.
 

 
Thanks Peter Holsapple.

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Paolo Gioli’s cinematic tone poem to Marilyn Monroe
08.05.2012
02:29 am

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Movies

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Italian film maker Paolo Gioli creates a haunting short movie by animating photographs taken by Bert Stern of Marilyn Monroe shortly before she died at the age of 36, fifty years ago today.

Filmarilyn is both beautiful and foreboding. As the film’s jazzy rhythms start to disintegrate and the images slow to a crawl, “X” marks on the contact sheets appear like magical curses and a fresh scar on Marilyn’s flesh transforms into a stigmata while her face, half-hidden by shrouds of white, eyes closed, turns impossibly pale and lifeless. In the final moments, close-ups of her hands in death-like repose seem almost saintly and as the film’s last frames unspool we are left with the sense of having seen an apparition, a ghost… a soul X-rayed.

It’s amazing how much power and sadness Gioli creates from so few elements - a testimony to his artistry, Marilyn’s radiance and Stern’s skill in capturing it.
 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
‘My Hobby’: Comedian Harry Hill’s secret life as an artist
08.04.2012
08:46 pm

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Amusing
Art
Television

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harry_hill_philip_schofield
 
An exhibition of artwork by comedian Harry Hill, has opened at the Edinburgh Art Festival.

Called My Hobby the exhibition includes Hill’s paintings of TV celebrities, such as Philip Schofield and Chris Tarrant, trapped in bizarre, nightmarish landscapes,  which Hill described tin an interview with the BBC as:

‘...depicting a parallel universe where nature, celebrity and surrealism collide.’

Some of the work is reminiscent of artist David Shrigley, who encouraged Hill to have the exhibition.

Best known for his multi-award-winning series TV Burp Hill claims he paints as a means of ‘winding down’, and has been painting in secret for 20-years. Over that time, Harry had amassed so many of his own artworks he thought it was time to get them out of the house.

My Hobby runs at White Stuff, 2nd Floor, 89 George Street, EH2 3ES, from 4 August – 2 September 2012, and includes a newly filmed interview between Shrigley and Hill.

Here is a selection of Harry Hill’s art, including some on show in Edinburgh.
 
harry_hill_chris_tarrant
 
A few more peaks at harry Hill’s art, after the jump…
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Black Sabbath brings the heavy metal thunder and Lollapalooza shuts down
08.04.2012
06:15 pm

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Current Events

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Black Sabbath -Tony Iommi, Ozzy Osbourne, Geezer Butler and Tommy Clufetos (doing a fine job filling in for Bill Ward) - play a solid version of “Iron Man” last night at Lollapalooza.

Right now heavy rainstorms in the Chicago area have shut down Lollapalooza.  Plans are to resume the fest as soon as the storms pass. Once the weather delay is over, you can stream the rest of the fest here.


Massive party pooper. 100,000 people evacuted from Chicago’s Grant Park.
 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Video of Patti Smith standing up for Pussy Riot: ‘Jesus Christ would fucking forgive them!’
08.04.2012
02:36 pm

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Current Events
Music
Politics
Punk

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“Putin has pissed himself.” Patti Smith in Oslo.
 
During yesterday’s performance of “Gloria” in Stockholm, Patti Smith and her band make it quite clear how they feel about the imprisonment of Russian punk band Pussy Riot.

“Ask Jesus Christ. He would fucking forgive them.”

I’m not sure the women in Pussy Riot require anyone’s forgiveness. Forgiveness from what? Exercising freedom of speech and artistic expression? “Jesus died for somebody’s sins, but not mine.” But Smith is fighting the good fight by appealing to what Putin and his lot can comprehend; a way out of an international public relations debacle that leaves them looking human instead of like fascist pricks. Yes, the thugs should forgive the girls and let them go. Be Christ-like. People like that.

Go Patti go!
 

 
Thanks Bgrrrlie

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
An absolute must-see: the reasons people give for supporting Chick-fil-A


 
People turned out to support Chic-fil-A this week because of their principles and beliefs, that much should be obvious by now. Less obvious is just what those principles and beliefs are, exactly.

Well, here’s our chance to find out, thanks to YouTube uploader Liberalegg. She describes this video in her own words:

I ask people at Chick-fil-A some simple questions. At least… I thought they were simple enough, until they tried to answer.

In terms of the name calling, this video was not intended as hard-hitting journalism. It was just something funny for my friends, I never expected so many people to see it. I think the video would have been more effective had I allowed them to speak for themselves.

I apologize for the background noise; captions are available (just press the little cc button at the bottom right of the player).

Indeed, this video IS better with captions, as the sound is slightly off in parts. And also, because it means we get to hear and see the COMPLETE IDIOCY of the people involved in this “movement.”

There’s not much more to be said, as these people are saying it all themselves. Just sit back and have a good laugh:
 

 
Thanks to Darla Gayle and Honey Mahogany.

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
‘Quatermass and the Pit’: The original, classic TV series by Nigel Kneale
08.03.2012
09:35 pm

Topics:
Television
Thinkers

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quatermass_and_the-pit_nigel_kneale
 
Workers at a building site in London excavate what appears to be human remains. On closer examination, these turn out to be something far more sinister, and when a space capsule is discovered, a series of disturbing events lead Professor Bernard Quatermass and his team to face a deadly martian threat and consider far darker origin to humanity.

This is the plot of Nigel Kneale‘s classic science-fiction series Quatermass and the Pit, which was originally shown on BBC Decemebr 22, 1958, to January 26, 1959.

Quatermass was an incredibly successful and influential series, which ran for 3 seasons from 1953-1959. Its success was in no way diminished by a change in lead actor - not once but 3 times.

Reginald Tate played the Professor in the opening series The Quatermass Experiment. and was about to film Quatermass II in 1955, when he dropped dead of a heart attack outside his London home. Tate was replaced by John Robinson, who proved quite successful, but due to other commitments he could not film Quatermass and the Pit in 1958. This allowed the man most associated with Quatermass, André Morell to take over.

All this proves is that a great character and a brilliant script can work with any number of different actors.

When the series moved to the big screen, it was believed an American star would guarantee box office success in the States, so Brian Donlevy was brought in to star in Hammer Film’s versions of The Quatermass Experiment and Quatermass II. By 1967, it was all change again as Scottish actor Andrew Keir played the professor in the first color version of Quatermass and the Pit.

And it didn’t stop there: Kneale revived Quatermass for a new TV series in the 1970s, with John Mills this time as the maverick scientist. While the BBC tried their hand with a live performance of The Quatermass Experiment, which starred Jason Flemyng in 2005.

Though I have great liking for Keir’s performance, this original TV version of Quatermass and the Pitt starring André Morell is, in many ways, the best. Part of the reason for this is the three-and-half hours of air time, which allowed Kneale far greater opportunity to develop ideas that a 90 minute film could not hold.

Understandably, Quatermass has cast a long shadow over TV, film and fiction for more than 50 years, and has inspired Stephen (Tommyknockers) King, John Carpenter (who wanted Kneale to write Halloween III), and series such as Dr Who and The X Files.

This was because Nigel Kneale was such a brilliant writer, who was sadly often side-lined by the idiotic snobbery of critics, who saw him as a mere scriptwriter of speculative science-fiction and pulp thrillers. But as Mark Gatiss rightly pointed out at the time of Kneale’s death in 2006:

‘Kneale is amongst the greats—he is absolutely as important as Dennis Potter, as David Mercer, as Alan Bleasdale, as Alan Bennett…’

Now here’s your chance to watch a master writer at his height, producing one the greatest TV dramas ever made, Quatermass and the Pit.
 

 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
States where Chick-fil-A can legally fire gay employees
08.03.2012
04:14 pm

Topics:
American-style (Republican) Christianity
Idiocracy

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That graphic speaks volumes, doesn’t it? Via Gay Rights Maps.

If you haven’t seen this hilarious and epic anti-Chick-fil-A rant from former HUGE Chick-fil-A fan Jackson Pearce, you have to watch it. Stay with it all the way to the end. This woman is a star. Jackson Pearce could conceivably be the “new Molly Ivens.” She’s that good.

It was Pearce’s call for protesters to videotape their interactions with Chick-fil-A that caused Arizona man Adam Smith to be fired from his job when he posted a YouTube video of his low-key, innocuous—yet ultimately misguided—protest. Smith has since had to go into hiding with this family (including two adopted special needs children) due to all of the death threats he is receiving, many of them coming from readers of the white supremacist website Stormfront.

Jon Stewart’s commentary on the Chick-fil-A controversy, “Fast Feud Nation” last night on The Daily Show was Stewart at his very best.
 

 
Via Joe.My.God.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
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