Michael L. Leisner, the 65-year-old resident of Andover, Minnesota who gained Internet infamy when he staged a Cheerios-burning anti-gay protest at the corporate headquarters of the General Mills food company on August 5th, has died it was announced today.
The Star Tribune says that Michael Leisner drove his sons to tennis practice on Saturday afternoon and while waiting in the car for them, he suddenly died. The senior pastor of the Christian Center Michael was a member of didn’t give a cause of death and he didn’t say if his last words were, “Damn you, Count Chocula.” The pastor said that he just died in his car. The pastor also said that Michael was a loving husband and father who just so happened to hate gays and the Honey Nut Bee:
“[The video] doesn’t accurately reflect who he was as an individual. He was a very loving and caring father of his four children, a loving husband and he seemed to get along with other people.”
As a result of his viral video, Leisner was fired last week from his real estate job.
Here’s Lenny Bruce’s original application for a New York Cabaret and Public Dance Hall employee identification card and the card itself from 1963. These cards were required by law in order to perform at clubs and venues. If you didn’t have one of these, you didn’t work.
What’s noteworthy here is where the application asks “Have you been arrested since issuance of the card you now hold?”
Bruce answered “Yes.”
The application then asks “If so, give full details.”
Bruce writes “For violation of obscenity laws in California.”
Unfortunately I can’t really make out the rest due to an ink smudge. But it appears he was only granted a 3 month temporary card until a hearing was held.
I found this on the Live Auctioneers website. These Smithsonian-level items were up for auction in 2006, but it looks like no one placed a bid?!
When it comes to feminist-punk, there’s none more femme, nor punk, than the mighty Peaches.
So it’s no real surprise to learn that Peaches has been following the Pussy Riot trial closely, and has turned her hand to making both a video and a track in support of the persecuted Russian rock group.
A YouTube casting call went out last week, asking for fans to send in their own, pro-Pussy Riot footage to be included in the video. Well it is now done and dusted, and available to watch online. The track itself, called “Free Pussy Riot”, is available as a free download, and all Peaches is asking in return for her work is that everyone sign the Free Pussy Riot petition at change.org.
This is the statement Peaches and friends have made to go with the download:
Peaches, Simonne Jones, and tons of musicians, artists, activists, and free-thinkers are came together to make a video for this song in support of the russian punk feminist band PUSSY RIOT! Now that you have heard about the song and video, we want you to take action! Here is why:
In March 2012 three members of Pussy Riot, Maria Alyokhina, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, and Yekaterina Samutsevitch, were taken into custody by Russian authorities for their participation as part of a protest at the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour of the Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow. Their punk prayer is and was an act of free speech and the charges of “hooliganism” and detainment of the three women are seen by the world as a cruel heavy handed act of oppression, are being carried out to discourage free thought and speech in Russia.
If Russia wishes to be a part of the modern globalized world it must adhere to the standards and principles of a free nation where its people have the right to have a free and open dialogue about all subjects. Discussion, debate, and action are the basic building blocks of a free society. By following through with the prosecution of these women Russian political bullies are currently making a mockery of free speech, free thought, and Russia’s own country’s constitution.
We, the citizens of the world and advocates for free speech, DEMAND the immediate release of Pussy Riot. The verdict is planned for August 17th - let’s show Pussy Riot our support!
The charges and punishments facing Maria, Nadezhda, and Ekaterina are nothing more than a political stunt by the Russian authorities and Russian Orthodox Chruch to retain control over the Russian people and instill fear into the free-thinkers, political activists, and artists of Russia.
The world is watching, and we do not like what we see.
Moog pioneer Gershon Kingsley’s “Shabbat for Today” was his attempt to fuse traditional Jewish religious music with a more contemporary avant-garde sound, to draw in younger people to temple. The “Shabbat” utilized, of course, the then-futuristic electronic instrument Kingsley helped make famous, the Moog Synthesizer.
A televised excerpt from “Shabbat for Today” was broadcast on PBS in 1971, conducted by the composer, and featuring cantor Ephraim Biran, Rabbi Gunter Hirschberg, narrator Alfred Drake and Kenneth Bichel on the Moog Modular.
Some time in 1999, I was invited by Mr. Kingsley to hear his “Shabbat for Today” performed in a synagogue in Manhattan and it was a wonderful experience. I am pretty sure that recital was held in the same synagogue seen in the video below, Temple Rodeph Shalom, located on the Upper West Side. (There are several Perrey & Kingsley numbers and two (AMAZING) little known pieces by Kingsley (”Shank” and “Hey Hey!”) on a long out of print CD I compiled titled Best Of Moog: Electronic Pop Hits From The 60’s & 70’s).
Charles Ball who co-founded seminal punk D.I.Y. label Ork Records with Terry Ork and later Lust/Unlust Records died Monday night of a heart attack in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Ork Records released Television’s debut single “Little Johnny Jewel” followed by records from Richard Hell, The Marbles and Mick Farren, among others. An Ork release was always a thrilling event for me. You never knew what direction the label would move and that was part of what made it such an exciting and ultimately ground-breaking enterprise. With Terry seeking out new bands and Charles keeping the machinery of the business running, Ork Records was a ticket to New York’s underground musical amusement park.
Eventually, Charles ventured out on his own by creating the shortlived but highly influential Lust/Unlust label. In a brief but productive period of time, he managed to release a handful of genre-smashing singles and LPs that expanded the field for rock ‘n’ roll in wildly unpredictable ways, including the first record by Teenage Jesus (with Migraine Records) and various projects by Martin Rev, DNA, Alex Chilton and Robin Crutchfield’s Dark Day. With his all-American looks, Charles may not have appeared dangerous but he had an outlaw’s vision and was taking risks at a time when the music industry didn’t have a clue. He’s earned every true rocker’s respect and will be fondly remembered for helping revive not only an art form but a city.
Here’s Alex Chilton’s “Bangkok” which was released as a single by Lust/Unlust in 1978
The wearing of a cravat is a sign of sophistication and style. Only the most self-assured can carry it off. Look at Cary Grant in To Catch a Thief, or, David Niven telling us The Moon’s a Balloon, or the dear Master himself, Noel Coward, accessorized with smoking jacket, tinkling the ivories, saying how he would go through life in First or Third Class, but never Second. Yes, it takes considerable confidence to wear one, for it signifies a sense of the wearer’s identity and self-importance.
Elvis Costello wears a cravat in this documentary on the making of his 1981 album, Almost Blue. He carries it off, in his own way. In much the same way as the Post-Punk, New Wave singer made this album of classic Country and Western covers his very own.
It was an inspired decision, one perhaps touched by genius. At the height of his Indie Pop success, Elvis moved to Nashville, hooked up with legendary producer Billy Sherrill, and learned to make a near perfect C&W album.
The South Bank Show followed Elvis Costello during the making of Almost Blue, and captured almost the whole process by which Sherrill and Costello chose, worked on and recorded the album. It is an excellent documentary, revealing the talent, arrogance and self-belief required to make a landmark album, or to wear a cravat.
Ken Russell’s 1975 ribald cult favorite Lisztomania will be screened this coming weekend at Cinefamily in Los Angeles as part of the Allison Anders curated Don’t Knock The Rock film festival:
The most fantastical, bawdy, synth-adelic, opulent and outré film ever from the Seventies’ most audacious cinematic enfant terrible! Following the huge success of Tommy, Ken Russell next tackled one of his trademark composer biographies—and the result was the life of Franz Liszt as channeled through Superman comics, 10-foot phalluses, glittery hoedowns, Frankenstein, Metropolis, Ringo Starr as “The Pope”(!), and a stupendous list of other impossible stuff. Portrayed by Roger Daltrey (and accompanied by an adapted score from keyboard wizard Rick Wakeman), Liszt is at first shown as a 19th-century equivalent to Daltrey’s real-life brand of rock ‘n roll animal—but, of course, Russell gleefully ramps every piece of sensory input to 11, pitting Liszt as a superhero priest sent to annihilate the scourge of vampiric Nazi mad scientist Richard Wagner. Not all pure insanity, Lisztomania also features startling moments of quiet clarity, exemplified in a heartrending flashback re-imagining Liszt’s idyllic romantic life as a cross-pollination between the winter cabin scenes of both Citizen Kane and The Gold Rush. Woefully misunderstood and critically savaged upon its original release, Lisztomania is one hell of a good time, and exemplifies a kind of radical chance-taking Hollywood can’t even conceive of today—the kind that Russell couldn’t conceive of not bringing to the screen.
If you live in the Los Angeles area and you’d like to win tickets to this special screening of Lisztomania, Dangerous Minds is giving away three pairs of tickets. All you have to do is come up with a good caption for the above photograph of Roger Daltery and Rick Wakeman (seen here playing a particularly demented looking Thor).
The three “Caption This” winners will be chosen by the number of “likes.”
Oscar-winning writer and director Martin McDonagh’s bloody black comedy stars Colin Farrell as “Marty,” a screenwriter struggling with this new script, “Seven Psychopaths.” Marty becomes inadvertently mixed up in the criminal underworld when his idiot friends (Christopher Walken and Sam Rockwell) kidnap a gangster’s Shih Tzu.
With Woody Harrelson as the gangster, Tom Waits, Bond girl Olga Kurylenko, Abbie Cornish and Academy Award nominee Gabourey Sidibe round out the psychopaths.