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Christmas in Hell: Ozzy Osbourne sings ‘Winter Wonderland’

When rock and rollers feel the holiday spirit, we all suffer. This is worse than a rat salad sandwich.

Jesus has left the womb.

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Give me some slack: High Weirdness By Mail online

In, I think, 1988 or 89, I mailed hundreds of letters to all of the freaky organizations and crazed loners listed in Rev. Ivan Stang’s classic book on oddball culture, High Weirdness By Mail.

I sent the exact same form letter to all of them (“To Whom It May Concern, I am interested in more information about your organization, Thank you, Richard Metzger”) and within a very short period of time—about two weeks—my mailbox was overflowing daily with completely insane shit from some extremely marginal individuals. I used to have boxes and boxes of it. I’m sure that the current tenants of my former East Village apartment still to this very day get whimsical, creepy and outright alarming things addressed to me.

Among the high weirdness highlights were these people in Kentucky who sent me several homemade cassettes featuring some seriously demented (and low IQ) “alien channeling” sessions with “The Commodore” that became more and more paranoid and racist with every tape. This stuff was out there, existing in a parallel continuum of irrationality far beyond anything heard then on Art Bell’s radio show. With each cassette they’d send me—there were dozens sent for my one single letter of inquiry—there would be a crude drawing of their house and an appeal for money so that they could build a “UFO landing lookout” (something that you and I might call it a “porch”).

Equally persistent, but no less nutty, was the curious assortment of incredibly stupid items I received from disgraced TV televangelist Peter Popoff. Popoff—who was exposed as a fraud a long time ago on The Tonight Show and many times since—must assume that the people who contact him are the dumbest people on Earth and for the most part, maybe he’s right. Among the nonsense I got from him were a “prosperity prayer rug”:  You were instructed to kneel on the “prayer rug”—a cheap paper poster with a dotted line circle—and put your wallet in front of you and pray for money (for a monetary donation, Popoff would also personally pray to God on your behalf) and a Handi-wipe type thing with supposed “holy water” that would make your debts vanish by supernatural intervention. Or something.

(He’s still around. The last time I saw Peter Popoff on TV, he was on BET and had re-invented himself as a sort of preacher/debt councilor)

High Weirdness by Mail has been out of print for a long time, but a Sub-Genius named Friar Synapse has lovingly recreated the book online, after discovering that nearly ALL of the groups and individuals listed there are still around!

The zaniness is broken down into categories like Weird Science, UFO Contactees, Jesus Contactees, Weird Religion, New Age Saps, $chemes & $cams, Cosmic Hippie Drug Brother Stuff, Weird Politics, Rantzines, Comics, Badfilm & Sleaze and Rudeness & Sex Wars.

You’ve got your slack cut out for you…

Honestly, I must say, spending 3 or four hours writing to all of those kooks was one of the best things I’ve ever done. I highly recommend High Weirdness by Mail. No really, in some ways, it changed my life! Praise Bob!



Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
‘Neil Young Sings Neil Young,’ 1971
12:17 pm


Neil Young

There is lots and lots of great film and video footage of Neil Young throughout his long career, but one of the very best performances is the intimate 30 minute acoustic set he taped in 1971 for the BBC at the height of his powers right before Harvest came out. Part of their In Concert series, the full title was “Neil Young Sings Neil Young.”

The set list includes “Out on the Weekend,” “Old Man,” “Journey Thru the Past,” “Heart of Gold,” “Don’t Let It Bring You Down,” “A Man Needs A Maid,” “Love in Mind,” and “Dance, Dance, Dance.”

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
DJ Dear Leader - Dropping the bass with Kim Jong Il

Ain’t no party like a Kim Jong-Il party!



More at Kim Jon Il Dropping The Bass.

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
Vintage David Bowie interview, 1966
10:51 am


David Bowie

A young David Bowie—soon after changing his name—interviewed at the height of his Anthony Newley fixation and a performance of “Over the Wall We Go” a seldom heard track (that I happen to love).

YouTube poster, “Eclipse1501” writes:

In London in 1966 at the Marquee Club David Bowie did a Sunday afternoon show, The Bowie Showboat, from April 10th to June 12th. At the second Bowie Showboat concert he met his soon to be manager, Ken Pitt. This recording is almost 45 years old so forgive the period live sound quality but enjoy a young entertainer. There is an audio break in the middle but stick with it!

The break occurs at 2:08 and resumes at 3:10.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Politifact’s Big Lie: Republicans DO want to end Medicare
09:01 am

Class War

Rep. Paul Ryan

I once had a date that went very, very poorly. Unbeknownst to me, the gorgeous, full-lipped brunette who I’d met at an art opening and who was now seated across from me, was an Ayn Rand fan and a conservative Catholic.

They didn’t have E-Harmony back then.

During the course of conversation, the woman I was having dinner and I came to quickly find that we did not agree about anything. Probably the only thing we could agree on is that we couldn’t agree on anything else. It was all downhill from the time the drinks arrived.

What really drove me nuts about her was that she constantly offered conversational rebuttals of the “well, they say that…” or “well, most critics said that…” variety. That’s so lame. Finally when the conversation reached a level of ill-will you might see on a news channel between Dana Loesch and well, anyone rational—I could take it no more. I called to her attention what I was observing, that over and over again, in the course of just a single conversation, ALL of the opinions she expressed—and which were apparently strongly held—were without exception second-hand, referring in every instance to what someone else thought. Then she would fold her arms and declare “Well, that’s what so and so says, so it must be true.” What did SHE actually think or was she simply content to be a knee-jerk parrot of the opinions of other people, I asked, fully aware I was not only jabbing in the knife, but twisting it like Freddy Kruger. The constant fallback to the great authoritative (and unnamed) “they say” was as annoying as fuck.

This is why I hate Politifact. It’s the thing that smartass Internet commenters always use as their backstop: “See? Look what Politifact had to say. Nah nah na nah nah!” You see this all over the place. References to Politifact are a blight on political blogs. As I see it, referring to Polifact in any sort of debate is an admission that your own critical thinking skills are not firing on all pistons.

Even when Politifact “agrees” with an opinion I hold, or concurs with my own take on something, I still hate Politifact because by trying to be “balanced,” they often refuse to call something for what it really is. Or else they go overboard trying to rationalize why a certain level of media hyperbole is “false” by going in the other direction to an often absurd extent.

The old adage that there are two sides to every story and the truth is somewhere in the middle is simply no longer applicable in the age of Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and the Tea party.

And this year’s Politifact Lie of the Year got it all wrong. Wrong to the point where they didn’t just tarnish whatever reputation some people think Polifact has, they detonated it with this load of absolute shite:

Republicans muscled a budget through the House of Representatives in April that they said would take an important step toward reducing the federal deficit. Introduced by U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, the plan kept Medicare intact for people 55 or older, but dramatically changed the program for everyone else by privatizing it and providing government subsidies.

Democrats pounced. Just four days after the party-line vote, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee released a Web ad that said seniors will have to pay $12,500 more for health care “because Republicans voted to end Medicare.” […]

PolitiFact debunked the Medicare charge in nine separate fact-checks rated False or Pants on Fire, most often in attacks leveled against Republican House members.

Now, PolitiFact has chosen the Democrats’ claim as the 2011 Lie of the Year.

As Steven Benen writes on the Poltical Animal blog: PolitiFact ought to be ashamed of itself

This is simply indefensible. Claims that are factually true shouldn’t be eligible for a Lie of the Year designation.

It’s unnerving that we have to explain this again, but since PolitiFact appears to be struggling with the relevant details, let’s set the record straight.

Medicare is a single-payer health care system offering guaranteed benefits to seniors. The House Republican budget plan intended to privatize the existing system and replace it with something very different — a voucher scheme. It would still be called “Medicare,” but it wouldn’t be Medicare.

It seems foolish to have to parse the meaning of the word “end,” but if there’s a program, and it’s replaced with a different program, proponents brought an end to the original program. That’s what the verb means.

I’ve been trying to think of the best analogy for this. How about this one: imagine someone owns a Ferrari. It’s expensive and drives beautifully, and the owner desperately wants to keep his car intact. Now imagine I took the car away, removed the metallic badge off the trunk that says “Ferrari,” I stuck it on a golf cart, and I handed the owner the keys.

“Where’s my Ferrari?” the owner would ask.

“It’s right here,” I’d respond. “This has four wheels, a steering wheel, and pedals, and it says ‘Ferrari’ right there on the back.”

By PolitiFact’s reasoning, I haven’t actually replaced the car — and if you disagree, you’re a pants-on-fire liar.

Here’s how Paul Krugman put it:

Republicans voted to replace Medicare with a voucher system to buy private insurance — and not just that, a voucher system in which the value of the vouchers would systematically lag the cost of health care, so that there was no guarantee that seniors would even be able to afford private insurance.

The new scheme would still be called “Medicare”, but it would bear little resemblance to the current system, which guarantees essential care to all seniors.

How is this not an end to Medicare? And given all the actual, indisputable lies out there, how on earth could saying that it is be the “Lie of the year”?

The answer is, of course, obvious: the people at Politifact are terrified of being considered partisan if they acknowledge the clear fact that there’s a lot more lying on one side of the political divide than on the other. So they’ve bent over backwards to appear “balanced” — and in the process made themselves useless and irrelevant.

Hear, hear. Bye-bye Politifact, you have officially jumped your last credibility shark. There’s no need to pay attention to you at all anymore.

The truth is not bipartisan! It’s just not.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Kim Jong-un: Like father like son?

Little Kim is reputedly a tightly wound arrogant alcoholic with a fetish for military gear, fast cars, platform shoes and Daffy Duck videos just like his dead daddy. This pudgy mouth-breather is Kim Jong-il’s Mini-Me without the Dr. Evil allure.

He has the yeasty puffiness of the Pillsbury Dough Boy and the slightly dazed look of an overweight baby that’s just wet its bed. With a bit of leather trim and a touch of brocade, he might be mistaken for one of Hitler’s ottomans, a comfortable foot rest where a pair of shiny black jackboots might find a perfect nesting place.

Let’s hope the lil’ dick-tator doesn’t do something real stupid to prove he’s a tough guy. Things get ugly when one of of these elevator-shoe-wearin’ autocrats try to over-compensate for their size and start gettin’ all nuclear and shit. Plus, the dude’s only 28-years-old. Has he even been laid? If you’re unfucked, you have no business being anywhere near a nuclear device. Sex, along with a good meal and rock and roll, makes life worth living. A virgin Pillsbury Dough Boy with his finger on the button is the stuff of nightmares.

We don’t need no fascist groove thang.

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Kim Jong-il vs. kitty driller killer
05:41 pm

Current Events

Kitty drill
Kim Jong-il

Faster pussycat, drill iL!

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
It’s Phil Ochs birthday: Here’s a terrific documentary on Ochs for your viewing pleasure

Phil Ochs was born on this day 71 years ago in El Paso, Texas. To honor the man, I present Phil Ochs: There but for Fortune, an insightful documentary on Ochs directed and written by Kenneth Bowser.

Featuring Michael Ochs, Meegan Ochs, Van Dyke Parks, Joan Baez, Pete Seeger, Christopher Hitchens, Lucian Truscott IV, Ed Sanders, Sam Hood, Sean Penn, Tom Hayden.

Watch phil.ochs.avi in Music  |  View More Free Videos Online at

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Old School: An Oral History of Def Jam
03:45 pm

Pop Culture

Def Jam Recordings

An oral his­to­ry of the ori­gins of Def Jam Records, as told by Rick Ru­bin, Rus­sell Sim­mons, L.L. Cool J, Bill Steph­ney, Chuck D., Glen E. Fried­man, Hank Shock­lee, Tim West­wood, DMC, Joe Per­ry, Beast­ie Boys and others. Originally broad­cast on BBC Radio 2.

Thank you Glen E. Friedman of New York City!

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
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