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Kraftwerk LIVE (no, really, live, not just remixed) in the 70s and 80s
01.30.2013
05:01 pm

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Music

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Next week Kraftwerk will be staging a series of appearances at the Tate Modern in London, a repeat of their MOMA residency in New York last year that saw the band do many of their albums all the way through. Kraftwerk will play eight of their classics over the course of nine days.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m sure these performances will be cool events, but let’s face it, Kraftwerk don’t really play much of anything live anymore and there’s only one of the two main guys left. The visuals are incredible and sure, die roboter, are fun, but without all the flash it would just be four boring German blokes—three of them who could literally be anybody, can you name ‘em?—onstage with Sony laptops.

Do they really play anything live other than “Pocket Calculator”? It didn’t seem that way to me when I saw them at the Hammerstein Ballroom in Manhattan in 1998. It was just a “remix” show.

Nevertheless, if you listen to tapes of older Kraftwerk shows, from, say, 1975 when they started trekking around promoting Autobahn to the Computer World tour of 1981, way back when they were more or less an analog band, it’s very interesting indeed. Back then, they had to get it right onstage and the drumming was done on those electronic pad thingees. What makes the live Kraftwerk bootlegs of that period so interesting is hearing them make mistakes.

It’s only because of the mistakes that you can tell what great musicians they really were!

Kraftwerk in Budapest, August 14,1981 (an audience recording, but a really good one):
 

 
Kraftwerk in Amsterdam at The Paradiso, 1976:
 

 
Kraftwerk live at the Nakano Sun Plaza, Tokyo, on July 9, 1981 (this one is great!)
 

 
Kraftwerk live on French TV, October 1978:
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Car washes of the future past
01.30.2013
04:45 pm

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Design
History

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George Tate’s photographs of 1960s car washes capture a point in American history that was so bright you had to wear shades. Gleaming spires reach for the sky and its infinite possibilities. Motorcars bask in the sun like retired spaceships and dream of accelerating into the stratosphere.

This is the happy place where once families watched The Jetsons in small suburban ranch homes warmed by the glow of the cathode ray and steaming TV dinners. Everything seemed lit from within…like an A-bomb.
 
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Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
For the loner rebel: Pee-wee Herman-inspired cycling skinsuit
01.30.2013
04:22 pm

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Amusing
Fashion

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I’ve been under-the-weather for the past week (not checking out the Internet much), so this Pee-wee Herman-inspired cycling skinsuit by Podium is new to me. I know it’s been posted on several websites, blogs and Twitter, but I wanted to share it here anyways for its sheer brilliance and for those of you, like me, who haven’t seen it yet.

If you’re a comedic lover, this Skinsuit is the right fit for you! Here at Podium we not only aim to meet the need of professional cyclists, but to give them a special edge, like distracting the guy behind you, and making the spectators love you. This skinsuit is made of the best quality polyester fabric mix, allowing for durability, flexibility and style…

 
You can order it at Podium for $149.99.
 
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Via Laughing Squid

 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
David Bowie: Extracts from his first TV drama ‘The Looking Glass Murders’
01.30.2013
03:11 pm

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Dance
Heroes
Music
Pop Culture
Television

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When his debut album flopped in 1967, David Bowie thought his pop career was over. The years of practice and ambition had sadly delivered nothing but the indifference of the public (who preferred The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s) and the bewilderment of critics, who could not quite understand this young singer (who sounded like Anthony Newley) and delivered such diverse and original songs. Bowie had discovered the width of his talent, but not its depth. Understandably, disheartened, Bowie considered packing it all in and becoming a Buddhist monk at the Samye Ling Monastery in Scotland, but fate played a hand and he soon found himself under the influence of a charismatic fan - the brilliant dancer, performer and choreographer Lindsay Kemp.

Kemp loved Bowie’s first album, and used one its tracks “When I Live My Dream” for one of his shows. Kemp offered Bowie a new career - as dancer, actor and member of Kemp’s dance troupe

On 28 December 1967, David Bowie made his theatrical debut in Kemp’s mime Pierrot in Turquoise or, The Looking Glass Murders at the New Theater in Oxford. Bowie wrote and performed the music, and co-starred as Cloud, alongside Kemp’s Pierrot, Jack Birkett’s Harlequin, and Annie Stainer’s Columbine.

The production was still in rehearsal when it played for its one night at the New Theater, which perhaps explains why the Oxford Mail described the show as “something of a pot-pourri,” though it highlighted Bowie’s contribution for praise:

David Bowie has composed some haunting songs, which he sings in a superb, dreamlike voice. But beguilingly as he plays Cloud, and vigorously as Jack Birkett mimes Harlequin, the pantomime isn’t a completely satisfactory framework for some of the items from his repertoire that Mr Kemp, who plays Pierrot, chooses to present….

...No doubt these are shortcomings Mr. Kemp will attend to before he presents Pierrot in Turquoise at the Prague Festival at the invitation of Marceau and Fialka next summer. No mean honour for an English mime troupe.

The mime told the story of Pierrot and his attempts to win the love of his life, Columbine. Of course things are never simple, and Columbine falls for Harlequin, and is then killed by Pierrot.

After a few tweaks, Pierrot in Turquoise or The Looking Glass Murders opened at the Rosehill Theater, Whitehaven, before its proper run at the Mercury Theater, and Intimate Theater, both London, in March 1968….
 

 
More on Bowie & Kemp in ‘The Looking Glass Murders’, after the jump…
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
‘The Life And Times Of Steve Marriott’: Documentary on Small Faces and Humble Pie frontman
01.30.2013
03:06 pm

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Music

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It’s Steve Marriott’s birthday so what better time to share this documentary on the frontman of two legendary rock bands, Small Faces and Humble Pie.

The Life And Times Of Steve Marriot contains interviews with Peter Frampton, Jerry Shirley, and Greg Ridley, the Black Crowes’s Chris Robinson, Rick Nielsen and Bun E. Carlos of Cheap Trick, John Waite, Bad Company/Free drummer Simon Kirke, Quiet Riot’s Kevin Dubrow, Ricky Byrd and Marriott historian John Heller among others.

Songs included: “Tin Soldier,” “Itchycoo Park,” “Lazy Sunday,” “Paradise Lost,” “Take Me Back,” “Natural Born Woman,” “Alabama 69,” “Sad Bag of Shaky Jake,” “Stone Cold Fever,” “For Your Love,” “4-Day Creep,” “30-Days In The Hole,” “I Don’t Need No Doctor,” “Hot n’ Nasty,” “Black Coffee,” “Bigger They Come,” and “I Won’t Let You Down.”

Not a bad doc. A little too much Frampton and I wish there was some in-depth interviews with Marriott. But well-worth watching. This was released on DVD years ago and has long been out-of-print.
 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Pizza-flavored beer: Are you not at least intrigued?
01.30.2013
02:18 pm

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Food

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It’s exactly what it sounds like!

My fascination with this-flavored-thats is well-documented, but what makes pizza-flavored beer so awesome is the nature of its novelty. It’s not the result of cultural difference, like cola chicken potato chips in China. And its not self-aware irony, like kitschy, retro bacon-flavored toothepaste.

I don’t even get the impression its reveling in absurdism, à la bacon-flavored sexual lubricant. No, these are just two people who simply thought pizza-flavored beer sounded delicious.

The goal was to create a beer that would pair with a wide variety of foods, especially our favorite, Pizza! In the end, we were pleasantly surprised that this “mess” turned out to be the best thing since the guy with chocolate that bumped into Ralph Mouth & mixed up the chocolate with the peanut butter! Indeed, the world will love “Pizza Beer”.

Facing a difficult task, we immediately did an internet search to gather information on using the “oddball” ingredients in creating a beer. Certainly someone had published such a recipe! We found beer made with garlic, hemp seed, coriander, hot peppers, maple syrup, honey, citrus peels & more. But what about tomatoes & the possibility of combining all of our favorite flavors into this beer? We then grabbed our favorite book written by a fellow Chicago Beer Society member, Randy Mosher. He wrote a book called “Radical Brewing” which has been read cover to cover a few times. Randy mentions a lot weirder stuff than pizza spices. He talks about mushrooms, hot rocks & stuff that is really radical! In a quandary, we called one of our best friends & creative brewmasters in the world, Kris Kalav. We told him of our quest to make this really cool brew & wanted to know if he had any experience brewing with tomatoes. After he stopped laughing, we bounced a few ideas around and Voila! “Pizza Beer” was on it’s way to fame. To our knowledge, our home brewed concoction is the “World’s First Culinary Beer.”

Now, being homebrewers, we enjoy the freedom to create whatever we want. We usually refer to a book by Ray Daniels called “Designing Great Beers” when creating a style of beer that we intend on submitting to a contest. We usually concoct the recipe by memory & measure ingredients the way your grandmother did, pinch of this, smidgen of that. Something happened that day. We figured if this really turned out like we want it to, we better be able to duplicate it! Lo and behold, the amazing “Pizza Beer” was born.

Look at that website! Look at the comic sans! And the animation! And the graphics! You wouldn’t troll me with false earnestness, would you, Tom and Athena Seefurth, of Campton Township, Illinois?

Would I still want to drink this if it was sold in some bar in Williamsburg? Of course! I can easily disregard atmospheric pretension in favor of carnal pleasures. But is my heart warmed at the eccentricity of this couple’s innovation? I’m not made of stone!

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Johnny Cash postage stamp to be released this year
01.30.2013
02:14 pm

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Art
Current Events
Design

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The United States Postal Service will be issuing a Johnny Cash stamp later this year as part of its new “Music Icons” series. The stamp features a photograph taken by Frank Bez which appeared on the cover of the album Ring of Fire: The Best of Johnny Cash.

Makes me want to start writing letters again.

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Heil Shitler: Hitler’s Toilet lives (in a New Jersey auto-body shop)
01.30.2013
01:04 pm

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History
Pop Culture

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What you’re looking at is Adolf Hitler’s porcelain throne which currently resides in an auto-repair shop in Florence, New Jersey. The toilet was once used on Hitler’s private yacht, the Aviso Grille, “which was between 400 and 500 feet long.”

After the war ended, the Aviso Grille was taken to the United States and ended up in the hands of New Jersey shipyard owner Harry Doan, who illegally charged visitors 25 cents to board and tour Hitler’s Yacht. However, according to Glass, both Doan and the federal government wanted to prevent the ship from becoming a memorial to Hitler, and so it was scrapped in Doan’s salvage yard in the early 1950s.

In the 1950s, a gentleman by the name of Sam Carlani purchased Hitler’s toilet from the salvage yard for his auto-repair shop simply becasue he “needed a new toilet.”

Greg Kohfeldt bought the auto-shop from Sam Carlani almost 20 years ago, and is now the owner of the commode.

The toilet has been a ‘functional tourist attraction’ since 1952, Kohfeldt said. People would take road trips—as I had—just to see it. (Indeed, the toilet is listed in Roadside America’s online guide.)

snip

While Kohfeldt seems proud of his object’s notoriety, he seems remarkably unexcited by the fact that he owns Hitler’s toilet.

As a side note: You think they would have at least cleaned the toilet for this photo. Yuck.

Read more of Hitler’s Toilet Is in New Jersey at Tablet.

With thanks to Adam Parfrey

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Think Pink: Angelyne, the Billboard Queen of LA sings her totally 80s New Wave non-hit
01.30.2013
09:51 am

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Pop Culture

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“Barbie wishes she were me.”—Angelyne

At one time she was impossible not to notice around the City of Angels: Angelyne the billboard queen, famous for being, uh, “famous” and for having large outdoor billboards of herself plastered all over Los Angeles (Her billboards quasi-qualified as LA “landmarks” just like smog, the Hollywood sign or palm trees; one of them even made the opening montage of Moonlighting, something later parodied in the Futurama credits). For decades she has been a well-known sight, driving around town, as she still does, in her shocking pink Stingray Corvette. She sells Angelyne tee-shirts and merchandise from the trunk of her car.

Although she seemed to have no talent, no real career and no visible means of support, there were rumors for years—Angelyne is notoriously tight-lipped about her “mystique”—that her boyfriend owned the outdoor advertising company that festooned her doughy features across Los Angeles County. Angelyne would say only that she had “investors.” Her signs were everywhere. In 1996, the height of it, probably, I counted fifteen large ones, some of them in prime places—such as Hollywood Blvd and overlooking the 101 freeway near Universal, the very same location that inexplicably kept up a sign for Terminator III: Rise of the Machines before, during and even after the Governator’s term in office—but the LA Times estimated that there were as many as 300 including bus shelter ads. I’d guess that the total cost per year was well in excess of a million dollars. These days there aren’t any that I am aware of, although a new one popped up briefly when they were shooting the Tom Cruise movie Rock of Ages.

Angelyne seems to be a loopy sort of gal. In 2001, I wanted to do a TV piece about Angelyne for UK TV (she had an art show at the time that consisted entirely of self-portraits) but she demanded a ridiculous amount of money per minute—it wasn’t even a round number, something weird like $2242.00 per half-hour—and she just would not budge (I’ve read of producers going up against this same issue, but getting her to finally agree to an interview for $20 worth of candy).

I’m pretty sure that her album came out in 1984. I wanted to post this one a while ago, but all of the versions I could find online were pretty ratty. Here, at long last(?) is Angelyne’s “My List”:
 

 
Get a look inside of Angelyne’s tastefully appointed pink Malibu condo: Angelyne the Billboard Queen Sellin’ Short in the ‘Bu (Realestalker)

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Extreme surfer Garrett McNamara rides record-breaking 100-foot wave
01.30.2013
06:10 am

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Sports

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Garrett McNamara pushed the farther reaches of the envelope this past Monday when he rode a wave believed to be 100 feet off the shore of Nazare, Portugal. It could be his second world record ride at this location. The 45-year-old surfer from Hawaii had a Zen approach to the challenge:

I was totally in the moment. PCP – present, connected and protected.

When I got on the board and they pulled me up with tow rope everything just felt right, it was like magic.”

The question being asked by many folks, including surfing contest director Bill Sharp, is “How do you measure a wave that doesn’t break?”

Here’s some breathtaking footage of Big Monday in Nazare. 
 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
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