Okay, you might have been expecting something else if you followed a text link here, but since you are here, have a listen to this utterly magnificent apocalypso-beatnik free-form freakout from Kim Fowley and TURN IT UP LOUD.
Is America dead?
Are we the brave new world
Or the end instead?
Is America dead?”
The epic “Is America Dead?” is as exploratory and totally off onto the furthest reaches of the thinnest branch of the associative free form tree as “When The Music’s Over” and just as true to its vision. Mentally checking his country’s pulse, the song suffers innumerable instrumental breakdowns, ravings, musings, deep truths, jokes, insults, snatches of patriotic hymns and…you name it: it’s all there, up against Kim’s streaming organ chords of flapping freak flag flying. “Is America Dead?” stretches out all the way to Europe and back as Kim ponders, fumbles, moans and freaks out uncontrollably, while the chorus continually asks and prods the song’s title’s question.
Cynical, dark-hearted British playwright Joe Orton and his boyfriend (later murderer) Kenneth Halliwell so hated the books on offer at the Essex Road library in London, that they decided to amuse themselves by creatively defacing book covers. Eventually the pair were caught and did jail time. Now a large selection of their naughty handiwork is on display at the Islington Museum, where 40 of the 72 dustjackets they defaced can be viewed by the public through January of next year.
What would a librarygoer in 1960 think in picking up The Collected Plays of Emlyn Williams and finding they were about to read plays called Knickers Must Fall and Fucked by Monty?
They also altered the blurbs for the books in a less than tasteful fashion. Dorothy L Sayers’s Gaudy Nights, for example, was the writer “at her most awe inspiring. At her most queer, and needless to say, at her most crude!”
Readers of another of her Lord Peter Wimsey books, Clouds of Witness, are advised to read behind closed doors “and have a good shit while you are reading!”
The pair would sneak the book back on to a shelf and then wait for someone to pick it up so they could watch the reaction.
You can see more of the defaced book jackets here.
The results of the recall elections of the WI state reps might have been mixed, but that was then and this is now. Just a few months later, the political headwinds have shifted suddenly. I don’t think things look too promising for the continuing political career of Scott Walker. It’s time to make it hot for this bastard.
Organizers in Wisconsin will have 60 days to collect 540,208 signatures as they announce plans to kick off an effort to recall Governor Scott Walker, the man whose extreme levels of union-busting intransigence led to hundres of thousands of protesters descending on the capital, in a standoff that riveted the nation and led to a resurgence of pro-labor activism. One group, United Wisconsin already has over 200,000 promised recall signatures through its organizing efforts.
On the Ed Show last night, Wisconsin Democratic Party Chairman Mike Tate explained why, after deliberation, the party along with groups of activists forged during the protests had decided to go forward with this action, feeling that they couldn’t wait any longer to try to recall Walker. Video of their conversation is embedded below.
If the drive is successful, elections could potentially be held in Spring 2012. Find out official information here. (It’s a testament to the popularity behind the recall that there are quite a few unofficial recall Walker sites flooding the web already!)
The fun and beauty of toys is they exist purely for pleasure… but within the most wonderful of toys there is poetry and secret teachings.
“Toys are not really as innocent as they look. Toys and games are preludes to serious ideas.” - Charles Eames.
Charles and Ray Eames made over 100 short films. Many of them had toys as their subject. In Tops (1969) and the solar powered Do-Nothing Machine (1957), the Eames celebrate design and movement for their own sake as well as their potential to open doors of perception.
The Do-Nothing Machine was created by the Eames to do exactly what its name says - nothing. In the 1950s, when progress was our most important product, a machine that did nothing, other than dazzle the eye and compel one to meditate upon the beauty of form, sunlight and gravity, was a radical statement. Eames’ machine could be seen as a precursor to the psychedelic experience: a device to tickle the senses and bring us into the NOW. Add the fact that it is solar-powered and we have something that is positively visionary in all senses of the word.
In our goal-oriented society, a toy is a respite from getting things done. A toy is like the Buddha nature, it need not justify itself. It just is, of the moment, no results required, no function necessary other than in the delight of being. But within the playful nature of a toy, there are things to be learned if you so choose to discover them.
A top is perfect, profound in its simplicity, offering up a multitude of possible teachings. Truly alive when it is in balance, the top, spinning like a prayer wheel with a sense of humor, in accordance with natural law, is a symbol of the Dharma as it spins upon its invisible axis. The spine of the top is charged like some kind of tantric machine. With each new spin it is reborn.
This is a perplexing product to get your head around. It really is. I like it, or at least I like parts of it, quite a lot. Other aspects of the set I could do without completely. Some of it’s just plain useless.
One CD of the original album, newly remastered in 2011
One CD of DSOTM performed live all the way through at Wembley Arena in 1974
A DVD-A of the 2003 5.1 surround mix, Alan Parson’s original quadraphonic mix from 1973 in 4.0 surround, a LPCM version of the 2011 stereo remaster, and 640 kbps versions of both surround mixes
A regular DVD that has two live numbers filmed in Brighton, 1972, an EPK from 2003 and the films that were projected behind the band onstage during British, French and North American tours in 1974/1975 synched to the same 5.1 audio heard on the previous disc.
A Blu-ray with uncompressed, high resolution versions of the stereo mix, the quad Parsons mix, the 2003 5.1 surround mix, the concert films, the live clips from Brighton, the EPK and the original 1973 stereo mix.
A CD of an earlier DSOTM mix from 1972 by Alan Parsons, a demo of “Us and Them” by Rick Wright, a demo of “Money” by Waters on an acoustic guitar, some unreleased live audio from the Brighton show, a studio rarity and—praise the gods—“The Hard Way,” one of the two completed tracks from the aborted follow-up to DSOTM known as Household Objects, an album that was to be recorded using only, you guessed it, household items as instruments (This is pretty fucking cool, I must admit).
Also included in the slick, glossy box designed by Storm Thorgerson’s StormStudios: Two books, one of tour photographs and ephemera, one with lyrics; “cards” and other supposedly “collectible” ephemera such as an art print of the album cover as rendered either by, or in the style of (it doesn’t say), Roy Lichtenstein; some DSOTM marbles (wha?); some DSOTM drink coasters (trade ‘em with your friends!) and some other stuff that I don’t think there was a single Pink Floyd fan on planet Earth clamoring for.
The worst item that comes with the set—and it’s really and truly groan-worthy—is the DSOTM scarf. Tom Baker’s incarnation of Doctor Who would be ashamed to wear it… WHAT were they thinking? (Then again Pink Floyd did license their DSOTM trademark to Target for pajamas, didn’t they?).
The main problem with this box set is that it doesn’t know who it’s supposed to be for. Obviously it’s for the Pink Floyd super-fan and/or for someone who has a deep emotional connection to the music of Dark Side of the Moon, but my question is, why would this theoretical Pink Floyd super-fan, who presumably has not just one, but several different versions of DSOTM in their collection, already, need a Blu-ray, a DVD, a DVDA disc, and three CDs (plus all the pointless collectibles crap) when all of it would have fit on just the Blu-ray? If you’ve got the Blu-ray, then why would you want to own the regular CD version that is markedly inferior to the Blu-ray version?
Obviously this is probably the very, very last time that Pink Floyd’s albums are ever going to be released on any sort of disc, but had they split this set up along the lines of formats, instead of forcing the public to shell out over $100 for multiple formats/versions of the same material, in the end, I think EMI would have maxed out on sales, perhaps several times over. Most people would be happy with just the Blu-ray, a 2 DVD version or a 3 CD set or whatever, but WHO would want, or need all of them? No one, that’s who. EMI’s super ultra mega deluxe box sets like this one and the one for David Bowie’s Station to Station album try to be all things to all people and don’t really succeed in satisfying anyone, I’m afraid. (The biggest missed opportunity here, and one that fans would have actually cared about, is they didn’t reproduce the iconic posters that came with the original album! I’d have gladly traded the marbles, drink coasters and the hideous scarf for the poster of the green pyramids, but alas they didn’t even reproduce either poster in the booklets! Why not?)
Even if it is mostly marketing and accounting personnel who are running the major labels these days, I still can’t help but to think that if they’d have come out with separate versions in CD, DVD and Blu-ray editions, and catered to what the public who still buy discs actually want, they’ve have far sold more copies in the end. I’m guessing they’ll sell 20,000 copies of this set. Even if the sell all of them at $108 a pop, this approach seems shortsighted to me, when sales figures for the 2003 James Guthrie mixed 5.1 surround version of DSOTM on SACD—a nearly dead format now—sold north of 800,000 units.
Let me be clear, though: The music, as heard here, is superb. The extras are great, especially “The Hard Way” and the absolutely incredible 1972 live show that comprises disc two. Having said that, I’d have been happier with just a Blu-ray of everything, price point of $35, tops (I already own the 2003 5.1 surround version on SACD, and a regular stereo CD version for that matter).
At least they didn’t include vinyl. Find me the guy who wants both the record and the Blu-ray (I use the male gender here because what woman is stupid enough to care about such things?) and I will show you a music nerd who should have been strangled in the bloody crib!
Below, Pink Floyd, live at Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, Netherlands (Radio Hilversum: September 17, 1969). This has been bootlegged for 40 years under various names like “The Massed Gadgets of Auximenies” or “The Man and The Journey”—this will be one of the best Pink Floyd shows you’ll ever hear or your money back!
Below, “Careful With That Axe, Eugene,” live in Brighton, 1972:
It’s National Coming Out Day and to celebrate, here is John Waters - a man who knew he was gay as a child, from the moment he saw Elvis Presley on television - explaining in his inimitable style, what he thinks about coming out, and why people have rarely asked him about his sexuality, because “They were afraid to hear the answer.”
Clever area rugs printed with images from Google Earth by David Hanauer. According to his website, you can also turn it into wall-to-wall carpeting. I want a bird’s eye view rug of Occupy Wall Street in NYC. Make it happen David!
The project shows different patterns for a carpet / carpeted floor. It is about identity, new patterns, google, architecture. It reflects a new identity of products as well as humans and the interaction between them.