The final photo session of Brian Jones with The Rolling Stones.
There isn’t tons of footage of Brian Jones, founder of The Rolling Stones, speaking on camera, so this is a real treat. Usually it’s Mick Jagger who the reporters would direct the questions at (or Mick who would always answer, I suppose) but seldom have we seen Brian speak for such an extended period of time. (Mick must’ve been knackered?).
The interview took place in Montreal in 1965 and the interviewer wanted to know what the Stones thought of America. They tell him.
This little gem caught my eye at the Everything Is Festival! over the weekend: It’s a trailer/excerpt from Joe Dante’s 4-hour long epic of found footage mayhem, The Movie Orgy (which they screened at Cinefamily yesterday). In it, you’ll see one of the best ads for cigarettes, ever. I’ll leave it at that, as not to spoil it.
Glasgow-based artist Angela Tiara makes these incredible custom order plushies. Here’s her stuffed rendition of Alex DeLarge from A Clockwork Orange. I checked Angela’s Etsy account, and it looks like she’s no longer selling her work there. However, it does appear you can still contact her on Etsy and she’ll make one for you. Her dolls sell for around $50.
Makes the perfect gift for that troubled child in your life. (Now I know what to get for my troubled child’s husband’s birthday.)
This is how serious the birth control situation is in Kentucky, because broken condoms result in tragedies like this man, selling apparel to people who want to honor America’s founding dressed like hobo Klansmen.
This photo works on so many levels. It deserves a Pulitzer prize. So heavy meta. Someone who lives in the area should do a documentary about this guy. He’s such a ONE-MAN SYMBOL OF AMERICA TODAY.
I wonder how many of these tee-shirts he sold?
(With apologies to Wonkette for heisting their post, but this one is too good not to reblog.)
British garage act The Horrors are set to release their new album Skying through XL Recordings on August the 9th (US) and July 11th (UK), but you can hear the album, in full, via the widget below. In fact, it’s not really fair to describe the Horrors as “garage rock” anymore - that may have been their initial template when they burst onto the scene five years ago, but their sound has evolved and mutated quite a bit since then.
I admit I was put off the band when they first started getting press attention, consigning them to the hype bin based on their highly coiffured hair and dandy dress sense. But all that changed as soon as I actually heard them - here was a band that was keeping alive the swamp rock / dirt blues flame of acts like The Birthday Party and the awesome Gallon Drunk. Their second album Primary Colours, produced by Portishead’s Geoff Barrow, marked a shift in tone towards something deeper and a bit more pastoral, while retaining the all important dirt and grit. With nods to krautrock, kosmiche and shoegaze, it won the band some high praise, even becoming the NME’s album of the year for 2009.
Skying continues where Primary Colours left off, though taking us further away from the 70s and 80s influences. The ghost of shoegaze still haunts The Horrors’ sound, but now, rather than the woozy, noxious and slightly nauseous tones of pioneers My Bloody Valentine, the layered guitar and synth noise is more akin to the lush soundscapes of bands like Slowdive and The Telescopes. The early Nineties seem to be what the band are tapping into for inspiration just now, and some of the tracks even feature, surprisingly, a shuffly, Madchester-style beat. “Monica Gems” is like Suede dragged backwards through a thorny hedge and there are shades of The Doors here, but as refracted through the prism of Echo and The Bunnymen (in particular the excellent track “Still Life”) . For me the album highlight is “Moving Further Away”, which starts as gorgeous, driving Germanica before before being engulfed in layers of blissful synths and ending as a dirty rock dirge. Listen for yourselves:
Ray Manzarek desperately attempts to resurrect the 40 year old corpse of Jim Morrison.
Yesterday, on the 40th anniversary of Jim Morrison’s death, Ray Manzarek and Robbie Krieger played a Doors gig after visiting Morrison’s grave site at Pere Lachaise Cemetery in Paris. Fronted by one of the band’s endless series of faux Lizard Kings, Morrison look-a-like David Brock of Doors cover band Wild Child, Manzarek and Krieger did their best to remind anyone watching why their music careers have been utterly insignificant since Morrison died. John Densmore had the good taste and wisdom to not attend.
Advice to Manzarek: stop pissing on your legacy. I know your Muse - and cash cow- abandoned you when Jim checked out in that bathtub but your determination to milk every last drop out of the Doors’ legacy has been arrogant, pathetic and shameless. If you must perform, call up the former members of your Doors knock-off Nite City. They could probably use the work. And Ian Astbury has probably got some holes in his Cult tour schedule. Every time you drag out another version of The Doors, you remind us all of how utterly empty the band is without Jim’s voice and presence.
Last night in Paris, the “Doors” played “Riders On The Storm” with all of the conviction of a jaded lounge band eternally grinding it out in a Ramada Inn somewhere in Hell. May the wrath of the ghost of the Lizard King be upon them.
It was porn that brought me to Derek Jarman, browsing through the soft core pages of Cinema Blue there was a photo-spread on his first feature Sebastiane.
It caught my interest because of Jarman’s association with Ken Russell on The Devils and Savage Messiah. Now, in 1977, he had made a film about frisbee throwing Roman centurions romping in Sardinia, with a script spoken in schoolboy Latin, and a cast that included Peter Hinwood and Little Nell from The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and the boyish Richard Warwick from If…, and the idyllic TV series Brensham People.
Dismissed as a sex film and with a hint of notoriety, Sebastiane was whispered about in the schoolyard, but as Cinema Blue pointed out, it was too intelligent and too well made to be a skin flick, but was instead a brilliant art house film.
I checked the papers, but no cinema had Sebastiane in its listings. It was therefore to be Jarman’s next film, Jubilee that started a love affair with his work.
March 1978 and Films and Filming featured Adam Ant, the star of Derek Jarman’s second feature Jubilee, on its cover. Inside was a 4-page photo spread.
Directed by Derek Jarman, from an original screenplay by James Whaley and Jarman, about a gang of girls fighting for survival on the streets of London in the near future. With Jenny Runacre, Little Nell, Jordan, Toyah Wilcox, Bermmine Demoriane, Iaan Charleson, Karl Johnson and Adam Ant. Music by Adam and the Ants, Siouxsie and the banshees, Chelsea, Wayne County and the Elecrtric Chairs, Suzi Pinns and Brian Eno. Produced by Howard Malin and James Whaley.
Here in its grainy black and white glory is that photo-spread.
More pages from the past, plus bonus clips of Jarman’s ‘Jubilee’, after the jump…
Some live shows are great, some live shows are awesome, and then there are the live shows that are so good they feel like genuine magickal occurrences - a culmination of sound, vision, venue, performance and atmosphere. Bjork’s Biophilia, which is currently making its international debut with a sold out run at the Manchester International Festival, is definitely one of those. Clichéd terms like “elf-like” have haunted Bjork for years, but when an artist can pull together a show that is this all consuming, this transformative and powerful, there is definitely some truth to those clichés.
Everything about this show is unique. On a baking hot July afternoon we are ushered into a blacked out, cavernous Victorian warehouse space - in the middle sits a round stage, flanked by instruments, and overhead hangs a neat circle of 8 large screens. At one corner of the stage sits a pipe organ, a harpsichord and new instrument called a “gameleste” (a cross between a gamelan and a celeste). These instruments have been programmed to play themselves, a fact which is relayed to the audience by webcams projecting live onto the screens. In another corner sits a huge, manually operated music box, amplified through two very large gramophone trumpets, and beside it stands two new, purposely built, pendulum operated harps, The thudding bass line for the opening track “Thunderbolt” is provided by a large Tesla coil, which spits sparks of electricity over the crowd’s heads.
Still obsessed with the sounds and textures of modern electronica, Bjork underpins all this bizarre musical automata with sub-bass and electronic drums, played live by percussionist Manu Delago and music director Matt Robertson. Plucked chamber music collides with sliced-and-diced breakbeats, booming 808 bass lines accompany delicate organ pieces. It’s a perfect combination of the past and the future (and which is which is hard to tell). The sound world Bjork has created for this show is extraordinary, but it is the choir that really tips this performance over into something otherworldly. Featuring 26 female Icelandic singers, moments of harmony and discordance float from the stage that make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. Quite simply, this is a new kind of sacred music.
The much-trumpeted visuals are gorgeous. Animated cells sing and coo while spitting out cuddly-looking viruses. Mushrooms grow and expand in stop-motion, a seal carcass is consumed by underwater worms and starfish, and we zoom through veins and arteries while triggering musical notation á la Audiosurf. Bjork has taken a bit of flack for her use of an iPad in Biophilia, but if this is what the actual apps look like, well that’s fine with me. We keep returning to images of the solar system, of galaxies floating in space. There seems to be a theme of circular motion and symmetry here, a music of the spheres if you will, but for Bjork this works on a microbiological scale, as well as the cosmological. At one point she informs us that the rate at which our fingernails grow is the same as the Mid Altantic Ridge drifts. It’s psychedelic without being druggy. In fact, with the heat, the darkness and the spectacle, this is a show where no extra stimulus is needed.
The music itself is largely new and very good too, but there are some classics from her back catalogue thrown in (namely “Unravel”, “A Hidden Place” and a gorgeous choral version of “Isobel”). The new songs are each prefaced by a voice-over by natural historian David Attenborough, which manages the trick of both commenting on the music and unifying it. The show ends with a rousing, triumphant version of “Earth Intruders”, Bjork in a massive orange wig flanked by the choir who are wearing matching gold and blue tunics. We seem to be inundated with crazily-dressed lady pop at this point in time, but we shouldn’t forget that Bjork is a true pioneer of this, and on this showing she still does it the best. Biophilia is set to tour later this year, and I urge anyone with an interest in music to go to a show - it really is that good. 2011 is only half over but I seriously doubt I’ll see another show to equal it. There is no footage of Biophilia yet, as the audience had been asked not to take pictures or make video recordings of the performance. It is a mark of the kind of respect the crowd has for Bjork that they comply to this request - well for the most part , anyway.
Here is the audience’s reaction to Bjork’s Biophilia after the opening night on Thursday June 30th: