And that’s a good enough reason to post this fantastic piece of music. The Ash Ra Tempel guitarist’s early 80s solo album has been a massive influence on house, prog rock, techno, ambient, kosmiche and electronica but is worth hearing in its own right too. It still sounds remarkably fresh to this day.
You can still hear it online, though. At over an hour long E2-E4 is the very definition of “epic,” but if you have the time to spare, and can get past the 6 parts YouTube hurdle, it’s a journey I highly recommend:
Thanks to Doctor Oxygen for posting the full, unbroken E2-E4 in the comments:
Two short clips from Irwin Allen’s The Story of Mankind (1957), a bizarre movie loosely based on the non-fiction book by Hendrik Willem van Loon.
The film tells of the trial of mankind by a council elders form outer space, who must decide whether humankind should be allowed to continue or be vaporized. For the defense, the dapper Ronald Colman as The Spirit of Man. For the prosecution, the camp Vincent Price as The Devil. The pair deliberate on the evidence, which is taken from key moments in human history, from Julius Ceaser to Christopher Columbus, Elizabeth I to Napoleon. You get the picture.
The cast was a Hollywood producer’s wet dream, which included Virginia Mayo as Cleopatra, Peter Lorre as Nero, Hedy Lamarr as Joan of Arc, Agnes Moorehead as Queen Elizabeth I, Harpo Marx as Isaac Newton and even Groucho Marx.
In the first clip, two very different acting styles come together, as Dennis Hopper presents his Method Napoleon, against Marie Windsor’s Hollywood Josephine. The two styles don’t quite gel, but Hopper’s speech about a “United States of Europe” is highly topical, considering French President Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s current ambitions.
The second clip has Harpo Marx as Isaac Newton discovering gravity and sliced apples with his harp.
Kurt Cobain discusses literature among other things with Erica Ehm of Canada’s Much Music TV channel. The interview was conducted on August 10, 1993.
In this 23 minute clip, Cobain is sweet-tempered, focused and relatively at ease with himself and the world (as much as most artists are). While watching the video, it was hard for me to imagine that this beautiful young guy would kill himself nine months later on April 5, 1994. Of course, it is impossible to know what Cobain was really going through at this point in his life, but he doesn’t appear, in this very small slice of a moment in time, to be a man locked in a struggle with mortality (oh maybe a bit, but no more than most sentient beings). His distaste for humanity seems rather healthy, perhaps because I share it. His perspective on wealth and fame is Zen-like. He has a certain melancholia, but so did I when I was his age. In fact, I still do.
I was never much of a Nirvana fan but I love the soulful intelligence and honesty that Cobain radiates in this video. I like his feminist point of view and social/political consciousness. He doesn’t strike me as someone who has given up on life. But maybe the drugs (the dirty ones) got the best of him.
I think it’s time for me to grab my wife’s Nirvana albums and give them another spin.
British psychedelic prog. rockers Curved Air perform “Propositions” and “Vivaldi (With Canons)” on the classic German TV show Musikladen, March 1971.
This is the first incarnation of Curved Air, which consisted of Sonja Kristina - lead vocals; Rob Martin - bass; Francis Monkman - guitars, keyboards; Florian Pilkington-Miksa - drums; Darryl Way - violin, backing vocals. Their appearance on Musikladen came a few months after the release of their debut album Airconditioning, a pioneering work, which reached number 8 in the UK charts, but did little elsewhere. It was also the first picture disc, released in a limited edition of 100,000.
Their second album Second Album captured Curved Air’s unique mix of Progressive Rock and acoustic folk music, and netted the band their first hit single “Back Street Luv”. The band then went through various changes, including stints with Mike Wedgwood as bass guitarist, and Eddie Jobson on keyboards and violin. Wedgwood went onto fellow Prog Rockers, Caravan, while Jobson went on to Roxy Music.
Curved Air has continued under various line-ups and still play today, but this is them near the beginning, when they were considered “one of the most dramatically accomplished of all the bands”.
John Belushi left Saturday Night Live in 1979 but agreed to appear on the show on Halloween of 1981 if one of his favorite bands, Fear, was hired as the musical guest. SNL, which was in a ratings slump, didn’t hesitate to agree to Belushi’s terms. Fear got the gig.
In order to create some excitement during Fear’s upcoming performance, Belushi contacted Ian Mackaye, who was fronting Washington D.C.‘s Minor Threat at the time.
“This is John Belushi. I’m a big fan of Fear’s. I made a deal with Saturday Night Live that I would make a cameo appearance on the show if they’d let Fear play. I got your number from Penelope Spheeris, who did Decline of Western Civilization and she said that you guys, Washington DC punk rock kids, know how to dance. I want to get you guys to come up to the show.”
Mackaye agreed to pull together some of his friends to go to New York. Little did he know that he would be in the center of one of television’s great rock and roll moments.
In an interview with Nardwuar, Mackaye describes what happened:
It was worked out that we could all arrive at the Rockefeller Center where Saturday Night Live was being filmed. The password to get in was “Ian MacKaye.” We went up the day before. The Misfits played with The Necros at the Ukrainian hall, I think, so all of the Detroit people were there, like Tesco Vee and Cory Rusk from the Necros and all the Touch and Go people and a bunch of DC people – 15 to 20 of us came up from DC. Henry (Rollins) was gone. He was living in LA at this point. So we went to the show. During the dress rehearsal, a camera got knocked over. We were dancing and they were very angry with us and said that they were going to not let us do it then Belushi really put his foot down and insisted on it. So, during the actual set itself, they let us come out again.
During the show – before they go to commercial, they always go to this jack-o-lantern. This carved pumpkin. If you watched it during the song, you’ll see one of our guys, this guy named Bill MacKenzie, coming out holding the pumpkin above his head because he’s just getting ready to smash it. And that’s when they cut it off. They kicked us out and locked us out for two hours. We were locked in a room because they were so angry with us about the behavior. I didn’t think it was that big of deal.
They said they were going to sue us and have us arrested for damages. There was so much hype about that. The New York Post reported half a million dollars worth of damages. It was nothing. It was a plastic clip that got broken. It was a very interesting experience and I realized how completely unnatural it is for a band to be on a television show – particularly a punk band – that kind of has a momentum to suddenly be expected to immediately jump into a song in that type of setting. It was very weird. Largely unpleasant. Made me realize that’s not something I’m interested in doing.”
Belushi was also among the moshers.
Fear’s SNL debut cost them future gigs with the show, clubs wouldn’t book them, and reputedly an offer from Belushi for the band to do the soundtrack of his next movie Neighbors was rescinded by the studio producing the film after Belushi’s death. All for the love of rock and roll.
Rachel hears her name and literally falls to the ground in sobs that put Drew’s to shame. Her mother runs out to embrace her, and Rachel screams: “Mommy, you promised! You promised me!”
It is, no exaggeration, the most excruciating thing I have ever seen on television.
If you haven’t seen this show, and you’re wondering what this moment is like, imagine taking a precocious, impoverished child, dangling $5 million in front of her face, and then yanking it away from her on live television because a Pussycat Doll doesn’t want to damage her brand by making a decision. It’s almost exactly like that.
Steve Jones is clearly getting instructions in his earpiece to ask Rachel what she’s feeling, because he says loudly and clearly right into his microphone: NO.
Somewhere in this sad, sordid, tacky episode is a metaphor for what America has become. I just don’t know what the fuck it is.
The X Factor Recap: Witness the Most Excruciating Moment on Reality TV (Vulture)
Massive Attack’s Robert ‘3D’ Del Naja and Radiohead’s Thom Yorke thoughtfully discuss the impact of the Occupy movement. Recorded outside of the Occupy London Xmas Party on December 6th, where both men DJ’d to show their appreciation for the movement’s efforts.
Elvis Costello and The Attractions appeared on Saturday Night Live on December 17, 1977 as a last minute replacement for The Sex Pistols, who had run into problems getting into the USA because of some prior legal hassles in the UK. Costello’s performance on SNLwould become the stuff of rock and roll legend.
Costello’s record label, Columbia, wanted him to perform “Less Than Zero”, the first single from his as yet unreleased (in the U.S.) debut album My Aim Is True. Elvis wanted to perform “Radio Radio,” his attack on corporate control of the airwaves - a punk move that would have been in the spirit of The Pistols. Columbia disapproved and SNL producer Lorne Michaels allegedly also did not want the song performed as per orders from his employer NBC. Costello was told in no uncertain terms not to play the song.
Come showtime, the band started playing “Less Than Zero” and then abruptly stopped and shifted into “Radio Radio.” At the end of the tune, they defiantly walked off the set.
Michaels was furious. According to first hand accounts, he was flipping Costello the bird through the entire performance. Michaels ended up banning Costello from ever performing again on SNL. The ban lasted 12 years, which in TV years is an eternity. SNL was an essential promotional venue for jacking up a band’s record sales. Costello bit the hand that was supposed to feed him even before he even got a nibble of commercial success. In the long run, it didn’t stop him from becoming one of rock’s enduring forces.
Elvis and The Attractions do a killer version of “Radio Radio” in Detroit six months after SNL banning. Check it out after the jump…
“If Newt Gingrich can betray a woman who swore her loyalty to him for the rest of her life—not once but TWICE—what makes you think he won’t betray you, the faceless voter in a sea of faceless voters?”
That question is asked at the conclusion of a blistering viral video critique of Gingrich that an Iowa pastor named Cary Gordon is making sure gets around. From the LA Times:
Gordon is sending the video via text message to every registered Republican or non-aligned Iowa voter with a cellphone on record. He says it is necessary because Gingrich’s favorability rating among Iowa Christians “keeps going up and up.”
Gordon, who leads the 1,000-member Cornerstone Church in Sioux City, Iowa, says he feels he must speak out against Gingrich because “he terrifies me” as a potential leader without a strong moral compass.
You an’ me, both, Rev, but don’t get me wrong, I think Molotov Mitchell, the homophobic birther who made this video (and plenty of others) for WorldNetDaily, is a complete fuckwit and his presence here on DM is in no way an endorsement of his lame reactionary shtick, still I must admit to, uh, agreeing with a lot of this one.
As surprising as it is that I concur with something (in bold strokes) that Molotov Mitchell came up with, I guess one thing about Newton Leroy Gingrich that that can be said with absolute certitude is that he brings Americans of EVERY DEMOGRAPHIC together!
It occurred to me watching this that Gingrich is actually a lot closer to being “THE JOHN EDWARDS OF THE GOP” than its Kim Kardashian, although that one’s pretty on target, too, of course. Ponder for a second what sort of damage it would do to Gingrich’s campaign if a meme comparing him to the universally loathed two-time Democratic presidential candidate and former senator gained traction in Iowa?
I mean on an axis of adultery, cancer and extreme narcissism, Gingrich and John Edwards are two peas in the same morally bankrupt pod, aren’t they?
Odd that none of Newt’s GOP opponents have decided to run with an Edwards/Gingrich comparison. But, hey, if any of them want it, they can have it for free!