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‘Tougher Than Leather’: Run DMC’s racist, anti-semitic, sexist, blaxspoitation dud
03.06.2012
08:43 am

Topics:
Hip-hop
Movies
Music

Tags:


 
Attention old skool hip-hop fans, there is a little seen, uh, cinematic relic from the mid-80s, the Run DMC-starring Tougher Than Leather that’s been recently posted on YouTube. You might want to clap eyes on this one pronto because I don’t think it will be there for long.

Directed by Rick Rubin, produced by Russell Simmons, with a screenplay written by Rick Menello and Rick Rubin, Tougher Than Leather is a mind-blowing mix of a blaxploitation flick and a spaghetti western. It co-stars the Beastie Boys, iconic 80s punky pornstar Lois Ayres and actor/musician Richard Edson (Stranger Than Paradise and a gazillion other films).

Spike Lee was originally offered the script, but did the right thing and wisely turned this turkey down. Here’s a portion of a Washington Post review by Richard Harrington

Run-DMC’s “Tougher Than Leather” is vile, vicious, despicable, stupid, sexist, racist and horrendously made. Call it rap-ploitation, but since it’s a pure product of Russell Simmons’ Rush/Def Jam rap empire, that’s just another word for business as usual. Sometimes there’s no difference between in-house and outhouse.

—snip—

Blacks, Jews, women, gays—they’re all fodder for this gang. Are crass exploitation and ugly race- and gender-baiting excusable because the perpetrators are often themselves victims? No, particularly when it’s done as gracelessly as it’s done here.

Dangerous Minds pal, photographer Glen E. Friedman had this to say on his blog this morning:

If you’ve never seen this fictional 1988 “student film” of Rick Rubin’s then you must ASAP, especially If you are a fan of Run-DMC, The Beastie Boys, Rick Rubin, or Def Jam during the early years, (there’s also a classic Junk Yard band performance at a backyard party, and Slick Rick to name a few.)

I have no idea how long Tougher Than Leather will last on YouTube, and it’s not on DVD as far as I know, but it’s a classic, tasteless epic, that needs to be seen to be believed. It actually played in theaters to riots. Some great cameo’s too (Rick’s dad, Russell Simmons dad [RIP] who put in two of the greatest performances in the film, to name a few, besides the infamous Richard Edson, and Lois Ayres, George Drakoulias and I running down the street for a hot second at around the one hour mark too).

If you live in lower Manhattan you may also recognize some of the locations all within a walk from the original Def Jam offices at 298 Elizabeth street. I shot some stills on the film that I’ll add below (the poster up top was based on one of my photos as well.)

Enjoy, I know you will. I’m re-watching, after not seeing it for over 20 years, as i’m putting together this post, and it’s blowing my mind.

When this film was shot, in 1986, I actually lived two blocks away from the Def Jam office (I was on Elizabeth and Spring, Def Jam’s HQ was just north of Houston Street in a little house between tenement buildings). It’s difficult to imagine this now, but 25-years ago that neighborhood was so full of crack dealers that I carried a switchblade with me at all times (My rent was $250 for what would rent for $2500, or more, today).

A roommate of mine, who didn’t actually live in the apartment, he just used it as a photography studio, also shot some set stills for Tougher Than Leather . I came home from work one day, still wearing the ridiculous Von Trapp family-esque uniform of a restaurant where I was working at the time. Usually I changed right after my shift, but that day I was too lazy and just wore it home on the subway. With my key still in the door, the three members of Run DMC turned and looked at me like I was a strangely-dressed bug. I recall quickly changing into my normal clothes and slipping out to let them finish, mortified at what they saw me wearing. True story and one I can tell better in person, but it’s more embarrassing than this version!
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
NY Dolls on Don Kirshner’s ‘Rock Concert’ in full
03.06.2012
02:01 am

Topics:
Music
Punk
Television

Tags:


 
The New York Dolls deranging the airwaves in 1975.

1. (There’s Gonna Be a) Showdown
2. Stranded in the Jungle
3. Trash
4. Chatterbox
5. Don’t You Start Me Talking
6. Personality Crisis

The shock heard around the block…the rest of the world didn’t get it. But don’t blame me. I bought tickets for their show at a strip joint in Boulder, Colorado but the Dolls canceled. Not enough advance ticket sales. The hippies and mountain climbers were too busy smoking dope and waiting for Poco to pull into town.
 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Space Ghost, Sonny Sharrock and Thurston Moore: Television in another dimension
03.05.2012
06:26 pm

Topics:
Animation
Music
Pop Culture
Punk

Tags:


 
In 1993, legendary avant-jazz guitarist Sonny Sharrock accepted a gig (along with drummer Lance Carter) doing music for the Cartoon Network’s Space Ghost Coast To Coast. The combination of Sharrock’s “futuristic electronic folk music” and the surreal sensibilities of Space Ghost’s creators melded beautifully. Sadly, Sharrock died of a heart attack at the age of 53 during the show’s first season. In 1996, the show paid tribute to Sharrock in fittingly offbeat fashion.

In this very special episode, Thurston Moore incarnates one Fred Cracklin in a brief non-sensical cameo which is but a pretext to pay homage to the great avant-noise-jazz-blues guitar player Sonny Sharrock, who had recently expired. If the Coast to Coast series is bizarre for any standards of good TV conduct, the Sharrock episode is particularly strange in that its plot is a lame excuse to pay tribute to the musician and listen to several minutes of his ethereal noise-jazz guitar, thinly framed by some silly jokes between the Ghost and his adorable sidekicks.” - Sound Of Eye.

Twelve minutes in which television touches on the sublime.
 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Andrew WK on the power of dreams
03.05.2012
05:36 pm

Topics:
Art
Belief
Music
Thinkers

Tags:


 
From a recent interview entitled ‘Sex Advice from Andrew WK’ published by Nerve Magazine:

I’m dating a guy who refuses to give up on his dreams of rock stardom. While it’s admirable in a way, I need a little bit more stability if we’re going to make this work. How can I gently break this to him?

Don’t you dare say anything to him about giving up his dream. You’re not the right person for him. Never ask someone to give up on their dream just so you can feel more stable. It’s his choice and his choice alone, no matter how ridiculous his dream may seem to you, or to society, or even to himself. Dreams make humans into self-realized individuals. Your only responsibility is to love everything about him, including his dreams. The idea of “making this work” sounds more like a way to make his life more boring and predictable. At worst, it’s a genuine sadistic desire to control someone else because your own life feels out of control — or a cruel need to dominate and break someone’s spirit for the sake of your own peace of mind. Look for stability and peace of mind inside yourself, and not in your relationships or the dreams of others.

I’ll leave it at that (with thanks to Nickie McGowan.)

Previously on Dangerous Minds:
The wit and wisdom of Andrew WK

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
Conquer Divisive Ideology: Duggie Fields’ The Big Riddle from 1993
03.05.2012
04:12 pm

Topics:
Art
Design
Heroes
Music
Pop Culture

Tags:

DUGGIE_FIELDS_style
 
More than an artist, Duggie Fields has been an Art Movement over the past 5 decades. His paintings, films, animation, photography, music, and design, have been at the pioneering edge of British Art and Culture. And he has collaborated with the likes of Ken Russell, Stanley Kubrick, Derek Jarman, and Andrew Logan.

In the 1990s, Mr Fields devised a new Philosophy of Art - MAXIMALism, which he described as “minimalism with a plus, plus, plus” and “the individual use to create chaos out of order and vice versa”. As Mr Fields developed his MAXIMAList Art Works, he produced a series of short art films and music videos. This is one of those many gems, THE BIG RIDDLE from 1993, written by Fields, with music co-written with Howard Bernstein, and directed by Mark Le Bon.
 

 
Previously on Dangerous Minds

Duggie Fields: Beautiful photographs from Just Around the Corner


Tea With Duggie Fields


 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Republican candidates can’t be gay, pro-gay, have pre-marital sex or look at porn in SC county


 
If you want to know exactly how fucking deliriously insane the modern Republican party has become—in writing, no less—look no further than the “pledge” candidates must sign in order to represent the Laurens County Republican Party in South Carolina.

If you want a spot on the primary ballot, the GOP bürgermeisters there want assurances from you that you’ve not had pre-marital sex (and won’t)— and that you will never, ever look at online porn again. They unanimously (UNANIMOUSLY!!!) approved a resolution with such 28 principles that a potential Republican candidate must adhere to.

Why so strict you ask?  Because the party “does not want to associate with candidates who do not act and speak in a manner that is consistent with the SC Republican Party Platform.”

Not to put too fine a point on it, assholes, but I really don’t think you’ll be needing to worry too much about associating with anyone you don’t want to associate with…. They wouldn’t want to sit next to you knobs on a bus, either.

From The Clinton Chronicle:

You must favor, and live up to, abstinence before marriage.

You must be faithful to your spouse. Your spouse cannot be a person of the same gender, and you are not allowed to favor any government action that would allow for civil unions of people of the same sex.

You cannot now, from the moment you sign this pledge, look at pornography.

How will they regulate that last part, anyway?

The Clinton Chronicle reported that candidates will be interviewed by a three-person “Candidate Qualification Committee,” who will then in turn make a recommendation to the full executive party committee about whether or not to allow the candidate on the ballot.

Hysterical! It’s always the reichwingers claiming Socialism is inherently totalitarian!!!

It’s astonishing, of course, but more power to ‘em! If 99.999% of the potential Republican candidates are disqualified, this means the GOP will be running a slate of all church ladies in Laurens County. SC. Good luck with that, dipshits!

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Disturbing video morph of Britney Spears’ face through the years
03.05.2012
12:57 pm

Topics:
Current Events
Music
Pop Culture
U.S.A.!!!

Tags:


“A Child Lost” by Sarah Weaver

Whether you were a Britney Spears fan or not, like it or not, you were forced to watch her very public meltdown in every newspaper, magazine, entertainment website, and everywhere else. I always felt extremely sorry her. It seemed like the world couldn’t wait for some new tragedy or misfortune to befall the poor woman so they would have something new to gossip about at the water cooler or post on their Myspace page.

While watching the photos of her face morphing throughout the years, I noticed her eyes. When she was young, her eyes sparkled. She was happy, but as time goes by it’s like the massed machinery of the mediadrome sucked the very life right out of this young woman. Heartbreaking.
 

 
Via BuzzFeed

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Nick Cave, Starfleet Commander?
03.05.2012
12:07 pm

Topics:
Music
Pop Culture

Tags:


 
No, Nick Cave is not wearing a costume from Battlestar Galactica in this photo, he’s just been presented with an honorary award by the Brighton Graduate Association of the University of Brighton at a ceremony held last month.

“I’m not wearing that fucking hat. Forget it. Don’t even ask.”

Julie Howell honoured by Brighton Graduate Association (Watford Observer)

Thank you kindly, Al Strachan!

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
‘This Charming Man’ by The Smiths done in the style of Super Mario Bros.
03.05.2012
11:49 am

Topics:
Amusing
Games
Music

Tags:


 
Lazyitis at SoundCloud made this Super Mario Bros. meets The Smiths mash-up and says, “I’m planning on doing a video as soon as I can figure out how to work with Flash. The sound effects are only there to help the listener visualize the “game.”
 

  
 
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
8-Bit version of Slint’s ‘Good Morning, Captain’

Thank you, Edward Ludvigsen!

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Bizarre fan-made video for Trans Am’s ‘Futureworld’
03.05.2012
11:15 am

Topics:
Amusing
Music

Tags:


 
Whilst searching for live 90s footage of Trans Am on YouTube, I stumbled across this inexplicable fan-made homage for Trans Am’s “Futureworld”. No, you’re not looking at a Tim Heidecker doppelgänger, but a gentleman who goes by “jefnels,” and who apparently, really, really likes Trans Am. A lot! (Or so you’d think…)

This might be the best fan-made video of all time.
 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
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