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A belated happy birthday to Tommy Bolin
08.02.2012
03:39 pm

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Music

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Zephyr
 
Yesterday (August 1) was Tommy Bolin’s birthday and I had intended to post this video then…but it slipped through the net. My bad. Anyway, better late than never.

Here’s a promotional video for Zephyr, Bolin’s band in Boulder, Colorado during the late 1960s/early 70s. You can’t imagine how fucking radical Zephyr were at a time and place in which everybody was on a perpetual rocky mountain high and grooving to easy listening music for hippies like Poco, Firefall and John Denver. Loud, badass and dangerous, Zephyr was the first genuine hard rock band to originate in Boulder. Mine was the second. But Zephyr flamed-out as quickly as they hit the scene, leaving very little behind other than a couple of impressive albums (Zephyr and Going Back to Colorado) and some shitty looking videos.

I knew Tommy when we both lived in Boulder. We were the same age, musicians, freaks, and shared similar vices. In a town dominated by well-to-do backpackers in hiking boots, students and ski bums, we were the only ones wearing platform shoes and dyeing our hair in pinks and blues. Even in a city known for being somewhat open-minded, we managed to shock and appall the locals. It was Bolin that inspired me to purchase a pair of leopard print high heeled boots. I wore them in a video for my band The Nails, 15 years after first buying them.

I remember visiting Tommy at a suburban ranch house in a very unhip part of Boulder. It was the only time I spent with him alone. The house was as dark as a vampire’s nest, heavy drapes covered the windows and the hum of Bolin’s amplifier penetrated the heavy air with a pentode om. He came to the door wearing a black silk robe. He was as pale and ethereal as a ghost. I laid out a few lines of Peruvian flake and hung out while the shit kicked in. He nodded his head approvingly and we did a half dozen more hits. The coke was pure and smooth and we felt young and unstoppable… at least I did. Tommy, though, had this haunted quality about him that made him seem much older than he was. He was barely in his twenties, but he could appear ancient, a being of multiple incarnations. If, as the brujo Don Juan claims, death is astride our left shoulder at all times, than Bolin was wearing his mortality like a swashbuckling pirate wears a majestic parrot. It wasn’t hard to miss.

When Tommy died in 1976 I wasn’t surprised. Deeply sad but not surprised. I try to imagine what he would be like as an old man, but I already know. Like I said, he was ancient.

Candy Givens - vocal
David Givens - bass
John Faris - keyboards
Robbie Chamberlain - drums
Tommy Bolin - guitar
 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
John Lennon’s Tower Records commercial, 1973
08.02.2012
03:24 pm

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YouTuber SacramentoHistory writes:

“John Lennon recorded this commercial for Tower Records’ Sunset Strip store in 1973 as a promotional for his newly released album, Mind Games.”

I’m assuming this was probably played like crazy on LA radio stations back in day. 
 

 
I found a different version of this recording on YouTube after the jump….
 
With thanks to Henry Baum!

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Rare photos of The Beatles in India
08.02.2012
03:01 pm

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Belief
Music
Pop Culture

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Paul covered in colored powder during the Holi festival.
 
In April of 1968, British rock magazine “Disc And Music Echo” ran these photos of The Beatles’ visit to the Maharishi. Included in some of the shots are girlfriends, wives and friends.
 
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George, Paul, Shah Jahan (who entertains the star guests), Donovan, Pattie Harrison, John and flautist friend Paul Horn.
 
More photos after the jump…

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Reality TV summed up in one perfect image
08.02.2012
12:38 pm

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Amusing
Television

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Nothing more to say, is there?

Via KMFW

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
When Iggy Pop guest-starred on ‘Star Trek: Deep Space Nine’
08.02.2012
10:26 am

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Music
Punk
Television

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I’m having an “I did not know this” moment right now. Apparently Iggy Pop guest-starred on an episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine in 1998 as a Vorta overseer named “Yelgrun” from the planet Kurill Prime.

Again, I shall repeat, “I did not know this.”

Below, a video montage of Iggy’s most memorable scenes as “Yelgrun” from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode “The Magnificent Ferengi.”
 

 
With thanks to Dee Rollins for this gem!

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
The Very Best of Blancmange: The return of synth pop’s Maiden Aunts
08.02.2012
12:20 am

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Music
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I suppose it was through John Peel that I first heard Blancmange, that vastly under-rated synth pop duo of Neil Arthur and Stephen Luscombe. It would be spring 1982, or thereabouts, and I’d have been lying on my bed, listening to the radio, smoking and reading pulp fiction or comics, rather than studying, or writing essays, or prepping for tutorials. Academia could wait. Life was young and there were adventures afoot.

This was part of the great attraction to Blancmange. Firstly, they had a strange name, which Luscombe explains as a kick back against the earnest sincerity of the great coat wearing youth, who dominated music at that time, and looked like they modeled their lives on the gritty black and white imagery of Anton Corbjin.

The name Blancmange was cheery - as was Arthur & Luscombe’s nickname, the Maiden Aunts.

Blancmange was a comforting yet slightly bizarre name. It conjured up the image of a food that is neither jelly nor mousse, but actually, from the cake family, which was originally made from chicken as a remedy for illness. But now best known as some kind of white or pink wobbly, gooey dessert made with milk and gelatin. This strangeness fitted perfectly.

So the name appealed, and the accompanying music only increased my pleasure. The first 2 singles, the double A-side “God’s Kitchen”/”I’ve Seen the Word” and “Feel Me,” a 12-bar dance record, were fresh and exciting, but it was their third single “Living on the Ceiling” that turned on the nation and made Blancmange famous as a band.

Their music was quirky, original, and fun, and like the best songs had lyrics that connected with a mood or a feeling that guaranteed a rerun on some subliminal soundtrack, when being made to run round and round, or feeling up a bloody tree

Luscombe and Arthur were knowingly arty without being pretentious. You knew they enjoyed films with sub-titles, had read Camus, but also liked Night of the Living Dead, Pasolini, Edith Sitwell, The Crazies and Knut Hamsun. They also had an album cover that referenced Louis Wain. They were suburban, but smart, sophisticated, and also quite edgy.
 
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More from Stephen Luscombe plus promos, after he jump…
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Alejandro Jodorowsky’s ‘Melodrama Sacramental’
08.01.2012
08:53 pm

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Art

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In the early 1960s, Alejandro Jodorowsky, in collaboration with Fernando Arrabal and Roland Topor, produced theatrical happenings that were part Grand Guignol, part Theater Of Cruelty and, in the case of splatterfests like Melodrama Sacramental, something like the Texas Chainsaw Massacre on peyote. Calling themselves the Panic Movement, the three provocateurs attempted to shatter the fourth wall with more than just words and gestures - they were going for something more visceral: blood and guts - anything to close the distance between spectacle and spectator and to wake and alert the audience to the suffering, inequality and untruths engulfing them in this modern world gone mad. Yes, life stinks and so should art. The Panic Movement put the “fart” in artsy fartsy - a steaming turd in the cosmic punchbowl.

Jodorowsky and company’s sacramental melodrama was staged in Paris, May of 1965, the same month and year that the largest Vietnam teach-in was held (May 21–23, 1965) at UC Berkeley, one of the seminal events in the history of the American anti-war movement, the first rumblings of a protest movement against the Vietnam war that would grow to a deafening roar. Was Jodorowsky’s “happening”  also a a mirroring of the savagery of war and a metaphor for the lives being sacrificed in Vietnam? Were the prophets of peace in synch and sending signals to each other from two epicenters of radical change?

In Melodrama Sacramental we see images that would be repeated in Jodorowsky’s epic mindfucker El Topo, another nightmare ode to man’s inhumanity to man.

On the soundtrack we hear Allen Ginsberg reading from his poem “Lysergic Acid,” written in San Francisco in 1959.
 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
The King meets the rockers uptown: Elvis Presley ina rub a dub style
08.01.2012
07:54 pm

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Music
Reggae

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The King remixed in a reggae style.

01. Return To Sender
02. In The Ghetto
03. Blue Moon
04. Fever
05. It’s Now Or Never
06. Baby I Don’t Care
07. Suspicious Minds
08. I’ll Remember You
09. Are You Lonesome Tonight?
10. Crying In The Chapel

Video contains some nudity.

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
‘Shape of a Angel’: 3D-printed replica of your fetus
08.01.2012
07:27 pm

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Art
Pop Culture

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Immortalize your happy little seedling forever with a 3D-printed replica of your fetus encased in white resin. Japanese engineering company Fasotec are behind this “Shape of an Angel”—that’s what they called it—product. 

According to Geekosystem the “process of making the 3D-printed replica is fairly simple as far as 3D printing goes. The fetus is photographed using an MRI, then run through 3D imaging software and sent to the 3D printer.”

I’m not necessarily sure how one is supposed to display the “Shape of an Angel,” but it sure looks like it would make an interesting paperweight.

お腹の中の我が子を3Dプリンタで造形するモデリングサービス開始
 
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Via Nerdcore

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Fanny: The great lost female rock group of the 1970s
08.01.2012
07:15 pm

Topics:
Feminism
Music

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Years before the Runaways or the Go-Gos, there was pioneering “chick rock” band, Fanny. Fanny was formed in 1969 by teenaged guitarist-singer June Millington, with her sister Jean and drummer Alice de Buhr, as “Wild Honey.” When Nickey Barclay, a keyboard player who toured with Joe Cocker’s infamous Mad Dogs and Englishmen group joined them, the group was renamed “Fanny.” (In the UK, where the word means “vagina” and not “butt” like it does in the USA, they were thought to be quite outrageous by radio programmers.)

Fanny was the first real female rock group signed to a major label (Reprise Records, the artists first label started by Frank Sinatra, who was the “Chairman of the Board”). They worked with famed producer Richard Perry (Carly Simon, Ringo Starr, Harry Nilsson, etc) and later Todd Rundgren. They recorded at the Beatles’ Apple Studios and backed Barbara Streisand on her first “rock” album, Stoney End. They toured opening up for huge 70s acts like Slade, Jethro Tull and Humble Pie, but sadly, they are little more than a gender pioneer footnote today.

Fanny were nothing short of incredible, as you will hear, but they never made it as big as they should have. 

David Bowie, in a 1999 Rolling Stone interview, said of the group:

“One of the most important female bands in American rock has been buried without a trace. And that is Fanny. They were one of the finest… rock bands of their time, in about 1973. They were extraordinary: They wrote everything, they played like motherfuckers, they were just colossal and wonderful. They’re as important as anybody else who’s ever been, ever; it just wasn’t their time. Revivify Fanny. And I will feel that my work is done”

Their biggest hits were “Charity Ball” and “Butter Boy.” Fanny broke up in 1975. Fanny bassist Jean MIllington later recorded and performed live with David Bowie. She is married to Bowie’s longtime guitarist, Earl Slick.
 
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In 2002, Rhino Handmade released the excellent Fanny Rocks.
 

 
Above, performing “Charity Ball” on The Sonny & Cher Show in 1971.
 
More Fanny after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
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