Sheffield’s Clock DVA was formed in 1978 by Adolphus “Adi” Newton and Steven “Judd” Turner. You could categorize the group’s sound—highly adventuresome even for that fabled era—variously as industrial, post-punk, New Wave or as “devolved bebop.” They used standard rock “guitar, bass and drums” augmented with tape loops, synths, squealing horns and elements of musique concrète.
The group was associated with Throbbing Gristle as Industrial Records released their cassette White Souls in Black Suits. Cabaret Voltaire’s Richard H. Kirk and Stephen Mallider were sometime musical collaborators with Clock DVA as well.
Over the years their sound became closer to the “body music” of groups like Front 242 and Nitzer Ebb. They were quite prolific through the mind-90s. Apparently they are active again as of the summer of 2011.
Below, Clock DVA do a fantastic live version of their “4 Hours” at the Futurama Festival (“the world’s first science fiction music festival”) in Leeds, 1980.
Lost in all the reporting of Newt Gingrich’s humiliating implosion in the polls leading up to the Iowa Caucus, is the fact that Public Policy Polling asked nearly 600 Iowa Republican voters if they thought that President Barack Obama was born in the United States and found that over half of them are “birthers” or “not sure” about his country of birth.
Only 47% of the GOP voters polled in Iowa said that Obama was born in the United States.
For god’s sake… half?? Still? People this “reality challenged” and ignorant shouldn’t have such an out-sized influence on who gets to be leader of the free world. An electorate as uninformed and as unintelligent as this is a danger to all of us.
That’s why we should cut funding for education…it’s KENYAN SOCIALISM!
The longtime friendship between Woody Allen and Dick Cavett is well-known and Allen’s appearances on the various incarnations of Cavett’s talkshows in the 70s and early 80s have been highlights of both men’s small screen oeuvres. Woody Allen used to be on TV a LOT, but he was never better than when he had the always witty Cavett as his comic foil.
In the clip below, Cavett and Allen discuss women, not as the title would have you believe, particle physics, although I’m sure they could make that topic funny also…
There are 14 hours of Cavett interviewing comedic legends like Woody Allen, Groucho Marx and Bob Hope (especially interesting because he does the interview straight, not mugging for laughs) in the fascinating DVD box set The Dick Cavett Show - Comic Legends, which is where this clip comes from.
I sometimes think Stephen Stills gets short-shrift in an annals of rock history. Not that I feel sorry for the guy wrote “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes,” who is generally regarded as one of the greatest living guitar players (Still is #28 according to a Rolling Stone poll), or who was/is a member of one of the biggest grossing rock groups of all time (CSNY, of course), it’s just that Stills made so much great music that’s seldom heard today and known mostly by middle-aged rock snobs, when that music should be as well-known as as the classic material he recorded with his fellow famous folk-rock compadres.
Case in point, the wicked double album Stills recorded with Manassas, with its rock, country, blues, bluegrass and Latin-influenced tunes. That album tears it up, but this live set, recorded in Germany in 1971 for the MusikLaden TV show is even better. It’s Stills at his very best—playing Jimi Hendrix-level guitar leads throughout—and what a band: Chris Hillman (The Byrds, The Flying Burrito Bros.), the great Dobro player Al Perkins, Dallas Taylor on drums, Calvin “Fuzzy” Sameul on bass, Paul Harris on keyboards and a very “Greg Brady”-looking Joe Lala on drums.
Listen to this one LOUD people. If you don’t groove on this, I jes’ cain’t help you (but I’ll continue to try. I’ll promise I will still try).
After the jump, CSN perform “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes” at Woodstock, becoming musical legends in the process…
The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975 directed by Göran Hugo Olsson is a timely documentary on the birth of the Black Power Movement that combines recently discovered film footage and interviews from the the 1960s and early 70s with commentary from contemporary Black activists and musicians.
Shot in stunning 16mm black and white and color by a Swedish film crew at the height of civil unrest over Vietnam and racial inequality in America, BPM features compelling interviews with Stokely Carmichael, Eldridge Cleaver, Angela Davis, Huey Newton and other key activists of the period, interspersed with powerful scenes of ghetto life in Oakland and Harlem. Both poetic and potent, the film manages to stir the heart without resorting to hyperbole or cheap sentiment. The subject matter is powerful enough on its own. The images and words speak for themselves…and they speak eloquently.
The only sour moment in the film is when a reptilian Louis Farrakhan spews the Nation Of Islam company line, silver tongue wrapping itself around every vowel like a dung beetle rolling in it’s own excrement and eyes leering with the lascivious gleam of an encyclopedia salesman looking to slip his sweaty hands under the apron of an unsuspecting suburban housewife And Malcolm died for this fucker’s sins.
As scenes unfold on the screen, personal reflections on the era and its influence on their lives and thinking are shared by Talib Kweli, Erykah Badu, ?uestlove, John Forté and Robin Kelley, among others. These were formative decades for a new generation of Black American activists, artists and teachers and the inspiration of the The Black Panthers, Martin Luther King, Malcolm X and Bobby Kennedy endures.
I have my own memories of this pivotal period in American history. I recall one of my first acts of becoming politically engaged. I was 17 and living in Berkeley. It was 1968. I went to The Black Panther headquarters, an aging, two-story, clapboard house in Oakland, and asked them what I could do to help. After getting over their initial amusement of seeing a skinny, long-haired, white boy standing in their office, two Panthers engaged me in conversation, curious to know my motivations. I told them I’d just read Eldridge Cleaver’s “Soul On Ice” and had been inspired by it, enough to do whatever I could to make the world a more just place. They handed me a stack of The Black Panther Newsletter and sent me out the door. I became a paperboy for the revolution.
While I watched BPM, the parallels between the civil rights and anti-war actions of the 1960s with the current Occupy Wall Street movement were quite obvious. We are still fighting the good fight…and it never seems to end. We make small inroads toward justice and then are slapped back down. But there is forward movement. Historically, popular uprisings that become the target of government suppression may falter but they always find a way to re-invent, resurrect and re-engage. We are seeing it play out at this very moment as the OWS survives against all efforts by the government and its police force to extinguish it. The success of the uprisings of the Sixties remind us that people DO have the power. Listening to and watching the speeches of Stokely Carmichael and Martin Luther King (the night before he was assassinated) not only made me feel proud to have been in the crux of it all at the time, it emboldened me to continue the fight and also angered me in knowing that there is still a fight to be fought.
The Black Power Mixtape is currently available for instant viewing on Netflix.
Unjustly imprisoned for being an accessory to the murder of a Judge, Angela Davis discusses violence and revolution in this jail cell interview from BPM. Not long after this interview, Davis was acquitted of all charges against her.
As I put together my annual worst Christmas songs list, I thought I’d give you a preview of things to come.
Doc Marten meets Dean Martin in Billy Idol’s plodding version of ‘White Christmas,” which has all the appeal of a Christmas stocking full of steaming reindeer shit.
The musicians backing him sound like a German wedding band after an afternoon of knocking back steins of hefeweizen at the local beer garden. It don’t mean a thing if ain’t got that swing and these cats couldn’t swing if they were hanging from a lamppost in a hurricane.
Filmed during the Summer Of Love (1967) in the Haight-Ashbury, this groovy documentary features commentary from visionary poet Michael McClure, footage of The Grateful Dead hanging out at their Ashbury Street home, a visit to The Psychedelic Bookshop, The Straight Theater, scenes from McClure’s play The Beard and rare shots of the bard of The Haight, Richard Brautigan, walking through Panhandle Park in all of his glorious splendor.