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‘Love Exposure’: Sion Sono’s mindbender gets an American theatrical release
09.04.2011
02:39 pm

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Art
Movies
Pop Culture
Punk

Tags:
Sion Sono
Love Exposure


Sion Sono and the 400 page script for Love Exposure.
 
I’d like to add my voice to the chorus of praise for Sion Sono’s (Suicide Club, Cold Fish) epically weird and wonderful Love Exposure.

Three minutes short of four hours long, Sono’s metaphysical black comedy is never boring and completely unlike any film you’re likely to see now or in the near future. Imagine a diabolically funny mix of John Waters, Alejandro Jodorowsky, John Hughes and David Lynch and you might get a sense of what Sono is up to in Love Exposure. Gory, romantic, spiritual and completely bonkers, this is a trip definitely worth taking. Somehow Sono (a poet turned film maker) performs the magic act of juggling what seems like a dozen film genres in the air with supernatural grace.

I dig film critic Simon Abrams’ take on the movie:

Love Exposure is, in a sense, Sono’s equivalent of the Great Russian novel. In it, his substantial disaffection for societal conventions is matched only by his monumental love for his spectacularly messed-up protagonists. These characters become deranged because they have to create their own belief system. There’s no God except for the ones that Yôko, Aya Koike (Sakura Andô), and Yû Honda (Takahiro Nishijima) make for themselves. God is represented by mundane authority figures, people who simultaneously project their own fear of loving someone else and lustful need to be loved. In other words, father/Father figures are all rotten to the core in Love Exposure, though they’re all rotten in unique ways.

Made in 2008, Love Exposure is finally receiving a limited American theatrical run two years after I first encountered it at Austin’s Fantastic Fest.
 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
FEMA uses the Waffle House index to determine hurricane threat
09.04.2011
01:43 pm

Topics:
Current Events

Tags:
Hurricanes
Waffle House


 
While folks on the East Coast are still reeling from the havoc unleashed by Hurricane Irene, Tropical Storm Lee is adding to their misery by dumping a couple of feet of rain on New Orleans as it trudges north.

How does FEMA measure the potential dangers of these massive storms? There are several methods….including the status of your local Waffle House.

When a hurricane makes landfall, the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency relies on a couple of metrics to assess its destructive power.
First, there is the well-known Saffir-Simpson Wind Scale. Then there is what he calls the “Waffle House Index.”

Waffle House, reliable beyond the ordinary.
 

 
Via WSJ

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Cute and totally irresistible puppies in wedding outfits
09.04.2011
02:40 am

Topics:
Amusing
Animals
Fashion

Tags:
Dogs in wedding outfits


 
I’m just here to try and make you feel good, okay?

If you’re like me, you’re probably a sucker for this kind of stuff.

These pups are rushing into things.  I always recommend waiting to marry until you’ve lived a little…at least until the age of five in dog years.
 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
A Fistful of Dub #2
09.03.2011
07:40 pm

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Movies
Music

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A Fistful of Dub #2


 
A Fistful Of Dub number two. Spaghetti westerns meet the massive attack of dub and reggae.

01. “Cocaine” - Sly and The Revolutionaries
02. “Blood Dunza” - King Tubby and The Aggrovators
03. “Man A Warrior” - Tapper Zukie
04. “Out Of Order” - Prince Jammy
05. “Youth Man” - King Tubby
06. “Coming Home” - Dennis Brown
07. “Washroom Skank” - The Upsetters
08. “Nothing Is Impossible” - Techniques All Stars
09. “Buckshot Dub” - Rupie Edwards
10. “Freak Out Skank” - The Upsetters
11. “Please Officer” - Talent Crew
12. “The Big Rip Off” - Augustus Pablo, King Tubby
13. “New Style” - Niney The Observer
14. “Herb” - Sly and The Revolutionaries
 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Reich-wing pundit says registering the poor to vote is ‘un-American’


 
Does the name Matthew Vadum ring a bell? If it doesn’t, then consider yourself, uh, lucky, but unfortunately, dear reader, your luck has just run out…

Vadum is the portly, Truman Capote-esque conservative blogger you see/hear from time to time spinning over-wrought conspiracy theories about the former community organizer ACORN on cable news programs and talk radio. The Exiled calls Vadum “a fat little waffentwerp,” a “national laughingstock” and “the male equivalent of the squatty little nerdette who carved a “B” in her face and blamed it on evil Negroes.”

In 2008, Vadum infamously told The Daily Show that community organizers barter votes for Democrats in poor neighborhoods with crack. He’s written a book about ACORN called Subversion Inc.: How Obama’s ACORN Red Shirts are Still Terrorizing and Ripping Off American Taxpayers that’s been published by the brain(dead) trust at World Net Daily (who else would touch it?). Endorsed by the likes of David Horowitz, Rep. Michele Bachmann and G. Gordon Liddy, Subversion, Inc. is paired on Amazon with Jerome Corsi’s Where’s The Birth Certificate?, also published by World Net Daily. Vadum is a columnist at Andrew Breitbart’s Big Government blog and a Senior Editor at the Capital Research Center in Washington, DC.

Recently Vadum published a controversial essay titled “Registering the Poor to Vote is Un-American” at a curiously named blog called American Thinker (curious because of the notable lack of critical thinking going on there and quotation marks around “Thinker”). If you read his essay cold, you could be forgiven for thinking that this was an Onion writer attempting a bit of Swiftian satire at the expensive of far-right autocrats. Nope, this dickhead actually means it!

Why are left-wing activist groups so keen on registering the poor to vote?

Because they know the poor can be counted on to vote themselves more benefits by electing redistributionist politicians.  Welfare recipients are particularly open to demagoguery and bribery.

Registering them to vote is like handing out burglary tools to criminals.  It is profoundly antisocial and un-American to empower the nonproductive segments of the population to destroy the country — which is precisely why Barack Obama zealously supports registering welfare recipients to vote.

So according to this repulsive hobbit, poor people voting in their own self-interest is somehow wrong? Democracy itself is somehow “un-American”?

If you even think something like this, well, that’s very unfortunate for you, but to say it out loud and in public, you are, in effect, asking for people to agree with you (or at least open the Overton Window a little more). No surprise then to see all the ridicule and abuse hurled at Vadum—who calls himself a “Libertarian Conservative,” btw—in the blogsphere.

No surprise either, that he’s rather thin-skinned. Here’s his Twitter feed in case you feel like sending him some fan mail.

May I suggest the Twitter hashtag #MatthewVadumFuckFace?

Below, a photo-montage video of this ludicrous berk.
 

 
Let’s Make Matthew Vadum Bad-Famous (Videogum)
 
Registering the Wealthy to Vote is Un-American (Technorati)

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
‘Stairway to Stardom’: The Forgotten Joys of Public Access TV

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Before America’s Got Talent, there was Stairway to Stardom, a public access talent show, broadcast in New York during the late 1970s and 1980s. Shot in what looks like someone’s basement, or the rehearsal room for a David Lynch film, Stairway to Stardom offered the young, the old, and even the deluded a chance to achieve the success their ambition suggested was theirs. Clips of this wonderfully bizarre series have popped up on YouTube over the years, and reveal what fans of Stairway to Stardom have known for years - that this camp, fun and rather charming show is still well ahead of Simon Cowell’s smug, corporate juggernaut.
 

Horowitz and Spector sing “Something’s Rotten in Translyvania”, 1988
 

Stairway to Stardom - Opening Titles 1984
 
More joys from ‘Stairway to Stardom’, after the jump…
 
With thanks to Fernando Caetano
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Patti Smith receives prestigious Swedish music award
09.03.2011
03:30 pm

Topics:
Art
Literature
Music
Punk

Tags:
Patti Smith
Polar Music Prize

Jersey punk receives the 2011 Polar Music Prize from Sweden’s King Carl XVI Gustaf.
 
Patti Smith was awarded Sweden’s highest musical honor this past week.

Billboard reports:

The Polar Music Prize was first presented in 1992 and has gone to pop artists such as Sir Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen, B.B. King, Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin and classical names such as Isaac Stern, Renée Fleming, José Antonio Abreu and Ennio Morricone.

Smith’s award was presented by one of her favorite authors, Sweden’s Henning Mankell. Speaking without notes, he credited Smith for inspiring women all over the world to write poetry and create music. He then read the citation, which lauded Smith for “devoting her life to art in all its forms” and for demonstrating “how much rock ‘n’ roll there is in poetry and how much poetry there is in rock ‘n’ roll.” Calling Smith “a Rimbaud with Marshall amps,” the citation said that she “has transformed the way an entire generation looks, thinks and dreams.”

In her acceptance, a visibly moved Smith had to stop for a moment to collect herself as she thanked her daughter Jesse Paris and son Jackson, as well as the musicians she has worked with for years, including “Lenny Kaye, who has played guitar by my side for over 40 years.” Smith also acknowledged the late Stig Anderson and “my late husband, Fred ‘Sonic’ Smith,” guitarist for the rock band MC5.

“Receiving the prestigious Polar Music Prize is both humbling and inspiring, for it fills me with pride,” Smith told the audience at the Stockholm Concert Hall. “It also fills me with the desire to continue to prove my worth. I am reminded always how collaborative the music experience is and so I would like to thank the people, for it is the people for whom we create and it is the people who have given me their energy and encouragement for four decades.

No longer outside of society, punk’s elder stateswoman discusses her past, the present and the creative process with Stockholm journalist Jan Gradvall.
 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Excellent Sparks live footage from 1974


 
Man I love Sparks! They are simultaneously the geekiest AND coolest band in the history of rock. We need to be showing more love to the brothers Mael and their highly literate, fun, sexy and intelligent music here on DM - they are California boys after all. This bizarrely brilliant short concert film is the perfect excuse to post about them.

Sparks always move with the times, and frequently they were well ahead of it. In 1974 they took baroque opera-pop to the top of the UK charts, a whole year before Queen did the same thing to more acclaim. In 74/75 they pretty much invented New Wave (the proof lies in this film)  and 4-5 years later when it had caught on Sparks had already moved on to inventing that staple of 80s pop, the synth-duo (through their incredible work with Giorgio Moroder). That’s not even taking into account the theory that 1976’s Big Beat album paved the way for power-pop. By the early 80s the brothers had settled down and repositioned themselves as perhaps THE quintessential New Wave band, hooking up with uber-fan Jane Weidlin of the Go-Gos along the way, and delivering the MTV staple “Cool Places”. Sparks were on the ball with their music videos too, recognising that the moving image was going to be key to music in the coming decades, and hiring a certain director called David Lynch to helm the promo for their classic 1983 stomper “I Predict”.

And that brings us back to this concert film. It is of course a brilliant look at the Sparks live set-up of the mid-Seventies post-glam era, but it also gives us some unintentionally funny moments too. It must have been a bit of a nightmare for the record company to position this brainy, sarky, odd-looking band as being another teeny-bop pop product, but boy did they try. See the over-enthusiastic reaction from the crowd to every single move the band make! Hear the roars that sound like they were from a different concert! Feel the prodding from assistant directors for bored audience members to get up and dance! Still, none of this hides the true, what-the-hell weirdness that shines out of Sparks, and particularly Ron Mael. Just check the moment at 1:40 when Ron gives a wry smile to an audience member and we see her shocked reaction.

This film is pretty short and only features four songs (“Something For The Girl With Everything”. Talent Is An Asset”, “B.C.” and “Amateur Hour”) and pop spotters will also be interested to see that Sparks are given an introduction by none other than Keith Moon and Ringo Starr:
 
Sparks Live 1974 Part 1
 

 
Part 2 after the jump…

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
More pioneering synthpunk from Futurisk


 
More early 80s synthpunk madness, this time from South Florida’s Futurisk. These guys are pretty obscure and information on them is limited, but according to their website they formed in 1979 when teenager Jeremy Kolosine won some time in a recording studio, and their music was usually:

recorded by Richard Hess and the band in the rooms of Ron K’s house. The drum sound, gotten in a bathroom, rocks, even today. Reportedly, Futurisk may have been the 1st synth-punk band in the American South…or something, and 1981’s track ‘Push Me Pull You (pt. 2)’ was an early pre-‘Rockit’ excursion into electro-funk.

The revival of interest in the band was sparked when James Murphy included one of their tracks on a DFA mix for the French boutique Colette in 2003. Last year the Minimal Wave label released a retrospective of the band’s work called Player Piano, and earlier this year the band put out a remix 12” of the track “Lonely Streets”, one of whose remixes came from the mighty Chris Carter. Here’s a couple of videos of Futurisk in action:

Futurisk - “Meteoright”
 

 
After the jump the original video for the classic “Army Now”, and more Futurisk…
 
If you like what you hear, and you want to pick up Player Piano, you can get it here.

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
Classic Covers: Fabulous dust jacket facsimiles to novels by Vonnegut, Woolf, Kerouac and more

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Over at Facsimile Dust Jackets you can find (and purchase) an incredible selection of scans of dust jackets from classic novels by Kurt Vonnegut, Philip K Dick, Doris Lessing, Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, Christopher Isherwood, Norman Mailer, Jack Kerouac, Henry Miller, Agatha Christie, Aleister Crowley, Dennis Wheatley, Robert Bloch, Len Deighton and many, many more. Have a look for yourself here.
 
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More fab facsimile dust jackets, after the jump…
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
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