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Scorching live set by T. Rex from 1972: Marc Bolan, gone but not forgotten
09.16.2012
02:20 pm

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Marc Bolan died 35 years ago today. He made an indelible mark on my life by reviving my passion for pop music when rock ‘n’ roll was starting to slide into irrelevance for me. With some of my heroes out of the picture, Morrison, Hendrix, Jones and Joplin,  Bolan’s arrival on the scene, along with Roxy Music and Bob Marley, woke my ass up to the fact that rock ‘n’ roll will always evolve in ways that beguile and excite me…and it usually happens right around the time I’m about to give up on the music. Marc Bolan and the rest softened me up for knockdown punch of punk rock.

Rescued from rusting film tins found in Ringo Starr’s garage, here’s T. Rex firing on all cylinders. The concert was filmed by Ringo in March of 1972 at Empire Pool in Wembley London and released as part of the film Born To Boogie, lovingly restored for DVD in 2005 and praised by R. Metzger for its overall “Wow factor.”

Marc Bolan and his bandmates, Mickey Finn, Bill Legend and Steve Currie, played two sets on March 18. Here’s the entire second set.
 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Sonic Assassins cleared for Space Flight: Hawkwind ‘In Concert’, from 1972
09.16.2012
01:39 pm

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Forty years ago this month, a strange and distant signal was picked up on radio receivers across the UK.

Amongst the hiss, and static interference, a dialog could be heard….

‘This is London, Earth. This is London, Earth. This is London, Earth. This is London, Earth.’

‘Mothership Control in readiness. Sonic Assassins cleared for Space Flight. Countdown starting now. Thirty…’

‘Countdown started. All Units prepare for activation.’

‘Twenty Five…’

‘Production Androids activated. Now!’

‘Twenty…’

‘Audience Recept Units, activated, NOW!’

‘Fifteen…’

‘Music Distribution Equipment. Activated. Now!’

‘10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4…’

‘All Units activated. Countdown terminated.’

‘...3, 2, 1. Countdown complete.’

‘All Units functioning. Movement commencing. We have lift-off. We have music.’

‘We have….Hawkwind!

This is the audio recording of that night’s broadcast. Hawkwind live in concert from the Paris Theater, London, September 29th, 1972. Transmitted by BBC Radio 1 on October 14th.

Track listing:

01. “Countdown”
02. “Born to Go”
03. “The Black Corridor”
04. “Seven by Seven”
05. “Brainstorm”
06. “Electronic No. 1”
07. “Master of the Universe”
08. “Paranoia”
09. “Earth Calling”
10. “Silver Machine”
11. “Welcome to the Future”
 

 
Bonus Hawkwind in concert form 2005, after the jump…
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Bela Lugosi: An interview with the Vampire from 1932
09.15.2012
06:36 pm

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Amusing
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Bela Lugosi was often depressed performing the role of Dracula. He dreamt he was dead, and woke in the morning exhausted, he tells Dorothy West in this episode of Intimate Interviews from 1932.

Lugosi explains how after the First World War, he participated in the Hungarian revolution, but soon found himself on the wrong side. He therefore left the country and arrived in America, where he continued his career as an actor.

His first success was in the title role of the stage production of Dracula. This led him to starring in the classic film version, directed by Todd Browning in 1931. Thereafter, he made a series of Horror films for Universal Studios, most notably starring against that “King of Horror”, Boris Karloff.

Lugosi jokes with West telling her is learning slang and knows how to say “okay”, “baloney” and “the cat’s whiskers”. He also goes onto say he likes living in America as people know how to mind their own business - which is more a reference to the way sections of Hollywood society ostracized the actor. Lugosi ends the interview pretending to be one of the Undead.
 

 
Bonus clip, Lugosi interviewed leaving the sanitarium in 1955, after the jump…
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Bing Hitler: Craig Ferguson long, long before ‘The Late, Late Show’
09.15.2012
03:56 pm

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Television

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This is Craig Ferguson long, long before The Late, Late Show, performing as his stand-up comedy alter ego, Bing Hitler, at the Pavillion Theater, Glasgow, on October 14th, 1987.

This is 2 years after Bing’s famed gig at the Tron Theater Gong Night, which led to column inches and a variety of shows, ranging from a-one-off at Cul-de-Sac Bar to the legendary Night of the Long Skean Dhus in 1986. Back then, the Cul-de-Sac in Ashton Lane, was an important watering hole for artists, writers, musicians and performers, to meet and share ideas, gossip and alcohol. Of an evening you could find Ferguson at the bar with musicians like Bobby Bluebell, the late Bobby Paterson, James Grant, and writers like Tommy Udo. Even the bar staff had talent like the artist Lesley Banks. These were fun times.

At times in this concert, Bing comes across like a shouty cousin to Rik from Young Ones. Craig has always been a confident, talented and assured performer, but here he was just a wee bit rough around the edges - part of the character - but it’s all good fun, and a great look back.
 

 
Bonus clip of Bing Hitler performing at Bennet’s, from 1987, after the jump…
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
‘Bongo Man’: Superlative documentary on Jimmy Cliff
09.15.2012
02:44 pm

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History
Music
Politics
Reggae

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Some of the bloodiest violence in Jamaica’s history took place in the lead-up to the country’s 1980 elections. The battle for political leadership between socialist Prime Minister Michael Manley’s Peoples National Party and Edward Seaga’s Jamaican Labour Party, brought the country to the verge of civil war. The conflict started in 1976, and arose out of the PNP’s plan to form closer links with Cuba. The JLP wanted to bind Jamaica closer to the USA and a free market. Both parties used gangs (posses) to enforce their will within Kingston - Seaga accessing weapons via America. This violence culminated in the 1980 elections that left 800 Jamaicans dead, as Seaga was elected Prime MInister.

It was against this background, the documentary Bongo Man was filmed. Bongo Man told the story of Jimmy Cliff, as he traveled across Jamaica to Kingston, in an attempt to unite the country through the power of Reggae.

Cliff’s philosophy was simple: ‘Politics divide, Music unites’. The legendary Cliff is a fascinating character and this is an exceptional and engrossing documentary, containing excellent concert footage and some of Cliff’s best songs.
 

 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
‘Kubricks’: First teasers for the new Dean Cavanagh/Alan McGee film
09.15.2012
09:33 am

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The first in a series of teaser trailers for Dean & Josh Cavanagh’s Kubricks has been released. They feature the character of “Donald the Director” (played by Roger Evans), who suffers a mental breakdown during the making of a film, and begins to involve his cast (Joanna Pickering, Gavin Bain) and crew in his sinister and obsessive fantasies.

Produced by Alan McGee, Kubricks looks a cross between Ballard, Kubrick and Kenneth Anger, which suggests it may be brilliant, or indulgent, or like some of the best art, a bit of both. We wait to see. Meantime, check the Kubricks website for more details.
 


‘Kubricks’ teaser (((RABBIT)))
 
Bonus teasers for ‘Kubricks’, after the jump…
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
B-movie mayhem: ‘Tougher Than Leather’ starring Run DMC
09.14.2012
10:37 pm

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Hip-hop
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Never been released on DVD, Tougher Than Leather (1988) directed by Rick Rubin and starring Rubin, Run DMC and The Beastie Boys is a weird blend of blaxploitation, tongue-in-cheek farce and home movie. I like its don’t-give-a-fuck sloppiness - kind of like Scorsese on a glue-sniffing bender. Plus, it manages to insult virtually every race, creed and gender on the planet.

With Slick Rick, Russell Simmons and Richard Edson.
 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Motor City is Burning: 30 minutes of seldom-seen footage of the MC5
09.14.2012
08:52 pm

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If you think you’ve seen all the footage there is to see of the mighty MC5, check out Leni Sinclair and Cary Loren’s short film “Kick Out the Jams.”

Sinclair was married to MC5 manager and revolutionary poet John Sinclair (author of Guitar Army) and organized the infamous John Sinclair Freedom Rally (headlined by John Lennon and Yoko Ono) when he was imprisoned ten years for two joints. She was active in the Artists Workshop, which evolved into the Trans-Love Energies commune, which then in turn became the White Panther Party. Cary Loren was a founding member of “anti-rock” art rockers Destroy All Monsters along with Jim Shaw, Niagara and the late Mike Kelley.

Here’s an excerpt from an interview with Sinclair conducted by Ken Shimamoto:

One hears and reads all sorts of things about the Trans-Love house and the different roles of men and women there…from a contemporary standpoint, it sounds very traditional. Can you comment on that?

Leni; It might look like that in retrospect, because that was before the advent of feminism, but as far as living in that situation, the women did not feel oppressed or second-rate. I mean, women didn’t pick up instruments and try to play and try to be in the band, but as far as the atmosphere at the time, we all considered ourselves equal in the endeavor. We were revolutionaries; there was no hierarchy like the males up here and the women down there. At the time, we all felt that we were contributing equally to this effort we were involved in, whatever it took. I’ve heard some things…that “the women were on the floor, scrubbing the floor.” That was a lot of hokum. Everybody pitched in, everybody did their chores and their work. We had it tightly organized. Childcare was shared, kitchen duties were shared, everything, except for playing in the band.

In fact, I wrote an article one time in the newspaper, in the Ann Arbor Sun, I think, about “cock rock” and the criticism that was starting to appear about “cock rock” guys with guitars. And my thesis was, there’s nothing wrong with that; the only thing wrong is that women have to start learning to play, too, and getting up there.

And that happened in the ‘90s.

Leni: I didn’t say it, but “Let’s have cock-rock and pussy rock” (Laughs)

When John was imprisoned in 1969, did the Five renege on a promise to help you out financially while he was in prison?

Leni: I don’t really know if there had ever been a promise. Nobody knew that John was going to go to jail, and I don’t think that he ever had any discussions prior to going to jail to see what would happen. Everybody just figured he would get an appeal bond and be out on the street in a matter of days, or maybe weeks. Well, that didn’t happen, and the MC5…first, they severed their relationship with J.C. Crawford, which we all felt was a big mistake, because J.C. was almost a sixth member of the band, he was almost an integral part. So when they fired him, we had kinda bad feelings about that, and then when they brought in Jon Landau as a manager, of course we had bad feelings about that. The financial part was…I don’t really know. ‘Cause no promises were made, John never had a written contract with the band or anything like that. It was on the honor system.

But I do know that after John went to jail, there were about 17 of us who had spent the last two years doing nothing but working for the MC5 and making them a success, never taking any money for ourselves, just room and board. All of a sudden, John is gone, and we have no money coming in. Our phones got cut off just at the crucial point when we needed to make some publicity and let people know John was in jail. We had no way; we had no phones and we were just begging for food. My mother-in-law and father-in-law helped us out like they usually did, but it was devastating for awhile. And there was probably hard feelings thinking that the MC5 should have kept John on as a manager, even if he was in jail. People told them otherwise, other people told them John would be a hindrance, because now he was too hot to handle. John was now too much of a political figure. So they said no, better get rid of John Sinclair and the revolutionary image. Which was a mistake, I think we all agree. Because they lost whatever they had going for them, they kinda got lost after that.

What did you do immediately after that?

Leni: Well, I was pregnant with Celia and we had a child, and we had to organize to make a living and we had to organize the John Sinclair freedom movement.. We kept it together by hook or by crook, and the person who’s most responsible for all that is Dave Sinclair, John’s brother, who took over the financial management of this whole shebang. The Up became the house band for the revolutionary White Panther Party wing (Laughs). They were no MC5, but they could kick it out, and so we kept it going like that. So for the next two and a half years, we were just continuing without the Five, focusing our energies on getting John out and continuing to organise.

Do you know about the Bentley archive? When John and I broke up, I had a whole roomful of all the things that I’d collected since I came to this country—all the fliers, all the magazines, all the books we published. We published, at one time, four magazines, and put out about twenty books of poetry, most of them mimeographed by hand. I’m a pack rat, so I saved every last scrap of paper, every memo, everything. So when we broke up, we donated our collection of stuff to the Michigan Historical Library, which houses the papers of the governors and the supreme court justices of Michigan and all that. And so they have the John and Leni Sinclair Papers…a huge amount of materials, and people come from far and wide to study the ‘60s now. It’s at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

Sinclair is also an accomplished photographer who has snapped iconic shots of many a Motor City madman and documented important events in rock and roll and counterculture history. She has taken photographs of Iggy and The Stooges, John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin and Allen Ginsberg among many other revolutionary counter-cultural luminaries of the 60s and 70s.

Leni Sinclair’s new book, with famed poster artist Gary Grimshaw, is titled Detroit Rocks! A Pictorial History of Motor City Rock and Roll 1965-1975.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Honey Boo Boo: ‘Go Go Juice Remix’
09.14.2012
08:28 pm

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Honey Boo Boo goes off the chain when that go go juice starts runnin’ around her brain.

“Dolla makes me holla.”

When Boo Boo’s done, you might want to check out The Clint Eastwood RNC remix and see what a lifetime of drinking go go juice will do to your brain.
 

 
Via Live Leak

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
‘The Punk Rock Movie’: The Clash, The Pistols, The Banshees and more in Don Letts’ classic film
09.14.2012
08:03 pm

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Pop Culture
Punk

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Filmmaker and musician, Don Letts was working as a DJ at the Roxy club in London in 1977 when he filmed most of the punk bands that appeared there with his Super 8 camera. Letts captured a glorious moment of musical history and its ensuing social, political and cultural revolution.

Letts decided he was going to make a film with his footage, and had sold his belongings to ensure he had enough film stock to record the bands that appeared night-after-night over a 3 month period. Eventually, he collated all of the footage into The Punk Rock Movie, which contained performances by the Sex Pistols, The Clash, Wayne County & the Electric Chairs, Generation X, Slaughter and the Dogs, The Slits, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Eater, Subway Sect, X-Ray Spex, Alternative TV and Johnny Thunders and The Heartbreakers. There was also backstage footage of certain bands, and Sid Vicious’ first appearance with the Sex Pistols, at The Screen On The Green cinema, April 3rd, 1977.
 

 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
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