Sorry folks, I couldn’t help myself: Here’s 45 minutes of Paul Stanley stage banter. Or, better yet, 45 minutes of pure fucking hell!
Great for ruining parties and torturing anyone who’s trying to sleep.
I’d have to agree.
Photo: M. Getz.
Here’s Joni Mitchell doing a 35-minute interview on cable TV in 1989. I think it’s lovely the way Mitchell gives it her all despite being seen by only a few hundred people somewhere out in the ether. A great communicator with a high regard for her audience, no matter how small.
She speaks with great specificity about her recent LP release, 1988’s Chalk Mark in a Rain Storm, the Lakota people, political activism, film making and modern American culture.
The TV show originated in Covina, California. The interview is thoughtfully conducted by Jeff Plummer. Produced by Marty Getz.
Part two after the jump…
It must be bloody annoying to be Lloyd Cole and every single damned article written about you for the past two decades mentions that your career never lived up to your talent and potential and that you’re one of the most unheralded singer-songwriters around.
Although both assertions are, well, somewhat true, I’ll dispense with them upfront. I’d blame being ahead of his time and the music industry in general, more than I would anything that this criminally under-rated troubadour has produced (Cole had the bad luck to be caught up in Universal Music’s takeover of Polygram in the mid-90s and his contract was terminated with two unreleased albums locked in their vaults). For me, the music was never in question. If ever there was a middle-aged rocker ripe for rediscovery and critical evaluation, trust this rock snob’s opinion, it’s Lloyd fucking Cole, man. No time like the present, sez me…
We have a songwriting genius in our midst who should be celebrated and yet the guy gets so little respect it’s… well, it’s fucked up. It’s wrong, that’s what it is!
Formed in 1982, the same year as The Smiths, Lloyd Cole and the Commotions broke out of the gate two-years later with a jangly guitar sound that called to mind Orange Juice on their hit single “Perfect Skin.” Philosophy student Cole’s hyper literate—some would say purposefully pretentious—lyrics namechecked the likes of Simone de Beauvoir, Norman Mailer and Joan Didion while painting portraits of complex and idiosyncratic females.
I was totally hooked on the group and will admit to adding “Perfect Skin” to a mixed CD I made for my future wife—who does indeed have perfect skin—when I was courting her (Okay, coming completely clean, I’ve put that song on several mixed tapes and CDs I’ve compiled for women I was courting over the years…but I digress…)
When The Commotions split, Lloyd Cole went solo in New York, recording with the likes of Fred Maher, Matthew Sweet, Anton Fier, Voidoid Robert Quine and one of my dearest friends, Adam Peters—now a Hollywood film composer—who collaborated closely with Cole, although I didn’t know Adam then.
In terms of being “ahead of his time,” Cole was on the Burt Bacharach, Jimmy Webb, Scott Walker tip fairly early on, adding soaring strings (via the great arranger Paul Buckmaster) to what I think is his best album, 1991’s Don’t Get Weird on Me Babe. Other than Nick Cave or Marc Almond, there were few other artists treading into that territory at the time. And his lyrics were as good as Leonard Cohen’s (if not actually better). I cherished this album. Loved it. I played it nonstop for a year.
Apparently, although it is considered his best work, Don’t Get Weird On Me, Babe tanked and caused his American label at the time, Capitol, to drop him. I thought then, and I still think, that it’s a minor masterpiece and one of the very best under-appreciated cult albums of the 90s. (If you’re curious, you can actually buy a copy of Don’t Get Weird on Me Babe for a penny. Trust me, it’s the best cent you’ll ever spend on music).
None of this is to say that Lloyd Cole isn’t still a wonderful and productive working musician today, because he most certainly is. Much of his work during the past decade was in an unplugged acoustic “folk singer” mode, but he’s also gone on tour with a reformed Commotions, formed his “Small Ensemble” band, and performed with one of his sons. Lately he’s been making avant garde electronic music with Cluster’s Hans Joachim Rodelius that was released earlier this year, as Selected Studies Vol. 1.
For my purposes here, though, I’m going to concentrate mainly on the Don’t Get Weird On Me, Babe, Bad Vibes and Love Story era of Cole’s solo work from the early to mid 1990s because those years yielded the best video clips. First up, the lead off track from Don’t Get Weird On Me, Babe, the amazing “Butterfly.” If this song doesn’t blow your mind, then I just don’t know what I can do to help you…
Much more Lloyd Cole after the jump…
Ridiculous? Yes. Do I want one? Yep!
I can’t place my finger on exactly why these skin-tight Star Wars costumes are givng me a mild case of the heebie-jeebies, but there’s something very “Greendale Human Being”-ish about these suckers, right?
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Fantasical one-piece bodysuits for men from the ‘70s
How do you think Kim Jong-un got to be the dictator of North Korea, anyways?
In searching for hint of satire or farce, I am left wanting. Beat Your Way to the Top: Masturbation as a technique for business success, written by Dr. Stephen Larkin PhD, appears to be (somewhat?) legit. In my mind, it’s really only the natural mutation of 1980s self-improvement pseudo-psychology business culture. Really, what’s more masturbatory than meditating on one’s own awesomeness? I mean, doesn’t espousing masturbation in the context of business culture feel kind of redundant?
But Dr. Larkin appears to be deadly serious about his work, despite the cynical dismissal of his peers.
I am not able to publish these findings in any psychology journal. Business journals that I have approached have tended to act as if it was all a joke. I assure you it is not joke. As embarrassing as it is to admit it, I myself started following these routines and as a direct consequence, I am publishing this book today.
I’m surprised he found the time.
Masturbation WILL lead to the realization of your dreams. It will focus you. Energize you. It will allow you to see with clarity. Follow the instructions in this book and you too, will find success.
Okay… but what if I’m wrong? What if this man the Tesla of our time? Pitching his drops of pearly brilliance over the heads a skeptical audience of prudes?
Are we the ones on the wrong side of history? Is success in business not based on luck, skill, being born into a wealthy family and (to a far lesser extent) hard work? Call me a skeptic, but I just think that if this worked, we’d ALL be far more successful by now. Poverty would have been conquered thousands of years ago. EVERYONE would own a Rolls Royce!
But if you look at the Amazon reviews, it seems to be working for many of Dr. Larkin’s readers.
Hannah from Michigan, gives the book a five-star rating:
I was worried when my husband brought this little gem home. Imagine my relief when I learned it was actually about masturbation!
This book is geared toward men, but if you squint, you can relate it to women, too. Before I read this book, I was a dime-a-dozen bean counter at the local Mexican restaurant. How was I supposed to know that the secret to success is tickling the taco? It had been so long since I had stirred the yogurt, but you know what they say about riding sidesaddle ! Now, every day at my lunch break, I spend five minutes in the bathroom making soup and feeding my bearded clam, and my professional life is climaxing! The owner has been eyeballing me for my manager’s position- I don’t want to jump to conclusions, but I have a feeling I’ll be rubbing out her name on the office door soon!
Reviewer Noj also seemed to get something from Dr. Larkin’s techniques:
Before I bought this book, my handshakes were weak and weary. Now, they are firm and muscular, with a hint of a non-slip grip. It’s hard for me to imagine how I survived in the business world before. The only problem that I have now is that I occasionally squeeze a soda can too tightly, and get it everywhere.
Well, maybe it does work, what do I know? I just wouldn’t buy a used copy of this puppy, if you know what I mean…
In spite of Ike Turner… well, being a bastard, Ike and Tina are one of my favorite duos of all time (Fool in Love, anyone?). It’s a pity amazing albums like this (and their super-subversive artwork) are overshadowed by… you know… him being such a piece of shit human being. This biting little piece of minstrelsy satire is from the 1968 album Outta Season. It’s rumored that the album art was created as a response to the ongoing capitalization on black artists by white music industry honchos (That’s probably more than a rumor!)
Their skill at using startling images was only surpassed by their startling performances. My favorite track is Tina’s version of “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long,” and while the album version is fantastic, what they did with it live was absolutely insane. Here’s a 1971 live version with some of the most explicit (and in hindsight, very disturbing) dirty talk I have ever heard in a song—or at least a good song.
Just forget that he’s a wife-beater for a brief moment and enjoy the subversive imagery and pornographic bridge!
Artist and illustrator Mark Dawes has designed this fabulous poster of one of my favorite actors, Charles Gray, in his unforgettable role as the Crowley-inspired villain Mocata, from The Devil Rides Out (aka The Devil’s Bride).
Adapted by Richard Matheson from Dennis Wheatley’s classic, occult novel, the film starred Christopher Lee as the Duc du Richelieu, who pitted his wits against Satanist Mocata (Gray), for the souls of Simon (Patrick Mower) and Tanith (Nike Arrighi).
Mark has a brilliant selection of work over at his Illustrated Blog, which myself and Mocata will you to check out….
With thanks to Mark Dawes!
These days Richard Butler, the seemingly ageless front man of the Psychedelic Furs, considers himself more a painter who sometimes sings with a rock group and not so much a singer who paints.
As you can see from the work, he’s not “dabbling” in art. I’ve seen some of Butler’s paintings in person and he’s quite accomplished. They look great even on a computer screen, but in person they’re really dazzling. He’s perhaps the only rock/art crossover of high artistic merit to come along since Don Van Vliet (unless of course you rate Ronnie Wood or Paul Stanley as painters).
Imagista’s Michael Williams interviewed Butler in his home studio in Beacon, New York for this delightful video portrait. Click thru to Imagista for Rob Howard’s photos of Butler and his work space.
Richard Butler’s “ahatfulofrain” show will run from April 18 - May 25 at the Freight + Volume gallery in New York City.