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Wild realities and strange mythologies: The visceral beauty of Pieter Hugo’s vision
05:41 pm

Pop Culture


While we have featured the work of Pieter Hugo here on Dangerous Minds in the past, I thought I’d pull it all together into one piece so that those of you who are not familiar with this amazing artist’s work could experience it now.

There aren’t enough adjectives in my vocabulary to do justice to the photography of Pieter Hugo. “Powerful,” “disturbing,” “visceral,” “empathetic,” “sad,” and “beautiful” are all appropriately descriptive, but the term “a picture is worth a thousand words” has never been truer than in case of this South African’s visual genius. So I’ll let the pictures do the talking after I share a bit of background on Hugo’s work  

In the series “The Hyenas and Other Men,” Hugo documents the Gadawan Kura’ (hyena handlers/guides) who live in the shanty towns of Lagos, Nigeria and make a living by performing on the streets with hyenas that they’ve captured in the wild.

Hugo describes encountering and working with the hyena handlers:

In Abuja we found them living on the periphery of the city in a shantytown - a group of men, a little girl, three hyenas, four monkeys and a few rock pythons. It turned out that they were a group of itinerant minstrels, performers who used the animals to entertain crowds and sell traditional medicines. The animal handlers were all related to each other and were praising a tradition passed down from generation to generation. I spent eight days traveling with them.

In another series of photographs, Hugo evokes aspects of Nigerian films (Nollywood) in haunting photographs that recreate the surreality of cultures intermingling - Hollywood pop iconography (particularly horror imagery) mashed-up with Africa’s long and deep traditions of myth-making. Sometimes the lie is truer than the truth in these tableaus in which Hugo…

[...] asked a team of actors and assistants to recreate Nollywood myths and symbols as if they were on movie sets, Hugo initiated the creation of a verisimilar reality.”




As if Hugo’s photographs weren’t testimony enough to his extraordinary talents, he directed a very very cool video, Control...

[...] a “darkwave township house” cover of the Joy Division classic “She’s Lost Control” – is the fourth single to be taken from South African producer/DJ Spoek Mathambo’s album, Mshini Wam. The video was shot in Langa, Cape Town was made using a cast made up mainly of kids from the local dance troupe, Happy Feet.”

If you’re as impressed by these photos and video (how could you not be?), check out Hugo’s website where you can feast your eyes on more of his amazing visual gift.

More of Hugo’s photography after the jump…

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Goths on OkCupid
04:03 pm



OkCupid doesn’t seem like a very “gothy” thing to partake in, does it?

Seems like it would ruin your Goth street cred or something.

Goths on OkCupid

Via the NSFW Gorilla Mask

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
The Jimi Hendrix Experience live in Stockholm, 1969 (full show)
03:37 pm



This sloppy, yet powerful set from The Jimi Hendrix Experience was recorded live at the Konserthuset in Stockholm, Sweden on January 9th, 1969.

Killing Floor
Spanish Castle Magic
Magic Fire
Hey Joe
Voodoo Child (Slight Return)
Red House
Sunshine of Your Love

Hendrix dedicates the performance to the American military deserters.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Reminisce on this: De La Soul and Teenage Fan Club - Fallin’
03:19 pm

Pop Culture


It’s been a long time since I’ve heard this one. I stumbled upon it quite by accident while meandering through the musical maze of YouTube.

“Fallin’” is a perfect collaboration between three groups separated by multiple miles of geographic space but inhabiting the same lysergically-tinged musical universe.

Tom Petty provides the sample and Teenage Fanclub provide the jangly guitar and background vocals as De La Soul spin 70s pop culture references into the weave of this ditty from the sound track of 1993 action film Judgment Night.

...remember when I used to be dope, (yeah!)
I owned a pocket full of fame
(But look what you’re doing now), Well I know, I know
I lost touch with reality, now my personality
Is an unwanted commodity (believe it)
Can’t believe I used to be Mr Steve Austin on the mic
(Six million ways) I used to run it
I guess Oscar Goldman got mad
Cause I got loose circuits (so loose, so loose)
I be the mother goose with the eggs that seemed to be


Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
‘The Curious Dr. Humpp’: Pervy 1960s softcore zombie cult film (NSFW)
01:36 pm




“From every act of pleasure comes an equal act of perversion!”

In The Curious Dr. Humpp, a demented Argentinian doctor (who gets his instructions from a talking, megalomaniacal brain-in-a-jar that is all that’s left of his mentor) kidnaps attractive and horny couples and uses them for his nefarious ends.

Dr. Humpp and his team of goofy, rubber-masked zombie henchmen (and a buxom blonde nurse who loves to be smacked around) keep them prisoners in his creepy island mansion. They are injected with an aphrodisiac drug that turbo-charges their sexual desires and have orgiastic group sex as the doctor drains a “sex particle” fluid from their bodies. The resultant libido smoothie prevents him from doing a Dr. Jekyll and turning into a blood-thirsty monster.


“The strength of human body-fluids taken during coitus … they help me go on!”


The original early 1960s Argentinian film—which must have been pretty racy to begin with—was spiced up with additional sex footage when a North American distributor picked up this tawdry cult film in the early 70s. The name is meant to call to mind the XXX box office smash, I am Curious Yellow, although the two films have absolutely nothing in common, except a high nipple count!

“Sex dominates the world and now I dominate sex!”


Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Hypnotic video of skaters’ shadows
11:20 am



Lovey skating shadows doing their thing. Soothing music by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis.


Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
FLAMING ASSHOLE: Mitt Romney, rich teenage bully!

Want to like Mitt Romney even less than you already do? Read on:

Well, it looks like the rich white guy who strapped a shit-scared dog onto the roof of his car and who brags about how he likes to “fire people” has always been that way.

This may have happened when future ruler of men Mitt Romney was just a kid, true, but it’s still really fucking disturbing. If the child is the father to the man, after you read this, ask yourself how many degrees away from being a “Dexter” this Mormon Little Lord Fauntleroy was!

And if you think that’s taking it too far, at the very least, Mitt Romney is a grown-up version of the nastiest, most obnoxious snobby rich kid characters that James Spader played in the 1980s (The millionaire Republican governor’s son who bullies Duckie. Tell me that young Mittens is not straight out of a John Hughes film).

Now he wants to be the leader of the most powerful nation on Earth!

Five eye witnesses, four of them on record here. This isn’t a hit job, it’s Mitt Romney’s actual biography. Looking at how Romney’s predatory Bain Capital made its money by sucking prosperous businesses dry, firing workers and selling off the assets, I don’ think this over-privileged fuck has changed all that much.

Be prepared to fucking barf.

Via The Washington Post:

Mitt Romney returned from a three-week spring break in 1965 to resume his studies as a high school senior at the prestigious Cranbrook School. Back on the handsome campus, studded with Tudor brick buildings and manicured fields, he spotted something he thought did not belong at a school where the boys wore ties and carried briefcases. John Lauber, a soft-spoken new student one year behind Romney, was perpetually teased for his nonconformity and presumed homosexuality. Now he was walking around the all-boys school with bleached-blond hair that draped over one eye, and Romney wasn’t having it.

“He can’t look like that. That’s wrong. Just look at him!” an incensed Romney told Matthew Friedemann, his close friend in the Stevens Hall dorm, according to Friedemann’s recollection. Mitt, the teenaged son of Michigan Gov. George Romney, kept complaining about Lauber’s look, Friedemann recalled.

A few days later, Friedemann entered Stevens Hall off the school’s collegiate quad to find Romney marching out of his own room ahead of a prep school posse shouting about their plan to cut Lauber’s hair. Friedemann followed them to a nearby room where they came upon Lauber, tackled him and pinned him to the ground. As Lauber, his eyes filling with tears, screamed for help, Romney repeatedly clipped his hair with a pair of scissors.

The incident was recalled similarly by five students, who gave their accounts independently of one another. Four of them — Friedemann, now a dentist; Phillip Maxwell, a lawyer; Thomas Buford, a retired prosecutor; and David Seed, a retired principal — spoke on the record. Another former student who witnessed the incident asked not to be named. The men have differing political affiliations, although they mostly lean Democratic. Buford volunteered for Barack Obama’s campaign in 2008. Seed, a registered independent, has served as a Republican county chairman in Michigan. All of them said that politics in no way colored their recollections.

“It happened very quickly, and to this day it troubles me,” said Buford, the school’s wrestling champion, who said he joined Romney in restraining Lauber. Buford subsequently apologized to Lauber, who was “terrified,” he said. “What a senseless, stupid, idiotic thing to do.”

“It was a hack job,” recalled Maxwell, a childhood friend of Romney who was in the dorm room when the incident occurred. “It was vicious.”

“He was just easy pickins,” said Friedemann, then the student prefect, or student authority leader of Stevens Hall, expressing remorse about his failure to stop it.

The incident transpired in a flash, and Friedemann said Romney then led his cheering schoolmates back to his bay-windowed room in Stevens Hall.

Friedemann, guilt ridden, made a point of not talking about it with his friend and waited to see what form of discipline would befall Romney at the famously strict institution. Nothing happened.

Romney is now the presumed Republican presidential nominee. His campaign spokeswoman said the former Massachusetts governor has no recollection of the incident.

I guess he’s got an Etch-A-Sketch memory, too!

Who the fuck forgets an incident like this?

Of course there’s also the matter of how the biggest homophobes often turn out to be repressed closet-cases themselves… Just sayin’.

Jon Stewart, Rachel Maddow, and Stephen Colbert are going to have a field day with this, to say nothing of Bill Maher. Cue the vicious SNL skits and Funny or Die videos about THIS INCIDENT and, I hope, one of those great Taiwanese computer animations, too.

This is just the first page of four. Read the rest at The Washington Post, if you can stomach more.


Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
‘The art of style’: Vidal Sassoon R.I.P.
01:49 am

Current Events


Vidal Sassoon died on Wednesday at his home in Los Angeles. He was 84.

Famous for creating iconic, modish hair styles during the Swinging Sixties and developing a hugely successful line of hair products in the 70s and beyond, Sassoon was a pioneer in hitching his star to pop culture as well as influencing it. From Carnaby Street to discotheques in Queens to those little bottles you get in hotel bathrooms, Sassoon’s mission was to make the world look good, because “if you don’t look good, we don’t look good.”

Thank you Vidal.”

As in couture, the cut is the most important element… haircutting simply means design and this feeling for design must come from within.” Vidal Sassoon

Here’s Sassoon on an episode of What’s My Line from 1967.

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
100 mins of Adrian Sherwood’s best dub productions
09:11 pm



Dub fans and post-punks take note: Glasgow’s Optimo dj team/production unit have just put out another of their excellent podcasts, and this time it’s a whole hundred minutes of the best and most spaced out dub productions by Adrian Sherwood.

According to JD Twitch, who compiled the mix and skillfully blended the tracks together, it “covers music from the years 1979 - 88 and focuses on Adrian Sherwood’s dubwise productions, most of which were released on his ON U Sound label.”

Twitch also interviewed Sherwood after a recent gig in Glasgow, and the dub maestro talks at length about his introduction to reggae and dub music, and to djing, production and running labels:

How old were you when you were working for and running labels, Carib Gems and Hit Run?

I used to go to a reggae club in the town where I lived called the Newlands Club or the Twilight Club. I think Dave Rodigan did his first ever gig there. I was DJing there when I was really young. The owner of the club, a Jamaican guy, was like my dad. He looked after me. My dad had died when I was very young and I had a step-dad but I wasn’t close to him so this guy took me under his wing and I started DJing in there when I was at school, on Saturday afternoons… Then eventually Sunday afternoons and then moved up to doing the early evening stints. I worked there with Emperor Rosco a couple of times and lots of other Radio 1 DJs and Judge Dread, who came down and did a PA in the club. I used to play early evenings before the sound systems. It had been a funk a soul club… Then in around 72 or 73 or something, it was a really, really hot summer and no-one was going to the club for months. The only people going were the reggae fans. It suddenly just turned into this reggae club whereas it had been a lot of soul drinkers prior to 72 or 73… So it went from a group of people who drank a lot and listened to soul to a group of reggae fans who would only want to drink one beer and smoke lots of weed. So it was only a matter of time before the club went bust. I was doing it from the age of 13 – 15, then the club went under. I had became good friends with the owner and his wife so when the club went under the owner, who had previously ran Pama Records, restarted the label and I got a little job doing promotions for them. Then we started our own distribution company out of the Pama office. That pre-dates Jet Star, Jet Star started after we had left. They basically copied the model we had created.

Do you think any of the music on your early labels will ever get re-issued?

There was a bootleg a couple of years ago of a Carol Kalphat record. That was a fucking character! I had to send a message asking not to bootleg any more of my tunes. The real problem with releasing that stuff is that if I start re-issuing it begins to bring people out of the woodwork which isn’t always worth it. I think it’s actually better that they are there and available as collector’s items and that’s it.

If you are new to Sherwood and ON U Sound, then that interview (on the Racket Racket site) is a good place to start, as is this mix. Even if you’re not it’s well worth checking out: just over 100 minutes of non-stop, heavy, psychedelic dub, the perfect soundtrack to an evening in relaxing. Or tripping out.

As usual, Optimo have withheld the tracklist, and have promised to follow up this podcast with another focusing on Sherwood’s more dance-based productions from the late 80s and the 90s. That will be called part one, and here, confusingly, is part two:

   Optimo Podcast 12 - Adrian Sherwood On U Sound mix part 2 (dub) by JD Twitch
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Don’t call it ambient: Optimo Fact 214 Mix

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
The REAL Hunger Games

Above, Hunger Games poster for the Roger Corman version

The REAL hunger games have begun in the Capitol: This week the House is voting on $36 billion in cuts to nutrition assistance, or SNAP, which would kick 2 million people off the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly food stamps), reduce benefits for 44 million more, and drop 280,000 low-income kids from school lunch.

Visit Half in Ten to learn more—and how you can stop the Capitol from winning.

An Austerity Backlash: From Sen. Bernie Sanders’s website, May 7, 2012

France handed the presidency on Sunday to François Hollande, who declared that “austerity can no longer be inevitable.”  In Greece, Germany and Italy, parliamentary and local elections Sunday were seen as setbacks for austerity measures. Sen. Bernie Sanders saw a lesson for the United States in the European elections.

“In the United States and around the world, the middle class is in steep decline while the wealthy and large corporations are doing phenomenally well. The message sent by voters in France and other European countries, which I believe will be echoed here in the United States, is that the wealthy and large corporations are going to have to experience some austerity also and that that burden cannot solely fall on working families. 

In the United States, where corporate profits are soaring and the gap between the rich and everybody else is growing wider, we must end corporate tax loopholes and start making the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes. At the same time, we must protect Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Austerity, yes, but for millionaires and billionaires, not the working families of this country.”


Via Think Progress

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
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