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Sun Ra on Detroit TV, 1981
07.25.2011
11:42 pm

Topics:
Art
Music
Thinkers

Tags:
Sun Ra
Detroit TV


 
Broadcast on Detroit local television in 1981, this interview with Sun Ra reminds us of what we already knew: he was a brilliant, uncompromising, truth-talking visionary.

The mother of all mother ships.
 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Lee Jeffries’ images from the second Great Depression
07.25.2011
04:23 pm

Topics:
Art
Current Events
Economy
Environment

Tags:
Lee Jeffries


 
British photographer Lee Jeffries’ portraits of the homeless are darkly beautiful and deeply sad.

Jeffries’ photographs remind me of the brilliant Walker Evans who chronicled the Great Depression in similarly compassionate and heartrending style.

Jeffries, an accountant by profession, describes the moment he became inspired to dedicate himself to photographing the homeless:

My involvement with the homeless started after an encounter with a young girl in London. She was huddled under a sleeping bag in a doorway in Leicester Square and took offense as I stole a photo from a distance. I was tempted to turn around and leave but something prompted me to go talk to her instead. Her story broke my heart, and changed the way I perceived the homeless. Most of my images are of people I have met on the street, whether in the UK, Europe or the US. The situations presented themselves, and I’ve made an effort to get to know each of the subjects before asking their permission to take their portrait.

In the few years I’ve been doing photography, it has taught me to really ‘see’ people in their everyday environment and to not take the familiar for granted. You have to be aware of what’s going on around you in order to be ready for those decisive moments, to pick up on the subtle and not just the obvious.”

Visit Alafoto.com to view the photographs in larger format. They are stunning.
 

 

 

 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Ron English can’t get no ‘Status Faction’
07.25.2011
04:21 pm

Topics:
Art
Music
Pop Culture

Tags:
Rolling Stones
Ron English


Click on image to see larger version
 
Fantastic new image from pop art propagandist Ron English. Behold “Status Faction”!

I love Ron English. In my eyes he can do no wrong. He always brings his “A” game and the guy is just so prolific!

Below, just for the hell of it, the Stones performing “Satisfaction” several lifetimes ago…
 

 
More Popaganda from Ron English via his official website.

Via Cherry Bombed

 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Freddie Mercury’s eyeball jumpsuit
07.25.2011
03:49 pm

Topics:
Fashion
Music

Tags:
Freddie Mercury
eyeball jumpsuit


 
”I dress to kill, but tastefully.” Freddie Mercury.

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Never Mind the Bhangra Here’s Opium Jukebox

image
 
Formed by Martin Atkins (ex-Public Image Ltd drummer, and member of Killing Joke, Ministry and PIgface), Opium Jukebox are a Bhangra tribute band, who released some rather stonking cover albums of the Sex Pistols (Never Mind the Bhangra Here’s Opium Jukebox), The Rolling Stones (Sticky Bhangra), Black Sabbath (Bhangra Bloody Bhangra), and a rather fab industrial compilation of various artistes including Nirvana, Soft Cell and Gary Numan, Music to Download Pornography By.

Well worth getting acquainted with, so here’s a small selection of their covers:
 

“Anarchy in the UK” - Opium Jukebox
 

“God Save the Queen” - Opium Jukebox
 

“Paint it Black” - Opium Jukebox
 

“Iron Man” - Opium Jukebox
 
With thanks to Marcel Lechump
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Sexist vintage ad: ‘Show her it’s a man’s world’
07.25.2011
01:37 pm

Topics:
Feminism
History

Tags:
sexism
ties
vintage ads


 
No wonder this turkey’s sleeping in a single bed!

Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Extremely sexist ads of yesteryear
Women Are Like Used Cars: Unbelievable sexist ad

(via Sociological Images)

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Reconsidering Steely Dan
07.25.2011
12:19 pm

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Steely Dan
Donald Fagen
Walter Becker


 
When I was a kid in the 70s, Steely Dan were all over the FM airwaves and I absolutely loathed them. Music for assholes as far as I was concerned.

Punk rock hit when I was 10-years-old. I can assure you that I had about as much time for Steely Dan growing up as I did for the Eagles or Lynyrd Skynyrd. Which is to say, none. I hated them. It was always THEIR albums that they used in high end stereo stores to demonstrate equipment. Although I did give them some cool points when I later realized that they’d gotten their name from William Burroughs’ Naked Lunch (“Steely Dan III from Yokohama,” a strap-on dildo referred to in the text), I associated them too much with the dreaded middle-of-the-road “AOR” radio format and with middle-aged guys who owned expensive sound systems.

Well, now that I AM a middle-aged guy with an expensive sound system… I must say, boy I was wrong about Steely Dan. Donald Fagen and Walter Becker are badass musical geniuses. I simply didn’t know what I was missing out on!

Why the change of heart? Gotta say, it is my audio equipment. I’m a audiophile. I don’t take it to the extremes that some people do, but I do have a good 7.1 surround system and it’s something I derive a lot of pleasure from. The idea of low quality MP3s horrifiy me. I have an iPod, but I haven’t charged it for years.

A few years ago, I became aware that there was an underground coterie of amateur and professional audio enthusiasts who were lovingly capturing and restoring quadraphonic mixes from the 70s. Hundreds of albums came out on quad LPs, 8-tracks and reel to reel tapes. These hi-fi maniacs, to whom I am in great debt, go on eBay and elsewhere and hunt these things down. They don’t bid against each other, it’s a cooperative, community thing. There are other guys who restore the old quad equipment. This online community turn out album after album of such high end four-channel audio that it can take your breath away (Note: It’s not 5.1, it’s quad, so on a modern surround system, the center speaker drops out. Low frequencies are still sent to the sub-woofer, though, so it’s more like 4.1, I suppose)

The process, as I understand it, is that they take the 4-channel material into ProTools or a similar audio program and then (usually) turn them in to DVD ISO files which are then normally uploaded to torrent trackers or other file sharing means like Rapidshare or Hotfile. The end user then burns these files as a DVD for use in a DVD player.

But back to Steely Dan. I’ll listen to anything once in multi-channel. Yes, even bands that I’ve always hated, like the Doobie Brothers or Guns-n-Roses, once. Everything merits at least one listen. Some don’t merit two, however.

When a few Steely Dan albums (Countdown to Ecstasy, Can’t Buy a Thrill and Pretzel Logic) in quad were offered to me by a friend, I accepted them, but I never burned them to DVDs, they just sat there on my hard drive. Then one day a few months ago, I was watching an episode of Rob Bryden’s Annually Retentive sitcom, which uses “Reelin’ In the Years” as its theme tune and I remembered I had them. And so I burned them, wanting to hear this song in multi-channel audio.

Not sure if it was the mood I was in, the weed I was smoking or maybe just the music itself, but I was soon having a full on out-of-body rock snob musical orgasm. What an idiot I’d been. snubbing Steely Dan for so many years. I was a damned fool!

Maybe it does take a good hi-fi to really appreciate Steely Dan. I’ve been listening to them now quite a bit since then and they’re like the diamond cutters of rock. They really don’t sound like anybody else. Their legendary attention to sonic detail and search for perfection in the studio puts them in a league entirely of their own creation. Their sound is so sleek and so clear, almost crystalline. There is a lot of space around the instrumentation (a hallmark of their sound greatly enhanced by a multi-channel mix) and you can turn their albums up as loud as fuck with very, very little distortion. (Yes, I’m a lousy neighbor…).

If like me, you were a butt-head who always hated Steely Dan, do give them a chance again, you’ll be glad that you did (but not over ear buds or computer speakers, it won’t be the same).
 

 
Below, two clips of Steely Dan in their musical prime on The Midnight Special in 1973:
 

 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Hot Slut of the Day
07.25.2011
11:46 am

Topics:
Amusing

Tags:
WTF


 
Hard to say exactly what is going on here, but I like it. And yeah, I stole the title from D-listed because I had no clue what to call this baffling image. “Hot Slut” seemed appropriate. 

(via Twisted Vintage)

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
In the future, everyone will be president for 15 minutes


 
This is a rather extraordinary news item, coming from Thomas Friedman’s New York Times column on July 23. What a revolutionary idea. No matter how you slice it, this is a situation that will wreak havoc on the 2012 election if it catches on, which I suspect it will:

Thanks to a quiet political start-up that is now ready to show its hand, a viable, centrist, third presidential ticket, elected by an Internet convention, is going to emerge in 2012. I know it sounds gimmicky — an Internet convention — but an impressive group of frustrated Democrats, Republicans and independents, called Americans Elect, is really serious, and they have thought out this process well. In a few days, Americans Elect will formally submit the 1.6 million signatures it has gathered to get on the presidential ballot in California as part of its unfolding national effort to get on the ballots of all 50 states for 2012.

The goal of Americans Elect is to take a presidential nominating process now monopolized by the Republican and Democratic parties, which are beholden to their special interests, and blow it wide open — guaranteeing that a credible third choice, nominated independently, will not only be on the ballot in every state but be able to take part in every presidential debate and challenge both parties from the middle with the best ideas on how deal with the debt, education and jobs.

“Our goal is to open up what has been an anticompetitive process to people in the middle who are unsatisfied with the choices of the two parties,” said Kahlil Byrd, the C.E.O. of Americans Elect, speaking from its swank offices, financed with some serious hedge-fund money, a stone’s throw from the White House.

As the group explains on its Web site, www.americanselect.org: “Americans Elect is the first-ever open nominating process. We’re using the Internet to give every single voter — Democrat, Republican or independent — the power to nominate a presidential ticket in 2012. The people will choose the issues. The people will choose the candidates. And in a secure, online convention next June, the people will make history by putting their choice on the ballot in every state.”

Here is how it will work, explains Elliot Ackerman, an Iraq war veteran with a Silver Star, who serves as the chief operating officer of Americans Elect, and whose father, Peter, a successful investor, has been a prime engine behind the group. First, anyone interested in becoming a delegate goes to the Americans Elect Web site and registers. As part of that process, you will be asked to fill in a questionnaire about your political priorities: education, foreign policy, the economy, etc. This enables Americans Elect to put you in contact with others who share your views so you can discuss them and organize together. Then you will be invited to draft a candidate or support one who has already been drafted and to contribute to the list of questions that anyone running on the Americans Elect platform will have to answer on the site.

“The questions, the priorities, the nominations and the rules will all come from the community, not from two entrenched parties,” said Ackerman.

If Americans Elect are already getting such high-level press coverage, the media at large might sniff a sexy story here. Is Americans Elect the American Idol of politics? It looks like we’re about to find out. This eagle seems to landing fully-formed. On the ballot in California when they launch? C’est formidable. The outcome of this, if it catches on, will really be something to see unfold.

This seems like quite a positive development and I will be watching this space closely myself. This has some potential to unleash some real populism and that can be a mixed blessing. If there was a modern day Huey Long, for instance, who came out of something like this, to me this would be fantastic. Or if given a chance to nominate Bernie Sanders for POTUS came about so more people had to hear what he has to say, again, sounds great to me.

Now imagine the Teabagger flip-side to that equation. Not nearly so pretty.

ON THE OTHER HAND, this might also be the right vehicle for exposing and laying bare the way the political system really works for the common man. It’s very difficult to see where something like this will eventually land, but almost certainly it will have repercussions for the two main political parties in this nation. It’s impossible to predict exactly how at this early juncture, so I won’t try.

What’s still unclear to me is WHO these potential nominees will be and where they will come from. It’s not like a city council member from Battle Creek, Michigan or a Harvard professor of French literature or Joe the Plumber really have much of a chance of winning the general election, of course. Keep in mind that almost no members of the House have ever won a US Presidential election. Senators and governors, yes. Eisenhower, of course, was a great war hero. WHO is the as yet unknown person of great stature who could really beat the candidates of the two major parties? Not saying it’s impossible, but it sure seems unlikely. For now this seems closer to fantasy football than real electoral politics, but if the right individuals present themselves—and again, I can’t imagine who they are—then all bets would be off. What is so compelling about this, to my mind, is its potential to influence the national debate. The fact that there is a level of American Idol to it is an absolute stroke a genius. The population could become really emotionally invested in this.

I intend to sign up at Americans Elect today. I’ll probably nominate Bernie Sanders when I do

Friedman concluded:

Write it down: Americans Elect. What Amazon.com did to books, what the blogosphere did to newspapers, what the iPod did to music, what drugstore.com did to pharmacies, Americans Elect plans to do to the two-party duopoly that has dominated American political life — remove the barriers to real competition, flatten the incumbents and let the people in. Watch out.

Below, a short biography of Huey Long from the Pathe News service:
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Photo: The lost art of the mixtape
07.25.2011
10:02 am

Topics:
History
Music

Tags:
Mixtapes


 
Ah, the lost art of the mixtape. Not something we see much anymore. Soon guys will be courting girls with Spotify playlists.

Click on the image to see larger version.

(via Publique)

 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
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