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Are YOU ready? It’s Rapture week!


Whoops! Wrong Rapture!
 
There’s a special Rapture-themed collection of “music videos” curated by Christian Nightmares that was posted today over at The Daily Swarm:

Welcome to Rapture Week 2011! As everyone knows by now, Saturday, May 21 is the beginning of the end of the world. That’s right, this weekend all the Born Again Christians will be whisked up into Heaven to be with Jesus, while the rest of us have five months to party it up before God finally destroys the world on October 21, 2011. It’s a fact. Harold Camping said so.

If you’re on the winning team, maybe you’ll share the joy expressed in the video below for ‘Love Like Lightning.’ If not, ‘Great Awakening’ should scare you straight into the Savior’s arms. The rest speak for themselves. Get watching—the end is near!

P.S…for those Left Behind, I’ll be throwing a bash at Benny Hinn’s abandoned mansion this Sunday—hookers, blow, you name it. See you there.

And for the rest of us who will FOR SURE be left behind, there’s a new Facebook group called “Post rapture looting” that seems like it might be kinda useful to join…

Here’s a sample of Christian Nightmares’ “Five Songs to get you Rapture Ready”:

“Love Like Lightning,” a midriff-baring Christian man in an “Aloha” t-shirt stars in this trippy, high-tech music video about God and the Rapture”

 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Beyond the Law: Brilliant reissue of 1977 Iggy Pop & James Williamson album ‘Kill City’


 
For me to properly communicate why I feel that the restored, remixed, remastered version of Iggy Pop and James Williamson’s ill-fated 1977 album Kill City is such a major event for rock snobs, my initial reaction to hearing it—yikes—34-years ago, is probably the best place for me to start, because I thought it sucked back then.

I was an 11-year-old budding rock snob at the time. My introduction to the Stooges had come a year or two earlier, via Lester Bangs rhapsodizing about them in the pages of CREEM magazine and due to the fact that David Bowie had produced Raw Power. To me this was the ultimate double seal of approval and after reading about the music and hearing it described so vividly by Bangs—who’d clearly had his life changed by the album—I just had to hear it for myself. I wanted to have that same sonic baptism Lester Bangs had. I wanted Raw Power to change my life, too. If I could only hear Raw Power, I’d get to enter some sort of druidic inner temple of rock and roll gnosticism. I wanted to hear this album so fuckin’ bad that I simply had no choice in the matter.

There was one problem, though. In 1976, I was a little kid in Wheeling, WV, which was not exactly a place with tons of great record stores (or anything else for that matter) even if I would have had any money. I was SOL when it came to being able to walk into a store and be able to purchase an Iggy Pop album. The nearest place where I could have done so was about an hour and a half away, in Pittsburgh, and that wasn’t ever gonna happen.

This will no doubt seem quaint, today, in the age of consumer enlightenment and instantaneous digital gratification, but back then I had to do at least two day’s worth of unpleasant chores and yard work and then resort to mail order, yes mail order, to be able to get my mitts on a copy of Raw Power. This meant getting my mother to write a check to Moby Disc Records in Los Angeles—one of the sole mail order outlets for prog, punk and imports back then—mailing it to them, waiting for the check to clear and then having them ship it to me. (It you got a defective LP, it was easier just to keep it and grin and bear it when it skipped).

The entire transaction took a little less than six weeks and with each passing day that it didn’t show up in the post, my desire for Raw Power to be completely incredible and totally life transforming—the most amazing thing I’d ever hear—grew and grew. Whenever younger folk look at guys my age with huge record collections with befuddlement, it was this sort of anticipation of a truly holy experience that started us on that road. These sorts of obsessions didn’t always pay off, but often times they did in spades. How could anyone ever feel the same today about something they acquired with a few clicks of a mouse?

When my copy of Raw Power finally arrived—it was a glossy import with a plastic lined inner sleeve, the first I’d seen—I slapped it on the stereo and cranked it to the max my speakers could handle and had every bit the experience that I wanted to—expected to—have. Truly, the speaker-shredding violence of the record did not disappoint! I listened to that ear-bleeding monster a gazillion times that summer and for years afterwards.

The next Iggy Pop album I bought via mail order was Metallic K.O. (Imagine how my mother would have felt if she’d have known what she was helping put into her preteen son’s hands!). I had the one on blue vinyl. I think what it was (and that it was a live album) overshadowed how awful it sounded, because this, too, I played endlessly. After that I bought The Idiot, which I was slightly put off by at first—because it was so different from the primitive insanity of the Stooges’ albums—but I quickly grew to love it.
 

 
Then came Kill City. This was on green vinyl, and although it was a studio album, it sounded as bad as Metallic KO did, which is to say, pretty bad. This I found perplexing, thinking it was a creative choice that it sounded so murky and dank. I never really listened to that album. I tried, it just sounded like total dogshit to my young—but reasonably sophisticated—ears. I concluded that the album sucked, didn’t play it for years and eventually I traded it in. Wanting to give it a chance years later, I owned a CD reissue briefly, but it was obviously mastered from the same source—the master tapes were long lost—and probably was played no more than one time before I traded it in, too. It was impossible to listen to that much tape hiss and muck. It sounded like there might be something great lurking underneath it all, but it was still difficult listening.

In 1996, an otherwise pedestrian Iggy compilation called Nude and Rude featured a much improved version of Kill City’s title cut—I bought it for that reason alone—but the rest of the album was sadly not forthcoming.

It would take another fourteen years before Iggy fans would get to hear Kill City in all its unhinged glory. In 2010, James Williamson and engineer Ed Cherney remixed Kill City from the original mulitracks and Alive/Bomp Records released it last Fall. I didn’t hear about it until a week ago and I’ve not stopped listening to it, or raving about it to my rock snob pals, since.

It’s as if a ripsnorting hotrod that was stored in a garage for three decades has gotten a major overhaul, a shithot Big Daddy Roth paintjob and is now screaming down the old highway, blowing off toxic exhaust fumes for the rest of the world to choke on. This isn’t a minor face-lift, it marks a tremendous difference with past releases. NOW it sounds like what it IS: the music recorded by Pop and Williamson after Raw Power. More specifically after Raw Power and the dissolution of the Stooges and before Iggy decamped to Berlin with David Bowie to record The Idiot. Not that it sounds like either one of those records. In many respects, Kill City is more accessible than both.

The back story of Kill City is that it was recorded during 1974, when Iggy had checked himself into a mental hospital to dry out and kick junk. The vocals were laid down during weekend leave. It was never intended to be a proper album, but rather a demo that was supposed to snare a record contract and resurrect Pop’s stalled career. Pop and Williamson were hoping John Cale would produce it, but nothing happened. Eventually Bomp Records gave Williamson enough money to finish the album due to the success of The Idiot and Kill City was put out on the substandard green vinyl pressing in 1977.

Heard in this vastly cleaned-up new version, Iggy’s vocals are nothing short of jaw-dropping. As in the best he’s ever done. Pop might have been in a diminished mental and physical state when this record was made, but to my ears, he sounds every bit the same “street walking cheetah with a heart full of napalm” that he did on Raw Power. His performances here are outrageously good. Make no mistake about it, this is prime, primal Iggy Pop from his best period. It’s not like I’m blabbing on about an album’s worth of Avenue B outtakes!

Musically, like most reviewers, I hear something midway between Raw Power and Exile on Main Street (there are even touches of country). Johnny Marr of the Smiths had this to say about James Williamson’s guitar work:

“He has the technical ability of Jimmy Page without being as studious, and the swagger of Keith Richards without being sloppy. He’s both demonic and intellectual, almost how you would imagine Darth Vader to sound if he was in a band.”

Too true! On Kill City he does manage to sound like both Page and Richards within the same song. His treble-cranked leads will claw your eyes out. Williamson chords more furiously than any guitarist I can name. He’s quite ferocious on Kill City, although he’s not intending to recreate the incendiary slash and burn of the album that came before it.

Kill City is certainly more musically sophisticated an album than Raw Power—which is not necessarily to say it’s better. Kill City is much less monolithic—if no less nihilistic—than its predecessor. It’s horned-drenched with squealing 70s saxophones—in a very good way—and is one of the sleaziest sounding records this side of Lou Reed’s Sally Can’t Dance. It’s a tremendous musical high to hear rock and roll this primal and dark and just authentically weird in 2010. What can compare to (finally) hearing Iggy Pop and James Williamson’s Kill City with fresh ears over three decades since its ill-fated 1977 debut?

I tells ya, it’s a knockout, everything that it always should have been what never was. Pass this one by at your own peril, it’s not often that a reissue like this come around. For the first time ever, this significant batch of recordings from the partnership that gave the world Raw Power, can be properly evaluated and enjoyed. It’s nothing less than a gift.

Compare the difference between this (original) version of “Kill City” with the 2010 upgraded version below it. You’ll hear immediately why this is such a reason for rock snob rejoicing.
 

 
Below, the 2010 version. I always thought that “Lick It Up” by Kiss sounded like this song.
 

 
An interesting short video piece from Fortune magazine about about James Williamson, who after leaving the music industry, got a degree in technical engineering and became a Vice President at Sony.
 

 
Bonus clip of Iggy performing “Kill City” in an episode of HBO’s Tales From the Crypt in 1990:

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
For the love of the ‘Common People’: Fans cover Pulp

image
 
Following on from Bob Dylan’s suggestion we should write his autobiography, Pulp are currently running a competition to find the best cover version of one of their tracks:

During the process of learning to play the old songs again we have been consulting the cover versions posted on-line… Vote for your favorites by ‘liking’ them - or upload your own rendition if you think you can do better.

There’s even “a musical prize” for the winner.

As “Common People” is Pulp’s best known song and the one that appears to encourage most cover versions (will anyone surpass William Shatner’s version?) here are 8 covers of “Common People” - just a small selection of the many videos so far uploaded onto the site. If you want to see more, vote for your favorite, or think you can do better check here.
 

William Shatner’s cover of ‘Common People’ as a Lego animation by niblickthe3rd 
 
More Pulped versions after the jump…
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Terry Riley and Big Boi spotted eating together at Burger King
05.16.2011
01:53 pm

Topics:
Heroes
Hip-hop
Music

Tags:
Terry Riley
Big Boi


 
I’d truly like to hear a collaboration by these two. Why not ?
 
Previously on DM : Metzger on Terry Riley
 
Thanks Ned Raggett via Brassica

 

Posted by Brad Laner | Leave a comment
Neon dreams: 1966 documentary on pop artist Billy Apple
05.16.2011
11:49 am

Topics:

Tags:


 
Pop artist Billy Apple and his neon sculptures are the subject of this 1966 documentary by British film maker Midge MacKenzie. Billy Apple was the alter-ego of New Zealander Barrie Bates, a pioneering conceptual artist who was part of New York City’s emerging avant-garde art scene. With his hair and eyebrows bleached platinum blond, Bates stood out even among the hipsters and artists of the early 60s.

I sat down with a pen and paper and thought up all these different names. And Billy Apple was the one that stood out. It was young and fresh. It wasn’t like Adam Apple which referred to history. Billy Apple was about Coca-Cola more than Adam and Eve.”

Apple was one of the first artists to see the sculptural possibilities of neon and had several major exhibits of his work, including “Apples to Xerox” and “Neon Rainbows.” His creations combined fluorescent tubing often with silk screens and sculpted objects like apples.

“Neon is the purest, hippest color in the world; Day-glo phosphorescent paint looks 1929-ish next to it.”

The documentary includes an interview with Tom Wolfe and brief peek at Nico and The Velvet Underground.
 

Part two after the jump…

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Gorgeous deep-sea octopus ballet
05.16.2011
11:27 am

Topics:
Animals
Environment

Tags:
ballet
white octopus


 
Here’s a soothing white octopus ballet set to Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata,” performed by Bryan Verhoye. Simply beautiful. 

 
(via Unique Daily)

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
U.S. Marshals to Auction Unabomber’s Personal Effects


 
Starting on May 18, U.S. Marshals will auction off Ted Kaczynski’s, aka the Unabomber’s, personal belongings.  All proceeds from the auction will go to Kaczynski’s victims.

The auction will run from May 18 to June 2, 2011. The online catalog, which will include approximately 60 lots of property, will be on the Web at www.gsaauctions.gov beginning May 18.

The U.S. Marshals Service has been given a unique opportunity to help the victims of Theodore Kaczynski’s horrific crimes,” said U.S. Marshal Albert Nájera of the Eastern District of California. “We will use the technology that Kaczynski railed against in his various manifestos to sell artifacts of his life.



 

 
Thanks, Joe Reifer!

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Dangerous Minds Radio Hour Episode 22
05.16.2011
09:23 am

Topics:
History
Music

Tags:
Dangerous Minds Radio Hour
Nate Cimmino


 
As If by wizardry, you have now found yourself deposited in the virtual trailer park that is Dangerous Minds, sitting in front of the Double Wide inhabitatified by Nate Cimmino or a reasonable facsimile thereof. Come on in, sit down for a bit, and gulp a couple of cold DMRH 40’s. Oh yeah, don’t trip over that old box o’ records when you come in….
 
01. Shel Silverstein-You’re Always Welcome At Our House
02. Chico Hamilton- Conquistadores ‘74
03. Joe Cuba- Oh Yeah
04. Chris Montez- No, No, No
05. Chris Montez- The More I See You
06. The Flamin’ Groovies- Shake Some Action (Capitol version)
07. Gary Valentine- The First One
08. The Monochrome Set- Avanti (10 Dont’s For Honeymooners)
09. Dana Gillespie- You Just Gotta Know My Mind
10. Dana Valery- You Don’t Know Where Your Interest Lies
11. Sandie Shaw- Your Time Is Gonna Come
12. Nicolas Comment- Je Te Voeux
13. El Chicle- La La La
14. Banquet Of The Spirits w/Cyro Baptista- Chamiel
15. Savage Republic- O Adonis
16. McDonald & Giles- Suite In C
17. Happy Thought For The Day 
 

 
Download this week’s episode
 
Subscribe to the Dangerous Minds Radio Hour podcast at iTunes
 
Bonus Video:

Cyro Baptista & Beat The Donkey

Does Henry Rollins pass the ‘Man Test’?


 
Man Test was a British TV program where famous people are asked a series of questions on their private lives, and asked to rate their feelings on certain topics from one to seven. The overall score will determine whether a person falls more into the “masculine” or “feminine” category. Where do you think Henry Rollins lands? The answer may surprise you.

Richard recently stated that it was vogue-ish to hate on Rollins. About as vogue-ish as it was to idolize him in the 80s and 90s? Personally I have mixed feelings about Hank - I do like him, but think he is also capable of massive dick moves. The infamous clip of Rollins “confronting” a group of young people (known in some particular circles as “hipsters”) in a NY café is a great example - his confrontational stance makes the situation much worse and he makes a lot of unjustified assumptions about these kids, assumptions that could very easily apply to him too. Being over-tattooed is definitely one.

On the other hand, I’ve only just recently watched The Henry Rollins Show, as it never aired in the UK as far as I knew. To my mild surprise I like it and him. He comes across well, though that would be the point of having your own TV show I guess. But Rollins is an excellent interviewer, holding back on inserting his own ego into conversations and good at creating rapport with his guests. The Werner Herzog and Steve Buscemi interviews are good examples. I don’t even mind his rants on the show, which is more surprising as I am not a fan of his stand up. It’s hectoring, and not as insightful or as clever as he thinks it is.

Man Test gives some surprising insights into Henry Rollins’ character. The show, from 2000, asks him some direct questions about his love and family life, which he is not afraid of answering openly. Rollins is not a man who wears his intelligence lightly, which works against him sometimes, but he is definitely an interesting character. Personally, I would like to know if he is a fan of TLC’s “No Scrubs”?
 
Henry Rollins - Man Test Part One
 


 
Henry Rollins - Man Test Part Two
 

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
Mariachi version of ‘Another Brick In The Wall’ better than the original


 
Mariachi Cabos take one of the most overblown rock songs of all time, Pink Floyd’s ‘Another Brick In The Wall,” and turn it into the simple punk anthem it should have been in the first place. Cabos, you rock!

 
Mariachi Cabos do “Beat It” sounding like The Ramones with a trumpet player.

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
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