Forget about The Grammys, here’s the real deal: The Grimys.
From penthouses to sleaze pits, strip joints and go go palaces of a bygone era, we present The Grimys, 37 minutes of non-stop bump and grind set to a garage rock and psychedelic beat that is guaranteed to blow your mind and set your monitor ablaze with the fires of unbridled passion. Enter the world of the taboo. Explore the desperate alleys where sin lurks in the shadows, lust wears a dress made of twenty dollar bills and rock and roll is the soundtrack to lives lived in the twilight zone between wasted days and wasted nights.
Actually, this is just plain old fashioned fun.
When the Dirty Wurds kick in at the 23:55 point you will be amazed and enthralled by one of the most frenzied displays of go go dancing in the history of the art. Who IS that woman? Her nipples could take an eye out.
Hide the children and put on your raincoats, this is Grind Mix #1. Exposed flesh abounds. You’ve been warned.
01. Congawa - The Zirkons
02. Zebra - The Youngsters
03. Jibba Jab - Tic & Toc
04. Groovy - The Groovers
05. Thunderbird - The Casual-Aires
06. Little Girl - John & Jackie
07. Take It Off - The Genteels
08. Crackin’ Up - Famen
09. Elevator Jam - The 13th Floor Elevators
10. Mr. Man - The Lyrics
11. Gotta Find Her - Pat Farrell
12. Why - Dirty Wurds
13. 1523 Blair - The Outcasts
14. Don’t Lose Your Mind - The Galaxies IV
15. Generation - The Jelly Bean Bandits
16. Joustabout - The Triumphs
17. Trashcan - Ken Williams
18. Drums A-Go-Go - The Hollywood Persuaders
The DM postbag always brings an assortment of delights, and this week was no different, as Anne Pigalle’s latest collection of songs L’Amerotica landed on my desk.
It was back in 1985 that Miss Pigalle’s exquisite voice first lit up the world with her brilliant album Everything Could Be So Perfect. It was a stunning debut, and revealed a gifted singer with a voice as richly emotive as Piaf and as strong as Lotte Lenya.
Raised in Paris, Anne’s earliest musical memory was the excitement caused by theme to Third Man TV series, which would make her rush from the kitchen to the sitting room. Pigalle started singing in the school choir, and was praised for her “golden voice.” Though father played double-bass, Anne had no musical training, and it would be the influence of Punk that set off her career. Punk showed the young singer everything is possible, as she later said:
“Growing up at the punk time gave me a great sense of integrity, which really saved me in the end. I’m not saying I never made any mistakes, but I always had a base to go back to. My music is not punk but it has a punk ethic behind it .”
Punk led the fifteen-year-old singer to pick up a guitar and start performing. In the 1980s, Anne moved to London, where her incredible voice soon enchanted audiences and critics alike, and led to her collaborations with Adrian Sherwood, Michael Nyman and Trevor Horn, who produced her album Everything Could Be So Perfect.
Pigalle was signed to Zang Tumb Tuum Records, the label founded by journalist Paul Morley, producer Trevor Horn and his wife Jill Sinclair. ZTT were behind such acts as Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Propaganda and Art of Noise, but while the label prospered, the artists didn’t always fare so well, as Anne explained in 2005:
“ZTT wanted to do a second album with me. There was talk of me working with Peter Hammill (a Brian Eno associate). They wanted Anton Corbijn to do the photography etc. etc. I felt dissatisfied. My contract was a bad one. I didn’t feel controlled by ZTT, I just felt things were not advancing and the contract was too bad to allow me to do what i wanted… Other ZTT acts such as Instinct didn’t even get to have their albums released. I found seeing the recent Trevor Horn tribute concert rather depressing. After 1988 I left ZTT and moved to America. I had such an interesting time. I got to perform with Leonard Cohen’s backing band. Very much more relaxed. America gave me so much more confidence in my own ability as a performer. My ex-writing partner at ZTT, Nick Plytas, went on to play with Nick Cave.”
In the 1990s, Anne moved to Los Angeles where she met Donald Cammell, director of Performance, with whom she worked on an idea for a film. Sadly, Cammell, who suffered from depression, committed suicide before this could come to fruition. Pigalle then appeared in Zalman King’s The Red Shoe Diaries, (“always decent”), and performed for the homeless, in downtown LA. She also performed in a theatre production about poet Charles Bukowski where she played Death.
Since then the multi-talented singer has established herself as a successful poet, artist, model and photographer. Two years ago, she exhibited a selection of her Amerotica Polaroids at the Michael Hoppen Gallery, and has since merged image and song together into a series of critically acclaimed multi-media performances across London, that mix cabaret with personal imagery.
Now the release of L’Amerotica confirms Anne Pigalle as one of our best and most important talents. The album, co-produced by Pigalle with Tommaso Del Signore, is a breath-taking mix of electronic beats and ballads, with such highs as “With My Blonde”, “The Pleasure Ground” (described by Chris Roberts, in Uncut Magazine as “chilly as Iggy’s ‘Fall in Love With Me’”), as well as the excellent “Mary Mother of God”, “Sesso” and the beautiful “Je te veus toi” and “Espore Spirale”. Throughout Anne’s vocals are nothing other than superb.
It’s been a long time coming, but the quality of L’Amerotica makes it all worth the wait. Here’s to more soon form the wonderful Miss Pigalle.
L’Amerotica is available on i-tunes and CD, details here.
If you’re in London, Anne Pigalle plays Le Montmartre Bistro, 144 Essex Rd, N1, on the 24th February.
Bonus clip, Anne Pigalle sings ‘He! Stranger’, directed by Bernard Rose, after the jump…
6/29/83 President Reagan appears on a TV tribute to James Bond, where he speaks about the fictional secret agent as if he was a real human. “James Bond is a man of honor,” says the President, “a symbol of real value to the free world.” Says Tip O’Neill aide Chris Matthews, “This is the kind of thing we all thought Reagan would be doing if he had lost the ‘80 election.”
7/26/83 Reagan appointee Thomas Ellis acknowledges at a Senate hearing that he belongs to an all‑white country club, was a recent guest of the government of South Africa (where he has extensive holdings) and served as director of a group that financed research on the genetic inferiority of blacks. Still, he says, “I do not believe in my heart that I’m a racist.” He withdraws his name two days later.
8/2/83 Rep. Pat Schroeder (D‑CO) says that Reagan is “perfecting the Teflon‑coated presidency ... nothing sticks to him. He is responsible for nothing – civil rights, Central America, the Middle East, the economy, the environment. He is just the master of ceremonies at someone else’s dinner.”
8/22/83 Barbara Honegger resigns her job at the Justice Department after writing an Op‑Ed piece for The Washington Post in which she calls Reagan’s policies toward women “a sham.” Described by a department spokesman as a “low‑level munchkin,” she holds a news conference three days later to display a photograph of herself with President Reagan. “They called me a Munchkin,” she says. “This is me with the Wizard of Oz.”
9/1/83 A Soviet fighter mistakenly shoots down Korean Air Lines flight 007 after it strays into Soviet airspace, killing 269. George Shultz calls Tip O’Neill to tell him about the incident. “What does the President think about this?” asks O’Neill. “We’ll tell him when he wakes up,” says Shultz. Only after CBS shows President Reagan on horseback at his ranch as the crisis unfolds does he reluctantly return to Washington.
9/15/83 President Reagan wears his new hearing aid at a state dinner, prompting fashion‑conscious guest Merv Griffin to exclaim, “I think everybody’s running out to get them whether they need them or not.” Despite Griffin’s fatuous comment, there is in fact no surge in the purchase of unnecessary hearing aids.
9/21/83 Interior Secretary James Watt describes the makeup of his coal‑leasing commission to a group of lobbyists. “We have every kind of mix you can have,” he says. “I have a black, I have a woman, two Jews and a cripple.” As a public furor erupts, a spokesman explains that Watt “was attempting to convey that this is a very broadly based commission.”
9/27/83 Polio victim Bob Brostrom arrives at the White House on crutches to present 120,000 pieces of mail supporting James Watt. If Watt loses his job for saying “cripple,” argues Brostrom, then hospitals for “crippled children” should change their names.
10/4/83 At a meeting with congressmen to discuss arms reduction, President Reagan – in office for almost three years – says he has only recently learned that most of the USSR’s nuclear arsenal is land‑based. This elementary information is essential to any rational thinking about disarmament.
10/9/83 Claiming that his “usefulness” to President Reagan “has come to an end,” James Watt resigns. “The press tried to paint my hat black,” he says of his troubled tenure, “but I had enough self‑image to know the hat was white.” He later assumes a crucifixion pose for photographers.
All entries are excerpted from the “Reagan Centennial Edition” of my 1989 book The Clothes Have No Emperor, available here as an enhanced eBook. More to come.
This little jazz-psyche jam is perfect for a cold, dark and rainy Sunday afternoon. At least, that’s what it’s like here in Manchester, but I bet it goes well with the sunshine too. Or any weather state actually.
If you don’t know Momus, he’s a pretty legendary Scottish indie music figure who has been around since the mid-Eighties. He’s been associated with record labels like Postcard, Cherry Red and Creation. He keeps a great blog, with some very interesting articles and all his latest news, at imomus.
This track is from his last album Hypnoprism (2010, Anagram Records) and features keys from Ben Butler (him again!). Interestingly, Momus made a video for each of the tunes from the LP, and uploaded them one by one, as they were finished, to his YouTube account.
The rest of the album, in video form, is after the jump:
Believed lost for fifty years, Alejandro Jodorowsky’s first film, La Cravate (aka Severed Heads) was found in an attic in Germany in 2006, and released on DVD in 2007. Adapted from Thomas Mann’s short story, “The Transposed Heads - A Legend of India in Paris”, La Cravate was made between 1953 and 1957 and starred Denise Brossot, Rolande Polya, Raymond Devos, Saul Gilbert and Jodorowsky.
The film tells of a young man’s desire to win the love of a woman. To do this, he visits a store which allows customers to switch their heads, and thus their personalities. The young man trades in his head for a variety of different models, and while his body continues to woo the woman of his dreams, the store’s proprietor, a young woman, takes a fancy to the man’s original head and takes it home. The moral is never to lose your head over unrequited love, but find someone who loves you as you are. It’s bizarre, amusing and charming, and an impressive first film.
Here is Klaus Kinski’s inspired, sublime, psychotic and fearlessly confrontational performance of Jesus Christ Savior with English subtitles. Working from footage shot in 1971, Kinski biographer and film director Peter Geyer reconstructs the infamous night in which Kinski psychically assaults and provokes an audience of 5000 curiosity seekers at a concert hall in Berlin. What was intended to be the first night of an extended tour ended in a theatrical crash, burn and resurrection of almost Biblical proportions. Kinski is to theater what punk rock is to music. God bless his tormented and beautiful soul.
You know from his opening words ‘Wanted: Jesus Christ, for anarchistic tendencies’ that Kinski’s spin on the messiah story is going to be an interesting one. Standing alone on the stage in complete darkness save for the light of a single spotlight shining directly on him, Kinski elaborates on his subject but soon becomes increasingly irate when the audience tries to speak over him. As the tension builds between audience and performer, Kinski notes that Christ did not have a big mouth, unlike some of the ‘pigs’ in the audience.
It becomes increasingly obvious that the vast majority of people who paid ‘ten marks’ to get in did so just to cause trouble. The audience becomes increasingly antagonistic towards Kinski, who responds in kind and eventually screams at them and launches a microphone stand off of the stage. He exits, and a promoter comes out and asks the troublemakers to leave. Kinski then returns to a group of roughly a hundred people, and once again tries to deliver his monologue, but it’s obvious that the anger he feels is overpowering him and the message he intended to deliver is lost.
As all of this plays out in front of the camera, we feel the political tensions that were brewing in Germany at the time. Kinski is frequently called a fascist by members of the audience, most of whom are younger hippy types obviously rebelling against the far right politics of the generation that preceded them. Kinksi’s bursts of anger only add fuel to this fire, and it’s fascinating to watch it all spiral out of control and to watch how Kinski’s personality completely erodes any Christ-like tendencies he may have initially hoped to demonstrate. For a show that should have preached love, tolerance and compassion, Kinski Jesus Christ Savior turns remarkably fast into a series of hate filled diatribes and outbursts of uncontrollable rage.
Kinski’s absolute commitment to and embodiment of his art is awe-inspiring. This goes beyond acting into the realm of transfiguration. Divine intoxication.
“The ultimate acting is to destroy yourself.” Klaus Kinski.
I started reading Christopher Isherwood in my late teens, when I became a “paying guest” to an elderly spinster, who lived in an old tenement in the west end of Glasgow. She lived in the top floor apartment, where I rented the large front room, with a view onto the oval-shaped park below. My landlady was in her late seventies, bird-like, translucent skin, who whistled and took snuff in large pinches, sniffed from the back of her hand. She had inherited the apartment from her sister, and the interior had remained unchanged since the 1930s. The hallway with its bell-chimes for Maid, Bedroom 1, Bedroom 2, Parlor, and Dining Room, all still worked. In the kitchen was a range, and a small scullery with its fold-down bed, where the servant would have slept. Coal fires were in all of the rooms except mine. Of course, there was the occasional modern appliance, a TV, a one-bar electric fire, and an electric cooker, which was still in its plastic wrapping, and not to be used “under any circumstances”. Food was cooked over something that looked like a bunsen burner (what my landlady called “a blackout cooker”), and chilled products were kept in a larder. As for hot water, well that was never available, as the boiler was kept under lock and key, and toilet paper was sellotaped, to ensure I bought my own. The front door was locked at eight o’clock and the storm door bolted at nine. After ten, she never answered the door.
At the time, I was reading Goodbye to Berlin, which as you can imagine very much suited my surroundings. Like Isherwood’s character, Herr Issyvoo, I was surrounded by “the tarnished valuables and second-hand furniture of a bankrupt middle class.” A mantel-clock, a heavy glass ashtray, a green baize card table, orphaned figurines of a shepherd boy and shepherd girl, tending to their flocks, a large wooden bed (one leg broken) made in the 1920s. But perhaps, most significantly, was the fact my landlady had worked in Berlin as a furrier for a department store during the 1930s, and she often told me tales of her time in Germany. “Oh those Hitler Youth,” she once said, “Such smart uniforms, but the terrible things they did.”
At times it all made me feel as if I was living in Ishwerwood’s world, as in the evenings I would hear the whistles out in the park below. But unlike Herr Issyvoo, these were not young men calling up to their girlfriends, but dog owners calling to their pets.
The son of landed gentry, Christopher William Bradshaw Isherwood was born in 1904, at the ancestral seat of his family, Wybersley Hall, High Lane, England. His father was an army officer, who was killed during the First World War. His mother, Kathleen, had a fractious relationship with her son, and she later featured in his stories.
At school he met and became life-long friends with W. H. Auden and Edward Upward. He attended Cambridge University, but found he had no interest in his studies, and was sent down for writing a facetious answer to an exam question. It was while at university that he became part of the famous literary triumvirate with Auden and Stephen Spender, who were hailed by the Left as “intellectual heroes.”
Instead of studying, Isherwood wrote an anarchist fantasy with Upward, centered around the fictional Mortmere:
...a village inhabited by surreal characters modelled on their Cambridge friends and acquaintances. The rector, Casmir Welken, resembles a ‘diseased goat’ and breeds angels in the church belfry; his sidekick Ronald Gunball is a dipsomaniac and an unashamed vulgarian; Sergeant Claptree, assisted by Ensign Battersea, keeps the Skull and Trumpet Inn; the mannish Miss Belmare, domineering and well starched, is sister to the squire, and Gustave Shreeve is headmaster of Frisbald College for boys.
Though none of the stories were published at the time (and Upward destroyed most of them later on), it was the start of Isherwood’s writing career, and led on to his first novel All the Conspirators in 1928.
Stifled by England, Isherwood followed in his friend Auden’s footsteps and moved to Berlin. It proved an historic re-location, one that inspired the first of Isherwood’s important novels Mr Norris Changes Trains and Goodbye to Berlin. Literature aside, Isherwood’s main reason for going to Berlin was “boys” - blonde, working-class youth.
Isherwood supported himself in Berlin by working as an English tutor, and he used this experience to form the basis for his Berlin stories, and the creation of his eponymous central character. “I am a camera,” Isherwood famously wrote at the start of Goodbye to Berlin, for he saw Herr Issyvoo as “unobtrusive, sexless,” someone who could only observe, and examine the lives of those around him. When later asked why he had not been more explicit about his character’s homosexuality, Isherwood said that if he had come out, then it would have been “a production,” something that would have “upset the apple cart” for the other characters. The poet Stephen Spender claimed Isherwood once claimed he couldn’t imagine how people behaved when he was not in the room.
During the 1930s, Auden and Isherwood wrote a series of plays together, The Dog Beneath the Skin, The Ascent of F6 and On the Frontier, which dealt with their own identities and the idea of masculinity as exemplified by a hero. They also traveled to China to cover the Sino-Japanese War, and published a diary of their exploits. It was this war that convinced Isherwood to become a pacifist.
Perhaps because of the horrors the pair had witnessed in the East, Auden and Isherwood traveled to America in 1939, just before the Second World War began. It was an event that led the two writers to be castigated as “cowards” and “deserters”, for leaving their country in its moment of need - as if Auden or Isherwood’s presence would in some way stop the advance of Germany. Auden stayed in New York, living in a house with the stripper and pulp writer, Gypsy Rose Lee, and novelist Carson McCullers; while Isherwood moved to the west and California, which he described as more “dreamy and strange”, more theatrical.
Here he reworked some of his Berlin stories, but he lacked the zest to keep him inspired. Like many other writers, Isherwood turned to Hollywood for financial security, but had the sense to realize he wasn’t “some great genius prostituting [himself]”:
“I always realized it was very good training, and it made you realize things that you often lose sight of, by getting so arty and literary, that is to say, the fundamentals of telling a story, and the very simple things of putting A before B, and B before C, and getting it all sorted out, and telling it in a direct visual way, and that is always you can learn by working for the movies, and it doesn’t matter what it is.
Auden thought it nice work if you can get it, and said “At least you sold dear what is most dear.” Isherwood scripted a Rage in Heaven (1941), starring Ingrid Bergman and Robert Montgomery and The Great Sinner (1949), starring Gregory Peck and Ava Gardner. Later, in the 1960s, he co-wrote the screenplay, with Terry Southern, for the classic film version of Evelyn Waugh’s The Loved One (1965), and then co-wrote, with Don Bachardy, a memorable take on Mary Shelley’s gothic horror, Frankenstein the True Story (1973), with James Mason, Michael Sarrazin,Jane Seymour and David McCallum.
During all this time, he continued to write novels, most notably Prater Violet, based on his first dealings with film-making and the rather brilliant, but under appreciated, Down There on a Visit. On a more personal level, in 1953, he met Don Bachardy, the man who became his life-long partner.
In the sixties, Isherwood achieved considerable success with his “devastating, unnerving, brilliant book” about middle-age, A Single Man. The novel’s central character George, is like Isherwood, and describes a day in his life, when he no longer fears annihilation but survival, and all the debilitating side affects old age will bring. Isherwood said the book was about:
“...middle age, because what I wanted to show was the incredible range of behavior in middle age, part of the time on eis quite tending towards senility, and other times one is rash that is way a way boyish, and apt to indulge in lots of embarrassing behavior, at the drop of hat.”
In the 1970s, Isherwood returned to the Berlin of his youth with his autobiographical memoir Christopher and His Kind, it was a crowning achievement to a literary career that had already delivered at least three or four of the twentieth century’s best novels.
Gore Vidal has said Isherwood is “the best prose writer in English,” which is perhaps true, as Isherwood’s writing is subtle, clever, and is always fresh, even after repeated readings.
This documentary A Single Man: Christopher Isherwood 1904-1986 wa smade not long after his death and composed from a selection of interviews from British TV from the 1950s-1970s.
For fans of Isherwood, the BBC has just completed a drama Christopher and his Kind, adapted form Isherwood’s book, starring Matt (Doctor Who) Smith in the title role, which will be broadcast later this year. Further information can be found here
The rest of ‘A Single Man: Christopher Isherwood 1904-1986’, after the jump…
Well, they’ve released the trailer for the first part of a projected trilogy based on Ayn Rand’s novel Atlas Shrugged. It’s taken over 50 years for the story to get from the page to the screen and from the looks of this, perhaps things were best left that way!
Angelina Jolie, Charlize Theron, Julia Roberts, Anne Hathaway have all been touted at one time or another to portray Rand’s heroine, Dagny Taggart. Russell Crowe and Brad Pitt have both been bandied about to play the novel’s world-stopping hero, John Galt. So who got these roles of a lifetime, ultimately? Some chick you’ve never heard of and a dude who was on Beverly Hills 90210 and Highlander: The Raven! (He also happens to be the trilogy’s director, bless his heart).
This looks about as good as one of the Left Behind movies. Perhaps that’s fitting.
AMES, Iowa - Noted Midwestern raconteur Omer L. Baumgartner passed away at his home in Ames, Iowa on Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2011. He was 90 years old. Mr. Baumgartner had lived a long and passionate life dedicated to rambunctious performances and dairy products.
Born on a dairy farm in Walnut, Ill., Baumgartner was prodigious with the movement of manure from an early age, and exercising these and other talents, earned recognition for his National 4-H Grand Champion Dairy Heifer, Clementine’s Ramona, in 1930 at the age of 10. After this debut, and as the Depression raged, Baumgartner cut his teeth in the livestock industry while attending hundreds of county and state fairs, showing and selling cattle, frying oysters, skinning rabbits, and drinking whiskey.
Rest in peace, Omer Baumgartner.
You can read the rest of Mr. Baumgartner’s obituary over at Galesburg.com.
The President says and does some more stupid things.
4/14/83 President Reagan is asked if his administration is trying to overthrow the Sandinistas in Nicaragua. “No,” he says, “because that would be violating the law.”
4/18/83 Seventeen Americans and 46 Lebanese are killed when a truck bomb plows into the US embassy in Beirut.
4/27/83 President Reagan asks Congress for $600 million for his Central American policies, pointing out – as if it had some relevance – that this “is less than one‑tenth of what Americans will spend this year on coin‑operated video games.”
5/4/83 President Reagan lauds the Nicaraguan contras as “freedom fighters” and observes that nuclear weapons “can’t help but have an effect on the population as a whole.”
5/18/83 During a speech to the White House News Photographers dinner, President Reagan sticks his thumbs in his ears and wiggles his fingers. Says the leader of the free world, “I’ve been waiting years to do this.”
5/28/83 Telling his aides that, rather than reading his briefing books, he spent the eve of the Williamsburg economic summit watching The Sound of Music, President Reagan says, “I put them aside and spent the evening with Julie Andrews.”
6/9/83 Addressing a forum in Minnesota, President Reagan is asked how the Federal Government plans to respond to a report on education that he has “approved ... in its entirety.” He is unable to provide anything more specific than that he is “going to have meetings,” and finally turns to Education Secretary T. H. Bell for help. “Could you fill in what I left out?” the President asks Bell. “I won’t be offended.”
6/10/83 Reacting to President Reagan’s claim that he has increased federal aid to education, House Majority Leader Jim Wright (D-TX) says, “It embarrasses all of us as Americans to have to point out that the President of the United States is not telling the truth ... I want to believe that he doesn’t know any better. I want to believe that those who furnish him those spurious statistics are the culprits and that the President of the United States is innocently making these statements, not aware of their total untruth.”
6/16/83 Ariela Gross, a 17‑year‑old New Jersey student, meets with President Reagan to present him with a petition supporting a nuclear freeze. She reports that the President “expressed the belief that there must be something wrong with the freeze if the Soviets want it.”
6/29/83 President Reagan suggests that one cause of the decline in public education is the schools’ efforts to comply with court‑ordered desegregation.
All entries are excerpted from the “Reagan Centennial Edition” of my 1989 book The Clothes Have No Emperor, available here as an enhanced eBook. More to come.