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Free love, free press and lots of nude hippie chicks
05.02.2016
10:05 am

Topics:
History
Literature
Sex

Tags:


 
When I got to San Francisco, the Summer Of Love was in full effect and I was crashing at a pad on Waller street in the Haight. There were a couple dozen of us in a large multi-room apartment sleeping on the floor, on couches, wherever we could find a few unoccupied square feet. I had a nice setup in an oversized closet. I knew the guy who rented the apartment (we had gone to junior high together) and so I got some preferential treatment. Everyone in the place were pilgrims from all over the United States and we were all under twenty.  And, like I said, it was the Summer Of Love. So a lot of fucking was going on.

Everything you’ve read or heard about “free sex” in the Sixties is pretty much true. It was a love fest and the worst that might happen is that you got the clap or crabs. No one was dying. And for awhile no one that I knew was having babies, either. It was as if God had said “go for it.” And we did. I’d lie in the black light glow of my closet tripping on acid and listening to the zipping and unzipping of sleeping bags as young lovers migrated from one to the other, their giggles and moans mingling with the steady drone of KSAN radio playing the soundtrack to our lives.

In the world of commerce, far from Hippie Hill and Panhandle Park, the free sex “thing” was a great way for newspapers and magazines to sell product. There was an international explosion of hippie-themed publications that dealt with sex, politics, art, etc. Some were legit. Some were pure exploitation. Some were both. A lot of periodicals actually contained the writings of well-respected thinkers like Allen Ginsberg and Timothy Leary and were read by the counter-culturists they were intended for. Others were designed to appeal to the gawkers and the “raincoat crowd.” Hippie shit sold and there were a bunch of easy angles for marketing it: sex, drugs and rock and roll. If you didn’t have the balls to be a part of it you could always imagine. Burn some incense, put on some sitar music and pull your pud as you pictured yourself surrounded by a bunch of flower children wearing beads, headbands and patchouli. Your very own hippie oasis in a rec room tricked out in plywood and shag carpeting. Walter Mitty as imagined by R. Crumb.

Here’s a collection of covers that run the gamut from authentically cool alternative press publications to some really goofy softcore pulp. As I was compiling these it became quickly apparent that putting naked hairy dudes on the covers was never part of the marketing plan. The free love movement still had some old school hangovers from Playboy magazine.
 

 

 
More groovy hippie shit after the jump…

Posted by Marc Campbell | Discussion
Broken: Nine Inch Nails’ infamous unreleased ‘snuff film’ now online NSFW WATCH IT WHILE YOU CAN!


 
Nine Inch Nails’ Broken (also known as The Broken Movie) is a 1993 short film featuring four music videos from the Broken EP with wrap-around segments shot in the style of an amateur snuff film. The extremely graphic film was directed by Peter Christopherson of Throbbing Gristle, Coil, and Hipgnosis design group fame.

The NSFW video has never seen an official release (perhaps because no label would want to put their name on it?) and has to this day been a difficult piece to track down.
 

 
The terrifying, violent,  and unforgettable film was originally “leaked” by Trent Reznor himself via hand-dubbed VHS tapes in the ‘90s. The original tapes were given by Reznor to various friends with video dropouts at certain points so he could know who redistributed any copies that might surface. Reznor, later implied in a comment on the Nine Inch Nails website that Gibby Haynes of the Butthole Surfers was responsible for the most prominent leak of the original tape.

In 2006 and 2013 the film was briefly “leaked” to the Internet, many believe by Reznor himself. In both cases, the film disappeared quickly. In the case of the 2013 “leak,” the entire video was made available for streaming on Vimeo via the Nine Inch Nails Tumblr account, but was removed by Vimeo almost immediately.

For the time being (in other words, WATCH IT WHILE YOU CAN), Broken has been uploaded to Archive.org under fair use laws.

It’s not for the squeamish, so we’re tucking of after the jump…

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Discussion
Boyd Rice biographer’s NON-disclosure: ‘He doesn’t seem to give a shit what most people think’
04.06.2016
10:10 am

Topics:
Books
Pop Culture

Tags:
Boyd Rice


 
“Boyd Rice is one of the most influential and controversial figures of modern American counterculture,” begins Brian M. Clark’s Boyd Rice: A Biography. While that grandiose statement may oversell Rice’s cultural importance, it’s certainly true that Boyd Rice is a household name in a lot of weird households.

Rice is a prolific American sound experimentalist, author, artist, actor, archivist, and prankster. He also tends to be a polarizing figure in countercultural circles.
 

Boyd Rice a.k.a. “NON”—breaking records
 
I became familiar with Boyd Rice beginning in the late ‘80s and throughout the ‘90s. It seemed for a time that any esoteric interest I began exploring, Boyd Rice’s name would pop up as someone who had been there to document it or be associated with it first. My initial exposure to Rice was his work on the Incredibly Strange Films book released by RE/Search in 1985. In the late ‘80s, this was perhaps the most-thumbed reference book on my shelf. Rice turned up again on my radar in 1988 as a talking head on Geraldo Rivera’s sensationalist Exposing Satan’s Underground TV special. I was deeply interested in Satanism at the time, and here was Rice as one of its chief defenders and spokesmen. As I became interested in the bizarre records I was finding at thrift stores, particularly fake Hawaiian recordings, I began finding articles written by Rice about his love of “exotica” music. When RE/Search’s Pranks book came out, I became obsessed with that volume, particularly Rice’s chapter. I got the accompanying video as soon as it was released and found the interviews with Rice quite charming. Around this same time I was starting to get heavily into noise and industrial music and there was Rice too—at the forefront with his ground-breaking work as NON. And there was Rice on Current 93 records. And there was Rice in Lisa Carver’s fantastic Rollerderby magazine. And then there were the hysterical tapes of his appearances on evangelical minister Bob Larson’s radio call-in show, which were de rigueur tour van tapes while playing in bands in the ‘90s. Rice was seemingly everywhere, all over everything I found fascinating in the ‘90s—and he was always there a few years ahead of me as its champion. Who was this industrial man of mystery?

More on this contentious character after the jump…

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Discussion
So You Want to Be a Rock ‘n’ Roll Star: Photos of the 1960’s Garage Band Explosion
03.29.2016
10:57 am

Topics:
Music
Pop Culture

Tags:
Garage bands


The Individuals.
 
I was living in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The year was 1964. I was thirteen. I was in my first rock band. Beatlemania was running wild and millions of kids across the USA were buying cheap Japanese electric guitars and drum kits and forming garage bands. My dad bought me a set of drums made by a company called Kent and I formed a group called The Continentals. We covered tunes by The Beatles and our set list included “Louie Louie,” “I Got My Mojo Workin,” “Shout,” “Glad All Over”—a couple dozen three and four chord rockers that kids could shimmy to. We played at Elks Lodge dances, supermarket openings and the Princess Anne Plaza movie theater Saturday morning kiddie show. At those kiddie shows we were the only performers who weren’t lip synching to some Frankie Avalon or Leslie Gore tune. We were the real fucking deal.

I wore a moptop and it got me into trouble at school, where the rule was no hair over the ears and bangs had to be the width of two fingers above your eyebrows. I broke the rules on a consistent basis. One day I was sent home for wearing madras pants to class. Those were some fucking slick slacks. All the other kids were wearing Gant shirts and Weejun loafers so my madras pants were an affront to the refined sensibilities of the pre-yuppie status quo of the early 60s. In those days high school had a caste system comprised of longhairs, straights, jocks and greasers. I was a longhair. And greasers hated the longhairs. But I dug the greasers. Cause they were rockers. We were fellow parishioners in the church of rock and roll. It took a woman to help me discover this. Her name was, and I’m not bullshitting, Rhonda.

One Saturday morning, The Continentals were working the crowd before a screening of some cartoon marathon at the kiddie show. We were tearing through “Eight Days A Week,” “Not Fade Away,” “Gloria” and some other cool tunes. The teenyboppers were really digging our shit. At the end of the set, we got a nice round of applause sprinkled with a few squeals. We took our bows and walked off stage. As I made my way up the aisle to the concession stand, there she was: Rhonda, a greaser goddess from the planet Maybelline.

Rhonda had a beehive that defied fucking gravity. Marianne Antoinette had nothin’ on this home girl. Rhonda’s do was sculptural: a follicle wonderland where Antoni Gaudi and The Ronettes sniffed hairspray and dreamed of Mayan pyramids. Rhonda had the fairest skin, the pinkest lips and the palest blue eyes I had ever seen. She was graceful and tall and moved with a serpentine stroll that would make a black snake moan. Rhonda was way out of my fucking league. This was “woman” in all her archetypal majesty—Shakti with a serious wighat. To my amazement, she seemed kind of love-struck. She said she liked the way I played the drums and she leaned over and gave me a kiss that tasted of lipstick and cigarettes. My knees buckled and I felt for the first time that rock and roll was more than music. It was supernatural.

Rock and roll was something that kids in the 1960s not only wanted to listen to, they wanted to make it themselves. They wanted to enter rock’s magic circle. Bands were formed in the thousands. Regional record labels popped up in every state in America. Way before the D.I.Y. explosion of the 1970s punk scene, we were doing it ourselves in towns like where I grew up. Anyone who had a garage could start a garage band. And since many garages were situated in the suburbs most of the bands were comprised of suburban kids. This was definitely not an urban phenomenon. And it was almost exclusively white despite that most of the music we were playing was created by black artists like Chuck Berry and Little Richard. But that’s another story.

So you want to be a rock’n'roll star
Then listen now to what I say
Just get an electric guitar
And take some time and learn how to play
And when your hair’s combed right and your pants fit tight
It’s gonna be all right

In these pictures you can see just how young and innocent most of these fledgling rockers were. They took on tough names and struck bad boy poses, but for the most part were just kids. We all wanted to be The Rolling Stones, The Seeds, The McCoys and The Blues Magoos. Most of us grew up to be average folks doing exactly what we rebelled against. Some of us stuck to our guns guitars. I know I did.

If you want to further explore the history of garage bands of the USA, Garage Hangover and 60s Garage Bands are great places to start. Plus, there are other websites devoted to regional rock bands of the 1960s just a few clicks away.
 

Dan And The Wanderers.
 

The Chancellors.
 

The Bar Boys.
 
More after the jump…

Posted by Marc Campbell | Discussion
The return of Khun Narin: More mindblowing psychedelia from Thailand
03.28.2016
10:40 am

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Khun Narin


 
In March of 2013 I wrote a piece for Dangerous Minds about Khun Narin, a band from the Phetchabun Province of Thailand. I characterized their music as being “indescribably beautiful psychedelia.” Head music is hard to describe so I linked to their Youtube video - which at the time had few views - and it was a stunner. The sound was otherworldly, magic and hypnotic and the performance intense. 

A Dangerous Minds reader named Josh Marcy read the piece, saw the video and had his mind blown. He flew to Thailand to record the group. The result was the first album to be released by the Thai street musicians, Khun Narin’s Electric Phin Band. It’s a terrific record and was greeted with great reviews and coverage by Newsweek, Vogue and Wired, among others. It was also enough of a commercial success to finance a second album. Khun Narin II has just been released via Los Angeles-based label Innovative Leisure and it is another trance-inducing mindbender that even the most jaded of music freaks will find find revelatory.
 

 
I asked Josh Marcy to write a bit about the path to recording Khun Narin.

Take it away Josh:

The Dangerous Mind headline said all I needed to know - Mindblowing Psychedelia From Thailand - and the music in the YouTube video delivered in spades, with some of the most beautifully deep and heavy music I’d ever heard.  And there was a perfect challenge to the reader at the end of the DM article with just enough information needed to make it happen:  “Visit [their Facebook page] and implore them to come to your town or city now. Or at least release an album.”  I guess I took that as a personal challenge when I left my job later that year and began tracking down the band, first connecting the dots from the video to the phin player Beer Sitthichai’s YouTube channel and then finding the great Peter Doolan. A couple months later we’d all be together recording the first album in Lom Sak! I definitely sweated it out, but my little portable recording setup managed to get it done…  And a great performance will always outweigh the technological shortcomings.  I just hit record and the band made the magic happen

As I watch that original video, I’m realizing that the first song they play is also the final song on the new album, so it all comes full circle. It’s been such a great pleasure getting to know the amazingly talented guys in the band and, with Innovative Leisure and many others, bring their music to a wider audience, just as that original post on Dangerous Minds helped and implored us all to!

This is the video that got the ball rolling. When I first discovered it, thanks to Joey Zarda, there were just a small handful of views. Now there’s close to 400,000.
 

 
A new video from Khun Narin and a must-see complete concert after the jump…

Posted by Marc Campbell | Discussion
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