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Ministry’s first video was for a song that has never been released. Until today. Sort of.
09.16.2014
06:17 am

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Ministry


 
In 1982, an up-and-coming dark dance-pop band from Chicago called Ministry made its first video. The band would later go on to great fame and influence for pioneering a hybrid of industrial dance and thrashy heavy metal, but at the time of that first video shoot, they were straightforward synth-pop Anglophiles, in a career phase the band’s leader Alain (later just Al) Jourgensen would soon disown. Ministry’s evolving sounds and broken fan base were discussed at some length in this Dangerous Minds post last year, so we’ll rehash none of that here, except to say that if you’re among the many who consider the band’s early years to be artistically fallow, there’s some music at that link that may change your mind.
 

The early years certainly weren’t cosmetically fallow.

But back to that first video: the song was called “Same Old Madness.” It’s typical for a band’s first (or second, or ANY) video to accompany a single, but “Same Old Madness” was never released in any form. In fact, it’s seeing its first-ever appearance on physical media TODAY. Thirty-two years after the video was shot, “Same Old Madness” is finally seeing daylight as part of Cleopatra Records’ expanded reissue of Ministry’s Twelve Inch Singles 1981-1984 collection, which contains more than double the material of the original 1987 version on Wax Trax.

But there’s a wrinkle—one could justifiably argue that the song in the video has STILL never been released, as the song appearing on the expanded comp has significant variations from the one in the video. I searched for a version I could embed in this post to no avail, but the collection appeared on iTunes in advance of the physical release, and the preview of the song there has all the differences on display. It’s also on Spotify in its entirety, unsurprisingly. If you compare it to the video below, you’ll note that it has some jangly guitar added to the background of the chorus, and that the vocals are just insanely tarted up. In an effort to sort out why there were multiple recorded versions in circulation for a song the band never even saw fit to put out, I asked the band’s original keyboardist, Rob Roberts, for some history.

The session details involve working with Iain Burgess at, I think, Chicago Recording Company. And that version is the one featured in the video. The version with guitar and big vox FX added was kind of a rarity. I’m surprised to see it surface on this new release, to be honest. It’s the same basic tracks as the video version, but the guitar and FX and editing were added in Boston. It sure sounds like the same kind of editing that’s in “A Walk In the Park” and even the “Work for Love” dub/dance edits. The overdubs, arrangement and editing that appears on the Cleopatra release had zero input from Al or anyone else in the band. Al didn’t even play the guitar overdub. It was worked up by the crew back at SynchroSound in Boston with Ian Taylor behind the board. Neither my source nor I can remember exactly who played guitar, but it was either Walter Turbitt [Groove Brothers] or Elliot Easton [The Cars].

Those of you who take an interest in Ministry’s early years might enjoy Roberts’ extensive, thoughtful and informative Q&A on prongs.org. And that being said, I’ll not keep you from that early video any longer.
 

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Discussion
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Lemmy’s mole sings ‘Ace of Spades’
09.16.2014
06:03 am

Topics:
Animation
Music

Tags:
Lemmy

Molelemmy1.jpg
 
As Lemmy will tell you himself, those facial bumps are not warts they’re moles. He did have warts once, on his hands, nineteen of them with one going round his finger like a snake. But they all disappeared, one night, after he had a bath though his hands never went in the water. Or, so he claims.

Lemmy’s moles are famous. They even have their own Facebook page, with an ambition to “conquer every woman who gaze upon them.” Who knew they could be such aphrodisiacs?

They have also been the focus of much speculation from music journalists, who seem unable to resist asking why the LA-based legend has never had plastic surgery to have them removed? Usually, Lemmy just points to his mutton-chopped face and says:

What can you make out of this? What are you going to do? I think I look all right for my age, anyway.

Apart from being conversational ice-breakers, Lemmy’s moles have recently inspired one fan to make this little animation of Lemmy’s mole performing “Ace of Spades.” (It takes a moment for the video to load.)
 

 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
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20,000 Days On Earth: The agony and ecstasy of Nick Cave


 
20,000 Days On Earth combines documentary footage with scripted scenes to chronicle 24 hours in the fascinating life of modern renaissance man Nick Cave. Directed by Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard and co-written by Cave, the film has great energy and Cave comes off as one would suspect: mysterious, devious and hugely charismatic. What might come as a surprise to some viewers is Cave’s self-deprecating humor and the deeply spiritual yearning that pulses in the heart of his art. Cave is a man who utilizes the forces of his creativity, particularly rock and roll, as a means to connect to human energy and to transcend it.

At a recent concert in Austin, I saw a side of Cave I hadn’t seen before, a certain humility and need that manifested in an almost vampiric hunger for flesh to flesh contact with his audience. He literally bared his heart before his audience, asking them to place their hands upon his naked chest. The fire and brimstone preacher was displaying a supplicant’s self-immolation at the feet of his worshipers. The tables had turned, the wax was dripping up the candle. This aching need to be part of the world at large, to expand beyond the ordinary while maintaining his teeth in the tissue of the meat he thrives on results in a tension between the sacred and profane. The film makes clear that the balance between dark and light is stabilizing in Cave’s life and the fearless provocateur is taking on some of the mellowness of a wise elder. 20,000 Days On Earth is a lovely meditation on the risks and epiphanies involved when an artist puts himself as far out as they can go while still keeping time in the dance of life.

Here’s some recollections of Nick Cave and The Birthday Party’s first appearances in New York City. I think I got most of the details right.

When The Birthday Party first came to New York City in late September/early October of 1981 they were booked into several venues. The first was a shitty disco on Union Square called The Underground. I have no idea who was responsible for the booking but it was like hiring Aleister Crowley to do stand-up at a Catskills Hotel. The band plowed though three songs (“Big-Jesus-Trash-Can,” “Zoo-Music Girl,” “King Ink”) in front of a confused and hostile audience who were there to dance to a deejay spinning records by Donna Summer and The Village People. During “King Ink”, Nick leaped into the crowd and wrapped his microphone’s cord around a woman’s neck. The club owners immediately pulled the plug and the show ended.

Next night at The Ritz, Nick smashed his head into the snare drum, drew blood, and a panicked Ritz management killed the power to the stage. Big mistake. Those of us who gave a shit about such things, felt this confirmed that unless you were a major label act The Ritz was not an artist-friendly venue. The following night’s Birthday Party booking at The Ritz was cancelled.

Other NYC gigs included two at Chase Park, a former bank (I think) with a lousy stage set-up and bad sound. The first night at Chase Park was cancelled when only one person showed up. The band’s second booking at the club was not much better than the first. The band played to an audience of a couple of dozen adventurous souls, including Lydia Lunch. The vibe was nasty and the band seemed like they couldn’t wait to get the fuck outta there.

At this point, you had to wonder who was booking The Birthday Party into these godforsaken nightclubs when CBGB and Max’s (on its last legs) were just around the corner? In the case of The Underground, it was Rudolf Pieper and Jim Fouratt expanding their reach beyond their legendary venue Danceteria. One night a week they booked The Underground with a New Romantic theme. But alas, The Birthday Party was to Duran Duran and Modern English what moonshine is to mimosas.

It wasn’t until their performance at The Peppermint Lounge on Oct. 4 (a Sunday night) that The Birthday Party played an entire set in a venue that was suited to their music. Yet even the Pep didn’t seem to know who the fuck Nick and the his posse were (check the ad below).But despite a small crowd, the band were explosive and I was there to experience it. The power, intensity, humor and theatricality of The Birthday Party was simply jaw-dropping and forever made me an admirer of the group, particularly the young Mr. Cave. While the entire band were extraordinary (I was particularly fond of bass player Tracy Pew, R.I.P.) it was Cave that shone brightest (or perhaps darkest) - brilliant, possessed, a madman out on the edge not looking back. Even in ‘81 at the young age of 24, Nick was drawing down some serious voodoo scraping the shit of the marvelous off the bottom of his black shiny shoes.
 

What’s up with the question marks?

Later, after the show, Cave sat alone at the bar slouched over a drink. I joined him and we talked. He looked younger than his years, was soft-spoken, welcoming, and unassuming. We spoke about writers we liked - Rimbaud, Burroughs, Bukowski - the usual suspects. For the short time we chatted, I felt that this was a man that I could grow to like a lot. And I have. Like all great artists I love, Cave has kind of entered my DNA. He’s one of those rare creative people who continues to surprise and amaze me, who challenges me and compels me to dig deeper into that dark rich soil where art grows, where visions sprout and and bears seeds - both good and Bad. Long live Nick Cave.

20,000 Days On Earth works as a cinematic diary that flows in and out of dream. Late-night scenes of Cave driving around his home of Brighton have the cold, doomy clarity of a J.G Ballard literary riff echoing off the concrete urban desolation of a Wim Wenders’ film. But the chill is broken by whimsical flights of magic realism like when Cave visits collaborator Warren Ellis in Ellis’s Hobbit-like cottage overlooking the white cliffs of Dover. And the sudden, almost ghost-like, appearances of Kylie Minogue, Ray Winstone, and Blixa Bargeld. The movie gracefully bends time and memory into something like a living moment where all points come back to Cave’s sensing himself in the ever-present everythingness of now. Does it matter what is real or not? This is not a strict memoir. It is the person coming into being through his own creation.

Nick Cave has done something quite remarkable in the this day and age of rock bands that disappear as quickly as ice on a hotplate or those that have lingered far too long only to embarrass themselves in their utter irrelevance - he has stayed interesting. Through all of his permutations, experiments and chance-taking, Cave has, like the title of his song, pushed the sky away, not allowing even the heavens to bear down on him.

20,000 days on Earth? Who cares about time when the moment is so filled with wonder? Who cares about linear abstractions when every non-existent nano-second is laced with memory and desire? Cave has not mistaken the face of the clock for fact. He sees it for what it is. A circle. It’s not real, it’s a reel. Like film. Like your eye. Like that circular mark on your neck: that blood-red spot, that memory of a mouth, of love, of death.

Cave discussing his new film:
 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Discussion
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Rock snob comedy: In the studio with David Bowie, Brian Eno and Tony Visconti, 1976
09.15.2014
02:21 pm

Topics:
Animation
Music

Tags:
David Bowie
Brian Eno
Tony Visconti


 
“Don’t you wonder sometimes…”

This latest animated installment of a “behind the scenes” moment in the life of David Bowie from British comic Adam Buxton is very fucking amusing. What really went on with the recording of Low‘s “Warszawa”? This fly-on-the-wall speculation of what transpired at the Château d’Hérouville studio during those sessions is probably, what, 90% accurate? 95%?

All voices by Adam Buxton (damn his Bowie is good!). The animation was produced by The Brothers McLeod. More Bowie animations (and more) at Adam Buxton’s YouTube channel.
 

 
Thank you kindly to the original rock snob himself, Steven Daly!

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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Move over Tom of Finland, macho Japanese gay comic art is soooooo hot right now
09.15.2014
01:28 pm

Topics:
Art
Fashion
Queer

Tags:
Japan
manga


 
Watch out Tom of Finland, there’s a new milieu of gay nationalist iconography in town! Massive is a new brand producing clothing, accessories, art and original and translated books centered on gay manga—meaning Japanese comic books celebrating bears, bears and more bears! I’m generally of the opinion that pin-up art has jumped the shark, but these manly men are just as delightful as they are niche—sort an army of Bettie Gay-ge’s!

The art itself is really charming: sophisticated, without being pretentious or self-important. Japanese artist Jiraiya comments on his work for the the sweatshirt above:

These two guys have the same muscle mass, but I’d guess different body fat percentages. In my opinion, they’re a perfect couple. But if they fight, their house will be partially destroyed.

And how!

I don’t know about you, but much I’d rather wear this than one of those bland, now ubiquitous American Apparel “Legalize Gay” shirts. Between that jumper and my Hüsker Dü tee, bear culture will always have a place in my wardrobe… but never in the closet!
 

 

 

 
More after the jump…
 

Posted by Amber Frost | Discussion
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Something to offend everyone: New Iraqi comedy show has Devil and a Jew giving birth to ISIS
09.15.2014
12:10 pm

Topics:
Belief
Television

Tags:
satire
The Superstitious State

Devilisis.jpg
 
A promo for a new Iraqi satirical TV comedy shows the Devil (in red onesie with pointy a tail) and a Jewish woman (that would be her sporting the tiara and the overlarge Star of David) coming together to spawn an egg from which hatches looney tunes ISIS party leader, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, mockingly referred to as the “ISIS-ling.”

The promo for the new series The Superstitious State was posted online by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), which described the video as having been broadcast on Al-Iraqiyya TV on September 9th and several more times since.

The title is a play on the words “khilafa” (“caliphate”) and “khirafa” (“superstition”). There are also characters based on Dracula, The Joker, a root’em toot’em Yankee cowboy, one who is apparently supposed to be Joseph Stalin and one based on Sheikha Mozah, the fashion plate wife of the former Emir of Qatar.
 
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Before we assume too much about the aims of this satire, it’s worth noting that Arab news channels are spreading the conspiracy theory that claims ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is a Jewish Mossad agent known as Simon Elliot, which might be what they’re getting at: Of course it can all be blamed on the Jews (and John McCain!) Via Shalom Life:

Last week, former Cuban dictator Fidel Castro penned an editorial published in the country’s primary media outlet, claiming that Mossad, Israel’s central intelligence agency, and American senator John McCain conspired together to create the Islamic State.

A Dutch minister, Yasmina Haifi, was also suspended after tweeting that the “Zionists” created ISIS, echoing the sentiments of Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, the Palestinian Authority’s official publication, which basically argued the same notion.

Mohseen Rezaee, a former Iranian military commander, following in line with Castro’s comments, also blamed the birth of ISIS on Mossad, saying that the Zionists are trying to eliminate Islam by making Muslims kill one another. Iraqi Ayatollah Sayed Mortada Al-Qazwini claimed that ISIS is “a Jewish Israeli organization, established to tear apart the land of Muslims.”

“What’s the point?” I hear you ask.. well, who knows? It seems all will be revealed in later episodes. But in answer to any questions over whether this satirical show will have any influence one way or the other, we should recall what the great Peter Cook once said about “those wonderful Berlin cabarets… which did so much to stop the rise of Hitler and prevent the outbreak of the Second World War.”
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
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University pep band slays Rage Against the Machine’s ‘Bulls on Parade’
09.15.2014
11:35 am

Topics:
Music

Tags:
The Green Machine
Doc Nix


 
You may have already seen this excellent video of The George Mason University pep band, Doc Nix and The Green Machine, practicing Rage Against the Machine’s “Killing in the Name” / “Bulls on Parade.” They “kill” it. The video made the rounds back in 2011 with much deserved fanfare. It’s worthy of an encore performance, methinks.

What I didn’t know is how beloved bandleader Michael W. Nickens AKA Doc Nix is among the students at George Mason University and folks living in Washington D.C. and Virgina. People love him so much there’s actually bobblehead made after him.

After watching the video below, I can totally see why. Just watch him in action!


Doc Nix bobblehead.
 

 
via reddit

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
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World’s first ever cake-themed edible Halloween ‘horror farm’
09.15.2014
10:07 am

Topics:
Animals
Art
Food

Tags:
Halloween
Miss Cakehead


 
As grotesque as the above image of a life-size slaughtered pig is, it’s actually a very well-crafted vegan cake made by Miss Cakehead. I’ve been following her work since 2009 and she never lets you down with her genius edible creations. Perhaps you’ll recall back in 2013 Miss Cakehead made a deliciously demented life-size Dexter cake in honor of the TV show’s final season.

This year for Halloween she’s outdone herself with the World’s first ever edible horror farm.

What is a horror farm you ask? Well don’t pry too much because we all know how the curious cat ended up… If you do want to come and investigate the strange goings on here though, you might do well to bring a friend – we don’t want anyone picked off. Those select few brave enough to venture into the woods will witness, gorge, and be hunted through the world’s most terrifying cake installation, and those that make it out will ensure it is THE most talked about scare attraction of 2014.

Now, I’m not entirely sure of this installation’s message since all the “animals” are made of cake. Is it to show meat is murder? The reality of a slaughterhouse? Or is it just a gross-out Halloween attraction that’s not really all that gross in the end? I don’t know.

The “edible horror farm” will be open to the public starting on October 29 and runs through November 1 in Letchworth Garden City, England. More then.

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
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Feast your eyes on these awesome Blaxploitation movie posters!
09.15.2014
08:56 am

Topics:
Movies

Tags:
blaxploitation

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The term “blaxploitation” was coined by Junius Griffin, head of the Los Angeles National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). One of the aims of blaxploitation movies was to create debate and help advance equality in race relations across America. However, the subject matter of many of these films was considered to be upholding negative stereotypical images of African-Americans rather than progressing any sort of social and cultural equality.

While there is obviously some degree of truth in this, blaxploitation produced enjoyable films that often had a radical edge which most mainstream movies lacked. As for the criticisms over narrative, plot and acting, well these were usually the same problems to be found in all exploitation movies. For me, blaxploitation movies were one of the most enjoyable highlights of 1970s cinema, as they brought this poor white kid from Scotland a sense of a world that was sensational, exciting, entertaining and far more real than the sub-genre of bad comic book pap being pumped out of Hollywood during this decade. Moreover, the soundtracks to many of these films were among the best put on celluloid.

Though by no means a definitive collection, this selection of blaxploitation film posters gives a fairly good idea why these films had such massive appeal.
 
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More posters after the jump…
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
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Real Wild Child: Iggy Pop’s electrifying 1980s appearances on ‘Late Night with David Letterman’
09.15.2014
08:07 am

Topics:
Music
Television

Tags:
Iggy Pop
David Letterman

Iggy Pop
 
“I like to mix the dirt with the music.” Iggy Pop on Late Night with David Letterman, 1988

Iggy Pop appeared on NBC’s Late Night with David Letterman three times in the 1980s, and they were all memorable TV events. Iggy is, of course, as only Iggy can be, giving uninhibited performances in which he dances wildly and alternates between turning his back on the audience and confronting them. These were totally thrilling talk show segments and worth staying up (or setting your VCR) for back in the day. The Ig was also a charming and quotable interviewee; he and Dave, on the surface, seem to be hugely mismatched individuals, but they have a surprisingly great rapport, likely finding an unsaid common ground in the their shared midwestern sensibilities.

Iggy continued to pop up on Late Night and has been seen frequently on the subsequent Late Show with David Letterman over the years. You can’t beat these 1980s appearances, but he’s always waaaay more entertaining than the average boob tube talk show guest. This is, after all, Iggy Fucking Pop!

“Eat or Be Eaten,” December 8th, 1982 (unfortunately, the interview portion isn’t online):
 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Bart Bealmear | Discussion
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