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  • Dangerous Finds: Jim Morrison’s X-rated ‘Peanuts’; Republicans for Bernie; ‘Sticky Fingers’ unzipped
    01:41 pm

    Current Events

    Dangerous Finds

    Sticky Fingers: Unzipped: The 40-year-old mystery of ‘who’ is really gracing the famous Warhol-designed cover of the Rolling Stones’ Sticky Fingers LP is finally put to rest. (Radio Basecamp)

    Jim Morrison’s X-rated ‘Peanuts’ cartoon for sale: “The first frame depicts Snoopy growling at Pigpen, who replies, “If you bite my balls, I’ll suck your cock.” The second frame shows Lucy pleading with Charlie Brown: “I’ll give you 15 [cents] if you’ll fuck me, Charlie Brown,” to which he replies: “Throw in your tricycle and it’s a deal, Baby.” In the third frame, Charlie Brown asks Linus, “What’s wrong kid?” to which Linus answers: “I think I got Syphilis from that whore down the street.” Snoopy gets the last word, er, sort of: “Arf, growl, ruff, bark,” to which Pigpen replies: “Cut that damn swearing out dog.” (Lelands Auction House)

    Republicans for Bernie: Republicans for an avowed democratic socialist. How did that happen? (LA Progressive)

    Before WIRED, there was Mondo 2000: The magazine fused counterculture and technology together into a surreal glossy magazine that first appeared on newsstands in 1989. A typical issue would cover everything from DIY micro-satellites to smart drugs to weird bands like The Residents. (WIRED)

    Donald Trump: A farce to be reckoned with: The one thing Trump can accomplish is to bring the Republican campaign down to his level. A party that allows such a travesty deserves to lose. (Washington Post)

    Obama badgers Scott Walker in Wisconsin: Obama employs some of the finest trolling tools imaginable. (Politico)

    Julian Assange, WikiLeaks founder, denied asylum in France: Assange is living in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London to avoid extradition to Sweden. (CBC News)

    Japan’s population decline the steepest on record: Japan’s population fell 271,058 in 2014, the biggest drop on record and the sixth straight year of decline, to 126.16 million, according to the internal affairs ministry. The ministry’s population census released July 1 also showed that 25.90 percent of the population were 65 years old or older. (The Asahi Shimbun)

    Bacteria ‘Fight Club’ could help find new cures for disease: New antibiotics can’t come soon enough. (Popular Science)

    Entire Tenn. county clerk’s office resigns over same-sex marriage licenses: There’s something totally Darwinian about the way this whole matter is shaking out, isn’t there? Okay, quit your job then, bigoted idiots. Cut that nose right off to spite your mean face. (WKRN-ABC News)

    Bernie Sanders’ $15 million fundraising haul is a really big deal: Bernie Sanders now has hard numbers — in dollars and donors — to back up the idea that he can run a serious campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016. I’ve donated to him twice so far. If you believe in what he stands for, you should too. (Vox)

    YouTube editing genius Vic Berger‘s “Chris Christie’s Presidential Announcement (short version)”

    Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
    Black Sabbath’s cover of ‘Blue Suede Shoes’ from 1970 is a lyrical massacre
    10:42 am


    Black Sabbath

    Ozzy Osbourne, photo by Chis Walter
    Don’t worry, I know the shoes!
    Back in 2004 when Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi was working the press circuit for the release of Black Box: The Complete Original Black Sabbath (1970-1978), he noted that the collection would include the band’s obscure cover of Carl Perkins 1955 rockabilly classic, “Blue Suede Shoes.” The track was also released by New Millennium Communications in 1999 on a compilation called, Black Mass.

    According to Iommi, Sabbath decided to play the uptempo number during one of their recording sessions for the German TV show Beat-Club in May of 1970. Their performance (which aired on Beat-Club episode #55) of “Blue Suede Shoes” and “Black Sabbath” were both recorded on Beat-Club‘s soundstage. The band then recorded two other tracks, “Iron Man” and “Paranoid” at Radio Bremen studios in Bremen, Germany that would later air as part of their appearance on Beat-Club on episode #59.

    During the interview, Iommi makes it pretty clear that the decision to play “Blue Suede Shoes” was a “joke” and really just “a run-through for the cameras.” Something that the band never intended or expected to be seen by anyone outside of the studio, much less heard. The greatest part of all this is the fact that Sabbath vocalist Ozzy Osbourne really didn’t know the lyrics to the song at all. I give you this fantastic example straight from Ozzy’s mouth:

    I know a girl who lives next door/she’d be in the kitchen/with an eye on the wall

    And it only gets worse. Damn. How the band keep a straight face during this performance is beyond me. Perhaps the LSD hadn’t kicked in yet? Maybe Ozzy was sober? Whatever the case may be, it seems that this was the one and only time the band was captured on video performing “Blue Suede Shoes”. 
    Black Sabbath circa 1970's
    Black Sabbath and rubber chicken
    The video below includes onscreen subtitles for Ozzy’s mixed-up lyrics. It is two-minutes of hilarity. I’ve also included video of the band’s entire appearance on Beat-Club from 1970 for your viewing pleasure. Double O, double Z… why? FTW!

    Black Sabbath performing “Blue Suede Shoes” on Beat-Club (episode #55) with Ozzy’s new “lyrics.”
    More Sabbath after the jump…

    Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
    Your fun wasted teenage years rendered in awesome ballpoint pen drawings
    09:49 am


    ballpoint pens
    Helena Hauss

    Not too surprisingly, Paris-based artist Helena Hauss’ choice of Bic pens to be her primary artistic implements does go back to her school days. “I first started drawing abundantly all through high school in my exercice [sic] books rather than writing down what the teacher was saying, and using bic pens was always a good way not to get caught when being watched from afar!”

    But Bic pens, ballpoint pens, biros, whatever you want to call them, have another virtue that doesn’t have anything to do with avoiding the scrutiny of teachers: “I have always had a big attraction for the color blue, so much so that all my clothes and accessories were a shade of it, so when I drew I very much liked using blue ink, such as the one found in bic pens.” Hauss’ artworks are large and very detailed and most have to do with the wanton, irresponsible lives of teenagers and young adults—with an emphasis on trashy media, the libido, rock music, drug use, and other good stuff. Her skill with the Bic pen is such that if you didn’t already know what was used, you wouldn’t necessarily guess that it was even possible to make works this visually dazzling with them.



    More dazzling Bic pen masterpieces after the jump…..

    Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
    Maskull: The Gothest Album of All Time
    09:20 am


    Outsider music
    Synth pop

    Upon hearing the very first word uttered on Maskull’s self-titled (only) album, it’s impossible to fathom the sheer duress that the singer/composer is under. It hits you with physical force, so much that it causes five out of six friends of mine to immediately ask for it to be taken off. In fact, one friend travelling with his band on tour made enemies in the van each time he put this release on, it may have even hastened said band’s demise. Not much is known about this project/person (except that it’s a Los Angeles-based artist named Troy Maskull), but this 1997 CD on Unicorn Records is comprised of some pretty traditional homemade-sounding dark, drum machine-ladensynthpop. Until that voice cracks open.

    It’s a voice that makes Peter Murphy sound like Lemmy, Ian Curtis like Edgar Broughton. Words are sung delivered in a breathy drawl where Maskull is seemingly choking back the tears and/or vomit, upfront, untreated in the mix above the synthscapes sounding completely whispered in your ear. Words like “gypsayyyyyyy” and “how would you like it to be bottled for playyyyyhhhhh” are drawn out and inflected in a way akin to Lux Interior’s self-induced vibrato minus the rhythmic element, and full of misery bordering on a complete sobbing breakdown.

    Where does one dwell to understand the level of what’s going on with Maskull? Despite most people I know instantly hating this music, it is extremely intriguing and after years of hearing this album I’m not even close to “getting” it. There’s a wispy element that is evocative of a long, lonely drive on a California highway at night, seeing lights and splendor pass by that one feels alien to, not belonging, always cocooned. Yet a lot of the music doesn’t synch up to cadence of the vocals; I think of Mark E. Smith using his own voice as instrument in a chaos collage of whatever is going on musically, a looming dark cloud of force and will, but instead of outward conquering of the listener, it’s inward recession into a swirling black vortex that only Maskull can understand. He is swirling around in his own vortex emitting whimpers from a blackened universe. Given a bigger budget and studio, one only can wonder if he might have beaten Scott Walker at his own late-era game.

    “Might have” being past tense, because I’m uncertain whether Troy Maskull even still exists. Rumors bubble that he was suffering from AIDS at the time of this recording, others that he is entrenched somewhere in Burbank. Until then, we must look into the blackness with no reference. No photographs, no live performances, no snapshots, no missives from the void.

    Just the music…

    Posted by Brian Turner | Leave a comment
    Nightmarish movie posters based on Stanley Kubrick films
    08:12 am


    Stanley Kubrick

    A Clockwork Orange movie poster by Tomer Hanuka
    A Clockwork Orange movie poster
    The work of Israeli born artist Tomer Hanuka may be familiar to you. The New York based artist and comic book enthusiast has created pieces for some of the biggest publications, film studios and business in the world such as The New York Times, Universal Pictures, and Microsoft. Of particular interest is Hanuka’s ongoing series of posters based on the films of Stanley Kubrick.
    Dr. Strangelove movie poster by Tomer Hanuka
    Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb movie poster
    So far Hanuka has produced four posters based on films from Kubrick’s catalog; Dr. Strangelove, 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Shining, and A Clockwork Orange. The posters are as colorful as they are unsettling. I especially love how Hanuka manages to incorporate the more memorable, as well as troubling aspects from the four films into his posters. I don’t know about you, but I for one cannot wait to see which Kubrick flick Hanuka takes on next. Lolita, anyone?
    The Shining movie poster
    The Shining movie poster
    2001: A Space Odyssey movie poster
    2001: A Space Odyssey movie poster

    Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
    ‘They call me Jurassic Mod’: Brits of a certain age, still deep into their subcultures

    Isobel Varley
    For his series Rebels Without A Pause, British photographer Muir Vidler captured the most daring and stylish renegades “of a certain age.” Muir seems to specialize in surreal portraiture, extreme events and settings with the odd flash of quiet. Other series include Israeli death metal fans, a circumcision party in the Maldives, and a beauty pageant in Libya, complete with a cameo by the late Colonel Gaddafi. His elder rebel study however, has an intimate feel, with little sense of spectacle to the staging.

    Take for example, Isobel Varley (above), who held the Guinness World Record for the most tattooed female pensioner up until her death just this last May at the age of 77. Varley only started getting tattoos at 48, but went on to cover every square inch of her body except her face, her ears, the soles of her feet, and parts of her hands—even her scalp is tattooed, underneath the cute blond coif. Varley isn’t the only local celeb either. You can see video below of one of Muir’s most charming subjects, Paul Elvis Chan, who used to perform his Elvis impersonation act before a delighted audience at his Chinese restaurant.

    My favorite though is Danny Lynch—aka, the Great Stromboli, who did his fire-breathing act for Muir with his adorable wife in the background. Muir remembers her as very hospitable:

    Yeah, she was going into the house to make a cup of tea. She said, “Cup of tea darling?”, I said OK, then all of a sudden he was blowing fire and she was dashing off to put the kettle on. With the dog and the station wagon in the photo too, it was a very suburban backdrop.

    Isn’t it so terribly quaint?


    Mick and Peggy Warner, whose son is a Teddy Boy

    John G. Byrne, gay skinhead since 1969

    Sid Ellis, who says “In my spare time I either go to fetish clubs or do needlepoint. I like medieval tapestries.”
    Continues after the jump…

    Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
    That time Chris Elliott took a huge crap on artsy mime troupe Mummenschanz on ‘Letterman,’ 1986

    In his long career as a giant smartass pretending to be a know-it-all idiot, Chris Elliott has pissed off many, many people, including directors Francis Ford Coppola, James Cameron, and Jonathan Demme. His autobio The Guy Under the Sheets relates those tales in detail, and is well worth the time, but I was bummed that the book contained only a passing (and utterly bullshitfull) mention of one of my favorites of the many stunts he pulled on Late Night with David Letterman in the ‘80s—the time he gigantically took the piss out of the justly venerated Swiss mime troupe Mummenschanz.

    Mummenschanz have been around for over four decades—I drove six hours to catch a show on their 40th anniversary tour in 2012, totally worth it as it was founding member Bernie Schürch’s final tour. Their performances conceal the artists’ identities, as they revolve largely around heavy costumery and mask play, sometimes downright pugilistic mask play, actually. A old post by my DM colleague Amber Frost does them justice, and I’d encourage you to have a look at it. (And I had to chuckle when I saw a commenter on that post had mentioned and posted the video I embedded below. Who says you should never read the comments?) They came to attention in the US during the ‘70s with appearances on TV variety shows, including a career-making guest spot on The Muppet Show, and their popularity grew to the point that they could enjoy a Broadway run from 1977-1980.

    But it was during a later Broadway run, at the Helen Hayes theater in 1986, that Chris Elliott had his fun with them.

    Now, I’m sure there was no mean intent in this jab, but it’s pretty audacious to make such a complete buffoonery of such wonderful and broadly-appealing artists with a golden international reputation. On Sep 30, 1986, David Letterman, brandishing a copy of Mummenschanz’s then-new book, introduced the troupe. In no time flat, it was clear that something was amiss, as the spotlight illuminated only a cheap costume-shop hot dog suit. Then came a fork and a spoon, not even really dancing, just sort of jogging in place and waving their arms like idiot children. Then out came a final dancer—later revealed as Elliott—in a mask of toilet paper rolls, which was a direct shot, as Mummenschanz actually used toilet paper roll masks. The audience is silent save for a few titters as it dawned on them that they’d been had. Someone started shouting “MORE, MORE” at the end—obviously that guy got it—and if a 2008 Rolling Stone article is to be believed, that guy was Screw magazine’s Al Goldstien. If you’re salty with me for spoiling, don’t be, the GOOD stuff is in the interview segment. Enjoy.

    34 episodes of Elliott’s amazing and preposterous Adult Swim series Eagleheart recently turned up for streaming on HuluPlus. If you’re a fan of Elliott’s and a Hulu subscriber, I’d vigorously encourage you to dive straight on into that ASAP.

    Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
    ‘It Conquered the World’: The sci-fi atrocity that inspired Frank Zappa
    07:11 am


    Frank Zappa
    Roger Corman

    “Cheepnis,” from Roxy & Elsewhere, is probably the most upful rock number in Frank Zappa’s catalog, celebrating two of the maestro’s favorite pleasures: eating hot dogs and watching monster movies. The song begins with a short monologue about Roger Corman’s 1956 no-budget classic, It Conquered the World:

    Let me tell you something, do you like monster movies? Anybody? I love monster movies. I simply adore monster movies, and the cheaper they are, the better they are. And cheapness, in the case of a monster movie, hsa nothing to do with the budget of the film—although it helps—but true cheapness is exemplified by visible nylon strings attached to the jaw of a giant spider. I’ll tell you a good one that I saw one time, I think the name of the film was IT CONQUERED THE WORLD. Did you ever see that one? The monster looks sort of like an inverted ice cream cone with teeth around the bottom. It looks like a teepee or sort of a rounded-off pup-tent affair, and it’s got fangs on the base of it, I don’t know why, but it’s a very threatening sight. And he’s got a frown, and, y’know, ugly mouth and everything, and there’s this one scene where the monster is coming out of a cave, see? There’s always a scene where they come out of the cave, at least once. And the rest of the cast—it must have been made around the 1950s—the lapels are about like that wide, the ties are about that wide, and they’re about this short, and they always have a little revolver that they’re gonna shoot the monster with, and there’s always a girl who falls down and twists her ankle. [Laughs] Of course there is! You know how they are. The weaker sex and everything, twisting their ankle on behalf of the little ice-cream cone. Well, in this particular scene—in this scene, folks, they didn’t want to retake it because it must have been so good, they wanted to keep it—but when the monster came out of the cave, just over on the left-hand side of the screen, you can see about this much two-by-four attached to the bottom of the thing as the guy is pushing it out. And then, obviously, off-camera somebody’s going “No, get it back!” and they drag it back just a little bit as the guy’s going [gunshots]. Now that’s cheapness. And this is “Cheepnis” here.


    It’s hard to believe Peter Graves was ever this young. He plays the wholesome scientist Dr. Paul Nelson, who plays by the rules and approves of the status quo, as against his best friend Dr. Tom Anderson (Lee Van Cleef), the movie’s Promethean/Satanic figure, who wants to improve humanity by subjecting it to the rule of a superintelligent Venusian he talks to on his ham radio. To that end, he helps the space creature land in a cave in the West Valley, which it prefers to the doctors’ neighborhood, Beachwood Canyon (superintelligent, huh?). From its subterranean lair in Agoura Hills, the monster gives birth to space bats that enslave the powerful by biting their necks, and suddenly everyone’s a pod person. See what happens when you try to improve humanity? When will we ever learn to accept things exactly as they are?

    Incidentally, Beverly Garland’s character, who Zappa remembers as “the girl who falls down and twists her ankle,” is the only badass in the movie; she tells the space creature “I hate your living guts!” and “I’ll see you in hell!” before she makes it eat lead. Also featured: the most clueless impersonation of a Mexican person in the history of celluloid.

    Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
    The Grateful Dead guide to dealing with a bad LSD trip
    12:24 pm


    Grateful Dead

    This weekend, the Grateful Dead is playing their last shows ever in Chicago, so they won’t be needing these notably square-minded security guidelines as to how to deal with LSD, instructions that were recently “leaked” according to WAXQ-FM 104.3 radio station in New York City, also known as “the Q.”

    For a larger image of the guidelines, click here.

    According to the sheet, “Guests may ‘see’ images, ‘hear’ sounds, and/or ‘feel’ sensations that do not actually exist.” The flyer breaks down good versus bad experiences, with the latter, a.k.a. an “upsetting experience,” consisting of the following:

    May be combative.
    Pose a danger to themselves or other guests,”
    Disregards the presence and personal space of other people.
    Poor judgement, may misjudge distances, height, and strength.
    May act on their increased sensuality (removing clothes, PDA, etc.)
    Confused or disoriented to their surrounding.


    This flyer was clearly intended for security personnel and not regular concert attendees, but even so, it strikes me as a little bit judgy for a Dead show.

    Interestingly, the flyer also states that you should not refer to people under the influence of LSD as “tripping”—they are experiencing “IPR” (intense psychedelic response).

    I always figured that at Grateful Dead shows, they just showed everyone there President Carter’s solution for dealing with a bad trip, as embodied by Dan Aykroyd on Saturday Night Live in March 1977. Jimmy’s idea was, take some Vitamin B-complex and some Vitamin C-complex and have a beer. Then mellow out to some Allman Brothers or perhaps even….. the Grateful Dead.

    via Death and Taxes

    Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
    Rare and treasured 1977 LP by heavy teen rockers Midnight to be reissued by Drag City
    09:47 am


    private press
    '70s rock

    Into The Night cover
    In 1974, four teenage kids from the Chicago area formed the rock band Midnight. The boys, Dave Hill (organ, vocals), Frank Anastos (guitar), Scott Marquart (drums), and John Falstrom (bass), met while taking lessons at an area music store. Inspired by the rock titans of the day (including Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, and Deep Purple), the group developed a raw, heavy sound. By 1975, they were performing at high schools and parties. Fast-forward a year, and they were gigging at colleges and clubs in and around Chicago, even though they were still in high school at the time. Mixed in with covers of tunes by their heroes, Midnight had started working original compositions into their live sets. In the fall of 1977, mere months after they graduated high school, they went in the studio to record the songs that would make up their lone LP.
    Labor Day, 1976
    Labor Day, 1976

    While the songs on Into The Night show the influence of the groups they loved, the guys incorporated the styles of those bands in a way they could call their own—the heaviness of Sabbath, the metallic crunch and acoustic touches of Zeppelin, the organ rock of Deep Purple, and the swagger of Aerosmith. It’s all there, but woven into a sound that’s uniquely Midnight. Interestingly, there are moments when they bring to mind a more obscure outfit, Pentragram, one of the first American groups to show an obvious debt to Sabbath. I recently corresponded with bassist John Falstrom, and he told me that they didn’t know about Pentagram back in the day, so it’s just a case of heavy minds thinking alike.

    Naturally, the songwriting has much to do with their distinctiveness, with Dave, Frank, and John all contributing. Lyrically, the ten tunes on Into The Night alternate between straightforward tales concerning girls and the band itself, and more out-there subject matter. John says that one his numbers, the brooding title track, is about “invisible vampires that would come and take you away with their claws and burn you at the stake to rid the world of all of its liars.” A song like Frank’s “Smoke My Cigarettes” may be more standard, lyrically, but rocks with a fire that can’t be extinguished. As for the arrangements, the band worked on them as a unit, cooking up tracks that were all about dynamics. The material is played on a pro level—one that belies their years—yet passionately executed. The actual recordings have a rough edge, resulting in an LP that sounds a whole lot more alive than the polished major label rock albums of the era.
    Dave Hill’s choice of organ was another element that made Midnight distinctive. Dave used a Vox, once favored by ‘60s garage rock bands, but its thin sound was out of vogue by the time the ‘70s were in full swing (imagine if Deep Purple had hired the “96 Tears” organist). Dave also sang lead and the group recorded four of his tunes for Into The Night. His mysterious “Auto-Kinetic Illusion” is among those in which the text is difficult to penetrate. It’s also the most dynamic track on the album, with many shifts in mood and tempo. A microcosm of the entire LP in four minutes; as the band moves between their quiet and heavy sides, the lyrics are clear-cut, metaphoric, and indecipherable. John: “The song evolved out of Dave staring at the dark sky at night for hours and images (illusions) would appear.” At times, the words seem to allude to death. Dave’s father was in a state of decline around the time “Auto-Kinetic Illusion” was written, which John believes influenced the content. Dave did not respond to Facebook messages asking for his input with this article.

    The group self-released Into the Night, pressing up 500 copies for an early 1978 release, though they didn’t bother to promote it much. This was largely due to the fact that they were evolving as a unit at a fast clip—so much so, that they rarely played the material in a live setting. To the band, the songs that made up Into The Night were already old news.

    Midnight called it quits in 1980. Frank and John still play in a band together, and they both teach music lessons at the same store where the boys of Midnight met all those years ago. At some point, collectors became aware of the greatness of their 1977 LP, and in 2012 a copy of Into The Night sold for 200 bucks.
    Thankfully, the good folks at Drag City (in conjunction with Galactic Zoo Disk) are re-releasing Into The Night at a much more affordable price on July 17th. In the meantime, check out audio clips and pre-order the LP.

    Here’s “Auto-Kinetic Illusion”:

    Posted by Bart Bealmear | Leave a comment
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