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Photos of Victorian women and their long-ass hair
08.31.2015
10:24 am

Topics:
Fashion
History

Tags:
long hair


 
“Yo, Rapunzel!”

A lot of Victorian and Edwardian era women simply never cut their hair. Now I know this was considered very fashionable in those days, but I can’t imagine how much suffering went along with maintaining such manes. Your head, neck and shoulders would have to be in constant pain trying to hold the weight of all that hair! And think about this, what did they do to cool off during the extremely hot months of summer? I guess one could keep their hair wet all the time, but it would be a royal pain in the ass to have to comb it out and dry it. They didn’t even have blow dryers back then. No way!

This is exactly why the bob cut had to happen in the 1920s. Women couldn’t put up that shit anymore.


 

 

 

 
More after the jump…
 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
The sexy, porny nose art of WWII combat planes
08.31.2015
07:49 am

Topics:
Art
History

Tags:
WWII
planes
pin-up girls


 
It’s easy to imagine a… lonely soldier doodling a smutty little pin-up on the side of a military plane from sheer boredom, but the elaborate “nose art” of World War II also served a very functional purpose. A memorable girl on the side of a plane let you know who made it home before they even landed, so a “Memphis Belle” or a “Marine’s Dream” was an early indicator of a serviceman’s safe return. Surprisingly, nose art wasn’t an American innovation (I guess I just assumed we were pioneers of all things porn and explosions?). Italians and Germans were decorating their military vehicles in non-standard ways as early as 1913.

The nose art I’ve curated below is not featured for its cheeky sexuality, but rather the explicitness of some of the work; note the placement of the hand on the “in the mood” pin-up two images down? Obviously the majority of aviation pin-ups were a little more coy, but there’s something really comical about the artists who dispensed entirely with subtlety, sometimes without much actual artistic talent.
 

 

 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Limbo, NYC’s ‘Tuned-in Generation’ 60s fashion emporium (and their amazing artist-in-residence)


 
It all started a few weeks ago with a nice lady dropping by the record store with two cardboard moving boxes full of old newspapers. “I thought I’d see if anyone here wanted these before I threw them out.”

I looked into the first box and on top was an issue of The Village Voice from April of 1969. Without even hesitating I said “Yep, I’ll be happy to take these in.” Digging further, I saw that I was looking at two boxes full of old Voice issues from the late ‘60s—mega score. All I had in my pocket was ten dollars, but I offered it to the nice lady. “These are cool, please take my ten bucks. And THANK YOU!”

I started plowing through the contents of the two boxes when I got home that evening. All tolled, there were forty-five issues of the Voice dating between 1967 and 1969—one of the most interesting periods in U.S. history for art and radical politics. The Voice, at that time, was one of the major mediums carrying the anti-war message, not to mention reporting on the explosion of art, psychedelic thought, and counterculture. Every issue in those two boxes was a treasure trove of Vietnam era cool: Andy Warhol shot. Abbie Hoffman arrested. Eldridge Cleaver lecturing. Burroughs and Ginsberg hit up Timothy Leary’s LSD Center. Jimi Hendrix is playing this weekend. Janis Joplin is playing another. Hair is on Broadway. I Am Curious (Yellow) is at the cinema. EVERYONE is protesting. Cops are busting heads. I’m completely enthralled and lost in these stacks.

As I’m meticulously poring over the issues, I begin to notice the ads for one particular shop: Limbo. To say there was something special about these mystifying “anti-ads” is an understatement. My eye was drawn magnetically to the Limbo graphics. There was at least one in every issue. The designs were sort of a Dada/Pop Art hybrid, but actually quite unlike anything else—definitely unlike anything else in the Voice at that time. Sure, there were lots of era-typical psychedelic graphics advertising everything from fur coats to futons… but the Limbo ads weren’t exactly psychedelic… and they weren’t exactly advertising anything other than their own unique form. They seemed completely and beautifully out of place and time, something a step beyond the pop iconography of Warhol’s work from a few years prior. Familiar, yet obscure. Every image stopped me in my tracks and had me guessing at its mysteries.
 

Ads for Limbo as they appeared in the Village Voice.
 
I became obsessed. I went through every issue, specifically hunting each Limbo ad. They were all different. They didn’t repeat. All arresting and confounding.
 

 
Mesmerized, curious, needing to know more, I went to the Internet for information and with very little effort found that this long-defunct shop had both a handy Wikipedia entry and Facebook presence.

From what I discovered, I was surprised I hadn’t already known about Limbo. It was apparently the IT shop in the East Village. Writing in eye Magazine, Norman Steinberg described Limbo as “much more than just a clothing store. It is a social, intellectual, and entertainment experience that appeals to people of all ages, races, creeds, colors and political persuasions.”

Beyond being simply a retail shop, Limbo was a countercultural HUB for disaffected New Yorkers. The store, through a wholesale sales agreement with Fillmore East, dressed rock stars from Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and Jim Morrison, to the New York Dolls and Velvet Underground. John Lennon, Yoko Ono,  Andy Warhol and his “superstars” Baby Jane Holzer, Nico, Viva and Edie Sedgwick were all frequenters.
 

“Dress as decoration. Dress as defiance. Dress as decorum, or its opposite. That was at the heart of Limbo.”
 
Limbo sold not only typical “peacenik” clothes like Indian cottons and silks, but also military surplus for the Yippie warriors of the day. Limbo was one of the first sellers to make “vintage” clothing “hip,” calling the inventory on their flyers: “Dead Man’s Clothing.” Limbo is also often credited with starting the trend of “distressing” blue jeans before sale. As a retail shop, it served as a cultural focal point in the East Village—much in the same way that its successor served the early punk scene. Many of our readers may be familiar with the store which Limbo became after being sold in 1975: Trash & Vaudeville.
 

“Carefully Selected Dead Men’s Clothing For The Heads of All Nations”
 
As I thought about the notion of a shop like Limbo being a community axis, I was reminded of my own recent experience with the nice lady dropping off the two boxes of Village Voices at the record shop and felt connected to that tradition of storefronts being places that can exist beyond their capitalist function of exchanging goods and services for money—places that offer a space for like-minded individuals to meet and share ideas or pass things along simply because that’s a “cool thing to do.”

Scouring the photo galleries on Limbo’s Facebook page, I found many of the same striking ads I had seen in those Village Voice issues. Scanning through those, I located the name of the artist who had designed them: Ira Kennedy.
 
Much more after the jump…

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
Lovely and intimate photos of a young Audrey Hepburn long before she was a household name
08.27.2015
08:51 am

Topics:
History
Movies
Pop Culture

Tags:
Audrey Hepburn


1942
 
It’s always fun to see photographs of your idols before they were famous. Like these images of the eternally beautiful, graceful, and witty actress/humanitarian, Audrey Hepburn. The photographs start in 1942, eleven years before she shot to stardom for her role in Roman Holiday in 1953. Hepburn was the first actress to receive an Academy Award, a Golden Globe and a BAFTA Award for her performance in that film.

The majority of these images are from Hepburn’s days when she studied ballet in Amsterdam and later in London. By the late 1940s, she performed as a chorus girl in West End musical theatre productions and did some stage acting in London.

Fun fact about Audrey Hepburn that I didn’t know: She was fluent in English, French, Dutch, Italian, Spanish, and German. Impressive.


1942
 

1942
 

November 27, 1942
 

1944
 

1945
 
More after the jump…
 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
The twisted cowboy death-rock of Country Bob and the BloodFarmers
08.21.2015
07:41 am

Topics:
History
Music

Tags:
Country Bob and the Bloodfarmers


 
In 1987 or so, a pal of mine procured an LP by a band called Country Bob and the BloodFarmers. Titled “Goin’ To Hell In A Hatbasket,” it commanded the attention and imaginations of the really good weirdos in our circle of friends like little else. There was a vogue for all sorts of rural-coded rock music at that time, but the lion’s share of attention was paid to MTV fodder like Lone Justice and Jason & the Scorchers. The independent/underground scene boasted so-called “cowpunk” bands like Rank & File, the gothier Tex & the Horseheads, and the more gonzo likes of Elvis Hitler, Mojo Nixon and Skid Roper, and the Raunch Hands, but Country Bob and the BloodFarmers went miles farther than all of them in terms of musical extremity, Southern gothic death-trip lyrics, and driving sacred cows into the slaughterhouse (though Elvis Hitler certainly nipped at their heels).

It was clearly a jokey album, full of breakneck punk/hayseed anthems like the Ed Gein tribute “Bowl Full of Noses,” the no-holds-barred torpedoing of southern racism “Black Cowboy,” or the single gnarliest cover of Roger Miller’s “Dang Me” I know. The inner sleeve boasted a lyric sheet on one side and “The American Gothic Tribune” on the other, a police blotter style compilation of hilariously disturbing fake news items from the “South.” (The stuff would ring familiar to anyone who knows Michael Lesy and Charles Van Schaick’s Wisconsin Death Trip.) One involved the attempted murder of all of his children by one “Gomer P. Neighbors,” a joke I pray I don’t have to explain. Another item, the longest, tells of a drug-fueled misadventure from the life of Bung Hill, Arkansas’ Bob Ledbetter, Jr., who is also listed as the band’s singer/guitarist.
 

 

Band photo by Jill Greenberg, who has since become quite well known.

But who the hell was it making this elaborate joke? A credible rumor had it that Country Bob was a side project of Gargoyle Sox, a regionally popular goth band from Detroit, which made kinda sense—Detroit, like much of the Rust Belt, famously had a “Hillbilly Highway” influx of Appalachians when the auto industry needed a shitload of bodies in its foundries and on its assembly lines, so pockets of a rural migrant mentality had long existed in that town, and were probably ripe fodder for tribute or parody, whichever this was. Plus, the album was released on the Manster label, which a member of Gargoyle Sox actually owned. But the musicians named as members were all pseudonymous, so finding what other bands they may have played in was pretty well impossible in the pre-Internet era. Well, it’s not impossible anymore; through the non-pseudonymous songwriting credits and some attentive digging through Detroit Rock City and some online sources, I learned that the BloodFarmers indeed included Gargoyle Sox’s guitarist John Koester, but its actual prime movers were a Detroit artist/scenester named Tim Caldwell (who was also credited with the album art), and “Country” Bob Ledbetter Jr. himself, the alter-ego of RUR/Shock Therapy guitarist Tex Newman.

Newman and Caldwell were kind enough to fill DM in about the band’s conception.

NEWMAN: Basically what it was is that I had been in a lot of different bands, and it was born out of frustration. Me and Tim Caldwell had done a goth band, Danse Macabre, with some people. It imploded like most bands do and I was pissed off, wondering what I could do that was really fucked up. The hardcore scene sucked, I knew everybody, everybody in punk, hardcore and goth knew everybody, and it had turned into a big fashion show with little substance. I told Tim that there was this really awful punk/country band I knew in California, that all dressed up in cowboy clothes, so when it was time to do something again, I was thinking about this character of a real fucked up hillbilly punk, that no matter how hard he tried to be a badass punk, he was just a fuckin’ hillbilly and everything would come out Country and Western. And that fit with this rebellious notion that we should do something with NO CHANCE of success, something so fucked up that it’d be dead in the water upon release. So I came up with Country Bob, and Tim came up with the BloodFarmers.

CALDWELL: There’s a lot of people in Detroit who came up from Appalachia to work for the auto industry, the “big three.” Johnny Cash spent some time up here, that’s how you get that song about the Frankensteinian hot-rod [the song he means is “One Piece at a Time,” FYI—DM]. A lot of blues guys were up here working in the foundries, a lot of Motown funk guys worked on the lines, you name it. Any kind of band in Detroit, they’ve probably done their stint. I did it myself. 

Tex, with his accent, and being from Texas, he had a lot of the “cool kids” saying “oh, you’re a poseur,” you know, fuckin’ guys in either fancy New Waver duds, or ARRRGH, I’M WEARING GROUND ZERO HARDCORE CLOTHES and their punk uniforms and shit. And people would piss and moan about the “relevance” of anything in New Wave or punk rock, and we thought “You know what? That’s really outside this whole thing.” We wanted to do a Country and Western take on punk rock, and there were bands doing it, I went to go see the Gun Club and it was great, but a lot of that Jason and the Scorchers kind of shit, hell, even the Blasters, we were kinda like “fuck that.” And we decided “let’s just go with this thing, fuck all these scenes, fuck all these people, we don’t care if people follow it or not.”

Continues after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
‘Balkan Pank’: Captivating photos of the explosive 1980s Yugoslavian punk scene
08.21.2015
07:33 am

Topics:
Fashion
History
Music
Punk

Tags:
Yugoslavia


 
As the only Eastern Bloc country independent from the Soviet Union, the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was a highly unique experiment in communism. The country wasn’t technically “behind the Iron Curtain,” and culturally it was very open to so-called “Western” culture like metal, rap, New Romantic and yes, punk. The scene was big and incredibly dynamic, with all the diversity of the American or British scenes—Oi!, thrash, hardcore, proto-punk, you name it. Photographer Jože Suhadolnik started taking pictures of bands and fans at the tender age of 15 (his first show was a 1981 Siouxsie and the Banshees concert), and he’s recently compiled his photos into a book, Balkan Pank.

The pictures are sensual and untamed—everything you want from a bunch of young punks, but while Yugoslavia wasn’t a Soviet state, it was still heavily policed. Suhadolnik remembers:

“You could be arrested and beaten hard by police because you sprayed graffiti or were wearing a badge with a ‘Nazi Punks Fuck off’ sign just because ‘Nazi’ is on it. Few people were jailed and later secretly followed by the police.

After the break up of Yugoslavia, Suhadolnik had a chance to look at his own fat police file—over 400 pages about taking pictures of punks, a subversive act, simply by association.
 

 

 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Vintage Paris ‘pleasure guides’ for horny tourists
08.20.2015
07:20 am

Topics:
History
Sex

Tags:
Paris
prostitution


 
Despite suffering so many casualties in WWI that its military-eligible population was still decimated when WWII came around, France’s economy bounced back fairly quickly in the wake of Europe’s devastation in the “War to End All Wars.” That 1920s recovery was partly based on two enduringly popular items which were made abundantly available in Paris: alcohol and women’s bodies. Americans, flush with cash in a stock bubble and weary of the prudery that led to alcohol prohibition, visited Paris for cocktails and cockteases. Paris’ sexualized entertainments ran the gamut from mere topless revues to outright sex for sale, and the publishing industry capitalized with “Pleasure Guides” for horny tourists.

Now, some of these were pretty much ordinary tourist guides tarted up with sexy cover art. This English-language guide below, via Archive.org, is a browser widget that lets you actually flip through the book. (The entry on page 79 for the notoriously gory Grand-Guignol is priceless, as it’s demure to the point of deceptiveness.) It picks up a bit of steam on page 121, a chapter titled “The Worst Parts of Paris.”
 

 

 

In front of the Métro Combat, a little to the right, after nº 120, stretches up towards the Buttes-Chaumont the small rue Moniol, which the rue Asselin cuts across, cutting out from the centre of said cross a block of dingy houses called the «Monjol fort», a citadel of love in which a dozen groundfloor rooms each hide in the mouldering walls three or four women, all fallen to the last degree of the vilest prostitution.

Bepainted, scarcely clad in a mere unfastened dressing-gown of oriental colours, they await, watch and call the stevedores and the «sides» who swarm at that hour in the bars around, and who prowl about and succeed one another at their half-closed doors, bespattered with a wan light from within.

You’re just crazy-horny now, aren’t you? Say what you will, that second ‘graf is poetry.

But of course, while the tamer guides were legit tourist resources with a few references to the sex trade—disguised as warnings to provide cover to both the reader and the publisher—other books were just straight-up lists of bordellos. UC Berkeley professor Mel Gordon, in his forthcoming Feral House book Horizontal Collaboration: The Erotic World of Paris, 1920-1946, writes

Paris, universally referred to as Paname by the locals because of de rigueur hats worn by male fashion plates, was back in business. By 1923, over 250,000 American tourists had made their way across the Atlantic to explore the French capital. Fleeing their country’s draconian Prohibition laws and flush with wads of hard currency, the worldly trekkers weren’t just there to inspect the landmarks and museums or ferret out its fine dining establishments. They were drawn to la Ville-Lumière for a more unconventional list of enticements, many of which were primly catalogued in the city’s official directories or featured in the voyagers’ naughty guidebooks.

The classifications of the brothels in many ways resembled those of hotels or restaurants. In general, they were broken into three categories: mammoth luxury establishments, where customers might spend the better part of an evening (masons de tolérance); intimate, more personal-sized dwellings (maisons de ren- dez-vous); and dirt-cheap lairs that mimicked the speed and efficiency of a factory assembly line (maisons d’abattage).

Annual directories and business cards advertised and updated the latest additions to the maisons closes. Smaller houses relocated with some regularity and, occasionally, the names of competing brothels — based on street addresses or landladies’ nicknames — were confusingly duplicated. So there were multiple Château d’Eaus, Chez Billys, Chez Suzys, Le Hanovres, Le Panier Fleuris, and Temples of Beauty. Guidebooks, like the ubiquitous Guide Rose or Guide-Indicateur des Maisons de Plaisirs et d’Art de Paris, were essential aids.

 

 
More après le jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
Blood, Sweat, and High Heels: Vintage photos of women boxing in high heels
08.18.2015
09:17 am

Topics:
Feminism
History
Sports

Tags:
high heels
boxing


1920s
 
Occasionally, while searching for photos and images for Dangerous Minds, I will sometimes—often—inadvertently stumble across remarkable images that have absolutely nothing to do with my original search. Like women boxing in high heels! Apparently women boxers can throw blows in the ring like men, except we can ALSO do it in pumps!

Eat their stiletto dust, Floyd Mayweather!


1920s
 

From the 1939-1940 records of the New York Public Library’s digital archives
 

Clara Bow, 1927
 

1920s
 
More after the jump…
 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
DEVO becomes public art, streets of Akron, Ohio are overrun with Booji Boys
08.17.2015
07:04 am

Topics:
Amusing
History
Music

Tags:
DEVO
Jerry Casale
Janet Macoska


 
On Saturday August 15, 2015, Akron Ohio’s finest post-rubber export DEVO were honored in their hometown with the dedication of a piece of public art. The iconic 1978 Janet Macoska photo of the band in full stage uniform in front of the late, lamented hot dog stand Chili Dog Mac was colorized, enlarged to life size, and placed over that onetime landmark’s former facade next to the Akron Civic Theatre. This dedication is the first part of a planned renovation of that entire block, which has become a bit rundown and suffered vacancies despite having an anchor in the popular theater.

The event was a stone hoot. DEVO’s bassist/co-mastermind Jerry Casale and photographer Macoska were present, free chili dogs were available to all assembled, and the event began with a surreal and hilarious stunt, the Running of the Booji Boys. A couple dozen revelers in identical Booji Boy masks and blue jumpsuits danced in the middle of South Main St while a DJ pumped out DEVO music. The masks, not incidentally, are recreations by Akron’s SikRik Masks. DM has told you about them before. (All photos are by Ron Kretsch except where noted.)
 

 

 

 
Much more DEVO after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
Leon Trotsky’s run-down mansion only $4.4 million—FOR THE PEOPLE!
08.06.2015
09:30 am

Topics:
Class War
Heroes
History

Tags:
Istanbul
Leon Trotsky


 
After his exile from the Soviet Union in 1929, Leon Trotsky, having served as the People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs and the People’s Commissar for Army and Navy Affairs from 1917 to 1925 and having generally been the Marxist revolutionary and theorist par excellence, moved to a decidedly un-humble three-story villa located on Büyükada Island near Istanbul.

This week the mansion—which boasts 38,750 square feet and 18 rooms and 5 bathrooms, was put up for sale for the affordable sum of $4.4 million. However, if you’re contemplating running a refurbished luxury hotel called The Trotsky Arms or whatnot, know that the property is protected from such renovations as a historical landmark.

Located in the Sea of Marmara, Büyükada is a popular day-trip destination and is accessible via ferry from the Turkish metropolis. Trotsky arrived there in 1929 after being deported by Joseph Stalin. According to Hürriyet, he lived in the house for four years with his second wife, Natalia, and his grandchild, Sieva. Trotsky eventually moved to Mexico, where he was murdered in 1940.
 

Photo: Selj via Flickr
 
The Hanifi family, which currently owns the house, has requested that the buyer preserve the Trotsky name; they had hoped that the Culture and Tourism Ministry would purchase the house to turn it into a museum.

“It is falling into ruins and needs thorough works,” said Mustafa Farsakoglu, a former mayor of Büyükada. “If the Turkish ministry of culture could give the money, it could be bought, renovated and turned into a cultural centre or museum. ... In any case, it is a classified building and whoever builds it can’t turn it into apartments, or a hotel, or a restaurant.”

According to a real estate agent familiar with the situation, “It’s actually not the first time there has been an attempt to sell this house, but no one wants it. Its owner, who lives in Istanbul, has not carried out the necessary works.”
 

Photo: Pinterest
 

 
via artnet
 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
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