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Bizarre Willie Nelson pubic hair ‘tattoo’ and other things THAT YOU CANNOT UNSEE
06.27.2017
12:48 pm
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Willie Nelson

I’m not sure of the provenance of few of these images. The artist’s name is clearly signed on one image (good ol’ Willie), but otherwise I came up empty-handed. Even a reverse Google image search led me nowhere. Are some of these from an old Playboy spread celebrating pubic hair? I simply don’t know.

What I am pretty certain of though is that a few of these are definitely not tattoos but body paintings incorporating the nether region hair. Every website I go to says they’re tattoos, but I’m not buying it. That being said, the bird’s nest and Willie Nelson coiff are quite creative. Next up? Kenny Rogers. I demand to see that.


 

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Tara McGinley
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06.27.2017
12:48 pm
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Public Enemy’s sign language interpreter is pretty badass!
06.26.2017
12:41 pm
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Sign Language Interpreter during Public Enemy performance

 
Even though this video was shot back in 2014, it’s making the rounds again today because of reddit and imgur. The imgur video doesn’t have sound. I was able to track down the original video on YouTube with sound so you can get a better feel for what’s going on and hear the actual lyrics she’s interpreting.

The footage is from the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. The sign language interpreter’s name is Holly Maniatty and, well, she obviously rocks! 

 
via Boing Boing

Posted by Tara McGinley
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06.26.2017
12:41 pm
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Uhhhhh, WHAT? Lydia Lunch covers Bon Jovi
06.23.2017
01:54 pm
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For the last few years, venerable no-wave provocateur Lydia Lunch has been collaborating with guitarist Cypress Grove, releasing in 2014 a split album with Spiritual Front called Twin Horses and a full LP called A Fistful of Desert Blues. The latter title is aptly descriptive of the moods evoked by Grove’s guitar playing—he initially gained notice as a collaborator with The Gun Club’s Jeffrey Lee Pierce, and the sounds he wrests from his guitar can recall the barrenness of Ry Cooder’s Paris, Texas soundtrack, or the lush menace of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. And Grove has in fact worked with Cave.

The duo’s new release is Under the Covers, which you’ve surely already guessed is a covers album because evidently when you make one of those you’re required to give it a title that telegraphs its content with a pun. The track list is…amusing. It includes versions of Cracker’s “Low,” Tom Petty’s “Breakdown,” Bobbie Gentry’s “Ode To Billie Joe,” and Bon Jovi’s “Blaze of Glory,” a terrible song written for the pointless movie Young Guns II, which nonetheless became a huge hit because America’s love affair with quality is motherfucking unstoppable.

In contrast with her legendary rep as the often frightening and often tuneless screamer who announced her existence to the world chanting “LITTLE ORPHANS RUNNING THROUGH THE BLOODY SNOW,” Lunch’s Bon Jovi cover is a fairly reverent take (though it should go without saying it’s infinitely more listenable). But that shouldn’t really come as a surprise if you know her career—she’s done a fair few covers that would seem out of character. On her very first solo album, Queen of Siam, she did a straight cover of Classics IV’s “Spooky.”
 
Continues after the jump…

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Posted by Ron Kretsch
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06.23.2017
01:54 pm
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Todd Bridges and the ‘Whatchu Talking ‘Bout Willis Experience’ cover the ‘Diff’rent Strokes’ theme
06.23.2017
12:52 pm
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The actor Todd Bridges, best known for the role of Willis Jackson on Diff’rent Strokes, which he inhabited between the ages of 13 through 21, has precisely one credit on Discogs, the exhaustive music recording resource that you’ve probably already consulted five times this week, if not many more times than that. It’s a fascinating one, and actually, his performance pretty much puts the question of why he doesn’t have more music credits in his CV to rest.

In 1997, in the middle of a big era for hastily assembled CD compilations, Which? Records put out an amusing comp called Show & Tell: A Stormy Remembrance of TV Theme Songs, which exploited the marketable idea of having a bunch of punk and thrash bands do covers of famous TV theme songs. The Meatmen contributed two tracks, “Green Acres” and “Mission: Impossible,” Murphy’s Law did the theme to “Zoom” (with DM’s own Howie Pyro on backing vocals), and the Dickies recorded a cover of “Secret Agent Man.” It’s fun stuff—really, how could it go wrong?

The attention-getting bit of business—enough to merit special mention on the album cover, done up to vaguely resemble a copy of TV Guide—was Todd Bridges singing lead vocal on a thrashy cover of the theme song from the show he will never not be associated with. The full credit runs Todd Bridges and the Whatchu Talking ‘Bout Willis Experience cover “Diff’rent Strokes”—the familiar, perky ditty that was co-written by none other than Alan Thicke. 
 

 
Not surprisingly, there was no such thing as the Whatchu Talking ‘Bout Willis Experience, other than that record. The bassist, John Jesse, and the guitarist, Roy Mayorga, at that time were members of a band called Thorn but were rather better known for their work in the influential crust punk band Nausea. Weirdly, Mayorga is credited as playing guitar on this song but is really a drummer.

The rendition lasts a cool 50 seconds, and Bridges….... well, let’s just say holding a tune is not a big part of Bridges’ skill set.

The October 1998 issue of Vibe featured a Q&A with Gary Coleman, Bridges’ diminutive co-star on the TV show, and writer Peter Relic asked Coleman about Bridges’ recent turn as a singer:
 

Vibe: Have you been to a gig of Todd Bridges’ punk band, the Whatchu Talking ‘Bout Willis Experience?

Coleman: You’re kidding! Todd didn’t tell me about that.

Continues after the jump…

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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06.23.2017
12:52 pm
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‘Morrissey Rides a Cockhorse’: The Warlock Pinchers hate Moz, but love them some Satan


 
I first discovered the Warlock Pinchers while working at a record store in East LA. Buried among the piles of LPs that circulated through the store daily was what I personally consider to be one of my most treasured “finds”: the delightfully titled record, Morrissey Rides a Cockhorse. Nowadays, the lack of impulse record shopping doesn’t allow for much discoverability. I’m guilty of it, too—it’s much too easy to see an album that looks kinda cool staring back at you from the bin, but then to preview it online before you would consider buying. I guess that’s what happens as the $$$ sticker-shock for rarer records sets in. Needless to say, when someone wanted to sell off their copy of Morrissey Rides a Cockhorse, I have no choice but to blindly take the dive.
 

 
The Warlock Pinchers sound like a blend of Big Black, Butthole Surfers, and the Beastie Boys; all presented in a fury of adolescent shenanigans. The punk hip-hop pranksters and self-proclaimed “Official Sound of Satan” were the kind of people who enjoyed pissing off their fans—and if you weren’t a fan, then “fuck you!”
 

 
Sharing a record label with the Melvins, opening for the likes of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and once having had their record reviewed by Damon Albarn for NME, sadly the band did not pick up much steam outside of their hometown of Denver, Colorado. If anything, their alleged commitment to the devil was the one thing that helped give them some form of notoriety outside of their local scene, as if spraying flames around small clubs and giving their audiences muffins and pancakes wasn’t quite enough.
 

Blur reviews Warlock Pinchers at the NME office, 1991

Fire by Nite was a Christian youth variety program that operated out of Tulsa, Oklahoma in the late eighties. By presenting in a context of “relatable” youth material, the show oftentimes tackled highly controversial subjects that have plagued (or improved) the lives of many young Christians, namely drugs, sex, and the devil. “Satanism Unmasked” was a multi-part special that saw the “real-life” testimonies of self-confessed former Satanists like Mike Warnke (later disputed as a fraud) and Lauren Stratford (ditto), and hosted a bizarre conversation with convicted murderer, Sean Sellers. Slayer is spoken about briefly, but they are quickly dethroned as a bunch of charlatans; using the devil for their own shock-value appeal.

The highlight is the exposé of Warlock Pinchers, who dismiss Jesus as the real source of evil, in favor of Satan, “the good guy.”

Much more after the jump…

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Posted by Bennett Kogon
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06.23.2017
12:39 pm
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‘Metal Man Has Won His Wings’: Captain Beefheart and Frank Zappa’s early ‘60s R&B band, the Soots
06.23.2017
06:04 am
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Zappa at the door to Studio Z in Cucamonga

Briefly, during 1963 and 1964, Captain Beefheart and Frank Zappa were in a proto-Magic Band called the Soots, and among the numbers they recorded at Studio Z in Cucamonga was “Metal Man Has Won His Wings.” It isn’t the first recording the pair made together (that’s the my-baby-flushed-me-down-the-toilet epic “Lost in a Whirlpool,” recorded at Antelope Valley Junior College in the late ‘50s), but it’s the first instance of the Frank Zappa blues adventure style that crystallized in later classics like “Why Don’t You Do Me Right,” “Trouble Every Day” and “Willie the Pimp.”

The Magic Band’s John “Drumbo” French identifies the song as a breakthrough in his massive study Beefheart: Through the Eyes of Magic:

In Metal Man Has Won His Wings the music immediately bursts forth, a music surprisingly reminiscent of the early Magic Band. Zappa was obviously making headway in his production attempts. The young Vliet’s repetitive Wolf-esque ramblings are buried in the mix. The song is brought to a halt with a typical blues kick - something Zappa may have learned while playing at Tommy Sands’ club.

“Metal Man Has Won His Wings” (misheard by bootleggers for years as “Metal Man Has Hornet’s Wings”) first surfaced on Mystery Disc. Zappa’s liner notes shed light on how the track’s vocals came to be “buried in the mix”: Beefheart used an unorthodox recording technique, one that reminds me of his later refusal to wear headphones while overdubbing his parts on Trout Mask Replica.

In our spare time we made what we thought were ‘rock & roll records.’ In this example, Vliet was ‘singing’ in the hallway outside the studio (our vocal booth) while the band played in the other room.

The lyrics were derived from a comic book pinned to a bulletin board near the door.

 

On the road, 1975 (via beefheart.com)
 
Zappa scholar Biffy the Elephant Shrew has identified the comic book as issue #7 of the DC title Metal Men. Beefheart took part of the song’s title and “wheet! wheet!” from an ad in that number promoting the new book Hawkman:

HAWKMAN HAS “WON HIS WINGS”... AND FROM NOW ON HIS FAMOUS “WHEET! WHEET!” BATTLE CRY WILL APPEAR IN HIS OWN MAGAZINE!

More after the jump…

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Posted by Oliver Hall
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06.23.2017
06:04 am
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Wild things: Were the Troggs the very first punk band?
06.22.2017
10:26 am
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Quick! Who was the first punk band? The Sex Pistols? The Ramones? The MC5? The Stooges? Suicide? That’s a parlor game lovers of rock music can play for hours and hours—or disdain entirely as irrelevant, if that’s your bent.

No matter where you stand on the issue, it might interest you to know that in December 1972, before three of those bands had so much as released a note of recorded music, the New Musical Express in England had its own idea of who the first punk was, and the answer—as well as the question itself—might surprise you.
 

Mild things?
 
Their proposition was that it was the Troggs. You know, the band that did “Wild Thing.” The Troggs were headed by Reg Presley, and by 1972 the group was truly struggling in an era dominated by funk, prog, and glam. Well, we’ll get to that.

The article, by Pete Phillips, highlighted an uptick in Troggs interest in the U.S. and posed the question why that was not happening in the U.K. as well. The article kicks off with an explicit frame of the Troggs as a much-needed antidote to the up-and-coming impulse of glam rock—er, “the Bowie-Bolan syndrome”—which is defined by “glitter, eye-shadow and platform heels.” It’s interesting that punk is so strongly identified as a conservative impulse, a “basic” reaction to the “fancy” stylings of the glam movement. When the real punk movement hit in the mid- to late 1970s, it was often placed in opposition to (a) overblown studio-oriented rock like the Eagles, and (b) disco. The Troggs were self-consciously presented as Neanderthals, a thudding, crude—and catchy—rebuke to fancy music of any stripe.

What’s fascinating about Phillips’ article is that anyone would have been asking the question in the first place—it implies an active debate on the question. What’s clear is that the term punk was of quite recent vintage. In March 1970 the Chicago Tribune quoted main Fug Ed Sanders to the effect that his solo album was “punk rock—redneck sentimentality”—this is widely regarded as the first use of the phrase. Such references are scattered all over the early 1970s. Suicide advertising a November 1970 gig with the phrase “punk music,” Lester Bangs calling Iggy Pop a punk, Lenny Kaye describing what we would today simply call garage rock bands as “classic garage-punk.” For Christ’s sake, Ellen Willis was using the term in the pages of The New Yorker. It was a thing, and everybody had a different take on what “punk music” was and what it meant. It was, in short, a moniker looking for a movement. A certain kind of music fan was looking for something, but didn’t quite know what it was.

Kaye’s “garage” association is clarifying here. Later years, with the addition of politics, safety pins, and breakneck (i.e. sloppy) guitar work, would render the designation of the Troggs as the world’s first punk band just a bit absurd, but they clearly did have a fuzzy, loud sound and they did have some hits. Phillips describes the Troggs as “that nasty, lumpy group with the parted thighs and the loud, dirty music.” It’s worth reading the item in full, which you can below.

I’ll never have as good a chance to tell this story, so here it goes: In the early 1990s I was living in Vienna and I DJ’d an event, a birthday party for a prominent Austrian journalist. I didn’t have many LPs at my disposal and what I had was mainly classic rock, but I did the best I could. As the hours passed and the revelers danced (and got drunker), eventually I heard this highly inebriated male voice bellowing “DIE TROGGS!! SPIEL DIE TROGGS!!” at me. I looked down from the booth and who should it be but the leader of Austria’s Green Party, the equivalent to Jill Stein, if you will, desperately wanting me to put on some Troggs—which I didn’t have with me. I guess the Greens are used to setbacks, huh. 

I can’t think of the Troggs without remembering that moment.

Here’s the article, you can enlarge it for easier reading:

 
More Troggs after the jump…

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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06.22.2017
10:26 am
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Adam Ant, John Cale, Ad-Rock and others guest star on ‘80s crime drama ‘The Equalizer’


Edward Woodward and Adam Ant on the cover of Ant News Today, 1985
 
The Equalizer was a crime drama starring Edward Woodward (The Wicker Man‘s Sgt. Howie) as Robert McCall, a secret agent turned private detective. Like the contemporary Miami Vice, The Equalizer brought in guest-star musicians to play the sinister jerks peopling its slough of rank criminality.

Also like Miami Vice, it was considered racy. Comparing the two series’ depiction of “raw, sometimes shocking underworld grit,” the LA Times reported in October 1985 that “several advertisers pulled their sponsorship of the [recent Equalizer] episode titled ‘The Lock Box,’ which starred Adam Ant as a purveyor of bizarre and forbidden sex.”

Many full episodes of this morally corrosive, sexually perverting entertainment are now playing on the world wide internet, and collected here are the ones with famous rockers. Beastie Boy Adam Horovitz (not yet 20!) plays the title role in “Mama’s Boy,” in which he gets mixed up with such drug dealers as Alex Winter’s Jeffrey. John Cale of the Velvet Underground wears his Songs for Drella ‘do in the role of “Aryan Leader” in “Race Traitors.” David Johansen of New York Dolls and Buster Poindexter fame and Stewart Copeland of the Police (writer of the series’ theme song) appear in “Re-Entry.” Though I haven’t watched Meat Loaf’s performance as Sugar Fly Simon in “Bump and Run,” I’m sure it’s some of his best work. And Adam Ant forces nice young women into prostitution in “The Lock Box.” (I haven’t been able to find the Quentin Crisp or John Cameron Mitchell episodes, but they must be on the DVD set.)

After the jump, watch John Cale’s, ah, “understated” performance as a neo-Nazi in the episode “Race Traitors”...

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Posted by Oliver Hall
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06.22.2017
10:04 am
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The boys will not be back in town: Rock gods Thin Lizzy blast off in their 1983 farewell tour
06.21.2017
12:04 pm
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003phillyn.jpg
 
The best of Thin Lizzy begins and ends with Phil Lynott—the band’s legendary, afro-headed, black/Irish lead singer and chief songwriter. Lynott had the swagger and charm of a dandified highway bandit. His devil-may-care attitude was there in the band’s first hit single, a cover of “Whiskey in the Jar” the fitting tale of an Irish country lad who robs the English Captain Farrell, then foolishly gives his loot away to his love, who betrays him. Sure, there were great musicians and producers along the way like Gary Moore, Scott Gorham, Brian Downey, Brian Roberston, and Tony Visconti, but the heart and soul of Thin Lizzy was always Lynott.

For a time, he was happy enough to play along as this romantic, twinkle-eyed hoodlum. It was part of the band’s appeal and success. But success tends to trap and limit talent from ever progressing beyond a popular incarnation. This was true for Thin Lizzy who found incredible success in the seventies only to discover the nature of their hard partying, hard rockin’ image hemmed them in from developing creatively.

I suppose this dilemma is best summed up in the lyrics of one of their classic songs “Jailbreak” which leads to the question that unravels the whole facade:

Tonight there’s gonna be a jailbreak / Somewhere in the town…

A jailbreak? Really? Somewhere in this town? Have you thought it might just be at the jail, Phil? That big building with all the bars in the windows and prisoners inside? No? Just a thought. Most jailbreaks tend to happen, or originate from, jails right?
 
00phillynlive.jpg
 
This is not to say Lynott was some kind fossilized relic. He was a complex, smart, and self-aware man. He also had diverse musical tastes. He was a keen and early supporter of punk. He formed an offshoot band The Greedies that covered Sex Pistols songs and later featured Steve Jones and Paul Cook. He also enthused about New Wave, electronica, and even the New Romantics and was a regular at the famed Blitz club. But musically, most Lizzy fans wanted the same greatest hits over and over again—and as these were the people buying the records and concert tickets, Lynott and co. had to play the tune(s).

If you played along with Phil and co., then I, like millions of others would tell you Thin Lizzy was easily the best feel good band in the world. But if you didn’t, then you’d probably think that they were okay but sometimes they didn’t quite hit the mark and almost moved into caricature. But that was not always a bad thing as their greatest songs “Jailbreak” and “The Boys Are Back In Town” prove.
 
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Thin Lizzy: Manchester Apollo 1983. Photo by Harry Potts.
 
By the 1980s, Thin Lizzy was coming unstuck. Lynott was on heroin which was fucking him and the band up as was seen during their Japan tour when they had severe difficulties in scoring smack.
Watch Thin Lizzy in concert, after the jump…

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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06.21.2017
12:04 pm
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Teen idol Shaun Cassidy goes new wave, covers Bowie and Talking Heads on Todd Rundgren-produced LP
06.21.2017
09:42 am
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Shaun Cassidy
 
In 1977, after launching his career a year earlier, Shaun Cassidy struck pop music gold with his fluffy cover of the girl group classic, “Da Doo Ron Ron.”. Cassidy’s version went to #1 in the U.S. and his self-titled album sold over three million copies worldwide. Around the same time, the new TV series he was co-starring in, The Hardy Boys premiered, and that too became a hit. Suddenly, Cassidy was a bona fide teen idol, just like his older half-brother David Cassidy who was a massive teen idol before him.
 
Da Doo Ron Ron
 
But fame is often fleeting, and by the late ‘70s, Cassidy was already on his way out. In a bold move, he recruited the art rock wizard Todd Rundgren to produce his sixth album. “I’ve admired Todd’s work for a long time,” Cassidy said in 1980. “I’ve always wanted to record some of his songs. There was really no second choice for me as far as who I was going to work with.” The result of this unlikely collaboration was the LP, Wasp.
 
Wasp
 
Cassidy did indeed record a handful of Rundgren originals for the LP, but he also teamed with his producer on selecting tunes to reinterpret. The pair came up with an interesting assortment of songs to take on, including established hits by David Bowie, the Four Tops, the Animals, and Ian Hunter, along with album-only cuts from the Who and the Talking Heads. Cassidy was backed by Rundgren and his band, Utopia.
 
Utopia
Utopia in 1980.

On paper, this seems like a bizarre collaboration—with Cassidy playing the role of pop star in over his head—but it resulted in a surprisingly good, entertaining record. If nothing else, Wasp sure is weird! Of the originals, the title track is a highlight, due to its sheer strangeness. Over an electro backing, Cassidy spits out Rundgren’s peculiar lyrics in an aggressive, rap-like manner. “Pretending,” meanwhile, is a complete about-face—a ballad that possesses some emotional power thanks to Cassidy’s passionate delivery. “The Book I Read,” a deep pull from Talking Heads: 77, features Cassidy’s most crooner-ish vocal, recalling the great Scott Walker (who was also once a teen phenomenon). The faithful, power pop version of the Who’s “So Sad About Us” is the album’s most lively number, and Cassidy really gives it his all for the closer, an offbeat rendering of Ian Hunter’s “Once Bitten, Twice Shy.” But the cover of Bowie’s “Rebel Rebel,” the LP opener and lead single, is the high point of Wasp. Utopia’s new wave backing—complete with a cool synth line and video game-like sound effects—flirts with disco, as Cassidy sings in a lower register, echoed by an odd, munchkin-sounding vocal. Later on, lyrics from the Crystals’ “He’s a Rebel” are incorporated—a genius move, as it has the “rebel” theme and recalls “Da Doo Ron Ron,” also originally recorded by the Crystals. As he does throughout Wasp, Cassidy sounds totally committed here, experimenting with his voice, at times pushing it to the breaking point.
 
Rebel Rebel
 
Who would’ve thought that remaking Shaun Cassidy as a cutting edge new wave artist was even possible? In a sense, it wasn’t…

Continues after the jump…

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Posted by Bart Bealmear
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06.21.2017
09:42 am
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