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Because nothing quite goes with tennis like grunge, watch John McEnroe cover Nirvana!
08.28.2015
06:39 am

Topics:
Music
Sports

Tags:
Kurt Cobain
Nirvana
John McEnroe


 
Very little information has been given on this video of famously furious tennis legend John McEnroe covering Nirvana’s “Territorial Pissings,” but it is a strange and wondrous (and oddly appropriate?) sports-music crossover. Basically we know that the footage is from six days ago, and was recorded at The Stephen Talkhouse, a bar in the Hamptons—not very grunge, but can you picture McEnroe in Seattle? We can all be judgmental and shitty about this performance, but it was clearly intended as a fun night out and not some foray into a music career, so let’s just try not to be disturbed that Nirvana is being covered by dads in the Hamptons and let McEnroe have his fun, ok?

The audience apparently featured celebs like Lorne Michaels and Harvey Weinstein, and McEnroe is being backed (quite well, in fact) by his daughter Ava, and his wife Patty Smyth of Scandal. Remember her?!? (Say what you will, “Goodbye to You” is a solid bit of pop brilliance.) I guess the family that plays together, stays together, or… something.
 

 
Via Stereogum

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Brian Eno’s ‘short tribute film to Can’
08.28.2015
06:33 am

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Brian Eno
Can


 
The treasure-trove Can DVD set from 2003 included this one-minute movie, A short tribute film to Can by Brian Eno. It’s only slightly less goofy than the gut-busting 2010 film in which Eno interviewed himself as the long-winded “Dick Flash of Pork Magazine.” At one point, as he evaluates Can’s contributions to the arts with a series of striking antitheses, Eno illustrates the true German spirit by wearing what appears to be a colander on his head.
 

 
After the jump, another treat from Can DVD

Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
Kenny Rogers: Before there was roasted chicken, there was LSD
08.27.2015
10:05 am

Topics:
Drugs
Food
Music

Tags:
Kenny Rogers


 
Although today he’s perhaps better known for being a fast food kingpin than a musician, country hit-maker Kenny Rogers was once actually a rock and roller. Hell, the undisputed successor to Col. Sanders was even a psychedelic rocker there for a brief minute…

The First Edition were formed in 1967, with Rogers (lead vocals and bass), Mickey Jones (drums) and Terry Williams (guitar ). Mike Settle (guitar) and opera singer Thelma Camacho joined later. They were basically a country-folk band, but they did release the classic psychpop single, “Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In).”
 

 
Written by the great Mickey Newbury, “Just Dropped In” featured in-demand session pro Glen Campbell playing the backward guitar intro. The trippy background voices were fed through a rotating Leslie speaker and re-recorded and the song can almost be called “proto-metal” (listen to that boss guitar riff).

Allegedly, Jimi Hendrix told Kenny Rogers that “Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)” was his favorite record. The song was later famously featured in the dream sequence from The Big Lebowski.

Get a load of the amazing promo film!
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Bring me the head of Bob Dylan: Creative and cool looking die cut records
08.27.2015
08:24 am

Topics:
Amusing
Art
Music

Tags:
vinyl art

Bob Dylan Baby Stop Crying die cut record
Bob Dylan “Baby Stop Crying” die cut 7” record
 
Artist Daniel Tolhurst has found yet another creative way to make art out of vinyl - by cutting 7” records in various shapes that best correlate with the musicians who made them or the song on the single. So as the title of this post implies, you can now own a Bob Dylan record that has been shaped to resemble his actual head (pictured above), or a Beastie Boys 7” that has been cut in the likeness of Mike D’s giant VW medallion (pictured below).
 
Beastie Boys Fight for Your Right die cut record
Beastie Boys “(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (to Party!)” die cut 7” record
 
Tolhurst, who is based in the UK, started making his groovy and sometimes amusing record designs in 2013 from vintage singles, so each piece shows a bit of wear from its previous life as an actual record. And much like the DJ’s yore, he also takes requests for custom orders. Prices start at $79 and up based on the design you select. Loads of images from Tolhurst’s store, follow.
 
Led Zeppelin Communication Breakdown die cut record
Led Zeppelin, “Communication Breakdown”
 
The Rolling Stones Brown Sugar die cut record
The Rolling Stones, “Brown Sugar”
 
Buddy Holly Words of Love die cut record
Buddy Holly, “Words of Love”
 
More after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Julian Cope interviewed by a computer on ‘Star Test,’ 1989
08.27.2015
06:22 am

Topics:
Music
Television

Tags:
Julian Cope
Channel 4


 
The title suggests a contest like Star Search, but the UK’s Channel 4 series Star Test was an interview show with a gimmick: a bleeping and whirring computer host. The guest sat alone in a big, white, reverb-y room with stained glass windows and potted plants (a budget version of the room at the end of 2001? a sanitized Cathode Ray Mission from Videodrome?), choosing categories from a touchscreen menu and fielding questions that were more often insipid (“When did you last cut your toenails?”) than inspired. Wendy James of Transvision Vamp, Bernard Sumner of New Order, and Peter Gabriel all sat in this sterile technochapel and took part in its weird ritual.

YouTube user Tony Payne uploaded the Julian Cope episode of Star Test last week. Aired on June 13, 1989, it picks up right where Cope’s autobiography Head-On left off, with Ian McCulloch refuting a fortune-teller’s prediction by living through his 30th birthday that May.
 

 
Cope was then between his late-80s pop confections, Saint Julian and My Nation Underground, and his unpolished early-90s deep skull dives, Skellington and Droolian, which prepared the way for the prophetic Peggy Suicide trilogy. Unhurried, slightly bored, and whip-smart, he dispatches some questions with a few syllables—Hell is “a loop tape of U2,” the person with the most power over him is “me”—and uses others to propel himself to sublime heights most other musicians don’t even know are there:

What’s the best reason for being alive?

Um… just ‘cause it’s such a break, you know? I just think this is the best break that anybody could give anybody, and I kind of, I feel that with all the people who are in such a bad place, a bad position in the world, you know, that I’ve got to be good at being what I am, ‘cause it’s like—as an analogy, say life is like a play or something. I’m standing at the front, somebody’s given me a really good ticket, so it’s my duty to enjoy the play I’m in, because it’s rude of me not to, ‘cause there’s all these people starving around the world. They’re the people who’ve got a really, really bad break, and they’re standing at the back, and they’re all smaller than everybody else, and they can’t see over, so they never even get to see what life is, they never even got to see the start, you know?

People just say, “Work, and you’ve got a chance.” That’s complete garbage; it’s just rudeness. There’s so much rudeness. So much rudeness in our society, as well, which really kind of gets to me. Some people, they just physically can’t get it together, they can’t mentally get it together, you know? I’ll apologize for them if it makes, kind of, people in power feel any better. Sometimes you can’t get out of your room. Sometimes the world just completely bewilders you and does your head in, you know? And going out is the same as being dragged and knocked senseless by a bunch of muggers, and that’s just sometimes they way it is.

~snip

How do you react to criticism?

I really like a good slag-off, ‘cause a good slag-off can really kinda like erupt you inside. And you can be full of crap a lot of the time; you need to have somebody kickin’ around inside you. If there’s no friction in what you do, then there’s no way that you’re gonna get on, you know? The best way to make great art is to have it trivialized by other people as much as possible—that way, you fight, and fight, and fight.

~snip

What is your most wicked fantasy?

My most wicked fantasy? An evil fantasy? Well, if it’s a fantasy, maybe my most evil fantasy is that the white race doesn’t actually belong here, and was put here to mess everybody up, and everything that I do as like a total kind of WASP that I am is gonna destroy the rest of the world with its half-assed evangelical calling. But I don’t even know if that’s a fantasy, see, ‘cause I kind of believe that.

You see, the Drude is dispensing the psychedelic wisdom you need for your life, in a convenient 25-minute TV dose. (The show is half as long as it appears to be—like the Circle Jerks’ Group Sex cassette, it plays through twice in a row.)
 

Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
The MTV music video that’s still giving people nightmares over 30 years later
08.27.2015
06:19 am

Topics:
Music
One-hit wonders

Tags:
Russell Mulcahy
Kim Carnes


 
This post is brought to you by an actual nightmare I had last night.

I’ve been a life-long fan of horror films, indeed my favorite cinematic genre, but rarely, if ever, do they actually scare me. As much as I enjoy fright flicks, they don’t haunt me. I often think its weird when people say that they have nightmares about Jason or Freddy or Michael Myers. To me those guys are famous larger-than-life characters who don’t really relate to the truly frightening things we experience or think about experiencing in real life.

I believe many of our deepest fears are things that were filed away as children. I think this is, perhaps, why Stephen King is such a successful author: he understands that the images that frighten us as kids (like, say, clowns) hold the most power in frightening us as adults. It may have something to do with the way the brain processes and files information, storing it deep down in the folds before the frontal lobe has a chance to fully develop in our mid twenties.

So, while horror villains don’t really haunt my nightmares, there are definitely certain images that do. Case in point, the images I had the misfortune of dreaming about last night. They come from what is perhaps the most frightening music video ever made (or at least it was the most frightening one I had the displeasure of viewing as a kid and having my brain irreparably damaged by.)
 

 
Remember ‘80s one-hit-wonder, Kim “Bette Davis Eyes” Carnes? She had an almost-second-hit which went to number 28 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart titled “Draw Of The Cards.” The video for this song is a fucking nightmare, and I’m not the only person who thinks so.
 

 
The video for “Draw of the Cards” was directed by famed ‘80s music-clip director Russell Mulcahy of MGMM productions. We talked about MGMM here at Dangerous Minds recently in our article about the middle-aged bald guy that appeared in a ridiculous amount of ‘80s music videos. Incidentally, a thorough scanning of “Draw of the Cards” failed to turn up a spotting of the infamous middle-aged bald guy. But that’s not important right now.

What is important is this ghastly dreamscape that Mulcahy has created for a song which was inexplicably released as a single. I say “inexplicably” because the song is devoid of hooks, it’s slow—but not a ballad (or sexy), the bass and synth lines are creepy, and Carnes performance sounds like a failed Rod Stewart attempt at slam poetry. It’s not necessarily that it’s bad (it is), it’s just a bizarre choice for a single release. The only song I can think of that was ever a “hit” with a similar creepy/brooding vibe was Phil Collins’ “In the Air Tonight,” and I’ve always been sort of baffled how that one ever became a hit, let alone a classic rock staple—but, hey, it was the ‘80s and things were kind of weird. Speaking of weird, THIS VIDEO.
 

 
In the opening post-apocalyptic scene, Carnes is surrounded by interpretive dancers in Carnival and harlequin garb, giving the proceedings a bit of a voodoo feel, which is a fine visual representation of what’s happening with the bass and bongo rhythm section of the song.

The action then moves to a location that appears to be a ballroom which might be described as “Buckminster Fuller through a Dr Caligari lens.” In this dreamscape, gravity is selective, and various denizens inexplicably float up into the air—which is rather off-putting. People begin to do zombie-like spastic dances as a witch doctress tarot-reader looks on. In the video’s defense, I will say that few pieces of film (Eraserhead comes to mind) so successfully capture the mis-en-scene and bizarro-logic of the dreamstate (though, thankfully my own dreams are relatively devoid of modern interpretive dance).
 

 
Things take a turn for the worst when Carnes goes through a looking glass and comes out the other side in a freaky back-alley, populated by herky-jerky dancers with contorted faces, some of whom are randomly ON FIRE.
 

 

 
In this ghoulish hellscape, gravity does not apply to saxophone players.
 

 
After the jump, the mutant-populated back-alley scene!

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
Listen to the great ‘lost’ psych-folk of Scott Fagan
08.26.2015
06:57 am

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Scott Fagan


 
The great obscure-but-influential figures of the rock era are pretty much the lifeblood of Dangerous Minds’ music coverage, but this one tilts way more towards the obscure than the influential. Scott Fagan is one of those amazing, unjustly lost figures in rock history—a man who made brilliant work that unaccountably disappeared, though it had every chance at widespread attention. He doesn’t even have a Wikipedia page.

Born to a New York saxophonist father and dancer mother in 1945, Fagan was raised by his mother in an arts colony in St. Thomas, and he often made for the mainland to join his father on tour. In the mid ‘60s he began gigging with rock bands, and on a trip to New York, Fagan landed a successful audition with the legendary songwriter Doc Pomus, with whom he’d write “I’m Gonna Cry Til My Tears Run Dry,” which would be performed by Linda Ronstadt, among others. Within a month, Fagan was signed to Columbia Records and writing with another legendary credit, Burt Burns. That didn’t last, but he’d soon enough be courted by Apple Records as their first non-Beatle artist (didn’t happen, obviously), and he’d end up with the Atlantic subsidiary ATCO, who in 1968 released his legendary lost solo debut, South Atlantic Blues.

South Atlantic Blues was an eccentric, genre jumping pop/psych/folk masterpiece that, much like Skip Spence’s now-revered Oar, sank like a cinderblock. It wound up being one of those albums that was basically worshiped by everyone who’d heard it, but “everyone who’d heard it” wasn’t a big enough number to register anywhere. Who knows why, and it’s not like that doesn’t happen ALL THE TIME; the dollar bins of the world still harbor undiscovered gems. But given Fagan’s connections to Pomus, Burns, and FREAKIN’ BEATLES, why this of all albums died is baffling. Not that an album this idiosyncratic was ever going to make a huge rock star out of anyone, but Fagan barely even has a cult. It compares more than favorably to Donovan or any of the genre’s other well-known touchstones, and Fagan’s distinctive singing voice lived in an unexpected intersection of Scott Walker and David Bowie. The LP did get a second chance at life—not as a musical release, but as an objet d’art. In 1969, the very, very famous pop artist Jasper Johns made a series of ink drawings and lithographs titled “Scott Fagan Record” which depicted side one of South Atlantic Blues. This incredible honor came too late to save the record from deletion—in fact, Johns found his copy in a cut-out bin. As the print is in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and MoMA, a drawing of the album has become easier to engage with as an artwork than the album itself.
 

 

 
Fagan’s life post-SAB remains fascinating. He penned a rock musical called Soon which was staged on Broadway in 1971. Despite an excellent critical reception and performances by Richard Gere, Barry Bostwick, Nell Carter, and Peter Allen, it closed after three performances, and its scathingly brutal portrayal of the music industry made a pariah of Fagan for a few years—his second LP wouldn’t come out until 1975, but Many Sunny Places (featuring two tracks from Soon) wouldn’t fare much better than his debut. The best description I’ve found of Soon was printed in a Shindig article:

…an ill-fated satirical Broadway rock musical, Soon, co-written with friend Joe Kookoolis and based on their grim experiences in The Biz, with all its hypocrisy and evil money-making machinations. The original cast featured Scott himself in the lead, and also a young Richard Gere, and rave reviews ensued, though various pressures then conspired and the play closed—or was closed—shortly after its launch. Little of the music was ever recorded (though, bizarrely, a muzak version of the title song ended up serenading Scott one night as his did his late-night supermarket shop!), and Kookoolis was so broken by the experience he never wrote again and died in Santa Monica in ‘78! Various fragments and live recordings of the show exist and what Fagan describes as its “90-minute long song story, intricately woven and lovingly constructed” may yet still see the light of day in some shape or form this side of never.

 

 
Another potential road out of obscurity came in 2000, when it was revealed that Fagan was the father of that near deity of super-literate depresso-rock, Magnetic Fields/Gothic Archies/Future Bible Heroes honcho Stephin Merritt. The two never met until 2013, and Fagan planned an LP of covers of his son’s songs, a project which was apparently kiboshed when its Kickstarter campaign fell painfully short, despite a contribution from Jasper Johns.

Fagan still lives and performs in the Virgin Islands, and after very nearly five decades, South Atlantic Blues is finally seeing its first ever reissue in November. The vinyl will be issued in a hand-numbered edition with a reproduction of the Johns litho as cover art, and the CD will include with extensive notes, photos, and a bonus disc of demos and singles. The issuing label, Saint Cecilia Knows, was kind enough to allow DM to share with you the remastered lead-off track, “In My Head.”
 

 
A clip, shot for Famous in NY, of Fagan discussing Soon awaits you, after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
Only assholes don’t like The B-52s (Part 2)
08.25.2015
11:54 am

Topics:
Music

Tags:
B-52s


 
As promised last month before my long vacation, here’s a second chunk of utterly delightful B-52s multi-media for your listening, viewing and frooging pleasure. This selection covers songs from their second album, 1980’s Wild Planet, which picks up right where their debut left off with more tales of parties going off the rails, trips to Venus, speed demons, “dirty back roads,” and private Idahos.

Part 1 of “Only Assholes Don’t Like the B-52s” is here.

“Private Idaho”—“Get out of the state, out of the state you’re in!”
 

 
More B-52s after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Orchestral version of Motörhead’s ‘Ace of Spades’ will blow your mind
08.25.2015
10:51 am

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Motörhead
mashup

Motörhead circa 1980
Motörhead, 1980
 
A super Motörhead fan by the name of Andy Rehfeldt came up with the positively brilliant idea to align Lemmy’s vocals from “Ace of Spades” with a full-on orchestra backing him up.

I know you may be skeptical but TRUST ME, this heavy metal mashup of sorts works on every level. A few headbanging gamers chimed in on the comments section of the video saying that the orchestra sounds similar to the music that accompanies various “boss battles” in the series of crossover action role-playing games, Kingdom Hearts. Which after some quick research, I do agree with. All Rehfeldt wants in return for his incredible contribution to all things Motörhead is for someone to buy him a beer or maybe donate a dollar via his PayPal so he can continue to “make music.” Seems like a small price to pay for such an epic take on one of the greatests two-plus minute jams of all time.

With a nod to the great Nigel Tufnel, turn this one up to eleven.
 

Orchestral version of “Ace of Spades”

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
‘Who Do You Want Me To Be?’: New documentary shines light on the many faces of Michael Des Barres
08.25.2015
06:33 am

Topics:
Movies
Music

Tags:
documentary
Michael Des Barres

Who Do You Want Me To Be?
 
Musician/actor Michael Des Barres has worn many hats over his decades-long career. As a vocalist, he’s fronted such acts as the Power Station, filling in for the departed Robert Palmer on their lone US tour (with a high profile appearance at Live Aid), and the highly underrated Silverhead, one of the finest groups of the glam rock era. He’s also released a handful of solo albums, including Somebody Up There Likes Me, a neglected LP that deserved better. His biggest success (in the form of royalties) has been as songwriter, having co-penned “Obsession,” a worldwide hit for ‘80s synth-pop act Animotion. In addition, he’s a talented character actor, most known for his recurring role as TV villain Murdoc on Macgyver. His versatility is acknowledged in the title of the fabulous documentary, Michael Des Barres: Who Do You Want Me To Be?, which is currently making the film festival rounds. Dangerous Minds got in touch with the director of the documentary, J. Elvis Weinstein, and asked him some questions via email.

How did you come to know Michael’s work?:

Weinstein: The first time I came to know Michael as a musician was when he joined the Power Station, but I recognized him from TV roles at the time. I was a TV junkie as a kid. He lived in my head as a trivia question for many years. I’d always notice him in TV and movie roles.
 
The many faces of Murdoch
The many faces of Murdoc.

How and when did you approach Michael about making a documentary about him? Was he open to the idea or did it take some convincing?:

Weinstein: We met several years ago working on a TV series, me a as writer/producer, he as a cast member. We spoke about writing a book and even did some interviews at the time, but it never materialized. Then a few years ago, we ended up guests on the same radio show and I mentioned we should have done a documentary instead of a book. There was instant agreement; we were shooting within three weeks.

What drove you to make the documentary?:

Weinstein: I knew that there was a great story to be told and that there were things I could learn for myself from telling it.

Michael appears open and frank during the interview segments in the film. Were you surprised by anything he told you? One of the things I learned from watching the film is that Silverhead was really Michael’s project and the other members were hired guns—I never knew!:

Weinstein: Michael was very generous in his willingness to examine and re-examine his life as honestly as possible through this process. I think he realized very early on that I wasn’t striving for a sensationalistic telling of the story but rather a very human one. 

As for surprises, I don’t have any specific ones that jump out. While Silverhead were hired musicians, they quickly became a very collaborative and tightly-knit band. Michael was very much the leader but the sound evolved from the players.
 
Continues after the jump…

Posted by Bart Bealmear | Leave a comment
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