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Big hair and lipgloss: Unsung girl groups of the 70s and 80s
02:27 pm

Pop Culture

girl bands

Many are called. Most end up in the bargain bin of the local thrift store. For all the great bands like Fanny, The Slits, L-7, The Go-Gos, The Bangles, and so on, there are several dozen—nay, several hundred—who score one hit (or fewer) and then disappear before the ink’s dried on their record contracts.

Then there are bands like these—who manage the record deal, have the hit single and even go on to produce a handful of albums—sometimes well received albums.

These are the sometimes forgotten girl bands of the 1970s-1980s who may have looked like they took their style from a lycra catalog but actually had greater success and in some instances a greater influence on other bands than is recognized….or should I say, admitted.

For example, the Love Machine (above) were originally dancers on the Benny Hill Show and not to be ocnfused with the Italian Love Machine. The Love Machine were one-hit wonders like that other notorious dance group Hot Gossip—who had a major hit with “Starship Trooper.”
Phantom Blue—Heavy Metal band who released four albums between 1986-1997.
The Orchids were a rock/pop/New Wave formed and managed by Kim Fowley—they never quite managed the heights of The Runaways.
Cice-Mace—a Serbian disco-pop band produced by synth pioneer Miha Kralj.
More forgotten girl groups, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Kraftwerk, Throbbing Gristle, Beefheart, The Residents, Sun Ra & more as ‘South Park’ characters
10:10 am


Brian Eno
Sun Ra
South Park

The Residents
If you like your music adventurous, you’ll probably get a huge kick out of Noise Park, a Tumblr that features South Park versions of many avant-garde, experimental, and generally out-there musicians. Whoever is making these charmingly made the decision to follow his or her own esoteric musical tastes, which is a nice way of saying that a good many of the subjects are a bit obscure (Blevin Blectum, Moth Cock, Rotten Milk, etc.), which has the effect of turning it all into an inside inside joke of sorts.

But a lot of the subjects are quite well-known, covering the more cerebral end of the musical spectrum (Kraftwerk, Beefheart, Residents). I spent a fair amount of time trying to come up with a plausibly minimalist South Park episode plot involving Terry Riley, but I failed. Then I switched to Throbbing Gristle and my brain exploded.

Some of the images on the blog are actually reworkings of The Wire magazine covers, which is a good indication of where the tastes run.

Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band

Brian Eno
Lots more after the jump…...

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Meet ‘The Fred Banana Combo’ Germany’s first new wave punks
08:56 am


new wave
The Fred Banana Combo

While the name of Düsseldorf band The Fred Banana Combo might sound more like something you’d come across in a bargain bin at your local record shop, don’t let their amusing moniker fool you as it appears the somewhat obscure band was responsible for releasing what has often been classified as “the very first independent punk/new wave single” to come out in Germany in 1978. The single contained two hot tracks, “No Destination Blues” and the in-your-face “Jerk off All Night Long.”

The band were one of many that played legendary Düsseldorf punk club the Ratinger Hof in the 80s, which also served as a rehearsal place for the band. The Ratinger Hof was a mecca for up and coming punk bands, many who gained a foothold thanks to the The Hof’s fertile breeding ground. Discovered by Krautrock king Conny Plank (who would produce the band’s first four records) Fred Banana’s sound, much like Plank’s, is rather unique. Purely punk at times FBC enjoyed infusing their sound up with new wave and power pop with most of their jams punching out in less than three minutes. The band’s first full-length album, 1981’s FBC was fast, loud and rowdy and when combined all eighteen tracks on the record clock in at just over 30 minutes. Like a lot of bands trying to cut their teeth FBC was fond of doing covers and have recorded a few great ones including Leonard Cohen’s “Bird on a Wire” and “Runaway” by Del Shannon. Both songs feature the fantastic vocals of FBC’s Nicolle Meyer—formerly the muse of influential French photographer and Man Ray protégé Guy Bourdin. The multi-talented Ms. Meyer also doubled as the timekeeper for FBC.

FBC were no more by the late 80s only to return with their original lineup in 2015 and a new record containing eleven fresh songs. One of them, the devastatingly cool “Splinters”  features the guest vocals of Sara Jay of Massive Attack fame. The Best of The Old Shit and The New Shit also contains twenty tracks from the band’s back catalog as well as a DVD featuring FBC appearances on Rockpalast. I’ve included two FBC live performances from 1980, their excellent cover of “Bird on a Wire,” plus the original song “I Don’t Know,” as well as “No Destination Blues” and “Splinters” for you to listen to below. I would have posted the masterfully weird “Jerk Off All Night Long” but it came along with lots of photos of topless ladies which while they pair perfectly with the songs title, was a little too visually stimulating to post here on a family publication like DM. You can “listen” to it here whenever you’re needing some alone time.

Much more after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Black Flag: Scorching multi-camera pro-shot concert, live in San Francisco, 1984
03:29 pm


Black Flag

Here’s an outstanding specimen of Black Flag as a galvanizing live act. This was one of Black Flag’s strongest lineups, Greg/Henry/Kira and Descendents stalwart Bill Stevenson on the drums.

This was recorded on August 26, 1984, at the Stone in San Francisco for the explicit purpose of making an official SST live album and video. The album came out—its title was Live ‘84—but the VHS release never happened. The Jettisoundz VHS release known simply as Black Flag is not the same show, that set was recorded in Bradford in the UK a few months earlier.

Black Flag start the show with an 8-minute-plus version of “The Process Of Weeding Out” that (even though it sounds good) had me in the mind of making a Spinal Tap “jazz odyssey” joke, but wouldn’t you know, the next three songs are “Nervous Breakdown,” “I Can’t Decide,” and “Slip It In” and the unmistakable Black Flag fury is fully present and accounted for. Kira is in excellent form during this entire set.

The Process Of Weeding Out
Nervous Breakdown
I Can’t Decide
Slip It in
My Ghetto
Black Coffee
I Won’t Stick Any of You Unless and Until I Can Stick All of You!
Forever Time
Six Pack
My War
Jealous Again
I Love You
Swinging Man
Three Nights
Nothing Left Inside
Fix Me
Wound up
Rats Eyes
The Bars



Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
‘Alice Cooper’s Alcohol Cookbook’: The band’s favorite drink recipes as told to CREEM, 1973
09:38 am


Alice Cooper

via Alice Cooper eChive
“PUT DOWN those needles and quaaludes, kiddo, and pick up the jug!” So CREEM urged juvenile readers in its June 1973 cover story “Alice Cooper’s Alcohol Cookbook and Timetable for World Conquest.” Today, with our nation blighted by opiate and meth abuse, and our citizens poor in cash but rich in reasons for seeking oblivion, we have to ask: did CREEM have the right prescription?

It wasn’t the best advice to give the nation’s teens; after all, liquor is one of those drugs that can cause people to drop dead, or otherwise fuck up their lives beyond repair. It might even be worse than heroin and crack. (And me with a cupboard full of sauce, but nary a grain of H or C!)

But, you know. What am I, your doctor? I don’t know how anyone reads the morning news without a stiff belt of something or other. Besides, nobody ever looked to America’s most bibulous band for health tips. By ‘73, the late, great Glen Buxton, who contributed four recipes to this cookbook, had already been hospitalized for pancreatitis and forbidden to drink ever again—not the most seductive advertisement for a cold glass of Buxton’s Bomber.

The pages below contain 23 recipes (22 drinks and one hangover remedy) which I have faithfully transcribed. The “Timetable for World Conquest” part of the CREEM feature is available at the Alice Cooper eChive.

via Alice Cooper eChive


Pinacolada a la Cooper (for six)
10 ounces dark (151 proof) rum
1/6 fresh pineapple, chipped into sections
16 ounces fresh coconut milk
Pour the rum into a bowl. Soak the pineapple into the rum. Pour into blender, adding two more ounces rum. Add coconut milk, then two ounces fresh pineapple juice and one tray ice. Blend until you freeze it. Garnish with pineapple wedge and cherry.


Velvet Hammer
1 ounce gin
1 ounce apricot brandy
1 ounce dry vermouth
1 dash Maraschino liqueur
1 dash orange bitters
Stir with ice. Strain into standard cocktail glass.


Royal Setup (for preconcert)
2 ounces Crown Royal
8 ounces coke
1 ice cube
Drink until you feel prepared to face 20,000 screaming teenage maniacs.

More drink recipes from Alice Cooper, after the jump…

Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
CBGB’s awning being auctioned by Sotheby’s is expected to fetch at least $25,000
09:23 am

Stupid or Evil?


Man, who knew rock ‘n’ roll was so posh? Earlier this week, we alerted you to the sale of Dennis Hopper’s extremely modest record collection for only about 1500 times its probable value. This is unrelated, but it feels like a part of the same stupidity: an awning from CBGB, the Bowery dive bar that in the ‘70s became the Ur venue for the musical insurgency that would come to be known as punk rock, is being auctioned by the elite house Sotheby’s, and is estimated to fetch between $25,000 and $35,000.

The club was never really home base for people who could afford that kind of cash outlay for an outsized souvenir—the bands that played there were decidedly low-rent. The bands that made the place a Mecca included the Ramones, Patti Smith, Television, Blonde, Talking Heads, the Cramps, and the Dead Boys (who recorded their live album Night of the Living Dead Boys there), well before they became marquee names. After a long and legendary run, the club closed ten years ago, and was “resurrected” in name only as we shit you not a restaurant in the Newark Airport (one and a half stars on Yelp). That restaurant has a small-scale replica of the club’s iconic awning. One of the several actual awnings that adorned the club’s doorway over the years lives on display at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but while the Sotheby’s web site claims that the awning for sale is the original, Time Out New York says that’s incorrect:

Though the venerable auction house is listing the item as the “original awning for punk mecca CBGB,” that’s not actually the case. It’s a version rescued from the trash in 2004 by former club manager Drew Bushong. Bushong’s find was one several iterations of the iconic sign, beginning with the first one hand-painted by CBGB owner Hilly Kristal. That awning is believed to have been stolen one night in the 1980s by the band Jody Foster’s Army (JFA), after the group played a gig. It’s whereabouts remain unknown.

Yeah, that’s fucking hilarious. I didn’t realize I could love JFA more!

The auction is scheduled for Saturday, December 10th. I’m sincerely hoping some CBGB O.G. gets it, but it will probably get sold to a fuckin’ pharma bro.

More after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
Ultra-rare AC/DC promotional songbook full of sheet music, comics & photos from 1976
12:20 pm


Albert Productions

The front cover of ‘Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap & Other Dine-O-Mite Songs.’ An incredibly rare Australian promotional songbook that came inside of AC/DC’s 1976 record, ‘Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap.’
Also known as Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap & Other Dine-O-Mite Songs this incredibly rare piece of AC/DC ephemera was put out by the legendary Albert Productions—Australia’s very first indie record label that got its start back in 1964 under the guidance of music maverick Ted Albert. When the mid-70’s rolled around Albert Productions pretty much ruled the Australian music industry, thanks much in part to the wild success of the bad boys from Sydney. Here’s Angus Young on how the band’s relationship with Albert’s helped AC/DC thrive during their formative years from the 2010 book that details the history behind Albert’s House of Hits

When we first went out there, we were lucky enough to get a deal with Alberts’ even before we left Australia, so that was good for us. We didn’t have to go shopping ourselves, but what was good was that Ted [Albert]  advanced us a lot of the money so as we could get out there and tour and back-up the records. For him it was a long-term investment, but it paid in the end. It all helped.

According to the AC/DC Fan site, in Australia when you purchased the band’s 1976 release Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap it came along with a mailer that when sent to Albert and co. accompanied by three dollars, got you a copy of the book in the mail. It’s unclear how many of the books were made but when the do appear for sale online they sell for anywhere from $800 to a cool grand depending on the condition they are in. AC/DC put out other equally rare song-style books like The Rocka Souvenir Songbook and The Explosive Hits ‘76 Songbook around the same time but neither of them come even close to the wow-factor Dirty Deeds achieves.

I’ve included images from the book that include an amusing “AC/DC KWIZ” that I’m pretty sure is impossible to fail, an advice column called “Dear Aunt Haggis…” and a page for collecting the band’s autographs if you ever got close enough to them with a pen. The last layer of cool I will lay on you is the good news that back in 2014 a massive box set homaging Albert Productions was released called Good Times: Celebrating 50 Years Of Albert Productions. The set contains 102 different tracks from over the course fifty years from AC/DC and other notable Aussie bands like the Easybeats, long-running hard rockers Rose Tattoo and garageband favorites The Missing Links, just to name a few. Devil horns OUT!

The back cover of ‘Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap & Other Dine-O-Mite Songs.’

Table of contents.

‘Dirty Deeds comic’ and autograph page.
More after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Christmas ornaments featuring Morrissey, Bowie, Adam Ant, Nick Cave, Siouxsie and more

This charming set of Christmas ornaments does a wonderful job of letting everyone in your circle know that you love St. Nick—and that the “Nick” in question is Nick Cave. Matthew Lineham designed them, and he’s done a wonderful job of working in “obscure Christmas memories and puns,” as he put it.

Many of his “obscure” references involve network Christmas programming from many decades ago. Siouxsie Sioux is transformed into Cindy Lou Who, the little girl from Whoville in Dr. Seuss’ classic How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and Morrissey plays the part of “Snow Mozzer” and “Heat Mozzer,” the memorable characters from the 1974 stop-motion animated Christmas TV special from Rankin/Bass, The Year Without a Santa Claus. Former Oingo Boingo frontman and soundtrack maestro Danny Elfman appears as “Elfman on the Shelfman,” a reference to the 2004 children’s book The Elf on the Shelf. Robert Smith is perched atop Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and DEVO‘s familiar energy dome is cleverly done up as a Christmas tree.

Lineham calls the set “A Very New Wave Christmas” but he has sensibly gone where the name-puns and name recognition will take him rather than obey strict genre definitions. Bowie and Cave might not be your idea of “new wave” icons but they were active in the early 1980s, at least.

You can buy the rubber die cut bendable ornaments for $10 a pop (“Mozzer” pair $15), or $50 for the entire set, a significant discount. However, due to the unexpectedly high demand, Lineham wants purchasers to be aware that any ornaments ordered today will be shipped “sometime between Dec 21st & 31st,” so don’t bank on them being available for this year’s tree—however, there’s always 2017, 2018, 2019, and beyond to think of. These seem unlikely to go out of style anytime soon.


More after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
The Residents, Chrome & Tuxedomoon covering ‘I Left My Heart in San Francisco.’ Sort of

While discussion of the rock music of San Francisco tends to revolve around It’s a Beautiful Dead Airplane and the Holding Messenger Service, all us really good weirdos who read and/or work for Dangerous Minds know that the truly insane stuff landed after the hippie era. The moment in 1972 when The Residents moved to S.F. and established Ralph Records to release their work and the music of other like minded head cases was a bellwether event in freakmusic; Ralph would go on to release underground classics by fellow San Franciscans like Tuxedomoon, Rhythm & Noise, MX-80 Sound, and Voice Farm, all innovators who were too weird to quite fit the mold of the city’s storied punk and hardcore scenes. (They released much excellent non-S.F.-based music too, it merits mentioning, including Art Bears, Snakefinger and Yello.)

Ralph label compilations were always worth picking up—they were doorways to a distinct kind of weirdness no other American label would touch. Releases like Frank Johnson’s Favorites, Potatoes, and the Buy or Die 7” series introduced a much younger me to excellent art-rock oddities well beyond my imagining. But the one that’s stuck with me most is 1979’s Subterranean Modern—which apart from a Schwump 7” in 1976 was the first Ralph release to include artists other than The Residents or Snakefinger—a four-band V/A release that introduced me to Chrome. Their three songs on that comp constituted the total of all music Chrome released on Ralph, and it included a warped, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it “cover” of Tony Bennett’s signature song “I Left My Heart in San Francisco.” Indeed, all four bands on the comp covered that tune in some fashion, the other three being The Residents (naturally), art-punk guitar terrorists MX-80 Sound, and gloomy experimenters Tuxedomoon. Bonus: cool Gary Panter cover art.

Chrome’s version of the song is a noisy psych swirl all of 27 seconds long, fading out as quickly as it fades in, and you can hear someone saying the title if you listen closely enough. The track would eventually resurface on Cleopatra Records’ Chrome Box. MX-80’s is an instrumental that I expect few listeners could peg it for a cover were it not for the title. The Residents’ version is a typically Residentsy transformation, perfectly in step with that band’s many, many, other cover songs, warping the original to the edge of recognizability and drenching it in synthesized menace. Along with the other 3 Residents tracks on this comp, it appeared on the CD reissue of their album Eskimo. Tuxedomoon’s offering is another quickie, a minute-long harmonica rendition of the original underneath a recorded phone call in which a man tries to prove residence in guess which city in order to collect welfare from the state of California. That track eventually re-surfaced on the band’s Pinheads on the Move collection.

Despite the fact that every band pretty much completely jettisoned the actual song they were supposedly covering, the album notes credit the remakes to original composers George Cory and Douglass Cross. It really couldn’t be more obvious that that Chrome, Tuxedomoon and MX-80 bristled against the stipulation of covering that song and contributed piss-takes. In fact, a contemporary NME article explicitly spells it out:

The most controversial aspect of the album is the inclusion of “I Left My Heart In San Francisco,” a rather sickening piece of hackwork popularized by Tony Bennett. None of the groups, with the exception of the Residents, were thrilled about recording the song. Chrome sarcastically included less than a minutes’ worth of white noise as their “interpretation.” Tuxedomoon recorded a one minute conversation between an unemployed transient attempting to qualify for welfare and a welfare office bureaucrat, while the melody to “I Left My Heart In San Francisco” is played on harmonica in the background. MX-80 Sound cut the song as an instrumental, giving it a full force heavy metal reading.

“It’s not that great a song,” says [Residents spokesman Hardy] Fox, “Who wants to do something that you don’t think is too great? It was a challenge. But it is the official San Francisco song. Sanctioned by the city. So we had no choice.”

More after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
Klaus Nomi’s lime tart recipe
03:49 pm


Klaus Nomi

Certainly one thing that can be said of Klaus Nomi—as a little gay German dude born during World War II who had a passion for opera and a voice to match—is that he marched to the beat of his own drum. On paper, he doesn’t particularly sound like anyone who would become the object of admiration by a huge cult following—long after his death—but it happened. He landed in New York City in the 1970s, and that was the perfect place for his experimental new wave opera and eccentric form of exhibitionism to flourish.

In addition to palling around with David Bowie and wowing downtown audiences with his epicene good nature, his incredible singing performances, and his peculiar, almost plastic persona, Nomi was a first-rate pastry chef—that was his day job. In an appearance on Glenn O’Brien and Chris Stein’s legendary TV Party cable access show, he once demonstrated how to make his “sour-sweet lemon tarts.”

The Fashion Beyond Fashion blog reproduced Nomi’s recipe for a lime tart, which you can surely put to use as a way of delighting your holiday guests:

Step 1. The crust. It needs a 9-inch pie pan to make the tart in. It needs 1 1/4 cups fine graham cracker crumbs, 1/3rd cup brown sugar, and 1/4 melted butter to make crust. Mix the ingredients together and shape the crust into the pie pan. (Klaus Nomi mentions that it may not seem like the crust will hold together, but if it packs it tightly enough and when it sits overnight, it should hold).The artist also cautions about making the crust too sweet, you may not need to use as much brown sugar.

Step 2. The filling. it needs 4 eggs, 1 can sweetened condensed milk (Klaus used Borden’s condensed milk), and 1/2 cup lime juice. First it has to be separated the eggs; placing yolks in one bowl and whites in the other one. Klaus uses the egg shell to actually separate the whites from the yolk by putting the yolk on one side of the cracked shell and letting the whites drip into a separate bowl. Take the bowl with the egg yolks and add the sweetened condensed milk and lime juice. Mix together. Then, in the bowl with the egg whites, it has to whip them until the whites are very, very stiff. Once the whites are stiff it dramatically increases in volume, it slowly folds the whites into the other bowl. Once mixed together, place the filling into the crust.

Step 3. It takes lime peel and cut it into thin strips. It place the lime peel on top of the pie. This has two purposes; a beautiful presentation but also the flavor. The zest really adds a punch to the taste and is meant to be eaten. Then it places the tart into the refrigerator for at least several hours, but overnight is recommended in order to firm the tart, make easier the cut and better consistency.

More after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
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