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‘The Devil Lives in My Husband’s Body’: Pulsallama, NYC’s all-girl all-percussion New Wave band
08.21.2015
12:10 pm

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Music

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Pulsallama were an all-girl percussion band in New York circa 1980 to 1982 who put out two singles and played at nightclubs like Danceteria and Club 57. I own both records. Their distinctive sound—think a more chaotic, New York version of Rip, Rig and Panic, Bow Wow Wow or early Bananarama—can work wonders on an unsuspecting dancefloor. They played jungle rhythms and wore 50s cocktail dresses.

Here’s a brief description of Pulsallama from former member Jean Caffeine’s website:

In 1980, this damsel moved to New York to become a fabulous nightclub D.J. and stumbled upon Club 57, church basement which was a clubhouse to Downtown celebrities such as the late, John Sex, Keith Haring and Wendy Wild where the Ladies Auxiliary of the Lower East Side (founded by Ann Magnuson - star of stage, screen and Bongwater) were banging on percussion instruments and hanging up meat bones in preparation for their “Rites of Spring Bacchanal.” Jean joined on drums and Pulsallama was born.

Pulsallama toured the East Coast as well as England and opened several shows for the Clash. They released a controversial, yet comical ditty, “The Devil Lives in my Husband’s Body,” for London’s Y Records which was a hit on alternative and college stations. Pulsallama was beloved for their rhythmic cacophony, theatrical stage antics, props and costumes, and their primal, yet glamourous absurdity. They had lots of fun, got their picture in Interview magazine and had 15 minutes of fame.

Fun fact: Jean Caffeine was also seen as the “roadkill” at the beginning of Richard Linklater’s classic cult film, Slacker.
 

 
The “The Devil Lives in My Husband’s Body,” video, below, was directed by Dangerous Minds pal Paul Dougherty:

 
More Pulsallama after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
This Ramones vs Marvin Gaye mashup is pretty awesome
08.21.2015
07:50 am

Topics:
Amusing
Music

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I have extolled on DM before the virtues of remix/mashup genius Mark “Go Home Productions” Vidler. For over a decade, he’s been, to my reckoning, not just the most prolific mashup creator, but the absolute best at it. Vidler is possessed of an extraordinary gift for finding transcendence in what can too often be a very gimmicky, punchline-y form.

This month he’s released a new EP (free for download, as there’s really no way to sell stuff like this without a licensing nightmare) called “Sleazy Egyptian.” It’s a hodgepode that features collisions between the Bangles and the Stranglers, Basement Jaxx and the Beatles, and Daft Punk, Chic, and Mousse T. But the standout—and the track most likely of interest to DM readers—is this rather amazing union of Marvin Gaye’s “Ain’t That Peculiar” and the Ramones’ “Blitzkrieg Bop.”
 

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

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History
Music

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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

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Fashion
History
Music
Punk

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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
Watch P-Orridge, Moog, Moroder, Can and many more in the electronic music documentary ‘Modulations’
08.21.2015
07:20 am

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Movies
Music

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Iara Lee’s ambitious 1998 documentary Modulations: Cinema for the Ear tries to fit the entire history of electronic music into 73 minutes. It’s a good try, and it’s worth watching for its crazy array of interview subjects, who range from Genesis P-Orridge to Karlheinz Stockhausen, and for its snapshots of 90s dance cultures around the world. From the point of view of a person who studiously avoided glowsticks and pacifiers during this historical moment, it’s interesting to look at these scenes from the remove of two decades: compared to today’s apocalypse culture, the millennium’s end-of-the-world styles seem quaint, fun, almost utopian.

Though there’s a lot of emphasis on contemporary house and techno, Modulations is a survey of the history of electronic music that takes in everything from the Futurists’ noise experiments to jungle. It keeps up a dizzying pace, and doesn’t let you look into any of these artists, movements or scenes too deeply, but what a cast: legendary producers Giorgio Moroder and Teo Macero, musique concrète pioneer Pierre Henry, Robert Moog, members of Can, and John Cage are among the dozens of figures who get screen time. (Yet no Wendy Carlos?) If you want more of this stuff, there’s a CD soundtrack and a book tie-in.
 

 
via Genesis Breyer P-Orridge

Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
Uplifting movie themes played in a MINOR key suddenly become evil, oppressive, militaristic
08.20.2015
09:46 am

Topics:
Music
Unorthodox

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Last week I posted here about a musician who had taken a handful of iconic horror soundtracks and turned them “soothing, triumphant, and dorky” by reworking them in a major key.

One of my favorite things about blogging stuff I think is cool is that sometimes the people you are blogging about read what you wrote and respond to it.  In that previous article I had mentioned that John Carpenter’s Halloween soundtrack, playing in a major key, sounded a lot like the Chariots of Fire theme (mashed up with “Baba O’Riley”).  I went on to say, ” the Halloween theme left me wondering… what would the Chariots of Fire theme sound like in a minor key? I bet it’d be scary as hell. Perhaps Mr. Gordon can get on that and let us know?”

Well folks, Mr. Gordon DID get on that and Dangerous Minds got a nice email from him:

I’ve taken Christopher’s advice and converted Chariots of Fire plus a few other classics to a MINOR key.

So here we have the themes from Indiana Jones, Police Academy, The Great Escape, Chariots of Fire, and Jurassic Park—all reworked into a minor key. The results here are just as interesting as the major key horror soundtrack revisions.

Indiana Jones in a minor key suddenly sounds militaristic and would be an appropriate theme if the Nazis had been the film’s protagonists, seeking to rescue the ark from the idiot American archaeologist with no idea of its power.

Police Academy in a minor key suddenly becomes an epic sword and sorcery theme. It’s the sound of Conan (the barbarian, not the late night host) marching through the desert, trying to solve the riddle of steel and defeat the evil Captain Mauser.

The Great Escape theme sounds like a montage sequence from a Jewish comedy.

Chariots of Fire, as I imagined, does indeed sound like a horror soundtrack. Specifically one that is very ‘80s and very Italian.

Jurassic Park‘s theme in a minor key is utterly oppressive. It sounds like slavery.

Check them all out here:
 

 

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
Delightful photos of heavy metal fans, captured in mid-headbang
08.20.2015
08:56 am

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Art
Music

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One of the aspects of heavy metal music that keeps it a young person’s game is the centrality of headbanging. For instance, it is very, very difficult to do your taxes while headbanging, and this fact constitutes a central part of its appeal. Along with pogoing and moshing, there is a visceral thrill to headbanging that perfectly fits the music to which it is linked.

Danish photographer Jacob Ehrbahn spent the summer of 2012 traveling to various European heavy metal festivals (specifically Denmark’s Copenhell, Germany’s Wacken Open Air, and Sweden’s Metaltown) and capturing those jubilant instants in time when the heavy metal fans were at the moment of extreme exultation—in mid-headbang, naturally.

Ehrbahn’s intense, joyous portraits of music fandom in action have been collected in a book called Headbangers, which will be available in September and is available for pre-order.

We’ve collected a few gems here, but you can see more at the Great Photojournalism website.
 

 

 

 
More pics after the jump…...
 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Bernie nooooooo!!! Bernie Sanders released a pretty terrible spoken word folk music album in 1987
08.20.2015
08:27 am

Topics:
Class War
Music
Politics

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Cassette cover for Bernie’s album
 
Since Bernie Sanders announced his run for President of the United States of America, his lack of polish has been far more endearing to the public than his detractors ever imagined. He’s not a slick baby-kisser; the man talks serious social democratic policy and stays on message with a self-possessed intensity. However, if Bernie’s impersonal style has given the impression he’s completely devoid of sentimentality, “Brothers and Sisters,” let me assure you otherwise! In 1987, Bernie Sanders released a spoken word album of lefty folk standards, and it is bad—positively Shatneresque, if you will.

According to Vermont blog Seven Days, Burlington-based musician Todd Lockwood got in touch with Sanders out of the blue to pitch the idea—they had never met before. At this point Bernie was the Mayor of Burlington, so Lockwood just called the Mayor’s office and left a message with a secretary describing the project. To his surprise, Bernie set up a meeting, later telling Lockwood, “I have to admit to you this appeals to my ego.” Originally, Bernie was supposed to actually sing the songs, but they quickly realized he can’t carry a tune in a bucket, so they went with spoken word. You can hear samples of the results below; all I can say is that it’s good that he’s never run on anything but the issues, because he is not winning any votes with his musical talent.

If you’re just dying to hear the whole thing (for who doesn’t require a recording of an old Brooklyn Jew sternly intoning the words to “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?”), you can actually purchase the entire album, We Shall Overcome, on Amazon.
 

 
Via Talking Points Memo

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Intimate Catherine Wheel performance on Italian television, 1998
08.20.2015
06:33 am

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Music
Television

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Catherine Wheel circa 1992
Catherine Wheel circa 1992

Here’s a pretty rare glimpse at an intimate performance from 1998 by the Catherine Wheel on TMC2 or Telemontecarlo, a now defunct Italian language television network that was broadcast out of Monte Carlo from 1996 to 2001.

So unseen is this footage that Catherine Wheel’s bass player, Dave Hawes posted the ONLY comment below the video saying he had never seen footage in its entirety. It was also the first time the band had ever been to Italy which is revealed during one of many interview segments that are conducted on the stage by host Red Ronnie (aka Gabriel Ansah) and CW vocalist, Rob Dickinson.

There is some additional banter during CW performance that is insightful, silly and enjoyably awkward. Especially when Red Ronnie coyly asks Dickinson if he knows Iron Maiden vocalist, Bruce Dickinson (the two are real-life cousins). It is one of many moments that makes this video time-capsule a really fun watch.
 
Rob and Bruce Dickinson keeping it in the family
Keeping it in the family. Rob and Bruce Dickinson

The band performs three songs from from their excellent 1997 album, Adam and Eve -  “Delicious,” Ma Solituda,” and “Phantom of the American Mother” as well as a killer version of the song “Heal” from CW’s 1995 album, Happy Days and “Crank” from their 1993 album, Chrome. Dig it!

 

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Some Led Zeppelin songs that you’ve probably never heard before
08.19.2015
01:51 pm

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Music

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I had listened to every Led Zeppelin album so many times by the age of 14 that I went from playing their records constantly to not listening to them at all again for many, many years. Decades even. It’s not like I ever stopped loving Led Zeppelin, it’s just that I overdid it. Like eating the same thing every day for years, even something awesome like Stouffer’s macaroni and cheese, it simply gets tired. Until the new reissues started coming out last summer, the only Led Zeppelin album that I actually owned on CD was Physical Graffiti.

Like many of you reading this, I got massively into those remastered albums. On a good stereo system they sound quite wonderful. I’ve played “When the Levee Breaks” from Led Zeppelin IV on repeat for hours on end on full blast. (I am a bad neighbor, true, but it’s as addictive as crack, that song.) Of all the 2014 and 2015 editions, it was the three-disc expanded release of Coda, their odds-n-sods 1982 swansong, that I was looking forward to the most, not the least reason being that it’s the only one that I never owned, and had never actually even heard all the way through. In other words, an entirely new Led Zeppelin album. Lucky me. What a fun experience to have, right?

The expanded 3 disc deluxe Coda is well worth your attention, rock snob readers. Let me count a few of the ways…

In some of the interviews Jimmy Page has given to publicize the most recent (and final) spate of Led Zeppelin releases (Presence, In Through The Out Door and Coda), he mentions that although Coda was in fact, a bit of a “contractual obligation album” (as well as an anti-bootlegger move), he knew that they had the stunning John Bonham drum solo “Bonzo’s Montreux” (with electronic treatments added later by Page) as the centerpiece, so he was confident that it would all hold together as a coherent listening experience. Even if that is only partially true—it’s all over the place—Coda is still pretty amazing. Unreleased Led Zeppelin tracks are not exactly plentiful—I’m certainly not complaining—but it’s a stylistic mishmash. And this is in no way a bad thing!

Here’s the rollicking instrumental “St. Tristan’s Sword,” which was recorded during the sessions for Led Zeppelin III in 1970. It comes from the same session that produced “Gallow’s Pole” and you’ll note a similar drum sound there:
 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
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