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The story behind the infamous ‘Just You’ song from ‘Twin Peaks’
10.09.2017
11:58 am
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David Lynch has always had an ear for an arresting tune—indeed, they feature in just about all of his most appreciated works—think of “In Heaven (Lady in the Radiator Song)” in Eraserhead, “Blue Velvet” and “In Dreams” in Blue Velvet, the Spanish version of Roy Orbison’s “Crying” in Mulholland Drive, and so on.

Angelo Badalamenti has been Lynch’s music collaborator ever since Blue Velvet. His brilliant, moody theme music for Twin Peaks catapulted him into public recognition, although it was actually Lynch himself who composed one of the most controversial musical pieces in the director’s oeuvre, ironically the one bit of music that may have made some fans curse Badalamenti—I refer to the creepy, doomy music heard in the lengthy “Pink Room” scene in Fire Walk With Me (which was unfortunately rendered well-nigh incomprehensible because the music drowned out the dialogue).

Those who stuck with the TV series through its second season were rewarded with one of the show’s most indelible and controversial moments in the second episode (titled “Coma”) when James Hurley (James Marshall) and two young women he’s involved with, Donna Hayward (Lara Flynn Boyle) and Maddy Ferguson (Sheryl Lee, who also played the iconic Laura Palmer), convene in the Haywards’ living room to “work on” a new song. The song is purest 1957, right down to the downright peculiar falsetto work by James, and sparks fly when during the song, Donna notices the intensity of the interactions between Maddy and James and leaves the room. (Have you learned nothing, Donna? Never yield the field of battle to your opponent!)

This scene has probably resulted in more derision than any other scene in Twin Peaks—although a lot of Twin Peaks fans really dig it. It’s so artificial and over-the-top that it’s impossible to take at face value. But give Lynch credit—only he could come up with a scene as magnificently static and “off” and yet so wonderfully resonant. The sickly saccharine quality of the song matched to the all-too-real drama the characters are experiencing…. it’s so Lynchian it hurts.

How did the scene come about? Remarkably, it was the product of a hasty songwriting session on the set that took place quite shortly before shooting the scene. As James Marshall explained at the Twin Peaks Festival in 2013, “I play guitar a lot and I used to bring my guitar to the set. ... David Lynch heard about it and said, ‘Would you be comfortable doing a song on the show?’”

So Marshall and Badalamenti and Lynch met on the set of the Hayward home, where the scene would eventually be shot, to compose a Fifties pastiche on the fly, presumably while a million other things are going on around them. Here’s a loose transcription of Marshall’s account (some verbal filler removed, tightened in places):
 

The day rolls around and I go up to the set like he asked me to, Angelo’s standing there—it was the Hayward house because there was an upright piano in it, so we got to use the piano to write. So he goes, “What is the vibe that you want to do?” And I said, “Well, the vibe of the whole series is timeless? But it—we don’t want to go Fifties, but almost a little Fifties sort of feel? When I think of Fifties, we could do a doowop kind of feel, but make it falsetto doowop but almost Beatles falsetto doowop, we’re not going to “sha na na” or whatever, make it something etheric [prob. “ethereal”]. They go, “What song?” and Angelo starts messing around on the keyboards. I go, “No, not fast, let’s go slow.” All three of us have this banter back and forth of how the song should go. Angelo said name a song because David was stuck. ... So I go, “When I think of Fifties I think of ‘Only You.’” ... that real romantic, over-the-top, shredding keyboards almost to distortion. Bowie’s good at that, old Bowie stuff. Right? So I go, “It can’t be that, but that vibe.” And Angelo goes, “Got it!”

 
You should click on the video below and hear Marshall’s account for yourself, it’s very engaging (and starts around the 4:45 mark).

One of the more unexpected aspects of Twin Peaks: The Return was the prominence of the Renault family’s Roadhouse. In the final section of most of the new episodes (of which there were 18), the action would move to the tavern venue where (in completely random fashion, honestly) a remarkable array of prominent musical performers would appear and do a song, including such stalwarts as Rebekah Del Rio, Au Revoir Simone, Sharon Van Etten, and (most surprising of all) Nine Inch Nails.
 

Twin Peaks (Music From the Limited Event Series)
 
Just as the viewers had gotten used to all manner of musical stars improbably trekking all the way to southern Washington state for a special intimate gig, episode 13 surprised the Twin Peaks faithful by getting James Hurley/Marshall and two backup singers on the stage for a special rendition of Twin Peaks’ most cloyingly controversial song: “Just You.” You can hear it below.

One of the more glittering vinyl offerings this year is the 2LP soundtrack for Twin Peaks: The Return, which contains all of the songs played at the Roadhouse during the 2017 episodes, also known as “Season 3.”
 

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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10.09.2017
11:58 am
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That time when Ozzy Osbourne licked peanut butter off of Annette Funicello’s finger, 1989
10.09.2017
09:54 am
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One of the most famous Mouseketeers ever, Annette Funicello offering Ozzy Osbourne some Skippy peanut butter.
 
As documented in the 1992 book by super-groovy groupie Pamela Des Barres Take Another Little Piece of My Heart: A Groupie Grows Up, Des Barres brought the unlikely coupling of Ozzy Osbourne and Annette Funicello together for an interview and photoshoot in 1989. The wild concept for the bizarre meeting was the idea of publisher and entrepreneur Quay Hayes—a friend of Des Barres who was getting ready to launch Twist Magazine. Sadly, the magazine never saw the light of day, though the images from the photo session did as well as a few juicy tidbits from the interview between Ozz and Annette.

According to Des Barres, the two traded questions during which Funicello drilled Ozzy on his drug use and issues with addiction—something most rock journalists steered clear of back in the day. In what was perhaps a way to throw Funicello off of her game, Ozzy countered by asking the then 47-year-old former Mouseketeer if her beloved Walt Disney had really been frozen which made Funicello cry. Interestingly, a year later Funicello would defend Ozzy’s misunderstood 1980 classic “Suicide Solution” in an interview with her beach-blanket buddy, Frankie Avalon saying that the song didn’t advocate suicide but was instead trying to convey situations or “conditions” under which a teenager might take their own lives.

The other weird thing I dug up about Ozzy and Annette’s get-together are the claims of a man who says he’s Funicello’s son. J.P. Moss (also known as Jason Paul Moss) wrote the 2105 book Beyond Magic Gates: An Unauthorized Biography of Annette Funicello which details his allegation that he was abducted in 1970 from the hospital after Funicello gave birth to him, and it’s a typo-riddled read, I’ll just say that much. As it relates to this post, Moss uploaded a video on YouTube where he tries to debunk Funicello and Ozzy’s meeting calling it a “conspiracy.” The “conspiracy” in question involved the Mafia and Sharon Osbourne’s father, the infamous Don Arden. Moss says that Funicello deliberately lied about the timeframe about meeting Ozzy in her own 1995 autobiography, A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes: My Story because Don Arden told her to. I’ve posted Moss’ video below as well as a few photos that support the fact that Ozzy and Annette were in the same room together at the same time and that Annette’s favorite peanut butter, Skippy, was involved.
 

Funicello and a shirtless Ozzy Osbourne.
 

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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10.09.2017
09:54 am
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Breathtaking comix panels inspired by Nick Cave’s first novel
10.06.2017
04:10 pm
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But Now by God, it ROARS!
 
You might remember the name Tom Neely for his whimsical tribute to punk rock’s most famous gay couple, Glenn Danzig and Henry Rollins. Neely’s Glenn and Henry Forever, which came out in 2010, received a positive notice from Rollins (“if I were to find that anything less than hilarious, then I am in the wrong business”) but from Danzig, not so much (“I didn’t think it was very funny ... it was a very crappy, opportunistic book”).

In Pasadena during all of September, there was an intriguing exhibition that documented, quite unusually, the failure of an artistic project. Birds of Death presented the art that Neely had generated for a comix adaptation of Nick Cave’s first novel And the Ass Saw the Angel. Unfortunately, after being approached to undertake the work (and after Neely had spent considerable time and effort creating images for the graphic novel), he discovered that the rights to Cave’s novel had not been “properly secured,” which meant that Neely would not be able to produce an authorized adaptation of And the Ass Saw the Angel after all.

Bummer! As the notes to the show explain, the bleak and haunting series of images “allows an abstract interpretation” of not just Cave’s book but also “Neely’s disappointment in the circumstances surrounding the project.”

Published in 1989—right on the heels of Tender PreyAnd the Ass Saw the Angel was (and is) as Cave-ian as they come, as you can see yourself from the images. The book covers bleak and doomy life of Euchrid Eucrow, the self-styled “Monarch of Doghead” in Australia’s (fictional, I think) Ukulore Valley. The book sounds a bit overcooked—one review called it a “messianic, overheated tirade” (the review was not actually negative) while another referenced the “clotted, gutsy prose which ranges from poetic to rabid”—and Cave actually cut a lot of the purple prose for a 20th-anniversary edition that came out in 2009.

According to the gallery website, some of the images are still available for purchase.
 

One Full Quarter
 
Much more after the jump….......
 

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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10.06.2017
04:10 pm
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That time David Bowie met Roger Moore & then met him again & again & again & again & again & again
10.06.2017
09:56 am
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As someone who discovered James Bond films and David Bowie right around the same time, I found the following anecdote, supplied by Dylan Jones during the press launch of his new Bowie bio, David Bowie: A Life, mighty amusing.

Jones told a reporter for the Telegraph:

“[Screenwriter and novelist Hanif] Kureishi told me this story, that when David Bowie moved to Switzerland at the end of the Seventies to escape tax and drug dealers, he didn’t know anybody there. He was in this huge house on the outskirts of Geneva - he knew nobody.

“One day, about half-past five in the afternoon, there’s a knock on the door, and there he was: ‘Hello, David.’ Roger Moore comes in, and they had a cup of tea. He stays for drinks, and then dinner, and tells lots of stories about the James Bond films. They had a fantastic time - a brilliant night.”

“But then, the next day, at 5.30… Knock, knock, it’s Roger Moore. He invites himself in again, and sits down: ‘Yeah, I’ll have a gin and tonic, David.’ He tells the same stories - but they’re slightly less entertaining the second time around.

“After two weeks [of Moore turning up] at 5.25pm - literally every day - David Bowie could be found underneath the kitchen table pretending not to be in.”

Bowie turned down the role of the villainous Max Zorin in Moore’s final outing as 007 in A View to a Kill.

Now we know why!

It was announced this week that from March 2 through July 15, 2018, the Brooklyn Museum will mark the final stop of the Bowie exhibit that was organized by the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. More than 300 objects from the singer’s life, including 60 stage costumes and set designs from his 1974 “Diamond Dogs” tour will be on display.

Order David Bowie: A Life from Amazon.

HT to Steven Daly of Brooklyn, NY

Posted by Richard Metzger
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10.06.2017
09:56 am
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Vincent Price narrates a musical journey to the amazing year 2000
10.06.2017
09:14 am
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Magazine ad for the 1962 World’s Fair
 
The June 23, 1962 issue of Billboard reported that Capitol would be distributing “the Seattle World’s Fair official album,” The World of Century Twenty First. I wonder if the designation of Alexander Laszlo’s “Musical Panorama” as the official LP of Expo 62 hurt the sales of the other World of Tomorrow releases, like Attilio Mineo conducting Man in Space with Sounds or Vincent Lopez’s Music out of Century 21. At least, did it annoy their managers? Did someone get a phone call?

Laszlo was a composer of TV and movie music whose credits included Night of the Blood Beast (1958) and Beast from Haunted Cave (1959). The record sounds like the future as imagined by a 1962 TV orchestra joined by a mad scientist on synthesizer and theremin; in fact, it’s the State Symphony of Hamburg (a/k/a the Hamburg Symphony Orchestra)  and some unnamed “electronic devices” Laszlo used to make what he called “Electrosonic Music.” 
 

 
Vincent Price narrates, reading the parts of both the wise tour conductor and his passenger, a bewildered 20th century sap who stands in for you, the listener. The Monorail hurtles into the future (Price doesn’t say exactly when, but the Popular Science feature about the exhibit was titled “What’ll It Be Like in 2000 A.D.?”), stopping at tomorrow’s modular, movable house, with its electroluminescent lighting, tax-preparing “computer robot,” and mysterious home electronics:

We still have broadcasting, but no sets anymore. Receivers? Yes, like this little matchbox in my hand. Speakers for our high-fidelity stereo broadcasting are just two tiny pellets sized like a pill. They may be placed in curtains or in draperies. The television screens are part of architecture and interior furnishings. See this painting? It converts into a television screen when you wish.

[...]

We are very, very proud of our phone system that is televised. Notice, first: every baby born in the century 21 receives a birthday gift of his own phone number. This is his for life. No similar number will exist for any earth-born individual. Whether you remain at home, where messages can come by TV phone, or traveling, receiving calls over your own radio wristphone, the call will always be transmitted on your private, individual number, by simply speaking the number into the phone.

Vincent-1 and Vincent-2 hop in the car for a demonstration of the new scientific system that controls the weather outdoors. The auto of the future has no need of a “gasoline motor” or wheels; its anti-gravity air jets are powered by atomic energy beamed from radio transmitters. As we learn on the track “Atom For Humanity,” all the cheap, abundant energy buzzing through the air is a product of nuclear fusion. Science has also discovered how to produce fresh water from the ocean, where we grow “unlimited tons of nourishing foods at low prices,” and rockets are flying all over the place:

Both time and space are telescoped into an awe-inspiring whole. Rocket travel to distant places on the earth and moon has become a daily business. Global mail service is done mainly by rockets. The countdown has become a part of daily life.

Oh, and war has been abolished, along with hate.

More after the jump…

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Posted by Oliver Hall
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10.06.2017
09:14 am
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Get it on: The Replacements cover glam rock king Marc Bolan on legendary 80s bootleg
10.05.2017
08:38 pm
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The Replacements + Marc Bolan
 
Cover tunes have always been an element of live performances by the Minneapolis band, the Replacements. For decades, their only official live album has been the cassette-only release, The Shit Hits the Fans. Confiscated from a fan bootlegging a 1984 gig, it’s a covers-heavy set—everything from the Carter Family and the Jackson 5 to Robyn Hitchcock and Tom Petty. Many are requests from the audience, with the ‘Mats acting as a kind of human jukebox.

Though they didn’t cover them that night, the band had a particular affection for the English group, T.Rex. The Replacements covered a number of T.Rex tunes, including one they recorded in the studio and put out as a B-side. On the surface, it seems the two groups are very different. The Replacements were outsiders, never all that comfortable in the limelight, while Marc Bolan, the leader of T.Rex, was the first glam rock superstar and fully embraced his fame.

I reached out to the Replacements’ first manager, Peter Jesperson, to see if he could shed light on the group’s affection for Bolan and the songs of T.Rex.

How did the Replacements come to record/release their version of “20th Century Boy”?:

Peter Jesperson: Like most bands as they’re first getting together, the Replacements started out primarily doing covers of other people’s songs. Even after they began doing original material, a cover could be the most impassioned and exciting performance in the live set. If memory serves, the first time we recorded one for real was “Rock Around the Clock” during the Stink sessions in 1982. In 1983, as we were recording tracks for what became the Let It Be album, several cover ideas were considered and recorded. The two that turned out the best were “Black Diamond” by KISS and “20th Century Boy” by T.Rex. We figured one should go on the album and one on the flip of the single, “I Will Dare.” I clearly remember having a discussion about which one should go where and we all agreed that putting the KISS song on the album would be less expected, less “cool,” so that’s what we did.
 
I Will Dare
 
Why do you think they were so drawn to the T.Rex material?:

Peter Jesperson: All the guys in the Replacements were big fans of simple, catchy songs and T.Rex certainly fit that bill, but I seem to remember it was Paul [Westerberg] who especially liked them, especially the singles. I had the Bolan Boogie compilation, which had the semi-obscure B-side “Raw Ramp” on it, and I remember him asking me to play it quite often. The band toyed around a bit with that one, “Bang A Gong” and maybe “Jeepster,” but the only two they did seriously were “Baby Strange” and “20th Century Boy.”

Was the period in which Westerberg wore eye make-up on stage inspired at all by Bolan?:

Peter Jesperson: I never heard Paul credit anyone specifically with inspiring the make-up so I’m only guessing but I’d say it was bands like Alice Cooper, the New York Dolls, T.Rex, and later the Only Ones, that inspired the make-up.

                                                              *****
 
Paul makeup
 
In 1973, “20th Century Boy” came out as a standalone T.Rex single and went to #3 on the UK chart. It didn’t come out in America until 1985, when it was included on the stellar comp, T.Rextasy: The Best of T. Rex, 1970-1973.
 
20th Century Boy
 
The “I Will Dare” single, with “20th Century Boy” and a live rendition of Hank Williams’ “Hey Good Lookin’” on the flip, came out in 1984, ahead of Let It Be. “20th Century Boy” can currently be found amongst the bonus tracks on the 2008 reissue of Let it Be.
 
Continues after the jump…

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Posted by Bart Bealmear
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10.05.2017
08:38 pm
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Boredoms collect 77 drummers in Brooklyn for the ultimate mind-blowing drum circle
10.05.2017
12:56 pm
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Any discussion of fucked-up Japanese music has to begin with Yamataka Eye or Yamatsuka Eye or Yamantaka Eye or whatever he’s calling himself in 2017. In the 1980s he was in the Osaka-based outfit Hanatarashi (which means “sniveler” or “snot-nosed”), whose extreme shows are still the stuff of legend—Eye quit the band after seriously injuring himself in the leg with a chainsaw during a gig. Top that one, you pikers in Einstürzende Neubauten!

In the 1990s Eye founded the provocative Boredoms, which straddled that elusive line between “destroying all conceptions of rock music” and “staying together long enough to release a whole bunch of albums.” Douglas Wolk’s quasi-intentionally uproarious writeup of their work in The New Rolling Stone Album Guide calls their early release Onanie Bomb Meets The Sex Pistols
 

a total mess—they’ve clearly decided that they want to destroy everything predictable about music, but haven’t a clue what to replace it with. There’s a lot of vehement shrieking in a made-up language, riffs that self-destruct after a few seconds, and incoherent clattery mayhem.

 
Wolk calls a later album, Pop Tatari, “hilariously berserk.” But they were just getting started.

About a decade ago, Eye started a loose series of concerts to celebrate various pleasingly symmetrical calendar dates—07/07/07, 11/11/11 (known in some circles as Corduroy Appreciation Day), and so on. The first show, the 7/7/7 one, is probably the best-known, because it attracted a large audience of New Yorkers and also ended up as a DVD product available from Thrill Jockey.
 

 
In June of 2007 word spread that there was going to be a massive Boredoms-organized drum event, to be held on July 7. The show was to be held underneath the Brooklyn Bridge at Empire-Fulton Ferry State Park. Admission would be free, but an RSVP would be required. It became one of those events in New York that rapidly generate an urgent, must-see vibe among the self-appointed cognoscenti. About 4,000 attended, and those who ended up getting excluded became pretty annoyed about it. Amusingly, some used the bridge itself as a vantage point to take in the action, as seen below.

The name of the show was 77Boadrum (sometimes styled “77 Boa Drum”). Obviously, the time to start an event with 77 drummers on 7/7/7 is 7:07 p.m., which was the case. It was presumed (or possibly announced) that the ultra-large combo would play for 77 minutes (does make sense, no?) but apparently they played for almost two hours. Every drummer was provided with the same setup, a full 5-piece, 3 cymbal drum kit, all of which would be arranged in a large spiral (to mimic DNA, supposedly) with the Boredoms at the center. Eleven “drum leaders” were selected to occupy strategic positions in the spiral to keep the stragglers on track and on tempo.
 

Photo credit: BrooklynVegan
 
It goes without saying that this collection of percussionists was quite impressive. Among the drum leaders were Kid Millions (Oneida), Tim Dewit (Gang Gang Dance), and Brian Chippendale (Lightning Bolt), and the full ensemble included figures such as Andrew W.K., Sara Lund (Unwound), John Moloney and Taylor Richardson (Sunburned Hand of the Man), Matt Schulz (Holy Fuck), Josh Madell (Antietam), Jason Kourkounis (Bardo Pond), and Chris Brokaw (Come). Check here for a fuller list.

Okay, enough of my yakking…

READ ON
Posted by Martin Schneider
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10.05.2017
12:56 pm
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Fred Schneider of the B-52s sings Harry Nilsson’s ‘Coconut’ with two different Nineties supergroups
10.05.2017
07:38 am
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People usually look at me skeptically when I put a copy of Fred Schneider’s second Reprise album in their hands and command them to buy it. The reaction used to puzzle me, but now I think I understand: the retail price of a used CD of Just…Fred hovers around $1. While this price point makes us old folks of slender means rise from our Rascal electric scooters and dance in the Kmart aisles, fanning the air with fistfuls of coupons, today’s jaded shoppers read such a heavily discounted sticker as a guarantee of worthlessness. So I am taking a different tack. I hereby command you to purchase the rare white vinyl pressing of Just…Fred, which starts at $49.99 and goes for up to $199.98, so you can truly appreciate its quality.

I’m not kidding. Those who know, know. In a sane world, the Steve Albini-produced masterpiece would have a place on every American mantel, and there would be compulsory shining of its cover once a week. Backing Fred on the momentous solo joint were Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet, Six Finger Satellite, and an ad hoc supergroup called Deadly Cupcake, comprising the Didjits’ Rick Sims on guitar, Tar’s Tom Zaluckyj on bass, and the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion’s Russell Simins on drums. This last band propelled the album’s four-minute cover of Harry Nilsson’s “Coconut,” which reimagined the laid-back novelty hit as a punk complaint.
 

 
Schneider had already recorded “Coconut” for the previous year’s Nilsson tribute album with a completely different supergroup, this one featuring Ivan Julian from Richard Hell & the Voidoids and Tracy Wormworth of the Waitresses. Owing, perhaps, to its relative familiarity in 1995 as the song from the end credits of Reservoir Dogs, “Coconut” was chosen as the tribute album’s single, and Schneider went on Late Night with Conan O’Brien to sing it.

More after the jump…

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Posted by Oliver Hall
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10.05.2017
07:38 am
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Post-punk and post-rock albums redone as postage stamps on Swiss modernist design principles
10.04.2017
09:51 am
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In a certain way, there’s nothing less “rock ‘n roll” than the Swiss poster design of the mid-twentieth century. The International Typographic Style and its design analogue, while frequently alluring, are stiff and unspontaneous, rife with right angles, straight lines, spare layouts, and immaculately kerned letters. They appeal to the part of the mind that cries out for order.

Both the post-punk and post-rock movements took a step or two away from the overtly rage-derived music of the Sex Pistols or X-Ray Spex, finding solace in “cooler” and oftentimes more robotic music that cloaked its emotionalism in tempered musical styles. This isn’t to say that there’s no emotion in Joy Division, Radiohead, Gang of Four, or Tortoise, merely that those groups and their ilk are more interested in seeking out the boundaries of form rather than letting their “wet,” subjective feelings take center stage.

In her book Exploring Typography, Tova Rabinowitz has this to say about the Swiss font-heads of decades past:
 

Around 1945, two former Bauhaus students, Théo Ballmer and Max Bill of Switzerland, recognized that increasing globalization with creating a need for a visual language that would be suitable for international communication. The style they developed—which was based on a clear arrangement of elements, photography, abstract designs, and sans-serif typefaces—came to be called the International Typographic Style (also called Swiss International Style). ... Any elements that might be confusing to an international audience were excluded. Unemotional layouts were composed that relied heavily on mathematical modular grids and a hierarchical organization of information. All elements were selected and sized to create direct and informative layouts. The calm objectivity of the International Typographic Style gained popularity, especially among corporate interests, and was dominant in America and Europe throughout the 1950s. International Typographic Style typefaces were sans serifs, based on geometric shapes. Helvetica, designed by Max Miedinger in 1952 ... became one of the most widely used typefaces in history. Univers, designed by Adrian Frutiger in 1957, gained immense popularity because of its extensive range of type styles.

 

For such reasons one might argue that Swiss modernism and post-punk/post-rock are natural partners. Not long ago the good people of Bleep.com unveiled two breathtaking posters celebrating the landmarks of post-punk and post-rock. For each genre “Dorothy” generated an incredible poster of 42 postage stamps, each celebrating a different album. Both posters are 4 colour print with silver foil and measure 80x60 centimeters. The post-punk poster features seminal albums such as Throbbing Gristle’s 20 Jazz Funk Greats, The Teardrop Explodes’ Kilimanjaro, The Cure’s Pornography, and The Jesus and Mary Chain’s Psychocandy. Meanwhile, the post-rock album celebrates Slint’s Spiderland, Stereolab’s Dots and Loops, Mogwai’s Young Team, Radiohead’s Kid A, and Tortoise’s Millions Now Living Will Never Die. In every case the album is represented by a spare, “Swiss”-inspired visual motif and lists the name of the artist, the album title, the running time, the label, and the release date—thus proving that the International Typographic Style is an efficient method of transmitting information.

Both posters cost $45.50 but the post-punk one is temporarily out of stock; however they are “expected soon.”
 
Catch the posters after the jump…........
 

READ ON
Posted by Martin Schneider
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10.04.2017
09:51 am
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Jean-Luc Godard and the catchiest song ever written about a brutal dictator
10.03.2017
08:02 am
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A few weeks ago I signed up for a new membership at the Cinematheque in Cleveland, and I’ve been attending movies there at a far higher rate than I was before. One of the previews I ended up seeing several times was the utterly infectious trailer for Jean-Luc Godard‘s La Chinoise, which was until very recently unavailable on DVD and a new digital restoration of which has been making the rounds of the art-house circuit this year.

A bizarre adaptation of Dostoevsky’s novel The Demons, La Chinoise puts five French-speaking radicals in a tidy Paris apartment decked out in appealing primary colors and festooned with slogans, as they push forward their Maoist agenda. This movie came out a year before the widespread unrest in Paris 1968, and not unusually Godard had his finger on the pulse of something. Godard’s wife, Anne Wiazemsky, plays the most radical (i.e. most bomb-throwing) character, and the final act of the movie centers around a lengthy debate on a moving train about the utility of political violence with an actual professor named Francis Jeanson who had been tried for treason for his radical activities in connection with the Algerian War. Jeanson argues against political violence in La Chinoise, while Godard piped in his own retorts into Wiazemsky’s earpiece during the take.
 

 
The movie La Chinoise is diverting, but in all honesty it tested my ability to stay out of REM state. The movie poses the as-yet-unasked question of what would happen if Wes Anderson directed a script by Yvonne Rainer, whose movies (I find them compulsively watchable) sometimes include characters reading political tracts aloud as dialogue. (To be fair, it’s a testament to Godard’s prodigious gifts that he could plausibly anticipate both Anderson and Rainer.)

I saw that preview probably five times and as a result, the featured song, “Mao Mao,” sung by Claude Channes and written by Channes, Gérard Guégan, and Gérard Hugé, would always get relentlessly lodged in my head for days afterward. Part of the song’s charm is the French pronunciation of “Mao”—at least in this song—with two strong syllables, “Ma-Oh,” whereas in English it’s a one-syllable word. The decision to end every line in the verse with “MA OH MA OH” and the infectious chorus apparently sung by children (or at least recorded to give that effect) makes this one hell of a song.
 

 
Not surprisingly, the song is about .... uh, Chairman Mao, supreme leader of China for a generation, known then in English as Mao Tse-Tung and today universally as Mao Zedong. It’s tempting to try to figure out whether the song is pro- or anti-Mao….. it’s a fool’s errand. The lyrics make references to both “renouncing” and “following” Mao and the song should most clearly be seen as the taking up of Mao as a pop subject. One might say that it’s postmodern in the sense that the status of Mao’s pluses and minuses take a back seat to his incomparable there-ness—as the leader of Communist China during the Vietnam War and having recently overseen the Cultural Revolution, Mao was there to be discussed, debated, apprehended no matter what.

La Chinoise is worth a look but what remains is the song (which does appear in the movie). I’ve seldom found a ditty about a brutal dictator as engaging as Channes’ masterpiece, and I had to pass it on to the faithful Dangerous Minds readership. Here are the lyrics in French and an English translation, followed by the trailer, which is a must-see for those who like odd, catchy songs.
 

Le Vietnam brûle et moi je hurle Mao Mao
Johnson rigole et moi je vole Mao Mao
Le napalm coule et moi je roule Mao Mao
Les villes crèvent et moi je rêve Mao Mao
Les putains crient et moi je ris Mao Mao
Le riz est fou et moi je joue Mao Mao

C’est le petit livre rouge
Qui fait que tout enfin bouge

L’impérialisme dicte partout sa loi
La révolution n’est pas un dîner
La bombe A est un tigre en papier
Les masses sont les véritables héros
Les Ricains tuent et moi je mue Mao Mao
Les fous sont rois et moi je bois Mao Mao
Les bombes tonnent et moi je sonne Mao Mao
Les bébés fuient et moi je fuis Mao Mao
Les Russes mangent et moi je danse Mao Mao
Giap dénonce, je renonce Mao Mao

C’est le petit livre rouge
Qui fait que tout enfin bouge

La base de l’armée, c’est le soldat
Le vrai pouvoir est au bout du fusil
Les monstres seront tous anéantis
L’ennemi ne périt pas de lui-même
Mao Mao
Mao Mao
Mao Mao

========

Vietnam burns and me I spurn Mao Mao
Johnson giggles and me I wiggle Mao Mao
Napalm runs and me I gun Mao Mao
Cities die and me I cry Mao Mao
Whores cry and me I sigh Mao Mao
The rice is mad and me a cad

It’s the Little Red Book
That makes it all move

Imperialism lays down the law
Revolution is not a party
The A-bomb is a paper tiger
The masses are the real heroes
The Yanks kill and me I read Mao Mao
The jester is king and me I sing Mao Mao
The bombs go off and me I scoff Mao Mao
Girls run and me I follow Mao Mao
The Russians eat and me I dance Mao Mao
I denounce and I renounce Mao Mao

It’s the Little Red Book
That makes it all move

 

 

Posted by Martin Schneider
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10.03.2017
08:02 am
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