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Orchestral version of Motörhead’s ‘Ace of Spades’ will blow your mind
10:51 am



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
06:33 am



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
They didn’t write that?: Hits you (probably) didn’t realize were cover songs (Part One)
07:22 am

One-hit wonders


Recently I had a friend hip me to a song that I had no idea existed, having thought for decades that the later cover of it by an ‘80s one-hit-wonder band was the original and only version ever recorded. This epiphany led to a conversation about hit songs that we didn’t at first realize were covers—sometimes not discovering the existence of the original versions until many years after the fact. A few friends joined in, and at the end of the conversation I was sitting on a list of nearly 50 well-known hit songs that were “surprise” cover versions.

As a public service to Dangerous Minds readers, I’m going to share this list so that you too can wow your friends at parties with your vast musical knowledge. Granted, our readership is a smart and savvy bunch, so undoubtedly you’ll come across songs on this list and you’ll say “I already knew about that.” Yes, of course you did, but do indulge the rest of us, won’t you? Hopefully, though, there’s something here to surprise even you.

We’ll be rolling this list out in parts over the next few weeks. In no particular order, this is Part One of Dangerous Minds’ list of hits you (probably) didn’t realize were cover songs.

The song: “Obsession”
You know it from: Animotion
But it was done first by: Michael Des Barres and Holly Knight

“Obsession” was a 1984 smash for one-hit-wonders Animotion, but it was originally recorded a year earlier in 1983 by Silverhead and Detective lead singer Michael Des Barres and Grammy-winning songwriter, Holly Knight. Incidentally, this is the song that started the conversation that resulted in this entire list.



The song: “King of the Nighttime World”
You know it from: KISS
But it was done first by: Kim Fowley and the Hollywood Stars

“King of the Nighttime World” appeared on KISS’ 1976 platinum album Destroyer, but it was originally recorded in 1974 by producer, performer, and Runaways’ Svengali, Kim Fowley. Fowley’s version has slightly different lyrics and a more laid-back groove.



The song: “Wild in the Streets”
You know it from: The Circle Jerks
But it was done first by: Garland Jeffreys

“Wild in the Streets,” one of The Circle Jerks’ signature tunes, was the title track from their second album. Most punks in 1983 probably didn’t know that the song was actually a cover of a 1973 number written by Garland Jeffreys after hearing about a pre-teen rape and murder in the Bronx.



The song: “Gloria”
You know it from: Laura Branigan
But it was done first by: Umberto Tozzi

Laura Branigan’s signature song, her 1982 hit, “Gloria,” was on the Billboard chart for 36 weeks—but prior to that it was a huge 1979 hit in Italy for Umberto Tozzi.

Many more cover versions that you didn’t know were cover versions after the jump…

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
‘The Devil Lives in My Husband’s Body’: Pulsallama, NYC’s all-girl all-percussion New Wave band
12:10 pm



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
07:50 am



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
07:41 am



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
07:33 am



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’
07:20 am



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
09:46 am



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
08:56 am



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
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