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‘I know it’s illegal, but it’s the weekend’: Man with 80 speaker sound system in his van rocks out
06.23.2016
10:15 am

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Amusing
Music

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Image via NYPD 110th Precinct on Twitter
 
THIS! This is what vans are made for! Meet Nelson Hidalgo, a 47-year-old man from Queens, who was busted by the cops over the weekend for allegedly playing loud as fuck rock music through his 80 speaker sound system. This guy knows how to party. He’s my new “van man crush”!

Nelson Hidalgo, with Coors Light in hand, allegedly plastered the back of his van with about 80 different speakers ranging in size and swung the doors open, blasting music through Willets Point on Saturday night.

Hidalgo, armed with several high-output amplifiers parked at the intersection of 127th Street and 35th Avenue at about 10:45 p.m., and drew a large crowd, police said.

According to reports, police received numerous noise complaints over Hidalgos’ boss 80 speaker sound system. “I spent over $20 grand on this equipment,” Hidalgo allegedly told police, according to court records.

Hidalgo supposedly went on to say, “I know it’s illegal, but it’s the weekend.” ROCK THE FUCK ON!

Hidalgo, who has no prior arrests, was charged with second-degree criminal nuisance, general noise prohibition, disorderly conduct, and obstructing the driver’s view.

He was released without bail, and is expected to be in court on August 1.

I love this man and his van full of speakers.

via Arbroath

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Dumbest rock auction of the century? A jar of AIR from a Stone Roses gig is fetching $97K…so far
06.23.2016
09:44 am

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Music
Stupid or Evil?

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Gen Xers—particularly those hailing from the UK, but some advanced Yanks, as well—may remember a fleetingly brief time just before the turn of the 1990s when the Stone Roses seemed to a great many otherwise sane people like the only important band whatsoever (Jane’s Addiction and Sonic Youth probably begged to differ). Even some of their Manchester contemporaries were on board with that assessment: still in my teens in 1989, I scored a face-to-face interview with Shaun Ryder of Happy Mondays, who was tripping so many balls that no matter what question I asked him, most of his answers were variations on “FOOKIN’ STONE ROSES ARE THE FOOKIN’ BEST, I FOOKIN’ LOVE THEM.” But no band—NONE—can live up to messianic expectations from an overly exuberant press and fan base, and when legal battles with the label that released their debut album left them unable to release anything, their momentum was consumed and that was that. Their years-overdue sophomore LP was generally considered a disappointment despite its wishfully grandiose title, and plus their whole “baggy” trip was kind of irrelevant by then anyway, long since eclipsed by shoegaze, grunge, and Britpop. When their reunited band was announced as the headline act for 2013’s Coachella festival, under-30s flocked to Twitter to ask um, excuse me, who?

But despite that kind of embarrassing start and the poor reception to their upbeat but insipid 2016 comeback single “All for One” (the subsequent “Beautiful Thing” is a little better), their concert dates have been greeted with enthusiasm, and really, nothing changes the fact that their self-titled LP is one of the most singularly brilliant debuts in rock history. Clearly some of their devotees remain as fanatical as the ecstasy-addled ‘80s kids that made the band short-duration gods.

Which is the only possible explanation for how a fucking jar of air from their show at Manchester’s Etihad Stadium last weekend has been bid up to £65,900.00 (almost $97K USD).
 

We’ll give the seller this: the lemon on the lid? Nice touch.
 

A helpful demonstration of the air’s capture

Which utterly boggles the mind in itself, but when considered against the fact that there are other bottles of air from the same show on eBay, one for only £0.99, it becomes damn near impossible to parse just how this could have happened. And also I’m sorry but there’s just absolutely no way a shipping cost of £12.45 (more than $18 USD) is justified for just one little bottle. The way some of these eBay sellers gouge you, I swear to God…
 

 

 

Yep, I searched eBay for “stone roses jar of air.” What’s the dumbest thing YOU ever did at work?

If you’ve got money to burn and are drool-cup stupid, bidding on the various bottles ends within a range from three to six days.

More after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
Reggae Britannia: Cult classic ‘Babylon’ deals pure wickedness
06.22.2016
03:20 pm

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Movies
Music

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Babylon is a totally engrossing 1980 British film that is set against the UK reggae and “sound system” culture of South London’s then predominantly West Indian neighborhood, Brixton.

It stars Brinsley Forde, the lead singer of Aswad as “Blue.” Martin Stellman (Quadrophenia) originally co-wrote the screenplay with director Franco Rosso as a teleplay for the BBC in 1975. The soundtrack was scored by Slits producer Dennis Bovell and featured music by Aswad (their killer “Warrior Charge” number, which figures in the plot of the film), Yabby U, I Roy, Michael Prophet and others. Babylon was shot by Oscar- winning cinematographer Chris Menges (The Mission; The Killing Fields).

From the (region free) UK DVD:

Sound system ‘toaster’ Blue and his Ital Lion crew are looking forward to a soundclash competition with rival outfit Jah Shaka. But as the event approaches, Blue’s personal life begins to unravel. Fired from his job, he begins to suspect his girlfriend is cheating on him and then one night he is brutally beaten by plainclothes policemen. Finally, when their lock-up garage is broken into and their sound system destroyed, he cannot take any more. Increasingly angered and alienated by what he perceives to be society’s rejection of his race and his culture, Blue is compelled to respond by fighting fire with fire.

Babylon is a real treat and considered a classic today. The soundclash scene with Jah Shaka near the film’s end is just a flat-out great piece of filmmaking. Babylon was difficult to see until it was released on DVD in 2008, but it’s made a strong comeback since then, with prestigious screenings and a BBC broadcast as part of the “Reggae Britannia” season.

Certainly it’s a unique film, the only one of its kind to examine the harsh life of Jamaican immigrants in London during that time. Babylon represents the first time in UK cinema where British reggae culture and Rastafarianism were explored in a non-documentary. Director Rosso was raised in south London himself and knew exactly where to find visually arresting backdrops of urban decay in Brixton and Deptford.
 

 
Keep reading after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Holy shit, Converse is making a wearable wah-wah pedal
06.22.2016
12:03 pm

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Fashion
Music
Science/Tech

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In a huge, forehead-slappy piece of holy-shit-why-has-this-not-been-done-before news, there are now Converse Chuck Taylor sneakers with built-in wah pedals—no external hardware, just move your foot and voila, psychedelia. The concept goes back a few years, to a “Chuck Hack” event, when the design firm Critical Mass unveiled a prototype. That version was wired—you had to plug the shoe in, as the videos below will show. Since then, CuteCircuit has made a Bluetooth version.

We’re unable to find any information on when these will be made available to the public, but since half the guitarists I know wear Chucks anyway, I can’t imagine this product would fail.

After the jump, watch the Critical Mass concept video, followed by a demonstration by J Mascis…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
‘More Barn!’ Neil Young confirms awesome story about playing ‘Harvest’ for Graham Nash
06.22.2016
11:23 am

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Music

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It’s a quote almost as delicious as Nigel Tufnel’s “This one goes to 11” from This Is Spinal Tap—and maybe it’s not a coincidence that it’s about the supreme importance of rock music being LOUD AS FUCK.

Todd Van Luling at The Huffington Post ran an article yesterday in which he says he got Young to confirm the sort-of apocryphal story.

The story must have happened in late 1971 or early 1972. Neil Young had just put his fourth album Harvest to bed, and he badly wanted his bandmate Graham Nash to hear it. Here’s Van Luling’s rendition of the story, as it has been told for years:
 

As the myth goes, Nash was at Young’s ranch just south of San Francisco when Young asked him if he wanted to hear something. (That something would become Young’s now famous 1972 “Harvest” album, which features the track “Heart of Gold.”) Nash, of course, said yes and suggested going into Young’s studio. That wasn’t Young’s plan.

“He said, ‘Get into the rowboat,’” Nash explained on NPR’s Fresh Air in 2013. “I said, ‘Get into the rowboat?’ He said, ‘Yeah, we’re going to go out into the middle of the lake.’”

The two row out on the lake, with Nash assuming Young brought a cassette player and headphones with him.

“Oh, no,” said Nash on NPR. “He has his entire house as the left speaker and his entire barn as the right speaker. And I heard ‘Harvest’ coming out of these two incredibly large loud speakers louder than hell. It was unbelievable. Elliot Mazer, who produced Neil, produced ‘Harvest,’ came down to the shore of the lake and he shouted out to Neil, ‘How was that, Neil?’”

The best part is Young’s apparent response to the situation. As Nash explained, “I swear to God, Neil Young shouted back, ‘More barn!’”

 
One of the odd things about this story is that 20 years passed before Nash told anyone about it, more or less. It purportedly appeared in the liner notes of a 1991 4-CD compilation called CSN—however, my efforts to verify that on Discogs came up short. In 1996 a Neil Young fan named Brad Brandeau created a T-shirt that depicted the story with this image:
 

 
As mentioned above, Nash told the story on Fresh Air three years ago.

Young has a new album to promote, an album called Earth that comes out on Friday. The acclaimed singer-songwriter has been in an expansive mood lately, joining Marc Maron on his podcast WTF as well.

Here’s Young’s account of the barn story, as told to Van Luling:

“Well it’s funny, it’s just a little thing that happened one day and it keeps growing and getting crazier,” Young said over the phone. “But I had the left speaker, big speakers set up in my house with the windows open. And I had the PA system — that we used to rehearse and record with in the barn where I recorded “Alabama” and “Words” and a couple other things — over there playing the right-hand channel. So, we were sitting in between them on a little lake and that’s what we were doing.”

When asked if the kicker of the legend was true — whether he truly did yell back, “More Barn!” — the singer laughed for a bit. Then he said, “Yeah, I think it was a little house heavy.”

“A little house heavy.” Can we get a T-shirt for that one too?

After the jump, Young set at the BBC a couple of weeks after ‘Harvest’ was released…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Before Pere Ubu, there was the Robert Bensick Band—a Dangerous Minds premiere
06.22.2016
10:34 am

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History
Music

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All who’ve dipped their toes in even the shallow end of early punk lore know the famous trajectory of the early scene in Cleveland By God Ohio: first, there was the proto-punk band Rocket From the Tombs. They were weird and combative and completely out of step with normality, and it couldn’t last, so they split. That fissure produced that amazing yin and yang of Ur-punk—the bratty, gutterbound Dead Boys, who burned bright and flamed out fast; and the forbiddingly arty, brainy, and belligerent Pere Ubu, who still exist to weird out the normals today (they’re on tour right now, in fact).

But that’s only half of the story. Of the first lineup of Pere Ubu, only singer David Thomas and guitarist Peter Laughner were Rocket refugees, and Laughner, sadly, didn’t even live to play on Ubu’s debut album. Guitarist Tom Herman and drummer Scott Krauss came Ubu’s way from a now utterly obscure weirdo outfit called the Robert Bensick Band. Bensick was a veteran of a handful of bands that included various future Ubus and members of the under-documented Laughner band Cinderella Backstreet, and in the mid-‘70s he assembled from those sources a band of like-minded rock ’n’ roll misfits to record what he intended as a magnum opus, the never-released French Pictures in London.
 
Keep reading after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
David Lynch is throwing a very Lynchian music & film festival (and it’ll probably be a weird blast)
06.21.2016
03:49 pm

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Movies
Music
Television

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David Lynch is like our nation’s super-fun, super-weird uncle, and it’s high time that he decided to get involved with a music festival. To his credit, he’s not riding the coattails of an established festival but has started one up from scratch.

It’s called the Festival of Disruption, and it’s going to happen in downtown Los Angeles on October 8 and 9. Lynch has put together the kind of impressive lineup of guests that you can only muster if you’ve long since become Hollywood royalty (albeit in a surrealist sort of way).

The headliners are Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters. Joining them will be St. Vincent, Questlove, and Rhye, as well as a performance of music from Twin Peaks involving Sky Ferreira, Xiu Xiu, and Lynch’s axiomatic composer Angelo Badalamenti.

There will also be “talks” with figures such as the stars of Lynch’s masterpiece Blue Velvet (Kyle MacLachlan & Laura Dern), Blondie’s Debbie Harry and Chris Stein, and Mel Brooks, who was Lynch’s producer on The Elephant Man. There will also be screenings of Lynch’s films, daily Transcendental Meditation sessions, and more.

The venue is the Ace Theatre Hotel and Theatre, located at 929 South Broadway. Tickets go on sale Friday, June 24th at 10:00 a.m. PST. 100% of the proceeds will benefit the David Lynch Foundation, whose mission is reducing toxic stress and trauma among at-risk populations, including victims of domestic violence, veterans suffering from PTSD, and underserved urban youth, through the evidence-based Transcendental Meditation technique.

More after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
The Residents sing the Blues: Elvis, Hank Williams and some demented cowboys
06.21.2016
01:53 pm

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Music

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In spring of 1989, The Residents brought their “History of American Music in 3 EZ pieces” tour to Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall in New York for that year’s “Serious Fun” avant-garde music/performance art festival.  It was the second time I would see The Residents live and it was a memorable musical theatrical experience, I can assure you. Either the night before or the night after I can’t recall, I saw Diamanda Galas in the same theater performing her “Masque of the Red Death” trilogy and nearly bringing the walls down with the demonic intensity of her performance. (Ann Magnuson, Eric Bogosian, Spalding Gray and Richard Foreman’s production of Philip Glass’s ‘‘The Fall of the House of Usher’’ opera were also a part of that year’s festival)

Alice Tully Hall is a plush, intimate (1086 seats) recital hall that normally hosts the New York Film Festival and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. Because of the “classy” setting, the show promised to be “more” than previous live Residents outings. Seeing The Residents at Lincoln Center seemed irresistible, but I didn’t know anyone who wanted to go with me, so I went alone [I’ve never been able to rope in a friend to see The Residents with me, not once! The first time I’d caught The Residents, also alone, was a few years earlier, during their 13th anniversary tour at The Ritz nightclub (now Webster Hall). About ten minutes into the show, Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat arrived and stood near me on the balcony. About 20 minutes later they said something to each other and left immediately.]
 

 
The performance consisted of three-acts: “Buckaroo Blues” told the story of America through cowboy music, “Black Barry” via slave songs, blues and jazz and in the final Elvis section, “The Baby King,” The Residents essayed a senile Elvis telling his grandchildren (“Shorty” and “Shirley,” two freaky ventriloquist’s dummies) about his life before the British Invasion killed him. The show featured elaborately choreographed dance numbers and back-lit sets. As you might expect, the acoustics were pretty near perfect in a place like Alice Tully Hall.

More after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Can go all disco-krautrock at the BBC, 1976
06.21.2016
11:00 am

Topics:
Music

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Seemingly searching for a new musical identity, Can—Irmin Schmidt, Jaki Liebezeit, Michael Karoli, Holger Czukay—performed their jaunty, jittery disco-fied “I Want More”—their only hit single in the UK, it got to #26—on Top of the Pops in 1976.

Smarmy TOTP presenter Noel Edmonds makes a terrible pun when he introduces them: “I wonder if Can will get into the top tin!” Ouch.

Then afterwards he “jokes”:

“We wanted to have them on at the beginning of the show, but then realized we couldn’t have a Can opener.”

Har har har. It’s tempting to put this into the same category as the Rolling Stones’ “Hot Stuff” from the same year. It’s brilliant and embarrassingly catchy, defying you not to dance, a testament to the talents of one of the greatest drummers who ever lived, Jaki Liebezeit.

“I Want More” is the opening number from their Flow Motion album.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Sextape 4: New mix of awesome music from ‘70s porn and erotic films for your listening pleasure
06.21.2016
10:00 am

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Movies
Music

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I blog about French music producer Drixxxe‘s superb mixes of songs from ‘70s softcore porn-y films every time he releases a new one. Drixxxe just added another mix to the “Sextape” theme and it’s good. Like really good. Listen to it, below.

A lot of these mixes don’t have tracklists, but some of songs come from films like Sessomatto, Black Lolita, Aunt Peg, Madame Claude, Emmanuelle and the Girls of Madame Claude, Vampyros Lesbos, Sex O’Clock USA, Skin Flicks, Odyssey, Le Sex Shop and Emanuelle and the Last Cannibals and many, many more.

If you can’t get enough of the “Sextape” series, click here to listen to more mixes. There’s hours and hours of this softcore music for your pleasure awaiting you. What are you waiting for? Call now…

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
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