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That time all those Avengers appeared on ‘Late Night with David Letterman’
05.20.2015
09:51 am

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Pop Culture
Television

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It’ll be hard for me to imagine life without David Letterman on the tube. He’s been on late night TV since 1982, and as someone who was a tween during that era I’ve been watching him since probably 1984 or so. In high school he was one of my main heroes, and a lot of what I think I know or appreciate about comedy can be traced back to obsessive late night viewings of Brother Theodore, Pee-wee Herman, Marv Albert, Chris Elliott, Harvey Pekar, Biff Henderson, et al. on the kooky public/secret clubhouse he had going on NBC for quite a while there. At the risk of editorializing, I have found Dave’s CBS show far less essential, to the point that I don’t even really care that much that he’s retiring; the turning point in that process may actually have been the institutionalization of the top ten list, which started out as just another random segment, just like viewer mail. The problem besetting his show post-1988, say, is the same syndrome that has happened to the rest of the late night talk spectrum, which is that watching ultra-prepped actors winkingly play beer pong with Jimmy Fallon (or whomever) has basically no relation to the truly unscripted, fairly snide, and attitudinally aggressive antics that used to occur around 1 a.m. most weeknights during the 1980s.

After Late Night with David Letterman had been around a year or two, a lot of savvier people began referencing it. It felt during this time like renegade entertainment, an unusual commodity that was obscurely about the entertainment industry if not quite of it, and therefore it became a kind of a trope, if you could work “David Letterman” into your story you added a slight buzz of disposable knowingness, much like referencing some of the guests he had on (Pee-wee etc.). In effect, Letterman became a kind of punchline for the smarter set. The idea of John McEnroe or Charlie Brown or Tootsie or Hulk Hogan visiting Letterman’s NBC was a joke in and of itself.

Case in point, issue 239 of the Avengers from Marvel, the January 1984 issue, which trumpeted on its cover, “THE AVENGERS ON LATE NIGHT WITH DAVID LETTERMAN!” See? It was mildly ridiculous, as everything that appeared on Late Night was mildly ridiculous.

In the issue, aspiring actor Simon Williams (a.k.a. Wonder Man) gets booked on Late Night, whose producers request a larger cast of Avengers to appear. A few of the reserve Avengers join Wonder Man on the show, not knowing that serial pest Fabian Stankowicz seeks to sabotage their appearance by planting various booby-traps around the set. Eventually Letterman konks Stankowicz on the head with a giant doorknob.

Here are a few images from the issue—if you click on them, you’ll get to see a slightly larger version.
 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Q: Are We Not Throbbleheads? DEVO’s Booji Boy limited edition
05.15.2015
09:40 am

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Music
Pop Culture

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Booji Boy (you’re supposed to say it like “Boogie Boy” but no one ever does) was a character created by DEVO’s Mark Mothersbaugh in the early 1970s after he found a sick-looking rubber “baby mask” in an Akron, OH novelty store and added a hazmat suit and high-pitched voice. Booji Boy made his first appearance in the short film DEVO made in 1976, The Truth About De-Evolution, where Booji Boy’s father, General Boy, was portrayed by Mothersbaugh’s own father, Robert Mothersbaugh, Sr.

Booji Boy’s “origins” were discussed in the booklet to DEVO’s CD-ROM video game Adventures of the Smart Patrol:

Obsessed with the idea of genetic mutation, Craig submitted to a botched operation in an effort to land a media deal with Big Media. Viola! Boogie Boy - a bizarre adult infant freak with pre-adolescent sexuality and Yoda-like wisdom.

The liner notes also discussed his father’s backstory a bit:

General Boy’s career as a military intelligence officer was cut short over his claim that he experienced an alien abduction. He was made to undergo psychiatric testing which resulted in progressive mental instability. Shortly after his son’s transformation into Boogie Boy, he stopped answering to Mr. Rothwell and became General Boy out of love and sympathy for his son.

 

 
And now there is a throbblehead based on Booji Boy, brought to you by Aggronautix, the same folks who have previously produced toys featuring Jello Biafra, Andrew W.K., GG Allin, Roky Erickson and Mark Mothersbaugh himself sporting a DEVO energy dome hat:

Based on DEVO concert photos dating back to the late 1970s, this limited edition bobblin’ Booji Boy figure is wearing his favorite over-stuffed exercise suit, and is armed with an early circuit-bent toy.

Booji Boy is limited to just 1000 numbered units and includes a Booji Boy vinyl sticker sheet. You can pre-order yours now, DEVO fanboys, and it will ship in June. Now they just need to make one of General Boy. That would be very… obscure.

After the jump, ‘The Truth About De-Evolution’

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Rock stars in bed
05.14.2015
08:53 am

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Pop Culture

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Morrissey in bed 1983
Morrissey sometime around 1983
 
As I take my guest blogging duties here at Dangerous Minds very seriously, I decided that spending much of the last two days rummaging through the Internet for photos of famous musicians lying around in bed was a good idea. And guess what? It paid off.
 
Joan Jett on her bed in LA 1977
Joan Jett in her bedroom in LA in 1977. Photo Chris Stein.
 
While you may be familiar with some of the images you’re about to treat your eyes to, I’m betting that there are a good few that you haven’t seen before. Like the one above of a nineteen-year-old Joan Jett hanging out on her bed in her LA apartment around 1977. I’ve always loved Joan. But after seeing the bondage gear hanging above her head in this photo, I dig her even more (if that’s even possible). The concept for this fairly epic post all started while I was goofing off leering at photos of various musicians clad in their underwear. I know, stay classy, Cherrybomb. After giving myself two bloodshot eyes looking at one too many photos of Robert Plant playing soccer back in the 70’s wearing THIS, I came across a photo of New York Dolls’ guitarist, Johnny Thunders and his then girlfriend, Susanne Blomqvist, (with whom he fathered a child in 1987), likely taken sometime in the early 80’s in Stockholm (Thunders spent a lot of time bouncing back and forth from Paris to Stockholm in the early 80’s). Thus, this post was born.
 
Johnny Thunders and Susanne Blomqvist early 80's
Johnny Thunders and Susanne Blomqvist. Early 80’s
 
As I am a stickler for details (as well as a terrible liar), I also managed to track down a little bit of a backstory on nearly all of the photos that follow such as dates and places where the images were captured, when possible. Rock stars, they’re just like you and me. Only richer, better looking, and in some sad cases, dead. Enjoy!
 
David Johansen and Cyrinda Foxe 1976 from The Legend of Nick Detroit in Punk magazine Volume 1, Number 6
David Johansen and Cyrinda Foxe in 1976. Taken from “The Legend of Nick Detroit”, Punk magazine - Volume One, Number Six
 
Jimi Hendrix at The Drake Hotel in New York 1968
Jimi Hendrix at The Drake Hotel in New York, 1968
 
More rock stars in bed, after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
‘Wicker Man’ trading cards
05.13.2015
12:08 pm

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Movies
Pop Culture

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The website’s now defunct, but sometime in 2006 some brilliant person going by the name “Bubblegum Fink” concocted these fake (yes, fake) trading cards celebrating and promoting the memorable cult movie of 1973 known as The Wicker Man.

About this set, the creator writes:
 

With The Wicker Man, there’s no way there ever could’ve or should’ve been a series like this. I can’t imagine any kid running out to buy several packs of Wicker Man cards and filling their cheeks with the gum as they shout “I got the Lord Summerisle I’ve been needing!” But that’s why I think it’s great. I love the Wicker Man, and as an adult, I’d happily slap down my cash for the cards if they existed.

 
True enough—there’s no way a nudity-filled escapade about a mad pagan cult would have qualified for the Topps treatment. There’s even a wrapper, with the old Topps logo lovingly included as well:
 

 
Having said that, you really have to admire the Bubblegum Fink’s workmanship. These cards are really perfect re-creations, easily close enough to the real thing to fool me, and the 1970s as a decade were just insane enough that when someone says, “Oh look at these Wicker Man trading cards!” you don’t shut it down as impossible right away—it takes a moment or two before the perfect absurdity of it becomes clear.

The almost random selection of images, the occasional foray into “behind the scenes” when an actor’s name is mentioned, the beautifully stilted captions, which remind me of nothing so much as DVD chapter titles….. just a job well done.
 

 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Mr. Bean, the high-end action figure
05.13.2015
06:29 am

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Pop Culture
Television

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Mr. Bean figure
 
Here’s a little something that will likely make your day; an incredibly life-like, fully accessorized 1/4 scale version of actor Rowan Atkinson as master mumbler and chronic bumbler, Mr. Bean.
 
Mr Bean figure close up
 
Part of the HD Masterpiece Collection for Enterbay, Mr. Bean comes with many of his belongings that you will surely recognize from his television show. Among them are the steering wheel from “The Trouble with Mr. Bean” (season one, episode five), the white underpants from “Tee Off, Mr. Bean” (season one, episode twelve), an extra head for the figure fitted with the turkey from “Merry Christmas, Mr. Bean” (season one, episode seven), and of course TEDDY. In my estimation, and perhaps yours, the only thing missing from this to-die-for collectable is Mr. Bean’s yellow 1976 Leyland Mini 1000.
 
Mr. Bean and Teddy figure
 
As you might imagine, you won’t find this fully-articulated version of Mr. Bean slumming around with other action figures at your local toy shop. Available through Enterbay’s online store (and other places such as eBay), the figure comes with a price tag that only serious collectors would consider throwing down for, a cool $422.
 
Mr. Bean steering wheel figure
 
More fantastic images that are so detailed it’s a bit uncanny, after the jump…
 

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
The mind-meltingly brilliant ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ gives cinema a shock to the system
05.11.2015
05:37 am

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Movies
Pop Culture

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Mad Max: Fury Road is one of the greatest action films ever made and certainly the greatest action film ever made by a 70-year-old director. If you’ve seen the trailers, you know what you’re in for: non-stop, pedal-to-the-metal, jaw-dropping movie mayhem. Toss in ingenious set and costume design, elaborately tricked-out rat rods, monster trucks the size of apartment buildings, staggeringly beautiful cinematography and gorgeously glowering, dirt smeared faces of anti-heroes that Sergio Leone would have lingered on for hours, and you’ve got the kind of holy fuck experience that doesn’t come around but once every decade or so. Director George Miller has created a majestic piece of popular entertainment that accomplishes what Road Warrior managed to do in 1982: it sets a new standard for pure cinematic thrills. The poetry is in the motion. This a moving picture.
 

 
Mad Max inhabits a surreal universe as beautifully imagined as those of Alejandro Jodorowsky and Moebius’s concepts for their ill-fated Dune project. And there’s more than a little of Terry Gilliam’s dreamy machinery in the mix. There’s not a frame in the movie that isn’t ravishing and filled with intricate and startling details. Every widescreen landscape is alien and yet familiar. As if David Lean’s Lawrence had wandered into some post-apocalyptic Arabia.

MM:FR doesn’t achieve its epic grandeur and high powered velocity with bigger and better toys or special effects (though it does have that), it does it through sheer cinematic brilliance. This is a movie that doesn’t feel like it was composed in a computer and it doesn’t look like a series of video game cut scenes. MM:FR feels alive, palpably real, organic, crafted. It draws you in in ways that today’s special effects films generally don’t. The distancing effect of CGI is minimal. The scale of the movie is both epic and intimate. Astonishingly magical and deeply human.
 

 
What makes Mad Max: Fury Road doubly rewarding is that it takes on some big themes without getting in the way of the action.  Miller deals with planetary ecological disasters, the futility of war, feminism, totalitarianism, religious fanaticism and the ruthlessness to which humanity is driven in its quest for power. Like all fables, MM:FR is about the battle between good and evil. Nothing new there. But what sets it apart from the current crop of male-centric action movies is the role women play in the film. They’re the dominant heroes. Tom Hardy’s Mad Max takes a backseat to Charlize Theron’s indomitable one-armed buttkicking machine. The men, as one female character describes them, are merely “reliable.” With the exceptions of Hardy and Nicholas Hoult’s Nux, the rest of the male characters are breast-fed (yeah, that’s right) zombified killing machines (War Boys) on a mission from a malefic God. The beautiful and brutally efficient women are the moral center of the movie and their revenge is sweet. This is the hardest rocking chick flick in history. The biker gang made up of septuagenarian Earth goddesses is as cool as any thing you’ll see in cinemas this year. And like so much of MM:FR, it hasn’t been done before. This movie surprises at every turn. Jaded movie goers will feel like kids again.
 

 
George Miller and Hugh Keays-Byrne (Toecutter and Immortan Joe in the Max movies) are interviewed by Robert Rodriguez after a screening of MM:FR this past weekend in Austin, Texas. Shot by M. Campbell for Dangerous Minds at The Alamo Drafthouse.
 

 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
VERY IMPORTANT! App blocks any mention of the Kardashians on the Internet
05.06.2015
11:42 am

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Amusing
Pop Culture

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Perhaps the most important invention of the 21st century (so far) is the KardBlock. It’s an app that blocks any mention of the Kardashian clan on the Internet. They’ve got AdBlock, now there’s an asshole blocker.

What Does KardBlock Do?

If there’s anything on your newsfeed, the website you’re on, whatever… we simply make it disappear. You won’t ever know the stories about the Kardashians are there, because you won’t ever see them. We are also working on customization to block content related to Justin Bieber. Why? So you can see more of the real issues.

I’m James Shamsi, together with Chameleon.la we want to make the internet a better place. Join now for exclusive beta access to the best thing to happen to the internet since the Kardashians.

Isn’t that a bit of a mixed message? Anyhoo, the world will be a better place, I’m not complaining. Does it automatically work for anyone who marries into the Kardashian clan? I’m lookin’ at you, Kanye…

h/t Bill Meadows

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Marvel’s ‘Generic Comic Book’: The only superhero comic you’ll ever need!
05.06.2015
05:31 am

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Pop Culture

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In the spring of 1984, Marvel Comics published a very strange one-off called Generic Comic Book, which was exactly as advertised: an all white cover to mimic ‘80s generic food labeling, an all white and nameless hero to the same end, completely one-dimensional characters and situations and a heavy reliance on tired tropes… so basically it was any old B-grade comic, only pointedly worse. I discovered it in the bargain comics box of my favorite toy shop, marked below its 60¢ cover price. You would have bought it, too.

The story begins with several pages of expository dialogue and internal monologue. We see right out of the gate that our hero has a girlfriend, but that’s about all that’s right with his crapsack life, and the girlfriend doesn’t even last past the first page. She’s literally put on a bus, never to be seen again. Our hero is broke. He wants to buy a house for himself and his girl, but he lives with his parents and also needs money to—I shit you not—“get little Bobby the operation he so desperately needs.” A professional writer got paid to write that line. I’m not bitter.
 

 

 

Could someone tell the letterist about “to” and “too?”
 
On his way home, our hero’s problems are compounded when he gets mugged by some generic goons. Acting out in frustration, he smashes the Three Mile Island snow-globe (RELEVANT SOCIAL ISSUE YOU GUYS) from his prized collection of glow-in-the-dark crap, setting in motion one of the most admirably preposterous superhero origin stories I’ve ever read: breaking the Three Mile Island snow globe atomically activated all the other iridescent stuff in the room (SEE? SEE? TOTALLY RELEVANT!), giving our hero super strength, super vision, super hearing—and bleaching his hair bright white.
 

If you can’t read whitey’s pin, it says “HEAVY MEAT.” I want to hear that band.
 
This is only the beginning… much, much more after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
Could Russell Brand end up being THE deciding factor in the upcoming UK election?
05.04.2015
01:47 pm

Topics:
Class War
Politics
Pop Culture

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Most Americans pay absolutely no attention to British politics, and frankly why should we? Our politicians are actual goddamn sideshow freaks, whereas the UK just has a bunch of drips, simps and wimps with only one actual lunatic in the person of Ukip’s unhinged dingbat, the Palinesque (and I don’t mean Michael) nincompoop Nigel Farage. BORING.

I do follow British politics (I lived there for a while during the Thatcher era) and like many actual Britons, I too believe this is one of the most important elections for the country in our lifetime. The UK is most assuredly at a pivotal juncture politically, with issues of wage stagnation, structural unemployment, immigration, the conservatives’ much hated NHS reform, affordable housing, tax cuts for billionaires and many, many other serious matters seeing that this election has an extremely high level of public awareness.

Again, most of my fellow countrymen couldn’t care less about any of that stuff, but now they have a reason to pay attention because there is a celebrity angle: Comedian and social activist Russell Brand has done a bit of a U-turn and decided that INDEED there is a reason to vote and he’s throwing his support behind the Labour Party and Ed Miliband. If you’re reading this and thinking, “Big deal, some celebrity big ups a politician, who cares?” Owen Jones writes at the he Guardian that “Brand matters” and why the comedian’s surprise endorsement of Miliband should have the Tories quite worried:

And however much bluff and bluster the Tories now pull – maybe more playground abuse from David Cameron, who called Brand a “joke” – his endorsement of Labour in England and Wales will worry them. More people have registered to vote than ever before: between the middle of March and the deadline to register, nearly 2.3 million registered, over 700,000 of them 24 years old or younger. In countless marginal seats, disillusioned voters who were either going to plump for a protest party or not vote at all could well decide whether we are ruled by David Cameron, George Osborne and Iain Duncan Smith for another half a decade.

Even in a country as large as America, 2.3 million newly registered voters *SNAP* like that in would be seen as a somewhat staggering number, so in a nation the size of Great Britain, this should be seen as an incredibly significant development. Russell Brand’s opinions matter to young people, even if, it would seem, that (happily) many of them ignored his “Don’t bother voting” hectoring last year that he obviously doesn’t even believe himself anymore.

And don’t think any of this is lost on the current resident of #10 Downing Street as Prime Minister David Cameron has repeatedly spoken with scorn at Brand’s surprise endorsement of his political rival. In recent weeks this race has gone from merely tight to a real who-knows-what’s-going-to happen nailbiter and he knows it. Politically speaking, tectonic plates are shifting in Great Britain, this just makes the situation even more volatile.

Brand shot back at the Tory leader:

“David Cameron might think I’m a joke but I don’t think there’s anything funny about what the Conservative party have been doing to this country and we have to stop them.”

Standing ovation!

We’ll soon see how these newly registered voters tip the scales politically in the UK, but just hours away from the vote, the flux and uncertainty of the situation is impressive to say the least. Brand’s last minute endorsement of Miliband, and the effect this might have on the election’s outcome, is interesting to contemplate. Even if you’re only tuning in now and following the broadest strokes of the horse race, it’s worth paying attention because all bets are truly off.

Let’s hope Brand gets a chance to meet with Bernie Sanders soon, eh? Keep it inneresting, mate!
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Super sexy, futuristic couture cosplay
05.04.2015
11:25 am

Topics:
Art
Fashion
Pop Culture

Tags:

Divamp Mohawk Helmet
 
Designer Boyd Baton has been crafting his dystopian designs for over 20 years in Barcelona, Spain. While attending school in his native Holland in the early 90’s, Baton found himself smack in the midst of the emerging Acid House dance scene and started making hand-painted T-shirts and costumes for his friends and the club kids. One of Baton’s first creations was a bra made from mirrored PVC, a fab fabric that he still incorporates into the futuristic looks that are a part of his label Divamp Couture which Baton launched in 2013.
 
Divamp Alien Helmet
 
While Baton says he admires the work of designers like Thierry Mugler and Jean-Paul Gaultier, he credits Mother Nature as his true muse. Since I’m pretty sure Barcelona is located on planet Earth, I find Baton’s nod to nature a bit confusing. Sadly, the truth is that I’ve never been to Barcelona. So I must suspend my disbelief that some areas of the city are inhabited by extras from Mad Max. But I digress.
 
Divamp Mohawk Helmet and Armor
 
Baton’s extreme duds are made from flexible mirrored PVC sewn onto a fabric lining. So they only look like they would repel bullets or protect you from a surprise roadside attack by The Acolytes. Also, if while looking through some of the images that follow of Baton’s sci-fi handy work you think that you’ve just found the perfect get up for Halloween this year, forget it. Baton’s more involved designs cost over a grand, and smaller pieces like this spiny armor for your arm will run you a few hundred dollars. Let’s face it, if you want to look like the alternate universe version of the Plasmatics (and who doesn’t?), it isn’t going to come cheap. If you’re currently in Barcelona, Baton’s work can be seen and purchased in at his brick and mortar store located on the popular shopping street, Carrer Petritxol.
 
Divamp Mask and Armor
 
Divamp Mirrored Hair
 
More after the jump…
 

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
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