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Lobotomy: LA’s greatest unknown punk rock fanzine, 1978
01:48 pm

Pop Culture


Just when you thought that you have seen it all, there always seems to be just one more thing. Sometimes the universe saves the best for last, like Lobotomy: The Brainless Magazine, which was founded in Hollywood during the spring 1978 by Pleasant Gehman.

The Xeroxed fanzine became notorious in the Hollywood punk scene from its very first issue, when Kim Fowley threatened to sue 18-year-old Pleasant over the sarcastic and derogatory comments she wrote about him. Because Pleasant couldn’t afford to re-print her ‘zine, she hitchhiked or took a bus to the various record stores that carried Lobotomy and cut out the offending paragraph with scissors!

Gehman, who has written for every magazine under the sun and fronted three bands, The Screaming Sirens, The Ringling Sisters and Honk If Yer Horny, is now known sometimes as “Princess Farhana,” burlesque and belly dancing star, and is exactly as she was then: wild and hysterically funny, which are the main characteristics of her DIY “brain child,” Lobotomy. Lobotomy is the documentation of a demented teenage punk insider’s view of the early scene (mostly in Los Angeles, but also New York and London) with a MAD magazine mentality. Lobotomy had that special freak-out girl flair fueled by booze, drugs and FUN!
Chief photographer Theresa Kereakes, also a teenager, started her career accidentally by doing the first photo shoot for a friend’s new band…The Germs. She took countless onstage and backstage photos of The Cramps, Ramones, Blondie, Jeffrey Lee Pierce, Billy Idol, Joan Jett and many more for Lobotomy. Nearly four decades later, they’ve become some of the most recognized and iconic images of the early punk scene. This was in the wild west days of punk and publishing where none of this had any career possibilities or future and this all comes off in the text and photos. Truly done for laughs and love.

Theresa has gone on to be a real heavy hitter photographer working with David Bowie, Bob Dylan, Keith Richards and others before going on to work at Island Records and becoming a programming supervisor at VH-1 and Sirius Satellite Radio. Both Pleasant and Theresa were ticket takers at the Whiskey A Go Go in the 1970’s. You can also see her work on her blog Punk Turns 30 .
Pleasant and Theresa, Hollywood photo booth 1978
Typical night: party at Joan Jett’s house across from The Whiskey A Go Go with Brad Dunning, Lisa Curland, Pleasant, Melissa, Darby & Lorna of The Germs, Billy Idol, etc.
When I asked Pleasant how many issues there were in total, she replied “Maybe twenty?” which pretty much sums it up. She added “I was held together by Scotch tape and safety pins… I don’t really know!” Which is a perfect quote describing a perfect slice of wonderful teenage hysteria.

Keep reading after the jump…

Posted by Howie Pyro | Leave a comment
Do you remember: ‘Pan, Pan, Greek god Pan—One half goat, the other half maaaaan!’ ???
09:44 am

Pop Culture


I don’t think this post will exactly break the Internet like Kim Kardashian’s ass or anything, but I do predict that it will become pretty popular today. Perhaps we’ll see this same clip later today on Huffington Post. I certainly think that it’s going to get around once unleashed. But I’m starting it here and now. Remember: You heard it here first.

Nope. Actually, that’s probably not true. You probably heard it for the very first time when you were in the first or second grade…

If you are—ahem—“of a certain age” and went to school in the United States in the 70s or 80s there is very little doubt that at one point or another you were shown a filmstrip in music class that (ridiculously) explained how reed instruments came about via their discovery by a mythological creature. (I saw it in a “library class” in the second grade—and if memory serves, it was my very own mother, who was a library volunteer at my grade school, who showed it to the class.)

What am I talking about? I am talking about “The Pipes Of Pan.”


This morning on Twitter I was alerted to the fact that today is the birthday of the great supernatural writer Arthur Machen, who was born on March 3, 1863. Machen’s most famous work is his 1890 novella The Great God Pan which none other than Stephen King has called:  “Maybe the best [horror story] in the English language.”

As I read this one tweet, a song began to play—over and over and over and over and over again—in my still groggy brain:

“Pan, Pan, Greek god Pan—One half goat, the other half maaaaan!”

Do these lyrics ring a bell for you? I’ve had that dumb ditty stuck in my head for well over 40 years now. Your mileage may vary, but like I say, if you went to school in America in the 70s and 80s—and probably even into the early 90s—there is a very, very strong likelihood that you not only have been exposed to this earworm of a song at a very young age, it’s also probably taken up residence in your noggin permanently.

“Pan, Pan, Greek god Pan—One half goat, the other half maaaaan!”

It’s not like it would be as familiar to a generation like a “Schoolhouse Rock” number would be, but it’s close. This isn’t the first time that it’s occurred to me to blog about “The Pipes Of Pan” but in the past I was always thwarted by a lack of a video clip. Until now. Someone kindly posted it in 2014.

It is exactly how I remembered it.

Apparently I wasn’t the only person who has been looking for “The Pipes Of Pan” online. By the time I typed “Pan, Pan, Greek…” Google happily filled in the rest of it.

Back in 2007, Donna Bowman at the AV Club posted the following answer to a reader’s query about a dim and distant childhood memory of the iconic filmstrip:

We get a fair number of questions asking about filmstrips from readers’ school days, and they pose a unique identification challenge. On one hand, filmstrips aren’t exactly a mass medium. Any particular one might be used in hundreds of schools across the country without ever achieving the saturation level of even the lowest-rated basic-cable TV show. So web searches for the lyrics you quoted, Erica, as well as subsets and variants thereof, turn up scattered references on bulletin boards and blogs in the form of offhand comments—no discussion of the source. (The Internet turns out to be great at locating dozens of people posting “Oh yeah, I remember that! What the heck was it?” and zero people who actually know what it was.)

 On the other hand, unlike songs and TV shows, filmstrips are actually kept in the collections of libraries—whose catalogs can be searched with tools like OCLC WorldCat. There don’t seem to be any cartoony filmstrips about Greek mythology that fit the bill, but one of those bulletin-boarders recalled that the academic subject matter was music. Paydirt!

“The Pipes Of Pan” is part of the Once Upon A Sound collection, five strips produced by the venerable Jam Handy corporation in 1971 to teach elementary-school students about musical instrument families—horns, drums, strings, and in this case, woodwinds. Since filmstrips became an outmoded technology, some companies have been repackaging them on DVD, and luckily for us, Clearvue & SVE did that for the Once Upon A Sound series in 2005. There’s even a brief streaming preview, and although it’s limited to the new framing video the Clearvue folks have packaged around the filmstrip, it includes a few screenshots of the filmstrip itself, confirming the “cutesy” and “cherubic” character design of the nature god. While I couldn’t locate an mp3 of Pan’s theme song, I’m confident that this is your memory. And if those bulletin-board posters are any indication, the memory of thousands of ‘70s-era third-graders like you.

And I’m pretty confident that many of our readers will remember it, too (although admittedly, my wife told me that it did not ring a bell for her).

Why hasn’t someone sampled this?

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Iggy Pop, Nick Cave, Marc Bolan, Bernie Sanders and many more stained glass night-lights
08:33 am

Pop Culture


Iggy Pop. Get him here.

Here’s a stained glass Iggy Pop night-light for all you hardcore Stooges fans out there who want Iggy’s face to be the last thing you see before you go to sleep at night and the first thing you see when you wake up in the morning.

Why does something like this exist you might ask? Because Etsy, that’s why.

The Glass Action shop sells the Iggster for $40.00 + shipping.

And if Iggy doesn’t tickle your fancy, there are many, many more to choose from. I’ve included the ones I like best, below.

Nick Cave. Get him here.

Marc Bolan. Get him here.

Bernie Sanders. Get him here.

More after the jump…

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Have you ever wondered what 100 effects pedals all chained together would sound like?
01:07 pm

Pop Culture


Nick Reinhart of the experimental rock/jazz/ambient combo Tera Melos and well-regarded session bassist Juan Alderete de la Peña decided to chain together 100 effects pedals to see what it would sound like.

If you want to do this at home, you will immediately realize that, in addition to the shortfall in effects pedals you might have, you also don’t have nearly enough cables. So the video starts with them unboxing a bunch of Mogami cables.

In order to conduct the experiment, it was necessary to perform an incantation of specific runic phrases, such as “Radical Delay,” “Thrashmaster,” “Mantic Flex Pro” (signed by Adrian Belew!), and “Twin Cam Chorus.”

Spoiler: It don’t sound like Rachmaninoff.

It takes them a while to get to the full 100-pedal sound, so if you want to skip to that you can jump to about the 16:30 mark. But the setting up is pretty engaging, so I recommend just letting it play.

via FACT

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Classic shots of Grace Jones, Alice Cooper, Debbie Harry, Frank Zappa & more at the Grammy Awards
09:22 am

Pop Culture


Grace Jones and Rick James arrive at the Grammy Awards, 1980
Grace Jones and Rick James at the Grammy Awards, 1983
One of my really awful guilty pleasures (I also love the band Rush, but I don’t judge and neither should you), is watching awards shows. I know, I know, they’re stupid, and that my street cred just went out to the dumpster to smoke cigarettes with Milli Vanilli. I’m okay with that.
Micky Dolenz and Michael Nesmith of the Monkees at the Grammy Awards, 1968
Micky Dolenz and Michael Nesmith of the Monkees at the Grammy Awards, 1968. The band was up for two awards for “I’m a Believer” (Group Vocal Performance and Contemporary Vocal Group), but lost both times to The Fifth Dimension’s “Up Up and Away.”
Alice Cooper and Stevie Wonder at the Grammy Awards, 1974
It does not get much cooler than this: Alice Cooper and Stevie Wonder at the Grammy Awards, 1974
Plenty more classic Grammy moments after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Today’s best country music songwriter is a Twitter bot
11:18 am

Pop Culture


In 2016 the most interesting and prolific lyricist in the genre of American roots music is a twitter bot named horse_bluegrass.

Programmer Jared Wenerd fed the lyrics of 1,796 bluegrass songs into a text prediction algorithm. The algorithm creates sentences with a certain degree of randomness, but using predictions of words likely to follow the preceeding word, based on the input of the original songs fed into the program. The end result are lyrics that are at times nonsensical, but at other times quite poignant and profound.

The code takes text, parses it into individual words, to create a model where the algorithm knows the likeliness that one word will follow another or end a phrase. For instance starting with the word “in” it knows that a likely word to follow will be “the”, “a”, or 43 other different words. The algorithm decides to go with “the” due to the statistical likeliness and randomness. It then continues and chooses the next word after “the” using the same process… and so on until the algorithm decides the phrase should end. Once it has a complete phrase, it publishes the text to Twitter


The twitter account updates every couple of hours.

Here’s some of horse_bluegrass’ fine work. Certainly as good as, if not better than, anything coming out of Nashville in 2016. Check it out, no songs about pick-up trucks or beer:



More robotic country music lyrics after the jump…

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
‘Blasphemous’ Brazilian artist under fire for turning religious figures into pop culture icons
10:45 am

Pop Culture


Brazilian artist, Ana Smile, has created a bit of controversy with her company Santa Blasphemy, which creates plaster religious statues painted in the form of pop-culture icons such as Batman, Frida Kahlo, Catwoman, Captain Hopper, The Joker, and Minnie Mouse.

Reportedly, angry emails from offended Catholics have been sent petitioning the local government to do something about the “blasphemous” paint jobs, but the government has not attempted to intervene. Since then, the artist has been bombarded with outraged Facebook and Instagram messages.

The artist has stated (via the magic of Google Translate):

So it frustrates me so much this whole brouhaha in recent days. The pieces were created as decorative items. It has nothing to do with religion.

Continuing, Smile indicated that she is not dissuaded by the outrage, and will continue her work:

I’m so bogged down from people interested in buying and know the work positively that the last thing I’ll do is read this petition.

Here are some of Smile’s “blasphemies”:


Many more after the jump…

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
Intergalactic pimp: Donny Osmond dresses as ‘David Bowie’ and covers ‘Fame’ in 1976
11:41 am

Pop Culture


Donny Osmond and David Bowie
I grew up watching the Donny & Marie show back in the 70s. I never missed a episode. Sadly, I was too young to have possibly appreciated Donny Osmond covering David Bowie’s “Fame” (from Bowie’s 1975 record Young Americans) on a show that aired during the first season of Donny & Marie in 1976. And guess what? It’s actually pretty good. Mind blown!
Donny Osmond dressed as
Donny dressed in his finest “David Bowie” drag perhaps, or is he trying to be an intergalactic pimp?
I’m not really sure, but it appears that the costume department for Donny & Marie must’ve thought “Bowie-esque” meant a sort of showy, Liberace-meets Elton John-meets-Superfly type getup. Once you look past that (if in fact you can look past Osmond’s ridiculous costume), it’s hard not to appreciate his 90-second little Bowie cover. This beautiful and bizarre bit of pop culture goodness that I had no idea existed before today (and can’t stop watching), is posted below. The full episode (which stars the great Ruth Buzzi) can be seen, here.
H/T: Kitsch Bitsch on Facebook

Donny Osmond gets down, gets funky

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Mick Jagger, James Fox, Anita Pallenberg, Nic Roeg, Donald Cammell filming ‘Performance’ in 1968
02:02 pm

Pop Culture


The stories about the making of Donald Cammell and Nicolas Roeg’s Performance are almost as infamous as the movie itself. Some are true, some are not. But even the most excessive tales of sex and drugs and, well you know, rock ‘n’ roll during its making have never eclipsed the visceral power of the film itself.

Performance was written by Cammell. He had Marlon Brando teed-up to star as Chas—an American gangster in London who holes-up with a reclusive pop star. As Cammell worked on the script, he became more obsessed with identity, sexuality and violence. It made the script a far darker thing. When Brando dropped out, James Fox moved in.

Fox was best known for a certain kind of upper class character—either being exploited as in Joseph Losey’s The Servant, or being comically stiff upper lip as can be seen in Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines, or just being the right honorable eye-candy in Throughly Modern Millie. Fox took his role as Chas very, very seriously. He spent (according to some reports) six months “going native” with a few of London’s most notorious East End gangsters.

The casting of Mick Jagger as the androgynous, bisexual, drug-addled rock star recluse Turner was a touch of genius. At that time, no one could have played the part with Jagger’s ethereal, fey menace. As a side note: Jagger and the rest of The Rolling Stones thought they were going to star in a swinging sixties Beatlesque romp with lots of musical numbers and Dick Lester antics.

Roeg was originally only hired as the cameraman. When filming began in a house on Powis Square, London, Cammell became all too aware that he did not know what he was doing behind the camera, and needed someone else to be the eyes while he created the mood, tension and magic in front of the lens.

This magic included consuming large quantities of drugs and some full on sex between Jagger and co-stars Anita Pallenberg and Michèle Breton. Pallenberg was, of course, Keith Richards’ girlfriend. As Jagger and Pallenberg performed in front of the camera, Richards sat outside the location chain smoking, drinking and fuming over what his fellow Stone and woman were getting up to. The footage of Jagger’s sexual hi-jinks with his co-stars nearly had the film prosecuted and shut down. When the rushes were sent out, the lab refused to process the footage as it was considered pornographic. The footage was destroyed. But some of—or so it has long been rumored—survived and was edited together (allegedly by Cammell himself) into a short porn movie which won first prize at some underground porn festival in Amsterdam.

If it wasn’t the sex, then it was the violence that caused the outrage. Roeg and Cammell presented violence as realistically as possible. No John Wayne slugging it out without so much as a chipped tooth. Instead, this violence was brutal, bloody, arousing and horrific. The British Board of Film Classification objected to the editing together of scenes of a sexual nature with those of excessive and disturbing violence. In particular they wanted the head shaving scene cut as “forcible shaving is something that could be imitated by young people.”

The film studios hated Performance. At an in-house screening, the wife of one producer hurled chunks. A recut was demanded. While Roeg was off in Australia directing Walkabout, Cammell weaved some of his “alchemical magic” in the cutting room.

When it was eventually released in 1970, Performance was met with overwhelmingly negative reviews. The critic for LIFE magazine described Performance as “the most completely worthless film I have ever seen since I began reviewing.” This is still one of the very few reviews Roeg has ever kept. Warner Brothers threatened to sue both directors on the grounds they had failed to deliver the Beatlesque Stones’ movie they had “expected.”

Thankfully, Cammell and Roeg had chosen their own course and stuck to it. Today, Performance is considered one of the most original and influential movies made during the 1960s. Fox is unforgettable. Jagger has never been better onscreen. While Roeg went on to greater success, Cammell was never to be allowed to express such completeness of his vision again.
James Fox as East End gangster Chas.
Much more behind the scenes of ‘Performance’ after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
‘They Live’ Donald Trump mask will make Halloween great again
02:31 pm

Pop Culture


Yep, this is pretty much perfect. A They Live Donald Trump mask by Trick or Treat Studios. You can pre-order it now for $69.99.  By next Halloween, Trump is gonna be YUGE.

Now you can get the first in a very limited collection of They Live Alien Masks made to look like the Presidential hopefuls, the Donald Trump They Live Alien Mask.

Again, this is a very limited run, so make sure to get your Donald Trump They Live Alien Mask today.

Please note that this is a Preorder and the mask will ship between August and September.

Trump’s signature combover could be a bit more severe, IMHO. But I’m sure you could style that on your own. You can pre-order the mask here.




Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
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