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Marquee Buffoon: Japanese fashion line features iconic images of Tom Verlaine and Television
10.29.2014
05:55 am

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Fashion
Heroes

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Undercover SS15 Spring/Summer 2015 colletion
 
I have issues with the latest line of punk-inspired clothing by designer Jun Takahashi and his label, UNDERCOVER. Many of the pieces in Takahashi’s Spring/Summer 2015 UNDERCOVER SS15 collection feature images of beloved 70s CBGB’s band, Television and artwork from two of their albums, 1977’s Marquee Moon, and 1978’s Adventure. While the clothes are clearly impeccably tailored and visually stunning to behold, I’m just not sure I really like seeing Tom Verlaine and the boys’ faces displayed in such a dramatic way on high-end clothing.

Certainly the clothes make a statement. That statement being, of course: “HERE I AM.” Who would wear these simultaneously splendid and yet terribly tacky togs? Maybe a higher class of “pickup artists” do their “peacocking” in these clothes?

When the line made its debut back in July for a small group of Takahashi’s friends and family at his showroom in Paris, Thom Yorke of Radiohead was the DJ (Takahashi designed t-shirts for Yorke’s project, Atoms for Peace in 2013 that retailed for a cool $77 dollars). UNDERCOVER’s t-shirts routinely retail for over $150 dollars, so start there and work your way up if you’re interested in sporting any of Takahashi’s Television inspired fashion creations. A new flatscreen would be cheaper.
 
Undercover SS15 collection Marquee Moon
 
Undercover SS15 Spring/Summer 2015 Marquee Moon
 
Undercover SS15 Spring/Summer 2015 Marquee Moon
 
Undercover SS15 Spring/Summer Marquee Moon
 
More after the jump…

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R.I.P. Jack Bruce of Cream
10.25.2014
09:22 am

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Heroes
Music
R.I.P.

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This morning, the home page of the great British blues/rock bassist Jack Bruce announced his passing, of unspecified causes.
 

 
Bruce was of course best known as the bassist and singer of Cream, the heavy blues-rock band of the late ‘60s that is justly credited with contributing to the invention of heavy metal, and which also featured guitarist Eric Clapton and completely insane drummer Ginger Baker. After that band’s dissolution, Bruce was the only band member not to join Blind Faith, instead pursuing a career playing bass in jazz and blues trios, and working solo, and notably, he was the bassist on almost all of Lou Reed’s high-watermark album Berlin.

Just six months ago, Bruce released his first solo album in over ten years, Silver Rails. It will presumably be his last word, though there will surely be some posthumous blood-from-a-stone compilations in the offing. There’s excellent background info on Bruce’s early career (and terrific recent interview footage with him) in the must-see Ginger Baker documentary Beware of Mr. Baker, which is streaming on Netflix. The 1969 documentary on Bruce, Rope Ladder To The Moon details his early solo career. You can watch it here. Among other great performance moments to be seen here, about 17 minutes in there’s some SCORCHING live footage of Bruce playing upright jazz bass with Dick Heckstall-Smith and John Hiseman of the British prog/jazz/rock band Colosseum. The song is “Over the Cliff” from the 1970 LP Things We Like. Naturally there’s Cream footage included, as well.
 

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
Nothing lost in translation: The ‘acute malevolence’ of Morrissey
10.17.2014
10:47 am

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Activism
Amusing
Heroes

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Morrissey hugs a cat
 
In an interview earlier this month with El País, the largest newspaper in circulation in Spain, Morrissey unleashed his thoughts on bullfighting, his musical peers, his tenth studio record World Peace is None of Your Business, and compared the British royal family to the brood of Syrian President, Bashar Hafez al-Assad. In other words, Morrissey is still behaving just like Morrissey.

Since I ran the interview through Google’s translator so I could read it in English, it ended up a bit rough. However this only made the interview all the more amusing. It starts off with journalist Diego A. Manrique (whose own translated Wikipedia bio says he’s been “specializing in criticizing music since 1975”) noting that after sending off a “questionnaire” to Moz, the answers that were returned to him were unequivocally “Morrisseynianas,” and could without a doubt be attributed to him as they were filled with “acute malevolence” and Morrissey’s “recognizable narcissism.” It also states that Morrissey always comes to interviews with “loaded guns.” Here’s a few highlights from Google’s translated version of the interview:

Morrissey on bullfighting:

Bullfighters are vermin: they should kill each other.


 
There’s a track on World Peace titled “The Bullfighter Dies.” Remember, Moz is giving this interview to the largest newspaper in Spain where bullfighting continues to be an important part of Spanish culture. But just like Sweet Brown and her bronchitis, Morrissey just ain’t got time for that.

On the autobiographies of his peers (again, the text is translated by Google and I haven’t adjusted it):

I’m surprised that so many colleagues who actually think they have something to say! When you read his books, it does not. My Autobiography exists, is self-explanatory. So I will not talk about the book on television, radio or newspapers.

Translation aside, this is pretty much classic Moz refusing to answer a question while using many words to communicate said refusal.

On parting ways with his former label, Harvest Records:

I was not me, kicked me! They tried to keep my record but found that they had no rights. A very stupid mess, caused by an officer named Steve Barnett, who has less brains than an artificial flower. The fact that someone like that carry a label is a sign of how bad things are in the musical world.

You may remember that at a gig in Lisbon on October 7th, Moz’s band all wore “Fuck Harvest” t-shirts in protest of Morrissey’s claims that the label had “dropped” him and “botched” the release of World Peace. Despite this, the record ended up in the number two spot on the UK charts back in July following its release proving the fact that nobody kicks Morrissey, Morrissey kicks YOU!

On the upcoming apocalypse and the never-ending ecological destruction of the world:

Industrial agriculture and factory farming are destroying the planet. Every time I see the yellow M of McDonald’s think about death. Governments tolerate whatever brings money; benefit from the inclination of the human race by suicide. It amuses me that there are countries where the suicide attempt is punished while governments spend billions on nuclear weapons, which facilitate collective suicide. Just to be used once to disappear all here.

And there you have it. Morrissey translated by Google from Spanish to English is just as morose and as acutely malevolent as he ever was. God save the Queen.

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Böat of debauchery: Inside the Motörhead ‘Motörböat’ cruise
10.16.2014
11:37 am

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Heroes
Music

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Motorhead Motorboat inflatable doll can fly!
 
I had heard rumors that the Motörhead “Motörböat” cruise ran out of booze before the trip was over. Of course that’s not shocking news when you’re talking about a boat full of hard-drinking headbangers, Lemmy Kilmister (who despite his recent health issues has switched out his beloved Jack Daniels for vodka because it’s “better for you”) as well as various other metal bands that love their party liquids.

I have to admit, I hate boats almost as much as I hate planes. I detest relinquishing control of my own trajectory to another human being and I have no desire to be stuck on what many consider an enormous floating toilet. That said, the only thing that could likely get me on a boat would be if Motörhead got on it with me, then blew my face off with a live show and there was no risk of the bar going dry. That and I’d really like to hang out with the folks in the photos that follow, including Lemmy who’s looking pretty healthy these days. Be advised that a few may be considered NSFW (you did notice the photo at the top, right?), but this is Motörhead we’re talking about.

All photos by Dana “Distortion” Yavin.
 
Motorhead Motorboat cruise inflatable doll goes swimming
 
Motorvampire Motorhead Motorboat cruise
 
More after the jump…
 

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Rare Peter Cook sketch starring Kenneth Williams: ‘Hands up your sticks!’
10.15.2014
09:17 am

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Amusing
Heroes

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kenwillpeteck.jpg
 
Peter Cook was still a student at Cambridge University when he first wrote sketches for the legendary comic actor Kenneth Williams. His earliest contributions were included in the “intimate review” Pieces of Eight starring Williams and Fenella Fiedling that had a long and successful West End run. Cook wrote more than half the show and premiered some classic sketches including “Gnomes and Gardens” and “Not An Asp” an early outing for his famous E. L. Wisty character.

The success of the show led Cook to be commissioned to write a brand new revue for Williams this time called One Over the Eight. Among the sketches Cook submitted were some he had written as teenager, including “One Leg Too Few” the classic one-legged man (Mr. Spiggot) auditioning for the role of Tarzan and “Interesting Facts” a more rounded appearance of E. L Wisty. Cook would later reuse both sketches in other shows and films over the years.

Cook also wrote a sketch called “Hands Up Your Sticks” which Williams later released (together with “Not An Asp”) on an EP single. It’s a great Cook sketch that plays around with language and class attitudes and there is certainly the essence of the routine Woody Allen developed a decade later in the bank hold-up with a “gub” in Take the Money and Run. The voice of the bank clerk is played by popular Sixties entertainer Lance Percival (one of the principal voice actors in Yellow Submarine as “Young/Old” Fred) and the new animation is by Mark Hindle.
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Walter White goes Gonzo: ‘Breaking Bad’ illustrations by Ralph Steadman
10.14.2014
01:11 pm

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Art
Heroes
Television

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Saul Goodman Ralph Steadman
Saul Goodman by Ralph Steadman
 
For the upcoming limited-edition Blu-ray release of Breaking Bad, show creator Vince Gilligan joined forces with Gonzo illustrator Ralph Steadman to create six different covers for each season of the show. Available in February, these spectacular collectibles will be sold exclusively by Zavvi.com ($30 bucks each). Pre-order is going on now but be forewarned, the Gus “The Chicken Man” Fring edition for season four (as well as Mike Ehrmantraut’s season five and Hank Schrader’s show finale edition) have already sold-out. Images from each of the six covers follow.
 
Gus Fring by Ralph Steadman
Gus Fring
 
Walter White by Ralph Steadman
Walter White
 
Hank Scrader by Ralph Steadman
Hank Schrader
 
Mike Ehrmantraut by Ralph Steadman
Mike Ehrmantraut
 
Jesse Pinkman by Ralph Steadman
Jesse Pinkman
 
Via Paste Magazine

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Remember that time David Bowie recorded that shitty song with Mickey Rourke?
10.13.2014
11:26 am

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Heroes
Music

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In 1987 David Bowie recorded the album Never Let Me Down. What I didn’t know and perhaps you might and are still trying to forget is that a track on the record called “Shining Star (Makin’ My Love),” includes a rap by actor Mickey Rourke mid-way through the song.

Sometimes the world doesn’t make sense, and this is one of those times. The story goes that after meeting Bowie in London while filming A Prayer for the Dying, Rourke approached the Thin White Duke about making an artistic contribution to Never Let Me Down. Bowie agreed and now we can all cross “hearing Mickey Rourke rap on a David Bowie album” off of our collective bucket lists.
 

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Death Trip: How would YOU like to be killed by Iggy Pop in Dario Argento’s new movie? Here’s how!
10.09.2014
10:34 am

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Heroes
Movies

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Dario Argento The Sandman staring Iggy Pop
 
According to the master of Giallo himself, Dario Argento’s upcoming release will be a Christmas movie called The Sandman. The film is a tribute to Argento’s vast film career and will star everybody’s favorite punk, Iggy Pop. Based on a short story written in 1816 by German author E.T.A Hoffmann, Iggy is set to play a serial killer who takes pleasure in murdering his victims with a melon spoon, scoops their eyes out with with said melon spoon then, saves the unfortunate peepers as trophies.

Says Argento about the premise and inspiration for The Sandman:

On this Christmas a child witnesses his mother murdered by a serial killer. I am tired of these Christmas movies showing goodness. Beauty, snowflakes, sleds being pulled by reindeer. I’d rather have a Christmas movie where there is also violence, strength, and horror. And this is what I’m going to do. Christmas is coming and so is The Sandman!

 
Argento is using funding site Indie Go Go to raise $250,000 to make The Sandman. Below is the highly amusing teaser for the film that features Iggy who confesses that making this film with Argento would be a “dream come true” for him. A pretty tall order coming from a man who’s pretty much done it all.

And speaking of dreams that could come true, the reward for a $15,000 donation will not only get you a role in the film, it will also give you bragging rights to saying you’ve been killed killed by Iggy Pop while under the watchful direction of Dario Argento. Wow!
 

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Cartoonists document Hong Kong’s Umbrella Movement
10.08.2014
01:52 pm

Topics:
Activism
Art
Current Events
Heroes
Politics

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Art by Luis Simoes
 
The last few days have seen no small amount of drama in Hong Kong, as disenfranchised students are calling attention to their lack of political freedoms. The students have taken up umbrellas to protect themselves from the massive amounts of tear gas the riot police have used as a means of restoring order. 

On Facebook you can find two groups dedicated to recording the scenes at the the Causeway Bay, Mong Kok, and Admiralty areas of Hong Kong. Urban Sketchers Hong Kong (USHK) and Sketcher-Kee have both been in existence for about a year, and have responded to the recent unrest with vigor. Its members have been posting sketches featuring unfriendly police, tense protesters, and poetically empty or chaotically crammed urban vistas dominated by umbrellas and the color yellow. 

At the moment the protests are in a bit of a lull, as protest leaders have met with government officials and agreed to meet for talks starting on October 10. Student leader Lester Shum has said that the protests would continue until “practical measures [have] been forged between the government and the people.”

USHK cofounder Alvin Wong emphasized to Hyperallergic‘s Laura C. Mallonee the value of documenting “the biggest pro-democracy protest in Hong Kong history,” no matter the risk. As Wong Suede of Sketcher-Kee says, “We want to use our ability to make awareness for the public, to share our observations, experiences, and thoughts via the Internet to the world. ... We hope we can support and encourage the protesters who are fighting for Hong Kong … since we are also protestors, we hope it may [achieve something] for the whole movement.”
 

Art by Rob Sketcherman
 

Art by Collins Yeung ART
 

Art by Wink Au
 
More after the jump…
 

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Kurt Vonnegut’s letter to high school students: ‘Pretend you’re Count Dracula!’
10.06.2014
05:33 am

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Heroes
Literature

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kurtpixtypecolor.jpg
 
Years ago when I was a producer in television,  I recall that there were many discussions on how broadcasters could encourage younger viewers to have brand loyalty with a particular channel. The proposed idea was that if a broadcaster could successfully capture (strange choice of word, I know) a young audience then they were building the consumers of their future output. A rather obvious idea but one that appeared to work—well, at least for me, as I still look with particularly fondness on those shows that illuminated my childhood, and by association the broadcaster. The holy grail here was considered to be quality returnable series and quirky presenters with whom the young ‘uns could identify and grow up with.

I have been told publishers have similar discussions on inculcating brand loyalty through their authors. So you would think, therefore, that when a group of teenagers were set a project by their school teacher encouraging them to write a letter to their favorite author, that these chosen writers would leap at the chance to win over their future readers. Well apparently not, as one class of pupils at Xavier High School in New York found out in 2006, when their teacher (Ms. Lockwood) set this task, and letters were sent out to a variety of authors, with only one writer taking the time to reply.

Perhaps it will come as no surprise that it was the great pessimistic humanist Kurt Vonnegut who was the only author to write back. Who the others were, I don’t know, but I wonder if they’re still popular with readers at Xavier High? Anyway, Vonnegut took the time to read the letter, which asked requested that he make a personal appearance at Xavier. Vonnegut was then 84, “an old geezer” as he called himself, and demurred visiting the school. However, he did offer the five students and their teacher some fine advice on how best to experience life and to grow their souls. It’s a beautiful letter, giving some of the most inspiring advice any high school student could ask for.

November 5, 2006

Dear Xavier High School, and Ms. Lockwood, and Messrs Perin, McFeely, Batten, Maurer and Congiusta:

I thank you for your friendly letters. You sure know how to cheer up a really old geezer (84) in his sunset years. I don’t make public appearances any more because I now resemble nothing so much as an iguana.

What I had to say to you, moreover, would not take long, to wit: Practice any art, music, singing, dancing, acting, drawing, painting, sculpting, poetry, fiction, essays, reportage, no matter how well or badly, not to get money and fame, but to experience becoming, to find out what’s inside you, to make your soul grow.

Seriously! I mean starting right now, do art and do it for the rest of your lives. Draw a funny or nice picture of Ms. Lockwood, and give it to her. Dance home after school, and sing in the shower and on and on. Make a face in your mashed potatoes. Pretend you’re Count Dracula.

Here’s an assignment for tonight, and I hope Ms. Lockwood will flunk you if you don’t do it: Write a six line poem, about anything, but rhymed. No fair tennis without a net. Make it as good as you possibly can. But don’t tell anybody what you’re doing. Don’t show it or recite it to anybody, not even your girlfriend or parents or whatever, or Ms. Lockwood. OK?

Tear it up into teeny-weeny pieces, and discard them into widely separated trash receptacles. You will find that you have already been gloriously rewarded for your poem. You have experienced becoming, learned a lot more about what’s inside you, and you have made your soul grow.

God bless you all!

Kurt Vonnegut

 
kurtlettpupilsi.jpg
 
In 2014, Dogtooth Films made a short film based on Kurt Vonnegut’s letter, using pupils from Hove Park School.
 

 
Via Letters of Note

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
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