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A treasure trove of rare Monty Python memorabilia is up for grabs!


Canned Dead Parrot. Created in 1994 by Bear, Bear & Bear LTD. Prior to obtaining an official licence from the Python’s, the company did their best to rip off the “Dead Parrot” Sketch” from 1969. Although the can does not contain any direct mention of Monty Python, it’s very clearly a reference to their famous skit. Inside the can is a plastic bird cage with a toy parrot hanging upside down. 
 
If your dream has been to one day be the proud owner of a loo roll (that’s toilet paper for our non-UK readers) officially sanctioned by Monty Python’s Flying Circus, then today my silly-walking friend is your lucky day. According to the website Monty Python’s Daily Llama there are allegedly 1,500 different items currently up for auction, such as the promotional foot that was created in conjunction with the Spamalot musical at New York’s Shubert Theatre in 2005, and an actual container of “Canned Dead Parrot” which is a clever nod to one of the most memorable moments from the Flying Circus television series (the Dead Parrot Sketch performed by John Cleese and Michael Palin). Many of the items were produced in small quantities like the 1072 bottles of “Spamalot” steak sauce that were released in 2007 in honor of the musical’s run at London’s Palace Theatre, making them incredibly rare collectibles in many cases.

If you’re a Python super-fan like I am I’m sure you’re going to strongly consider picking up something from the auction, which includes a wide array of vintage posters from the U.S. and Germany and a even copy of the 1990 Monty Python’s Flying Circus computer game from 1990. Say WHAT? More information on the items up for auction can be found on Monty Python’s Daily Llama. I’ve posted a number of my favorite items from the auction below along with some background information pertaining to their creation, rarity and history. As great as some of this stuff is I would have liked to have seen a piece of “Venezuelan Beaver Cheese,” a “hovercraft full of eels” or even an action figure based on Michael Palin’s bicycling enthusiast “Mr. Pither.” But you can’t always get what you want, can you?
 

This computer game was the very first officially licensed product by Monty Python’s Flying Circus. Made by Core Design, the same company that put out ‘Tomb Raider,’ the 2D shooter had the players help “D.P. Gumby” find four missing pieces of his brain.
 

“Gumby” plush figures. Ranging in size from nine, twelve and fourteen inches tall these plush figures were the first toys officially licensed by the Pythons.
 

Another cheeky creation from Bear, Bear & Bear LTD. Incredibly this roll of toilet paper contains famous images and quotes from the ‘Monty Python’s Flying Circus’ TV series such as the “Ministry of Silly Walks”; “Nudge, Nudge”; everyone’s favorite gender-bending sing-along “The Lumberjack Song” and others. Comes with faux fingerprints in accordance with the box’s claim that this TP is in “slightly used” condition.
 

This promotional “coconut” was sent to members of the press and Python VIPs as a part of the “Special Edition” release of ‘Monty Python and the Holy Grail’ by Columbia/Tristar Home Entertainment. An actual coconut it was outfitted with a zipper in the middle that when opened revealed a promotional t-shirt.
 
More Monty Python memorabilia for you to spend your money on, after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
‘Sicko-Delic’: Luminous rednecks, grotesque goons and Day-glo freaks
01.18.2017
01:15 pm

Topics:
Amusing
Art

Tags:
psychedelic art
Hayley Arjona

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‘No Fun for Hayley’ (2014).
 
The writer, artist and critic John Berger was right when he said a viewer has to be in front of a work of art before they can fully appreciated it. Alas, we’ll just have to make do with digital copies of Hayley Arjona’s giant canvases—some reaching up to fifty feet in length—but I’m sure we can still appreciate her incredible talent and originality in producing beautiful, complex, trippy, comic, psychedelic pictures.

Hayley Arjona is an Australian artist based in North Central, Victoria. She works out of a converted hay barn on a farm where she raises free range pigs and sheep. Hayley studied for a Masters of Fine Art at the Victorian College of Arts, Melbourne in 1999, before beginning her career as an artist.

Apart from painting and raising pigs, Hayley works as a set painter on films (Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark) and TV productions. She paints in her studio while while blasting out “progressive psy-trance or Doom/Sludge metal and Psychedelic rock.” It helps her get into the right mood to produce such brilliant luminous near Day-glo canvases. To get the colors just right she mixes fluorescent dry pigment into oils—“Once bitten by these hyper colours its hard to look back!”

I never know what to say about my work, there is just so much in there. Some stuff I meant, some stuff which just happens and some stuff which happens because I don’t know what I mean yet.

~snip~

The grotesque and exaggerated characters and abundant use of colour serve to make light of an undercurrent of darkness. The darkness I believe inherent in our collective Australian psyche. Things too unbearable to consider without humour and satire. The degradation of our existence, our society, of people and the environment from greed, apathy and ignorance. Perhaps it is ridiculous to see beauty in any of this, but I am compelled to appreciate my surroundings. With the drastic changes in the landscape from season to season, sky watching for rain, there is much here to inspire.

Bodies swell out of trees and landscapes while breasts suckle and faces turn into genitalia as skulls erupt out of mouths and litter the ground. Her paintings contrast the rich fecundity of life with the fatal stupidity of humans. In A-Bomb Stigmata (2016) a man is seemingly masturbated while atomic clouds mushroom overhead. Is this the last biological imperative for life even at the moment of death—in the way when men who were executed by hanging were said to ejaculate at the moment of extinction—or merely fiddling while the world burns? It’s apparent there is a tremendous amount of humor and warmth in these paintings which makes them doubly appealing.

Hayley has exhibited across Australia and Europe with her most recent exhibition Sicko-Delic held at the Caspa Gallery in Victoria last year. You can follow Hayley on Instagram and Facebook.
 
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‘A-Bomb Stigmata’ (2016).
 
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Whole Lotta Rose’ (2014).
 
More psick psychedelic beauty, after the jump…
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Kid posts hilarious tweets asking ‘Does anyone know who this is’?
01.18.2017
09:30 am

Topics:
Amusing
Music

Tags:
Nick Cave

 
Meet New Zealand-based James Malcolm. Yesterday on Twitter, James posted photos of himself with a certain celebrity in the background asking his followers, “Does anybody know who this is?”

It looks like James was in an airport when this was taken. Was James serious about not knowing who that certain person was or was he trolling his followers? That’s the million dollar question in the Twitterverse today.

One More Time With Feeling, Andrew Dominik’s acclaimed documentary about “this celeb” comes out on Blu-ray and DVD on March 3. Pre-order here.

 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Surreal paintings of Francis Bacon as ‘The Joker,’ Charlie Parker as ‘Big Bird’ & many more
01.16.2017
05:37 pm

Topics:
Amusing
Art
Pop Culture

Tags:
Camargo Valentino


‘It was all a Dream.’ An oil painting depicting rapper Biggie Smalls as ‘Max’ from Maurice Sendak’s 1963 book, ‘Where the Wild Things Are.’
 
Artist Camargo Valentino is a painter whose beautifully mashed-up, pop-culture inspired oil paintings routinely fetch between $4,000 - $14,000 bucks a pop. Though he is self-taught when it comes to his preferred medium of oil-painting, Valentino graduated from the Art Institute of Houston and then went on to study under the tutelage of Norwegian artist Odd Nerdrum in Norway and Iceland.

As a child, Camargo spent much of his time drawing pictures based on his toy collection. According to the artist, his creations can take anywhere from 40 to 200 hours to complete and the influence of masters such as Diego Velasquez and his mentor Nerdrum are vibrantly apparent in the composition and use of color to evoke mood in his dreamy oil paintings. Here’s more from Camargo on what inspires him to paint pop culture icons such as jazz great Charlie Parker clad in a “Big Bird” costume:

I paint what I am most attracted to; icons; comics; movies; history; art; sports figures; hip hop; my heritage and world myths. So my paintings are a combination of all these things rolled into one with a splash of myself.

I’ve included a nice selection of Camargo’s paintings below that I think you will love just as much as I do.
 

‘Bird Lives.’
 

Painter Francis Bacon as the Joker.
 

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Not your average weekend bags
01.16.2017
10:54 am

Topics:
Amusing
Fashion
Pop Culture

Tags:


Bea Arthur

 
Here are some interesting “weekend bags” that will certainly grab people’s attention. The bags are by 99 Wooster and they’re delightful, in my opinion. I’m really liking the Elizabeth Taylor in Boom! bag. Or even the Bea Arthur bag. I mean, how many of these are you going to see around town? You’d be truly an original with one of these puppies.

I’d probably use mine as a gym bag because who in the hell has time to take weekend trips anymore?

The bags are selling on 99 Wooster’s site for $75 each. I didn’t post all of their bags. You can check out the rest of them out here.


Mommie Dearest
 

Donny & Marie
 

Elizabeth Taylor in BOOM!
 
More after the jump…

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
A totally sexist guide of ‘How to Succeed with Brunettes’ produced by the U.S. Navy in 1967


Marlene Dietrich, as ‘Bijou Blanche’ in a feminine version of a Navy officer’s uniform from the 1940 motion picture ‘Seven Sinners.’
 
Before you watch this sixteen-plus minute training video put out by the Navy in 1967, you’ll need a little background on this vintage piece of sexist “how to.”

How to Succeed with Brunettes’ is one of nearly 3000 training films produced by the U.S. Navy during the 1960s that range from topics such as “good hygiene” to how women enlisted in the military should “conduct” themselves around their male counterparts. It’s also said that the film was lampooned by the television news program 60 Minutes in its early days and that the show even presented the Navy with a “faux Oscar” for How to Succeed With Brunettes for being the most “unnecessary” and “fiscally wasteful” film on record for the time. For you see, back in 1966 it was tax dollars that covered the $64,000 tab for creating this cringe-worthy film.

More after the jump…

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Strange, surreal portraits made from found photographs, food, insects and everyday objects
01.12.2017
08:12 am

Topics:
Amusing
Art

Tags:
photography
collage
Susana Blasco

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For this recipe you’ll need some bean sprouts, one fish-head, a tablespoon of popcorn, one butterfly, some seeds, half-a-dozen seashells, some buttons, a watch and two dozen photographs found in an old flea market.

Susana Blasco admits to having the soul of a sailor . She also owns up to being an artist, graphic designer, illustrator and razor sharpener. Susana has designed book covers, album covers, posters and all the other things graphic designers do. She also makes rather fabulous and imaginative artworks out of found photographs.

Antiheroes is one of Susana’s many photographic projects. It began through trial and error, chance and experimentation where Susana placed everyday objects on top of old photographs to create surreal and slightly disturbing portraits. A slug becomes a woman’s smile, a girl embraces her sister with a crab tentacle, a woman’s head explodes into shoots, and a man’s head is eaten by confetti. I find these pictures quite irresistible, in large part due to Susana’s highly imaginative use of mundane props to create startling portraits from a seemingly unknown world.

Susanna’s series Antiheroes is available as prints.
 
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See more of Susana Blasco’s surreal portraits, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
KISS, Sparks, & rock ‘n’ roller coasters: The legendary ‘Magic Mountain’ theme park of the 1970’s
01.11.2017
12:21 pm

Topics:
Amusing
Music

Tags:
Sparks
1970s
KISS
theme park
Magic Mountain


 
On an incredibly hot memorial day weekend in 1971, Magic Mountain opened in Valencia, California just 18 months after construction began. The “theme” of this theme park was not entirely clear and it only had one roller coaster, however the park’s other offerings—the fireworks, rides, laser shows, arcade games, and nightly concerts—made “fun, magic, and rock ‘n’ roll” the name of the game. By the time the park was sold to Six Flags at the end of the decade, Magic Mountain had cemented a place in rock ‘n’ roll history by giving many young Southern Californians their very first live concert experience. Its three venues (7-Up / Dixi Cola Showcase Theatre, The Gazebo, and Kaleidoscope) were home to many great acts such as Fleetwood Mac, The Carpenters, Sonny & Cher, The Jackson 5, The Everly Brothers, and KISS who attracted a long-haired, beer can drinking parking lot crowd that didn’t meet Disneyland’s strict dress code and could afford the $5 admission price.
 

Sonny & Cher performed nightly from Sept 2nd-12th, 1971 at Magic Mountain’s 7-Up Showcase Theatre
 
When it first opened Magic Mountain secured a short-term deal from Warner Brothers to use their Looney Tunes characters, however when that agreement expired in 1972 a lineup of very unmemorable troll characters were introduced: Bloop, Bleep, King Troll (aka King Blop) and the Wizard. These bizarre, colorful, psychedelic looking walk-around characters became the most recognizable symbols of the park throughout the ‘70s. They greeted guests, posed for photographs, and appeared on all manners of merchandise and advertising before being discontinued in 1985.
 

“Trolls & Fountain” 1977 Magic Mountain postcard
 
By the mid-1970’s the park begun introducing faster and scarier rides such as The Electric Rainbow, Galaxy, and Jolly Monster. However, it was the Great American Revolution (the first modern, 360-degree steel looping coaster) in 1976 that gave the park its first real thrill factor. At the time Universal was filming a disaster-suspense movie called Rollercoaster about a young extortionist (played by Timothy Bottoms) who travels around the U.S. planting bombs on roller coasters promising horrific casualties to those who don’t meet his one million dollar ransom. The film’s climactic final sequence takes place during a huge rock concert celebrating the grand opening of Revolution. While teen-idol fan magazines Tiger Beat and Sixteen reported to their readers that the Scottish glam-rock band the Bay City Rollers were to perform in this film it was actually Los Angeles’ own Sparks who accepted the role having just relocated back to L.A. from England.
 
Sparks were documented on the big screen prior to their breakthrough commercial success during a strange transitional period for the band when they briefly dropped their quirkiness and demanded to be taken seriously. Concerned at the time that their music may have become stale, the Mael brothers left their synthesizers behind for a more “American” guitar sound on their Rupert Holmes produced album Big Beat. Although Rollercoaster was a modest success despite fierce competition from Star Wars at the box office that summer, Ron & Russell Mael of Sparks now look back upon the film with embarrassment. “Yes, you did see Sparks performing ‘Big Boy’ and ‘Fill’er Up’ in the film Rollercoaster during your last airplane trip,” said Russell Mael in the September 2006 issue of Mojo Magazine. “No, we didn’t know that the film was going to turn out like that. Rollercoaster movie proves that you have to be continually careful of what you do… You never know what’s going to last and what’s going to fall by the wayside, and man, does that last!” Sparks’ cameo in Rollercoaster is brief but fun and energetic, especially when Ron Mael gets rowdy and smashes his piano stool on the stage.
 

Russell Mael of Sparks performing in front of Revolution in the 1977 disaster film ‘Rollercoaster’
 
In 1978 at the height of KISS’ massive popularity, Hanna-Barbera Productions produced a made-for-television movie for NBC titled Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park. Filmed on location at Magic Mountain, the film’s poor script revolved around an evil inventor living underneath the theme park whose nefarious plans are thwarted by an other-galactic rock ‘n’ roll group with superpowers (played by KISS). Despite the fact that all four members were given crash courses on acting, much of the dialogue recorded was unusable and had to be re-dubbed in post production. Ace Frehley was said to have become increasingly frustrated with the long periods of downtime normally associated with filmmaking and stormed off the set one day leaving his African American stunt double to finish his scenes (which made for perhaps one of the most noticeable and unintentionally hilarious continuity errors in the history of cinema). KTNQ’s “The Real” Don Steele (one of the most popular disc jockeys in the U.S.) gave away 8,000 tickets to see KISS perform live at the Magic Mountain parking lot which was filmed for the movies big dramatic rock ‘n’ roll concert ending.
 
Keep reading after the jump…

Posted by Doug Jones | Leave a comment
Porny, provocative pop-art mashed up with pharmaceutical packages
01.11.2017
08:38 am

Topics:
Advertising
Amusing
Art
Drugs

Tags:
pop art
Ben Frost


A painting by Ben Frost.

Birds shit wherever they want ‘cause they all know it’s crap down here.

Words by artist Ben Frost inscribed on his 2005 piece “Birds and Bad Things”

Artist Ben Frost hails from Australia and has spent time living in Japan. His subversive pop-art contains references to Japanese Manga as well as a myriad of well-know commercial images such as a box of McDonald’s famous french fries that has been layered with a erotic image of a Lichtenstein-esque looking woman being whipped by a proper female Victorian-era librarian during her off time. And that’s one of Frost’s more demure works of art.

Frost himself is as risky as his boundary-pushing paintings. In 2000 the artist faked his own death as a publicity stunt to promote his solo-show of the same name and invitations to the event consisted of Frost’s “faux funeral” notice. Later that same year a painting at the show “Colussus”—a collaboration with fellow artist Rod Bunter—was slashed apart by an attendee.

It’s not hard to understand how Frost’s work might stir some intense emotions with his confrontational art, because the concept of mixing propaganda with pornographic images, Dracula or Ren and Stimpy on a box of Epinephrine is perhaps a little out there for some people. However if everything about that statement makes perfect sense to you, then you’re going to really enjoy looking over the images of Frost’s work included in this post. From time to time Frost sells his artwork on his website Ben Frost IS DEAD.

A few of the paintings are NSFW.
 

 

 

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This Jazzercise supercut from 1983 is what the world needs RIGHT NOW
01.10.2017
10:20 am

Topics:
Amusing
Dance

Tags:
Jazzercise


 
I follow Hint Fashion Magazine on Facebook, and every once in a while they’ll post some obscure video footage from the 70s or 80s that is truly bust-a-gut funny. Like this one for example: It’s a supercut of Let’s Jazzercise from 1983. The host is Judi Sheppard Missett and the jazzercise routines she instructs are truly something to be seen. The music, the constant change of costumes and the dance routines make this video worth your while. I honestly have no words.


 
I did find the original Let’s Jazzercise on YouTube. It’s an hour-long. I couldn’t take more than five minutes of it. I think the supercut, below, is far superior. I mean how else could you possibly repackage Let’s Jazzercise to make it interesting (and even relevant again, if only for the LOLz) in 2017?

 
via Facebook

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
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