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William Eggleston’s photos of Big Star
09.01.2016
08:56 am

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Art
Music

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It’s difficult today to conceive of how William Eggleston’s photography was once considered controversial—he documented everyday scenes that, through his eyes, became vivid and surreal. The luridness of his color—and the very fact that he worked in color—provoked a rejection of his work in certain very, very serious artperson circles, but those lurid colors were essential to his work’s effectiveness. He intentionally used the most saturated process available at the time—the dye transfer—to achieve the eye-bleedy reds that practically became his trademark. And in 1976, a solo exhibit at MoMA by the self taught Memphis-based shooter William Eggleston, titled “Color Photographs,” turned American photography on its ear.

Like Eggleston, that great legend among influential but underachieving American rock bands Big Star hailed from Memphis, TN. And their connection to the photographer wasn’t just geographical—not only did his photo “The Red Ceiling” appear on the cover of that band’s 1974 LP Radio City, a candid portrait he shot of the band adorns the back cover.
 

 
It wasn’t very hard for the band to score that coup—Eggleston was a family friend to the band’s singer/guitarist Alex Chilton, and accordingly, thirty Eggleston shots appear in the band’s first ever photo-monograph, the forthcoming Big Star—Isolated in the Light, to be published in October by First Third Books. According to Big Star’s bassist Andy Hummel (RIP 2010), quoted in the book from a 2001 interview by Jason Gross originally appearing in Perfect Sound Forever,

Alex knew Bill Eggleston through his parents I believe. His mother was an art dealer and Bill, of course was a very gifted local photographer. Bill was a major hell raiser, as were Alex and me at the time. We drank a lot, stayed out all night, and took all manner of drugs. Somehow we got hooked up with him and Alex talked him into doing the cover [of Radio City]. I could go on and on about Bill’s techniques and all, which were truly innovative and brilliant, and which I kind of made note of, being very much into photography myself, but I’m sure there are lots of books available that deal with all that now that he’s world famous and all. But we wound up at the TGI Friday’s on Overton Square one Monday night, which was “Rock’n’Roll Night.” It was a major hell-raising scene in those days. A DJ would play old 45’s and just everyone came and stuffed the place. That was the back cover. Then we went over to Bill’s later on and he suggested the light on the ceiling pic, which he had previously taken. We all loved it and I thought it fit perfectly with the sort of avant-garde nature of the LP.

A close friend of the band, Michael O’Brien, has since become a highly reputable photographer himself, noted for portraiture and documentia; he’s published three monographs, The Face of Texas, The Great Minds of Investing, and the book of his most likely to be of interest to DM readers, Hard Ground, which pairs portraits of homeless subjects with poetry by Tom Waits. In Isolated in the Light, he recalls how his exposure (no pun) to Eggleston via their mutual association with Big Star altered the course of his life.

I remember hearing tales from Alex about this mysterious and eccentric photographer, William Eggleston, who was a friend of the Chilton family. I may have seen him at Alex’s house before – perhaps at the famous New Year’s Eve party that Alex’s parents threw each year – but my first definite memory was when I was becoming interested in photography and Alex suggested we drop by Eggleston’s house on Central Ave.

Shy, introverted and avoidant, I tried to change Alex’s mind but to no avail. In no time we were sitting in Eggleston’s living room. At least we were in a group and I wouldn’t stand out. A patrician, sharply intelligent Eggleston led the conversation. I lurked on the periphery and saw a copy of Henri Cartier-Bresson’s The Decisive Moment on the coffee table. Quickly I picked up the book and hid behind its pages. It was my first exposure to the French photographer’s work. I thumbed through the images. Boom! It hit me; this is exactly what I wanted to do.

Looking at Eggleston’s images of Big Star, I think back to Memphis in the 1970s. There was such a confluence of artistic energy thriving on the fringes of this Deep South provincial town. Now, with the benefit of years, I see how Big Star was the commonality… the force that energized the photographers, the recording engineers, and fans. We all had our own voice but Big Star energized us.

The image [below] of Andy, Jody and Alex – it’s such a perfect Eggleston image, recording the scene’s convulsive color and fragmented pattern! It’s like a volcanic eruption–the draperies, Andy’s shirt, Jody’s jacket, even the little watchband against Alex’s shirt. All the colors are assaulting one another – nothing is in concert – yet, the image is a perfect document.

 

 
Big Star—Isolated in the Light features photography not just from Eggleston, but from O’Brien, that great documenter of the people of the Mississippi Delta Maude Schuyler Clay, David Bell (brother of Big Star Guitarist Chris Bell), and even Andy Hummel, among others. All photos were restored from original negatives, transparencies and prints. The book features interviews with the photographers, musicians influenced by Big Star including members of This Mortal Coil, the Posies, and The Pixies, and with the sole living member of Big Star, drummer Jody Stephens.

Clicking on all the images in this post—apart from the album art—will reveal a higher-res version.
 

Eggleston and Jody Stephens
 
More after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
Becoming Bowie: High-end made-to-order ‘Ziggy Stardust’ and ‘Aladdin Sane’ costumes!
08.31.2016
03:16 pm

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Art
Heroes
Music

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Space Oddity’ custom-made costume by Wanda Cobar.
 
So if after reading that headline you went running for your credit card (like me) then congratulations—you my friend have good taste and a great sense of adventure just like our dearly departed David.

A lovely and talented individual by the name of Wanda Cobar has created a number of made-to-order costumes based on some of the most memorable stage outfits worn by David Bowie during his time as “Ziggy Stardust” and they are not your average run-of-the-mill “Costume Superstore” type of get ups by any means. Cobar actually made the material herself for the “Space Oddity” jumpsuit (pictured at the top of this post) because she wasn’t satisfied with the conventional offerings available to her and ZOWIE did she nail it. The same goes for Cobar’s fantastic interpretation of Bowie’s little fishnet number with strategically placed lizard hands on the chest. When the original costume attempted to make it’s debut on The Midnight Special (as part of Bowie’s “1980 Floor Show”) it caused quite a stir, as the Dame recalled in 2002:

I did one particular song, can’t remember what it was now but I had a strange kind of string knitted costume made with three hands on. Two of them on my chest, looking like I was being gripped from the back…And a third one on my crotch. I nearly started a riot with the Americans. They said: “Oh we can’t show that, that’s subversive.” We went through hell, so I had to take the hand off my crotch. And then of course they didn’t like the black pouch piece that was down there, that the hand was stitched to…so I had to change all that. So, like the ‘Diamond Dogs’ thing that they airbrushed the dick off, I was having more erasure problems. It followed me all through the Seventies. It’s funny that I can remember the costume and not the song, totally indicative of what the time was like.

I’m pretty sure the price tag on Cobar’s incredible costumes might give you sticker shock—which is understandable as they range in price from $179 to $699 for an one-of-a-kind girlie version of Bowie’s “Space Oddity” suit that comes complete with red wig and gold crown. If for some inexplicable reason Bowie isn’t your thing, Cobar also has a couple of sweet Prince-inspired costumes such as a full-on polka-dot number that the Purple One wore in the late 80s and a pretty cool version of the two-piece number Prince wore on the cover of 1986’s Dream Factory mashed up with the iconic purple suit worn from the 1984 album Purple Rain. Images and links to Corbar’s soon to be super busy Etsy page follow.
 

The ‘Jean-Genie’ costume.
 
More after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Pure Imagination: Gene Wilder tribute portrait as Willy Wonka made entirely out of candy
08.31.2016
12:33 pm

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Art
Food
Movies
R.I.P.

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I love this homage portrait of Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka made entirely out of candy. It’s fitting. The piece is done by unconventional mosaic artist Jason Mecier.

The Willy Wonka candy portrait will live on forever at Giddy Candy in San Francisco.

Click on the image to enlarge to see all the detail. Wonderful.


 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Comics-inspired Criterion movie posters by Daniel Clowes, R. Crumb, Ralph Steadman & more
08.29.2016
01:13 pm

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Art
Books
Movies

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A 2010 movie poster for the 1968 film ‘Head’ by Wayne Shellabarger.
 
Back in 2010 Criterion had the fantastic idea to have director Jim Jarmusch select a number of notable artists including Daniel Clowes, R. Crumb and Hunter S. Thompson’s pal Ralph Steadman to design movie posters for various Criterion releases. The posters made their debut during an All Tomorrow’s Parties festival which Jarmusch curated in 2010.
 

A poster for the 1963 film ‘Shock Corridor’ by Daniel Clowes.
 
If you’ve not seen the artwork that Clowes created for two films in Criterion’s collection directed by Samuel Fuller—1963’s mental hospital fever-dream Shock Corridor and The Naked Kiss—you are in for a treat. I’ve assembled a number of the posters done by a wide range of artists that pay homage to films by Wes Anderson, Hal Ashby and David Cronenberg just to name a few. In 2014 Criterion published a massive book Criterion Designs that features a collection of artwork created for films in their catalog including many of the ones featured in this post.
 

‘Crumb’ by R. Crumb.
 
More after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Ben Wheatley’s amazing storyboards for ‘High Rise’
08.29.2016
11:40 am

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Art
Design
Heroes
Movies

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Film director Ben Wheatley tweeted his storyboard drawings for High Rise over the weekend. Based on the dystopian novel by J. G. Ballard, High Rise is a brilliant and astounding movie. Its cinematic quality again confirms Wheatley’s status as one of the most talented and original film directors at work in film today. As a director Wheatley stands in direct lineage to the likes of Nicolas Roeg, Ken Russell, John Boorman and Stanley Kubrick. He is an auteur of exceptional brilliance.

Wheatley plans his films meticulously. He works in partnership with the multitalented screenwriter/editor Amy Jump—who is also his wife. Before filming, Wheatley storyboards the entire film scene by painstaking scene. As evidenced by the selection of drawings below, Wheatley considers everything from shot size and angle to action and camera moves within a sequence. These storyboards will may make better sense if you have seen High Rise—which I recommend you do. It stars as Tom Hiddleston as Dr. Robert Laing, Jeremy Irons as Anthony Royal, Luke Evans as Richard Wilder, Elisabeth Moss as Helen Wilder, Sienna Miller as Charlotte Melville, and Keeley Hawes as Ann Royal. The film takes place in a luxury tower block (designed by Royal) during the 1970s. The block is split into three class structures—with the poorest at the bottom. As the tenants become removed from the outside world—chaos and violence unfold. High Rise is now available on Blu-ray.

The ever industrious Wheatley has just finished his latest film Freefire which will premiere at the Toronto Film Festival next month. Freefire is “a real time shootout” action thriller starring Brie Larson, Cillian Murphy, Sharlto Copley and Armie Hammer. Martin Scorsese is the executive producer and I, for one, am certainly looking forward to that…
 
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Ben Wheatley director selfie on the set of ‘High Rise.’
 
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Laing finds Digby the Dog.
 
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Morning.
 
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Morning—High Rise.
 
The rest of Ben Wheatley’s storyboards for ‘High Rise,’ after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
A dozen classic albums, googly-eyed
08.29.2016
09:03 am

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Amusing
Art
Music

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Googly-eyes are the “Yakety Sax” of craft supplies, rendering hilarious pretty much anything they’re introduced to. Case-in-point, these altered album covers. The best googly-eyeifications are the ones done to particularly iconic sleeves or sleeves with artwork which is supposed to convey a sense of seriousness, dignity or dread. This is why metal albums, in particular, are always good choices for googly-eyeing. There’s an entire Tumbr page dedicated to googly-eyed metal albums, which we’ve told you about here before. A few of these pieces have been featured on that particular Tumblr page, while the rest have been collected from various corners of the web.

Googly, or “wiggle eyes” are fairly inexpensive to obtain. This set of 700 eyes of various sizes is only $7.99. Hit up some thrift stores or record shop dollar bins, and you can be making your own D.I.Y. googly-art album cover masterpieces in no time. Or don’t.

Check this gallery for inspiration:
 

 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
This ‘Street Trash’ diorama of the infamous toilet ‘meltdown’ scene can now be yours!
08.25.2016
11:44 am

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Amusing
Art
Movies

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Behold the one-of-a-kind ‘Street Trash’ diorama based on the famous toilet ‘meltdown’ scene.
 
Available for sale over at the aptly-titled Curious Goods (via Big Cartel) is this eight-inch-scale diorama depicting one of the most memorable (or impossible to forget) scenes in cult movie history—the infamous toilet ‘meltdown’ scene from the 1987 “film” Street Trash.
 

 
Standing fifteen-inches in height the DIY diorama shows “Wizzy” (played by actor Bernard Perlman) taking his last dump after guzzling a bottle of “Tenafly Viper” and was hand painted using the various dayglo colors that were used throughout the film to enhance its gore. The unapologetic, decadently gross film was to be director J. Michael Muro’s film school thesis but was rejected for reasons that will be obvious to anyone who has seen Street Trash. And as if this isn’t enough good news for anyone who adores this flick, this one-of-a-kind piece of cinema tragedy is currently ON SALE for the low-brow price of $150.

The film (which has been praised by horror directors Wes Craven and George Romero) was also the subject of a two-hour documentary in 2006 which you can get in a specially packaged Blu Ray from 2013 Street Trash: Special Meltdown Edition.
 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Fashion designer pierces meat, fruit and flowers for sexual still life arrangements
08.25.2016
10:51 am

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Amusing
Art
Fashion
Food

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Victor Barragan’s first fashion line combined some simple pieces with high-impact accessories—think leather gloves, denim sack dresses, and massive hoop earrings, but accented with an actual eggplant toted around as a purse. The clothes are fun, but it’s Barragan’s Instagram that I really like. He styles produce, meat and flowers with piercings—studs and hoops—for a distinctly “Retro S and M Centerpieces” vibe. Barragan’s work is very tongue-in-cheek, and he doesn’t shy away from the whimsy of his pierced still lifes, saying:

“I started working with food a while ago, creating still lifes, using diverse elements – like gold, diamonds and piercings. My work on Instagram has a sense of humor; it’s always something weird but not creepy. I had this idea to make organic accessories that could feel like they were alive.”

The Instagram itself isn’t actually SFW—unless you’re lucky enough to work in a gay porn friendly office?—but I’ve compiled some of the best food and floral piercings below—technically safe for work, but one or two is still a little visceral. Scroll with caution.
 

 

 
More pierced meat and things, after the jump…

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Laibach? There’s an app for that
08.25.2016
09:16 am

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Art
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The poster for Laibach’s upcoming show in Ljubljana
 
You say you love Laibach, but what are you really willing to do for the cause? When is the last time you spent NSK State money? Sure, you wear the official Laibach tie, but where is your matching tie clip? And you stink of mortality; where is your bar of Laibach soap? Only Laibach brand soap has been proven to kill every type of pestilence it does not also promote:

This big bar of Saliva, Sweat and Sperm is pressed three times to make a rich and creamy soap. A relaxing fragrance for tired and stressed-out souls calms the nerves and soothes the body. Perfect for beginning or ending your life.



A bar of Laibach soap
 
Have you looked in the mirror lately? There is way too much “you” behind those eyes and not nearly enough Laibach. Citizen, the day of reckoning is at hand! Boots are marching in the public street, and you haven’t even sacrificed your personality to the general will yet! Time is running out. It may not be too late if you get right with Laibach today.

Of course, you will need to replace all your records with Laibach records, all your clothes with Laibach clothes, all your décor with Laibach décor, et cetera. But while you are appropriating the necessary funds for your total, final makeover, you can get started by downloading the free Laibach app. It will help you maintain right speech and right conduct, and after you (inevitably) consent, it will “access your location even when you are not using the app.” It’s kind of like Pokémon GO—except in former Yugoslavian republic of Slovenia, Pokémon catches you!

With the Laibach app you will be able to: get the latest News, listen/buy music, watch Laibach videos, interact with the Laibach Community, send your artworks directly from your mobile device, get the latest info on Laibach tour dates and ticket links, see photos of Laibach, read about Laibach history and everything else you need to help you be a better partisan.


A screenshot from the Laibach app
 
The app is available for Android and iOS.

Next week, Laibach will be performing a special concert on the theme of “the holy war in/of Europe” with the RTV Slovenia Symphony Orchestra in Ljubljana. Tickets and posters are available through laibach.org.

More Laibach after the jump…

Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
‘Twin Peaks’ soundtrack reissue pressed onto ‘damn fine coffee’ color vinyl
08.24.2016
08:54 am

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Art
Music
Television

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Behold the ‘Damn Fine Coffee’ edition of the newly reissued vinyl soundtrack for the original ‘Twin Peaks’ television series.
 
A little over a week ago—on August 10th—a vinyl reissue of the soundtrack for the original Twin Peaks television series (first broadcast in 1990) scored by long-time David Lynch collaborator Angelo Badalamenti was released into the wild via Mondotees and promptly sold out. If you missed the boat on that like I did there’s still a way (and a better one at that) to score the gorgeous release which comes pressed into coffee-colored vinyl whose color profile is described as “Damn Fine Coffee.”
 

 
Starting on September 9th many cool independant brick and mortar record and video shops across the country will temporarily transform into a version of Agent Dale Cooper’s favorite hangout, Tweed’s Cafe in North Bend, Washington and will offer up their own in-store “Coffee and Pie” event during which you can purchase the record while listening to the soundtrack. Two-long years in the making, the packaging for the soundtrack is almost as cool as the show which comes in a gatefold sleeve,with liner notes written by Badalamenti and a record jacket that pays tribute to the floors of the “Black Lodge” thanks to the clever use of a die cut pattern on the cover. If it sounds at all to you like I am completely geeking out on this, then you’d be correct. Especially since my favorite video store, the world-famous Scarecrow Video in Seattle, is holding one of the 20-some-odd “Coffee and Pie” events. Yummy.

For those of you bemoaning the fact that you don’t live in the U.S. according to the website Welcome to Twin Peaks there are a few locations in the UK, too that will also be hosting their own Twin Peaks party. More details on the record as well as a full list of shops (which does appear to be updated from time to time) that will be hosting the event, here. If your location isn’t listed or if you prefer to miss out on what sounds like a really excellent time you can pre-order the album (for a mark-up in most cases) at lots of places online.
 
Additional product shots after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
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