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  • Pink Punk: Listen to the bizarre anti-punk rock anthem from… the Pink Panther!?!
    02:59 pm


    The Pink Panther

    In the late 1970s, quite a few performers of a certain age glommed on to the disco craze and came out with four on the floor-flavored albums of their own (thinking of you, Ethel Merman and Fred Astaire). Later on, of course, a similar thing happened to rap, as Rodney Dangerfield might be the first to tell us. (And no, Rodney’s rap got no respect and deserved none.)

    You don’t think of that happening to punk—it’s difficult to imagine Ethyl Merman covering “Belsen Was Gas” in a green mohawk—but occasionally you’d get weird things like 1980’s Chipmunk Punk, which, as my colleague Ron Kretsch pointed out, covered in squeaky fashion such “punk” legends as Billy Joel, Tom Petty, and Linda Ronstadt.

    In the same vein was Pink Panther Punk, which came out in 1981 and which (seriously, guys?) ALSO featured a cover of a Billy Joel song. (Chipmunk Punk at least had the good sense to cover one of Joel’s harder cuts, “You May Be Right”; for reasons that will become obvious in due course, Pink Panther Punk selected a song of Joel’s with a far more ambiguous relationship to the punk movement, “It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me.”)

    Not only was Pink Panther Punk a bizarre idea from the bottom up—why do a punk tribute album for an animated character who almost never spoke? The Panther’s fans had no real idea what he sounded like, after all. But even more palpable was the barely suppressed rage directed at the punk movement. The Pink Panther is pretty much synonymous with Henry Mancini as well as the hard bebop that appeared in many of the Pink Panther shorts, both of which decidedly represented the old guard music-wise compared to the new and vital movement ushered in by the Ramones and Sex Pistols.

    The hostility towards punk evinced on Pink Panther Punk is evident mainly in the sheer ignorance of punk on the part of those responsible for the album. The album cover depicts a montage of the Panther playing such essential punk instruments as the saxophone and the synthesizer. The closest the album comes to covering a punk classic is Blondie’s “Call Me”—Blondie may have been regulars at CBGB but that song has little to do with punk rock.

    In addition to “Call Me,” the album features covers of Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall” and the Doobie Brothers’ “What a Fool Believes.”  We’ve already mentioned Joel’s “It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me,” which is, it’s fair to say, Joel’s more traditionally oriented “response” to the lively brew of new music forms percolating in the mid- to late 1970s, including punk.

    The clincher is the first song on the second side, which was called “It’s Punk!” The song introduces a “band” that is rather lazily called the Pink Punks—the song was obviously conceived as something like a Mad Magazine style treatment of what was obviously a fad. The song itself has nothing to do with punk, and indeed would not be out of place on, say, the Grease soundtrack.

    All the songs that weren’t covers were written by John Braden, whose other credits include Stories from The Dukes of Hazzard and Strawberry Shortcake’s Touch Your Toes, Touch Your Nose Fun & Exercise Album.

    If you are unsure of how much of a fan Braden was of punk music, just read the lyrics to “It’s Punk!”:

    Why do all the people point at us and stare?
    At our motorcycle jackets and the crazy clothes we wear?
    Maybe it’s our makeup or our green and purple hair
    I’m sure they have their reasons, but frankly we don’t care!
    Well it’s true that we look ragged, in a state of disrepair
    But let us turn you on to a secret that we share
    It’s all a great big act that we put on for you squares
    Because while you’re working 9 to 5, we’ll be millionaires!

    Punk—it’s junk, it’s punk, it’s bunk
    It rocks, it socks, it mocks, it shocks
    It’s old, it’s cold, it’s old, it’s gold
    It yells, it smells, it smells, it sells

    It’s punk!

    It’s slick, it’s trick, it’s thick, it’s sick
    It’s chic, it’s meek, it’s freak, it’s weak
    It’s fright, it’s smike, it’s dyke, it’s like
    It’s through, it’s new, it’s residue

    It’s punk!

    How can you like it if you’ve never tried it?
    Who cares if you like it as long as you buy it?

    It’s sold, it smells, it’s gold, it sells
    It’s punk!

    More after the jump…

    Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
    Watch the ‘restored’ Rolling Stones video for ‘Child of the Moon’ in HD
    01:30 pm


    Rolling Stones
    Michael Lindsay-Hogg

    Since it never really appeared on a “proper” Rolling Stones album—it’s on More Hot Rocks and a few other, lesser compilations—“Child of the Moon,” the dreamy B-side to 1968’s “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” single (a lunar love song to Marianne Faithfull) has remained one of the group’s more obscure 60s “deep cuts.” Then again it’s a Rolling Stones song, just how obscure could it really be? Mileage may vary.

    Having said that, the promo film that was made for the number—a somewhat Kenneth Anger-inspired short directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg and probably shot by Michael Cooper (who in fact lensed Anger’s Lucifer Rising, note the similarities in these stills, it’s even the same 16mm film stock)—is far less well known. A shitty version of this popped up on YouTube and Dailymotion briefly in late 2014, but it was a nth generation dub, black and white—more like black, white and green—and nearly unwatchable, with the essence—and the borderline disturbing sexual menace element—leeched right out of it. You could tell what was going on, but that was about it. It was new to me.

    There’s a cosmic law that dictates: “Anything that can be uploaded to the Internet in crappy quality, can and will be uploaded in awesome quality if you just wait long enough.” This looks like legit HD video to me. On a large flat screen TV it looks fantastic. Is there a Stones video comp similar to the recent Beatles #1 Blu-ray on the way? Let’s hope.

    Ladies and gentleman, the Rolling Stones in “Child of the Moon”...

    Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
    Sparks fly: A brief trip through Ron & Russell Mael’s appearances on German TV over the years

    You know you’re getting old when your love for a band hits middle age. Yikes. It’s forty-two years since I was first heard Sparks’ single “This Town Ain’t Big Enough For the Both of Us” on the radio. A couple of weeks later I caught them on Top of the Pops—the bottom-wiggling Bolanesque lead singer Russell Mael and the stern, strange, Hitler-mustachiod pianist Ron Mael. The differences of the brothers’ iconic images very much suited the joyous one-upmanship of their performance—the battle between Russell’s impressively soaring vocals and Ron’s cleverly structured music.

    Sparks evolved out of another band called Halfnelson (which was the Mael brothers and guitarist Earle Mankey,  bassist Jim Mankey and drummer Harley Feinstein) formed in 1968. They were mainly popular with the brothers’ relatives and friends, though they did attract the attention of musician Todd Rundgren who produced their brilliant eponymous debut album. It didn’t sell well. A problem of perhaps having too small an extended family or a limited number of friends. But still there was enough interest to give the brothers a new record deal.

    The record company suggested the band rename themselves the Sparx Brothers—in reference to the zany comedy troupe the Marx Brothers. Ron and Russell agreed to to keeping the “Sparks” but dropping the brother bits. It was obvious enough anyway.

    A second album (the rather superb A Woofer in Tweeter’s Clothing), a move to England, a new band line-up (Martin Gordon on bass, Adrian Fisher on guitar and Norman “Dinky” Diamond” on drums) led to the the superlative album Kimono My House and a legendary career began.
    With age comes maturity and sometimes good sense. I’ve stopped evangelizing about the utter genius of Ron and Russell Mael sometime ago. Well, about an hour ago—to be exact. As sadly there comes a point when attempting to convince other people to listen to something you like becomes a bit like the well-meaning Hare Krishna pestering a passersby to shout “Gouranga!”

    Sparks don’t need a plug. They’re too good, too brilliant, to need anyone shouting their genius from the rooftops. If you are a fan (or have been paying attention) then you’ll know what I mean. Sparks have kept evolving, developing and progressing—their music today is as great, if not greater than the work they produced forty-five years ago.

    Most bands after their fifth decade together just hash out the greatest hits for the stadium audience. Not Sparks—they are still writing, producing and performing new, audacious and original material. Last year the Brothers Mael collaborated with Franz Ferdinand to form the supergroup FFS—one of the best (if not the best in this reviewer’s opinion) albums of the year. Their show was certainly the best gig I saw in 2015.  I know you’re busy but if you could just say “Gouranga..!”

    This little selection of Sparks’ live appearances on Musikladen show the big shift in the brothers progress from classic Kimono My House and Propaganda-era art-rock-pop to the minimalist-experimental-electronica of the Gratuitous Sax & Senseless Violins album—that eventually led to their masterpieces of Lil’ Beethoven and The Seduction of Ingmar Bergman. As a band Sparks are tight—something they never quite got the credit for—and as a way of life—hell, there’s nothing to beat ‘em.

    Track Listing: “This Town Ain’t Big Enough for the Both Of Us,” “Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil, See No Evil,” “Something for the Girl with Everything,” “When Do I Get to Sing ‘My Way’,” “Frankly, Scarlett, I Don’t Give a Damn,” “BC,” “(When I Kiss You” I Hear Charlie Parker Playing” and “Senseless Violins.”

    Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
    Street artists salute Bernie Sanders (and Bernie’s reaction to seeing it)
    11:50 am


    Bernie Sanders

    “Bernie Sanders: Together” by Jermaine Rogers
    Running for president is a pursuit that attracts control freaks—let’s just say freaks, full stop. For a candidate seeking the presidency, Bernie Sanders has embraced the power of relinquishing control to a remarkable degree.

    Sanders’ campaign is all about restoring power to the people, and in keeping with that, his strong reputation among our nation’s artistic community has enabled him to establish a traveling art exhibition that feels a lot like a street art show. To a considerable extent, Bernie is picking up where the grassroots campaign of Barack Obama in 2008 left off, as Obama was able to secure the support of protest-oriented artists like Ron English and Shepard Fairey and many others.

    Sanders’ exhibition is titled “The Art of a Political Revolution,” and features artists like Fairey, English, Aaron Draplin, Gilf!, and Jermaine Rogers.

    “Strong America,” by Ron English
    A few days ago Sanders himself visited the exhibition for the first time, during which he commented that “I gotta tell you, on a personal level, it’s a little bit weird ... to see all thee guys who look like me on the wall.”

    As the Slate video below asserts:

    “Bernie and unsanctioned art appeal to the same people. He is to establishment politics what street artists and graffiti writers are to blue-chip galleries.”

    Donate to the Sanders campaign.

    “Thick Lines Bernie” by Aaron Draplin


    More after the jump…

    Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
    Watch the righteously insane new video from King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard: A bonkers DM premiere
    10:25 am


    King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard

    King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard are doing a lot right lately. The Australian psych septet have, in just about six years, released eight albums, dabbling in garage rock, folk, and jazz, before releasing their latest, Nonagon Infinity, just last week. The album sees the band ramming its fuzzy psych stylings through straightforward early ’70s heavy rock, and the “Infinity” half of its title clues the listener in to a neat trick of its construction—the end of its final song loops seamlessly with the beginning of its first, making Nonagaon Infinity one of those rare recordings for which even the most stubborn vinyl-heads will want the digital version. Though us LP die-hards get a treat, too—the vinyl is pressed into a nonagon shape.

    The band heralded the LP’s release in March with the release of the elaborate and completely bonkers video “Gamma Knife,” a trippy and mystical video which featured prismatically hued monks committing mass ritual suicide, and which turned the head of no less a personage as famed weirdo filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky, who actually wrote to the band, saying “I liked a lot, has strength, imagination, sense of colour and rhythm.”

    There will be more video where this came from—a video album for Nanagon Infinity is planned for release later this year. The band has already followed up “Gamma Knife” with an even more elaborate video for the song “People Vultures,” and it’s DM’s privilege to debut it for you today. And given that the egg and the riff from the final shot of “Gamma Knife” are the first things you see and hear in “People Vultures,” it’s apparent that the video album may run in a continuous loop as well. Continuing in the Holy Mountainesque vein of “Gamma Knife,” “People Vultures” adds in hat-tips to Tokusatsu TV shows like Kamen Rider, and a production crew of nearly thirty people took three weeks to build the titular vulture prop. Per the video’s co-directors Danny Cohen & Jason Galea:

    We conceptualised a giant 6 meter tall musical vulture. The vulture housed all seven band members along with their instruments and trundled across different landscapes fighting various characters plucked from the tracks on Nonagon Infinity.

    With the vulture fully assembled and all the band members inside, it weighed over a tonne and was difficult to move safely across the rough terrain without breaking or toppling over. [frontman] Stu [Mackenzie] had the daunting job of being inside the vulture’s neck and head with only a small railing to battle the vertigo and bumps as the vulture slowly moved.

    See it, after the jump…

    Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
    Sexy M*therf*cker: Amazing lifelike Prince doll with custom-made clothing from ‘Purple Rain’ & more!
    09:58 am


    Troy Gua

    Le Petit Prince at
    Le Petit Prince at ‘Lake Minnetonka’ with his customized Honda CB400A.
    Tuesday, May 3rd marked the sadly poignant moment when it became “seven hours and thirteen days” since Prince left this world. And I for one have still not (and probably never will) come to terms with his passing. His loss is a truly immeasurable one that has left his fans (including myself and my colleagues here at DM), dumbfounded. 
    Let Petite Prince in his
    Le Petit Prince in his ‘Dirty Mind’ outfit.
    If you’re a Prince fan (and I wouldn’t trust anyone who said they weren’t, it’s one of my rules), you know that he was an incredibly private person—and was quick to put the kibosh on video footage of his mind-bogglingly epic live performances that somehow made their way to the Internet. In the past when DM has posted footage of Prince blowing-minds live, it’s always come with a warning to watch it before it gets taken down. Such was the case with Prince and his request to Seattle artist Troy Gua, who created a lifelike figure of Prince called “Le Petit Prince” (or “LPP”) sometime in 2012, and was swiftly served with a “cease and desist” notice by The Purple One himself. Gua, a huge Prince fan, was devastated. Figuring out a way around the order, he continued to take photos of his “LPP,” only now it had a sculpted head in Gua’s own image. In 2015, Gua started to once again publish images of Le Petit Prince and one of his most recent posts on his Instagram featured the realistic looking figure beginning his ascent to heaven by way of a ladder. Sigh.

    Gua (who also makes all of Le Petit Prince’s painstakingly detailed clothes) says he doesn’t want to profit from Prince’s death, so you can’t actually purchase a small version of Prince dressed in era-specific attire (although Gua didn’t rule out this possibility in the future or selling prints of Le Petit Prince in action). When I say that the images in this post are almost as beguiling as Prince himself (almost), I’m not exaggerating. From Le Petit Prince riding a tiny replica of his customized 1981 Honda CB400A from the film Purple Rain, to the open trenchcoat and tiny black thong Prince wore on the cover of his 1980 album, Dirty Mind, Gua (who might be the greatest person ever) has created so many perfect Princes that I couldn’t possibly post them all here.

    Prince as seen in the video for ‘Automatic’ from the 1982 album, ‘1999.’
    More after the jump…

    Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
    Bad cop, no doughnut: Krispy Kreme worker refuses to serve a cop because he’s a cop
    09:35 am

    Current Events


    An employee from a Columbia, South Carolina Krispy Kreme is the subject of disciplinary action following an incident in which he refused to serve a customer, reportedly, solely because the customer was a cop.

    A Richland County Sheriff’s Department deputy was denied his cop fuel and his department later issued a statement confirming the incident and stating, “the poor actions of one employee does not properly represent the views and values of the community, business, [or] organization as a whole.”

    Krispy Kreme’s District Manager, Mechelle Carey, sent an email to the Sheriff stating “the employee has been dealt with serious disciplinary action,” further apologizing to the department, stating that Krispy Kreme has a long-standing relationship with law enforcement, military, and first responders.

    The Sheriff’s Department believes this was an isolated incident, and the details of disciplinary action against the employee have not been made public.

    So, was this doughnut denier a hero or a dick? Tell us in the comments.
    Anyway, here’s NOFX with the greatest cop/doughnut anthem of all time:

    When I was on the freeway, doing 70 all drunk
    A copper pulled me over, and I thought that I was sunk
    He came up to my car, I thought up a little trick
    I took a doughnut, jelly filled, and put it on a stick
    He came up to my window, and shouted to get out
    So I quickly took the doughnut and I shoved it in his mouth
    So I drove away, he shouted for some more
    So I threw it out the window and he ate it off the floor

    Cops and doughnuts
    Cops love doughnuts
    Cops love doughnuts
    Cops and doughnuts


    Via: WACH Fox 57

    Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
    No Wave: DNA and the Contortions play a benefit for X Magazine, 1978
    09:20 am


    no wave

    The NYC arts publication X Magazine, published by the artists’ group Collaborative Projects (a/k/a Colab), held a fundraising show on March 11, 1978. Three dollars got you an evening of quality no wave: DNA, the Contortions, Boris Policeband, the Erasers, Theoretical Girls and Terminal all played, and miraculously, Colab members Coleen Fitzgibbon and Alan Moore captured moments of the first three of these acts’ performances on black and white Super 8 film. Additionally, there is a remarkably clear soundtrack.

    The Punk Art Catalogue at 98 Bowery reproduces covers and images from X Magazine and describes the relationship between the no wavers and Colab:

    Colab was a non-profit organization explicitly created by young downtown artists involved with film, video, photography and other media to take advantage of newly available government grants. The kinship between the artists of Colab and the rock musicians at CBGB reflected a tight-knit scene where many of the participants lived in the same downtown tenements and lofts. All shared similar aesthetic interests as well as a grassroots approach to promotion and distribution rooted in the perception that the established galleries and record labels largely ignored young artists and musicians.

    X was published by the artists themselves who were free to do whatever they wanted on their assigned pages. Some contributors focused on the new music scene, while others favored the same kind of provocative content and populist politics found in the music. The connection between X and Punk Rock was most overt at the X Magazine Benefit when the Contortions, DNA, the Erasers and other rock groups with strong links to the visual arts contributed their talents to help raise money to print the magazine’s second issue.


    Brian Eno at a Contortions show
    Incidentally, according to Alec Foege’s now ancient Sonic Youth biography, this was the show that “sold Thurston on the merits of [no wave] music”:

    I thought it was amazing. Theoretical Girls was just off the wall. And DNA was the fucking ugliest band in the world.

    More after the jump…

    Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
    ‘Movin’ On Up’: How the Black Panthers invented ‘The Jeffersons’

    Somewhat like top basketballers before Michael Jordan (thinking of you, Dr. J….) the reputation of Norman Lear’s sitcom The Jeffersons suffered somewhat by poor timing and the shows that came after it. Cheers and Seinfeld are regularly lauded as among the greatest sitcoms of all time, but The Jeffersons, whose impressive 253 episodes were spread across a whopping 11 seasons (1975-1985), never seems to get mentioned with the same respect.

    If you eliminate animated series and long-running staples from the dawn of TV history, the longevity of The Jeffersons puts it in a special category with Two and a Half Men (262 episodes), Cheers (275), M*A*S*H (256), Frasier (264), Married ... with Children (258), and Happy Days (255).

    At a minimum, The Jeffersons is arguably the greatest put-down show of all time!

    And it never would have happened but for an intervention by the Black Panthers.

    Norman Lear, creator of a fair portion of the most successful sitcoms of the 1970s, including All in the Family, Sanford and Son, One Day at a Time, and Maude, is the subject of an upcoming PBS American Masters telecast under the title “Just Another Version of You,” which is expected to get a theatrical run in the summer before appearing on PBS affiliates in the autumn. Since the 1970s Lear has become more or less synonymous with the introduction of ethnic diversity in American TV as well as the foregrounding of what might be termed a liberal consciousness in televised comedy.

    Remarkably, the creation of The Jeffersons was a direct outgrowth of an intervention staged by three members of the Black Panthers political organization at some point during 1974. A trio of pissed-off revolutionaries went to Lear’s office to complain about the “garbage” they were seeing on TV, specifically Lear’s show Good Times, which ran from 1974 to 1979 and focused on a black family in the projects of Chicago. You wouldn’t think that the Black Panthers would object to a popular sitcom calling attention to poverty in urban America, but they wanted to see a broader palette of Black America on TV.

    Last weekend Lear visited Dan Harmon’s weekly podcast Harmontown, which is taped live every Sunday at the Nerdmelt Showroom in Hollywood, to promote the American Masters documentary and shoot the shit with a well-known showrunner (Community) from a more splintered era of TV programming, namely, ours. Harmontown tapings are usually attended by GenXers and Millennials, so the appearance of the 93-year-old (!) legend of TV was an unusual event.

    ‘Good Times’ aired on CBS from 1974 to 1979
    At about 42 minutes in, Harmon and his sidekick Jeff Davis engaged Lear on the subject of the beginnings of The Jeffersons:

    Harmon: There’s this anecdote, about ... three Black Panthers show up, and come to your office and say, “We want to talk to the garbageman! I wanna talk to Norman Lear, the garbageman!” And they storm into your office, and say, “Good Times is bullshit” ... They read you the riot act ... You credit that moment as starting us down the road towards The Jeffersons. ...

    You’re still listening! You’ve already proven that you’re the king of television at that point, and people are barging into your office to call you a garbageman, and you listen to them! And took their feedback and made another great television show, that was great from another perspective.

    Davis: What was the Black Panthers’ [complaint]? ... Because they were living in the projects, because they were downtrodden?

    Lear: Their big bellyache was, why does the guy have to hold down three jobs and occasionally—in an episode, it almost seems like he’s looking for a fourth—he’s so hungry to make some money to support his family and why can’t there be an affluent black family on television? ... They were pissed off that the only family that existed, the guy had to hold down three jobs.

    More after the jump…

    Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
    Social Justice Kittens postcard pack
    12:57 pm


    LiarTown USA

    I had no idea LiarTown USA actually had products you can buy! Like these Social Justice Kittens postcards created by LiarTown USA’s Sean Tejaratchi. They come in a set of 12 and are on pre-order for $12 through the Reading Frenzy website. The postcards will be released on May 6th.

    We’ve blogged about LiarTown USA before here on Dangerous Minds. If you’re not familiar with the site and Tejaratchi’s work, here’s the link.

    via Boing Boing

    Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
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