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  • ‘I feel good!’: Jordan Peele reenacts James Brown’s crazy drug-fueled CNN interview word for word
    04:25 pm


    James Brown
    Jordan Peele

    Here’s a priceless bit of business from the irreplaceable Jordan Peele.

    In May of 1988 James Brown was arrested in Aiken County, South Carolina, on charges of drug possession and fleeing from the police after his wife Adrienne called 911 because he was threatening her safety. Brown was released after paying $24,000 in bail, after which he headed for Atlanta to do an interview on CNN’s Sonya Live! in LA wth Sonya Friedman.

    Brown, clearly on something (my money is on PCP), seemed scarcely aware that he was in any legal difficulty and insisted on answering most of Friedman’s queries with lyrics from his songs (“I FEEL GOOD!”) or other similar non sequiturs.

    You know who Jordan Peele is—he and Keegan-Michael Key have been killing it for years with their Comedy Central sketch show Key and Peele, their 2016 movie Keanu, and various appearances elsewhere, including Fargo.

    I desperately want the two of them to interview Donald Trump, but before that happens, this delirious recreation of James Brown’s 1988 CNN interview will have to do.

    I wrote about this great event back in 2013, and it still remains one of the most remarkable interviews I’ve ever seen.
    Watch Peele’s glorious impersonation after the jump…....

    Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
    Dreamtime: The Cult’s early years
    03:36 pm


    The Cult

    Although perhaps their best days are long behind them, The Cult were a powerful live act in the 1980s and they’re still pretty good. I’ve seen them play several times, in London, New York, Austin and LA going back to 1983 and those shows were among the more memorable gigs I’ve ever attended.

    Ian Astbury’s original group was called The Southern Death Cult and then just Death Cult. Their earliest music is more in line with Killing Joke perhaps, with a hefty dollop of Adam Ant thrown into the mix, too, little resembling the hard rock the group would be turning out by the late-80s.

    Especially early on, the Cult’s rabid fan-base was so incredibly devoted that they’d follow the group around like unwashed punky Deadheads, night after night. Backpacks and sleeping bags were in (annoying) abundance at every show. The band could really capture the imagination of their followers who seemed like they were having a communal pagan religious experience watching them. Their shows did have a truly Dionysian drama to them that no other group I can think of achieved so totally and completely other than maybe Killing Joke. (It’s no wonder that the surviving Doors wanted Ian Astbury to be their front man, he was the obvious choice!)

    I found their early concerts mesmerizing and unlike anything I had ever seen before. Or smelled. The Cult’s fans were among the first of the “New Age Travelers” (also called “Crusties” at the time) and a few hundred of them in one room without adequate ventilation was not something you’d care to get a whiff of, as anyone who saw them back then can attest to. Flagrant “BO” was an unavoidable element of a Cult gig in the early 80s. Probably 90% of the audience (including me) lived in squats. It was that kind of scene. Their shows always smelled just like McDonald’s hamburgers although I suspect many of their audience members then were some of the original vegans.

    More after the jump…

    Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
    Darkly Lynchian mixtape featuring songs by the cast of the new ‘Twin Peaks’
    01:19 pm


    David Lynch
    Twin Peaks

    David Lynch completed shooting the new Twin Peaks episodes he and Mark Frost are producing for a Showtime release early next year. The singular TV show had its brilliant but inconclusive-feeling initial run in 1990 and 1991 on ABC, and it was enough of a sensation to land Lynch on the cover of TIME, identified as “The Wild-at-Art Genius” behind the show. It’s beyond question that Lynch and Co. helped stretch the boundaries of what a TV narrative could be, at a time when network television was practically the only game in town.

    Around the same time that the shooting on the new episodes wrapped, the excellent blog Welcome to Twin Peaks noticed that the whopping 217-person cast list released by the show contained a goodly number of people with a decent musical pedigree—or better. For instance, Trent Reznor, Eddie Vedder, Sky Ferreira, and Sharon Van Etten are all listed as cast members, while actors such as Jennifer Jason Leigh, Monica Bellucci, Richard Chamberlain, and Balthazar Getty have released music in their time.

    From these facts was birthed a tremendously fertile idea—why not cobble together a mixtape that is limited to the people on the cast list that evokes the peculiarly malevolent and down-home acoustical vibe that Angelo Badalamenti created for the original show? And that’s exactly what Welcome to Twin Peaks did.

    We all know what Twin Peaks music sounds like. Starting with the spare guitar notes with the saccharine synth tones from the show’s opening theme, the show’s music evoked a just the right Bizarro World of melodrama that just might produce a random lady clutching a log or a cryptic dream dwarf.

    Obviously, Nine Inch Nails and Pearl Jam is fair game for the project, and the mix brilliantly stretches as far back as 1962 for Richard Chamberlain’s tremendous cover of the Everly Brothers’ “All I Have to Do Is Dream.” How they missed the masterpiece that is Jim Belushi & The Sacred Hearts’ 1998 album 36-22-36 is a mystery for the ages.
    Listen after the jump…

    Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
    Remember those too-good-to-be-true vinyl toys of your favorite pop culture icons?
    01:14 pm

    Pop Culture

    vinyl toys

    Jeff Spicoli. Get him here.

    A few years ago I blogged about these really cool 3D models of pop culture icons that I mistakenly thought were actual vinyl toys. A lot of people’s hopes of owning those fantastic vinyl toys went down the drain. Well lo and behold, someone actually has turned a few of the 3D models into the real McCoy and now you can own them!

    Not all of my favorites were made, but a lot of cool ones do exist. The only thing I found a bit disappointing is the lack of vinyls of female characters. C’mon! There are a few!

    I’ve linked to where to buy each vinyl toy under its image.

    ‘Fast Times at Ridgemont High’ Brad Hamilton vinyl. Get him here.

    The Dude. Get him here.

    Dr. Frankenstein. Get him here.

    Igor. Get him here.
    More after the jump…

    Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
    Killers, crooks and vampires: Thrilling pages from Penny Dreadfuls

    The “penny dreadful” was the name given to an incredible publishing phenomenon that flourished in Victorian Britain between the mid-1830s and the early 1900s. The penny dreadful or “penny blood” was a luridly illustrated booklet or magazine—usually of some sixteen pages in length—filled with sensationalist tales of highwaymen, murderers, cannibals, bounders, vagabonds, vampires and thieves. 

    The first known penny dreadful was published on Saturday April 30th, 1836 under the title The Lives of the Most Notorious Highwaymen, Footpads and Murderers. The cover featured a fight between a gang of ne’er-do-wells—led by Grimes Bolton, a notorious robber and cannibal—and a group of gamekeepers. The success of The Lives of the Most Notorious Highwaymen, Footpads and Murderers led to an unprecedented range of similar publications which reached their height around the mid-1860s.

    Originally penny dreadfuls focussed on thrilling tales of adventure but through time these fell out of fashion as the audience demanded increasingly lurid stories. These magazines hit pay-dirt with tales of true crime (Jack the Ripper being the best known subject) and grotesque fantasies of such creations as the murderous Sweeney Todd—the Demon Barber of Fleet Street; the bloodthirsty Varney the Vampire or the demonic urban legend of Spring-Heeled Jack—The Terror of London.

    The penny dreadful ushered in a new era of publishing—launching a whole range of magazines and periodicals that benefitted from new printing technology and from the markets opened up by the penny dreadful. Political and educational serial publications similarly benefitted from the pioneering work of penny dreadfuls. But it wasn’t all money-making business. Before the Education Act of 1870 introduced free education for all, the penny dreadful can take some credit for encouraging generations of young men and women to read.

    As tastes changed, the penny dreadful dropped in popularity—the now literate audience wanted more nuanced and stimulating tales. However, the genres it launched (horror, detective and true-life crime) continued and flourished under writers like Charles Dickens, Arthur Conan Doyle and H. G. Wells.
    More pages from penny dreadfuls, after the jump…

    Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
    Marianne Breslauer’s gorgeous photos of queer, androgynous and butch women of the 1930s

    The photography of Marianne Breslauer is striking for both its intimacy and its subjects—women, usually of the sleek, chic and gender-bending variety, posed to optimum androgynous elegance. A bohemian Berliner by birth, Breslauer studied under Man Ray for a time in Paris and achieved some commercial success before returning home to an increasingly volatile Germany. As a Jewish artist working in an obviously queer milieu, Breslauer eventually fled to Switzerland and retired from photography early, eventually marrying a man and becoming an art dealer.

    Among the many beautiful faces captured by Breslauer was her dear friend, Swiss writer, journalist and photographer Annemarie Schwarzenbach, who she described as “neither a man nor a woman, but an angel, an archangel.” A libertine and rebel, Schwarzenbach defied her wealthy, Nazi-sympathizing family, funding anti-fascist publications and later supporting American unions at the height of the Depression—this is not to mention her adventures hitchhiking across India and Turkey, or the many lesbian affairs. Surviving addiction issues and a suicide attempt, Schwarzenbach nonetheless died at the young age of 34 after a fall from a bicycle, leaving behind a prolific body of work, 170 articles and 50 photo-reports.



    More after the jump…

    Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
    Angelyne’s pink Corvette is up for auction
    09:30 am

    Pop Culture

    Los Angeles

    A vintage shot of LA icon Angelyne and her life-sized Barbie car, a pink Chevrolet Corvette.
    According a listing on eBay platinum-haired goddess of self-promotion Angelyne (the real star of Brian De Palma’s Phantom of the Paradise in her role as the uncredited “auditioning singer”) has put her pink Corvette (one of at least ten Corvette’s that Angelyne has owned throughout her reign as the undisputed billboard queen of Los Angeles) up for auction.

    The sweet ride comes with a removable top (because, of course it does) and Angelyne herself will even sign this hot pink rocket for the winning bidder. Here’s Angelyne talking about her love of all things pink and the aquisition of her ninth Corvette back in 2014:

    I got my first one in the mid-eighties. This is my ninth one, and I’m going to get my tenth next year. I had a special paint made for me. It has a formula that is very hard to get because it uses a toner that they don’t make anymore.

    Right now the bidding for the ultimate adult-sized Barbie mobile is at $12,111.00 and according to the listing the reserve has still not been met.

    More images of the infamous LA blonde and one of her equally famous pink cars follow after the jump…

    Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
    When Can met Japan: David Sylvian and Holger Czukay’s wonderful ambient collaborations
    09:18 am


    Holger Czukay
    David Sylvian

    The UK glam band Japan had a singularly interesting career—though influenced by the usual glam touchstones Bowie, Dolls, et al, their visual presentation directly predicted the New Romantic movement, and to this day the band is still somewhat incorrectly associated with that flamboyant scene, largely on the basis of similar haircuts. But Japan were more directly from the art-rock mold, experimenting with funk, electronics, and (surprise surprise) Asian musics. By 1982, as new-ro peaked, and the band was starting to climb from cult success to chart success, personal tensions broke them up. But the band’s singer, David Sylvian, continued as a solo artist in the avant-rock mold, collaborating with Yellow Magic Orchestra’s Ryuichi Sakamoto, and releasing adventurous sophisto-pop albums inspired by jazz, prog, and contemporary classical.

    On his 1984 solo debut Brilliant Trees, Sylvian was the beneficiary of vocal, brass and guitar contributions from Czukay, bassist of the long-running and influential Krautrock band Can. Though Czukay was a hired backup player on those sessions with no songwriting credits on the LP, the pair evidently found common creative ground. They’d record together in 1986, 1987, and 1988, those sessions ultimately becoming two wonderfully lush but little-known ambient LPs. Plight and Premonition, released in 1988, is a spooky and beautiful suite of two side-length songs (no points awarded for guessing that their titles are “Plight” and “Premonition”) in the Klaus Schultze vein, made with a combination of traditional instruments and manipulated radio sounds. Additionally, Czukay’s Can co-conspirator Jaki Liebezeit is credited with “Infra-sound,” which is science for “shit you can’t actually hear.”
    More after the jump…

    Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
    Dub visionary Adrian Sherwood talks about his legendary career in music
    08:54 am


    Adrian Sherwood
    On-U Sound

    The ongoing series of Sherwood at the Controls releases surveys the recording career of Adrian Sherwood, the visionary dub producer and founder of On-U Sound. Volume One, released last year, covers 1979 to 1984, while the brand-new Volume Two takes us from 1985 to 1990.

    As these discs demonstrate, Sherwood’s talents were too great to be contained by any genre. During the decade-long period under examination, his work connects everyone from Prince Far I, Lee “Scratch” Perry, and the Slits to Depeche Mode, Nine Inch Nails, and Ministry. (“Al [Jourgensen] would go to the toilet and copy down the studio settings Adrian used for his effects on toilet paper and put them in his trousers,” Revolting Cock Luc Van Acker remembers from the Twitch sessions.) As I mention below, I think On-U must be the only point at which the discographies of Sugar Hill and Crass Records intersect. These comps also contain a sampling of the pathbreaking records Sherwood made with On-U outfits African Head Charge, Tackhead, and Dub Syndicate, which redefined what dub was and could be.

    I spoke to Sherwood on June 24, the day after the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union.

    Dangerous Minds: I spent yesterday listening to Don’t Call Us Immigrants as I was watching the Brexit votes come in

    Adrian Sherwood: [laughs]

    —I feel I have to ask you about that. What are your thoughts?

    Well, we would like to have stayed. There’s lots of reasons I would stay in Europe, and I’m sad, really. Europe’s done a lot, really, for each other. Apart from keeping a lot of peace and stability, the farming lobby in France and the farming lobby in Italy’s very strong, Germany’s got the biggest Green Party membership in Europe, they’re very advanced in renewable energy, and the farming lobby makes sure that we’re not victim of any of the terrible things that happen in the States with the poisoning of the food chain. So they’re very, very good; they ensure the standard of organic food, et cetera et cetera, and they also fight for workers’ rights. So I could go on and on about it, but I firmly would have liked to have seen a strong EU that we were part of.

    You know, if they’re worried about immigration, they could have a united policy, but it was all panic, panic, panic, and to be honest with you, it was more like the ignorant masses that wanted to get out, thinking “Oh, let’s stop immigration,” but there’s no such thing as an indigenous English person. Every last person in this country is of an immigrant extraction. Everybody.

    Lee Perry and Adrian Sherwood, photographed by Kishi Yamamoto
    I wonder if I could go back to the beginning of your career. What was the relationship like between the Jamaican roots artists and the UK scene? It seems like you were in a special position to observe their interaction. Was that a competitive relationship?

    No, not in the least. It was very hard for the English artists to get credibility, because everybody was looking to Jamaica, as though there’s the great thing, like the British bands always looking to the great American bands. The situation was always the exciting new star coming from Jamaica, and everybody really wanted to see him or her—mainly males, but a lot of female artists as well—and people didn’t think they could get the sound. So it took quite a long time for the English… you know, that album Don’t Call Us Immigrants, it’s interesting that you mention that, ‘cause I’m proud of that album. But that reflected the development of the English reggae sound.

    We developed a sound of our own in England, with bands like Steel Pulse and Aswad and Creation Rebel, et cetera, and, you know, Black Slate, Dennis Bovell, obviously, and then eventually the lovers rock scene and our own dub scene. But Jamaica led the way, so everybody in England was like “Oh wow, here’s the new hip hero coming from Jamaica.” It wasn’t really like competing as such, it was more “Bring on the new star,” really, and everyone in England was keen to see the new star. And a few of the really good bands in England got to back the stars, like Aswad did one of the most famous ever gigs backing a young Burning Spear in ‘76 or ‘77 or something.

    Since you mentioned Creation Rebel, can you tell me a bit about Prince Far I? I’ve listened to a lot of Prince Far I but I have almost no sense of what he was like as a person.

    Far I was a bit of a joker. He would stand on the table and do Elvis Presley impersonations. He had a very mad sense of humor. But his background was quite serious. He was friends with Claudie Massop who was a political gunman, and he himself had been like a security man at Joe Gibbs’ studio, the doorman. He’d worked on a bauxite factory, producing aluminum, where Claudie Massop was the foreman, and because of the politics, he was like a “big friend,” as Joe Higgs said, like a big friend to Far I. But Far I was a character, quite a complex character as well. He looked much older and seemed much older than he actually was.

    Did he seem like a wise person? Was that part of it?

    Yeah, he definitely had a lot of depth to him, was interested in things and read quite a bit. But he was a joker and a character, and I remember him being full of jokes and fun and stuff. Although he had a darker side as well, which was more one of feeling that people were working voodoo on him, y’know, things like that. So there was kind of a strange underbelly there as well.

    From the little I know, it seems like the reality was pretty heavy for a lot of those guys. Tapper Zukie was involved in some violence… it seems like that was just part of life for a lot of those guys.

    Well, I knew Tapper Zukie from that period. My friend, Clem Bushay, he lives about 200 meters from me; he actually produced the Man Ah Warrior album.

    No way.

    Yeah, the producer lives on the same road as I’m speaking to you from now. I knew Tapper Zukie for a long time.

    They were all affiliated with politics, that was the thing. And in the seventies, in Jamaica, obviously, the CIA were moving in, trying to destabilize the country, because they didn’t want them to slip towards the Cuban model and affiliate with Russia, and have another Russian ally so close to the United States. So a lot of arms were put in to Seaga, who was affiliated with the Americans, where Manley wanted to stay with the Cubans and work more to a socialist state. That’s why there’s so many arms and, to this day, so much trouble for Jamaica.

    It was a crazy election—I think it was ‘76—and I was eighteen at the time, and Far I was with us in England. It was mad. Phoning home and, you know, ten, 20 people shot a day in the political violence. And Far I obviously was close with Claudie Massop, who was one of the main enforcers, like his father Jack Massop had been. But we met a lot of those gunmen: Take Life[?], Bucky Marshall, Tapper Zukie, Horsie—not Horsemouth Wallace, another one called Horsie. Were some quite dark characters, really, but if you met them, you’d have thought they were really charming. But then what they actually got up to was a whole different thing.
    Continues after the jump…

    Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
    The Secret Confessions of an Addict
    06:11 pm



    In the latest episode of VICE’s outrageous Confessions of A… series (brought to you by Rebtel) a self-admitted boozehound and drug addict gives the unedited lowdown on his unbridled consumption of legal and illegal substances. Not everyone can handle their dope and liquor and this guy doesn’t even bother trying. Why should he? His poor suffering girlfriend can pay for his lowlife lifestyle. That’s the ticket: find a meal ticket! He even steals her legit pain medication and is okay with watching her suffer so he can get high! “Boyfriend of the Year” material, he’s not.

    Wearing a mask, hoodie, and with a robotically disguised voice, this articulate loser shares the details of his extreme form of self-medication. Thus cloaked, our dedicated devotee of druggy oblivion doesn’t hold back, saying things that no one would (or should) admit to on camera otherwise. You’ll almost feel sorry for this selfish POS, but you’ll probably feel more sorry for those who have to put up with him.

    This video was brought to you by Rebtel. Speak freely.

    Posted by Sponsored Post | Leave a comment
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