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  • Scary Monsters & Super Cheap Thrills: The awesome movie poster art of Reynold Brown

    House on Haunted Hill’ (1959).
    If I had the money, I guess I’d buy an old abandoned cinema somewhere downtown or maybe one of those big ole drive-ins that’s been long left for dead some place out in the desert. I’d refurbish it then screen double-feature monster movies each and every day. Double-bill after double-bill on continuous performance. Choice picks from the whole back catalog of Boris Karloff, Vincent Price, dear old Peter Cushing, and “King of the Bs” Roger Corman. Yeah, I know, I would probably go bust within six months—but hell, it would have been worth it just to see these classic horror movies and glorious science-fiction films on the big screen where they belong and not on flickering cathode-ray tube of childhood memory.

    The walls of this fantasy cinema would be covered with the finest movie posters and artwork by the likes of Albert Kallis, Frank McCarthy, and Reynold Brown—“the man who drew bug-eyed monsters.”

    Brown has probably impacted on everyone’s memory one way or another as he produced a phenomenal array of movie posters. Brown supplied artwork for B-movie features like Creature from the Black Lagoon and Attack of the 50ft. Woman, mainstream movies like Spartacus and Mutiny on the Bounty, to those classic Corman horror films House of Usher and The Masque of Red Death. I know I can hang large parts of my childhood and teenage years by just one look at a Reynold Brown poster. Straight away I can tell you when and where I saw the movie and give a very good idea of what I thought and felt at that time. Now that’s the very thing many a great artist tries to make an aduience feel when they look at a work of art. While artists can spend a lifetime trying to achieve this, Reynold Brown was doing it as his day job.
    The Thing That Couldn’t Die’ (1958).
    Tarantula!’ (1955).
    More of Reynold Brown’s classic sci-fi and hooror movie posters, after the jump…

    Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
    The Replacements get drunk (surprise!) on MTV, 1989
    01:00 pm


    The Replacements
    MTV Unplugged

    Shortly after the release of Don’t Tell a Soul in 1989, Paul Westerberg and Tommy Stinson of the Replacements consented to an interview with MTV’s Kurt Loder. I’ve noticed that a few people are suffering from the misapprehension that the Replacments had gotten sober around this time—this video should be enough to convince anyone that this was not the case.

    Westerberg and Stinson are funny and charming as fuck and don’t take a damn thing seriously. Loder’s first question involves the band having taken a “new direction” on the latest album—invoking “Gepetto,” Westerberg blurts “Well, we’re ‘mature’ now…..” while pantomiming his nose growing by three feet.

    While Loder is inordinately interested in topics that retrospectively seem entirely uninteresting—music videos, the joys of residing in California, sampling, and how the 1980s will stack up in the annals of music history—Westerberg and Stinson ain’t buying.

    The ‘Mats had long enjoyed an informal competition with R.E.M. ever since opening for the Athens indie rockers on a mini-tour in the summer of 1983—and this competition was quite mutual, Peter Buck paid close attention to the Replacements’ releases. In Trouble Boys: The True Story of the Replacements, Bob Mehr reports that Westerberg was initially relieved that Don’t Tell a Soul was so much better than Green, but R.E.M.‘s album rapidly hit gold while sales of Don’t Tell a Soul never got off the ground. Westerberg makes a crack to the effect that apparently only “half the people who bought the last one” chose to plunk down their cash for Don’t Tell a Soul.

    More of the ‘Mats, after the jump…

    Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
    New witchcraft museum features occult artifacts once owned by Aleister Crowley

    Any discussion of Wicca in America must begin with Raymond Buckland. A disciple and correspondent of English Wicca’s acknowledged father Gerald Gardner, Buckland established America’s first Wiccan coven on Long Island in the early ‘60s. He literally wrote the book on Wicca, Buckland’s Complete Book of Witchcraft, along with dozens of smaller volumes. In 1968 (some sources say 1966), he established the USA’s first museum of witchcraft. Initially just a showroom in his basement, the collection grew and moved repeatedly, from Long Island to New Hampshire, to Virginia, to New Orleans. Sadly, in NOLA, the collection endured a period of neglect and damage.

    Buckland has been an Ohioan since 1992, and two years ago, the collection returned to his Temple of Sacrifice coven, and is now going on display again, in a modest gallery in Cleveland. The Buckland Gallery of Witchcraft and Magick opens on April 29, 2017 in a room off of the Tremont record store A Separate Reality. (An aside—ASR should be a Mecca for punk, jazz, prog, and psych collectors. It’s owner, Gus Payne, has an incredible gift for procuring vinyl Holy Grails, and he’s a really swell guy, to boot.) The space has been a gallery before—a few years ago, under the name “Gallery Wolfy Part II,” it hosted a large exhibition of artwork by Half Japanese singer Jad Fair. That gallery was a white-wall space, but the Buckland incarnation is an intimate and inviting room in blood-red and exposed brick. The gallery’s curators Steven Intermill and Jillian Slane were accommodating enough to give Dangerous Minds some time with the collection. It features artifacts from a number of Wiccan luminaries, and even some possessions of legendary occultist Aleister Crowley’s.

    Horned God Helmet - there’s a picture of this in The Complete Book of Witchcraft

    Examples of Baphomet Talismans
    More after the jump…

    Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
    Unreleased 1976 track from Bowie-inspired outsider artist, Frederick Michael St. Jude
    10:59 am


    Frederick Michael St. Jude

    Almost Lost
    In 2015, we told you about unique rock-n-roll outsider, Frederick Michael St. Jude, and the long-overdue release of his phenomenal 1982 concept album, Gang War. If you missed that post, educate yourself on the man and his music here.

    FMSJ has another archival collection on the horizon in Almost Lost. The 12-inch EP is comprised of six tracks he was working on in 1976, when the studio where he had been recording closed without notice. The owners, who also ran the label that had released his debut, Here Am I, had flown the coop. Had St. Jude not previously requested a copy of the work-in-progress LP, the sessions would’ve been lost, hence the title of the record.
    Almost Lost will be released by the Million Dollar Performances record label on May 5th. Pre-order the album via Drag City or Amazon.

    Dangerous Minds has the world premiere of a killer track from the EP. Resembling an Eno-era Roxy Music demo, here’s “Cecilia”:

    After the jump, the trailer for the Frederick Michael St. Jude documentary that’s in the works…

    Posted by Bart Bealmear | Leave a comment
    Get down, get funky with the Yellow Magic Orchestra on ‘Soul Train’
    10:07 am


    Soul Train
    Yellow Magic Orchestra

    Ten artists who have performed on Soul Train, but one is a lie: Earth Wind & Fire, James Brown, Sugarhill Gang, Stevie Wonder, Yellow Magic Orchestra, Jackson 5, Curtis Mayfield, Otis Redding, Sly Stone, Aretha Franklin. The natural assumption would be to guess YMO, but you would be mistaken. Otis Redding passed away four years prior to the show’s premiere. And as odd as it sounds, YMO were on Soul Train!

    Originally airing on November 29th, 1980, the Yellow Magic Orchestra feature on Soul Train was well out of the ordinary; but in no way was it out of place. Playing to an enthusiastic crowd (including their manager dressed as a camera-festooned Japanese tourist), the electronic music pioneers opened with their suitable rendition of Archie Bell & the Drells’ classic 1968 R&B funk track “Tighten Up” followed by their own hit, “Firecracker.”

    Having released their first record two years prior, the Yellow Magic Orchestra were the biggest band in Japan by the time they appeared on Soul Train. An even more gratifying accomplishment was YMO’s lasting contribution to the music world as early innovators of the electronic dance music genre. During the brief interview that follows the performance, Don Cornelius asks drummer Yukihiro Takahashi what current sound YMO best resembles? He pauses for a long time before answering. There really was nothing else like the group at that time except, perhaps, for Kraftwerk (who Cornelius was clearly not familiar with).
    Watch Yellow Magic Orchestra on ‘Soul Train’ after the jump…

    Posted by Bennett Kogon | Leave a comment
    The exploitation movie about the Zodiac killer, released as a trap to catch him
    09:21 am


    Zodiac Killer

    Not to be confused with the $65 million 2007 David Fincher epic, Zodiac, 1971’s Zodiac (later released as The Zodiac Killer) was produced for a mere $13,000, and, remarkably, it hit theaters less than a month after two “This is the Zodiac speaking” letters were received by the San Francisco Chronicle.

    But the fact that a quickie exploitation movie was churned out during the Zodiac killer’s reign of terror in the very city where the murders were taking place, isn’t the most insane thing about 1971’s Zodiac. No, the completely insane thing about this film is the fact that the producer/director was a pizza restaurateur who made the film in an effort to actually catch the killer with elaborate traps he had set up in the lobbies of the theaters where it played.

    A scene from “Zodiac,”  the film produced to help catch the Zodiac killer.
    In a bonkers interview for the excellent Temple of Schlock blog, director Tom Hanson explains why he premiered the movie in San Francisco:

    When I went up there to show it, there’d been a letter every 17 days for about 6 months. That’s why I knew he was still there, still operating, and that’s why I thought he’d come to that theater to see it. He’d have to, with that sicko twisted mind. So that’s why I set the trap there.

    The trap that Hanson set to catch the killer involved a contest drawing for a motorcycle giveaway to check for handwriting samples, with men hiding out in the motorcycle display and a freezer they dragged into the theater.

    I talked Kawasaki into giving us a motorcycle. Everyone who bought a ticket [to see the movie] got a little yellow card they would fill out that said “I think the Zodiac kills because…” In the lobby on the second floor, I had a display built that didn’t look like there could be anybody underneath it. The motorcycle was on top of that, and the box was there to drop yellow cards in, “I think the Zodiac kills because…”

    [If] a card came through that had some significance, he was supposed to push a button that would alert all of us. I also had a guy in a freezer, one guy across the street, one guy in the theater, and one guy in the office, and we just kept more or less alert.

    When the manager of the Golden Gate wasn’t there, I brought in a freezer, which we had hollowed out so a guy could lay in there, kind of cramped up, but he could look through the vent. The idea was that if a card came through the box, the guy [under the display] could beep if it was something significant so the guy in the freezer could see who dropped it in.

    The theater manager wanted to know why we brought in that freezer to begin with. I forgot what the hell I told him, but it was some bullshit to try and cover why we really brought it in there.

    [P]eople went and saw the movie, and they dropped those cards in to win the free motorcycle. We would look at them, and there was all kinds of bullshit in there—“He kills because he’s been treated badly,” on and on. And then on the fifth or sixth night, I forget which night it was, one of those yellow cards came through the box – “I was here, the Zodiac.” That was all that was on there.

    More after the jump…

    Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
    ‘This Ain’t the Summer of Love,’ the proto-punk screamer covered by BÖC and Current 93

    The sleeve of the Imperial Dogs’ lone single
    Don’t let the unemployment office tell you rock merch is a waste of money. If I hadn’t purchased my hook of Kronos T-shirt at a Blue Öyster Cult gig, I never would have met Don Waller, the LA rock writer and singer in the Imperial Dogs. Waller, who died last November at 65, approached me on the patio of the Echoplex during a Mudhoney and White Flag show a few years ago—also the last time I spoke to the late, great Bill Bartell, a fellow BÖC fanatic—and identified himself as the author of “This Ain’t the Summer of Love.” He was a lovely guy, something to bear in mind when you get to the bottom of this post and Don is in front of a reversed swastika flag, addressing a seventies Long Beach audience as “trash” and “fucking scum.”

    Fifty years after the fact, this is a song whose time has come. Has it ever felt less like the Summer of Love?

    The Imperial Dogs’ 1974 version of “Summer of Love” is quite different from Blue Öyster Cult’s 1976 recording, on which Waller shares writing credits with BÖC drummer Albert Bouchard and producer Murray Krugman. According to Bouchard’s account in Blue Öyster Cult: Secrets Revealed! the reasons for BÖC’s changes to the song are not particularly heartwarming:

    Basically, I gotta be honest, I really didn’t have much to do with that song. I wrote the melody. A guy named Don Waller wrote some of the lyrics. He had actually just sent the lyrics to Murray Krugman and Murray said, ‘Well, this sucks, but it’s a great idea.’ He had the first line about the garden of Eden. I don’t think he even had the part about no angels above. And Murray said this is a great idea and he came to me and said we should use this, and we should use the chord progression of this song by this Irish group that nobody had ever heard of. It was this Irish Republican Army group and they were very radical. You know, in the beginning days of punk, and it had some line like ‘You be pulling your grenade pin, I’ll be pulling mine’ and it was a real tough kind of thing. I took that and filled out the chords to make it a whole song. Murray really wrote all the lyrics, and I mean, he had a lot to do with that song. But it wasn’t his riff, and it wasn’t mine either. Legally you can take a riff from somebody as long as when it goes to the chord change, you don’t go to the same chord change.

    Keep reading after the jump…

    Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
    Stunning airbrushed images & other lurid artwork created for ‘A Clockwork Orange’

    An airbrushed painting created by illustrator Philip Castle for ‘A Clockwork Orange.’
    Illustrator and artist Philip Castle’s catalog is impressive, but of particular interest are three rather remarkable contributions. His artwork from both A Clockwork Orange and Full Metal Jacket as well as the sad, singular teardrop-like image dripping from David Bowie’s clavicle on the cover of 1973’s Aladdin Sane are all collectively indelible. If the accomplished Brit had done nothing else beyond this fantastic trifecta of artistic expression he would still be as praiseworthy today. (He’s also done the posters for Paul McCartney’s “Wings Over the Word” tour, Tim Burton’s Mars Attacks and the cover of Pulp’s His ‘N’Hers album.)

    That said, I must admit that I had never seen most of Castle’s airbrushed pieces for A Clockwork Orange until just recently, and there’s something to be said for the way Castle uses his airbrushing technique to make images from the film appear even more sordid than when they are onscreen. The story of how Kubrick and Castle got together is slightly surreal when you consider the odds of how it occurred: soon after graduating from art school, Castle sent in an ad to a newspaper soliciting his availability as an illustrator. Kubrick’s publicist responded to the ad and requested that the young artist pay a visit to the great director at his home outside of London in order to discuss engaging his services for A Clockwork Orange. Castle would get the honor of designing the original poster created for the film featuring the unforgettably sinister image of actor Malcolm McDowell as the diabolical “Alex DeLarge” reaching out to slit your throat with his mouth poised in a predatory grin.

    Flash-forward more than 45-years later and the spectacularly violent, controversial film has lost none of its skin-crawling appeal. However, back when it hit the big screen for the first time it was demonized in the UK after a few violent crimes were committed allegedly in the spirit of events depicted in the film. Kubrick passionately defended Clockwork but eventually pulled the trigger himself and removed it from distribution in Britain which would stay in place until Kubrick passed away in 1999.

    Here’s more from the master filmmaker with his spot-on thoughts on the age-old relationship between violence and art:

    “There has always been violence in art. There is violence in the Bible, violence in Homer, violence in Shakespeare, and many psychiatrists believe that it serves as a catharsis rather than a model. I think the question of whether there has been an increase in screen violence and, if so, what effect this has had, is to a very great extent a media-defined issue. I know there are well-intentioned people who sincerely believe that films and TV contribute to violence, but almost all of the official studies of this question have concluded that there is no evidence to support this view. At the same time, I think the media tend to exploit the issue because it allows them to display and discuss the so-called harmful things from a lofty position of moral superiority. But the people who commit violent crime are not ordinary people who are transformed into vicious thugs by the wrong diet of films or TV. Rather, it is a fact that violent crime is invariably committed by people with a long record of anti-social behaviour, or by the unexpected blossoming of a psychopath who is described afterward as having been ‘...such a nice, quiet boy,’ but whose entire life, it is later realized, has been leading him inexorably to the terrible moment, and who would have found the final ostensible reason for his action if not in one thing then in another.”

    Naturally, this did not bode well for anyone associated with the film in the UK and there is at least one historical account of an attempted rogue showing of A Clockwork Orange by a group of UK movie-club junkies who were summarily sued for even trying to show the film at their gatherings in the 1990s. Castle would work with Kubrick again for 1987’s Full Metal Jacket and the artist still owns a gift sent to him by Kubrick—the infamous “I AM BECOME DEATH” helmet (worn by actor Adam Baldwin who played “Animal Mother” in FMJ) which Castle conceptualized. I’ve included some of Castle’s early sketches for Clockwork, a variety of airbrush art and a few movie posters that the artist created for the film below. And if you haven’t already guessed, they are all pretty much NSFW.

    A French movie poster for ‘A Clockwork Orange’ featuring Philip Castle’s artwork.

    More UK print artwork for ‘A Clockwork Orange’ from Castle.
    More after the jump…

    Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
    In The Shadows: Cabaret Voltaire, live at the Hacienda, 1983
    11:36 am


    The Hacienda
    Cabaret Voltaire

    The Haçienda opened its doors on May 21, 1982, and the very next day Cabaret Voltaire played its first gig there.

    A year later, in August 1983, Cabaret Voltaire released The Crackdown, which is arguably their strongest LP (either that or Red Mecca), and the band did a brief series of gigs in the U.K. to support the album. As you can see from this marvelous full-page ad that appeared in the NME, the Haçienda was the first stop on the tour. (The two dates featuring Einstürzende Neubauten as openers are totally mouth-watering, no?)

    The Haçienda show took place on August 11, 1983, and it was documented on video. 

    More after the jump…

    Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
    Long-lost early 70s progressive synth band Syrinx to reunite at this year’s Moogfest
    11:22 am



    Photo of Syrinx by Bart Schoales
    Syrinx was a short-lived progressive/electronic music trio formed in 1970 by composer and keyboardist John Mills-Cockell, saxophonist Doug Pringle, and percussionist Alan Wells in Toronto. The three young men were all apparently devoted acidheads who would often trip out in the middle of the woods jamming on their instruments. They’d all come from the city’s art and music scene and had been participants in various artsy “happenings” in the late 60s. Pringle’s loft space was the group’s central creative headquarters, where they would also perform for others. Mills-Cockell studied at the University of Toronto and Royal Conservatory of Music where he pioneered an electronic music course in the school’s basement. He was also an early adopter of the then new instrument, the Moog synthesizer.

    Syrinx released their eponymous debut album in 1970, followed by a second album, Long Lost Relatives, in 1971. During their two-year span of working together, they did music for film and TV, for modern dance application and even recorded with the Toronto Repertory Orchestra. One piece of Syrinx’s music, titled “Tillicum,” was used as the opening theme tune for a TV program called Here Come the Seventies and also reached #38 on Canada’s RPM charts.

    Last year the marvelously quirky RVNG Intl. record label put out an expansive two CD, three LP Syrinx anthology called Tumblers From The Vault and Mills-Cockell and Pringle will be reuniting for the first time (sadly minus Alan Wells who passed away in 2010) at this year’s Moogfest 2017 in Durham, North Carolina on May 20th.

    Before they perform that night, a recently completed documentary directed by Zoe Kirk-Gushowaty will screen first. You can watch it now, after the jump…

    Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
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