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  • Cthulhu fhtagn: 2016’s ‘Lovecraftiana Calendar’ makes an eldritch Christmas gift
    10:03 am


    H. P. Lovecraft
    John Coulthart

    Are you a fan of H. P. Lovecraft? Or, maybe just seeking that perfect something for the Lovecraftian in your life? Then look no further than John Coulthart’s Lovecraftiana Calendar for 2016, which contains twelve sumptuous illustrations of some of Lovecraft’s best known creations.

    Coulthart is an artist, designer, writer and curator of the website {feuilleton}—an essential compendium of his interests, obsessions, and passing enthusiasms. Coulthart earliest artwork was for the album Church of Hawkwind in 1982. Since then, he has created a splendid oeuvre of artwork for books, magazines, comics and albums—for the likes of Steven Severin, Cradle of Filth, Melechesh and many, many others. Coulthart illustrated the “definitive” edition of Lovecraft’s The Haunter of the Dark and Other Grotesque Visions, and was involved in creating the legendary and infamous comic Lord Horror published by Savoy Books. He also has the “dubious accolade of having an earlier Savoy title, Hard Core Horror #5, declared obscene in a British court of law.”

    With the Lovecraftiana Calendar, Coulthart has brought together a selection of his mixed media illustrations of such mythical figures as Hastur,  Night Gaunt, Shoggoth, and locations such as the lost city of R’lyeh to powerful effect. And if this product twists your melon, then you can order your calendar here.

    JANUARY: Necronomicon (digital, 2015)


    FEBRUARY: The Yellow King (acrylics on board, 1996)


    MARCH: Nyarlathotep II (digital, 2009)

    More ‘Lovecraftiana’ after of the jump…

    Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
    The two most pointless people in California demand strip clubs and the McDonald’s McRib sandwich
    09:41 am

    Current Events


    Of the 14,000+ McDonald’s franchises in the United States only 8,000 of them carry The McRib sandwich. Your chances of finding a McRib are about 55%. And that’s freaking some people out. So much so that there’s a McRib Locator on the Internet that “was created to help McRib fans locate this tasty yet elusive sandwich.”  Apparently, a shitload of folks are hankering for a slab of pig guts tossed with yoga mats, 70 additives, chemicals, fillers, and GMO ingredients all held together by glue and slathered in barbecue sauce that tastes like liquid diabetes.

    When it comes to the McRib, sometimes you just gotta make a stand. Strip clubs too. Donald Trump has been strangely silent on these subjects. Not so the fine folk of Santa Clarita, California.

    Santa Clarita is the third largest city in Los Angeles County so you’d figure that the city council would be up to their elbows in all kinds of important civic issues. But who is to judge what is important and what is not? This is a democracy gawdammit! So at most city council meetings there’s a period for public comment on any topic… as you will see.

    In the following video two Santa Claritians (?) address the council on two pressing matters very near and dear to their hearts: strip clubs and the McRib sandwich. The first one up is a guy who looks like the love child of an overstuffed scarecrow and The Cure’s Robert Smith - a lap dancer’s equivalent of a hard day at the office. But he’s merely the opening act for the pink-haired goofball up next. You can feel the young woman’s pain as she laments that the nearest MaCrib was “seen” 350 miles north of Santa Clarita in the Bay Area. She looks like she’s about to cry over the anguish that it’s caused her poor family, not to mention the Santa Clarita “foodie community” who she claims to represent. Can’t the Mayor call up McDonald’s and DO SOMETHING ABOUT THIS???

    Update: Okay here’s the scoop. I hate to be the guy to blow the cover off a great prank, but according to our super secret source, the “foodie” with the Manic Panik dye-job is fledgling comedian Xanthe Pajarillo . She’s pulled off an ingenious stunt. Had us fooled. She’s definitely got a future in comedy and that future is now.  So who’s the dude?

    The Service Industry’s homage to the McRib “Liquid Meat (Into A Form).”



    Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
    Um, wait, so is EVERYONE in this town a pedophile? Watch insane cartoon ‘The Cautious Twins,’ 1960
    09:22 am


    Sid Davis
    The Cautious Twins

    Last weekend I was privileged to have attended a performance by Mystery Science Theater 3000 writers/puppeteers/mad scientists Trace “Dr. Clayton Forrester” Beaulieu and “TV’s Frank” Conniff. They did live movie riffing in the now-familiar MST3K style, and it was really quite an excellent time. They have two shows coming up in the next few months, In St. Louis on Saturday, December 12, 2015, and as part of the San Francisco Sketchfest on January 15, 2016. If you’re an MST3k fan at all, this is a show you really have to see, especially since Beaulieu and Conniff are not going to be a part of Joel Hodgson’s forthcoming reboot of the series. (I’m optimistic about the performers chosen to serve as the new host, mad scientist & robots, though.)

    I won’t reveal the feature film they riffed just in case they plan to use it at any of the forthcoming shows—I’d hate to spoil a welcome surprise. But as a warm-up, the pair also ably mocked a couple of preposterous cartoon shorts, one of which was so completely around the bend that they could have kept their mouths shut and it still would have been a riot to watch. It was a don’t-talk-to-strangers scare PSA produced by the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department, called “The Cautious Twins,” and was the animated counterpart to a contemporary pamphlet.

    The titular twins Dorene and Dan have the opposite of a helicopter mom, who sends them off to explore the town on their own. (To be clear, I’m not being critical here, I grew up really free-range, myself.) But mom might reconsider her permissiveness if she properly understood that every adult male in town save for one cop is a sleazy, leering, predatory pedophile. In fact, merely being more watchful might not suffice. She should really consider moving as far away from this nightmarish place as possible. Her poor kids can’t go ANYWHERE without getting hit up by a creeper.



    That the story is told with cheap, stilted, limited-motion animation, and narrated in awkward doggerel over a calliope soundtrack elevates it from merely creepy to completely demented, and the wide eyed, perma-grin expressions the preternaturally chipper twins wear only add to that effect.

    Notably, “The Cautious Twins” was directed by one Sid Davis, a director and producer who also gave the world scare films like “The Dangerous Stranger,” “Say No To Strangers,” and the massively homophobic “Boys Beware.” If you happen to be a collector of such oddball cultural produce, you might like to know that “The Dangerous Stranger” and “The Cautious Twins” are included as extras on Something Weird’s DVD release of Hitch Hike to Hell.

    Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
    Punish your Fox News-watching relatives this Thanksgiving with 2 hours of Barry Manilow’s ‘Mandy’
    08:52 am


    Barry Manilow

    Here’s one to take home to the family for Thanksgiving.

    When your Fox News-watching parents or drunk racist uncle starts slipping the talk about Syrian refugees or Black Lives Matter protesters into the holiday dinner conversation, you’ll need to diffuse the situation fast—and as music hath charms to soothe the savage beast, Barry Manilow’s music is the most soothingest.

    Here we have a lovely remix of Barry Manilow‘s 70s AM radio classic, “Mandy,” normally 3:14 minutes long, here extended to a punishing two hours and fifteen minutes.

    Delight or threaten your family with this timeless ballad, now seamlessly drawn out to inhumane lengths.

    Make it a game. Anytime someone brings up how much they appreciate how Trump “tells it like it is,” give ‘em fifteen more minutes of “Mandy.” If Rush Limbaugh’s name comes up, that’s probably worth a half hour of “Mandy” waterboarding. If anyone says they “like that Ben Carson,” well, just make them leave.

    This Thanksgiving, I’m thankful for YouTube user Richard Shuping‘s remorseless gift that, like the titular Mandy, came and gave without takin’...

    And it keeps giving and giving and giving… IT DOESN’T STOP GIVING:

    Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
    Amanda Lear: 70s disco diva, fashion model, TV star and Salvador Dali’s transsexual muse

    Model, painter, disco diva, TV personality and the absolute fiercest of the pioneering transsexuals (along with Candy Darling), Amanda Lear was born Alain Maurice Louis René Tap in Saigon, 1939. Or it could have been Paris. Or Hong Kong. The year might have been 1941, 1945 or as she now claims 1950. There is much competing information about her parents, none of it conclusive. In general, not much is known for sure about the early life of Amanda Lear and she would very much like to keep it that way. She claims to have been educated in Switzerland and she eventually made her way to Paris in 1959, taking the stage name “Peki d’Oslo,” performing as a stripper at the notorious drag bar, Le Carrousel.

    Amanda Lear’s mid-60s model card.
    The story goes that the gangly, yet exotic Eurasian beauty Peki had a nose job and sex change in Casablanca paid for by none other than the Surrealist master Salvador Dali, who frequented Le Carrousel, in 1963. Amanda, as she is now known, then makes her way to London to become a part of the swinging Chelsea set where she is rumored to have had a relationship with Rolling Stone Brian Jones. She models for Yves St. Laurent and Paco Rabanne and is a constant muse for the Divine Dali, but her career is held back by rumors that she was born a man or was a hermaphrodite.

    ‘For Your Pleasure’ cover
    Roxy Music frontman Bryan Ferry saw Lear on the runway during an Ossie Clark fashion show and invited her to be the model for Roxy’s For Your Pleasure album cover, walking a black panther on a leash. They were briefly engaged and that image has become iconic. Lear also had a yearlong affair with David Bowie who serenaded her with “Sorrow” in his “1980 Floor Show” (broadcast on The Midnight Special in 1974). Bowie helped Lear launch her musical career and by the late 1970s she had become a bestselling disco singer and television personality in Europe with hits like “Follow Me,” “Queen of Chinatown” and “I Am a Photograph.”

    The David Bailey photograph of Lear that appeared in the infamous 1971 Dali-edited issue of French Vogue
    Amanda Lear’s autobiography, My Life With Dali came out in 1985 and it begins when she would have been approximately 24 or 25 years of age. Almost no mention whatsoever is made of her life before arriving in London in 1965. When Dali biographer Ian Gibson confronted her on camera about the gender of her birth in his The Fame and Shame of Salvador Dali TV documentary, Lear angrily—and not at all convincingly—stonewalled him. She has always vehemently denied that she was a transsexual despite it being a well-established fact. She even posed nude for Playboy and several other men’s magazines and often sunbathed naked on beaches to dispel the rumors. All this really proved was that she had a kickin’ bod, but if you ask me, I think it’s sad that she choses to keep up this pretense. She should be rightfully celebrated for her biggest accomplishment in life—ironically, being true to herself—but apparently Amanda Lear just doesn’t see it that way.

    Amanda Lear vehemently denies having had a sex change on German television 1977.
    Today Amanda Lear still looks amazing—she’s practically ageless no matter what her real biological age might be—and continues to perform all over Europe. She’s sold somewhere in the vicinity of fifteen million albums and 25 million singles. She also has a thriving career as a painter and an original painting of hers can sell for $10,000 or more. She’s done stage acting and was the voice of Edna ‘E’ Mode in the Italian-dubbed version of The Incredibles. Lear was a judge on the Italian version of Dancing with the Stars.
    “The Stud” from 1979’s ‘Sweet Revenge’ album

    Much more of Amanda Lear, after the jump…

    Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
    Cool T-shirts featuring Ken Russell, Klaus Nomi, John Waters, Sylvia Plath & more

    It’s getting near that time for buying presents and shit. The one present I’ll certainly be adding to my holiday wish list of hoped-for Christmas goodies is a Ken Russell T-shirt from Hirsute History.

    The l’enfant terrible genius of British cinema, Unkle Ken—the man responsible for such classic movies as Women in Love, The Music Lovers, The Devils, Tommy and Altered States—is just one of the many hirsute heroes to be found on a range of colorful clothing available from Hirsute History at Amphorphia Apparel. Here he joins Sylvia Plath, John Waters, Susan Sontag, Jerry Garcia, Ada Lovelace and a whole bunch of other artists, scientists, ideas and stars that’ll look good on your body.

    So, if you fancy wearing a Ken Russell or an Ada Lovelace, then hop over to the site or get a retina burn from the selection below.
    Ken Russell.
    Sylvia Plath.
    Groucho Marx.
    More fab T-shirts, after the jump….

    Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
    Candid photos of Johnny Thunders, Siouxsie Sioux and The Clash from the mid-1970s

    Steve Severin and Siouxsie Sioux, 1976
    Steve Severin and Siouxsie Sioux, 1976
    Photographer Ray Stevenson, the brother of former Sex Pistols’ road manager and early manager of Siouxsie and the Banshees, Nils Stevenson (RIP), took some pretty remarkable photos of the punk rock movement back in the mid-70s. Many of his snapshots had punk players like Siouxsie Sioux, Johnny Thunders and fashion designer and icon Vivienne Westwood just hanging out being punks together.
    Vivienne Westwood, John Lydon and Jordan, 1976
    Vivienne Westwood, John Lydon and model/muse Jordan, 1976
    Thanks to some convincing from his brother, Stevenson and his camera often found themselves at parties held at the legendary Marquee Club and in Linda Ashby’s hotel room at the St. James Hotel. His images were among a few of the punk time capsules captured by the (then) young photographer showcased at the Michael Hoppen Gallery in London just last week. Some of Stevenson’s remarkable photos can be purchased, here. Super snotty and beautifully candid images taken by Stevenson follow.
    Johnny Thunders, Nils Stevenson and Lee Black Childers (RIP)
    Johnny Thunders, Nils Stevenson and photographer/manager Leee Black Childers (RIP)
    Joe Strummer and Paul Simonon of The Clash on an elevator
    Joe Strummer and Paul Simonon of The Clash on an elevator
    More after the jump…

    Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
    Donald Trump urinal
    09:11 am


    Donald Trump

    This is just too good not to post: a Donald Trump urinal “art piece.” Now, I’m not entirely sure if this is real or just a concept. The Rolling Stones-inspired urinals are from a bar in Paris. When I Google them or do a reverse image search, the urinals always come up sans Trump. Sadly, I’m going with my gut and concluding this is just a fun Photoshop job. I really wanted to believe, though.

    Can someone please REALLY DO THIS? Please?

    via Christian Nightmares

    Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
    Jimi Hendrix’s Excalibur and the Secret Teachings of Heavy Metal
    08:48 am


    Jimi Hendrix
    Monica Dannemann

    This coming Friday is Jimi Hendrix’s birthday. In honor of that event, guest blogger Adam Ganderson contributed this bit of heavy metal history to Dangerous Minds.

    Jimi Hendrix gave his final performance on September 6, 1970 on the Isle of Fehmarn, Germany at an event called “The Love and Peace Festival.” By most accounts, the fest was a disaster. Heavy rain had delayed Hendrix’s performance and when he did play it was on the following day and at a much earlier time slot than expected. There were reports that the ticket office was robbed and the promoter’s trailer burned to the ground. In the audience at the show was a fourteen-year-old guitar player named Ulrich Roth. His father, a photojournalist for a German paper, had hooked the kid up with a free pass. Roth had a camera with him, and he took photos of the event, though none have ever been published. Eventually the kid found his way backstage to try and meet Hendrix, who was there in the middle of a chaotic scene surrounded by various hangers-on and bikers. Thinking there would probably be another opportunity to meet Hendrix at an upcoming show in Hanover, Ulrich held back on approaching the guitarist.

    The Hanover show never happened, because thirteen days later, on September 18, Jimi Hendrix was dead. He had been in London at the apartment of his girlfriend, a young German artist and former professional figure skater named Monika Dannemann. She took photos of him on the afternoon of the 17th, drinking tea and holding the Fender Strat he had named “Black Beauty,” supposedly his favorite guitar, and the one he had played at most of his 1970 concerts, including Fehmarn. He spent that night at Dannemann’s flat, having dinner, talking. But on the morning of the 18th, something had gone terribly wrong. Hendrix exited the third rock from the sun.

    Jimi with Black Beauty photographed by Monika Dannemenn on her patio.
    Several years after Hendrix’s death, Ulrich Roth, soon to be called Uli Jon Roth, became fixated on a guitar style that combined classical music structures with the outer space blues transmissions pioneered by Hendrix. He also formed a band called Dawn Road which eventually took on the name Scorpions after merging with guitarist Rudolf Schenker and singer Klaus Meine. Scorpions made four albums with Uli Jon Roth including what many consider to be their best, 1977’s Taken By Force.

    In 1976 Roth met Monika Dannemann in London and the two became close, bonded by a connection with Hendrix. For Uli the connection was purely musical, the beginning of a philosophy damn near impossible to pin down with words, but that was deeply influenced by Hendrix and classical music. Even though there is maybe no other guitarist as well versed in the sonic language of the Hendrix musical realm, Uli’s style is more a continuation of what Hendrix started, rather than an imitation. Dannemann, for her part, believed she had been imparted with a kind of mysterious spiritual message from Hendrix, a message that she wanted to share with Roth and which he, already a Jimi fanatic, embraced to such a degree that it eventually led to him leaving Scorpions to form Electric Sun, a band where this higher level classical/Hendrix vibe could be more fully expressed.

    But before all that, in 1977, Scorpions went into the studio to record Taken By Force, a pivotal album for the band that marked a transition to the more direct tactics required for conquering the overseas (i.e. American) market. Simpler lyrics, more straightforward assault, more METAL. It was an approach initiated in part by drummer/lyricist Herman Rarebell and rapidly embraced by the other members, though the album still holds some of Roth’s most famous eclectic bizarro rock compositions, including the evil flamenco saga “Sails Of Charon.”

    The second track on Taken By Force is a song called “Burn The Sky.” Most of the music was written by rhythm guitarist Rudolf Schenker, with leads by Roth, and lyrics by Monika Dannemann, who by this time had become inseparable from Uli. It’s a tune that weighs in at several different classes all at once. Lyrically, it is what Roth has described as “Monica mourning for Jimi” but at the same time it used phrases that act as a negation of the finality of death. More pathos than any typical flower power hippie jam. Not stoned, but H-E-A-V-Y. This song is the dark melodic hard rock at the heart of Scorpions’ central nervous system, the elemental stuff from where their sound circulated outward through the mid 70’s to their greatest commercial triple entendre sex anthems of the 1980s.

    Roth and Dannemann lived together for around seventeen years during which time she continued writing and became an accomplished painter. Eventually they split and she became entangled in a court battle with a woman named Kathy Etchingham which basically consisted of the two trading accusations and casting aspersions about who was the “real” girlfriend of Jimi Hendrix. It was a mess that culminated with Dannemann being held in contempt of court. In 1996, two days after that verdict, she was found in her car, a victim of what was ruled suicide from carbon monoxide poisoning.

    As for what happened at Monika Dannemann’s apartment on the September 17th and 18th of 1970, there is no way to know any more than what has already been said. Uli Jon Roth has always maintained Dannemann’s version of events as she told them to both him and Scotland Yard. Basically, that there had been a tragic accident. Unable to sleep, Hendrix had taken some pills called Vesparax, a very strong German barbiturate that had been prescribed to Dannemann. The recommended dose for that stuff is one pill. Unaware of the potency and apparently without her knowledge, he took nine.

    Following the death of Jimi Hendrix, the Black Beauty Strat fell into the care of Monika Dannemann. Today, like a magic sword guarded by an acolyte, it’s in the stewardship of Uli Jon Roth. There has been occasional speculation by some whether Roth actually has the instrument, but roughly two years ago he confirmed to me in a phone interview that he was, in fact, “the guardian of the guitar” though it was in a vault because “too many people were after it.” He then said he is hoping to one day exhibit it as part of an event that would also incorporate Monika Dannemann’s paintings.

    This year, Scorpions are celebrating their 50th anniversary and though Uli Jon Roth is no longer a member, he tours with his own band and has become an innovator in guitar design and instruction. Through seminars called Sky Academy he teaches guitar via a technique derived from the philosophy he began imagining years ago, a type of musical metaphysics. The rough explanation of it would be imagining how emotion is affected by vibrating frequencies, frequencies in an octave, with each octave represented by a color. Strange? Guitar players are weird people. But maybe it’s not so weird if one were to consider certain theories. Like a theory where the entire world, down to the movements of the smallest particle, is a form of music. A type of six string theory, if you will. It’s even less weird if one were to consider that a manifestation of these moving particles, these frequencies, is an instrument, a guitar, a device constructed to broadcast sounds through speakers, over crowds, through time, and onto the fields of an outdoor concert where trailers get burned down, and ticket offices robbed, and a guitar player walks backstage hoping to meet his idol. Now can you dig it?

    After the jump, Scorpions perform “Burn The Sky” on German television in 1977…

    Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
    Bill Hicks’ ‘Arizona Bay’: With unreleased material—and without the terrible music
    08:05 am


    Bill Hicks

    In 1997, when Rykodisc gave wide commercial release to the work of the deceased comic visionary/cosmic truth-seeker Bill Hicks, two of those releases heavily featured his guitar playing as well as his comedy. This was in accordance with Hicks’ expressed wishes, and the albums were in fact completed and mixed before Hicks’ passing. Those two albums, Rant in E Minor and Arizona Bay, included some of the most brutal material Hicks ever performed. They were completed after he was diagnosed with the cancer that claimed his life at the age of 32, and they are accordingly unsparing in their vitriol. And it was in vitriol that Hicks singularly excelled.

    Just one problem, though: Hicks’ guitar playing was, at best, middling amateur psych noodling. It’s not a problem on Rant, where the guitar work mostly drifts dreamily in and out of the stand-up material like trippy segues, and if you don’t know Hicks, the body of work collected on that CD is an excellent place to start. But on Arizona Bay? The music was a terrible, Dunning-Krugerish miscalculation that just flat out WRECKED the album. Lengthy passages of comedy were entirely buried under too-loud guitar wank, rendering some of Hicks’ best stand-up work completely inaudible.

    The album, insofar as it could be heard, was dark. The title refers to a hypothetical body of water that will be left behind someday after the San Andreas Fault submerges California and Baja. Not that Arizona’s such a fucking prize, but there are plenty of people who can relate to really, really hating L.A.:

    That’s right, when L.A. falls in the fucking ocean and is flushed away, all it will leave is Arizona Bay.

    In recent months, the record label/streaming platform/production company Comedy Dynamics (a worthy channel to add if you have a Roku device, seriously) have been working to make the complete recorded works of Bill Hicks available to the public (we told you all about it back in April), and the latest drop in that bucket is the forthcoming digital reissue of Arizona Bay, with loads of additional tracks and, most crucially, no music. Last week, the AV Club released one of the additional tracks, “No Smoking On Airplanes (But They Allow Children).”

    And Comedy Dynamics have been kind enough to allow DM to bring you a never before heard version of one of Hicks’ most oft-quoted bits, “Marketing and Advertising.” This is his infamous call for everyone in the publicity industry to commit suicide. Like I said, the album is really, really dark. (I feel I should note here the irony that I might not have heard much of Hicks’ work as early as I did if not for the efforts of Ryko’s marketing department.)

    Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
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