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  • The psychedelic hairscapes of Cathy Ward
    02:21 pm


    Nick Abrahams
    Cathy Ward

    This is a guest post by artist/director Nick Abrahams.

    Los Angeles gets the pleasure of being the first city in America to stage a solo show by the London-based artist Cathy Ward. Her forthcoming exhibition at the Good Luck Gallery is opening on September 5th, with the artist talking about her work at the gallery on September 6th.

    Cathy Ward is something of an alternative British institution, having exhibited in many medias and forms over the years with everything from large scale sculptures and installations, to tapisteries and work made from corn dollies. But the work she is best known for are the dark psychic landscapes, reminiscent of woven hair, which are both immediately familiar and unlike anything else you will have ever seen. With a technique she has been honing for seventeen years, she scrapes intricate patterns into a layer of ink to reveal fine lines of the white clay that lie underneath, these scratch works suggest many things… cosmic struggles, full of pulsations and explosions…  the dark matter or the ‘dust’ of Philip Pullman’s novels… swirling waterways or weirs, made up of feminine eddies or sprays of water… but most of all they resemble plaited and flowing swathes of hair….  ‘I can’t plan them, I can’t replicate them either,’ Ward says.

    Albina Incubii Albion

    Hair of the recently deceased was carefully bound and arranged in Victorian hair works, an art form and custom which gradually fell out of fashion. These memento mori often took the form of a piece of jewellery (such as a locket), but sometimes in fabulously complicated and contorted “hair wreaths.” The hair that flows through these memorials also flows through the works of the Brothers Grimm, with Rapunzel’s climbable tresses, and later continued to flow through the counterculture of the 60s as a signifier of a rejection of cultural norms, whether by long-haired bikers or drug-addled hippies.

    Lost Commune

    The pulsating lines of Wards works have something of the drawings of Hans Bellmer about them, suggesting female curves and crevices, with the female body as a site of erotic mystery and power.

    Cathy Ward

    At a retrospective of the works of outsider artist Madge Gill in London, Ward was a natural choice for the position as artist in residence, with both artists driven to obsessive drawing styles, Gill with repetitive depiction of angels or ‘spirit guides’ , and Ward with her incredibly detailed abstractions reminiscent of woven hair, both describing very active ‘inner landscapes’ of womens minds, and there is a feeling that the act of line making may, for both women, act as a form of spell casting or be a sacred act.

    There is a musicality to the waves in Ward’s work, and she has found a natural connections with certain musicians, such as Sunn O))) who used a triptych of her works on their Monoliths and Dimensions sleeve, and Stephen O’Malley of the band later providing a soundtrack for Ward’s animated work “Sonafeld.”

    ‘The Order’ is a new set of works which make specific reference to Ward’s early tuition under the Sisters of Mercy in Ashford—not the Goth band, but one of the schools run by notoriously strict nuns whose ghostly outlines people Ward’s new pictures.  Ward says that the nuns all had their hair cut close to their skulls: “As a child I was shocked, appalled, fascinated that nuns sacrificed their hair in this way. Hair in the 1960s was a symbol of liberation and this livery was being wilfully, symbolically removed.”

    The Order

    These works often inhabit ornate frames sourced from flea markets and junk shops, giving them the feel of found objects, rediscovered antiquities from another time and place.

    These works form part of the world of Cathy Ward’s artistic vision. Her many projects in collaboration with her husband Eric Wright can be followed here’, while more information about her solo works can be found here.

    This is a guest post by artist/director Nick Abrahams.

    Below, Ward’s “Sonafeld” with Stephen O’Malley soundtrack:

    Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
    The indiscreet art of ass puppetry
    01:04 pm



    The title of this video doesn’t give the slightest inkling of what the viewer is in store for—and it’s also fairly hilarious. The title is: “This girl is going places. Not college, but places.”

    The video is a collection of perhaps 20 Vine-ish gags involving a face made when a pair of googly eyes are placed on a woman’s body ... south of the border. The soundtrack includes the Star-Spangled Banner, Robert Palmer’s “Addicted to Love,” Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy,” and Tom Jones’ “What’s New, Pussycat?” 

    A pair of googly eyes and suddenly you’re the Señor Wences of ass puppetry…

    If anyone in your workplace would object to even mildly risqué material, you’d be completely crazy to play this there. You have been warned!

    via Death and Taxes

    Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
    White Noise Boutique to sell ‘artisanal white noise’

    Residing at the precise point where conceptual art meets commerce meets mathematics meets cyptography meets transcendental meditation meets, shall we say, hipster excess is the White Noise Boutique, a pop-up shop that will exist in the city of Brighton in the United Kingdom from September 9 to 18 of this year. The only products the White Noise Boutique will sell are custom-made LPs and digital files containing unique white noise, a term that encompasses both a washed-out static-y sounding audio tone as well as a cryptographically pleasing set of random data. The quest for “truly” random numbers, useful for encoding data, is a daunting task with a multitude of high-end applications, which are described here.

    Used properly, white noise can be soothing to listen to, especially for hyperactive minds, so white noise is frequently used to help people get to sleep, to meditate, or to concentrate on urgent work. You can listen to Wikipedia’s 20-second sample of white noise generated by Jorge Stolfi. To my knowledge this project has nothing to do with the excellent 1985 novel by Don DeLillo.

    Once you create a batch of white noise at the White Noise Boutique, you can spend £1 for a digital file and £4 to receive an LP with the white noise on it (if you go that route, you will receive a digital file as well). One pound is roughly $1.50 these days, so the LP will run you about $6.

    The White Noise Boutique’s descriptions of their process and options make it all but impossible to resist making hipster jokes about “hand-crafted bologna” and the like. Indeed, it honestly does seem parodic much of the time. What follows are the captions for a series of slides that you can see on the video embedded below, which capture that elusive, slightly vacant and solicitous tone that tells you you might be in hipster territory. Remember, they could have mimicked The Matrix or Mr. Robot, but instead they aped the patterns of people who use the word “artisanal” a lot.

    We craft unique white noise to your exact specifications.

    Select a random-number generator to create your noise.
    Some generators allow for a starting value, called a “seed.”
    For extra security, we can apply additional randomness through a process called “salting.”
    We apply a battery of statistical tests to ensure your white noise is as random as possible.
    Once generated, we hand-cut your white noise to a unique vinyl record or direct to digital download.
    Finally, if specified we upload a digital version of your white noise for download.


    The explanation on the website is full of verbiage like “Type 1390-B tube-powered noise generator” and “a Faraday cage for generating your noise to avoid electro-magnetic radiation.” Can’t you just imagine that conversation at your local latte purveyor in which the one dude sneers at the other dude because HIS randomly generated white noise did not use a Faraday cage?

    The funny thing is, as the proud owner of a record collection purchased entirely in the last 2 years, I ........ kinda want one.

    via Death and Taxes

    Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
    ‘I would love to play for you, but I can’t’: Lemmy stops gig after two songs for health reasons
    08:33 am


    Lemmy Kilmister

    It’s one of the more poignant entries on I’ve ever read, by far. It’s a list of the songs played at last night’s Motörhead show at Emo’s in Austin, Texas, and it reads, as follows, in full:

    1. Damage Case
    2. Stay Clean
    3. Metropolis (partial)

    Note: Lemmy left stage at the start of the third song because he wasn’t feeling well.

    Rock and roll fans the world over have been tracking the news about Motörhead’s beloved bassist and frontman Lemmy Kilmister, who is still touring at the age of 69 against the advice of doctors. (Lemmy turns 70 on Christmas Eve of this year.)

    Just a couple of weeks ago, the news that Lemmy was switching from his beloved whisky to vodka for health reasons made the rounds. Some observers pointed out the contradiction inherent in Lemmy’s big quote from that story, “I am still indestructible.” Lemmy was treated for a hematoma in 2013, and he has also been fitted for a defibrillator.

    This week Lemmy’s health issues are finally coming to a head in a serious way. On Thursday Lemmy similarly cut the show in Salt Lake City short because he was having difficulty breathing in the thin air of the high-altitude city. The next night’s show, in Denver, was cancelled altogether for the same reason.

    Here’s a report from Eduardo Rivadavia at Ultimate Classic Rock:

    We were in attendance at last night’s Austin show, and can report that the evening’s activities got under way normally enough, with a well-received set from Pennsylvania stoner rockers Crobot, and then a quite commanding one from New Wave of British Heavy Metal survivors Saxon.

    Unfortunately, Lemmy seemed shaky from the start, as he ambled onto the stage looking noticeably gaunt and tried to sing the first number, “Damage Case,” clearly out of breath and at half speed. Meanwhile, guitarist Phil Campbell was doing everything he could to compensate by running about and engaging the audience much more than is his habit. Drummer Mikkey Dee also seemed to be trying to will Lemmy onward with his more measured but typically powerful attack.

    Alas, the situation did not improve as Motorhead struggled to complete another Overkill standard, “Stay Clean.” After greeting his fans and admitting he was still under the weather, Lemmy lasted barely one minute into their next song, “Metropolis,” before dropping his arms, backing away from his microphone, and conceding defeat in obvious disgust, as his bandmates simultaneously ground to a feedback-screeching halt.

    As for the crowd, many of whom were no doubt aware of the frontman’s recent health issues, they had nothing but supportive chants of “Lemmy! Lemmy! Lemmy!” — especially once Kilmister briefly returned to the microphone, leaning on his now familiar cane, and apologized yet again for his inability to carry on, leaving those assembled no choice but to turn away and start filing out.

    Motörhead is touring to support its 22nd studio album, Bad Magic. The trek began on Aug. 19, in Riverside, Calif., and is slated to run until February. Their next scheduled show is tonight in San Antonio’s Aztec Theatre—the only information I was able to find out about that show comes from the well-known German tabloid BILD, which reported that the San Antonio show “fällt definitiv aus”—is definitely cancelled.

    You can watch Lemmy’s heartbreaking announcement, as well as the loud support of the fans at the venue, right here:

    via Ultimate Classic Rock

    Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
    Game Theory/Loud Family’s Scott Miller honored with posthumous reissues and biography
    07:36 am


    Game Theory
    Scott Miller
    Loud Family

    Though the extraordinarily gifted musician Scott Miller died almost two and a half years ago, the idea that there will never be another Loud Family album, or that the Game Theory reunion he was readying will never happen, remains very hard to take.

    Should those dropped names mean nothing to you, you’ve got some listening to do. Game Theory was Miller’s luminous and utterly stunning ‘80s pop band, and though they earned gushing critical raves and practically ruled the college radio roost in their day, they’re largely forgotten now. They never grabbed the corporate-label brass ring, and so slipped into obscurity just before that key ‘90s moment when “college rock” became “alternative rock” and there was finally a growing audience for such indie strivers. Miller was quite a figure—he sported a HUGE mop of red hair and sang in an improbably high-pitched voice, purveying a hyper-literate guitar rock that drew from jangle-pop and the Paisley Underground—though as they were variously based in Davis and San Francisco, Game Theory were never really an actual part of that particular L.A. scene, Miller was pals and sometime writing partners with the Three O’Clock’s Michael Quercio, who even joined a later version of the band. They hit a stride mid-decade with the 1986 LP The Big Shot Chronicles and the sprawling, experimental and flat-out ASTOUNDING 1987 2XLP Lolita Nation, my copy of which has been with me since its release and will leave my shelves when I’m dead. They followed that with the straightforwardly rock Two Steps from the Middle Ages before the band’s lineup fractured. For three years, no subsequent version of Game Theory would make an album, and the best-of compilation Tinker to Evers to Chance would serve as the band’s tombstone.


    In 1991, in deference to those whom he thought might be weary of him naming yet another group of musicians “Game Theory,” Miller renamed his band the Loud Family, and pursued a more musically headstrong power-pop direction, though his unbeatable lyrical IQ remained a signature feature of his songwriting. The Loud Family would release music on the independent Alias label through the quite fine 2006 collaborative album with Anton Barbeau, What If it Works? Miller continued to write until his passing in 2103, but declined to release anything. His unexpected passing came just months before an intended Game Theory reunion that could have brought him some of the recognition that was criminally overdue to him.

    At the time of Miller’s death, everything by Game Theory was out of print. In a move that I will always remember as one of the coolest ever, Miller’s family posted free MP3s of everything the band ever released upon his death, so fans and the curious could hear it without getting hosed by the preposterous pricing spike in the vinyl aftermarket that invariably seems to accompany a cult artist’s death. Those MP3s are offline now, as the reissue label Omnivore is bit by bit reissuing all the band’s work, in order. So far they’re up to 1985’s Real Nighttime, and The Big Shot Chronicles is due this year. A Riverfront Times piece published yesterday hinted at unreleased material (I’d loooooooove to hear what got left off of Lolita Nation), and told about Don’t All Thank Me At Once: The Lost Genius of Scott Miller, a forthcoming Miller biography, named for a Loud Family song and penned by Boston music writer Brett Milano.

    [Don’t All Thank Me At Once] promises to tell not only Miller’s story, but more generally, “the story of the college and indie-rock explosion of the 1980s and 1990s, when everything seemed possible but some of the flagship artists still managed to fall through the cracks.” Milano managed to track down and interview almost every member of Miller’s three main bands (no small feat: this includes at least two dozen people). He’s also interviewed Mitch Easter, who produced many of Game Theory and the Loud Family’s recordings, Aimee Mann, with whom he had planned to collaborate, and others from Miller’s life and career.


    Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
    The last known photographs of Jim Morrison in Paris, dated June 28, 1971
    07:25 am

    Pop Culture

    Jim Morrison

    Jim Morrison died on July 3, 1971 at age 27. The official cause of death on his death certificate was “heart failure.” No autopsy was performed.

    Here are the last known photographs of the lizard king taken on June 28, 1971 during a day trip to Saint-Leu-d’Esserent. Morrison is joined by Pamela Courson, and their friend, Alain Ronay. One might assume that Morrison was fat, bearded and bloated due to drugs and alcohol abuse at this point, but he looks trim, clean-shaven and relatively healthy here for a man about to expire.

    Photos by Alain Ronay.




    More after the jump…

    Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
    State fair accepts, then rejects Bill Cosby portrait made from rapeseed
    05:59 am


    Bill Cosby

    Rapeseed, more commonly known in the U.S. as “canola,” can be used to make vegetable oil, bio-diesel, animal feed, or—apparently—portraits of Bill Cosby, the famous comedian accused of drugging and having non-consensual sex with nearly 50 women.

    The Minnesota State Fair accepted Nick Rindo’s rapeseed portrait of Bill Cosby as an entry into its crop art competition—but before it could become a blue-ribbon prize-winner, it was removed by Fair administrators after complaints came rolling in.

    Rindo’s portrait had the word “rapeseed” in parentheses on the portrait’s label, and was allowed entry into the competition after the Fair’s crop art superintendent made one small alteration—covering the word “rapeseed” with a piece of tape. According to superintendent Ron Kelsey: “We call everything canola in this country.”

    Apparently the tape was not enough to keep controversy away. Outraged emails poured in. One even called the portrait “pro-rape,” which was not Rindo’s intention at all.

    Rindo stated on his Facebook page, “The guy in charge let it in. The Administration received too many angry emails, so they came down and removed it. I imagine it’s in a corner of shame somewhere.”

    A second seed-portrait by Rindo, of Star Trek’s Mr. Spock, was allowed to remain in competition.


    Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
    Glitter-covered televangelist Joshua Mills explains how he got covered in glitter. By God.
    11:51 am

    Stupid or Evil?

    Joshua Mills

    How long will it take—how many decades, how many more centuries if we’re really unlucky—before the Christianity virus just completely and utterly burns itself out? At what point will there just simply be no more use for it and we’ll all just give up the (holy) ghost once and for all, call it a day AND MOVE ON?

    I don’t have a prediction to make about that—Voltaire, who died in 1778, once wrote that he thought religion would die out in twenty years time—but I can say with some assurance (and even gratitude!) that idiot Palm Springs-based televangelist Joshua Mills is doing his very best to make people shake their heads in DISBELIEF and walk out of the church, hopefully never to return. Mills has claimed in the past that God can whiten teeth better than dentists and remove wrinkles better than Botox.

    Here on the Internet talk show, It’s Supernatural with Sid Roth, Mills relates the story of how God covered him in glitter in an elevator in Toronto. Three onlookers in the elevator were saved before the doors even opened again. But best of all, they reenact this “anointing”! Hilarity ensues! Sid makes George Noory seem skeptical and it’s too bad that they didn’t have Mills play himself, that was really a missed opportunity if you ask me.

    More after the jump…

    Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
    Nothing says anarchy like these hilarious stock photos of ‘punkers’
    10:53 am


    Stock Photos

    A group of happy punks
    Oh dear, the stock photography version of punk. If you asked my nana what a punk was or looked like, she’d point to one of these photos and say “Right here. One of them.”

    My favorite image out of all of this cringe-worthy mess is the “punk” dude holding the giant bazooka. As we all know a punk outfit is never complete without a handy rocket launcher. And don’t the ladies love ‘em???

    The nut never falls very far from the tree.

    Anarchy Angie, the waitress at “SPIT” the new punk rock theme restaurant, brings you your Molotov cocktail.

    “This is about the JEANS, people. The JEANS. Not the bazooka, the jeans!”

    Never mind the spreadsheet…
    More after the jump…

    Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
    Dangerous Finds: King Tut’s boner; Paranoid Republican wingnuts; EVERY Tarantino reference explained
    09:24 am

    Current Events

    Dangerous Finds

    Quentin Tarantino: The Complete Syllabus of His Influences and References: From Reservoir Dogs to Django Unchained, the master list. (New York)

    ‘It’s now or never’: Texts reveal teen’s efforts to pressure boyfriend into suicide: Michelle Carter knew that if anyone found her text messages to her boyfriend Conrad Roy III, she might go to jail.“[If the police] read my messages with him I’m done. His family will hate me and I can go to jail. File under “deeply disturbing.” (Washington Post)

    Paranoid history of the GOP: How conspiracy theories poisoned the Republican Party: Wingnuts have become increasingly reliant on reality-defying paranoia. Here’s how it happened. (Salon)

    Meet the Republican Who Launched the ‘Ready for Kanye’ PAC: ‘A party that can openly accept Donald Trump has room for Kanye West,’ says 24-year-old Ready for Kanye founder Eugene Craig. (Rolling Stone)

    Mystery ‘zombie’ drug used in Paris muggings: Two women have been arrested after allegedly using a substance with similar effects to Colombia’s infamous Devil’s Breath ‘zombie drug’ to rob elderly Parisians. That substance contains scopolamine, a toxin found in plants of the Datura genus found in the South American country. It can cause severe and frightening hallucinations that last for a long, long time. What a fucked up thing to do to old people. (The Local)

    Death of Justin Bieber-lookalike reveals a sadder tale: Man who had surgery to look like the pop singer was found dead in a San Fernando Valley motel room. (Los Angeles Times)

    Bernie Sanders to appear on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert: I’ll tune in for that. Poor Martin O’Malley can’t even get booked with James Corden. (Deadline Hollywood)

    Carbon dating suggests ‘world’s oldest’ Koran is even older than the Prophet Muhammad: Tests suggest that the book was produced between 568 and 545 A.D., said scientists at the University of Oxford, but Islamic scholars generally believe Muhammad lived between 570 and 632 A.D. (The Raw Story)

    Jeb! To Trump: You’re Not A Real Republican: The inevitable Jeb v. Trump action is heating up. Prediction: This will not end well for “low energy loser” Jeb! Bush. (Talking Points Memo)

    Kentucky clerk defies US Supreme Court and denies marriage licenses to same-sex couples ‘under God’s authority’: The top court ruled Monday evening that Kim Davis, the Rowan County clerk, could not be excused from following the law on religious grounds. Isn’t it time for the Governor to step in and simply fire this ugly, lemon-faced Christianist bigot? WHY does this clown still have a job? (The Raw Story)

    Tutankhamun’s penis was fully ERECT when he was mummified so he would look like a god in afterlife: The world’s most famous mummy was buried with his penis standing at a 90 degree angle. It is theorized that the upright penis broke off after the discovery of the tomb, despite speculation that it was stolen. And then later the dickless boy king’s cadaver was displayed for millions of moderns to gawk at. (Daily Mirror)

    Steve Martin performs his 1978 novelty hit “King Tut” on Saturday Night Live. I’m guessing he’d have added another chorus about the missing phallus had this been known at the time.

    Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
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