follow us in feedly
‘My World Fell Down’: The oddest song The Beach Boys never recorded


 
Yesterday I was listening to a Glen Campbell greatest hits collection (The Capitol Years 1965-77, the one compiled by Saint Etienne’s Bob Stanley and Pete Wiggs, it’s excellent) and in the liner notes, it mentions that Campbell sang and played guitar on a Gary Usher-produced single called “My World Fell Down” by Sagittarius, that was included on Jac Holzman and Lenny Kaye’s Nuggets collection, which I have, so I checked it out. It’s odd that I had this song in my possession—I’ve played the Nuggets box set many, many times all the way through—but never took much note. How could I have missed it?
 

A be-quiffed Glen Campbell backstage at the Grammy awards with the Beach Boys
 
“My World Fell Down” is the closest thing we’ll ever get to “Good Vibrations”-era Beach Boys meets LSD-soaked psych rock. Sagittarius was basically a supergroup of session musicians under the direction of Gary Usher, a staff producer at Columbia who had also “discovered” The Firesign Theatre and produced The Byrds. Aside from Campbell, who was, of course, briefly in the Beach Boys himself, the secondary vocalist on the track is none other than Beach Boy Bruce Johnston. Also worth pointing out is that Usher had written several songs with Brian Wilson (”409” and “In My Room” among them) and included in the backing group were powerhouse session players Hal Blaine and Carol Kaye, who had both recorded with the Beach Boys. If someone played this for you and told you it was an unreleased—and especially odd—Beach Boys demo, you’d believe them, no problem.
 

Gary Usher
 
Dig the musique concrète bridge section of carnival (bullfight?) noises and a slamming door. This part sounds like something straight off of Their Satanic Majesties Request, the Rolling Stones album that came out the same year, 1967, but is not included in the album version.
 

 
When “My World Fell Down” got to #70 on the Billboard chart, the label wanted Sagittarius to tour, at which point he revealed that Sagittarius didn’t actually exist as a real group and that it was his song, too. Usher moved forward with Sagittarius and recorded a full album leaning heavily on the talents of a young Curt Boettcher. Prior to the release of that record, Present Tense, in 1968, Usher and co. released a second Sagittarius single titled “Hotel Indiscreet” that had another musique concrète bridge section that utilized Peter Bergman of the Firesign Theatre ranting about… something:

“What for and how long my children? How long will we be made to suffer the utter degradation of everything we hold sacred? My fellow flowers, the time is upon us to open the door and purify the foul and pestilent air within, standing naked before the eternal judge and proclaiming we are all hip! Two three four… Hip! Two three four… zwei drei vier… Sieg Heil! SIEG HEIL!”

That bit was only on the mono version of the song, on the single. Clive Davis didn’t like the weirdo breaks in “My World Fell Down” and “Hotel Indiscreet” so he had Usher cut them out for Present Tense.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
follow us in feedly
‘Game of Thrones’ blooper reel
07.25.2014
02:47 pm

Topics:
Amusing
Television

Tags:
Game of Thrones


 
This Game of Thrones Season 4 blooper reel was just screened at San Diego Comic-Con and it’s rather amusing to say the least. I’m so invested in these multifaceted characters—I’m a diehard fan of the show—that it’s difficult for me to view them as thespians breaking out of character. I think BuzzFeed did a post a few years ago with photos of the actors and actresses out of costume and in everyday streetwear… it was just plain weird.

In my mind these folks are not acting but actually these characters at all times. Silly I know, but that’s how damned good they all are at their craft.

It’s kind of a treat to see their real personalities, though, if only for a few seconds. 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
follow us in feedly
William Burroughs on cover of National Examiner tabloid along with Burt Reynolds, Delta Burke
07.25.2014
01:01 pm

Topics:
Pop Culture

Tags:
William S. Burroughs


The current issue of the National Examiner newspaper

Of all the people you might see on the cover of the National Examiner supermarket tabloid—Loretta Lynn, Michael Jackson, Honey Boo Boo, the Clintons and of course the Kardashian family—one face that you’d probably never expect to find there is that of junkie novelist William Burroughs, but there he is, in the right upper corner, right above Burt Reynolds and to the left of the bit asking what the fuck Delta Burke did to her face…

See Burroughs there, along with Ted Kennedy, Claus Von Bulow and Susan Cummings, the original affluenza poster children? The question asks “Do the rich and famous get away with killing people?”

The short answer, of course as was most certainly the case with William Burroughs (whose brother bribed Mexican police to let him go after he’d blown his wife’s brains out at point blank range) is that they often do! Predictably there’s a sidebar about Claudine Longet, too.

I’m not normally in the habit of picking up cheesy supermarket tabloids, but I noticed this at the check out this morning at Ralphs (that’s what they call Kroger in So Cal) and had to share. The National Examiner has a reputation for bad reporting—if not just out and out making shit up—but they got the basic facts right for this one. Still, it’s got to be the most unexpected company ever for William Burroughs to keep.

Not so much Claus Von Bulow, but Delta Burke?
 

 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
follow us in feedly
Animated sheet music for Miles Davis’ ‘So What’
07.25.2014
11:33 am

Topics:
Animation
Music

Tags:
Miles Davis


 
Mesmerizing animated sheet music for Miles Davis’ “So What” by Dan Cohen on YouTube.

If I had seen something like this around when I was younger, it would have made piano lessons and learning to read music oh so much easier…

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
follow us in feedly
Proto-Atkins, suction & ‘the rack’: Weight-loss fads in 50s Britain were as stupid as they are now
07.25.2014
08:01 am

Topics:
History

Tags:
diets


 
Nothing is quite so reassuring as proof that the neuroses of humanity remain historically unchanged. Despite the prevailing myth that at some magical point in time, people were both naturally healthy and naturally hot, diet and exercise fads have always existed. This 1958 footage from British Pathé—which leads with “Take heart, girls, you can reduce without starvation diet!”—has a couple of super-weird “human interest” features on how to keep skinny.

There is a sort of pre-Paleo, proto-Atkins diet from a doctor who guesses that we were way healthier before the advent of agriculture gave us delicious, wonderful potatoes and bread (if you can’t tell, I have no patience for such chicanery). There are models doing what looks like the most genteel, ladylike, and totally ineffectual exercise ever. There’s a terrifying suction machine, and my favorite... “the rack,” which stretches out your body to “tone muscles” and is named after a popular pre-Enlightenment torture device.

You laugh, but I’m sure you’ll see at least five ads for a purportedly magical diet food on the Internet today—at least the old fashioned rack doesn’t preclude mashed potatoes. Just beware of the Spanish Inquisition when you’re using it, okay?
 

Posted by Amber Frost | Discussion
follow us in feedly
The Hawkwind sci-fi trilogy
07.25.2014
07:45 am

Topics:
Books
Music

Tags:
Hawkwind
Michael Moorcock


 
There are lots of ways to have fun with Hawkwind albums, but one of the more wholesome is to pretend that the members of the band are real live outer space aliens. Weigh space anchor and hoist the star mizzen? Aye aye, Cap’n Brock! We were born to go! But if you find it hard to fantasize in this vein, there exist three official tie-in products that relate Hawkwind’s adventures in the far reaches of the cosmos.

In 1976, a sci-fi novel called The Time of the Hawklords appeared in the UK and US, crediting Michael Moorcock and Michael Butterworth as co-authors. Aside from Dik Mik, all your favorite members are there: Lemmy (“Count Motorhead”), Stacia (“the Earth Mother”), “Baron” Dave Brock, and Nik Turner (“the Thunder Rider”). Even Moorcock, who had collaborated with Hawkwind since the early 70s, plays a part in the story as “Moorlock the Acid Sorcerer.”

Moorcock immediately disowned the book, according to Carol Clerk’s band biography The Saga of Hawkwind: “While the saga was based on concepts of Moorcock’s, he vehemently denied being involved in the writing and fell out with the publishers.” Nevertheless, his famous name also featured prominently on the cover of the following year’s sequel, Queens of Deliria, which bore the lawyerly credit “by Michael Butterworth based on an idea by Michael Moorcock.”
 

 
The back cover of Deliria promised that the third volume of the trilogy, Ledge of Darkness, would be published in 1978. As it happened, Ledge of Darkness was not published until 1994, when it turned up as a graphic novel in Hawkwind’s scarce 25 Years On box set (not to be confused with the 1978 Hawklords album of the same name).

In the decade-plus that has passed since I purchased my copy of The Time of the Hawklords, I have never yet made it past this sentence on page eleven: “Next came Lord Rudolph the Black, most recent champion sworn to the ranks of the Company of the Hawk.” It seems better suited for bibliomancy than reading. Since the jacket copy on the back might be superior to the actual contents of the book, here it is in its entirety:

Rocking on The Edge of Time

From a ruined London on a burnt-out Earth, the Hawkwind group beams out its last, defiant concert. The Children of the Sun, the tattered remnants of the Hippies, gather to listen. But when the music ends, withdrawal symptoms begin—a dreadful, retching illness only the Hawkwind sound can allay.

This new malady may be more than debilitated mankind can withstand. Desperately the rock group begins research: first, with the few electronic instruments miraculously still intact; then with a book whose existence is an even greater miracle—an ancient, magical tome, The Saga of Doremi Fasol Latido, whose prophecies seem to be coming true.

And here’s the sales copy from Queens of Deliria:

Earth had already been devastated by the Death Generator.

Then the Red Queen meddled with the very laws of Time to advance her evil ambitions. She transmogrified the planet into a world stalked by decaying ghouls and policed by satanic Bulls, their amplifiers meting out the punishing music of Elton John.

Only the Hawklords could save the remnants of humanity – only the Hawklords could restore the forces of Good.

Their sole ally Elric the Indecisive; their sole weapon their music; they fought to the death with their awesome enemies, the macabre Queens of Deliria.

ROCK AND ROLL SCI-FI

This is the second volume in the trilogy which began with The Time of the Hawklords.

The final volume Ledge of Darkness will be published in 1978.

Below, the BBC’s excellent Hawkwind documentary. That’s Michael Moorcock seen in the still frame:

Posted by Oliver Hall | Discussion
follow us in feedly
Stanley Kubrick faked the Apollo 11 Moon landing?

smoonkub.jpg
 
So, did Stanley Kubrick fake the Moon landing?

Well, that’s the proposition of William Kare’s documentary (mockumentary?) Dark Side of the Moon, which originally aired on French TV channel Arte in 2002 as Opération Lune.

According to Karel’s (fictional?) film, Kubrick was hired to fake the Apollo 11 mission by the U.S. government. The evidence? Well, secret documents alluding to Kubrick’s involvement in the “fraud” were discovered among the director’s papers after his death in March 1999.

Moreover, Kubrick apparently left clues to his involvement into the scam: firstly, his being loaned lenses by NASA to recreate the candle-lit scenes in his film Barry Lyndon—how else could have got hold of these unless NASA owed him a BIG favor?; secondly, Kubrick allegedly made a confession of his involvement in the conspiracy that is contained in his film version of Stephen King’s The Shining.

Adding substance to these alleged facts, Karel wheels out a highly convincing array of contributors: Henry Kissinger, Buzz Aldrin, Jan Harlan, Richard Helms, Vernon Walters (who is claimed to have mysteriously died after filming) and Christiane Kubrick.

It’s a great romp, and for those who are tempted to believe, watch the bloopers reel at the end.
 

 
Via Open Culture

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
follow us in feedly
Magic mushrooms inspired Frank Herbert’s ‘Dune’
07.25.2014
07:07 am

Topics:
Books
Drugs

Tags:
Dune
Frank Herbert
magic mushrooms

blueeyesdune.jpg
 
Anyone who has read Frank Herbert’s classic science fiction novel Dune will have pondered on the inspiration for the book’s fictional spice melange—supposedly the most valuable commodity in the universe. This naturally occurring drug can only be found on the planet Arrakis. The spice is much sought after as it can give users heightened awareness, longevity and the ability to see into the future. Melange is also the source of power for the Spacing Guild’s spacecrafts called “heighliners”—the drug allowing users to safely steer the heighliner during a “navigation trance.” It’s a useful drug. The downside? The spice leads to addiction, turning the users eyes a luminous blue. Withdrawal can be fatal.

At the time of publication in 1965, many thought Herbert was making reference to LSD—something director Alejandro Jodorowsky considered when he planned to film the book back in the 1970s, when he claimed his movie:

...would give the people who took LSD at that time the hallucinations that you get with that drug, but without hallucinating.

In fact, Herbert was making a reference to psychedelics in particular his own predilection for magic mushrooms, as Paul Stamets explains in his book Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World:

Frank Herbert, the well-known author of the Dune books, told me his technique for using spores. When I met him in the early 1980s, Frank enjoyed collecting mushrooms on his property near Port Townsend, Washington. An avid mushroom collector, he felt that throwing his less-than-perfct wild chanterelles into the garbage or compost didn’t make sense. Instead, he would put a few weathered chanterelles in a 5-gallon bucket of water, add some salt, and then, after 1 or 2 clavs, pour this spore-mass slurry on the ground at the base of newly planted firs. When he told me chanterelles were glowing from trees not even 10 years old, I couldn’t believe it. No one had previously reported chanterelles arising near such young trees, nor had anyone reported them growing as a result of using this method.” Of course, it did work for Frank, who was simply following nature’s lead.

Frank’s discovery has now been confirmed in the mushroom industry. It is now known that it’s possible to grow many mushrooms using spore slurries from elder mushrooms. Many variables come into play, but in a sense this method is just a variation of what happens when it rains. Water dilutes spores from mushrooms and carries them to new environments. Our responsibility is to make that path easier. Such is the way of nature.

Frank went on to tell me that much of the premise of Dune — the magic spice (spores) that allowed the bending of space (tripping), the giant worms (maggots digesting mushrooms), the eyes of the Freman (the cerulean blue of Psilocybe mushrooms), the mysticism of the female spiritual warriors, the Bene Gesserits (influenced by tales of Maria Sabina and the sacred mushroom cults of Mexico) — came from his perception of the fungal life cycle, and his imagination was stimulated through his experiences with the use of magic mushrooms.

You can find a PDF of the book here.

Meantime, here’s a rare clip of the sci-fi bard on television.
 

 
Via the Daily Grail

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
follow us in feedly
Color me disenchanted, ‘Coloring for Grown-Ups’ paints a bleak picture
07.24.2014
01:53 pm

Topics:
Amusing
Art

Tags:
coloring books


 
Woe betide those who might cling to the dreams of their youth. You want financial security? Pffft. A rich social life? You gotta’ be kidding! Romantic love? Just who do you think you are? You may not be able to transport yourself back to a time of starry-eyed optimism, but you can reflect on the miserable state of modernity with therapeutic past times of your youth. Coloring for Grown-Ups has it all—self-medication, disaffection, alienation, and yes—the soul crushing disappointment so many of us face daily in our cubicle farms!

And the best part is, you can print out as many as you want. Where else in life do you get a do-over?

You can buy Coloring for Grown-Ups from their website, or get a few samples from The Wall Breakers.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Via The Wall Breakers

Posted by Amber Frost | Discussion
follow us in feedly
Aleister Crowley’s curried rice recipe
07.24.2014
01:37 pm

Topics:
Food
Occult

Tags:
Aleister Crowley


 
English occultist Aleister Crowley wasn’t merely a poet, painter, mountain climber and the Great Beast 666, he was also an aspiring chef, his specialty apparently being lethally hot curries.

Here’s a passage referring to his “glacial curry” taken from his autohagiography, The Confessions of Aleister Crowley:

“The weather made it impossible to do any serious climbing; but I learnt a great deal about the work of a camp at high altitudes, from the management of transport to cooking; in fact, my chief claim to fame is, perhaps, my “glacier curry.” It was very amusing to see these strong men, inured to every danger and hardship, dash out of the tent after one mouthful and wallow in the snow, snapping at it like mad dogs. They admitted, however, that it was very good as curry and I should endeavour to introduce it into London restaurants if there were only a glacier. Perhaps, some day, after a heavy snowfall”

The exact method by which Crowley made his “glacial curry” has been lost to time, but if you’d like to make some magick in the kitchen tonight, The Master Therion’s recipe for his, I suppose infamous curried rice dish, “Riz Aleister Crowley” was found among his papers at Syracuse University in New York.

Unfortunately, The Great Beat didn’t list any actual quantities for the ingredients, but Nico Mara Mckay added the ratios, which can be modified to make any quantity

Riz Aleister Crowley (to be eaten with curry)

Ingredients
- 1 cup brown basmati rice
- sea salt
- 1/4 cup sultanas
- 1/4 cup slivered almonds(1)
- 1/4 cup pistachio nuts
- powdered clove
- powdered cardamoms
- turmeric powder (enough to colour the rice to a clear golden tint)
- 2 tblsp. butter

Steps
Bring two cups of salted water to a bowl. Throw in in the rice, stirring regularly.
Test the rice after about ten minutes “by taking a grain, and pressing between finger and thumb. It must be easily crushed, but not sodden or sloppy. Test again, if not right, every two minutes.”
When ready, pour cold water into the saucepan.
Empty the rice into a colander, and rinse under cold tap.
Put colander on a rack above the flames, if you have a gas stove, and let it dry. If, like me, your stove is electric,  the rice can be dried by placing large sheets of paper towel over and under the rice, soaking up the water. Preferably the rice should seem very loose, almost as if it it has not been cooked at all. When you’ve removed as much water as you can,  remove the paper towel.
Place the rice back into the pot on a much lower temperature.
Stirring continuously, add the butter, sultanas, almonds, pistachio nuts, a dash or two of cloves and a dash of cardamom.
Add enough turmeric that the rice, after stirring, is “uniform, a clear golden colour, with the green pistachio nuts making it a Poem of Spring.”
 

 
You can find larger, readable versions of Crowley’s original cooking narrative here and here.

Via Music is the Heart

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
follow us in feedly
Page 1 of 1600  1 2 3 >  Last ›