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Leigh Bowery TV commercials
10.29.2014
01:51 pm

Topics:
Advertising
Fashion

Tags:
Leigh Bowery


 
Leigh Bowery, the Australian-born, London-based artist, club promoter, pop star, model, fashion designer and dancer in Michael Clark’s ballet company was one of the most influential figures in the fashion world of the 1980s and 90s. Before his death at the age of 33 from an AIDS-related illness. Bowery was famously a model/muse for painter Lucien Freud and after he was a central character of Boy George’s ill-fated Broadway show Taboo (the one Rosie O’Donnell financed). The documentary about his life by Charles Atlas, The Legend of Leigh Bowery is a must-see.
 

 
I knew Leigh Bowery casually dating back to 1984, when I’d see him and his friend Trojan (who was dressed by Leigh) when they’d be out and about at London clubs like White Trash or Phillip Salon’s Mud Club (where I spent most Friday nights of my 18th year). At the time I met them, they had a stall selling make-up in the Great Gear Market on King’s Road and they’d be dressed head-to-toe as you see them dressed above. After that, Bowery became well-known for his Taboo nightclub, the infamous “Where’s Pepe?” TV jeans ads (see below) and his association with Michael Clark. For someone who appeared so monstrous, Leigh was an extremely friendly and affable person who always remembered me when I’d see him in New York.

Little Britain’s Matt Lucas is currently developing a dramatic film about Bowery’s life. He’s the perfect actor for the role.

These Pepe Jeans ads from 1989 were directed by mega-genius Tony Kaye. There were actually five commercials in the series, but one’s not on YouTube and Leigh Bowery isn’t in one of them.
 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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The amazing old Paramount Records ads that inspired R. Crumb


 
The story of Paramount Records is a fascinating one—the beginning is set about 100 years ago, in a Wisconsin furniture company that began pressing records in hopes that’d help them sell record players, which in their early years were indeed whoppin’ big ol’ pieces of furniture. The middle sees that furniture company curating and releasing a jaw-dropping and still legendary catalogue of classic early jazz and Delta blues 78s by the likes of Charley Patton, Ma Rainey, and Blind Lemon Jefferson. The end of the story sees the closing of the company and disgruntled employees flinging those now priceless shellac records into the Milwaukee River and melting down the metal masters for scrap. The whole story can be found in greater detail online, or in the books Paramount’s Rise and Fall and Do Not Sell At Any Price.

What concerns us here are the label’s print ads, which ran in The Chicago Defender. I’ve tried mightily to find the names of the artists who drew these. People in a better position to know than I assure me their identities are lost to the years, though they may have been staff illustrators at a Madison ad agency. The loss of that knowledge is a damned shame, because without knowing it, those artists altered the history of underground comix, by serving as an acknowledged influence on that form’s grand pooh-bah, Robert Crumb. Even a superficial glance at some of these ads reveals a precursor to Crumb’s famous signature style (it’s strikingly evident in the slouching posture of some of these characters), and Crumb paid direct homage to these artists in a series of trading card sets that have been compiled into the book R. Crumb’s Heroes of Blues, Jazz & Country—the comix artist’s abiding passion for the music of the early recording era has never been a secret.

Here are a few of those ads. Where the ad copy is adequately readable, I encourage you to give it a look, because some of this stuff is priceless—I’m wondering how many old blues songs weren’t about wangs and adultery. Bear in mind, please, that the ads I chose to post here weren’t necessarily selected for resemblance to Crumb’s work. Some I simply felt like sharing because they were just too much!
 

 

 

 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Discussion
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‘Cock-a-doodle-dick-shit!’ The outtakes of Ernie Anderson, a.k.a. Ghoulardi
10.14.2014
11:47 am

Topics:
Advertising
Amusing
Television

Tags:
Ghoulardi
Ernie Anderson


 
Last year we related the saga of Cleveland’s favorite local TV host, Ernie Anderson, more commonly known as Ghoulardi. Anderson’s character Ghoulardi hosted a Friday late-night horror movie show from 1963 to 1966 on WJW-TV, Cleveland’s channel 8. His schtick was strongly Beatnik-derived, and he has remained a hero to the residents of Northeast Ohio ever since, a group that includes the Cramps, who spent time in Akron before breaking it wider in NYC and adopted Ghoulardi’s motto “Stay Sick!” as their very own. You can find out more about Ghoulardi in Tom Feran’s book Ghoulardi: Inside Cleveland TV’s Wildest Ride. (The greatest legacy of Anderson, who died in 1997, may well be his famous son, the director Paul Thomas Anderson.)

After Anderson fled Cleveland for Los Angeles, he became “the voice of prime time ABC” for much of the 1970s and 1980s. On this visit to the set of Late Night with David Letterman in 1983, Anderson demonstrated the artistry of the network promo voiceover. As such, anyone who was a kid during the late 1970s and after probably remembers Anderson’s voice urging you to tune in to The Love Boat, Hart to Hart, Happy Days, Eight Is Enough, and whatever else ABC wanted you to watch. When Anderson was doing the fake promos (requested by his fans—the man had a lot of fans) on Letterman, you could see a little bit of his method, holding his hand up slightly and barking “Ah-gee-wa-wa!” as vocal prep to get in the right frame of mind. After a flub, he admits that “I swear a lot.”
 

Anderson on Letterman displaying his craft
 
Here’s the proof of that assertion. Dana Gould mentioned these outtakes on his podcast (episode “Son of Halloweenery”), and I found them so funny I just had to pass them on. Someone collected about ten minutes of a charismatic and professional TV announcer Ernie Anderson losing his shit over and over and over again, and it’s every bit as priceless as you might imagine….. Anderson has particular trouble with the word frighteningly, which is ironic considering his Ghoulardi alter ego. Among the things Anderson spits out in a fit of pique: “You’ll see an American gladiator’s son walk his AHHH SHIT!” “You’ll have to put some sound effects in there or some fucking pig whistles, I don’t know.” “Aaaaand you’ll meet our special guest fuckit balls tits!” and “It’s all a fuckin’ kiss my ass mish-mash….”

You’ll have to discover the rest on your own!
 

 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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Paris museum promotes Marquis De Sade show with orgiastic trailer (NSFW)
10.10.2014
11:54 am

Topics:
Advertising
Art
Sex

Tags:
Marquis De Sade
Musée d'Orsay


 
The Musée d’Orsay, the legendary museum dedicated to impressionist and post-impressionist art housed in the former Gare d’Orsay, a Beaux-Arts railway station in the center of Paris, has a big show on the legacy of Donatien Alphonse François de Sade, better known as the Marquis de Sade, coming up in a few days (show starts October 14). The show, called “Sade: Attacking the Sun,” will focus on “the revolution of representation opened up by the author’s writings,” according to the museum. The exhibit will feature presumably challenging and sensuous works by artists such as Goya, Géricault, Ingres, Rops, Rodin, and Picasso. De Sade’s groundbreaking works include Justine, or the Misfortunes of Virtue and 120 Days of Sodom, which was later adapted by Pier Paolo Pasolini as Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom.
 

 
On its website, the Musée d’Orsay warns (in bold text), “The violent nature of some of the works and documents may shock some visitors.” A similar disclaimer might apply to the show’s promotional video, directed by video artists David Freymond and Florent Michel. In keeping with the Marquis’ licentious philosophy and writings, the video consists entirely of quick cuts of dozens of (mostly white) people engaged in group sex in a huge darkened expanse. The camera eventually pulls out to reveal that the bodies are configured to spell the word “SADE.”

Funny—the only orgy I was ever at, we spelled out the word “EXCELSIOR.”

The video is NSFW but that should be pretty obvious, and to be honest it’s pretty low-stakes smut…..
 

 
via Artnet

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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Graffiti artists reclaim the commons and obscure subway ads
10.06.2014
05:58 am

Topics:
Activism
Advertising
Art

Tags:
graffiti
NYC
subways


 
For what New Yorkers pay to ride “public transportation,” you’d think the MTA wouldn’t feel compelled to sell every square inch of subway car to bloodsucking corporate pirates—much less that aesthetic villain, Dr. Jonathan Zizmor. M.D.. But where there is a square inch to monetize, “public” space will never really be public. Two anonymous artists, going by SKI and 2ESAE, have decided to take the commons with some slick guerrilla tactics.

Now defacing ads is nothing new, and their messaging might be a little platitudinous (“be who you are don’t be sheep”), but the project itself is a kind of a cool ad campaign against ads. While the duo’s traditional idiom is graffiti, the plastering of polished “ad copy” is a subtler, more formal approach to anti-advertising protest—you have to look twice, something straphangers almost never do for a scrawl of Sharpie or an artless tag in spray paint. While very few people probably saw the installation itself (I’ve been on the J train at 3AM—it’s pretty dead), the folks at ANIMAL videotaped it for posterity—YouTube is the last town square, I suppose.

I’d hope actions like this might take off, but the MTA has already announced plans to put cameras in cars... you know… for safety.
 

 
Via ANIMAL

Posted by Amber Frost | Discussion
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#RepublicansArePeopleToo campaign is a masterpiece of bad marketing, a rich tapestry of idiocy


 
Who the fuck didn’t see this one coming?

The general answer, of course seems pretty obvious—the perpetually clueless and tone deaf Republican Party—but the person in particular, apparently, to blame for this completely idiotic SCREAMING OUT FOR MERCILESS RIDICULE campaign is one of Mitt Romney’s former advertising guru “Mad Men” (and we all know how well that turned out), a Texan named Vinny Minchillo.

Minchillo hopes that his new “grassroots” campaign, on Facebook and on Twitter with the hashtag #imarepublican, will make it harder for people to demonize Republicans, as he told The New Republic:

“On social media, I’ve been called every name in the book,” Minchillo said. “It’s become socially acceptable to talk about Republicans in the most evil terms possible and that doesn’t seem right. We wanted to do this to really remind people that Republicans are friends, neighbors and do things that maybe you wouldn’t expect them to do.

“People, I’m afraid, think that Republicans spend their days huddling over a boiling cauldron throwing in locks of Ronald Reagan’s hair. … We thought let’s get out there and show who Republicans really are: regular folks interested in making the world a better place.”

Minchillo is clearly operating under the delusion that there’s something sly, clever or tongue-in-cheek about what he’s doing. I wonder how he’s going to feel when he watches Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Bill Maher, John Oliver, every pundit, Twitter, Facebook AND THE ENTIRE INTERNET trash this nonsense like it’s the stupidest thing anyone has ever thought up?

#SoylentGreenIsPeopleToo!

See how that works, Vinny?
 

 
MEMO TO THE GOP: If you need an advertising and social media campaign to convince a HUGE swath of people who already think you’re a bunch of fuckin’ assholes that you’re really not fuckin’ assholes, perhaps you’ve got a larger problem on your hands? If you have to TELL other people that you’re just like them, perhaps their perception that you’re not just like them is justified because you wouldn’t really need to point that out in the first place, now, would you?

It isn’t easy being a Republican these days.

There are people who will stick up for Genghis Khan before they’ll defend a Republican. (“Genghis was just misunderstood.”)

We love political discourse. We encourage political discourse. But when did “Republican” become a dirty word?

Here’s the deal: before you post another bullying comment, think about this:

Republicans are people, too.

And you know what? Some of them don’t even have tiny shriveled penises or require motorized scooters to haul their asses around. Many Republicans aren’t racists! Some of them are under the age of 65 and are not angry white males who watch Fox News all day long and shit in Depends diapers. WHICH IS EXACTLY THE PERCEPTION THAT THIS RISIBLE CAMPAIGN IS REINFORCING! All anyone is talking about is “the problem” that this is supposed to be combating!

If this isn’t the equivalent of a gigantic Las Vegas marquee-sized “KICK ME” sign on the back of the GOP, I don’t know what would be.
 

 
It’s the most ridiculous thing in… days to come out of the fetid swamp of what passes for ideas in the Republican Party. If hapless Vinny saw this goofy campaign as a way for him to jockey for position for the 2016 Presidential race, Vinny, I hate to tell ya, brah, you done goofed. This is the worst!

Here are a few choice comments taken from what are probably the most consistently intelligent forums on any political or news blog, Talking Points Memo. Just some random recent comments, I’m not digging deep for any of this:

I believe all Muslims are suspicious and should be rounded up into internment camps. #ImARepublican

Why, yes, my tattoos include swastikas #ImARepublican

“Redskin” is a term of respect, honor, tradition. #ImARepublican

My father punched me when I was a kid, and I TURNED OUT FINE! Right? RIGHT?! #ImARepublican

I am stupid, evil, and utterly devoid of humanity! #IamARepublican

I prattle on endlessly about the necessity for common citizens like me to own guns in case the government infringes upon the people’s rights, and then I vote for referenda that infringe upon people’s rights. #ImARepublican

Of course I’m a hypocrite. #ImARepublican

Disenfranchising minority voters is OK by me! After all, they’re not white like I am. #ImARepublican

I don’t think everyone deserves health care. #ImARepublican

My party will soon be demographically insignificant. #ImARepublican

I pledge allegiance to the Kochs… #ImARepublican

You get the idea. Here’s my favorite because it communicates SO MUCH:

I think this guy should be making decisions that affect millions. #IAmARepublican

 

 
It’s a mite (Mitt?) early for the memes to be showing up in any real number yet, give it a few hours (or even a few more minutes), but the ridicule on Twitter for the #ImARepublican hashtag is pretty good already.

And here’s the motherload of LOL, the video. You’ll note that it’s important for them to have you know that Republicans shop at Trader Joe’s(?), use Macs(?) and “have feelings, too”(?)—and yet there are apparently no members of the LGBT or Muslim communities in the GOP whatsoever. What. there were NO pics of fabulous drag queens, buffed WeHo boys or anyone with a beard and turban in the stock photo database?
 

 
For some reason that video reminded me of this classic Tom Tomorrow cartoon:
 

 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ comic in fantastic Howard Johnson’s ‘Children’s Menu’


 
Only the most observant of Kubrick-aholics will even remember the Howard Johnson’s reference in his landmark 1968 movie 2001: A Space Odyssey, but it’s right there, around the 30th minute. Dr. Heywood Floyd, played with purposeful blandness by William Sylvester, finds himself in a veritable barrage of product placement following the legendary Johann Strauss “Blue Danube” slam cut from the apes’ bone to the graceful, silent spacecraft. Dr. Floyd is flying in a Pan Am vehicle, we’re told, and over the next few minutes, at the space station, he walks through a Hilton hotel lobby, places a call to his wife and daughter using a Ma Bell videophone, and yes, walks by a “Howard Johnson’s Earthlight Room.”

As the beneficiary of a truly special promotional opportunity, Howard Johnson’s did their part, releasing a combined comic book/children’s menu depicting a visit to the premiere of the movie by two youngsters—well, the title actually tells it pretty well: “Debbie and Robin Go to a Movie Premiere with Their Parents.” Neat-O! Given that in the movie (SPOILER ALERT) a computer bloodlessly kills off several members of the crew of the U.S.S. Discovery One and that the movie ends in a psychedelic and well-nigh incomprehensible farrago of colorful effects that Mad Magazine insisted was a result of David Bowman (Keir Dullea) crashing into “the brand new 105-story Jupiter Museum of Op Art,” it’s understandable that the comic focuses on the gee-whiz feeling conveyed in the middle chunk of the movie, and glosses over the ending—the two comic panels in which the family emerges from the theater discussing “the way the mystery was solved!” are, given the downbeat goings-on in the movie, perfectly apposite and false in the only way it can be. The synopsis ignores one of the movie’s most noteworthy aspects outright, by which I mean the apes of the opening sequence. But note that the comic’s discussion of the movie—hilariously—does not gloss over Hal’s murders, as evidenced by the above panel.

What we see here is the old Hollywood promotional methods associated with Mary Poppins, perhaps, or Cleopatra attempting to deal with the totally new, technologically sophisticated, and thematically bleak mode of filmmaking. Would you be able to create credibly cute kiddie characters who gush about “The Dawn of Man” and what lies “Beyond the Infinite”? I sure can’t.   
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
More great cartoon panels and a video clip, all after the jump…..

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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‘It’s a virus’: Tom Waits on musicians allowing their work to be used in commercials
09.08.2014
09:39 am

Topics:
Advertising
Music

Tags:
Tom Waits


 
Below, Tom Waits responding to a 2002 article in The Nation by John Densmore of The Doors regarding musicians and artists “allowing their songs to be used in commercials.”

Woodland Hills, Calif.

Thank you for your eloquent “rant” by John Densmore of The Doors on the subject of artists allowing their songs to be used in commercials [“Riders on the Storm,” July 8]. I spoke out whenever possible on the topic even before the Frito Lay case (Waits v. Frito Lay), where they used a sound-alike version of my song “Step Right Up” so convincingly that I thought it was me. Ultimately, after much trial and tribulation, we prevailed and the court determined that my voice is my property.

Songs carry emotional information and some transport us back to a poignant time, place or event in our lives. It’s no wonder a corporation would want to hitch a ride on the spell these songs cast and encourage you to buy soft drinks, underwear or automobiles while you’re in the trance. Artists who take money for ads poison and pervert their songs. It reduces them to the level of a jingle, a word that describes the sound of change in your pocket, which is what your songs become. Remember, when you sell your songs for commercials, you are selling your audience as well.

When I was a kid, if I saw an artist I admired doing a commercial, I’d think, “Too bad, he must really need the money.” But now it’s so pervasive. It’s a virus. Artists are lining up to do ads. The money and exposure are too tantalizing for most artists to decline. Corporations are hoping to hijack a culture’s memories for their product. They want an artist’s audience, credibility, good will and all the energy the songs have gathered as well as given over the years. They suck the life and meaning from the songs and impregnate them with promises of a better life with their product.

Eventually, artists will be going onstage like race-car drivers covered in hundreds of logos. John, stay pure. Your credibility, your integrity and your honor are things no company should be able to buy.

TOM WAITS

Tom Waits successfully sued Frito-Lay, Inc. in 1992 and was awarded $2.6 million in compensatory damages.
 

 
Via Letters of Note

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
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Kink Think: Luscious fashion ads from 1966, starring Dave Davies—and terylene, the wonder fabric
09.03.2014
08:13 am

Topics:
Advertising
Fashion
Music

Tags:
Dave Davies
Kinks
terylene


 
These eye-catching fashion advertisements emphasize the non-kinking qualities of the (then) wonder material of terylene—so they naturally hired world’s second most famous Kink, Dave Davies.

These images come from the May 25, 1966, issue of Queen magazine. Dave cuts quite the figure here, no? “Smooth,” says Dave of Ina’s outfit.
 

 

 
In other Kinks news, Dave’s brother, head Kink Ray Davies has denied rumors that the group would reunite “with or without” Dave, with whom he frequently feuds. Good thing, too. A Kinks “reunion” without both of the Davies brothers would be like an Oasis reunion without one of the Gallaghers. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Ray Davies’s Kinks musical, Sunny Afternoon, is due to open at the Harold Pinter Theatre in London on October 4th.

Below, Dave Davies doing his solo hit, “Death of a Clown”:

 
via 1960’s and 1970’s Advertisements

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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Incredible music billboards from the Sunset Strip
08.29.2014
06:37 am

Topics:
Advertising
Music

Tags:
billboards
Robert Landau


UFO, Obsession, 1978
 
I love everything about these remarkable advertisements, all of which were on the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles between 1967 and 1981. We have photographer Robert Landau to thank for these pictures, as his collection represents the best available resource about them. Last year he came out with a very pretty book called Rock ‘n’ Roll Billboards of the Sunset Strip.

According to Landau, it wasn’t until 1967 that the music industry ventured into billboards to advertise new rock albums. The first rock billboard was for the Doors’ first album. As we can see here, other acts had billboards by 1967, so it must have caught on quickly.

“When I went out to explore the world,” says Landau. “I felt the Strip was like a gallery; there were these hand-painted works of art on the street. ... They looked like giant art pieces that kind of represented my generation and the music I listened to.”

“At one time, L.A. just felt a lot funkier. It felt more Western, and ... people could come here and do whatever they want. To a degree, that created a lot of chaos, but there was something about that freedom that allowed people to do fun things,” he says. “Things were a little quirkier back then. There was a bit more of a personal feel to the environment.”

A few notes about the pictures below. The ELO billboard is noteworthy because of the custom-made plexiglass neon space station, based on John Kosh’s logo for the band, which cost $50,000. Obviously, the Abbey Road billboard pictured here was defaced by some Beatlemaniac, which is why Paul’s head isn’t there. My favorite billboard of the bunch (and Landau’s too) is the remarkable one for the London Symphony Orchestra’s recording of Tommy from 1972; the billboard features no text whatsoever, just those creepy sci-fi eyes staring out at you. So ballsy!
 

Pink Floyd, Atom Heart Mother, 1970
 

Cocker Is Coming
 

10cc, Deceptive Bends, 1977
 

Joni Mitchell, Blue, 1971
 

The Knack, Round Trip, 1981
 

Jimi Hendrix, Axis: Bold as Love, 1967
 
Nei
Neil Young and Crazy Horse, Zuma, 1975
 

London Symphony Orchestra, Tommy, 1972
 

ELO, Out of the Blue, 1977
 
Many more billboards plus a video, after the jump….

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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