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McDonald’s asks indie band to play for free during SXSW. Read their fantastic reply
03.05.2015
10:54 am

Topics:
Class War
Music

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Up and coming punky pop duo Ex Cops (Amalie Bruun and Brian Harding) were asked by one of the largest corporations in the world (#106 on the Fortune 500 currently) to perform for free during the SXSW music festival in Austin, TX—well not exactly free, they’d be singing for their supper, but when supper’s at fucking McDonald’s, who wants that shit?

The Ex Cops replied with a posting on their Facebook page that’s getting a lot of traction:
 

 

‘McDonald’s asked us to play SXSW. This is Brian’s open letter about it.

This week our band was asked to play the McDonald’s Showcase at the annual South by Southwest, also known to music insiders as “SXSW.”

Their selling point was that this was “a great opportunity for additional exposure,” and that “McDonald’s will have their global digital team on site to meet with the bands, help with cross promotion, etc” 

I don’t, and doubt that they know what this means either.

Getting past that rhetoric, at the very least a big corporation like McDonald’s can at least pay their talent a little. Right?

“There isn’t a budget for an artist fee (unfortunately)”

As of 2013, McDonalds is valued at 90.3 billion dollars.

I won’t get into the internet semantics of things you’ve probably seen on your Facebook feed; like that thing where it takes a McDonald’s worker 4 months to earn what the CEO makes in an hour, or their GMO love affair, and I will certainly spare you the bounty of photos showing how they treat their animals.

In lieu of being paid like a real artist, or anyone who is employed to do a service, McDonald’s assures us that we will “be featured on screens throughout the event, as well as POSSIBLY mentioned on McDonald’s social media accounts like Facebook (57MM likes!)”

We recently headlined a show at the Brooklyn venue Baby’s Alright. They are by no means a DIY venue, but they are still an independent small business. The owners are people our age who used to book shows at Pianos and busted their asses to open a venue of their own in Brooklyn.

While I haven’t asked Billy or Zach how much they make annually (that would be weird) I’m going to guess they’re not looking at brownstones in Prospect Park at the moment. Yet when we played, we were paid very very fairly, were provided with drink tickets, and each band member fed a full entree from their menu (try the Brussels sprouts)

I will also go ahead and save time for any schill / troll rebuttals; “Are the other showcases paying you? No one is holding a gun to your head!” This is true. It is our choice (pretty much) to fly to Austin, play shows without soundcheck, and get paid nothing to a little. But hear this loud and clear, we LOVE making music, it is what we do, and despite some of its very apparent flaws, SXSW still provides a decent venue to be heard by some people who are really there to hear new music and not just do blow with dudes who wear square toe loafers.

It is a horrifying and gross reality when one sees the true nature of corporations and their pathetic attempts to achieve relevance with millennials. Doritos received a lot of flack for their stage a couple years ago, but i’m going to assume they paid Lady Gaga.

Oh, I almost forgot; “McDonald’s will offer free food to all audience members”

I don’t doubt that tons of bands will kowtow to this lame, lame attempt at a rock show. And I’m aware that to achieve any exposure is a Herculean task in 2015, but the Boethian Wheel is a real thing, and this will continue to exist if we, as artists, keep saying yes in exchange for a taste of success. Even if smells like a shitty Fish filet.’

The nice thing about the way this has played out, Ex Cops get to keep their integrity, they won’t have to play in a fucking McDonald’s and they get their music that “exposure” they were promised anyways.

Ex Cops are on Downtown Records and have collaborated with Ariel Pink and Billy Corgan. They’re excellent, give ‘em a listen at their Soundcloud page.
 

 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Anyone willing to spend $40,000 for a dab of 22-carat gold-laced caviar should be stomped to death
02.23.2015
10:01 am

Topics:
Class War

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Gold Caviar
 
Are you sick and tired of using rolled up hundred dollar bills for kindling? Have you found yourself suddenly wrapped up in some kind of Kafkaesque, Brewster’s Millions scenario? Do you often ask yourself, “What the hell am I supposed to do with all this excess scratch?” 

Here’s an idea! Why not sample what’s being called the world’s most expensive edible? Clocking in at an impressive $40,000 a teaspoon you can now drop some serious coin ostentatiously sucking down white caviar expelled from the body cavity of a rare albino sturgeon, dehydrated and laced with 22-carat gold.

Here’s what the website Oddity Central has to say about the ridiculously elite super food of the extravagantly wealthy:

The powdery caviar, also called Strottarga Bianco, is the creation of Austrian fish farmer Walter Gruell, 51, and his son Patrick, 25. According to Patrick, the Strottarga Bianco comes from the white roe of the extremely rare albino sturgeon. To make just one kilo White Gold, the father-son duo use five kilos of caviar, which is then dehydrated. Older sturgeon are used because the eggs are apparently more elegant, smooth, spongier, aromatic, and they simply taste better.

 
white gold
 

The albino beluga that produces the special caviar originally lived in the Caspian Sea, but it is now almost extinct in its native environment, making it a rare delicacy. Another reason for the prohibitive price of White Gold is the age of albino belugas. While sturgeons usually live over 100 years, few belugas reach that age due to a genetic flaw that shortens their life.

There’s a long list of things in this world about which I know nothing. Topping that list, however, would have to be the claim made by one the caviar’s producers that consuming a little dried up gold flake now and again is actually quite good for the immune system. I’m almost certain to never find out first hand.

Apparently, rubbing gold and caviar all over your face is also an option if you feel like jumping up and down and waving across the income gap to the rest of us pee-ons from time to time:
 

 
via Oddity Central

Posted by Jason Schafer | Leave a comment
Culturcide takes a massive shit all over the radio hits of the ‘70s and ‘80s
02.18.2015
07:25 am

Topics:
Amusing
Class War
Music
U.S.A.!!!

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This was one of the most impudent stunts in the history of art-noise provocations: in 1986, a Houston, TX band of shit-stirrers called Culturcide released their second LP, Tacky Souvenirs of Pre-Revolutionary America. The album consisted of parodic covers of then-recent radio hits by the likes of Springsteen, Huey Lewis and the News, USA For Africa, Pat Benatar, yadda yadda yadda. Some were hilarious, some brutally satirical, a few frankly just kinda dumb. But unlike “Weird Al” Yankovic, Culturcide didn’t re-record the music. Their vocalist Perry Webb simply warbled his own lyrical agitations atop the original recordings. No permission for that usage was obtained, as it was never even actually sought.
 

 
The album never saw and surely never WILL see another issue after that initial self-release. The threat of lawsuits pre-empted any further editions, so once the recording became notorious, it also became impossible to get, which only magnified its legend. According to a 1998 article in the Houston Press:

A blatantly illegal work of manic-dub genius, the album (now unavailable) ransacked 14 of the 1980s’ most vapid radio hits—everything from “We Are the World” to “Ebony and Ivory.” In keeping with its lo-fi, anti-technology stance, Culturcide simply rerecorded the tracks, changing the titles (for example, “We Aren’t the World”) and superimposing nasty, disparaging vocals, jarring cut-and-paste clatter and dizzying loop effects over the original versions—all, of course, without authorization.

Despite the band’s haphazard distribution methods, Tacky Souvenirs managed to find its way to a number of critics, several of whom commended the band for brazenly going where no other indie outfit had gone before. (Some of those same writers commented on the album’s one-off feel—funny, considering the album took the band five years to complete.)

Though Tacky Souvenirs wasn’t always easy for the layman to track down, it did earn Culturcide a kind of cult celebrity. But the costs far outweighed the benefits: Representatives for three artists whose work was desecrated on Tacky Souvenirs threatened legal action, and subsequent settlements emptied the band’s already piddling coffers. The ensuing lull in Culturcide’s spirits, combined with various creative conflicts and substance abuse issues, eventually led to the group’s calling it quits in 1990. Naturally, Tacky Souvenirs is now a collector’s item.

Of course, 1998 was before discogs.com existed, and the album is nowadays findable with a mouse-click, though it ain’t necessarily gonna be cheap. And as you’ll soon see, it’s not really for everyone, anyway. Be mindful, ahead lie naughty words and extreme jadedness:
 

They Aren't The World by Culturcide on Grooveshark

 

Love Is A Cattle-Prod by Culturcide on Grooveshark

 

The Heart of R'n'R (Is the Profit) by Culturcide on Grooveshark

 

 
More of this shit after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
Bring back the feminists of W.I.T.C.H. (Women’s International Terrorist Conspiracy from Hell)!
02.06.2015
07:16 am

Topics:
Class War
Feminism

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1969 WITCH protest in front of Chicago Federal Building.
 
Of all the second wave feminists who exploded into action over the 1960s and 70s, no group seems to have had quite as much fun as WITCH—the fabulous acronym for Women’s International Terrorist Conspiracy from Hell. Like so many other groups, WITCH was formed from a split, this one from New York Radical Women. Their counterpart, Redstockings, became the more famous “intellectual” feminist group, producing such visionary minds as Ellen Willis and Shulamith Firestone (who, among many other far out things, argued for the option of robotic wombs to liberate women from childbirth). WITCH on the other hand was the wild and wooly protest group, easily identifiable by their Halloween get-ups.
 

Protesting beauty pageant circa 1969.
 
The group specialized in disruption of the sensational bent, shrieking and chanting in black clothing and white face paint, and “throwing hexes” at enemies of the people. Among their many targets were beauty pageants, Wall Street, bridal fairs, Chase Bank, the presidential inauguration, and even sexists in the politically left anti-war movement. Some of the more famous work was actually quite modest in its goals (hey, all politics are local politics), including protesting public transportation fare hikes with this little hex:

Witches round the circle go
to hex the causes of our woe,
We the witches now conspire
To burn CTA in freedoms’ fire.

Bankers gall, politicians guile,
Daley’s jowl, lackey’s smile,
Trustee’s toe, bondholder’s liar
These we cast into our fire.

Meetings held, messages sealed
When the fare hike is revealed
We, the people, are the prey
Of the demon, CTA….

 
WITCH were one of many radical feminist groups of the second wave (1960s and 70s), and one of many that is sadly understudied and overlooked. Luckily women like director Mary Dore work on projects like She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry, a new documentary that chronicles the feminist lay of the land in the days of the counterculture revolution. It’s baffling to think that explicitly socialist groups like WITCH and the Chicago Women’s Liberation Union started out on the same footing as Hillary Clinton boosters like the National Organization for Women, but we all know that even in the feminist movement, the game is rigged towards Wellesley girls.
 

 
You can find a screening of She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry here, and I say it should be mandatory viewing for all girls under the age of eightteen. Where else are we going to get the next chapter of WITCH from?
 

 
Via Mother Jones

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Dreading Valentines Day? Have a laugh at Karl Marx’s godawful corny love poems!
01.30.2015
12:17 pm

Topics:
Amusing
Class War

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Yeah, but your poetry, dude…

As a socialist with a somewhat inconsistent commitment to Marxist orthodoxy, I’m often asked to what degree I will defend old Karl, and there’s no easy answer. For example, I’m sympathetic to central planning, though I have my doubts for its real-world potential under our current technology. I wrestle with the labor theory of value, but also find myself unable to mount a suitable critique. But if you’re just asking if there’s anything about Marx I find completely indefensible, hey, I can assure you that his terrible schmaltzy love poetry keeps me safe from the sin of idolatry.

We are talking about some terrible, corny, super-earnest high school boy in love stuff here, and I’m not the only one that finds Marx’s deepest affections majorly cheesy. In Edmund Wilson’s landmark history of socialist thought To the Finland Station: A Study in the Writing and Acting of History, he has this to say of Marx’s mooning romantic overtures to his future wife.

In the summer of Karl’s eighteenth year, when he was home on his vacation from college, Jenny von Westphalen promised to marry him. She was four years older than Karl and was considered one of the belles of Trier, was much courted by the sons of officials and landlords and army officers; but she waited for Karl seven years. She was intelligent, had character, talked well; had been trained by a remarkable father. Karl Marx had conceived for her a devotion which lasted through his whole life. He wrote her bad romantic poetry from college.

If that sounds a little blunt, it should be noted that Marx himself acknowledge that his love poetry was mawkish. Here are some of my favorite lowlights from one of his many volumes dedicated to Jenny—this one actually called, The Book of Love:

TO JENNY
I
Jenny! Teasingly you may inquire
Why my songs “To Jenny” I address,
When for you alone my pulse beats higher,
When my songs for you alone despair,
When you only can their heart inspire,
When your name each syllable must confess,
When you lend each note melodiousness,
When no breath would stray from the Goddess?
’Tis because so sweet the dear name sounds,
And its cadence says so much to me,
And so full, so sonorous it resounds,
Like to vibrant Spirits in the distance,
Like the gold-stringed Cithern’s harmony,
Like some wondrous, magical existence.
II
See! I could a thousand volumes fill,
Writing only “Jenny” in each line,
Still they would a world of thought conceal,
Deed eternal and unchanging Will,
Verses sweet that yearning gently still,
All the glow and all the Aether’s shine,
Anguished sorrow’s pain and joy divine,
All of Life and Knowledge that is mine.
I can read it in the stars up younder,
From the Zephyr it comes back to me,
From the being of the wild waves’ thunder.
Truly, I would write it down as a refrain,
For the coming centuries to see—

Yeah, you’ll notice a lot of his works use her name. It’s a bit like going through a middle schoolers notebook and reading the same name over and over in swirly cursive with little hearts. This one actually has the exact same title.

TO JENNY
Words—lies, hollow shadows, nothing more,
Crowding Life from all sides round!
In you, dead and tired, must I outpour
Spirits that in me abound?
Yet Earth’s envious Gods have scanned before
Human fire with gaze profound;
And forever must the Earthling poor
Mate his bosom’s glow with sound.
For, if passion leaped up, vibrant, bold,
In the Soul’s sweet radiance,
Daringly it would your worlds enfold,
Would dethrone you, would bring you down low,
Would outsoar the Zephyr-dance.
Ripe a world above you then would grow.

Translation: Girl, I am so into you.

LOVE IS JENNY, JENNY IS LOVE’S NAME. MY WORLD
Worlds my longing cannot ever still,
Nor yet Gods with magic blest;
Higher than them all is my own Will,
Stormily wakeful in my breast.
Drank I all the stars’ bright radiance,
All the light by suns o’erspilled,
Still my pains would want for recompense,
And my dreams be unfulfilled.
Hence! To endless battle, to the striving
Like a Talisman out there,
Demon-wise into the far mists driving
Towards a goal I cannot near.
But it’s only ruins and dead stones
That encompass all my yearning,
Where in shimmering Heavenly radiance
All my hopes flow, ever-burning.

Okay, I’m gonna stop short on that one because it goes on for about 1000 more lines and every single one of them sounds exactly like all the others. It’s like, dude, we fucking get it.

So if you’re single and living in dread of having no sweetie for Valentine’s Day, just remember—love makes syrup of even the greatest minds.

Thanks to Ross Wolfe

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Happy Mondays’ Bez, now a politician, forgets to register his ‘Reality Party’
01.14.2015
07:26 am

Topics:
Amusing
Class War
Environment
Politics

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022bezrevrealpart2.jpg
 
Bez the talismanic dancer from the Happy Mondays launched the Reality Party on Monday and announced his intention to stand as a representative for the party at the UK’s parliamentary elections in May. Bez is running on a platform of “free energy, free food and free anything.”

The perpetually bankrupt Celebrity Big Brother contestant (real name Mark Berry) is hoping to be elected to the Salford and Eccles constituency in Greater Manchester—the seat of former Labour cabinet minister Hazel Blears who is standing down.

The Reality Party is a new political party founded in 2014, and this is the first time it will take part in a general election.

On Monday, under a billboard bearing the slogan “It’s Real – It’s Your Reality,” Bez announced his candidature, standing on an anti-fracking ticket. Bez says he wants to “create a permaculture society,” and his election manifesto includes plans for a zero carbon economy, an end to tax breaks for big business, more nationalisation, bee hives in every school, glow-in-the-dark roads and hemp to be grown on Salford’s Chat Moss. Bez is one of three candidates representing the Reality Party in the election.
 
bezrealityparty.jpg
 
However, as the Independent newspaper reports, Bez has one major problem—the Reality Party is not registered with the Electoral Commission. In fact, the party was “deregistered” on the very day Bez launched his campaign.

According to the Independent, the regulator for the Electoral Commisison wrote Bez “several times” informing him that the Reality Party would be removed from the register as its name was too close to that of the Realist Party. Under the Commission’s rules there cannot be “two parties similarly named” as it may cause confusion with the electorate.

Bez was given until 12th January to register a different name for his party but failed to get back to the Commission:

The Independent has discovered that Bez, along with two other Reality Party members hoping to become MPs, will in fact never be able to stand in any election under that name.

A spokesman for the Electoral Commission said: “Following a review conducted last year, we contacted ‘The Reality Party’ on two occasions to tell them the party name they had registered, if seen on a ballot paper at a General Election, could mislead voters.

“We recommended what they could do to address this and whilst the party indicated that it was looking at ways to alter its name with the Commission, it did not submit a revised name before our 12 January deadline and so was removed from the register of political parties.”

However, it’s not all doom and gloom for Bez and his fellow Reality Party candidates—Nigel Askew, a pub landlord is standing in South Thanet against Ukip leader Nigel Farage, and Jackie Anderson, “who is listed as the ‘west Salford and Eccles’ candidate, although the constituency does not exist anymore”—as a Commission spokesman said:

“There’s still time for the [Reality] party to submit a revised name to the Commission before candidates who want to stand for a party have to submit their nominations papers to Acting Returning Officers with the name of the registered party they are standing for.”

Which means Bez and co. could still stand for election but not under the name of the Reality Party.
 

 
Via the Independent.

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Poverty Chic: $20 zippered change purse makes you look like a homeless beggar
01.08.2015
03:48 pm

Topics:
Class War
Fashion

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We here at Dangerous Minds are big fans of tacky, tasteless and kitsch, but there are pink flamingos (classic, respectable, fun), and then there is Poverty Chic (boo, we’re socialists!) These change purses are designed to look like the generic coffee cups that the homeless use to beg. If that isn’t enough, they go for $20 a pop. Don’t believe me? The designer dubs the accessory, “The Lucky Beggar.”  (At least the Museum of Modern Art had the good sense to rename the thing “New York Coffee Cup Pouch”!)

Check out the description:

George Skelcher was inspired to design the Lucky Beggar coin purse after seeing people using typical New York coffee cups to panhandle on the Bowery. This supple stitched faux leather purse mimics those cups and in turn helps the people who inspired them. Part of the proceeds of each purse sold is donated to HELP USA, an organization that has helped the homeless since 1986.

The Bowery is an area of downtown NY known for its homeless shelters and flophouses

Note the the vague allusion to charity to alleviate their obliviousness—though they’re not quite clear exactly what portion of the proceeds go to the homeless. Convenient. I can respect tacky crap, but when you start charging $20 for it, you clearly suck. And when the novelty of your ostensibly luxury product is “tee-hee, poverty,” you suck even more.
 

 

 

 
Via Aisha Keller

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Anti-propaganda street posters tell the truth about the police
12.16.2014
09:36 am

Topics:
Activism
Advertising
Class War
Politics

Tags:

001totalpolicingstrike1.jpg
 
A series of posters questioning the London Metropolitan Police’s record on racism, violence and corruption have appeared on advertising hoardings across London. The billposters are the idea of STRIKE! Magazine, which produced them in response to the Metropolitan Police’s own promotional campaign—as the magazine explains:

The Metropolitan Police Force spend ridiculous sums of our money trying to convince us – and themselves – that they’re not violent, racist and corrupt. In 2012 it was £12.6m and in 2013 it was £9.3 – in two weeks alone last year they wasted nearly half a million pounds of public money on pointless poster campaigns. This is from the webpage promoting the local policing pilot scheme:

“Evidence tells us that giving people very local information about police action in their area may increase the confidence they have in police. These boroughs were chosen as places where confidence in policing is lower than average.”

It’s propaganda pure and simple: they want us to forget that they murdered Mark Duggan, an unarmed civilian, and caused the 2011 riots; they’d rather you didn’t talk about being 28 times more likely to be stopped and searched in London if you don’t have white skin; and if the heavily redacted Operation Tiberius report is anything to go by, they definitely don’t want you to know about the 42 corrupt senior Metropolitan Police officers caught literally letting criminals get away with murder. Their entire barrel is rotten, so they want to keep the lid tight shut.

STRIKE! Magazine is a bi-monthly anti-profit, advertisement free newspaper covering politics, philosophy, art, subversion and sedition. The magazine launched the campaign two months ago, but claim they do not know who is behind printing the posters and putting them in bus shelter advertising hoardings.

However, one designer from STRIKE! told Vice UK that he had seen about twenty posters since they first appeared on Saturday December 13th, and was “[e]normously pleased” with them. Photographs of the posters have been shared by many users on Twitter.
 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Real estate cosplay: NYC developers trying to make ‘Steampunk Luxury Condos’ happen
12.11.2014
02:49 pm

Topics:
Class War
Design

Tags:


 
They say that “money don’t buy taste,” but if you can afford to live at N°15 RENWICK, one would assume you’ve at least got the cash for a “style consultant” to tell you how fucking corny you are. The luxury development (whose logo is an obvious homage to CHANEL N°5) is trying what may be the lamest of all marketing angles to attract a wealthy and “creative” clientele—they’re making it steampunk. Their advertising is an utterly confusing photo-spread of classically influenced modern architecture inhabited by Victorian-ish “characters”—it can only be described as real estate cosplay…

From the website:

The Characters of 15 Renwick pay homage to the Victorian era in which the street’s namesake, James Renwick and his son, lived (1790-1895). Renwick was a pioneering author, engineer and professor at Columbia University while his son, James Jr., was one of the most celebrated architects of his generation. The Characters also embody the creative persona of today’s Hudson Square resident and the insider nature of the single-block Renwick Street.

Look, pining for “Olde New York” is a rite of passage no matter what year you moved here, but these people are paying an insane amount of money for a New York that never even existed! One of the developers, Eldad Blaustein joked that the ideal tenant might be a “Wall Street trader, but he’s writing songs, he’s writing poems at night.”

Sounds about right. Who else would be so dead inside that they’d want to come home to LARP?
 

 

 

 

 
More real estate steampunk cosplay after the jump…

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Riot Squad toys: Train your tots to quash rebellion for their capitalist overlords
12.09.2014
06:49 pm

Topics:
Class War
Pop Culture
Stupid or Evil?

Tags:


“Police Force Role Play Set for kids with Combat Vest, Riot Shield, Badge, Handcuffs, Machine Gun Toy, Grenade, Club & Knife”
 
I’m not actually particularly against “war toys.” Kids have violent little imaginations, and I don’t think there’s any causal correlation between acting them out and actual shootings—lots of kids have toy swords, but it’s not like we’re dealing with a rash of impalements. That being said, there is something about riot squad dress-up sets and riot squad vehicle LEGO sets that’s particularly gross, probably because it’s a much more literal representation of a visible violent institution. I mean, when kids play soldier, there’s the antagonist of a foreign “enemy” that keeps it a distant fantasy. Even when kids play “policeman,” it’s a kind of generic take on justice, like being a “sheriff,” but come on, a riot squad? What are they supposed to be doing, playing Ferguson?

I would expect this from a dress-up kit (costume companies are run by insane people, for insane people), but I feel so sad about LEGO stooping to this level! Look at those little minifig pigs! You have to wonder who among the children who will receive these toys will grow up to be dissidents, and who among them will join the other side, right? This is probably about as insidious as war toys are, of course, but can’t we at least agree there’s something creepy about tiny little running dogs of capitalism with itty-bitty riot shields?

EDIT: The “LEGO”-looking toys are not LEGO-brand, but a counterfeit block set, much to our relief. Apologies to readers for the misunderstanding, and apologies to LEGO for besmirching their noble name.
 

Riot Police Car, 325 piece set
 

Minifigs from above LEGO set

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
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