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There’s a 50-minute version of the Beatles’ ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’ for the song’s 50th anniversary
07.14.2016
09:29 am

Topics:
Drugs
Music

Tags:
psychedelia
the Beatles


 
If you think the Beatles’ “Tomorrow Never Knows” is a nice place to visit, why not live there?

Andrew Liles, described on his Mixcloud page as “a prolific solo artist, producer, remixer and sometime member of Nurse With Wound and Current 93,” has radically remixed and enlarged the Fabs’ psychedelic studio creation for the 50th anniversary of its release. Over sixteen times longer than the original—nearly one and a half times as long as the entire Revolver album, for that matter—Liles’ “50 Minutes of Tomorrow Never Knows by the Beatles for 50 Years” is roomy enough to accommodate you and the whole family.

Liles has ventured into this territory before, improving rock history with his creations “45 Minutes of Black Sabbath by Black Sabbath for 45 Years” and the 70-minute Motörhead tribute “Overkill Overkilled by Overkill,” but the treatment is particularly well-suited to the song John Lennon originally called “The Void.” (According to Revolution in the Head, Lennon said “he changed the title in order to avoid being charged with writing a drug song.”) It sounds like you’re sitting inside the tambura for about the first fifteen minutes, and once your brain’s adjusted to that, the appearance of every familiar element—Ringo’s drum pattern, John’s Leslie-treated vocals—is a momentous occasion.
 

At Abbey Road recording Revolver, 1966
 
Liles writes:

On the 5th of August 2016 ‘Revolver’ will be 50 years old. ‘Revolver’ is arguably the first mainstream pop album to explore esoteric themes, ‘exotic’ instrumentation and use the studio as a tool to create otherworldly unimagined sounds. It’s an album that rewrote the rules and laid the foundations for audioscopic cosmonauts like myself to venture deeper into uncharted universes of sound. We have the fab five (how can we forget George Martin) to thank for opening new possibilities and new dimensions. Without their innovation the world of sound would be a lot less colourful.

Surrender to the void, turn off your mind, relax and float down stream with my impossibly elongated, psychedelic, smokeathonic adaptation of Tomorrow Never Knows.

Don’t forget to push “repeat” before your senses recede into a dimensionless point of perfect mental vacuity. Oh, and the book that inspired the original song is still in print.
 

Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
‘Let Me Hang You’: William S. Burroughs reads the dirtiest parts of ‘Naked Lunch’


 
In the mid-90s, at the request of his longtime collaborator producer Hal Willner and his manager James Grauerholz, William S. Burroughs recorded selected readings from his notorious novel Naked Lunch—some of the raunchiest and dirtiest parts of what was (and still is) a notably raunchy and dirty book—that were to be set to musical accompaniment.

Wilner brought in guitarist Bill Frisell, pianist Wayne Horvitz and violist Eyvind Kang, but the project was eventually scrapped

The project was revived when Wilner was introduced to prolific weirdo garage rocker King Khan through Lou Reed, and he realized that Khan was well suited to put music behind Burroughs’ dry narration. Khan brought on Australian psych rockers band Frowning Clouds and M Lamar (who happens to be the identical twin brother of Orange Is The New Black‘s Laverne Cox) to help.

The resulting album Let Me Hang You will be the first full-length release on Khan’s new record label Khannibalism with the Ernest Jenning Record Co. It comes out this Friday and you can preorder it now. Listen to the full album below. Extremely NSFW.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
‘I feel good!’: Jordan Peele reenacts James Brown’s crazy drug-fueled CNN interview word for word
06.30.2016
04:25 pm

Topics:
Drugs
Music
Television

Tags:
James Brown
Jordan Peele


 
Here’s a priceless bit of business from the irreplaceable Jordan Peele.

In May of 1988 James Brown was arrested in Aiken County, South Carolina, on charges of drug possession and fleeing from the police after his wife Adrienne called 911 because he was threatening her safety. Brown was released after paying $24,000 in bail, after which he headed for Atlanta to do an interview on CNN’s Sonya Live! in LA wth Sonya Friedman.

Brown, clearly on something (my money is on PCP), seemed scarcely aware that he was in any legal difficulty and insisted on answering most of Friedman’s queries with lyrics from his songs (“I FEEL GOOD!”) or other similar non sequiturs.
 

 
You know who Jordan Peele is—he and Keegan-Michael Key have been killing it for years with their Comedy Central sketch show Key and Peele, their 2016 movie Keanu, and various appearances elsewhere, including Fargo.

I desperately want the two of them to interview Donald Trump, but before that happens, this delirious recreation of James Brown’s 1988 CNN interview will have to do.

I wrote about this great event back in 2013, and it still remains one of the most remarkable interviews I’ve ever seen.
 
Watch Peele’s glorious impersonation after the jump…....
 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Vintage flashback-inducing psychedelic ads from the 60s and 70s that will give you a contact high


Who knew that wearing Wrangler Jeans could be this much fun? Vintage ad from the 1970s.
 
Every product under the the sun in the 60s and 70s seemed to be coated with LSD. Even mundane items like Wrangler Jeans, acne medication and Plymouths caught the psychedelic buzz. If you weren’t taking drugs at the time, all you really had to do was pick up a magazine and check out some of the colorful (and confusing) ads and get experienced.
 

Vintage psychedelic ad for the Yellow Pages.
 
I was very lucky to have a wonderful art teacher in the sixth-grade who at the end of the year gifted me with a Peter Max poster book as we both shared a love for that type of counter culture artistic expression which I still have to this day (thanks, Mrs. B!). Max’s widespread notoriety began in the 60s and continues to this day (The 78-year-old artist was commissioned in 2012 to paint the hull of a Norwegian Cruise Line ship). It wasn’t surprising to see his recognizable artwork show up in a 1971 ad for the Chelsea National Bank which I have of course included in this post. I’ve also got a soft spot for the kaleidoscopic ads for the vintage cosmetics line sold at Woolworth’s (the land of neverending bins and shelves full of everything including from 45’s to underpants) called Baby Doll. Grab some sunglasses and enjoy!
 

Peter Max’s illustration for the Chelsea National Bank, 1971.
 

An ad for Baby Doll cosmetics sold at Woolworth’s during the 60s and early 70s.
 

Trippy vintage ad for the ‘New-Hope Soap’ Clearasil.
 
More after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Behind the scenes of ‘Dopethrone’: Electric Wizard demonstrates how to smoke weed
06.17.2016
08:28 am

Topics:
Drugs
Music

Tags:
Electric Wizard


 
Now playing on YouTube: camcorder footage from the sessions for Electric Wizard’s latter-day doom metal classic Dopethrone.

Over the last month, user Rolphonse has uploaded about fifteen minutes of video shot at Chuckalumba Studios around May and June of 2000. In addition to very raw clips of the band tracking “Funeralopolis,” “We Hate You,” and “Barbarian,” there’s a kind of instructional video with singer and guitarist Jus Oborn showing you “how to build one properly,” i.e. how to fill the bowl of a cheap, plastic bong with cannabis and light it on fire.
 

Promotional Electric Wizard rolling papers from 2014’s Time to Die
 
None of this makes an ideal introduction to the band—for that, get Come My Fanatics or Dopethrone and play it very loud—and only Amish youth on Rumspringa stand to learn anything of value from Oborn’s bong demonstration. (More than anything, it reminds me of the SCTV sketch “Mr. Science,” in which John Candy’s character Johnny LaRue, rudely awoken by a student following an evening’s debauch, gives a lesson in combustion by lighting a cigarette.) But Wizard fans will be jazzed by the existence of this footage and relieved no one’s dangling it as a bonus DVD in a pricey reissue package.

Read reading after the jump…

Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
A Rolling Stone’s trippy ‘Last Supper’: That time Brian Jones thought he was a goat and ate himself

0_1bjtrident.jpg
 
In 1968 the artist Brion Gysin invited Rolling Stones guitarist Brian Jones to record a group of traditional Jbala Sufi trance musicians—better known as the Master Musicians—perform at the village of Jajouka in northern Morocco.

Gysin had long been familiar with the Master Musicians having been introduced to them and “Joujouka” music by writer Paul Bowles in 1950. Gysin thought the music of “the people of Pan” would be of some interest to Jones. Jones agreed. He traveled with Gysin to Jajouka, accompanied by his then girlfriend Suki Potier, recording engineer George Chkiantz, and painter/folklorist Mohamed Hamri.

Morocco was a favorite holiday destination for the Rolling Stones as it offered easy access to marijuana. Keith Richards later described the experience as a fantasy where they were “transported” and…

You could be Sinbad the Sailor, One Thousand and One Nights.

Jones used a Uher recorder to capture the songs performed by the Master Musicians. These recordings included songs for Jajouka’s “most important religious holiday festival, Aid el Kbir” when a young boy is dressed as Bou Jeloud the Goat God in the “skin of a freshly slaughtered goat.” The boy then runs around the village as the music becomes increasingly frenzied. Gysin claimed this was a ritual to protect the villagers’ health. He said the festival harked back to an ancient pre-Roman festival Lupercalia, held in mid-February as a cleansing and fertility ritual to ward off evil spirits.
 
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As Gysin later told Stanley Booth (and a very drunk William Burroughs) in a rambling tale in 1970—as recounted Booth’s book The True Adventures of the Rolling Stones—Jones and his companions were guests at traditional meal in the village, when Jones had an epiphanic vision—or more likely he tripped out—and believed himself to be a goat.

‘I would really like to talk about Joujouka and what that music is and what Brian got on tape and how it ever happened that he got there. How does he [Jones] appear in your book?’

‘Brian? As—well—sort of—as a little goat god, I suppose.’

‘I have a funny tale which I’ll tell you about just that. A very funny thing happened up there. The setting was extremely theatrical in that we were sitting under a porch of a house made of wattles and mud. Very comfortable place, cushions were laid around like a little theatre, like the box of an old-fashioned theatre, and a performance was going on in the courtyard. And at one moment—dinner obviously had to be somewhere in the offing, like about an hour away, everybody was beginning to think about food—and we had these acetylene lamps, giving a great very theatrical glow to the whole scene, rather like limelight used to be, a greenish sort of tone.’

[Okay Brion we get the picture it was very very very very very very theatrical…now get on with the story….]

‘And the most beautiful goat that anybody had ever seen—pure white!—was suddenly led right across the scene, between Brian and Suki and Hamri and me [...] so quickly that for a moment hardly anybody realized at all what was happening, until Brian leapt to his feet, and he said, “That’s me!” and was pulled down and sort of subsided, and the music went on, and it went on for a few minutes like that, and moments lengthened into an hour, or two hours, which can sometimes be three hours or four hours or five hours—-’

‘Long as it takes to kill a goat,’ Burroughs said.

‘—and we were absolutely ravenous, when Brian realized he was eating the same white goat.’

‘How did he take that?’

‘He said, “It’s like Communion.”’

‘“This is my body,’” I [Booth] said. ‘But Jesus didn’t eat himself, he fed the others.’

‘If he’d been sensible, he’d have eaten Judas,’ Burroughs said. ‘I’m gonna eat Graham Greene next time I see him. Gulp!’

Continues after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
‘Get High On Yourself’: Robert Evans’ coke-bust community service mega-turd TV special
06.10.2016
09:00 am

Topics:
Drugs
Television

Tags:
cocaine
Robert Evans
TV special


 
Robert Evans, the wunderkind Hollywood studio executive best known for his work on Rosemary’s Baby, Love Story, The Godfather and Chinatown had gotten himself into a bit of a jam back in 1980.

He was busted after agreeing to purchase $19,000 worth of cocaine—an amount he claimed was for himself as a user, denying the federal selling and distribution charges that were brought against him. Evans was convicted, and in a punishment befitting a big shot Hollywood producer, he didn’t get jail—he was ordered to create a public service anti-drug campaign. The end result of this slap on the wrist was one of the biggest TV mega-turds of all time: Get High On Yourself which aired on NBC in the Fall of 1981. 

Evans put up $400,000 of his own money and recruited That’s Incredible‘s Cathy Lee Crosby to co-produce an hour-long “very special program.” Evans put his rolodex to work and pulled in over 50 celebrities including Bob Hope, Carol Burnett, Muhammad Ali, Paul Newman, Scott Baio, Robby Benson, Kristy McNichol, Herve Villechaize, Dana Plato, Mark Hamill, and Bruce Jenner. Evans hired the jingle-writer responsible for “I Love New York” to compose the cornball earworm theme song. The special consists of the celebrities getting together to sing the song—a format which would be used to much greater success a few years later with Band Aid’s “Don’t They Know It’s Christmas” and USA For Africa’s “We Are the World.”
 

 
NBC turned this preachy anti-drug celebrity clusterfuck into a week-long celebration titled Get High On Yourself Week. At least 28 different commercials and promos were shot for the NBC roll out which was promoted for weeks in advance. NBC aired one Get High On Yourself spot every hour during prime time for eight days.
 

 
In his autobiography The Kid Stays in the Picture Robert Evans cites Get High On Yourself as the high mark of his career.

More after the jump…

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
Rahsaan Roland Kirk spoons out coke (or something) for his audience at Montreux, 1972
06.09.2016
08:14 am

Topics:
Drugs
Music

Tags:
jazz
Rahsaan Roland Kirk


 
When I first heard the song “Seasons” over the radio in Berkeley some 20 years ago, I pulled to the side of the road, parked my car, and sat there until the KALX DJ back announced it. It’s one of those pieces of music.

Record stores being more numerous than gas stations in the East Bay of that faraway era, it was no time before I found “Seasons” on a budget four-CD set of Rahsaan Roland Kirk’s late 60s and early 70s Atlantic LPs that’s been a constant companion ever since—though I’d probably recommend The Inflated Tear first to a neophyte, unless it was the kind of neophyte who wanted to have the top of her head shorn off by the bracing music Kirk recorded as a one-man band, in which case I’d suggest Natural Black Inventions: Root Strata.

It was significant that I first encountered Kirk’s music on the radio, before I’d seen his picture; I didn’t yet know what everyone knows about him, namely that he was famous for playing multiple horns simultaneously. I just liked the tune.
 

 
Insane live footage is one reason to see the new documentary about Kirk, The Case of the Three-Sided Dream (named after one of his albums), and its insight into how myths and reputations are made is another. Kirk’s superhuman technical abilities—not just his gift for playing independent melodies simultaneously on different instruments, but his mastery of damn near every wind instrument and of the technique of circular breathing, too—actually counted against him, making his music seem like gimmickry, unserious and undignified show-off stuff. When people called him a “showman,” it was a euphemism for “freak” or “clown.” Really, what first-rate genius would play an instrument called the nose flute?

Well, just as, in William Blake’s account, God used his feet to make the tiger, Rahsaan Roland Kirk used his nose to make music, and he was fucking good at it, too. At one point in The Case of the Three-Sided Dream, when Kirk is making the case for the nostrils’ legitimacy as apertures of musical expression and chemical nourishment, I thought back to this rip-snorting performance at the 1972 Montreux Jazz Festival, where Kirk sniffed a thing or two during his set.
 
More after the jump…

Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
TV taboos: Things you can’t do on television, 1949 edition
06.08.2016
02:01 pm

Topics:
Drugs
Sex
Television

Tags:
censorship


 
I don’t know who wrote and photographed this guide to “Television Taboos” but it seems to have appeared in 1949, just as the new household technology of television was on the verge of staging a massive takeover of the American mindshare.

Taking a cue from the Hays Code that enforced strict standards of chastity and morality in the movie industry after 1934, TV producers after World War II were worried that a reputation for indecent programming would cause a severe backlash among the American viewing public. You may think of these censorious regimes as having died out long ago, Jimmy Fallon still can’t say the word “shit” at 12:25 a.m. on NBC—even in 2016. These taboos are deeply embedded. 

At the same time, it’s fun to imagine the gales of laughter you’d elicit if you tried to tell the producers of True Blood, Girls, or The Americans that they are henceforth forbidden from showing “too much leg” or sweaters that are too tight.

I really appreciate the tongue-in-cheek tone of the captions, which make a show of agreeing with the TV censors while winking at the reader (and showing exactly the things that TV isn’t supposed to show). Here are a few samples from the captions, all of which cleverly start with the word “TOO”:
 

TOO-HOT KISSING is a major television “Can’t Do!” Here she is wearing too little clothing. He isn’t allowed to put his hand around her waist. She mustn’t swoon.

TOO MUCH BUST is revealed in this shot, as you can see by the shocked expression worn by the director. Also she isn’t permitted to adjust her stocking on television.

TOO-GAY DRINKING scenes aren’t permitted by television censors for fear they’ll give the viewers some ideas. The actors mustn’t enjoy drinking.

 
Here’s the full magazine feature, just to remind you what not to do if you ever find yourself on TV in 1949…....
 

 

 
Much more after the jump….....
 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Sex, drugs and terrible things: Lurid and decadent poster art from the bad old days
06.07.2016
03:16 pm

Topics:
Art
Drugs
Sex

Tags:
posters
Thomas Negovan


A Socialist “Murder of Crows” poster uses the horrors of war for its political agenda.

Thomas Negovan, the gallerist behind the quirky Los Angeles-based Century Guild specializes in Art Nouveau and the Symbolist movement. He’s an expert at tracking down weird and wonderful things and now he’s offering new “Patronage Prints” struck from rare images from his archives. The prints are produced in small editions and prices start under $50. The idea is to support the research and also make it so that affordable versions of what would otherwise be ungodly expensive can be appreciated without spending your life savings. (And if you want to do that, no problem, he can sell you the originals.)

The originals of these posters are excruciatingly rare works on paper; in some cases, the ones Century Guild have exist in quantities fewer than five and they’re primarily in museums.  They’re true “underground” modern art. When they were created, they were meant to be destroyed, not kept, but their designs and sensibilities permeated the underground art culture and informed works that blossomed decades—or a century—later. Their common thread is that they were once trash, but we recognize them today as incredibly modern treasures—and the reason is because of that underground influence.

They’re printed on 11” x 14” archival paper. Order from Century Guild.


Decadent Weimar-era icon Anita Berber seductively reveals her heroin injection marks in a 1919 film titled ‘Prostitution,’ its racy subject matter disguised under the auspices of being a “social hygiene film.”
 

A giant poster celebrating a 1907 novel studying the life—and death—of Nostradamus.
 

White Slavery was a hot button in popular culture, capitalized upon in this 1927 “grand adventure” film by legendary political illustrator Mihaly Biró.
 
More mayhem after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
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