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Unsung surf rock girl group The Trashwomen RULE
02.08.2017
11:54 am

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Heroes
Music

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San Francisco area surf queens, The Trashwomen.

The great Dave Crider of Estrus Records knew what he was doing when he signed San Francisco area girl group The Trashwomen to the label back in the early 90s. The group was originally conceived as a kind of one-off thing when they were asked to perform a live set of covers by 60s Minneapolis teen rockers The Trashmen. The glue for the concept was the talent of long-time smoking hot guitarist Elka “Kitten Kaboodle” Zolot who joined forces with Tina “Boom Boom” Lucchesi on drums and Dannielle “Lead Pedal” Pimm on bass—neither of which could play their assigned instruments at the time. Four weeks later the day of the gig arrived and according to those who were there to see it, their fledgling show was a success. 

The Trashwomen quickly released a couple of singles before getting picked up by Estrus that was already home to bands such as The Mummies; New York fuzz-freaks The Mooney Suzuki; Southern Culture on the Skids; and one best bands to ever come out of Bellingham, Washington (led by Crider himself), Mono Men. Sometime during their existence, the girls crowned themselves the “Queens of Tease Rock” and Zolot’s powerful riffs added an extra layer of cool to The Trashwomen’s smutty lyrics, like their nod to the usefulness of sex toys, “Batteries.” Playing up their tough vibe, the band was all about cultivating an image of a pin-up girl gang gone bad. Who instead of running away with the band, stole their fucking instruments and started their own groovy group.

Much more after the jump…

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All the excellent faces that Winona Ryder made at the SAG Awards are now equally excellent buttons!
02.03.2017
08:41 am

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Heroes
Movies
Television

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The many faces of actress Winona Ryder at the SAG Awards last week.
 
I love that the award-winning performance given by Winona Ryder’s face at the SAG Awards—or the faces that “launched a million memes”—have been quickly made into nifty buttons each featuring one of the many different reactions the actress had during David Harbour’s powerful acceptance speech at SAG as he accepted the award for Best Ensemble in a Drama Series.

Each button retails for the low low price of $2 and 13 bucks will get you all eight over at one of my favorite places on the Internet, the Globlinko Megamall. I’d hurry up though as I’m pretty sure that they are going to be as popular as the memes that continue to invade your social media news feeds. Photos of all the buttons follow as well as footage from the speech if you haven’t already seen that yet. Winona FOREVER! 
 

 

 

The many faces of Winona Ryder: THE VIDEO!

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Go back in time to when Led Zeppelin & Alice Cooper shared the stage at the Whisky a Go Go, 1969
02.02.2017
12:20 pm

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A show poster for a series of live gigs at the Whisky A Go Go featuring Led Zeppelin and Alice Cooper, January 1969.
 
Beginning on January 2nd, 1969, Led Zeppelin played a series of live gigs with Alice Cooper at the Whisky a Go Go on Sunset Strip in Los Angeles. According to Alice, both bands were still so under the radar that they took turns opening the bill by flipping a coin to see who would start the show each night. To support Alice’s point, a scan of an old print ad for the show makes a point to promote Zeppelin by noting that the band featured the talents of former Yardbirds guitarist Jimmy Page. Zeppelin’s set on January 5th, which you can listen to below, would allegedly mark the first time “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You” (originally writen by American songwriter Anne Bredon in the 50s and popularized by Joan Baez back in the early 60s), was captured in a live recording. Cooper was only 21, and Jimmy Page the oldest member of Led Zeppelin, was just 24.

The January 5th show was part of Zeppelin’s first tour of America and once again to illustrate the point of how unknown the band was, they had yet to release their first self-titled record, which was panned by some after it came out on January 12th. The first stop for Led Zeppelin in the U.S. would be Denver and a last-minute opening slot for a sold-out Vanilla Fudge gig (along with LA band Spirit) for which they were paid $750. Promoter Barry Fey, who almost didn’t book the band for the show, recalls how blown away he was by the band that was about to take over the world:

You didn’t have to be a genius to know that Zeppelin was going to be a smash. Oh, my God. People were going crazy!

The next day the program director for local Dever station KLZ contacted Fey telling him the station’s phone lines had been inundated by calls from people who had born witness to the first coming of Led Zeppelin, demanding that the station play their music. Fey headed over to KLZ with his copy of Zep’s eponymous (and still unreleased) album which the station would play over and over again for the entire day.

When it comes to shock-and-roll history associated with Alice Cooper’s reception by critics at the time, it’s not that much different than Zeppelin’s. Pretties for You, the 1969 debut from the group was also being beaten up by music reviewers including legendary meanie Lester Bangs who had this to say about the record in his review published by Rolling Stone on July 12, 1969:

But neither is there any hint of life, spontaneity, joy, rage, or any kind of authentic passion or conviction. As such, Alice Cooper’s music is, for this reviewer at any rate, totally dispensable.

Oof. After playing three shows, Page and other members of the group came down with the flu and so Alice Cooper would soldier on with the Buddy Miles Express filling in Zeppelin’s slot.

More after the jump…

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Girls on Motorcycles: Retro photos of pioneering biker chicks
01.31.2017
11:03 am

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Feminism
Heroes
History

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It really all began with the bicycle in the 1890s when wheelmen clubs across America started promoting the bicycle as a new sport—an enjoyable way to travel, exercise and spend free time. Similar clubs opened up in various parts of Europe, but while these were mainly the preserve of the wealthy and leisured class, Americans had the greater opportunity through the cheap mass production of bicycles, the space, the inclination, the time and the desire to get about on two wheels.

There were literally millions of bikes in the US by end of the 19th century. Very soon women were taking to the road and cycling their way across town and city and into history. The women’s rights activist Susan B. Anthony said something to the effect that the bicycle did “more for the emancipation of women than anything else in the world.” Women she said were “riding into suffrage on the bicycle.”

Not everyone agreed or was even happy with this. One crotchety dinosaur at the Washington Sunday Herald newspaper in 1891 described “a woman on a bicycle” as “the most vicious thing” he had ever seen. But like the dinosaur such attitudes soon extinct as once women were off on their bikes, there was no just stopping ‘em.

In parallel with the rise of the bicycle was the development of the motorcycle which was originally just a bike with an engine—though some had four wheels for balance instead of two. By 1903, Harley-Davidson sold their first motorcycles. The demand was soon fierce and companies popped up across the States producing motorbikes with thrilling names like the Marvel, the Indian and the Excelsior.

When the Indian motorcycle company added front and back shock absorbers to their motorbikes in 1915, the once far-fetched notion of long distance travel on two wheels quickly became a reality. That same year mother and daughter Avis and Effie Hotchkiss completed a 9,000 mile roundtrip by motorcycle from New York to San Francisco. In 1916, Adeline and Augusta Van Buren traveled across country on their motorbikes.

Now let’s just stop and think about these two long grueling incredible journeys. At the time there were no proper freeways. Most roads were dirt and dust. And women traveling on their own a century ago would have had to fend off unwanted advances and the unwarranted censure of every hick town they visited. Also, these women had to know how to fix their bikes when things went wrong.

By the 1920s a new generation of pioneering women bikers were taking to the road and traveling across continent. One such woman was Vivian Bales who became the first female biker to appear on the cover of Harley-Davidson’s Enthusiast magazine. Vivian was a little over five feet tall and and lacked the physical strength to kickstart her own bike but she still made a 5,000 mile trip across country on her flathead engine D-series Harley-Davidson in 1929.

Vivian wasn’t the only pioneering woman who rode into history on her motorbike during the 1920s. These photos of women bikers in America and Europe—mainly from around this decade—document the two-wheeled revolution that brought a new kind of freedom for women.
 
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Avis and Effie Hotchkiss, 1915.
 
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The Van Buren sisters.
 
More pioneering biker chicks, after the jump…

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Bettie Page, even more eye-popping in 3-D
01.30.2017
07:05 am

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Books
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Sex

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The cover of 1989’s ‘The Betty Page 3-D Picture Book.’

Though I’m sure the first thing you will notice about this book of photos and illustrations by Hugh Fleming (and others) of Bettie Page is that her name is not-so-curiously misspelled as “Betty” and not “Bettie.” The alternative spelling of Page’s name as “Betty” is actually fairly common, and its use can likely be traced back to photographer Bunny Yeager who worked with Page in the mid-50s. We also see the alternate spelling of Page’s name credited to Dave Stevens, the illustrator behind early 80s comic The Rocketeer and a Bettie Page superfan. In the comic “Betty,” the girlfriend of “Cliff Secord” (the Rocketeer’s alter-ego) was modeled after Page. Then in 1987 a fanzine detailing the bombshell’s real-life exploits called The Betty Pages became hugely popular thanks to its founder Greg Theakston. There are also other, more modern publications that also refer to Page as “Betty” including this naughty fetish book by Dirk Vermin that we’ve previously featured here on Dangerous Minds.

According to the introduction written by Dave Stevens, the photos that were used in the book came to him through a man named Walter Sigg who had a stash of color photos of Page in what Stevens refers to as “3-D,” many of which had never been seen before. Stevens’ mention of “Walter Sigg” is also curious as the only Walter Sigg of note that I able to conclusively identify was a Swiss graphic designer from Zurich. While I was frustrated by the fact that is seems Walter Sigg might not even exist, as Stevens’ notes in the book’s introduction color 3-D stereo slides of Page do exist and sometimes pop up on auction sites on sale for as much as $500 bucks. When it comes to the book itself, you can find copies of it for anywhere from $10 to $100 depending on its condition on eBay. I’ve included a few photos from the book which is an absolute must-have piece of memorabilia for any Bettie Page fanatic, below. And since this is Bettie Page we’re talking about, they are NSFW.
 

 

 
More Betty/Bettie in 3-D after the jump…

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The many hairstyles of Donald Sutherland
01.27.2017
10:05 am

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Fashion
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Movies

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Donald Sutherland is a damn fine actor—one of the greatest. He’s also got a damn fine head of hair.

Sutherland and his hair are truly exceptional—above Gielgud, Olivier, Bruce Willis and all those more or less “good” but follicly challenged actors.

You know, it’s hard to think of any other actor who makes his hair work as hard as Sutherland does in every single performance.

Just think back to his neat blonde-haired vampire-killer in Dr. Terror’s House of Horrors or hippie Sgt. Oddball in Kelly’s Heroes and his scary perm in Invasion of the Body Snatchers or that bad Santa look he sported in Hunger Games—Donald Sutherland is a man and a hairstyle with no equal. 

Now I’ve been a big fan of Mr. Sutherland since way, way back whenever. But I truly became an admirer of Sutherland and his hair after I watched him at an awards ceremony on TV when I was but a short, back and sides sometime in the 1970s. Sutherland was announcing an award for something or other and when he made his way up to the stage he revealed he was favoring one of the weirdest hairstyles ever. From the back it looked like Sutherland had one of his usual long-haired hippie coiffures. But from the front, his head was shaved back to the bone and almost halfway up his scalp thus creating a bizarre and utterly huge forehead. Sutherland responded to the audience’s shocked gasps by explaining he was about to appear in Fellini’s Casanova and added:

When Fellini says get a haircut, you get a haircut.

Over the years Sutherland has certainly had quite a few weird and wonderful haircuts—each in its own way helping the great and talented actor deliver an unforgettable star performances and many a film-stealing turn in supporting roles. Now in his eighties, I can think of no other actors (save for maybe Eraserhead‘s Jack Nance) whose hair has given as powerful or as iconic a contribution to movie history. If you don’t believe me, well, just take a look at some of these….

Now, I know, I know some of you will say but what about this movie or what about that film…but the truth is Donald Sutherland has given so many great performances, made so many superb films, that there are too many to choose from. So, this is not by any means a complete list but more a tribute to the man and his hair.
 
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It begins likes this: Sutherland in ‘Dr. Terror’s House of Horrors’ (1965) looking like the kind of headshot you might find a stylish barber’s window.
 
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More hairstyles of Donald Sutherland, after the jump…

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‘No Nirvana’: Jane’s Addiction, Sonic Youth, Screaming Trees & more live on UK TV in the early 90s
01.25.2017
10:22 am

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Television

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An early shot of Jane’s Addiction.
 
The Late Show was a multi-topic program broadcast on BBC2 which featured issues of cultural importance such as art, books, films and segments dedicated to more socially conscience topics such as military conflicts and religion. Not to diminish such things, they also featured live musical performances by musicians and groups such as XTC, the ethereal Jeff Buckley and The Stone Roses who appeared on the show in during its first year in 1989. In 1993 The Late Show broadcast a special called “No Nirvana” that featured a collection of what is referred to as the all encompassing sounding “contemporary American rock bands” that had previously appeared on the show. 

The title of the show was allegedly intended to be a joke directed at The Late Show itself because for some reason the band had never appeared on it. Most likely because they had suddenly become the biggest band in the world after the release of their 1991 album Nevermind. The grouping for The Late Show’s late-night Contemporary American Rock lovefest delivered was to say the least, a pretty solid knockout punch when it came to the lineup. Though they were part of the original broadcast, performances by Pearl Jam (doing “Alive”) and Rage Against the Machine (performing “Bullet in the Head”) are not included in the footage below. What you will see are Jane’s Addiction pulling off a great version of “Been Caught Stealing,” Sonic Youth’s killer version of “Drunken Butterfly,” Seattle grunge heroes Screaming Trees led by a long-haired Mark Lanegan doing “Dollar Bill,” and more from the likes of Belly, Dinosaur Jr. (with a nearly unrecognizable J Mascis), Smashing Pumpkins, Minneapolis band Sugar, and R.E.M.

Watch after the jump…

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Massive heavy metal murals of Lemmy, Dio, Alice Cooper and more on buildings in Bulgaria
01.24.2017
02:43 pm

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Art
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A huge mural of Motörhead vocalist, Lemmy Kilmister on the side of an apartment building in Kavarna, Bulgaria. Photo by Bob Ramsak.
 
Fittingly adjacent to the very metal-sounding Black Sea several apartment buildings in the town of Kavarna, Bulgaria have been adorned with the images of heavy metal heroes like Alice Cooper, Ronnie James Dio, Lemmy Kilmister and Joey DeMaio—the bassist for the only band metal enough to pull off full-body waxing, loincloths and manly jams all at the same time, Manowar.

According to Bob Ramsak, the proprietor of the blog Prian Café the idea of dressing up the sides of apartment buildings in Kavarna was spearheaded by the town’s mayor, Tsonko Tsonev. A major heavy metal fan, during his time as mayor of Kavarna from 2003 to 2015 Tsonev was instrumental in helping Kavarna become the “rock capitol of Bulgaria” by luring bands to play gigs in his hometown. In 2006 Tsonev started the Kaliakra Rock Fest which attracted the likes of Motörhead, Manowar, The Scorpions, UFO and Heaven and Hell. When it comes to the murals themselves, I wasn’t kidding when I said they were massive as many of them are at least two and a half stories tall. If that’s not metal enough for you, Kavarna is also home to Ronnie James Dio’s memorial statue. Like many of his headbanging peers, Dio himself was no stranger to Kavarna and he performed there on several occasions including while he was the front man for Heaven and Hell back in 2007. However, Dio was also a favorite son of Bulgaria for other reasons—specifically by playing an instrumental role in helping bring about the release of a group of Bulgarian nurses in 2006 who were imprisoned by the Libyan government for nearly a decade.

You can check out the murals below.
 

 

 
More metal murals after the jump…

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When Sparks formed a band with Franz Ferdinand: The best of FFS live
01.24.2017
10:21 am

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Music
Pop Culture

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Wait a moment. Hold it. Just back up a second. Let me see. Nope, we haven’t as yet covered FFS on Dangerous Minds. So, okay, let me sort this little oversight out right now.

FFS is the group formed by Sparks and Franz Ferdinand circa 2014 when they started recording their scintillating and perfectly formed eponymously titled album together. This glittering 24-carat nugget was released in June 2015 to rave reviews and promoted with a series of sell-out, headline concerts all across Europe and in parts of America.

So far so good.

But let’s hold on a second. For you see, in a way, FFS really all began back in 2004 when Franz Ferdinand, a four piece out of Glasgow Scotland, released their second single. This was a little number called “Take Me Out” which kinda put the band on the international playlist and hit the number three spot in both the UK pop charts and on Billboard’s Alternative Songs listings.

Apart from all the admiring reviews and sudden expectations, Franz Ferdinand’s single was heard by two brothers living out on the west coast of America in Los Angeles. Nothing too unusual about that except these two brothers happened to be pop royalty, Ron and Russell Mael, who for over forty have been producing some of the greatest most original and utterly delicious art pop/alternative music as the legendary band Sparks. Ron and Russell liked what they heard and decided Franz Ferdinand were creating a similar kind of original and utterly gorgeous music to themselves.

Sometime shortly after this, Ron and Russell (or Russell and Ron) read in the music press that Franz Ferdinand were big, big, big, big fans of Sparks. Now, this all happened around the time Franz Ferdinand were gigging in LA. So, word went out from one band to the other and a meeting was arranged “for no particular reason.” Well, probably other than to share a little mutual admiration. They met in a coffee shop and at the end of their little conversation together came the suggestion “We should do something together some time.”
 
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Now, Ron Mael describes this kind of coda as “Usually, that’s an empty kind of expression between bands.” But Sparks really got on with Franz Ferdinand and they liked what they were doing. So Ron and Russell wrote the song “Piss Off” which they sent over to Franz Ferdinand.

But like life, promises tend to drift with the pull of work commitments and personal relationships and well, you know. So, nothing happened until one day, almost a decade later…

Franz Ferdinand were playing in San Francisco at the very same as time as Sparks. The band’s lead singer Alex Kapranos was out wandering the streets looking for a dentist—Huey Lewis’s dentist to be precise—who he sought to fix some broken teeth. Looking for the right address, Kapranos suddenly heard a voice ask, “Alex is that you?” And lo, almost miraculously, there was Ron and Russell (or Russell and Ron) standing right behind him. And then they said, “Whatever happened to that project?”

Franz Ferdinand were about to release their fourth album Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action while Sparks had released their epic live album Two Hands, One Mouth: Live in Europe. This time Kapranos decided not to let things slip, “I remember sitting down with the others and saying, ‘It doesn’t matter how busy we are, we have to make this happen.”
Watch highlights of FFS on tour, after the jump…

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The photographs of pioneering Japanese surrealist Kansuke Yamamoto
01.23.2017
01:01 pm

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Art
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A photograph by Kansuke Yamamoto, 1950.
 
Future photographer Kansuke Yamamoto’s father, Goro Yamamoto, was a talented photographer himself. The elder Yamamoto had an affinity for “Pictorialism,” or the artistic practice of distorting or manipulating a photograph in perhaps a painterly manner. Yamamoto didn’t initially follow in his father’s footsteps when it came to photography, and preferred to spend his young years writing poetry. At the age of seventeen Kansuke relocated from his birthplace of Nagoya to bustling Tokyo to pursue studies in French Literature at Meiji University. Already a huge fan of surrealist-style poetry, at this time it is very likely that the young artist first saw the various surrealist works of art that had just started to make their way to museums and galleries in Japan. Inspired by what was happening around him he would quickly become the co-founder of the Dokuritsu Shashin Kenkyukai or “Independent Photography Research Association.” The organization was formed due to the disdain many Japanese-based photographers had for the limitations of Pictorialism. The group’s magazine Dokuritsu (or “Independent”) would be the first publication to showcase the young Yamamoto’s photographic works.

It is important to note that the artists who produced surrealist-style work during this time were routinely persecuted by the Japanese government and ran the risk of jail and imprisonment if they were deemed annoying enough by the authorities. Despite this, Yamamoto had already fallen under the spell of surrealism and it would become his artistic calling card for the rest of his life. When Japan removed itself from the League of Nations in 1933, harsh rules such as the “Peace Preservation” laws were put in place. If you’ve ever heard the term “Thought Police” used before, its origins can be traced back to this time in Japan as this moniker was used to describe the law enforcement, or the “Tokko,” whose members worked tirelessly to remove freedom of the press, free speech, and free assembly. Undaunted and unafraid of the consequences, Yamamoto and others would carry on.

Until his death in 1987 at the age of 73, Yamamoto would form many more surrealist-based groups and became a mentor and inspiration to aspiring artists who were members of the Chubu Photography Federation of Students. Much of Yamamoto’s work is included in the 2013 book Japan’s Modern Divide: The Photographs of Hiroshi Hamaya and Kansuke Yamamoto. I’ve included examples from Yamamoto’s vast body of work dating from 1932 to 1970 below. Some are gorgeously NSFW.
 

Self-portrait, 1950.
 

‘Stapled Flesh,’ 1949.
 
More after the jump…

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