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Kitchy vintage dishware with images of Prince, David Bowie, Robert Smith, Lemmy, Moz & more!
04.07.2017
06:21 am

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A vintage plate with an image of Robert Smith of The Cure and a kitty by Miss Scarlett of Dirty Lola. Get it here.
 
Today’s “take my money please” post features beguiling, vintage dishware that has been reworked to include images of David Bowie, Robert Smith of The Cure, Lemmy Kilmister, Morrissey, Prince and a few other famous faces.

Miss Scarlet is a professional illustrator who has also honed her artistic craft in the mediums of watercolor, digital illustration, and graphic design and she has really done a fantastic job of selecting ornate vintage dishes to use as the base of her clever designer “for display only” dishware. Which makes sense as the talented artist has also spent time working as a designer for the fashion houses of John Galliano, Dior, and Christian Lacroix. There are over fifty different designer plates avaliable at Miss Scarlett’s Etsy store, Dirty Lola that come in various sizes and run anywhere between $29.99 to $75 bucks. I’ve posted a few of the most covetable ones below.
 

 

 

 
More after the jump…

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Meaty, Beaty, Big and Beardy: Behold the hairy glory of the 2018 ‘Whimsical Woodsman’ calendar
04.05.2017
10:47 am

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Tim Wilson, a full-time Arizona wildlands firefighter and part-time model with his trusty chainsaw. All photo credits to Chronicker Photography.
 
2018 will mark the third year that The Whimsical Woodsman and Friends have published a calendar featuring photos of rugged pin-up dudes such as “The Majestic Mountain Man” and kilt-lifting bad-boy “The Wistful Warrior” cavorting in the woods and such.

While it would be relatively easy to dismiss this awesomeness as a purely money-making gimmick at the expense of body shaming the burly calendar boys, I’m not going to do that for many reasons including the fact that body shaming is reserved for low-lives and Internet trolls. Also, when you purchase one of the calendars a portion of the proceeds from the sale goes to support the Arizona charity Books to the Rescue, a cause close to the hearts of the calendar’s creators Chad Castigliano and his wife Jasmine. The organization provides services to children in crisis by helping to provide comfort items to first responders such as cuddly stuffed animals and of course books. If that’s not do-goody enough for you, the calendar also works pretty hard to promote body acceptance—something we all benefit from.

I’ve posted images of some of the manly men that will be a part of the 2018 wall-candy calendar below. If you’d like to pick on up for yourself or a friend, more information on that can be found here.
 

 

 
More after the jump…

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Duran Duran’s John Taylor stars in the sleazy skin flick ‘Vegas, City of Dreams’
04.04.2017
10:41 am

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The blog Preppies of the Apocalypse from writer, publisher, and lover of pop-culture Morgan Richter posted some amusing analysis regarding Duran Duran bassist John Taylor and his 2001 movie, Vegas, City of Dreams. The film was a direct-to-DVD release and likely made the rounds on sleazy subscription cable channels such as Cinemax and satellite TV in South America and the Caribbean.

Though Taylor has been clean and sober since 1994, he played the role of super shady “Byron Lord,” (geddit?) a character who straight-up oozed bad times, blow and booze with sleazy-ease. Perhaps Taylor ripped out a couple of pages from his own personal playbook when it came to finding the proper inspiration for his portrayal of Byron Lord. Who knows?. When it comes to the film, which also goes by the titles of C.O.D. and Marked for Murder , it was directed by Lorenzo Doumani, a casino mogul/filmmaker and the son of M.K. Doumani who owned the famous La Concha hotel in Las Vegas. In addition to Taylor, the film also includes a plethora of Playboy models in almost every female role, lots of sex scenes involving Taylor (including a little bondage action, hello!), post-coital murder and the girl everyone was in love with in 1989, Playboy Playmate Erika Eleniak. With all that going for it, how could this film possibly fail? Well, as Richter eloquently points out, “it’s mostly John’s fault.” Not even appearances by the great Joe Don Baker or actor Paul Winfield could help elevate this mess. In fact, there is at least one scene in Vegas, City of Dreams where, while Taylor is taunting Winfield’s character the actor actually looks as though he’s quite literally regretting his decision to be in the film right then and there. Oof.

After the jump, a sampling from ‘Vegas, City of Dreams’ featuring several scenes with John Taylor doing all kinds of bad stuff…

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Remember the Alamo: The lengthy list of crimes committed by the members of Black Sabbath
04.03.2017
09:37 am

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Black Sabbath clearly thinking about doing all kinds of illegal stuff.
 

“I wonder what jail I’ll wake up in tomorrow?”

—Black Sabbath vocalist Ozzy Osbourne musing about what might happen after one of his routine drug and alcohol induced blackouts back in the day.

If you could only use one word to describe what it’s like to be a part of the world of rock and roll it is this one: dangerous. First of all, the job isn’t really built for longevity, and it’s well known that many notable icons punched out of their mortal time clocks before they reached the age of 28 (aka, the 27 Club). There are the non-stop parties involving two good old heathen vices—sex and drugs, which at some point catches up with you in one way or another. Another job hazard of this (apparently) illustrious gig includes the occasional skirmish—or worse—with law enforcement. Let’s face it. If you’re in a successful touring rock band and you don’t already have a mugshot in your photo album, just wait. It’ll probably happen. And this leads me to the following breakdown highlighting the many crimes committed by the members of the greatest heavy metal band in history, Black Sabbath. And since Sabbath vocalist Ozzy Osbourne’s rap sheet is the longest, let’s start with him, shall we?

Though Ozzy’s bad behavior is infamous, he was apparently never arrested while he was with Sabbath, despite the fact that he was prone to relieving himself in places other than a toilet and was stark-raving drunk most days. Prior to joining the band, Ozzy held several strange jobs including working in a factory that produced car horns, a funeral home, and even a slaughterhouse. Since Ozzy and a straight job didn’t really get along, he turned to burglary to make a living. This landed the great and powerful Ozz in Winson Green prison for six weeks for petty theft after his father refused to pay his bail. While behind bars, Ozzy gave himself his famous “OZZY” knuckle tattoo using a sewing needle and graphite polish, as well as getting the two adorable smiley faces that adorn his kneecaps.
 

Ozzy being Ozzy in the 1970s. 
 
While Sabbath’s antics are about as epic as they come, Ozz would completely run amok once he was kicked out of the band in 1979. His arrest record would grow to include public urination and intoxication after he took a piss close enough to the beloved historical landmark the Alamo in 1982 (wearing a dress no less) that he was banned from entering San Antonio for a decade. This was also the same year that Ozzy famously bit the head off of a live bat on stage in Iowa. In 1984 Ozzy was once again arrested for public intoxication and was sent off to the drunk tank after being found completely inebriated traipsing up and down the streets of Memphis’ Beale Street entertainment district. In 1989 he was charged with the attempted murder of his wife Sharon Osbourne whom he tried to strangle with his bare hands while completely blotto on whatever he could snort, pop or swill. Let’s also not forget that before Ozzy’s wife Sharon took over as his manager during his solo career, it was her father Don Arden (known not-so-affectionately as the Al Capone of pop managers), who called the shots. Arden was quite literally one of the most feared members of the music scene in England and once hung rival manager Robert Stigwood (Cream and the Bee Gees) by his feet from his office window over a dispute involving the Small Faces. Damn.

When it comes to Tony Iommi and breaking the law we start back In 1968 when the buzz-killing police raided Iommi’s home in Birmingham and found *gasp* marijuana residue for which the guitarist received the British equivalent of probation for two years. In 1973 he nearly lost his life to an overdose, technically a crime in itself, at a Sabbath show at the Hollywood Bowl. And that was after helping his bandmates snort $75K worth of blow in 1972. In 1983 he blew up a bunch of prized carp belonging to businessman and airline mogul Richard Branson while the band was recording Born Again at Branson’s studio in Oxfordshire. Then he trashed drummer Bill Ward’s car at a go-cart track and let it burn after it caught fire. Iommi has a long history of getting his kicks by blowing stuff up which he thankfully documented in his 2011 book Iron Man: My Journey Through Heaven and Hell with Black Sabbath.
 
More after the jump…

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Of broken teeth & David ‘Boo-wie’: Iggy Pop’s endearing first Letterman appearance, 1982
03.31.2017
11:09 am

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I’m very terrified of this country, the USA…some of the values are so foul and so wicked… It’s very wicked the way people are restrained, and I’m in favor of something else.

—Iggy Pop predicting our current reality in his 1982 book I Need More: The Stooges and Other Stories

I make no apologies for looking for any opportunity to write about Iggy Pop. He is as close to a god walking among us and the only deity I’d be likely to bow down to if the situation ever presented itself. Today’s deep-dive into Iggy’s illustrious past involves his very first appearance on Late Night with David Letterman in December of 1982.

Iggy had just penned his book I Need More: The Stooges and Other Stories and was on the show to promote the book as well as his latest album, Zombie Birdhouse. After being introduced by Dave, Iggy jangles out onto the stage wearing bright red boots, turquoise blue eyeshadow, fierce black cat eyeliner, and blush. He spazzes brilliantly through the frenetic single “Eat or be Eaten” and then heads to the couch for the interview segment with Dave. And that’s when we get to the really good stuff.

More after the jump…

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She’s the other funky drummer (and every woman, too): Chaka Khan in the 1970s
03.29.2017
02:01 pm

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A young, fierce-looking Chaka Khan behind the drum kit for Rufus back in the early 1970s.
 
Unless a significant generation gap presented itself, I would find it hard to trust someone who was not familiar with the “Queen of Funk” Chaka Khan. Likewise, I’d probably have trouble hanging out with someone that actually didn’t at least enjoy grooving to a few songs from Chaka’s vast body of work. I mean, saying you don’t dig Chaka Khan is pretty much the same thing as hating on Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner or Donna Summer. And you don’t want to be that guy, do you, dummy?

Born Yvette Marie Stevens, Chaka came into the world in 1953, a few years before the Chicago music scene exploded once again in the 60s and 70s. Meaning that she was old enough to properly bear witness to the baffling number of musical acts making things happen then. I’m talking the Staple Singers, the Chi-lites, Minnie Ripperton and Earth, Wind & Fire. And this is just a small sampling of the kind of musical genius that surrounded the soon-to-be-funky-as-hell singer during her most formative years. At the age of eleven, Khan (who was still going by her birth name Yvette Stevens) was already performing with her first band, the Crystalettes along with her sister Yvonne. As she entered her teen years Chaka was exposed to the messages and activism of the Black Panther Party and at the age of fourteen, she became a part of the radical political organization. It would be during her time with the Panthers that she would acquire her new name Chaka Adunne Aduffe Yemoja Hodarhi Karifi. She became deeply involved in working with underprivileged youth in Chicago. Chaka soon dropped out of school and embarked on what would be a long musical career that continues to this day.
 

The “curve-some” Chaka Khan in action with Rufus back in the 1970s.
 
When she was discovered by members of Chicago band Rufus singing in a local club in 1972, Chaka was nineteen and already divorced from her first husband Hassan Khan whose last name she decided to keep. The timing was perfect as Rufus would sign on with ABC Records in 1973 with the enchanting powerhouse that is Chaka Khan at the helm. Her partnership with Rufus would prove to be hugely successful and the band would produce six gold and platinum records over the course of four short years. And that was just a start for Chaka as her solo career would arguably eclipse her time with Rufus starting with a song that propelled her debut record into the funky stratosphere (and one that everybody knows at least seven words to), “I’m Every Woman.” Here’s the thing, I’m only really able to scratch the surface of Khan’s compelling and complicated life here today, so I’ll leave you with my final thoughts as to why we should all have the love for Chaka Khan.

In 1984 Khan got the idea to cover a song from Prince’s self-titled 1979 album called “I Feel For You.” Highly influential producer Arif Mardin was able to secure the services of both Stevie Wonder to play the harmonica on the single, and hip-hop god Grandmaster Melle Mel to provide opposing vocals to Chaka’s. While Prince never released the song as single, it was a goddamn smash for Khan and the album as a whole has stood the test of time. By the way, as mentioned in the title of this post, Khan has always been a pretty great drummer, so I posted a short vintage video of Chaka behind her kit below. I’ve also included a number of images of Chaka Khan in action, as well as videos of Khan working her magic with Rufus live back in the day. Bow to the Queen of Funk, baby.
 

 

 
More after the jump…

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Wild portraits of Dali, Bowie, Jimi, Jagger, Bruce Lee, Basquiat & more made from junk
03.29.2017
11:22 am

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A portrait of David Bowie made out of junk by Bernard Pas.
 
French painter, photographer, and sculptor Bernard Pras has been creating pictures out of everyday objects such as toys, wood, clothing and whatever else he happened to come across for over two decades. Many of the finished products are remarkable portraits of some of the world’s most famous faces such as David Bowie, Andy Warhol, Bruce Lee and Jack Nicholson as “Jack Torrance” from The Shining.

Pras is very discerning when it comes to the selection process for his individual pieces—and it is that thought process that helps the the dexterous artist create a sense of life in his elaborate portraits and other works comprised of objects that he perhaps collected from Goodwill bargain bins filled with doll parts, bits of clothing and even food. I’ve included a nice selection of Pras’ portraits, one of which is quite NSFW which you can see at the very end of this post.
 

Jack Nicholson as his character “Jack Torrance” from ‘The Shining.’
 

Jimi Hendrix, 2000.
 
More after the jump…

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Iconic Raymond Chandler covers: The Complete Philip Marlowe Novels
03.27.2017
10:31 am

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0raymchan3.jpeg
 
Thankfully Raymond Chandler was a lousy poet.

Chandler started writing after he was fired from his job with the Dabney Oil Syndicate. He was vice president of the company. Made no difference. He was fired after spending too many days sitting in his swivel chair, foot-dangling, fooling around with his secretary and getting loaded. His alcoholism and absenteeism led to his dismissal. It was 1932. America was in a deep depression. Chandler was in his mid-forties. He had no money, no prospects, a worrying taste for liquor and an invalid wife to support. Chandler later said, there is nothing like losing your money to find out who your friends really are.

Chandler found out he had none.

That was when he made his most radical, most insane, and most important decision of his life. He decided to become a writer.

Chandler had picked up on the Black Mask detective fiction magazine. He read it and thought maybe he could write pulp fiction too. Chandler had once wanted to be a poet. It took him time but he eventually realized he was a poor poet. His poesy had too much verbiage, too much thinking and not enough doing. How different things could have been for 20th century American literature had Raymond Chandler stuck to writing verse.

Chandler decided he had better learn how to write. He signed up for classes in short story writing. He got an “A.”  He studied Erle Stanley Garner by copying out his stories to learn how they were constructed. He read Dashiell Hammett. He read Hemingway. He wrote pastiches of them all.

Hemingway, Hammett, and Garner taught Chandler how to cut the slack in his writing. He later claimed it took him two years to learn how to have a character leave a room or take his hat off. Simple writing, he discovered, was exceedingly difficult. His experiences writing short detective fiction for Black Mask taught Chandler everything.

After five years with Black Mask, Chandler wanted to move on. He knew his short stories were just thumbnail sketches for a much greater work. In the summer of 1938, Chandler spent five months writing The Big Sleep. It was the first of seven novels featuring his hardboiled private eye Philip Marlowe.

Marlowe was a composite of all the other private detectives Chandler had written. He plundered his back catalog lifting plots and storylines from his Black Mask stories. The Big Sleep used plot lines from earlier stories like “Killer in the Rain” (1935) and “The Curtain” (1936). Chandler was more interested in creating atmosphere than just writing plots. His novels were not whodunnits? but rather “whydunnits?” How Marlowe responded to each story was as important as solving the crime. Everything was refracted through Marlowe. It was a new way of writing detective fiction, one that changed everything—and one that would inevitably lead to the Gonzo writing of Hunter S. Thompson where the narrator is as important as the story he is telling.

I dug Chandler from the day I pulled The Lady in the Lake off the library shelf. Chandler hipped me to a world of action and a style of writing that changed my life. I eventually bought up all the Marlowe stories I could afford. Then through time and foolishness, lost them all again. Before Christmas last year, I picked up a boxed set of the complete Philip Marlowe novels. They were the same set of green-spined Penguins I had first started reading way back when I thought these the coolest books I had ever seen. Designed by James Tormey, the covers used colorized stills from original 1940’s Marlowe movies featuring Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Robert Montgomery, and Dick Powell.

About a decade ago, I snapped up another set of Penguin Marlowes, this time with iconic, minimalist covers by Steven Marking. Both sets of covers are cool but the contents will always be best.
 
1thebigsleep.jpg
 
7farewellmylovely.jpeg
 
2thehighwindow.jpg
 
See more classic Raymond Chandler covers, after the jump…

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The Kids are not Alright: Keith Moon’s 1975 solo record that made Brian Wilson cry
03.27.2017
08:00 am

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A vintage print ad for Keith Moon’s 1975 solo record, ‘Two Sides of the Moon’ that I’m guessing the Mighty Boosh have seen?
 
Today’s post is an amusing historical account of what happened when a record company (in this case MCA) decided it was a good idea to give admitted tone deaf drummer Keith Moon $200 grand to make his very first (and last) solo album, Two Sides of the Moon, back in the mid-70s.

As the story goes Moon assembled a powerful gang of musical accomplices including Spencer Davis, surf-guitar master Dick Dale, Harry Nilsson, Ringo Starr and Joe Walsh among others to play on Two Sides. The album also included cover versions of songs written by members of The Beatles, Nilsson, as well a song penned by Moonie’s buddy Pete Townshend, the anthemic jam “The Kids are Alright.” How could this heady concoction be considered anything less than a total slam-dunk? Not just for Moon but also for The Who and their legions of fans? Well, if you know anything about Keith Moon then the answer to that question is quite simple: Keith Moon liked to party. A lot. And so did Keith Moon’s friends. A lot. And that pretty much sums up the record for the most part.

Many of the songs on the album really feel like a recording session held during happy hour—which I’m pretty sure most recording sessions that occurred during the 70s were. I mean Black Sabbath hoovered $75,000 up their noses recording Vol. 4 in 1972 so there’s that. At any rate, Moon’s musical happy hour was full of talented booze-swilling rock stars armed with microphones and instruments. Which while that sounds like guaranteed good times, it didn’t necessarily translate to Two Sides actually sounding good. It’s also important to note that Moon only slugged away on his famous kit for three of the album’s ten songs and much preferred to sing. A term that should be used somewhat loosely as it pertains to Keith’s vocals on Two Sides of the Moon. It is rumored that when Beach Boy Brian Wilson heard Moon’s cover of the song he wrote with LA DJ Roger Christian, “Don’t Worry Baby,” he burst into tears. Now that’s just plain sad.
 

The cheeky back cover of Keith Moon’s solo record, ‘Two Sides of the Moon.’
 
While it’s easy to tear down Moon’s Two Sides for many reasons, it is not without its endearing qualities. Such as Moon’s cover of “In My Life” the 1965 heart-string tugging Beatles’ song written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney. “Solid Gold” written by Nickey Barclay of Fanny is also a highlight as it includes the sparkly sounds of coveted backup vocalist Sherlie Matthews. I also can’t hate on Moon’s version of “The Kids Are Alright” even though it sounds like it was recorded in a garage by a bunch of high school-aged rockers who were gonna “make it” someday.

As you might imagine the story behind the record is full of rock ‘n’ roll folklore such as the rumor that David Bowie provided backing vocals on the album. (For the record, he probably didn’t and Bowie isn’t credited on Two Sides either.) In 2008, Moon’s solo swan song was again reissued by Castle to include an indulgent number of recordings, 51 in all, including hilarious outtakes like Mr. Moon blathering about Judy Garland and ranting that MCA Records needs to give him more money.

More Moon after the jump…

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Mad nuns, torture, witchcraft, & Satan: Silent film ‘Häxan’ narrated by William S. Burroughs
03.24.2017
01:17 pm

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A movie poster for the 1922 silent film, ‘Häxan: Witchcraft Through the Ages.’
 
Like many of you, I share an affinity for topics of interest that involve the guy who should have built your hotrod, Satan. Given the choice between Heaven or Hell, I just want to be where my friends are. And my post today is about as satanic as they come as it involves possessed nuns; witchcraft; grave robbery; cannibalism as well as the occasional human sacrifice. If that’s not dangerous enough for your mind, then consider the fact that the unmistakeable voice of William S. Burroughs narrates the subject of this post—the mind-fucky 1922 silent film Häxan: Witchcraft Through the Ages, a flick full of all the sacrilegious subjects I mentioned above and much much more!

Initially, Häxan is presented as a kind of historical document providing legitimate information about the origins of witchcraft and paganism. It is also widely considered to be one of the very first films to do so in such vivid detail. Director Benjamin Christensen—a former medical student—even cast himself as the devil as well as making a brief appearance as Jesus in the film. However, before Häxan could be officially released in Sweden, Swedish censors requested that Christensen omit several scenes including a rather shocking one involving a newborn baby covered in goo being held over a boiling cauldron. Many of the depictions of witchcraft in Häxan were apparently loosely based on the results of research conducted by prominent British anthropologist, Egyptologist and folklore historian, Margaret Alice Murray in her controversial 1921 book by The Witch-Cult in Western Europe: A Study in Anthropology. Subsequently, after its censored release and being summarily banned in several countries, the film was heralded by members of the surrealist movement—as noted in the 2011 book 100 Cult Films—who called the film a “masterpiece of subversion.” 

Christensen’s care in making Häxan look and feel realistic truly knew no bounds. To reinforce its authentic darkness and to help convey the appropriate mood that is required for demonic possession he sent one of his cameramen to take photographs of the bleak, cloud-filled skies of Norway that he used throughout the film as a backdrop. His actors are genuinely terrifying looking and appear to be deeply tormented. In other words, Häxan looks like an actual snapshot taken in Hell.
 

A disturbed nun surrounded by an equally disturbing array of torture devices from ‘Häxan: Witchcraft Through the Ages’

Adding another layer of satanic panic related to Häxan is a story attributed directly to Christensen himself regarding actress Maren Pedersen who played “Maria the weaver,” a witch in the film. According to Christensen, when he discovered Pedersen she purported to be a Red Cross nurse from Denmark—though when they met she was a street vendor selling flowers. While they were in the middle of filming Pederson allegedly confessed to Christensen that she believed that the devil was “real” and that she had “seen him sitting by her bedside.” So enthralled was he by Pederson’s diabolical revelation that the director decided to include it in the film’s storyline. Presumably, because the power of Satan compelled him to, of course.

More after the jump…

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