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Anti-alcohol posters from Soviet propaganda-era
01.26.2011
10:32 am

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Amusing
Art
Drugs
History

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The Museum of Anti-Alcohol Posters showcases an array of posters from the Soviet-era. From a design standpoint, these illustrations are really cool, but I wonder if they were truly effective with getting their message across to Friends of Bill???

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See more images after the jump…
 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Ghosts Before Breakfast: Dada masterpiece by Hans Richter (1927)
01.25.2011
08:04 pm

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Art
History
Movies

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Dada artist and filmmaker, Hans Richter made Ghosts Before Breakfast (AKA Vormittagsspuk) in 1927. In it, inanimate objects come to life and rebel against their normal routines. Extremely clever use of stop-motion animation, it’s as if the art form is practically being invented before your eyes… because it kinda was.

A version of Ghosts Before Breakfast with a soundtrack was destroyed in the Nazi purge of “degenerate art.” The music here is by Nikolai von Sallwitz. His modern score is pretty effective.
 

 
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Dreams Money Can Buy: Surrealist Feature Film from 1947

 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Stunning Australian mug shots taken in the 1920s
01.25.2011
12:51 pm

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Art
History

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Intimate 1920s-era portraits of Australian criminals from the archives of the Sydney Police. It’s almost like these dark and moody mug shots came straight out of a Vogue fashion spread. Wonderful!

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See more photos after the jump…

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Brains not fists: Director Khalil Joseph and Shabazz Palaces salute classic black indie film
01.24.2011
03:14 pm

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Hip-hop
History
Movies
Music
Race

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Led by Grammy-winning ex-Digable Planets MC Ishmael “Butterfly” Butler—who now does business under the moniker Palaceer Lazaro—Shabazz Palaces have been turning out some opaquely produced, envelope-pushing tunes for a couple of years now.

Early on, almost two years ago now, they got director Khalil Joseph—who recently directed Seu Jorge’s “The Model” video—to put together something for their tune “Bellhaven Meridian.” Lots to love in the untypical video, including the fact that it’s one take. But Joseph takes an interesting short detour to recreate a scene from Killer of Sheep, African-American director Charles Burnett’s poetic black & white neo-realist film from 1978.

Depicting the trials of a Watts slaughterhouse worker, his family, and his community, Killer… went unreleased for a while due to the prohibitive licensing costs of Burnett’s proposed soundtrack. It was finally restored and resurfaced in 2007 and is available on DVD.
 

 
After the jump: check out the powerful scene from Killer of Sheep that Joseph mimicked…

Posted by Ron Nachmann | Leave a comment
Keith Levene of PiL on why he quit The Clash
01.21.2011
07:13 pm

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History
Music

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As some of you reading this well know, and others will not, Keith Levene, later of Public Image Ltd., was an early member of The Clash. So why did he leave “the only band that matters”?

Taken from an Interview with Keith Levene on the Punk77 website:

“Anyway, my heart wasn’t in The Clash sound at all—I remember going to rehearsals and just being so depressed about their sound. They got it so wrong man, they thought I was depressed because I was having a bad amphetamine come down. So it happened like this :one day, I get to the rehearsal room which is this dark, damp room—the band are sitting around, playing tunes from The Stooges and The MC5 and King Tubby’s Hi Fi on their little cassette machine, waiting for me to arrive cos I’m late as usual. We plug in and start playing, and I remember Joe Strummer poking me in the arm and going, “Look Keith, just what is wrong with you man, are you into this or not”. I’m not into it, so I just leave my guitar up against the amp, feedback howling back like mad, like white noise, and I just walk out. I can still hear that feedback whine as I leave the studio and walk onto the street. Fuck them. And they thought it was a bad speed come down. You wanna know the truth? The truth is I hated their sound. Even though I wrote some of their first album, I can’t listen to it. That’s the truth. There is the printed version of what happened, and then there is the real version of what happened. It didn’t bother me when I left The Clash, not at all. I mean, how could I be in a band which played songs like ‘White Riot’! Fuck off! What did we have to riot about? Then there were the fucking stupid lyrics like “No Elvis, no Beatles and the Rolling Stones.” Fuck off! I didn’t want anything to do with it. Then there was some bullshit like Mick Jones told me he predicted the death of Elvis. Bullshit.”

Tell us how you really feel, Keith!

Below, Levene with PiL performing “Chant” on a TV show called Check It Out before the group storms out of the interview.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
R.L. Burnside documentary: Watch the whole damn thing right here
01.21.2011
05:28 pm

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History
Music

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Illustration by Nathan Ota
 
Bradley Beesley’s nitty gritty documentary Hill Stomp Hollar is a captivating look into the world of Mississippi bluesman R.L. Burnside, his friends, family and record label.

Featuring Burnside collaborator Jon Spencer and fellow musicians Cedell Davis, Junior Kimbrough and T-Model Ford, Beesley’s style is unobtrusive, leaving it to the musicians to tell their hard-bitten tales.

While Hill Stomp Hollar focuses much of its attention on Burnside’s record label Fat Possum, who’ve been in and out of all kinds of financial and legal hassles, the thrill is in watching the blues legends talk about their lives and play their music. And the studio footage with the Jon Spencer Explosion is dynamite.

T. model Ford, a convicted killer, didn’t pick up a guitar until he was 50 and it wasn’t until he was 77 that he released his first album. Proof you’re never too old to rock and roll.

“My Momma told me if I messed around and played the blues, I was gonna go to Hell.” Cedell Davis
 

 
Watch the rest of the whole damn thing after the jump…

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Television Under The Swastika: FOX News forerunners in 1935?
01.21.2011
03:32 pm

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History
Television

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Of course Howard Stern got it right when he re-dubbed The History Channel as “The Hitler Channel” back in the early 1990s, but did you know that there actually was Nazis television programing going out three nights a week during the Third Reich? That’s correct, the German television industry was, in many respects, far, far ahead of the medium’s fortunes in either Britain or America. Most people think of television as “starting” in the 1950s, but this is simply not true. Before I Love Lucy, The Twilight Zone or Your Show of Shows, there was Deutscher Fernseh-Runfunk (AKA “TV Station Paul Nipkow”), which began broadcasting from Berlin in March of 1935. The story of the little-known history of Nazis television, including some downright bizarre examples of the programming, long thought to be lost, was told in Michael Kloft’s 1999 German documentary, Television Under The Swastika:

Legend has it that the triumphal march of television began in the United States in the ‘fifties. But in reality its origins hark back much further. As early as the ‘thirties, a bitter rivalry raged for the world’s first television broadcast. Nazi Germany wanted to beat the competition from Great Britain and the U.S. - at all costs. Reich Broadcast Director Hadamovsky christened the new-born “Greater German Television” in March 1935. And it was only in September 1944 that the last program flickered across the TV screens. For a long time the belief persisted that only very few Nazi programs had survived, but SPIEGEL TV has now succeeded in tracking down a stock of television films and reports which have remained intact since the end of the Third Reich. These include extensive coverage of the 1936 National Socialist Party Convention in Nuremberg which recalls today’s live broadcasts, and of a 1937 visit Benito Mussolini paid to Berlin. Interviews with high-ranking Nazis such as Albert Speer, Robert Ley and the actor Heinrich George are among the finds, along with numerous special reports (i.e. on the Reich Labor Service), a cooking show and the lottery drawing. Television anchorwomen greet their tiny audiences in specially installed television parlors in Berlin, Munich and Hamburg with “Heil Hitler.” The entertainment programs are particularly curious. Cabaret artists are featured - alongside singers extolling the virtues of the “brown columns of the SA and SS.” This documentary by Michael Kloft will reveal a rare and intriguing view of the Third Reich, one far removed from the propagandistic presentations of Leni Riefenstahl & Co. and the weekly cinema newsreel, yet no less ideologically slanted. This is Nazi Germany expressed in an aesthetic medium that we ourselves have only really known since the ‘fifties.

Check out the hottie/haughty blonde Aryan newsreaders! And don’t you love the way the Nazis elites show the little people how they should think and live their lives!?? Looks like the Nazis beat Rupert Murdoch to the punch on the FOX News formula he and Roger Ailes later perfected….

Originally produced for SPIEGEL TV in Germany, this English version of Television Under the Swastika was aired as part of Channel 4’s Secret History series in 2001.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Extraordinary photographs of Cape Town nightclubs from 1967-1969
01.21.2011
03:18 pm

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Art
Fashion
History

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The Catacombs, 12 March 1969

Extraordinarily intimate portraits of the denizens of Cape Town, South Africa’s “Les Catacombs” nightclub taken by photographer Billy Monk in 1969, when he was working as a bouncer at the club. Monk also took pictures of the revelry, which he sold to the subjects. Monk’s friendship with many of the people in his photographs is perhaps the explanation for how he got such “let it out hang out” type scenarios on film.

Monk’s contact sheets and negatives were found in 1982 by Jac de Villiers who arranged an exhibition at the Market Gallery in Johannesburg. Monk never saw the ehibition as he was shot dead in a fight two weeks after the show opened. Jac De Villiers has revisited Monk’s work and curated a new exhibition of Monks classic images and some previously unseen at the Michael Stevenson Gallery in Cape Town, from March 1 to April 9, 2011.

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The Catacombs, 1968

See more kooky photographs after the jump…
 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
When Jarvis Cocker met Michael Jackson
01.21.2011
02:11 pm

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Heroes
History
Music

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Well, it’s been almost fifteen years and Jarvis Cocker still hasn’t gotten his much deserved knighthood for jumping onstage during Michael Jackson’s ludicrous “messianic” performance at the 1996 Brit awards when the King of Pop implied he had the power to heal children and sick people. While the incident is well-known, of course, in the UK, this story is less known outside of Britain.

As Cocker told BBC’s Question Time in 2009:

“He was pretending to be Jesus. I’m not religious but I think, as a performer myself, the idea of someone pretending to have the power of healing is just not right. Rock stars have big enough egos without pretending to be Jesus – that was what got my goat, that one particular thing.”

Cocker and his friend, former Pulp member Peter Mansell jumped onstage and caused comic confusion before being led off by security. It was reported at the time that Jarvis “mooned” Jackson (that’s what I always believed) but this is not true at all.

The incident itself, which took place on live television. GENIUS!!! Even if you’ve seen it before, it’s still laugh out loud funny.
 

 
 
The police detained the Pulp frontman on suspicion of assault. A former attorney, comedian Bob Mortimer represented Cocker, who was released without charge.

Noel Gallagher, of Oasis proclaimed, “Jarvis Cocker is a star and he should be given an MBE.” Clearly the editors of the Melody Maker felt the same way. I was already a huge Pulp fan at the time, but this made me love them—and their lanky, fashionable and intellectual frontman—all the more.

After the jump, Jarvis Cocker’s press conference about the incident, Cocker looking back on the Brit awards stage invasion in 2009 and how the story was reported on at the time in Amercia..

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
An intimate video of Timothy Leary being interviewed by Paul Krassner in September of 1995
01.20.2011
04:47 pm

Topics:
Belief
Drugs
History
Pop Culture
Superstar

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Two of the planet’s most dangerous minds, Timothy Leary and Paul Krassner, meet in a video shot by Nancy Cain, Paul’s wife, a few months before Leary’s death.

There is an aura of sadness (perhaps mine) laced with much humor and hope in this intimate video. Understandably wistful and distracted at times (he’s dying), Leary becomes most alive when talking about death. He seems to be genuinely excited about exploring the psychedelic possibilities of the final frontier (or is it?), the ultimate out-of-body experience, THE death trip. In these moments you see the fearless shaman who always embraced expanding his realities, regardless of public outcry or legal persecution. And it is both moving and inspiring.

In an e-mail message to Dangerous Minds, Nancy reminisced about Leary and that day in September of 1995:

Paul and Timothy had been friends since the early days at Millbrook when the famous LSD experiments took place. Now that Timothy had inoperable prostate cancer that was moving into his bones, we stopped by more often to visit him at his home up Laurel Canyon. Even though he was not well, Timothy was ever the perfect host. On the afternoon of this interview I had tagged along, and Paul and Tim were happy to have me record what would probably be one of the last times they would be together. Paul interviewed Tim. I could feel the sweetness and the warmth that they felt for each other. The back and forth and banter was wonderful. Tim’s remarks about technology and the future still seem fresh and innovative today.

Among other visits with Tim in Laurel Canyon, I recall one Sunday afternoon with guests Ed Moses, the painter, Harry Dean Stanton, the actor, and Aline Getty, the heiress (by marriage). Aline was currently touring with Timothy, doing college gigs. They had a traveling psychedelic video show and gave a talk on the subject of death. They were both near it. Death, that is. Aline had AIDS and Tim had senility (so he said). They did a flashy good show, which I had seen at Chapman College in Orange County. That afternoon Aline was playing us the videotape that she and Tim shot the previous week when they were busted at the airport in Dallas for smoking a cigarette inside the terminal. They set the whole thing up (perhaps more of an art event, I thought), arriving in a silver stretch limo and video of them looking around the airport for a police officer to light up in front of. The nice young cop said, “Oh, please go outside to smoke—don’t do this—you give me no choice.” So Aline and Tim were busted and carted off to a place where the camcorder couldn’t go. They were the first, I think, to get popped for any nicotine-related crime, other than Connie Francis (smoking on an actual airplane). I think it was quite satisfying for them. Especially for Aline. Tim, after all, had already had some rather more astonishingly terrifying adventures, including escaping from prison and being a fugitive.

On an afternoon not long before he died, I recall Tim asking each of his guests to join him in a balloonful of nitrous oxide. At first I said no, but Timothy pointed out, “Why not?” He shuffled over to his closet carrying a gigantic wrench, pulled back the sliding door and revealed the hugest tank of nitrous I had ever seen.

During the political conventions in 1972 in Miami, there was a lot of nitrous. We had what they called E-tanks full of the gas. Hudson Marquez, of TVTV, scored it by posing as a whipped-cream artist. Nitrous is used to propel whipped cream, which I hadn’t known until then. An E-tank of nitrous, which is the size you see at the dentist’s office, is heavy but it can be carried. The tank in Timothy Leary’s closet would need to be moved on a dolly. Anyway, Timmy took his wrench to the thing and expertly filled the first balloon. “Here ya go. Take it back over to the bed so you can fall back if you like. But wait till we all get there so we can do it together.” We had our twenty seconds that day.

On the day Timothy Leary died, Friday May 31, 1996, on Channel 9 they said it happened a few moments after midnight. The news crew interviewed a friend who was standing out on Timothy’s driveway. She said that he suddenly sat up in his bed and said, “Why?” Then a moment later, “Why not?” He seemed excited and he died. Channel 9 then showed a recent clip of Timothy standing outside a club on Hollywood Boulevard wearing a jazzy black and white sport jacket. On TV, Timothy was disregarding the reporter altogether and looking directly into the camera. “Don’t ask me anything,” Timothy was saying. “Think for yourself.” Then he added, “And question authority!”

We’re pleased to share Nancy Cain’s video of Paul Krassner interviewing Timothy Leary (October 22, 1920 – May 31, 1996) on September 5, 1995 in its entirety.

For insight on the cultural impact of video read Nancy’s fascinatingly informative “Video Days.”

Paul Krassner’s homepage is a motherlode of wit, insight, provocation and counterculture history. Indispensable.
 

 
Previously on Dangerous Minds: Richard Metzger interviews Paul Krassner.

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
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