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Drawing dicks on Donald: Art exhibit elevates US politics to a juvenile level


 
One of my favorite single-serving Facebook groups is also one of the most massively puerile. Make of that what you will, I ain’t proud. It’s called “Drawing Dicks on the Herald Sun,” and it’s exactly as it says on the box—artists drawing highly improbable members onto photos printed in Melbourne, AU’s newspaper of record, the Herald Sun. As if to prove that 8th grade is forever, the page has attracted almost 400K followers, and has even become the subject of art exhibits. Their “About” page description is a masterpiece of parsimony:

Drawing dicks on things may seem immature, but in reality it’s hilarious. My fellow workmates and I get bored at lunch, these are some of our master pieces. Feel free to share your own, but please have some creativity.

The 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution has roughly the same word count and fails at that level of pristine clarity. FUCK YEAH, ‘STRAYA!

The latest exhibit elevating DDOTHS’s study-hall oeuvre to clean well lighted places is opening this Friday at ArtBoy, a pop art gallery in Melbourne’s southeastern suburbs, and it focuses on the coming US Presidential election—obviously a matter of global importance. It’s called “Doodles on Donald,” and it features newspaper photos of the Donald (and, presumably for balance’s sake, a Hillary) embellished with great big veiny monster dicks lovingly rendered in pencil, paint, and ballpoint pen.

Heh heh. BALLpoint.

Over 40 pieces by 30 different artists will be on display. Naturally every single thing to follow from here is totally unsafe for work (unless of course you work with cock). Artworks were provided by Larry Boxshall, the exhibit’s organizer, and also the director of a documentary about DDOTHS. Trailers for that doc follow the images.
 

 

 
More dicks drawn on Donald after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
Utterly bizarre commercial for an all-crying 900 phone line
10.04.2016
08:59 am

Topics:
Advertising
Media

Tags:
sadness
900 numbers
crying


 
There’s a certain unadorned beauty to the voiceover pitch in this commercial for a deeply puzzling 900 number consisting solely of shots of people crying uncontrollably on the phone. It probably dates from the late 1980s or the early 1990s:
 

What makes people all over America break down and cry like this?

Call 1-900-740-3500 and hear it for yourself.

Two dollars per minute.

If you’re under 18, ask your parents before you call.

1-900-740-3500

 
I think it was a “sob story” phone line, a number you could call if you wanted to hear sad stories. Are there people who are kind of addicted to sad stories, to the point that they would spend dozens of dollars for an hour-long session, say?

We have obtained the expert testimony of “Paul d” on a YouTube comment that “when I was younger I called this, it is just prerecorded calls where people describe sad stories, when I called a girl was talking about how her husband died in a motorcycle accident, me and my friends were like this is stupid lol.”

Anybody remember calling this number?

Also, where did they get the sad sob stories from?

Here’s the commercial. There’s an identical commercial with a different number, 1-900-9099-CRY, which you can see here.
 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Amazing (or goofy?) ‘Twin Peaks’-themed fashion spread from the pages of Sassy magazine, 1990
09.30.2016
12:39 pm

Topics:
Fashion
Media
Television

Tags:
Twin Peaks
Sassy


 
The debut of David Lynch and Mark Frost’s groundbreaking ABC series Twin Peaks occurred on the night of April 8, 1990. And for a solid year media-savvy people were capable of talking about little else. As a proof, witness this remarkable and unintentionally hilarious fashion spread that appeared in the October 1990 issue of Sassy.

Lynch and Frost were able to deliver their surrealist mindfuckery to an audience of millions by peppering their Pacific Northwest landscape with young hotties of both genders (Mädchen Amick, Sheryl Lee, Dana Ashbrook, Lara Flynn Boyle, James Marshall, Sherilyn Fenn) and a good old-fashioned dose of whodunnit. You can swallow a lot of WTF? when attractive people are caught up in a murder plot.

The Sassy spread was titled “Anytown, U.S.A.” and perhaps it demonstrates that the distinctively alluring tone of the series wasn’t all that easy to reproduce. Here’s your tryin’-too-hard intro text:
 

ON the surface, the quaint rural BLISS of dirt roads, diners AND sawmills. But underneath the age-old Douglas firs lurk mysteries EVEN the sheriff doesn’t know about. COULD be your town. Could be YOU. So dress the part in clothes that are INNOCENT and sexy, naive and SOPHISTICATED — a look that’s MEANT to intrigue.

THEN WAIT for the FBI.

 
Obviously the log lady pic gets the biggest LULZ here. As widely reported, the series returns on Showtime in 2017 with a cast of dozens.
 

 

 
More of these great pics as well as a fashion spread with the real Twin Peaks actors…...
 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Number 666: The Aleister Crowley issue of Flexipop!


 
I learned many things during my recent conversation with David Tibet (Current 93 and related projects) and Youth (Killing Joke, the Orb, the Fireman, Brother Culture, Pink Floyd, et al.) about their fabulous new album as Hypnopazūzu. One of these was that during the early 80s, a British pop magazine had, at Tibet’s urging, numbered its final issue 666 and put Aleister Crowley on the cover. Tibet had written the cover story, too, about the Beast and his influence on pop musicians.

Both Youth and Tibet seemed to think the magazine in question was Smash Hits, but in fact Flexipop! was the one that employed Mark Manning/Zodiac Mindwarp as art editor and concluded with the Crowley issue. Though I wasn’t there, Flexipop! seems much hipper than Smash Hits from my vantage point: Every issue came with a flexi disc, and alongside the shit (and not) pop stars of the day, they profiled quality bands like the Birthday Party, Pigbag, Motörhead, Bauhaus, and Killing Joke (Youth dropped his pants in the pages of No. 19).

Having reached the kabbalistically significant number 32 with their second-to-last issue in June 1983—featuring both Killing Joke sans Youth and Brilliant, Youth’s new band with Jimmy Cauty—Flexipop! made a daring editorial decision at its perch atop the Tree of Life. For the cover of their valedictory number, instead of Paul Young or Sting, they took a chance on this fresh-faced, golden-voiced up-and-comer with a song in his heart and an Enochian key on his lips.

More after the jump…

Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
Trading cards of some dangerous minds, deep thinkers & radical intellectuals

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For those with an interest in big ideas, these trading cards from Theory.org should fire up your neurotransmitters.

Between 2000-2001, a set of twelve trading cards was released monthly via David Gauntlett’s website Theory.org. This original set of cards featured theorists (and their concepts) from the world of social and cultural theory, gender and identity, and media studies. The first out of the pack was British social theorist Anthony Giddens who devised the theory of structuration and wrote the book on The Third Way. This was followed by theorist Judith Butler whose book Gender Trouble argued that “biological” sexes were just as much as a social construct as gender. Then came the great controversial French thinker Michel Foucault with his ideas about sexuality, gender and power structures. The deck included some interesting choices like artists Tracey Emin, Gilbert & George and concepts like Postmodernity and Psychoanalysis.

This official set of twelve trading cards was thought by some to lack a few key players and its release inspired various academics, students and alike to produce their own cards. These additions included Karl Marx, Carl Jung, Simone de Beauvoir, Edward Said, Germaine Greer, Walter Benjamin and Marcel Duchamp.

Described as “Creative knowledge you can put your pocket™” these cards can be used to play a game of trumps—in which players can match strengths, weaknesses and special skills. For example, Foucault’s special skill of happily rejecting old models and creating new ones, might not quite beat Duchamp’s ability to confuse the hell out of everyone.

The full set is below—but if you want to own a set of these super brainy trading cards (and who wouldn’t?) then deal yourself in by clicking here.
 
card01GIDDENS.jpg
#1 Anthony Giddens—British social theorist.
 
card02BUTLER.jpg
#2 Judith Butler—American philosopher and gender theorist.
 
card03FOUCAULT.jpg
#3 Michel Foucault—French philosopher, theorist, philologist and literary critic.
 
More thinkers and some big ideas, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Monster Magic Action trading cards from the 1960s are crude, colorful masterpieces
09.27.2016
02:47 pm

Topics:
Art
Media

Tags:
monsters
trading cards


 
“The Magic Lens is the secret of its action!” With this sentence the Abby Finishing Corp. lured kids to purchase its amazing set of 24 lenticular monster trading cards in around 1963. For the most part, we think of the pop culture artifacts from that time as being pretty cheesy, but these cards are anything but, incorporating a bold use of color and crude, arresting compositions. I’d love to see one of these take up a full wall in my house!

The lens seems really simple, just a plastic rectangle really. The instructions were simple: “Place the magic Lens ROUGH SIDE UP on picture, and wiggle both together; or place Magic Lens ROUGH SIDE UP on picture, and slide Lens only.”

As the 3D Review online magazine asserted about these cards, “When using the Magic Action viewer, the cards would come to life showing a flying monster’s wings flapping or the tail of a giant lizard whipping up and down or people fleeing.”

You can buy a complete set for $95 on Amazon.
 

 

 
Much more after the jump…...

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
The Eighties will flash before your eyes with these covers from The Face magazine
09.15.2016
09:59 am

Topics:
Design
Heroes
Media
Pop Culture

Tags:
The Face
Nick Logan

001the-face-the-specials-cover-issue-1.jpg
The Specials’ Jerry Dammers on the cover of The Face #1.
 
I had a weekend job in a small newsagents in Easter Road, Edinburgh, working behind the counter selling papers, magazines, cigarettes, sweets, ice cream and fizzy drinks. You got to know the customers by what they bought. The woman with the Pekinese who always ordered a quarter of Parma violets on a Sunday afternoon. The old drunk who chain smoked in the shop while waiting for the Saturday night sports final. The kids who thought I didn’t see them trying to steal penny chews when my back was turned. It was a fun job. I liked it. The people were good, the work was easy—if the hours long.

Every month a selection of magazines came in—some ordered for customers, some on spec. One month, a new magazine arrived. Glossy, bright, full of articles about music, film, books, politics and fashion. It was like nothing I had ever seen before. This was no cheap youth pop mag. It was well-produced, high quality, beautifully designed (by Neville Brody) with smart intelligent articles by a college of young, sassy writers—Julie Burchill, Charles Shaar Murray, Ian Penman, Paul Morley, and Stuart Cosgrove. The magazine was called The Face. I bought it and placed an order thereafter. This was in May 1980.

The Face was the pop culture magazine of the 1980s and 1990s. No other magazine (or weekly music paper) ever came close to the quality or content of The Face. It was edited by Nick Logan from a small office on Mortimer Street, London. Logan had previously been editor of the NME when he made that paper hip, relevant and essential reading. He then started Smash Hits based around a “vague notion of a kids’ pop magazine.” It proved to be massively popular. Its success allowed Logan to try out another idea—The Face.

The Face was the bible for most late teens-twentysomethings during the eighties. In 1983, I was editing a student magazine. This collegiate journal had been a languishing students’ poetry mag. Inspired by Logan—I reinvented it as a student version of The Face. I filled it with interviews featuring the Fun Boy Three, Annie Lennox, Blancmange, Aztec Camera, Spear of Destiny, The Young Ones, Julie Walters, Neil Jordan, Fay Weldon, Tony Marchant and anyone I thought might of interest to my fellow students. Of course, as a tip of the hat I had to interview Nick Logan, the man who inspired it all. I traveled on an overnight bus to London and arrived in the offices in Mortimer Street. This was how I described him back then:

Nick Logan was born thirty-five years ago in London. He was educated at Leyton Grammar School, London. He left school at the age of fifteen. He is a thin. Smartly dressed. Wears glasses. Not easily impressed—ambitious, modest, talented. An ideas man as much as a leader.

From school Logan worked as a reporter on a local paper, the Walthamstow Guardian. He worked there for five years turning his hand to everything “subbing, proofing, editing and layout” before joining the NME as a staff writer.

I wanted to know about The Face. Logan said:

“The Face is what I would have come up with if I’d had more time at NME. I mean we used to say, ‘What could we do if we owned the magazine?’

“The first issue was started on a kitchen table and half in the corner of somebody’s office. A part of it is still done at home. My house is full of bits and pieces of The Face. You can physically trip over it at home.

“My wife [Julie] looks after back issues, keeps the books, pays contributors.”

The Face had a small staff: only two full-time employees—Logan and Intro/Front Desk Leslie White. There was also designer Brody—who was responsible for “80% of the way The Face looked” and assistant editor Paul Rambali.

The Face was individualistic. It didn’t try to compete with the weekly music press.

“There would be little point in that anyway. What we try to do is offer an alternative view or take a different line on a subject which others might cover as well.

“What interests The Face is very much what interests the staff of The Face—though that’s not to say we approve (if that’s the right word) of everything we report on.”

Each issue took four weeks to produce. The first week the staff recovered “shell-shocked from finishing the last one” and started planning the next one. Features were commissioned by the second week. Then the layout began. During the third week pages were proofed, photos reversed.

“In the fourth week: I disappear to the typesetter in Kilburn so I don’t have the hassle of people coming in. Then Leslie and Paul come down and give a hand. It’s bloody hard work. I’ll finish about six. Eat. Go home and work till twelve or one. That’s when it gets particularly nasty. You’re no longer living. You feel totally worthless. Useless. You can say it’s only one week—-but doing it after 37 issues you feel really bad.

“The short-term ambitions are to get a few extra sales. get more ads. Get better features and photos. And more readers. It’s just been standing holding up the wall collapsing.”

It was all worth it. For The Face changed so many people’s lives. I know it changed mine.

Below is a selection of covers from the first 50 issues of The Face. Check out pages from The Face here.
 
002the-face-paul-weller-cover-issue-2.jpg
Paul Weller #2.
 
003the-face-bryan-ferry-cover-issue-3.jpg
Bryan Ferry #3.
 
More choice covers from the first 50 issues of The Face, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Sniffin’ Glue: The definitive first wave U.K. punk zine
09.12.2016
10:27 am

Topics:
Media
Music
Punk

Tags:
Mark Perry
Sniffin' Glue


 
In July 1976 Mark Perry saw the Ramones open for the Flamin’ Groovies at the Roundhouse and Dingwalls. A few days later he was looking for some magazines about his new passion of punk music and was annoyed to see that there wasn’t much in that line available. So he started a zine celebrating punk music and chose as its name Sniffin’ Glue, a nod to the Ramones’ “Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue.”

The full name of the zine was Sniffin’ Glue & Other Rock & Roll Habits. Created with a children’s typewriter and felt markers, it wore its amateur/fan status on its sleeve. Perry was working as a bank clerk but quit his job to start the zine. It is routinely mentioned as one of the most important and influential zines in a scene that quickly generated many of them. Sniffin’ Glue provided the first venue for the writing of Danny Baker, who later moved to London Weekend Television, where he documented the new wave of British heavy metal as well as acts like Depeche Mode. Perry’s lively volume Sniffin’ Glue and Other Rock’n'roll Habits: The Essential Punk Accessory, published in 2009, is very much worth a look.
 

Sniffin’ Glue founder Mark Perry
 
After a year or so of publication, Sniffin’ Glue’s circulation had swelled from double digits to a whopping 10,000—the project had gotten so big that Perry stopped the magazine after roughly 15 issues so that he could concentrate on his band Alternative TV, which made its debut at London’s Rat Club on September 14, 1977. Early rehearsals took place at Throbbing Gristle‘s Industrial Records studio with Genesis P-Orridge on drums; you can hear those recordings on the Industrial Sessions 1977 release. ATV broke up in the spring of 1979. Perry later started a band called Good Missionaries and ATV’s guitarist, Alex Ferguson, would join Genesis and Peter Christopherson in the original incarnation of Psychic TV in 1981.

Perry’s first mention of the Sex Pistols was a negative review but he soon came around. As he wrote, “The Pistols reflect life as it is in the council flats, not some fantasy world that most rock artists create. Yes, they will destroy, but it won’t be mindless destruction. The likes of Led Zeppelin, Queen and Pink Floyd, need to be checked in the ‘classical’ music section. They’ve got to make way for the real people and the Sex Pistols are the first of them.”

As Tony Fletcher put it,
 

Within the space of three issues, Mark had connected the dots from the Ramones to the Flamin Groovies, through Eddie And The Hot Rods and the Damned, and onto the Clash and the Sex Pistols - and Sniffin’ Glue had become the mouthpiece for the British punk underground in the process. Punk germinated underground just long enough for Sniffin’ Glue to become indispensable within the scene - it had already put out five issues by the time the Pistols swore at Bill Grundy on live television and punk exploded as a media concern. As Perry and Baker note of contemporary so-called subcultures, even that short a period of gestation won’t happen again: “everything is now exposed to the masses instantly.”

 
What follows is most (not all) of the covers of Sniffin’ Glue from its short but influential run.
 

 

 
After the jump, more covers from Sniffin’ Glue…......

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Remember when David Lynch used to do weather reports on the Internet?
08.25.2016
08:57 am

Topics:
Media
Movies

Tags:
David Lynch


 
A few days ago the BBC released its list of the top 100 movies since the year 2000, representing the consensus view of a whopping 177 (!) working film critics. Such lists are made for carping, and I’m not going to do that here, but a point of primary interest here is, What finished first? And the answer to that is David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive, which came out in 2003. Not bad for a movie that the director openly admits was two entirely separate project yoked together for no good reason…....

Be that as it may, let’s stick with David Lynch here. I’ve never lived in Los Angeles but I’ve heard multiple times over the years that you used to be able to get David Lynch’s weather report on the radio there every day or most days or something. I did a little poking around and it seems that Indie 103.1 was the station that presented this. Can anyone confirm? Was it really every day? How often was it? Please do chime in with your reminiscences.

On his website in the mid- to late 2000s, Lynch used to present an occasional video weather report for Los Angeles, which is quite hilarious if you stop to think about it. Few would dispute that weather reports are useful things to have—even Angelenos with their samey weather—and yet the utility value of a weather report delivered on the Internet for a specific location and updated irregularly—that’s pretty near useless and obviously part of Lynch’s whole Eagle Scout deadpan dada shtick.

All of the videos were shot in some workspace used by Lynch. A video would start with Lynch intoning the date and then looking out the window and describing whatever was there to observe in a meteorological sense, after which he would sometimes deliver the temperature in Fahrenheit and Celsius as well. They’re all well under a minute long.

The mini-project gave Lynch an opportunity to engage in a blockheaded poetry of sorts. Here, for instance, was the weather report for March 12, 2009: “Mostly blue skies, some white clouds floating by, muted golden sunshine, very still, 52 degrees Fahrenheit, 11 Celsius.”

There were occasional variations. In one early instantiation of the form, Laura Dern is sitting next to him holding a piece of paper that reads “FEB 1”—for that was the date—but you can tell that Lynch hadn’t quite gotten the kinks worked out yet.

No dummy he, Lynch himself made fun of the fact that he was doing this, as evidenced in this tweet from 2010:
 

 
Several of Lynch’s video weather reports, after the jump…....

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
‘Musica 80’: Impressive Italian rock magazine from the ‘new wave’ era
08.24.2016
08:47 am

Topics:
Media
Music

Tags:
Musica 80


Elvis Costello on the April 1980 issue of Musica 80: including features on Talking Heads, PiL, & Jonathan Richman
 
From February 1980 through April 1981 Italian fans of cutting-edge music were treated to Musica 80, a monthly magazine with a bold “new wave” aesthetic that kept readers up to date on acts like Nina Hagen, Pere Ubu, XTC, Killing Joke, the Feelies, the B-52s, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Joy Division, and the Cramps, among many others. The covers used a vibrant palette of primary colors somewhat reminiscent of the first wave of releases by the Flying Lizards (themselves the subject of a feature in the October 1980 issue, as it happens).

I’ve never seen a single page from the inside of any of its issues, and I don’t speak Italian anyway, but the savvy editorial hand behind the cover art and the choice of subjects make it quite likely that this was a fairly compelling magazine in its day. Much about Musica 80 is a puzzle, from the perspective of 2016. The magazine was edited by a man named Franco Bolelli, who appropriately enough was in a band called Alphaville that contributed a few brief tracks to a 1981 comp called Matita Emostatica, which is the Italian term for “styptic pencil.” Nowadays, Bolelli is identified on Wikipedia as a “philosopher,” and neither the American nor the Italian version of his bio bothers to mention Musica 80 at all. Unexpectedly, the English Wikipedia page for Bolelli is quite a bit more expansive than the Italian Wikipedia page, noting among other things that “among his philosophical influences he mentions Nietzsche and Taoism along with the game of basketball and rock ’n roll.”

The Italian Wikipedia page for the magazine—also very brief—states that “La veste grafica era poi affidata a membri della casa occupata bolognese Traumfabrik che per l’occasione si chiamò Topographic”—in other words, the visuals for the magazine were “entrusted to” members of an “occupied house” (I think this means a squatters’ collective of some kind) in Bologna “called Traumfabrik, which on this occasion was called Topographic.” Here is a reminiscence on Traumfabrik for those fluent in Italian or adept with online translation tools.

Most of the covers presented on this page are low-quality scans from this Italian blog post, and aside from that scans are very hard to find (I did manage to find a couple others). Judging from the covers alone, Musica 80 covered a pretty impressive swath of territory considering that they weren’t operating out of London or New York.

Perhaps appropriately, given its title, as soon as the year 1980 was over with, the magazine neared its demise as well. The last issue of Musica 80 was its 15th issue, which had a cover date of April 1981. If anyone has any information or especially decent scans from the brief run of Musica 80, please get in touch!
 

Inaugural issue, February 1980, the Stones in China—which they wouldn’t actually visit until 2006
 

March 1980: Eno, Zappa, Burroughs, Fripp
 
More after the jump…..
 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
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