follow us in feedly
‘Musica 80’: Impressive Italian rock magazine from the ‘new wave’ era
08.24.2016
08:47 am

Topics:
Media
Music

Tags:


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
Perversion for profit: Girlie mags from the 1960s
08.17.2016
10:00 am

Topics:
Media
Pop Culture
Sex

Tags:

019rogueoct64mg.jpg
 
After the launch Playboy in 1953 a deluge of adult entertainment magazines spilled across America. A “flood tide of filth” as one critic described it. Magazines like Adam, Dude, Rogue, Gent, Torchy, Candid, Twilight and Sultry filled the magazine racks. These girlie mags were blamed for the “promulgation of decadence” intended to corrupt America’s youth and make it impossible “for men to revert to normal attitudes in regard to sex.

Adult magazines were deemed as great a threat to the American way of life as Communism.

Compared to today’s porn industry—these jazz mags are tame. Codes of censorship meant models were more artfully photographed. Full nudity was forbidden—well, until Penthouse broke that ban in the late sixties and Playboy followed with its first full-frontal centerfold in 1972. The focus was mainly titillation or T & A.

There was always some moralizing religious do-gooder (like future financial felon Charles Keating, see below) who claimed these images encouraged perversion, fetishised breasts and were intended to “appeal to the sodomist.” With all this in mind, it’s quite remarkable that our baby boom grannies and grandads grew up to be average, run-of-the-mill, suburbanites.

Or did they?
 
016cavaliersep65mg.jpg
 
002paganmg.jpg
 
More from this ‘flood tide of filth,’ after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
A Covers Album: Front covers of New York Rocker, 1976-1982
07.26.2016
09:44 am

Topics:
Media
Music
Pop Culture
Punk

Tags:

001New-York-Rocker-1.jpg
 
The New York Rocker was a punk/new wave magazine founded by Alan Betrock in February 1976. It was produced by a dedicated, tight-knit group of young men and women—a “remarkable breed” of contributors—who had a passion for music that was outside the mainstream. They wrote feisty, opinionated reviews. They took their subject matter seriously, giving it the respect the well-financed music press gave to say Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, Genesis, The Eagles or any other stadia-filling corporate-backed band. The New York Rocker was hugely influential early on in identifying and promoting American indie rock.

A total of 54 issues were published between 1976 and 1982 when the magazine folded. It was briefly revived in 1984 but never achieved the same success.

Just looking at these covers for New York Rocker there’s a great sense of the history and in particular the incredibly high quality of new music that came out of punk and new wave each week during the late 1970s and early 1980s—the likes of which we may never see again.
 
002New-York-Rocker-2.jpg
 
003New-York-Rocker-3.jpg
 
004New-York-Rocker-4.jpg
  
More covers from the New York Rocker, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Hilariously angry NYC news editorial tells the ‘scummy’ Sex Pistols where to get off
05.19.2016
04:30 pm

Topics:
Media
Music
Punk

Tags:


 
I grew up in the suburbs of NYC, so I remember the news coverage of WPIX channel 11 from the late 1970s and early 1980s quite well. For one thing, WPIX had the best sports roundup, hosted by the acerbic Jerry Gerard.

This fantastic clip dates from May 18, 1977, and made an appearance on WPIX’s own Facebook presence yesterday, which proves that they have a sense of humor. In the clip anchorwoman Pat Harper (I remember her) throws it to a lady named Doris Lilly (don’t remember her), who apparently was “previewing” an appearance by the Sex Pistols, to take place at the Elgin Theater, that never ended up happening.
 

 
Did the Sex Pistols have a gig scheduled for the Elgin in late May 1977? Lilly says “later this month.” Please do weigh in if you happen to remember this.

The Elgin Theater was on the intersection of 19th Street and Eighth Ave., and later became the Joyce Theater, a notable center for dance. Interestingly, the Elgin was located just a couple blocks south of the Hotel Chelsea, the site of the final days of Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen.

It’s well known that the classic lineup never did play New York City—in that sense, Lilly, who passed away in 1991, must have died a happy woman. The Sex Pistols would have to wait until 1996 before playing their first Manhattan show.

In any case, Lilly wants you to know that she’s had it up to here with these scummy punks and .... just watch it, it’s great.
 

 
h/t: Ned Raggett

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
‘The Art of the Black Panthers’: Revolutionary designer Emory Douglas
04.06.2016
04:12 pm

Topics:
Activism
Art
Media
Race

Tags:


 
Emory Douglas served as Minister of Culture for the Black Panther Party and artistic director of The Black Panther newspaper from its inception in 1967. Douglas is unquestionably one of the most important artists and designers working in the political realm in the last several decades, and his work is a necessary component of anyone’s understanding of the lived experience of activism, advocacy, and resistance.

If you are trying to push an issue forward on the grass-roots level, whether it’s women’s health issues, the crimes of the 1%, or the candidacy of Bernie Sanders, the work of Emory Douglas is relevant to you.

Douglas was a native of the Bay Area; as a “guest” of the California Youth Authority (today it’s called the California Division of Juvenile Justice)—basically prison for teenage offenders—he was told to work in the print shop, which he called “my first introduction to graphic design.”
 

 
Huey P. Newton asked Douglas to provide the Black Panther newspaper with an effective visual style. Douglas and Eldridge Cleaver did many of the early issues pretty much by themselves.

One inspiration Douglas had was to mimic woodcuts for their ability to communicate ideas very clearly in a simple and stark visual style, an approach that proved very effective for his entire career. One factor that influenced Douglas’ style was that the Panthers could only afford one other color (aside from black and white), most of the time. So the picture would be conceived in a powerful black-and-white way and then the single color would be used to highlight some portion of the picture. In a way, it helped that the pictures weren’t too complex in terms of the color palette.
 

1969
 
Continues after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
The black magic ‘hexing party’ to kill Adolf Hitler with voodoo, 1941
03.28.2016
12:50 pm

Topics:
History
Media
Occult

Tags:


Florence Birdseye chants above an effigy of Hitler, 1941.
 
William Seabrook was a well-known occultist (and, not coincidentally, a buddy of Aleister Crowley) who in 1940 had published a fairly popular book called Witchcraft: Its Power in the World Today.

On a wet evening in January 1941, Seabrook and “a youthful band of idealists” convened at a cabin in the Maryland woods—they made sure to bring a whole bunch of rum from Jamaica, land of voodoo—with a single, lofty aim: “to kill Adolf Hitler by voodoo incantation.” A report of the event, complete with photographs, made for one of the odder features ever to appear in LIFE Magazine, under the title “LIFE Goes to a Hexing Party.”

The event had curious connections to the federal government, it seems. The tom-tom drums were borrowed, according to LIFE, from the U.S. Department of the Interior. Furthermore, LIFE described the group of voodoo practitioners as “respectable residents of Washington, D.C.,” and the cabin in which it all took place belonged to a man named Charles Tupper, who was an employee in a naval factory. The group brought, in LIFE’s words, “a dressmaker’s dummy, a Nazi uniform, nails, axes, tom-toms and plenty of Jamaica rum.” The dummy and the uniform were needed for the life-sized effigy that the group was going to create of Hitler.

One fascinating thing about this escapade is that the United States was not yet at war with Germany. That would have to wait nearly a year, when the Japanese attacked the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor on December 7.

The ritual, prepared by Seabrook, invoked a pagan deity named Istan and incorporated the following phrases, to be intoned at the effigy:

“You are Hitler; Hitler is you! ... The woes that come to you, let it come to him! ... Hitler! You are the enemy of man and of the world; therefore we curse you. ... We curse you by every tear and drop of blood you have caused to flow. We curse you with the curses of all who have cursed you!”

After every line the whole group would repeat, “We curse you!”

They also chanted in unison: “We are driving nails and needles into Adolf Hitler’s heart!”

Incidentally, one of Seabrook’s claims to fame was that he once ... dined with cannibals! According to him, human flesh is pretty tasty: “It was like good, fully developed veal, not young, but not yet beef . . . and it was not like any other meat I had ever tasted.” Not chicken?

It took several years, but the United States and its allies France, Great Britain, and the USSR defeated the Axis Powers in 1945.

Here is a gallery of images from this oh-so-peculiar event. Clicking will spawn a larger version, for all images not in portrait orientation.
 

Revelers make their way to a “hex party” in the Maryland woods, 1941.
 

Chief hexer Ted Caldwell intones an incantation. On the right, in dark shirt and tie, is author William Seabrook. Hitler’s effigy sits with its back to the window.
 
More of these remarkable pictures after the jump….......

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Lobotomy: LA’s greatest unknown punk rock fanzine, 1978
03.03.2016
01:48 pm

Topics:
Media
Music
Pop Culture
Punk

Tags:

kjtvi
 
Just when you thought that you have seen it all, there always seems to be just one more thing. Sometimes the universe saves the best for last, like Lobotomy: The Brainless Magazine, which was founded in Hollywood during the spring 1978 by Pleasant Gehman.

The Xeroxed fanzine became notorious in the Hollywood punk scene from its very first issue, when Kim Fowley threatened to sue 18-year-old Pleasant over the sarcastic and derogatory comments she wrote about him. Because Pleasant couldn’t afford to re-print her ‘zine, she hitchhiked or took a bus to the various record stores that carried Lobotomy and cut out the offending paragraph with scissors!

Gehman, who has written for every magazine under the sun and fronted three bands, The Screaming Sirens, The Ringling Sisters and Honk If Yer Horny, is now known sometimes as “Princess Farhana,” burlesque and belly dancing star, and is exactly as she was then: wild and hysterically funny, which are the main characteristics of her DIY “brain child,” Lobotomy. Lobotomy is the documentation of a demented teenage punk insider’s view of the early scene (mostly in Los Angeles, but also New York and London) with a MAD magazine mentality. Lobotomy had that special freak-out girl flair fueled by booze, drugs and FUN!
 
jbydiut
 
Chief photographer Theresa Kereakes, also a teenager, started her career accidentally by doing the first photo shoot for a friend’s new band…The Germs. She took countless onstage and backstage photos of The Cramps, Ramones, Blondie, Jeffrey Lee Pierce, Billy Idol, Joan Jett and many more for Lobotomy. Nearly four decades later, they’ve become some of the most recognized and iconic images of the early punk scene. This was in the wild west days of punk and publishing where none of this had any career possibilities or future and this all comes off in the text and photos. Truly done for laughs and love.

Theresa has gone on to be a real heavy hitter photographer working with David Bowie, Bob Dylan, Keith Richards and others before going on to work at Island Records and becoming a programming supervisor at VH-1 and Sirius Satellite Radio. Both Pleasant and Theresa were ticket takers at the Whiskey A Go Go in the 1970’s. You can also see her work on her blog Punk Turns 30 .
 
ybetgrt
Pleasant and Theresa, Hollywood photo booth 1978
 
jdjffdjfh
Typical night: party at Joan Jett’s house across from The Whiskey A Go Go with Brad Dunning, Lisa Curland, Pleasant, Melissa, Darby & Lorna of The Germs, Billy Idol, etc.
 
kuhtiyt
 
When I asked Pleasant how many issues there were in total, she replied “Maybe twenty?” which pretty much sums it up. She added “I was held together by Scotch tape and safety pins… I don’t really know!” Which is a perfect quote describing a perfect slice of wonderful teenage hysteria.

Keep reading after the jump…

Posted by Howie Pyro | Leave a comment
Remember: ALL albums are actually Aerosmith’s ‘Sweet Emotion’
03.02.2016
11:19 am

Topics:
Media
Music

Tags:


Aerosmith, “Sweet Emotion” (1981)
 
All albums are actually “Sweet Emotion” by Aerosmith.

I know what you’re thinking: “Sweet Emotion” is not an album by Aerosmith!

But you are wrong. All you have to do is look at gallery of album covers that can be found at the Every Album Is Aerosmith Tumblr.

I told a friend of mine about this Tumblr a few days ago; after he got home he wrote me a text saying that “Sweet Emotion” had come on the radio during his drive home.

All albums are actually “Sweet Emotion” by Aerosmith.
 

Aerosmith, “Sweet Emotion” (1987)
 

Aerosmith, “Sweet Emotion” (1979)
 

Aerosmith, “Sweet Emotion” (2002)
 

Aerosmith, “Sweet Emotion” (1980)
 
More sweet ‘Sweet Emotion’ after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Vintage Occult: This amazing Tumblr will satisfy ALL of your kitschy, witchy needs
03.01.2016
12:02 pm

Topics:
Media
Occult

Tags:


 
If the amazing Tumblr Vintage Occult is any indication, Satanists really need better tailors—so many of the people interested in the dark arts are young women who have inordinate trouble keeping their torsos covered. Then again, where there’s Satanism, there’s gonna be dozens of flickering candles, so I’m not too worried about them catching cold or anything.

Vintage Occult is the best thing I’ve seen on the Internet all day and I’m betting that’s true for you too. A voluminous gallery of images from old, tattered paperback books, schlocky magazines, and straight-to-video movies, midnight classics with titles like Blood Sucking Nazi Zombies or Queen of the Vampires (“La Regina Dei Vampiri”) or my favorite, Satan in High Heels, there’s just no end to the Vampira knockoffs out there.

In case you need the warning, this is probably not something you want to be checking out in your cubicle.
 

 

 
Much more from Vintage Occult, after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Every issue of OZ, London’s legendary psychedelic newspaper, is available online
02.24.2016
02:43 pm

Topics:
Art
Media

Tags:


 
We all owe the University of Wollongong a great debt, because they are hosting the only repository on the internet that features every single page of OZ, the influential psychedelic underground newspaper that was published in London between 1967 and 1973 after several years of an Australian version that was equally mind-blowing.

The newspaper featured an impressive roster of contributors, including Germaine Greer, Lillian Roxon, Barney Bubbles, David Widgery, Clive James, Edward de Bono, Richard Meltzer, Clay Wilson, Colin MacInnes, Anthony Haden-Guest, and Raymond Durgnat. Interview subjects included Pete Townshend, Timothy Leary, Jimmy Page, and Andy Warhol.

OZ magazine was edited by Richard Neville. Both in Australia and in the UK, OZ had to weather several serious legal challenges over obscenity. The May 1970 issue was called the “Schoolkids” issue; it featured a filthy comic strip in which Vivian Berger adapted a R. Crumb cartoon to place the beloved Rupert Bear cartoon character in an explicitly sexual situation (PDF link here). They were defended in court by John Mortimer, later the author of the highly successful “Rumpole” series of British legal novels. A few years earlier Mortimer had defended Hubert Selby for the Last Exit in Brooklyn trial, and in 1977 Mortimer also successfully defended the right of the Sex Pistols to use the word “bollocks” in an advertising display. However, Mortimer’s luck with OZ was not quite as good, and Neville, along with editors Felix Dennis and Jim Anderson, were sentenced to up to 15 months imprisonment, although the ruling was later overturned on appeal.
 

Issue No. 28, the “Schoolkids” issue
 
The art director of OZ was Martin Sharp, who was one of the true artistic geniuses of the psychedelic movement. He had been with the publication since its Australian period, and his many meticulously wrought, daring, and colorful covers and internal illustrations guaranteed that OZ would stand out from a visual perspective. Sharp also did the cover art for Cream’s albums Disraeli Gears and Wheels of Fire, if you’re wondering why his style looks so familiar.

OZ used to do this thing where they would transcribe the lyrics of new songs, so for instance, the September 1968 issue features the lyrics to “Street Fighting Man” and “Jigsaw Puzzle” which were credited as being “from the unreleased album Beggars Banquet.” The album was released in December of the same year.
 

 
Note: The first version of this post neglected to thank the Exile on Moan Street blog for the tip.

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Page 2 of 49  < 1 2 3 4 >  Last ›