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Deconstructing ‘Sympathy for the Devil’: Hear The Rolling Stones in the studio, 1968
07.12.2012
03:30 pm

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The way the Rolling Stones classic “Sympathy for the Devil” was developed in the studio is well-known, with an almost real-time documentation (at least it feels like real-time) of the recording sessions shown in Jean-Luc Godard’s 1968 film, One Plus One AKA Sympathy for the Devil. The film featured long, uninterrupted takes of the Stones working the song up in the studio and the number’s basic structure is changed several times over before they finally hit on the sound they want (The rest of the film shows scenes of supposed Black Panthers, newsreel footage of the Vietnam War, pans across a bookstore’s comic, girlie magazine and political book covers and features hefty doses of Marxism and Maoism in the voice-over, this being Godard in the 60s, after all.)

The original sessions took place in Olympic Studios in London, between June 4th to the 10th, 1968. The working title of the song was “The Devil Is My Name.” In the film, the group goes through several iterations of the song, from almost a bluesy, folky ballad (similar to “Jigsaw Puzzle”) to the freaked-out samba it ultimately became. During the session, the words were changed from “who killed Kennedy?” to “who killed the Kennedys?” after the assassination of Robert Kennedy.

Although the song was primarily a Jagger composition, its lyrics inspired by the great Russian novel, The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov, it was Richards who came up with the song’s samba arrangement, playing both bass and lead guitar. The druggy dissolution of Brian Jones is seen unvarnished in Godard’s film, his usefulness in the studio coming to an end (he is not heard on the finished track). Rocky Dijon played the congas, Bill Wyman is heard on maracas, and frequent Stones sideman, Nicky Hopkins is on piano. (In the Godard film, Marianne Faithfull, Anita Pallenberg, Brian Jones, Charlie Watts, producer Jimmy Miller, Wyman and Richards are seen recording backup vocals, but the “whoo whoo” backing vocals were overdubbed in Los Angeles by Miller, Jagger and Richards alone).

Charlie Watts told the authors of 2003’s According to the Rolling Stones: “‘Sympathy’ was one of those sort of songs where we tried everything. The first time I ever heard the song was when Mick was playing it at the front door of a house I lived in in Sussex… He played it entirely on his own… and it was fantastic. We had a go at loads of different ways of playing it; in the end I just played a jazz Latin feel in the style of Kenny Clarke would have played on ‘A Night in Tunisia’ - not the actual rhythm he played, but the same styling.”

The Stones in the studio from Jean Luc-Godard’s One Plus One AKA Sympathy for the Devil. This is all of their bits from the film minus the Maoist sloganeering and Black Power sermonizing of the rest of it.
 

 
After the jump, the isolated tracks…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
My Little Pony crafted as a Queen Alien
07.12.2012
01:56 pm

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Artist Mari Kasurinen made this nutty My Little Pony version of H.R. Giger’s queen alien which is appropriately named “My Little Alien.”

According to Kasurinen’s Devient Art page, the Xenomorph queen pony is sold.

Via Neatorama

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Behind-the-scenes of ‘A Clockwork Orange’: Stanley Kubrick and his Droogie buddies
07.11.2012
04:37 pm

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“I’m going out with my droogs to the cinny to shove a pooshka into the grahzny bratchny.”

A round up of some behind-the-scenes photos from the set of Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange, 1971.
 

 

 
More photos after the jump…
 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Photos from the CBGB movie set: Way south of 14th street
07.10.2012
08:26 pm

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Here’s some shots from the set of the CBGB movie currently filming in Savannah, Georgia. The facade of the club has been re-created on Congress street in Savannah’s historic district. Set designers seem to have done their best to revive the grubby look of the Bowery in the 1970s but something just doesn’t feel right. Maybe it’s the way the Georgia sun lights up the streets and buildings with a kind of tropical glow. And man is that one shiny Yellow cab.
 

 

A fake Hilly Kristal (Alan Rickman) in front of a fake CBGB.
 

Paula Deen on the Bowery?
 
Via The Village Voice.

 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Richard Hell and The Voidoids in ‘Blank Generation’
07.10.2012
05:32 pm

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Ulli Lommel’s Blank Generation is not the movie it could have been but what it is will have to do. Imagine a lower tier Fassbinder lensing a movie about the angst and ennui of New York’s Lower East Side as embodied in the life of disheveled punk rocker Richard Hell as he struggles to struggle with an emotional attachment to a Godard-spewing French film maker named Nada (Carole Bouquet looking more like a Bond girl than a Bond’s girl). If life in the New York City of the late 1970s was this dull and depressing, we’d have all left for Brooklyn a whole lot sooner.

While there’s some good footage of Hell performing with the legendary Voidoids, there’s little else to indicate that there was a burgeoning music scene right up the block from where the movies non-action occurs. This was 1979 and CBGB was alive with the sound of music…and the aroma of beer and piss.

When he’s not singing, Hell spends most of his time sulking. But who can blame him?  With his dour Parisian girlfriend spewing lines like “What are you afraid of?” “We’re all going to die anyway, so who cares?,” who wouldn’t be feeling a bit blank. The bellicose ice queen Nada makes Nico look like Laurie of The Partidge Family.

Blank Generation isn’t a bad movie. It’s just fucking inert and filled with the sort of angster posturing and world weariness that makes you wonder if gravity has a heavier tug below 14th street. Ultimately, it’s all kind of inconsequential and as Richard Hell himself put it “there’s not a single authentic, truthful moment in the movie.” Still, you should watch it for Hell and the Voidoids, the best of the Bowery.

P.S. - I had a chat with Hell a couple of months ago in Austin. He’s a big supporter of film-preservation and was hosting a screening of a re-stored 35mm print of King Kong at the Alamo Drafthouse for Martin Scorsese’s Film Foundation. It was a thrill to see one of my favorite rockers looking and sounding good as he enters his mid-sixties. He was planning a road trip through Texas and in his black suit and boots he cowboy-walked down Sixth street with the self assurance of a post-modern gunslinger in a spaghetti western where blood comes in spurts and men do have names like “Hell.” 
 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Happy birthday Peter Serafinowicz!
07.10.2012
12:14 pm

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Best birthday wishes to Peter Serafinowicz, co-creator (with Robert Popper) of the all-time genius comedy classic Look Around You and the voice of Sith Lord Darth Maul.

He’s also in a class of his own on Twitter, using the 140 character social media tool like a laughter-spitting machine gun. Peter Serafinowicz turns 40 today.

(Peter, they’ll tell you that 40 is a “good age for a man” but they’re lying: It is pretty much a mathematical certainty that it’s all downhill from here and you get to carry that thought around with you from here on out. Aging. I don’t recommend it.—Richard, 46)

Below, the “Germs” episode of Look Around You, one of the smartest TV comedies ever produced.
 

 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
‘Screamplay’: An unsung underground classic
07.09.2012
06:38 pm

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Here’s a Troma film unlike any I’ve ever seen. Rufus Butler Seder’s Screamplay (1985) is an homage to the cinematic expressionism of films like The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari, Nosferatu and Les Vampires that really captures the look and feel of those classic excursions into the world of dream and nightmare.

Shot in gorgeous black and white, Screamplay is a murder mystery that succeeds not so much in its plot line as it does in its accomplished visuals and surreal atmosphere. Its a really original and exciting work from a director who only made one feature length film before devoting his creative life to “optically animated public art installations.”

The blurb from Troma: “Edgar Allen must confront old actresses, rock stars, and the police in the bleak setting of broken dreams in Hollywood.”

Enjoy Screamplay in its entirety. Its stunning.
 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Is this the best sign ever?
07.09.2012
05:32 pm

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It’s certainly up there!

Thanks to Patrick Browne, via Mark Wood.

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
‘Are We Not Men?’ The Devo Documentary
07.09.2012
04:50 pm

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It looks like director Tony Pemberton’s Kickstarter drive for post-production funding for his three-years in the making film, Are We Not Men? The Devo Documentary, has reached its goal and then some with about a month to go.

I just caught wind of the project myself, but my oh my if this trailer isn’t mighty tasty looking:

From their origins during the 1970 Kent State shootings, to their latest album and tours, this documentary offers a funny and fascinating story that appeals to generations of art and music aficionados. Featuring new interviews with contemporaries (Iggy Pop), and followers (Dave Grohl, Tony Hawk), the official documentary reveals the truth about this important and misunderstood band with rare archival film, private home-movies, and recent concert footage.

The ARE WE NOT MEN? film delves into the brains — and the souls — behind the concept, music, and spectacle of Devo. Sculpting its music, lyrics and visuals are two men whose personalities seem different but whose worldviews are the same: introspective Mark Mothersbaugh and outspoken Gerald Casale. It is Mark and Jerry’s cataclysmic, sometimes contentious, collaboration that birthed what we know as Devo. Rounding out the group are two more members whose position cements the group as a literal band of brothers — Bob Mothersbaugh and Bob Casale. Yes, behind the curtain of this art-school façade are two fascinating and sometimes fractious families, led by Akron, Ohio’s twisted version of Lennon & McCartney — with all the genius and precariousness that would imply. It is the stories of these men — together and apart — that drive the engine that is ARE WE NOT MEN?

I can’t wait to see this!
 

 
Via Nerdcore

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
60 minutes of old skool dance and reggae: Music and video mix (NSFW)
07.08.2012
06:49 pm

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A lot of work and play went into this one folks. Hope you dig it.

01. Bostich - Yello
02. Love Song - The Cure
03. Don’t Stop The Rock - Freestyle Project
04. Planet Rock - Afrika Bambaata and Soulsonic Force
05. Don’t Go - yazoo
06. When I Hear Music - Debbie Deb
07. Leggo The Herbman Dub - Small Axe vs. Terminal Head
08. O Darcy - Gaiola Das Popozudas
09. The Mexican - Jelly Bean Benitez
10. Love Bump - The Lone Ranger
11. Cookie Jar - Clarence “Scuzzy” Hoskins
12. I’m Your Puppet - Jimmy London
13. Bag A Wire - King Tubby
14. I Can’t Stand The Rain - Eruption
15. Dirty Talk - Klein and MBO
16. Hurricane - DJ Nasty
 


 
Animated gif via Colette Saint Yves.

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
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