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The kid from the ‘Balloon Boy’ hoax made a metal video. And, surprise! (not really) it’s awful

Heene Boyz Finger it Out album cover
The Fingered it Out album cover
 
Or should I say kids, because young Falcon Heene (the boy who never was flying over Colorado in a balloon back in 2009) has put together a metal band with his brothers Ryo and Bradford called Heene Boyz. As you might have already guessed, the young lads are being managed by the man very same man who orchestrated the whole balloon fiasco (with the help of his wife Mayumi), their father Richard Heene.

Falcon Heene, now eleven is the trio’s vocalist and brothers Ryo (age thirteen on drums), and Bradford (age fifteen on guitar) are currently trying to bill themselves as the “youngest metal band in the world,” a distinction that the Heene Boyz technically share with Brooklyn middle-schoolers Unlocking the Truth who are all now between the ages of twelve and thirteen, as well as Japanese band Baby Metal who are all about fourteen now. But I digress.
 
Balloon Boy Hoax headline
 
Their big song is called “Balloon Boy No Hoax.” A title that sounds exactly like it was written by an eleven-year-old whose name will always be synonymous with “Balloon Boy.” Remarkably, as the snappy title implies, the lyrics to the song attempt to denounce the fact that “Balloongate 2009” was a hoax in the first place. The boys even take a lyrical swipe at journalist Wolf Blitzer (“Who the hell is Wolf?”). Blitzer was the lucky journo who got to interview the family during a night when he was guest-hosting for Larry King on October 15th, 2009, the same day the hoax went down. When Blitzer asked Richard Heene to clarify what his son was doing hiding in the attic of the family’s garage, he obliged and asked Falcon (who was only six at the time) to respond. The kindergartner answered “You guys said we did this for the show.” (At that point, Richard Heene put on his best dog and pony show in an attempt to deflect Blitzer’s repeated requests to get Falcon to repeat the massive VERBAL BOMB he had just dropped. Heene got all defensive and the rest is history. Both parents spent a short time in jail and Richard Heene’s probation period ended last year.
 
Heene Boyz Balloon Boy No Hoax video
 
So without further adieu, here’s “Balloon Boy No Hoax” from the album Fingered it Out. And yeah, they made a video for the title track and it’s even worse than the song.

Yeah Mr. Heene, your kids are going to turn out just fine.
 

 
 
Via Metal Sucks

Posted by Cherrybomb | Discussion
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The roots of San Francisco punk: The Deaf Club, 1978-1980
10.22.2014
11:38 am

Topics:
Music
Punk

Tags:
Dead Kennedys
Tuxedomoon
The Deaf Club


 
When punk hit San Francisco in the late 1970s, it needed a venue. Typically, the S.F. venues generally gave punk the cold shoulder, so a more creative solution proved necessary. Robert Hanrahan, manager of The Offs, was able to take over what had actually been a club for the deaf that had existed in that location (16th and Valencia) since the 1930s and turned it into a vital, scorching venue for bands like Dead Kennedys, D.O.A., The Subhumans, Tuxedomoon, X, Flipper, and The Germs. It didn’t last long, but while it was open it provided the Bay Area punk scene with its first legendary venue. It opened on December 9, 1978 and closed in the mid- to late 1980. As Jello Biafra himself said, “The magic of the Deaf Club was its intimate sweaty atmosphere, kind of like a great big house party.”
 

 
Robert Hanrahan remembered finding the place: “I bought a burrito at La Cumbre and noticed a sign on the fire escape across the street. It said ‘Hall for Rent.’ I went up the flights of stairs and saw two guys watching TV with the sound off. After a very short while, I realized we weren’t going to communicate, so I wrote on a piece of paper that I wanted to rent the place. Bill—I never knew his last name—was a mustachioed, lascivious, cigar-chewing character who apparently was in charge. He wrote ‘OK & $250,’ so I wrote ‘OK.’”

On Found S.F., there is an invaluable page describing some of the history of the Deaf Club. The first show featured The Offs, The Mutants, and On the Rag. The show was “dark & very crowded.” Sensing a fracas, the cops showed up but didn’t stick around. My favorite bit from account of the first night: “Lots of hand signals between old & young club members.”
 

 
A possibly unique aspect of the club was the constant presence of actual deaf people in the hall, who didn’t know what to make of their unruly musical cohorts—but counterintuitively, they did seem to enjoy the music. Indeed, punk music might be tailor-made for deaf people to enjoy, because of the constant frenetic thudding of the 4/4 beat that can be sensed as vibrations. As Penelope Houston of The Avengers said, “It was kind of amazing. I think they were dancing to the vibrations. The deaf people were amused that all these punks wanted to come in and rent their room and have these shows.” According to artist Winston Smith, “They put their hands on the table and they could hear the music. It was music they could appreciate because it was so loud.”
 

 
Nothing was easy for a venue like the Deaf Club, whose main strategy for staying open was to keep a low profile. Essentially it was scarcely known outside the punk community. The cops, however, frequently instigated temporary closures due to complaints about the noise from neighbors. The Chicano community in the vicinity “resented what they considered a “punk invasion” of their territory — like one night 3 young machos gangbusted up the stairs & immediately started slugging men & women alike until they were finally forced out by sheer numbers of a surprised/rallied crowd just drinking & dancing.”

In 1980 Gammon Records released Can You Hear Me? Music from the Deaf Club, a compilation featuring many of the club’s mainstays, including the Offs, the Mutants, Pink Section, Dead Kennedys, and so forth. In 2004 the Dead Kennedys released Live at the Deaf Club. Interesting aspects of the show include the purportedly “disco version” of “Kill the Poor” as well as their closing covers—the Beatles’ “Back in the U.S.S.R.” and Elvis’ “Viva Las Vegas.”
 
Some terrific full-length concerts from the Deaf Club after the jump…...
 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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Troma classics ‘Surf Nazis Must Die’ and ‘Street Trash’ soundtracks released on vinyl
10.22.2014
10:53 am

Topics:
Movies
Music

Tags:
soundtracks
Troma

Surf Nazis Must Die album cover
 
Troma fans, B movie freaks and 80’s kids rejoice! The first physical release for the soundtracks of two 1987 cult films, Surf Nazis Must Die and Street Trash are now available to spin on your very own turntable. Neither synthed-out soundtrack has ever been available before, unless of course you’re the proud owner of a beat-up bootlegged cassette you’ve been holding onto since high school.

The first pressing for Surf Nazis (composed by Jon McCallum who also did the soundtrack for the equally excellent Miami Connection), was limited to 1000 copies. 800 were pressed on standard black 180 gram vinyl and another 200 blue and red “Blood in the Water” colored variations were distributed at random by Strange Disc Records, in a gorgeous old-school gatefold for which McCallum also did the stunning cover art for. If you are a lover of movie soundtracks and vinyl, this one can still be had for the low price of $20 over at Strange Disc’s online store. 400 copies of a cassette version of the soundtrack were also released exclusively on Cassette Store Day this year (September 27th), and are available now for seven bucks over at one of my favorite record labels, Light in the Attic.
 
Street Trash album cover
 
The movie soundtrack for the greatest movie Troma ever made, the gloriously gross Street Trash also saw the light of day for the first time last month, and the pressing will not disappoint the movies die-hard fans. Composed by Rick Ulfik, the album is being distributed by Lunaris Records for a mere $20 bucks and is available in standard black, opaque yellow, and a color called “Toilet Blue” in honor of the infamous Street Trash toilet melt-down scene. The release includes liner notes from Ulfik, the single “We Do Things My Way” written by producer Tony Camillo (who’s worked with everyone from Stevie Wonder to Parliament) and is performed by actor Tony Darrow (who Martin Scorsese cast in Goodfellas after seeing his performance in Street Trash). It’s also available on cassette for eight bucks. Squeee! If you are a vinyl addict like me, you may want to sit down while viewing the following images and the video trailer heralding the Surf Nazis release.
 
Surf Nazis Must Die Blood in the Water colored vinyl
 
Surf Nazis Must Die cassette
 
Street Trash
Street Trash “toilet blue” vinyl
 

Posted by Cherrybomb | Discussion
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Q: Are We Not Men? The origins of DEVO’s theory of De-Evolution!
10.21.2014
07:18 pm

Topics:
Kooks
Music

Tags:
DEVO


 
The concept of De-Evolution, the guiding philosophy of DEVO, dates back way past 1972 Ohio. In fact it officially dates back in print to 1924 Ohio when Rev. BH Shadduck (PhD!) published his wild anti-evolution booklet Jocko-Homo Heavenbound (aka Jocko-Homo Heaven-Bound King of the Zoo). The book and the many followup books published by his Jocko-Homo Pub. Co. were popular in his lifetime, but then sat dormant for decades waiting to be rediscovered. Gerald Casale was a student at Kent State who’d been using the term “De-Evolution” before he met fellow student Mark Mothersbaugh in 1970. But it was Mothersbaugh who owned the Jocko-Homo booklet and introduced it to Casale, and here the embryonic DEVO truly began to devolve.
 
kdieksl
 
Rev. B.H. Shadduck (1869-1950) was many things in his day, an officer in the Salvation Army, Deacon and Elder in the Methodist church, Doctor of Philosophy, Christian apologist, public speaker, vocal critic of the teachings of the Jehovah’s Witnesses and vigilant refuter of evolution, but he is best remembered today for his series of clearly insane religious pamphlets.
 
cleakng
 
Brought up in a non religious household. He once stated that his father was an infidel:

I didn’t know what church or Sunday school was.  With no one to teach me of the way of God, I naturally grew up wild.  My first trip to church was to satisfy curiosity, and if I went afterward it was to escape some disagreeable (farm) work that father had for us on Sunday.

On February 6, 1888, after four months as a Salvation Army soldier, eighteen-year-old B. H. Shadduck was accepted as an officer in their organization at Ashtabula, Ohio.  Four years later he wrote—among numerous other lyrics put to the melodies of popular songs of the day—“The Great Judgment Morning,” a gospel standard that has appeared in dozens of hymnals and was recorded by country great Roy Acuff in 1941. He left the Salvation Army in 1893 after getting married, soon after commencing an affiliation with the Methodist church. As a Methodist pastor, Shadduck served churches largely in West Virginia and Ohio.  His influence would perhaps have been confined to this territory had not two particular incidents sparked a prolonged response from him.

The first was the unveiling of The Chrysalis, a sculpture of a man emerging from an ape ‘cocoon’, in West Side Unitarian, a liberal New York City church, in 1924. Dr. Shadduck was so revulsed at the thought of evolution supplanting Biblical creation even within church walls that he responded with the publication of Jocko-Homo Heavenbound which featured a disparaging pen-and-ink rendition of The Chrysalis on its cover with an added, angelic apparition emerging from the man-ape. Though written with his characteristically homespun wit, Shadduck soberly addressed the fallacies of evolutionary theories in the light of the scriptures as well as commonly-held scientific fact. A 32-page booklet with color covers and several full-page cartoons by F. W. Alden (of Waukesha, Wisconsin), Jocko-Homo (“ape-man”) Heavenbound, was a runaway seller, going through ten reprintings and being distributed throughout much of the United States and Canada. It was favorably reviewed in a number of Christian journals of the day, but some ‘modern’ churches refused to endorse Shadduck’s book.

The following year, Darwin’s theory of evolution drew nationwide attention with “the Scopes Monkey Trial” in Dayton, Tennessee in which prosecuting attorney William Jennings Bryan upheld Biblical creation and defense attorney Clarence Darrow argued for evolution. Though Bryan won the trial, he grew ill and died five days after its end, and evolution had clearly more than a foothold in the mind of “Christian America.”

 
Ironically, B. H. Shadduck’s publishing base of operations was latterly held in Ashtabula, Ohio, the birthplace of Clarence Darrow (and of Miriam Linna, future Cramps drummer who was, incidentally, the first human to distribute the first homemade DEVO single of “Jocko Homo” to New York record stores).
 
lfvvsdoh
 
Having found one of Shadduck’s books The Toadstool Among the Tombs in the mid 1990’s,  I immediately purchased it due to the amazing cover which features a bizarre mushroom-man with glasses growing out of the ground in a graveyard. As I flipped through to the back I saw the words “Jocko-Homo” and was floored, having found the secret of my own De-Evolution idols, DEVO, who I had originally seen on their first visit to New York City in 1976 and immediately loved (I was later in the “Come Back Jonee” video).

It had to come from somewhere, and where better than some anti-evolutionist nut’s Bible thumping 1920’s cartoon series? The art is incredible and the most amazing thing of all is the snide, almost nasty, looking down his nose humor of B.H. Shadduck’s “characteristically homespun wit,” is so similar to DEVO’s own.
 
jdkjdd
1974
 
Of course the hunt for more of these books was on and eventually I found the holy grail of Shadduck’s books, his first, the one Mark Mothersbaugh had, Jocko-Homo Heavenbound. It just astounded me, and still does. You can trace much of their outlook, their sort of finger-wagging “shame on you, stupid” stance and even the “Devolutionary Oath” revealed in Devo’s 1976 film, In The Beginning Was The End: The Truth About De-Evolution is “borrowed” from Shadduck’s writings.

Devolutionary Oath:
wear gaudy colors or avoid display
lay a million eggs or give birth to one
the fittest shall survive yet the unfit may live
be like your ancestors or be different
we must repeat!

 
ncfhfjdsk
 
Halfway through the Jocko-Homo book Shadduck mocks the supposed chaos and ambivalence of evolutionary science by listing its supposed rules:

1- Be like your ancestors or be different.
2- The fittest shall survive and the unfit may live.
3- Grow big or stay little; either will help you survive or not.
4- That your family may survive, lay a million eggs or give birth to one.
5- Unused organs shall disappear or persist.
6- Rudimentary organs are what you have had or what you will have.
7- Win a mate by combat or not; it will help the family survive, or not.
8- Polygamy will help survival, unless you prefer to mate in pairs.
9- Fight your neighbors or unite with them; one way or the other will help.
10- Wear gaudy colors or avoid display, so shall your family survive.
11- Develop legs, wings, tail, horns, shells or not; they will help, or not.
12- Remember, it’s a THEORY. Don’t let any man see you MAKING wings out of warts or Adams out of apes.

Sounds familiar, right?
 
kcjfgiyd
 
Shadduck certainly had a way with words that would “catch on with the kids” a half century later in a way that must make him spin in his grave. It takes a real comic genius to turn a phrase like “you might as well hunt for wild squirrels with a bass drum”! There’s a great website that collects some of his booklets called creationism.com and another one here. Between the two you can read most of his books and pamphlets.

Shadduck took the expression of his singular philosophy in many directions, some quite off, like the incredibly racist Rastus Augustus Explains Evolution, Rastus being a fictional “Negro” janitor who listens in on ‘enlightened’ college lectures on evolution which threaten to topple his Christian faith whilst his pious, exasperated wife Mammy Lou contends with him. Pretty harsh reading. Interestingly, DEVO also played with racial archetypes, but from the other side, to their credit. In fact DEVO took this concept (the mocking of it) to many more people than the good Rev. Shadduck ever could. It’s incredible that one man’s utterly demented life’s work can provide the basis another’s life’s work (or a group of ‘em), but coming from such a different place in such a different time. Not to mention musical style (although DEVO did flirt with gospel as their Christian alter-egos, DOVE.)

One thing we can all probably agree on though—we’re all DEVO!
 

Posted by Howie Pyro | Discussion
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Hail Satan: Venom at City Gardens, Black Flag roadie’s legendary tape
10.21.2014
07:44 am

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Black Flag
Venom


 
When Black Flag opened for Venom at Trenton, New Jersey’s City Gardens on April 2, 1986, there was not an abundance of goodwill in the backstage area. Henry Rollins and his close friend Joe Cole, who roadied for Black Flag, made Venom a figure of fun that night, mocking them to the audience, to their entourage, and to their faces. (It actually makes the story of Slayer’s Tom Araya pissing on Cronos’ head seem not so bad in comparison.) Black Flag had been touring America since January, and was two months away from breaking up, which probably contributed to the vibe.

Afterward, Cole took a tape of Venom’s set from that night, cut out the songs, and spliced together what remained. The result was a collage of singer/bassist Cronos’ between-song patter, a manic, Satanic stand-up routine that is eminently quotable. Thurston Moore’s Ecstatic Peace! put it out as a seven-inch in 1991, and the Beastie Boys sampled it on Check Your Head.
 

 
Both Cole’s and Rollins’ diaries from the 1986 tour have been published, so it is possible to reconstruct something of the historical circumstances. Joe Cole describes the show in a diary entry from Planet Joe:

4.2.86 Trenton, NJ: Tonight’s show with Venom was like living Spinal Tap for real. They play “Black Metal.” Satanic rock stars! They acted like they were playing Madison Square Gardens [sic]. The drummer, Abadon [sic], had a drum roadie by his drum set holding a fan on him so that his hair looked like it was blowing in the winds of Hell. The guitar player, Mantas, kept playing these cheesy metal leads and then pointing at the crowd making evil possessed grimaces to let them know he was at war with Satan. The most Spinal Tap of all though was the bass player singer, Cronos. He kept telling the crowd that they were wild. “Aaaaaahhhh, aaaaaaahhhh!!! You guys are wiiiiiiillld! You wanna hear something that will kick yer balls off? The name of this next song is called Love Amongst The Dead. Pretty sicky, eh? If you’ve got any lighters, you can get them out like this guy here! Oookaaaay! Here we go!” I don’t think Cronos could even play his bass. He mostly flexed his muscles, stuck his tongue out at the crowd, gave them the Hail Satan sign while telling them how wild they were. He was delivering the goods and was an awesomely evil rock n’ roll animal. Rollins, [late-period Black Flag bassist] Cel and I drew pentagrams and 666 on the palms of our hands like Richard Ramirez and flashed them at the band members so they could see that we too were at war with Satan. I was over Mantas’ guitar monitor flashing my pentagram, giving him the hail Satan sign while he was in the middle of another cheese lead. He looked up at me, pointed, smiled and winked. At the end of the night we were walking around saying “Hail Satan” to everyone. We are now born again Satanists. “Hail Satan!” has become our new greeting.

 

 
And here are the relevant passages from Rollins’ Get in the Van:

4.2.86 Trenton NJ: [...] Now we’re in Trenton. We’re playing with Venom tonight. Joe, C’el and I drew big pentagrams on our hands and every time we see these metal guys, we flash our palms and say, “Hail Satan.” Good fun.

The Venom boys aren’t here yet. Last night in Atlanta, they refused to play their gig. They missed their flight to Trenton. We’re waiting around to play.

[...] Got very little sleep last night and I’m feeling it now. This is an early show. We’ll be done with our set by about 8:30. The only drag is that Venom is using our PA so we have to wait around until they’re done.

4.3.86 Morgantown WV: Played that show with Venom last night. I thought we played real good. When I came out onstage, I did some Satan raps and shit. The best one was “Give me an ‘S’!... Give me an ‘A’!... etc. What does that spell?... Satan!!” It was hot. The crowd was into it. I said, “Hail Satan! Party hearty and surf naked!” We dedicated a few numbers to Satan and had a wicked good time.

Venom took almost an hour to get onstage. They had roadies tuning their guitars and shit. Finally, they hit stage. They were hilarious. It was like seeing Spinal Tap. The drummer had a guy that held an electric fan next to him and kept him high and dry. The singer/bass player was named Kronos [sic]. He had some great raps. He got the crowd to chant what I thought was “Black Funky Metal” over and over which I thought was pretty cool and then I thought that maybe I was wrong about these guys. I found out later that it was “Black Fucking Metal.” Oh, excuse me. I expected them to go into “Sex Farm Woman” at any second. The guitar player was so bad it was painful. I had a great time. Joe, C’el and I were hanging in back saying “Hail Satan” to people and prancing around like idiots. What a night. The bass player was hilarious. He would wiggle his tongue and roll his eyes. But he also would fix his hair every fifteen seconds or so.

After an hour of “I can’t fucking hear you!” they said, “Good fucking night, New fucking Jersey!” and ran for the dressing room.

As Kronos was going to his motel destined ride, Joe jumped in front of him and laid a “Hail Satan” on his ass. The drummer came into our dressing room and asked [late-period Black Flag drummer] Anthony if he knew who was responsible for the drums being fucked up. He also said they were having problems with their wardrobe.

Load-out was great. All the Venom management and roadies were there and we were staring at them — laughing and doing Spinal Tap/Venom raps. They bummed out real bad, but they didn’t say anything. I have a feeling that there will be Venom raps going around our camp for a long time now.

Venom is weak. Everything about them is weak. They can’t even play. They had a bunch of roadies to do everything. Weak, weak, weak. I would love to play with fucking “heavy metal” bands more often. It was fun crushing them. It’s all lights and makeup. What bullshit. Venom suck. They are so full of shit. What a bad joke. They don’t sweat and they probably don’t even fuck.

To see Joe Cole rise from the grave and lay a “Hail Satan” on you, skip to the 51-minute mark in Dave Markey’s tour documentary Reality 86’d.

Wild, man, wiiiild!
 

Posted by Oliver Hall | Discussion
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Season of the Witch: How the Occult Saved Rock and Roll
10.21.2014
06:52 am

Topics:
Music
Occult

Tags:
Peter Berbergal


 
Author Peter Bebergal’s new book, Season of the Witch: How the Occult Saved Rock and Roll examines a wide swath of subcultural history to explore the marriage between mysticism and music in the rock era. Covered in-depth are David Bowie, Killing Joke, King Crimson, Arthur Brown, Led Zeppelin and The Rolling Stones. And of course Aleister Crowley and underground filmmaker Kenneth Anger loom large over the proceedings. I asked the author a few questions over email.

What’s the book’s overarching thesis in a nutshell? How did the occult save rock and roll?

The essential spirit behind rock and roll, especially in the early days, is rebellion. It was a social, sexual, political, and even an artistic agitation. The book’s main claim is that at the root of this is a spiritual rebellion. Even rock’s physicality—driven by sex—was condemned as sinful, a temptation by the devil to lure kids into deviant behavior. Fears of rock were also driven by racism as the rhythms and energy of rock were—rightly—seen as coming from African American music, but was believed to be barbaric, tribal, and wickedly pagan. For musicians and fans to push forward was a deliberate, albeit often unconscious, middle-finger to mainstream ideas about what was godly. The Beat Generation, who a decade or so earlier were using art as a form of personal and social revolt, had already paved a path laden with drugs, Eastern mysticism, and occult imagery. It made perfect sense that when artists, and by extension the culture of rock, were seeking a spiritual identity to give weight to their music and meaning to their own lives, they would turn towards alternative spiritual practices.

Furthermore, there is something deeply human that what we call occult practices have given expression to. I would call this a desire for ecstasis, for having an unmediated experience with the divine. Magic and religion were once inseparable, but even when these practices were outlawed, people continued to find ways to have their own personal agency in regards to their spiritual lives. But I think we would prefer to do this in the context of community, as had once been done. This drive will always find a way to manifest, and rock and roll provided a most potent vehicle to reignite the echo of the earliest forms of worship; theater, dance, performance, shouting, drumming, and even intoxication and the shadow of madness, of being possessed by the gods.

All of these elements come together in what I define in the book as the “occult imagination,” which includes not only the way musicians and fans together created a mystique and mystery around the music, but the negative responses often found in the media and the mainstream religious communities. At the crossroads of all these things is where a potent spell has been cast over popular culture. The occult is the spiritual salvation of rock and roll, and I believe if you were to pull out this thread, popular music would sound and look very different.
 

 
How pivotal was the role Kenneth Anger played in all this? When I was a kid reading about his misadventures with the Rolling Stones and Jimmy Page, he seemed like such a far-out, fascinating and glamorous character to me. My own lifelong interest in Aleister Crowley probably starts there.

Kenneth Anger’s arrival into the midst of rock and roll culture couldn’t have been better timed. Here were young musicians like Jimmy Page and Mick Jagger, at the top of their game and feeling on top of the world, finding themselves often characterized in the media as dangerous, as bringers of chaos by way of their music and their colorful lives on and off stage. Here comes this controversial filmmaker, this “glamorous character” exactly as you say, talking about magic and how art can be a form of ritual. Anger was also older by almost twenty years, so anything he said about Crowley or the occult must have been heard as dark wisdom. Page loved this stuff, but I don’t think he ever actually practiced magic in any serious way, if at all, but Anger was the real deal. And he wasn’t a hermit. He didn’t require you to give up your fame and fortune to be initiated. In fact, for Anger, the fame and fortune were part of magic’s appeal and had the ability to transform culture through art. Jagger liked the Baudelaireian dandyism of Anger, and imagined himself the same. For Page and Jagger, Anger elevated fanciful ideas of the occult into something that could be perceived as serious and real. And their association with him, despite the various falling outs they each had with the filmmaker, only fueled the public’s speculations about Led Zeppelin and The Rolling Stones being occult devotees or even Satanists. Even though Anger was in no way a Satanist, it was during this time that the conflating of occultism and devil worship was becoming solidified. It was only deepened when Jagger would swagger like a prideful Lucifer when singing “Sympathy for the Devil.” In the end, Anger is a shadow figure that is responsible for giving both the Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin, two of the most influential rock bands of all time, an aura of magic and mystery that would shape so much of rock’s identity and the way the media and public responded to them. In this sense, Anger’s magic was successful.
 

 
Which rockers do you find really consider themselves as occultists working in the rock idiom—occultist first, musician second—versus some who it’s all an act for them. Coil, for instance, seemed equally about the spell-casting and the music.

Coil certainly fit this definition, as well as Psychic TV, who for a time created a kind of virtual magical lodge via Thee Temple ov Psychick Youth. I think for a time Jinx Dawson saw her band Coven as being a vehicle for her occult practice, and later the band Tool integrated their own beliefs about magic into their music. But for some, while they saw their music has having potential to work magic, they still saw themselves first and foremost as musicians. Arthur Brown, best known for his song “Fire” believed a rock concert could function as a shamanic rite. He used every element of the performance, from his makeup to the staging to the way he moved, as an attempt to channel and then release what he believed was magical energy. Others would later copy his stage antics, but had no occult intentions at all, such as Alice Cooper and KISS (although they would of course be accused of being in league with infernal forces). I also think David Bowie for time believed he was working a kind of magic, but again, it was the music and the performance where it was wholly realized.
 

 
What’s the weirdest thing you uncovered when researching the book?

I was quite surprised to learn that the members of Killing Joke, following the lead of their singer Jaz Coleman, went to Iceland to await what Coleman believed was a coming apocalypse. I also learned that after Arthur Brown had disbanded his first band the Crazy World of Arthur Brown, he had a mescaline vision in which he was visited by an angel in armor, holding aloft a sword. Brown interpreted this as any real rock musician should: God was telling him to start another band. But I think the weirdest thing was how so much of rock’s association with the occult started by a simple problem of translation. In the 1840s, a young African named Samuel Ajayi Crowther from a Yoruba who had converted to Christianity wanted to start a mission back in his homeland, so he set out translating the bible into Yoruban. Of course not every word had a corresponding one in the other language, and so when he came to the issue of what to call the devil, he chose the name of his people’s trickster god, the closest the Yorubans had to a god that could not be trusted, that might tempt you. This god’s name was Eshu, and by the time the deity travelled with other converted Yorubans back to the American South, the god of the crossroads became Satan.

Below, Cerith Wyn Evans video for Psychic TV’s “Unclean”:

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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The year Dizzy Gillespie ran for president—spoiler alert, he didn’t win
10.21.2014
06:09 am

Topics:
Music
Politics

Tags:
Lyndon Johnson
Dizzy Gillepsie


 
In 1964 the “fate of the free world,” ahem, came down to a contest between two men, Democratic President Lyndon Baines Johnson and the Republican challenger, Barry Goldwater, U.S. Senator from Arizona. History tells us that the contest was decided in favor of Johnson, but the whimsically inclined can entertain another outcome in a parallel universe—John Birks “Dizzy” Gillespie as U.S. President.

In that heady year the notion of Dizzy for President was a little bit of a thing in the culture, as the famous trumpeter, by then synonymous with bebop itself, announced his intention to become chief executive of the land. Dizzy even announced that his running mate would be Phyllis Diller.
 

 
As Barry McRae wrote in Dizzy Gillespie: His Life and Times:
 

Goldwater was a conservative who had voted against the civil-rights bill and exploited the ‘redneck’ backlash or favouring the “freedom not to associate.” At a Republican meeting he declared that “Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice.”

That such a man could be considered for the presidency worried Gillespie enormously, and when jazz writer Ralph Gleason suggested that Dizzy himself had better credentials for the job, he began to take the idea seriously. Gleason began to use his jazz column to promote his possible candidate. He pointed out Gillespie’s skill with people of all nationalities and the success of the State Department tours. Jon Hendricks put presidential words to Salt Peanuts and Dizzy himself thoroughly enjoyed the whole operation. …

He postulated a change of colour for the White House, suggest Bo Diddley as secretary of state and told doubters that he was running for president because “We need one.”

 
Gillespie promised that if he were elected, the White House would be renamed “The Blues House.” He proposed the following provocative positions: Duke Ellington (Secretary of State), Miles Davis (Director of the CIA), Max Roach (Secretary of Defense), Malcolm X (Attorney General—“because he’s one cat we definitely want to have on our side”), Charles Mingus (Secretary of Peace—“because he’ll take a piece of your head faster than anyone I know”), Ray Charles (Librarian of Congress), Louis Armstrong (Secretary of Agriculture), Mary Lou Williams (Ambassador to the Vatican), Thelonious Monk (Traveling Ambassador). The campaign buttons that Gillespie’s booking agency had produced some years earlier “for publicity, as a gag” were now enlisted in the effort; proceeds from them would benefit the Congress of Racial Equality, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and Martin Luther King Jr. He advocated U.S. withdrawal from Vietnam, promised free education and health care, and pledged to put an African-American astronaut on the moon (if none could be found, Gillespie volunteered to go himself).
 

 
In 1963 Gillespie released Dizzy for President, which included as its final track “Vote Dizzy,” for which singer Jon Hendricks supplied new political lyrics to Gillespie’s trademark tune “Salt Peanuts” as follows:
 

Your politics ought to be a groovier thing
Vote Dizzy! Vote Dizzy!
So get a good president who’s willing to swing
Vote Dizzy! Vote Dizzy!

 

 
via Lawyers, Guns & Money

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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King Tut—would the ladies love him?
10.20.2014
02:44 pm

Topics:
Amusing
Art
History
Music

Tags:
King Tutankhamun
King Tut


 
Steve Martin cashed in on the Tutankhamun mania with his 1978 novelty hit “King Tut,” which reached #17 on the U.S. charts and poked fun at the pop culture phenomenon the boy pharaoh had become after the massive Treasures of Tutankhamun traveling exhibit that toured the United States at that time. Martin told us that the “ladies love his style,” but would King Tut in fact be considered so dreamy today? Science suggests no, he’d have been something of an Uncle Fester-like loser, at least if his physical appearance by 21st-century standards is any indication.

BBC One undertook a “virtual autopsy” of the legendary pharaoh in preparation for a documentary called Tutankhamun: The Truth Uncovered, and the results were a surprise for anyone who can recall “Tut Fever.” The process required the use of over 2,000 computer scans as well as a genetic analysis of his parents, who were, ahem, brother and sister.
 

 
If you were dating him, you would have gotten a man who controlled everything in the Egyptian empire in roughly the year 1330 BC, but you would also have had to put up with buck teeth, a club foot, and a generally saggy build. Wide hips, manboobs, a tendency to wear diapers and frequent use of a cane aren’t the kind of traits you ordinarily see men bragging about on OKCupid, but I’m going to surmise that some guys probably brag that they “rule.” With this goofball, though, he’s not bragging.

All of this new “information” about Tut is just speculation, of course, but it’s fun to think about. King Tut’s allure a couple of generations back was just as much based on guesswork, mainly stemming from the breathtaking mask of Tutankhamun’s mummy, who cut a dashing figure indeed, equally seXXXy in 1330 B.C. and A.D. 1977.

The next thing you’ll tell me, King Tut wasn’t even born in Arizona.
 

 
via Gawker

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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Beatboxing classic album covers come to life
10.20.2014
02:03 pm

Topics:
Animation
Music

Tags:
album covers


 
Israeli artist and director Vania Heymann started creating videos when he was a student at Bezalal Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem. He has been praised by the likes of evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins and atheist author Sam Harris. His latest video (made with his frequent collaborator Israeli musician Roy Kafri who provides the beatboxing with his song “Mayokero”) has a series of classic albums covers from bands like The Smiths, ABBA, David Bowie and Prince move their “mouths” and sing along.
 

Posted by Cherrybomb | Discussion
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‘Saturn Drive’: When Alan Vega met Ministry, 1983
10.20.2014
11:03 am

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Alan Vega
Ministry
Al Jourgensen


 
Saturn Strip, Suicide frontman Alan Vega’s third solo album and his first for a major label (Elektra), kicks off with the single “Saturn Drive,” a six-minute hybrid of early Ministry synth and sequencer sounds and Vega’s futuristic rockabilly. Co-written by Vega and Alain Jourgensen, the single was recorded with the whole With Sympathy team: Jourgensen plays keyboards, his original Ministry partner Stephen George drums, and Ian Taylor and (former Psychedelic Fur) Vince Ely are credited with producing the song’s basic tracks. Vega’s staunch supporter Ric Ocasek, who produced Saturn Strip (as well as the second, third and fourth Suicide albums), also appears on the song playing guitar and keyboards.
 

 
Vega’s lyrics to this time-traveling sci-fi epic aren’t easy to find online, so I’ve transcribed them for you from my tear-stained copy of Cripple Nation:

Wild stormy Monday
A gray rain came
Touchin’ Infinity’s prison
The creature made a war
Take the plane to Saturn
Celebrate their comin’
Lord knows Mr. Cheyenne
It’s a crucified photo
Of the wrong century

High price soldiers
Knockin’ down Eternity
Soda city delusions
Snake knows for sure
Winning by confusion
It’s a losin’ game
Saturn’s rings of reason
So’s a lonely street
Profits by the billions
Got the mornin’ line

Momma’s future children
Buy a bad machine
The computer knows nothin’
It’s feelin’ sympathy
What price glory
It’s too much infinity
Take the plane to Saturn
Follow the Indian
Lookin’ for that comet
Feel that fantasy
Huh oh yea fantasy
Yea

The creature’s nothin’
Just a stain on a wall
Death Row gets a window
Here comes Eternity
A million candelabras
Ya gotta have a scheme
Dr. Doom got a lash
It’s a time machine
That comet got religion
Yesterday
Snake eyes
Layin’ on the shore
It’s a losin’ game
It’s lonely streets
I got that mornin’ line
Yea what price glory
There’s too much infinity
Take the plane to Saturn
Lord knows Mr. Cheyenne
It’s a crucified photo
Of the wrong century
Yea, it’s the wrong one
The wrong one

I had really hoped Jourgensen’s memoir would shed some light on how this collaboration came to be, but I found no mention of Vega. Maybe Al will reveal all in one of the upcoming sequels?

I realize the fruits of this collaboration might not be to everyone’s tastes. But look at it this way: if Vega and Jourgensen hadn’t worked together on “Saturn Drive,” Vega never would have delivered this completely insane performance of the song on Spanish TV, which must be seen to be believed.
 

 
Click here for Vega and Marc Hurtado’s 2010 remake of the song, “Saturn Drive Duplex.”

Posted by Oliver Hall | Discussion
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