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Prince gets freaky in S&M-themed music video for ‘Automatic’
07.22.2017
02:56 pm
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1999 inner sleeve photo
 
“Automatic” is one of the eleven songs that appear on Prince’s fifth record—and first double album—1999 (1982). The track was released as a single in edited form, though only for the Australian market. The album version includes a steamy interlude that was acted out for the accompanying video, which hasn’t been easy to see—until now.

The “Automatic” music video was shot in Minneapolis during November 1982, as Prince and his band were rehearsing for the 1999 tour. You’ll probably notice it resembles other Prince clips from the era, due to the fact that videos for “1999” and “Let’s Pretend We’re Married” were also shot at this time, with the same director at the helm, Bruce Gowers (“Little Red Corvette” came later, and was directed by Bryan Greenberg). The album version of “Automatic” is nearly nine-and-a-half minutes long, and was chopped by a minute for the video. It’s a standard Prince performance clip from this period, until about halfway through, when a bed is rolled out onto the stage. From here, it starts to gets pretty damn kinky.
 
Automatic 45
 
The video was issued as a promo-only VHS to establishments that had video screens—like bars and dance clubs—as well as outlets willing to play more racy content, like the Playboy Channel. The unedited version of “Automatic” was certainly too risqué for MTV (an edited clip was also made available). 

Prince’s official YouTube channel was recently reactivated, delighting his fan base with uploads of his official music videos in pristine quality. “Automatic” is one of the latest to appear. Assuming many of you haven’t seen this rare clip, we won’t give much more away, other than that it includes a segment in which Prince is tied up and whipped—!
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Bart Bealmear
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07.22.2017
02:56 pm
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Electric Mayhem: Muppet band retro concert posters
07.21.2017
09:13 am
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Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem, the house band from The Muppet Show are arguably the coolest Muppets in existence. The band, comprised of Dr. Teeth, Floyd Pepper, Janice, Zoot, and Animal first appeared in 1975 on The Muppet Show pilot “Sex and Violence.”

Illustrator and designer Michael De Pippo created five retro concert posters for an imaginary one night only gig by Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem.

De Pippo on his Muppet poster series:

My idea was simple; create a vintage concert poster for each band member (Dr. Teeth, Janice, Sgt. Floyd Pepper, Zoot, and Animal). Using clean, crisp vectors, negative space, and few colors, I wanted to keep them as simple and stylized as possible; reminiscent of retro posters from back in the day.

The Animal poster, pictured at the top of this article, is quite reminiscent of the movie poster art for the Japanese film Hausu.
 

 
I love this crisp style. De Pippo did an amazing job with these. His website seems to be currently down, so I’m not sure if these are available for sale.
 

 

 
More Muppet madness, after the jump…

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Posted by Christopher Bickel
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07.21.2017
09:13 am
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Ozzy Osbourne’s ‘fail-safe’ hangover cure
07.21.2017
09:13 am
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Let’s start with the disclaimer that used to accompany “Dr.” Ozzy Osbourne’s advice column in the Times:

Warning: Ozzy Osbourne is not a qualified medical professional. Caution is advised

Undeterred, and possibly thinking of the time Ozzy was hauled in front of a judge for singing his sad country song about being an alcoholic, Rod from Canterbury wrote in to ask what kind of booze produced the least painful hangover. Dr. Ozzy told Rod drinking was drinking, “and after the third glass, any rule you’ve made for yourself is gonna go straight out of the window,” so the real question is what to do the day after:

Over the years, I developed a fail-safe cure. Basically, I’d mix four tablespoons of brandy with four tablespoons of port, throw in some milk, a few egg yolks, and — if I was in a festive mood — some nutmeg. The second I woke, I’d mix it up and down it. The way it works is very clever: it gets you instantly blasted again, so you don’t feel a thing. The only drawback is that, unless you keep drinking, the hangover that eventually catches up with you is about a thousand times worse than it would have otherwise been.

More Ozzy after the jump…

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Posted by Oliver Hall
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07.21.2017
09:13 am
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David Lynch recites Captain Beefheart’s ‘Pena’
07.20.2017
09:09 am
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Don Van Vliet, ‘Crepe and Black Lamps’ (via beefheart.com)
 
Among the treasures stored on Magic Band alumnus Gary Lucas’ Soundcloud is this recording of David Lynch reading “Pena” from Trout Mask Replica.

The director, who also appears in Anton Corbijn’s short movie about Beefheart, Some YoYo Stuff, recorded “Pena” for a Beefheart tribute show Lucas put on at the NYC Knitting Factory in 2008.

“Three little burnt scotch taped windows.” Where Antennae Jimmy Semens shrieks “Pena” like it’s his last words at the gallows, Lynch’s measured recitation lets you picture every image. They could come from one of his own paintings:

Pena
Her little head clinking
Like uh barrel of red velvet balls
Full past noise
Treats filled ‘er eyes
Turning them yellow like enamel coated tacks
Soft like butter hard not t’ pour
Out enjoying the sun while sitting on
Uh turned on waffle iron
Smoke billowing up from between her legs
Made me vomit beautifully
‘n crush uh chandelier
Fall on my stomach ‘n view her
From uh thousand happened facets
Liquid red salt ran over crystals
I later band-aided the area
Sighed
Oh well it was worth it
Pena pleased but sore from sitting
Chose t’ stub ‘er toe
‘n view the white pulps horribly large
In their red pockets
“I’m tired of playing baby,” she explained

Listen after the jump…

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Posted by Oliver Hall
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07.20.2017
09:09 am
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Wendy O. Williams’ PSA on how not to get venereal disease
07.20.2017
09:09 am
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What with super gonorrhea getting the Trump bump and billboards in my neighborhood warning of a “syphilis tsunami,” this sure feels like a good moment to remember Wendy O. Williams’ public service announcement about venereal disease. It would have been nice if she had mentioned condoms or dental dams instead of recommending better taste in partners, but let’s give her credit for raising the issue at all.

The PSA was taped for U68, a Newark UHF station that switched to a music video format during Reagan’s second term. Its brief lifespan dates the clip to ‘85 or ‘86. While I was a mere child, I don’t recall the blitz of safe-sex advertising beginning until some years later, though I distinctly remember that the President wouldn’t talk about AIDS.

Now, I didn’t know Ronald Reagan personally, but I suspect his life experience did not overlap much with Wendy O.‘s. Having come up in the Times Square sex show scene and acted in 1979’s Candy Goes to Hollywood, WOW would have considered VD a matter of professional interest, and one about which she was loath to moralize. (“Fuck That Booty,” the last track on Kommander of Kaos, is many things, but prudish?) Right and wrong, guilt and shame—none of that should enter into a simple matter of personal hygiene, unless it is wearing musk, which is a wrong and shameful habit.

Tl;dr
: don’t forget to remember not to get the heps, herps, HIVs, syphs, or claps. And when you get to the free clinic, tell ‘em Wendy O. sent you!
 
Watch it after the jump…

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Posted by Oliver Hall
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07.20.2017
09:09 am
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Attention crate diggers: Next time you see a record called ‘Walkin’ My Cat Named Dog,’ BUY IT!
07.19.2017
03:12 pm
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One-hit-wonder Norma Tanega is known only for “Walkin’ My Cat Named Dog,” her soulful, folky quasi-novelty song of 1966 that reached #22 in the pop charts early that year. The whimsical song’s easy-going charm, catchy chorus and vocal harmonies are irresistible, but Tanega, who has recorded several albums worth of worthy material since, was never able to follow it up with another hit record.

Tanega was discovered while singing as a summer camp counselor in the Catskill Mountains and signed to a contact with famed songwriter/producer Bob Crewe (the Four Seasons, “Lady Marmalade,’ “Music to Watch Girls By,” the Barbarella soundtrack, etc), and his record label New Voice. “Walkin’ My Cat Named Dog” was her first single and in the wake of its success, she moved to England—at the encouragement of her girlfriend Dusty Springfield who she’d met on the set of Top of the Pops—for five years, recording an album for RCA and working as a professional songwriter. After returning to the United States, she became a percussionist, often playing ceramic instruments and taught art in Southern California. (I noticed several YouTube commenters mentioning that they’d been students of Tanega’s and writing fondly of her.)
 

 
The Walkin’ My Cat Named Dog album is pretty easy to find when you are trawling through the stacks at a used record store, usually for super cheap. The next time you see it, do yourself a favor and pick it up.
 

Performing “Walkin’ My Cat Named Dog” on (I think) ‘Top of the Pops.” Dig her cool Gibson SG Standard guitar.
 
More Norma Tanega after the jump…

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Posted by Richard Metzger
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07.19.2017
03:12 pm
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Mondo mayhem: Sex, blood and horror, the art of Enzo Sciotti


An arresting image by artist Enzo Sciotti for the 1984 film ‘Heavenly Bodies’ (billed in Italy as ‘Scratch Dance’).
 
During the 1970s and 1980s, Italian artist Enzo Sciotti created hand-painted artwork associated with the films of many influential directors who hailed from his home country, such as Dario Argento, Lucio Fulci and Lamberto Bava, the son of the great Mario Bava. 

Born in Rome in 1944, Sciotti got started drawing professionally at a very young age—fifteen according to his online biography. Sciotti’s bio also states that he has been responsible for over three thousand movies posters. Sciotti has lent his talent to album artwork as well—specifically the cover of the stellar soundtrack for Phenomena, Dario Argento’s 1985 film starring Donald Pleasence and a fifteen-year-old Jennifer Connelly.

Most of what follows showcase blood and nudity, which means it’s NSFW.
 

The artwork for the 1986 film by Lamberto Bava, ‘Midnight Killer’ by Enzo Sciotti.
 

The album artwork for the soundtrack to ‘Phenomena.’
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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07.18.2017
10:14 am
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Sex, Drugs & Clowns: A masked rock band and the Soup Nazi star in sleazy slasher, ‘Terror on Tour’
07.18.2017
08:50 am
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Terror on Tour
 
Terror on Tour (1980) is a really bad slasher flick about a series of murders that take place during events that revolve around the Clowns, an up-and-coming rock band. Each member wears white makeup, a partial mask, costumes that include a cape, and afro wigs—! They’ve also got a wild stage show, that includes female mannequins that they dismember and toss to the crowd as souvenirs. The Clowns are in the midst of a residency at a concert hall, and when the killing starts on the premises, the band members are immediately considered suspects. The reason why is pretty ridiculous, but we’ll get into that in a moment.

The Clowns were actually a real band called the Names, though they didn’t wear makeup or costumes like they do in the film. In 1977, Fiction Records put out a Names 45, which ended up being the group’s only release. The A-side, “Why Can’t It Be,” later appeared on a Rhino power pop compilation. The music in Terror on Tour ain’t half bad, though there is surprisingly little of it (only a handful of songs). The Clowns resemble a harder-edged version of Cheap Trick, who, like the Names, are from Rockford, Illinois.
 
The Clowns on stage
 
While the Clowns’ appearance and stage show most obviously recall the theatrical rock of KISS and Alice Cooper, the partial masks they wear also conjures up Phantom of the Opera, which, in turn, made me think of the lead character in Brian De Palma’s Phantom of the Paradise, as well as the film’s ghoulish band, The Undeads. That Richard Pryor Show sketch also popped into my head.

One of the frustrating aspects of Terror on Tour is that since the band members all look the same when they’re made up it’s difficult to tell them apart during scenes when they have dialogue.
 
The Clowns off stage
 
Much of Terror on Tour is just BAD: Bad dialogue, bad character development, bad storytelling—I could go on. Okay, I will! The acting is bad, too, as many of the cast members had little-to-no experience. One such first-time actor was Larry Thomas, who played the Clowns’ manager, “Tim.” Years later, Thomas portrayed what is now one of the most iconic characters of ‘90s TV—the hilariously terrifying “Soup Nazi” on Seinfeld.
 
The Soup Nazi
Larry Thomas in ‘Terror on Tour,’ and as the ‘Soup Nazi.’

Thomas has stated publicly how crappy he thinks Terror on Tour is. He’s especially critical of his own acting skills—or lack thereof.  In 2007, an IMDb user with the screen name “soupnazi-4” wrote about their experience working on Terror on Tour. The title of the post is “My apology for my performance” (edited for clarity and length):

For anyone who makes the mistake of sitting though this movie: I had just decided to become an actor and I knew very little about it. I was majoring in journalism in Junior college and took a theatre class to get a date with a girl I liked and got interested in acting. I drove a friend to the audition of “Terror on Tour’ (originally called “Clowns”) and the director (Don Edmonds) asked me to read. I told him I wasn’t ready as an actor to do a film and didn’t know anything about acting much less film acting. He cast me and talked me into doing it. I was patently awful. I over acted every word and indicated like crazy.

Above that, a year after initial filming, when I knew a little more about acting, they called me back to shoot two pick up scenes (easy to spot, as my hair was much shorter—it went from ‘79 to ‘80, nuff said). I was told to yell my dialog as there would be loud rock music playing in the background. The other guy in the scene was producer Sandy Cobe, who wasn’t an actor and couldn’t really handle yelling while imagining loud music. In the end, they forgot to add the music so it seemed like I was over acting even more than in the rest of the film. When I saw the film, I came very close to quitting trying to be an actor altogether. The only reason I didn’t quit is that I figured if I could spot how awful I was maybe I had a chance to learn to do it right. The band members were a real band and had never acting before, so you could forgive them their acting. Again, I hope whoever has to see me in this film will understand my horror that it still exists.

 
Fun with knife
 
The filmmakers did do at least some homework on how to make a slasher film. The image of the masked maniac became standard after the success of Halloween (1978), and everybody is freaked out by creepy clowns, so kudos there. Another hallmark of the slasher genre, the killer’s point of view shot, is used to dramatic effect, and the Italian giallo trope of showing the killer prepare for a murder is incorporated. But that’s where any positives taken from those types of films ends.

More after the jump…

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Posted by Bart Bealmear
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07.18.2017
08:50 am
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No tears: Tuxedomoon’s Peter Principle dead at 63
07.17.2017
02:45 pm
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Sad to learn that Peter Principle (real name Peter Dachert), the bassist and guitar player of the great American avant-garde musical group Tuxedomoon died today at the age of 63. His passing was announced on Facebook by fellow band member and longtime friend Blaine Reininger, the violinist and keyboardist of the group.

It is my very sad duty to inform the world that our colleague and brother, Peter Principle has left this world behind. He died this morning, July 17, 2017, apparently of natural causes. We are all stunned.

A further statement on the Tuxedomoonnews blog indicated that he…

“... was found in his room at Les Ateliers Claus in Brussels, where Tuxedomoon has been preparing a new tour and new music. He was the apparent victim of a heart attack or stroke.”

Dachert’s stage name was inspired by the so-called “Peter principle” management theory formulated by Laurence J. Peter and published in the 1969 book The Peter Principle: Why Things Always Go Wrong which describes how many corporate managers “rise to the level of their incompetence.”

When the Sex Pistols and the Ramones were churning out retread rock-n-roll, Tuxedomoon was in San Francisco doing something truly dangerous, pioneering “new wave” and post-punk before either term existed. Principle became a member the band in 1979 and joined the others when they chose to go into exile in Europe after Ronald Reagan’s election. They finally settled in Belgium where they founded a record label, Crammed Discs. After some years apart, the band reformed in 2000 and has been productive and active since, touring and releasing new music, film scores and archival box sets.

After Tuxedomoon’s Bruce Geduldig died in 2016, they continued on with David Haneke taking over Geduldig’s visual duties onstage with the band during their 2016 tour. The group’s continuing status is unknown with an August 4th show planned for London now in question. Peter Principle lived in New York City where he was born. He will be missed.
 

Tuxedomoon appear on Glenn O’Brien’s ‘TV Party’ cable access program.
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Richard Metzger
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07.17.2017
02:45 pm
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Klassic KISS megapost: KISS annihilate the senses with explosive live versions of ‘Firehouse’
07.17.2017
10:25 am
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Spirit of 76
 
Since their early days, KISS have been known for their live performances. One song—one moment, in particular—has played an important role in THE KISS SHOW, a larger-than-life spectacular consisting of flashing lights, flamethrowers, explosions, fire breathing, smoking guitars, and levitating drums. It’s a moment in their concerts that’s designed for maximum entertainment by overwhelming the audience with sights and sounds.

“Firehouse” was written by Paul Stanley when he was just sixteen years old. One day in 1968, Stanley was listening to a radio program that focused on British music, when he heard the new single by the Move, “Fire Brigade”.

What I was doing at that point in terms of song writing was taking inspiration from songs I remembered from the radio. When I heard “Fire Brigade,” I loved the concept. So I sat down and began to hash out a song of my own using the same idea. I hadn’t heard the song enough to actually copy it musically, but I had grasped something that I really liked. (from Face the Music: A Life Exposed)

Stanley would later bring “Firehouse” to Wicked Lester, the pre-KISS band he was in with Gene Simmons. When KISS formed, it became one of their earliest songs, and was played at their first show, which took place at club called the Coventry in Queens on January 30th, 1973. That September, it was their closing number during a showcase performance for Casablanca Records, the label that would soon sign them. A heavy track with a Black Sabbath-like tempo and a killer groove, “Firehouse” was among the numerous standout cuts from KISS’s self-titled debut.
 

 
The original KISS lineup, which existed as a live act from 1973-1979, played “Firehouse” on every tour. The song appears on Alive (1975), the double live album that went multi-platinum and made KISS a success. Part of the appeal of Alive was that it had enough audible effects, like the sirens heard at the end of “Firehouse,” that listening to in your bedroom was the next best thing to being at a KISS concert.
 
More KISS after the jump…

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Posted by Bart Bealmear
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07.17.2017
10:25 am
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