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John Hinckley Jr. is starting a band! These are the top 5 Hinckley-inspired songs!
08:18 am


punk rock
John Hinckley Jr.

NBC Washington reported on Friday that failed Reagan-assassin, John Hinkley Jr., is interested in starting a band:

A psychiatrist treating the man who shot President Ronald Reagan in 1981 says he wants to start a band and should be allowed to publish his music anonymously.

Dr. Giorgi-Guarnieri testified Friday during court hearings that will ultimately determine whether and under which conditions John Hinckley Jr. will be allowed to live full time outside a mental hospital.

Giorgi-Guarnieri says Hinckley should be allowed to start the band, but not perform publicly.

Hinckley’s lawyer and treatment team say he’s ready to live full time at his 89-year-old mother’s home in Virginia under certain conditions.

Hinckley has been allowed freedom in stages. He spends 17 days a month at his mother’s Williamsburg home. One of his interests is music, and he sings and plays the guitar. He also participates in music therapy.

John Hinckley, Jr., best known as the man who tried to kill President Ronald Reagan in 1981, in a J.D. Salinger and Travis Bickle-inspired attempt to win the affections of a teen-aged Jodie Foster, was found “not guilty by reason of insanity” and has since remained under the care of psychiatrists at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital.

Hinckley, who never got that big hit he was looking for, now has a chance to put a band together and give it another shot.
The attempt on Reagan’s life was a boon for punk bands looking for song topics in the ‘80s. If Hinckley’s band plans on doing any covers, he might consider looking for some inspiration from those he, himself, inspired.

After the jump, the top five John Hinckley-inspired punk songs…

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
‘The Thorn’: Intense orchestral Siouxsie and the Banshees rarity
02:13 pm


Siouxsie and the Banshees

The Thorn is one of Siouxsie and the Banshees more obscure releases. A four song EP that was recorded after Hyæna—the 1984 Banshees album featuring The Cure’s Robert Smith moonlighting from his own group on guitar—and before Tinderbox, The Thorn took a handful of previously recorded Banshees numbers—two album tracks and two B-sides—and gave them orchestral makeovers with stunning results. Always a “deep cut” fan favorite, today the EP is only available as part of 2004’s Downside Up rarities box set which is itself difficult to find and usually pretty pricey when you do find it.

The Wikipedia page for Tinderbox indicates that it was the group’s first outing with new guitarist John Carruthers, but that’s not true, that would be The Thorn. Apparently the impetus behind the EP was to initiate Carruthers into working with the group in the studio, as well as getting a chance to revisit some older songs that had taken on new life on tour and experiment with working with a string section.

You can listen to the entirety of The Thorn EP (“Overground,” “Voices (On the Air),” “Placebo Effect,” “Red Over White”), below:

An intense live version of “Overground” with string section and Robert Smith on guitar, after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Just imagine how STRANGE this Residents’ radio special from 1977 sounded in 1977
06:28 am


The Residents

“SIAMESE TWIN TAG TEAM WRESTLERS INDEED”: Arf and Omega on the Vileness Fats set
In 1977, the Residents marked their fifth anniversary with an hour-long radio special. It purports to be a broadcast from RAO (Residents Arf Omega?) Studios in Houston, Texas. Along with a number of obscurities—such as the entire The Beatles Play the Residents and the Residents Play the Beatles 7-inch, the B-side of the “Satisfaction” single (“Loser ≅ Weed”), and Snakefinger shredding Zappa’s “King Kong” in the style of Les Paul—the program includes incidental music performed by the Residents, who are, we are told, “content to walk around the studio, banging on instruments and making strange noises.” Meanwhile, a hostile interviewer, one “Sid Powell,” asks Jay Clem of Ralph Records Cryptic Corporation a series of insulting questions about the group. (“Now, don’t you feel a little foolish in this position? You’re no more than babysitters to a group of malcontented young fops.”) While I generally avoid speculating about the Residents’ identities in print, I can’t help but observe that Powell sure does sound an awful lot like one member of the band.

The J-card from the cassette release of The Residents Radio Special
Ralph Records released the program on a few small cassette runs in the early 80s. In 2002, Ralph re-released the radio special on the limited-edition CD Eat Exuding Oinks (named for a lyric in “Walter Westinghouse”), now equally scarce. Long ago, at one of the Bay Area’s gigantic record emporia, I snagged one of the original unmarked white tapes, still in the J-card printed on blue construction paper, for less than one dollar. Granted, that’s more than what it’s going to cost you to listen courtesy of YouTube, but it’s significantly less than what today’s junior Residents collector will expect to pay. I bring this up not so much to illustrate a point, as to gloat.

Anyway, this Fingerprince-era artifact is a delightful piece of radio theater. You’ll hear Clem and Powell discuss the relationship between the Residents and the Beatles and the possible identity of same; the Theory of Phonetic Organization developed by the Mysterious N. Senada, who, we learn, sat in on “Kamikaze Lady” from Baby Sex; and the band’s work-in-progress Eskimo.

Hear the broadcast after the jump…

Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
Douchebag denim company sells $298 jacket and $348 jeans with fake heavy metal patches on them
12:53 pm


heavy metal

Apparently “Heavy metal Chic” is the hot new look, whether you like the music or not! First, retailer H & M created an affordable line of metal vestmentss for bands that have never existed, including a few pieces that appear to reference white supremacist imagery (you’d think as a Swedish retailer, they’d know better). It was an absurd stunt, and we all had a laugh, but at least we all learned something. Right?!?

Wrong! Diesel—commonly known as the denim line of Guido douchebags—is now selling a $298 jacket and a pair of $348 jeans, both covered in “metalesque” patches. Again, these are not real bands, nor do they sound even passably cool—“ACAB” is apparently an acronym for “All cats are beautiful?!?” You know, at least with the H & M stunt, this stuff was affordable, but these prices for phony bands and “70% Cotton, 26% Polyester and 4% Elastane-Spandex?” The denim isn’t even real!

If I may dust off an old chestnut: death to false metal! (And death to false denim!)



Via Metal Sucks

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
The Rolling Stones take over ‘Ready, Steady, Go!’ 1965-66

“The weekend starts here!” was the opening catchphrase for Ready, Steady, Go!—the preferred pop show of choice for millions of British youth between 1963 and 1966. Filmed in a small studio in central London, Ready, Steady, Go! was the first pop show (from 1965 onwards) to present bands playing live—unlike its rival Top of the Pops that continued with predominantly mimed performances until the late 1990s.

Though it may not seem it now, Ready, Steady, Go! was revolutionary television when first broadcast, leading one TV historian to see the program as “a line of demarcation drawn between one kind of Britain and another.”

The “Queen of Mods,” Cathy McGowan was the program’s best known host, who had originally been hired as a production advisor after replying to an advert looking for “a typical teenager.” Other presenters included the (middle-aged) Keith Fordyce and (briefly) singer Sandie Shaw. Unlike most music shows at the time, Ready, Steady, Go! brought in a live audience that could be seen dancing, cavorting and occasionally mobbing the acts.

The show also benefited from allowing artists to play full versions of their songs, and one of the highlights was the specials featuring bands like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and The Animals showcasing recent hits.  Between ‘65 and ‘66, The Rolling Stones made two showcases performing a variety of tracks including “Under My Thumb,” “Paint It Black” and “Satisfaction.” These sets have since been edited together as a Ready, Steady Go!: Rolling Stones Special which was aired on Channel 4 some thirty-odd years after first broadcast.

Watch the Rolling Stones on ‘Ready, Steady, Go!’ after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
The Cramps’ long-lost video for ‘Human Fly’ FOUND!!!

The story goes that in 1978, the Cramps made a video, filmed by Alex de Laszlo, for their song “Human Fly,” that featured singer Lux Interior (RIP 2009) in a classic movie-monster transformation scene—but it seemed like nobody saw it, or could even prove it existed. A close perusal of Thomas Owen Sheridan’s collection of contemporary zine articles about the band—itself a rare Cramps collectible—yielded exactly one reference to its existence.

Seriously, that’s it.

The 1990 book Wild Wild World of the Cramps, by Ian Johnston, who also wrote the book on Nick Cave, offered this:

In May, The Cramps made their first tentative steps into the world of promotional video. A friend who was studying at film school suggested his services and a short three-minute film, based on the song ‘Human Fly’ was produced. The film was made for under $200 and featured Lux painfully transforming into a fly. This artefact is now so rare that even Lux and Ivy do not have a copy of the film.

In 2011, an amazing blog post by Kogar Theswingingape proffered actual screen caps and a scene-by-scene breakdown, but the video itself wasn’t posted.

The film opens with a countdown and a placard with: Vengeance Productions Presents a Film by Alex de Laszlo. It immediately cuts to a shot of Ivy walking down the street, transistor radio glued to her ear (The Way I Walk is playing), blowing bubbles and holding a glass bottle coke. Cut to a somber looking Lux in a smoking jacket sitting on what appears to be a leopard print sofa. He’s prepping a huge hypodermic needle by lighting a match and holding it under the needle.

Lux then gathers up some flesh from around his throat and slowly injects himself.

The result is immediate; he begins a transformation!


Well, it seems that a couple of months ago, the actual film, AT LONG LAST, after decades of existing as little more than a tantalizing rumor, finally and with little fanfare found its way to YouTube. It’s amazing that this sine qua non of Cramps ephemera has been online for months with such a paltry view-count. Let’s ramp those numbers up a bit, shall we?

This post is dedicated to the memory of “Brother Ed” Wille, who probably had this on an 8MM reel or something. Many thanks to Shawn Swagerty for alerting me to this find.

Previously on Dangerous Minds
The Cramps ‘Human Fly’ opera version
The Cramps want to know: ‘Can Your Pussy do the Dog?’

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
Fried chicken à la DEVO: Mark Mothersbaugh’s recipe for ‘Chocolava Stump Logs’
06:25 am


fried chicken

The Rock and Roll Cookbook: Favorite Recipes from the Chart Toppers, Hit Makers and Legends of Rock and Roll, published in 1993, includes a recipe for chocolate-covered fried chicken from DEVO’s Mark Mothersbaugh. I’m still not sure whether the men of DEVO actually ate this dish, or if the recipe is more along the lines of Ween’s endorsement of huffing Scotchguard.

The yellow press, never friendly to Mothersbaugh’s band of latter-day saints, mocked this recipe when the cookbook was published. Under the headline “OH, PLEASE PASS MY BARF BAG!” the writer of the Philadelphia Daily News’ “Tattle” column opined:

We would advise staying away from Devo’s Chocolava Stump Logs, created from carry-out chicken logs and Bosco chocolate syrup; all they prove is that some people still smoke a lot of dope.

But, you know, the proof of the pudding, and like that, Philadelphia Daily News: it’s probably actually really good. Chicken mole is a respected cousin to this friendless dish, and Mothersbaugh demonstrates his impeccable taste in the first line of the recipe with his selection of Pioneer Chicken, the best fried chicken chain of them all. If you’ve ever had a good bucket of Pioneer, KFC and Popeyes taste like the contents of a vacuum cleaner; you might as well suck old cornflakes out of your friend’s couch and pay him ten dollars. If you want some of Pioneer’s famous bird in 2015, you’ll have to travel to Los Angeles or Indonesia, and God help you if you’re trying to find Bosco in either of those places. Leave time for a stop at Kroger’s on the way to the airport, pilgrim, or you’ll be fucked, flustered and far from home.

I digress. Duty now, spuds!

Chocolava Stump Logs

1 12-pack order of Pioneer Chicken Carry-out Logs

1 can Bosco chocolate sauce

Place room temperature sauce into bowl, then carefully dip chicken logs into sauce (chicken nuggets can be substituted in an emergency). Arrange on a plate in either Lincoln Log Cabin or smiley face shapes. Enjoy!

Specify free-range chicken and pesticide-free chocolate syrup.

Something tasty from DEVO, after the jump…

Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
Here’s an incredible unreleased 1982 studio session from Flipper!
06:23 am



Always defying both cultural and counter-cultural conventions, San Francisco’s Flipper were one of the more sonically caustic bands of the early ‘80s West Coast punk scene. Mostly on the pop consciousness radar for being “on Kurt Cobain’s T-shirt,” Flipper is the dirging sound of boredom, depression, and nihilism—ugly music for people with ugly feelings, and their long-lasting influence reaches throughout punk, grunge, sludge, and noise rock.

Infamous band/famous T-shirt.
Some internet saint has uploaded an entire unreleased Flipper studio session from 1982. This recording would have come between their Generic Flipper and Gone Fishin’ records. Indeed, many of the songs on this were re-recorded for Gone Fishin’.

In this excellent article on, Flipper’s Bruce Loose makes mention of an unreleased album:

Luckily, he hasn’t lost his sense of humor, either. He has some hilarious stories, and it’s a joy to hear his voice perk up when he tells them. For example, there was the time he crawled under the stage at a Dead Kennedys show and yelled through a hidden, plugged-in microphone, “I might be ‘too drunk to fuck,’ but I can sure lick some pussy!” He also mentioned a scrapped plan to issue a still-unreleased studio album from the mid-‘80s under the title Flipper’s Greatest Misses, with artwork depicting a dartboard decorated by errantly thrown syringes instead of darts. “Will would have thought it was hilarious,” he maintained.

Loose is referring to bassist/vocalist Will Shatter who died in 1987 of a heroin overdose.

The album remains unreleased to this day, but has appeared as a bootleg CD entitled The Light, The Sound, The Rhythm, The Noise, and—at least for now—you can hear it, in its entirety, on You Tube. It’s absolutely incredible, and if you’re a fan or even have a casual interest in the band , you need to hear this right now.

Tracks included:

In Your Arms
You Naught Me
Survivors of the Plague
In Life, My Friends
One by One
Now is the Time
On & On
In the Garden
First the Heart
I Want to Talk
Flipper Blues
Get Away
Talk’s Cheap
The Light, the Sound, the Rhythm, the Noise

Here you go, you can thank us later:


Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
Man sings ‘If I Only Had a Brain’ during an MRI
12:54 pm


Wizard of Oz

As everyone knows you have stay damned still during an MRI. Like, you can’t move at all! But the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at the University of Illinois has developed “a new technique that is 10-times faster than standard MRI scanners to illustrate how the hundreds of muscles in our neck, jaw, tongue, and lips work together to produce sound.”

The results are pretty crazy-looking as you can see in the video, below.

“The technique excels at high spatial and temporal resolution of speech—it’s both very detailed and very fast,” Sutton said. “Often you can have only one of these in MR imaging. We have designed a specialized acquisition method that gathers the necessary data for both space and time in two parts and then combines them to achieve high-quality, high-spatial resolution, and high-speed imaging.” To capture the audio, the team used a noise-cancelling fiber-optic microphone and synced it with the imaging later.


With a recent K23 Career Development Award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Johnson is investigating whether group singing training with older adults in residential retirement communities will improve the structure of the larynx, giving the adults stronger, more powerful voices. This research relies on pre- and post-data of laryngeal movement collected with the MRI technique.

The researchers published their technique in the journal Magnetic Resonance in Medicine.

Sources: Beckman Institute, Mental Floss 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Ray Davies stars in ‘The Long Distance Piano Player,’ 1970
08:33 am


Ray Davies

In 1970 Ray Davies took a break from the Kinks to work on the first entry for a new anthology drama show for the BBC called Play for Today. The show was to take over from a program called The Wednesday Play that had run since 1964. The premiere of a new drama show generated some interest, as seen in the Radio Times cover above.

The play was called “The Long Distance Piano Player,” and it’s a kind of mashup between They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?, the Sydney Pollack movie of a year earlier about a marathon dancing contest during the Depression, and any number of treacly kitchen-sink dramas of the early to mid-1960s. The idea of the play is that Pete (Davies) plays a guy who will execute, in the words of his unscrupulous manager Jack, “one of the greatest feats of human endurance ever attempted…. the marathon, non-stop piano playing championships of the world—four days and four nights of continuous, I repeat continuous non-stop piano playing!”

It quickly becomes apparent that Pete is being manipulated by Jack and that the whole thing (similar to They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?) is meant to be a metaphor for the rapacious and predatory entertainment world or something. Meanwhile, Pete’s wife Ruth (Lois Daine) importunes him to stop this stupid marathon and get as far away from Jack as possible—it all doesn’t end well, but that much is clear pretty early on in the story. (For those wanting to learn more about the show, this article can’t be beat.)

“The Long Distance Piano Player” was written by Alan Sharp, who wrote many movies in his long career, the best of which is probably Night Moves, a distinctive thriller directed by Arthur Penn and starring Gene Hackman and Melanie Griffith, who was still a teenager at the time. Sharp also wrote Sam Peckinpah’s final movie The Osterman Weekend as well as the 1995 Scottish epic Rob Roy starring Liam Neeson.

Pete’s manager, Jack, is played by Norman Rossington, who also played the Beatles’ manager in A Hard Day’s Night. Typecasting!

“The Long Distance Piano Player” aired on October 15, 1970. (Amusingly, according to the essential Kinks resource All Day and All of the Night, written by Doug Hinman, Davies is said to have booked studio time that evening for his bandmates so that they would be unable to watch it.) The movie isn’t good (and isn’t helped by the literally incessant piano tinkling that never goes away), but Davies is a natural actor and the problems with it have nothing to do with him.

Over the closing credits the as-yet-unreleased song “Got to Be Free” is played; it would appear on Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, Part One, which was released a few weeks after the television special.

The movie is unfortunately broken up into ten parts on YouTube. If you want to hear “Got to Be Free,” it starts at the end of part 9.


Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
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