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‘Pistol shots ring out in a barroom night’: Bob Dylan’s riveting performance of ‘Hurricane,’ 1975
03:28 pm



Yesterday, right after I’d finished reading an article on The Daily Beast about it being the 40th anniversary of Bob Dylan’s 1976 album, Desire, I clicked over to YouTube where I dialed up “Hurricane,” Dylan’s powerful narration of the story of middleweight boxing contender Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, which was the lead single from it. Carter was imprisoned for almost 20 years on flimsy evidence (a random bullet and a shotgun shell found in his car) and sketchy testimony (that the perpetrators had been black, pretty much) for a triple homicide “race killing” in a Paterson, NJ bar in 1966. I still had the Wikipedia page on Carter open on my browser when I saw, in another tab that New York attorney Myron Beldock, who worked for over a decade to free Carter, had died at 86.

Throughout his long career Beldock, who described himself as “a creature of my time, liberal, progressive and idealistic” had a reputation for taking on legal lost causes. One such case was representing George Whitmore Jr., a black teenager who was arrested in Brooklyn in 1964 for the rape and knife-killing of several women. Whitmore claimed he was beaten by NYPD officers until he signed a falsified confession. The outcome of this case would become highly influential in the Supreme Court’s 1966 Miranda decision, which required police to advise suspects of their right to remain silent and be represented by an attorney, and in overturning capital punishment in New York State. But Beldock’s most famous client was Rubin “Hurricane” Carter.

Carter’s case had been boosted by copies of his 1974 autobiography The 16th Round, which proclaimed his innocence, being sent around to notable lefty-types who might want to lend their celebrity to his cause. Esquire magazine’s art director George Lois organized a campaign to support Carter and Muhammad Ali was vocal in proclaiming that Carter was innocent. (Joni Mitchell, however, who was also one of the books’ recipients, passed thinking “This is a bad person. He’s fakin’ it.”)

Her friend Bob Dylan felt differently. Dylan read Carter’s book during a 1975 trip to France, and visited the boxer—who was then incarcerated in a New Jersey penitentiary—in May. The two met for several hours and Dylan agreed to help him.

Having difficulty cracking the lyrics, Dylan enlisted Jacques Levy, a New York-based theatrical director who had worked with Sam Shepard (and who’d staged the nude comedy review Oh! Calcutta! off Broadway) to help. Levy said of the song:

“The first step was putting the song in a total storyteller mode, the beginning of the song is like stage directions, like what you would read in a script: ‘Pistol shots ring out in a barroom night… Here comes the story of the Hurricane.’ Boom! Titles. You now, Bob loves movies, and he can write these movies that take place in eight to ten minutes, yet seem as full or fuller than regular movies.”


“Hurricane” was premiered to an audience of about 100 people in Chicago on September 10th, 1975 during the taping of Bob Dylan’s performance on the PBS TV series Soundstage. This particular episode was titled “The World of John Hammond,” being a tribute to the retiring Columbia Records executive and civil rights activist who’d signed Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Aretha Franklin and Leonard Cohen (among many, many others) during his fabled 45-year-long career in the music industry. The show, broadcast in December would be Dylan’s very first TV appearance since his duet with Johnny Cash in 1969. The 8:33 single was recorded on October 24 and released in November.

Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Revue was used by the artist as a platform to campaign for Rubin Carter’s release and the first leg of the tour ended at Madison Square Garden on December 8th with a benefit concert dubbed the “Night of The Hurricane.” Roberta Flack and Muhammad Ali, who called Carter in his jail cell from the stage, also participated. A second event, Night of the Hurricane II, took place on January 25th at the Houston Astrodome and featured Stevie Wonder and Stephen Stills.

Continues after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
‘The Height of Goth’: Visions of goths enjoying a night of dance, 1984
02:18 pm



It’s something of a miracle that The Height of Goth: 1984: A Night at the Xclusiv Nightclub exists. According to Patrick Torsney, who was at the venue in Batley, West Yorkshire, near Leeds, that night and who posted it to YouTube in 2011, it was created by Ann and Pete Swallow, who managed the Xclusiv Nightclub, as a promotion and only about 50 VHS copies were ever made. The video Torsney found so many years later was “trashed, mildewed, beyond junk” but the restoration did a pretty good job of making it watchable on YouTube. The first few minutes are a little wonky but it settles down after that.

At the outset we see the impressive edifice that houses the Xclusiv and meet the Swallows—Pete hilariously says that his club’s clientele are mainly “way out young people.” The Height of Goth is a remarkable bit of amateur documentary, showing exactly what a night on the town at a typical, Goth-y nightclub was like in northern England in the halcyon year of 1984. It’s two solid hours, and almost all of it is just regular folks gyrating on a dancefloor while tunes like the Psychedelic Furs’ “Love My Way” supply the soundtrack.

About halfway through the dude pretending to be a local reporter type interviews some of the attendees; his attitude is actually pretty dismissive of all the crazy fashions and stuff, but hardly anyone seems to notice. The first couple he interviews, bedabbed with goth-y face paint, in all apparent sincerity claim to like Glenn Miller better than anyone else, a note that is also struck by the DJ, named Paul, at the beginning of the video. I don’t know what’s up with that except to say that where there’s dancing, you might find Glenn Miller fans?

One of the last songs in the DJ’s set, a little after the 1:55 mark, is David Bowie’s “Life on Mars?”—the homespun choreography for that bit has to be seen to be believed.

This was a goth-y kind of affair but in fact, what’s quite apparent is that a paying audience of adults (even if this was a special night for the filming) aren’t going to want just wall-to-wall Siouxsie and Echo, so there’s REM and Bowie and “The Monster Mash” and the Stranglers and goth-y precursors the Doors mixed in with New Order and Blancmange.

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Classic albums represented as vintage Penguin paperbacks
12:26 pm



David Bowie, Aladdin Sane. Those red and blue spines seem artfully placed, hm?.......

I’ve collected Penguin paperbacks for years; I’ve always been drawn to the groovy mid-century aesthetic of the covers from the pre-1980 era (actually pre-1970 for the really good stuff), with the stately and ineffably British typesetting and the promise of erudite treasures within.

So something in me totally lit up when I saw the StandardDesigns shop at Etsy. Clearly whoever is doing this store is a kindred spirit. You see, their main stock in trade is making posters where each of the songs of certain classic albums (there’s an emphasis on Bowie and British postpunk and Britpop, but not to worry, it’s not like VU and Springsteen and the Pixies and Tom Waits aren’t also in the mix) are represented by a single book from the midcentury Penguins. Once you do all of the songs of Doolittle or OK Computer or Substance, say, you’ve got a tidy little shelf of dog-eared paperbacks, each with a title in the often-teeny Penguin spine lettering.

Appreciating these posters is assisted by knowing some of the basics of the Penguin paperback world. One great thing about midcentury Penguins was the wonderful rules they set down in order to communicate things. For instance, the Pelican imprint specialized in nonfiction subjects and used blue as the indicating color, while murder mysteries almost always used green.

The early (and quite famous) phase of Penguin paperbacks were dominated by Jan Tschichold’s 1940s-era design with author and title information set in Gill Sans, flanked by huge orange stripes on the top and bottom. In 1962 Romek Marber came up with a standardized layout for Penguin titles that came to be known as the Marber Grid, which did a great deal to clarify what a Penguin cover was supposed to look like. Opinions may differ but most of my favorite covers use the Marber Grid.

The Marber Grid
The posters go in for a lot of little in-jokes or otherwise apt use of the Penguin spines. The “shelves” for Nebraska, Velvet Underground and Nico, Aladdin Sane, Velvet Underground and Nico, Unknown Pleasures and a couple others strongly mimic the album covers they’re recapitulating, while in most of the other cases there’s just a vague color resemblance. For Velvet Underground and Nico they’ve worked in the name “Andy Warhol” as the “editor” of the volume Heroin. The one for Led Zeppelin’s “Zoso” album doesn’t mention the band’s name anywhere—just like the real cover—and also uses exclusively titles from the Penguin Poets series from the late 1950s, while OK Computer, quite aptly, is made up entirely of those blue nonfiction Pelicans. My favorite detail actually comes from the poster for The Queen Is Dead, where “Bigmouth Strikes Again” is the only spine that’s one of those green mystery covers, which is somehow totally appropriate.

Each poster costs $26.54 but there are bundle deals if you want more than one. If you want to learn more about the history of Penguin design, I can’t recommend Phil Baines’ book Penguin By Design strongly enough, and Seven Hundred Penguins is also a fantastic treat.

Click on any of the posters for a larger view.

Velvet Underground and Nico

Pulp, Different Class
Continues after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Vintage documentary charts the rise of the Superstar DJ
12:03 pm



John Peel
Once upon a time, long, long before TV and computer technology made them irrelevant, the radio disc jockey was the person millions turned to in order to hear the latest, hippest, grooviest sounds their earholes could handle.

Radio DJs were the arbiters of sound, music, information, gossip, jokes, fashion and news—a bit like the Internet, except far more cuddly and user friendly.

In Britain during those promiscuous 1970s, millions of youngsters were shocking their parents by going to bed with John Peel and then waking up with Tony Blackburn… and his dog Arnold. The sound of the DJs could be heard everywhere—from cars, shops, kitchens, homes, factories, schoolyards and those dinky little pocket radios that everyone and their Mom seemed to have, dangling from plastic wristbands.

The music revolution of the 1960s really began with the arrival of cheap polyvinyl chloride in the fifties which meant record companies could mass produce singles and albums. Previously record discs had been made of the far more expensive Bakelite. The PVC revolution tied in very neatly with the incredible flourishing of young musical talent—and so the Swinging Sixties were born.

Suddenly youngsters wanted to hear music before they bought it, or even if they didn’t buy it. This gave rise to Pirate Radio. At the time the BBC was the only organization in Britain with the license to transmit radio shows. However a small loophole in maritime law allowed DJs to broadcast from ships anchored just outside UK waters. And so pop-pickers Pirate Radio was born.
Radio genius Kenny Everett.

In 1967 the BBC admitted defeat and launched Radio One—a youth radio station for pop music. Radio One became the biggest and most successful radio station in the country with generation after generation of youngsters learning their love of music or finding their inspiration to form bands from listening to the station’s DJs.

This delightful BBC documentary from 1970 looks at the rise of the Radio One DJ and features Emperor Rosko, John Peel, Kenny Everett and Tony Blackburn—four very different radio hosts. The program takes a rather condescending tone throughout and even suggests, in commentary that sex with fans was one of the perks of working for the BBC!

Radio One belongs to the taxpayer and doesn’t splash princely salaries around for men like Emperor Rosko. He accepts the BBC’s shop policy of paying low wages as both sides know about the big big perks that can accompany the adulation of this new empire—British teeny boppers.

The interviewer also tries to dish dirt from these innocent little teenyboppers, grilling one poor girl about her infatuation with Emperor Rosko:

“I listen to him and I like listening to his voice and I get carried away” says one young besotted teenager about the subject of her adoration DJ Emperor Rosko:

“What do you mean you get carried away?” says Ms. Prim from the BBC

“I just hear his voice and I imagine him…” says adoring young fan.

“When you say you imagine him…you imagine him doing what?” continues our interrogator.

“Talking and smiling and…all the actions with it. It’s just good.”

“And where do you do your listen to this?”

“In the bedroom.”

More after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Couples Fight: Synth band sets arguments to music, and it’s pretty brilliant
09:30 am



Phoenix, AZ musician Travis James (a/k/a “TJ”) is the ringleader of the eclectic and snarky trio Travis James & The Acrimonious Assembly of Arsonists, but he’s attracting more musical attention lately with his ex-girlfriend, Alaynha Gabrielle (a/k/a “A”), a pianist and singer with a background in theater. Their duo, Couples Fight, transforms the most ordinary of significant-other arguments into stupidly catchy, acutely ‘80s synthpop songs. Their first digital single—“Whatever You Want,” a rehash of that one singularly annoying back-and-forth about where to go for dinner that we’ve all been in about a million times—was released just this past December, and their debut E.P. showed up on Bandcamp less than a week ago. But despite their practically neonatal status as a band, they’ve already been featured on the cover of the Phoenix New Times bands to watch in 2016 issue.


A & TJ have successfully turned a pretty loathsome universal experience into a really fun E.P., which we’ve embedded for streaming below. A & TJ were kind enough to give DM some of their time to jointly answer some questions:

Dangerous Minds: What sparked the idea of transcribing arguments into lyrics? Since you two are exes, it’s tempting to wonder if this wound up being a creative expression of your own actual breakup.

Couples Fight: The arguments featured on the E.P. are actually things we never really fought about, so the cliché problems other couples fight about inspired us to make songs that make fun. The title “Breaking Up” has kind of a personal element to it since we were technically together when the project started, but the details of our split would be a bit more complex to put to song, haha.

DM: You could have done any kind of music, why dancey synth-punk? What’s the actual process of making a Couples Fight song happen?

Couples Fight: Electronic music spares us the hassle of having to try to get along with actual people, cus if we had other permanent band members, we’d probably either date’m or hate’m, the former often leading to the latter. Also, not playing instruments frees us up to make a more engaging stage production with props and fun stuff to make the fun music even funner. The writing process is basically just brainstorms and back-and-forths; we mutually pitch ideas to each other both conceptually and musically.

DM: How long does this stay funny, do you think? Given that you’ve only released a handful of songs so far, there are obviously plenty of untapped topics left to lampoon. Does this project have a known shelf life, or does it go on indefinitely until you’ve had your last musical argument and you break up again?

Couples Fight: I think a good argument for the staying-power of this project’s concept is the overwhelming abundance of songs about love and relationships that have permeated popular music since forever. The history of pop and punk music alike undeniably demonstrates that there is no shortage of interest in or innovation for songs about interpersonal relationships and their complexity.

DM: What’s next? More recordings, gigs, any touring? Today Greater Phoenix, tomorrow the world?

Couples Fight: In the coming year, we want to begin working on a full-length that explores a bit more dark and less cute content and get a bit experimental in ways that don’t ruin the original approach like most idiot bands do when they say “experimental.” We’ll eventually tour, and keep going until every heart is broken!
More after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
Truly outrageous: Can ‘Jiz’ save the abortion that was the ‘Jem’ movie?
08:56 am

A girl's best friend is her guitar


“Why can’t we have a baby?”
“Uh, DUH, because I like abortions.”
“But can’t we let one go to full term?”
“Oh gross. Look. You know the rules. Only live things go in my pussy…”
“Yes, and only dead things come out, yes I remember.”

I was just having a conversation with my editor and comrade here at Dangerous Minds, Richard Metzger, and we were discussing classic overdubbed comedy videos, such as the ones we recently featured in this post about The Rusty James Show.

I was surprised to find he was unfamiliar with the Internet classic, Jiz. Later, in talking to others, I found that I actually had a great number of friends that had never been turned onto the work of Sienna D’Enema and his reworkings of the classic Jem and the Holograms cartoons. This is certainly a tragedy that must be rectified.

A truly, truly, truly outrageous tragedy…
Most of the Jiz cartoon parodies are about six years old now, but the humor is timeless if you enjoy very politically-incorrect toilet humor about drag queens who love drugs, abortions, the word “motherfucking,” gangbangs, shitty panties, and lipstick lesbians.

After the jump, some classic transgressive get-real-high-and-overdub-shit video art…

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
Butthole Surfers live in Rotterdam: ‘Those people put a lot of mayonnaise on their french fries’
04:20 pm



I have said it before and I will happily say it again: There was never a band that was as extreme live as the Butthole Surfers. None came even close. Not before and certainly not since. They raised the insanity bar so high with their violent, chaotic, druggy, duel-drummer götterdämmerung that they probably merit a special category of high weirdness all to themselves. Maybe someday someone will coin a term—like surrealism—to describe their potent and singularly evil—yet juvenile, often silly—art form.

During their mid-to late-80s heyday, the Satanic mayhem of a Butthole Surfers show was probably about as far as most people would have ever wanted to go in search of entertainment. For what foul-minded, dark ritual would lie beyond them? The Butthole Surfers pulverized their audience, who were often as lysergically loaded as the demonically jerking jesters onstage. One did not simply attend a Butthole Surfers show, one chemically prepared for it like some horribly fucked-up pagan ritual. Volunteering, as it were, for a very bad acid trip.

Aside from the vicious and lacerating sonic assault of the music—which was fucking loud, I can assure you—there was also the incomparably incomprehensible nude go-go dancer, Kathleen Lynch; seizure-inducing strobe lights and 16mm projections comprised of Faces of Death-type footage, cheap Mexican horror films and 1950s era shots of people with Down’s syndrome ballroom dancing. Gibby Haynes would douse his hands (and the cymbals) with lighter fluid and then stare at the flames like a drooling idiot before putting the fire out by sticking his hand down the front of his pants.

Perhaps the most legendary of their many legendary interviews was for Forced Exposure, the greatest underground music “zine” of the 1980s. Forced Exposure, like Mondo 2000, was produced erratically, so when a new issue came out, it felt like an event. The Surfers were the cover subject of Forced Exposure, issue #11 in 1987 and much of the “mythology” of the band comes from this one source. Like their hilarious “bed in” interviews (a John and Yoko parody) on their infamous home video release, 1985’s A Blind Eye Sees All, the extra-lengthy Forced Exposure interview is a masterpiece of stoned Jabberwocky and nutty road stories:

FORCED EXPOSURE: How were the shows there?
GIBBY: They were fun. They were really fun. I couldn’t tell if they liked us. We did a good job. We had fun at the show in…
PAUL: Wales?
GIBBY: Wales, yeah.
KING: Rotterdam?
GIBBY: Yeah. What a show in Rotterdam. We used to have a cassette of the radio interview that was played over the Dutch radio station.
KING: Yeah. Gibby was put on videotape putting his dick on the record executive’s shoulder from behind. For a long time. The guy didn’t even know it was there for a long time.
GIBBY: Yeah. And Kid Congo Powers was following me around ‘cause he wanted to be my friend. Then I realized that he thought I had all the money, and he was waiting for me to pass out so he could take it all out of my pocket. I was walking around breaking bottles and trying to push people over these fifty foot things ...
PAUL: Gibby took on five Dutch security guards. That was a fun night. I ended up trying to carry all the band’s equipment back to the hotel by myself. I almost left an overcoat and something else behind because I couldn’t carry them, not knowing that all our money was in the coat. Everybody else took off.
GIBBY: I didn’t take off.
PAUL: Gibby was taking on the entire bouncer scene looking for the money that I was getting ready to leave in the bushes.
FORCED EXPOSURE: You playing Rotterdam again this time?
GIBBY: I don’t know. Those people put a lot of mayonnaise on their french fries.

Continues after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Shane MacGowan perpetrates ‘Cannibalism at Clash gig,’ 1976
02:34 pm



On Saturday, October 23, 1976, the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London hosted a show by the brand-new punk sensation known as the Clash. It was an eventful evening by any reckoning.

The openers were Subway Sect and Snatch Sounds, who seem not to have made much of an impression. At that point the Clash and the Sex Pistols were in a category of two in terms of being at the absolute pinnacle of delivering pissed-off punk music and generating the electric excitement of punk (and the associated publicity too). The night before and that night too, Patti Smith was playing the Hammersmith Odeon but managed to make her way to the ICA so that she could dance onstage to “I’m So Bored with the U.S.A.” As will be easily imagined, the audience was in a rowdy mood and the alcohol was flowing freely. The show had been billed as “a night of pure energy,” and it surely lived up to that.

In the November 6, 1976, issue of the New Musical Express ran an account of the show written by Barry Miles, who preferred to go simply by “Miles” as a nom de journalisme. The cheeky, startling headline of the piece was “CANNIBALISM AT CLASH GIG,” with the subtitle “But why didn’t anybody eat MILES?” At the top and the bottom of the writeup were two pictures, taken by Red Saunders, of Shane MacGowan and a renowned punk fan named Jane Crockford, unflatteringly nicknamed “Mad Jane.” The pictures show indistinct mayhem as well as a generous portion of blood flowing from MacGowan’s right earlobe. Interestingly, both of the subjects were, or would be, in notable bands of their own; MacGowan was in the Nipple Erectors and (of course) the Pogues, while Jane was in the Bank of Dresden and the Mo-dettes.

In Bob Gruen’s must-own book The Clash he gets Mick Jones and Paul Simonon to comment on the show:

Mick: That was the night of Shane MacGowan’s earlobe, wasn’t it? He didn’t really have it bitten off, you know. Isn’t that the same show where Patti Smith got up on stage during our set?

Paul: That was the ICA—it was called A Night of Pure Energy. My haircut’s gone very mod; it had flopped down from all the jumping around onstage. In the beginning all that jumping about was a way of dodging gobs and missiles generally. There’s Joe with his sharks’ teeth—when I first met him they looked just like a real sharks’ teeth.

Gruen notes of the MacGowan incident that it gave the Clash “their first significant press coverage.” He also quotes Joe Strummer as saying, “Without Mad Jane’s teeth and Shane’s earlobe, we wouldn’t have got in the papers that week.”

In The Clash: Return of the Last Gang in Town, Marcus Gray writes about that evening:

When the Clash started playing, a couple in front of Miles and Red were obstructing their view of the band. Apparently intent on attacking each other while laughing like maniacs, they refused to move out of the way. So Red took pictures of them. “I had no idea how famous those photos were to become.” The NME used them to accompany Miles’s report under the headline “CANNIBALISM AT CLASH GIG”: “A young couple, somewhat out of it, had been nibbling and fondling each other amid the broken glass when she suddenly lunged forward and bit his ear lobe off [while the crowd] watched with cold, calculate hipitude.” ... the Clash gig was a wild night fuelled by speed and alcohol. The bar staff entered into the spirit of the evening to such an extent that they gave away a further £80 worth of booze ... and the twosome Miles and Red observed, Mad Jane and Shane MacGowan, were by no means content to loiter at the back of the queue.

“Me and this girl were having a bit of a laugh which involved biting each other’s arms till they were completely covered in blood and then smashing up a couple of bottles and cutting each other up a bit,” Shane informed ZigZag’s Granuaille in 1986, setting the record straight on the occasion of punk’s 10th anniversary, and, in the process, offering another insight into the mythopoetics of punk. “That, in those days, was the sort of thing that people used to do. I haven’t got a clue now why I did it or why anyone would want to do it, but that was how teenagers got their kicks in London if they were hip. Anyway, in the end she went a bit over the top and bottled me in the side of the head. Gallons of blood came out and someone took a photograph. I never got it bitten off—although we had bitten each other to bits—it was just a heavy cut.” As Shane noted, though, the anecdote was exaggerated with each telling. “It’s like the old story about the bloke who catches the fish. He says that it weighs this much and it’s that big, and within a couple of days it’s a whale.” Over the years, few have been prepared to let the fact that his earlobes are both present and correct stand in the way of a good story.

More after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Can we just talk about how great The Dicks (the band) were?
08:44 am



‘80s punk band, The Dicks, are the subject of a documentary being released this month titled The Dicks From Texas, as well as a related compilation tribute album. I recently had the opportunity to screen the documentary, which can be pre-ordered here, and it rekindled my love affair with The Dicks—who, in my opinion, are a top shelf American punk act, worthy of as much attention and admiration as Bad Brains, Dead Kennedys, or Minor Threat.

Head Dick, Gary Floyd
Hailing from Austin, Texas at a time when the town wasn’t quite the bastion of liberal hipsterocity it is today, the self-proclaimed “commie faggot band” featured singer Gary Floyd, a flamboyantly queer, communist behemoth who often performed early gigs in drag.  Floyd’s larger-than-life stage presence wasn’t mere shock value, he had the pipes to back it up. His, please forgive this played-out term, soulful vocals lent an impassioned urgency to the band’s sharp trebly guitar attack. In my opinion, no other singer from the “hardcore” era can touch him. Bad Brains’ HR and Fear’s Lee Ving may sit in his court, but Gary Floyd is the king.

The band began humbly as not even a band, but as a “poster band”—a fake name put on posters as sort of an “art piece.”

The Dicks from Texas producer, Cindy Marabito:

The Dicks started when singer Gary Floyd returned to Austin, TX after seeing the Sex Pistols in San Francisco. He started claiming he had a band called the Dicks. This was known as a “poster band.” Fliers were made with fake shows and non-existent groups.

Gary Floyd would go around town putting up posters advertising The Dicks with crazy ass pictures and promises that the ‘first ten people with guns drink for free.’ It was a wild and crazy time in Austin, back when ‘keeping Austin weird’ got you thrown in jail.


The title cut from The Dicks’ first single, “Hate the Police,” released in 1980 is one of their most well-known songs, but everything they recorded in their original incarnation from 1980 to 1986 is gold. The Peace? EP, the split live LP with the Big Boys, the Kill From the Heart LP, and the These People LP are all monsters and I’d be torn on trying to recommend any one of those over another. Alternative Tentacles put out a compilation titled Dicks: 1980-1986—that’s a good “greatest hits” type starting place.

If you’re among the Dangerous Minds readership that has somehow never been exposed to the glory of The Dicks, I have a few favorites I’d like to share that have been mixtape staples of mine for decades, after the jump…

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
‘The Rusty James Show’: The idiot bastard son of Woody Allen and Firesign Theatre, starring Elvis?
03:18 pm

Pop Culture


Fifty years ago—in the perfect pop culture year of 1966—Woody Allen did his first film project for American International Pictures, home to Roger Corman, monsters, bikers, acid heads and futuristic Death Races looking way forward to the year 2000. I say film project as he didn’t make his first film, he sort of stole it! Legally.

Basically Allen took the Japanese action film International Secret Police: Key of Keys and re-dubbed the dialogue, changing the plot to make it revolve around a secret egg salad recipe being fought over by rival James Bond-type spy characters. The film became What’s Up Tiger Lily? and was quite well received. The idea had been done before of course, on a smaller scale by Rocky and Bullwinkle creator Jay Ward for his Fractured Flickers TV series in 1963, and surely others had toyed with the concept, but not in a feature length film. The opportunities for juvenile, MAD Magazine humor were endless and very funny.

What’s Up Tiger Lily? created a model that has been followed by some of the funniest people in history. Here is the trailer in which Allen explains to an unsuspecting public what it is that he has done. (The entire film can also be found on YouTube.)


The next one of these dubbed comedies that comes to mind was in fact done by two of the funniest people to ever grace this planet, Phillip Proctor and the late Peter Bergman of Firesign Theatre fame. In 1979 Proctor and Bergman took clips from 1940s Republic Serials and overdubbed and rewrote an extremely stoned cliffhanger entitled J-Men Forever, starring themselves in newly filmed black and white bits that were inserted into the insane mess of rearranged reality. To top this off they used modern loud rock n roll music for the soundtrack.

To quote the blurb under the YouTube clip:

J-Men Forever became the signature for Night Flight’s stoned comedy audience in the 1980’s. This ultimate late night chronic high comedy was the most demanded rerun for the entire 8 years Night Flight was on the USA Network.

After the jump, experience the inspired insanity of ‘The Rusty James Show’...

Posted by Howie Pyro | Leave a comment
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