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Dead Kennedys’ ‘International’ punk event, 1984
12.10.2014
09:47 am

Topics:
Music
Punk

Tags:
Jello Biafra
Dead Kennedys


Recognize this guy?

Incendiary pro-shot video Dead Kennedys set from the Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles, 1984. This was the infamous “International Event” concert held on August 10th that ended in a riot (like many hardcore shows in Los Angeles did at that time, especially ones held at the Olympic, once a boxing arena, now a church). Note that tickets were just $7.50!
 

 
Also on the bill that evening were Italy’s Raw Power, BGK from the UK, Finnish hardcore group Riistetyt, Mexico’s Solución Mortal and Reagan Youth.

Dig Biafra’s boss Carl Jr.‘s tee-shirt. Now THIS is a front man!


 
More after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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Psychedelic sounds of The Devil’s Anvil: ‘Hard Rock From the Middle East,’ 1967
12.09.2014
02:19 pm

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Felix Pappalardi
Devil's Anvil


 
The ill-fated Middle Eastern influenced rock group, The Devil’s Anvil were discovered by record producer Felix Pappalardi (Cream’s Disraeli Gears) playing in a New York City cafe in 1967. Pappalardi got the band signed to Columbia Records and played bass on their album.

The Devil’s Anvil were Steve Knight (rhythm guitar, bass, bouzouki), Jerry Satpir (lead guitar, vocals), Elierzer Adoram (accordion) and Kareem Issaq (oud, vocals). Hard Rock from the Middle East would be their only record. Despite their truly original sound—which pre-dated “World Beat” by many years—luck was not on the side of The Devil’s Anvil, for on the very same day that Hard Rock from the Middle East streeted, the 1967 Arab-Israeli War broke out, too, and no American radio station would touch it.

Pappalardi later went on to form Mountain with Steve Knight and Leslie West.

Below, a four song selection from The Devil’s Anvil—“Karkadon,” “Besaha,” “Hala Laya,” “Nahna oud-Diab”:

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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‘AD/BC: A Rock Opera’: Brilliant ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ parody
12.09.2014
10:01 am

Topics:
Belief
Music
Television

Tags:
Matt Berry
Richard Ayoade


 
To list the principal talents of AD/BC: A Rock Opera, a 30-minute parody of 1970s religious rock and roll musicals like Jesus Christ Superstar and Godspell (hell, throw in Hair as well), is to name a healthy portion of the people who have made British comedy so vital and bracing over the last 10 or 15 years. You’ll find the names Matt Berry, Richard Ayoade, Julian Barratt, Noel Fielding, Graham Linehan, Steve Coogan, Matt Lucas, and Rich Fulcher prominently displayed in the credits of The IT Crowd, The Mighty Boosh, Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace, Snuff Box, I’m Alan Partridge, Nighty Night, Little Britain, and Noel Fielding’s Luxury Comedy. Given that pedigree, the puzzle is why it’s not better known outside of Britain and hailed as a Christmas classic.
 

 
If you were for some reason obstinately holding the view that there wasn’t much overdone or mannered about the 1970s genre of religious rock musicals, let AD/BC serve as the ecstatic corrective. Berry and Ayoade’s narrative, which dates from 2004, is a played as a “straight” recreation of a 1978 rock opera focusing on on the “Innkeeper” in Bethlehem who owns the manger where Christ was born. (There’s a clever touch of an in-house network tag indicating that “AD/BC” was broadcast on December 19, 1978.) The plummy intro of composer “Tim Wynde” (Berry), who also plays the innkeeper, introduces us to “a man whom I always thought to be one of the more intriguing yet under-explored figures in this oft-recounted tale—in fact, one might immodestly call it ‘the greatest story never told.’” The innkeeper’s problem in life is that “running an inn is just mumbo and jive”—but no worries, there’s a gratuitous montage of actual 1970s B&B’s to explicate his lot.
 

 
The exquisite joke underlying it all is that the innkeeper’s story is dreadfully boring, so they have to gin up a plot about the innkeeper being threatened by “Tony Iscariot,” a rival hotel owner, played by “Roger Kingsman, from the Purple Explosion” (Barratt, sublime). Ayoade plays “Joseph Christ,” who in a campfire solo heavily influenced by CCR’s “Proud Mary” explains that his wife is pregnant, even though “Christ, I swear I never touched her / But she tells me everything’s all right.”
 

 
Indeed, just about everything in AD/BC is gorgeously, intentionally “over-” something: over-emphatic, over-done, over-ripe. It may be the most meticulously executed and lovingly observed parody since, well, Young Frankenstein. For those who suspect that it might be kind of a one-note gag, the glorious success of AD/BC lies in a thousand tiny details, a cut between scenes that is six frames too early, the sudden and unmotivated amplification of a lyric, the unabashed use of freeze frames and split screens, the anachronistic use of “Christ” as a malediction, the many puzzling cuts and transitions and wipes, the pandering and facile verses that tend to explain everything three times, the unbridled posturing by most every singer, the egregiously dated sexual attitudes (“time is a menstruous women, one cannot control her eddying currents…”), the oddly mis-sync’d vocal tracks, the occasional insertions of dialogue (unadjusted for pitch) between verses…..

TL;DR: AD/BC is a hilarious parody of Jesus Christ Superstar that has a half-dozen smashing songs and dozens of rib-tickling details. I’m tempted to just list the many, many delicious jokes buried in here, but it’s best you discover them for yourself—and best of all, it’s just in time for our weeks-long celebration of the birthday of… Our Lord.
 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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You know you want these knitted Morrissey dolls
12.09.2014
08:50 am

Topics:
Amusing
Art
Music

Tags:
Morrissey


 
Kate Park makes these fantastic knitted Morrissey dolls. Sad thing is, since Kate’s work has blown up on the Internet, she simply can’t fill all the orders she’s been getting. That’s a good problem to have for a small business that makes knitted Morrissey dolls, right?

If you’d like to contact Kate about her tiny open-shirt Mozzer, here’s how:

Enquiries are still arriving and I’m thinking that at this rate, I might do a mailing list next year, so if you’d like to be on that (should it happen) and get emailed when a new doll goes on sale, please email knittedmoz@gmail.com to leave your details.

Please, please, please let me get what I want!

Yesterday on his website Morrissey listed his reasons for declining to deliver Channel 4’s rival programming for Her Majesty’s annual televised Christmas Day message on BBC. The singer, well known for despising the monarchy, said that he was sympathetic of the Queen’s right to address the country, adding that she’s irrelevant anyways, so why bother?

“My view that the monarchy should be quietly dismantled for the good of England is reasonably well-known, but I don’t think Christmas Day is quite the time to be trading slaps. The Queen should be allowed the impassioned trance of her annual address to the British people, if only to once again prove that, in her frozen posture, she has nothing to offer and nothing to say, and she has no place in modern Britain except as a figure of repression; no independent thought required. The Queen very well might be the most powerful woman in England, but she lacks the power to make herself loved, and the phony inflation of her family attacks all rational intellect.

All over the world highly civilized peoples exist without the automatic condescension of a ‘royal’ family. England can do the same, and will find more respect for doing so.”


 

 

 
via Boing Boing

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
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Primitive: Lou Reed’s pre-Velvet Underground recordings
12.08.2014
03:13 pm

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Lou Reed


 
Some seldom heard early recordings of a recently-out-of-college Lou Reed made during his pre-Velvet Underground days as a staff songwriter and performer at Pickwick International Records, a cheapy record company that did “cash-ins” based on current fads and dance crazes.

These four tracks recorded in 1964 showed up on a 1979 Velvets bootleg called “the velvet underground, etc.” This particular bootleg, which came from Australia, was once a record collector’s holy grail, along with its companion volume, “the velvet underground & so on.” Now you can easily find both of them on audio blogs.
 

 
“You’re Driving Me Insane” by The Roughnecks:

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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‘Blue’ Gene Pitney: The all-American crooner who was an honorary member of the ‘British Invasion’
12.08.2014
12:28 pm

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Gene Pitney


 
Clean cut, All-American crooner Gene Pitney was a massive star in the 1960s—and remained popular in Europe—but he is all but forgotten today in the country of his birth. Pitney possessed one of the most distinctive male voices of the 60s, a high-pitched, quavering vibrato that made his songs of unrequited love and losers promising to prove themselves to their women particularly moving.

Starting off as a songwriter—Pitney wrote “He’s a Rebel” for the Crystals and “Hello Mary Lou” for Rick Nelson—and recording engineer, Pitney racked up an impressive string of sixteen top forty hits. Along with but a small handful of American performers (Roy Orbison, Beach Boys, The Supremes) Gene Pitney not only survived the British invasion, but practically became an honorary member of it. In fact, he played piano on the first Rolling Stones album. Mick Jagger and Keith Richards reciprocated by gifting him with “That Girl Belongs to Yesterday,” a top ten hit in Britain the first hit song they would write together. (Pitney also had an affair with Marianne Faithfull, who allegedly said he was the “best lay” she ever had. She also called Pitney pompous and a “complete asshole” in her autobiography.)

By the 1970s, Pitney’s fortunes sagged in the US, but he was still able to play to packed houses in England and Italy. In 1989, Pitney scored a month-long British #1 with a duet of his “Something’s Gotten Hold of My Heart” recorded with Marc Almond. The pair famously appeared on Terry Wogan’s program, Almond sporting black leather and Pitney, a white tux (Nick Cave also did a killer version of this song on his Kicking Against the Pricks covers album).
 

 
In 2002, Gene Pitney was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He died in Cardiff, Wales in 2006 after a performance there. If you’re interested in a good “greatest hits” collection, you can’t go wrong with Rhino’s Gene Pitney Anthology 1961-1968.

Below, Gene Pitney doing one of his very best numbers, “Looking Through the Eyes of Love,” written by Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil:

 
A plethora of Pitney, after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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Before there was ‘The Babadook,’ there was ‘Monster’ the ‘baby Babadook’
12.08.2014
10:01 am

Topics:
Music

Tags:
horror
Jennifer Kent
The Babadook


 
There’s a reason why the critics and all your friends who’ve seen it are raving about the new horror movie, The Babadook: It’s because it’s really well-done and fucking scary. For the most part, I find horror films extremely uninteresting, but this one, about a young boy with a pop-up book from Hell, grabbed me immediately with its stylish sense of anxiety, claustrophobia and unease. It’s genuinely frightening and it doesn’t rely on the cliched tropes of “found video” that’s been getting old since The Blair Witch Project or sudden loud noises for its scares.

The 2014 Australian indie horror, written and directed by Jennifer Kent has a nearly perfect rating on Rotten Tomatoes and currently has a score of 87 out of 100 on Metacritic, which seems about right. Last week William Friedkin director of The Exorcist tweeted “Psycho, Alien, Diabolique, and now THE BABADOOK” adding “I’ve never seen a more terrifying film than THE BABADOOK. It will scare the hell out of you as it did me.” Stephen King tweeted “Deeply disturbing and highly recommended. You don’t watch it so much as experience it.” If you won’t take my word for it, take theirs.
 

 
The Babadook inhabits a place where the Zuni devil doll from Trilogy of Terror meets Roman Polanski’s The Tenant meets Mommy Dearest meets David Lynch meets Mark Z. Danielewski’s House of Leaves meets Häxan: Witchcraft Through the Ages meets Georges Méliès meets… Papa Lazarou from League of Gentlemen? I think you’ll know from that mouthful of a sentence whether or not The Babadook is the film for you. Six-year-old Noah Wiseman is a revelation in his role as the difficult son of an emotionally disturbed single mother and Essie Davis, as his mom, is simply terrific. Surely she’s going to find doors opening up to her in Hollywood, she’s great in this. It’s basically the two of them who carry the entire film.
 

 
I’m not going to spill any of the beans, it’s best to see it without knowing much more than this. What I do want to point out is that The Babadook‘s critically-lauded first time feature director Jennifer Kent, who did an apprenticeship with Danish director Lars von Trier on the set of his Dogville, made a short predecessor to The Babadook in 2005 called “Monster” which she refers to as a “baby Babadook.”
 

 
After the jump, ‘The Babadook’ trailer…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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Highlights from the world’s first Juggalo art exhibition
12.08.2014
07:17 am

Topics:
Art
Hip-hop
Music

Tags:
Juggalos
Insane Clown Posse


AWJA
 
British artist Lucy Owen put herself through a crash course on America’s most amusingly violent subculture, the magnet-bedazzled Juggalo “family” that regularly congregates around events run by Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope, better known as Insane Clown Posse. The annual convention of the band’s facepainted fans has become a riotous annual tradition in the Midwest known as the Gathering of the Juggalos, complete with bands, standup comedy, Faygo, wrestling, helicopter rides, crystal meth, and, at a guess, third-degree burns? 

Owen became intrigued by an online forum encounter with a self-identified Juggalo who claimed to be ridiculed and mocked constantly—something I just did myself. Quoth Owen:

“The negative reaction from the other people on the forum was so intense, I was wondering if he’d just admitted to being a child molester or a mass murderer. ... So I started to research it. What I found was a subculture so profoundly bizarre—at times shocking, and other times plain funny—that I felt compelled to start exploring it through my work.”

Owen immersed herself in ICP’s music and headed for Detroit, the band’s home base, and not only attended the Gathering but also followed the band on tour for dates in the Midwest. The fruits of her research can be seen in the 27 paintings of Where the Juggalo Roam, a show that opened last Friday at Start Gallery in Detroit; it runs until December 20.

I have to say, these paintings are quite deftly turned out, a darn sight better than (no offense) whatever image the phrase “Juggalo paintings” was likely to call up.
 

Psychopathic (detail)
 

America’s Tortured Brow
 

Abomination
 

Fuck Gainsborough
 

Poster Boy
 

Paperman
 

Murder Is to Crow as Family Is to Juggalo
 

New Gotham
 
More Juggalo masterpieces after the jump…...

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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Turntablism: So there’s a Spirograph record player hack
12.06.2014
09:54 am

Topics:
Amusing
Art
Design
Music
Science/Tech

Tags:
turntable
Spirograph


 
As if having a turntable didn’t already cause me and my savings account enough trouble, after seeing these videos, now I really want another one. There are some crafty people out there who’ve figured out how to make record players function as visual art tools. Specifically, drawing roulette curves, not entirely unlike Christian Marclay weilding a Spirograph. (If someone with better math-fu wants to correct me on what kind of curves these are exactly, PLEASE go for it, I’m all ears.)
 

 
I’d love to do something like this, but actually play the records, credit each drawing to the two musical artists whose albums “made” the art, and show them in such a way as to allow the viewer to hear the mashed-up musical works. Maybe go ultra-meta and use concrète artists? Spyro Gyra vs ... well, any musician named “Graff?” It could get quite ridiculous!
 
More after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Discussion
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Come to the Death Party: The Gun Club live, 1984


 

“In the still of the night I walk with the Beast,
In the heat of the night I sleep with the Beast…”

On November 13, 1984, The Gun Club were shot live onstage in Madrid for the legendary Spanish television series La Edad de Oro. The set featured stellar performances of “Sex Beat,” “The Lie,” “Bad America,” “Death Party,” “Walking With the Beast,” a cover of CCR’s “Run Through the Jungle” and several other Gun Club classics. That entire show is embedded at the end of this post in a YouTube playlist.

I saw them play at The Electric Ballroom in London just three weeks before it was shot and I’ve always thought of this gig as one of the very best shows I’ve ever attended: It was actually my 19th birthday. There was only one person in the joint that night more fucked up than I was, and that honor would have to go to Mr. Jeffrey Lee Pierce hisself who managed to get completely shit-faced at the bar while the opening act, The Scientists, played their set. During the show JLP fell off the stage and landed on me. Neither of us felt any pain, I can assure you of that.

Watching this Madrid show today, it jibes pretty well with my memory of the London show. Jeffrey Lee is even wearing the same outfit. Holy shit were they amazing during this line-up. Who can deny that they were one of the greatest rock and roll outfits, ever? I mean, if you don’t like The Gun Club, you’re just… stupid.

In “The Blonde Ambition, Blind Drunk Visions & Beautiful Soul Of Jeffrey Lee Pierce,” British music journalist Kris Needs writes in tribute to the man he asked to be his son’s godfather (although I can’t much think of a worse choice for that role than JLP!)

There was something prime ally soul-grabbing about Jeffrey, their leader, singer, guitarist and songwriter. When you listened to Howlin’ Wolf, John Coltrane or Robert Johnson, you knew dark forces are at play. Jeffrey certainly did. He’d managed to plug into the dark main artery of the blues itself - riddled with demons but one of the ultimate examples of the kind of brilliant artist who could annoy people intensely with his over-the-top behaviour while also being one of the most endearing people you could wish to encounter. It’s so frustrating that he basically drank and drugged himself to death and, thanks to his erratic behaviour, managed to make a mess of everything from relationships [inter-band, record company and personal] to sometimes the music itself, although that was often the better for it.

Sometime in the mid-90s, at the Spaceland club in Silverlake—I think it was during the epic Destroy All Monsters reunion show there—I saw Pierce in the crowd. He was dressed neatly, sporting glasses, a waistcoat and a bolo tie and didn’t appear to be fucked up at all. He did however seem somehow very timid to me. I don’t really know how to explain it, but being such a huge fan of his, you know I kind of kept an eye on what he was up to. He didn’t say much to anyone, but he wore a look of apprehension on his face, like someone who wanted to kick his ass might be showing up, that kind of expression. In any case, considering how bloated the guy was by his mid 20s, and that Pierce was HIV positive, had cirrhosis of the liver and chronic hepatitis, he looked almost healthy. Nevertheless he was dead a few months later at the age of 37.

Aside from homegrown Spanish performers (including Pedro Almodóvar’s glam-rock parody group Almodóvar & McNamara) La Edad de Oro broadcast some incredible (sometimes complete) live concerts from Lou Reed, The Smiths, John Cale, Culture Club, Marc Almond, Violent Femmes, Grupo Sportivo, Psychedelic Furs, Nick Cave, Dream Syndicate, Aztec Camera, Paul Collins’ Beat, The Durutti Column, Tom Verlaine, Elliott Murphy, Alan Vega, Cabaret Voltaire, John Foxx, Echo & The Bunnymen, Killing Joke, Divine, Spear of Destiny, Johnny Thunders, Tuxedomoon (twice!), The Residents, China Crisis, Lords Of The New Church and Mari Wilson. The series was cancelled abruptly after a quite incredible 90-minute show with Psychic TV that was seen as an outrageous affront to the sensibilities of a Catholic country (and was).

Eventually many of these shows escaped from the vaults (in perfect digital quality, struck from the master tapes) and ended up on various torrent trackers as “The Stolen Files.” They are totally worth looking for!

Here’s the entire Gun Club set from La Edad de Oro in a YouTube playlist:
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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