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Three DVD box set pays tribute to Lou Reed, Velvets, Iggy, Bowie and punk


 
Seemingly just as Lou Reed left this earth, I noticed this box set on Amazon called Lou Reed Tribute from Chrome Dreams, a UK company that has put out some cool DVDs (this one, Frank Zappa, Keith Richards, etc.) and some stuff that puzzles me (Springsteen, Prince, Britney Spears?).

I wasn’t sure about it but it had three DVDs in a nicely designed box and it was so inexpensive that I had to get it. I had just learned about another product of theirs that looked great, a double DVD documentary about Zappa and Beefheart called When Don Met Frank: Beefheart Vs. Zappa, only to read in the reviews that it was a total ripoff and that it was two old documentaries repackaged in one set without any mention of this anywhere on the product. I was prepared for the worst.
 
z.s:d,gchm
 
Surprisingly, these were actually pretty good! First up is The Velvet Underground Under Review—yes, the awful title sounds like a science project, but inside is a concise and interesting documentary featuring interviews with at least one person I’d never seen interviewed before (Norman Dolph, who did their first demo acetate that’s been floating around the last few years and is, in fact, on eBay now for $65,000). I really liked the Billy Name segments as he was actually there on the inside in those early days, which they go into pretty deeply, including the pre-Velvets Pickwick Records budget-goofy rock ‘n’ roll recordings Lou was doing, which I love (and which were not all goofy as there was some true garage greatness in there as well). Also great are the Moe Tucker and Doug Yule interviews.

It had a good approach and really, I can watch stuff like this all day.
 
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The second DVD is The Sacred Triangle: Bowie Iggy & Lou 1971-1973. I really enjoyed this one, though as I started to realize, Chrome Dreams is a bit of a “quickie” company and similar people were overlapped in this and the other DVDs making me realize that these were probably not originally intended to be watched back to back. This also has some amazing interviews, and again really delves into the early days of Bowie’s more whimsical period in the sixties when he was already obsessed and ripping off (and covering) The Velvet Underground, having been given one of the first and only pre first album demo acetates in 1965 or ‘66.

It goes into great detail about Bowie’s “cool beginnings” when the cast of Andy Warhol’s play Pork were in London and looking for bands to see and decided to go see an unknown David Bowie because he was wearing a dress on his then-current album cover. These people (Tony Zanetta, Cherry Vanilla, Wayne County and Leee Black Childers) all became Mainman Ltd., the bizarre company that ran most of Bowie’s affairs and mutated him into Ziggy Stardust in no time. Seeing Leee Black Childers (R.I.P.) interviewed, with him in his rockabilly best and with a big Band-aid® on his forehead said it all as far as who he was and how much he gave a fuck, one of the first true punk rockers, ever.

Similarly but multiplied by a hundred is Wayne, now Jayne County (“now” meaning for the last 35 years or so!) who is amazing in a huge red chair with a wild matching red outfit, makeup and her trademark fishnet stockings over her arms like long gloves, talking matter of factly about what really went down. Everyone knows Jayne County as a glam and then punk rock innovator, but we forget (or some don’t know) that Jayne was a real Warhol Superstar along with Candy Darling, Holly Woodlawn and Jackie Curtis. And Jayne starred in Warhol’s Pork (as Vulva, a characterization of Viva). The interviews with Angie Bowie, as always, are insane and classic. This DVD was really great and informative about my favorite small moment in rock n roll. The only annoyance is that they didn’t know who Cherry Vanilla is, and they talk about her a lot as she starred in Pork but kept showing a photo of someone else every time they referred to her!
 
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The last DVD, Punk Revolution NYC: The Velvet Underground, The New York Dolls and the CBGB Set 1966-1974 is also really great, surprisingly. Believe me, with a title like this, where I come from this should be a real groaner, but it wasn’t. Not to discredit some of the interviewees, but I think that a lot of bigger names wouldn’t talk to Chrome Dreams, or couldn’t, so they had to dig deeper and get some people that did not become famous, but certainly are people I know that most definitely deserve to be interviewed and put a new spin on a now pretty tired subject. So it actually worked in their favor.

A good “for instance” is Elda Stiletto (Gentile), someone I knew and someone who is the perfect bridge to the exact time frame of this documentary. Elda was married to Warhol Superstar Eric Emerson. Emerson started pretty much the first glitter band in NYC, The Magic Tramps, only to be steamrolled by the New York Dolls and all that came in their path. Eric Emerson was also the upside down figure on The Velvet Underground and Nico LP’s back cover, who sued hoping to get some quick dough, but was foiled when he just caused the LP to be delayed, first with a big sticker covering him, then with his image being airbrushed out of the photo entirely. (Why none of this was mentioned is beyond me.) Elda Stiletto then went on to form The Stilettos with Debbie Harry and Chris Stein, a sort of “glitter doo wop” group that morphed into Blondie after all the other girls were gotten rid of. Two of the other gals in The Stilettos were Tish and Snooky who would go on to sing in The Sic Fucks and founded Manic Panic, a small punk store (that is now a large corporation—I was their first employee!) on St. Marks Place (just a few doors down from where The Dom was, where The Velvets played, later to become The Electric Circus where The Stooges and many others played).

Also interviewed are Suicide’s Alan Vega, Richard Lloyd from Television, Leee Black Childers and Jayne County, this time in the most insane outfit ever! She’s on a big black couch, reclining on her back, facing the camera completely covered in a ton of black fabric so she looks like a demented floating disembodied head! Ha ha!! To top it all off she’s wearing a black witchy wig and crazy electric blue makeup that is just insane looking. She never fails to blow my mind! They also talked to Richard Hell, Ivan Julian from The Voidoids, photographer Roberta Bayley, Danny Fields and more. There was oddly, no mention of The Ramones!

Ultimately all three DVDs come off like extremely dry BBC docs and there is a lot of overlap, but it doesn’t totally take away from the experience. The punk DVD just suddenly says “End of Part One” and stops, which is annoying because it actually was good. Where is part two? Sprinkled throughout these documentaries are critics like Robert Christgau and Simon Reynolds, biographer Victor Bockris and other experts.

Below, here’s the lead doc, The Velvet Underground Under Review. The quality is “eh” so you might want to get the DVDs. The Lou Reed Tribute DVD box set sells for less than $20 on Amazon. Used it’s under $10.
 

Posted by Howie Pyro | Discussion
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Never before seen photos of Sleater-Kinney


 
The turn-of-the-‘90s rock underground underwent an intense and desperately overdue conversation about the paucity of women on that scene, and the not-so-hot treatment of those who were there. Despite the inarguably crucial contributions of Siouxsie, Joan Jett, Patti Smith, Exene Cervenka, the Slits, Lydia Lunch, Kim Gordon, and on and on and on, that scene was still largely the tribal domain of amped-up dudebros and snobby, kissless record collector boys, so women in bands got catcalled, and women who dared to brave the mosh pits were typically “rewarded” by being groped or worse.

Of course, the obvious rejoinder to the complaint that there weren’t enough women on the scene was “so start a band.” And holy shit, did young women ever do so in droves. The early ‘90s saw an explosion in female-led, female-dominated, and entirely female bands, most notably in the Riot Grrrl movement, which grafted then-nascent third wave feminism and queer theory onto punk’s who-needs-virtuosity ethos, resulting in some of the era’s most politically charged and musically potent rock. That outburst had a bland mainstream counterpart in the whole Lilith Fair trip, but Joan Osborne and her fake-ass nose ring never delivered anything like the visceral and cerebral thrills of Bikini Kill, Bratmobile, and the Riot Grrrl band that found the widest audience, Sleater-Kinney.
 

 
Sleater-Kinney was formed in Olympia, WA by Corin Tucker of the ur-Riot Grrrl band Heavens to Betsey, and Excuse 17 guitarist Carrie Brownstein, now surely much better known for IFC’s hipster-poking sketch comedy series Portlandia. Their first three albums made them critical darlings, but 1997’s Dig Me Out is an undisputed classic, and was their first with drummer Janet Weiss, of the excellent and still active band Quasi. Four more albums followed, all of high quality—for what it’s worth, I’m most partial to One Beat—and in 2001, no less a monster of crit than Greil Marcus called S-K “America’s best rock band” in Time Magazine. Sleater-Kinney went on “indefinite hiatus” in 2006. Two and a half years ago, Brownstein told DIY Mag that Sleater-Kinney would play together again, but that again was two and a half years ago. In the meantime, the band’s members have played in Wild Flag and the Corin Tucker Band.

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of Sleater-Kinney’s formation, Sub-Pop is releasing a posh, limited box set called Start Together, containing all seven Sleater-Kinney LPs on colored vinyl (they’ll also be available separately on CD and plain old unspectacular non-showoffy puritanical black vinyl). Unfortunately there’s no rarities disc, but the set will come with a hardcover book containing scads of never before seen photos culled from the band members’ personal archives. Dangerous Minds was given a few of them to share with you.
 

 

 

 

 
Here’s something not enough people have seen—it’s Sleater-Kinney’s segment in Justin Mitchell’s 2001 documentary on D.I.Y. bands Songs For Cassavetes. The footage was shot in the Dig Me Out era, and includes live performances of the songs “Words & Guitar” and “Stay Where You Are,” plus some terrific interview footage.
 

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Discussion
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Remember that time David Bowie recorded that shitty song with Mickey Rourke?
10.13.2014
11:26 am

Topics:
Heroes
Music

Tags:
David Bowie
Mickey Rourke


 
In 1987 David Bowie recorded the album Never Let Me Down. What I didn’t know and perhaps you might and are still trying to forget is that a track on the record called “Shining Star (Makin’ My Love),” includes a rap by actor Mickey Rourke mid-way through the song.

Sometimes the world doesn’t make sense, and this is one of those times. The story goes that after meeting Bowie in London while filming A Prayer for the Dying, Rourke approached the Thin White Duke about making an artistic contribution to Never Let Me Down. Bowie agreed and now we can all cross “hearing Mickey Rourke rap on a David Bowie album” off of our collective bucket lists.
 

Posted by Cherrybomb | Discussion
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FUG YOU! The Fugs invade Cleveland, 1967
10.13.2014
08:13 am

Topics:
Music

Tags:
The Fugs


 
On May 14, 1967, a benefit was held in Cleveland to assist two local figures on the local literary scene, bookseller James Lowell and poet d. a. levy (who styled his name lower-case), who had been arrested for distributing obscenity. The venue of the concert was Strosacker Auditorium on Case Western campus in Cleveland’s East Side, an edifice that still stands today. The benefit featured free speech hard-liner Allen Ginsberg and New York City punk/folk weirdos The Fugs. In his book Fug You: An Informal History of the Peace Eye Bookstore, the Fuck You Press, the Fugs, and Counterculture in the Lower East Side, Fugs cofounder Ed Sanders called levy “one of the nation’s first Pot Martyrs, a Martyr of the Mimeograph Revolution, and a Martyr for the Right to Read Erotic Verse.” Sanders and legendary Beat figure Peter Orlovsky had both been involved in the distribution of the Marijuana Newsletter, which Sanders had sent to levy.
 

Lowell, levy, and Ginsberg
 
In November 1966 the police arrested levy at a reading at Cleveland’s Gate, a “a gathering place for college students founded by a Christian youth group,” according to a 2007 article in Cleveland Magazine, and a couple of weeks later, Lowell’s Asphodel Book Shop on Cleveland’s West 6th Street was raided by the police which seized “nine crates of d.a.‘s publications on the grounds that they advocated the legalization of hemp and a mimeograph machine,” according to Sanders.
 

 
The next day the following report appeared in the Cleveland Press, a daily newspaper (original typos preserved):
 

Benefit Boosts Fund for Levy and Lowell

A fund for the legal aid of poet D. A. Levy and bookstore owner James R. Lowell stood at $1000 today following a benefit performance by poet Alan Ginsburg and a folk-singing group from New York City.

Jasper Wood, chairman of the Lowell-Levy defense fund committee, said $3000 still is needed.

Levy is accused of disseminating and reading obscene poetry and Lowell is charged with selling obscene material.

Wood reported no police harassment at the session in Case Tech’s Strosacker auditorium. A capacity audience of 600 was on hand to hear the idols of New York’s Greenwich Village.

Ginsburg, who is probably the best known of the nation’s beat poets, read one of the poems for which Levy was arrested.

Levy read two poems.

Ginsburg, and the folk-rock group called the Fugs, donated their services. The Fugs, who flew here from Madison Wis., are on a national tour.

Wood said another poetry reading, by Robert Creeley, described as one of the top American contemporary poets, was scheduled for a later date.

Western Reserve University physics professor Paul Zilsel presided.

He told the audience: “I can go down Euclid Ave. and buy all the commercially produced literature I want.  As far as I am concerned, Mayor Locher’s callousness is obscene, the Hough riots are obscene, the war in Vietnam is obscene.

“I would rather listen to Ginsburg.”

Although Case officials had been subjected to some pressure to cancel the concert, no disturbances were reported. One student placed a sign in his dormitory window which said, “Draft Poets, Not Engineers.”

 

 
According to Cleveland Magazine, “In early 1968, the prosecutor agreed to drop the obscenity charges against levy and Lowell, citing liberal Supreme Court rulings. Levy’s lawyer convinced him to plead no contest to the juvenile charges to avoid a felony conviction, prison or an expensive legal fight. Levy agreed to pay a $200 fine and no longer associate with juveniles or give them his poetry. ... ‘We probably made a mistake in that case,” Gold says. “Even though there was no real sanction imposed, it was an inner sanction with him. I think it broke his spirit a lot.’”

On November 24, 1968, levy shot himself in his East Cleveland apartment. Lowell died in 2004.

Here’s a brief clip of The Fugs from the Cleveland benefit concert:
 

 
There is a second clip of levy from the same May 14, 1967, event reading from his works that is not embeddable.

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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You gotta have ‘Fwends’: Flaming Lips’ Beatles tribute to benefit animal charity
10.10.2014
01:54 pm

Topics:
Animals
Music

Tags:
Flaming Lips


 
When we last saw our friends (and former Dangerous Minds guest editors) the Flaming Lips, they’d just released Musik, Die Shwer Zu Twerk (“Music that’s hard to twerk to”) as their prog meets krautrock alter egos Electric Würms.

That was in August and already Oklahoma’s ever-prolific fearless freaks are back with their song-for-song Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Band tribute album, recorded with a little help from “heavy fwends” like Miley Cyrus, Moby, My Morning Jacket, J. Mascis, Dr. Dog, Phantogram, Tegan and Sara, and Grace Potter. As Electric Würms, The Lips offer a druggy take on “Fixing a Hole.”

All proceeds from sales of With A Little Help From My Fwends will be donated to The Bella Foundation, a non-profit organization based in the band’s hometown of Oklahoma City that assists low-income, elderly, or terminally ill pet owners with the cost of veterinary care.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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Is banned art-film, ‘Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story,’ the weirdest music movie ever made?


 
Director Todd Haynes is well-known for his arty, fictionalized depictions of music iconography. Velvet Goldmine was a glam rock epic, with characters modeled after Bowie and Iggy, while I’m Not There features seven different actors portraying “fictional” facets of Bob Dylan’s personality or mystique. Both films blur reality with stylized interpretations, but neither takes even a fraction of the liberties Haynes exercised with his 1987 grad school student film, Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story.

The film opens up on Karen’s death, then flashes back to narrate her rise to fame. It’s a spasmodic format—switching between interviews with peripheral music industry people, random footage and fascinatingly elaborate mise-en-scène reenactments staged with Barbie dolls and melodramatic voice-overs. In reference to Karen’s anorexia, Haynes actually whittled down her Barbie effigy with a knife for later scenes, mimicking the progressive emaciation of her body. It’s a dark portrayal of a slow death, Karen and Barbie, both icons of American perfection, wasting away before our eyes.

Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story is technically illegal to exhibit, although since the advent of YouTube, it’s a bit of a moot point (the upload embedded below was posted in 2012). Karen’s brother Richard sued Haynes for copyright infringement. MOMA has a copy but even they aren’t allowed to screen it. Even if Haynes hadn’t used Carpenters songs, there’s a good chance Richard Carpenter would’ve found basis for a lawsuit. Haynes portrays Karen as the victim of her narcissistic and tyrannical family, even suggesting Richard was closeted.

It’s difficult not to be sympathetic to Richard Carpenter who probably viewed the film as mere ghoulish, exploitative sensationalism. It’s a strangely invasive and voyeuristic piece of art, and the argument could be made that it’s totally unethical in its ambiguous, semi-biographical fiction. It’s also totally hypnotic, with a compelling narrative and a pioneering experimentalism that makes it one of the great cult classics.
 

Posted by Amber Frost | Discussion
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‘Combat Shock’: The Troma film inspired by Suicide’s ‘Frankie Teardrop’
10.10.2014
08:03 am

Topics:
Movies
Music

Tags:
Suicide
Troma
Combat Shock


 
Frankie’s having a terrible day. His wife and infant son are starving. He’s run out of money and food. Now he’s going to be evicted. He’s got a gun. Let’s hear it for Frankie…

If this sounds familiar, it’s because the story of the 1984 Troma movie Combat Shock bears a striking resemblance to that of Suicide’s harrowing song “Frankie Teardrop.” The movie concerns the struggle of a young man named Frankie to feed his wife and child in blighted Staten Island, and if you’ve heard the song, I don’t have to tell you that it ends pretty badly for Frankie, his family, you, me, and the entire human race.

Frankie isn’t a factory worker in this version of the story, but an unemployed Vietnam vet whose days and nights are continually interrupted by flashbacks of ‘Nam and the torture he suffered at the hands of the VC. These, in turn, lead to flashbacks within flashbacks where, for purposes of exposition, Frankie relives arguments with his father, now estranged because a) Frankie has refused to carry on the family legacy of race hate and b) Dad disapproves of Mrs. Frankie. Suffering through the exposition of any movie is itself a form of torture.

However, these gestures toward the conventions of plot are mercifully few and brief, and Combat Shock soon makes with the laffs and gasps you crave from late-night horror fare. Much of the pleasure of watching Combat Shock comes from the genre detail writer, director, producer and editor Buddy Giovinazzo adds to extend Suicide’s story to feature length. For instance, because of Frankie’s exposure to Agent Orange, and because this is a Troma movie, the child looks like a cross between the Eraserhead baby and Edvard Munch’s screamer.

Until the awful climax, the movie takes its time presenting a loser’s-eye view of urban anomie. If you’ve ever lived in a place that had a TV set, you already know all these characters: Frankie’s slow descent into madness involves demoralizing encounters with small-time hoods (Frankie’s creditors), child prostitutes, junkie thieves and social workers (one of whom is missing a Ronco Veg-O-Matic). There are also one or two thrilling surprises, even for the very jaded.
 

 
And in case you somehow feel cheated of your full share of human misery after watching Combat Shock, here’s a kind of sequel to “Frankie Teardrop,” Alan Vega’s 12-minute bum-out “Viet Vet.”

 
Thanks to Greg Bummer of Azusa, CA!

Posted by Oliver Hall | Discussion
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‘Hide from the Sun’: The new video from Sweden’s psychedelic shamans GOAT
10.10.2014
07:45 am

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Goat


 
I couldn’t be happier that Sweden’s GOAT got to be such a big deal so quickly, as I just absolutely LOVED them from the word “go.” Their union of acid-fried psych guitars, surreal Krautrock dreaminess, Afrobeat’s funk rhythms, and the otherworldly unison-chanted vocals of the band’s two female singers goes beyond just organic—this music is practically elemental.

Their debut, titled World Music, and packaged in a stunning die-cut cover, was by a long shot one of the best (and best-reviewed) albums of 2012, a fantastic year for new releases, so their triumph wasn’t merely by default. The LP yielded the heavy single “Goatman,” the catchy as all hell “Run to Your Mama,” which was the subject/object of two amazing remix records, and the big mindscramble of “Goathead,” an acid-prog blowout which seemed to endeavor to strand their fellow heavy-psych Swedes Dungen in Fela Kuti’s compound. Right before the big raid.

Their live shows, too, attracted near-unanimous acclaim. The band takes the stage in identity-obscuring costumes that draw inspiration from the tribal garb of indigenous peoples all across the globe, with specific references to Islam (their bassist has appeared wearing a niqab), Africa, and the pre-Columbian Americas. When combined in concert, the colorful apparel, the dancing of the singers, and the volume and vehemence of the music are all quite intense. This photo gallery represents the band’s look well on a larger stage, but in a small venue, the show is completely immersive. I saw them this summer—and some of you will laugh at this, but whatever, up yours—at a bowling alley in Cleveland, with a low stage that afforded the band incredibly direct engagement with the audience. The concertgoer who shot this phone video had to be just a few feet to my right and a bit behind me:
 

 
Yeah.

Late last month, GOAT released World Music‘s follow up, Commune. While World Music wanted to dance, chant, and fuck in the primordial ooze from which all life emerged, Commune aims to touch the transcendent. (The obvious question: is “commune” a noun or a verb here? An imperative?) While the winning formula is unchanged—Afropop beats, check; fuzz-blitz guitar solos you want to bring along with you when you die, check; ESL hippie lyrics rendered in soaring, unison wail, check—this record’s sounds are leavened with a cathedral’s worth of reverb, and its grooves are as often meditative as booty-shaking. But the trancey atmospherics here are genuinely absorbing, and while it’s not as immediately gripping as the debut, Commune could prove itself as a more accessible entryway for GOAT initiates. It opens with slow-building chimes, like Black Sabbath’s “Black Sabbath” and AC/DC’s “Hell’s Bells,” which build into the plaintive and distant “Talk to God.” Subtle, right? See also “The Light Within,” “To Travel the Path Unknown”—there’s plainly a mystic’s agenda at work here. The band are at their robust best on “Goatslaves,” album closer “Gathering of Ancient Tribes,” (cough cough G.O.A.T.) and the lovely, raga-drenched single “Hide From the Sun.” We’re privileged at DM to be debuting that song’s video for you today.
 

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Discussion
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‘The Big Problem ≠ The Solution. The Solution = Let It Be’: Crispin Glover’s concept album, 1989
10.09.2014
06:39 am

Topics:
Games
Music

Tags:
Crispin Glover


 
In 1989—not so long after he starred in River’s Edge, tried to kick David Letterman in the face and published his first book Rat Catching—Crispin Glover released an album. More than a mere new wave or spoken word record, The Big Problem ≠ The Solution. The Solution = Let It Be presented itself as a riddle. On the back cover, above a collage of nine items including photos of Hitler, Charles Manson, unidentified clowns, and Glover as Jesus crucified, these lines of text dared listeners to reach out and touch someone:

“All words and lyrics point toward THE BIG PROBLEM. The solution lay within the title: LET IT BE. Crispin Hellion Glover wants to know what you think these nine things all have in common. Call (213) 464-5053.”

(It was rumored that Glover sometimes picked up, but every time I dialed this number I got the answering machine of his press, Volcanic Eruptions.)

Recorded with Barnes & Barnes of “Fish Heads” fame, the album included readings from Glover’s books Rat Catching and Oak Mot; indelible interpretations of “The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze,” Lee Hazlewood’s “These Boots Are Made for Walking” and Charles Manson’s “I’ll Never Say Never to Always”; and originals that ranged from a ballad about hygiene (“The New Clean Song”) to a rap about masturbation (“Auto-Manipulator”). Promotion (*cough*) seems to have been limited to a video for “Clowny Clown Clown,” whose lyrics referred obliquely to Glover’s character, Rubin Farr, in the excellent cult comedy Rubin and Ed. At the time, the reference was all the more oblique because the straight-to-video movie did not come out until 1991, two years after the release of The Big Problem. In the video, Glover appears dressed as “Mr. Farr” at the appropriate moment in the song.

The entire album is now up at UbuWeb. Wikipedia and UbuWeb both report that the phone number printed on the sleeve has been disconnected. However, they fail to mention that Glover’s—or that of Volcanic Eruptions—current number, (310) 391-4154 is posted on his website. Why don’t you give him a call? The nine items on the back cover of The Big Problem are:

I. The killing and maiming of defenseless animals?
II. Cleanliness?
III. Indignant, righteous, self manipulation, with discrimination against others?
IV. Clowns?
V. Getting out of bed?
VI. Boots?
VII. The daring young man on the flying trapeze, who might just as easily be called a gloating woman seducer?
VIII. Charles Manson never saying “Never” to always?
IX. Oak Mot?
  A. Adry Long circa 1868?
  B. Adolf Hitler circa 1932?
  C. Adry/Hitler in the minds of history forevermore?

What do these things have in common? If you find out, let us know.

The video for “Clowny Clown Clown”

Posted by Oliver Hall | Discussion
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Stray Slack: Incredible full Pavement concert, Germany 1994
10.08.2014
08:05 am

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Pavement


 
Oh man, what wonders the Internet coughs up. The last thing I’d ever expect would be for there to be a full-concert video of Pavement from their 1994 Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain tour, “two camera fan-shot (one back, one side). Cams were edited and enhanced with soundboard feed and cam audio matrix-mixed to create excellent professional quality multimedia production.” Wowee Zowee indeed!

This video captures Pavement at their most tuneful point—the audio can’t replace the studio versions but is outright excellent for what it is. Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain is jammed with idiosyncratic would-be classic rock gems filtered through the early-90s slacker aesthetic, as if Steve Malkmus could transmute the fractured genius of Slanted & Enchanted into a crossover gem. Pavement never got the adoration of the masses that Nirvana or Smashing Pumpkins did, but Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain remains a sun-splashed classic. Briefly put, I could listen to this all day—and I probably will.

Full disclosure, I was a super-duper die-hard Pavement fan in the 1990s, I’ve seen them five times in my life, and this show in Frankfurt probably happened within a week or so of my first Pavement show, which took place at Vienna’s Arena. I just spent ten minutes trying to figure out the exact date of that Vienna show, but to no avail—I’d guess it was a few days later. This Frankfurt show in the video happened on March 6, 1994. Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain hadn’t even been out for a month yet. Stereolab supported them on the European leg of their tour, at least that’s who opened for them in Vienna. At the time I was so into Pavement that I beseeched a friend in the U.S. to send me any bootlegs he could find. Lo and behold, a few weeks later a CD called Stray Slack arrived in the mail, documenting a 1992 Pavement gig at Brixton Academy as well as a bunch of essential B-sides and stuff. I played that thing to death.
 

 
It’s noteworthy that they open the set with an unreleased song, “Pueblo,” which would make it onto 1995’s Wowee Zowee. (Another track from WZ makes the cut as well, being “Brinx Job.”) The boys play nearly every song off of Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain—the only ones they leave out were Scott Kannberg’s composition “Hit the Plane Down” as well as “Range Life,” which is curious because the latter quickly became something of a fan favorite. “People don’t do drugs anymore, they just ride carpets,” says Malkmus—yeah, Steve, whatever.

By my druthers there’d be more songs from Slanted & Enchanted, but what are you going to do.
 

Set list:
Pueblo
Gold Soundz
Silence Kit
5 - 4 = Unity
Cut Your Hair
Elevate Me Later
Newark Wilder
Debris Slide
Trigger Cut
Two States
Brinx Job
Unfair
Heaven Is a Truck
Box Elder
Stop Breathin
In the Mouth a Desert
Forklift
Fillmore Jive

 

 
via Biblioklept
 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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