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The Black Metal Antiquarium is the Internet K-hole of teen metal mayhem
02.08.2017
11:30 am

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Music
Occult

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b1
 
You’ve seen it everywhere. The crudely-drawn goat that graces the cover of the first Bathory album is quickly becoming one of rock n’ roll’s most ubiquitous images. It’s the new Ramones t-shirt. And like the famous four’s memorable circle logo, the Bathory goat is often worn by folks who have never even heard the beastly sounds on that grisly 1984 album Bathory has endured because it’s so brutal, so inhuman, so extreme that it was literally shocking upon its initial release. It was the first real declaration of black metal war, the opening salvo in an ongoing campaign to kill Christianity (and false metal) dead with leather, spikes, and minor chords played a thousand miles an hour. Although Bathory was an actual band, it has always been identified by one character, frontman Quorthon (RIP). If anybody is responsible for ushering in the age of black metal darkness, it’s him.
 
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Quorthon, early 80’s, looking more glam than grim

But was Quorthon just a frustrated glam-rocker? I’m sure there are snowy, fjord-y pockets of Earth out there where I could get hung, drawn and quartered for even suggesting such heresy, but if the Black Metal Antiquarium is any indication, around the the time of the first Bathory album, ol’ Tommy “Quorthon” Forsberg was into Motley Crue just as much as the rest of us were. It’s just one of the many compelling nuggets in this loosely knit collection of videos and photos that paint a vibrant, bloody, and occasionally hilarious portrait of the earliest days of black metal, from its creaky 80’s proto-black beginnings to the alarming wave of murder and mayhem (and Mayhem) that engulfed the scene in the 1990s.
 
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Mayhem in their rehearsal space, late 80’s, clearly getting into the spirit of things.

Inspired largely by the cartoon Satanism of 80’s Brit metal-punks Venom, Scandinavian black metal exploded in the early 90’s with misanthropic bands like Darkthrone, Immortal, Emperor, and most infamously Mayhem, the most dangerous band in the world, a shadowy outfit with an extremely thorny history that includes self-mutilation, suicide, and cold-blooded murder. And this is while most of them were still teenagers!
 
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Mayhem’s Euronymous, who would later be murdered by his own bandmate, Varg Vikernes.

What’s particularly exciting about the user-generated Antiquarium is that it is curated and archived by bands and fans who were there at the time in places like Norway, Switzerland, Sweden, and South America, the epicenters for musical extremities throughout that tumultuous decade. That’s helpful, because it’s sometime difficult to tell one 17-year-old Norwegian kid in corpsepaint from another, particularly when the source is a blurry fanzine photo from 1992. Of course, it does sorta seem odd that this would happen on a Facebook page. In a better, more noble world, photographs of doomed Mayhem guitarist Euronymous sporting a half-shirt and a gross catfish mustache would be locked away in a forbidden vault somewhere, pressed between the pages of an arcane tome bound in human flesh. And maybe someday they will be, but this is still pretty cool for now.
 
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While relatively sedate at this point—the millennial take on black metal (ambient BM, “Red” BM, “Blackgaze,” etc) is decidedly less psychotic than their 90s era counterparts—historically it is still the most overtly homicidal/suicidal rock genre ever created. And that’s not even counting all the burned churches and desecrated gravestones. It is a history of outright war against humanity, littered with beatings, bleedings, hate crimes, stone-cold murder, and painful, shrieking noise. And as the Antiquarium proves, through old photos, flyers, demo covers, zine pages and fuzzy shot-on-VHS video clips, it was created mostly by dopey teenage kids smearing their faces with clown makeup and aping their fave Venom and Black Sabbath records. It’s always good to remember that even the cuddliest kittens are hiding sharp claws.

Here are a few especially juicy entries..
 
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These pre-teen monster-mash goofs would grow up to become Brazilian thrash metal masters Sepultura.
 
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Emperor are now considered one of the most progressive black metal bands and vocalist/guitarist Ihsahn is one the most well-respected musicians on the scene. But in 1990, when the band was called Xerasia, he was just another teenage dirtbag ripping off Alice Cooper.
 
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Black metal’s goth-goblin Mortiis, back when he preferred housedresses and bathtub suicides to elf ears and leather wings.
 
More metal mayhem (and Mayhem) after the jump…

Posted by Ken McIntyre | Leave a comment
Sun Ra’s limbo album: ‘How low can you go?’
02.07.2017
12:18 pm

Topics:
Dance
Music

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Herman Poole Blount lived a more interesting life under the name Sun Ra than anyone you know, it’s safe to say. To make money on the side, Sun Ra used to record novelty albums as a session keyboardist. In the mid-1950s there was a DJ in Chicago named Edward O. Bland who was a big Sun Ra fan right from the very start; in 1959 he used Sun Ra for a movie he put out called Cry of Jazz. A few years later Bland was getting steady work as an arranger, and, according to John F. Szwed in his book Space is the Place: The Lives and Times of Sun Ra, he would consistently use Sun Ra and the members of his Arkestra as often as he could.

One such gig came in 1963, for an album intended to cash in on the limbo fad, which had actually been kicked off in 1957 by a James Mason movie called Island in the Sun that had been filmed in Barbados and Grenada. The movie introduced western audiences to the Trinidadian dance that involved walking underneath a horizontal pole, eventually by bending far backwards as the pole was positioned lower and lower on successive attempts, but it was likely Chubby Checker’s 1962 single “Limbo Rock” that truly set the limbo craze in motion.
 

 
A few months later Bland recruited Sun Ra and several of his Arkestra players to accompany Roz Croney on her album How Low Can You Go?. Specifically, Sun Ra played organ on the album, and four longtime Arkestra conspirators also play on it: Marshall Allen (alto sax), John Gilmore (bass clarinet), Ronnie Boykins (bass), and Pat Patrick (baritone sax and flute).

Being a novelty album, almost every song title mentions the word limbo by name (the only one that doesn’t is the cover of “Whole Lot of Shaking Going On,” as the title is schoolmarmishly rendered on the album sleeve). Sample titles include “Kachink Limbo,” “Loop De Loop Limbo,” and “Doggie In The Window Limbo.”

Listen to the “limbo” cuts after the jump…....

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Honey Bane, the teenaged punk wild child who sang with Crass and Killing Joke
02.07.2017
09:59 am

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Music
Punk

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The other day I was crate digging through some 45s when I was confronted with something I used to own, but had not thought about in many years, the You Can Be You EP record by Honey Bane that you see above these words. It was put out on Crass’s record label in 1979 when Bane—who’d already done a stint at the St. Charles Youth Treatment Centre in Essex—was a 15-year-old teenage runaway.

On You Can Be You‘s three tracks—the presumably autobiographical “Girl On The Run,” the menacing “Porno Grows” and “Boring Conversations”—she’s backed by members of Crass who are pseudonymously billed as Donna and the Kebabs. A year earlier she’d put out another record via the Crass Records imprint—well at least half of one, it was split with Poison Girls—with her punk group Fatal Microbes, who included Poison Girls leader Vi Subversa’s kids Pete Fender and Gem Stone. (Both later became members of dayglo punk group Rubella Ballet, another Crass-associated act.)
 

 
The Crass connection is where my knowledge of Honey Bane more or less began and ended. She was the sort of person famous more for being a “wild child” in the gossip columns of the British music weeklies like Melody Maker, Sounds, and the NME than for her actual music. Googling her today I see that the following year—after self-releasing an amazing single called “Guilty” on her own label (listen below)—Bane handed Sham 69’s Jimmy Pursey, who was then doing A&R work for Zonophone, a demo tape and he signed her and became her manager. This seems, at least in retrospect, odd, as her Zonophone labelmates would have included groups like Angelic Upstarts, the Cockney Rejects and other sorts of early Oi! skinhead bands who seem a bit of a stark contrast when compared to the UR anarcho-punks she’d previously been associated with.
 
More after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
‘Come play with us forever and ever’: Custom drum kit inspired by ‘The Shining’
02.06.2017
06:04 pm

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Amusing
Art
Movies
Music

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A custom drum kit inspired by the unforgettable carpet in the hallways of the ‘Overlook Hotel’ in the 1980 film, ‘The Shining.’
 
The design of this fabulous customized “Overlook Hotel” drum kit inspired by 1980 film, The Shining, was made by UK-based company Badgerwood Drums. In addition to the wrap finish based on the distinctive carpeting found in the corridors of the Overlook covering the bass drum, the snare, and floor and rack toms, the bass drum head also bears the parting shot in the film where Jack Nicholson’s character Jack Torrance finally joins the other ghostly guests and employees of the hotel in an eerie black and white photograph. 

According to the company’s Instagram you can drop them an email if you have any questions—such as can they make you your very own Overlook Hotel drum kit so that you can “bash ‘em right the fuck in.” Just like Jack threatened to do to Wendy Torrance’s brains. I’ve posted some images of this super sweet Kubrick kit below.
 

 

 
More shots after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Charming and baffling Italian musician trading cards, 1968
02.06.2017
02:10 pm

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Art
Music

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Mister Anima
 
The Panini company was founded in Modena, Italy, in 1961 by two brothers, Benito and Giuseppe Panini, who had a knack for selling cute collectibles directed at the children’s market. Panini was essentially the Italian version of Topps, which dominated the market for baseball cards for the entire postwar era.

Panini mostly did sports stickers and cards but in 1968 they decided to put out a large set of cards dedicated to “Cantanti,” which is to say, the singers. The set numbered well over 200, and many of the acts were U.S. and U.K. acts who had been dominating the international charts for years: the Beatles, the Stones, James Brown, the Supremes, Aretha Franklin, and so on.

But we’ve seen ephemera from the days of yore with those kinds of people before.

What grabbed my attention, however, were the large number of Italian acts, working away in the “beat” genre, that I’d never heard of before and whose pictures struck me as quite comical and charming. My guess would be that many of these acts are not much more remembered in Italy than they are here, although surely a few were standouts. (One of them, it should be said, I did recognize, that being Adriano Celentano, whose marvelous parody of U.S. rock singing styles, “Prisencolinensinainciusol,” has been featured on DM before.)

Regardless of the often English-sounding names (“The Patrick Samson Set,” “The Rokes”), all of these acts did exist and were Italian, with back catalog lovingly corroborated by Discogs. The two exceptions are “Barbara e Dick,” who were from Argentina, and “Dino, Daisy, and Billy,” which featured the sons of Dean Martin and Desi Arnaz, and were obviously from the U.S.

Can anyone out there translate “I Dik Dik”?
 

I Pooh
 

Barbara e Dick
 

I Ragazzi Della Via Gluck
 
More after the jump…...

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Bob Marley tour guide’s epic laugh (and epic joint) will brighten your day
02.06.2017
11:54 am

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Amusing
Music

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Since today is Bob Marley’s birthday—he would have been 72 years old—I thought I’d bring back “Captain Crazy.” As you might recall Captain Crazy, who’s a Bob Marley tour guide in the Nine Mile town of Jamaica, went kind of viral about 5 years ago because of his amazingly contagious laugh and giantic doobies.

The world needs a little more Captain Crazy right now. There’s too much hate going around nowadays. We all need to be more like Captain Crazy. If we’re ever gonna survive, like Seal said.

 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Bizarre video of the Beatles’ ‘Let It Be’ from Soviet TV of the 1970s
02.06.2017
11:31 am

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History
Music
Television

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The Beatles were big enough that even the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics had to deal with it, somehow. In 1976 Soviet-controlled TV—the only available televised media in the entire country—played a peculiar Russian version of Paul McCartney’s deathless song “Let It Be” as an oddly baroque and defiantly un-glitzy bit of variety TV. Odd to say about television in the worker’s paradise, but the trappings of the proceedings seem to me somewhat ... bourgeois?

It doesn’t happen too often, but today I sorely wish I understood Russian. In the YouTube comments on the video, there is some healthy (and also rancorous) debate about the nature of the Russian translation and the degree to which they represent a stridently post-Marxist rewriting of McCartney’s text. One participant’s premise is that in Soviet Russia, where the authorities control all of the public propaganda and nothing comes about by chance, it was essential to rewrite the humanism of the original song to fit collectivist ideas, so everyone’s the same, no one is an individual, one must internalize Communist conformity, blah blah. The original Russian is (forgive any errors on my part here) “Bylo, est, i snova: budet tak,” which means something like “It was, it is and it will always be like that.”

What everyone seems to have missed is that this is a pretty fair translation of McCartney’s original sentiment. What is the phrase “let it be” if not an ode to quietism, however defined? It don’t take a lot to get from here to there, you know? The propagandistic component might have resided not in rewriting McCartney in any way but in choosing this song, of all Beatles songs, as the one to adapt.

The 2000 WGBH miniseries Communism: The Promise and the Reality features a brief clip of this mysterious video, although unfortunately not much information about it is supplied. It pops up in “People Power,” the final part of the six-part series, about 14 minutes in (you can check it out below). After discussing the strong demand in the USSR for banned western goods such as blue jeans, the voiceover says, “But occasionally the authorities made an effort to cater to the tastes of the new generation….” and we get to see the start of the video. They translate the opening lines thus:
 

Everything’s happened before in the world
People are always the same
That’s how it was, it is, and always will be

 
 
Apparently the religiously tinged references to “Mother Mary” were also expunged, which can’t be too surprising.
 
See for yourself, after the jump…....

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Never too young to rock ‘n’ roll: The third grade punk of Old Skull
02.06.2017
10:09 am

Topics:
Music
Punk

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OS1
 
There’s been much ado—countless articles, TV appearances galore,  a whole movie even—about pre-teen rockers Unlocking the Truth. Which is fine and all, but what if I told you there was another band, decades before, that were even younger, sold more records, toured extensively, and rode a wave of minor rock fame all the way to high school? It’s true. And if Unlocking the Truth knew what happened to ‘em after the band broke up—a saga much grimmer than your average episode of VH1’s Behind the Music—they’d find new hobbies.

Old Skull formed in Madison, Wisconsin when a couple of punk rock dads—Vern Toulon (Missing Foundation) and Robin Davies (Tar Babies)—decided to recruit their sons into the lucrative world of indie-rock. Toulon’s kids JP and Jamie handled guitar/vocals and keyboards respectively, and Davies’ stepson JP pounded the skins. They “wrote” songs about hot dogs and AIDS (most people assume Toulon senior composed the music, but the truth is lost in the mists of time) and bashed ‘em out with impressive energy, if not finesse. Which was fine, I mean, it was hardcore punk made by kids who were in the third-grade.
 
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Naturally, given their age and the general wackiness of the times, Old Skull got snatched up to a label (Restless Records, one-time home of Flaming Lips, Slayer, Mojo Nixon, Fear, W.A.S.P., etc), who released their first album, Get Outta School, in 1989. The pint-sized punks were nine and ten years old by then. They got written up in major mags like Rolling Stone and Newsweek, toured with Flaming Lips and GWAR, made a (low-budget) MTV video, and achieved about as much fame as knucklehead kids playing wonky skate-punk possibly could.

And that was pretty much it. After the drummer was grounded for a month by his parents, the band shuffled the line-up around and took a stab at a (slightly) more mature sophomore album, 1992’s CIA Drug Fest, but by then nobody had the patience and the novelty had worn off. We were all doing the grunge thing at that point. The band broke up and the kids turned into teens and went on with their lives. Sorta.

In the 90’s, the Toulon brothers’ mother died in a train accident. Dad—who had been reduced to panhandling on the streets by the turn of the decade—died of alcoholism in 2001. The orphaned sons rallied and performed as Old Skull in 2005, but death continued to stalk the clan. JP died in 2010 after struggling for years with a drug habit. His brother Jamie took his own life a year later, the victim of chronic depression. And that was the bitter end of Old Skull.
 
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There’s probably a cautionary tale for any pre-teen rock bands out there, although I’m assuming shaky parenting had a hand in the mess that ensued. Still, Old Skull deserve some kinda accolades. It’s not easy being a midwestern punk rock star with a record deal and a lengthy touring itinerary before you’ve even kissed a girl or learned your times tables.
 
Check ‘em out, after the jump…

Posted by Ken McIntyre | Leave a comment
DEVO ‘Energy Dome’ adapters for your 45s!
02.06.2017
09:11 am

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Amusing
Music

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Just when you think you’ve seen everything DEVO-related, along comes “Energy Dome” hat adapters for your 45s! They’re adorable and perfect for that DEVO nut in your life who also loves vinyl. They’re made by the Oakland-based Contact Records record shop. From what I understand via Facebook, the only way to get one of these is by actually visiting the record store. They’re not shipping right now. There’s also no mention of a price.


 

 
via Boing Boing

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
‘How you like me now?’: Charlie Brown & the Peanuts gang quote Wu-Tang Clan, Snoop & more
02.06.2017
08:49 am

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Amusing
Art
Hip-hop
Music

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Peanuts characters ‘Peppermint Patty’ and ‘Charlie Brown’ riffing on lyrics from ‘Protect Ya Neck’ by the Wu-Tang Clan. Painting by artist Mark Drew.
 
I’m a huge fan of artist Mark Drew—especially his “Tape Stack” paintings which can be found on greeting cards. I grab a few whenever I’m lucky enough to come across them.

In 2013 Drew created gallery-sized paintings based on one of his many zines. The zine in question featured images of the gang from Charles Schulz’s Peanuts comic mashed up with lyrics derived from 80s and 90s hip-hop. So instead of good old Charlie Brown uttering his famous phrase “good grief,” we get finally get to see Chuck slaying his nemesis Lucy with a line from “Let Me Ride” by Dr. Dre: “Fuck around n’ get caught up in a one-eight-seven.” Which seems about right given the fact that Lucy probably deserves to get a cap in her ass for all those times she denied poor Charlie the pleasure of kicking that goddamned football.

When Drew debuted the paintings at the China Heights gallery in Sydney, Australia he called the show “Deez Nuts” in tribute to the moniker adopted by failed 2016 presidential candidate high school student Brady C. Olson. Images of Charlie Brown and his homies Snoopy, Linus, Peppermint Patty quoting their favorite hip-hop lyrics follow.
 

Peanut’s character and notable meanie Lucy reciting a lyric from Public Enemy’s 1988 jam, “Louder than a Bomb” in a painting by artist Mark Drew.
 

Quote derived from the 1992 song by Dr. Dre, “Let Me Ride.”
 
More after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
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