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Alice Cooper’s career-making, chicken-killing evil noise jam at the 1969 Toronto Rock & Roll Revival
06:22 am



The incident that made Alice Cooper a household name was captured on film by D. A. Pennebaker, the director of Don’t Look Back and Monterey Pop. It doesn’t appear in Sweet Toronto, Pennebaker’s documentary about the Toronto Rock & Roll Revival, and it doesn’t take much imagination to see why it ended up on the cutting room floor. Let’s say it’s not long on “good-time rock and roll” vibes.

Like me, you’ve probably seen the split-second clip of Alice throwing the chicken into the Toronto festival audience dozens of times, but it’s a different story in the context of the actual feedback-soaked bacchanal. The climax of the set Pennebaker captures on these thirteen minutes of film is so violent, so unsettling and so totally deranged in 1969 terms that you can forgive witnesses for thinking the bird was ritually sacrificed, or deliberately shredded by the band as a Dadaist outrage.

Getting Alice Cooper on the bill at this festival was a coup for manager Shep Gordon, whose unlikely career in showbiz is the subject of the entertaining documentary Supermensch (now streaming on Netflix). As Alice and Shep tell the story, the manager turned down an offer for 30 percent of the festival’s profits, instead opting to book Alice for a nominal fee of $1. In exchange, Shep’s clients got the slot in between the festival’s two headliners: John Lennon, in his first performance without the Beatles, and the Doors. From Supermensch:

Alice Cooper: Sixty thousand people. We go on, and it’s great. We’re tearing the place up, and the feathers are going, and I look down and there’s a chicken onstage. The only person that could’ve bought the chicken was Shep, because nobody in the audience would bring a chicken to that concert. Nobody would say, “OK, I got my keys, I got my tickets, I got my chicken.”

Shep Gordon: I thought, “Let’s have a live chicken, it would be fantastic.” I threw it out at him.

AC: I took the chicken and tossed it, thinking it had feathers, it should fly. Well, it didn’t fly as much as it plummeted.

SG: Everybody went wild.

AC: The audience tore it to pieces.

SG: They threw it back at him. They threw back wings, and legs, and heads came flying back up on the stage. And then I saw blood, so I turned my head ‘cause I faint when I see blood.

AC: Next day in the paper, “ALICE COOPER RIPS HEAD OFF CHICKEN AND DRINKS THE BLOOD.” What should have been incredibly horrible press for anybody became the thing that put us on the map. Now we could do anything we wanna do!

Alice throws the bird at 11:38, but you’ll miss nearly all of the actual mayhem if you fast forward. The song they’re playing at the beginning, often called “Freak Out Song,” is a version of “Don’t Blow Your Mind” by proto-AC band the Spiders. It’s nice to learn that Alice was a fan of The Prisoner.

Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
The Byrds’ isolated vocals for ‘Mr. Tamborine Man’ and ‘Turn! Turn! Turn!’
06:17 am



The great L.A. band the Byrds can be (and are) credited with seminal innovations in folk-rock and country-rock, with singer/guitarist/lone constant member Roger (nee Jim) McGuinn’s unmistakable 12-string Rickenbacker chime sharing the spotlight with the band’s commanding vocal harmonies. The band was comprised of straight up folkies who harbored a fascination with the Beatles’ self-contained band model, and while their original compositions were excellent (if you only know the two songs that concern us here, pick up a best-of, seriously), they remain best known for an early pair of folk covers: Bob Dylan’s “Mr. Tambourine Man” and Pete Seeger’s Ecclesiastes adaptation “Turn! Turn! Turn!” Both were #1 hits, and were also the band’s only #1s.

A pair of YouTube videos endeavors to underscore the group’s impressive vocal skills by stripping away their music, and it’s really no surprise that what’s left is quite lovely. In The Dawn of Indian Music in the West, Peter Lavezzoli describes the Byrds’ harmonic process, ultimately boiling it all down to one member, guitarist/singer David Crosby:

For his part, Crosby applied his skills as a harmony singer in unconventional ways. Rather than attempting three-part harmonies like the Beatles (or five-part harmonies like the Beach Boys), the Byrds almost always employed the two-part harmony strategy of the Everly Brothers. But Crosby took the two-part approach a step further, based on his understanding of jazz and Indian modes. While McGuinn and Gene Clark sang the same notes in tandem, Crosby would move freely between a perfect fifth, flatted fifth, third, or seventh, resulting in an unusual sound that ranged from haunting to ethereal.

That kind of floored me, so I sought confirmation, and found it from McGuinn himself, who also credited the band’s harmonic gifts to Crosby in a passage from Canyon of Dreams: The Magic and the Music of Laurel Canyon:

“We sang together well,” offers Roger. “I give the credit to Crosby. He was brilliant at devising these harmony parts that were not strict third, fourth, or fifth improvisational combinations of the three. That’s what makes the Byrds’ harmonies. Most people think it’s a three-part harmony, and it’s a two-part harmony. Very seldom was there a third part on our harmonies.


Here’s “Mr. Tamborine Man,” helpfully synced to television footage of the original band miming the song. Chris Hillman’s hair kinda steals the show.

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
‘We’re Pretty Quick’: Prized 1967 garage punk 45 can be yours for $4,200
04:12 pm



The Chob
I have some experience with record collecting, mostly as a seller. I’ve yet to make a really big sale, though a White Stripes single I bought back in the day for two bucks once sold for $350, which paid my rent that month. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve purchased my fair share of rare records, I just could never fathom paying thousands of dollars for a slab of vinyl. But that’s exactly what record collectors do all the time. Take for example this seldom seen 1968 Rolling Stones 45, which recently sold for $17,100.

That’s right: $17,100.

Records by bands considerably less famous than the Stones also have value to collectors, especially those by virtually unknown groups that produced extraordinary music, but didn’t release much material. That, combined with the scarcity of the records, equals big bucks in the marketplace. Snotty garage rock from the ‘60s is a genre that causes collectors to drool with delight, and one such record, a 45 by the Albuquerque band the Chob (a group so obscure there are no known photos of them), is among the holy grails.

Initially going by the name the Choab, the band released a 7-inch under that moniker before shortening it and adding a long vowel accent mark. The Chob would release just a single 45, one that’s now treasured by fans of ‘60s garage punk. Alec Palao of Ace Records explains why (as well as the story behind their mysterious nom de plume) in the liner notes of the compilation, Uptight Tonight: The Ultimate ‘60s Garage Collection.

Two minutes and twenty-five seconds of pure punk genius, ‘We’re Pretty Quick’ emerged from the fertile minds of five Albuquerque, New Mexico teenagers - Dick Hanson (vocals) Quinton Miller (guitar), Robbie Crnich (organ), Keith Bradshaw (bass) and Dave Elledge (drums). This song of songs appeared as a small pressing in April 1967 on Southwest rock maven Lindy Blaskey’s Lavette label, barely sold at the time, and is now considered a prize rarity.

For all its novelty – a breathtakingly frantic pace and one of the more bizarrely entertaining lyrics of the era – the arrangement of ‘We’re Pretty Quick’ bore a couple of classic hallmarks of the garage band style. For instance, the guitar break’s lengthy, unmodulating crescendo was something commonly adapted by many combos of the time from the Yardbirds’ influential and much-covered ‘Mister You’re A Better Man Than I.’ And the sound at the very end of the record is that of organist Crnich switching off his Farfisa whilst holding down a note, providing the odd high pitched sucking sound that can be heard at the climax of several garage discs. Sadly, that was the last we were to hear from this inspired aggregation. Oh, and what is a chob, you ask? Apparently the band’s codeword for a pimple.

It isn’t known for certain how many copies Lavette pressed of “We’re Pretty Quick” b/w “Ain’t Gonna Eat Out My Heart Anymore” (a competent Young Rascals cover), but Alec believes it is likely in the 200-300 copies range, definitely not more than 500. I’m inclined to lean towards the lower number, as it doesn’t turn up for sale all that often. I searched the web, including popular auction sites, for a copy currently being offered for sale, and was able to find just one.

It’s on Amazon and the asking price is $4,200.

Before you say, “That’s crazy!” consider that in 2009 a less than stellar copy sold for $435, and two years later a “mint-minus” specimen went for nearly $2,000. The Amazon seller lists their Chob 45 as being in similar, near-perfect condition, and as rare records such as this certainly aren’t going down in value, it’s conceivable it could sell at auction for more than four grand.

In any event, “We’re Pretty Quick” is a prime example of 1960s American garage rock, and you can always pick it up on the aforementioned Uptight Tonight compilation. Alec Palao tells me the song’s inclusion is the only instance of it being officially licensed for re-release (it’s been bootlegged many times). If you really must have the original artifact, and $4,200 seems a little steep, you can always contact the seller in regards to the price. Maybe you can even get a break.

But probably not!

Special thanks to Alec Palao for his assistance with this post.

Posted by Bart Bealmear | Leave a comment
The Art of the Sleeve: Barney Bubbles’ beautiful record designs
03:00 pm



Barney Bubbles—photo-booth portrait.
Downloads don’t make it, nor do CDs—yon footery wee things that look more like drinks coasters or beer mats than containers for works of great music. CDs are too brittle—they easily crack—and can often be hell when trying to remove the inner notes without crease or tear. Only vinyl counts. Only vinyl gives the user the double pleasure of quality sound and quality design work to peruse.

When The Beatles started putting thought into the packaging of their albums—hiring artists like Klaus Voorman (Revolver), Peter Blake (Sgt. Pepper’s…) and Richard Hamilton (White Album)—the record sleeve became more than just a contents label. It allowed artists and designers to produce covers that would not only sell the music but become their own artwork. Among the designers who made a career out of record design, my own favorite (and arguably the greatest) was Barney Bubbles.

Born Colin Fulcher in 1942, Bubbles graduated from the Twickenham College of Technology, in London, before learning his craft as a graphic designer working with the likes of Michael Tucker + Associates and the Conran Group, before setting up the art group A1 Good Guyz with like-minded friends David Wills and Roy Burge in 1965. The trio organized various happenings and light shows across London before Bubbles started producing design work for Oz magazine in 1968.

By 1969, Bubbles had set up his own graphic studio Teenburger Designs on Portobello Road, where he began his highly successful design career. Over the next fourteen years, Bubbles produced memorable, eye-catching and popular record designs for Hawkwind, Elvis Costello, Ian Dury, The Damned, Lene Lovich and The Soft Toys. He was so talented and prolific he produced work under various different aliases—from Colin Fulcher to Big Jobs Ltd. But this was to do with modesty about his work rather than any fear over devaluing his brand name, as he explained to The Face magazine in 1981:

“...I don’t really like crediting myself on people’s albums—like you’ve got a Nick Lowe album, it’s NICK LOWE’S album not a Barney Bubbles’ album.”

After a year-long trip to Ireland—(“to recover from the end of a long term personal relationship”), Bubbles was appointed Art Director at Stiff Records by Jake Riviera (aka Andrew Jakeman) in 1977, where he supplied album, single and promotional designs for the label’s roster of artists—this was where he produced the incredible and stunning foldout sleeve for Elvis Costello’s Armed Forces LP—a work that became (quite literally) a text book for succeeding graphic designers to steal from. Working Stiff Records was liberating for Bubbles as he later said in an interview:

“It’s fun working with Jake, we’d just walk around the block—‘cause he was so busy—it would all be done in five minutes. I could actually do what I wanted to do without being told off by record companies that say ‘Fantastic but don’t you think…?’ and then they fuck it up!”

Bubbles said his approach to record design was “to wait, hear the music and meet the guys, and they tell you what they want and its up to you to deliver it.” During this time he also redesigned the N.M.E. logo and eventually branched out into a career as highly successful promo director making videos for The Specials (“Ghost Town,” “The Boiler”), Squeeze (“Is The Love?”), Elvis Costello (“Clubland”) and the Fun Boy Three (“The Lunatics (Have Taken Over the Asylum)”). He also started painting pictures an designing furniture. Just when Bubbles should have been getting the praise, recognition and superstardom his genius as a designer deserved, his career faltered and his designs started being rejected by his once loyal record labels and artists. Bubbles suffered from bi-polar disorder and the rejection devastated him, which led to his tragic suicide in November 1983.

Barney Bubbles was one of those rare artists and graphic designers whose work could make you go out and buy an album or a single—by an act you had never heard of before—just by the quality of his sleeve design. Thankfully, unlike book design, you can judge a record by a Barney Bubbles’ cover.
Hawkwind ‘Search for Space’ (1971).
Hawkwind ‘Doremi Fasol Latido’ (1972).
Hawkwind ‘Space Ritual’ (1973).
More of Barney Bubbles’ work, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Walter Cronkite introduces America to the Velvet Underground on national TV, 1965
02:42 pm



On the last day of 1965, viewers tuning into CBS were treated to a 6-minute report presented by Walter Cronkite himself called “The Making of an Underground Film”; DM’s Richard Metzger wrote about it last year. CBS’ news story prominently mentioned and showed a new band named the Velvet Underground—their first time on TV, ever.

The actual focus of the story was the underground movie scene, in particular an experimental filmmaker named Piero Heliczer. When CBS came a-callin’ to do its story, Heliczer was shooting a 12-minute short called Dirt, featuring the Velvet Underground, and that was the scene Heliczer happened to be shooting that day. (For some reason none of the fellows in the band are wearing a shirt.) Heliczer was actually an important figure in the development in VU’s sound, as we shall see below.

Reporter Peter Beard begins his report standing outside the Bridge, a theater located on 4 St. Marks Place in the East Village, an early center for alternative arts. In fact you can plainly see the word “FUGS” next to Beard on the facade of the Bridge. Remarkably, Cronkite interviews “the godfather of American avant-garde cinema,” Jonas Mekas and the undisputed king of über-experimental abstract movies, Stan Brakhage. CBS even shows more than 30 seconds of a Brakhage movie, presumably part of Two: Creeley/McClure, which is predictably a rapid-fire montage of stutter-y and blurry images—it almost feels like CBS’ little joke on the underground scene. Naturally, CBS also looks at Warhol’s Sleep and documents Warhol filming one of his own parties, at which Edie Sedgwick is joyousy bopping away.

One impetus for the CBS story was an interest in this new phenomenon, “underground” art. In Victor Bockris’ Up-Tight: The Velvet Underground Story, Sterling Morrison explains:

Whenever I hear the word “underground,” I am reminded of when the word first acquired a specific meaning for me and for many others in NYC in the early Sixties. It referred to underground cinema and the people and lifestyle that created and supported this art form. And the person who first introduced me to this scene was Piero Heliczer, a bona fide “underground film-maker”—the first one I had ever met.

On an early spring day John [Cale] and I were strolling through the Eastside slums and ran into Angus [MacLise] on the corner of Essex and Delancey. Angus said, “Let’s go over to Piero’s,” and we agreed.

It seems that Piero and Angus were organizing a “ritual happening” at the time—a mixed-media stage presentation to appear in the old Cinematheque. … It was to be entitled “Launching the Dream Weapon,” and it got launched tumultuously. In the center of the stage there was a movie screen, and between the screen and the audience a number of veils were spread out in different places. These veils were lit variously by lights and slide projectors, as Piero’s films shone through them onto the screen. Dancers swirled around, and poetry and song occasionally rose up, while from behind the screen a strange music was being generated by Lou, John, Angus, and me.

For me the path ahead became suddenly clear—I could work on music that was different from ordinary rock & roll since Piero had given us a context to perform it in. In the summer of 1965 we were the anonymous musicians who played at some screenings of “underground films,” and at other theatrical events, the first of which was for Piero’s films (I think that Barbara Rubin showed “Christmas on Earth” and Kenneth Anger showed a film also).


Around this time, somehow, CBS News decided that Walter Cronkite should have a feature on an “underground” film being made. By whatever selection process, Piero was able to be the “underground film-maker”; since he had already decided to film us playing anyway, we got into the act (and besides, we had “underground” in our name, didn’t we? Maybe someone at CBS reads Pirandello).



Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Polly wanna headbang? The return of Hatebeak, the death metal band with a parrot for a singer
07:20 am



The oughts were banner years for grind bands with pets for singers: there was Caninus, a side project of Most Precious Blood whose 2004 album Now The Animals Have A Voice I purchased because I figured I might someday have to prove that yes, there was a metal band with two pit bulls for singers. And there was Baltimore’s Hatebeak, formed by members of the Index and Pig Destroyer, who featured a front-bird, a parrot named Waldo.

Though they released splits with Caninus and Birdflesh (I have a feeling I know what you’re thinking, but sadly, no, the latter band does not also have a bird in it), Hatebeak broke up in 2009 before ever recording a full length LP of its own. That’s about to change—they’ve reunited, and will be releasing The Number of the Beak next week. It collects their split tracks on side one, while side two is all new. They’ve pre-released a handful of songs on Soundcloud, all titled with preposterous metal/avian puns, like “Hell Bent for Feathers,” “Roost in Piece,” you get the drift. Check out “The Thing that Should not Beak”:

In an interview with Consequence of Sound‘s Sami Jarroush, drummer Blake Harrison informed us that the band will never tour:

Parrots like doing this stuff—the mimicry is kind of like a form of play, so it’s more like they have to be in a relaxed ... playful mood. You know the sound of your smoke detector when the battery is low? And it’s like a really loud chirp? He will do that when he’s uncomfortable.

The bird really shouldn’t and probably couldn’t—I don’t want PETA after me for subjecting a bird to like 120 decibels of distorted guitars. And you know, it’s kind of more of like a fun thing. Playing live would be a pain in the ass, and if it’s not fun I don’t know if I would necessarily want to do it.


The Number of the Beak is due out on June 23, 2015. We’ll leave you with one of Waldo’s finest performances, “Seven Perches.”

Much love to Christian Taylor for alerting me to this excellent news.

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
Gangsta rap fans baffled as The Geto Boys bust out ‘All in the Family’ theme at concert
06:29 am



One of the most crucial and influential gangsta rap acts since the late ‘80s, Houston Texas’ Geto Boys have always played by their own rules, never selling out, always on that “other level of the game.” Still “not kissin’ no goddamn ass to be accepted” in 2015, it’s been a busy year for the three members of the most famous line-up of the group, Willie D, Scarface, and Bushwick Bill.

Left to right: Willie D, Scarface, Bushwick Bill
Scarface just released an autobiography, Diary of a Madman: The Geto Boys, Life, Death, and the Roots of Southern Rap, Willie D has been writing an advice column for Houston Press, and Bushwick Bill has recently teamed back up with them both for a full US tour. Earlier this week, the Geto Boys announced plans to record a new album.

It’s general Dangerous Minds policy to avoid reporting on Kickstarters, but it’s worth noting that among the “rewards” being offered by the Geto Boys for donating to the recording costs of their new album are: a night of barhopping with Bushwick Bill, a round of golf with Scarface, or—if you have the big bucks—a custom-designed Geto Boys coffin

I’ve been a fan of the Geto Boys since the release of their transgressive Grip It on That Other Level album. My personal discovery of the Geto Boys came about as a result of already being a huge fan of Willie D’s 1989 solo Rap-a-lot Records recording, Controversy. I’m not entirely certain why Controversy came to be one of my favorite rap releases—or quite possibly—ACTUALLY MY FAVORITE RAP ALBUM EVER. There’s certainly better-produced and more thoughtfully-written albums out there for sure. I guess it was one of those time and place events. Willie D had a surprising number of unexpected fans in the punk scene I came up in. It may have been a combination of the overall envelope-pushing filthiness of the lyrics and the stripped-down DIY-sounding production, or the seemless blending of the politics of groups like Public Enemy, the gangsterism of groups like NWA and the sheer sexual nastiness of groups like 2 Live Crew. Somehow the mixed bag works—or at least it worked for me in 1989. Never released on vinyl, except for a DJ twelve inch sampler of some tracks (if you have one to sell, get at me!), I’ve worn through three copies of the original cassette on Rap-a-lot.

The album on which Mr. D proposes a bill to Capitol Hill to kill all bald-headed women at will.
So it came to be one of the more memorable nights of my life when, a week ago, I FINALLY got to see Willie D and the Geto Boys live on stage—and being right up front, singing along (with most of the audience), at some point I yelled out “Whatcha see D?” and Willie D looked down. The DJ cued up the “Dragnet” intro music and I yelled “y’all thought this was Dragnet, didn’t ya! Wrong answer again!” And then, unbelievably, the “Underground Master” himself pulled me up on stage to sing “Bald Headed Hoes” (Controversy‘s most notorious cut) with him. Luckily those lyrics are branded upon my brain and came out effortlessly, because the whole time I was onstage with the Geto Boys I was thinking “how the fuck is this happening?!”

But even without that, it would have still been an unforgettable night, because the Geto Boys were ON FIRE. Their current live show is a “don’t miss” event, and I can attest from the personal interactions I witnessed, that the Geto Boys care deeply about their fans. I would never suggest that the Geto Boys, now certainly Geto Men, have mellowed with age, but the three “ghetto soldiers” appear remarkably more thoughtful, dare I say, sagelike in 2015. I can’t say if the hardest out, trigger-happy, motherfuckin’ Geto Boys are still looking to win Fifth Ward murder contests, but they’re definitely still willing to cuss their asses off for your daughters and sons. If you have an opportunity to see them on this tour, don’t sleep.

Although Willie D states (jokingly?) in a recent Rolling Stone interview, “We fuckin’ hate each other, man. It’s like, ‘Motherfucker, I don’t even wanna be onstage with you. Can we put up three stages, man? I’ll sing my verse, you sing your verse,’” there didn’t seem to be a bit of animosity between him or Scarface or Bushwick onstage. They appeared to be having a blast with each other. Bushwick Bill went all-in, destroying a printer with a baseball bat, in homage to the infamous Office Space printer massacre scene (which features the Geto Boys song “Still”).

Bushwick Bill, pictured here after being shot in the eye by his girlfriend in the Summer of 1991. The group took this rare opportunity to take publicity photos, using one image from the hospital photo shoot for the cover of their 1991 album “We Can’t Be Stopped.”
The most “what the fuck” moment of the show, however, came from the “Mastermind of Wreckin’ Shit,” Scarface, who—out of nowhere—suddenly decided it was time to bust into the theme from All in the Family. Thankfully a quick-thinking audience member with a handy cellphone was able to capture (at least the last part of) this baffling moment. At the end of the clip you even hear Willie D actually say “what the fuck?!”

“When goils were goils and men was men.”
Scarface has a history of breaking with the conventions of his hardcore gangsta rap image. As well as being an avid golfer, his Facebook page often features uploaded videos of himself playing soft-rock jams like “Hotel California” and “Landslide” on acoustic guitar.

Still, we’re filing this one under “weird shit we never thought we’d see at a Geto Boys concert,” or better yet, under “playing by their own rules, never selling out, and always being on that ‘other level of the game.’”

Here’s the Geto Boys taking it to that other level and doing Archie and Edith Bunker like a G.O.:

H/T Instagram user juxtaposedjs

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
Christ versus Warhol: Julian Cope and The Teardrop Explodes on ‘The Old Grey Whistle Test,’ 1982
06:23 am



WHOA. Bits and pieces of this excellent show have been floating through the Internet ether for some time, but I’ve never seen all of it, and I’ve definitely never seen the entire thing intact. This is Liverpool’s brightly and briefly burning post-punk psych messiahs the Teardrop Explodes in an April 1982 appearance on The Old Grey Whistle Test, on an upswing amid the band’s numerous ups and downs. Here, they’re shaking off the disappointing sales of their initially misunderstood second album Wilder and mixing in new material that would feature on their third album, had they indeed actually finished one without, er, imploding.

The Teardrop Explodes were contemporaries and rivals of Echo and the Bunnymen, and were at first the more popular band, launching the career of veteran cosmic polymath Julian Cope. They favored a more organ-heavy approach to post-punk neo-psych than the Bunnymen, but the bands weren’t especially dissimilar, and they grew more musically ambitious more or less in parallel (Cope and head Bunnyman Ian McCulloch had briefly been in a band together prior to their fame). The Teardrops’ lineup did some revolving during their lifetime, but here it’s Cope, founding drummer Gary Dwyer, on-again-off-again keyboardist David Balfe, guitarist Troy Tate, and bassist Ronnie François, supplemented with occasional horns, possibly Wilder session players Luke Tunney and Ted Emmett, but I can’t confirm that. Here’s the set list. Note that there’s not a single tune from their revered debut Kilimanjaro here, save for “Suffocate,” which was only on the US version.

Colours Fly Away
Falling Down Around Me
You Disappear From View
Seven Views Of Jerusalem
Log Cabin
Tiny Children
Screaming Secrets
The Culture Bunker

Within months of this luminous performance, Cope would jettison François and Tate (the latter of whom would end up in a lineup of Fashion by September of ‘82), and the trio of Cope, Balfe and Dwyer would enter the Studio to record LP 3. It was doomed. Keyboardist Balfe, who’d not really seen eye-to-eye with Cope and as such had been fired from and re-hired into the band before, took over the recording process, endeavoring to create a synth record. Cope was too acid-fried to do much of anything about it besides quit after recording a mere handful of vocal tracks. What could be salvaged was released as the weird-but-not-really-in-the-good-way You Disappear From View EP, though the “last album” Everybody Wants to Shag The Teardrop Explodes was eventually cobbled together for release in 1990. Cope of course went on to a fruitful and still quite active career as perhaps the single most productive acid casualty in the history of mankind, producing numerous and wonderful pop albums, curating compilations, and writing authoritative books on Krautrock, Japanese experimental rock, and archaeology.

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
Frank Zappa makes an appearance on awful 70s game show ‘Make Me Laugh’ (Spoiler: He doesn’t)
01:09 pm



Frank Zappa makes a 1979 appearance on Make Me Laugh, an awful looking game show hosted by Bobby Van. Zappa nearly wordlessly promotes his then new Sheik Yerbouti album and wins a member of the studio audience a lot of consumer items (a garish bed spread, Samsonite luggage, a washer/dryer combo, plush recliner, etc) by not laughing at the idiotic Gallagher and another completely unfunny comic.

A typical celebrity guest on Make Me Laugh would be someone like Dr. Joyce Brothers or Charles Nelson Reilly. You can clearly tell that Frank hated every second of this.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
‘TV Wipeout’: Cabaret Voltaire’s rigorously post-punk 1984 video compilation resurfaces
12:36 pm



John Coulthart has unearthed an utterly marvelous find from the early days of mass-produced video music content—Cabaret Voltaire’s TV Wipeout, a “video magazine” that was released on VHS in 1984. Watching it today, TV Wipeout is an excellent approximation of late-night avant-garde music programming from the early 1980s like Night Flight, albeit less scattershot and more rigorously postpunk in perspective. Of course, Cabaret Voltaire were often featured on Night Flight themselves.

TV Wipeout, videotape cover
As Coulthart explains, “This was the fourth title on the Cab’s own Doublevision label which was easily the best of the UK’s independent video labels at the time.” The compilation has plenty of gems. TV Wipeout features an interview with David Bowie on his latest movie, Nagisa Oshima’s Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence, excerpts from two Andy Warhol movies (Heat and Flesh), concert and documentary footage from the Fall at their creative peak, a video by Residents discovery Renaldo and the Loaf, footage of Marc Almond covering a Lou Reed song, and excerpts from cult classics like Plan Nine from Outer Space and Eating Raoul.

The footage of the Fall was taped at the The Venue in London on March 21, 1983. Their rendition of “Words of Expectation” is interrupted by an astonishing clip of the Fall’s manager, Kay Carroll, tearing the Factory’s Tony Wilson a new asshole for using some Fall music on a video without their permission.

(Click for a larger version)
On the next-to-last video, Marc & The Mambas cover Lou Reed’s “Caroline Says II” off of Berlin. For the first half of the song, Marc Almond is holding Genesis P-Orridge’s infant daughter Caresse in his arms until she starts to cry.

Coulthart also found a pretty hilarious interview in which Cabaret Voltaire’s Stephen Mallinder had the following to say about TV Wipeout (source: Cabaret Voltaire: The Art of the Sixth Sense by M. Fish and D. Hallbery):

Q: The next Doublevision was the TV Wipeout video which was a sort of disposable magazine compilation. It contained a fairly wide variety of contributors, from people like The Fall and Test Dept to some more mainstream groups like Bill Nelson and Japan.

Mallinder: The point was that Virgin Films were quite happy to work with us; they even gave us money in the form of advertising revenue for using some film clips from the Virgin catalogue. We were then able to camouflage them into the whole set-up and make them look as if they were part of the whole nature of the video compilation.

Q: One of those clips was a particularly inane interview with David Bowie. Was its inclusion merely a selling point?

Mallinder: Yes, it was purely that. There are a lot of people who will buy anything with David Bowie on it. So we said “Fuck it, why not use that as a selling point!” Actually the interview is appalling, it’s terrible. Our including it was almost like a piss-take. We were saying “you really will buy anything with David Bowie on it if you buy this”.

Coulthart asserts that some clips of Cabaret Voltaire and Japan are missing from this playlist, but I think that’s not right, at least if the list posted above is right, it’s just the Japan track that is missing, and you can find that one here.

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
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