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Jim Hendrix on French pop TV show ‘Dim Dam Dom’

The folks at Mod Cinema just keep the goods rolling out, don’t they? It’s hard to stay up with the embarrassment of riches on offer from them. Take for instance their recent duo of double DVD sets featuring unedited episodes of Dim Dam Dom, the distinctive, ultra-hip, fashion-forward late sixties French pop TV series. Dim Dam Dom had a very French “mod” sensibility, giving it a vastly different look and feel to British programs like Colour Me Pop or Top of the Pops and American counterparts like Shindig! and Hullabaloo.

Dim Dam Dom was a music variety hour produced for the Deuxième channel in France. The title summarizes this shows concept, “Dim” for Sunday, “Dam” for ladies, and “Dom” for men. Pioneering the creativity of the show was Daisy Galard. From the elaborate dance choreography, to the set design, to the production and staging, Dim Dam Dom serves as a colorful time capsule of pop music in 1968.

Included in Mod Cinema’s two 2-disc Dim Dam Dom sets are several complete unedited episodes (most in color, a few in black & white) with rare performances by Johnny Hallyday, Mireille Darc, Grapefruit, Marie Laforêt, Nino Ferrer, Eddy Mitchell, Stone, Memphis Slim, Ronnie Bird, Françoise Hardy, Procol Harum, The Electric Prunes, Julie Driscoll, Brian Auger & the Trinity, Sylvie Vartan, Jacques Dutronc, Pussy Cat, The Moody Blues, P.P.Arnold, Serge Gainsbourg, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Jacques Dutronc, “Les Bee Gees,” Claude François, The Easybeats, Manfred Mann, France Gall (who also sings the shows “theme song”) and many many others.

Order Dim Dam Dom from Mod Cinema here.

Below, The Jimi Hendrix Experience performing “Burning of the Midnight Lamp.”

Bonus clip after the jump: A young Keith Emerson and The Nice performing “Karelia Suite” on “Dim Dam Dom,” 1969.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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Watch The Melvins live at Hellfest 2011 in full
03:23 am


The Melvins

Poster by Alan Forbes, from Secret Serpent blog.
That’s some heaaavy shit. A full length, hour-long video of the original stoner/sludge/grunge/whatever rock icons The Melvins playing at France’s Hellfest earlier this year. Now with added second drummer for extra impact - ooft! I have yet to experience these guys live, but after seeing this I will be ordering tickets for their next tour later this afternoon. Setlist:

Hung Bunny

Roman Bird Dog

The Water Glass

Evil New War God

It’s Shoved



Second Coming

Ballad of Dwight Fry


Honey Bucket
With Teeth

Sweet Willy Rollbar

Night Goat

Thanks to Lee Mann and uploader EvilManTheOne.


Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Discussion
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Emo’s East: Austin’s new rock venue gives audiences and musicians some respect
01:38 am


Butthole Surfers

The closest thing Austin, Texas has to a CBGB-style rock venue is the venerable shithole Emo’s, a dilapidated, barn-like dump with bathrooms that come close, but not quite, to the urine-soaked hell-holes of Hilly Kristal’s legendary Bowery punk venue.

Like CBGB, Emo’s has established itself as one of the great rock and roll venues in the world and, like CBGB, it’s a lousy place for bands and audiences to experience rock and roll. Fuck street cred, we’ve all outgrown rock venues that charge $30 and more for a ticket and in return offer an environment suitable for firing squads and hangings.

I’ve been pissing and moaning for years that rock audiences are masochists, willing to put up with the worst kinds of settings in which to listen to the music they love. I can’t imagine theater goers, opera or ballet fans lining up to take a shit in port-o-johnnys that are belching methane like over-stuffed plastic cows or suffering through security checks by no-neck thugs looking to find contraband like bottled water and video cameras.

I guess Emo’s arrived at a similar conclusion: rock audiences need to be treated with respect and so do the bands that entertain us.

This coming Sunday, Emo’s will be opening a new state-of-the-art music club with a performance by The Butthole Surfers and I think the new venue will be great for the bands and the fans.

What the audience will pay for (and, hopefully, benefit from) includes elephant bark flooring (great for acoustics and soft on the feet), 100 tons of A/C, a group of tiled bathrooms, three large bars, double sheetrocked walls (again, for sound), a large outdoor smoking patio and 500-plus parking spots.

The bands will kick back in a green room with flat screen televisions, a washer and dryer (life on the road is tough) and shower facilities; and, of course, they’ll have ample tour bus parking with a private back entrance.

For smaller acts, the 1,700 capacity room can be partitioned into one with an 800 cap.

Great for both band and ticket-holders? A 48-foot ceiling that transitions back to a 12-foot height, meaning there is hardly a bad line of sight in the house.

The Butthole Surfers’ gig is a test run for the venue, not its official opening. The fact that the Surfers wanted to do this on the tenth anniversary of 9/11 seems either perverse or perhaps something else…we will see. I’ll be there and get back to you.

In the meantime, here’s Alex Winter’s homage to Texas Chainsaw Massacre featuring Gibby and the boys.

Posted by Marc Campbell | Discussion
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Mike Leonard: The man who created Pink Floyd’s light show magic
10:03 pm


Pink Floyd
Light shows
Mike Leonard

Light show pioneer Mike Leonard worked closely with Pink Floyd in the mid-1960s when they were known as Leonard’s Lodgers (they lived in Leonard’s home) and later The Pink Floyd Sound. Working with colored cellophane and glass attached to rotating wheels and various prisms and lenses through which light was projected, Leonard managed to create lysergic effects that complimented Floyd’s psychedelic sound. While similar lighting experiments were soon to start taking place in San Francisco and New York, Leonard operated within his own orbit and by the time light shows had become a standard part of many a bands’ stage show Leonard was no longer in the business.

This video was shot in Leonard’s home in 1967 for BBC television program “Tomorrow’s World” and ends with some footage of Pink Floyd in an improvisational mood. Various sources claim this is Syd Barrett’s last filmed performance with the band.

Documentary on Pink Floyd and Syd Barrett after the jump…

Posted by Marc Campbell | Discussion
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Mind-blowing early Soft Machine footage, 1968

The amount of high quality video footage of the Soft Machine unearthed in recent years has been truly impressive and a godsend to fans of the ever-changing line-ups of the Canterbury prog-rock greats. For me, the earlier the better, so this 1968 performance of the group on French TV is some of the best footage of the Softs, I’ve seen, period.

Showcasing the improvisational brilliance of the classic Robert Wyatt, Kevin Ayers and Mike Ratledge line-up in a way that their first album did not, this 24-minute long set is a barnstormer throughout, ending on an extended, energetic romp all over their classic,“Hope for Happiness.”

If you’re a Soft Machine fan, this will absolutely blow you away.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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Sammy Davis Jr. in Vietnam: Documentary from 1972
12:57 pm


Sammy Davis Jr.

I’ve always loved Sammy Davis Jr. As a kid, I read his 1965 autobiography “Yes I Can” and as an adult I still have a deep fondness for his upbeat, groovy, vibe.

Sammy Davis, Jr. went to Vietnam in 1972 as a representative of President Nixon’s Special Action Office For Drug Abuse Prevention. Davis was there to observe the military drug abuse rehabilitation program, and talk to and entertain the troops.

Sammy was a peacenik. “I was so opposed to the war in Vietnam that I initially refused President Nixon’s urgings for me to go there.”  But, he ended up going to entertain the troops.

Davis walked a fine line between being perceived as a House Negro for The White House and, in my opinion, a saavy infiltrator who instigated change from within.

For Davis, his role as a high-profile Black entertainer with a desire to change the tone of American society found him engaged in a delicate balancing act between winning hearts and minds while still sticking to his core beliefs of racial equality, peace, love and understanding at a time when the USA was deeply divided along race lines as well as pro-war and anti-war factions.

“Being a star has made it possible for me to get insulted in places where the average Negro could never hope to go and get insulted.”

He got shit from all sides, called an “Uncle Tom” by some Blacks, hated by whites for marrying a white woman, and ostracized by trendoids for being a faux hipster, he defied them all by letting his talent do the talking.

In the following footage, you see Davis, working with a bare bones production, a trio of back-up dancers and a small band, creating some dynamite energy. It’s like a chitlin circuit roadhouse review compared to Bob Hope’s lavish USO tours. In one scene, Davis sings for a small group of soldiers working with nothing but a microphone and a drummer - no band, no backing tracks.

Davis chooses his words very carefully while discussing Vietnam and the drug issue. 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Discussion
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Wonderful punk and post-punk era photographs by David Arnoff

Stiv Bators, 1980
David Arnoff‘s post-punk era photography appeared in the NME, Melody Maker, Trouser Press, N.Y. Rocker and many other publications. The Cleveland-born, but London-based photographer and disc jockey’s work captures iconic bad boys and girls, relaxed and at their most playful. Arnoff is currently readying his photographs for a book and is looking for a publisher. I asked him a few questions over email:

Tara: Tell me about the Stiv Bators shot.

David Arnoff: I was hanging around with Stiv and his post-Dead Boys band in their hotel—pretty sure it was the Sunset Marquis—and we decided to do some shots of him on his own. He’d been messing about with a new air pistol, so we brought that along and just stepped out into the hall, after which it occured to him to maybe go back in the room and put some shoes on, but I said not to bother.  We started out doing some rather silly and predictable 007-type poses before he chose to just sit on the floor and look disturbed. I always thought the stripey socks made him look even more so.

Nick Cave, 1983
Tara: You worked with Nick Cave several times. He seems like a guy very concerned about his image, yet playful, too. What’s he like as a subject or collaborator?

David Arnoff: Nick is very easy and unaffected to work with. That shot with Harpo is the result of what started out as another cancelled session at the Tropicana Motel. He apologized for being up all night and indicated all the empty bottles on the TV as evidence, but was perfectly happy for me to carry on regardless even though he was not looking his best. The only downside was he was trying in vain to play “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry,” not really knowing the chords and the guitar was painfully out of tune.  Not an enjoyable aural experience. He was quite happy with the photos though.

Jeffrey Lee Pierce, 1983
Tara: Maybe it was the era, but several of the people you shot were junkies. Any “colorful” anecdotes about the likes of Cave, Jeffery Lee Pierce, Nico or Johnny Thunders?

David Arnoff: Far be it for me to say whether or not any of these people were actually junkies, but it’s funny you should mention Nick and Jeffrey together because I did squeeze all three of us into my little Volvo p1800 to go score on the street—Normandy, I think, around 3rd or somewhere. We then went back to my place in Hollywood, where Jeffrey became convinced they’d been ripped off. But Nick seemed more than happy with his purchase. Afterwards we went to that lesbian-run Mexican place near the Starwood. Nick tried to remember what he’d had previously and proceeded to attempt to describe what he wanted it to the baffled staff. I think they just gave up and sold him a burrito.

More with David Arnoff and his photographs after the jump…

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
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Roy Orbison concert from 1973: 51 minutes of R&R bliss
09:22 pm


Roy Orbison

This is quite extraordinary. A high quality filmed performance of Roy Orbison in Melbourne, Australia in April of 1973.

Absolutely essential rock and roll from an artist who had one of the most authentically beautiful voices in all of music and was responsible for writing some of the most sublime songs in the history rock and roll. Mr. Roy Orbison.

Roy with Bruce Springsteen,T. Bone Burnett, Tom Waits, K.D. Lang, Elvis Costello and more after the jump…

Posted by Marc Campbell | Discussion
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‘Who will live Aladdin Sane?’: Bowie building set for 2012 construction
01:48 pm


David Bowie

A portrait of David Bowie is to be emblazoned across the front of a five-storey apartment building in Australia. I’m a huge, huge Bowie fan, but this is just… tacky.

The original plans for the building’s facade called for Andy Warhol’s mug instead of Bowie’s. No mention of why Warhol was nixed. The 18-unit building is supposed to begin construction in February of 2012.

Via The Herald Sun/Thank you Spencer Kansa!

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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Grace Jones: the ‘Hurricane’ returns

With the east coast of America still recovering from the effects of Irene, it seems like today’s American release of Grace Jones’ album Hurricane could not have come at a more inopportune moment. But as the album was originally released in Europe in 2008 the question remains - why did it take three years for Hurricane to get an American release in the first place? Was it label hassles? Jones hassles? Or a renewed interest in the lady’s work post-Gaga?

Either way it’s still a good day for Jones fans, even the ones who already own Hurricane. The American release comes with a dub-remix album imaginatively titled Hurricane Dub, which is also being released in its own right in other territories. Hurricane Dub is highly recommended, not just for the Jones-heads out there, but for connoisseurs of dub in general. It’s excellent. In fact it’s maybe even better than the original album, and yes I know saying that is kind of sacrilegious.

It’s a dub remix album in the true sense of the term, using just the original tracks and a shit ton of spaced out fx, mixed and processed by producer Ivor Guest (is that his real name?!). Like the dub mixes of her work from the 80s, Hurricane Dub brings the classic rimshot-heavy sound of the Compass Point All Stars to the fore, and positively drips authentic stoner atmosphere. I was actually surprised at how good this album is, and I do count myself among the hardcore Grace Jones faithful. Strangely enough though, there’s very little of this album appearing online. I hope her label are ensuring this reaches as many ears as possible! So, while you will have already seen the fantastic and terrifying video for “Corporate Cannibal”, here’s the only readily available video clip from Hurricane Dub available online:

Grace Jones - “Well Well Well Dub”

Hurricane and Hurricane Dub are available to buy here.


Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Discussion
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