Deejay, producer and beautiful soul Mark Kamins died yesterday of “a massive coronary” in Guadalajara where he was a teacher at the Fermatta Music Academy.
Mark was a friend of mine and fan of Dangerous Minds. He often sent me links to articles and videos he thought would be of interest to DM. The last I heard from him was on January 11 of this year when he sent me a link to a YouTube video.
I think you will love this
“Whole Lotta Helter Skelter: Beatles-Zeppelin Mashup.”
Mark had a generous spirit. He was always supportive of my music and writing. He went out of his way to send me positive vibes and information he thought might be valuable in whatever project I might be working on. To say he is a loss, is an understatement. Mark was a force of nature that swept you up and carried you along on waves of upbeat energy, propelling you in the direction of your better self.
In the 80s, it was impossible to club hop without being infused with Mark’s aura via the incredible music he would play night after night as he deejayed at NYC’s groundbreaking dance clubs: including Danceteria, The Mudd Club, The Tunnel, Paradise Garage and Area. He discovered Madonna, introduced her to Seymour Stein and produced her first single “Everybody.” He worked as a producer, mixer and collaborator with The Beastie Boys, U2, Bob Marley, David Byrne, Sinead O’Connor and Karen Finley, to name a few. He wasn’t just part of the scene, he conjured the scene, he made it happen. He opened his own venue, The Harem, where he mixed instrumental tracks with live International musicians and dancers.
Mark continued to do what he loved right up until the day he died. He was teaching music students the fundamentals of electronic music and deejaying. The only thing that could stop Mark, did.
Peace brother. I imagine you somewhere, glowing like starlight, spinning the music of the spheres.
“Let the music take control
Find a groove and let yourself go
When the room begins to sway
You know what I’m trying to say.”
Rather than actually pay Virgin a licensing fee, el cheapo Spanish record label, Dial Discos hired “Los Punk Rockers” (rumored to be Spanish prog-rock band Asfalto) to cover the entirety of Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols. The point was to basically confuse music fans in post-Franco Spain into thinking that this was the real thing.
The Shit-Fi blog nominated Los Exitos de Sex Pistols for “the most shit-fi album of all time,” adding that it “simply does not get any stupider, stranger, more poorly played, funnier, or nigh-psychotic (and possibly psychedelic) than this record”
Los Exitos de Sex Pistols was obviously recorded in a flash, before the next trend could take hold. The musicians more-or-less learned the songs from Never Mind the Bollocks, but the singer must not have spoken much English, because his approximations of Johnny Rotten are complete nonsense. (Here are “Holidays in the Sun” and “Pretty Vacant”) Even when singing the song title, as in the chorus of “Seventeen,” he seems to be making words up: “I’m a lazy seven.”
He does have the snottiness down pat, though. The vocals are clearly the best part of the record, simply because they’re so hilariously terrible. The guitar sound is thin and fuzzy, quite unlike the multi-tracked wall of guitars on NMTB—actually, it’s a lot closer to what one associates today with DIY punk of the late 70s than the Pistols’ sound. Few punk sleeves are as iconic as that of NMTB, but this album’s sleeve does fit the music well. It’s dumb. The woman on the sleeve appears to be some random person a photographer pulled off the street and dressed in moderately “punk” duds.
In a genre unto themselves, one we can all be thankful never took off, the concept of “mime rock” and The Hello People sprang from the mind of longtime manager and record producer Lew Futterman. Futterman, who at one point managed Ted Nugent and produced many of his albums including Cat Scratch Fever, was also managing a group of musicians who had been taught painting by the father of French mime, Étienne Decroux. Decroux was impressed with how quickly these musicians learned to paint and reasoned they could do the same with mime and apply it to music to create an entirely new art form.
Inspired by this notion, Futterman formed The Hello People, who would go on to appear on The Tonight Show and The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, eventually touring with Todd Rundgren during the ‘70s, as well as opening for comedians Richard Pryor and George Carlin. The Hello People released four albums during the ‘60s and ‘70s for Philips and ABC-Dunhill, but their second album, the cult classic Fusion from 1968 is probably their best known, mostly notable for the anti-Vietnam War song “Anthem” which was banned by several radio stations. You can see a clip of the band performing the song, introduced by the Smothers Brothers below, as well as their mime act in full effect during a 1978 appearance with Todd Rundgren performing “Bread” on The Midnight Special.
It’s like the perfect shit storm… bad folk, lead flute(!)... mime!
The Hello People, Todd and pals sharing a post-show smoke sometime in the 70s.
Real Gone Music are making The Hello People’s cult classic Fusion available for the first time ever on CD. After all “Mime is money, money is mime.” Or something like that.
Some great interview footage with Iggy explaining why he HATES rock music (he’d rather buy drugs than records) and the self-financed New Values tour he was engaged in at the time. There’s also a record signing for fans.
This is primo Iggy. Only 68 views on YouTube? What’s that about?
Below, the actual handbill from the gig, a part of the Minnesota Historical Society’s collection:
That bad girl in the leather pants up front can wrangle up some ladylike behavior when she feels like it!
Looking for some etiquette tips for your big Valentine’s Day date tonight? Check out this short little radio spot from Shangri-La Mary Weiss—surprisingly conservative advice from a girl who fell for “The Leader of the Pack”!
Babymetal are three teenage Japanese idol singers, “graduates” of the Sakura Gakuin (さくら学院, or “Cherry Blossom Academy”). Think of it as an “idol school” including “class presidents” and stuff like that. Basically there are a bunch of different groups under the Sakura Gakuim banner, new members join, some move (“graduate”) into other group configurations, when they start to get “too old” they get pushed out, etc.
The main thing the girls have in common is their management, the Amuse talent agency, and that the various configuration of the Sakura Gakuin groups are all signed to Universal Music Japan.
But Babymetal, as the name implies, is something a bit different in the Sakura Gakuin idol stable: A marriage of the cutesy, catchy J-Pop sound with death metal! Hell kitties, not Hello Kitty, as you will see.
It’s the sort of thing that could only happen in Japan and we are all far better off for it.
Trust me, this WILL be the best thing you see all day… I find their videos a gazillion times more interesting than anything Matthew Barney has ever done. Especially this first one…
New York City-based artist E.V. Svetova (aka Katyok on deviantART), designs these oddly-beautiful David Bowie dolls. According to her page, she does “all of the customization and painting, as well as most of the garment design and construction.”
Some of these shots are based on iconic Mick Rock portraits of Bowie. Extra points for the mini Kansai Yamamoto knock-offs!
Unfortunately none of the dolls are for sale. My husband was crushed by this news.