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‘San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)’

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In 1967, Scott Mckenzie’s “San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)” was a clarion call to young kids who, like myself, were isolated in the soul numbing suburbs of America. Yes, the song is naive and somewhat corny, but in its day it really was an anthem for a generation of disaffected white kids looking for something beyond the high school walls. It worked for me.

By the time I arrived in the Haight Ashbury in 1968 the Summer of Love had passed and the neighborhood was gradually becoming a cattle yard for runaways. Tourist buses clogged the streets, sightseers were everywhere and kids with no money were spare changing and ripping off weekend hippies by selling them bogus drugs. I spent most of my time on Hippie Hill in Golden Gate Park reading books of poetry that I’d borrowed from City Lights Bookstore in North Beach (thanks Lawrence).

The flowers of the counterculture were starting to wilt, but it was still a great time for a rock and roll fan to be living in San Francisco. I was going to concerts at the Matrix and The Fillmore seeing Traffic, The Incredible String Band, Eric Burdon and War, It’s A Beautiful Day, Albert King, The Dead (who I’ve never liked, now or then) Big Brother and The Holding Company, Country Joe and The Fish, The Peanut Butter Conspiracy, The Jefferson Airplane, Quicksilver Messenger Service - a shitload of music, both great and not so great. But even the not so great stuff was still mindblowing to a 17 year old kid from Falls Church, Virginia.

For the record, I never wore a flower in my hair.

Here’s a seldom seen video from French TV of Mckenzie singing his big hit written by John Phillips.
 

 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Discussion
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Has the acid kicked in yet?

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Artist Will Sweeny makes the leap from designing club flyers, t-shirts and illustrating graphic novels to animation and the result is gorgeously psychedelic.

This video has been selected for the Guggenheim Museum’s YouTube Play biennial of creative video. The inaugural event showcases the most innovative online video from around the world and the judges including Stefan Sagmeister, Darren Aronofsky, Takeshi Murakami and Laurie Anderson.

Directed by Steve Scott.

Music: Birdy Nam Nam’s “The Parachute Ending”
 

Via bigactive.com

Posted by Marc Campbell | Discussion
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Map of the best college radio stations
12.03.2010
11:57 am

Topics:
Media
Music
Pop Culture

Tags:
Map
Zoomout.in
College radio

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Click here to see an interactive map of ‘the best college radio stations, in terms of freeform music programming and streaming audio quality.’

In choosing the stations, Zoomout.in’s criteria was:

*Must be non-commercial;
*Must be affiliated with a college/university and be (mostly) student run;
*Must have a full schedule of freeform programming;
*Must broadcast a live, high-quality .mp3 or .ogg stream.

I have a fear of flying, so I drive cross country quite often and find myself futilely spinning the radio dial trying to discover something to listen to other than Bible thumpers and conservative talk jocks . College radio provides some relief from the wasteland that is the American airwaves.

Posted by Marc Campbell | Discussion
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The magical visions of animation pioneer Richard Williams

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Canadian animator Richard Williams is best known for his work on Roger Rabbit, but he’s been making inventive commercials in the UK and USA since the late 1960s.

Animation maestro Richard Williams (The Thief and the Cobbler, Who Framed Roger Rabbit) found great success doing animated commercials in the UK, but his greatest goal was to learn from the great animators of the past, like Ken Harris, Art Babbit, Grim Natwick and Milt Kahl, and pass their knowledge on to his own studio and the animators of tomorrow. Richard was successful in doing this and many animators who worked under the brilliant, mad perfectionist went on to found their own studios, and to work on the great Disney films of the late 1980s and 1990s.

Richard never quite finished his dream project The Thief and the Cobbler (viewable on Youtube in a Recobbled Cut), as it was eventually financed by Warner Brothers, who went cold on the idea and took the film away from him.

These days Richard is known for having written perhaps the best book ever written on animation- The Animator’s Survival Kit. Every animation student should have one, and probably does.

Enjoy these wonderful animations from Richard Williams.
 

 
Lots more groovy animated fun after the jump…

Posted by Marc Campbell | Discussion
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Into the mystic with Blondie’s Gary Valentine: Rock and roll meets Carl Jung, Ouspensky, and Magick

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Gary Valentine (birth name Gary Lachman) was a founding member of Blondie, playing bass with the group from 1975 to ‘77. He wrote one of the band’s defining songs ‘X Offender’ and one of their biggest hits, ‘(I’m Always Touched by Your) Presence, Dear’.  He went on to form his own band The Know in 1978 and briefly played guitar with Iggy Pop in 1981. 

Valentine became a dedicated writer in 1996 and published his first book ‘Turn Off Your Mind: The Mystic Sixties and the Dark Side of the Age of Aquarius’ in 2001. His memoir ‘New York Rocker: My Life in The Blank Generation’ is one of the few accounts of the NY punk scene that gets it right. Since then he’s published a series of books on the occult, philosophy, psychology, suicide and politics. In this interview with Cherry Red Records’ Iain McNay, Gary discusses his musical past and his life long interest in the inner workings of the human psyche.
 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Discussion
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Suicide’s Alan Vega discusses songwriting, art and life

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Suicide’s Alan Vega interviewed for Tony Oursler’s Synesthesia Project.

The Synesthesia Project was a series of filmed interviews shot between 1997 and 2001 by artist Tony Oursler. Among the musicians featured were John Cage, Thurston Moore, Lydia Lunch and David Byrne.
 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Discussion
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Rocky Roberts: International Soulman
12.01.2010
05:12 pm

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Movies
Music
Pop Culture

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Rocky Roberts

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Rocky Roberts (Charles Roberts) was a onetime professional boxer turned singer who, along with his group The Airedales, helped introduce soul music to Italy in the 1960s.

Roberts got his start as the frontman in South Florida dance band Doug Fowlkes & The Airdales. But, it wasn’t until Fowlkes and Roberts joined the Navy and ended up in Europe that they encountered success as Rocky Roberts and The Airedales. Discovered by popular Italian deejays Gianni Boncompagni and Renzo Arbore, Rocky and his group became over-night stars. Rocky’s fluid dance moves and groovy fashion sense was a big hit with Italian teenagers.

In 1963, The Airedales disbanded and Rocky continued to produce hits as a solo act. Along with Stevie Wonder and Wilson Pickett, Roberts was the most famous Black singer in Italy during the mid-to-late sixties.He became a popular attraction on Italian television and even starred in a couple of movies. He sang the English version of the title track of spaghetti western classic Django. His popularity spread across the Continent to include France and Britain.

Roberts returned to the USA for awhile but eventually returned to Italy where he continued to perform up until his death in 2005 in Rome.

In Britain, his song ‘Just Because Of You’ was a hit among fans of mod soul and still gets played at Northern Soul all-niters.

While dripping with sartorial coolness, Rockey’s trademark sunglasses were not just for show. They covered up scar tissue around his left eye acquired doing his old boxing days. 

Rocky’s bandmate Jerry Armstrong recalls the early days…

[...] we formed the group while serving in the U.S. Navy at Boca Chica Naval Air Station, Key West Florida. We first practiced in the old base theater, beginning our trek in 1958. In 1959 we were transferred to the U.S.S. Independence, CVA-62 (Aircraft Carrier) and served aboard her until we were all discharged in 1962. We made two trips to Europe on the Indy and during the first trip entered a rock and roll contest in France and won first place. Eddie Barclay, the International Banker, saw us and liked us and signed us to a recording contract with his Barclay Records label. We later recorded for ATCO in New York City. While the band did well up and down the East Coast of the U.S. from Key West to New York City, we were most popular in Europe, with France, Greece, and Italy being countries that most favored our music. We cut several albums and EPs. In 1963, the band split and members went separate ways. Roberts took the band’s name and went back to Europe where he did very well in the music business with new members.

Here’s a little compilation of Rocky on film and video. It includes some footage with Jayne Mansfield from The Wild, Wild World of Jayne Mansfield and the theme song from Django.
 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Discussion
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Kenny Scharf psychedelizes downtown Manhattan

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Video of Kenny Scharf working on the latest mural to occupy the ever changing wall on Bowery and Houston in Manhattan.

The wall is legendary for its long standing Keith Haring tribute. It’s fitting that Scharf, one of Haring’s compadres, has created a new work on that historic space.

The mural was completed today.
 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Discussion
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Angelyne, the billboard queen of Los Angeles is selling her pink condo
11.29.2010
02:01 pm

Topics:
Pop Culture

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Angelyne

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Uh oh, it looks like Angelyne, the pink-clad billboard queen of Hollywood—who got into a fender-bender with a taxi in her pink Corvette earlier a few weeks back—is about to lose her pink condo in Malibu to a short sale. The 1800 sq, ft. 3 bedroom condo is listed for $575,000.

It’s probably not exactly a coincidence that she’s also suing the City of Los Angeles for a half million dollars because her fan mail was supposedly never delivered to her…

Via World of Wonder

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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David Bowie VS. Booker T: Hammond B3 meets ‘Fame’ on Soul Train

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The Brat mashes up David Bowie performing ‘Fame’ on Soul Train with Booker T’s ‘Potato Hole’ and I like it. That Hammond B3 adds some serious soul sauce to Bowie’s classic.

David’s performance of ‘Fame’ on Soul Train is not commercially available and that’s a drag.
 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Discussion
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