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Hippie Thanksgiving
02:22 pm

Pop Culture


Have a Hippie Thanksgiving.

01. “Love Years Coming” - Strawberry Children
02. “Walking Through The Streets Of My Mind” - Beethoven Soul
03. “I Don’t Mind” - Fat Mattress
04. “Better Way” - The Rainbow Press
05. “AM I The Red One” - Mick Sofetly and The Summer Suns
06. “Now” - The Paisleys
07. “The Man In The Moon” - Village
08. “Flashing Lights” - Screaming Lord Sutch
09. “Bottom Of The Soul” - Bonniwel Music Machine
10. “Machines” - Manfred Mann
11. ” My Degeneration” - The Eyes
12. “Lemonade Kid” KAK
13. “Pink And Green” - Shirley Hughey
14. “She Moves Me” -  The E-Types
15. “Don’t Let It Bring You Down” - Neil Young

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Michael Fish: Apocalyptic fashion from 1969
07:41 pm

Pop Culture


Fashion designer Michael Fish created some of the most memorable outfits of the 1960s and 1970s, most famously the “men’s dress” as worn by Mick Jagger and David Bowie. His designs were also graced the films Modesty Blaise and Performance.

Here is Mr Fish as he introduces a brief taster of his 1969 collection, from German TV’s Aktuell.

With thanks to Maria Salavessa Hormigo Guimil

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
The beautiful murals of Los Angeles are being destroyed

Mural by El Mac.
In the past few years the City of Los Angeles has painted over and buffed into oblivion more than 300 murals effectively destroying the city’s reputation as the mural capitol of the world.

Some of the problems started in 1986, when the city was looking for a way to alleviate the growing scourge of billboard blight. The city was being blanketed with unsightly commercial advertising, so the Los Angeles City Council adopted a code to reduce commercial billboards. The new restrictions exempted artwork. Advertisers responded by suing the city, arguing that they had the same right of free speech as the muralists. So in 2002 the Council “solved” the matter by amending the code to include works of art. “The law left many murals technically illegal,” wrote the Times in an Oct. 29 editorial, “no matter how talented the artist or how willing the owner of the wall or how inoffensive the subject matter.”

Since then, murals that were already in existence have come under increasing threat from two sides: from graffiti “artists” who mark their territory by defacing murals, and from a city that seems determined to find any pretext to paint over them. This is the subject of Behind the Wall: The Battle for LA’s Murals (above), a six-minute documentary by students in the Film and TV Production MFA program at the University of Southern California. It was directed by Oliver Riley-Smith, shot by Qianbaihui Yang, and produced and edited by Gavin Garrison.

The loss of these murals is not just a blow to the world of art it diminishes the culture of the people who’s lives and history are depicted in the murals. L.A. is a lesser place without these glorious human creations.

As L.A rejects these artists, they are being welcomed in cities all over the world who want art to beautify the walls of their buildings. Check out El Mac’s website and see the possibilities.

Via Open Culture

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Monkee see, Monkee doo: Micky Dolenz as a glam rocker
01:06 am

Pop Culture


Micky as David Bowie.
Micky Dolenz of The Monkees goes glam on The Greatest Golden Hits of The Monkees TV special in 1977.

I’m guessing this was intended as a joke. On the other hand, Dolenz directed the show and maybe just maybe this was his idea of a hip career move.

Micky, Marc Bolan wants his pants back.

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Teenage beatnik: Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac and Bob Dylan portrayed by a young girl
11:38 pm

Pop Culture


The Mad Ones: A Brief History Of The Beat Generation

This well-executed, smart, no-budget, D.I.Y. video was a school project created by Krystal Cannon who lives in Ithaca, New York. She portrays all of the characters in the film.

I particularly dig Cannon’s Bob Dylan and her Allen Ginsberg is a hoot.

Krystal, if you see this, how about posting a comment on the making of The Mad Ones.

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
How to Survive the Apocalypse: A Burning (Man) Opera
05:00 pm

Pop Culture


Burning Man enthusiasts who live in Southern California have a second chance to catch How to Survive the Apocalypse: A Burning Opera this Sunday night for one performance only at the King King nightclub.

How to Survive the Apocalypse: a Burning Opera was scored by Mark Nichols, with libretto by noted counterculture writer Erik Davis. Inspired by “the Burn,” the show combines rock opera, an electronic dance party, and a pagan revival show. The workshop version premiered in early 2009 at Stage Werx in San Francisco, and the Original Cast version ran in October the same year, with nine sold-out performances at Teatro ZinZanni. The San Francisco Bay Guardian’s theater critic Steve Jones wrote that the show is “both engrossing musical theater in its own right and a piece of art that truly captures the feel of the event and the Zeitgeist of its attendees.” Writing about the Ghostlight Gypsies’ successful production of the show in Los Angeles this summer, co-directed by Nichols, Stephan Hues, and Julie Lewis, the LA Weekly’s Bill Raden raved about the show’s “anarchic spirit,” and described the show’s score as “a Hair-era musical vocabulary of R&B and acid rock by way of Kurt Weill.”

The origins of How to Survive the Apocalypse lie in a Porta-Potty line at Burning Man in 2006. Ron Meiners made the comment to a friend that only opera could capture the multidimensional experience of the festival. Composer Mark Nichols, in line with his singer partner Julie Lewis, overheard the remark. As a stalwart figure in the Seattle music scene who had already written a number of demented pieces of musical theatre, Nichols loved the idea. Meiners brought in lyricist Erik Davis, a cult author and journalist who had been attending and writing about Burning Man since 1994. Davis in turn brought in director Christopher Fulling. With producer and creative advisor Dana Harrison in tow, the main team was assembled and creative obsession began. Today the project continues to evolve through the vision of Ghostlight Gypsies, with future shows in the works.

An abridged version of the score, recorded and produced shortly after the 2009 Original Cast run has recently been released on CD. The music is also available digitally through iTunes and Amazon. For more on the Original Cast recording and performance see

King King, 6555 Hollywood Blvd., Nov. 20. Doors open at 7:00pm with the show starting at 8:00pm. The event is 21 and over. Tickets on sale here

Below, highlights of the original 2009 production in San Francisco.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
‘Five Years In New York That Changed Music Forever’

Jeff Salen of Tuff Darts and Talking Heads’ David Byrne at CBGB, 1976. Photo: Robert Spencer.
It has been said that when a city is in decline the arts flourish. I don’t know who said it or when it was said or if anyone actually said it at all. It’s one of those things that sounds true and feels true and when I say it people tend to agree, whether it’s true or not. It certainly seemed true when I arrived with my band in New York City in 1977 to play a Monday night gig at CBGB.

Crawling out of an Econoline van into the humidly dense New York night and having a fistful of Bowery cesspool stench sucker punch me was like being greeted by a Welcome Wagon full of decaying dog dicks. I liked it. I took in a lungful of the jaundiced air and knew immediately that my Muse was there somewhere…stuck like a moth in the viscous Manhattan murk.

The asshole smell of downtown NYC was exactly the kind of reality check I needed after spending six years languishing at the foot of the Rocky Mountains in Boulder, Colorado. I had arrived in 1970s Manhattan ready to have my world dismembered like a frog in anatomy class. I offered my neck to the city’s rusty scalpel with only a bottle of Jack Daniel’s and a bindle of blow to deaden the pain. 25 years later, I came out of surgery a changed man. And I have the scars to prove it. Lovely scars that you can count to determine my age.

In the first few years of living in NYC, I spent most my nights hanging at Max’s, CBGB, Danceteria, The Peppermint Lounge, The Mudd Club, Hurrah’s and countless other clubs soaking in the glorious sounds of local bands like The Patti Smith Group, The Ramones, Blondie, Talking Heads, Suicide, Tuff Darts, Mink DeVille, The Contortions, Steel Tips, The Dictators, The Mumps… many of whom were gaining international reputations for rescuing rock and roll from the corporate death grip of a dying music industry and from its own artistic stagnation. This was not a commercial strategy, it was something closer to a collective religious epiphany. Poets, painters and philosophers were adding guitars and amplifiers to their arsenals of typewriters, journals and canvas to further expand their medium of self-expression and resurrect a pop culture that had shot its wad at the tail end of the Sixties.

While my main interest was with what was happening in the punk clubs, there were major musical tremors snaking throughout Manhattan,The Bronx and Spanish Harlem. Jazz, rap, disco and Latin music were all drawing from some deep well of inspiration in a city that, on the surface, seemed to be collapsing in on itself. The economy, infrastructure and racial division were crushing Gotham like Godzilla-sized pigeons with restless leg syndrome.

Darkness breeds light and pockets of artists, of every color and cultural background, were conjuring all kinds of magic. And the magic was converging and intermingling in a melting pot, a Hessian crucible, in which alchemical beats, rhythms and song were being transmuted into healing vibrations balancing Gotham’s gloomy Kali Yuga yang into Shakti-powered yin transforming the tortured cries of the city into ecstatic utterance you could dance to, fuck to and get high to. Music was the wave that kept the city from tanking. As the garbage piled up on the streets and triumphant rats were raising flags on mounds of rotting debris like rodent versions of the Marines ascending Iwo Jima, glittering disco balls gaily revolved like tin foil prayer wheels in Studio 54 and downtown The Ramones were generating more energy on the Bowery than Con Edison and the psychotic barker from the Crazy Eddie commercials combined. Music provided the make-up, the blush and mascara that gave New York City the appearance of still being alive.

Will Hermes’ exhilarating new book Love Goes To Buildings On Fire: Five Years In New York That Changed Music Forever captures the energy and excitement of New York’s music scene from 1973 to 1978 in all its multitudinous forms. It is richly detailed, never dull, and exhaustively researched. I came to the book knowing most of what there is to know about Manhattan’s punk scene and as someone who was there at the time was pleased to see that Hermes (who was also there) manages to make it all come alive again. This is not a dull slog through familiar turf. Herme’s prose pulses with a rock and roll heart. He loves what he’s writing about. And he’s writing about much more than just what falls within my frame of reference. He sees and connects dots between various scenes creating a kind of musical mandala. From the lofts of downtown avant-garde jazz composers like Philip Glass to the South Bronx and the roots of rap with Kool Herc to disco’s inception spun off the turntables of Nicky Siano to The Fania All-Stars’ explosive sets at the Cheetah Club, Hermes is like a human Google map, giving us the God’s eye view and zooming in right down to the graffiti in the bathroom.

Today, things seems as bleak as they did in New York City during the 1970s. There’s a sense of hopelessness, a sense that things are getting out of control. But underneath the despair there is a subway-like rumbling, a rhythm, a beat, a sensation that something is moving and about to surface and it could be a train entering the station or it could be something like music, something pulling us all together in a movement that thrusts forward into the future and will not be denied. I’ve seen what the power of music can do. I saw it in the Sixties and I saw it again in the Seventies. And right now my eyes are wide open and ready to see it again.

Love Goes To Buildings On Fire is that fine kind of book that takes you backwards and forward at the same time. Will Hermes reminds us that music matters and every revolution, every movement, every cultural and political upheaval, creates its own soundtrack. What will ours be this time around?

Here’s a video mix inspired by Will’s book which includes some seminal songs that came out of New York City in the 1970s.

1. “Jet Boy” - The New York Dolls   2. “Piss Factory” - Patti Smith   3. “X-Offender” Blondie   4. “Born To Lose” - The Heartbreakers    5. “SuperRappin’” - Grandmaster Flash   6. “Darrio” - Kid Creole   7. “The Mexican” - Babe Ruth   8. “Pop Your Funk” - Arthur Russell

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Occupy London: A New Age of Rebellion

Rumors are flying around that the Occupy London encampment outside of St Paul’s Cathedral will be evicted tomorrow. Describing what he calls the “greatest upsurge of student radicalism since the 1960s,” Owen Jones, author of the important new book Chavs: The Demonization of the Underclass (Verso), takes stock of what’s been achieved so far, and what’s still ahead for the Occupy and student movements in Great Britain in a thought-provoking essay posted on Dazed Digital:

Ever present in the minds of Occupiers and student radicals alike is the legacy of the anti-war movement. Up to 2 million marched against the Iraq war but – as is frequently raised at meetings of British radicals – the invasion happened anyway. It’s seen as an indictment of the strategy of the so-called ‘A to B march’ – turn up, demonstrate, go home. That’s partly what’s given the impetus to Occupy: the strategy is that protests have to be made impossible to ignore.

Occupy doesn’t offer a direct challenge to the power of the economic elite; but it has certainly transformed the debate. Questions that the media likes to ignore – like the nature of capitalism – are being discussed in newspaper comment pieces and radio phone-ins. The Tories have turned a banking crisis into a crisis of public spending; Occupy reminds us of the real villains. And it has broad public sympathy, too: one poll showed that, while 38% felt the protesters were “naïve” because “there is no practical alternative to capitalism”, a whopping 52% thought that “the protesters are right to want to call time on a system that puts profit before people.”

Both Occupy and the student radicals should be seen as different – but overlapping – wings of the same movement: indeed, on the latest student protest, held on 9th November, activists attempted to march on the City in solidarity. While there are Occupiers from a range of age groups, younger activists are particularly prominent outside St Paul’s.

It’s not surprising that young people have taken the lead in the protest movements that have sprung up under Coalition rule. There’s the obvious: one of the Government parties promised the abolition of fees, but instead the cost of a university education has been tripled. But students in particular are often the first to move because – frankly – they have more time on their hands than working people; they are not dependent on a full-time job for sustenance; and they do not have responsibilities like keeping a family fed. With less of a stake in the system, there are fewer consequences when it comes to take off their gloves and fighting back.

But it’s also a symptom of a perfect storm hammering British youth. Unemployment has now hit one in five among 18 to 24-year-olds; what work there is available is often in the form of low-paid, insecure, poorly regarded service sector jobs; there are 5 million people languishing on social housing waiting lists while private rents soar, leaving a generation without the prospect of an affordable home; cuts are hitting youth services; and, as well as the trebling of tuition fees, the Educational Maintenance Allowance has been abolished. For the first time since World War II, the promise that the next generation will be better off than the last has abruptly ended.

Occupy and the student radicals are just two symptoms of a generation without prospects. As an ideologically charged austerity programme reshapes British society, the ranks of this so-called “lost generation” will only grow. But so too will the protests, occupations and strikes. A new age of revolt is upon us.

Occupy London: A New Age of Rebellion (Dazed Digital)

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
‘Fuck You’: A psychedelic rarity from mystery band Lucifer
02:12 am

Pop Culture


Much debate revolves around exactly who Lucifer was. One of the only points of agreement is that the band wasn’t actually a band but the product of one person. The question is: who was that person? Legendary British hash smuggler and provocateur Howard Marks claims in his book Mr. Nice that Lucifer was Denys Irving, a pioneering computer arts geek, and that Marks financed his experimental recordings. Others, including a writer on Julian Cope’s blog, say Lucifer is Peter Walker, a former member of Manchester, England psychedelic band The Purple Gang. Based on the information in Mark’s book, I think Irving, who died in a hang gliding accident in 1976, was Lucifer. As far as I know, Peter Walker ain’t talking.

In all of the mystery surrounding Lucifer’s identity, the one thing that is certain is that the artist’s first record was a limited edition 45 r.p.m single “Fuck You” released in 1972 and made available through mail-order only. You’d have to have seen an ad in underground magazines like Australia’s Oz or British music weekly New Musical Express to know the record even existed.

Described by Lucifer as “fuckrock,” here’s the obscure, and yet legendary, “Fuck You” recorded four decades before Cee Lo Green’s hit of the same name.

And if you dig this, stay tuned. I’ll be uploading more of Lucifer’s music shortly.

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Morrissey sells out: Smiths’ track covered for Christmas advert
05:14 pm

Pop Culture


Morrissey has allowed high-street department store, John Lewis to use a cover version of “Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want” on the chain’s £6 million Christmas advertising campaign. The track has been covered by Slow Moving Millie (aka Amelia Warner, ex-wife of Colin Farrell, apparently), which follows on from last year’s take of Elton John’s “Your Song” recorded by Ellie Goulding.

According to the Daily Telegraph Morrissey is “delighted” that the chain was using the track. Craig Inglis, John Lewis’s marketing director, is quoted as saying:

“We know our audience holds The Smiths and bands from that era in high esteem.”

“It’s a magical feeling when you find that perfect present for someone; there’s a great sense of anticipation from the moment you buy it to the moment you give the gift on the big day.

“That feeling is exactly what we’ve tried to capture with this year’s Christmas campaign.”

Ruth Paterson, head of marketing at Rough Trade, the record label which released most of The Smiths’ work, said she was entertained by the collaboration.

“I do like the idea of a really good song by a really good band being played in Middle England’s living rooms,” she told The Times.

“I’m sure that wasn’t the song’s intended purpose, but I think that’s a good thing.”

As Morrissey edges towards a pensionable age, the “substantial pecuniary boost” this ad will bring will no doubt be greatly appreciated - though perhaps not by his fans, as if that will matter.

After Morrissey and Christmas, who’s next? And what other advert involving high street business and alleged hip musician would make for the most unlikely pairing? Suggestions, please.


Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
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